Bible Reading for AUG23: Jeremiah 42-43

AUGUST 23

Chapter 43:8-13 records Jeremiah’s prediction of
Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Egypt. This came true in 568 b.c., when
Nebuchadnezzar invaded Egypt against Amasis. Archaeological notes,
recorded by several Bible scholars, tell us that the site of
Tahpahnes (verses 8-13) has been identified as having been situated
about ten miles west of the Suez Canal. In 1886 Sir Flinders Petrie
uncovered the ruins of a large castle, in front of which was a
“great open platform of brick work.” This was the very place, Petrie
believed, where Jeremiah hid the stones (verse 8). Also,
Nebuchadnezzar’s annals state that he did invade Egypt in 568 b.c.,
which was 18 years after Jeremiah uttered the prophecy (verse 10).
Three of Nebuchadnezzar’s inscriptions have also been found near
Tahpahnes.

In chapter 44 Jeremiah makes a final effort to induce the
children of Israel to abandon their idolatry, but the people were
very defiant and this final appeal failed. The “queen of heaven”
mentioned in verse 17 was Ashtoreth. She was a Phoenician goddess,
worshiped during the time of the spiritual declension of Israel, and
whose worship was with acts of immorality, in this case with the
consent of the husbands (verses 15 and 19).

Chapter 45 records Baruch’s reactions to the events of
chapter 36. He had shared in the writing of God’s Word, yet he had
to go into hiding to save his own life. Instead of being honored for
his faithfulness, he was forced to suffer persecution. No doubt some
of the king’s associates offered Baruch a good job on the king’s
staff, since undoubtedly he was a gifted scribe. God asked Baruch,
“And seeketh thou great things for thyself?” He then told Baruch “to
seek them not,” that there was no future in the land of Judah,
because Babylon would come and destroy the city and the land. If
Baruch had forsaken Jeremiah and the Word for an easy place with the
king, he would have lost everything. As it was, God protected his
life and used him in His service.

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