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Day 1: Jeremiah 19:1-20:18, Daniel 1:1-21

Day 2: Daniel 2:1-3:30, Jeremiah 7:1-8:3

Day 3: Jeremiah 8:4-11:23

Day 4: Jeremiah 12:1-15:21

Day 5: Jeremiah 16:1-18:23, Jeremiah 35:1-19

Day 6: Jeremiah 49:1-33, 2 Kings 24:5-7, 2 Chronicles 36:6-8, 2 Kings 24:8-9, 2 Chronicles 36:9, Jeremiah 22:24-23:32

Day 7: Jeremiah 23:33-24:10, Jeremiah 29:1-31:14


Hard Questions

  1. (Jer. 19:12-13) “Thus will I do unto this place, saith the LORD, and to the inhabitants thereof, and even make this city as Tophet: And the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah, shall be defiled as the place of Tophet, because of all the houses upon whose roofs they have burned incense unto all the host of heaven, and have poured out drink offerings unto other gods.” What is all of this about Tophet? Well, Tophet has a history. According to 2 Kings 23:10, King Josiah defiled the valley, so that no one could make his son or daughter pass through the fire for Molech there. King Ahaz burned his children in the fire there (2 Chron. 28:3), as did Manasseh (33:6). It was a place of burning—specifically the burning of children. Jeremiah’s message here is that God is sending a terrible judgment on Jerusalem, especially upon the kings of Judah, and that Jerusalem will become like Tophet, with children burned alive in their houses and Jerusalem an entrance to hell. This is harsh, but it’s also an advance warning, and avoidable; God had spared His people before when they repented.
  2. (Jer. 31:15) “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more.” Rachel is the mother of the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin. Jeremiah is likely referring to the grief at the captivity of the northern tribes (though likely also that to come, of the southern tribes), because God says that He has compassion on Ephraim, and that Israel will return to Him. He’s talking about bringing His people back from exile. Matthew later uses this verse to refer to the weeping over the children of Bethlehem (which was in a different tribal territory than Ramah), to show that Herod’s cruelty had been foreshadowed, though the original passage dealt with a different set of circumstances. Sometimes we see the prophecies with an immediate context and then a messianic or apocalyptic context.
  3. Daniel. He’s probably a eunuch. Some hints to this end:
  4. Isaiah’s prophecy in 2 Kings 20:17-18, that some of Hezekiah’s sons will be carried away to Babylon and made eunuchs. Daniel is a descendant of the royal house, “of the sons of Judah.”
  5. He’s given to the chief of eunuchs, who assigns him a new name. He’s a possession. Also, if the chief of eunuchs is your chief, you’re probably a eunuch. It’s not an absolute certainty, but it’s pretty likely.
  6. In Daniel 5, the queen of Babylon is much more familiar with Daniel than the king is. That wouldn’t be particularly likely if he had been left whole.
  7. Daniel is never documented as having a wife or children. When he’s arrested by Darius, he seems to be living by himself. Also, when the Babylonian officials, and, later, the Persian ones, conspire against him, they never try to go after his family.
  8. So what? It’s incredible that he’s never bitter, and it makes the last chapters of Daniel especially tender, as the angel touches him several times and calls him “man greatly beloved.” He has a hope, even if he has no earthly future.
  9. (Jer, 7:16; 11:14; 14:11) Why is Jeremiah repeatedly commanded not to pray for the people? It will do no good; Israel has stayed so hard of heart for so long that they have passed the point of no return. Their exile is coming, no matter what. God’s sparing Jeremiah’s heart, in a way.


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