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The Empires of the Bible from the Confusion of Tongues to the Babylonian Captivity - Contents
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    ALTHOUGH as we have seen, Manasseh personally repented of his enormities; yet it was so late in his life that there was but little time remaining in which his influence could be made to tell for righteousness. Yet this was not Judah’s only evil.EB 381.1

    2. Amon, the son of Manasseh, became king of Judah, 643 B. C. “But he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, as did Manasseh his father: for Amon sacrificed unto all the carved images which Manasseh his father had made, and served them; and humbled not himself before the Lord, as Manasseh his father had humbled himself; but Amon trespassed more and more. And his servants conspired against him, and slew him in his own house. But the people of the land slew all them that had conspired against King Amon.” 1[Page 381] 2 Chronicles 33:22-25.EB 381.2

    3. Josiah, the son of Amon, was made king of Judah, 641 B. C., by “the people of the land” when they had slain those who had killed King Amon. As the history has shown, the kingdom of Judah had but few good kings; and few as they were, Josiah was the last good king that the kingdom ever had before Christ was born.EB 381.3

    4. Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign. “In the eighth year of his reign,” the sixteenth year of his life, “while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the Asherim, and the carved images, and the molten images. And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the sun-images, that were on high above them, he cut down; and the Asherim, and the carved images and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them and strewed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them. And he burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. And so did he in the cities of Manasseh, and Ephraim, and Simeon, even unto Naphtali, with their mattocks round about.” 2[Page 382] 2 Chronicles 34:3-6.EB 381.4

    5. In his eighteenth year, “when he had purged the land and the house” of the Lord, he appointed men to superintend the repairing of the temple. They delivered to Hilkiah, the high priest, the money that had been “gathered of the hand of Manasseh and Ephraim, and of all the remnant of Israel, and of all Judah and Benjamin.... And they put it in the hand of the workmen that had the oversight of the house of the Lord, and they gave it to the workmen that wrought in the house of the Lord, to repair and amend the house.” “And the men did the work faithfully.” And “there was no reckoning made with the men of the money that was put into their hand, because they dealt faithfully.” 3[Page 382] 2 Chronicles 34:8-12; 2 Kings 22:3-7.EB 382.1

    6. As they were at work in the temple, Hilkiah found the book of the law, and gave it to the scribe who brought it and read it before the king. Josiah sent the high priest and the scribe and others to Huldah, the prophetess, who dwelt in Jerusalem in the college, “to inquire of the Lord concerning the words of the book.’ In answer, the word of the Lord was sent by her, that there should certainly come upon that people and that city all the judgments that were written in the book, because they had forsaken the Lord and burned incense to other gods.EB 382.2

    7. “Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem,” “and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the people, great and small: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of the Lord. And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant.EB 382.3

    8. “And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the Ashera, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Beth-el.EB 383.1

    9. “And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.EB 383.2

    10. “And he brought out the Ashera from the house of the Lord, without Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and stamped it small to powder, and cast the powder thereof upon the graves of the children of the people. And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the Lord, where the women wove hangings for the Ashera.” “And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech.EB 383.3

    11. “And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the Lord, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire.EB 383.4

    12. “And the altars that were on the top of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the Lord, did the king beat down, and brake them down from thence, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron.EB 383.5

    13. “And the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile. And he brake in pieces the images, and cut down the Asherim, and filled their places with the bones of men.EB 383.6

    14. “Moreover the altar that was at Beth-el, and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, both that altar and the high place he brake down, and burned the high place, and stamped it small to powder, and burned the Ashera.EB 384.1

    15. “And as Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchers that were there in the mount, and sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchers, and burned them upon the altar, and polluted it according to the word of the Lord which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words. Then he said, What title is that that I see? And the men of the city told him, It is the sepulcher of the man of God, which came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that thou hast done against the altar of Beth-el. And he said, Let him alone; let no man move his bones. So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet that came out of Samaria.EB 384.2

    16. “And all the houses also of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made to provoke the Lord to anger, Josiah took away,and did to them according to all the acts that he had done in Beth-el.” 4[Page 384] 2 Chronicles 34:29, 30; 2 Kings 23:3-19.EB 384.3

    17. “After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up against the king of Assyria, to fight against Carchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him. But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war, for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that He destroy thee not.EB 384.4

    18. “Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo.EB 384.5

    19. “And the archers shot at King Josiah; and the king said to his servants, Have me away; for I am sore wounded. His servants therefore took him out of that chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had; and they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died, and was buried in one of the sepulchers of his fathers.EB 384.6

    20. “And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and the singing women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this day, and made them an ordinance in Israel; and, behold, they are written in the lamentations.” 5[Page 385] 2 Chronicles 35:20-25.EB 385.1

    21. In the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah, Jeremiah of Anathoth began to prophecy concerning Judah and Jerusalem. In spite of Josiah’s good example, and against the solemn covenant they had made to be faithful to the Lord, the whole people were drifting steadily in the way of evil. And after the death of Josiah the force of the tide which he had been able to check was renewed, and flowed irresistibly to the utter swallowing up of the whole nation. Yet the Lord pleaded in the depths of divine sorrow, that they would turn to Him with all the heart. “For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt... Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered? Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging-place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! for they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men.” 6[Page 385] Jeremiah 8:21, 22; 9:1, 2.EB 385.2

    22. After the fall of Nineveh there was a partition of the territory that had formed the Assyrian Empire. That part west of the Euphrates fell to Necho; the east and the northern mountainous region were annexed to Media; and all rest was held by Nabopolassar as king of Babylon. Thus the kingdom of Judah fell under the dominion of the king of Egypt.EB 385.3

    23. Jehoahaz, or Shallum, the youngest son of Josiah, was made king, by “the people of the land,” at the death of his father. He was twenty-three years old, and reigned “three months in Jerusalem.... And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his fathers had done. And Pharaohnecho put him in bands at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem; and put the land to a tribute of an hundred talents of silver, and a talent of gold.” 7[page 386] 1 Chronicles 3:15; 2 Kings 23:31-33.EB 385.4

    24. Eliakim, the son of Josiah, was made king by PharaohNecho, 609 B. C., who “turned his name to Jehoiakim, and took Jehoahaz [Shallum] away: and he came to Egypt.... And Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh; but he taxed the land to give the money according to the commandment of Pharaoh: he exacted the silver and the gold of the people of the land, of every one according to his taxation, to give it unto Pharaoh-necho.” 8[Page 386] 2 Kings 23:34, 35.EB 386.1

    25. At that time the Lord sent Jeremiah down to the king’s house to say, “Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Judah, that sittest upon the throne of David, thou, and thy servants, and thy people that enter in by these gates: Thus saith the Lord; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor; and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place. For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people.EB 386.2

    26. “But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith the Lord, that this house shall become a desolation. For thus saith the Lord unto the king’s house of Judah; Thou art Gilead unto me, and the head of Lebanon: yet surely I will make thee a wilderness, and cities which are not inhabited. And I will prepare destroyers against thee, every one with his weapons: and they shall cut down thy choice cedars, and cast them into the fire.EB 386.3

    27. “And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbor, Wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto this great city ? Then they shall answer, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord God, and worshiped other gods, and served them.EB 386.4

    28. “Weep ye not for the dead, neither bemoan him: but weep sore for him that goeth away: for he shall return no more, nor see his native country. For thus saith the Lord touching Shallum the son of Josiah king of Judah, which reigned instead of Josiah his father, which went forth out of this place; He shall not return thither any more: but he shall die in the place whither they have led him captive, and shall see this land no more.” 9[Page 387] Jeremiah 22:2-12.EB 386.5

    29. At the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim there was a prophet, “Urijah the son of Shemaiah of Kirjath-jearim, who prophesied against” the city of Jerusalem and the land of Judah. And Jehoiakim the king “sought to put him to death: but when Urijah heard it, he was afraid, and fled, and went into Egypt; and Jehoiakim the king sent men into Egypt, namely, Elnathan the son of Achbor, and certain men with him into Egypt. And they fetched forth Urijah out of Egypt, and brought him unto Jehoiakim the king; who slew him with the sword, and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people.” 10[Page 387] Jeremiah 26:21-23.EB 387.1

    30. After this the Lord commanded Jeremiah of Anathoth to go to Jerusalem and stand in the court of the temple on one of the great feast days, and speak all the words that he commanded him to speak, diminishing not a word. The priests against the prophets were confirming the people in wickedness, by telling them that there was no danger of the city ever being destroyed because there stood the temple of the Lord, the building of which the Lord himself had directed, and where He dwelt by the holy Shekinah. But Jeremiah was commanded to say to all the people, “Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, are these.... Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; and come and stand before me in this house which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations ? Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes ? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the Lord. But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the Lord, ... therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh.” “I will make this house like Shiloh, and this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.” 11[Page 388] Jeremiah 7:2-16; 26:1-9.EB 387.2

    31. Jeremiah had no sooner spoken this word of the Lord, than “the priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die. Why hast thou prophesied in the name of the Lord, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate without an inhabitant ?” As the great crowd were crying out against him, and were about to kill him, the princes of Judah heard of it and came to the temple, “and sat down in the entry of the new gate of the Lord’s house. Then spake the priests and the prophets unto the princes and to all the people, saying, This man is worthy to die; for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard with your ears.EB 388.1

    32. “Then spake Jeremiah unto all the princes and to all the people, saying, The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that ye have heard. Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God; and the Lord will repent Him of the evil that He hath pronounced against you. As for me, behold, I am in your hand: do with me as seemeth good and meet unto you. But know ye for certain, that if ye put me to death, ye shall surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, and upon this city, and upon the inhabitants thereof: for of a truth the Lord hath sent me unto you to speak all these words in your ears.EB 388.2

    33. “Then said the princes and all the people unto the priests and to the prophets; This man is not worthy to die: for he hath spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God.EB 388.3

    34. “Then rose up certain of the elders of the land, and spake to all the assembly of the people, saying, Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spake to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus saith the Lord of Hosts; Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest. Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all the Judah put him at all to death ? did he not fear the Lord, and besought the Lord, and the Lord repented Him of the evil which He had pronounced against them ? Thus might we procure great evil against our souls.” 12[Page 389] Jeremiah 26:11-19.EB 388.4

    35. Necho was not left very long to enjoy the dominion of his share of the vanished empire of Assyria. In the year 607 B. C., Nabopolassar associated Nebuchadnezzar with himself, as king, on the Babylonian throne. Then it was decided to add the possessions of Necho to the Babylonian dominions. Accordingly, the same year, “in the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim [607 B. C.] king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure-house of his god.” 13[Page 389] Daniel 1:1, 2. Daniel was taken to Babylon at this time.EB 389.1

    36. Necho, learning of this invasion of his dominion, could not allow such an assumption to go undisputed. Therefore, “in the fourth year of Jehoiakim” he came out of Egypt on an expedition against Babylon. He went no farther than Carchemish, however, for there he was met by Nebuchadnezzar. While his army was at Carchemish, before the battle, Jeremiah of Anathoth spake the word of the Lord concerning the battle, saying, “Order ye the buckler and shield, and draw near to battle. Harness the horses, and get up, ye horsemen, and stand forth with your helmets; furbish the spears, put on the coats of mail.EB 389.2

    37. “Wherefore have I seen it ? they are dismayed and are turned backward; and their mighty ones are beaten down, and are fled apace, and look not back: terror is on every side, saith the Lord. Let not the swift flee away, nor the mighty man escape; in the north by the River Euphrates have they stumbled and fallen.EB 389.3

    38. “Who is this that riseth up like the Nile, whose waters toss themselves like the rivers ? Egypt riseth up like the Nile, and his waters toss themselves like the rivers: and he saith, I will rise up, I will cover the earth; I will destroy the city and the inhabitants thereof.EB 389.4

    39. “Go up, ye horses; and rage, ye chariots; and let the mighty men go forth: Cush and Put, that handle the shield; and the Ludim, that handle and bend the bow. For that day is a day of the Lord, the Lord of Hosts, a day of vengeance, that He may avenge Him of His adversaries: ... for the Lord, the Lord of Hosts, hath a sacrifice in the north country by the River Euphrates.EB 390.1

    40. “Go up into Gilead, and take balm, O virgin daughter of Egypt: in vain dost thou use many medicines; there is no healing for thee. The nations have heard of thy shame, and the earth is full of thy cry: for the mighty man hath stumbled against the mighty, they are fallen both of them together.” 14[Page 390] Jeremiah 46:3-12 R. V.EB 390.2

    41. “Necho was overcome and put to flight: one single battle stripped him of all his conquests, and compelled him to retire into Egypt.”—Lenormant. 15[Page 390] “Manual of the Ancient History of the East,” book iii, chap 4. sec. iv par 11. “And the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land: for the king of Babylon had taken from the river of Egypt unto the River Euphrates all that pertained to the king of Egypt.” 16[Page 390] 2 Kings 24:7.EB 390.3

    42. Also in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, 606 B. C., the word of the Lord came by Jeremiah, stating definitely that Judah should be carried captive to Babylon, and that the captivity should continue for seventy years. The prophet relates how that from the thirteenth year of Josiah “even unto this day, that is the three and twentieth year, the word of the Lord” had come beseeching them to turn from all their iniquities, and they would not.EB 390.4

    43. “Therefore thus saith the Lord of Hosts; Because ye have not heard my words, behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the Lord, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against the land and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations.EB 390.5

    44. “Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle. And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.” 17[Page 391] Jeremiah 25:1-11.EB 391.1

    45. For this, Jeremiah was “shut up.” While he was shut up, he called to him Baruch, the son of Neriah, “and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the Lord, which He had spoken unto him, upon a roll of a book.” He then sent Baruch to the temple “upon the fasting day” to read to all the assembled people, that which was in the roll.EB 391.2

    46. In the fifth year of Jehoiakim, there was a fast proclaimed “in the ninth month.” And though Jeremiah had been released in the meantime, he again sent Baruch to read to all the assembled people, the same testimony. A certain Michaiah heard it, and went straight to the king’s house, to the scribe’s chamber, where he found “all the princes” sitting, and “declared unto them all the words that he had heard.” Then the princes sent Jehudi to bring Baruch with the roll which he had read. Baruch came, and they said to him, “Sit down now, and read it in our ears.” He did so; and when they had heard it all, “they were afraid both one and another, and said unto Baruch, We will surely tell the king all these words.”EB 391.3

    47. Before going to the king, they said to Baruch, “Tell us now, How didst thou write all these words at his mouth ? Then Baruch answered them, He pronounced all these words unto me with his mouth, and I wrote them with ink in the book. Then said the princes unto Baruch, Go, hide thee, thou and Jeremiah; and let no man know where ye be. And they went in to the king into the court, but they laid up the roll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe, and told all the words in the ears of the king.EB 391.4

    48. “So the king sent Jehudi to fetch the roll.” Jehudi brought it, and read it to the king and the princes. “Now the king sat in the winter house in the ninth month: and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him. And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth. Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words. Nevertheless Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah had made intercession to the king that he would not burn the roll: but he would not hear them.” The king also commanded men “to take Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet: but the Lord hid them.”EB 391.5

    49. Then the Lord commanded Jeremiah to take another roll and write again “all the former words,” that were in the roll that the king had burned. He was also commanded to say “to Jehoiakim king of Judah, Thus saith the Lord; Thou hast burned this roll, saying, Why hast thou written therein, saying, The king of Babylon shall certainly come and destroy this land, and shall cause to cease from thence man and beast ? Therefore thus saith the Lord, of Jehoiakim king of Judah: He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David; and his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost. And I will punish him and his seed and his servants for their iniquity; and I will bring upon them, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and upon the men of Judah, all the evil that I have pronounced against them; but they hearkened not.” 18[Page 392] Jeremiah 36.EB 392.1

    50. To Baruch who had written and read the testimony at first, the Lord said: “Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, unto thee, O Baruch; Thou didst say, Woe is me now! for the Lord hath added grief to my sorrow; I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest.... The Lord saith thus; Behold, that which I have built will I break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck up, even this whole land. And seekest thou great things for thyself ? seek them not: for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the Lord: but thy life will give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest.” 19[Page 392] Jeremiah 45.EB 392.2

    51. Jehoiakim was Nebuchadnezzar’s “servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him.” And “against him came up Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and bound him in fetters to carry him to Babylon.” 20[Page 393] 2 Kings 24:1; 2 Chronicles 36:6. Yet he was not carried to Babylon. For some cause not stated, he was released from the fetters and left in charge of the kingdom; for this was in his sixth year, and he reigned eleven years in all, and died at Jerusalem.EB 392.3

    52. About this time the Lord sent one more plea to the people to turn to righteousness that they might live, and that even yet the city might stand. Jeremiah was commanded to stand in the king’s gate, and in all the gates of Jerusalem, and proclaim: “Hear ye the word of the Lord, ye kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, that enter in by these gates: Thus saith the Lord; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.”EB 393.1

    53. “And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the Lord, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but hallow the Sabbath day, to do no work therein; then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain forever....EB 393.2

    54. “But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the Sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.” 21[Page 393] Jeremiah 17:20-27.EB 393.3

    55. But Jehoiakim was an oppressor of the people, and violent in his conduct, as well as a man who defied the Lord; and nothing could turn him. Therefore the word of the Lord came to him: “Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbor’s service without wages, and giveth him not for his work; that saith, I will build me a wide house and large chambers, and cutteth him out windows; and it is ceiled with cedar, and painted with vermilion.EB 393.4

    56. “Shalt thou reign, because thou closest thyself in cedar ? did not thy father eat and drink, and do judgment and justice, and then it was well with him ? He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with him: was not this to know me ? saith the Lord. But thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness, and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence, to do it.EB 394.1

    57. “Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah; They shall not lament for him, saying, Ah my brother! or, Ah sister! they shall not lament for him, saying, Ah lord!or, Ah his glory! He shall be buried with the burial of an ass, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem.” 22[Page 394] Jeremiah 22:13-19. Accordingly in the year 599 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar came again to Jerusalem, and “slew such as were in the flower of their age, and such as were of the greatest dignity, together with their king, Jehoiakim, whom he commanded to be thrown before the walls without any burial; and made his son Jehoiachin king of the country and of the city. He also took the principal persons in dignity for captives, three thousand in number, and led them away to Babylon; among whom was Ezekiel, who was then young.”—Josephus. 23[Page 394] “Antiquities,” book x, chap 6, par. 3.EB 394.2

    58. “Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, ... and he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord according to all that his fathers had done.” And the Lord said of him, “As I live, saith the Lord, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence; and I will give thee into the hand of them that seek thy life, and into the hand of them whose face thou fearest, even into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of the Chaldeans. And I will cast thee out, and thy mother that bare thee, into another country, where ye were not born; and there shall ye die. But to the land whereunto they desire to return, thither shall they not return.” 24[Page 394] Jeremiah 22:24-27.EB 394.3

    59. He reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem. And when the year 599 B. C. was expired, “the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it. And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his [Nebuchadnezzar’s] reign.EB 394.4

    60. “And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king’s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the Lord, as the Lord had said. And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valor, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.” “And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father’s brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah.” 25[Page 395] 2 Kings 24:10-14, 17.EB 395.1

    61. After Jeconiah and those others with him had been taken to Babylon, the Lord showed to Jeremiah in vision, two baskets of figs, “one basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.” Then said the Lord to him, “Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good.” “And as the evil figs which cannot be eaten, they are so evil, ... so will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land ... to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt.” 26[Page 395] Jeremiah 24.EB 395.2

    62. Zodekiah in his first year sent an embassy to Babylon. With the ambassadors there was sent the word of the Lord by Jeremiah, to the people who had been carried captive from Judah. They were told to build houses, and dwell in them; to plant gardens and eat the fruit of them; to take wives, and beget sons and daughters; to take wives for their sons, and give their daughters to husbands, that they might increase and not diminish; and seek the peace of the city where they were captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in the peace thereof they should find peace. “For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.”EB 395.3

    63. False prophets had risen up among those of the captivity, who were telling the captives that Jeremiah’s words were all wrong; that it was not true at all that they were to remain a long time in captivity, but, “Behold, the vessels of the Lord’s house shall now shortly be brought again from Babylon.” One of these false prophets, Shemaiah the Nehelamite, wrote a letter to all the people and all the priests in Jerusalem, and named a certain Zephaniah, to whom he said: “The Lord hath made thee priest in the stead of Jehoiada the priest, that ye should be officers in the house of the Lord, for every man that is mad, and maketh himself a prophet, that thou shouldest put him in prison, and in the stocks. Now therefore why hast thou not reproved Jeremiah of Anathoth, which maketh himself a prophet to you ? For therefore he sent unto us in Babylon, saying, This captivity is long: build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet.”EB 396.1

    64. To all the people in captivity the word of the Lord was sent by Jeremiah concerning these false prophets. “Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye caused to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the Lord.” “Hear ye therefore the word of the Lord, all ye of the captivity, whom I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon. Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, of Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and of Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, which prophesy a lie unto you in my name; Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; and he shall slay them before your eyes; and of them shall be taken up a curse by all the captivity of Judah which are in Babylon, saying, The Lord make thee like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire; because they have committed villainy in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives, and have spoken lying words in my name, which I have not commanded them; even I know, and am a witness, saith the Lord.... Shemaiah the Nehelamite ... shall not have a man to dwell among this people; neither shall he behold the good that I will do for my people, saith the Lord; because he hath taught rebellion against the Lord.” 27[Page 397] Jeremiah 20.EB 396.2

    65. In Jerusalem Jeremiah, as he passed about among the people, was wearing on his neck a wooden yoke as a sign to all the people that they would certainly have to bring their necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon. In the fourth year of Zedekiah, 595 B. C., in the temple, in the presence of the priests and all the people, a false prophet, named Hananiah, spoke thus to Jeremiah: “Thus speaketh the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. Within two full years will I bring again into this place all the vessels of the Lord’s house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place, and carried them to Babylon: and I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah, that went into Babylon, saith the Lord: for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.”EB 397.1

    66. Jeremiah answered, “Amen: the Lord do so: the Lord perform thy words which thou hast prophesied, to bring again the vessels of the Lord’s house, and all that is carried away captive, from Babylon into this place. Nevertheless hear thou now this word that I speak in thine ears, and in the ears of all the people; The prophets that have been before me and before thee of old prophesied both against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil,and of pestilence. The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the Lord hath truly sent him.EB 397.2

    67. “Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck, and brake it. And Hananiah spake in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years. And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.” Not long after this, Jeremiah was commanded, “Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Thou hast broken the yokes of wood; but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron. For thus saith the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel; I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him.”EB 397.3

    68. Hananiah had made his prophecy cover “two full years.” The Lord comes inside of this, and tells what shall befall Hananiah “this year.” “Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The Lord hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie. Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the Lord. So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.” 28[Page 398] Jeremiah 28.EB 398.1

    69. Mattaniah had entered into a solemn covenant with Nebuchadnezzar before the Lord, and had taken an oath before the Lord, that he would be faithful to the king of Babylon. It was upon this that the king of Babylon had changed his name from Mattaniah to Zedekiah. The word “Zedekiah” means “the judgment of Jehovah.” And when under the obligations of a solemn covenant and oath he accepted this name, in this he voluntarily subjected himself to the judgment of the Lord if he should violate his oath and break his covenant with the king of Babylon. Yet for all this, Zedekiah was restless under the Babylonian power, and willingly listened to the false prophets.EB 398.2

    70. Therefore the word of the Lord was spoken of Zedekiah, “Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live. 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?” Also at the same time the word was spoken to the priests, that they should not listen to the prophets who were saying that the vessels of the house of the Lord should “now shortly be brought again from Babylon.” “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. 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, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took not, when he carried away captive Jeconiah, ... 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.” 29[Page 399] Jeremiah 27:12-24.EB 398.3

    71. In “the fifth year of king Jeholachin’s captivity,” 594 B. C., which was also the fifth year of Zedekiah’s reign, Ezekiel, who was among the captives by the River Chebar—the Khabour—had his first visions as recorded in the first seven chapters of his prophecies. Concerning Jerusalem, he was commanded to portray it upon a tile, “and lay siege against it, and build a fort against it, and cast a mount against it.” He was also to take water and “wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and fitches,” and was to drink the water by measure,—a “sixth part of an hin;”and eat the food by weight—“twenty shekels a day.” By this he was to show to all, the siege that would be laid against Jerusalem in fact, and the straits into which the besieged would be brought for food and drink.EB 399.1

    72. At the same time he was commanded to proclaim” unto the land of Israel: An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land.... An end is come, the end is come; it watcheth for thee; behold, it is come. The morning is come unto thee, O thou that dwellest in the land: the time is come, the day of trouble is near, and not the echo of the mountains.... The time is come, the day draweth near: let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn: for wrath is upon all the multitude thereof. For the seller shall not return to that which is sold, although they were yet alive: for the vision is touching the whole multitude thereof, which shall not return.... They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord.... Make a chain: for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence.... Destruction cometh; and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none.” 30[Page 400] Ezekiel 4 and 7.EB 399.2

    73. In the sixth year, 593 B. C., in the sixth month, Ezekiel saw the visions of chapters eight to nineteen of his prophecies. He was taken in vision to Jerusalem, and was shown what was being done there. First he saw in the entry of the very gate of the altar before the temple “the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy”—supposed to be an image of Astarte.EB 400.1

    74. He was told to turn and he would see greater abominations. He was caused to pass through a hole in the wall, to a door; and was commanded to enter. “So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about. And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up.”EB 400.2

    75. He was told to turn again, and he would see yet greater abominations. “Then He brought me to the gate of the Lord’s house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.”EB 400.3

    76. He was told to turn yet again, and he would see greater abominations than these. “And He brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and they worshiped the sum toward the east.EB 400.4

    77. “Then He said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? It is a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.... He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand. And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brazen altar. 78. “And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon He was, to the threshold of the house. And He called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side; and the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through eh midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.EB 400.5

    79. “And to the others He said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.” 31[Page 401] Ezekiel 8 and 9.EB 401.1

    80. “Moreover the Spirit lifted me up, and brought me unto the east gate of the Lord’s house, which looketh eastward: and behold at the door of the gate five and twenty men; among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people. Then said He unto me, Son of man, these are the men that devise mischief, and give wicked counsel in this city.” 32[Page 401] Ezekiel 11:1, 2.EB 401.2

    81. Some time afterward the prophet was commanded, “Bring forth thy stuff by day in their sight, as stuff for removing: and thou shalt go forth at even in their sight, as they that go forth into captivity. Dig thou through the wall in their sight, and carry out thereby. In their sight shalt thou bear it upon thy shoulders, and carry it forth in the twilight: thou shalt cover thy face, that thou see not the ground: for I have set thee for a sign unto the house of Israel.”EB 401.3

    82. While Ezekiel was doing this, the people said to him, “What doest thou?” He answered, “Thus saith the Lord God; This burden concerneth the prince in Jerusalem, and all the house of Israel that are among them. Say, I am your sign: like as I have done, so shall it be done unto them: they shall remove and go into captivity. And the prince that is among them shall bear upon his shoulder in the twilight, and shall go forth: they shall dig through the wall to carry out thereby: he shall cover his face, that he see not the ground with his eyes. My net also will I spread upon him, and he shall be taken in my snare: and I will bring him to Babylon to the land of the Chaldeans; yet shall he not see, it, though he shall die there.” 33[Page 402] Ezekiel 12:3-23.EB 402.1

    83. In Jerusalem, Zedekiah “humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the Lord;” but early in this same year, 593 B. C., he “rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the Lord God of Israel. Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the Lord which He had hallowed in Jerusalem.” 34[Page 402] 2 Chronicles 36:12-14. He sent ambassadors into Egypt and secured an alliance with that power.EB 402.2

    84. Then came the word of the Lord by Ezekiel concerning this, and he was commanded to tell the people, “Behold, the king of Babylon is come to Jerusalem, and hath taken the king thereof, and the princes thereof, and led them with him to Babylon; and hath taken of the king’s seed and made a covenant with him, and hath taken an oath of him: he hath also taken the mighty of the land: that the kingdom might be base, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping of his convenant it might stand.EB 402.3

    85. “But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and much people. Shall he prosper? shall he escape that doeth such things? or shall he break the convenant and be delivered? As I live, saith the Lord God, surely in the place where the king dwelleth that made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose convenant he brake, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die.EB 402.4

    86. “Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company make for him in the war, by casting up mounts, and building forts, to cut off many persons: seeing he despised the oath by breaking the convenant when lo, he had given his hand, and hath done all these things, he shall not escape. Therefore thus saith the Lord God; As I live, surely mine oath that he hath despised, and my convenant that he hath broken, even it will I recompense upon his own head. And I will spread my net upon him, and he shall be taken in my snare, and I will bring him to Babylon, and will plead with him there for his trespass that the hath trespassed against me.” 35[Page 403] Ezekiel 17:12-20.EB 403.1

    87. In the seventh year of Zedekiah’s reign, 592 B. C., in the fifth month, and the tenth day of the month, there came to Ezekiel the word recorded in chapters twenty to twenty-three inclusive. At this time the prophet was commanded to prophesy, “Thus saith the Lord; Say, A sword, a sword is sharpened, and also furbished: it is sharpened to make a sore slaughter; it is furbished that it may glitter: should we then make mirth? ... Cry and howl, son of man: for it shall be upon my people, it shall be upon all the princes of Israel: terrors by reason of the sword shall be upon my people: smite therefore upon thy thigh.... Thou therefore, son of man, prophesy,a and smite thine hands together, and let the sword be doubled the third time.EB 403.2

    88. “Also, thou son of man, appoint thee two ways, that the sword of the king of Babylon may come: both twain shall come forth out of one land: and choose thou a place, choose it at the head of the way to the city. Appoint a way, that the sword may come to Rabbath of the Ammonites, and to Judah in Jerusalem the defenced.EB 403.3

    89. “For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he made his arrows bright, he consulted with images, he looked in the liver. At his right hand was the divination for Jerusalem, to appoint captains, to open the mouth in the slaughter, to lift up the voice with shouting, to appoint battering-rams against the gates, to cast a mount, and to build a fort.”EB 403.4

    90. “And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, Thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him.” 36[Page 404] Ezekiel 21:9-27.EB 404.1

    91. In the ninth year of Zedekiah, 590 B. C., in the tenth day of the month, came the word written in the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth chapters of Ezekiel. That day the Lord said to Ezekiel, “Son of man, write thee the name of the day, even of this same day: the king of Babylon set himself against Jerusalem this same day.” 37[Page 404] Ezekiel 24:1, 2. “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 they besieged it.” 38[Page 404] Jeremiah 39:1; 52:4, 5. 92. When the siege was set, Zedekiah sent two men to Jeremiah, saying, “Inquire, I pray thee, of the Lord for us; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon maketh war against us; if so be that the Lord will deal with us according to all His wondrous works, that he may go up from us.” The Lord’s answer was, “Thus saith the Lord God of Israel; Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, wherewith ye fight against the king of Babylon, and against the Chaldeans, which besiege you without the walls, and I will assemble them in the midst of this city. And I myself will fight against you.... I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, ... into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life....EB 404.2

    93. “And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death. He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for prey. For I have set my face against this city for evil, and not for good, saith the Lord: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.” 39[Page 405] Jeremiah 21:1-10.EB 404.3

    94. In conformity to Zedekiah’s alliance with Egypt, Pharaoh’s army now came “forth out of Egypt: and when the Chaldeans that besieged Jerusalem heard tidings of them, they departed from Jerusalem.” Then Zedekiah sent two men to Jeremiah to say, “Pray now unto the Lord our God for us.” “Then came the word of the Lord unto the prophet Jeremiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say to the king of Judah, that sent you unto me to inquire of me; Behold, Pharaoh’s army, which is come forth to help you, shall return to Egypt into their own land. And the Chaldeans shall come again, and fight against this city, and take it, and burn it with fire. Thus saith the Lord; Deceive not yourselves, saying, The Chaldeans shall surely depart from us: for they shall not depart. For though ye had smitten the whole army of the Chaldeans that fight against you, and there remained but wounded men among them, yet should they rise up every man in his tent, and burn this city with fire.” 40[Page 405] Jeremiah 37:3-10.EB 405.1

    95. “When the army of the Chaldeans was broken up from Jerusalem for fear of Pharaoh’s army,” Jeremiah started to go out of Jerusalem to the land of Benjamin. But as he was passing through the gate of Benjamin, a captain of the ward who was there, arrested him, saying, “Thou fallest away to the Chaldeans. Then said Jeremiah, It is false; I fall not away to the Chaldeans. But the officer would not believe him and took him before the princes, under this false charge. “Wherefore the princes were wroth with Jeremiah, and smote him, and put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe: for they had made that the prison.”EB 405.2

    96. Zedekiah sent and took Jeremiah out of the prison, and “asked him secretly in his house and said, Is there any word from the Lord? And Jeremiah said There is: for, said he, thou shalt be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon.... What have I offended against thee, or against thy servants, or against this people, that ye have put me in prison? Where now are your prophets which prophesied unto you, saying, The king of Babylon shall not come against you, nor against this land?” Jeremiah asked that he should not be sent back to the house of Jonathan the scribe, lest he die there. Zedekiah commanded that he should be committed only “into the court of the prison; and that they should give him daily a piece of bread out of the bakers’ street, until all the bread in the city were spent. Thus Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison.”EB 405.3

    97. The words that Jeremiah had spoken, calling upon the people to go out and give themselves up to the king of Babylon, and live, had spread generally throughout the city. The princes heard it, and they said to the king: “We beseech thee, let this men be put to death: for thus he weakeneth the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words unto them: for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt. Then Zedekiah the king said, Behold, he is in your hand; for the king is not he that can do anything against you.EB 406.1

    98. “Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire,” and “he stood up to the neck in the mire, which was all about him.”—Josephus. 41[Page 406] “Antiquities,” book x, chap 7, par 5. But Ebed-melech, an Ethiopian eunuch of the king’s house, came to the king and told him what the princes had done with Jeremiah: and that he was “like to die” in the place where he was.EB 406.2

    99. The king told Ebed-melech to take thirty men with him, and draw up Jeremiah from the dungeon. Ebed-melech went with the thirty helpers to the dungeon, and with cords let down some old cast off and rotten rags, and told Jeremiah to put these in his armpits between his arms and the cords which he was to put around his body; “and Jeremiah did so. So they drew up Jeremiah with cords, and took him up out of the dungeon: and Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison.”EB 406.3

    100. Then the king sent and had Jeremiah brought “unto him into the third entry that is in the house of the Lord: and the king said unto Jeremiah, I will ask thee a thing; hide nothing from me. Jeremiah told him, “Thus saith the Lord, the God of Hosts, the God Israel: If thou wilt assuredly go forth unto the king of Babylon’s princes, then thy soul shall live,and this city shall not be burned with fire....But if thou wilt not go forth to the king of Babylon’s princes, then shall this city be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and thou shalt not escape out of their hand.”EB 407.1

    101. The king said, “I am afraid of the Jews that are fallen to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hand, and they mock me. But Jeremiah said, They shall not deliver thee. Obey, I beseech thee, the voice of the Lord. Which I speak unto thee: so it shall be well unto thee, and thy soul shall live. But if thou refuse to go forth, this is the word that the Lord hath showed me: and, behold, all the women that are left in the king of Judah’s house shall be brought forth to the king of Babylon’s princes, and those women shall say, Thy friends have set thee on, and have prevailed against thee: thy feet are sunk in the mire, and they are turned away back. So they shall bring out all thy wives and thy children to the Chaldeans: and thou shalt not escape out of their hand but shalt be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon: and thou shalt cause this city to be burned with fire.” 42[Page 407] Jeremiah 38:1-23.EB 407.2

    102. After the king of Babylon had departed from Jerusalem upon the tidings of the coming of Pharaoh’s army, “he met the Egyptians, and joined battle with them, and beat them. And when he had put them to flight, he pursued them, and drove them out of all Syria.”—Josephus. 43[Page 407] “Antiquities,” book x chap 7. par. 8. Before the army had left Jerusalem to meet Pharaoh, Zedekiah and all the people had entered into a convenant to obey the word of the Lord as to “the seventh year, the year of release,” “that every man should let his man servant, and every man his maid servant, being an Hebrew or an Hebrewess, go free.” Accordingly all had done so. But when the army left Jerusalem, the false prophets broke forth again, declaring that the city was delivered. Then they turned “and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom he had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection.”EB 407.3

    103. Upon this the Lord said, “Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbor: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the Lord, to the sword, to the pestilence and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth. And I will give the men that have transgressed my convenant, which have not performed the words of the convenant which they had made before me, ... I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life: and their dead bodies shall be for meat unto the fowls of the heaven, and to the beasts of the earth.EB 408.1

    104. “And Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes will I give into ... the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, which are gone up from you. Behold, I will command, saith the Lord, and cause them to return to this city; and they shall fight against it, and take it, and burn it with fire: and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation without an inhabitant.” And to Zedekiah personally He said, “Thou shall not escape out of his hand, but shalt surely be taken, and delivered into his hand; and thine eyes shall behold the eyes of the king of Babylon, and he shall speak with thee mouth to mouth, and thou shalt go to Babylon.” 44[Page 408] Jeremiah 34.EB 408.2

    105. In the tenth year of Zedekiah, 589 B. C., the Babylonian army returned and entered anew upon the siege of Jerusalem. 45[Page 408] Jeremiah 32:1, 2. “So the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of King Zedekiah [588 B. C.]. And in the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the famine was sore in the city, so that there was no bread for the people of the land.” Then “the city was broken up. And all the princes of the king of Babylon came in, and sat in the middle of the gate, even Nergal-sharezer, Samgar-nebo, Sarsechim, Rabsaris, Nergal-sharezer [the] Rab-mag, with all the residue of the princes of the king of Babylon.EB 408.3

    106. “And it came to pass, that when Zedekiah the king of Judah saw them, and all the men of war, then they fled, and went forth out of the city by night, by the way of the king’s garden, by the gate betwixt two walls: and he went out the way of the plain.” “But the army of the Chaldeans pursued after the king, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho; and all his army was scattered from him. Then they took the king, and carried him up unto the king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath; where he gave judgment upon him. And the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes: he slew also all the princes of Judah in Riblah. Then he put out the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him in chains, and carried him to Babylon, and put him in prison till the day of his death.” 46[Page 409] Jeremiah 32:3-11; 39:1, 7.EB 409.1

    107. “And the Chaldeans burned the king’s house, and the houses of the people, with fire, and brake down the walls of Jerusalem. Then Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard carried captive into Babylon the remnant of the people that remained in the city, and those that fell away, that fell to him, with rest of the people that remained. But Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard left of the poor of the people, which had nothing, in the land of Judah and gave them vineyards and fields, at the same time.EB 409.2

    108. “Now Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard, saying. Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but to unto him even as he shall say unto thee. So Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard sent and Nebushasban [the] Rab-saris and Nergalsharezer [the] Rab-mag, and all the king of Babylon’s princes; even they sent, and took Jeremiah out of the court of the prison.”EB 409.3

    109. “And the captain of the guard took Jeremiah, and said unto him, The Lord thy God hath pronounced this evil upon this place. Now the Lord hath brought it, and done according as He hath said: because ye have sinned against the Lord, and have not obeyed His voice, therefore this thing is come upon you. And now, behold, I loose thee this day from the chains which were upon thine 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 convenient for thee to go, thither go.... So the captain of the guard gave him victuals and a reward, and let him go. Then went Jeremiah unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah: and dwelt with him among the people that were left in the land.” 47[Page 410] Jeremiah 39:8-14; 40:1-6.EB 409.4

    110. “The pillars of brass that were in the house of the Lord, and the bases, and the brazen sea that was in the house of the Lord, the Chaldeans brake and carried all the brass of them to Babylon.” “And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon. And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. And them that had escaped from the sword, carried he away to Babylon.” “So Judah was carried away out of their land.” 48[Page 410] Jeremiah 52:17; 2 Chronicles 36:18-22; 2 Kings 23:21.EB 410.1

    111. As Israel had cried out in sorrow, “We have no king,” and had gone into captivity; so now likewise Judah was obliged to acknowledge that she had no king, and must go mournfully into captivity. Such, so far, is the fruit of their persistent cry to Samuel, “We will have a king.”EB 410.2

    112. With all other things only equal, how could it possibly have been worse, had they never desired any king or ruler but God; nor any government but that of God alone? But, oh, with all things in their favor, how infinitely different would have been the record, had they but been faithful in allegiance to God as their only King, their only Ruler, their only Lawgiver; and so had not been reckoned among the nations.”EB 410.3

    113. And it is pertinent to inquire, even at this late day of the nineteenth century, Will mankind—yea, will the professed people of God,—ever learn this important lesson?EB 410.4

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