1 Then all the captains of the forces, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least even unto the greatest, came near,
2 And said unto Jeremiah the prophet, Let, we beseech thee, our supplication be accepted before thee, and pray for us unto the LORD thy God, even for all this remnant; (for we are left but a few of many, as thine eyes do behold us:)
3 That the LORD thy God may shew us the way wherein we may walk, and the thing that we may do.
4 Then Jeremiah the prophet said unto them, I have heard you; behold, I will pray unto the LORD your God according to your words; and it shall come to pass, that whatsoever thing the LORD shall answer you, I will declare it unto you; I will keep nothing back from you.
5 Then they said to Jeremiah, The LORD be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not even according to all things for the which the LORD thy God shall send thee to us.
6 Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God, to whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the LORD our God.
7 And it came to pass after ten days, that the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah.
8 Then called he Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces which were with him, and all the people from the least even to the greatest,
9 And said unto them, Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, unto whom ye sent me to present your supplication before him;
10 If ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull you down, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up: for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you.
11 Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom ye are afraid; be not afraid of him, saith the LORD: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand.
12 And I will shew mercies unto you, that he may have mercy upon you, and cause you to return to your own land.
13 But if ye say, We will not dwell in this land, neither obey the voice of the LORD your God,
14 Saying, No; but we will go into the land of Egypt, where we shall see no war, nor hear the sound of the trumpet, nor have hunger of bread; and there will we dwell:
15 And now therefore hear the word of the LORD, ye remnant of Judah; Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; If ye wholly set your faces to enter into Egypt, and go to sojourn there;
16 Then it shall come to pass, that the sword, which ye feared, shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine, whereof ye were afraid, shall follow close after you there in Egypt; and there ye shall die.
17 So shall it be with all the men that set their faces to go into Egypt to sojourn there; they shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: and none of them shall remain or escape from the evil that I will bring upon them.
18 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; As mine anger and my fury hath been poured forth upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem; so shall my fury be poured forth upon you, when ye shall enter into Egypt: and ye shall be an execration, and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach; and ye shall see this place no more.
19 The LORD hath said concerning you, O ye remnant of Judah; Go ye not into Egypt: know certainly that I have admonished you this day.
20 For ye dissembled in your hearts, when ye sent me unto the LORD your God, saying, Pray for us unto the LORD our God; and according unto all that the LORD our God shall say, so declare unto us, and we will do it.
21 And now I have this day declared it to you; but ye have not obeyed the voice of the LORD your God, nor any thing for the which he hath sent me unto you.
22 Now therefore know certainly that ye shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, in the place whither ye desire to go and to sojourn.
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Jeremiah Chapter 42 is a key passage in the book of Jeremiah, which is one of the major prophetical books in the Old Testament of the KJV Holy Bible. The chapter is rich in themes and spiritual lessons that are relevant for today's believers. This chapter unfolds the dialogue between the prophet Jeremiah, the remnant of Judah, and God Himself. The main themes that emerge from this chapter include disobedience, divine guidance, human deceitfulness, and the consequences of rebellion against God's will.
At the beginning of the chapter, all the captains of the forces, Johanan the son of Kareah, and Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least to the greatest, approached the prophet Jeremiah. They pleaded with him to pray to the Lord on their behalf. They were at a loss about what to do after the devastating destruction of Jerusalem and the assassination of Gedaliah, whom Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had made governor over the cities of Judah.
The people promised Jeremiah that whatever the Lord instructs, whether it is pleasing or displeasing, they would obey the voice of the Lord their God to whom they were sending him to pray. They acknowledged their need for divine guidance and expressed their commitment to obey God's will. This event is significant as it demonstrates the desperation of the people and their recognition of Jeremiah's prophetic role.
In response to their request, Jeremiah assured them that he would pray to the Lord their God, as they desired, and that whatever answer he received from God, he would tell them without withholding anything. After ten days, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah. God instructed the people to stay in the land of Judah and not to fear the king of Babylon. He promised them that He would build them up and not pull them down; He would plant them and not pluck them up, for He regretted the disaster that He had brought upon them.
God warned them not to go into Egypt, for if they did, the sword, famine, and pestilence that they feared would overtake them there, and none of them would survive. This divine guidance and warning from God is a central theme in this chapter. It highlights God's sovereignty, His knowledge of the future, and His desire for His people's welfare. It also underscores the importance of obedience to God's instructions for the attainment of His blessings.
Despite their initial promise to obey God's command, the people rejected the word that Jeremiah spoke to them from the Lord. The leaders accused Jeremiah of lying and insisted on going to Egypt. This is a clear display of human deceitfulness and rebellion against God's will. It illustrates the sinful nature of man, who, despite knowing God's will, chooses to follow his own desires, leading to his downfall.
The people's decision to go to Egypt for refuge instead of trusting in God's protection was a grave mistake. Their disobedience led to their eventual destruction, as prophesied by Jeremiah. This underlines the message that disobedience to God's commands leads to dire consequences. The people's actions serve as a reminder for modern believers to trust in God's guidance and to obey His will, even when it seems difficult or contrary to human wisdom.
Jeremiah warned the people of Judah that their disobedience would lead to their destruction. He prophesied that the disaster they feared would overtake them in Egypt, and they would become an object of horror, a curse, and a reproach, and they would never see their land again. This prophecy was fulfilled when the people of Judah who went to Egypt were annihilated by the king of Babylon.
This event underscores the serious consequences of rebelling against God's will. It serves as a stern warning to all believers about the dangers of disobedience and the importance of aligning one's actions with God's instructions. It also conveys the message that God's warnings are not empty threats but are certain to come to pass.
In conclusion, Jeremiah Chapter 42 is a poignant chapter that explores the themes of disobedience, divine guidance, human deceitfulness, and the consequences of rebellion against God's will. It serves as a reminder of the importance of seeking and obeying God's guidance, the deceitfulness of human hearts, and the dire consequences of disobedience. It calls believers to trust in God's wisdom over human wisdom and to align their actions with God's instructions for their welfare. The lessons drawn from this chapter are relevant for today's believers as they navigate the challenges of faith and obedience in a world that often contradicts God's will.