The Fall of Jerusalem
The day had come. Before this some Jews had been taken to Babylon. The Babylonian king had controlled Judah, but now the final blow was the destruction of Jerusalem. Zedekiah had his eyes put out and was taken to Babylon. Only the poor remained in the land, and with them Jeremiah.
Jeremiah was treated well by the Babylonians. He could go to Babylon or stay anywhere in Judah he chose. He decided to stay with Gedaliah, who had been appointed governor by the Babylonians. A fascinating archeological discovery throws light on this event. In 1935, in the ruins of Tell ed-Duweir were found letters written from Lachish before it was destroyed. This happened at the time we are now considering. Among them was found an inscription, “Belonging to Gedaliah, the one who is over the house.”
Gedaliah was assassinated by Ishmael, one of his chief officers, who was forced to flee after most of his soldiers abandoned him when Johanan prepared to attack them. Johanan’s people asked Jeremiah to pray for them and inquire from God what they should do. God commanded them not to go to Egypt but live peacefully in Judah. Having asked God’s advice, they proceeded to do just the opposite and went down to Egypt, forcing Jeremiah to go with them. Let us seek God’s will through Scripture, prayer, and godly advice and then do it.