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©Michael Player

Chapter 6:1-9 (ESV)

Posted on July 07, 2024  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 6:1-9 (ESV) - Flee for safety, O people of Benjamin,
    from the midst of Jerusalem!
Blow the trumpet in Tekoa,
    and raise a signal on Beth-haccherem,
for disaster looms out of the north,
    and great destruction.
The lovely and delicately bred I will destroy,
    the daughter of Zion.
Shepherds with their flocks shall come against her;
    they shall pitch their tents around her;
    they shall pasture, each in his place.
“Prepare war against her;
    arise, and let us attack at noon!
Woe to us, for the day declines,
    for the shadows of evening lengthen!
Arise, and let us attack by night
    and destroy her palaces!”

For thus says the LORD of hosts:
“Cut down her trees;
    cast up a siege mound against Jerusalem.
This is the city that must be punished;
    there is nothing but oppression within her.
As a well keeps its water fresh,
    so she keeps fresh her evil;
violence and destruction are heard within her;
    sickness and wounds are ever before me.
Be warned, O Jerusalem,
    lest I turn from you in disgust,
lest I make you a desolation,
    an uninhabited land.”

Thus says the LORD of hosts:
“They shall glean thoroughly as a vine
    the remnant of Israel;
like a grape gatherer pass your hand again
    over its branches.”

Question to consider: Why do you think Jeremiah calls out to the people of Benjamin to flee?

If you remember from the beginning of this book, Jeremiah was from a priestly town called Anathoth in the land of Benjamin just to the northeast of Jerusalem. Even though Babylon was to the East of Judah, they came from the mountains north of Benjamin and through Dan which was on the northwest border of Benjamin. Jerusalem, the capital city of the southern kingdom, was located near the southern tip of Benjamin. Tekoa was in Judah to the South.

Being a Benjamite and seeing the destruction that was coming upon Jerusalem, the daughter of Zion, Jeremiah called for his brothers and sisters to flee the area. They were not to take refuge in the city walls, but send out a general warning to everyone surrounding the city.

Beth-haccherem means “house of the vineyard”. I tried locating it, but no one seems to know where it was. Possibly it was in the opposite direction of Tekoa. The scriptures tend to mention a city to the north and a city to the south to refer to all the area in between. I also wonder if it was a sign pointing to the LORD’s word concerning the gleaning of the vine at the end of today’s passage.

Those who survived among the nobles of Jerusalem would be hand-picked by Nebuchadnezzar and brought into Babylon to be immersed in their education and culture. Daniel and his friends were among those allowed to live, and the LORD would use them to bring Him glory during their time of exile.

Just like in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, the generation leading up to it was given fair warning to flee. Like John the Baptist warned that the “ax was at the root of the tree,” so the LORD proclaimed through Jeremiah that the trees were going to be cut down to make siege mounds against Jerusalem.

Jerusalem was ripe for judgment, for it protected evil. The gods of the nations were infiltrating the city, and the leaders celebrated them like those who tout multiculturalism today. Justice was perverted for the sake of the wealthy, and the prophets served as propagandists who comforted them with lies. I am not a prophet or the son of a prophet, but our church today looks a lot like Jerusalem at the time of the Babylonian exile as well as Jerusalem at the time of the Roman occupation.

There are those who try to blame the problems in this world on the culture, but I would argue that culture and politics go the way of the church. When the church is properly wielding the two-edged sword of scripture (law and gospel), the gates of hell cannot prevail against it. Rather than conquering our enemies, Christ calls them to be our brothers and sisters in the faith.

Josiah understood this and fought hard to reform Judah so that they may turn back to God, but all he was able to do was stave off judgment until the next generation.


Dear heavenly Father, please help us to return to Your word and be passionate about sharing it with others. While we look forward to the day Christ returns, we pray for as many people as possible to come to faith in Him first. Amen.