2

Jeremiah 42:

1Then all the commanders of the forces, along with Johanan son of Kareah, Jezaniaha son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least to the greatest, approached 2 Jeremiah the prophet and said, “May our petition come before you; pray to the LORD your God on behalf of this entire remnant. For few of us remain of the many, as you can see with your own eyes. 3 Pray that the LORD your God will tell us the way we should walk and the thing we should do.”

Why didn't the remnant use the term "our God"? Jeremiah himself recognized that the LORD was still their God as he implied in the next verse:

4 “I have heard you,” replied Jeremiah the prophet. “I will surely pray to the LORD your God as you request, and I will tell you everything that the LORD answers; I will not withhold a word from you.”

2

There are two matters here that are quite separate.

"the LORD Your God"

Note that to discuss "the LORD your God" was common Hebrew idiom. It is used in this passage by the remnant when talking to the Prophet Jeremiah (v2 & 3), and also by Jeremiah when talking to the remnant Jews (v5 & 6).

We also see this same Hebrew idiom used in many other places such as Deut 12;18, 14:23, 1 Sam 12:12, 14, 1 Kings 1:36, 2:3, 10:9, 13:21, 18:10, 18, 1 Chron 22:19, 29:20, etc.

Remnant unfaithfulness

Jer 42 & 43 is a rather pathetic story of the behavior of the remnant Jews.

  • Jer 42:1-6 the remnant Jews seek the will of God about what to do
  • Jer 42:7-12 the prophet Jeremiah delivers the message from God NOT to travel to Egypt
  • Jer 42:13-18 Jeremiah warns the remnant not to ignore the divine message
  • Jer 42:19-22 Jeremiah repeats the message
  • Jer 43:1-3 contains the saddest part of the story - the remnant do exactly as Jeremiah's message told them not to do and plan to go to Egypt. They also accuse Jeremiah of lying (v2)
  • Jer 43:4-7 - the remnant travel to Egypt

Thus, the remnant had certainly disavowed the LORD and spurned the Word of the LORD. They had only asked the prophet about the will of God and were prepared to obey if it agreed with what they had already decided to do. When the message from God was different, they disobeyed the divine instruction and went to Egypt.

0

The remnant is stubborn and disowns God and prefers to worship the Queen of Heaven.

15Then all the men who knew that their wives were burning incense to other gods, and all the women standing by—a great assembly—along with all the people living in the land of Egypt and in Pathros,e said to Jeremiah, 16“As for the word you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we will not listen to you! 17Instead, we will do everything we vowed to do: We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and offer drink offerings to her, just as we, our fathers, our kings, and our officials did in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem.

At that time we had plenty of food and good things, and we saw no disaster. 18But from the time we stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been perishing by sword and famine.”

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