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Chinese9/22/2006English
經文:耶利米書第五十二章
鑰節:「給他(約雅斤)脫了囚服;他終身在巴比倫王面前吃飯。」(52:33)
提要

        第五十一章最後一節說:「耶利米的話到此為止。」(51:64),由此可以清楚看到耶利米書最後一章歷史性的附錄不是耶利米所寫的。第五十二章的內容幾乎與王下24:18~25:30所記載的相同;而列王紀下所記載的資料在本章中省略的部分,則記載在耶利米書第四十至四十三章之中。在這埵C述歷史的資料可能為要顯示耶利米的預言確實得到了應驗,且供作為歷史的背景。另一原因也可作為對上帝不順從、受罪惡誘惑之人的一種警告(參彼後3:17~18)。

        耶和華對猶大忿怒所定的時間到了(52:3)。當巴比倫人最後攻陷耶路撒冷的城牆時,既惡又弱的王西底家想要和他的兒子以及一些首領逃跑,卻被拿住,因為上帝定意要刑罰他們。耶利米曾經一再警告西底家,如果他不出去投降,當城被圍攻下來,他自己本人和城都將遭遇一切恐怖的事情(38:17~23)。當西底家被帶到尼布甲尼撒面前的時候,他所受的是低級罪犯刑罰之苦;他的眼睛被剜掉,但剩下來悲慘的日子將時常記得他最後親眼所看見的,他眾子的死。

        一個月之後,尼布甲尼撒的護衛長進入耶路撒冷,完成上帝差巴比倫軍隊要做的工作:他把上帝的子民大部分都擄去,並將城毀滅,包括耶路撒冷百姓所褻瀆的聖殿在內。在焚燒聖殿之前,巴比倫人拆毀一切貴重的器物,包括聖殿較大的設備,甚至巨大華美的銅柱,都運到巴比倫去,以供他們神廟之用(52:20~23)。以色列人由於不謹守遵行耶和華的約,如此淪落成為列國一悲慘下場的見證,真是何等令人哀傷的事(參王上9:6~9)。

        幾十世紀以來,與猶大不順從而被擄的人民對比,不論何人曾經決心堅持對上帝忠心,成為一個得勝者,上帝「要叫他在我上帝殿中作柱子,他也不再從那堨X去。」(啟3:12)對主耶穌忠心的信徒將成為新耶路撒冷的公民,無論任何有能力的仇敵都動他們不得。如同耶利米書的結束,讓我們留心警告的話,且接受上帝對祂子民應許復興的鼓勵。雖然上帝是報應的上帝,祂也是慈悲的上帝,從本書最後幾節經文可明顯看出來。上帝不要祂啟示的信息用三批猶大被放逐人民的冷酷事實,作為結束(52:24~30);所以祂用一段帶有希望的事收尾。在上帝掌權之下,尼布甲尼撒的兒子以未米羅達繼位,顯示了他對大衛寶座最後尚活著的王約雅斤的仁慈(52:31~34)。這是上帝對祂軟弱的餘民表現祂的照顧和永遠之愛的一個見證。雖然我們可能遠離上帝,如果我們肯謙卑悔改、尋求祂,祂必給我們尋見,因祂將永遠不捨棄屬於祂自己的人。

禱告

        上帝啊,我們讚美您,因為您有豐盛的慈悲和憐憫。像您使被囚了三十七年的王約雅斤得脫囚服以度餘生一樣,請賜給那些一生為罪作奴僕的人得享自由,使他們可以藉著主耶穌基督享有豐盛的生命。奉主耶穌聖名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read Jeremiah 52
Key Verse:"So Jehoiachin changed from his prison garments, and he ate bread regularly before the king all the days of his life. "(Jeremiah 52:33)
Overview

        The compiler of Jeremiah's prophecies makes it clear that Jeremiah did not write this last chapter of the historical appendix by ending chapter 51 with the words: "Thus far are the words of Jeremiah" (51:64). Chapter 52 is almost identical with 2 Kings 24:18-25:30, and the material from 2 Kings that is omitted here is recorded in Jeremiah 40 through 43. The placing of this historical account here may have been for the purpose of showing that Jeremiah's prophecies did indeed come to fulfillment, and it would serve as an historical background. Another reason was that it could serve as a warning to any who live in disobedience to God and are influenced by the wicked (cf. 2 Pet. 3:17-18).

        The appointed time of the Lord's wrath upon Judah had arrived (52:3). When the Babylonians finally broke through the walls of Jerusalem, the wicked and weak King Zedekiah tried to escape with his sons and some other nobles, but they were caught, for the Lord had purposed to punish them. Jeremiah had repeatedly forewarned King Zedekiah that if he did not surrender the city when it was first put under siege, all these terrible things would happen to him personally, as well as to the city (38:17-23). When Zedekiah was brought before Nebuchadnezzar, he had to suffer the penalty of a low-class criminal. His eyes were put out and throughout the rest of his miserable life he would always remember the last thing he ever saw — the death of his young sons.

        One month later, the captian of the guard returned to complete the task for which God had sent the army of Babylon: he took a great number of God's people away captive and destroyed the city, including the Temple, which the people of Jerusalem had defiled. Before burning the Temple, the Babylonians stripped it of everything valuable, including the larger Temple furnishings and even the huge ornate bronze pillars back to Babylon to erect them in the temple of their god (52:20-23). How sad that Israel's failure to keep the covenant of the Lord became such a terrible testimony to the nations (cf. 1 Kings 9:6-9).

        Throughout the centuries, in contrast to the disobedient and exiled people of Judah, whoever has persevered with determination to remain loyal to the Lord has been made an overcomer whom the Lord will make "a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more" (Rev. 3:12). Faithful believers in Jesus will become permanent citizens of the New Jerusalem, and no enemy, no matter how powerful, will be able to remove them. As the book of Jeremiah closes, let us take heed to the warnings and receive the encouragement of God's promises of restoration for His people. Although the Lord is a God of recompense, He is also a God of mercy, as is evident from the last few verses of the book. The Lord did not want His inspired message to end with the grim facts of the three different deportations of the people of Judah (52:24-30); therefore it ends on a note of hope. In the providence of God, Nebuchadnezzar's son and successor, Evil-Merodach, showed grace and kindness to the last living earthly king upon the throne of David, Jehoiachin (52:31-34). This is a testimony to the care and everlasting love that God has for the weak remnant of His people. Although we may have gone far from God, if we humbly repent and seek Him, He will be found, for He will never forsake His own.

Prayer

        We praise You, oh God, for You are abundant in mercy. As You freed King Jehoiachin to enjoy life after 37 years in prison, please set free those who have spent a lifetime in the prisons of their sin, that they may enjoy the abundant life available through Jesus Christ.


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