Not A Hair of Your Head Will Perish – Luke 21

In verses 5-25, Jesus foretells the destruction of the Temple and of Jerusalem. Because of this, some scholars are naturally anxious to place the writing of the gospel after A.D. 70 (as well as Matthew 24:1-2). But there are problems with that (besides the fact that we know these gospels to be inspired), particularly with Matthew.

The destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem.

The destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In verses 10-19, Jesus tells them of wars, famines, pestilence and earthquakes which we certainly know did happen in that time period. As for the signs from heaven that verse 11 speaks of, there have been some secular writings of some unusual events that occurred in that time frame. We must be careful about referring to secular writings of such things, and some of those that Josephus reported were quite strange indeed. But at that the same time, we should remember that Josephus was not a Christian and did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God – or even a mere prophet. So he had no vested interest (“Wars of the Jews,” Book VI, Chapter 5, Section 3 (Entire)).

The romanticized woodcut engraving of Flavius ...

The romanticized woodcut engraving of Flavius Josephus appearing in William Whiston’s translation of his works. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus also tells them that before all of these things happen, people will lay their hands upon them and persecute them, and they will be brought before kings and governors for His name’s sake. But He tells them to “settle it in their minds” not to think too hard about what to say because He will “give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.” But then He tells them that they will be betrayed even by their friends and closest relatives; and some of them will be put to death. He then tells them that not a hair of your head will perish. This is true, of course, in the context of their eternal lives, as Jesus intended it.

This warning from Jesus underscores quite graphically the difference of what being a true follower of Jesus meant in the first century compared to today. Even today, though, Christians all over the world are persecuted to varying degrees. Currently, most people in the Americas do not have to fear for their lives in service of the Lord, however. But will that always be the case? We should not count on it. The USA is a strong world power. But that could be said about the Assyrians, Babylonians, and other empires of the past, who are no more.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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Major Prophets (part 3) Book of Jeremiah

Prophet Jeremiah, Russian icon from first quar...

Prophet Jeremiah, Russian icon from first quarter of 18th cen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Book of Jeremiah is one of the books of the “major prophets,” which are so called not because they are more important than those that we know as the “minor prophets,” but because of their length. There are 5 books of major prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel) compared to twelve of minor prophets. Jeremiah is 52 chapters in length.

Jeremiah was a preacher of God’s word – a priest. He was called to be a prophet about 627 B.C. as a youth (Jeremiah 1:6), and served as such for 40 years (Jeremiah 1:2-3), making it likely that he was born ~650-645 B.C. He became a priest living in Anathoth – the land of Benjamin (Jeremiah 1:1). This was where Abiathar, the high priest during David’s reign, lived. But Jeremiah’s ancestral heritage is unknown. Abiathar was removed as priest by Solomon for his part in support of Adonijah (1 Kings 2:12-27), which fulfilled the Lord’s prophecy of the end of the house of Eli as priests way back in 1 Samuel 2:27-36.

Jeremiah is referred to by many as “the weeping prophet” (see this previous post on Lamentations). But this tends to convey a mistaken image of him as weak. Jeremiah was anything but weak. He lived a very difficult life, and was imprisoned, nearly put to death (Jeremiah 26), and even banned from the Temple for preaching the truth as God told Him (Jeremiah 36:5).

At least part of the Book of Jeremiah was dictated to his scribe, Baruch, to write on scroll (Jeremiah 36:1-4). Some scholars have referred to the book by such descriptions as a “scrapbook” or diary that was pieced together by topic or content. The book is not in chronological order, and remembering that as one reads it helps put things in context. For that reason, we have included an approximate chronological order for the book at the end of this blog.

English: "Jeremiah Dictating His Prophecy...

English: “Jeremiah Dictating His Prophecy of the Destruction of Jerusalem to Baruch the Scribe,” oil on canvas, by the American artist Washington Allston. 89 3/8 in. x 74 3/4 in. Yale University Art Gallery, gift of Samuel Finley Breese Morse, B.A. 1810. Courtesy of Yale University, New Haven, Conn. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The book is set in the time after the fall of the Assyrians and the rise of the Babylonians to power. Jeremiah witnessed the capture and removal of multiple groups of the people of Judah to Babylon, as well as the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. He was called to speak to God’s people during the times of revival under king Josiah, and continued on past the final fall to Babylon.

Summary of Jeremiah

Approximate Chronolgical Order

  • During the reign of Josiah
    • In the 13th year – Chapter 1
    • Later years of Josiah’s reign – Chapters 2-6 and probably a great deal of chapters 7-20
  • During the reign of Jehoiakim
    • Early in his reign – Chapter 26 and probably 7:1-8:3; 22:1-23
    • During the 4th year Chapters 25; 36; 45; 46:1-12
    • After the 4th year – Chapter 35
  • During the reign of Jehoiachin
    • Chapters 22:24-30 and probably ch. 14
  • During the reign of Zedekiah
    • At beginning – Chapters 24 and 49:34-39
    • In the fourth year – Chapters 27-28; 51:59-64
    • In other years – Chapters 21 and 29
    • In early seige, pause, and resumption of seige – Chapters 34, 37, 32; 33; 38; 39:15-18
  • In Judah after Jerusalem’s fall – Chapters 39:1-4; 40:1-43:7
  • In Egypt, after Jeremiah taken there – Chapters 43:8-44:30
/Bob’s boy
___________________
image © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.