Jeremiah 40

Study the Inner Meaning

English: Darby Version         

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1 The word that came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, after that Nebuzar-adan the captain of the body-guard had let him go from Ramah, when he had taken him, being bound in chains, among all the captivity of Jerusalem and Judah, that were carried away captive to Babylon.

2 And the captain of the body-guard took Jeremiah, and said unto him, Jehovah thy God pronounced this evil upon this place,

3 and Jehovah hath brought [it about] and done according as he said; for ye have sinned against Jehovah, and have not hearkened unto his voice, therefore this thing is come upon you.

4 And now, behold, I loose thee this day from the chains that are upon thy hand. If it seem good in thy sight to come with me to Babylon, come, and I will keep mine eye upon thee; but if it seem ill unto thee to come with me to Babylon, forbear. See, all the land is before thee: whither it seemeth good and right in thy sight to go, thither go.

5 And while he had not yet given answer; [he said,] Yea, go back to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon hath appointed over the cities of Judah, and abide with him in the midst of the people; or go wheresoever it seemeth right in thy sight to go. And the captain of the body-guard gave him provisions and a present, and let him go.

6 And Jeremiah came unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah, and abode with him among the people that remained in the land.

7 And all the captains of the forces that were in the fields, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam over the land, and had committed unto him men, and women, and children, and of the poor of the land, of them that had not been carried away captive to Babylon.

8 And they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah; even Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, and the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah the son of a Maachathite, they and their men.

9 And Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan swore unto them and to their men, saying, Fear not to serve the Chaldeans: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you.

10 And as for me, behold, I dwell at Mizpah, to stand before the Chaldeans, who will come unto us; and ye, gather wine, and summer fruits, and oil, and put [them] in your vessels, and dwell in your cities which ye have taken.

11 Likewise all the Jews that were in Moab, and among the children of Ammon and in Edom, and that were in all the lands, heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant in Judah, and that he had appointed over them Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan;

12 and all the Jews returned out of all the places whither they had been driven, and came to the land of Judah to Gedaliah, unto Mizpah, and gathered wine and summer fruits in great abundance.

13 And Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were in the fields, came to Gedaliah unto Mizpah,

14 and said unto him, Dost thou indeed know that Baalis the king of the children of Ammon hath sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to smite thee to death? But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam believed them not.

15 And Johanan the son of Kareah spoke to Gedaliah in Mizpah secretly, saying, Let me go, I pray thee, and I will smite Ishmael the son of Nethaniah and no man shall know it: why should he take thy life, and all they of Judah who are gathered unto thee be scattered, and the remnant of Judah perish?

16 But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said unto Johanan the son of Kareah, Thou shalt not do this thing; for thou speakest falsely of Ishmael.

← Jeremiah 39   Jeremiah 41 →
   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 106


Other references to this chapter:

Doctrine of the Lord 53

True Christian Religion 158

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:

Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Joshua 18:26

1 Samuel 26:8

2 Kings 25:22

2 Chronicles 16:1

Jeremiah 11:17, 22:8, 9, 27:11, 31:15, 39:9, 11, 14, 16, 41:1, 2, 10, 11, 42:1, 7, 43:2, 5, 6, 50:7

Lamentations 2:17

Word/Phrase Explanations

the Word
In general, we tend to be very aware of how knowing what's true leads to doing what is good. That starts as children, with parents...

Word
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

Jeremiah
Jeremiah, in the Book of Jeremiah 1:1 and what follows, represents the Lord. (Arcana Coelestia 2838 [2]). In Jeremiah 13:7, he signifies the state of...

jehovah
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

after
According to Swedenborg, time and space don’t exist in spiritual reality; they are purely natural things that exist only on the physical plane. This means...

Guard
‘To guard,’ when used as in Genesis 41:35, denotes ‘to store up.’ ‘Guards,’ as in Genesis 37:36, signify things that minister.

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

ramah
'Ramah' denotes things that pertain to spiritual truth derived from celestial truth.

Bound
Being bound, as in Genesis 42:16, denotes to be separated, for he who is kept b. is separated, viz., from the spiritual good, which is...

jerusalem
Jerusalem first comes to or attention in II Samuel, chapter 5 where King David takes it from the Jebusites and makes it his capital. In...

judah
City of Judah,' as in Isaiah 40:9, signifies the doctrine of love towards the Lord and love towards our neighbor in its whole extent.

babylon
Babylon was an ancient city built on the Euphrates river in what is now southern Iraq. It once was the capital of a great empire...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

God
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

evil
'Wickedness' signifies evil, and 'iniquity' signifies falsities.

place
'A room' or 'place' denotes state.

come
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

day
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

hand
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

good
It seems rather circular to say that “good” in the Bible represents good, but in a general sense it’s true! The case is this: The...

sight
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

eye
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

land
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

back
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

Gedaliah
Gedaliah, king of Babel, as in Jeremiah 41:1, 8, signifies the profanation of good and truth.

Son
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

cities
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

midst
The "midst" of something in the Bible represents the thing that is most central and most important to the spiritual state being described, the motivation...

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

captains
Captains and Rulers (Jer. 51:23) signifies principal evils and falsities. Captains and Rulers (Ezek 33:6) signifies principal truths. See Chief Captains.

Forces
Forces denote the power of truth.

fields
When we have a desire to be good people and to do good things, the natural first questions are "What does that mean?" "What should...

heard
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

Women
'Women,' as in Genesis 45:19, signify the affections of truth. But in Genesis 31:50, 'women' signify affections of not genuine truth, so not of the...

children
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

ishmael
'Ishmael' represents the first rationality pertaining to the Lord. 'Ishmael' signifies rationality separate from good. 'Ishmael' signifies the Lord's merely human rational. Ishmael, in Genesis...

sons
'Sons of the stranger' signify counterfeit truths, or falsities. 'Our sons' signify the doctrines of truth, and 'our daughters,' the doctrines of good, as in...

Fear not
Fear not, as in Revelation 1:17; Daniel 10:5, 12; Matthew 17:5, 7; 28:10, etc., signifies resuscitation to life, and at the same time adoration from...

Fear
Fear has various significations according to the thing which causes it. Fear signifies love. Fear, as in Gen 28:17, signifies a holy change.

serve
Generally speaking, those who are at lower levels of an organization serve those at higher levels. Bosses boss and their employees serve; coaches devise strategy...

chaldeans
Chaldea was a land lying along the Euphrates river near its mouth, south of Babylon, part of what is now southern Iraq. It was a...

dwell
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

mizpah
'Mizpah,' as in Genesis 31:49, signifies the quality of the Lord’s presence with people who are principled in the goods of works, or with the...

stand
'To stay with,' as in Genesis 32:4, relates to the life of truth when accompanied by good, and in this instance, it means to take...

Us
Because people are governed by angels and spirits, in Genesis 1:26 it says 'let us make man into our image.' But because the Lord alone...

gather
To gather, as in Genesis 6:21, refers to those things which are in the memory of man, where they are gathered. It also implies that...

Wine
In Revelation 18:13, 'wine, oil, flour, and wheat' signify celestial principles of worship.

summer
Summer' signifies the full state of the church, the same as 'noon.'

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

vessels
'Vessels,' in the internal sense, signify things serving as a receptacle, as scientific ideas and knowledges are to truths, and as truths themselves are to...

Moab
'Moab,' in a positive sense, signifies people who are in natural good, and allow themselves to be easily seduced, but in an opposite sense, it...

Ammon
Ammonite and Moabite ('Deuteronomy 23:3'), signify the profanation of the celestial and spiritual things of faith.

Edom
'Edom' or 'Idumea,' as in Isaiah 34:5, signifies those who are in evil and in falsities thence derived.

know
In a general sense, men represent things of the intellect – facts, ideas, knowledge, everything from the deepest truths to the most pernicious falsities about...

Sent
'Being sent' everywhere signifies, in an internal sense, going forth, as in John 17:8. In similar manner, it is said of the holy of the...

Smite
'To smite' signifies condemnation. 'To smite,' as in Genesis 14:15, signifies vindication. 'To smite,' as in Genesis 32:8, signifies destruction. 'To smite the earth with...

spoke
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

man
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

scattered
The meaning of "scatter" in the Bible is relatively literal, but it is used in regard to spiritual things, not natural ones. So to "scatter"...

Resources for parents and teachers

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 Jeremiah and the Babylonians
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14


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