Jeremiah 40

Jeremiah is freed.

The Babylonian soldier who frees Jeremiah sees God’s hand in it all, reminds me of the soldier at the cross. The contrast with the people’s refusal of God’s warnings of judgement is pretty stark. The soldier gives him a present and supplies and the choice of where he will go, Babylon or stay.

In a move straight from Machiavelli, the Babylonian king gives fields and properties to some of the poorest locals, and Jeremiah stays among them.

Judeans who have been outcasts in local countries, a bit like David was for a time, or Ruth, come to live around the ruins of Jerusalem, and prosper.

Indeed there has been a consistent strain of social justice through Jeremiah – God’s message is to the common folk, the vulnerable, over the heads of the rulers, telling them not to die for the cause. They are the lightest judged.

Its consistent with the vision God had for the holy land in the Torah, Isiah’s picture or the misfits and outcasts returning and Jesus’ ‘first shall be last’ vision of heaven.

The leader Gedaliah has clearly been listening to Jeremiah because he sends a message telling the exiles to live out their time in exile peacefully and to put down roots. The chapter ends suspensefully with a plot to kill him. The book is not all prophesy, it’s quite a history book at the moment.

It reminds me somewhat of the end of WALL-E when humans return to Earth.

The is a consistent beauty and continuity of the blessed land, producing wine and plenty.

The loop is closed, Joshua pushed out the Canaanites, and now the chosen people are pushed out. God was indeed on neither side, but the land remains his sacred and blessed creation.

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