Month: Jan 2017

Tahpanhes


Tahpanhes (43:7) was a fortified city in the eastern part of the Nile delta, near what is now the Suez Canal. Archaeologists have found a large building that may have served as a governor’s residence. Since all such buildings would have belonged to the state, this may be “Pharaoh’s palace” mentioned in v. 9.

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Geruth Chimham


The town of Geruth Chimham (41:17) may have been named after the Chimham mentioned in 2 Sam. 19:37–40 (see also “sons of Barzillai,” 1 Kings 2:7), who apparently served King David in a time of great need. It was common for members of the royal court to be paid for their services in land rather […]

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Free vineyards


Free vineyards. After they conquered Judah and shipped all the leading citizens to Babylon, the Babylonians gave vineyards to some of the poor Judeans who remained in the land (39:10). This would have made the people less likely to rebel and would allow them to resume farming after many years of war.

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Dungeon cells or cisterns


The dungeon cells or cisterns in which Jeremiah was imprisoned (chs. 37–38) were most likely dark, damp rooms without enough room to stand up in. Cisterns were dug out of rock, had a small opening, and spread out at the bottom. Escape from such a place was virtually impossible.

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Rechabites


The Lord commended the Rechabites for keeping the commandments of their founder (ch. 35), which included abstaining from wine and not building permanent houses. The Rechabites obeyed after being told only once, while the people of Judah continued to disobey the Lord after being warned many times.

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Burning of spices during funerals


Burning of spices during funerals (34:5) served a number of purposes. If a burial was delayed, spices would mask any unpleasant odors. Since they were expensive, spices were also a way of displaying wealth and honoring the memory of the deceased.

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