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©Kris Gerbrandt

Chapter 6:22-30 (ESV)

Posted on July 10, 2024  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 6:22-30 (ESV) - Thus says the LORD:
“Behold, a people is coming from the north country,
    a great nation is stirring from the farthest parts of the earth.
They lay hold on bow and javelin;
    they are cruel and have no mercy;
    the sound of them is like the roaring sea;
they ride on horses,
    set in array as a man for battle,
    against you, O daughter of Zion!”
We have heard the report of it;
    our hands fall helpless;
anguish has taken hold of us,
    pain as of a woman in labor.
Go not out into the field,
    nor walk on the road,
for the enemy has a sword;
    terror is on every side.
O daughter of my people, put on sackcloth,
    and roll in ashes;
make mourning as for an only son,
    most bitter lamentation,
for suddenly the destroyer
    will come upon us.

“I have made you a tester of metals among my people,
    that you may know and test their ways.
They are all stubbornly rebellious,
    going about with slanders;
they are bronze and iron;
    all of them act corruptly.
The bellows blow fiercely;
    the lead is consumed by the fire;
in vain the refining goes on,
    for the wicked are not removed.
Rejected silver they are called,
    for the LORD has rejected them.”

Question to consider: How did Jeremiah become a “tester of metals” among the people of Judah?

In today’s passage, the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah for the women of Jerusalem to let them know that they would not be safe from the armies coming from the north. “Daughter of Zion” could be a name used to refer to the city itself, but it is also worth considering the role that women played when it came to securing the homeland while the men were out to battle, and in greeting the armies when they returned. A good example is 1 Samuel 18:6, “As they were coming home, when David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments.”

These words of the LORD informed these women that rather than coming out to greet the victorious armies of Judah, they would be met with the cruel and merciless throngs of the Babylonian armies. The response of the women to these words was one of anguish and helplessness– like the pains of a woman in labor.

Jeremiah then pleaded with the women to not take to the roads or fields where they would be met with terror, but to cover themselves in sackcloth and ashes as a lamentation and warning to the men to repent before it was too late.

I believe the final paragraph was the LORD’s response to Jeremiah, for the LORD had already told Jeremiah that He would make the words in his mouth “a fire”. Metal is tested by fire. As Jeremiah proclaimed the judgments that were coming upon Judah, the wicked would ignore his warnings and be burned up. At the end of this ordeal which included seventy years of exile in Babylon, the ones the LORD allowed to return to the land would be the pure remnant who would rediscover the Law and commit themselves to it. If you went through my studies in Ezra and Nehemiah, there was a point in which the remnant of Israelites separated themselves from their foreign wives who continued to worship their false gods.


Dear heavenly Father, thank You for refining our faith in the fires of trials and tribulations. Although they are not a pleasant experience, we come out of them knowing You more and walking more closely with You. We look forward to the day when our faith has been perfected in Christ Jesus our Lord who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit. Amen.