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Come, Follow Me — Old Testament Study and Teaching Helps
Lesson 43, October 17–23
Jeremiah 30–33; 36; Lamentations 1; 3 — “I Will Turn Their Mourning into Joy”

Jeremiah 21-29 What You May Not Want to Miss

Because the Come, Follow Me curriculum skips these chapters, you may choose to read the chapter headings for Jeremiah 21-29 (as well as other chapters that are skipped). Here are some of the more significant references:

  • 22:1-5 The four things the Lord said the kings of Judah must do, in order to be blessed.
  • 23:3-6 Prophecies of the latter-day gathering and of conditions during the Millennium.
  • 26:8-15 Jeremiah is taken from the temple, arrested, and sentenced to die for prophesying against Judah. Jeremiah boldly calls them to repentance, saying that they can do with him as they wish, but if they take his life, they will be shedding innocent blood. He is rescued.
  • 28:1-3, 15-17 A false prophet contradicts Jeremiah, but Jeremiah foretells his death, which occurs.
  • 29:10-14 The Lord tells the people who will be taken captive into Babylon that they can return to Him and become His people. Read these verses as if the Lord is speaking to you, and consider the blessings He promises.

Jeremiah 30-31; 33 In the Last Days

Note the transformative events of the last days (see 30:24) and the Millennium, as told by the Lord to Jeremiah:

  • The kingdoms of Israel and Judah will be gathered and will return to their lands of inheritance (30:3).
  • But they will also pass through “travail,” “trouble,” servitude, correction, and punishment; but ultimately they will be healed and saved (30:6-8, 10-11, 16-17).
  • They will serve the Lord and have Jesus Christ as their king (30:9; see also chapter heading).
  • Jerusalem will be rebuilt and become a place of thanksgiving and merriment, as they become God’s people (30:18-19, 22).

Continue searching for more of the glorious events prophesied for our day, in 31:1, 3, 6-9, 14, 20, 31-33.

  • What do you think it means that the Lord will “put my law in their inwards parts”? (31:33).
  • What did the Lord say will happen during the Millennium, in 31:34?
  • Find additional prophesied events for the last days, in 33:1-4, 6-9, 11, 14-16.
  • Read 33:19-22. It is certain that man cannot stop the rotations of the earth that bring night and day, and this is how certain it is that the Lord will keep His covenant to raise up Jesus Christ, from the line of David, to reign over Israel.

Jeremiah 32 Prophecy Will Always Be Fulfilled

  • First, read from the Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 1:4; Omni 1:15; Helaman 8:21.
  • Next, read Jeremiah 32:1-3 and see the disastrous events that occurred in the “tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah” (591 BC; the same Zedekiah mentioned in the Book of Mormon).
  • Consider the ridiculous reason Jeremiah was put into prison (if you don’t like what the prophet says, just put him in jail!). Remarkably, all this was happening as the Babylonian armies were surrounding Jerusalem.
  • Read the first part of Jeremiah’s prayer to the Lord, in verses 17-19, and then read parts of the Lord’s reply, in verses 26-30, 34-35.
  • (Note: the “Chaldeans” are the same as the “Babylonians.” Also, the king of Babylon/Chaldea is sometimes shown as Nebuchadrezzar, but also sometimes as Nebuchadnezzar; he was the second king of Babylonia and reigned about 605-561 BC).
  • What marvelous promises did the Lord add, as He finished His reply to Jeremiah, in verses 36-42? This is the ultimate “happy ending!”

Jeremiah 36 To Heed or Not to Heed

This chapter jumps back a few years to king Jehoiakim, who reigned in Judah during the decade before king Zedekiah. It’s an intriguing story of an interaction between the prophet Jeremiah and the unrighteous king Jehoiakim:

  • Read verses 1-8. What did the Lord instruct Jeremiah to do? Note the Lord’s perpetual willingness to receive His children who will repent and come to Him.
  • According to verses 21-26, how did king Jehoiakim react? What did Jeremiah do next, in verse 32? Again we see a foolish response to God’s words (if you don’t like what the scriptures say, just burn them!).
  • In our day, what different reactions do people have to the scriptures and other words of the Lord?

Jeremiah 37-52 Additional Helpful References

  • Jeremiah 37-38 Like Jehoiakim, Zedekiah rejects the words of Jeremiah and imprisons him. Zedekiah wants to know what Jeremiah has to say, but then does not fully accept the prophet’s counsel. Has there been a time in your life when you suffered—like Jeremiah–because you chose to do what was right? Think also of times you have been blessed because you chose to follow the prophet.
  • Jeremiah 39 As we read in 2 Kings, Jerusalem is conquered by the Babylonians and the people are taken into captivity. Jeremiah’s life is preserved, and he is treated better by the Babylonians than he had been by the Jews.
  • Jeremiah 42 The few Jews left in Jerusalem approach Jeremiah, deeply humbled and desiring to repent. What does it take to get people (including ourselves) to listen to the Lord’s prophets? Why do we often learn our lessons the hard way?
  • Jeremiah 43 Unfortunately, those who sought counsel from Jeremiah did not follow it. They attempt to escape to Egypt to save themselves from the Babylonians, taking Jeremiah with them by force. What unwise things do people do in an attempt to “escape” the Lord’s words and commandments?
  • Jeremiah 44 The Jews in Egypt continue to worship false gods and face the Lord’s wrath. Verse 9 reveals that the wickedness of Judah was carried out openly, even “in the streets.” Like today, much that is evil is shamelessly perpetrated and even celebrated in the open. In verses 16-17, the people fully reject Jeremiah’s continued warnings, insisting on their desire to worship and serve their own gods.
  • Jeremiah 46 Jeremiah prophesies that the Babylonians will also conquer Egypt. In verses 27-28 Jeremiah prophesies again of the latter-day gathering and salvation of the house of Israel.
  • Jeremiah 47-51 Jeremiah prophesies of the impending destruction of other surrounding nations, including Babylon, citing their wicked ways.
  • Jeremiah 50:4-5 These verses feature a sweet foretelling of the Lord’s blessings upon the children of Israel in the last days, through His “perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.”
  • Jeremiah 51:6, 46 The Lord commands His people to “flee out of the midst of Babylon,” whose wickedness has become symbolic of worldliness (see also D&C 1:16; 64:24; 133:14).
  • Jeremiah 52 Another account of the Babylonians’ attack on Jerusalem. Verse 10 states that the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah, but we know from the Book of Mormon that one of his sons, Mulek, was preserved and was led to the lands of the Book of Mormon (see Mosiah 25:2; Helaman 6:10; 8:21).
  • Jeremiah 52:13-14, 17-19 Here we see the destruction and pillaging of the temple in Jerusalem (the re-building of which we studied in the book of Ezra), as well as the destruction of the walls of Jerusalem (the re-building of which we studied in the book of Nehemiah).

Lamentations “For These Things I Weep”

This book contains Jeremiah’s lamenting, weeping, and sorrowing over the destructive end of Jerusalem and its inhabitants; brought on by their own fate-filled failures to worship and obey their true and living God.

Scholars have pointed out that chapters 1-4 of Lamentations are poems, with each of the 22 verses beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet (in the case of chapter 3, which has 66 verses, each stanza of three verses begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and each of the three verses within the stanzas begin with that specific letter).

  • To gain a sense of the entire book, read Lamentations 1:1-5; 2:10-12. Note that chapter 2 makes it clear that the Lord allowed or caused the destruction that came upon Jerusalem and the kingdom of Judah. Read also Mormon 6:16-22.
  • Read Lamentations 3:22-26, 31-32 to see the hope that somehow remained, despite all the ruin and loss. What would you write, if you were to add something to these verses? Read the words to the hymn, “Be Still, My Soul” (Hymns, #124).
  • What lessons do you think we can learn from Lamentations 3:40-41?
  • Lamentations 4:6 declares that Judah’s punishment was greater than was the punishment of Sodom.
  • To appreciate the desperate circumstances of those who initially survived the destruction, read Lamentations 4:9-10; 5:1-5, 10-11, 15-16.
  • Chapter 5 is a prayer of Jeremiah in behalf of the people of Judah. Read Lamentations 5:21 Afflictions can turn us to God—but it doesn’t have to be that way; read Alma 32:12-16.
  • What behaviors do you see in others that cause you to “lament”? How can you become stronger so that you will avoid such behavior?

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