The ruin, or the hope?Jeremiah 16:1-21$B-5(B In major conflicts
Here, it seems there are many depictions on the private life of Jeremiah. Perhaps, it would be long before the invasion of the Babylonian army. He was called as a prophet by God in Anathoth; and about the judgement of the Judah kingdom, he already has heard it many times. In such a situation, we can hear that this is the scene of his suffering mainly on a conversation with God. However, although even the name of Babylon is not here, it was told about why God should do such a formidable judgement, and was told about even the return of the captivity. Although these are uncertain and also doubtful integrity, these are not due to editing of the progeny, and these are also different from things which has been revealed until now; probably, these matters would have been ruminating many times among Jeremiah, I think so. It was not clear, but the rumination was condensed here, and such rumination was condensed here, and would be recorded here. Probably it is thought that it was an internal tangle of Jeremiah, but such a tangle attacked Jeremiah. And I expect it might teach to us (the modern people who will be made to stand before God surely) the way of standing which is not able to finish in the past other people's affairs.
It begins with "You shall not take a wife for yourself nor have sons or daughters in this place." (2) Yes, Jeremiah was a lifelong bachelor. Such a shadow of his wife and children does not appear anywhere. Jeremiah was in the danger constantly, and such as an effort to protect his own life can not find even its fragments. He did not have means to protect such people even if he had a family. He could evade its weakness only by walking with God. And he connected it as a warning to some situations which is saying that "For thus says the Lord concerning the sons and daughters born in this place, and concerning their mothers who bear them, and their fathers who beget them in this land: They will die of deadly diseases, they will not be lamented or buried; they will be as sung on the surface of the ground and come to an end by sword and famine, and their carcasses will become food for the birds of the sky and for the beasts of the earth." (3-4). It is the same that "Do not enter a house of mourning, or go to lament or to console them; ..." (5-9). Such situation was going to attack Israel soon.
Would it not have been a strong message to Israel to show such a state of prophet who did not have a son and a daughter without marrying a wife? And it would have been a strong message to "listen to words of God" to Israel.
$B-6(B In the hardened state
"Now it will come about when you tell this people all these words that they will say to you, 'For what reason has the Lord declared all this great calamity against us? And what is our iniquity, or what is our sin which we have committed against the Lord of our God?' Then you are to say to them 'It is because their forefathers have forsaken Me, ' declared the Lord, 'and have followed other gods and serve them and bowed down to them; but Me they have forsaken and have not kept My law. You too have done evil, even more than your forefathers; for behold, you are each one walking according to the stubbornness of his own evil heart, without listening to Me. So I will hurl you out of this land into the land which you have not known, neither you nor your fathers; and there you will serve other gods day and night, for I shall grant you no favor." (10-13)
Jeremiah seems to have come to the Jerusalem temple. To Yahweh, to the Queen of Heaven, and to Baal, various worship had been done there. Jeremiah talked a message of God at there. Nothing is touched about that message. However, people who heard got furiously angry. They turned on Jeremiah hurriedly, saying "For what reason has the Lord declared all this great calamity against us? And what is our iniquity, or what is our sin which we have committed against the Lord our God?". It seems to show a size of their anger, or to show that there were such exchanges between the prophet and them many times. And the declaration of God was repeated many times, too. The anger of God was big, too. Verse 11 would be the things which that declaration was summarized in. Probably, it is thought that, because Babylonia military invasion was close, the prophet compiled the message of God and was going to reconfirm about what is its center. As a reason of the judgement, it was given that primarily they threw God away (it is written twice here), that second they served other gods, that third they did not follow law of God. "You too have done evil, even more than your forefathers; for behold, you are each one walking according to the stubbornness of his own evil heart, without listening to Me." (12); it seems to emphasize such a reason.
The judgment of God was told about. "'Behold, I am going to send for many fishermen,' declares the Lord, 'and they will fish for them; and afterwards I shall send for many hunters, and they will hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and from the clefts of the rocks.'" (16) This is a declaration of following "So I will hurl you out of this land" (13); and the reason of the umpire are repeated in this way "For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My eyes..." (17-18). Surely, it would have summarized here, to make more efficient, the thing which was told in the separate time.
$B-7(B The ruin, or the hope?
Is it including that judgement? The judgment and its reason are talked divided into two separately (11-13 and 16). And sandwiched in the meantime, a new message has been added. "For I will restore them to their land which I gave to their fathers." (15); it is the return from captivity. The return to Cannan was not a new thing at all for Israel. "As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt" (14); probably it had been handed down in a cultus, but it would be their confession of faith to God which rescued Israel from Egypt which was a severe slave. However, it had already become a confession like tepid water, and it was only in the memory which was carved with subtly in the religious act of the cultus. However, this was the declaration of God saying that they would meet with severer critical ruin. The ruin and the salvation, Israel had to hear those two declarations. It was what God expected, and therefore He said, "(They will say,) 'As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the countries where He had banished them,'" (15).
I do not know about when this salvation message was told, but it overlaps with the invasion by Nebuchadnezzar which is set forth in Chapter 25. Then, the center message of Jeremiah, "Be kept in the Babylon. and become a person living in that land.", seems to rise up. After captivity to the Babylon and the return from there, not from Egypt, Israel will come to cry the liberation from Babylon. It is a new page of the history of salvation of God. However, it does not mean that Israel has become new after this. People who returned rebuilt Jerusalem and rebuilt a destroyed shrine. This is called the times of the second shrine afterward, but, it follows the middle age of confusion and hopeless through Hasumon dynasty and Herod dynasty; and the history of salvation through Jesus begins. The ruin and captivity which the kingdom of Judah is going to reach, would it have not been the messages which fixed its eyes on the times of the new Gospel?
Here, another message was attached. "O Lord, my strength and my stronghold, and my refuge in the day of distress, to The the nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, 'Our father have inherited nothing but falsehood, futility and things of no profit. Can man make gods for himself? Yet they are not gods!'" (19-20)$B!!(BThe part of parenthesis is attributed to the foreigner, and the new page of the salvation seems to be extended to the foreigner. Verse 21 which is considered to be words of God, "Therefore behold, I am going to make them know - this time I will make them know My power and My might; and they shall know that My name is the Lord."; I think it might connect to the Gospel of Jesus. As a matter of the salvation of us, Paul testified, "Let it be known to you therefore, that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will also listen. (Acts 28:28); please remember it!