Jehoiakim’s Reign

Jehoiakim began to reign at approx. 611 BC.

 

Only 3 Months into the Idolatry and Apostasy of the Kingdom of Judah, the aged and honored Prophet Jeremiah boldly confronted the backsliding by a near-martyrdom proclamation in The Temple Courts (Jer. 26:1-24, 7:1-10:25) followed by a bold defiance in the King’s Court (Jer. 27:1-2). Afterwards, Jeremiah turned to the people of Judah as a whole by traversing the streets of all the Cities of Judah to prophesy (Jer. 11:1-12:17, 13:1-27). Finally, and while time was running out because the Babylonian Armies were on their way, Jeremiah ran the Streets of Jerusalem searching for one righteous man while preaching like a madman (Jer. 4:1-6:30)! Finding none, Jeremiah spent the rest of his time in Jerusalem prophesying (Jer. 17:19-27, 2:1-3:5, 18:1-23, 19:1-13, 19:14-20:18) until the besiegement of Jerusalem followed by the 1st Captivity. During these final months of prophesying, Jeremiah directly addressed the vain hope of Egypt and valiantly opposed the most prominent origins of disobedience with increasing boldness and urgency amidst rising persecution on every side.

Jeremiah 26:1-24At the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, Jeremiah was commanded to go and stand in the Temple Courts and deliver the message of God, diminishing not a word. In all likelihood, this was the beginning of Jeremiah’s active ministry in the days of Jehoiakim. He had only prophesied two messages during the reign of Josiah, so his prophetic activity was quite new at this time. Nevertheless, this was a bold move! This would have thrusted him into the public eye immediately! And after a near-death experience, Jeremiah was no doubt approved of God for further prophecies in the thrall of a backsliding generation.

Jeremiah 7:1-10:25 – This is the record of Jeremiah’s full message delivered in the Temple Courts at the onset of Jeremiah’s ministry at the beginning of Jehoiakim’s reign, summarized in Jeremiah 26:2-8.

From the beginning of Jehoiakim’s reign and at the onset of Jeremiah’s ministry in this generation, the word was given, “This House shall be like Shiloh, and this City shall be desolate without an inhabitant” (Jer. 26:9). This word almost resulted in Jeremiah’s martyrdom! In the same message (Jer. 26:8), which was recorded in full at Jeremiah 7:1-10:25, the LORD further expounded the judgment of God in reference to what happened to Shiloh (Jer. 7:14-15). This judgment was so significant to the Kingdom and people of Judah that, the Lord said, “the Land shall be desolate” (Jer. 7:34). The word desolate means that the people would be slaughtered until none were left and the Land was without inhabitant, that so great a massacre of the people would take place that there would be no man to bury the carcasses sprawled across the countryside (Jer. 7:33). “The Land perisheth and is burned up like a wilderness, that none passeth through”, the Prophet declared (Jer. 9:12). Babylon, the Army from “the North Country”, was coming to “make the Cities of Judah desolate and a den of dragons” (Jer. 10:22). These judgments belonged to those who were in the Land of Judah, my reader. As the judgments of God became manifest in their increasing increments, one must recognize how meticulously the LORD was keeping track of every single person – the objects of God’s special judgment!

Shockingly, there was another categorically different people who would be the subject of prophecy and judgment all throughout the ministry of Jeremiah from the 1st Captivity to the 6th Captivity. Namely, God was jealously concerned with the Jews who would be scattered in all the nations whither the LORD would disperse them. You see, many would try to escape the judgment of God in hopes to settle in peace within foreign nations. But to them, the LORD said, “death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family” (Jer. 8:3). Again, speaking of those who would be scattered among the heathen, the LORD said: “I will scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known: and I will send a sword after them, till I have consumed them” (Jer. 9:16).

Despite the declaration of these inescapable judgments, pathetic appeals of mercy and forgiveness were offered. God’s intentions for sending Jeremiah were clear from the very beginning! At the commissioning statement of Jeremiah’s initial stand in Jehoiakim’s generation, it was written, “Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD'S House, and speak unto all the Cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD'S House, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word: If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent Me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings” (Jer. 26:2-3). The LORD wanted to repent, to justly thwart the purpose of death and destruction! He wanted to have mercy, my reader …but, sadly, the people wouldn’t repent. Fearfully, the LORD expressed how earnestly He was standing among the people to listen and look for their repentance. With mourning and astonishment, the LORD said, “Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return. I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle” (Jer. 8:5-6).

What could cause such deafness and dumbness to God? Fearfully, He was standing among the people both looking and listening for their repentance… and found none! Then God turned His gaze upon the Prophet and the Priest which “dealeth falsely”, and said, “For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” These deceivers! Then, the LORD asked, “Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the LORD” (Jer. 8:10-12). Oh, the people were bewitched! And much of the blame was put upon the false Prophets. As for the people, they didn’t understand the judgments of God because they didn’t understand their sin (Jer. 8:7-9), and thereby they were made susceptible to false prophets. Amidst a strong delusion so widespread and a rebellion so numerous, the LORD asked: “Who is the wise man, that may understand this” (Jer. 9:12)? He was exasperated by the people’s stubborn impenitence! Testifying of this, He clarified the special ministry of Jeremiah as that of a Tribulation Prophet, saying, Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them: Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers. Therefore thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee” (Jer. 7:25-27).

Jeremiah 27:1-2At the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, Jeremiah marched boldly into the King’s Court with a message of the LORD! The King (who was like a nephew to Jeremiah) was commanded to come under the yoke of Babylon and live in no uncertain terms, or else. This message was delivered within the scope of Jehoiakim’s and Zedekiah’s reign, recorded in Jeremiah 27:1-28:17, but the events of Zedekiah’s reign wherein Jeremiah faced-off with the false prophets of that time were in special focus. From the very beginning of Jehoiakim’s reign, the word of the LORD came with definitive clarity concerning the judgments of God. It is vital that this message is comprehended from as early as it was descriptively defined by God to the people who were in the midst of a Great Falling Away; namely, the specific means of death ordained for all the rebels of the Church, or, in other words, the means by which God would restore Church Purity and become Immediately Sovereign once again! The Armies of Babylon were the LORD’s weapons of choice to do the primary act of judgment. They were His hewing axe and destroying weapon (Isa. 10), my reader! Unto the Kingdom of Judah and to all nations, the LORD said: “that nation will I punish, saith the LORD, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by [Babylon’s] hand” (Jer. 27:8). The LORD said, “until I HAVE CONSUMED THEM by [Babylon’s] hand” (Jer. 27:8)! This message was cited to be delivered in Zedekiah’s time, but the context of the Chapter implies that the same message was delivered to Jehoiakim.

Jeremiah 11:1-12:17At the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, I conclude, because that which was preached at the Temple, firstly, and to the King, secondarily, must then be preached in the streets and byways of all the Cities of Judah. In the first recorded instance in the Book of Jeremiah, the Lord commanded, “Proclaim all these words in the Cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem” (Jer. 11:6). That which was proclaimed at the Temple must be proclaimed everywhere, no doubt! Even so, the primary message given at the Temple (recorded in Jeremiah 7:1-10:25) is very similar to that which was delivered to the Cities of Judah, and necessarily so. Reasonably, only after Jeremiah faithfully delivered the word of God to the prominent leaders associated with the Temple (the Prophets, Priests, Princes, Elders, and Levites), and the King, would he then be given another prophetic word for another sector of the people of Judah; and he, being commanded to go, embarked upon a distinctly separate mission to the hazarding of his safety and the spending of his energy. The latter message, spoken to all the people of the Cities of Judah, was certainly affected by the reception or rejection of the former messages, spoken to the prominent leaders of the common people.

What is the word? To the impenitent Nation whose Temple and King’s Court traffickers had heard and rejected the direct word of the LORD, the God of Israel said: “Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto Me, I will not hearken unto them. Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go, and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense: but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble” (Jer. 11:11-12). The LORD of the Church rebels, declared, “they shall not be able to escape! This depicts God’s meticulous involvement in the enforcement of these judgments: The LORD was watching with every Babylonian Soldier who stood at attention to prevent all escapees (Ps. 127:1, Ezek. 21:3-4, 5:10, 12-17, 6:2-4, 6-7, 10), the LORD was meticulously guiding the blade of every Babylonian sword wielded on the battlefield (Ps. 17:13-14), the LORD was meticulously aiming every Babylonian arrow to plunge into the flesh of those whom divine anger was targeting (1 Kings 22:20, 34; Ezek. 3:18, 18:4, 20), the LORD was meticulously directing the deadly claws of pestilence which walked the countryside to ravaged the people (Ex.. 12:12-13, 23, Deut. 28:35, Ex. 15:26), the LORD was standing in judgment over the biological resilience of every man who assayed to endure the famine but couldn’t (Jer. 42:16-17, 22, Ezek. 5:12, 6:12), and, finally, the LORD was specifically ordering the disorderly imagination of every violent beast to devour the flesh of whomever was divinely appointed to die (Lev. 26:22, Ezek. 14:15, 21, 33:27, Jer. 15:3, 1 Kings 13:24-25, 2 Kings 17:25)! When God said that none shall escape, He meant it.

For example, when the Men of Anathoth conspired to kill the Prophet Jeremiah and the LORD retaliated, He said, Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine: And there shall be no remnant of them: for I will bring evil upon the men of Anathoth, even the year of their visitation” (Jer. 11:22-23). The LORD was in their midst and standing among them for JUDGMENT – He was looking and seeing, listening and hearing, speaking and retaliating! When men vainly threatened God’s Prophet, the LORD effectually threatened the conspirators and boldly brought the conflict into the public eye by the Prophet’s prophesying so that, in turn, all men might learn whose purpose would stand at the latter end. The persecutors vainly said, “He shall not see our last end” (Jer. 12:4). Indeed. Who? The contest was already settled! God Almighty said, “for the sword of the LORD shall devour from one end of the Land even to the other end of the Land: no flesh shall have peace” (Jer. 12:12). Nevertheless, the LORD would not make a full end (leaving a remnant: Jer. 4:27, 5:10, 18). A remnant would be saved in the latter days after God’s wrath was satisfied and every judgment was executed to meticulously annihilate all rebels from the Church (Jer. 12:15-16).

Jeremiah 13:1-27Anywhere in the midst of the 1st or 2nd year of the reign of Jehoiakim and probably while Jeremiah is going to and fro throughout the Cities of Judah, I conclude, because Jeremiah had to travel to the Euphrates River twice for the delivery of this prophetic word.

Oh, how affectionately the appeals went forth! How diligently did wisdom sound the alarm to the simple ones, crying out: Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the LORD hath spoken. Give glory to the LORD your God, before He cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, He turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness. But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the LORD'S flock is carried away captive” (Jer. 13:15-17). Yes, and how terrifyingly merciless the judgments of God would pursue and overcome those who spurn the pitiful voice of God! “Then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this Land, even the Kings that sit upon David's throne, and the Priests, and the Prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness. And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the LORD: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them” (Jer. 13:13-14).

Jeremiah 4:1-6:30In the midst of the 2nd year and toward the beginning of the 3rd year of Jehoiakim’s reign, I conclude, because Babylon had already gone forth out of his place to invade the region (Jer. 6:22-23). This invasion, we know, transpired in the 3rd year of Jehoiakim (Dan. 1:1), but the actual defeat of the primary opponent, Egypt, did not take place until the 4th year of Jehoiakim (Jer. 46:2). Jehoiakim didn’t surrender to Babylon until the end of the 4th year of his reign. The Prophet was commanded, “RUN ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and SEE now, and KNOW, and SEEK in the broad places thereof, if ye can FIND a man, if there by any…” (Jer. 5:1). What was happening? Jerusalem was SEARCHED!

A promise of restoration was offered upon the people’s repentance (Jer. 4:1-4) and a vision of the coming destruction was seen and proclaimed by Jeremiah – a destroying force so comprehensive, Jeremiah said: “I beheld, and, lo, there was no mannot a man…”! Not a man would be left in Jerusalem! …and not a man was repenting at the preaching of Jeremiah! How fearful! How exactly did justice hit the mark! The LORD brought before the faces of the impenitent people a weeping and broken Prophet – his face contorted and cheeks tear-stained! – at what? Jeremiah saw a vision of the people in distress, weeping, and anguish! He heard the words that they would soon utter, crying, “Woe is me now! For my soul is wearied because of murderers” (Jer. 4:31)! This behavior was starkly contrasted with the tearless and stone-cold condition of the people even while Jeremiah was heralding these prophecies like a madman on the streets of Jerusalem! Not one man who feared God could be found (Jer. 5:1), and Jeremiah searched! This is a Tribulation Prophet. They were responding to the word of God by Jeremiah, saying, “It is not He; neither shall evil come upon us; neither shall we see sword nor famine” (Jer. 5:12).

At this time the first increment of chastisement was on its way. Literally, I mean, Babylon was on her way (Jer. 6:1, 22-26). Jeremiah felt the urgency! The command of the LORD was already given to the Armies of Babylon, “Hew ye down trees, and cast a mount against Jerusalem: this is the City to be visited…”, and appeals were made to Jerusalem in the light of it, which were: “Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest My soul depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, a Land not inhabited” (Jer. 6:6-9). Was Jerusalem instructed? Did she repent? Both the Prophet and the Priest were dealing falsely! The LORD looked and listened, and said: “They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD” (Jer. 6:14-15). Despite all correction theretofore (Jer. 5:3, 21), the people were blindly staggering into the hands of an Angry God! [leaving a remnant: 4:27, 5:10, 18]

Jeremiah 17:19-27In the midst of the 2nd and toward the beginning of the 3rd year of Jehoiakim’s reign, I conclude, because Jeremiah was going from Gate to Gate in Jerusalem to deliver this prophecy (“in all the Gates of Jerusalem”) and there is no reference to the Gates being closed during the besiegement. Indeed, there would be no possible way to break the Sabbath in the way Jeremiah spoke (“nor bring it in by the Gates of Jerusalem” – Jer. 17:21) because the Gates are closed during a siege. Much more the rather, therefore, it was unto large populations of circuiting people, as usual, that Jeremiah prophesied concerning the unheeded yet fundamental law, keeping the Sabbath. Because of the fundamental nature of this law, this message would be delivered early on in Jeremiah’s ministry; God would not have waiting until the reign of Zedekiah to preach upon so fundamental a topic. In further confirmation of this time reference, this message is very relevant to the former message that Jeremiah delivered. This message was directed toward the circuiting and abiding inhabitants of the City of Jerusalem (Jer. 17:19) and their hope for a perseverant Kingdom with just Kings and Princes as their rulers. The promise of restoring righteous Kings and Princes to the Throne of David (Jer. 17:24-26) was spoken in the light of not having found one man that did justice and judgment in all of Jerusalem (Jer. 5:1-5); hence, this was a profound promise! If they didn’t repent God would burn Jerusalem down (Jer. 17:27)!

Jeremiah 2:1-3:5Subsequent to the former two prophecies, and also in the midst of the 2nd year and toward the beginning of the 3rd year of Jehoiakim’s reign (Dan. 1:1; I mean, just before the invasion of the region and the minor besiegement of Jerusalem), I conclude, because at this time strong appeals were made to the people that they would not to trust in Egypt. Remember, Jehoahaz was taken away by the King of Egypt and Jehoiakim was installed in his place, and since then the Kingdom of Judah was a tributary to Egypt (2 Kings 23:31-37). Egypt was the presiding in power over the region and Babylon was on its way (Jer. 6:22-23), thus the eyes of Judah were soon to fasten upon the unfolding conflict: Babylon against Egypt. What was the message? DON’T TRUST IN EGYPT! Elaborate appeals were being cried in the ears of Jerusalem (Jer. 2:1-2) with repetition, urgency, and boldness because Babylon’s arrival was imminent. The Prophet was likely RUNNING to and fro to deliver the message, like former prophecies. Think of it, my reader! When the unbelieving people saw the Armies of the North, just as Jeremiah had foretold, they would have hoped that the rest of what Jeremiah had been prophesying would not come to pass with it! Babylon’s arrival was but the tip of the iceberg, truly. Before long Babylon would be in the region, surrounding Jerusalem, and fighting against Egypt (Dan. 1:1, Jer. 46:2), and then Jeremiah’s prophecies would need to be reckoned with all sobriety and fear, the impenitent people thinking, “What if…!”.

With a significant amount of time to brace themselves, the appeal was being made: DON’T TRUST IN EGYPT! With perfect articulation of what is ahead, the appeal was being made: DON’T TRUST IN EGYPT! With much affection, like that of an estranged Husband, the people’s regenerated estate at the first was painfully remembered by the LORD (Jer. 2:2-3) and their recent backsliding and degeneration is rehearsed (Jer. 2:21). Shockingly, the Pastors and Priests of the people knew of no such backsliding! Meanwhile, as the Lord had utterly departed from the people… the Pastors and Priests did not even think to ask, “Where is the Lord?” (Jer. 2:6-8). They were given to idolatry and whoredom with Egypt (Jer. 2:20, 25-32). Idolatry was convenient and undemanding, you see. They were covetous and overcome with the cares of this life, they had no time for God (Jer. 2:31-32). Meanwhile, the Prophet Jeremiah watched Jerusalem burn in prophetic visions foretelling the near future (Jer. 2:15)! The main thrust of it all is: DON’T TRUST IN EGYPT!

And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? or what hast thou to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river? Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.” – Jer. 2:18-19

Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way? thou also shalt be ashamed of Egypt, as thou wast ashamed of Assyria. Yea, thou shalt go forth from him, and thine hands upon thine head: for the LORD hath rejected thy confidences, and thou shalt not prosper in them.” – Jer. 2:36-37

The Lord pointed to the recent past where, indeed, the people’s confidence in Assyria was rejected by God and they were ashamed. Bringing this to memory, the LORD attested: “thou also shalt be ashamed of Egypt, as thou wast ashamed of Asssyria.” What happened with Assyria? Ahaz, King of Judah, sought their aid while being attacked by the Edomites and the Philistines, and instead of Assyria helping him he attacked and impoverished him (2 Chron. 28:16-25). Furthermore, during Hezekiah’s reign, Ahaz’s son, Assyria destroyed and scattered the nation of Israel and almost did the same to the King of Judah. Only one Defensed City of Judah remained intact before God came to Hezekiah’s aid by slaying the mighty men of Assyria’s army as they encamp around Jerusalem. In short, Israel and Judah were ashamed of their trust in Assyria! Even so, the LORD declared, they would be ashamed of their trust in Egypt. The Lord had already declared at the beginning of Jehoiakim’s reign, speaking of Egypt and all other foreign Nations: “the Nation and Kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the King of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the King of Babylon, that nation will I punish…until I have consumed them by his hand” (Jer. 27:8).

The events leading up to this point in time were essential to understand. After Jerusalem had been searched and found without any hope of mercy (Jer. 5:1-5) and, notably, a promise of restoration was presented as a beacon of hope (Jer. 17:19-27), and, meanwhile, in the midst of delivering these two prophecies, because Jeremiah accomplished the search and didn’t find one man (Jer. 4:1-6:30 & 2:1-3:5), this prophecy would have served as the last message of this manner delivered to the common people of the City of Jerusalem.

The end of it all was clearly detailed in the prophetic declaration, “they made his Land waste: his Cities are burned without inhabitant” (Jer. 2:15), but the time was not yet. Remember, the LORD was bringing judgment with increasing increments in hopes that the people would be corrected. At the execution of each stage of chastisement, the LORD would look and listen for the people’s repentance, hoping, “It may be”, …and what happened? Prophecy revealed that at the blast of Divine Judgment the people would find their gods silent to them and unable to help… then, the LORD said that they would cry to Him, saying, “Arise and save us!”, but the LORD would respond, saying, “Wherefore will ye plead with Me? Ye all have transgressed against Me” (Jer. 2:27-29). Because of insincerity and steadfast impenitence, the people were impregnated with more woes. As time went on and trouble endured, the people would say to God: “Wilt thou not from this time cry unto Me, My Father, Thou art the guide of my youth? Will He reserve His anger for ever? Will He keep it to the end” (Jer. 3:4-5)? And, alas! What was spoken once would be reality theretofore, the LORD lamenting: “In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction…” (Jer. 2:30). The impenitent hearts would be softened, but it was too late.

Jeremiah 18:1-23, 19:1-13, 19:14-20:18Subsequent to the former prophecy, and also in the midst of the 3rd year of Jehoiakim’s reign but before the arrival of Babylon to the region, I conclude (Jeremiah made a trip to Tophet which was right outside of the City), Jeremiah made the last advances of his personal appearances in public ministry for the rest of Jehoiakim’s reign. Note: If Gedaliah the son of Pashur (Jer. 38:1) was the son of Pasher, the son of Immer (Jer. 20:1; the Governor of the House of the LORD during the reign of Jehoiakim), and it appears that he was, then these events took place during Jehoiakim’s reign. Why? Apparently, Pashur the son of Immer was carried away captive in the 3rd Captivity, otherwise he would have been the man acting instead of Gedaliah in the situation which took place in Jeremiah 38:1 during Zedekiah’s reign.

On the eve of the 1st Captivity, which was the beginning of God’s judgments… what is the word? Graciously, the LORD made one last appeal for mercy (Jer. 18:7-11)! Sadly, though, it was rejected (Jer. 18:12). Then, upon the pronouncement of certain judgment (Jer. 18:15-17) the impenitent people conspired to kill Jeremiah, saying, “Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the Priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words” (Jer. 18:18). The people succeeded insomuch that they put Jeremiah in the stocks and humiliated him (Jer. 20:1-18), but, meanwhile, the threatenings of God were delivered with breathtaking description (Jer. 19:9) and retaliatory specificity (Jer. 20:3-6). How fearful! Finally, and necessarily so, Jeremiah was forced from thenceforth to go into hiding until the death of Jehoiakim. In the notated sequence of events written above, Jeremiah was moved to prophesy to the people as a whole (Jer. 18:1-23), the ancients of the people and of the Priesthood (Jer. 19:1-13), then to the presiding Priesthood of the time who did their duties in the Temple (Jer. 19:14-20:18), and as a consequence of these three consecutive events, let it be understood, persecution rose to its highest threat! This meant death or imprisonment for Jeremiah from this point onward in the reign of Jehoiakim. Evidently, as you will see in the following events, Jeremiah was directed by the LORD into hiding so as to prophesy by writing (through the ministry of Baruch) until the fall of the Kingdom at the 11th year of Jehoiakim (Jer. 36:1-8).