Still speaking to Zedekiah, Jeremiah reminded him of the word which came in the fourth year of Jehoiakim. It was a message announcing the judgment of God against Judah, Babylon, the nations, the world.
With regard to Judah, the reason for the judgment was her persistent sin. Notwithstanding that Jehovah had spoken constantly and called them to return to obedience, they had not hearkened. The judgment foretold was the conquest of Judah by Babylon, and her captivity for seventy years.
Moreover, the prophecy foretold the judgment of Babylon after the seventy years by a confederacy of nations and kings. Yet the prophet had seen further afield, and had declared that the judgment of God must ultimately fall on all the nations, and that there could be no escape from it.
Finally, judgment would go forth from nation to nation, until a great tempest would be raised from the uttermost parts of the earth. The severest strokes of this evil would fall on the shepherds, that is, on the kings and rulers. Thus again Zedekiah, reminded of the prophecy delivered in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, would see how inevitable was the doom now threatening himself and Jerusalem.
the Second Week after Epiphany