The Demographics of Exile

When Israel was deported to Babylonian exile, it would have been natural for Israelites to reason that they ought to limit the size of their families and wait for a return to the land. It might even be best to avoid marriage/ After all, who wants to support a wife or raise children in virtual . . . . Continue Reading »

Ark of Empire

Jeremiah’s message to Judah is that the Lord has given the earth into hands of his “servant,” Nebuchadnezzar: “I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, My servant, and I have given him also the wild animals of the field to serve him” . . . . Continue Reading »

New exodus

Israel was redeemed from Egypt ( padah , Deuteronomy 7:8), and in various ways signified that redemption by redemption of firstborn animals (Exodus 13:13-15; 34:20). Jeremiah too speaks of redemption (15:21) from the hand of the wicked and violent. He hopes for a new exodus, enacted not in the life . . . . Continue Reading »


Jeremiah tells the exiles that they will be conquered by Yahweh’s “servant” Nebuchadnezzar and will be under Babylon for 70 years (Jeremiah 25:8-11). When the time’s up, Yahweh will punish Babylon and recompense them for their deeds (vv. 12-14). In preparation for this . . . . Continue Reading »

Vines and branches

Through Jeremiah, Yahweh instructs the Chaldeans to “go through [Judah’s] vine rows and destroy. Take away her tendrils, for they are not Yahweh’s” (Jeremiah 5:10). In his discourse on the vine in John 15, Jesus says something similar: The Father cute off the branches that . . . . Continue Reading »