Jeremiah 26-28

Thursday Evening Bible Study

March 10, 2005


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna

Jeremiah began his ministry during the reign of Josiah (640-609 BC). When Josiah was killed by the Egyptian Pharaoh Neco, the people put his son Jehoahaz (609 BC) on the throne. He lasted three months. When Neco found out who had been made king, he took Jehoahaz prisoner to Egypt and made his older brother Jehoiakim (another son of Josiah, 609-598 BC) king. When he died, his son Jehoiachin became king (598-597 BC) but he only lasted three months until Nebuchadnezzar came and seized Jerusalem and took Jehoiachin to Babylon as his prisoner. Nebuchadnezzar then made Jehoiachin’s uncle, Zedekiah, king. Zedekiah was another son of Josiah. He ruled from 597-586 BC. He was the last king until Nebuchadnezzar came and destroyed Jerusalem.    

In the previous chapters we’ve seen some of Jeremiah’s messages about the coming judgment. We now begin a section where we see some of the responses that the people had to his messages.


Jeremiah 26

:1-7 Jeremiah’s message that Jerusalem will fall

:1 In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came from the LORD, saying,

It’s some time around the year 609 BC. Josiah has just died. Josiah had brought a measure of revival to the land, yet either the revival was only external, or it was short lived.

:2 "Thus says the LORD: 'Stand in the court of the Lord's house, and speak to all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the Lord's house, all the words that I command you to speak to them. Do not diminish a word.

This is parallel to Jeremiah 7-10, the “Temple Messages”, given at the same time as those messages.

diminishgara‘– to diminish, restrain, withdraw, abate, keep back, do away, take from, clip

Don’t diminish God’s Word.  Jeremiah is to give the people all of it.

I think it’s important that we learn to read ALL of God’s Word.  Don’t just read your favorite chapters.  Read the whole book.

:3 'Perhaps everyone will listen and turn from his evil way, that I may relent concerning the calamity which I purpose to bring on them because of the evil of their doings.'

If the people will turn around, God promised He would not bring the judgment that Jeremiah was warning the people about.

God doesn’t enjoy destroying people.

Eze 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

God doesn’t want people to perish. He just wants them to turn from their sin.

2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us–ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

:4 "And you shall say to them, 'Thus says the LORD: "If you will not listen to Me, to walk in My law which I have set before you,

:5 "to heed the words of My servants the prophets whom I sent to you, both rising up early and sending them (but you have not heeded),

:6 "then I will make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth."' "

ShilohShiloh was the place where the Ark of the Covenant had been kept during the times of the Judges. Yet because of the rebelliousness of Israel, God allowed Israel to lose in battle to the Philistines, for Shiloh to be wiped out, and the Ark to be captured by the Philistines (1Sam. 4).

:7 So the priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD.

:8-11 Jeremiah seized

:8 Now it happened, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak to all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people seized him, saying, "You will surely die!

:9 "Why have you prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, 'This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without an inhabitant'?" And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.

:10 When the princes of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king's house to the house of the LORD and sat down in the entry of the New Gate of the Lord's house.

:11 And the priests and the prophets spoke to the princes and all the people, saying, "This man deserves to die! For he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your ears."


Offended or repentant?

Sometimes we don’t like what we’re told.
We are offended or convicted by something that someone says.
If the thing is actually true, we face a choice: Will be simply be offended, or will we change?
A few weeks ago my doctor said some pretty tough things to me about my weight.  I don’t think I need to go into the specifics, but simply I was offended.  I was hurt.  I was embarrassed.

I wrestled with how unfair it was for him to say those things to me.  I got lots of compassion and pats on the backs from people who knew I was feeling hurt.

But I knew he was right.  And I’m on the treadmill every morning because of it.

:12-15 Jeremiah’s response

:12 Then Jeremiah spoke to all the princes and all the people, saying: "The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city with all the words that you have heard.

:13 "Now therefore, amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; then the LORD will relent concerning the doom that He has pronounced against you.

:14 "As for me, here I am, in your hand; do with me as seems good and proper to you.

:15 "But know for certain that if you put me to death, you will surely bring innocent blood on yourselves, on this city, and on its inhabitants; for truly the LORD has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing."

:16-19 Jeremiah defended

:16 So the princes and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, "This man does not deserve to die. For he has spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God."

:17 Then certain of the elders of the land rose up and spoke to all the assembly of the people, saying:

:18 "Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spoke to all the people of Judah, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Zion shall be plowed like a field, Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins, And the mountain of the temple Like the bare hills of the forest."'

(Micah 3:12 NKJV) Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed like a field, Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins, And the mountain of the temple Like the bare hills of the forest.

:19 "Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah ever put him to death? Did he not fear the LORD and seek the Lord's favor? And the Lord relented concerning the doom which He had pronounced against them. But we are doing great evil against ourselves."

Hezekiah didn’t persecute Micah.  Instead he encouraged the people to repent.

:20-24 Urijah killed

:20 Now there was also a man who prophesied in the name of the LORD, Urijah the son of Shemaiah of Kirjath Jearim, who prophesied against this city and against this land according to all the words of Jeremiah.

Urijah also prophesied things along the same lines as Jeremiah.

:21 And when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death; but when Urijah heard it, he was afraid and fled, and went to Egypt.

:22 Then Jehoiakim the king sent men to Egypt: Elnathan the son of Achbor, and other men who went with him to Egypt.

Elnathan … - this fellow was a part of king’s court:

(Jer 36:11-12 NKJV) When Michaiah the son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan, heard all the words of the LORD from the book, {12} he then went down to the king's house, into the scribe's chamber; and there all the princes were sitting; Elishama the scribe, Delaiah the son of Shemaiah, Elnathan the son of Achbor, Gemariah the son of Shaphan, Zedekiah the son of Hananiah, and all the princes.

:23 And they brought Urijah from Egypt and brought him to Jehoiakim the king, who killed him with the sword and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people.

Even though God will continue to have Jeremiah protected, not all of God’s prophets would be protected.

:24 Nevertheless the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah, so that they should not give him into the hand of the people to put him to death.


A godly family

Ahikam became Jeremiah’s protector. He came from a great, godly family.
His father, Shaphan, was a scribe in the court of King Josiah. When Hilkiah the high priest discovered the book of the Law in the Temple, Shaphan was the one that reported it to King Josiah (2Ki. 22).
After the book of the Law was read to Josiah, Ahikam was one of the leaders sent by Josiah to the prophetess Huldah to find out if they were going to be facing God’s wrath for the nation’s great disobedience.

(2 Ki 22:12-13 NKJV) Then the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Achbor the son of Michaiah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king, saying, {13} "Go, inquire of the LORD for me, for the people and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found; for great is the wrath of the LORD that is aroused against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us."

Ahikam had a couple of brothers. Gemariah urged king Jehoiakim not to destroy Jeremiah’s scroll (Jer. 36). Elasah was the one who took Jeremiah’s letter to the exiles in Babylon (Jer. 29). Jaazaniah was the black sheep of the family and worshipped idols (Eze. 8:11-12).

Even the best of families have their “black sheep”. Even the best dads can have rebellious children. Adam and Eve were God’s children and they rebelled against God.



Whenever your kids are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even God’s omnipotence did not extend to his kids. After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve. And the first thing he said to them was: “Don’t.” “Don’t what?” Adam replied. “Don’t eat the forbidden fruit.” “Forbidden fruit? Really? Where is it?” “It’s over there,” said God, wondering why he hadn’t stopped after making the elephants. A few minutes later God saw the kids having an apple break and he was angry. “Didn’t I tell you not to eat that fruit?” the first parent asked. “Uh huh,” Adam replied. “Then why did you?” “I don’t know,” Adam answered. God’s punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own. Thus the pattern was set and it has never changed. But there is a reassurance in this story. If you have persistently and lovingly tried to give them wisdom and they haven’t taken it don’t be hard on yourself. If God had trouble handling children, what makes you think it would be a piece of cake for you?

Ahikam’s son, Gedaliah, would be appointed governor of the land by Nebuchadnezzar after the final fall of Jerusalem.

(2 Ki 25:22 NKJV) Then he made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, governor over the people who remained in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left.

Hang in there parents.  Keep setting the godly example. The kids may not always do the right things, but you will still have an effect on them.

Jeremiah 27

:1-11 Yokes and ambassadors

:1 In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,

Jehoiakim – some manuscripts have “Zedekiah” here. As you read through the passage (esp. vs. 3,12), it is probably best to see this as Zedekiah.

:2 "Thus says the LORD to me: 'Make for yourselves bonds and yokes, and put them on your neck,

bonds and yokes – symbols of slavery.

Jeremiah was supposed to wear these bonds and yokes and when he did, people would ask him questions and he would get a chance to talk about God’s message.

:3 'and send them to the king of Edom, the king of Moab, the king of the Ammonites, the king of Tyre, and the king of Sidon, by the hand of the messengers who come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah.

Apparently these messengers would be coming from these various kings for some sort of a meeting with Zedekiah.  It is possible that they were holding some sort of a summit to discuss uniting together to fight the Babylonians.

This is taking place somewhere between May and August of 593 BC.  Just a year earlier, the “Babylonian Chronicle” recorded that Nebuchadnezzar had to fight off an attempted coup in Babylon.  Perhaps word about this had gotten out and these kings are looking at the possibility of breaking free from Babylon.

When the ambassadors would go home, they’d be going home with a present from Jeremiah, yokes. They would come with a message attached …

:4 'And command them to say to their masters, "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; thus you shall say to your masters:

:5 'I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are on the ground, by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and have given it to whom it seemed proper to Me.

:6 'And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant; and the beasts of the field I have also given him to serve him.

My servant – God can use a pagan king

Could you imagine God calling your pagan boss His “servant”?

:7 'So all nations shall serve him and his son and his son's son, until the time of his land comes; and then many nations and great kings shall make him serve them.

The reign of the Babylonian empire would start with Nebuchadnezzar, continue with his son Evil-Merodach, and be conquered in the reign of the grandson Belshazzar.

:8 'And it shall be, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and which will not put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation I will punish,' says the LORD, 'with the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand.

:9 'Therefore do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your soothsayers, or your sorcerers, who speak to you, saying, "You shall not serve the king of Babylon."

Jeremiah is speaking to these ambassadors from these pagan nations.  They would have their own sets of prophets from their own gods giving them advice.

:10 'For they prophesy a lie to you, to remove you far from your land; and I will drive you out, and you will perish.

:11 'But the nations that bring their necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will let them remain in their own land,' says the LORD, 'and they shall till it and dwell in it.'" ' "

Jeremiah is telling all these kings to surrender to the Babylonians.

:12-18 Jeremiah pleads with Zedekiah to surrender to Babylon

:12 I also spoke to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, "Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live!

This message about the yokes wasn’t just for these other nations. Jeremiah makes sure that king Zedekiah understands that God has a message for him.

He needs to submit to the Babylonians.

:13 "Why will you die, you and your people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the LORD has spoken against the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon?

:14 "Therefore do not listen to the words of the prophets who speak to you, saying, 'You shall not serve the king of Babylon,' for they prophesy a lie to you;

:15 "for I have not sent them," says the LORD, "yet they prophesy a lie in My name, that I may drive you out, and that you may perish, you and the prophets who prophesy to you."


Which is true?

There were all kinds of people giving advice in that day.  The foreign nations had their own prophets.  Judah had true prophets and false prophets.
Who are you going to listen to?  Which voice is telling you the truth?
Last week we looked at:
(Jer 23:28 KJV)  The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.

We need to be sure we are grounded in God’s Word.  Don’t choke on the “chaff”.

Does God speak through prophets today?  I believe He does.

How can I know what to believe?  Believe God’s Word.  Keep your nose in the book.

:16 Also I spoke to the priests and to all this people, saying, "Thus says the LORD: 'Do not listen to the words of your prophets who prophesy to you, saying, "Behold, the vessels of the Lord's house will now shortly be brought back from Babylon"; for they prophesy a lie to you.

In 597 BC, Nebuchadnezzar had come to Jerusalem and taken Jeconiah captive back to Babylon along with 10,000 other captives and vessels from the Temple. It was common for a conquering king to take the idols from the conquered temples, but since there were no idols in the Temple in Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar took some of the Temple worship items (2Chr. 36:9-10)

:17 'Do not listen to them; serve the king of Babylon, and live! Why should this city be laid waste?

:18 'But if they are prophets, and if the word of the LORD is with them, let them now make intercession to the LORD of hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house of the LORD, in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, do not go to Babylon.'

These prophets are saying that the things already taken to Babylon will soon be back. But they had better be praying that the rest of the stuff in Jerusalem isn’t taken as well.

:19-22 The rest of the vessels are going to Babylon

:19 "For thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the pillars, concerning the Sea, concerning the carts, and concerning the remainder of the vessels that remain in this city,

:20 "which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon did not take, when he carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem;

:21 "yes, thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that remain in the house of the LORD, and in the house of the king of Judah and of Jerusalem:

:22 'They shall be carried to Babylon, and there they shall be until the day that I visit them,' says the LORD. 'Then I will bring them up and restore them to this place.'"

Jeremiah 28

:1-4 Hananiah’s false prophecy – Babylon is broken

:1 And it happened in the same year, at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year and in the fifth month, that Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet, who was from Gibeon, spoke to me in the house of the LORD in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying,

This event takes place in August and September of the year 593 BC.

Twelve years earlier, in 605 BC, Jeremiah had predicted that the captivity would last for seventy years (Jer. 25:11).

Gibeon – a city given to the priests by Joshua (Josh. 21:17-18).  It’s possible that Hananiah might have been a priest.

:2 "Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying: 'I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon.

This is in response to the message the Jeremiah gave earlier in the year in saying that Nebuchadnezzar was going to conquer the world.

:3 'Within two full years I will bring back to this place all the vessels of the Lord's house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place and carried to Babylon.

:4 'And I will bring back to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah who went to Babylon,' says the LORD, 'for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.'"

Does any of this sound vaguely familiar?  Is there a little “déjà vu” going on here?

I find it interesting that after Jeremiah has warned Zedekiah about things like this, it happens.

:5-9 Jeremiah – hopeful caution

:5 Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and in the presence of all the people who stood in the house of the LORD,

:6 and the prophet Jeremiah said, "Amen! The LORD do so; the LORD perform your words which you have prophesied, to bring back the vessels of the Lord's house and all who were carried away captive, from Babylon to this place.

I find it interesting to study Jeremiah’s response.

He doesn’t rebuke Hananiah for being a false prophet, not yet.  I wonder if Hananiah might not even have some sort of a reputation so that Jeremiah doesn’t just dismiss him out right.

Jeremiah isn’t opposed to God doing good things for His people.  He says “Amen” to it.

:7 "Nevertheless hear now this word that I speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people:

:8 "The prophets who have been before me and before you of old prophesied against many countries and great kingdoms; of war and disaster and pestilence.

:9 "As for the prophet who prophesies of peace, when the word of the prophet comes to pass, the prophet will be known as one whom the LORD has truly sent."

Jeremiah gives some good instruction.

The proof of the prophet is in the truth of the prediction.

(Deu 18:21-22 NKJV)  "And if you say in your heart, 'How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?'; {22} "when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

But note that though Jeremiah instructs, he still sits back to see what happens.

:10-11 Hananiah breaks Jeremiah’s yoke

:10 Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke off the prophet Jeremiah's neck and broke it.

Jeremiah is still wearing the wooden yoke that he started wearing earlier in the year (27:2).

Hananiah breaking this wooden yoke symbolized the breaking of Babylon’s power.


I was thinking that this would be a good place to tell some jokes about yokes, but the best I could find was something about some English word definitions:

Exposition:   egs-po-zish'-in:  the location of yolks on your plate

The words that came before it were pretty important also:

Dilate     \:di-lat'\:  When a person lives longer
Dioxin     \di-ok'-sin\:  What you say before you kill a herd of buffalo-like cattle
Dreadlocks \dred'-lok\:  the fear of opening the deadbolt
Eclipse:       i-klips' : what a barber does for a living
Effigy:        ef'-e-jee: the letters between E and H
Elixir:        i-lik'sur:  what a dog does to his owner when she gives him a bone
Euthanasia:    yoo-thu-in-a'-zhs: young people from the world's largest continent

:11 And Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, "Thus says the LORD: 'Even so I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years.' " And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.

Jeremiah could have been offended by Hananiah getting in his face, opposing his prophecies, and breaking the yoke.  But instead Jeremiah just walks away.

:12-17 God speaks – yokes of iron

:12 Now the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying,

:13 "Go and tell Hananiah, saying, 'Thus says the LORD: "You have broken the yokes of wood, but you have made in their place yokes of iron."


From bad to worse

The wooden yoke would be replaced by an iron yoke.
When you resist God, things only get tougher
There are many things that we are not to be in bondage to.

Things like sin, addictions, etc.

There are some things that we are supposed to be “in bondage” to.



Don’t resist the things you are supposed to be bound to.

:14 'For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "I have put a yoke of iron on the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him. I have given him the beasts of the field also."' "

All the nations that had gathered for the conference in Jerusalem (27:3) would be under this iron yoke.

:15 Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, "Hear now, Hananiah, the LORD has not sent you, but you make this people trust in a lie.

:16 "Therefore thus says the LORD: 'Behold, I will cast you from the face of the earth. This year you shall die, because you have taught rebellion against the LORD.'"

Within this same year, he would die.  It was already the fifth month (28:1), and that mean that within seven months, Hananiah would die.

:17 So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.

It was only two months later that Hananiah dies. (28:1)