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August 13 - Morning

"In the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord:

“Take a scroll and write on it all the words I have spoken to you concerning Israel, Judah and all the other nations from the time I began speaking to you in the reign of Josiah till now. Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about every disaster I plan to inflict on them, they will each turn from their wicked ways; then I will forgive their wickedness and their sin.”

So Jeremiah called Baruch…and while Jeremiah dictated all the words the Lord had spoken to him, Baruch wrote them on the scroll. Then Jeremiah told Baruch,

'I am restricted; I am not allowed to go to the Lord’s temple. So you go to the house of the Lord on a day of fasting and read to the people from the scroll the words of the Lord that you wrote as I dictated'.….

… Baruch son of Neriah did everything Jeremiah the prophet told him to do; at the Lord’s temple he read the words of the Lord from the scroll… …After Micaiah told them everything he had heard Baruch read to the people from the scroll, all the officials sent Jehudi…to say to Baruch,

‘Bring the scroll from which you have read to the people and come.’

So Baruch…went to them with the scroll in his hand. They said to him,

‘Sit down, please, and read it to us.’

So Baruch read it to them. When they heard all these words, they looked at each other in fear and said to Baruch,

‘We must report all these words to the king’…

…Whenever Jehudi had read three or four columns of the scroll, the king cut them off with a scribe’s knife and threw them into the firepot, until the entire scroll was burned in the fire."

- Jeremiah 36:1-6, 8, 13-17, 23

Jehoiakim Attempts to Neutralize the Power of God's Word by Burning it in Fire

The events of Jeremiah 36 take place in the year 604 BC. Nebuchadnezzar had taken Daniel and others back to Babylon in 605. By October 1, 605 Nebuchadnezzar had returned to Syria north of Israel and demanded tribute from Syria and Philistia. Ashkelon had refused to pay the tribute and hoped that Egypt would come assist them in their rebellion. But, instead Ashkelon was utterly and violently destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar early in 604 BC. The remains of this devastation can still be seen in excavations at Ashkelon. (Details 1, 2, 3)

In this tense political atmosphere Jeremiah is told to dictate his prophecy for Baruch, his highly qualified scribe, to record on a scroll. The priests had forbidden Jeremiah to preach in the Temple courtyard or outside the gates of the temple mount (Jeremiah 36:5), so Baruch is sent to read the words of the prophecy during a time of fasting. The public fast may have been ordered because of Nebuchadnezzar’s devastation of Ashkelon which is only about 45 miles away.

The prophecy alarms the people in the temple courts and the news reaches the royal administrators at the palace. Baruch is asked to bring the scroll and read it for the king’s administrators, who are likewise shaken by the words. The scroll is then respectfully taken and read before Jehoiakim, the king of Judah.

Jehoiakim rejects the words and fears their possible “magical” effect. In an attempt to disarm the power of Jeremiah’s written words, the king uses Jehudi’s scribe knife to cut the read portions of the papyrus scroll as Jehudi reads. These pieces of the scroll with words that were believed to contain a dangerous power where burnt in the metal stove that was being used to heat the palace during the cold season of winter. The burning of the words was an attempt to neutralize their force.
‘Ed (Hb) - witness (Eng) - The Hebrew word ‘ed is a technical term used in legal proceedings. The ‘ed would be the person who witnessed a legal transaction. Boaz calls for an ‘ed in his legal transaction in Ruth 4:7-9 around 1200 BC. By the days of Jeremiah (600 BC) the ‘ed would sign their name or affix their seal to a document as in Jeremiah 32:12. Laban calls God as his ‘ed in Genesis 31:50 when he negotiates with Jacob.
Today I will try to listen to others speak.
I will spend time listening to what they are saying and what they want me to hear.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

General Text

Zechariah 2 (520-519 BC)


Success in what you do


Avoid compromise

Toni looks at the Zion Gate on the south wall of the Old City Jerusalem.
(More details.)
Solomon's kingdom according to 1 Kings 4:20-28 identified on a map.

Someone to Quote

“For God loves and enjoys us – and the Divine Will wants us to love and enjoy God in return, and rest in this strength. And all shall be well.” – Julian of Norwich (1342-1412) wrote in her book “Revelations of Divine Love” (or, “Showings”) (Read; Details.)

Something to Ponder

Pope Gregory the Great (590-604 )
• Founded a monastery before he became pope
• Tried to refuse his appointment to pope by writing a letter
• Considered the first of the medieval popes
• Due to the invading barbarians the western front of the Roman empire was abandoned and moved completely to Constantinople. This left the bishop of the Roman Church to defend the city against the barbarians.
• The bishop of the Roman Church had the resources and the influence to be the only reliable leadership in the western part of the empire.
• Many people had given their land and property to the Roman Church in exchange for the forgiveness of sins so the pope used income from these lands to:

1. Build a military
2. Provide for the poor
3. Pay ransom for people captured by the barbarians
4. Pay for treaties to preserve Rome from barbarian destruction

• Pope Gregory sent missionaries to England.
• The Roman Church began to evangelize the pagan Germanic tribes.
• Gregory simplified the doctrines of the Church so that the new converts from these barbaric lands could understand it and so Christianity could penetrate their culture.
• Gregory made several changes in the Roman Catholic liturgy.
•(He did not institute the “Gregorian Calendar”. This was done in 1582 by Gregory XIII).
• The greatness and influence that Gregory had can be balanced by the definition he preferred to use when he referred to his position as pope. He called his position “the Servant of the Servants of God.”

Here’s a Fact

The city of Mari was excavated in 1933. Royal documents from Mari, called the Mari Letters, refer to cities that are also mentioned in the Bible from the same time period:


The personal names, also matching early biblical names were also found in the Mari


(Map. Details.) (More)


"Good understanding wins favor, but the way of the unfaithful is hard."
- Proverbs 13:15

Coach’s Corner

Personal growth increases your personal potential. The failure to learn and the refusal to change is the rejection of increasing your opportunity for success.

1 Kings 19 New International Version (NIV)
Elijah Flees to Horeb
19 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”
Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.
All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.”
He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night.
The Lord Appears to Elijah
And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.
12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”
The Call of Elisha
19 So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. 20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.”
“Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?”
21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Zechariah 2 New International Version (NIV)
A Man With a Measuring Line
Then I looked up, and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand. I asked, “Where are you going?”
He answered me, “To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is.”
While the angel who was speaking to me was leaving, another angel came to meet him and said to him: “Run, tell that young man, ‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it. And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within.’
“Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north,” declares the Lord, “for I have scattered you to the four winds of heaven,” declares the Lord.
“Come, Zion! Escape, you who live in Daughter Babylon!” For this is what the Lord Almighty says: “After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye— I will surely raise my hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them. Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me.
10 “Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,” declares the Lord. 11 “Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. 12 The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem. 13 Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Jeremiah 23-24New International Version (NIV)
The Righteous Branch
23 “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the Lord. “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord.

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord,     “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely     and do what is just and right in the land.

In his days Judah will be saved     and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called:     The Lord Our Righteous Savior.
“So then, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when people will no longer say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ but they will say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the descendants of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ Then they will live in their own land.”
Lying Prophets
Concerning the prophets:
My heart is broken within me;     all my bones tremble. I am like a drunken man,     like a strong man overcome by wine, because of the Lord     and his holy words.
The land is full of adulterers;     because of the curse the land lies parched     and the pastures in the wilderness are withered. The prophets follow an evil course     and use their power unjustly.
“Both prophet and priest are godless;     even in my temple I find their wickedness,” declares the Lord.
“Therefore their path will become slippery;     they will be banished to darkness     and there they will fall. I will bring disaster on them     in the year they are punished,” declares the Lord.
“Among the prophets of Samaria     I saw this repulsive thing: They prophesied by Baal     and led my people Israel astray.
And among the prophets of Jerusalem     I have seen something horrible:     They commit adultery and live a lie. They strengthen the hands of evildoers,     so that not one of them turns from their wickedness. They are all like Sodom to me;     the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah.”
15 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says concerning the prophets:
“I will make them eat bitter food     and drink poisoned water, because from the prophets of Jerusalem     ungodliness has spread throughout the land.”
16 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you;     they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds,     not from the mouth of the Lord.
They keep saying to those who despise me,     ‘The Lord says: You will have peace.’ And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts     they say, ‘No harm will come to you.’
But which of them has stood in the council of the Lord     to see or to hear his word?     Who has listened and heard his word?
See, the storm of the Lord     will burst out in wrath, a whirlwind swirling down     on the heads of the wicked.
The anger of the Lord will not turn back     until he fully accomplishes     the purposes of his heart. In days to come     you will understand it clearly.
I did not send these prophets,     yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them,     yet they have prophesied.
But if they had stood in my council,     they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways     and from their evil deeds.
“Am I only a God nearby,” declares the Lord,     “and not a God far away?
Who can hide in secret places     so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord.     “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord.
25 “I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, ‘I had a dream! I had a dream!’ 26 How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds? 27 They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget my name, just as their ancestors forgot my name through Baal worship. 28 Let the prophet who has a dream recount the dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the Lord. 29 “Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?
30 “Therefore,” declares the Lord, “I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me. 31 Yes,” declares the Lord, “I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, ‘The Lord declares.’ 32 Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the Lord. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the Lord.
False Prophecy
33 “When these people, or a prophet or a priest, ask you, ‘What is the message from the Lord?’ say to them, ‘What message? I will forsake you, declares the Lord.’ 34 If a prophet or a priest or anyone else claims, ‘This is a message from the Lord,’ I will punish them and their household. 35 This is what each of you keeps saying to your friends and other Israelites: ‘What is the Lord’s answer?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 36 But you must not mention ‘a message from the Lord’ again, because each one’s word becomes their own message. So you distort the words of the living God, the Lord Almighty, our God. 37 This is what you keep saying to a prophet: ‘What is the Lord’s answer to you?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 38 Although you claim, ‘This is a message from the Lord,’ this is what the Lord says: You used the words, ‘This is a message from the Lord,’ even though I told you that you must not claim, ‘This is a message from the Lord.’ 39 Therefore, I will surely forget you and cast you out of my presence along with the city I gave to you and your ancestors. 40 I will bring on you everlasting disgrace—everlasting shame that will not be forgotten.”
Two Baskets of Figs
24 After Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim king of Judah and the officials, the skilled workers and the artisans of Judah were carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Lord showed me two baskets of figs placed in front of the temple of the Lord. One basket had very good figs, like those that ripen early; the other basket had very bad figs, so bad they could not be eaten.
Then the Lord asked me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?”
“Figs,” I answered. “The good ones are very good, but the bad ones are so bad they cannot be eaten.”
Then the word of the Lord came to me: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I sent away from this place to the land of the Babylonians. My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them. I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.
“‘But like the bad figs, which are so bad they cannot be eaten,’ says the Lord, ‘so will I deal with Zedekiah king of Judah, his officials and the survivors from Jerusalem, whether they remain in this land or live in Egypt. I will make them abhorrent and an offense to all the kingdoms of the earth, a reproach and a byword, a curse and an object of ridicule, wherever I banish them. 10 I will send the sword, famine and plague against them until they are destroyed from the land I gave to them and their ancestors.’”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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