Jeremiah 51-52

Jeremiah 51-52

Chapter 51: Babylon shall be destroyed

Jeremiah foretells of the destruction of Babylon. We learn that Jesus Christ is the “builder” of the earth and God the Father is the “creator” or the “architect” who laid out the plans.

“He [Jesus] hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his understanding.” (Jeremiah 51:15) Babylon will be destroyed by the Medes. All shall be broken in pieces. The daughter of Babylon is like threshing floor, it is time to thresh her. Babylon will be brought as a lamb to the slaughter; it will become a dwelling place for dragons. Jeremiah instructs Seraiah (the chief priest) to read this prophecy in Babylon, then bind a stone to the prophecy and throw it in the Euphrates to demonstrate that Babylon shall sink.

When reading this it is not certain what “book” Jeremiah was speaking of, was it the Book of Jeremiah that we know of today? I personally believe that the book is different from what we know and is another Lost Book of the Bible.

Chapter 52: Zedekiah’s sons die in Jerusalem

We are reminded of an account of the defeat of Zedekiah by the Babylonians (see 2 Kings 25). Zedekiah’s sons are killed, Zedekiah, himself blinded.  Jerusalem is besieged and looted by the Chaldeans. We also learn that the way Jehoiachin is treated in his captivity improves.

Jeremiah 15-16

Jeremiah 15-16

Chapter 15: Jerusalem shall be destroyed

The sword, famine and captivity are promised, as punishment for the sins of Manasseh, son of Hezekiah (Jews). Widows shall mourn and languish. Jeremiah complains about being made to deliver such unwelcomed messages, for which too he is unwelcomed. Jeremiah pleads his sincerity, and asks pardon. God promises to protect him. Jerusalem will be destroyed.

Chapter 16: The Restoration

Due to the evils which threaten, Jeremiah is forbidden to marry or have a family, or to share in the joys and sorrow of his neighbors, which will be forgotten in the calamities that their sins will bring on them. The utter ruin of the Jews is foreseen and Israel will be rejected for serving false gods. Fishers and hunters will appear to bring them back to the truth of the gospel (missionaries) and the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be restored for the last time.

Jeremiah 5-6

Jeremiah 5-6

Chapter 5: Sin= Less or No Blessings

Judah’s iniquities are recounted. It will be destroyed by a strange nation whose tongue is unknown. Their “…prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them…” (Jeremiah 5:13) They continue to serve strange gods. The Lord calls out to Judah; “Hear now this, O foolish people and without understanding; which have eyes and see not; which have hears and hear not: Fear ye not me? Saith the Lord: will ye not tremble at my presence…” (Jeremiah 5:21-22) The people of Judah did not listen to the Lord. Because they have strayed from His path and committed sin the Lord calls out; “…your sins have withhoden good things from you.” (Jeremiah 5:25) Because of evil and sin, the Lord can and will hold blessings that could be yours. If we are not willing to the live the Gospel and follow the Lord’s commandments he is not bound to bless us.

In Doctrine and Covenants we read “I, the Lord am bound wjem ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.” (Doctrine and Covenants 82:10) So if we strive to do what is right and generally do what is right, we are entitled to more blessings from the Lord and He will not have to withhold those blessings from us. However, in the case of Judah they have strayed from the Lord and therefore the Lord will not protect it.

Chapter 6: Jerusalem shall be destroyed

Jerusalem will be made desolate, because they did not hearken unto the word of the Lord.

“To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? …behold the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.” (Jeremiah 6:10)

In the Last days, like Jerusalem the people will become ashamed of the word of the Lord and will no longer listen. Because of this Jerusalem with be destroyed and punished for its transgressions by a nation from the north. This nation is cruel and will have no mercy. Repent.

Isaiah 65-66

Isaiah 65-66

Chapter 65: The Millennium

“I am sought of them that asked not for me…” (Isaiah 65:1) These people are contrasted with God’s rebellious people; “… a rebellious people which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;” (Isaiah 65:2) Blessings are promised for the true servants of the Lord, and a chastisement for false or shallow servants. God will create a new heaven, and a new earth, and there shall be no more weeping. People will live so long that if someone dies being one hundred years old, people will consider that one accursed. They shall provide for themselves. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together.

Doctrine and Covenants (an LDS book of scripture) goes on to explain more about the Millennium; “…in that day the enmity of man, and the enmity of beasts… shall cease from before my face… in that day whatsoever any man shall ask, it shall be given unto him… in that day Satan shall not have power to tempt any man… there shall be no sorrow because there is no death… in that day an infant shall not die until he is old… his life shall be as the age of a tree [roughly 100 years]… And when he dies he shall not sleep, that is to say in the earth, but shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and shall be caught up, and his rest shall be glorious… in that day when the Lord shall come, he shall reveal all things.” (Doctrine and Covenants 101:25-32)

Chapter 66: All wicked shall be destroyed

Heaven is the Lord’s throne, and the earth His footstool. The Lord will look on one who is poor and of a contrite spirit. Empty religious rituals are rejected. The Lord repays his enemies. After labor pains, Zion experiences the joy of birth. The Lord will come in judgment, to judge all flesh. Gentiles will come to know of the Lord, and some of them will even become priests and Levites. All flesh shall worship before the Lord. For those who transgress, their corpses will be looked upon – their worm shall not die, nor their fire quenched.

Isaiah 47-48

Isaiah 47-48

Chapter 47: Babylon and Chaldea shall be destroyed

Babylon is depicted as a degraded woman, naked and uncovered. The pride and arrogance of Babylon is rebuked. The stargazers and sorcerers of Babylon will be unable to help.

Chapter 48: The Lord reveals His purposes

The Lord rebukes Israel for their routine religious observance. The Lord made sure that he was revealed rather than concealed, but Israel did not see or hear. The Lord defers his anger for His name’s sake; He is the first and the last. The Lord wishes that his people had obeyed Him in the past. Exodus from Babylon joined with that from Egypt – the rock in the wilderness flowed with water.

Judges 19-21

Judges 19-21

Chapter 19: Dividing in 12 Pieces

I almost want to say, “viewer discretion is advised” on this passage! Seriously it is probably one of the more messed up stories of the Bible. So there is that warning, before you read.

A Levite living in Ephraim gets a concubine (a mistress) from Bethlehem. She however is unfaithful to him and returns to her father’s house in Bethlehem. Four month later the Levite man gets his servant and starts after her. When he arrives there the concubine brings him into her father’s house and invites him to stay. The Levite man stays for 3 days and prepares to head back home, but the father insists that he stays for food and then he ends up staying until the fifth day, when he tries to convince him again, but after 5 days the Levite wants to leave, so he leaves with his servant and concubine.

During their trip back they pass the city of Jebus (later Jebus gets conquered by the Israelites and is renamed “Jerusalem”), which has Jebusites living there. The Levite’s servant suggests they stop for the night in Jebus, but the Levite refuses to stay in a city whose inhabitants aren’t Israelites, so they push on to the city of Gibeah.

At Gibeah, they go into the “down town” section and everyone refuses to take them in. In this time, it was custom for someone to offer a place to sleep at night. But no one seems to let them in, except an old man that comes in from among the fields. The old man asks him where he is from, and the Levite tells him and asks for just a place to stay for the night. The old man finds out that they are both from the hill country of Ephraim and offers to give him food as well. They arrive at the old man’s home and get something to eat and wash their feet, all in all they were “enjoying themselves”.

Just then, the house gets surrounded by a bunch of wicked men of the city. They practically pound the door down and demand the old man to send out the Levite that is staying with him. The reason for this? They “wicked men” want to rape the Levite man. I told you this was a pretty graphic chapter. This part of the story is from (verses 22-30).

So the old man responds to the wicked men:

“…I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into mine house… here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now… and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not vile a thing.” (Judges 19:23-24)

                The men refuse to listen, so the Levite sends out his concubine…

“…and they knew her, and abused her all night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go” (Judges 19:25)

She returns to the house, after a whole night of being gang raped. She falls down to the ground in front of the house where she remains unto daylight. The Levite then wakes up and comes outside to find her by the front door on the threshold. He tells her to get up, that they must be going now. She doesn’t respond, so he picks her up and puts her on his donkey and returns home. The chapter or verse does not mention anything about the state of the concubine, but from the looks of it, it appears she is dead when he loads her onto the donkey. So she was raped to death. I told you that I should put a “viewer/reader discretion is advised” on the first of this blog!

When the Levite returns home, he takes the concubine and cuts her body into 12 pieces and sends a piece to each tribe of Israel. When the Israelites find this, they respond with rage; “… there was no such deed done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt…” (Judges 19:30)

Chapter 20: Benjamites Are Destroyed

So the story from the last passage carries on… A woman was gang raped to death and it seemed no one cared. But in this chapter we find out who did this horrible crime. So we know that the woman was cut up into 12 pieces and sent to every tribe of Israel, well they are horrified. At least someone cares now, right? Well we find out that it was the Benjamites that committed the crime. The other 11 tribes of Israel gather before the Lord at Mizpah to find out what happened.

The Levite explains the situation to the eleven tribes. He says that his concubine and him went to Gibeah to spend the night, during their visit the men in Gibeah intended to come after him but instead he handed over his concubine. She was killed like we read in the last chapter and then the Levite cut her into pieces and sent them to each region of Israel, because the crime was committed in Israel.

The 11 tribes of Israel unanimously decide that they are going to give the Gibeanites what they deserve for their heinous crime. So they go to the tribe of Benjamin and demand that they hand over the men from Gibeah who committed the crime. The Benjamites decide not to hand over the men, and instead prepare for war against the rest of Israel.

The Benjamites organize and have 26,000 swordsmen and 700 chosen men from Gibeah. The 700 chosen men were all left-handed and could sling a rock at a hair and not miss. Essentially these men were great warriors!

So to respond to this great number, the Israelites (the other 11 tribes) muster up 400,000 swordsmen and they gather at Bethel to inquire of the Lord who (of each tribe) should go to battle first. The Lord tells them that Judah should go first and they are practically wiped out. They lose 22,000 men! The Israelites then spend the day weeping, and encouraging each other to go back to battle. They ask God if they should go to battle again, and the Lord responds with a positive! The Israelites go to battle again and they lose another 18,000 men in battle! So they come back and weep and fast. They then ask God again, if they should go. They seem to be a bit disheartened, and the Lord tells them to go back to battle and this time the Benjamites would be delivered into their hands!

So the 11 tribes of Israel go up against the Benjamites again, this time with more strategy. They lose 30 men, but as the Israelites retreat, the Benjamites are struck from behind. They retreat, but the city of Gibeah is burned down. So the Benjamites retreat into the desert, and are followed and hunted down, the Benjamites lose 18,000 men and try to retreat another direction, where they are met by more of Israel. This time they lose another 5,000 men and then again another 2,000 men. All in all only 600 of the original 26,700 men escape and live in the desert for 4 months. While the 600 men escape and are in hiding the Israelites finish off killing ALL of the Benjamites, burning their cities and killing even their animals!

Chapter 21: Wives for the Benjamites

With only 600 Benjamite men in hiding, the rest of Israel gathers at Bethel to mourn the almost extinction of one of the tribes of Israel. The 11 tribes of Israel promise to not give any of their women to the Benjamites to marry. So now the tribe of Benjamin has no hope of continuing on, seeing as the only Bnjamites left are 600 men. All of the women and children have been wiped out.

The 11 tribes of Israel made an oath about not marrying any of their women to the Benjamites, and they all made a promise that if someone did not come to this meeting that they would be put to death. While mourning the tribes of Israel realize that the people of Jabesh Gilead are not there at Mizpah mourning with them. They decide they will be the solution to the problem. They have to put the people of Jabesh Gilead to death anyways because they broke the oath. So they decide to kill all of them and only spare the virgin woman and give those women to the tribe of Benjamin. The problem is that there are only four hundred women. But they bring these women to the tribe of Benjamin as a peace offering.

The tribe of Israel mourns some more, because there are still 200 men without wives, but they remember that there is an annual festival that happens at Shiloh. So they instruct the Benjamites to go an hide in the vineyards of Shiloh and when the girls come out to dance, they can snatch them up and take them as wives. If their fathers or brothers have a problem with this, the Israelites will calm them down, and ask them to do this favor so the Benjamites can have wives.

That is what happened and the Benjamites can continue on… the chapter ends.

Joshua 5-6

Joshua 5-6

Chapter 5: Israel Keeps the Commandments

Inhabitants of Canaan fear the children of Israel. All the uncircumcised males in  Israel are taken to be circumcised. Israel keeps the commandments and completes the Passover, where they eat the fruit of the land, the Manna that the Lord had given to them ceases. The captain of the Lord’s host appears before Joshua.

Chapter 6: Jericho is destroyed

Joshua prepares the Israelites for war against Jericho. Seven (7) priests are given seven (7) trumpets of rams’ horns. They are to surround the city of Jericho and sound the horns for six (6) days, and on the seventh day to make a long blast with the seven (7) horns to start the war.

Joshua commands the people: “…Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice… until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout” (Joshua 6:10), here Joshua is telling his people to be quiet until the day that they need to scream. But this reminds me of churches today that scream and dance around… think about it… how can the spirit be there?

Anyways…  on the seventh day; Joshua speaks to the Israelites and tells them; “…Shout; for the Lord hath given you the city. And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the Lord: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her house, because she hid the messengers that we had sent. (see Joshua 2)” (Joshua 6:16-17)

                Joshua, as a war rally, tells them to be careful of what they touch, because it is evil within the city. But the silver, gold, brass and iron are to come into the Treasury of the Lord. The people shouted and charged the city, the walls of the city fell flat and all was “utterly destroyed” (Joshua 6:21). Joshua commands the 2 spies from Joshua 2, to go in and get Rahab and her family from the city, before they burn Jericho to the ground.

Joshua sends a warning and a curse for anyone who decides to rebuild the city of Jericho. The Lord was with Joshua and the fame of him was spread wide throughout the region.