As a hand of the LordJeremiah 50:1-10Ⅰ The end of Babylon
In Chapter 50-51, it is told downfall of Babylon and the return of the people of Jewish captivity. I hesitated whether it is good to incorporate this place into "the genealogy of the prophet / Jeremiah", but, I decided to pick up this. Because this place is not derived from Jeremiah and Baruch, and probably it seems this is a revision of the editor of the era of captivity. It has been pointed out that the contents and style also are unlike Jeremiah; and occasionally, there is also a place that has diverted entirely from Jeremiah. It is totally different from the message which has a feeling of strain of the prophet Jeremiah. However, in spite of it, it is saying the appearance and end of Babylon was done by the hand of God; it may be said it is the message of Jeremiah itself. If do not touch the subsequent Babylon which involved in the fate of the kingdom of Judah deeply, it is impossible to conclude the prophet Jeremiah, I've thought. And, although it does not arrive the feeling Jeremiah reduced a life, but this editor seems to want to put the thought of prophet Jeremiah furthermore by this revision. It is a fumbling, but I hope to arrive the intention of this editor.
"The word which the Lord spoke concerning Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans, through Jeremiah the prophet:" (1) There is it, "The word which the Lord spoke", but this is what the editor has followed the style of Jeremiah. I have said this editor was of the people of the "period of captivity", but many scholars are thinking it has been written in Jerusalem after the return, but if this editor will be the people of return who has witnessed the demise of Babylon, it also can nod. For example, in Verse 50:9, the army which invades to Babylon is said "from the land of the north", but in Chapter 51, the name of "Media" comes out frequently. Babylon was invaded by the allied forces of Media Persia and it was ruined; this is also a historical event that Herodotus wrote. The central figure Cyrus II of Persia was a prince who was born from daughter Mandane of Persian Achaemenid who was married with king Astyages of Media (strategy marriage, Persia was a vassal state of Media at that time). He grew up in the royal palace of Media, but returned to the Persian due to some circumstances; but he acquired ability in a moment there, and built up Achaemenian, and destroyed Media; and became a champion of the big river district in a very short period of time. That of Media is not widely known, but it seems it was not interested so much in the invasion of other countries, if the area of their own not be infringed, it would have seemed good for them. Union of late Media and Persian was concluded in a very short period of time; so, Babylon collapse would had been taken by surprise like a bolt from the blue at all, to the exiles of Babylon. Because there were prophets among the people of captivity, it is not possible to assert that this is not the divine revelation of God unconditionally, but, if we look at the place which is said "through Jeremiah the prophet", it is thought that it is better to think this is the report after the fact.
Ⅱ A blank after death of Jeremiah
"Declare and proclaim among the nations. Proclaim it and lift up a standard. Do not conceal it but say, 'Babylon has been captures, Bel has been put to shame, Marduk has been shattered;" (2) Because Bell is Baal, and the chief god Marduk of Babylon is God of the city Merodaku, and both are called Bell, the same God seems to have been said in the words of more than one. Originally, Bell was the city god of Assyria, Nipple, but when Babylon became the imperial capital, it would have been diverted to Marduk with the tradition of cult. Baal God was widely worshiped in the area leading to Canaan countries from Syria; as there is a sense of "Baal = master", under the influence of ancient Babylon, Marduk faith is transformed into Baal faith, it would have been established.The nickname of Baal does not come out here; but, through putting there other word, Bell or Merodaku, editor might have shown its spread. Probably there, it would contain also Cyrus who was in awe for the gods of Babylon. Authority downfall of the gods was the news of the world scale. There is it, "A nation has come up against her out or the north; it will make her land an object of horror, and there will be no inhabitant in it. Both man and beast have wandered off, they have gone away." (3). "Cause one country from the north to destroy the kingdom of Judah", the one who talked about Babylon was Jeremiah himself; however, this editor is saying that, another country will be born from the north and it will be against to Babylon. Even if it was the result that he saw, it seems clear that he wanted to inherit the thought of the prophecy of Jeremiah in there.
This editor is not just an intellectual, but the possibility that he himself was a prophet would seem to appear. A prophet means the one who conveys the word of God originally, he was such a being. In particular, in the period of captivity, Shinagogu has been born, and the words of God were read there, and the message was talked from those words of God, and such worship was done; the person in charge of the message would have been a prophet. In the Psalms and Proverbs, traces of their message seems to have remained heavily. Jeremiah has lived as a witness of the word of the Lord, and witnessed the destruction of the kingdom of Judah. However, he was forced taken to Egypt involuntarily, but, he continued its career as a prophet; however he could not witness the end of this event, and died in Egypt. This editor would have attempted to fill that space. Maybe, he would have been intellectual man with rich knowledge more. It seems to appear in this verse of the divine revelation.
Ⅲ As a hand of the Lord
Its thought seems to have been put to a stepped way of Israel of next, and to an article of return from Babylon. "'In those days and at that time', declares the Lord, 'the sons of Israel will come, both they and the sons of Judah as well; they will go along weeping as they go, and it will be the Lord their God they will seek. They will ask for the way to Zion, turning their faces in its direction; they will come that they may join themselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten. My people have become lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray. They have made them turn aside on the mountains; they have gone along from mountain to hill and have forgotten their resting place. All who came upon them have devoured them and their adversaries have said, "We are no guilty, inasmuch as they have sinned against the Lord who is the habitation of righteousness, even the Lord, the hope of their fathers." Wander away from the midst of Babylon, and go forth the land of the Chaldeans; ...'" (4-10) It is thought this will be the fact that this editor himself has witnessed, when he was having trouble of struggle in the day-to-day of Babylon as a captive. If assuming they were able to return at the end of Israel hardship and tears they shed, he will be younger one generation than Jeremiah at least. He is trying to stand up to the faith in Yahweh which inherited the thought that the previous generation had committed against God and has repented as a result. Indeed, it was that Jeremiah hoped. Standing in that line, would this editor who was a prophet and a teacher of the people had tried this to fill the margins of Jeremiah? "We have sinned. This Babylonian captivity was a matter of course.", his thought seems to come through.
When they stood in such places, there was intervention of God. To Media Persia a invitation was issued, and a role of Babylon was over. Its appearance was suddenly, but also its end was suddenly. Babylon appeared as comet as a hand of God, in BC 539, it faded away after '66 years from the battle of Carchemish. Cyrus also was invited as a hand of God. For the return of Israel, there is thus in Ⅱ Chronicles. "To fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it kept sabbath until seventy years were complete. Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia---inorder to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah---the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persis, his kingdom and also put it in writing, saying, 'Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, "The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whosever there is among you of all His people, may the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up!"'" (36:21-23) In order to build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, Cyrus urged the return. There is it, "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness;" (Matthew 6:33). Jeremiah, Baruch, and this editor worked hard for it, and the disciples of Jesus did also so. As a hand of the Lord. We also wish to do so.