Jeremiah 44:2-6

A (2) Thus saith Yahweh of hosts, the God of Israel; Ye have seen all the evil that I have brought upon JERUSALEM,

B (2) and upon ALL THE CITIES OF JUDAH; and, behold, this day they are a desolation, and no man dwelleth therein,

C (3) Because of THEIR WICKEDNESS which they have committed to provoke me to anger, in that they went TO BURN INCENSE, and to serve OTHER GODS, whom they knew not, neither they, ye, nor your fathers.

D (4) Howbeit I SENT unto you all my servants the prophets,

E (4) rising early

D′ (4) and SENDING them, saying, Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate.

C′ (5) But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear to turn from THEIR WICKEDNESS, TO BURN NO INCENSE UNTO OTHER GODS.

B′ (6) Wherefore my fury and mine anger was poured forth, and was kindled IN THE CITIES OF JUDAH

A′ (6) and in the streets OF JERUSALEM; and they are wasted and desolate, as at this day.

2 thoughts on “Jeremiah 44:2-6”

  1. In response to Richard’s comment I would suggest a number of points. First, the position of the words `I sent’ and `sending’ form the innermost pair of the chiasm irrespective of what our views may be with regard to the central statement. Second, according to Strong, of the 65 occurrences of the Hebrew word translated `rising early’, 11 are found in Jeremiah i.e. it’s a key theme of the book. Third, `rising early’ points forward to Christ, e.g. “And early in the morning he came again into the temple” (Jno. 8:2). The link with Jeremiah is strengthened when Christ “wrote on the ground” (v.6, 8) and the Jews “went out” (v. 9) because this echoes the words of Jeremiah 17:13: “they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken Yahweh, the fountain of living waters”. The latter part of this verse links with the “living water” mentioned by Christ in the previous chapter of John (7:38).

    In the light of the foregoing I would suggest that ”rising early” is indeed meaningful, and, in that it is at the centre of the chiasm, it emphasises the extent to which God was appealing through His prophets, including Jeremiah, and later His Son.

  2. Rising early is certainly an important idea in scripture, we are told of Abraham, Joshua, and many others rising early. The centre does not have to make sense on its own, as the words on either side lead up to it, and while chiasms are very helpful in following the train of thought the rest of the passage is important as well.

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