October 17 – Captivity, Exile, and Diaspora – What Is Jeremiah Talking About?

Jeremiah 30:1-31:26
1 Timothy 2:1-15
Psalm 87:1-7
Proverbs 25:18-19

Jeremiah 30:9 — Why does God bring up the time of “Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7)? So that they may serve the LORD! God is planning on bringing King David back? Since that was not fulfilled after the exile, Jeremiah 30:3 must refer to another event. Between Abraham (2166 BC) and today (2023 AD) we see three major separations of the Jewish people from the land:

  • Captivity – 1876 BC (entrance into Egypt under Joseph) until 1446 BC (Exodus under Moses). This occurred under the Dispensation of Promise/Covenant.
  • Exile – The Fall of the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 722 BC to Sargon and the Fall of Southern Kingdom of Judah in 586 BC to Nebuchadnezzar until the returns led by Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah. This occurred under the Dispensation of Law.
  • Diaspora – Starting with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 until the modern Aliyah starting in 1882 and intensifying in 1948 with the formation of the modern state of Israel.

Did any ruler after the Exile time count as “King David?” The Hasmonean dynasty was an independent kingdom for only 50 years (110-63 BC) until it succumbed to the Roman Empire. Herod the Great wasn’t “King David” – he was an Edomite! This prophecy is yet to be fulfilled! In our day we are seeing Israel and Judah returning to the land (Jeremiah 30:3), making Aliyah even today! Unfortunately, they have not returned to serve the LORD; approximately 67% of Israeli Jews identify as secular atheist. Pray with Paul that Israel will be saved (Romans 10:1)!

Jeremiah 30:22 — We talked yesterday that it is good (and even commanded!) to be involved in political campaigns – to seek the good of the land. But how much better would it be to know that our leader is not a mere politician, but He’s God! Note that most of the time in this chapter that He uses the word “LORD” to describe Himself and His relationship to us. But here in this verse He uses the word “God” – Elohim – the same word used to describe Himself as the Creator of the World (Genesis 1:1). Our ultimate Leader, my Father, is omnipotent!

Jeremiah 31:3 — God is not done with Israel! He loves them with an everlasting love!

Jeremiah 31:15 — We’re familiar with this verse from Matthew 2:17. But that’s not the only application. From Jamieson-Faussett-Brown:

In Benjamin, east of the great northern road, two hours’ journey from Jerusalem. Rachel, who all her life had pined for children (Ge 30:1), and who died with “sorrow” in giving birth to Benjamin (Ge 35:18, 19, Margin; 1Sa 10:2), and was buried at Ramah, near Beth-lehem, is represented as raising her head from the tomb, and as breaking forth into “weeping” at seeing the whole land depopulated of her sons, the Ephraimites. Ramah was the place where Nebuzara-dan collected all the Jews in chains, previous to their removal to Babylon (Jer 40:1). God therefore consoles her with the promise of their restoration. Mt 2:17, 18 quotes this as fulfilled in the massacre of the innocents under Herod. “A lesser and a greater event, of different times, may answer to the single sense of one passage of Scripture, until the prophecy is exhausted” [Bengel]. Besides the temporary reference to the exiles in Babylon, the Holy Spirit foreshadowed ultimately Messiah’s exile in Egypt, and the desolation caused in the neighborhood of Rachel’s tomb by Herod’s massacre of the children, whose mothers had “sons of sorrow” (Ben-oni), just as Rachel had.

1 Timothy 2:2 — Do you pray for those in authority? PublicServantPrayer.org has done a great job in identifying a state’s elected officials so you can pray daily for them.

1 Timothy 2:4 — If God wants all men to be saved, how will He get His message to all men? Romans 10:14-15 reminds us that God is sending preachers; they just need to say, “Here I am, LORD. Send me (Isaiah 6)!”

1 Timothy 2:14 — Eve received bad information from Adam and the serpent. God told Adam not to eat of it (Genesis 2:17), but Eve who heard it second hand from Adam said that God had said not to touch it (Genesis 3:3). Interestingly, while the Serpent and Eve are having their discussion, Adam is standing right next to her (Genesis 3:6)!

So why should Eve’s mistake keep women from being preachers today? For that matter, why should woman “have power on her head because of the angels (1 Corinthians 11:10)?” Like Job, we don’t have to understand why, we just have to obey!

1 Timothy 2:15 — Does childbearing sanctify? No! Paul is going back to the garden – the man was cursed with the sorrow of work, and the woman was cursed with the pain of childbirth. Henry Alford discusses:

The curse on the woman for her “transgression” was, “in pains you will bear children” (Genesis 3:16). Her “childbearing” is that in which the curse finds its operation. What then is here promised her? Not only exemption from that curse in its worst and heaviest effects: not merely that she shall safely bear children: but the Apostle uses the word “will be saved” purposely for its higher meaning [eternal salvation], and the construction of the sentence is precisely as [in] 1 Corinthians 3:15 — “he will be saved, yet though as through fire.”

Just as that man should be saved though as passing through fire, which is his trial, his hindrance in his way, in spite of which he escapes — so she shall be saved though as passing through her child-bearing, which is her trial, her curse, her (not means of salvation, but) hindrance in the way of it.

Alford, H. [2010]. Alford’s Greek Testament: an exegetical and critical commentary [Vol. 3, 320]. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software

Proverbs 25:19 — Are you trusting the right people? Solomon said earlier that it’s hard to find such a one (Proverbs 20:6).

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