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Chinese9/18/2006English
經文:耶利米書四十六至四十七章
鑰節:「我的僕人雅各啊,不要懼怕;以色列啊,不要驚惶;因我要從遠方拯救你……」(46:27)
提要

        耶和華興起耶利米不但要他作猶大(主要的呼召)和以色列的先知,而且要作外邦列國的先知(46:1;參1:5,10),因為這些列國也大大犯罪,所以上帝審判也將臨到他們。依年代而言,第四十六至五十一章論到列國的預言可能跟在第二十五章之後,但因大部分的資料係涉及猶大的罪和審判的事,因之排列在後有如附錄。

        耶利米不描述列國所犯何罪,反而直接宣布審判。但是從第二十五章我們看到審判臨到列國,乃因他們罪惡的杯滿盈,所以上帝要他們喝忿怒的杯(25:14~17;詩11:6)。我們先看到埃及的審判(第四十六章)。當法老尼哥執政作為最後的一個法老時,埃及是世界的一個強權國家,他成為埃及歷史上最有權力的法老之一。尼哥在攻擊一個軍事上的戰略城市迦基米施之前,曾在米吉多射殺好王約西亞。在他返回埃及時,他廢了約哈斯,而立約雅敬作臣服於他的猶大王(代下35:20~24;36:4)。

        三年後(公元前606年),尼布甲尼撒攻佔迦基米施,尼哥的軍隊大敗。這一決定性的戰役改變了歷史,此後巴比倫成為世界的強權。耶利米寫出一篇論尼布甲尼撒勝利的詩歌。埃及的軍隊和北非聯盟的人,駕駛著馬匹和車輛很驕傲和自信地急行上去,但是在耶和華審判報仇的日子,他們迅速地落荒敗退了(46:10)。他們向南逃走,甚至連基列的乳香也不能治療他們的創傷,因為上帝定意打敗他們,使埃及將不再興起作為世界的侵略強權(46:11)。「強人」尼哥遭受上帝從北方所立的人尼布甲尼撒所凌辱(46:10b,12)。當尼布甲尼撒追趕敗兵進軍埃及時,聽到他父親去世的噩耗,立即折返巴比倫。

        雖然埃及在短期間內不受直接的威脅,耶利米預言尼布甲尼撒將確實攻侵埃及使她屈膝,因為埃及喝上帝忿怒的杯所定的時間已經來到(46:17)。耶利米最後以一線的希望結束,預言埃及不至永遠荒涼,她必再有人居住,但將不是強國(46:26)。在幾年之後,當埃及似乎不受巴比倫威脅的安全期間,猶大的餘民以及耶利米正逃難住在那堮氶A耶利米有一論到埃及非常類似的預言。無論如何,耶利米警告上帝不但要刑罰埃及,而且將株連那些倚靠她的人(46:25)。猶大許多次尋求埃及的幫助,而不尋求耶和華,這是上帝的審判臨到猶大和那些難民的部分原因(參第四十四章)。再一次耶利米以留下一線希望作為結束,他說上帝應許他們在受鞭打之苦過後,要使祂的百姓得拯救和復興。同樣情形,在末後的日子,正當上帝審判犯罪作惡的列國時,祂所留下的忠實子民將不需要懼怕,因他們在主耶穌基督埵閉好的盼望(參帖後2:16~17)。

        第四十七章記載另一「預定」的審判臨到非利士人(47:7b)。非利士計有以革倫、亞實突、亞實基倫、迦薩和迦特等五大城。它們除了迦特在靠東的低地外,其他四城都在南巴勒斯坦沿海的平原地方。大衛王曾征服過非利士人,但這些城仍獨立於猶大之外。他們為「迦斐託餘剩的人」(迦斐託古名革哩底,摩9:7;申2:23,他們很可能從革哩底島移居來的)。他們的人口由於許多交戰而逐斷減少,最後在馬加比時代被納入猶大人口之中。耶利米預言他們將受定罪的時間,可能在法老尼哥從米吉多戰勝返回途中,他們受到法老攻打迦薩之前。然而,有一更嚴厲的審判將從巴比倫人臨到他們,有如洪水從北方而來(47:2)。那些土地將因敵人砍伐樹木和他們的荒廢,而成了光禿。耶和華的刀劍將在祂完成攻擊沿海的城之前,仍留在鞘外(47:6~7)。以西結說明他們受審判的原因,由於他們充滿仇恨、「恨惡的心」和想要毀滅大部分屬上帝的百姓(結25:15~17;參摩1:6~8;賽14:28~31;番2:4~7)。

禱告

        主啊,您的審判將要臨到全地。感謝您將成為我們躲避上帝忿怒的藏身之處。在為時未晚之前,帶領許多人進入您的圈中。奉主耶穌聖名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read Jeremiah 46&47
Key Verse:"But do not fear, O My servant Jacob For behold, I will save you from afar have rest and be at ease..."(Jeremiah 46:27)
Overview

        The Lord raised up Jeremiah as not only a prophet to Judah (his main calling) and Israel but also to the Gentile nations (46:1; cf. 1:5, 10), for these nations had also sinned greatly and so God's judgment was also to come upon them. Chronologically, the prophecies concerning the nations in chapters 46 to 51 likely follow chapter 25, but since the main body of material was dealing with Judah's sin and judgment, these have been attached as a supplement.

        Jeremiah does not describe the sins for which the nations were guilty. Rather, he directly pronounces judgment. From chapter 25, however, we learn that the judgments upon the nations came because their cup of iniquity was full, and so God would cause them to drink the cup of his fury (25:14-17; Ps. 11:6). We firstly read of the judgment upon Egypt (chapter 46). Pharoah Necho was the last reigning Pharoah while Egypt had been a world power, and he had been one of the most powerful Pharoah's in Egypt's history. Necho had killed good King Josiah at Megiddo before he went on to capture Carchemish, a strategic military city. Upon his return to Egypt, he deposed and deported Jehoahaz and appointed Jehoiakim as his vassal king (2 Chron. 35:20-24; 36:4).

        Three years later (606 B.C.), Carchemish was taken by Nebuchadnezzar, and the army of Necho was sorely defeated. This decisive battle altered history, for thereafter Babylon became the world power. Jeremiah begins with a poetic song about Nebuchadnezzar's victory. The Egyptian army and the North African coalition had come up proudly and confidently with their many horses and chariots like an onrushing flood, but they were quickly dismayed by the vengeance of the Lord in His day of judgment (46:10). They retreated and fled southward, but not even the superior balm of Gilead could heal their wounds, for God had purposed to defeat them so that Egypt would never again rise to become an oppressive world power (46:11).

        Necho, "the mighty man", was put to shame and humbled before Nebuchadnezzar, the one whom God had ordained from the north country (46:10b, 12). When Nebuchadnezzar was routing the Egyptians, as they fled he heard the news of his father's death and had to return to Babylon.
Although for a short time Egypt was not directly threatened, Jeremiah prophesied that Nebuchadnezzar would indeed invade and bring Egypt to her knees, for the appointed time for Egypt to drink the cup of God's wrath had arrived (46:17). Ending on a note of hope, Jeremiah foretold that Egypt would not permanently lie desolate; she would again be inhabited but would not be a powerful nation (46:26). A few years later, Jeremiah gave a very similar prophecy about Egypt, for it was during that period when Egypt seemed safe from Babylon that the remnant of the people of Judah, with Jeremiah, travelled as refugees there (43:7, 10; 44:30). However, Jeremiah had warned that God would punish not only Egypt but those who trusted in her (46:25). Judah had many times sought Egypt's help rather than the help of the Lord, and this was partly the reason for the judgment upon Judah and the refugees (ch. 44). Again, Jeremiah ends on a note of hope. God promised salvation and restoration to His people, after they had suffered His chastisement. Likewise, in the end times when God judges the wicked nations, the remnant of His faithful people will not need to fear, for their hope will be in Jesus (cf. 2 Thess. 2:16-17).

        In chapter 47 we read of yet another "appointed" judgment which fell upon the Philistines (47:7b). There were five main Philistine cities: Ekron, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gaza, and Gath. All of them were in the coastal plain of southern Palestine, except for Gath which was in the Shephelah (lowlands). King David had subjected the Philistines, yet their cities remained independent of Judah. They were called "the remnant of Caphtor" (the ancient name of Crete, Amos 9:7; Deut. 2:23), likely because they had emigrated from the island of Crete. Their population gradually decreased due to the many battles, and they eventually became absorbed into the population of Judah during the period of the Maccabees. Jeremiah prophesied their doom, even before they were threatened and attacked by the Pharoah in Gaza, probably when Pharoah Necho was returning from his successful campaign against Megiddo. However, a more severe judgment was to come from the Babylonians; it would come upon them like flood waters from the north (47:2). The land would be left bald from the deforestation of the enemy and the desolation of their cities. The sword of the Lord was to remain out of its sheath until it had accomplished its charge against those coastal cities (47:6-7). Ezekiel gives us the reason for their judgment: their hatefulness, "spiteful hearts" and desire to destroy, most of which was directed against the people of the Lord (Ezek. 25:15-17; cf. Amos 1:6-8; Isa. 14:28-31; Zeph. 2:4-7).

Prayer

        Lord, Your judgments are coming upon all the earth. Thank You Jesus for being our hiding place from God's wrath. Bring many into the fold while there is still time.


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