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Prophecies Against More of Israel’s Enemies

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SYLLABUS
STUDIES IN THE BOOK OF Jeremiah

JEREMIAH 49
Lesson #42
PROPHECIES AGAINST MORE OF ISRAEL’S ENEMIES

  • Memory Verse: Gen 12:3
    • In this part of the book of Jeremiah, the remnant that Babylon had left behind in Israel searched for some place where they would be safe from the Babylonian army.
    • As you will recall we learned that they decided to flee to Egypt. This was a bad choice:
      • …because Egypt represents trusting in the world instead of trusting in God.
      • …because God told them to stay in the Promised Land.
      • …because Babylon eventually attacked and destroyed Egypt.
    • Then Jeremiah proceeds to tells us that all other places they could have chosen were not a better choice.
      • God used Babylon to destroy all of Israel’s enemies eventually.
      • Jeremiah 47 and 48 gave us the prophecies against the Philistines and the Moabites.
      • In Jeremiah 49 there are a number of other enemies surrounding Israel that God has chosen for destruction by Babylon.
    • Then where is the safest place to be?
      • The safest place is in obedience to God wherever that happens to be geographically.
      • For Israel at that time, the safest place was in the Promised Land.
  • Read Jer 49:1-6 The Prophecy against Ammon
    • Background:
      • Read Gen 19:36-38
        • The beginning of the nation of Ammon began with an incestuous relationship that Lot’s daughter had with her father.
        • Both the nations of Ammon and Moab began in this way.
      • The small nation of Ammon to the east of Israel was always Israel’s enemy from the time of Moses and Joshua.
      • When the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years in the book of Numbers, God strengthened Israel gradually for the battles that they would have when they finally entered the Promised Land under Joshua. How did God do that?
        • The Israelites that came out of slavery in Egypt learned warfare by fighting small battles against these small nations and tribes to the east of the Promised Land.
          • Israel wanted to march through the land of the Amorites to get to the entrance of the Promised Land at the Jordan River. (Num 21:21-24)
          • The result was a small battle against the Amorites won by the Israelites.
        • The Ammonites were too strong so God told the Israelites to avoid war with them. (Deu 2:19)
        • Some of these Ammonites were giants. (Deu 3:11)
      • When God brought the Israelites into the Promised Land, there were two and a half tribes of Israel that decided to stay on the eastern side of the Jordan River. One was the tribe of Gad. The Ammonites continually fought the tribe of Gad to move the border to favor them. (1) (Zep 2:8)
      • Once an enemy, always an enemy. (Jdg 10:9)
      • King Saul fought all these small nations around Israel. (1Sam 14:47)
    • The prophecy in Jeremiah 49:1-6
      • God asks the remnant, “Why have you left the Promised Land to be inhabited by your enemy, the Ammonites? (1)
      • Remember we learned in Jer 40 that the new governor Gedaliah, appointed by Nebuchadnezzar, was killed by Ishmael an assassin paid by the Ammonites. The Ammonites always wanted the land of Israel because the possession of Israel would give them seaports on the Mediterranean Sea.
        • For this reason, God will send the Babylonians to destroy the nation of Ammon totally. (2) (fulfilled in 582BC) (Jer 52:30)
        • We do not see a separate nation called Ammon today. It is a part of the nation of Jordan.
      • “…O backsliding daughter?…” (4)
        • This phrase is a reference to Lot, the ancestor of the Ammonites.
        • What do we remember about Lot?
          • He was Abraham’s nephew. Abraham was not supposed to take him to the Promised Land when God first called Abraham to leave Ur. Abraham was supposed to take only his wife.
          • Therefore, through the book of Genesis Lot continually represents compromise with an immoral world. The story of Lot in Genesis is the prime example of making decisions that cause you to fall away from God.
          • When Abraham and Lot separated in the Promised Land, Lot chose the land of Sodom and Gomorrah already known for their compromise immoral. These two cities had the reputation for permissive homosexuality.
          • Lot sat in the gate of the city of Sodom, which tells us he became a governmental leader in this immoral city.
        • Because of this phrase, “O backsliding daughter” Lot and his descendants the Ammonites represent backsliding or falling away from God. Lot was the immoral model for his daughters.
          • Backsliding first begins with carnality…trying to live with one foot in the world and one foot in the kingdom of God.
          • Then backsliding ends in a lifestyle of total immorality.
      • However, God told Jeremiah that He is not finished with the Ammonites. (6)
        • In the tribulation period of seven years that is still in the future, God will use the nation of Jordan (the land of the Ammonites, Moabites, and Edomites) to bless Israel.
          • Parts of Jordan will escape out of the hands of the Antichrist.
          • Read Dan 11:41
        • God will use the city of Petra to hide and protect the Jews in the last half of the tribulation period. Petra is located in Jordan.
      • Then Jeremiah tells us that after the Babylonians have destroyed the nation of Ammon, their land will belong to Israel in the Millennial Kingdom when Christ reigns for 1000 years. (2)
  • Read Jer 49:7-22 The prophecy against Edom
    • Background: (Gen 25:21-34)
      • The nation of Edom descended from Esau. What do we remember about Esau and the Edomites?
        • Esau was the twin brother of Jacob. He was the older brother that should have inherited a double portion of his father’s wealth.
        • However, Esau did not care about the things of God. He sold his birthright for a bowl of soup.
        • Esau sought to kill his brother Jacob because of Jacob’s deceptions. (Gen 27:41)
      • The color red and the story of Esau:
        • Esau is the ancestor of the Edomites. The name Edom means = red.
        • The Bible tells us that Esau was red when he emerged from the womb. (Gen 25:25) There is a possibility that he also had red hair, though the Bible does not confirm that.
        • The Bible tells us that the bowl of soup that Esau desired over his birthright was red in color. (Gen 25:30)
        • The land of Edom was known for its red rocks.
          • The city of Petra located in the exact territory of Edom is called the Rose Red City.
          • This territory later belonged to the Nabataeans (about 300 – 25BC long after the fall of the Babylonian kingdom) that were descendants of Ishmael and Esau. These people built the city of Petra by carving it out of the red rocks. They used this city for centuries as a center for controlling and collecting money by extortion from trade caravans travelling to and from Egypt.
          • “I have uncovered his secret places, and he shall not be able to hide himself:” (10)

Even at the time of the trading caravans, people did not know that the mountains hid the city of Petra as the hideout for these marauding Nabataeans.

For hundreds of years after the Romans abandoned the city no one knew about the hidden city of Petra until it was rediscovered by archeologists in the nineteenth century.

However, even though this city was unknown to man for hundreds of years, its sins were not unknown to God.

          • The people of Edom were known for their wisdom. You can see it in the fabulous city of Petra.

The engineering of the buildings and the water resource system of aqueducts in the desert is remarkable.

However, God will bring their wisdom to nothing. (7) (Oba 1:3-4, 8)

      • Jeremiah tells us that destruction will come upon Edom from Babylon.
        • The prophecies in the book of Obadiah also deal with God’s judgment on Edom. Many of the phrases in Jeremiah are similar to Obadiah.
        • In 586 BC with the destruction of Jerusalem, the Edomites helped the Babylonians and then came and looted Israel. (Psa 137:7 Eze 25:12 Eze 35:5,10-15 Eze 36:5)
      • “…for I will bring the calamity of Esau upon him…” (8)
        • What was the calamity of Esau?
          • Read Heb 12:17
          • God’s condemnation of pride and unbelief.
      • “…no man shall abide there, neither shall a son of man dwell in it.” (18)
        • It is interesting that some years ago a group of Germans tried to colonize and make Petra their home. However, they soon gave up and disbanded.
        • Only in God’s time (in the tribulation period) will he lift that ban and make Petra the dwelling place of Jews fleeing the Antichrist.
      • Jeremiah’s prophecies mention the Edomite city of Bozrah. (13, 22)
        • Read Isa 63:1-4
          • The southern-most extent of the Battle of Armageddon will be the city of Bozrah. (Isa 34:1-10)
          • Isaiah speaks about the event of the second coming in the midst of the Battle of Armageddon.
          • Christ will meet the leaders of Israel in Bozrah as He establishes His kingdom on earth for 1000 years. He comes to them as their Messiah.
        • With this context in mind, Jeremiah 49:19 makes sense.
          • Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan against the habitation of the strong: but I will suddenly make him run away from her: and who is a chosen man, that I may appoint over her? for who is like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who is that shepherd that will stand before me?
          • Jesus is the shepherd that God will appoint over all the earth at the event of the second coming of Christ.
  • Read Jer 49:23-27 The Prophecy against Damascus, Syria
    • Background:
      • It is interesting to notice that when the trade routes shifted from Edom to Syria, the Nabataean economy fell causing the end of Petra as a viable city.
      • The Nabataean people abandoned the city of Petra and went to Damascus to control the trade routes from there. (25 BC)
      • In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul was saved on the road to Damascus on his way to persecute Christians in Damascus.
    • Jeremiah’s prophecy:
      • Read Amos 1:3-5
      • Syria would not escape the expanding kingdom of Babylon.
      • The Syrian people would be taken captive by Babylon.
  • Read Jer 49:28-33 Prophecy against the people of Kedar
    • Who were these people?
    • They were the descendants of Ishmael that settled in Arabia as nomads living in tents.
  • Read Jer 49:34-39 Prophecy against the people of Elam
    • Who were these people?
    • They are the Persians that eventually rose to power after Babylon.
      • Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon used some Persians in his army that attacked Israel.
      • The Persians were noted for their skill with the bow.
        • That in which a nation most trusts will be the first defense to fail. (35)
        • That in which a nation places the greatest power will be the least help in time of tragedy
    • Jeremiah tells us that these people would be scattered when God’s judgment fell, but they would return as a nation after that. The kingdom to follow Babylon was the Persian empire.
  • Summary:
    • We have seen God pronounce judgment on all the nations around Israel for one reason or another.
    • However, the primary reason is because they are enemies of God’s people.
      • Read Isa 16:1-5
        • (Sela in the wilderness refers to the city of Petra)
        • All these nations were warned not to betray the wandering Israelites but to extend to them hospitality. Even Jesus warned about the fleeing Jews in Mat 24:15-21.
        • Edom, Ammon, and Moab did not heed that warning. Instead they were the spoiler, the extortioner, the oppressor.
        • God brought Babylon upon them as a judgment.
        • However, eventually Jesus Christ will return at the second coming and establish His kingdom to rule over them all.

HOMEWORK
Jeremiah 50

  • Application of Jer 49
    • When you see the big picture of history how God dealt with nations that were enemies of His people, how should that prompt you to pray for your government?
    • What does fulfilled prophecy tell us about God and His word?
  • Preparation for Jer 50
    • Read Jer 50:1-46
      • What detail of this prophecy in verse 4 tells us that Jeremiah is talking about more than just the return of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity after 70 years?
      • Why does God picture Babylon as a broken hammer (23)?
  • Memory Verse: Jer 25:15
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About Joyce

Joyce
I came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in 1963 giving my heart to Jesus in a Billy Graham crusade in Los Angeles, CA. I have been teaching the Word of God since 1964, Usually two to three adult classes a week.

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