October - Reading 21

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Oct 21, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening -

    The Book of Jeremiah ends with an account of the beginning of the exile that closely parallels 2Kings 24-25. It appears likely that the author of the Book of 2Kings and the author of the end of Jeremiah, possibly Baruch, had a similar source from which they drew their content. The account in Jeremiah goes into greater detail in certain verses but the accounts are nonetheless non-contradictory.

    In our reading of John today we see Christ expounding on the comparison of His coming down from Heaven to the manna that wa sent to the Israelites. Just as if the Israelites had not eaten of the manna they would have died physically, so too those who do not eat of Christ will die spiritually. This metaphor must be recognized in the light in which it was intended. The metaphor is that of spiritual nourishment. Though this passage hints at the coming Lord's Supper, it does not mean the actual eucharist. Spiritual nourishment is necessary for eternal life, physical ingestion of food is neither here nor there.

    In 2Peter the message is quite clear: do what is right. God the Father nor the Son ever promised us physical safety. Peter reaffirms Christ message in Matthew 5:10-12 and Luke 14:25-33. Alao in verse 3:15-16 he speaks of answering questions of faith patiently and respectfully. This is a good passage to bear in mind for all of us as we debate.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Lamentations

    Lamentations
    Introduction


    Is God really in control? That is a question that has been asked repeatedly. Often the circumstances of life tend to lead us away from our faith in God. Wars, shattered lives, ruined marriages and the assault of the secular world upon the Christian community make faith difficult for the common man.

    Is God really in control? The question is not new. When the city of Jerusalem finally fell to Babylon in the 6th century BC, the question arose among His covenant people. The Book of Lamentations is one man’s contribution to the age old question.

    Authorship: Many of your Bibles may have the heading for the Book “The Lamentations of Jeremiah.” This heading should be clarified in two ways.

    First, the name “Lamentations” as we know in the Christian Bible probably arose from 2Chronicles 35:25 where we find reference to a collection called the “Laments.” A reading of this section, however, reveals that the referenced collection refers to Jeremiah and the women lamenting Josiah who died twenty-three years before the events in the Book.

    The original Hebrew name for the Book, however, is not Lamentations but the word “How!” This is the first word of chapters 1, 2, and 4. It is not stated as a question, as in “why?” but as an exclamation, as in “to what a great extent.” In either case the title expresses the mood of the whole Book as one of weeping over the downfall and tragic destruction of Jerusalem.

    Secondly, Jewish tradition, both in the Talmud, the Targum and in rabbinical commentary, are unanimous that Jeremiah was the author. The Septuagint adds the heading, “And it came to pass, after Israel had been taken away captive and Jerusalem had been laid waste, that Jeremiah sat weeping, and uttered this lamentation over Jerusalem and said.” The early church fathers also seem to be in complete agreement that Jeremiah is the author of this collection. So the tradition has been passed to us. It is through this tradition that the Book is placed immediately after Jeremiah in the Major Prophet section of the canon, even though it would fit better with the Poetry and Wisdom Books.

    It should be noted, however, that the author never identifies himself. In the past few centuries the age-old tradition of Jeremiah’s authorship has come under serious scrutiny. There is a catalogue of arguments against the tradition, most notably the surprise the author seems to demonstrate over the capture of Zedekiah in 4:20 and his frustration over the failure of Egypt to render aid in 4:17. These two concepts completely counter Jeremiah’s prophecies in Jeremiah 37, long before the city actually fell. In the end we must concede that the arguments for and against are fairly evenly balanced and it is probably best to respect the seal of anonymity the Holy Spirit has placed upon it.

    Dating: The earliest possible date for the Book is 587 BC after the destruction of the Temple by the Babylonians and the latest dating would be before the end of the exile in 538 BC as there is no mention of tangible hope of release found in the text.

    Literary Form: Though a cursory reading in English may make the Book appear to be an inspired outpouring of emotion, the text is actually a meticulously crafted collection of five separate poems. Chapters 1-4 are acrostics, that is, each line begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The modern notation preserves this in citing 22 verses for chapters 1, 2, and 4. Chapter 3 is also an acrostic using each successive letter 3 times in three stanzas each, hence 66 verses. Chapter 5 is not an acrostic but does contain 22 stanzas. This is not the only example of the use of acrostics in the Scriptures. We also find them in Psalm 9, 10, 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119, 145; Proverbs 31:10-31; and Nahum 1:2-8.

    The author may have chosen this form to demonstrate completeness, i.e. that his grief was completely poured out. It could also be to symbolize the expression of one’s complete confession of sin, thereby providing the expectation for God’s complete forgiveness and restoration.
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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