Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Chapter 5

For one thing, he had the Ark of the Covenant people and the outlying villages were afraid of Babylonian reprisals so refused to allow his presence. Also, the two daughters of Zedekiah posed a threat since they were the only members of the family who had escaped execution not to mention Prince Eochaidh of whom some said was in Jerusalem conspiring with Zedekiah to assist Egypt and Jerusalem usurp power from the vast Babylonian empire. This dangerous company rode camels all day and night to cross the border into the Sinai desert. This was no easy task. Jeremiah came from a prominent family of means and voice in community affairs. They were wealthy enough to have adobe houses in the city as well as tents which were used as seasonal homes. Effectually they carried their own housing into the desert, heavy tents and cooking pots. If you had wealth, you had flocks to tend. The region has been one of political focus throughout history. The nation of Israel had always been surrounded by powerful nations and required to pay tribute to the Hittites, Egyptians, Assyrians, and now the Babylonians. This time it was the ruthless Nebuchadnezzar who ruled the region with an iron hand and exacted his heavy taxes. Zedekiah was at the end of the lineage of Jewish kings who'd not heeded the word of the prophets and ruled foolishly and selfishly over Jerusalem. Zedekiah's politics were thinly scattered in whichever wind was more promising and he was in collusion with the Egyptian pharaoh to help Egypt capture Babylon and take control of the region. It was a game of ultimate treachery and betrayal and was dangerously stupid because should the Egyptians fail, Jerusalem would be destroyed. The warning of eminent destruction if Israel did not repent was issued from the mouth of the prophets. The young prophet Jeremiah risk his own life when he wrote and delivered prophecies to the king. But the people were entrenched in their own corruption and deceit; obeying God would mean a change of lifestyle. So the prophecies were counter productive to the king's politics. Jeremiah had to hide himself in nearby caves to prevent from being punished. But Jeremiah was energetically determined to do the will of his God; his scribe Baruch made many copies of his prophecies and distributed them about the region.

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