My daily exploration of the Bible, taking it one chapter at a time. If I do it everyday, it'll take 1189 days.



Thursday, January 04, 2007

Jeremiah 34

Slaves

Summary:
Jems told the king that Jerusalem was about to fall. He wouldn't escape, but the king would die peacefully. At that time only Lachish, Azekah and Jerusalem had not fallen to Nebuchadnezzar.

Now, the king had freed all the Hebrew slaves in Jerusalem, but some people took their slaves back. Jems told them that setting their slaves free was good and right before God, and those who had taken them back had sinned. For this, God will give them the 'freedom' to die painfully. They broke the covenant so they will be like the covenantal sacrifice. Even the king and cities will be handed over.

Key verse:
17. Therefore, this is what the Lord says: You have not obeyed me; you have not proclaimed freedom for your fellow countrymen. So I now proclaim 'freedom' for you, declares the Lord -'freedom' to fall by the sword, plague and famine.

My thoughts:
This is pretty smartass; to give them the freedom to die! Prior to their sin in this chapter, the king does a rare good thing and reinstates the Mosaic law of setting slaves free. It's nice to know that abolitionist movements existed in God's communities well before the 1700s! (Though I just read that the British - that is the "covenant people" - don't really have much of a history of slavery in England at all!)

I also find interesting how this passage names the three cities which Babylon had not yet taken. I always wondered if Judah had basically been reduced just to Jerusalem for it's final years before the exile, but it seems that there were still a few cities, though I don't know how long before the exile this passage is supposed to be set.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Deane said...

Are you doing 'brew this year, Pete? I originally wasn't going to, but now I'm reconsidering it. It's an 80% possibility.

12:14 pm

 
Blogger Pete W said...

Hmmm... it's unlikely... I'm doing 8 physics papers this year to finish my degree.

If it doesn't clash I may go to some classes and see what happens.

5:16 pm

 
Anonymous Deane said...

This is a great shame. It won't be the same without you.

5:42 pm

 
Anonymous Deane said...

Although, classes will probably start on time.

5:43 pm

 
Blogger Pete W said...

Ah! I've read that last comment from you many times now, but I only just got it!

How rude...

I maintain that it was never my fault. I am a punctual and efficient citizen.

Lemme know when classes are as soon as you know.

2:23 pm

 

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