Jeremiah 52 – Downfall of Jerusalem & Jehoiachin in Captivity and Evil-Merodach

This is the end of the Book of Jeremiah, the next is the Book of Lamentations.  What…

Jehoiakim, “he whom Jehovah has set up”, also sometimes spelled Jehoikim, c. 635-597 BC, was a king of Judah. He was the second son of king Josiah by Zebidah, the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. His birth name was Eliakim.

On Josiah’s death, Jehoiakim’s younger brother Jehoahaz (or Shallum) was proclaimed king, but after three months pharaoh Necho II deposed him and replaced him with the eldest son, Eliakim, who adopted the name Jehoiakim and became king at the age of twenty-five. Jehoahaz died in exile in Egypt.

Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and reigned for eleven years to 598 B.C. and was succeeded by his son Jeconiah, (also known as Jehoiachin), who reigned for only three months.

Jeremiah 52
Downfall of Jerusalem

1 Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.

52:1-27, 31-34 – paralleled almost verbatim in 2 Kgs 24:18-25:21, 27-30.  The writer(s) of Book of  Kings and the writer of the appendix to the Book of Jeremiah (perhaps Baruch) doubtless had access to the same sources. 

It’s unlikely that either of the two accounts copied from the other since each has peculiarities characteristic of the larger work that it concludes.  In a few passages, the Book of Jeremiah is fuller than the Book of 2 Kings .

“Jeremiah” – not the prophet.

2 And he did that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done.

3 For through the anger of the LORD it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, till he had cast them out from his presence that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.

4 And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it, and built forts against it round about.

5 So the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah.

6 And in the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the famine was sore in the city, so that there was no bread for the people of the land.

7 Then the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled, and went forth out of the city by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, which was by the king’s garden; (now the Chaldeans were by the city round about:) and they went by the way of the plain.

8 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued after the king, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho; and all his army was scattered from him.

9 Then they took the king, and carried him up unto the king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath; where he gave judgment upon him.

Nekau I, who we know better as Necho, was either the 2nd or 3rd king of Egypt’s 26th Dynasty, depending on whether we allow the rule of a nominal king Nekau I at the beginning of the Dynasty.

Nekau was his Birth name, and Necho is actually his Greek name. His Throne name was Wah-em-ib-re, which means “Carrying out the Wish of Re Forever.”

10 And the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes: he slew also all the princes of Judah in Riblah.

11 Then he put out the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him in chains, and carried him to Babylon, and put him in prison till the day of his death.

12 Now in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzar-adan, captain of the guard, which served the king of Babylon, into Jerusalem,

13 And burned the house of the LORD, and the king’s house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, and all the houses of the great men, burned he with fire:

14 And all the army of the Chaldeans, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down all the walls of Jerusalem round about.

15 Then Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard carried away captive certain of the poor of the people, and the residue of the people that remained in the city, and those that fell away, that fell to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the multitude.

16 But Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard left certain of the poor of the land for vinedressers and for husbandmen.

17 Also the pillars of brass that were in the house of the LORD, and the bases, and the brazen sea that was in the house of the LORD, the Chaldeans brake, and carried all the brass of them to Babylon.

Jeconiah, meaning “God will fortify (his people)”, also known as Coniah and as Jehoiachin, was a king of Judah who was dethroned by the King of Babylon in the 6th century B.C. and was taken into captivity.

Most of what is known about Jeconiah is found in the Hebrew Bible. Records of Jeconiah’s existence have been found in Iraq, such as the Jehoiachin’s Rations Tablets.

These tablets were excavated near the Ishtar Gate in Babylon and have been dated to c. 592 B.C. Written in cuneiform, they mention Jeconiah and his five sons as recipients of food rations in Babylon. Comparing Babylonian records with date references found in Hebrew biblical texts, the length of Jeconiah’s captivity can accurately be determined.

18 The caldrons also, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the bowls, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass wherewith they ministered, took they away.

19 And the brazons, and the fire pans, and the bowls, and the caldrons, and the candlesticks, and the spoons, and the cups; that which was of gold in gold, and that which was of silver in silver, took the captain of the guard away.

20 The two pillars, one sea, and twelve brazen bulls that were under the bases, which king Solomon had made in the house of the LORD: the brass of all these vessels was without weight.

21 And concerning the pillars, the height of one pillar was eighteen cubits; and a fillet of twelve cubits did compass it; and the thickness thereof was four fingers: it was hollow.

22 And a chapiter of brass was upon it; and the height of one chapiter was five cubits, with network and pomegranates upon the chapiters round about, all of brass. The second pillar also and the pomegranates were like unto these.

“Five cubits” – about 7½ feet.  The parallel in 2 Kgs 25:17 reads “three cubits” (about 4½ feet), probably a copyist’s error.

23 And there were ninety and six pomegranates on a side; and all the pomegranates upon the network were an hundred round about.

24 And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door:

25 He took also out of the city an eunuch, which had the charge of the men of war; and seven men of them that were near the king’s person, which were found in the city; and the principal scribe of the host, who mustered the people of the land; and threescore men of the people of the land, that were found in the midst of the city.

“Seven” – the parallel in 2 Kgs 25:19 reads “five.”

Zedekiah, “My righteousness is Yahweh”, also written Tzidkiyahu, was a biblical character, said to be the last king of Judah before the destruction of the kingdom by Babylon.

He was installed as king of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon, after a siege of Jerusalem, to succeed his nephew, Jeconiah, who was overthrown as king after a reign of only three months and ten days.

Rulers of Judah Saul David Solomon Rehoboam Abijah Asa Jehoshaphat Jehoram Ahaziah Athaliah J(eh)oash Amaziah Uzziah/Azariah Jotham Ahaz Hezekiah Manasseh Amon Josiah Jehoahaz Jehoiakim Jeconiah/Jehoiachin Zedekiah.
William F. Albright dates the reign of Zedekiah to 606 – 586 B.C., while E. R. Thiele to 597 – 586 .BC. On that reckoning, he was born c. 618 B.C., being twenty-one on becoming king.

The prophet Jeremiah was his counselor, yet “he did evil in the sight of the Lord” (2 Kgs 24:19-20; Jer 52:2-3).

26 So Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard took them, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah.

27 And the king of Babylon smote them, and put them to death in Riblah in the land of Hamath. Thus Judah was carried away captive out of his own land.

28 This is the people whom Nebuchadnezzar carried away captive: in the seventh year three thousand Jews and three and twenty:

“Three thousand Jews and three and twenty” – probably includes only adult males since the corresponding figure(s) in 2 Kgs 24:14, 16 are significantly higher.

29 In the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar he carried away captive from Jerusalem eight hundred thirty and two persons:

“Eighteenth year” – 586 B.C.  in v. 12 the same year is called the “nineteenth year”; the difference is due to alternate ways of computing years.

30 In the three and twentieth year of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the Jews seven hundred forty and five persons: all the persons were four thousand and six hundred.

“Three and twentieth year – 581 B.C.

“Nebuchadnezzar…carried away captive” – either (1) to quell further rebellion or (2) in belated reprisal for Gedaliah’s  assassination.

31 And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, in the five and twentieth day of the month, that Evil-Merodach king of Babylon in the first year of his reign lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah, and brought him forth out of prison,

This ceramic brick is inscribed in cuneiform with the name of Nebuchadnezzar II, who is mentioned some 90 times in the Bible (e.g. Ezra 1:7).

Ancient kings often used inscribed bricks in their building projects. This one was originally made in c. 604-562 B.C. and was found in the ruins of ancient Babylon during excavations in 1927.

It reads, “Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, Guardian of the temples of Esagila and Ezida, Firstborn son of Nabopolasser, king of Babylon.”

52:31-34 – paralleled almost verbatim in 2 Kgs 25:27-30.  The Book of Jeremiah and the Book of Kings 2 conclude with the same happy ending.

“Five and twentieth” – the parallel in 2 Kgs 25:27 reads “seven and twentieth.”

32 And spake kindly unto him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon,

33 And changed his prison garments: and he did continually eat bread before him all the days of his life.

34 And for his diet, there was a continual diet given him of the king of Babylon, every day a portion until the day of his death, all the days of his life.

“Until the day of his death” – since the phrase does not appear in the parallel verses in 2 Kings in either case, it’s intention is probably to highlight the contrast between Zedekiah, who remained in prison till the day he died, and Jehoiachin, who was released from prison and treated well by the Babylonian kings till the day he died.

Jehoiachin in Captivity and Evil-Merodach

Jehoiachin ruled Judah for only three months and then, at age eighteen, was taken captive to Babylon in 597 B.C. 

It is interesting that we have a biblical record mentioning Evil-merodach’s treatment of Jehoiachin (about 560 B.C.), and we have archaeological evidence of similar treatment at an earlier period.

Four tablets mentioning Jehoiachin and his sons date to the period 595–570 B.C.These tablets record rations that were given to the exiled king, his sons, and eight men of Judah.

During excavation in Babylon approximately 300 day tablets containing administrative records were uncovered in a building adjacent to Nebuchadnezzar’s palace.  Four of them were found to be highly significant for Old Testament studies, as they mention Jehoiachin.

Dating from 595 to 570 B.C., all four are receipts  for rations of oil issued to Jehoiachin and his entourage.  Jehoiachin is referred to as “Jehoiachin king of the land of Judah.”  Three of the tablets list oil for Jehoiachin’s five sons and oil was also given to five named and eight unnamed Judeans.

Evil-Merodach (his Babylonian name was “Amil-Marduk” or “Avel-Marduk”= “man,” or “servant, of Marduk”)  succeeded Nebuchadnezzar on the throne and ruled unjustly and lewdly but it lasted only for a year, from 561-56- B.C. 

He released Jehoiachin from confinement, clothed him, treated him well, and even allowed him to eat at the king’s table, but there is no record explaining why.  Inscriptions found in Babylon show that Evil-Merodach continued his father’s building projects.

The tablet mentioning Nebo-Sarsekim was found in Sippar, an ancient Babylonian city 20 mi (32 km) southwest of modern Baghdad and 35 mi (57 km) north of Babylon. In the late 19th century, tens of thousands of cuneiform tablets were recovered from the site.

He was deposed and perhaps murdered by his brother-in-law Nergal-Sharezer, a former military officer.

Evil-Merodach is spoken of in the Book of Daniel.

That’s a funny name, Evil-Merodach, especially since he was so nice to Jehoiachin.  Yet, Jehoiachin, king of Judah,  was evil too so like they say, birds of a feather flock together.

They were really ruthless back then, Negal-Sharezer killing Evil, Nebuchadnezzar forcing King Zedekiah to watch him kill his kids and then poked his eyes out.

…is the book of Lamentations about and who wrote it?

Jeremiah 51 – The Prophecy Against Babylon Continued & The Weather

I don’t think very many people actually know how powerful You are, I didn’t until You showed me. 

King Narmer (Menes)
Egypt was divided into two kingdoms, Upper and Lower Egypt, or the two lands. The first was founded in Lower Egypt, with Botu as its capital, the Papyrus as its sign, and the snake as its symbol. The Southern Kingdom had Nekhen as its capital, and the Lotus as its sign. King Narmer was the first to unite Upper and Lower Egypt

giving birth to Egypt in 3100 B. c & laying the foundation for the first pharaonic dynasty ,which is the beginning of the first Egyptian Dynasty 0. King Narmar was the first king of the two lands wearing the White Crown of Upper Egypt and the Red Crown of Lower Egypt. . His rule marked the beginning of written history and the era of dynasties.

You surely can’t hold that against them because how awesome You are is beyond anyone’s understanding.  I mean, even knowing what I know, I’m baffled by it all, and I don’t know that much, but enough to know that NOBODY can hold a candle stick to You.

After this chapter there’s only one more in Jeremiah so, to go with chapter 52, let’s look at…

Jeremiah 51
The Prophecy Against Babylon Continued

(Pictures below are famous Egyptians)

1 Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind;

2 And will send unto Babylon fanners that shall fan her, and shall empty her land: for in the day of trouble they shall be against her round about.

3 Against him that bendeth let the archer bend his bow, and against him that lifteth himself up in his brigandine: and spare ye not her young men; destroy ye utterly all her host.

4 Thus the slain shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans, and they that are thrust through in her streets.

5 For Israel hath not been forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the LORD of hosts; though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.

6 Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD’S vengeance; he will render unto her recompense.

7 Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD’S hand that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.

8 Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed.

Imhotep, 27th century (2655-2600 B.C.) was an Egyptian polymath, who served under the Third Dynasty king, Djoser, as chancellor to the pharaoh and high priest of the sun god Ra at Heliopolis.

He is considered to be the first architect engineer and physician in early history though two other physicians, Hesy-Ra and Merit-Ptah lived around the same time. The full list of his titles is:

Chancellor of the King of Egypt, Doctor, First in line after the King of Upper Egypt, Administrator of the Great Palace, Hereditary nobleman, High Priest of Heliopolis, Builder, Chief Carpenter, Chief Sculptor, and Maker of Vases in Chief.

Imhotep was one of very few mortals to be depicted as part of a pharaoh’s statue. He was one of only a few commoners ever to be accorded divine status after death. The center of his cult was Memphis. From the First Intermediate Period onward Imhotep was also revered as a poet and philosopher. His sayings were famously referred to in poems: I have heard the words of Imhotep and Hordedef with whose discourses men speak so much.

9 We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go everyone into his own country: for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies.

The speakers are the nations conquered by Babylon.

10 The LORD hath brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the LORD our God.

11 Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the LORD hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his device is against Babylon, to destroy it; because it is the vengeance of the LORD, the vengeance of his temple.

12 Set up the standard upon the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong, set up the watchmen, prepare the ambushes: for the LORD hath both devised and done that which he spake against the inhabitants of Babylon.

13 O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come, and the measure of thy covetousness.

14 The LORD of hosts hath sworn by himself, saying, Surely I will fill thee with men, as with caterpillars; and they shall lift up a shout against thee.

15 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his understanding.

16 When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens; and he causeth the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth: he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.

17 Every man is brutish by his knowledge; every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.

18 They are vanity, the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.

19 The portion of Jacob is not like them; for he is the former of all things: and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: the LORD of hosts is his name.

Hesire was a high official who lived during the reign of Netjerikhet (Dosjer). His titulary informs us of the many offices he had held during his life.

Thus he was the ‘overseer of the royal scribes’, at the head of the royal administration of Djoser.

His most spectacular title, however, was that of the ‘greatest (or chief ?) of physicians and dentists’. It is not entirely clear whether this title infers that Hesire himself was honored as the greatest of physicians and dentists, or rather that he was merely responsible for the administration of physicians and dentists.

But whatever the case, the distinction between ‘physicians’ and ‘dentists’ in his titulary does show a high degree of medical specialisation at this early stage of the history of Ancient Egypt.

20 Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;

“Thou art my battle axe” – either (1) Cyrus of Persia, soon to conquer Babylon or more likely, (2) Babylon, destroyer of nations.

“Break in pieces” – the Hebrew root for this verb is the same as that for “battle axe.”

21 And with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider;

22 With thee also will I break in pieces man and woman; and with thee will I break in pieces old and young; and with thee will I break in pieces the young man and the maid;

23 I will also break in pieces with thee the shepherd and his flock; and with thee will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke of oxen; and with thee will I break in pieces captains and rulers.

24 And I will render unto Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, saith the LORD.

25 Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain.

26 And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolate forever, saith the LORD.

27 Set ye up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations, prepare the nations against her, call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashchenaz; appoint a captain against her; cause the horses to come up as the rough caterpillars.

Kagemni was, according to his Instructions, vizier of the 4th dynasty pharaoh Senofru (2613-2589), father of Khufu. His writings are contained in the Papyrus Prisse.

He should not be confused with the 6th dynasty vizier of the same name, who served under Teti I and whose mastaba at Saqqara is famous for its reliefs.

 28 Prepare against her the nations with the kings of the Medes, the captains thereof, and all the rulers thereof, and all the land of his dominion.

29 And the land shall tremble and sorrow: for every purpose of the LORD shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant.

30 The mighty men of Babylon have forborn to fight, they have remained in their holds: their might hath failed; they became as women: they have burned her dwelling places; her bars are broken.

31 One post shall run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to shew the king of Babylon that his city is taken at one end,

32 And that the passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are affrighted.

33 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor, it is time to thresh her: yet a little while, and the time of her harvest shall come.

“Threshing floor” – the destruction of a city or nastion is often depicted as a harvest.

34 Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon hath devoured me, he hath crushed me, he hath made me an empty vessel, he hath swallowed me up like a dragon, he hath filled his belly with my delicate, he hath cast me out.

“Dragon” – the Hebrew for this word is also translated  “dragon” in Is 51:9, where it symbolizes Egypt.

35 The violence done to me and to my flesh be upon Babylon, shall the inhabitant of Zion say; and my blood upon the inhabitants of Chaldea, shall Jerusalem say.

Admiral of the Naval Fleet

36 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will plead thy cause, and take vengeance for thee; and I will dry up her sea, and make her springs dry.

37 And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwelling place for dragons, an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant.

38 They shall roar together like lions: they shall yell as lions’ whelps.

39 In their heat I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the LORD.

40 I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams with he goats.

41 How is Sheshach taken! and how is the praise of the whole earth surprised! how is Babylon become an astonishment among the nations!

42 The sea is come up upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof.

Hemiunu was a son of Prince Nefermaat and his wife Itet, a grandson of Sneferu and relative of Khufu, the Old Kingdom pharaoh. Hemiunu had three sisters and many brothers.

Hemiunu (2570 B.C.) was a vizier, architect and priest of Old Kingdom Egypt. He is believed to be the architect of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

In his tomb he is described as a hereditary prince, count, sealer of the king of Lower Egypt and on a statue found in his serdab (and now located in Hildesheim), Hemiunu is given the titles: king’s son of his body, chief justice and vizier, greatest of the five of the House of Thoth

As Vizier he succeeded Kanefer, his uncle, and his father Nefermaat.

43 Her cities are a desolation, a dry land, and a wilderness, a land wherein no man dwelleth, neither doth any son of man pass thereby.

44 And I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he hath swallowed up: and the nations shall not flow together any more unto him: yea, the wall of Babylon shall fall.

“Which he hath swallowed up” – captive peoples (including Judah) and plundered goods (including vessels from the temple in Jerusalem, see Dan 5:2-3).

45 My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the LORD.

46 And lest your heart faint, and ye fear for the rumor that shall be heard in the land; a rumor shall both come one year, and after that in another year shall come a rumor, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler.

“Ye fear for the rumor…heard in the land” – While giving His Olivet discourse, Jesus may have had this passage in mind (see Matt 24:6; Mk 13:7; Lk 21;9).

47 Therefore, behold, the days come, that I will do judgment upon the graven images of Babylon: and her whole land shall be confounded, and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her.

48 Then the heaven and the earth, and all that is therein, shall sing for Babylon: for the spoilers shall come unto her from the north, saith the LORD.

Ptah-hotep – Vizier of Isesi (Djedkare) – 2388-2356 B.C.
Ptah-hotep was a priest of Ma’at and the author of a famous book of moral instructions, in which he tells us he was the vizier of King Isesi.

This picture of Ptah-hotep comes from the well-preserved mastaba tomb he shares with his father, Akhti-hotep. It shows him wearing and holding many status symbols, including the fillet worn in the hair by Old-Kingdom officials of all levels, the golden collar of a nobleman, the long vizier’s smock, a sekhem-sceptre, and the staff of a high official.

49 As Babylon hath caused the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon shall fall the slain of all the earth.

50 Ye that have escaped the sword, go away, stand not still: remember the LORD afar off, and let Jerusalem come into your mind.

51 We are confounded, because we have heard reproach: shame hath covered our faces: for strangers are come into the sanctuaries of the LORD’S house.

“Strangers are come into the sanctuaries of the LORD’s house” – refers to Nebuchadnezzar’s defiling the Jerusalem temple in 586 B.C.  The same sacrilege would occur under Antiochus Epiphanes in 168 B.C. and under the Romans in 70 A.D.

52 Wherefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will do judgment upon her graven images: and through all her land the wounded shall groan.

53 Though Babylon should mount up to heaven, and though she should fortify the height of her strength, yet from me shall spoilers come unto her, saith the LORD.

54 A sound of a cry cometh from Babylon, and great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans:

55 Because the LORD hath spoiled Babylon, and destroyed out of her the great voice; when her waves do roar like great waters, a noise of their voice is uttered:

56 Because the spoiler is come upon her, even upon Babylon, and her mighty men are taken, every one of their bows is broken: for the LORD God of recompenses shall surely requite.

57 And I will make drunk her princes, and her wise men, her captains, and her rulers, and her mighty men: and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts.

King Amenemhat III
King of the Twelfth Dynasty. He reigned about 45 years and is famous as builder of the the mortuary complex of the king at Hawara, at the entrance to the Fayum, probably the ‘Labyrinth’ that so impressed ancient Greek authors.

There are several other buildings of the king in the Fayum (temple at Medinet Maadi, colossi at Biahmu) demonstrating the general interest of the king in that region of Egypt. His first pyramid was in Dahshur, but because of problems with the ground, another site (Hawara) was chosen for a second pyramid, towards the end of his reign.

Especially in the Ptolemaic and Roman Periods the king was worshipped in the Fayum as a god. The sculpture of the king is remarkable for several unique statue types.

58 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the people shall labor in vain, and the folk in the fire, and they shall be weary.

59 The word which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, when he went with Zedekiah the king of Judah into Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. And this Seraiah was a quiet prince.

“Seraiah the son of Neriah” – an ancient seal has been found that bears the inscription “Belonging to Seraiah son of Neriah,” and it no doubt refers to the man mentioned here.  he was  a brother of Jeremiah’s secretary, Baruch.

60 So Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that should come upon Babylon, even all these words that are written against Babylon.

61 And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, When thou comest to Babylon, and shalt see, and shalt read all these words;

62 Then shalt thou say, O LORD, thou hast spoken against this place, to cut it off, that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but that it shall be desolate forever.

63 And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates:

64 And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.

The Weather

Many wonder if God controls the weather?  You bet He does, He created everything (Jn 1:3) and He controls everything (Col 1:17), nothing happens that He doesn’t do or allow to happen, even the wicked acts of the devil has to be approved of God first, I will explain this later.

Tornadoes are the most violent storms on Earth. Winds spiraling into them usually exceed 100 mph and can reach speeds of 300 mph. In the USA, an average of 1,000 tornadoes spin up beneath thunderstorms each year, and these typically kill about 60 people.

We call tornados, tsunamis, earthquakes, electrical storms, etc. “natural disasters” because they aren’t manmade, but they aren’t created by the atmosphere, the planets, or anything else, remember, God creates and controls everything.

The question is: “Are they all disasters or are some blessings from God?”

Some have concluded that suffering occurs because it is beyond God’s control. This is incorrect.  As I had stated above, God controls everything, including evil acts performed by people because He created that too.

For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else (Is 45:18).

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things (Is 45:7).

Our God is a great God, so powerful we can’t imagine it.

Fundamentally, a tsunami is triggered by some undersea interruption after which follows a chain of water waves. The deadly waves are caused by the displacement of a huge volume of water, typically an ocean.

Basically, tsunamis can be generated when the sea floor suddenly moves and displaces water.Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides and other submarine explosions all have the potential to trigger a tidal wave.

Some believe that God has established certain laws and principles that govern nature, but He remains sovereign over these laws.  I had once believed that, but He recently corrected me.

For years, sometimes when I was working in the yard and I saw it was going to rain I would ask God to give me another minute or two or five to finish what I was doing so I didn’t get wet.  And usually the rain wouldn’t come until shortly after I was inside.

A few weeks ago I was sawing a good size tree branch in two and I saw that it was going to rain so I asked God to help me cut through this branch or hold the rain back until I was done.  As soon I was done I put my tools away and headed for the house.

When I was almost to the house (and this was the first time this ever happened) I could hear the rain coming.  It wasn’t coming from the sky, it was already falling and coming from the west, but it wasn’t in my yard yet.  Just as I stepped under the patio the rain reached my yard.

I thanked God for holding the rain back for me and He told me that He didn’t, He has everyone’s lives in sync.   He has the entire world population in sync.  

The good times, the bad times, the happy moments, the sad moments, etc., that we all experience, Jesus Christ has in absolute order in regard to His will.

Underneath our feet, there are many layers of plates that help make up our earth. The plates are known as “Tectonic Plates”. Over hundreds of years energy and strain accumulate within these plates, which is when an earthquake occurs.

During an earthquake, the earth releases this accumulation of energy, moving the tectonic plates under the earth’s surface.

The plates suddenly move, sliding over and under each other, shifting the earths surface and often breaking it apart. This movement can be gradual or can be sudden.

And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist (Col 1:17).

Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high (Heb 1:3).

That is one powerful God! 

So you may wonder if Jesus decided who wins the lottery?  I doubt it because the lottery is a freewill thing and He doesn’t mess with our freewill, if He did it wouldn’t be freewill.  Yet, then again, He may choose the winner, but if He does I’m sure the Holy Ghost prompts the winner to purchase the ticket. 

Of course, if our freewill is going to mess us up badly He may throw a wrench our way, as He did for Jonah.

Jonah and the Whale

Concerning Jonah:

But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty temptest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken (Jon 1:4).

Whenever lightning strikes occur, whether from cloud to cloud or from cloud to ground, a lightning bolt and shock wave in the air are created at the exact same time.

If that occurred two miles from you, the light will get to you in 2/186000 seconds, since the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second.

That means that the light gets to you in far less than one thousandth of a second, effectively instantly.

The shock wave in the air, which has the effect of a sound wave, takes around 10 seconds to travel the 10,560 feet of the two miles.

God created the storm, He also created the whale that swallowed Jonah (Jon 1:17), and God also told the whale to spit Jonah out when he did (Jon 2:10).

We can say that God controlled Jonah’s freewill, but He didn’t.  God did choose Jonah to go and warn Nineveh of their soon to come destruction if they didn’t change their ways.  But it was Jonah’s choice to try and run from God.

We can say that God interfered in Jonah’s freewill because He created the storm and everything, but no, He didn’t touch Jonah’s freewill.  God can do whatever He chooses:

Remember the former things of old: for I am God and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,

Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure (Is 46:9-10).

Jesus had said:

He that is not with Me is against Me; and He that gathererth not with Me scattereth abroad (Matt 12:30).

Our freewill gives us the choice to do whatever we want, and that includes the repercussions.

Few events on Earth rival the sheer power of a hurricane.

Also known as tropical cyclones and typhoons, these fierce storms can churn the seas into a violent topography of 50-foot (15-meter) peaks and valleys, redefine coastlines and reduce whole cities to watery ruin.

When Jonah chose to walk away from God he had also got himself a reservation to spend eternity in hell.  God doesn’t want anyone to do that (Eze 33:11) so He threw the wrench.

God told the whale to spit Jonah out because Jonah had prayed and asked for forgiveness (Jon 2).

What God did to Jonah was not to punish him running from Him, but to save him from spending eternity in hell.  The same reason Jesus came.

Can Satan Control the Weather?

Satan and his demons have no control over the weather or natural disasters.  They are not divine, but have powers beyond ours, super-human powers.  They can do nothing without God’s permission.  The Book of Job is a very good example:

Then Satan answered the LORD and said, doth Job fear God for nought?

Hast not thou made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side?  Thou hast blessed the work of his hands and his substance is increased in the land.

But put forth thine hand now and touch all that he hath and he will curse thee to thy face.

And the LORD said unto Satan, behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand.  So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD (Job 1:9-12).

The devil used the Sabeans, the Chaldeans, and natural disasters to kill all of Job’s children and everything he owned.  But notice that Satan wasn’t allowed to harm Job himself.

After all that, Satan talked to God again:

And Satan answered the LORD and said, Skin for skin, yeah, all that a man hath will he give for his life.

But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh and he will curse thee to thy face.

And the LORD God said unto Satan, behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life (Job 2:4-6).

So you can see that Satan has no control over the weather or anything, God decides what the devil can and cannot do. 

Why God allowed Satan to do all he did to Job is a different story, but it has a great end.

Remember, God has His reasons for doing whatever He chooses to do, and even though the event may not be good, the ending always is for those that believe in Jesus.

Weather Scriptures
(to name a few)

Gen 6:5-9:19 (Earth destroyed by flood, people and animals killed)

Ex 9:23-29 (hail and fire from heaven on Egypt)

Lev 26:19-20 (rainless sky, parched earth)

Deut 11:13-15 (rain as reward for obedience)

Deut 28:24 (drought punishment)

Josh 10:11 (hail on the Amorites, etc.)

I Sam 7:10 (thunder disperses the Philistines)

I Sam 12:18 (thunder and rain to get people’s attention)

II Sam 21:1 (drought and famine)

I Kgs 8:35-36 (good weather reward)

I Kgs 16:30-18:45 (rain withheld and given)

Hos 13:15 (dry weather)

Amos 4:7 (rain given and withheld from certain cities)

Jon 1:4,10-15 (man punished and redirected by sea storm)

Nah 1:3 (judgment with whirlwind and drought)

Zech 14:17 (rain withheld as judgment)

Rev 16:21 (hailstone punishment)

…Evil-Merodach.

Jeremiah 50 -The Prophecy Against Babylon & Herodotus and the Fall of Babylon

I have to say, that was pretty smart to use the river to get inside the city.  Sort of like the legend of the Trojan Horse, whether it’s a fairy tale or not.

In 652 BC a series of wars broke out in the Assyrian Empire over who should rule. In 612 BC the Chaldeans conquered the Assyrian Empire and took control of Mesopotamia.

Their king, Nebuchadnezzar rebuilt the city and created the Hanging Gardens of Babylon which became one of the seven wonders of the world.

The Chaldeans charted the position of stars and kept track of economic, political, and weather events.

To me, what Cyrus did was more ingenious than the Trojan Horse because he used nature.  I know You created everything and you control everything, so….

Jeremiah 50
The Prophecy Against Babylon

1 The word that the LORD spake against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet.

2 Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not: say, Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces.

“Babylon is taken” – fulfilled in 539 B.C.

“Is confounded…broken in pieces” – the repetition of each of these phrases emphasizes that the chief god of Babylon and his images and idols are alike doomed.

3 For out of the north there cometh up a nation against her, which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell therein: they shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast.

4 In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the LORD their God.

5 They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.

6 My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting place.

7 All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers.

8 Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he

Babylonian ration tablet naming Jeconiah.
Evil-merodach came to power in Babylon upon the death of his father Nebuchadnezzar in 562 B.C. There are only two references to him in the Bible, and these are parallel accounts.

Evidence suggests that Jehoiachin (Jeconiah, Coniah), the king of Judah who was taken to Babylon in 597 B.C., was treated like a king in exile during most, or all, of his time in Babylon. The kindness of Evil-merodach receives special attention.

goats before the flocks.

9 For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain.

10 And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the LORD.

11 Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls;

12 Your mother shall be sore confounded; she that bare you shall be ashamed: behold, the hindermost of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert.

13 Because of the wrath of the LORD it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate: every one that goeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues.

14 Put yourselves in array against Babylon round about: all ye that bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows: for she hath sinned against the LORD.

15 Shout against her round about: she hath given her hand: her foundations are fallen, her walls are thrown down: for it is the vengeance of the LORD: take vengeance upon her; as she hath done, do unto her.

16 Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handleth the sickle in the time of harvest: for fear of the oppressing sword they shall turn everyone to his people, and they shall flee everyone to his own land.

17 Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones.

Mede tribute bearer, leading two adorned stallions before Assyrian King Sargon II.

18 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I have punished the king of Assyria.

“I have punished the king of Assyria” – Nineveh, the proud Assyrian capital, fell in 612 B.C. and Assyria herself was conquered by a coalition of Medes and Babylonians in 609 B.C.

19 And I will bring Israel again to his habitation, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied upon mount Ephraim and Gilead.

20 In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.

21 Go up against the land of Merathaim, even against it, and against the inhabitants of Pekod: waste and utterly destroy after them, saith the LORD, and do according to all that I have commanded thee.

“Merethaim” – means “double rebellion [against the Lord],” perhaps referring to vv. 24, 29.  It’s probably a pun on the Babylonian word marratu, which sometimes referred to a region in southern Babylon that was characterized by briny waters.

Jabesh Gilead, Tell Maqlub, from northwest

“Pekod” – means “punishment [from the Lord],” a pun on Puqudu, the Babylonian name for an Aramean tribe living on the eastern bank of the lower Tigris River.

22 A sound of battle is in the land, and of great destruction.

23 How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations!

24 I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon, and thou wast not aware: thou art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against the LORD.

“Taken…not aware” – the Persian attack in 539 B.C. would catch the city of Babylon completely by surprise.

25 The LORD hath opened his armory, and hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation: for this is the work of the Lord GOD of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans.

26 Come against her from the utmost border, open her storehouses: cast her up as heaps, and destroy her utterly: let nothing of her be left.

27 Slay all her bullocks; let them go down to the slaughter: woe unto them! for their day is come, the time of their visitation.

The Tigris River is the eastern member of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of southeastern Turkey through Iraq.

28 The voice of them that flee and escape out of the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the LORD our God, the vengeance of his temple.

29 Call together the archers against Babylon: all ye that bend the bow, camp against it round about; let none thereof escape: recompense her according to her work; according to all that she hath done, do unto her: for she hath been proud against the LORD, against the Holy One of Israel.

30 Therefore shall her young men fall in the streets, and all her men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the LORD.

31 Behold, I am against thee, O thou most proud, saith the Lord GOD of hosts: for thy day is come, the time that I will visit thee.

32 And the most proud shall stumble and fall, and none shall raise him up: and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all round about him.

33 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The children of Israel and the children of Judah were oppressed together: and all that took them captives held them fast; they refused to let them go.

34 Their Redeemer is strong; the LORD of hosts is his name: he shall throughly plead their case, that he may give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon.

Baghdad

35 A sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith the LORD, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men.

36 A sword is upon the liars; and they shall dote: a sword is upon her mighty men; and they shall be dismayed.

37 A sword is upon their horses, and upon their chariots, and upon all the mingled people that are in the midst of her; and they shall become as women: a sword is upon her treasures; and they shall be robbed.

38 A drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols.

39 Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited forever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation.

40 As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbor cities thereof, saith the LORD; so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein.

41 Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.

Mosul, Iraq

42 They shall hold the bow and the lance: they are cruel, and will not shew mercy: their voice shall roar like the sea, and they shall ride upon horses, everyone put in array, like a man to the battle, against thee, O daughter of Babylon.

43 The king of Babylon hath heard the report of them, and his hands waxed feeble: anguish took hold of him, and pangs as of a woman in travail.

44 Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan unto the habitation of the strong: but I will make them suddenly run away from her: and who is a chosen man that I may appoint over her? for who is like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who is that shepherd that will stand before me?

When the archaeological, geographical and epigraphic evidence is reviewed in detail, it is clear that the infamous cities of Sodom and Gomorrah have now been found.

What is more, this evidence demonstrates that the Bible provides an accurate eyewitness account of events that occurred southeast of the Dead Sea over 4,000 years ago.

45 Therefore hear ye the counsel of the LORD that he hath taken against Babylon; and his purposes, that he hath purposed against the land of the Chaldeans: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out: surely he shall make their habitation desolate with them.

46 At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth is moved, and the cry is heard among the nations.

Herodotus and the Fall of Babylon

The Greek historian Herodotus (c. 480-425 B.C.) produced one of the most famous books of ancient Greece, the History.  Its focus is the series of wars between Persia and the Greeks that lasted from approximately 490 to 479 B.C.

Herodotus devoted a great deal of attention to the background of the wars and in the process gave a fairly sweeping view of the eastern Mediterranean world during the sixth and fifth centuries B.C.

The Greek word historiai (literally “investigations”) aptly describes how Herodotus went about collecting and recording information about the customs and histories of the peoples he encountered.  He is regarded as the father of Western history writing because he tried to confine himself to human events and to avoid myths.

Herodotus’s account of the fall of Babylon (History, 1.189-191) in 539 B.C. relates to the prophetic account in Jeremiah 50-51, as well as to Daniel’s indication that Babylon fell overnight during a festival (Dan 5:30-31).

Herodotus began with a fantastic tale of how Cyrus’s horse drowned in the Gyndes River and how he, to punish the river by making it weak and sha

The statue of Herodotus in Bodrum

llow, compelled his army to spend a summer diverting it into 360 channels.

Arriving at Babylon, Cyrus faced the prospect of a prolonged siege.  Babylon was large enough to store food for many years, so any attempts to starve the city into submission would have been futile.

But, Herodotus noted, the city had one peculiar characteristic: The Euphrates River ran through the middle of Babylon and divided it into two parts.  Cyrus decided that the river channels under the walls provided the only chance of gaining entry, but the volume of water and the strength of the current were too great.

Yet, the Persian king hatched an ingenious plan: He posted soldiers at the points at which the Euphrates entered and left the city and instructed his men to move through the river when it became fordable.

Meanwhile, the noncombatants went up stream and diverted much of the river into an artificial marsh.  When the water level had dropped sufficiently, the Persian soldiers made their way in and captured the Babylonian capital.

What are we to make of this account?  Most historians believe that Herodotus’s version of events is at least to some degree confused and misleading.  In his actual conquest of Babylonia, Cyrus’s forces proceeded down from the north and rapidly overcame resistance.

A second front was opened against Babylon by a certain Ugbaru, governor of Gutium.  Ugbaru proceeded to capture Babylon for Cyrus with astonishing speed, and Cyrus himself entered the city shortly thereafter.

Several factors may have contributed to the Persian victory:

Cyrus II of Persia (c. 600 BC or 576 BC–530 BC), commonly known as Cyrus the Great, also known as Cyrus the Elder, was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire.

Under his rule, the empire embraced all the previous civilized states of the ancient Near East, expanded vastly and eventually conquered most of Southwest Asia and much of Central Asia and the Caucasus.

1st – Cyrus may have kept the bulk of the Babylonian forces occupied with his army while Ugbaru came in from the rear.

2nd – The Babylonian regime was unpopular, and the people seem to have welcomed Cyrus as a liberator.

3rd – Ugbaru appears to have entered Babylon by subterfuge (as is reflected in the version of the story about the diversion of the Euphrates).

It’s certain that Babylon fell suddenly.  Herodotus is correct in stating that the Euphrates bisected the city, and the Nabonidus Chronicle confirms that it fell without  a battle.  Thus, the account about diverting the Euphrates may be true.

Both Daniel 5 and Herodotus indicate the Babylon fell during a rowdy festival.  Herodotus stated:

Owing to the sheer size of the city, so say the inhabitants, those in the outlying areas were captured without those in the center knowing about it.

Daniel 5 accounts the  story of Belshazzar’s feast, and can be regarded as an independent witness.  Herodotus, in this account as elsewhere, was colorful and not always fully reliable, but he appears to have preserved something of (and perhaps a good deal of) the true story.

Persian Empire: Ruins of the Palace of Darius at Persepolis

…I want to know more about the weather?

Jeremiah 49 – The Prophecy Against Ammon & Alexander the Great

People seem to admire Alexander the Great, but they despise Adolf Hitler when they both killed people for the sole purpose of controlling the world.  I don’t admire either. 

Martin Luther
He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God’s punishment for sin could be purchased with money.

He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar, with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517.

His refusal to retract all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the Pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Emperor.

Luther taught that salvation and subsequently eternity in heaven is not earned by good deeds but is received only as a free gift of God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin and subsequently eternity in hell.

His theology challenged the authority of the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge from God.

The people I admire are Martin Luther, The Jews and Their Lies, John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress,” and George Muller (the man that first started orphonages), Autobiography of George Muller.”

There are different suggestions of why Hitler hated the Jews so much, but they all point that the Jews of today are greedy, back-stabbing, corrupt people.

One night Alexander dreamed of an angel and the face of it looked like Simon the Just, the Jewish High Priest.  Alexander didn’t like Jews, or anyone for that matter, anymore then Hitler did, but due to the dream he gave the Jews some reverence and we are paying for that today.

The Jews took advantage of Alexander’s good gesture and installed a system of tax collection that led to terrible corruption. It was so inherently corrupt that the Talmud (the Jewish Bible) held that anybody who was a tax collector was presumed to be a thief.

This terribly pernicious system destroyed the morale of the Jewish community in the time of the Greeks long after Alexander was gone.  The majority of the Jews during the time of Alexander the Great are not the Jews of today.

The main different between Alexander and Hitler is that Alexander didn’t worship You, but the major gods and goddesses: Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite, Ares, Dionysus, Hephaestus, Athena, Hermes, Demeter, Hestia and Hera.  And he believed that he was the son of Zeus.

While Hitler not only worshiped Jesus Christ, but studied more than 130 books about Him, and he was a big fan of Martin Luther.  That doesn’t mean he’s going to heaven, but I would say he has a better change hen Alexander dioes.

Most of the information about Alexander the Great comes from the historian Herodotus, so I want to see what…

Jeremiah 49
The Prophecy Against Ammon

1 Concerning the Ammonites, thus saith the LORD; Hath Israel no sons? hath he no heir? why then doth their king inherit Gad, and his people dwell in his cities?

Qasr Al Abd was built by the governor of Ammon in 200 B.C.

“Concerning the Ammonites” – Ammon was east of the Jordan and north of Moab.  “Their king” is probably Molech, the chief god of the Ammonites, also known as Milcom.  Both titles are related to the West Semitic word for “king” (Hebrew melek).

2 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will cause an alarm of war to be heard in Rabbah of the Ammonites; and it shall be a desolate heap, and her daughters shall be burned with fire: then shall Israel be heir unto them that were his heirs, saith the LORD.

3 Howl, O Heshbon, for Ai is spoiled: cry, ye daughters of Rabbah, gird you with sackcloth; lament, and run to and fro by the hedges; for their king shall go into captivity, and his priests and his princes together.

“Ai” – not the Ai of Josh 8, its location is unknown.

4 Wherefore gloriest thou in the valleys, thy flowing valley, O backsliding daughter? that trusted in her treasures, saying, Who shall come unto me?

“Who shall come unto me?” – according to Josephus (Antiquities, 10.9.7) Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Ammon in the 23rd year of his reign (582 B.C.).

5 Behold, I will bring a fear upon thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts, from all those that be about thee; and ye shall be driven out every man right forth; and none shall gather up him that wandereth.

6 And afterward I will bring again the captivity of the children of Ammon, saith the LORD.

Rabbah Moab Roman Temple
The modern town of er-Rabbah preserves the ancient name of Rabbah Moab. In the Roman and Byzantine period, the city was known as Areopolis (City of [the god] Mars).

According to an inscription, this Roman temple was dedicated to the emperors Diocletian and Maximian, who ruled jointly from AD 286-305.

7 Concerning Edom, thus saith the LORD of hosts; Is wisdom no more in Teman? is counsel perished from the prudent? is their wisdom vanished?8 Flee ye, turn back, dwell deep, O inhabitants of Dedan; for I will bring the calamity of Esau upon him, the time that I will visit him.

“Esau” – the patriarch Jacob’s brother, and another name for Edom (see Gen 25:29-30, 36:1), just as Israel was another name for Jacob (see Gen 32:28).  The fact that Esau was Jacob’s brother made Edom’s enmity toward Israel all the more reprehensible (see Amos 1:11; Obad 10).

9 If grape gatherers come to thee, would they not leave some gleaning grapes? if thieves by night, they will destroy till they have enough.

10 But I have made Esau bare, I have uncovered his secret places, and he shall not be able to hide himself: his seed is spoiled, and his brethren, and his neighbors, and he is not.

11 Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in me.

12 For thus saith the LORD; Behold, they whose judgment was not to drink of the cup have assuredly drunken; and art thou he that shall altogether go unpunished? thou shalt not go unpunished, but thou shalt surely drink of it.

Dedan
Ancient Dedan is known as Al Ula today. In the ruins of the old city there are inscriptions that indicate the Dedanites were preceded by a Minean settlement.

The Mineans established a center at this desert oasis in order to protect the incense trade. Dedan is situated between Medina and Tabuk in central Saudi Arabia. It was one of the largest and most important centers of civilization in ancient Arabia.

“They whose judgment was not to drink…have assuredly drunken” – though they are God’s chosen ones, the people of Judah will be punished because of their sin (see Amos 3:2).  God punished His own chosen people, the Jews, imagine what He’s going to do to the false Jews of today?

13 For I have sworn by myself, saith the LORD, that Bozrah shall become a desolation, a reproach, a waste, and a curse; and all the cities thereof shall be perpetual wastes.

“Bozrah” – not the Bozrah of 48:24; the Edomite Bozrah was probably the capital of Edom in the days of Jeremiah.

14 I have heard a rumor from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent unto the heathen, saying, Gather ye together, and come against her, and rise up to the battle.

15 For, lo, I will make thee small among the heathen, and despised among men.

16 Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD.

“Pride” – Edom’s besetting sin (and Satan’s favorite).

“Rock” – perhaps a reference to Petra, the most spectacular of the mountain strongholds for which Edom was noted.

17 Also Edom shall be a desolation: every one that goeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss at all the plagues thereof.

18 As in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbor cities thereof, saith the LORD, no man shall abide there, neither shall a son of man dwell in it.

PETRA, Jordan
Carved from the rock that served as a base for Esau — the father of the Edomites — Petra is a magical and mysterious ancient city that illuminated the imaginations of mankind through the millennia and now serves as a key location for many scholars tracking so-called “end-times” events.

19 Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan against the habitation of the strong: but I will suddenly make him run away from her: and who is a chosen man that I may appoint over her? for who is like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who is that shepherd that will stand before me?

20 Therefore hear the counsel of the LORD that he hath taken against Edom; and his purposes, that he hath purposed against the inhabitants of Teman: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out: surely he shall make their habitations desolate with them.

21 The earth is moved at the noise of their fall, at the cry the noise thereof was heard in the Red sea.

22 Behold, he shall come up and fly as the eagle, and spread his wings over Bozrah: and at that day shall the heart of the mighty men of Edom be as the heart of a woman in her pangs.

“Eagle” – represents Nebuchadnezzar in 48:40 and probably here also.  A more complete subjugation of the Edomites was accomplished by Nabatean Arabs (perhaps the “dragons of the wilderness” of Mal 1:3) beginning c. 550 B.C.

23 Concerning Damascus. Hamath is confounded, and Arpad: for they have heard evil tidings: they are fainthearted; there is sorrow on the sea; it cannot be quiet.

24 Damascus is waxed feeble, and turneth herself to flee, and fear hath seized on her: anguish and sorrows have taken her, as a woman in travail.

Remains of a Nabataean cistern north of Makhtesh Ramon, southern Israel.

25 How is the city of praise not left, the city of my joy!

26 Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets, and all the men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the LORD of hosts.

27 And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall consume the palaces of Ben-hadad.

28 Concerning Kedar, and concerning the kingdoms of Hazor, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon shall smite, thus saith the LORD; Arise ye, go up to Kedar, and spoil the men of the east.

29 Their tents and their flocks shall they take away: they shall take to themselves their curtains, and all their vessels, and their camels; and they shall cry unto them, Fear is on every side.

30 Flee, get you far off, dwell deep, O ye inhabitants of Hazor, saith the LORD; for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon hath taken counsel against you, and hath conceived a purpose against you.

Damascus
Ruins of the Jupiter Temple at the entrance of Al-Hamidiyah Souq.

31 Arise, get you up unto the wealthy nation, that dwelleth without care, saith the LORD, which have neither gates nor bars, which dwell alone.

32 And their camels shall be a booty, and the multitude of their cattle a spoil: and I will scatter into all winds them that are in the utmost corners; and I will bring their calamity from all sides thereof, saith the LORD.

33 And Hazor shall be a dwelling for dragons, and a desolation forever: there shall no man abide there, nor any son of man dwell in it.

34 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet against Elam in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying,

35 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might.

36 And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come.

Damascus today

37 For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies, and before them that seek their life: and I will bring evil upon them, even my fierce anger, saith the LORD; and I will send the sword after them, till I have consumed them:

38 And I will set my throne in Elam, and will destroy from thence the king and the princes, saith the LORD.

39 But it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring again the captivity of Elam, saith the LORD.

Alexander the Great

Alexander III of Macedon, better known as Alexander the Great, refers to the Macedonian king, never appears in the Bible.

Alexander the Great in battle on his horse, Bucephalas.

Alexander was born in Pella, the ancient capital of Macedonia in July 356 B.C. His parents were Philip II of Macedon and his wife Olympias. Alexander was educated by the philosopher Aristotle.

However, the prophets Daniel and Zechariah wrote prophecies concerning Greece and Alexander’s Macedonian Empire.

The non-eschatological prophecies in Daniel have proved so reliable that some critics have tried to post-date his writing, even though copious literary, historical and biblical factors point to a date of writing in the sixth century B.C.  

Zechariah, writing sometime between 520 and 470 B.C., was also well before Alexander’s rise to power.

World History
Surrounding Alexander the Great

Over the next eight years, in his capacity as king, commander, politician, scholar and explorer, Alexander led his army 11,000 miles, founding over 70 cities and creating an empire that stretched across three continents and covered around two million square miles.

Ancient Pella, Alexander the Great’s birth place.

The entire area from Greece in the west, north to the Danube, south into Egypt and as far to the east as the Indian Punjab, was linked together in a vast international network of trade and commerce.

This was united by a common Greek language and culture, while the king himself adopted foreign customs in order to rule his millions of ethnically diverse subjects.

Alexander was acknowledged as a military genius who always led by example, although his belief in his own indestructibility meant he was often reckless with his own life and those of his soldiers.

His legendary conquest of nearly the entire known world resulted in one of the largest empires in ancient history. Alexander overthrew the entire Persian Empire: Asia Minor, Persia, Egypt and everything in between, including Israel.

Alexander died of a fever in Babylon in June 323 B.C., undefeated in battle but without a clear heir, which led to the division of his empire among four of his generals.

Philip II of Macedon , Alexander’s father.

Although Alexander’s empire split, the Hellenism he spread continued. Greek became the universal language, and Greek culture was either required or encouraged in all parts of the divided empire. Israel changed hands between the Ptolemaic and Seleucid kingdoms.

Israel later gained its independence from 167–63 B.C., a time referred to as the Hasmonean Period and recorded in the apocryphal books of 1 and 2 Maccabees. The end of this period was marked by the Roman conquest of Jerusalem in 63 B.C.

Prophecy Regarding the Empire

Daniel discusses a great deal of the then-future events which, as mentioned above, have proved true. By God’s inspiration, Daniel predicted that there would be a succession of four “global” empires. His prophecy included many details, including the fact that the Greek Empire would split into four parts.

The Four-Kingdom Succession:

King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that he didn’t understand and none of his magicians, astrologers, sorcerers, or Chaldeans could interpret it, but God explained it to Daniel and he gave the king the interpretation.

Olympias, Alexander’s mother.

Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.

This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,

His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.

Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and break them to pieces.

Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.

Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.

And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.

And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.

This map shows the vast empire conquered by Alexander the Great in red highlight. The extent of the empire is an approximation of 320 B.C.

And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.

And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.

And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.

And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.

Serapis, a Greco-Egyptian God worshipped in Hellenistic Egypt.

Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure (Dan 2:31-45).

From our vantage point in history, we now know the four kingdoms are the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman empires.

The Greek Conquest and Split

Daniel also received a vision of the demise of the Medo-Persian Empire, which had, in 539 B.C., overtaken the Babylonian Kingdom. God specifically names the Medo-Persian and Greek empires in Daniel 8:20-21 and 10:20–11:4.

The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.

And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king (Dan 8:20-21).

Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come.

But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.

Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.

And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia.

And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.

And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those (Dan 10:20-11:4).

The first half of chapter 8 is a highly symbolic passage about a ram and a goat. The ram had two horns, one longer than the other, representing the empire of the Medes and the Persians (Dan 8:20), and “none could rescue from his power. He did as he pleased and became great” (Dan 8:4).

Then a goat “came from the west” (Dan 8:5) with a single horn between its eyes. The horn represents the king, Alexander. The goat killed the ram and “became very great, but at the height of his power his large horn was broken off” (Dan 8:8) – a prediction of Alexander’s untimely death.

In Daniel’s vision, the single horn is replaced with four new horns, which are “four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power” (Dan 8:22).

The four new kingdoms are mentioned again in Dan 11:4, which say that “his [Alexander’s] empire will be broken up and parceled out toward the four winds of heaven.  It will not go to his descendants, nor will it have the power he exercised.”

These passages describe, two centuries in advance, precisely what happened to Alexander and his empire.

Conclusion

Approximately 250 years before Alexander began his world conquest, God provided Daniel with a glimpse into the future. This was important to Daniel and his people, as God also told them that they would return to their land and He would take care of them through the coming tumultuous times.

Ancient Hasmonean village in Nebi Samuel. It may have been the place called Mizpah of Benjamin.

 

Daniel was talking about Jesus Christ when he said:

And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever (Dan 2:44).

Kingdoms rise and fall, but God holds the future and His Word stands.

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it (Is 55:11).

…Herodotus had to say about the Fall of Babylon. 

Jeremiah 48 – The Prophecy Against Moab & Hophra, King of Egypt

I have to admit, Hophra wasn’t that interesting or exciting, but I had to know about him because Amasis had been his general and his palace had been excavated at Memphis.

New Old Libya
For decades Libyans lived under a dictator who twisted their past. Now they must imagine their future.

Amasis was considered to be the last Pharaoh of Egypt before Alexander the Great stopped by for a visit and ruined all his fun.

So now I want to know a bit about…

Jeremiah 48
The Prophecy Against Moab

1 Against Moab thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Woe unto Nebo! for it is spoiled: Kiriathaim is confounded and taken: Misgab is confounded and dismayed.

Josephus (Antiquities, 10.9.7) implies that Jeremiah’s prophecy concerning the future destruction of Moab was fulfilled in the “twenty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign” (582 B.C.).

“Nebo” – a town originally allotted to the tribe of Reuben.

Capital of Moab
Known in the Bible as Kir, Kir Moab, Kir-Heres(eth), and Hereseth, this site (modern Kerak) was the capital city of Moab.

It is situated on an isolated hilltop, with a view in all directions. The Crusaders recognized the defensible aspect of the site and in AD 1140 they made Kerak one of their strongest fortresses in the Middle East. The remains of the Crusader castle are shown here.

“Kiriathaim” – an ancient town, it too was allotted to Reuben.  Nebo, Kiriathaim and several other towns referred to in this chapter and mentioned also in an important Moabite inscription written by Mesha King of Moab and discovered in 1868.

2 There shall be no more praise of Moab: in Heshbon they have devised evil against it; come, and let us cut it off from being a nation. Also thou shalt be cut down, O Madmen; the sword shall pursue thee.

“Heshbon” – originally allotted to Reuben, it was later reassigned to Gad as a Levitical town.

“Madmen” – location unknown; perhaps a longer spelling of “Dimon” (Isa 15:9).  In Isa 25:10, the feminine form of the Hebrew word madmen is translated “dunghill.”

3 A voice of crying shall be from Horonaim, spoiling and great destruction.

“Horonaim” – location unknown.

4 Moab is destroyed; her little ones have caused a cry to be heard.

5 For in the going up of Luhith continual weeping shall go up; for in the going down of Horonaim the enemies have heard a cry of destruction.

“Luhith” – location unknown.

6 Flee, save your lives, and be like the heath in the wilderness.

Moloch was one of the false gods that Israel would worship during its periods of apostasy.

This false deity is associated with Ammon in 1 Kings 11:7, “Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable idol of Moab, on the mountain which is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon.”

7 For because thou hast trusted in thy works and in thy treasures, thou shalt also be taken: and Chemosh shall go forth into captivity with his priests and his princes together.

“Chemosh” the national god of Moab.  The Hebrew text here implies the alternate spelling Chemish, as in “Carchemish.”

8 And the spoiler shall come upon every city, and no city shall escape: the valley also shall perish, and the plain shall be destroyed, as the LORD hath spoken.

9 Give wings unto Moab that it may flee and get away: for the cities thereof shall be desolate, without any to dwell therein.

“Give wings unto Moab” – or “Put salt on Moab” – to make its farmland unproductive and barren.

10 Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.

11 Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity: therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed.

A copy of the Hebrew text of this verse has been found inscribed on a large clay seal, dating to the early Christian era and apparently used for stamping the bitumen with which the mouths of wine jars were sealed.

12 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will send unto him wanderers, that shall cause him to wander, and shall empty his vessels, and break their bottles.

13 And Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed of Beth-el their confidence.

“House of Israel” – the northern kingdom, destroyed and exiled in 722-721 B.C.

“Beth-el” – either (1) the well-known town where one of Jeroboam’s golden calves was placed (see 1 Kgs 12:28-30) or (2) in parallelism with Chemosh, the West Semitic deity known from contemporary Babylonian inscriptions as well as from the Elephantine papyri a century later.

14 How say ye, We are mighty and strong men for the war?

15 Moab is spoiled, and gone up out of her cities, and his chosen young men are gone down to the slaughter, saith the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts.

16 The calamity of Moab is near to come, and his affliction hasteth fast.

17 All ye that are about him, bemoan him; and all ye that know his name, say, How is the strong staff broken, and the beautiful rod!

18 Thou daughter that dost inhabit Dibon, come down from thy glory, and sit in thirst; for the spoiler of Moab shall come upon thee, and he shall destroy thy strong holds.

19 O inhabitant of Aroer, stand by the way, and espy; ask him that fleeth, and her that escapeth, and say, What is done?

20 Moab is confounded; for it is broken down: howl and cry; tell ye it in Arnon, that Moab is spoiled,

“Arnon” – Moab’s most important river.

The Mesha Stele in its current location. The brown fragments are pieces of the original stele, whereas the smoother black material is Ganneau’s reconstruction from the 1870s.

21 And judgment is come upon the plain country; upon Holon, and upon Jahazah, and upon Mephaath,

“Holon” – not the same as the town mentioned in Josh 15:51, 21:15.  Its location is unknown.

22 And upon Dibon, and upon Nebo, and upon Beth-diblathaim,

23 And upon Kiriathaim, and upon Beth-gamul, and upon Beth-meon,

24 And upon Kerioth, and upon Bozrah, and upon all the cities of the land of Moab, far or near.

25 The horn of Moab is cut off, and his arm is broken, saith the LORD.

26 Make ye him drunken: for he magnified himself against the LORD: Moab also shall wallow in his vomit, and he also shall be in derision.

27 For was not Israel a derision unto thee? was he found among thieves? for since thou spakest of him, thou skippedst for joy.

Kingdom of Ammon – c. 10th century – 332 B.C.
Capital Rabbath Ammon (Amman)
Languages: Ammonite, Moabite
Religion: Milkomite
Government: Monarchy
King
Around 1000 BC Hanun
– 740-720 BC Sanipu
– 680–640 BC Amminadab I
Historical era Iron Age
Kingdom of Ammon flourishes 10th century BC
– Battle of Qarqar against the Assyrians 853 BC
– Invasion by Alexander the Great 332 BC
– Rabbath Ammon renamed to Philadelphia 248-282 BC
Today part of Jordan

28 O ye that dwell in Moab, leave the cities, and dwell in the rock, and be like the dove that maketh her nest in the sides of the hole’s mouth.

29 We have heard the pride of Moab, (he is exceeding proud) his loftiness, and his arrogancy, and his pride, and the haughtiness of his heart.

30 I know his wrath, saith the LORD; but it shall not be so; his lies shall not so affect it.

31 Therefore will I howl for Moab, and I will cry out for all Moab; mine heart shall mourn for the men of Kir-heres.

32 O vine of Sibmah, I will weep for thee with the weeping of Jazer: thy plants are gone over the sea, they reach even to the sea of Jazer: the spoiler is fallen upon thy summer fruits and upon thy vintage.

“Spoiler” – probably Nebuchadnezzar.

33 And joy and gladness is taken from the plentiful field, and from the land of Moab; and I have caused wine to fail from the winepresses: none shall tread with shouting; their shouting shall be no shouting.

34 From the cry of Heshbon even unto Elealeh, and even unto Jahaz, have they uttered their voice, from Zoar even unto Horonaim, as an heifer of three years old: for the waters also of Nimrim shall be desolate.

35 Moreover I will cause to cease in Moab, saith the LORD, him that offereth in the high places, and him that burneth incense to his gods.

36 Therefore mine heart shall sound for Moab like pipes, and mine heart shall sound like pipes for the men of Kir-heres: because the riches that he hath gotten are perished.

1. Mount Ararat The traditional site where Noah’s ark landed (Gen. 8:4). The exact location is unknown.

2. Ur First residence of Abraham, where he was almost a victim of human sacrifice, saw the angel of Jehovah, and received the Urim and Thummim (Gen. 11:28-12:1; Abr. 1; 3:1). (Note also a possible alternate site for Ur in northern Mesopotamia.)

3. Babylon, Babel (Shinar) First settled by Cush, the son of Ham, and by Nimrod. Area of origin of Jaredites at the time of the Tower of Babel in the plains of Shinar. Later provincial capital of Babylonia and residence of Babylonian kings, including Nebuchadnezzar who carried many Jews captive to this city following the destruction of Jerusalem (587 B.C.).
The Jews remained in captivity in Babylon for 70 years until the time of King Cyrus, who permitted the Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. Daniel the prophet also resided here under Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, and Darius I (Gen. 10:10; 11:1-9; 2 Kgs. 24-25; Jer. 27:1-29:10; Ezek. 1:1; Dan. 1-12; Omni 1:22; Ether 1:33-43).

4. Shushan (Susa) Capital city of the Persian Empire under the reigns of Darius I (Darius the Great), Xerxes (Ahasuerus), and Artaxerxes. Residence of Queen Esther, whose courage and faith saved the Jews. Daniel and later Nehemiah served here (Neh. 1:1; 2:1; Esth. 1:1; Dan. 8:2).

5. Plain of Dura Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were cast into a fiery furnace when they refused to worship a golden image created by Nebuchad-nezzar; the Son of God preserved them, and they emerged from the furnace unharmed (Dan. 3).

6. Assyria Asshur was Assyria’s first capital, followed by Nineveh. Assyrian rulers Shalmaneser V and Sargon II conquered the Northern Kingdom of Israel and carried away the 10 tribes captive in 721 B.C. (2 Kgs. 14-15, 17-19). Assyria was a threat to Judah until 612 B.C., when Assyria was conquered by Babylon.

7. Nineveh The capital of Assyria. Assyria attacked Judah during the reign of Hezekiah and the ministry of the prophet Isaiah. Judah was delivered when an angel smote 185,000 Assyrian soldiers (2 Kgs. 19:32-37). The Lord told the prophet Jonah to call this city to repentance (Jonah 1:2; 3:1-4).

8. Haran Abraham settled here for a time before going to Canaan. Abraham’s father and brother remained here. Rebekah (Isaac’s wife), and Rachel, Leah, Bilhah, and Zilpah (Jacob’s wives), came from this area (Gen. 11:31-32; 24:10; 29:4-6; Abr. 2:4-5).

9. Carchemish Pharaoh Necho was defeated here by Nebuchadnezzar II, which ended Egyptian power in Canaan (2 Chr. 35:20-36:6).

10. Sidon This city was founded by Sidon, a grandson of Ham, and is the northernmost Canaanite city (Gen. 10:15-20). It was the home of Jezebel, who introduced Baal worship into Israel (1 Kgs. 16:30-33).

11. Tyre This was an important commercial and seaport town in Syria. Hiram of Tyre sent cedar and brass and workmen to aid Solomon in building his temple (1 Kgs. 5:1-10, 18; 9:11).

12. Damascus Abraham rescued Lot near here. It became the chief city of Syria. During King David’s reign, the Israelites conquered the city. Elisha anointed Hazael to be king over Damascus (Gen. 14:14-15; 2 Sam. 8:5-6; 1 Kgs. 19:15).

13. Canaan Abraham and his children were given this land for an everlasting possession (Gen. 17:8).

14. Mount Sinai (Horeb) The Lord spoke to Moses from a burning bush (Ex. 3:1-2). Moses was given the Law and the Ten Commandments (Ex. 19-20). The Lord spoke to Elijah in a still, small voice (1 Kgs. 19:8-12).

15. Ezion-geber King Solomon built a “navy of ships” in Ezion-geber (1 Kgs. 9:26). Probably at this port the queen of Sheba, after hearing of the fame of Solomon, landed to see him (1 Kgs. 10:1-13).

16. Egypt Abraham traveled here because of a great famine in Ur (Abr. 2:1, 21). The Lord told Abraham to teach the Egyptians what He had revealed to him (Abr. 3:15). Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery (Gen. 37:28). Joseph became a ruler of Potiphar’s house here.
He was cast into prison. He interpreted Pharaoh’s dream and was given a position of authority in Egypt. Joseph and his brothers were brought together. Jacob and his family moved here (Gen. 39-46). The children of Israel dwelt in Goshen during their 430-year sojourn in Egypt (Gen. 47:6).

The Israelites multiplied “and waxed exceeding mighty”; they were then placed in bondage by the Egyptians (Ex. 1:7-14). After a series of plagues Pharaoh allowed Israel to leave Egypt after Israel had sojourned there (Ex. 12:31-41). Jeremiah was taken to Egypt (Jer. 43:4-7).

17. Caphtor (Crete) The ancient land of the Minoans.

37 For every head shall be bald, and every beard clipped: upon all the hands shall be cuttings, and upon the loin’s sackcloth.

38 There shall be lamentation generally upon all the housetops of Moab, and in the streets thereof: for I have broken Moab like a vessel wherein is no pleasure, saith the LORD.

39 They shall howl, saying, How is it broken down! how hath Moab turned the back with shame! so shall Moab be a derision and a dismaying to all them about him.

40 For thus saith the LORD; Behold, he shall fly as an eagle, and shall spread his wings over Moab.

41 Kerioth is taken, and the strong holds are surprised, and the mighty men’s hearts in Moab at that day shall be as the heart of a woman in her pangs.

42 And Moab shall be destroyed from being a people, because he hath magnified himself against the LORD.

43 Fear, and the pit, and the snare, shall be upon thee, O inhabitant of Moab, saith the LORD.

44 He that fleeth from the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that getteth up out of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for I will bring upon it, even upon Moab, the year of their visitation, saith the LORD.

45 They that fled stood under the shadow of Heshbon because of the force: but a fire shall come forth out of Heshbon, and a flame from the midst of Sihon, and shall devour the corner of Moab, and the crown of the head of the tumultuous ones.

“Heshbon” – apparently at this time it was controlled by the Ammonites.

“Sihon” – refers to the associates of Sihon king of the Amorites, whose chief city was Heshbon during the time of the exodus.

46 Woe be unto thee, O Moab! the people of Chemosh perisheth: for thy sons are taken captives, and thy daughter’s captives.

47 Yet will I bring again the captivity of Moab in the latter days, saith the LORD. Thus far is the judgment of Moab.

Hophra, King of Egypt

Hophra (known to Egyptologists by the Greekform of his name, Apries), the fourth king of the 26th (Saite) Dynasty, ruled by Egypt from 589 to 570 B.C.  His palace has been excavated at Memphis.

Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah in 588 B.C., Zedekiah requested help from Egypt and Hophra responded by sending troops.  This resulted in Nebuchadnezzar lifting the siege of Jerusalem to deal with the Egyptian threat.

The relief was short-lived because Nebuchadnezzar quickly drove off the Egyptians and returned to capture Jerusalem.

After Gedaliah, the new governor of Judah, was assassinated in 586 B.C., the remaining Judean leadership fled to Egypt, taking Jeremiah with them.  While in Egypt the prophet declared that God would hand over Hophra to his enemies.

Indeed, Jeremiah’s words reflect a disdain for Hophra.  In 46:17 he declared,

There they will exclaim, “Pharaoh, king of Egypt is only a loud noise; he has missed his opportunity.”

The Hebrew for “he has missed” in this verse sounds like the name Hophra.

Hophra’s downfall does suggest a degree of ineptitude.  In 570 B.C. he sent a force of Egyptians against a Greek colony in Cyrene in eastern Libya.  The Egyptian army was badly defeated, leading to a soldier’s revolt against Hophra’s leadership.

Hophra sent his general, Amasis, to quell the rebellion, but Amasis jointed instead.  Forced by Amasis into exile, Hophra made his way to the Babylonian court of Nebuchadnezzar II.

He returned three years later with the Babylonian army in an attempt to regain the throne but was defeated and lost his life in the process.  Nevertheless, Amasis buried him with full honors in the royal cemetery at Sais in Egypt’s western delta.

…the life of Alexander the Great?  Did he walk with you or did he worship false gods too?