Approx. 590 BC Babylon attacked Judah and Jerusalem in the 10th day of the 10th month of the 9th year of Zedekiah’s reign (2 Kings 25:1, Ezek. 24:1). The battle transpires for 3 years in total, with a momentary hiccup. This is what happened…
– At the 9th year of the reign of Zedekiah (sometime between the 10th day of the 10th month of the 9th year & the 5th day of the 10th month of the 12th year; time references: see 24:1 & 33:21), the day that Babylon came and pitched against Jerusalem with all his hosts (2 Kings 25:1, Jer. 52:4-6). Herein, Ezekiel prophesies of the foreboding woes of the future: the fall of Jerusalem & the Destruction of the Temple in what will be the ! This is a strategically timed prophecy in that hereafter Ezekiel is dumb for 18 months until all is accomplished (Ezek. 24:24-27, 33:21-22). In the meantime, until all is accomplished, Ezekiel will prophesy against Heathen Nations in . At the 9th day of the 4th month of the 11th year, Jerusalem will be broken up because the famine prevails (2 Kings 25:2-3, Jer. 39:2). At the 7th day of the 5th month of the 11th year, the House of the LORD and the City of Jerusalem are spoiled and burnt by fire in the wrath of God through Babylon!
– At the 9th year of Zedekiah’s reign, Babylon attacked Judah and Jerusalem. Zedekiah is clearly put in fear and thus he was moved to inquire of God by Jeremiah, saying, “Enquire, I pray thee, of the LORD for us; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon maketh war against us; if so be that the LORD will deal with us according to all his wondrous works, that he may go up from us” (Jer. 21:2). Before, Zedekiah was denying that Babylon would come because he was believing in the lies of false prophets, but at last he was made to inquire of Jeremiah (who was not yet imprisoned) if there was any hope that the Lord would work for them against Babylon (Jer. 21:2). Zedekiah was given the appeal to go out to the Chaldeans and live, rather than abiding in the City (Jer. 21:9). Zedekiah was charged to do justice and judgment, and hopeful words of the Throne being established were given (Jer. 22:2-5). Strong words of his imminent destruction were uttered if Zedekiah chose not to surrender to Babylon. These words, no doubt, moved Zedekiah and the Princes to make the Covenant and keep the Covenant they made before God concerning the unlawful enslavement of Israelites (recorded in Jeremiah 34:1-10); this is an event I am persuaded happened next, chronologically. I am persuaded of this because of the message of peace given to Zedekiah concerning a peaceful death in Jerusalem, which was not given to him yet anywhere else; yea, the contrary had been given!
[Note the Time Gap: Jeremiah 37:5-16, 34:11-22] – At the 9th year of Zedekiah’s reign (2 Kings 25:1, Jer. 39:1), Judah was attacked and Jerusalem was being besieged (2 Kings 25:1, Jer. 34:1, 7). Shockingly, Zedekiah and the princes were in fear for the space of time from the 9th year to the 10th year of Zedekiah, when they eventually hired Egypt officially (which they were storing up and preparing to do before Babylon arrived by keeping back the tribute money, no doubt)! Shockingly, they repented of enslaving their brethren and God spoke a good word concerning Zedekiah as a result (see Jer. 34:1-10 & 37:3)! As you can see, Zedekiah was asking Jeremiah to pray for him, saying, “Pray now unto the LORD our God for us” (Jer. 37:3). Furthermore, remember, he inquired of the Lord by Jeremiah, saying, “Enquire, I pray thee, of the LORD for us; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon maketh war against us; if so be that the LORD will deal with us according to all his wondrous works, that he may go up from us” (Jer. 21:2). The word of promise delivered to Zedekiah is clearly more merciful and provisional (Jer. 34:1-10) than the word delivered before he and the princes began repenting (Jeremiah 21:1-22:30). Before, it was stated that Zedekiah would die by the sword (Jer. 21:6-10) – which means, furthermore, he would perish in the shameful way like as Jehoiakim was killed (Jer. 21:18-19) – giving reference to this difference, how that Zedekiah will not die by the sword or go to Babylon (emphasis, “Yet!” in Jer. 34:4), but rather die like his fathers in Jerusalem (Jer. 34:5-6), the exact wording of the manner of death suffered by Jehoiakim in Jeremiah 21:18-19 is undone and heralded on the contrary as a blessing from God upon Zedekiah in Jeremiah 34:5. This is strong evidence that Jeremiah heard the word formerly delivered, recorded in Jeremiah 21:1-22:30, by acting in the aforementioned ways of repentance, thus the Lord was amending His word – first reiterating it in Jeremiah 34:2-3, and then amending it in Jeremiah 34:4-5!