Having thus repeated the vision and prophecies of the earlier times, Jeremiah again addressed himself directly to Zedekiah. There can be no doubt that the marginal reading of 27:l must be adopted, and the word "Zedekiah"
substituted for "Jehoiakim." Having shown by his vision of the baskets of figs what was determined against Judah in the way of punishment, through Babylon, the prophet now announced Jehovah's attitude in this matter. He was charged to make bands and bars. Evidently one of these the prophet wore himself, while the rest were sent to the messengers.
These messengers represented a confederacy of kings formed to resist Nebuchadnezzar. The prophet declared that all such attempts would be useless. Jehovah was absolutely supreme in governing the world, and had given the lands into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. Those who refused to submit to him would be punished in other ways, but still by the direct act of Jehovah. Jeremiah warned these messengers therefore to pay no attention to their prophets, nor any who told them that they should not serve the king of Babylon. The divine fiat had gone forth, and the only way of escape from suffering was to bend the neck to the yoke of the king of Babylon. Those who would do so would be allowed to remain in their own land.
After this address to the messengers of all the kings, the prophet directed his attention especially to Zedekiah, urging him to submit to the king of Babylon. Again he earnestly warned Zedekiah against listening to the false prophets who were declaring that the threatened invasion and victory of Nebuchadnezzar would never occur. He suggested this test to the prophets, that they make intercession to the Lord of hosts that the vessels of Jehovah should not go to Babylon. It was an ironical suggestion, as is evidenced by the fact that he immediately declared that the word of Jehovah had irrevocably gone forth that these things should be carried into Babylon and remain there until Jehovah visited them and restored them to their own place.
the Second Week after Epiphany