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Jeremiah 46-49

by Chuck Smith

Let’s turn now in our Bibles to Jeremiah 46.

Beginning with chapter 45 we came into the sixth part or section of the book of Jeremiah. And this sixth section is comprised of miscellaneous prophecies that are directed mainly to those nations that were around Israel. And so as we get into chapter 46, we find the introduction to these series of prophecies as he addresses them to the Gentiles, the Gentile kingdoms. And so God is going to address Himself to those Gentile nations now roundabout Israel.

The word of the LORD which came to Jeremiah the prophet against the Gentiles; Against Egypt, against the army of Pharaohnecho king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates in Carchemish, which Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon smote in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah. Order the buckler and shield, and draw near to battle. Harness the horses; and get up, ye horsemen, and stand forth with your helmets; furbish the spears, and put on the brigandines. Wherefore have I seen them dismayed and turned away back? and their mighty ones are beaten down, and are fled apace, and look not back: for fear was round about, saith the LORD. Let not the swift flee away, nor the mighty man escape; they shall stumble, and fall toward the north by the river Euphrates. Who is this that cometh up as a flood, whose waters are moved as the rivers? Egypt riseth up like a flood, and his waters are moved like the rivers; and he saith, I will go up, and will cover the earth; I will destroy the city and the inhabitants thereof. Come up, ye horses; and rage, ye chariots; and let the mighty men come forth; the Ethiopians and the Libyans, that handle the shield; and the Lydians, that handle and bend the bow. For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiated and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord GOD of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates. Go up into Gilead, and take balm, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt: in vain shalt thou use many medicines; for thou shalt not be cured. The nations have heard of thy shame, and thy cry hath filled the land: for the mighty man hath stumbled against the mighty, and they are fallen both together (46:1-12).

And so God actually is speaking of the defeat of the Egyptians there by the river Euphrates at Carchemish and of the turning back of the Egyptians in this battle. The interesting thing, “Go up to Gilead, take the balm.” Gilead was known through the ancient world as the place of medicines. You remember the passage that Jeremiah earlier declared, “Is there no balm in Gilead? And is there no healer there?” (Jeremiah 8:22) But there is no healing for Egypt. They are to receive the judgment of God and God is going to use the Babylonian armies as His instrument of bringing His judgment against Egypt. This is basically why Jeremiah warned the people not to go down to Egypt to try to find safety there. He said, “If you go to Egypt to escape the sword, surely the sword will follow you in Egypt and the famine and the pestilence and you will die in Egypt. You won’t come back to the land.” But the people did not obey the voice of the Lord. They came back to Egypt. But here now he is just really bringing the whole issue of Egypt into prophetic focus.

Now, as he focuses upon the various nations, there are a lot of people who wonder why the United States isn’t brought forth into a prophetic focus in that the United States has become such an important nation in these days. But if you’ll read in the book of Revelation, the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. And really all prophecy centers around the person of Jesus and because the nation Israel was so important to the coming of Jesus, we find many prophecies relating to Israel and then to those nations that related to Israel in either a good or an evil sense in those days. But it isn’t God’s intention through prophecy to spell out the future of each nation that would arise in the world but only those nations that would bear directly upon the coming of Jesus Christ in either His first or second coming. And when you read that most of the prophecies against the nations are those of judgment and all, it’s probably a good thing that we don’t read about the United States, because surely I’m certain that the Lord would have some pretty stern words for us today.

The word that the LORD spake to Jeremiah the prophet [verse 13], how Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon should come and smite the land of Egypt (46:13).

Now, this is going now into the second part of the prophecy. The first part of it dealt with the battle up at Carchemish where the Pharaoh was defeated by Babylon. And now he is speaking about a coming invasion of Babylon on down into Egypt.

Declare ye in Egypt, and publish in Migdol, and publish in Noph and in Tahpanhes: say ye, Stand fast, and prepare thee; for the sword shall devour all around you. Why are thy valiant men swept away? they stood not, because the LORD did drive them. He made many to fall, yea, one fell upon another: and they said, Arise, and let us go again to our own people, and to the land of our nativity, from the oppressing sword. They did cry there, Pharaoh king of Egypt is but a noise; he hath passed the time appointed. As I live, saith the King, whose name is The LORD of hosts, Surely as Tabor is among the mountains, and as Carmel by the sea, so shall it come. O thou daughter dwelling in Egypt, furnish thyself to go into captivity: for Noph shall be waste and desolate without an inhabitant. Egypt is like a very fair heifer, but destruction is coming; it is coming out of the north [from Babylon]. Also her hired men are in the midst of her like fatted bullocks; for they are turned back, and are fled away together: they did not stand, because the day of their calamity was come upon them, and the time of their visitation. The voice thereof shall go like a serpent; for they shall march with an army, and come against her with axes, as hewers of wood. They shall cut down her forest, saith the LORD, though it cannot be searched; because they are more than the grasshoppers, and are innumerable. The daughter of Egypt shall be confounded; she shall be delivered into the hand of the people of the north. The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saith; Behold, I will punish the multitude of No, and Pharaoh, and Egypt, with their gods, and their kings; even Pharaoh, and all them that trust in him: And I will deliver them into the hand of those that seek their lives, and into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of his servants: and afterward it shall be inhabited, as in the days of old, saith the LORD (46:14-26).

So Egypt is to be invaded. It is to be defeated by Nebuchadnezzar, but yet they will yet inhabit the land.

Now God in the last couple of verses gives encouragement to His people.

But fear not thou, O my servant Jacob, and be not dismayed, O Israel: for, behold, I will save thee from afar off, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and be in rest and at ease, and none shall make him afraid. Fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith the LORD: for I am with thee; and I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee: but I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure; yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished (46:27-28).

So as is so often the case when you find God speaking of the judgment that is going to come, He sort of ends it with a bright light as He turns back toward the nation of Israel, the house of Jacob, “Don’t be afraid.” And He’s talking about the yet future time, the Kingdom Age, when God is going to visit with them again and bring them back into the land. And when God is going to punish the nations, whither they have been driven.

In the second coming of Jesus Christ there will be the gathering of the nations together. “Then shall He gather together the nations: as a shepherd, and separates the sheep from the goat.”  And he will say unto those on His left hand, Depart from Me, you workers of iniquity. I was hungry, you did not feed Me. Thirsty you did not give Me to drink,” and so forth. “Lord, when did we see You this way?” “Inasmuch as you did it unto the least of these My brethren” (Matthew 25:32-40). It is speaking of the treatment of the nations…of how the nations treated Israel. And the nations will be judged for their treatment of Israel. God said way back to Abraham, “I will bless those that bless you and curse those that curse you” (Genesis 12:3).

 Anti-Semitism is a horrible thing, and it is something that no child of God should be caught up in. Unfortunately, there is a lot of anti-Semitism even within many churches today. There are those who try to say that the modern day Jew isn’t truly a Jew. That he is an Ashkenazim and so forth, and they use that as an excuse for failure to support these people today. But the nations will be brought before the Lord and have to answer for their treatment of God’s people. And God declares that He will make a full end of all of the nations whether they’ve been driven, but He’ll not make a full end of the nation of Israel, but it will be a very central figure in the reign of Christ in the Kingdom Age.


Chapter 47

In chapter 47 he takes now his prophecies against the Philistines. And the city of Gaza was already taken by the Pharaoh.

The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet against the Philistines before that Pharaoh smote Gaza (47:1).

Now, Pharaoh ultimately smote Gaza, one of the large Philistine cities.

Thus saith the LORD; Behold, waters rise up out of the north, and shall be an overflowing flood (47:2),

So the waters out of the north would be Babylon.

and they shall overflow the land (47:2),

The overflowing flood is a type. The word flood is used in typology as the armies. They will overflow the land.

and all that is therein; the city, and them that dwell therein: then the men shall cry, and all the inhabitants of the land shall howl. At the noise of the stamping of the hoofs of his strong horses, at the rushing of his chariots, and at the rumbling of his wheels, the fathers shall not look back to their children for feebleness of hands; Because of the day that cometh to spoil all the Philistines, and to cut off from Tyrus and Zidon every helper that remaineth: for the LORD will spoil the Philistines, the remnant of the country of Caphtor (47:2-4).

Caphtor is the island of Cyprus from which, or is it Crete where the Philistines originally came from.

Baldness is come upon Gaza; Ashkelon [another Philistine city] is cut off with the remnant of their valley: how long wilt thou cut thyself? O thou sword of the LORD, how long will it be ere you be quiet? put up thyself into thy scabbard, rest, and be still. How can it be quiet, seeing the LORD hath given it a charge against Ashkelon, and against the seashore? there hath he appointed it (47:5-7).

And so the destruction that was to come upon the Philistines. And, of course, the Philistines were utterly destroyed. The modern Palestinian is not at all related to the Philistines. But the word Palestine does come from this word Philistine.


Chapter 48

In forty-eight, he now directs his attention to Moab. Moab was across the Jordan on the east side of the Jordan River and of the Jordan rift.

Against Moab thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Woe unto Nebo! for it is spoiled (48:1):

Now, this is not mount Nebo but the city of Nebo in Moab at that time.

Kiriathaim is confounded and taken: Misgab is confounded and dismayed (48:1).

A couple of the cities.

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. A voice of crying shall be from Horonaim, spoiling and great destruction. Moab is destroyed; her little ones have caused a cry to be heard. For in the going up of Luhith continual weeping shall go up; for in the going down to Horonaim the enemies have heard a cry of destruction. Flee, save your lives, and be like the heath in the wilderness. For because thou hast trusted in thy works and in thy treasures, thou shalt be taken (48:2-7):

Trusting in their work and in their riches. These are the things that people commonly trust in. How many people today are trusting in their works for their standing before God. How many people are trusting in their riches for their security. But in the day of God’s judgment, neither of these have any value.

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. Give wings unto Moab, that it may flee and get away: for the cities thereof shall be desolate, without any to dwell therein. Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully (48:8-10),

Mark that one if it isn’t already underlined in your Bible. God declares that curse against any man who would do the work of the Lord deceitfully.

and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood. 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 (48:10-11).

So as God speaks of the destruction that is coming upon Moab, now He gives us the reason for the destruction that is coming. “For Moab has been at ease from his youth.” Moab has not had any problems. Moab has been sheltered and protected, and because of it being sheltered and protected, it has become weak. And it is ready now to fall.

And then he turns to an illustration of winemaking processes and uses that as an illustration of Moab. “Having settled in her lees.” In the making of wine they would pour the juice of the grape into a large container and then they would allow it to just set there until it fermented. And after the fermentation, these lees or dregs would begin to settle to the bottom of the vessel. And as these dregs had settled in the bottom of the vessel, then they would pour off the top into another vessel. Allow the settling process to go on again and then pour it off into the next vessel, back and forth from vessel to vessel. Letting the dregs settle down and developing the clarity and purity of the wine. Now, when these dregs begin to settle, if you did not pour the wine off of the dregs, then the dregs turn sour and they begin to smell. And he said, “This is the problem with Moab. It’s been at ease. Never had any problem. Never been disturbed. Never poured from vessel to vessel. It is settled down on the lees which have turned sour. And thus the scent remains. The taste is in the wine of the sourness of the lees. Thus Moab is to be destroyed.”

It is interesting how that we often complain at the processes of God in our lives as He pours us from vessel to vessel. We have sort of a nesting instinct. We like to get comfortable. We like to relax and kick back and think, “Well, we’ve got it made.” And it’s so easy for us to get in a rut. But the great danger of this is forgetting God and leaving God out of our lives. “Oh, God has a place. Yes, I’ve got a neat, little compartment over here, God, and You’re welcome. Feel free. Come and visit anytime You want. Always glad to see You. Providing You don’t come next weekend, because we plan to be gone next weekend. But anytime, Lord. But couple weeks from now we’re going again so, but anytime, Lord. We’re always glad to see You.” Amazing how we sort of begin to leave God out of our lives as we begin to just settle in our lees in this life of the flesh and after the flesh. It is so easy, so easy to just sort of drift away from that commitment to God.

In Hebrews we are told, “Let us take the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should drift away from them” (Hebrews 2:1). There are those times when God pours us from a vessel to another and we say, “God, what’s going on?” And suddenly God has our attention. He begins to deal with us. We renew our commitment and we say, “Oh, Lord, I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Lord.” And genuinely we are. We meant the vows when we made them to God. And we are genuinely sorry for our failures and for our drifting away from God. And God disturbs our lives. He brings in disturbing issues and He can disturb our lives in so many ways--by sickness, by accident, by the loss of a job. So many ways God can just bring a disturbance into our lives. And God does bring them for that purpose of purifying us. We’ve got too much flesh. We’re beginning to settle in a life of the flesh. And God says, “It stinks. It’s beginning to permeate your whole life. You’re beginning to smell of the flesh.” And so God pours you into another vessel. Disrupts, disturbs in order that He might refine. But that didn’t happen to Moab. And because it didn’t happen, now Moab is to be destroyed.

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. And Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh (48:12-13),

Now that was the Moabites’ god.

as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel their confidence (48:13).

So the place of worship for Israel was in Bethel, but at its destruction they became ashamed. So the place of worship, Chemosh, for the Moabites was going to become the same as Bethel.

How say ye, We are mighty and strong men for the war? 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. The calamity of Moab is near to come, and his affliction is hastening fast. 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! 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 strongholds. O inhabitant of Aroer, stand by the way, and spy; ask him that is fleeing, and her that is escaped, and say, What is happened? Moab is confounded; for it is broken down: howl and cry; tell it in Arnon, that Moab is spoiled, And judgment is come upon the plain country (48:14-21);

And it begins to name these cities of Moab that have been destroyed.

all the cities of the land of Moab, both far and near. The horn of Moab is cut off, and his arm is broken, saith the LORD. Make ye him drunken: for he magnified himself against the LORD: Moab also shall wallow in his vomit, and he shall be in derision. For was not Israel a derision unto thee? (48:24-27)

And, of course, when Israel was destroyed Moab also attacked Israel and so now Moab is to receive like in being a derision.

for since you spake of him, you have skipped for joy (48:27).

They were happy at the destruction of Israel.

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. We have heard the pride of Moab, (he is exceeding proud), his pride, and the haughtiness of his heart. I know his wrath, saith the LORD; but it shall not be so; his lies shall not so effect it. Therefore will I howl for Moab, and I will cry out for all Moab; mine heart shall mourn for the men of Kirheres. 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. 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. From the cry of Heshbon even unto Elealeh, and even unto Jahaz, have they uttered their voice, from Zoar even unto Horonaim, as the heifer of three years old: for the waters also of Nimrim shall be desolate. Moreover I will cause to cease in Moab, saith the LORD, him that offereth in the high places, and him that burneth incense to their gods. Therefore mine heart shall sound for Moab like pipes, and mine heart shall sound like pipes for the men of Kirheres: because the riches that he has gotten are perished. For every head shall be bald, and every beard clipped: upon all the hands shall be cuttings, and upon the loins sackcloth (48:28-37).

These were the pagan ways of expressing their mourning in the shaving of their heads, the cutting of their beards and the cutting of their bodies and putting on of sackcloth. It’s the typical sign of mourning. And thus Moab will be in mourning.

There shall be lamentations generally upon all the housetops of Moab, and in the streets: for I have broken Moab like a vessel wherein is no pleasure, saith the LORD (48:38).

Very graphic.

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. For thus saith the LORD; Behold, he shall fly as an eagle, and shall spread his wings over Moab. Kerioth is taken, and the strongholds are surprised, and the mighty men's hearts in Moab at that day shall be as the heart of a woman in her travail. And Moab shall be destroyed from being a people, because he hath magnified himself against the LORD (48:39-42).

Met any Moabites lately? God said they’d be destroyed from being a people.

Fear, and the pit, and the snare, shall be upon thee, O inhabitant of Moab. He that fleeth from the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that gets 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. 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. Woe be unto thee, O Moab! the people of Chemosh perisheth: for thy sons are taken captives, and thy daughters captives. Yet will I bring again the captivity of Moab in the latter days, saith the LORD. Thus far is the judgment of Moab (48:43-47).

And so Moab’s in trouble. And surely God did fulfill these prophecies that were declared against Moab.


Chapter 49

Now in chapter 49, he speaks first of the Ammonites. Now, the Ammonites were those people who were north of Moab and east of the Jordan in the upper Jordan area, east of the Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights, the area of the Ammonites.

Concerning the Ammonites, thus saith the LORD; Has Israel no sons? has he no heir? why then doth their king inherit Gad, for his people are dwelling in his cities? (49:1)

Now you remember when the children of Israel came out of Egypt, and after their forty years or towards the end of their forty-year wandering, they came north and began to conquer some of the territory on the east side of Jordan in that Golan Heights and in the area that became Ammon. And when Joshua gathered the people together to begin their invasion of the land that God had promised, the tribe of Gad, the men from the tribe of Gad and Rueben, half the tribe of Manasseh, they came and they said to Joshua, “Look, this is great cattle country and we’re cattlemen. We really don’t care to go across the Jordan and to dwell on the other side. We’re very happy here. Why don’t you just let us have this land where we are? It’s just great for us because it’s good cattle country.” Well, Joshua, his first reaction, he was quite upset. He could remember forty years earlier when they were ready to go into the land and the spies brought back the report that there were giants and the cities were high and walled. And so Joshua was upset because he thought, “Oh my, if we don’t go in now we’re never going to make it. If these guys start dissembling, then everybody will get discouraged. We won’t go in.” They said, “No, no, no, you don’t understand. We’ll send our men in to fight with you, but let our children or our family stay here and we’ll come in and we’ll fight as long as you need us until we’ve conquered the land. But then after the land has been conquered we’d like to come back and dwell here.” And so it was granted to the tribe of Gad that they could take their portion on the east side of the Jordan in the country of the Amorites and all that they had smitten.

Well, their failure to come on into the land became critical later in their history. And they were the first of the tribes to fall to the enemies. And the Ammonites came against them and took their cities. Now here is a reference of Jeremiah to the fact that the cities that belonged to the tribes of Gad were now inhabited by the Ammonites. And so he says, “Is there no heir of Gad?” and so forth. “Why is it that the Ammonites are possessing the cities of Gad?”

Therefore, behold, the days will come, saith the LORD, that I will cause an alarm of war to be heard in Rabbah of the Ammonites (49:2);

Now Rabbah is the modern Ammon in Jordan. So that will give you a little bit of the idea of the location.

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 (49:2).

Israel will get back that territory.

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. Why did you glory in the valleys, thy flowing valley, O backsliding daughter? that trusted in her treasures, saying, Who shall come unto me? 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 him that wandereth. And afterward I will bring again the captivity of the children of Ammon, saith the LORD (49:3-6).

Now he goes south and his next prophecy is against Edom, which is the area that is south from Moab, and probably at this time was the…where the rock city of Petra was in the boundaries of Edom, for there is a reference here to that rock city of Petra. So Edom, the descendants of Esau.

Concerning Edom, thus saith the LORD of hosts; Is wisdom no more in Teman? (49:7)

Now Teman was one of the cities of Edom, and this is probably a reference to Eliphaz who was one of those men who came to comfort Job. Eliphaz the Temanite. And so this is the same Teman that was the home place of Eliphaz, the counselor of Job, and this is probably a reference to the fact that Eliphaz came with wisdom of the world to counsel with Job concerning his problems. “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, ‘Is wisdom no more in Teman?’” You remember Job said to him, “Surely you are the people, and wisdom is going to die with you” (Job 12:2).

is counsel perished from the prudent? is their wisdom vanished? Flee ye, turn back, dwell deep, O inhabitants of Dedan (49:7-8);

Dedan is interesting. Of course, this area of Edom is now the area, much of it, of Saudi Arabia. Comes up into this area, the area of Dedan. It is interesting that when you realize that Dedan is this present Saudi Arabia, Sheba and Dedan would be identified as Saudi Arabia, to me it is very interesting as we look at the prophetic overview of our present day, for God tells us in Ezekiel that there would be the rebirth of the nation Israel and when the rebirth would take place, that He would put an evil thought into the minds of the leaders in Russia. And they would come forth with a mighty invading army to invade the land of Israel. And it gives the allies that would be coming with Russia: Libya, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, the Balkan States, eastern European states. And it says that when Russia makes this invasion that, “Sheba and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, and the young lions thereof, will say unto her, ‘What are you doing invading this little land?’” (Ezekiel 38:13) That isn’t right. It’s not fair. So right now there’s the big to-do over whether or not we should sell these AWACS to Saudi Arabia. And Israel, of course, is putting a lot of pressure against the President at the present time, because he seems to be inclined to sell these AWACS to the Saudi Arabians and Israel is fearful that with the highly sophisticated detection gear within these planes, that Saudi Arabia will be able to intercept all of the radio signals and so forth and it will be a powerful tool in the Saudis’ hands of knowing what Israel is planning. And so Israel is putting a lot of pressure against the administration to try to force them not to sell these AWACS to Saudi Arabia.

Now though I oftentimes am concerned as far as what our nation is doing in the light of Bible prophecy, this is one thing that I can’t really get upset over, because I know that when the showdown comes, Saudi Arabia will be speaking out against the Russian invasion. And so the Russian invasion of Israel. So though they may make a lot of anti-Israel noise, yet when the showdown comes, Saudi Arabia will be speaking up for Israel. Of course, Saudi Arabia is concerned because with Russia’s invasion, the real target will probably be the tremendous oil reserves down there in Saudi Arabia. But Saudi Arabia will not be an enemy to Israel in that major conflict that is coming. And thus, it doesn’t really, as I say, there are a lot of things that do concern me of supplying arms to various forces and all, but what we may supply to Saudi Arabia doesn’t really bother me from a scriptural standpoint, knowing that when the showdown takes place, Saudi Arabia will be speaking up for Israel. So that’s where, if you have the Word of God, you know you can just rest and you don’t have to get all excited or worried about the selling of these sophisticated radar planes to Saudi Arabia. Someone put a whole bunch of packets in the office, you know, of seeking to get us involved in letter writing and so forth to put pressure on them not to sell. But there’s some things I can get involved with, but this is one that it doesn’t really concern me because I know a little bit more than what the government knows at this point.

So, “dwell deep, O inhabitants of Dedan.”

for I will bring the calamity of Esau [the brother of Jacob, father of the Edomites] upon him, the time that I will visit him. If grape gatherers come to thee, would they not leave some gleaning grapes? if thieves by night, they will destroy till they have enough. 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. Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in me. 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. For I have sworn by myself (49:8-13),

Now, when God really wants to confirm what He is saying, He swears by Himself, because you should always swear by something greater than you, but there’s nothing greater than God so He is stuck to having to swear by Himself. You can’t go any higher. So, “I have sworn by myself in order to confirm the covenant, in order to just say, ‘Hey, this is for sure.’”

that Bozrah shall become a desolation, a reproach, a waste, and a curse; and all the cities thereof shall be perpetual wastes (49:13).

And they are to the present day. You might find the tells, the ruins, but you won’t find any of these cities.

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. For, lo, I will make thee small among the heathen, and despised among men. Thy awesomeness hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest (49:14-16)

And here’s a reference to that rock city of Petra. “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 there, saith the LORD. Also Edom shall be a desolation: every one that goeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss at all the plagues. 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. 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 will be that shepherd that will stand before me? 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. The earth is moved at the noise of their fall; at the cry the noise thereof was heard even in the Red sea. 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 travail (49:16-22).

So God speaks of His judgment coming against Edom. Now he turns north to Damascus, the capital of Syria. Damascus, of course, is already fallen to Nebuchadnezzar.

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. 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. How is the city of praise not left, the city of my joy! 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. And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall consume the palaces of Benhadad (49:23-27).

Which is the sort of a title like Pharaoh was a title for the Egyptian leaders. Benhadad was the title for the leaders of Assyria.

Next the Lord speaks against Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor. Now this is probably a nomadic group of people and not the city of Hazor in the upper Galilee region.

which Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon shall smite, thus saith the LORD; Arise, go up to Kedar, and spoil the men of the east. Their tents and their flocks shall they take away: they shall take to themselves their curtains, and all of their vessels (49:28-29),

Their curtains would be the curtains, of course, of their tents. They’re nomadic people. They’re Bedouin type of people.

and their camels; and they shall cry unto them, Fear is on every side. Flee, get you far off, dwell deep, O ye inhabitants of Hazor, saith the LORD; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath taken counsel against you, and he’s conceived a purpose against you. Arise, get you up unto the wealthy nation, that dwells without care, saith the LORD, which have neither gates nor bars, which dwell alone. 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. And Hazor shall be a dwelling for dragons, and a desolation for ever: there shall no man abide there, nor any son of man dwell in it (49:29-33).

And so the area of Hazor and Kedar, these nomadic, Bedouin type people. Even that was not to escape from Nebuchadnezzar.

Finally in this passage he comes against Elam. Next week we turn to Babylon and the destruction that God has predicted against Babylon. And that pretty much, of course, finishes the book of Jeremiah as far as chapters 50 and 51.

But Elam,

The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet against Elam (49:34)

Now Elam is in the area that a lot of the fighting has been going on in the Iran-Iraqi war. In fact, this strait that is through there that they are fighting over the control of, on the Iranian side was the area of Elam. So you’re moving over in that direction.

“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, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might. 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. 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: And I will set my throne in Elam, and will destroy from there the king and the princes, saith the LORD. But it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring again the captivity of Elam, saith the LORD  (49:34-39).

So these prophecies, and I have to admit, that there isn’t much to get excited over as far as biblical exposition. It’s a hard nut to crack and it’s just something that because we’re going straight through, we wade through it. There isn’t a lot that you can really expound upon or exhort here. It’s just showing God’s judgment and the sureness of God’s Word as He fulfilled each of these prophecies against these particular nations. And it’s there for a reason. Thus we should read it, though it isn’t the most exciting area in the Scriptures to read. And we congratulate you for going through it. Each one of you in the class get an automatic A by having gone through it. But I’m sort of happy that it will be three years before we get back to it again, and hopefully we won’t be here. And so we’ll look at the whole thing from a different perspective next time around.

And so it does, though, point out again this marvelous prophetic aspect to the Scriptures, how that God speaks of events before they take place in order that when they do take place, you might believe. Prophecy has been given really as a basis and a foundation for faith. And I think one of the strongest apologetics for the Scriptures is that of the fulfilled prophecies. As we look around today and we see the world in which we live and as we look at the prophecies of the Bible and see how so many of these things that we are beholding today are actual fulfillments of God’s Word is extremely exciting and it is very faith-building. Jesus said to His disciples, “I told you these things before they come to pass so that when they come to pass you might believe” (John 13:19). And so God has given to us a good outline of what would be happening in these days in which we live. And pretty much as God has outlined, so we see it. And that should be enough to make any wise person believe. Of course, if you’re stupid you’re not going to believe anything anyhow. But any thinking person looking at the Scriptures and looking at the world today is really forced to acknowledge that it’s more than coincidence. That God indeed has spoken with great clarity of this day in which we live. Such things as satellite TV, computers, super weapons were all a part of the prophetic picture for the advent of these things was in a sense predicted. God tells about the two witnesses that will be put to death in Jerusalem and the whole world will see their dead bodies lying in the streets of Jerusalem. Impossible until satellite TV. But I’ve watched the other day a live broadcast from Jerusalem right there in my own family room. Now it’s a possibility. Five years ago impossible; today possible.

The Lord said that people will be caused to receive a mark in their right hand or in their forehead and no one will be able to buy or sell without the mark. It would be totally impossible to go to a method of exchange using marks in the right hand or forehead--that would be totally impossible apart from computers. No way could you do that without computers. But now we have computers that are designed to do our banking for us. And already we are buying and selling without money using our credit cards. We’re buying and selling without money, and there’s only one step from the number on the credit card to the number inscribed in your right hand or in your forehead or the mark. It doesn’t necessarily say number, but it says a mark. And we know that the computer is able to read these marks that are on your groceries with these scanners. So these things were all figured in, but they’re here. And you could go right on down the line with the prophecies and you could show how that all around the world the events that are taking place are things that God has foretold. Things that would be taking place in the last days. So this only helps confirm the fact of the accuracy of prophecy as we look at predictions that were made and already fulfilled. They only confirm the accuracy of prophecies and confirm the fact that God is the author of the book. And it’s good to be getting into the final chapters of prophecy, and we, as Jesus said, are looking up, lifting up our heads for we know that our redemption is very close.

Father, we thank You for Your sure word of prophecy. And as we read of Your judgments upon these nations roundabout Israel, and we realize, Lord, that Your judgment was righteous, for they had forsaken You. They were worshipping and serving other gods. They had sought to live independent of Thee. Even so, Lord, as we look around ourselves today, we see that the United States has settled on its lees, beginning to live after the flesh, beginning to smell of the flesh. We realize, Lord, that we can’t escape Thy judgment, either. That in righteousness You must judge and that You will judge. Father, help us that we might be accounted worthy to escape these things that will be coming, that we might stand before Thee in that day. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. The Lord bless and give you a good week. And may you live in that consciousness of God’s love. May you put God first in your life, not just as a phrase, “Oh yes, God first.” May it become a reality. Remember what Jesus said to the church at Ephesus, “I have this against you, you’ve left your first love.” There’s a lack of that fervency. There’s a coldness in your heart towards the things of God and His Spirit. There’s been a drawing away after the flesh. Beginning to just get settled. Oh, may God cause you to remember from where you have fallen and to repent and to return to that first love and commitment and excitement of the things of the Lord. May the Lord draw you back to Himself in a full and complete surrender. In Jesus' name.

Chuck Smith

Pastor Chuck Smith began his ministry at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, in 1965, with just twenty-five people.