When You made David king he chose Jerusalem to be the capital (2 Sam 5:6-12). People wonder why he did that because there were quite a few better choices in regards to military, political and economical reasons. Can’t people see that he did that under Your decision and his love for You? Who knows anything better than You do?
Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in Biblical time. It’s still standing, after being destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. But then again, since You have an interest in that town it’s not surprising at all.
Jerusalem is still the capital of Israel today, but then again, some people want to say that Tel Aviv is the capital. I have no knowledge of this, but those that want to call Tel Aviv the capital are not followers of Jesus Christ, but probably Jews of the Synagogue of Satan.
Jerusalem Under Siege
1 O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Beth-haccerem: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction.
6:1-30 – Jeremiah envisions the future Babylonian attack on Jerusalem.
6:1-3 – the Lord’s words in v. 1 is strongly reminiscent of 4:6. But whereas in 4:6 the command was to seek protection in Jerusalem, in 6:1 the people are to flee from Jerusalem because no place – not even the holy city itself – will be safe from the invaders.
2 I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman.
3 The shepherds with their flocks shall come unto her; they shall pitch their tents against her round about; they shall feed everyone in his place.
4 Prepare ye war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe unto us! for the day goeth away, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out.
The invaders speak in vv. 4-5.
“Prepare” – since ancient battles had religious connotations, soldiers had to prepare themselves ritually as militarily.
“At noon” – to take advantage of the element of surprise, since the usual time of attack was early in the morning.
5 Arise, and let us go by night, and let us destroy her palaces.
“By the night” – since attacking soldiers normally retired for the night and resumed siege the following morning, the phrase underscores their eagerness and determination.
6 For thus hath the LORD of hosts said, Hew ye down trees, and cast a mount against Jerusalem: this is the city to be visited; she is wholly oppression in the midst of her.
The Lord addresses the Babylonian troops.
7 As a fountain casteth out her waters, so she casteth out her wickedness: violence and spoil is heard in her; before me continually is grief and wounds.
“Grief and wounds” – Jerusalem suffers from spiritual decay and disease and is not aware of it.
8 Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited.
9 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall throughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine: turn back thine hand as a grape gatherer into the baskets.
10 To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.
11 Therefore I am full of the fury of the LORD; I am weary with holding in: I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him that is full of days.
Jeremiah speaks, then the Lord resumes His speech through 23.
12 And their houses shall be turned unto others, with their fields and wives together: for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD.
13 For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.
14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.
15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.
16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.
18 Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them.
19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.
20 To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me.
21 Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will lay stumbling blocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbor and his friend shall perish.
22 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth.
23 They shall lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses, set in array as men for war against thee, O daughter of Zion.
24 We have heard the fame thereof: our hands wax feeble: anguish hath taken hold of us, and pain, as of a woman in travail.
25 Go not forth into the field, nor walk by the way; for the sword of the enemy and fear is on every side.
26 O daughter of my people, gird thee with sackcloth, and wallow thyself in ashes: make thee mourning, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation: for the spoiler shall suddenly come upon us.
27 I have set thee for a tower and a fortress among my people, that thou mayest know and try their way.
The Lord appoints Jeremiah to test the people of Judah as a refiner tests metals.
28 They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters.
29 The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away.
In ancient times, lead was added to silver ore in the refining process. When the crucible was heated the lead oxidized and acted as a flux to remove the alloys. Here the process fails because the ore is not pure enough (cf. Eze 24:11-13).
30 Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the LORD hath rejected them.
“Reprobate…rejected” – the “grievous revolters” the “wicked” have failed to pass the Lord’s test. Nothing worthwhile can be made of them.
The Last Days of Jerusalem
Jerusalem, after a 30-month siege, fell to the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar on July 18, 586 B.C. contemporary writings of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the Babylonian Chronicle, the Lachish Letters and Egyptian records all provide details of this period.
The Judeans hoped for the restoration of King Jehoiachin, exiled in Babylon along with 10,000 Judean soldiers and artisans since 597 B.C. Babylonian ration tablets report distributions to Jehoiachin from 595 until 570 B.C.
A weakened Judah, ruled by Zedekiah, struggled against pressures from two sides: the ambitions of Pharaoh Apries (also known as Hophra) to gain control over the Levant (Syria-Palestine) and Babylonian interest in maintaining control of the same territory.
Zedekiah was summoned to Babylon perhaps to proclaim his loyalty, but was soon involved in an anti-Babylonian coalition with Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre and Sidon. When he withheld annual tribute, Nebuchadnezzar responded, laying siege against Jerusalem on January 15, 588 B.C.
A year later Zedekiah proclaimed the release of Hebrew slaves in the city, probably to add them to the meager ranks of the city’s defenders. The Babylonian’s laid siege to Lachish and Azekah, prompting an unsuccessful Egyptian intervention at Lachish.
Nebuchadnezzar broke off the siege of Jerusalem for a month to deal with the Egyptians, prompting Zedekiah to rescind his order for the release of the Hebrew slaves. Some Judeans used the occasion to flee or to surrender to the Babylonian’s, following Jeremiah’s advice.
The siege quickly resumed, and Jerusalem’s wall was breached on July 18, 586 B.C. owing to famine within the city, resistance was feeble. Zedekiah fled but was captured and blinded shortly after having been forced to witness his own son’s being put to death.
Jerusalem was ransacked, the temple burned and many exiled to Babylon. Others fled to Egypt after assassinating Gedaliah, the Babylonian governor.
Jerusalem isn’t the oldest city and the Israelites have existed longer than Jerusalem, so was there a city before Jerusalem?