In chapters 37 and 38 we read that Jeremiah was imprisoned on suspicion of being a traitor. Then, chapter 39 records the city of Jerusalem being burned, and the fate of Zedekiah. The Word of God, through Jeremiah, was vindicated. The city was destroyed, just as Jeremiah predicted, and Zedekiah's sons were killed. Zedekiah's eyes were put out, and he was carried in chains to Babylon. Verses 11-18 record the kind of treatment Jeremiah received. He was given a choice to go to Babylon, or stay in Palestine. He chose the latter and we again see that the faithful are rewarded when judgment falls. Jeremiah, who had been faithful to God and His Word, and faithful to deliver the Word to the backslidden nation, was not rewarded for his faithfulness; whereas, the remainder of Jerusalem was taken into captivity.
Chapters 40 and 41 record the murder of Gedaliah, the son of Jeremiah's friend, Ahikam. Nebuchadnezzar had appointed him governor over Judah, but within three months he was assassinated. It is interesting to note that Gedaliah had his headquarters at Mizpeh, which is seven miles north of Jerusalem. In 1935, a seal bearing the inscription, "Belonging to Gedaliah, the one who is over the house," was found in the layer of ashes left by Nebuchadnezzar's fire at Lachish.
In chapter 40:9-16 we read that the wise regime of Gedaliah was prospering, but Ishmael, a member of the royal family, was sent by Baalis of Ammon to assassinate Gedaliah. Ishmael, with a company of ten men, slew Gedaliah.
In chapter 41 a sorrowing band, on the way to Jerusalem, was also murdered. Ishmael fled to Ammon. The remnant, who were perplexed by the killing of Gedaliah, and fearing reprisal by Nebuchadnezzar, sought Jeremiah to pray for them. The answer came from the Lord in ten days, telling them they should remain in the land. However, they refused God's Word and decided to go to Egypt.
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