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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Where was Jeremiah?

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dolfan
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Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1632
Alabama

 Where was Jeremiah?

In Jeremiah 41-43 is the account of the appointment and murder of Gedeliah as governor of Judah from Mizpah after the Babylonian takeover. In ch. 43, a meeting occurs between one Johanon and Jeremiah. I have read it over a few times and consulted commentaries but I find no sure statement: where was Jeremiah when this meeting occurred? Mizpah? Bethlehem? Somewhere else?

Thoughts?


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Tim

 2014/7/7 20:35Profile
TMK
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5242
NC, USA

 Re: Where was Jeremiah?

Not sure, but I want to know where Daniel was when Shadrach Meshach and Abednego got tossed into the fiery furnace.


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Todd

 2014/7/7 20:47Profile
havok20x
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Joined: 2008/9/14
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 Re: Where was Jeremiah?

Brother,

It seems to me after reading the account in 2 kings and in Jeremiah that the prophet went to Gedaliah and then travelled to Bethlehem as commanded by him in chapter 40--"But you, gather wine and summer fruit and oil, put them in your vessels, and dwell in your cities that you have taken."

Then Gedaliah was murdered and Johanan and His company travelled south from Mizpah through Bethlehem toward Egypt. While they were there they hoped to gain some kind of blessing from Jeremiah, which did not happen and they took Him captive and went to Egypt.

I think that is what happened but anymore insight would be great.

 2014/7/8 1:20Profile
TMK
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Joined: 2012/2/8
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 Re:

I must be blind because I don't see Bethlehem mentioned in any of those chapters or in the Kings account but I was sort of speed reading.

Dolfan- Is there some specific reason you think this is important or just curious?


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Todd

 2014/7/8 6:32Profile
havok20x
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 Re:

Jeremiah 41:17--"And they departed and dwelt in the habitation of Chimham, which is near Bethlehem, as they went on their way to Egypt..."

 2014/7/8 8:26Profile
dolfan
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Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1632
Alabama

 Re:

But in ch. 42, Johanon and those with him went to Jeremiah. Jeremiah is absent from mention after 40:6 until you get to ch. 42. The last mention of him was as a resident in the new Judean capital of Mizpah as a ward of Gedeliah. There is no record that he left Mizpah, although he certainly could have been (very doubtful) among those who Johanon took from Mizpah in ch. 41.

It is just a curiosity, mainly. I'm reading through the bible, and came to this last 13 chapters of a Jeremiah along with the end of 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles and I'm just curious. It is also curious to me due to the great false promise of Johanon to Jeremiah about obeying God regarding going or not going to Egypt. The word "witness" is used by Johanon in that promise. Mizpah means heap of witness from Gen. 31 and is also where Saul was anointed king by Samuel after Samuel warned them not to desire a king. Seems that Mizpah may be a place where people acquire a witness against themselves with big statements of self will. That isn't as salient if Jeremiah was not in Mizpah when Johanon comes to him in Jer. 42. But, I don't want to wrongly assume he was in Mizpah just because it makes a nice symbolism.


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Tim

 2014/7/8 9:05Profile
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 Re:

It does seem like the flow from the end of ch 41 to beginning of ch 42 would indicate Jeremiah was in Bethlehem.

Dolfan it is obvious you are not simply burning through your reading in order to even come up with this question. Awesome!


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Todd

 2014/7/8 9:42Profile
dolfan
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Alabama

 Re:

I think that flow reads that way, too. Yet, it also says the ones who went with Johanon to near Bethlehem were those who Johanon took from Ishmael's group. Jeremiah was opposed to Ishmael because Ishmael was opposed to Gedeliah. I don't think Jeremiah was with Ishmael voluntarily, and I don't read where Jeremiah was with him involuntarily. So, it makes me think Jeremiah was not with Ishmael and thus not swept up by Johanon and taken to this place near Bethlehem, if that makes sense.


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Tim

 2014/7/8 10:15Profile
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 Re:

I think what probably happened was Jeremiah chose to move to Bethlehem after Gedaliah commanded the remaining Jews to go posses their cities (Chapter 40). Being a levite, Jeremiah had no land of his own, so it is likely that he could have decided to go to Bethlehem, which would have been a providential choice, seeing how Johanan would wind up their later.

Ishmael was in Mizpah with Gedaliah and killed him (Chapter 41). Johanan had obviously left because Gedaliah was not listening to his pleas to rid himself of Ishmael. So when Ishmael killed Gedaliah, Johanan heard about it and found Ishmael near Gibeon. They recovered the captives, went to Mizpah and took the captives from there and headed south toward Egypt, which took them by Bethlehem, where Jeremiah was residing. That's a summary up until the end of chapter 41.

Then it says that Johanan and his company "came near" and spoke to Jeremiah. It is obvious that Jeremiah was not with them up until this point. Then comes the prophecy concerning not going to Egypt (Chapter 42). Afterwards, Johanan takes the remaining Jews from that area (including Jeremiah and Baruch) and heads toward Egypt (chapter 43)

 2014/7/8 10:37Profile
dolfan
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Joined: 2011/8/23
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Alabama

 Re:

That cleans it up.

But, doesn't Jer. 40:6 say that Jeremiah went to Mizpah to Gedeliah and stayed with him among the people who were left in the land? I can't find any implication after 40:6 that would place Jeremiah anywhere else. Maybe he did go to Bethlehem after Gedeliah was murdered. There is nothing that I see in the text that would prevent that.

Two things seem odd. One is that Jeremiah remained in Mizpah. If Johanon came near to Jeremiah in Mizpah, it was a bit of a trek from near Bethlehem and would have taken them likely through decimated Jerusalem. No reason to avoid Jerusalem, really, but it was not the quickest trip to make.

The other oddity, though, that keeps Mizpah as a possibility is the detail of chapters 38-40:6 about Jeremiah's goings. Why would whoever wrote this part of Jeremiah (himself, Baruch or some other historian-type keeping record in Jeremiah's writings) get so suddenly fuzzy....or is it not fuzzy at all and we should merely assume that no recorded change of location means no actual change of location here? I don't know.




.... EDIT.....

I re read ch. 43.

I thought, Aha! He was in Bethlehem! Then, I checked myself and not sure again.

In ch. 43, Jeremiah refers to "this land".... Judah. Mizpah was part of Benjamin's allotment in the original division in Joshua. But, so was Jerusalem! Jerusalem was on the border of Benjamin and Judah, but clearly inside Benjamin. As Jerusalem grew, though, and when Solomon built the Temple, some scholars say that the sanctuary was on the Benjamin side of the line and the courts were on the Judah side of it. In any event, David picked Jerusalem as capital and Jerusalem became, de facto, part of Judah when the kingdoms split after Solomon died. Benjamin people remained loyal to David's house then, too, so that all of Benjamin's land ....including Mizpah..... were part of Judah. So, Jeremiah saying "this land" still does not clarify he was in Bethlehem as opposed to Mizpah....or even Jerusalem??


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Tim

 2014/7/8 11:05Profile





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