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CHAPTER 42 Aug. 21 
The People Ask Jeremiah to Pray for Them 
Then all the captains of the forces, Johanan the son of Kareah, Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah and all the people from the least even to the greatest came near, 2and said to Jeremiah the prophet, Please let our supplication be presented before you, and pray for us to Yahweh your God, even for all this remnant; for we are left but a few of many, as your eyes do see us: 3that Yahweh your God may show us the way in which we should walk, and the thing that we should do. 4Then Jeremiah the prophet said to them, I have heard you; behold, I will pray to Yahweh your God according to your words; and it shall happen that whatever thing Yahweh shall answer you, I will declare it to you; I will keep nothing back from you. 5Then they said to Jeremiah, Yahweh be a true and faithful witness among us, if we don’t do according to all the word with which Yahweh your God shall send you to us. 6Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of Yahweh our God to whom we send you; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of Yahweh our God.
God Answers
7It happened that after ten days the word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah. 8Then called he Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces who were with him, and all the people from the least even to the greatest, 9and said to them, Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel to whom you sent me to present your supplication before Him: 10If you will still live in this land, then will I build you, and not pull you down, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up; for I grieve over the distress that I have brought on you. 11Don’t be afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom you are afraid; don’t be afraid of him, says Yahweh: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand. 12I will grant you mercy, that he may have mercy on you, and cause you to return to your own land. 13But if you say, We will not dwell in this land; so that you don’t obey the voice of Yahweh your God, 14saying, No; but we will go into the land of Egypt, where we shall see no war, nor hear the sound of the trumpet, nor have hunger of bread; and there will we dwell: 15now therefore hear the word of Yahweh, O remnant of Judah: Thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, If you indeed set your faces to enter into Egypt, and go to live there; 16then it shall happen, that the sword which you fear shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt; and the famine, about which you are afraid, shall follow close behind you there in Egypt; and there you shall die. 17So shall it be with all the men who set their faces to go into Egypt to live there: they shall die by the sword, by the famine and by the plague; and none of them shall remain or escape from the evil that I will bring on them. 18For thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel: As My anger and My wrath has been poured forth on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so shall My wrath be poured forth on you, when you shall enter into Egypt; and you shall be an object of horror and an astonishment, a curse and a reproach; and you shall see this place no more.
Jeremiah Warns the People
19Yahweh has spoken concerning you, remnant of Judah, Don’t you go into Egypt: know certainly that I have testified to you this day. 20For you have dealt deceitfully against your own souls; for you sent me to Yahweh your God saying, Pray for us to Yahweh our God; and according to all that Yahweh our God shall say, so declare to us, and we will do it: 21and I have this day declared it to you; but you have not obeyed the voice of Yahweh your God in anything for which He has sent me to you. 22Now therefore know certainly that you shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, in the place where you desire to go to live there.


42:4 I will keep nothing back from you- Paul uses the very same phrase from the LXX in Act 20:20 in the same context; of declaring to God’s people what He has revealed to him. Many of the allusions made by Bible characters to the words of other Bible characters may not have been conscious; but they were so filled with God’s word that they came out with those phrases which they had in their hearts as a result of their continual reflection upon God’s word. This is how the Bible can become a living word for us; in that we find ourselves talking even to ourselves, in our deepest self-talk, in the terms and phrases we encounter in the Bible (Eph. 5:19). This is the essence of spiritual mindedness, which is what Christianity is all about.
42:6 We will obey- Whilst their attitude is great on paper, chapter 43 explains that they simply rejected the answer they received. At this point, they were approaching God and seeking guidance from His word with their minds already made up as to what they wanted the answer to be. This is the attitude which robs so much prayer and Bible reading of its value- people can do these things in the hope they will be confirmed in their own views and wishes, and if they aren’t confirmed in them, they just continue in them anyway. Prayer and Bible study must be done with a true openness of mind and willingness to be directed by them, even into paths and choices we strongly don’t wish to make.
God to whom we send you- Prayer was envisaged by them as a going to God, a journey into His presence. Although we are in His presence all the time, this doesn’t take away the special entry into God’s personal presence which is what prayer is all about.