Jeremiah 40

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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.

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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
Behind, or after, (Gen. 16:13), signifies within or above, or an interior or superior principle.

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.

see
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

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...

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...

given
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

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
'Middle' denotes what is primary, principal, or inmost.

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
'To hearken to father and mother,' as mentioned in Genesis 28:7, signifies obedience from affection. 'To hearken,' as mentioned in Genesis 30:22, signifies providence. See...

women
The word "woman" is used a number of different ways in the Bible – as a simple description, as someone connected to a man ("his...

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...

swore
The Lord swearing by himself signifies that divine truth testifies, for He is divine truth itself, and this testifies from itself and means itself. It...

fear
The fearful signify people who have no faith.

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...

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...

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.

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

places
'A dry place,' as in Luke 11:24, signifies states of evil and falsity which are in the life of someone who does the work of...

gathered
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...

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
'The smitten' signify people who are oppressed by the falsities of ignorance.

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"...

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 Jeremiah and the Babylonians
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14


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