Sunday, July 10, 2011

Jeremiah, Chapters 19-21: But I helped him drink his wine

Chapter 19

The continuation of the clay pot miracle. Jeremiah has to go and get bottle, then he has to stand in front of the citizens of Jerusalem and tell them that as punishment for worshipping Baal, god is going to make them eat their children and their friends, then feed whatever's left to the birds. People who pass by will hiss at the city, probably because that was some sort of superstition, much like walking under ladders today only less sensible. Then he's to smash the pot, as if his words aren't quite convincing enough.

Chapter 20

Jeremiah's reward for his trouble is being put in the stocks by the high priest, Pashur. The next day, when Jeremiah is brought in front of him, he's unrepentant, saying his name is not Pashur, but Magormissabib (v. 3). The KJV doesn't translate this, but for what it's worth the New Living Translation says that means 'He Who Lives in Terror.' Why? Well, cleverly, god is going to terrorise him and all his friends, then send the people into captivity, then kill Pashur & co.

Next Jeremiah starts whining about how he has no friends, as people who run around telling everybody to repent before god plagues them and burns them and turns them into cannibals are wont to do. He says he tried to shut the voices up, but it didn't work. He curses the day he was born, and his parents, and wishes god had either killed him in the womb or killed both him and his mother. Of course anti-abortionists ignore this part of the chapter, because it isn't very convenient in their whole 'god is totally TOTALLY anti-abortion' narrative and focus on the part where god speaks to him in there instead.

Chapter 21

The king, Zedekiah, pleas with Jeremiah to help him out of a war with the Chaldeans, aka the Babylonians. Jeremiah replies that god has promised to kill all the Israelites by sword, then famine, then finally plague and so his hands are tied.

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