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Jeremiah's Journey

To Egypt with ....


NEW LIGHT ON JEREMIAH'S JOURNEY

by Pastor Jory Steven Brooks


     There is much that we do not know about the Prophets
Jeremiah and Ezekiel, who lived during the same period of turmoil
in Israel's history. Professor William H. Brownlee states:

"Ezekiel not only heard Jeremiah preach in Palestine, but he
probably knew him in Egypt as well. The relationships between the
books of Ezekiel and Jeremiah require a fresh examination in the
light of this fact which I hope to establish." (VT28-4, p.408
n.9) 

     I am not aware that this professor has yet published such an
analysis, but we certainly look forward to more studies being
done on this subject.

     There may indeed be a connection between the prophecies of
Jeremiah and Ezekiel. The Prophet Ezekiel, for example, spoke of
a mysterious land: "Woe [literally, 'Ho!'] to the land shadowing
with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia: That sendeth
ambassadors by the sea, even in vessels of bulrushes upon the
waters, saying, Go, ye swift messengers, to a nation scattered
and peeled, to a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a
nation meted out and trodden down, whose land the rivers have
spoiled! [or divided]" (Ezk.18:12) In relation to Palestine, a
land that is beyond Ethiopia would be located westward. Is it
possible that this prophetic land in the west had a connection
with Israel?

     Scripture prophecy gives indications that Israelites were to
travel to another land. An interesting prophecy concerning this
is found in 2 Samuel 7:10, "Moreover I will appoint a place for
my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a
place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children
of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime." We have many
critics who say that our English Bible translations are wrong;
that this prophecy was a past event, not future, and therefore
cannot refer to a land outside of Palestine. However, Professor
D.F. Murray of Exeter, England, in his study entitled, "The
Future of Israel," examined the words, "will appoint" in the
aforementioned verse and states: "These latter verb forms are, in
Hebrew prose, predominantly of future reference." (VT40-3, p.298)

     Professor Murray also discussed the connection between the
'promised place' and the promised rest for the people, and says,
"Verse ten [of 2 Samuel 7] is an allusion to the Deuteronomic
theory of the chosen place." (ibid. p.300 n.9) There would be a
future chosen place in another land outside of Palestine for
God's people Israel.

     In the Book of Deuteronomy we read of "Cities of Ref-
uge" which were a lace of safety for someone who committed
accidental murder. Exodus 21:12-13 says, "He that smiteth a man,
so that he die, shall be surely put to death. And if a man lie
not in wait, but God deliver him into his hand; then I will
appoint thee a place whither he shall flee." Professor Murray
comments, "In its context... ['will appoint'] means 'I will
establish for you an appropriate place, a place to which you may
flee, a place of security and refuge'." (ibid. p.315) This is the
same language that is used in 2 Samuel 7:10 above, relating to
Israel's future place of safety. Was this land, to which Israel
was to migrate and colonize a refuge or place of security to
remove them from Assyrian or Babylonian aggression?

     Interestingly, Professor Murray refers to this future
promised land as a "chosen place" and a "safe haven" (ibid. pp.
300 n9; 315 n33).
     A safe haven was a practical necessity for Hebrews caught in
Assyrian and Babylonian aggression. Ezekiel prophesied that after
the fall of Jerusalem, its citizens would be scattered to the
wind in every direction, evidently including westward. "And all
his fugitives with all his bands shall fall by the sword, and
they that remain shall be scattered toward all winds: and ye
shall know that I the LORD have spoken it. Thus saith the Lord
GOD; I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar,
and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs
a tender one, and will plant it upon an high mountain and
eminent: In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it:
and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly
cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the
shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell." (Ezekiel 18:
21-23) In this interesting prophecy, the "highest branch" of the
tall cedar seems to indicate kingship, and a "high mountain" in
prophecy indicates an important nation, here called "eminent." A
mountain in the height of Israel would be an important nation
where Israelites were settled.

     Here we look to the Prophet Jeremiah for answers, and learn
that this prophet, accompanied by his scribe Baruch and other
refugees from Jerusalem, after the Babylonian conquest, traveled
to Tahpanhes, Egypt, a seaport town on the Mediterranean coast.
We read this in Jeremiah 43, "But Johanan the son of Kareah, and
all the captains of the forces, took all the remnant of Judah,
that were returned from all nations, whither they had been
driven, to dwell in the land of Judah; Even men, and women, and
children, and the king's daughters, and every person that
Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had left with Gedaliah the
son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Jeremiah the prophet, and
Baruch the son of Neriah. So they came into the land of Egypt:
for they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: thus came they even to
Tahpanhes." (verses 5 to 7)

     Nothing more was heard from Jeremiah after arriving in
Tahpanhes, Egypt, but the presence of the king's daughters was
significant because God had promised: "For thus saith the LORD;
David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house
of Israel." (Jer.33:17) This prophecy proved false unless the
king's daughters survived somewhere to maintain the Davidic line,
with their descendants ruling over a branch of God's people
Israel. Did Jeremiah and these royal daughters make their journey
to another land where the Davidic line continued?

     Irish ancient chronicles record the coming to that land of a
prophet, a princess, and a scribe, Simon Brugg. Jeremiah's scribe
was named, "Baruch." (see above and Jer. 36:26,32)

     A fascinating historical romance was written on the fate of
Jeremiah and the kings' daughters, entitled, "The Tender Twig."
Authored by Francis Henking, a California English history and
literature teacher, it is an historical novel, taking known
ancient history and filling in the details of what may have
happened after the close of the Book of Jeremiah. This book,
originally published in 1963 and out of print for many years, was
reprinted by CBIA ($12 plus postage) and is available at our
online bookshop at www.migrations.info. It is one of the most
interesting and absorbing stories you may ever read, on an
important subject related to Bible history and prophecy.

     This is Miss Henking's summary of her book: "The Tender Twig
is an historical romance. Old Testament history recounts the
breaking up of the nation of Israel and the dispersal to the
north and west of first the ten tribes and later those of the
two-tribed kingdom of Judah. The Tender Twig is the tale of how
the royal descendant of Zarah-Judah, with pre-exilic Israel, is
reunited with the heiress of the Davidic house in Palestine which
had been reigning over the tribes of Judah and Benjamin."

     She continues, "Princess Tamar Tephi of Judah finds herself
an exile and a refugee after her father, King Zedekiah, is killed
by his enemies. With the prophet Jeremiah, and a handful of
guardians, the Princess makes a dramatic odyssey to Ireland,
where the Lord's hand reunited the long-separated parts of His
kingdom."

     As a final thought, if Ezekiel indeed traveled to Egypt, as
Professor Brownlee says, whatever became of him?

                            ...................

From "Thy Kingdom Come" (June 2008)
A publication of The Association of the Covenant People, Burnaby,
B.C. Canada

Entered on this Website June 2008


 
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