Ezekiel 16-17

Well, this is the last of the “long” chapters.  The top 10 longest chapters in the Bible are officially behind us.

  • Leviticus 14 – 1713 words
  • 1 Samuel 17 – 1719 words
  • Genesis 24 – 1816 words
  • Ezekiel 16 – 1820 words
  • Jeremiah 51 – 1853 words
  • Leviticus 13 – 1857 words
  • Numbers 7 – 1939 words
  • Deuteronomy 28 – 2075 words
  • 1 Kings 8 – 2139 words
  • Psalm 119 – 2445 words

Both chapters are not easy reads and I needed multiple commentaries to get through them.  Here are some notes:

  • The child represents Israel before the Exodus.  He rescues, raises, and eventually marries her.
  • Then he spoils her with abundance.
  • Instead of loving him back, she makes allies with foreign nations.  The word “prostitute” (in various forms) is used 29 times!  The description of how the nation looks from God’s perspective is eye opening.  His view of our sins and idolatry should not be taken lightly (talking to myself here).  He found her naked and will return her naked.  This was also a customary act to embarrass and humiliate someone.  The reading was graphic!!
  • However, one part stood out to me:  I live in a world where I know some self-righteous people who LOVE  to pick one or two sins out of the Bible that they don’t struggle with and throw stones at it.  I guess in their eyes, they are “better” since their sins are not “these” sins??  (By the way, if you notice I do it too…remember me throwing a stone at the woman who left her husband for no reason-just to check out what the world has to offer…see throwing a stone at something I don’t struggle with.  Should we put me under a microscope??)
  • Well, let’s look at how God might view some of us….me

 46 Your older sister was Samaria, who lived to the north of you with her daughters; and your younger sister, who lived to the south of you with her daughters, was Sodom. 47 You not only followed their ways and copied their detestable practices, but in all your ways you soon became more depraved than they. 48 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done.

52 Bear your disgrace, for you have furnished some justification for your sisters. Because your sins were more vile than theirs, they appear more righteous than you. So then, be ashamed and bear your disgrace, for you have made your sisters appear righteous.

Stop and think about that for a minute.  The sisters: Samaria the idol worshiping capital that brought nothing but 20 horrible Kings and Sodom combined appeared to be righteous compared to the prostitution of the Hebrews. I am sure you have heard “The lost act lost for a reason”.  What is our excuse?

HOWEVER, once again I am reminded of God’s love for us.

59 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will deal with you as you deserve, because you have despised my oath by breaking the covenant. 60 Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you. 

62 So I will establish my covenant with you, and you will know that I am the Lord. 63 Then, when I make atonement for you for all you have done, you will remember and be ashamed and never again open your mouth because of your humiliation, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”

Chapter 17  Here we are told an allegory and a parable.  Unless you are an English teacher that might not mean anything to you.  Lucky for you I teach it (you wouldn’t know by my typos and poor use of comas).   Most of you don’t know me and I should have probably told you a long time ago what I do for a living: I am a Therapeutic Crisis Intervention teacher for self-contained students that lost their privilege of being mainstreamed in a Gen Ed class due to behaviors.  In short you can say I am a Behavior Teacher for teens.  😉  OK, a parable is like a fable but without the animals.  Think of the parables coming up soon in the NT, a parable can then be summed up “and the moral of the story is….”  An Allegory is very similar: every character represents a different moral or political concept or viewpoint, and the true meaning of the story is left for the reader to interpret, and different readers interpret the true meaning differently.  I really think we need to start seeing the world as an allegory so that we can “walk in other people’s shoes” at times.  Every see the movie Breakfast Club or The Outsiders?   Anyway, as if the Bible wan’t hard enough to read at times, God throws us a parable allegory combo meal.  Arg!!  Yes I said it:  Arg!!


Eagle #1: Babylon/Nebuchadnezzar who planted king Zedekiah in Jerusalem

Eagle #2:  Egypt- Zedekiah rebelled against Nebu and allied with them.

The East wind: Babylonian armies


Episode 3: Babylonians and Medes – The History of Persia

This is a difficult read and it is clear as mud (to me) when it is explained in verse 11 forward BUT jump to verse 22 for the moral of the story…The Tender Sprig is Jesus the Messiah:

22 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain. 23 On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches. 24 All the trees of the forest will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.

“‘I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.’”

I know we sat and thought about how we look compared to Sodom at times. Now take a moment in a prayer of thankfulness that regardless of our sin He promised us a Tender Sprig that will shelter us and make even the dry tree flourish.


Ezekiel 13-15

Every time I read lately I look at the subtitles in my Bible and think “this is going to be boring” (I know, I know…I am a sinner in need of a Savior) BUT then I read it and think…”That was awesome”.  This is a good one!

False Prophets:   This is an interesting one for me because the more I read the Bible the easier it is to spot false teaching.  What scares me is I used to think of it as the people on TV preaching for donations or tara card readers at the beach, but now I can spot it at churches or just listening to my friends talk about the Lord’s will.  It’s like saying “According to the book of Szymanski God will…He wants…”    I am talking about when we represent the character of God wrong or water down His view on sin.  In chapter 13 it talks about people that “speak on behalf of the Lord” without hearing from God on a topic.  In verse 18 historically they are talking about the women that would “fortune” tell and use “magic charms”.  My mother is an old school Italian Catholic: I grew up never seeing a Bible BUT my house was filled with superstition.  Elephant trunks had to face the door or bad luck would fall upon us, rosary beads hanging from the car mirror so we were protected from a crash, saint charms on our necklaces for good luck, and of course when we can’t find the keys to the car we had to turn around 3 times and pray to St. Anthony.  Sounds silly now,  but I didn’t know any other way.  I often imagine how different my choices would have been growing up had I seen a Bible in my house.

Start children off on the way they should go,
    and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

Chapter 14– Idolatry- I know you are thinking we have read this before…they worshiped idols.  NOPE, this is a new chapter!  Quickly look at the beginning of chapter 14 again.  Where are the idols?  IN THEIR HEARTS!  It says it THREE times in this short section.

Faith-in-God-Free-of-Idolatry.jpg - Discover Islam Kuwait Portal

Judgement is inescapable:

Oh my stars!  I want to study the next 4 paragraphs one day in great detail.  (one day, not today 😉)  They are 4 methods the Lord can use on a NATION.

12 The word of the Lord came to me: 13 “Son of man, if a country sins against me by being unfaithful and I stretch out my hand against it…

  1.  cut off it’s food supply (v. 13)
  2. send wild beasts through the country (v.15)   (I would love to ask God if He was referring about leaders?)
  3. bring a sword against the country (v. 17)
  4. send a plague into the land (v.19)

I know…we are all thinking the same thing!

BUT then it says:

22 Yet there will be some survivors—sons and daughters who will be brought out of it. They will come to you, and when you see their conduct and their actions, you will be consoled regarding the disaster I have brought on Jerusalem—every disaster I have brought on it.

Chapter 15:The vine!    We have talked about it several times but as we are 32 days away from the New Testament (but who’s counting), we will read much more about vines.  Jerusalem should have been bearing fruit but instead they were useless and used for firewood.  Let’s get a little movie trailer of the NT and how the OT and NT really cannot be read without each other.  If this is your first Old Testament  FULL read through…Buckle up.  You are going to read the NT like you have never read it before (exciting isn’t it)

John Chapter 15

15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.


Ezekiel 9-12

7 total men come (7=perfect).  There is a man in linen, this represents the Priest. (think it might represent someone else ❤)  These chapters are a chronological process of God leaving first the Temple, then Jerusalem.  Without God, it is just a building and just a city.  The Priest puts a mark on their forehead for those who have been faithful.  The mark is said to be the Hebrew letter “taw”.  The letter is written as an “X”.

Put a Mark on the Foreheads”—Ezekiel 9:4

We will seal this concept also in Revelation as a seal.

Revelation 7:2 Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”

The idolaters are killed and so far Ezekiel was unharmed.  The man in linen was then told to scatter the burning coals over the city.  Only a priest in the temple can come near God’s presence.  He takes the coal from the wheel and scatters it over the city.  Just like in the day of Isaiah,burning  coal  purifies. (I also thought of the purification of Sodom and Gomorrah).

Wheels Within Wheels: The First Vision of Ezekiel | Eclectic Orthodoxy

The Cherubim continue to transport God on His throne (this is so cool!).  They begin at the south gate, since the idol worship was located at the north gate.  Eventually they make their way to THE GATE-the east side. (Trivia, why is the East Gate so important?)

18 Then the glory of the Lord departed from over the threshold of the temple and stopped above the cherubim. 19 While I watched, the cherubim spread their wings and rose from the ground, and as they went, the wheels went with them. They stopped at the entrance of the east gate of the Lord’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them.

Reaching Higher With Meyer: What Ezekiel Teaches About the Glory of the Lord, Including Both Past and Future Manifestations


The Temple has been in existence for 400 years!  Now is is just like any other building.

Chapter 11: The throne is now at the East gate.  Standing at the entrance are 25 leaders, two are names Jaazaniah and Pelatiah.   Not only are these men wicked but their message is corrupt and they are leading people astray.

 The Lord said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who are plotting evil and giving wicked advice in this city. They say, ‘Haven’t our houses been recently rebuilt? This city is a pot, and we are the meat in it.’ Therefore prophesy against them; prophesy, son of man.”

Basically, the men are saying “This land was rebuilt for US…it is ours from the Lord”.  On the contrary, the ones actually taken in to exile in the first wave were the “redeemed” and they did not see it that way.  What many of us hold on to as important and permanent God is letting us know it is temporary.  We saw the Glory leave the Temple, NOW we see the Glory leave the city.

22 Then the cherubim, with the wheels beside them, spread their wings, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them. 23 The glory of the Lord went up from within the city and stopped above the mountain east of it. 24 The Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the exiles in Babylonia[c] in the vision given by the Spirit of God.

Bethphage - Mount of Olives - Jerusalem - Israel and You

Why am I showing you this map??  Read 11:23 above it again.  God paused on the east mountain.  The Mount of Olives.  The very place Jesus will pray for this cup to be taken from Him and arrested and be brought to give up His life, The Garden of Gethsemane!

Chapter 12  The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.

AGAIN, God is so kind and loving that these rebellious people are not responding: obviously they are not audible or visual learners in His Classroom!  Maybe they will respond to kinesthetic learning!  So God instructs Ezekiel to perform 2 acts.  First, he has him turn from the sin of the people.  Like a captain leaving a sinking ship, they he shows them how they won’t even eat the little food they have without stress and anxiety.  However, they still did not repent.

28 “Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: None of my words will be delayed any longer; whatever I say will be fulfilled, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”

Anoyone who has never read the whole Old Testament in Chronological order may have a view of God’s character that is wrong.  I think many people see the OT as a time of Judgement or punishment.  Seriously?  How many times has he chased HI people to turn towards Him?  The Old Testament is the Key to showing God’s patience and Love for people.


Ezekiel 5-8

I thought about these “skits” that Ezekiel had to obey since they were symbolic of the Word of God.  We often talk about “what if people don’t have a Bible, how will they know the Word?  God can use anything from nature to dramas to speak a message to anyone.  The last gesture of shaving his head symbolizes mourning, disgrace, and humiliation.

Ezekiel shaves his head – those that refuse to heed God's directives will be judged accordingly (Ezekiel 5:1 – 5:17) | Bible Blender

  • 1/3 of the hair is burned
  • 1/3 if the hair is struck with a sword
  • 1/3 of the hair is  scattered

A picture of what will happen to Jerusalem.

12 A third of your people will die of the plague or perish by famine inside you; a third will fall by the sword outside your walls; and a third I will scatter to the winds and pursue with drawn sword.

In chapter 6 Ezekiel is told to speak towards the mountain.  Do you remember when we were talking about the kings…most of them had 1 thing in common: they did not destroy the high places.  The high places were pagan worship altars.  Most pagan worships were sexual “sacrifices”.  (or sacrificing their children to Molech)  They would partake in crude sexual acts with each other or with animals to please their gods. In chapter 6 God says He will destroy such altars BUT He will spare a remnant. ❤

“‘But I will spare some, for some of you will escape the sword when you are scattered among the lands and nations. 

Why will all of this take place.  Yes because of their un repented sin BUT for another reason….SO they will know He is THE Lord.  The one and only.

Chapter 7-

Lesson 5 Captivity, Return & Years of Silence - ppt download

Without a date given, in chapter 7 you can see the event Ezekiel is talking about.  This is interesting because we spent months hearing about the Assyrians, Egyptians, and the Babylonians during the captivity however, God does not mince words with Ezekiel.  God speaks in first person-“I will”. The sword will attack those outside the city, plague and famine will fall inside the city, and even those that flee to the mountain will be so scared they will lose their bodily functions.

17 Every hand will go limp;
    every leg will be wet with urine.

These phrases “the end has come”, “the day comes”, “the time has come” pulls all the Prophet books together for fulfillment.  My mind went to the “Eschatology” view when I read this.  What will the End Times really look like?  I know we have a “picture” in our head (or at least I do), but if you have time re-read chapter 7- If God brought Judgement today who do you know that would be swept into this scene?  Begin with praying for them that heir hearts to soften.  AFTER I became a Christ follower I started hearing stories about all the “women bible groups” that knew my story were praying for me.  Not gossiping about me.  Not judging me.  Praying for me my heart to soften.   I had NO IDEA they were doing this until after I believed.  I read chapter 17 and I know it is Jesus that is saving me from ever experiencing a Jerusalem destruction BUT God was also hearing the prayers of these women and acted on it!

Chapter 8 

 Have you ever seen Ebeneezer Scrooge from the Christmas Carol?  Picture that when you read this: It is September 592 BC- 

In the sixth year, in the sixth month on the fifth day, while I was sitting in my house and the elders of Judah were sitting before me, the hand of the Sovereign Lord came on me there. I looked, and I saw a figure like that of a man.From what appeared to be his waist down he was like fire, and from there up his appearance was as bright as glowing metal. He stretched out what looked like a hand and took me by the hair of my head. The Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and in visions of God he took me to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court, where the idol that provokes to jealousy stood. And there before me was the glory of the God of Israel, as in the vision I had seen in the plain. 

Ezekiel is lifted up between heaven and earth and given a vision.  A friend of mine said “It is like a Drive in Movie theater” and I love that!  He is shown a history of abominations that take place in the temple. 

  •  So I looked, and in the entrance north of the gate of the altar I saw this idol of jealousy. 

He is seeing a vision of the King Manessah: 2 KIngs 17, the only king to actually put an idol IN the Temple! 

2 KIngs 17:7 He took the carved Asherah pole he had made and put it in the temple, of which the Lord had said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever. 

  • 7 Then he brought me to the entrance to the court. I looked, and I saw a hole in the wall. 8 He said to me, “Son of man, now dig into the wall.” So I dug into the wall and saw a doorway there.9 And he said to me, “Go in and see the wicked and detestable things they are doing here.” 10 So I went in and looked, and I saw portrayed all over the walls all kinds of crawling things and unclean animals and all the idols of Israel. 11 In front of them stood seventy elders of Israel, and Jaazaniah son of Shaphan was standing among them.  

Pagan worship that included animal worship is called zoomorphic religion.  Shapan was king Josiah’s secretary.  God is showing Ezekiel that religious corruption began with the leaders of the nation. 

  • 14 Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the house of the Lord, and I saw women sitting there, mourning the god Tammuz. 15 He said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? You will see things that are even more detestable than this.” 

Tamuz was once a human that became a “god” and sent to the underworld.  Women would mourn over his death in a ceremony. 

The fourth vision was: 

  • 16 He then brought me into the inner court of the house of the Lord, and there at the entrance to the temple, between the portico and the altar, were about twenty-five men. With their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, they were bowing down to the sun in the east. 

Ezekiel 1-4

Ezekiel tells us the setting of his vision from the beginning.  He is 30 years old and he is in Babylon.  We know this is significant becuase it means he was in captivity and he would have been a priest by now…but he sadly is not.  He is a captive.

Sensational Sumer - Home


There are three Apocalyptic books in the Bible: Ezekiel, Daniel and Revelation.  Apocalyptic means “lifting of the veil” or ”revelation”.  God will show his Glory to Ezekiel and give us a glimpse.Ezekiel means “God is strong” or “God Strengthens”.   Why did God use Ezekiel if they were already in captivity?(He was also using Jeremiah and Daniel at the same time), He used him to help the Jewish people in exile to understand:

  • why they were there
  • to let them know this was going to take a long time
  •  bring a message of hope
  •  and to point people toward God.

OK, let’s jump right into the visions.  God is visualized in a huge lightning storm (love that!) With 4 Cherubim standing in a hollow square with backs to each other wing to wing.  The cherubim have 4 faces.  The best I could research was that each face represents a character of God.

  • The lion is Strength
  • The ox as Servant
  • The man as Intelligent
  • The eagle as Divinity

(Let’s review an old topic- The Tabernacle)

The 12 tribes of Israel were arranged around the tabernacle before the Temple was built.  The Gate was Judah.  We talked about this a long time ago and if you look back on it,  does it make more sense now?  Why was Judah placed at the gate to enter God’s sanctuary?  As we look at the captivity we see that the Remnant of the tribes,the ones that will return, the tribe that is left to bring the Messiah is JUDAH.  Through Judah’s tribe we will enter the presence of the Lord.

What were the four standards around which the tribes of Israel were camped (Numbers 2:1-34)? - Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange


The Tabernacle had the tribes of Judah, Reuben Ephraim, and Dan on each side (like the faces).  The family flag was erected at each (I assume so they can find their way back from the bathroom to their tent) .  Look at the next picture.  Pretty cool view from above.

Jesus: The Way, The Truth, & The Life: Numbers 2 - The Camp of Israel and the Cross

Sorry…I ran with the faces on the Angels.  Let’s get back to the vision:


A rainbow over it all representing COVENANT.  There were  intersecting wheels, and  everything moved when the Lord did.  He is in complete control of it all.

Ezekiel is looking at the Throne of God!!

Chapter 2 was my favorite.  “You must speak my words to them , whether they listen or fail to listen”.  Ezekiel’s success was not on the outcome of his message but of his obedience in fulfilling his purpose. (reread it)  Side note: God does not judge our witnessing by how people respond to it but that we DO IT.

Chapters 3 and 4 : How Sweet are the Words of the Lord!  As sweet as Honey! We can’t go out to do the work of the Lord without His Word in us, and not just in us but in verse 10 Taken to Heart.  God made sure that Ezekiel not only had the Word of the Lord in him but that it was IN HIS HEART.

When Being Hard-Headed Is A Good Thing – 海外华人福音网

So after the proper 7 day mourning period, representing the spiritually dead, Ezekiel begins his mission for the Lord.  And what a job he has in front of him!  Ezekiel will represent the judgement on Judah.  He will be uncomfortable for each day representing each year.  Ezekiel being a priest knew that eating near or with human poop was against God’s Law, so God allowed him to cook it over manure instead (can I get a Praise the Lord! for that one, I think)  The dung representing the spiritual uncleanliness of the people.

Using symbolisms, God shows Ezekiel how to launch a siege against a rebellious Jerusalem (Ezekiel 4:1 – 4:17) | Bible Blender

The next time you are complaining about something at church (talking to myself)…can you think of your small inconveniences compared to Ezekiel’s.

Feel free to reseach more and share…there is so much more to look at each time you decide to re re read the Bible.

Book Overviews · Ezekiel

Ezekiel Overview

Ezekiel.  Have you ever read it?   We will read Ezekiel for over 2 weeks so I think it is pretty important for me to set the scenario. I think you will find it fascinating (of course, God wrote it).  Many of you know I have waited anxiously for this book.

We read about the 3 sieges (is that the word I am looking for?) on the Jewish people that bring Judah into Babylonian captivity.  There were 3 distinct moments where they were invaded and taken into captivity.  We read about them from the perspective of Jeremiah, who was in Jerusalem to see all 3 events over the course of 40 years.  Now read about it from the inside, from a first person perspective.

King Josiah, remember him? He was a good king.  He found the Book of the Law in the temple when he was repairing it.  He read it and wept when he saw how far his country had gotten from the Lord.  He began a reformation and yes, people began to walk in the ways of the Lord; celebrating Passover, worshiping in the temple, following the Commandments.  Well, Josiah was killed by the Egyptian Pharaoh, Neco at Megiddo.  Four years later Neco was then defeated by Nebuchadnezzar, leaving Babylon as the world power.

Lesson 5 Captivity, Return & Years of Silence - ppt downloadJeremiah was preaching during all this for 40 years , and surely had contemporaries ready to follow in his footsteps.  Ezekiel was about 18 yrs old when Nebuchadnezzar took the first group of captives.  Among that group was a familiar name, Daniel.  Daniel was exiled at the age of 15 (with his friends Hananuah, Mishael, and Azariah) , while his friend Ezekiel was left behind.  During this time Jeremiah was bringing the message to the people to repent…but they did not.

For 10 years, life continued the same, Judah continued to sin.  Then King Johoiakim, king of Judah,  rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar and he dies.  Jehoiachin became king and once again Nebuchadnezzar attacked Jerusalem this time taking 10,000 captive, and this time Ezekiel was included.  Ezekiel was a few years away from becoming a priest (age 30 eligibility).  When he did turn 30, Ezekiel has a vision.

SO we have 3 men all living at the same time:

  • Jeremiah was at Jerusalem with the Jews during all three stages of the exile, preaching and warning them to repent
  • Ezekiel, who lived with the exiles in Babylon, bringing them a message of hope
  • Daniel, who God put him to  live with the Rulers in the court.

timeline for ezekiel and daniel - Saferbrowser Yahoo Image Search Results |  Life timeline, Hebrew bible, Daniel

One thing I want you to keep in mind.  Other evil nations were wiped out by the Lord.  Judah however was not, they  was in captivity.  The difference is significant, God loves His people that He punished them in captivity as a form of correction, through their punishment they would come to know the Lord.  And they did.


Lamentations 3:37-5:22

I didn’t write a post yesterday after my headache went away because the comments on it were better than anything I could have written, so go back and read them.


Chapter 1: View-The city from an outside view

Chapter 2: Inside view

Chapter 3: God’s view

Chapter 4: Overall view

Chapter 5: Future view: The prayer

In Matthew 16:13 Jesus was mistaken for Jeremiah.  Why?  Because they had one thing in common…their hearts were hurting for the people he loved.

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Chapter one:  We know that before this Lament Jeremiah mentioned Babylon as the instrument for judgement 164 times!  How many times will Jeremiah mention Babylon in Lamentations?   ZERO.  Babylon was just the instrument.

The Lord has brought her grief
    because of her many sins.
Her children have gone into exile,
    captive before the foe.

  • Jeremiah first viewed Jerusalem’s destruction as an outsider looking in.
    • Verses 1-7 describe the extent of the desolation
    • verses 8-11 its cause.

(verse 1-7 broke my heart!)

Chapter 2:

17: The Lord has done what he planned;
    he has fulfilled his word,
    which he decreed long ago.

Before entering the Promised Land, God gave them a warning.  If you want to read it click here.  It is astonishing to see the fulfillment of it.

Verse 11-19 contains five pictures of Jerusalem’s condition Notice the change from the third person, in the previous section, to the first person
in this one.

One verse that stopped me to reflect on was:

14 The visions of your prophets
    were false and worthless;
they did not expose your sin
    to ward off your captivity.
The prophecies they gave you
    were false and misleading.

I thought of it historically of course thinking about all the false prophets at the time speaking on their own behalf,  but then I started to think about when we minister to people (especially friends), and tell them what they want to hear.  Not Truth at times.  Trust me I am not talking about beating someone up with scripture, because I see that done by the self-righteous all the time, BUT I am talking about sharing doctrine or truth when needed.

Chapter 3:

So there I was with my pen circling the common words: “He” and “I” when suddenly I came to:

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”

HOW MANY SONGS CAME OUT OF THAT??  What song came to mind?? If you let me know I can post the video in comments.

Alright, this is an amazing chapter.  Here is the truth…I wanted to skip Lamentations just from writing the overview I thought to myself….”another weepy book” but Lamentations chapter 3 rocks!!

31 For no one is cast off
    by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
    so great is his unfailing love.
33 For he does not willingly bring affliction
    or grief to anyone.

Rather than me copying all of chapter 3, click here and start at verse 22 and reread it.

Chapter 4: Most of chapter 4 was ugly to read and I had a hard time pushing off thoughts of my day yesterday.  Several things happened throughout the day that made me step back and look at the world we are in.  Long story short-I worked the gate at our football game.  My job: to tell anyone entering that it was TSSAA rules that they enter with a mask.  I had no idea what I was in for with this task.  It is a rule.  The defiance came from the ones that thought the rule did not apply to them…The actual leaders: the coaches or TSSAA members.  “Ummmm I am a coach”- “Yes, sir but it is a requirement” (shouldn’t the leaders model followiung the rule?) Nope, they refused or went to a different gate to get in.  The second was the youth.  I was in a stand off with several of them.  When they knew they weren’t getting passed me they would put it on a part of their body and  things like “I have it on, it doesn’t say face” or they would put it on, cross over the entrance, take it off (but made sure I saw it out of sheer disrespect.  After the game I made the mistake of checking my email to find a parent email-in ALL caps ripping me apart on a false accusation from their child.  The parent completely disregarding the rules of my class or possible facts regarding the situation.  I struggled last night with the idea of this fits into the Bible completely.  What is the Lord going to do with us??  But Chapter 4 ends in HOPE.  So I have to cling to that.

Chapter 5:Chapter 5 has the same structure as chapter 3.  I read tons of research on the structures of these poems- 3 and 5 follow the Hebrew Alphabet and 1,2,4 are acrostic however I was looking for the lessons not necessarily the structure, but feel free to dig into it on your own…pretty neat stuff.

I heard my voice instead of Jeremiah as he “reminded God”-as if He needs reminding!  But this is a prayer and our conversations with God are supposed to be transparent.  In the end I read:

19 You, Lord, reign forever;
    your throne endures from generation to generation.
20 Why do you always forget us?
    Why do you forsake us so long?
21 Restore us to yourself, Lord, that we may return;
    renew our days as of old
22 unless you have utterly rejected us
    and are angry with us beyond measure.

I immediately thought, because this is an election year- The candidate that says this at a convention has my vote.  So maybe one will….

  • Lamentations
  • Ezekiel
  • Joel
  • Daniel
  • Ezra
  • Haggai
  • Zechariah
  • Esther
  • Nehemiah
  • Malachi
Book Overviews · Lamentations

Lamentations Overview

  • Lamentations, Ekha in Hebrew, is a book or wailing and weeping.
  • Lamentations was written in the time between the fall of Judah and the return of the remnant people after 70 years of captivity,

There are 5 poems in this book, each begin at a new chapter (posted at the bottom).  Judah is personified as a woman in this book,  but it is important to remember WHY all this is happening to her.  An avoidable tragedy,  all caused by sin and lack of repenting.  Always read the Bible from God’s character, His Covenant and His Love.  God is Holy, God is Just, God Perfect, and God punishes sin and disobedience in His timing.

In the Bible, Lamentations follows Jeremiah, who is most likely the author,  and which gave Jeremiah the name the “weeping prophet”.  You could read the last chapter of Jeremiah as the introduction to Lamentations.  However the Hebrew Old Testament puts Lamentations with a group of books called the Ketubin or “writings”.  The group includes

  • Song of Songs,
  • Ruth,
  • Ecclesiastes,
  • Esther,
  • Lamentations.

They are in their own category  (our Bible is grouped by category too, that is why we are jumping around a lot) because these books are read at separate Feasts.  To this day, this book is read in Synagogues throughout the world on the ninth day of the fourth month, a day of fasting, to remember the fall of Jerusalem.

Jeremiah’s grief ran deep  in his heart for God’s people.  Jeremiah wept for the Jews not just because of the suffering and the exile they would endure, but because they had rejected the word of the Lord.  This saddened Jeremiah to a level of tears and sympathy.

I read once somewhere this question…and it really should make us all think…

What makes a person cry says a lot about that person whether they are self-centered or God-centered.


Jeremiah 51-52

Jerusalem is mentioned 810 times in the Bible.  Clearly, a focal point.  However, Babylon is mentioned quite a bit too with 287 mentions.  164 of those 287 are in the book of Jeremiah.  So what is the take home?  Well for me, God wants us to be very educated on the topic of Judgement.  We cant ignore it.  We are judged individually and collectively as a nation.  We also need to consider the judgement that will fall on non-believers.

The last 2 chapters of Jeremiah:

  • God appoints a judgement to come
  • God uses humans in that judgement
  • The humans are not motivated by God, but by their own sinful desires
  • God brings judgment then on those humans He used

Yes, I want to talk about each scripture…such good stuff in this read!  I will pick out some and the next time we do a read through we will pick out some more.

OK, a few chapters back I mentioned that Babylon would be destroyed and a King named Cyrus would let the Israelites OUT of captivity  Do you remember that?  Do you remember what nation he was from??  Persia.

11 “Sharpen the arrows,
    take up the shields!
The Lord has stirred up the kings of the Medes,
    because his purpose is to destroy Babylon.
The Lord will take vengeance,
    vengeance for his temple.

This  “Medes” are God’s instrument to destroy Babylon, as punishment for destroying His temple. The fall of Babylon to the Medes was a fulfillment of this prophecy.  The Medes lived north of Babylon (in modern northwest Iran). The Medes had been allies of the Babylonians in the destruction of Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire, in 612 B.C. Seventy-three years later, they joined with the Persians to defeat Babylon.   Cyrus’ mother was a Mede, and Persians were linked together several times in the book of Daniel.

(Mentioned again in verse 28)

Babylon before it was destroyed.Hammurabi (do you remember when we read the law we talked about him…the code)  first encircled the city with walls. Nebuchadnezzar further fortified the city with three rings of walls that were 40 feet tall. The walls of Babylon were so thick that chariot races were held on top of them. The city inside the walls occupied an area of 200 square miles, roughly the size of Chicago today.

Nebuchadnezzar built three major palaces, each lavishly decorated with blue and yellow glazed tiles. He also built a number of shrines, the largest of which, called Esagil, was dedicated to Marduk. The shrine stood 280 feet tall, nearly the size of a 26-story office building.

Ancient Babylonia - Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon

37 Babylon will be a heap of ruins,
    a haunt of jackals,
an object of horror and scorn,
    a place where no one lives.



Babylonia - HISTORY

The irony that Saddam Hussein and  the Iraqi government excavated Babylonian ruins and attempted to reconstruct certain features of the ancient city, including one of Nebuchadnezzar’s palaces.

But always remeber that is God’s hand, just like Babylon was used as the “instrument” for judgement (my mother was Italian, I think of it as the wooden spoon in a spanking) the same goes for Medes/Persia conquering Babylon.  They are just the spoon!

55 The Lord will destroy Babylon;
    he will silence her noisy din.
Waves of enemies will rage like great waters;
    the roar of their voices will resound.
56 A destroyer will come against Babylon;
    her warriors will be captured,
    and their bows will be broken.
For the Lord is a God of retribution;
    he will repay in full.

Chapter 52-

Week 36 Study Page - Jeremiah 18-35 — MADISON CHURCH OF CHRIST

The chapter opens with Zedekiah, the last of Jeremiah’s kings.  This is a recap, we have already read it….HOWEVER, it gives us an intro to tomorrow’s book: Lamentation. Here is Solomon’s Temple being destroyed.

Timeline of Jewish History | Sutori