christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

jeremiah 48-49

Read Jeremiah 48-49 at Bible Gateway.

The prophecy against Moab: much of this prophecy is similar to the prophecy against Moab which Isaiah spoke in Isa 15:1-16:14. Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled when Shalmaneser, king of Assyria at the time, conquered Moab. Jeremiah’s prophecy was fulfilled when Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon conquered Moab. This event took place five years after the destruction of Jerusalem, so 23 years after the prophecy was delivered by Jeremiah.

The fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy was not as severe. Moab’s mighty men were defeated in battle, and some of the population taken away captive, but a remnant remained, which rebuilt cities. Since Gad was gone from his territory, Moab took over many of his cities, which are mentioned in Jeremiah’s prophecy as belonging to Moab. Nebuchadnezzar went farther than Shalmaneser: Nebuchadnezzar’s devastation caused Moab to cease from being a people (Jer 48:42). Moab ceased to be its own political entity after it was absorbed into the Babylonian empire. By the time of the Roman empire, the entire territory east of the Jordan river was known as Arabia, extending south to the Red Sea (including the former territory of Edom) and extending north to the old boundary with Syria (including the former territory of Ammon).

Now here is something interesting. In the middle of Isaiah’s prophecy against Moab, the central axis of the prophecy, we find:

In mercy the throne will be established;
And One will sit on it in truth, in the tabernacle of David,
Judging and seeking justice and hastening righteousness. Isa 16:5

And at the end of Jeremiah’s prophecy concerning Moab, the LORD declares that He will bring back the captives of Moab in the latter days. The One sitting on the throne of mercy, in the tabernacle of David, is the One who releases the captives from captivity. Today, Jordan encompasses the territory which used to be Moab’s (as well as Ammon, and part of Edom). This may be a prophecy of a great revival which will sweep through these lands in the latter days.

In fact, there is a great revival going through the 10-40 window at the moment. The gospel, for the past 2000 years, has encircled the globe, going westward, beginning from Jerusalem in the 1st century AD. By the beginning of the 20th century, it was making vast gains in China, which has continued to the present day. But now its leading edge is in Iran, as unofficial reports put one million Muslims per year converting in the 10-40 window, while official reports out of Iran merely acknowledge that Christianity is growing among Iranians. The gospel is returning to Jerusalem, as all Israel will be saved, when the last of the Gentiles have come in (Rom 11:25-26). The Jordanians are the last people before Jerusalem.

The prophecy against Ammon: Ammon seized on Gad’s territory east of the Jordan (with Moab) when Israel was carried away captive by Assyria. Then they helped Nebuchadnezzar against Judah and Jerusalem. The partial fulfillment of this prophecy was when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Ammon, at the same time as he came against Moab, five years after the destruction of Jerusalem. The future fulfillment is when Israel shall take possession of his inheritance in the territory of Ammon, which belonged to Gad. Today this land is in modern Jordan. They receive the same promise as Moab: afterward the LORD will bring back the captives of Ammon (Jer 49:6).

The prophecy against Edom: by Roman times, one of the most prominent cities of this region was Petra, the city cut into the clefts of the rock (Jer 49:16). They controlled the caravan route from the east as they were an oasis in the surrounding desert. When the Roman emperor Caligula decreed that a statue of himself be installed in every temple throughout the empire, and sacrifices made to it (him) as a god (beginning in 39 AD), the Christians living in Jerusalem, remembering Jesus’ prophecy and warning of Daniel’s abomination of desolation being installed in the Temple (Mat 24:15-16), quietly began removing their families and businesses from Jerusalem and many of them relocated to Petra. Thus they were not caught in the terrible civil war and destruction wrought by the Romans in 70 AD.

The prophecy against Damascus and Kedar. Damascus was (is) the capital of Syria. Kedar was a nomadic tribe which inhabited the Saudi Arabian peninsula, east of Moab, Ammon, and Edom. An interesting part of this prophecy is Jer 49:30-31, which sounds very similar to the prophecy of Ezekiel in Eze 38:10-13. I am not an end time prophecy teacher, but the teaching tool of thematic connection would tell us that these two prophecies are related somehow.

The prophecy against Elam: Elam was a son of Shem whose territory was south of Chaldea, east of the Euphrates River. Its capital was Susa (Daniel mentions it as the site of his vision in Dan 8:2). It was greatly reduced as a kingdom by the Assyrians, but not completely. It was absorbed into the Persian empire and ceased to be a separate political entity. Its territory was in modern southwest Iran and southern Iraq. The LORD promises that He will set His throne there, and that in the latter days, He will bring back the captives of Elam (Jer 49:38-39). This is a similar promise He made to Moab, and Ammon, and may be that this region will experience the revival that may be in store for the Jordanians.

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