Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives. The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version. At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture. To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.
2 Kings 21:1-9
2 Chronicles 33:1-9
2 Kings 21:10-17
2 Chronicles 33:10-19
2 Kings 21:18
2 Chronicles 33:20
2 Kings 21:19-26
2 Chronicles 33:21-25
2 Kings 22:1-2
2 Chronicles 34:1-7
Questions & Observations
Q. (2 Kings 21:1-18, 2 Chronicles 33:1-20): I wasn’t getting it. I was confused because I thought Hezekiah was a godly king. I didn’t understand why there was all of this impending doom unless the people weren’t following the king’s lead. I thought the end of Jerusalem was going to happen under Hezekiah. Now, it makes sense since there were successive kings — Hezekiah’s son and grandson — who promoted idol worship. This scripture was a page-turner. I’m glad Manasseh came around at the end … after he was led with a ring through his nose. It does seem like God’s warnings are going to happen soon, but they don’t.
A. All in due time. The first few chapters of Jeremiah told you what order things would go down in.
Q. (Jeremiah 1: 11-14): Why is God using an almond tree branch and a pot of boiling water for Jeremiah’s visions?
A. As we discussed way, way back in February (Day 44), the Hebrew word for “almond” sounds exactly like the word for “watch,” so God is using a bit of word play here to cast a vision. The pot — caldron would be a good translation, noting the size difference: caldrons are huge — image and the word for “pour out,” which means the same as “boil” in Hebrew paint a vision of a huge force that will be “poured out” upon the people. The boiling pot is therefore symbol of God’s wrath.
Q. (Jeremiah 2:13): What is a cistern?
A. A cistern is a Middle Eastern water collecting/storing device, usually used for catching and retaining rainwater. It is distinguished from a well by most often being man-made (i.e. wells are dug, but the water itself is natural) and having an artificial, watertight barrier, most often some form of plaster. These cisterns were vitally important to survival of life in a desert, where it might only rain a few times a year in certain areas. So if your cistern leaked (as God alludes to), you were in big trouble, because your water was lost to the earth. So God is here drawing the powerful contrast between Himself as a life-giving spring and the idols He has been abandoned for as leaky cisterns, which promise to provide, but end up leaving the people with nothing. It’s a powerful contrast, and not the last time a cistern will be an important part of this story.