Thursday, September 6, 2012

Jeremiah 49 - More Judgment on the Nations

LINK: Jeremiah 49


BACKGROUND
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(Source and rights for picture)


Ammon (blue on map)

Still moving from west to east, God pronounced prophetic judgment on Ammon located east of the Jordan River, Gilead, and the Dead Sea. Like the Moabites, the Ammonites were descendants of Lot through an incestuous relationship with one of his daughters (Genesis 19:30-38). During the Exodus, they prohibited the Israelites from passing through their lands. Other than being allied with Judah during its final revolt, both nations had been in conflict throughout history.

When the northern kingdom went into captivity in 722 B.C., Ammon seized it for herself. They also worship the god Molech and made child sacrifices to him. Jeremiah 49:6 says their problem was pride. They were to be destroyed, but God vowed to restore their fortunes.

Edom (yellow on map)

Edom was located south of Moab and east of the Dead Sea. It was a rock fortress where modern day Petra in southern Jordan is located. The Edomites were descended from Jacob's brother, Esau. There was constant conflict between the Edomites and Israel. Jeremiah's imagery is very much like that in Obadiah.

Teman was associated with wisdom, and one of Job's friends, Eliphaz, was from this city (Job 2:11). Dedan was a flourishing city that supported the caravans.

Edom was destroyed because of her pride (49:16). Unlike Egypt, Moab, and Ammon, Edom was not given the promise of future restoration. The prophecy was fulfilled in the intertestamental period when the Nabateans drove the Edomites from their land. They were forced to migrate to southern Judah and were called Idumeans. In 125 B.C., John Hyrcanus I, a Maccabean, made them accept Judaism after subjugating them. After this period, they were assimilated into Judaism and were no longer a separate national group.

Damascus (teal on map)

Damascus was the capital of Aram, north of Israel. It was defeated by the Assyrians and Babylonians. Nebuchadnezzar defeated Damascus in 605 B.C. (Amos 1:4,5). Ben-Hadad was the name of the dynasty that ruled in Damascus in the ninth and eighth centuries BC (See I Kings 15:18, 20; 20:1-34; 2 Kings 6:24; 8:7; 13:3, 24).

Kedar and Hazor

Kedar was a nomadic tribe from the second son of Ishmael (Genesis 25:13) that traveled in the Arabian Desert. Hazor was an unknown place somewhere in the Arabian Desert and not the city of Hazor in Israel. Nebuchadnezzar destroyed them in 599 BC.

Elam

Elam was east of Babylon in what is now the country of Iran. It was attacked by Nebuchadnezzar in 597 BC but became the center of the Persian Empire (Daniel 8:2). Susa was located in Elam (Ezra 4:9, Nehemiah 1:1, Esther). God promised to restore Elam's fortunes in the future also.

APPLICATION

There are Muslim peoples in many of the places mentioned in this chapter. Pray for those in Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Iran today! Syria especially has a terrible crisis going on with millions of people fleeing the country. 

Download this:

Prayer Guide for Syrian Children

PRAYER

Lord, while You had judgment for nations who defied You, You also have compassion for all those who sincerely seek You. I pray for Muslims from the Middle East to seek You with all their heart and come to know You! I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.
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