Devotional Commentary on Jeremiah 22


A pastiche is a composition made up from a selection from different works of literature. Jeremiah is such a writer. He loves citing from Moses and Isaiah and Micah. He should since they all talked the same language since the same Holy Spirit inspired all of them. Check and balances. Uniformity in truth, no growing truth like Walther Eichrodt tried to come up with in his two volumes of Old Testament theology, or polarizing conflict between Moses and Jeremiah as Fishbane in his research is out to show.


In this chapter, Jeremiah had a message to the palace. The king needs to hear what the Lord has to say (verse 1). The king, his servants and all people who come to him as guests needs to hear (verse 2).


A list of “ideal ruler” deeds are given: perform justice and charity; rescue the robbed from the hand of the robber; do no wrong to a stranger; do no wrong to an orphan; do no wrong to a widow; do no violence; shed no innocent blood.


An example of a heathen king that was very pious is Gudea who was born in the same year as Ishmael (2154 BCE, Genesis 21:5), the son of Abraham. The ideal king rules can also be found with him. He was ruler of Lagash and the following is said of him in the Cylinder B17: line 17 "He freed his thoughts, let his hands rest: (line 18) on the days the King moved into the Temple, (line 19) during seven days, (line 20) the maid-servant was equal to her mistress, (line 21) the slave and the lord went side by side 18: line 1. in his city the strong and the humble lay next to each other, (line 2) on the bad tongues (bad) words were changed (in good), (line 3) all evil of the temple is laid as[ide], (line 4) on the la[w of Nina] and Nin-[gir-sus] (line 5) he focused his ey[e vision], (line 6) the orphan [did the rich] no [injustice] (line 7) the wido[w did] the strong no injustice. (line 8) In the house where there is no [male] child (line 9) the dau[ghter brought fat] from a sheep [to burn]. (line 10) The son let righteousness shine forth. (Thureau-Dangin 1907: 136-9 Lagash, Gudea: Cylinder B 17: 17-18:10). It was a common Ancient Near Eastern rulebook for the ruler.


If the king in Jeremiah’s day do these Ruler Rules then the throne of David will remain Davidic (verse 4). If they do not follow the Ruler’s Ethics Demands then the Lord said their house will be laid waste (verse 5). The Lord says if rulers are reckless to the Word of God and do not pay attention to it to do it, He will replace them. We think of politics and religion and there is a Rulers Ethics that governments must follow otherwise they will be replaced and not by a continuation but a discontinuation. Partisan politics also works this way. If the majority in partisan politics are elected to do the Ruler’s Ethics [according to the Word of the Lord, not culture or humanism or equality of evil and good theory for jurisprudence as is popular now in the world] then they will be maintained unless there are moral scandals or corruption.


Gilead of old was the ruler over the Lebanon but because the faithful remnant as part of this palace family did not act without compromise and accommodation, therefore the Lord will make Judah uninhabited, like a desert (verse 6). God is not angry with heathen rulers or obvious weeds of Israel. It is the Seed of Faithful Israel that is His focus and passion and disappointment.


God will prepare intercontinental missiles that will bring a lot of fire (verse 7). Missile parts are interchanged and sold between Iran, North Korea, China and Russia as if it is fashion. As soon as other neighbor countries want to put up anti-missiles they rationalize that mistrust is reigning. However, some of them admitted on Youtube that the mathematics of peace is threat versus threat (Putin).


Many nations will pass by and ask why did the Lord do this to this nation? (verse 8).


The bystander will answer: “Because they forsook the covenant of the Lord their God and they prostrated themselves to other gods and worshipped them” (verse 9). It was already indicated that Asherah religion was at play as entertainment centers on hills and merchants and traders came to the caravanserai for some religious and other fashion shows, Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, Phoenicians and Israelites. Kuntillet `Ajrud in the Negev was such a place. The role of the LGBTQH in modern times was also at play in those days. In a cuneiform text of Nebuchadnezzar he said that he has a “Gula [homosexual prostitute] who protects me”. He goes further saying “the lady [effeminate male] who makes me of good sheer…” (see M. R. Schretter, Emesal Studien. 1990, page 138). This is in the days of Jeremiah. The characteristic of the gula was: effimate way of speaking; dancers; musicians; art dramatizers; eunuchs; homosexual; femininity; masculine names but speak like women (pp. 131). They were cultic transvestites (H. Giese 1962, pages 61-76). Of course he is speaking of the days of Abraham but the gula was a gula with the same characteristics also in Jeremiah’s day. With this cultural baggage the visitors at these entertainment centers influenced the lifestyle of the residents and faithful Israelites were carried away to participate. That is what God is talking about here. What are we doing with Women Ordination and its sister LGBTQH knocking on our church doors with a similar jurisprudence philosophy in our times?


They should not weep for the dead but for the ones who will go in exile since they will not see their land any longer (verse 10). Shallum the son of Josiah would not return again (verse 11-12).


Woe to him/her who: build their houses without righteousness and his upper chambers without justice; who makes his fellowman work without wages and his hire he does not give him (verse 13). The detail of the house been built is clear: a wide house, spacious upper chambers, windows cut out, cedar ceiling and painted. A dream house in modern times (verse 14). The successor is interested to spent money to beautify his image where he lives. His father [Josiah] drank and perform justice and righteousness (15). It was well with him. He judges for the focus of the poor and needy and it was good (verse 16). Josiah had knowledge of God (verse 16).


Jehoiakim though, was different. He was focused on gain “for your eyes and your heart are on nothing but gain” (verse 17). Fame, honor, gain, image, show, looks, “just beauty”. This were all that counted for him. He would step on anyone that stands in his way of getting an extra coin for free.

His punishment: The Lord said no one would wail for him at his death (verse 18). He gets a donkey burial which means he will be dragged through Jerusalem and dropped outside the city probably in the valley of Kidron or Hinnom (verse 19).


At that time they should go to the Lebanon, go to a mountain and cry to the cedars to listen to them. Asherah worship was a green tree worship but females involved so it says “for all your lovers” (verse 20). It was the pink house culture with religion as backbone. Religion involved was a pay-off case for guilt.


In peaceful times God spoke to them and they did not listen. “I spoke to you in your peaceful times, You said: ‘I will not head’” (verse 21). Israel was like this since their youth.


All their pastors and all their lovers shall be broken and they shall go into exile (verse 22). They should stay in the nest of cedars because they when the time of trouble comes (birthpangs) how shall they be? (verse 23).


If Coniah the son of Jehoiakim tries to be king and even if he is a signet on the Lord’s hand, the Lord will remove him (verse 24).


God is going to deliver them into the hands of those who seek their life, those they fear, the hands of Nebuchadnezzar the King of Babylon and the Babylonians (verse 25). The country where we now stay is sandwiched between Superpowers which is grinding their teeth at each other to go to war. Historically we have stayed with the USA but if we stay long enough the numbers of our casualties will outnumber the USA by a ratio of 1:4 in the USA’s favor. The number could be higher in casualties. The best scenario is when Kissinger’s advice is followed maybe to hand over the country to China for defense which does not cancel the conflict with the USA but just delay it another year or four. No casualties though, except the hardliners who would be in trouble rejecting the paradigm shift. It is the inauguration of the Time of Trouble, scheduled in my calculation to start before or at 2019 or at least before or on 2024. More I do not want to say. Nobody told me this except my own research. We are in the “period of anger” since 1973 and sometime in the near future, the period of anger will change into the period of the Time of Trouble. So look at our scenario, then Jeremiah’s advice is better also here: walk over to the enemy, as Kissinger suggested to Trump about our country. The alternative is funerals and destructions and migrations that compete with Aleppo. A best scenario is when the USA suggests the deal rather than forced into such a deal with casualties. A Christians’ toolkit for the Time of Trouble is outlined in the prophets and they should not have any cause for concern. It is the unfaithful that are going to give each other a hard time. The Latter Rain has to come before the Door of Mercy closes and the Time of Trouble kicks in. So what am I saying? Prepare your soul Your Maker is near. Either we were sinful as the largest Asian Christian nation and angered God just like in Jeremiah here, or it is the Time Schedule of God in Daniel 12:1-2 that should kick in outside of anyone’s control but heavenly designed. For both we have to be dangerously faithful.


They were to be forcefully migrated (verse 26). They shall not return to the land they long for (verse 27). Why was Coniah thrown away to another land? (verse 28). The land is to listen to the Lord (verse 29). The throne of David was not to be continued any longer (verse 30).


Dear God

What happened in Jeremiah’s day is a window of what can happen in any generation when people are not faithful to the Lord. It is also a possible to be the arrival of Your famous Time of Trouble prediction. Either way, keep us in the hollow of Your hand. For Your Remnant sake. Amen.