Jeremiah 3:1-25


In Jeremiah chapter 2 God condemned Judah on two counts: they have rejected Jehovah, and they have reared up their own gods in place of him (isn’t that breaking the First Commandment?)  Verses 1-5 of chapter 3 continues on this theme.  Verses 6-10, God compares the sins of faithless Israel, the Northern Kingdom (10 tribes) to faithless Judah, committing spiritual adultery (which is idolatry).  Verses 12 through 18 have been thought to apply to a future regathering of Israel, the “ten lost tribes” back to their land along with their “sister” Judah.  But historic evidence shows verses 11-12 of Jeremiah 3 were also dispatched as a message to of all people, the Black Sea Scythians, who were a group of the ten tribes that escaped Assyrian captivity in a 1.5 year march north just skirting the borders of Assyria on their way north to a Hebro-Phoenician colony just north of Armenia.  This forced march took place somewhere just before the final Assyrian invasion and captivity of their capital city, Samaria, probably between 729-724BC.  Seven of the ten tribes made this march.  They were God-fearing, and thus received the protection of God in their flight north to evade captivity.  It is one of the most fascinating pieces of history that has just recently come to light.  Some choose to ignore it, while others choose to believe the historic evidence.  (Be sure to log onto: and and and read about this fascinating history of Israel and Judah.)  Many prophecies are duel in nature, and thus verses 12 through 18 can and probably do also refer to the future regathering of those ten northern tribes, the House of Israel, back to the land, to be regathered with their “sister” Judah.  So I’m coloring them green.  But remember, they’re also historic, as history shows.  The messages found in chapters 2 through 6 were given during the first five years of Jeremiah’s ministry before the Book of the Law was found (627-622BC).  During this time, however, Josiah, a young man just like Jeremiah, was seeking the Lord and instituting certain reforms in the nation.  Primarily, he was trying to eliminate the Idolatry in Judah.  This combined effort (at least during Josiah’s lifetime) had a delaying effect upon the nation, held off the impending calamity God was prophecying through Jeremiah.  Idolatry brought Judah down to a low moral level, because many pagan rites were very immoral, including the murder of innocent babies and very young children.  What Halley says about chapter 3, “In chapter 2, Israel means the whole nation [12 tribes].  In this chapter it means the Northern Kingdom, which 300 years before had split off from Judah, and 100 years before had been carried away captive by the Assyrians.  (see   and and  Judah, blind to the significance of Israel’s fall, not only did not repent, but under the wicked reign of Manasseh sunk to lower and lower depths of depravity.  The re-union of Judah and Israel is predicted [12-18] (also 50:4-5; Hosea 1:11).  Metaphor of an Adulterous wife (20).”


“They say, ‘If a man divorces his wife, and she goes from him and becomes another man’s, may he return to her again?’  Would not that land be greatly polluted?  But you have played the harlot with many lovers; yet return to me,’ says the LORD.  ‘Lift up your eyes to the desolate heights and see:  Where have you not lain with men?  By the road you have sat for them like an Arabian in the wilderness; and you have polluted the land with your harlotries and your wickedness.  Therefore the showers have been withheld, and there has been no latter rain.  You have had a harlot’s forehead; you refuse to be ashamed.  Will you not from this time cry to me, ‘My Father, you are the guide of my youth?  Will he remain angry forever?’  Behold, you have spoken and done evil things, as you were able.’ 


A Call to Repentance


The LORD said also to me in the days of Josiah the king: ‘Have you seen what backsliding Israel has done?  She has gone up on every high mountain and under every green tree, and there played the harlot.  And I said, after she had done all these things, ‘Return to me.’  But she did not return.  And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.  Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also.  So it came to pass, through her casual harlotry, that she defiled the land and committed adultery with stones and trees.  And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not turned to me with her whole heart, but in pretense,’ says the LORD.  Then the LORD said to me, ‘Backsliding Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah.  Go proclaim these words toward the north, and say: ‘Return, backsliding Israel,’ says the LORD; ‘I will not cause my anger to fall upon you.  For I am merciful,’ says the LORD; ‘I will not remain angry forever.  Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the LORD your God, and have scattered your charms to alien deities under every green tree.  And you have not obeyed my voice,’ says the LORD.  ‘Return, O backsliding children,’ says the LORD; ‘for I am married to you.  I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. [Comment: ”one from a city and two from a family” does not speak of a very high survival rate for whoever the nations the 10 tribes of Israel have become.  Also these verses say something about a lot of our modern day ministers and pastors within the Christian churches of the dead and dying denominations, about the “shepherds” we now have over some of our Christian flocks.  See    to look at this theme from a different perspective.]  And I will give you shepherds according to my heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.  Then it shall come to pass, when you are multiplied and increased in the land in those days,’ says the LORD, ‘that they will say no more, ‘The ark of the covenant of the LORD.’  It shall not come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they visit it, nor shall it be made anymore.  At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the LORD, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem.  No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts.  In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given as an inheritance to your fathers.’ (verses 12-18)  [Comment: “they will come from a northern land to the land I gave your forefathers” speaks of a coming captivity to yet occur during World War III, the great tribulation, this captivity probably to be within the confines of Europe and Germany.  Now the time setting of this prophecy shifts back to the past, during the reign of Josiah, starting in verse 19, and the rest of the chapter is the LORD taking one last backward look at the house of Israel he has just recently deported to the region of the Caspian Sea.]  But I said: ‘How can I put you among the children and give you a pleasant land, a beautiful heritage of the hosts of nations?’  And I said: ‘You shall call me, my Father, and not turn away from me.  Surely, as a wife treacherously departs from her husband, so have you dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel,’ says the LORD.  A voice was heard on the desolate heights, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel.  For they have perverted their way; they have forgotten the LORD their God.  ‘Return, you backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.’  ‘Indeed we do come to you, for you are the LORD our God.  Truly, in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains; truly in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel.  For shame has devoured the labor of our fathers from our youth---their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters.  We lie down in our shame, and our reproach covers us.  For we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers.  From our youth even to this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.’”


Jeremiah 4:1-31


Approaching Desolation of Judah, Scythian Invasion of the whole Middle East to the Egyptian border.  The Black Sea Scythians from around 639 to 621BC have just successfully conquered the whole of Asia Minor and the Middle East, including bringing the Assyrian Empire to its knees militarily.  They swept south to as far as the Egyptian border, and the Egyptians decided to pay these Black Sea Scythians tribute to avoid invasion. (see  They occupy this area until around 612/611BC, and then move back north to the Russian steppes and out of the Middle East completely.  Some of these Black Sea Scythian-Israelites have re-occupied their tribal homelands just north of Judah, and they’re God-fearing unlike those of Judah, who are merely paying Josiah and Jeremiah (and God) lip service.  Herodotus says these Scythians passed right through the Middle East to the Egyptian border without harming the Jews at all, nor was any attempt made by them to conquer Jerusalem.  Taken in light of who they really were, this makes perfect  sense.  Verses 1-2 continue the LORD’s thoughts about the house of Israel from the end of chapter 3, real chapter break should have occurred at verse 3 in my opinion.  In verses 4-31 the theme goes right back to the house of Judah and warning Judah about what the LORD is about to do, showing the approaching desolation of Judah.  This chapter describes the advance of the devastating Babylonian armies which destroyed Jerusalem (606-586BC.  About these Scythians, Halley has, “The very same year in which Jeremiah was called (626BC), immense swarms of Barbarians from the North struck terror into the nations of Southwest Asia.  They dealt a terrific blow to the tottering Assyrian power.  [Black Sea Scythian-Israelites getting revenge on the Assyrian Empire]   Rawlinson thus speaks of them: “Pouring through the passes of the Caucasus---whence coming or what intending none knew---horde after horde of the Scythians blackened the rich plains of the south. On they came like a flight of locusts, countless, irresistible, finding the land before them like a garden, leaving behind them a howling wilderness.  Neither age nor sex would be spared.  The inhabitants would be ruthlessly massacred by the invaders, or at best, forced to become slaves.  The crops would be consumed, the herds swept off or destroyed, the villages or homesteads burned, the whole country made a scene of desolation.”  Their ravages resembled those of the Huns.”  Very interesting observation.  Since some believe the Huns trace their ancestry to the ancient Assyrians, some of whom moved northwestward into northwestern Europe after the Scythians conquered Assyria in 624BC.  Whom better to learn their warlike habits and methods, than captured Israel, or Israel who evaded captivity, the Northern Kingdom, now historically the Scythians, free from captivity, and flexing their military prowess.  But the Scythians weren’t empire builders like their captors or the Babylonians.  500 years later, due to a severe drying climatic change in the Russian Steppes, the Scythians were forced to migrate westward, into what would also be northwestern Europe.  Recently discovered, the Scythians had a mutual correspondence and social interaction with the Celts and understood their Gaelic language.  If this is true, then Israel did temporarily return to what was their land, not as permanent settlers, only to move back north, and then west, lost from historic view again.  It would be interesting after the 2nd coming of Jesus to learn the whole truth about this matter.  As of now, it’s mere historic speculation at best.  But remember, Herodotus whose history gives us our only really good look at the Scythians, says they passed through the land of Judah without harming the Jews at all, nor did they even try to conquer Jerusalem.  This mystery is explained more thoroughly in my series on Kings and Chronicle beginning at this link:  Be sure to read through the whole series.


“‘If you will return, O Israel,’ says the LORD, ‘return to me; and if you will put away your abominations out of my sight, then you shall not be moved.  And you shall swear, ‘The LORD lives.’  In truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him they shall glory.’  For thus says the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: ‘Break up your fallow ground, and do not sow among thorns.  Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your hearts, you men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn so that no one can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.’  Declare in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem and say:  ‘Blow the trumpet in the land; cry, ‘Gather together,’ and say, ‘Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the fortified cities.’  Set up the standard toward Zion.  Take refuge!  Do not delay!   For I will bring disaster from the north, and great destruction.’  The lion has come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of nations is on his way.  He has gone forth from his place to make your land desolate.  Your cities will be laid waste, without inhabitant.  For this, clothe yourself with sackcloth, lament and wail.  For the fierce anger of the LORD has not turned back from us.  ‘And it shall come to pass in that day,’ says the LORD, that the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes; the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder.’  Then I said, ‘Ah, Lord GOD!  Surely you have greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘You shall have peace,’ whereas the sword reaches to the heart.’  At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, ‘A dry wind of the desolate heights blows in from the wilderness toward the daughter of my people---not to fan or to cleanse---a wind too strong for these will come from me; Now I will also speak judgment against them.  Behold, he shall come up like clouds, and his chariots like a whirlwind, his horses are swifter than eagles.  Woe to us, for we are plundered!’  O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, that you may be saved.  How long shall your evil thoughts lodge within you?  For a voice declares from Dan and proclaims affliction from Mount Ephraim:  Make mention to the nations, yes, proclaim against Jerusalem, that watchers come from a far country and raise their voice against the cities of Judah.  Like keepers of a field they are against her all around, because she has been rebellious against me,’ says the LORD.  ‘Your ways and your doings have procured these things for you.  This is your wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reaches to your heart.’ O my soul, my soul!  I am pained in my very heart!  My heart makes a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because you have heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.  Destruction upon destruction is cried, for the whole land is plundered.  Suddenly my tents are plundered, and my curtains in a moment.  How long will I see the standard, and hear the trumpet?  ‘For my people are foolish, they have not known me.  They are silly children, and they have no understanding.  They are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.’”  [Comment: verse 23 hearkens back to Genesis 1:1, which if you ascribe to the gap theory, God says when he looked on the earth and it was formless and void in Genesis 1:1-2, and then when  you look at Job 38 it says the earth was created beautiful, so beautiful that the angels sang for joy when they saw it, the casting down of Satan and the demons for their sin brought on the conditions of earth becoming formless and void tohu and bohu in Hebrew.  Sin brings on these conditions, and as we see here, God punishes his children for disobedience, verse 18, just like we do (or should do) with ours, because he loves us.]  I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void; and the heavens, they had no light (verse 23).  I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled, and all the hills moved back and forth.  I beheld, and indeed there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens had fled.  I beheld, and indeed the fruitful land was a wilderness, and all the cities were broken down at the presence of the LORD, by his fierce anger.  For thus says the LORD: ‘The whole land shall be desolate; yet I will not make a full end.  For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black, because I have spoken, I have purposed and will not relent, nor will I turn back from it.  The whole city shall flee from the noise of the horsemen and bowmen.  They shall go into thickets and climb up on the rocks.  Every city shall be forsaken, and not a man shall dwell in it.  And when you are plundered, what will you do?  Though you clothe yourself with ornaments of gold, though you enlarge your eyes with paint, in vain will you make yourself fair; your lovers will despise you; they will seek your life.  For I have heard a voice as of a woman in labor, the anguish is of her who brings forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion bewailing herself; she spreads her hands, saying, Woe is me now, for my soul is weary because of murderers!’”


Jeremiah 5:1-31


J. Vernon McGee comments: “We are in that period of time when Josiah the king was carrying on a reformation, but it was before the Word of God had been found in the temple [627-622BC].  Therefore it was reformation and not revival.  That which was taking place was shallow.”  For verse 1 he comments, “You remember the story of Diogenes, the Greek philosopher, who went through the streets of Athens with a lantern.  They asked him what he was looking for, and his answer was, ‘I am looking for an honest man.’  He never did find one.  I think you would have the same problem in Los Angeles and maybe also in your town.”  Halley describes this as: “Not one righteous (1), promiscuous sexual indulgence, even among the married, like animals [that’s a now thing in our society too, more than ever] (7-8), scoffing at the prophet’s warning (12) [never a good thing to scoff at God’s real prophets], wholly given to deceit, and robbery (26-28); satisfied with rottenness in the government (30-31).  A lot of what Jeremiah has written about Judah here in Josiah’s reign is also very true of our western supposed Judeo-Christian nations, western Europe, Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand can be included here as well.  We find history repeating itself in our times as well, so we would be wise to heed the Prophet’s words and wake up.  It must be remembered, the Black Sea Scythians have conquered the powerful Assyrian Empire, and have occupied all of the Middle East all the way down to the border of Egypt, and some are actually residing in their old homeland just north of Judea, the land of Judah and Benjamin.  With the Scythian-Israelite military might and presence on the side of king Josiah and Jeremiah and their reforms, Judah is merely giving God and his laws lip service.  The Black Sea Scythian Israelites are sincere in their worship of Yahweh at this point in time.  But under the surface, the “house of Judah” is corrupt, as Jeremiah and the LORD relate here in chapter 5.  So this is just before 621BC when the Scroll of God’s Law was found in the Temple.  Don’t forget, under kings Manasseh, and his son Amon, Josiah’s father, Judah had been brought back into evil Baal worship, which indulged heavily in child sacrifice, which God hated and abhorred.  The ten northern tribes had been conquered and driven from their land, some of them taken captive to Assyria, captivity because of this sin.  Josiah is attempting along with Jeremiah to bring about a reformation and spiritual revival within Judah.  But the Jews have lived for at least a generation or so under Baal-worshipping kings.  In their hearts they’re really not going along with Josiah and Jeremiah.  But remember, the recently returned Black Sea Scythian-Israelites are very sincere God-fearing worshippers of Yahweh.  Judah must have been kind of be cowering under their presence, as these people are wholeheartedly backing up Josiah and Jeremiah.  As long as these Black Sea Scythian-Israelites were in the land and Josiah was alive, Jeremiah was safe.


“‘Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem; see now and know; and seek in her open places if you can find a man, if there is anyone who executes judgment, who seeks truth, and I will pardon her.  O LORD, are not your eyes on the truth?  You have stricken them, but they have not grieved; you have consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction.  They have made their faces harder than rock’ they have refused to return.  Therefore I said, ‘Surely these are poor.  They are foolish; for they do not know the way of the LORD, the judgment of their God.  I will go to the great men and speak to them, for they have known the way of the LORD, the judgment of their God.’  But these have altogether broken the yoke and burst the bonds.  Therefore a lion from the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the deserts shall destroy them; a leopard will watch over their cities.  Everyone who goes out from there shall be torn in pieces, because their transgressions are many; their backslidings have increased.  How shall I pardon you for this?  Your children have forsaken me and sworn by those that are not gods.  When I fed them to the full, then they committed adultery and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses.  They were like well-fed lusty stallions; every one neighed after his neighbor’s wife.  Shall I not punish them for these things?’ says the LORD.  ‘And shall I not avenge myself on such a nation as this?  Go up on her walls and destroy, but do not make a complete end.  Take away her branches, for they are not the LORD’s.  For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously with me,’ says the LORD.  They have lied about the LORD, and said, ‘It is not he.  Neither will evil come upon us, nor shall we see sword or famine.  And the prophets become wind, for the word is not in them.  Thus shall it be done to them.’  Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Because you speak this word, behold, I will make my words in your mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them. [vs. 15, is talking about the whole house of Israel, or the ten tribed Northern Kingdom in retrospect, when they were conquered and deported by the Assyrian Empire over 100 years previously, 740’s to 721 BC, as well as it is talking about the “house of Judah”, and what is approaching her via the Babylonians (verse 11).]  Behold, I will bring a nation against you from afar, O house of Israel,’ says the LORD.  ‘It is a mighty nation, a nation whose language you do not know, nor can you understand what they say.  Their quiver is like an open tomb; they are all mighty men, and they shall eat up your harvest and your bread, which your sons and daughters should eat.  They shall eat up your flocks and your herds; they shall eat up your vines and your fig trees; they shall destroy your fortified cities, in which you trust, with the sword.  Nevertheless in those days,’ says the LORD, ‘I will not make a complete end of you.  And it will be when you say, ‘Why does the LORD our God do all these things to us?’ then you shall answer them, ‘Just as you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve aliens in a land that is not yours.’  ‘Declare this in the house of Jacob and proclaim it in Judah, saying, ‘Hear this now, O foolish people, without understanding, who have eyes and see not, and who have ears and hear not: Do not you fear me?’ says the LORD.  ‘Will you not tremble at my presence, who have placed the sand as the bound of the sea, by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass beyond it?  And though its waves toss to and fro, yet they cannot prevail; though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it.               But this people has a defiant and rebellious heart; they have revolted and departed.  They do not say in their heart, ‘Let us fear the LORD our God, who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season.  He reserves for us the appointed weeks of the harvest.’  Your iniquities have turned these things away.  And your sins have withheld good from you.  ‘For among my people are found wicked men; they lie in wait as one who sets snares; they set a trap; they catch men.  As a cage is full of birds, so their houses are full of deceit.  Therefore they have become great and grown rich.  They have grown fat, they are sleek; yes, they surpass the deeds of the wicked; they do not plead the cause of the fatherless; yet they prosper, and the right of the needy they do not defend.  Shall I not punish them for these things?’ says the LORD.  ‘Shall I not avenge myself on such a nation as this?  An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land:  The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; [this would equate to the false “liberal” Christianity in our day] and my people love to have it so.  But what will you do in the end?’”


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