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.
Questions & Observations
Q. (Jeremiah 24:15-29): Can you explain this “cup”? And, how did Jeremiah get around to all of these nations? This is something that took many, many years? I wouldn’t think that all of these nations would have welcomed Jeremiah. Was it in the reading that God would protect him?
A. I suspect that this section is a vision of some sort; I highly doubt that Jeremiah went to all of these nations — and as you mention, he would hardly be welcomed. But the cup itself is an image of God’s wrath, which will be poured out upon these nations for their various sins. This period in the Middle East was one of extreme turmoil, with nation conquering nation and repeated periods of slaughter that can be see as God’s wrath being poured out. It was a horrible time, and poor little Judah is caught in the middle of this ongoing endless war within this region. But surely we live in more civilized times today.
Q. (24:33): And you wonder where some people get a sick sense of humor. (lol) God is saying here that these people are basically the “sh” 4-letter word.
A. Sort of. I think God is comparing the sheer number of unburied bodies to the mass quantity of manure that a farmer would typically use on a field.
Q. (36:5): Why does Jeremiah say he is a prisoner?
A. Jeremiah is imprisoned by the king who doesn’t like what he is saying. I believe that we will see more about this later, though I am honestly not sure why the imprisonment didn’t come “first” in our reading. My notes indicate that he may not have been a prisoner — other translations render this word “restricted” — but may simply have been forbidden from going to the Temple to proclaim his message. In a linear reading of Jeremiah — which we are obviously not doing here — chapters 7 and 19-20 contain various speeches and actions at the Temple that surely made the officials and king not care much for what Jeremiah had to say.
Q. (36:19): OK, the officials were very interested in the Lord’s messages, but they told Jeremiah and Baruch to hide because they knew the king would not be receptive to them?
Q. (46:20, 2-26): A horsefly, that’s funny. What I take from this is that God’s instruction of the different kings drinking from the cup of doom is given more details of who will do what to whom.
A. Yes I would say that’s right. Egypt will be “eaten” by this horsefly from the north — as will every nation in Babylon’s path — under Nebuchadnezzar.