Jeremiah 21–22

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 160

Jeremiah 21–22 records prophecies Jeremiah made to kings of Judah; they are not written in historical order. Chapter 21 is for Zedekiah, the last king of Judah before Babylon destroyed Jerusalem and the temple and took the people captive. Chapter 22 is for Shallum and Jehoiakim, who were sons of King Josiah, the king at the time Jeremiah began his ministry. As far as we know, Shallum was never a king, but he could have been had the Babylonians not taken him captive.The message to Zedekiah in chapter 21 was that destruction by Babylon was inevitable. There was no “if” involved in the prophecy. The only choice Jeremiah gave the Jews was to stay in Jerusalem and die at the hands of the Babylonians or to leave the city and be taken captive.Jeremiah 22 was recorded some years earlier and contains the message that deliverance was still possible for some Jews if they would repent. Perhaps the order of the two chapters teaches us that the very stern punishments from the Lord came only after many years and many opportunities to repent. Earlier, the Lord extended the possibility for deliverance, but when the people refused to repent the judgments became certain.