Jeremiah 52 … Consider Him Who Will Fortify His People

Now it came about in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-fifth of the month, that Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, showed favor to Jehoiachin king of Judah and brought him out of prison, (52:31).

The book of Jeremiah closes out describing the fall of Jerusalem, the people exiled and taken into captivity in Babylon. In other words, the book concludes with the fulfillment of what God had been telling the people of Judah all along.

And a recap is given regarding the fate of Zedekiah, the last king of Judah to reign in Jerusalem, and it is gruesome. Zedekiah, so swayed by everyone but God, who had repeatedly rejected God’s Word and listened to false prophets, so sure in himself that he was safe. But just as God had warned, so it went.

“Zedekiah king of Judah and his officials I will give into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their life, and into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon which has gone away from you,” (Jeremiah 34:21).

And in the eleventh year of his reign, the city fell, was burned, and Zedekiah was subjected to a torturous end at the hands of the Chaldeans. Then, in verse 31, we read, “Now it came about in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah…”

Jehoiachin had reigned just three short months before being taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar, who then appointed Jehoiachin’s uncle as king.

Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem… He did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father had done. 10 At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon went up to Jerusalem, and the city came under siege. 11 And Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon came to the city, while his servants were besieging it. 12 Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he and his mother and his servants and his captains and his officials. So the king of Babylon took him captive in the eighth year of his reign… 17 Then the king of Babylon made his uncle Mattaniah king in his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah, (2 Kings 24:8-12, 17).

A bit more history may be helpful.

Jehoiachin… was the last direct heir to the Jewish crown. He was carried captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, along with the flower of the nobility, all the leading men in Jerusalem, and a great body of the general population, some thirteen thousand in all (2 Kings 24:12-16; Jeremiah 52:8). After an imprisonment of thirty-seven years (Jeremiah 52:31, 33), he was liberated by Evil-merodach, and permitted to occupy a place in the king’s household and sit at his table, receiving “every day a portion until the day of his death, all the days of his life” (Jeremiah 52:32-34).” https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/jehoiachin/

Think of the state of the exiles. Surely they wondered night and day about God’s promises. He had promised that one from the line of David would sit on the throne forever. But the throne was in Jerusalem, and the last heir-apparent was nowhere near his throne, rather he was being held captive in Babylon. And it had been thirty-seven long years. Surely hope was running thin, if running at all.

But suddenly a new king of Babylon happens upon the scene. And Scripture does not explain why, but in the very first year of his reign, he decides to release Jehoiachin and shower him with kindness.

Now it came about in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-fifth of the month, Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, showed favor to Jehoiachin king of Judah and brought him out of prison, (52:31).

Now, here is where it gets really interesting. In Biblical times, names were often given to express an essential characteristic of the name bearer. Consider just one example. The name Jeremiah is of Hebrew origin that means God Will Uplift or Exalt. Think of all the promises God spoke through His prophet in order to lift them out of their condition.

The name, Jehoiachin, “derives from the Hebrew ‘Yekonyâh / Yekonyâhû / Yekôneyâh’, meaning ‘God will establish, God will fortify (his people),’” https://www.name-doctor.com/name-Jeconiah-meaning-of-Jeconiah-46120.html

And from the beginning, God had purposed and performed His Word. And as this king of Judah, Jehoiachin, who did evil in the sight of God, was exalted out of captivity to a place of favor, God’s people would hear and be reminded that He Will Fortify His People and establish them in all His good promises.

Consider Him Who Will Fortify His People

Fortify: to provide (a place) with defensive works against attack; to impart strength or vigor to.”

God’s people would need to be established in His strength to believe and look forward to His deliverance while they waited out the remainder of their determined time of captivity. And in every act of  kindness shown to Jehoiachin by the pagan king of Babylon, God’s people would be reminded of all His promises and of the incomparable kindness of Him Who Will Fortify His People.

As God’s people heard about the favor shown to Jehoiachin, they would be brought to a place that would provide defensive works against doubting the faithfulness of God’s Word, to Fortify their faith and be encouraged to look forward again to His promises for their future in the One Who would come from the line of David to Fortify His People.

  • He Will Fortify His People, showing us favor and bringing us out of prison.
    • Now it came about in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-fifth of the month, that Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, showed favor to Jehoiachin king of Judah and brought him out of prison, (52:31).
      • And the scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to Him. And He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: 18 “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO BRING GOOD NEWS TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,”  (Luke 4:17-18).
  • He Will Fortify His People, positioning us in the place of blessings.
    • Then he spoke kindly to him and set his throne above the thrones of the kings who were with him in Babylon, (52:32).
      • Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, (Ephesians 1:3).
  • He Will Fortify His People, changing our prison clothes and making us ready for His Presence.
    •  So Jehoiachin changed his prison clothes, and had his meals in the king’s presence regularly all the days of his life, (52:33).
      • Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints, (Revelation 19:7-8).
  • He Will Fortify His People, providing all we need in Him, Our Portion.
    • For his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king of Babylon, a daily portion all the days of his life until the day of his death, (52:34).
      • seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence, (2 Peter 1:3).

How do we respond to Him Who Will Fortify His People?

I hope like me, you ended this book feeling utterly amazed. This book changed me. Though Jeremiah has definitely been a challenging book with many hard days, God has continually drawn us through this book to see His grace, compassion, longsuffering and faithfulness, yes even in His Judgments. And this journey through Jeremiah has ended with hope and encouragement for all of us who have trusted His favor and kindness demonstrated on the cross.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us… (Ephesians 1:7-8).

For we too, like Jehoiachin, have received the lavish and undeserved grace of a King, the King of kings. And our King gave His sinless life to pay for our sins. And through His sacrifice and death on the cross, we have been shown His favor that brought us out of prison, we have been positioned in the place of His blessings, we have been clothed in righteousness that makes us ready for His Presence, and we have been provided all we need in Him, Our Portion.

He Has Fortified, He Does Fortify, and He Will Continue to Fortify His People who have trusted what only He can do. So then, how should we respond? Believe His Promises!

For every one of God’s promises is “Yes” in Him. Therefore, the “Amen” is also spoken through Him by us for God’s glory, (2 Corinthians 1:20).

And when we believe His Word, that every Promise is “Yes and Amen” in Jesus, “Yes and Trustworthy” in Jesus, “Yes and Firm” in Jesus, Yes and True” in Jesus, He Will Fortify our faith; and that brings Him glory.

 yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform, (Romans 4:20-21).

He is able to perform every promise; He alone is our salvation and our strength. Oh, that we would bring Him glory through our faith as we offer our lives in ceaseless songs of praise to Him Who Will Fortify His People.

“Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
For the Lord God is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation,”
(Isaiah 12:2).

Let’s Grow Together!

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