Excerpts From My Paper, "Verse-by-Verse Studies Of Selected Prophetic Passages From The Book Of Jeremiah," Part 6
by Karl Kemp 5/18/2012 / Bible Studies
I'll quote from the "New American Standard Bible," 1995 edition, unless otherwise noted. Frequently I'll make comments in the middle of quotations in brackets [ ] or [[ ]] to make them more obvious.
In this last article we will discuss several key verses from Jeremiah chapters 48, 49, 50, and 51.
JEREMIAH 48:47; 49:6, 38, 39
These verses prophesy of God's salvation of the end-time remnants of Moab, Ammon, and Elam after His end-time judgment of the world. These three ancient nations are representative of the end-time remnant of the nations worldwide that God will save after His end-time judgment of the world. This remnant of the nations will enter the millennial kingdom pictured, for example, in Revelation chapter 20.
I listed these verses, along with a large number of other verses, under the heading "Some Passages that Demonstrate that God Will Leave Many People from the Nations after His End-Time Judgment (at the end of Daniel's 70th week); this remnant of the nations will enter the millennial kingdom, and they (at least many of them) will be converted. [Those who don't repent and submit to the Lord Jesus Christ and stay faithful to Him will be removed by judgment.] Ultimately the nations will have a place in God's eternal kingdom (which starts after the millennium)" in my paper titled, "A Verse-by-Verse Study of Six Important Eschatological Chapters of the New Testament: 1 Corinthians 15; Matthew 24, 25; and Revelation 20-22," dated November 1998. This heading covers pages 97-105. On my internet site this heading is contained in the article titled, "More Regarding God's Salvation Plans for the Nations," on pages 5-11.
These verses (Jer. 48:47; 49:6, 38, 39) rather clearly prophesy of God's end-time salvation of the remnant of the nations (which is a familiar theme in the book of Jeremiah; see under Jer. 3:17 for a start; and see the reference cited in the preceding paragraph; cf. Jer. 12:14-17), but they are set in contexts that deal mostly with the judgments that took place at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians (cf., e.g., Jer. 25:21). These verses mention the salvation of the remnants of Moab (Jeremiah chapter 48 deals exclusively with God's judgment of Moab through the Babylonians except for the last verse, which I'll quote as we continue.), Ammon, and Elam after judgment, especially referring to God's end-time judgment of the world that will leave a worldwide remnant of the nations. (Edom, the tribe of Kedar, the kingdoms of Hazor, and the city of Damascus are also mentioned in Jeremiah chapter 49.) Elam, which was a country located east of Babylon in what is now southern Iran, is something of an exception in that apparently it was not attacked by Nebuchadnezzar. (I had a footnote: Elam had been conquered by the Assyrians in 640 BC, and later it became united with Media and then Persia. The Elamites were noted for their skill with the bow [cf. Isa. 22:6.] The capital city of Elam was Susa.)
Jeremiah 48:47. " 'Yet I will restore the fortunes of [[These words ("I will restore the fortunes of"), which are used for the end-time remnants of Moab, Ammon, and Elam in Jeremiah chapters 49, 50 (these three nations are representative of all nations), are used several times in the book of Jeremiah of God's salvation of the end-time remnants of Israel/Judah (see under Jer. 30:3). The repentant end-time remnant of the nations will be saved with a very full salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ, but true Israel will reign (cf., e.g., Rev. 3:21; 5:10; 20:4; and 22:5).]] Moab In the latter days [[These words help confirm that the fulfillment of these prophetic words will come to pass at the end of this age. I'll quote what Merrill Unger says under this verse ("Unger's Commentary on the Old Testament," page 1455, "A territorial restoration of a remnant of Moab is promised in the latter days (âJer. 49:6, 39), that is, in millennial times. Where such a remnant is, or how the LORD is going to accomplish such a restoration, we do not know. We do know He will fulfill His own Word in His own omniscient and omnipotent way." I'll quote what H. A. Ironsides says here ("Jeremiah" [Loizeaux Brothers, 1986 printing of 1906 book], page 264), "In the millennium, when the Lord, in His own times, shall show who is that blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, Moab shall rejoice with His people, a remnant being spared to enter into the world-kingdom of our God and His Christ." I'll also quote what Arno C. Gaebelein says here ("Gaebelein's Concise Commentary" [Loizeaux Brothers, 1970, 1985], page 597), "The last verse speaks of a territorial restoration of Moab, not of a restitution of that wicked generation, as some teach. We do not know where a remnant of Moab is today, to possess in millennial times their former land; nor do we know how the Lord is going to accomplish it. But we know He will fulfill His own word and we do not need to invent some scheme of how it will be done.")]],' declares the LORD [Yahweh]. Thus far the judgment on Moab." "Here ends the judgment on Moab" NIV. Compare Jer. 51:64. As I mentioned, all of Jeremiah chapter 48 deals with God's judgment of Moab.
Jeremiah 49:6. " 'But afterward I will restore The fortunes of the sons of Ammon [See above under Jer. 48:47. I'll quote what Merrill Unger says here (page 1456). "As in the case of Moab (Jer. 48:47), the prophecy ends with a promise of restoration, apparently - as in Moab's case - in the millennial Kingdom (v. 39)." I'll also quote what Arno Gaebelein says here (page 598). "Where is Ammon today? In what tribe or nation is a remnant preserved? Only the Omniscient One knows. But their captivity, like that of Moab, will be brought back again in the days when Israel becomes the head of the nations."],' declares the LORD [Yahweh]."
Jeremiah 49:38, 39. " 'Then I will set My throne [which means that God (mostly in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ) will begin to fully reign there, as He will worldwide.] in Elam And destroy out of it king and princes' [[The main idea here is that God must remove those reigning in the nations so that He Himself and His people, true Israel, can reign over the repentant remnant of the nations. I'll quote what Merrill Unger says here (page 1459). "Promise of blessing in the latter days (48:47) comprehends millennial times, when Israel will be restored and the nations blessed through her." I'll also quote part of what A. R. Fausset says here ("Commentary on Old and New Testaments," by R. Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and D. Brown, Vol. 2 [Eerdmans reprint, 1984], page 167), "God will soon set up His throne on earth (v. 38), and make all men to know that the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. The issue [outcome] of the conflict between light and darkness is not doubtful. All the events of history and politics are, in spite of the intrigues of ambitious and unscrupulous men, and the commotions of earthly affairs, being overruled to the grand end of setting up the throne of Him to whom the kingdom of right belongs. Let us see that we are decidedly on the Lord's side, and, let us by faith see Him who is invisible to the men of the world, and look for the blessed day when His people shall see Him in glory, and at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow."]] Declares the LORD [Yahweh]. (39) 'But it will come about in the last days That I will restore the fortunes of Elam [see above under Jer. 48:47],' Declares the LORD [Yahweh]."
JEREMIAH CHAPTER 50
This entire chapter is discussed verse-by-verse in the original article that is available on my internet site (Google to Karl Kemp Teaching), but I'll just quote and discuss Jer. 50:44-46 in these excerpts. See the introductory comments at the beginning of Part 1 of these excerpts on Jeremiah chapters 50, 51.
(44) [See Jer. 49:19-21, which are quite similar to Jer. 50:44-46.] " 'Behold, one will come up like a lion from the thicket of the Jordan to a perennially watered pasture [["to a rich pastureland" NIV; "perennial pasture" NRSV. The perennial pasture represents the Babylonian world-kingdom here. Apparently the one who will come up like a lion represents God (I had a footnote: So J. A. Thompson; Jack R. Lundbom ("Jeremiah 37-52"); and F. B. Huey ("Jeremiah, Lamentations.") (cf. Jer. 25:30, 38). From our perspective we can see that it could represent God the Son, who is coming at the end of this age to reign over and judge the world.)]]; for in an instant I will make them [the Babylonians] run away from it, and whoever is chosen I will appoint over it. [The Lord Jesus Christ and the people of true Israel will reign over God's worldwide millennial kingdom (cf., e.g., Dan. 7:13, 14, 18, 22, 27; Matt. 5:5; Rom. 4:13; Rev. 1:6; 2:26, 27; 3:21; 5:10; 12:5; and 20:4-6). Then they will reign forever in His eternal kingdom (Rev. 22:5).] For who is like Me [cf. Isa. 46:9], and who will summon Me into court? And who then is the shepherd who can stand before Me ["Who is like me and who can challenge me? And what shepherd can stand against me? NIV]?' [[Verses 44-46 speak of God's destroying Babylon/the kingdom of this world. There is no shepherd (king/ruler, or religious leader, including Antichrist and the devil, who gives Antichrist "his power and his throne and great authority" [Rev. 13:2]), who can stand before God (very much including God the Son) or prevent His will from coming to pass. In his "Commentary on the Old Testament," Vol. 2 (page 1463), Merrill Unger speaks of Babylon's fall "prefiguring the crash of the satanic world system at the end time (Rev. 17:1â"20:3)."]] (45) Therefore hear the plan of the LORD [Yahweh] which He has planned against Babylon, and His purposes which He has purposed against the land of the Chaldeans [cf. Isa. 14:24]: surely they will drag them off, even the little ones of the flock; surely He will make their pasture desolate because of them. (46) At the shout, 'Babylon has been seized!' the earth is shaken [cf., e.g., Jer. 10:10], and an outcry is heard among the nations [cf. Jer. 51:54]."
JEREMIAH CHAPTER 51
This entire chapter is discussed verse-by-verse in the original article that is available on my internet site (Google to Karl Kemp Teaching), but I'll just quote and discuss Jer. 51:53-64 in these excerpts. See the introductory comments at the beginning of Part 1 of these excerpts on Jeremiah chapters 50, 51.
(53) " 'Though Babylon should ascend to the heavens [which includes Babylon's manifesting the root sin (and the devil's sin) of pride; cf. Gen. 11:4; Job 20:6; Isa. 2:11-22; 14:12-14; Jer. 49:16; Amos 9:2; Obad. 1:4; and 1 Tim. 3:6], And though she should fortify her lofty stronghold, From Me destroyers will come to her,' declares the LORD [Yahweh]. [No matter how impregnable and strong ancient Babylon or the kingdom of this world became/becomes with their defenses, weapons, arrogant boldness, and supernatural help of the devil (cf. Rev. 13:2-6), she quickly falls before God's judgments.] (54) [Many verses of Jeremiah chapters 50, 51 speak of the destruction of Babylon and the land of the Chaldeans/Babylonians, including almost every verse that follows to the end of chapter 51.] The sound of an outcry from Babylon [cf. Jer. 50:22, 46], And of great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans! (55) For the LORD [Yahweh] is going to destroy Babylon, And He will make her loud noise vanish from her. [After Babylon is destroyed and desolate by the judgment of God, it will be very quiet there (cf. Rev. 18:22, 23).] And their waves will roar like many waters [Compare Psalm 124:2-5. Apparently these words speak of the waves of enemy soldiers as they break over and totally destroy Babylon and the Babylonian kingdom (cf. verse 42).]; The tumult of their voices [the voices of those destroying Babylon] sounds forth. (56) For the destroyer [cf., e.g., Jer. 51:48, 53] is coming against her, against Babylon, And her mighty men will be captured, Their bows are shattered; For the LORD [Yahweh] is a God of recompense, He will fully repay [cf., e.g., Deut. 32:35; Psalm 94:1, 2; Jer. 50:15, 29; 51:6, 24, 35-37; Rev. 20:12-15; and 22:12, 15]. (57) 'I will make her princes and her wise men drunk [cf. Jer. 25:27; Babylon will drink of the cup of the wrath of God, and the world-kingdom (the kingdom of this world) will be totally destroyed], Her governors, her prefects and her mighty men, That they may sleep a perpetual sleep [cf. Jer. 51:39] and not wake up [In other words, they will be killed (cf. Psalm 76:5, 6).],' Declares the King, whose name is the LORD [Yahweh] of hosts [cf. Jer. 46:18; 48:15]. (58) Thus says the LORD [Yahweh] of hosts, 'The broad wall of Babylon will be completely razed ["Babylon's thick wall will be leveled" NIV; cf. Jer. 50:15] And her high gates will be set on fire ["When Cyrus took Babylon in 539 B.C., he did not demolish the city walls or burn the high gates with fire..." (Jack. R. Lundbom, "Jeremiah 37-52," page 499).]; So the peoples will toil for nothing, And the nations become exhausted [cf. Jer. 9:5; 51:64] only for fire.' [[The words of this verse look to the culmination as God judges the world at the end of this age. I'll quote Hab. 2:12-14 and make a few comments in brackets, "Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed And founds a town with violence! [The same woe applies to all the people who are committed to reject God and to live in sin, whether they are guilty of the sin of shedding innocent blood/violence, or not. The city being spoken of in the book of Habakkuk is Babylon, but the statement is general and applies to every such city (or town) and to the kingdom/city of this world that has the devil for its god (cf. 2 Cor. 4:4).] (13) Is it not indeed from the LORD [Yahweh] of hosts That peoples toil for fire, And nations grow weary for nothing? [The point is that those who continue to reject God, His truth, His righteousness, and His salvation are rebelling against what they were created for. At the end their works will be destroyed with fire, and they themselves will be removed from God's kingdom and cast into the eternal fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41; cf., e.g., Rev. 20:14, 15). But, on the other hand, those who repent and submit (in faith, from the heart) to God, to His Word, and to His plan of salvation will be saved now and will begin to experience eternal glory when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to glorify His own and to judge the world. The following verse in Habakkuk prophesies of the glories of God's eternal kingdom that will start to some extent with the millennial kingdom and be brought to completion in the eternal state that follows the millennial kingdom.] (14) For the earth [and especially the new earth with its new Jerusalem] will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD [Yahweh], As the waters cover the sea."]] (59) The message which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah [Compare Jer. 32:12 (This verse shows that Baruch, who was a scribe for Jeremiah [for one thing], was a brother of Seraiah; they had the same father and grandfather, Neriah and Mahseiah); 36:4; and 45:1], the grandson of Mahseiah [cf. Jer. 32:12], when he went with Zedekiah the king of Judah to Babylon in the fourth year of his reign [[594/593 BC. This journey is not mentioned anywhere else in the Bible. Zedekiah became king in 597 BC, at the age of 21, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. In the ninth year of his reign Nebuchadnezzar came and began a siege of Jerusalem; the city fell to the Babylonians in the eleventh year of his reign (cf. Jer. 52:1-16).]]. (Now Seraiah was quartermaster [["staff officer" NIV "...staff officer who was responsible for looking after the comfort of the king of Judah whenever he stopped for the night" [Charles Feinberg, "Expositor's Bible Commentary," Vol. 6, page 687]. J. A. Thompson points out that the Septuagint reads "officer of the (tribute) gifts."]].) (60) So Jeremiah wrote in a single scroll all the calamity which would come upon Babylon, that is, all these words which have been written concerning Babylon [cf. Jer. 30:2, 3; 36:1-32; and chapters 50, 51]. (61) Then Jeremiah said to Seraiah, 'As soon as you come to Babylon, then see that you read all these words aloud [cf. Jer. 36:5-10], (62) and say, "You, O LORD [Yahweh], have promised concerning this place [Babylon, ultimately the kingdom of this world, which is headed up by the devil] to cut it off, so that there will be nothing dwelling in it, whether man or beast [["animal" NIV. (Compare Jer. 50:3, "Both man and beast [animal] have wandered off, they have gone away.") Apparently this speaks of domesticated animals and does not include wild beasts (see the references cited at the end of this verse). The BDB Hebrew Lexicon shows that the Hebrew noun (behemah) translated "animals" by the NIV and "beasts" by the NASB is often used of domesticated animals in the Old Testament. The NASB translates behemah as "animal(s)" 60 times; as "cattle" 49 times; and as "beast(s)" 75 times.]], but it will be a perpetual desolation [cf. Isa. 13:1-22; 14:22, 23; Jer. 50:3, 13, 39, 40; and 51:26, 29, 37, 43]." (63) And as soon as you finish reading this scroll, you will tie a stone to it and throw it into the middle of the Euphrates, (64) and say, "Just so shall Babylon sink down and not rise again because of the calamity that I am going to bring upon her; and they will become exhausted [on exhausted, cf. verse 58]." ' Thus far are the words of Jeremiah." " 'Thus far [are the words of Jeremiah]' is a colophon or editorial note to mark off Jeremiah's own words from the appendix (chapter 52) which was taken from other historical sources (2 Kings 24-25)" (Donald Wiseman, "New Layman's Bible Commentary" [Zondervan, 1979], page 850.) "The chapter closes with, 'The words of Jeremiah end here.' J. Lundbom has pointed out that this phrase forms an inclusion with 1:1 that begins, 'The words of Jeremiah' " ( F. B. Huey, "Jeremiah, Lamentations" [Broadman Press, 1993], page 431.)
It is significant that Rev. 18:21 builds on these two verses. I'll quote Rev. 18:21-24, "Then a strong angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, 'So will Babylon, the great city [[God's end-time judgment of Babylon, the great harlot, is a major feature of His end-time judgment of the world: Some three chapters of the book of Revelation are devoted to her destruction (Rev. 14:8; 14-16; 16:19; and 17:1-19:4). Babylon, the great harlot, is a symbol for the world that embraces all the things the devil uses to seduce people from God to himself, including all false religion, which includes apostate Christianity. As Rev. 18:24 shows (cf. Rev. 17:6), she is also responsible for the "blood of prophets and saints and of all who have been slain on the earth." We can probably say that she was responsible for all the innocent blood that has been shed throughout the history of man.]], be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer. [[The words of this verse build on Jeremiah chapters 50, 51, including the emphasis on the total destruction and removal of Babylon with all of her evil, including her evil influences. And it seems obvious that the strong angel's throwing a stone like a great millstone into the sea here builds on what Seraiah was commanded to do in Jer. 51:60-64. These verses in the book of Revelation serve as a significant confirmation that the prophecy of Babylon's destruction in Jeremiah chapters 50, 51 goes far beyond God's judgment of the ancient Babylonian kingdom.]] (22) And the sound of harpists and musicians and flute-players and trumpeters will not be heard in you any longer; and no craftsman of any craft will be found in you any longer; and the sound of a mill will not be heard in you any longer; (23) and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the voice of the bridegroom and the bride will not be heard in you any longer; for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery.[Verses 22, 23 emphasize the point that the kingdom of this world with all of its activities that formerly took place (the activities mentioned here were not evil in themselves, but everything becomes evil when men live for those things instead of living for God, in His divine order) will be totally shut down through God's total judgment and removal of that kingdom. The only kingdom that will remain after God's end-time judgment of the world is God's kingdom. There was much literal occult sorcery in ancient Babylon and in the Babylon of the book of Revelation, but it seems that the primary idea behind the word "sorcery" here is that the peoples of the nations were/are deceived into thinking that the system of the world and money and the things that money can buy are something worth living for in themselves, and they become a substitute for the one true God.] (24) And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints and of all who have been slain on the earth." See above under Rev. 18:21. This one charge against the Babylon of the book of Revelation would be sufficient in itself to require the total removal of this evil kingdom that has existed throughout the history of man on the earth. And this charge is sufficient to demonstrate that this Babylon embraces much more than any literal city.
I'll quote part of what Arno Gaebelien says regarding chapters 50, 51 ("Gaebelein's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible" [Loizeaux Brothers, 1970, 1985], pages 599, 600). "...God's dealing in judgment is wonderfully told out, prophetic of that coming day when the Lord will deal with the world in judgment. This must be the reason why such an extended prophecy is given [in Jeremiah chapters 50, 51]. It all goes beyond the judgment of literal Babylon. [Then, after commenting on what Seraiah was commanded to do with the scroll in Jer. 51:59-64, Gaebelein quotes Rev. 18:21 and says:] That great predicted end of all God-defiance and opposition, typified by Babylon and its past glory, will surely come. ...."
I'll quote a paragraph from what Charles R. Erdman says here ("Books of Jeremiah and Lamentations" [Baker, 1955], page 102). "It is well to remember that Babylon was not only a city but also a symbol. It was, indeed, the mighty capital built by Nebuchadnezzar on the banks of the Euphrates [The city existed before Nebuchadnezzar, but he carried out extensive building projects.], the very embodiment of splendor and power, of cruelty and pride. Such was the historic and heartless foe of Israel. Yet, it also was the type of every tyrant or state or system which is opposed to God and is the enemy of His people."
I'll also quote part of what A. R. Fausett says here ("Commentary by Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown," Vol. 2, page 182): "God throws the persecutors of Israel and His Church 'as a stone into the mighty waters.' Those who, like Babylon, oppose the Lord and His people, shall sink under the weight of God's curse upon their sin, and shall not rise again forever (vv. 63, 64). The threats of God's judgments to come are as necessary parts of Scripture as the promises. Let us learn from both to serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear; so shall our eyes see, without our sharing in, the reward [wages] of the wicked (Psalm 91:8)."
Copyright by Karl Kemp
http://www.karlkempteachingministries.com Karl Kemp worked as an engineer in the space field throughout the 60s. He became a born-again Christian in 1964. He received an MA in Biblical Studies in 1972. He has been a Bible teacher for 45 years. See the website for more info on his books, papers, etc.