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First Reading: Jeremiah Chapter 39 and 40 and 41
1 And it came to pass when Jerusalem was taken, (in the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, came Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon and all his army against Jerusalem, and besieged it;
2 in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, the ninth day of the month, a breach was made in the city,)
3 that all the princes of the king of Babylon came in, and sat in the middle gate, `to wit', Nergal-sharezer, Samgar-nebo, Sarsechim, Rab-saris, Nergal-sharezer, Rab-mag, with all the rest of the princes of the king of Babylon.
4 And it came to pass that, when Zedekiah the king of Judah and all the men of war saw them, then they fled, and went forth out of the city by night, by the way of the king's garden, through the gate betwixt the two walls; and he went out toward the Arabah.
5 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued after them, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho: and when they had taken him, they brought him up to Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath; and he gave judgment upon him.
6 Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes: also the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Judah.
7 Moreover he put out Zedekiah's eyes, and bound him in fetters, to carry him to Babylon.
8 And the Chaldeans burned the king's house, and the houses of the people, with fire, and brake down the walls of Jerusalem.
9 Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive into Babylon the residue of the people that remained in the city, the deserters also that fell away to him, and the residue of the people that remained.
10 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left of the poor of the people, that had nothing, in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time.
11 Now Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, saying,
12 Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do unto him even as he shall say unto thee.
13 So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard sent, and Nebushazban, Rab-saris, and Nergal-sharezer, Rab-mag, and all the chief officers of the king of Babylon;
14 they sent, and took Jeremiah out of the court of the guard, and committed him unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, that he should carry him home: so he dwelt among the people.
15 Now the word of Jehovah came unto Jeremiah, while he was shut up in the court of the guard, saying,
16 Go, and speak to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will bring my words upon this city for evil, and not for good; and they shall be accomplished before thee in that day.
17 But I will deliver thee in that day, saith Jehovah; and thou shalt not be given into the hand of the men of whom thou art afraid.
18 For I will surely save thee, and thou shalt not fall by the sword, but thy life shall be for a prey unto thee; because thou hast put thy trust in me, saith Jehovah.
1 The word which came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, after that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah, when he had taken him being bound in chains among all the captives of Jerusalem and Judah, that were carried away captive unto Babylon.
2 And the captain of the guard took Jeremiah, and said unto him, Jehovah thy God pronounced this evil upon this place;
3 and Jehovah hath brought it, and done according as he spake: because ye have sinned against Jehovah, and have not obeyed his voice, therefore this thing is come upon you.
4 And now, behold, I loose thee this day from the chains which are upon thy hand. If it seem good unto thee to come with me into Babylon, come, and I will look well unto thee; but if it seem ill unto thee to come with me into Babylon, forbear: behold, all the land is before thee; whither it seemeth good and right unto thee to go, thither go.
5 Now while he was not yet gone back, Go back then, `said he', to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon hath made governor over the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people; or go wheresoever it seemeth right unto thee to go. So the captain of the guard gave him victuals and a present, and let him go.
6 Then went Jeremiah unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah, and dwelt with him among the people that were left in the land.
7 Now when all the captains of the forces that were in the fields, even they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam governor in the land, and had committed unto him men, and women, and children, and of the poorest of the land, of them that were not carried away captive to Babylon;
8 then they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, `to wit', Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, and the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah the son of the Maacathite, they and their men.
9 And Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan sware unto them and to their men, saying, Fear not to serve the Chaldeans: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you.
10 As for me, behold, I will dwell at Mizpah, to stand before the Chaldeans that shall come unto us: but ye, gather ye wine and summer fruits and oil, and put them in your vessels, and dwell in your cities that ye have taken.
11 Likewise when all the Jews that were in Moab, and among the children of Ammon, and in Edom, and that were in all the countries, heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant of Judah, and that he had set over them Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan;
12 then all the Jews returned out of all places whither they were driven, and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah, unto Mizpah, and gathered wine and summer fruits very much.
13 Moreover Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were in the fields, came to Gedaliah to Mizpah,
14 and said unto him, Dost thou know that Baalis the king of the children of Ammon hath sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to take thy life? But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam believed them not.
15 Then Johanan the son of Kareah spake to Gedaliah in Mizpah secretly, saying, Let me go, I pray thee, and I will slay Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no man shall know it: wherefore should he take thy life, that all the Jews that are gathered unto thee should be scattered, and the remnant of Judah perish?
16 But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said unto Johanan the son of Kareah, Thou shalt not do this thing; for thou speakest falsely of Ishmael.
1 Now it came to pass in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the seed royal and `one of' the chief officers of the king, and ten men with him, came unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah; and there they did eat bread together in Mizpah.
2 Then arose Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and the ten men that were with him, and smote Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan with the sword, and slew him, whom the king of Babylon had made governor over the land.
3 Ishmael also slew all the Jews that were with him, `to wit', with Gedaliah, at Mizpah, and the Chaldeans that were found there, the men of war.
4 And it came to pass the second day after he had slain Gedaliah, and no man knew it,
5 that there came men from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, even fourscore men, having their beards shaven and their clothes rent, and having cut themselves, with meal-offerings and frankincense in their hand, to bring them to the house of Jehovah.
6 And Ishmael the son of Nethaniah went forth from Mizpah to meet them, weeping all along as he went: and it came to pass, as he met them, he said unto them, Come to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam.
7 And it was so, when they came into the midst of the city, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah slew them, `and cast them' into the midst of the pit, he, and the men that were with him.
8 But ten men were found among them that said unto Ishmael, Slay us not; for we have stores hidden in the field, of wheat, and of barley, and of oil, and of honey. So he forbare, and slew them not among their brethren.
9 Now the pit wherein Ishmael cast all the dead bodies of the men whom he had slain, by the side of Gedaliah (the same was that which Asa the king had made for fear of Baasha king of Israel,) Ishmael the son of Nethaniah filled it with them that were slain.
10 Then Ishmael carried away captive all the residue of the people that were in Mizpah, even the king's daughters, and all the people that remained in Mizpah, whom Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had committed to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam; Ishmael the son of Nethaniah carried them away captive, and departed to go over to the children of Ammon.
11 But when Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, heard of all the evil that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had done,
12 then they took all the men, and went to fight with Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and found him by the great waters that are in Gibeon.
13 Now it came to pass that, when all the people that were with Ishmael saw Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, then they were glad.
14 So all the people that Ishmael had carried away captive from Mizpah turned about and came back, and went unto Johanan the son of Kareah.
15 But Ishmael the son of Nethaniah escaped from Johanan with eight men, and went to the children of Ammon.
16 Then took Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, all the remnant of the people whom he had recovered from Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, from Mizpah, after that he had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, `to wit', the men of war, and the women, and the children, and the eunuchs, whom he had brought back from Gibeon:
17 and they departed, and dwelt in Geruth Chimham, which is by Beth-lehem, to go to enter into Egypt,
18 because of the Chaldeans; for they were afraid of them, because Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon made governor over the land.
Second Reading: Psalms Chapter 120 and 121
1 In my distress I cried unto Jehovah, And he answered me.
2 Deliver my soul, O Jehovah, from lying lips, `And' from a deceitful tongue.
3 What shall be given unto thee, and what shall be done more unto thee, Thou deceitful tongue?
4 Sharp arrows of the mighty, With coals of juniper.
5 Woe is me, that I sojourn in Meshech, That I dwell among the tents of Kedar!
6 My soul hath long had her dwelling With him that hateth peace.
7 I am `for' peace: But when I speak, they are for war. Psalm 121 A Song of Ascents.
1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains: From whence shall my help come?
2 My help `cometh' from Jehovah, Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: He that keepeth thee will not slumber.
4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 Jehovah is thy keeper: Jehovah is thy shade upon thy right hand.
6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, Nor the moon by night.
7 Jehovah will keep thee from all evil; He will keep thy soul.
8 Jehovah will keep thy going out and thy coming in From this time forth and for evermore. Psalm 122 A Song of Ascents; of David.
CHRIST IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
JESUS CHRIST THE FOUNDATION STONE
Part 1 of 4
SECTION I - "LORD, WILL YOU AT THIS TIME RESTORE THE KINGDOM TO ISRAEL?"
The question that the disciples asked Jesus just before he ascended to heaven seems almost out of context with our understanding of the events of Jesus' life. What did Jesus have to do with restoring a kingdom that was at it's height almost a thousand years before?
King David reigned for 40 years. After his death, Solomon his son became king for another 40 years. During the reign of Solomon the kingdom of Israel become powerful, rich, and influential. When Solomon became King, he asked God for wisdom in ruling the people. God gave him wisdom but also gave him riches, honor, and a long life. The Bible tells us that the kingdom spread from the Euphrates River to the River of Egypt to the land of the Philistines. Many countries brought tribute and Israel became wealthy. The wealth and wisdom of Solomon was legendary then and still is.
Solomon followed through with the plan of his father and built the house for God in Jerusalem. It was built on the plan of the tabernacle but as a permanent building. Unchiseled quarry stones were used with beams of cedar. The inner sanctuary was overlaid with pure gold. Finally, the original ark of the Lord was placed in the Most Holy Place. When the priest withdrew after placing the ark, a cloud filled the temple: the glory of the LORD filled the temple.
Solomon praised the LORD and blessed the people. This was certainly a time of glory for Israel. But history follows on and the Nation of Israel followed the same road as Solomon. Solomon became enchanted with "foreign wives" and their foreign gods. He who had built the temple for God also built temples for other gods and Israel followed him. The history of Israel shows the downfall of Israel and their captivity at the hands of others.
Were the disciples, when they asked the question of Jesus, looking for a restoration
to the time of Solomon? Did they, even after the resurrection of Jesus, understand
the full import of what the Messiah was to accomplish?
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