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Bible Study Guide

Jeremiah

Jeremiah 45 Commentary KJV Summary Sermon Baruch

Jeremiah 45 Commentary: As we enter Jeremiah chapter 45 we find ourselves at the end of the main section in Jeremiah that we’ve been recognizing as “The Bitter End of Judah.” That section started in chapter 36 and, as I say, ends here in chapter 45.

We’ll re-cover some of the details from this main section in just a little bit.

But first we’re going to read chapter 45 in its entirety. And then we’ll seek to understand this chapter in detail.

KJV Jeremiah 45:1 ¶ The word that Jeremiah the prophet spake unto Baruch the son of Neriah, when he had written these words in a book at the mouth of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying, 2 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, unto thee, O Baruch; 3 Thou didst say, Woe is me now! for the LORD hath added grief to my sorrow; I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest. 4 Thus shalt thou say unto him, The LORD saith thus; Behold, that which I have built will I break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck up, even this whole land. 5 And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not: for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the LORD: but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest.

Jeremiah 45 Commentary
Verse 1: Intro

Now, let’s take a closer look at this chapter, starting with the introduction to the chapter in verse 1. Let’s read that one more time.

KJV Jeremiah 45:1 ¶ The word that Jeremiah the prophet spake unto Baruch the son of Neriah,

when he [had written/was writing] these words in a book at the [mouth/dictation] of Jeremiah,

in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying,

Jeremiah 45 Commentary
Change in Time

Let’s try to understand the timeframe we’re working with here in chapter 45.

Here in chapter 45 we’re told that we’re in the fourth year of Jehoiakim.

And that time reference actually brings us all the way back to where we were all the way back in chapter 36. And a lot has happened since chapter 36.

So, let’s review what we’ve seen since studying that chapter.

Chapter 36 is where God commands Jeremiah to have Baruch write all his words on a scroll. That happens in the fourth year of Jehoiakim.

Baruch is then to take that scroll and read it in the Temple because Jeremiah has been banned from the Temple.

Baruch goes to the Temple on a fast day in Jehoiakim’s fifth year according to chapter 36, verse 9 and declares to everyone what Jeremiah has spoken with the Lord’s authority.

King Jehoiakim then hears the message and doesn’t tremble like his father Josiah – but rather he burns the message and seeks to kill Jeremiah and Baruch who have already hidden themselves.

Then chapter 36 ends with Jeremiah dictating more words to Baruch and this time that scroll doesn’t get burned.

Then, moving from chapter 36 to chapter 37 we skip over the last five or six years of Jehoiakim’s reign. We also skip over the three months of Jeconiah’s reign. And finally we land in the reign of the last king of Judah named Zedekiah.

Chapter 37, verse 4 tells us that Jeremiah had not yet been put into prison. But then later on in that chapter in the 11th verse we see Jeremiah being put into prison around the 8th year of Zedekiah’s reign. So, in chapter 37 we’re somewhere around Zedekiah’s 8th year.

Then in chapter 39, Jerusalem is finally taken by Babylon. This happens toward the end of Zedekiah’s 9th year.

Then in chapter 40 we saw the Babylonians place a governor over Judah by the name of Gedaliah. He was appointed over everyone who remained in Judah after the Babylonians exiled or killed most of the Jews. This would have happened a few months or maybe a few years after Babylon invaded Jerusalem.

At that point, Jews who were in hiding started returning to Gedaliah. But then in chapter 41, Ishmael kills Gedaliah and takes the people toward Ammon. But then in that same chapter we see the people rescued by an army officer named Johanan.

They all ask Jeremiah if they should go to Egypt for protection in chapter 42. God tells Jeremiah to tell them to stay in Judah and they disobey the Lord and go to Egypt anyway.

Then the Lord gave the Jews a threat of punishment in chapters 43 and 44.

And then we find ourselves in chapter 45 today with this message for Baruch.

But here’s why we went through all of that. This message in chapter 45 was given all the way back in the time covered in chapter 36 – Jehoiakim’s 4th year. The same year that Baruch wrote the scroll at Jeremiah’s dictation.

So, as far as the timeframe is concerned, what’s recorded in chapter 45 is a flashback all the way back probably around 20 years prior to what we see at the end of chapter 44.

So, that’s the timeframe we’re dealing with in chapter 45.

Jeremiah 45 Baruch Biography

Get more insight on this man named Baruch at our Jeremiah 45 Baruch article.

Jeremiah 45 Commentary
Verses 2-5 Message to Baruch

Jeremiah 45 Commentary
Verses 2-3 Baruch’s Thoughts

And, so, it’s to this man of privilege that God chooses to speak through Jeremiah starting in verses 2-3.

2 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, unto thee, O Baruch;

3 Thou didst say,

[Woe is me now/I feel so hopeless/I’m as good as dead]!
for the LORD hath added [grief/sorrow] to my [sorrow/pain/suffering];

I [fainted/am weary/am worn out] [in/with/from] my [sighing/groaning],
and I find no rest.

So, the Lord gives us and Jeremiah and Baruch himself a window into Baruch’s mindset at the time.

Baruch is feeling sorry for himself. Remember, this is being spoken to Baruch right around the time when he had to give a very unpopular message to the king. His family had been apparently very well-thought-of by the royalty of Judah until that point. But as a result of the message that Baruch was going to give to the king he would seek to kill this scribe.

In fact, we might see some hint of Baruch comparing his lot to that of his brother. Remember, we know from chapter 51 that Baruch’s brother Seraiah was a quartermaster or a “quiet prince” or a “prince of rest.” The word translated as “quiet” is the same word we see at the end of verse 3 here. So, perhaps Baruch is looking at his brother who is a “prince of rest” and he looks at his own situation being Jeremiah’s scribe and is saying that his situation is not nearly as restful as even his own brother.

In addition, it wasn’t just the reaction of the king or the comparison of his life to that of his brother that was bothering Baruch. But this scribe who had some smarts was hearing Jeremiah’s message from the Lord and he was seeing that things were going to be getting much worse – not just for him but for his whole country. And this was very concerning for him.

But we see also some assignment of blame to the Lord from Baruch. The Lord knew that in his heart Baruch was saying that God himself was to blame for these realities.

Now, it’s very obvious that God was simply responding to the sin of Baruch’s countrymen. It’s not that God by default enjoys punishing. He does so in response to people’s sins.

But Baruch is blaming God for his sorrow and pain and lack of rest.

So, that’s the Lord pointing out to Baruch that he knows what he’s thinking and what he’s saying.

Jeremiah 45 Commentary
Verses 4-5 God’s Response

So then in verses 4 and 5 we have God’s response to Baruch’s thoughts.

Jeremiah 45 Commentary
Verse 4 Fate of the World

To begin, in verse 4, the Lord foretells the fate of the entire world.

4 Thus shalt thou [Jeremiah…] say unto him [Baruch…],

The LORD saith thus;

Behold, that which I have built will I break down,
and that which I have planted I will pluck up,
even this whole [land/earth].

Now, the words “built,” “break down,” “planted,” and “pluck up” are all found in chapter 1, verse 10. There – at the beginning of this book – we read:

KJV Jeremiah 1:10 See, I have this day set thee [Jeremiah…] over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.

And so now finally, what God called Jeremiah to do is finally happening.

And the scope of this destruction is definitely over all the land of Judah.

We see proof of that again all the way back in chapter 1. Verse 14 of that chapter says:

KJV Jeremiah 1:14 Then the LORD said unto me [Jeremiah…], Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land [same word as chapter 45, verse 4].

And of course, in chapter 45 we’re simultaneously looking forward to the destruction to come – while at the same time we’re able to look back over the previous several chapters and see that destruction had already come. It came upon the land of Judah.

But, that word “land” (eretz) can also mean “world” – as in the entire world. And interestingly enough, right after this chapter, God will devote six chapters to warning nations all over the world of that time of the destruction that’s coming to them.

So, when God tells Baruch in chapter 45, verse 4 that he’s going to break down and pluck up the whole world – he’s including both Judah and really, the entire inhabited earth.

So, the Lord has Baruch face the fate of the whole world. That fate is destruction.

But Baruch’s fate is much different. Read of it at our Jeremiah 45 5 Meaning article.

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