May 29, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for Jeremiah 47-52
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Context: With the prophecy that Egypt will fall to Babylon and the remnant from Judah will become slaves, they begin to look at other nations. Where can they go to escape this fate? In chapter 47, Jeremiah foretells that Philistine will fall to Babylon. Chapter 48 tells that Moab will also fall, but God will one day restore it. The same holds true for Ammon. Jeremiah also delivers a warning against Edom. Edom contained the city of Petra, which still stands to this day, although uninhabited, as the prophecy foretells. Edom was a prideful nation that no longer exists today. Jeremiah also prophesized that the city of Damascus would be destroyed. They city was destroyed. It was later rebuilt. Today Damascus is the capital city of Syria, although the location has moved since the time of Jeremiah. Dedar and Hazor, two prosperous cities, were also destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar, as was Elam. Elam will one day be restored. The remnant for Judah had no place to go. They were relying on the strength of men instead of on the Lord. Every great nation, at the height of its power, is considered too large, too powerful to fail. The same was thought of Babylon. Yet, at the height of their power, Jeremiah issues a strong prophecy against them. They will fall suddenly and the city will be completely destroyed. This is indeed what happened. Chapter 52 is essentially a recorded history of the fulfillment of an early prophecy. This final chapter of Jeremiah shows the end of the line of David through Solomon. Jesus was born through David's son, Nathan, as Mary was descended from this line (Luke 3).
World History: The city of Petra was built into rock. The living areas were literally carved out of the rock, which is why it still stands today. The only entrance into the city is through a narrow rock tunnel. In fulfillment of the prophecy in chapter 49, no one can live there. Some have tried, but failed to establish a lasting city. Many Arabs are superstitious about the place and will only spend the night there if they must.