October 22 – Ebedmelech, Onesiphorus, and You!

Jeremiah 39:1-41:18
2 Timothy 1:1-18
Psalm 90:1-91:16
Proverbs 26:1-2

Jeremiah 39:2 — Now the real action begins! Prophecies and imprisonment lead up to this pivotal point, the ninth day of the fourth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah.

Jeremiah 39:3 — Every letter of Scripture is inspired but not the commas. Those were added by stylists to help us understand Scripture better. What is fascinating with this verse is that we have a list of names of Babylonian officials preserved for 2,500 years; for most of that 2,500 years the “official Babylonian records” were unavailable. Meaning, the ancient Jewish scribes had no records to check the spelling of the names of these officials. The translators of the King James in 1611 had no idea who these people were. Skeptics weren’t impressed with the a 2,500 year “hand-me-down” account of a battle, even though the account included dates (Jeremiah 29:2), names (Jeremiah 29:3), and other interesting details.

In 595 BC, a receipt for the transfer of 27 ounces of gold was made by Nebo-Sarsechim, chief eunuch of Nebuchadnezzar. This individual – same name and title – was with Nebuchadnezzar at the fall of Jerusalem according to Jeremiah 39:3. In 1870 AD (2,465 years later), a mile outside Babylon, this receipt was dug up, sold to the British Museum, and in 2007 was finally translated!

From the invasion of Jerusalem in 587 BC to the translation of the King James Version in 1611 AD – an astounding 2,198 years – Jeremiah’s record was accurately preserved letter for letter. And the amazing thing is, we didn’t know it for another 396 years! Read more about it at the Top 10 (secular) Archaeological Discoveries of 2007!


Jeremiah 39:4 — Zedekiah refused to go out the front door to the Babylonians (Jeremiah 38:17), so now he is fleeing out the back door. And the king who refused to believe the God he could not see, now has his sight taken from him (Jeremiah 39:7). The king who would not go out is dragged out in chains (Jeremiah 39:7). The king who would not leave his house had his house burned (Jeremiah 39:8). The king who oppressed the poor (Jeremiah 7:5-7) had his land left to the poor (Jeremiah 39:10).

Jeremiah 39:18 — The King of Judah who sat on the Throne of David (Jeremiah 13:13) saw his sons slain before he lost his sight and was dragged away in chains. The foreign Ethiopian (Jeremiah 38:7) who interceded for the prophet was delivered because he trusted in the LORD.

Jeremiah 40:3 — God spoke to several Babylonians:

  • Messengers of Berodach-baladan (by Hezekiah) – 2 Kings 20:12
  • Nebuzaradan (by the prophet?) – Jeremiah 40:2-3
  • Nebuchadnezzar (by dreams) – Daniel 2:1
  • Nebuchadnezzar (from heaven) – Daniel 4:31-32
  • Belshazzar (by a finger) – Daniel 5:5

Jeremiah 40:16 — Famous last words. Gedaliah trusted a false friend (Proverbs 27:6).

Jeremiah 41:16 — So this whole chapter seems to be irrelevant, but I want you to notice the characteristics of the people of Israel outside of the kingdom. They’ve reverted back to the times of the Judges (Judges 21:25). “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Gedaliah is assassinated by Ishmael, Ishmael slaughters people bringing offerings to the LORD, and Johanan takes the remainder to Egypt.

2 Timothy 1:1 — This is Paul’s last letter, written shortly before he would be beheaded by Nero. From J. Vernon McGee:

You can, I think, emphasize one word in this epistle above other words. That word is loyalty: (1) loyalty in suffering (ch. 1); (2) loyalty in service (ch. 2); (3) loyalty in apostasy (ch. 3–4:5); and (4) Lord loyal to His servants in desertion (ch. 4:6–22).

The deathbed statement of any individual has an importance which is not attached to other remarks. This is what lends significance to 2 Timothy. It is the final communication of Paul. It has a note of sadness which is not detected in his other epistles. Nevertheless, there is the overtone of triumph: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith,” written by Paul as his own epitaph (2 Tim. 4:7). Also, because this was his last letter, Paul was very personal. In these four short chapters, there are approximately twenty–five references to individuals.


2 Timothy 1:5 — Thank God for praying mothers and grandmothers!

2 Timothy 1:8 — Timothy is reading this from an inmate who is asking Timothy to join him in suffering because it’s worth it. Why? Death doesn’t scare Paul primarily because Jesus abolished death (2 Timothy 1:10).

2 Timothy 1:12 — Paul had confidence because he knew Jesus and could trust Him! Paul knew Whom he believed!

2 Timothy 1:17 — Compare Onesiphorus who sought out Paul to Ebedmelech (Jeremiah 38:7) who sought out Jeremiah! As Jesus said, “If you give a cup of cold water to my disciple, you have done it to me” (Matthew 10:41-42). May we be practicing hospitality. Paul refused to be chargeable to the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 2:9), but he was grateful for those who insisted on helping him (2 Timothy 1:17). The Christian car mechanic who fixes the missionary’s car has earned a prophet’s reward (Matthew 10:41), just like Ebedmelech (Jeremiah 38:7) and Onesiphorus (2 Timothy 1:17).

When I read this passage, I think of my grandfather, John McLario. He travelled to Havana, Cuba, which at that time was under the leadership of Fidel Castro. He was mentioned in God’s Missiles over Cuba for almost getting arrested there for his work in helping free imprisoned missionaries.

Psalm 90:4 — Six thousand years of human history isn’t even a week in God’s eyes!

Psalm 90:8 — God knows even our secret sins!

Psalm 91:1-2 — ”On Eagle’s Wings” is a song based on these verses:

Proverbs 26:1 — Yes, snow in summer is not seemly, and we definitely appreciate it when the snow holds off as long as possible! If we are a fool, how can we get honor? Stop being a fool!

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

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