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Warning to Zedekiah June 11, 2017

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Jeremiah 34:1-7.

Summary: In this passage, God speaks through Jeremiah during the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem, pronouncing His judgment on King Zedekiah. In particular, He asserts that King Nebuchadnezzar will:

  • capture and raze Jerusalem
  • capture him and transport him to Babylon – where he will die.

Yet God declares that Zedekiah will die in peace; moreover, his subjects will mourn his passing.

Thoughts: Here, we see that God addresses King Zedekiah. Calvin offers some thoughts on this point in his commentary on verses 4 and 5:

And yet if we look at all the circumstances, it would have been a lesser evil to be put to death at once than to prolong life on the condition of being doomed to pine away in constant misery. When the eyes are put out….we know that a major part of life is lost. When, therefore, this punishment was inflicted on Zedekiah, would not death be considered desirable?

Calvin makes a compelling point in this instance, as I could not imagine life without my eyesight. Yet I wonder if, in some sense, God displayed His grace to Zedekiah in sparing him a violent death. In particular, my thought is that instead of putting him to death, God granted Zedekiah an opportunity to return to a proper relationship with Him. Given that Zedekiah would be blind – and helpless – during his exile in Babylon, he would have time to contemplate his sinfulness and arrive at a state of brokenness – where he could confess his sins before God. Now that raises the following question: did he confess his sins before God in Babylon?