John T. Willis

Monday, July 04, 2011

Johanan and His Comrades Carry Jeremiah and Baruch to Tahpanhes, Egypt by Force--Jeremiah 42:1-43:7

After Ishmael killed Gedaliah and fled to the Ammonites, Johanan and his comrades are fear that the Babylonians will kill him, so they carry his comrades and Jeremiah and Baruch to Tahpanhes, Egypt by force. This story appears in Jeremiah 42:1-43:7. Three distinct scenes occur in this portion of the Book of Jeremiah.

I. Johanan and his comrades ask Jeremiah to tell them what they should do. Jeremiah 42:1-6.
a. All the commanders of the forces, Johanan, Azariah, and the all the people go to Jeremiah and beg him to listen to their plea. 42:1-2.
b. Their plea is: "Let the Lord your God show us where we should go and what we should do." 42:3.
c. Jeremiah promises Johanan and his comrades that he will consult Yahweh to find out what Yahweh wants his people to do. 42:4.
d. Johanan and his comrades solemnly promise that they will do whatever Yahweh tells Jeremiah to tell them to do. 42:5-6.

II. Jeremiah consults Yahweh, and Yahweh tells Jeremiah to tell Johanan and his comrades that they must stay in the land of Judah near Jerusalem or else they will die. Jeremiah 42:7-22.
a. After ten days, Yahweh comes to Jeremiah and tells Jeremiah Yahweh's message. 42:7.
b. Jeremiah goes to Johanan and his comrades and tells them that Yahweh's response is that Johanan and his comrades must remain in the land of Judah. If they will obey Yahweh's instruction, Yahweh will "build them up and not pull them down; he will plant them and not pluck them up." 42:8-10.
c. Yahweh through Jeremiah tells Johanan and his associates not to be afraid of the king of Babylon, because "Yahweh is with his people" to "save" and "rescue" from the Babylonians. 42:11-12.
d. But Yahweh declares through Jeremiah that if Johanan and his associates are disobedient against Yahweh's instruction and go to Egypt, "sword, famine, and pestilence" will come upon them and they will die. 42:13-17. [Remember that the expressions "sword, famine, and pestilence" are three ways Yahweh punished his sinful people in the days of Jeremiah--see Jeremiah 14:20; 15:2; 16:4; 18:21; 21:7,
9; 24:10; 27:8, 13; 28:8; 29:17; 32:36]. 42:13-17 [for "sword, famine, pestilence," 42:16-17].
e. Yahweh through Jeremiah declares that just as Yahweh's anger and wrath poured out on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Yahweh's anger and wrath will pour out on Johanan and his comrades if they disobey Yahweh's instruction and go to Egypt. Yahweh will bring "sword, famine, and pestilence" on Johanan and his associates if they do not obey Yahweh. 42:18-22. [See the reference to "sword, famine, and pestilence" in 42:22].

III. Johanan and his comrades disobey Yahweh and carry Jeremiah and Baruch with them to Tahpanhes, Egypt. Jeremiah 43:1-7.
a. When Johanan and his associates hear Jeremiah's response, they accuse Jeremiah of lying because Baruch incited Jeremiah to say that the Judeans must remain in the land of Judah, and declare that Baruch gave this message to Jeremiah so the Babylonians will kill them or take them into Babylonian exile. 43:1-4.
b. In disobedience to Yahweh's instruction through Jeremiah, Johanan and his associates go with them along with Jeremiah and Baruch to Tahpanhes, Egypt. 43:5-7.

The people of God may consult a message from God through a godly person, and when that godly person declares God's message, they may conclude that this godly person is lying and do something different from what he declares. It is very easy for us to make up our own minds about our beliefs or traditions or practices, and refuse to listen to God's message through faithful teachers and preachers and thinkers. Let us try very hard to listen to and obey Yahweh's message.

Share YOUR insights and dreams with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


  • Good summary. Lip service isn't enough for those who would be true worshippers of Yahweh! Johanan and the people were followers by profession only.

    By Blogger Stephen, at 6:52 AM  

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