The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Jeremiah 40

Jer 40:1

Jer 40: "The promise of restoration after seventy years, and the opposition received from the false prophets in exile, led naturally to prophecies of the more glorious and complete return in the latter days (Jer 30; 31), of which that under Zerubbabel was a type. So the word of Jeremiah declared that: [1] A full restoration was promised: vv 1-3. [2] Yet it would be accomplished through trouble: vv 4-9. [3] Assurances of restoration and protection is declared: vv 10-17. [4] The restoration outlined: vv 18-22. [5] The preliminary tempest: vv 23,24.

"The day of Jacob's tempest (v 7)... out of which, however, 'Jacob shall be delivered.' Israel's hopes will be at the lowest ebb, and unless another Joseph appears as in Egypt, for the salvation of his father's house, they must perish. But the Eternal Power has provided for them a Deliverer after the type of Joseph, who, at his second interview with the nation, his brethren after the flesh, will reveal himself to them in the day of affliction" (GEM).

Jer 40:5

GEDALIAH: Gedaliah became governor of Judah, appointed by Nebuchadnezzar after the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC (2Ki 25:22-26; Jer 40:6-41:18). Gedaliah was a member of a prominent and powerful family. His grandfather was Shaphan, probably the one who served as state secretary under King Josiah and reported the discovery of the book of the law to the king (2Ki 22:10). Shaphan's son, Gedaliah's father, Ahikam, became Jeremiah's protector after the famous temple proclamation (Jer 26:24).

Gedaliah set up his government at Mizpah, which was about five miles north of Jerusalem. However, before too much time passed, Ishmael, a leader of a fanatic nationalist band and a member of the exiled royal family, murdered Gedaliah while he was a guest in the official residence in Mizpah (Jer 41:2).

The death of Gedaliah seemed to be the loss of the last hope for a peaceful and orderly administration in the defeated Judah, and soon the remnant that remained (including Jeremiah) were on their way to Egypt, to flee the unrest in the land, and the possible reprisals of the Babylonians.

Jer 40:7

Those whom the prophets and priests of Judah had oppressed were now the only ones left in the Land.

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