Jeremiah: Prophet Of Judgment Followed By Blessing

Part LXXXVII: God's Judgment On Elam For Its Ferocity And Pride

(Jeremiah 49:34-39)


I.                 Introduction

A.    The Noahic Covenant called for men to value human life so as to avoid excessive violence and not to commit murder, the reason why capital punishment in Genesis 9:5 is part of that Genesis 8:20-9:17 covenant.

B.     However, the Elamites like the Ishmaelites were fierce and warlike (Ezekiel 32:24), functioning in violation of the Noahic Covenant, a people of ferocity and pride who dwelt east of Babylon in what today is modern Iran.

C.     God's judgment was to fall on Elam likely primarily at Christ's return, providing a lesson for us (as follows):

II.              God's Judgment On Elam For Its Ferocity And Pride, Jeremiah 49:34-39.

A.    The nation of Elam, located east of Babylon in what is now Iran, was known for its archery skills and for causing terror to other nations due to its ferocity, Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1199; Ezekiel 32:24.

B.     This prophecy was given in the first year of Judah's final king Zedekiah (Jeremiah 49:34) when Jeremiah was predicting against opposing prophet Hananiah that Babylon would capture Judah and hold its people for 70 years of captivity, cf. Jeremiah 28:1-17; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Jeremiah 28:1-17.  Significantly, there is evidence that Babylon defeated Elam in 596 B. C. just one year after this prophecy (Ibid.), but the people of Elam became part of the Persian Empire that would later conquer Babylon, Dan. 8:2; Ibid.  In other words, God was likely looking beyond not only the fall of Judah to Babylon, not only the fall of Babylon to Persia, but to a later fall of Elam, indicating His great sovereignty over the world's nations!

C.     Accordingly, the Lord of Hosts, the sovereign God of the world's military forces, predicted the day when He would break the bow of Elam for which it was famous in its might, Jeremiah 49:35.

D.    God would bring on the nation of Elam people from the four quarters of the heavens, people from every direction, and they would so scatter the Elamites that they would flee into every other nation, Jeremiah 49:36.

E.     God would cause the Elamites to be dismayed before their enemies who sought their lives, just punishment for the terror they used to strike in the hearts of other nations in violation of the Noahic Covenant, for God would bring on them the calamity caused by His fierce anger as He brought on them the sword of punishment for their ferocity against other nations, Jeremiah 49:37.

F.      Evidence that this judgment may occur at Christ's Second Coming is found in Jeremiah 49:38 where the Lord promises to set His throne in Elam in supervising its destruction, Ibid., Bible Know. Com., O. T.  In other words, God in Jeremiah's era when he was being critiqued for predicting Judah would be taken captive by Babylon for 70 years, and knowing of Babylon's fall to Persia with its Elamites, was looking ahead to the day when He Himself would administer judgment on Elam likely at Christ's Second Coming for Elam's ferocity and pride in violation of the Noahic Covenant!

G.    Nevertheless, in His mammoth grace, God promised to restore Elam in the latter days, to gather its people from the nations to which they had been scattered in judgment, Jeremiah 49:39.  God would still cause them to return to their ancient homeland of Iran and bless them in the end when they finally repented of their sins of pride and ferocity toward others and believed in the God of Judah!


Lesson: Regardless of the great amount of time involved in getting to the judgment of Elam and regardless of its seemingly endless longevity at the time, for its ferocity and pride toward other nations in violation of the Noahic Covenant, God would yet set His throne in Elam to administer judgment, causing its people to be scattered into all the world's other nations in great, terrorizing judgment.  Nevertheless, when they repented, God would restore the fortunes of Elam, bringing its people back into their homeland in Christ's future Messianic Kingdom.


Application: (1) May we examine our lives to see if we are in any way needlessly frightening other people or holding an attitude of haughtiness and pride toward them and repent to avoid God's discipline that forces us to be frightened of His discipline and humbled before Him!  (2) May we trust that God EVENTUALLY deals with ALL sin, even if it is as late as Christ's Second Coming, that we NOT become DISCOURAGED at facing evil in our day as Jeremiah faced in being opposed by false prophet Hananiah.  God's judgment WILL come in TIME!  (3) As we look at Iran today, a nation that exports global terrorism, may we look beyond its great current sin to appreciate the GRACE of God that will RESTORE this nation's people in Christ's Messianic Kingdom.  In doing so, may we rejoice in God's GRACE to US in forgiving and restoring US to blessing through Christ's atonement!