Jer. 27:1 ¦ In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
Jer. 27:2 Thus saith the LORD to me; Make thee bonds and yokes, and put them upon thy neck,
Jer. 27:3 And send them to the king of Edom, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the Ammonites, and to the king of Tyrus, and to the king of Zidon, by the hand of the messengers which come to Jerusalem unto Zedekiah king of Judah;
Jer. 27:4 And command them to say unto their masters, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say unto your masters;
This message is dated as being received by Jeremiah during the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, but it was not to be delivered until Zedekiah was on the throne. Jeremiah is told to perform an object lesson concerning the message being given. The KJV is a bit confusing, and I think the CJB gives a clearer understanding of verses 2-3: ŇADONAI says this to me: ÔMake yourself a yoke of straps and crossbars, and put it on your neck. Send [similar yokes] to the kings ofÉ.Ó
It is clear that this message is meant not only for Judah, but also for the surrounding nations as identified in verse 3. These messages are to be sent to the rulers of these nations via messengers from those nations to King Zedekiah. Commentators indicate that these messengers were on a mission of establishing an alliance to rebel against Nebuchadnezzar. Jeremiah is to instruct these messengers to deliver the following message to their kings with emphasis on the fact that it is from Ňthe LORD of hosts, the God of Israel.Ó
The peoples of the nations all descended from a common ancestor, Noah, but the truth about the Creator soon degenerated to the point that God had to birth a nation through whom He could once again establish His identity and declare His authority to the peoples on planet earth. Abraham was the chosen person and Jacob the chosen son to father the nation of Israel through whom God chose to once again reveal Himself to the nations. He has always been LORD over all even though rejected as LORD by almost all.
Jer. 27:5 I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me.
Jer. 27:6 And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him.
Jer. 27:7 And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his sonŐs son, until the very time of his land come: and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him.
The LORD begins His message with a declaration that He is the Creator of earth, man and beast. He has been sovereign in the determination of the establishment of the nations. He is declaring that it is now His purpose to give these nations and their possessions to Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. Neb is once again identified as GodŐs servant in that He is the vessel through whom GodŐs will is being served at this time. Again, I think it is important to note that Neb is not being made to go against his own will in accomplishing GodŐs purposes. Point is made that NebŐs kingdom will extend until the time of his grandson. During his grandsonŐs reign Babylon will fall prey to other nations and great kings.
Jer. 27:8 And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the LORD, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand.
Now the warning—Those nations that refuse to submit to Neb (as pictured by the yoke) will be punished by the LORD. He will see that they are destroyed by the enemyŐs army, with famine or with disease.
Jer. 27:9 Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon:
Jer. 27:10 For they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish.
Jer. 27:11 But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let remain still in their own land, saith the LORD; and they shall till it, and dwell therein.
They are warned to ignore their false prophets, diviners, dreamers, enchanters, and sorcerers (all practitioners of the black arts and servants of Satan). God declares that their prophecies that assure the people they will not serve the king of Babylon are lies. If they believe these lies, they will be taken captive and die in foreign lands. Those, however, that choose to submit to Neb and serve him will be allowed to remain in their homeland.
I think it is important to note that oneŐs response to God in no way diminishes GodŐs authority and power—be it individual or nation. Though the ancestors of the pagan nations chose to reject GodŐs authority, that rejection only resulted in their suffering GodŐs hand of judgment according to His plan and purposes. That truth remains today. One may choose to reject GodŐs authority or even that He exists, but it does not change the truth that He is Sovereign in authority and power over all.
Jer. 27:12 ¦ I spake also to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live.
Jer. 27:13 Why will ye die, thou and thy people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the LORD hath spoken against the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon?
Jer. 27:14 Therefore hearken not unto the words of the prophets that speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon: for they prophesy a lie unto you.
Jer. 27:15 For I have not sent them, saith the LORD, yet they prophesy a lie in my name; that I might drive you out, and that ye might perish, ye, and the prophets that prophesy unto you.
Jeremiah made a personal plea to King Zedekiah of Judah. He urged the king to submit to Neb and so preserve himself and his people. Not to do so will result in unnecessary death and destruction of the people and the land. He urges the king to ignore the lies of the false prophets that are telling him he can free the nation from bondage to the king of Babylon. If he listens to the false prophets, the LORD will drive him, the false prophets and the people out of Judah and cause them to perish in foreign lands.
It stands out to me that false prophets so often choose to invoke the name of the LORD to attest to their trustworthiness. That is still true today. I canŐt help but be reminded of PaulŐs words: 2 Corinthians 11:13–15 ŇFor such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.Ó
Jer. 27:16 Also I spake to the priests and to all this people, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Hearken not to the words of your prophets that prophesy unto you, saying, Behold, the vessels of the LORDŐS house shall now shortly be brought again from Babylon: for they prophesy a lie unto you.
Jer. 27:17 Hearken not unto them; serve the king of Babylon, and live: wherefore should this city be laid waste?
Jeremiah also took his message to the priests and the people; they needed to hear GodŐs truth just as well as the king. He repeats the warning to ignore the message of the false prophets that are telling them that the temple treasures will soon be returned from Babylon. That is simply not true; it is a lie. Jeremiah also urges them to submit to the king of Babylon and live and save the city from destruction.
I like this quote from Matthew Henry: ŇThose that encourage sinners to go on in their sinful ways will in the end perish with them.Ó
Jer. 27:18 But if they be prophets, and if the word of the LORD be with them, let them now make intercession to the LORD of hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house of the LORD, and in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, go not to Babylon.
Jer. 27:19 For thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the pillars, and concerning the sea, and concerning the bases, and concerning the residue of the vessels that remain in this city,
Jer. 27:20 Which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took not, when he carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem;
Jeremiah is basically saying that if they were true prophets they should begin praying that the LORD would protect what was left of the temple and palace treasures. Neb had taken some of the treasures to Babylon with the first two deportations of Jews that included Jeconiah and others of the nobility (including Daniel), but he had not taken everything. Jeremiah specifically listed some of the treasures still in place—the bronze pillars (Jachin and Boaz), the sea (a large bronze basin supported by 12 bronze oxen), the bases (smaller bronze basins), and the remaining vessels of service.
Jer. 27:21 Yea, thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that remain in the house of the LORD, and in the house of the king of Judah and of Jerusalem;
Jer. 27:22 They shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they be until the day that I visit them, saith the LORD; then will I bring them up, and restore them to this place.
Jeremiah then goes on to declare the unpopular truth according to GodŐs revelation to him. All the rest of the temple and palace treasures would be taken to Babylon. They would remain there until the day that the LORD determines to restore them to His people in Jerusalem.
Scripture records the restoration of these treasures as prophesied by Jeremiah in the book of Ezra.
Ezra 1:7–11 ŇAlso Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods; Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah. And this is the number of them: thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver, nine and twenty knives, Thirty basons of gold, silver basons of a second sort four hundred and ten, and other vessels a thousand. All the vessels of gold and of silver were five thousand and four hundred. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up with them of the captivity that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem.Ó
Ňthe day that I visit themÓ - The day that God brings judgment upon Babylon.