Some Bible prophecies have multiple fulfillments. This means that some prophecies fulfilled in the past may be fulfilled again in the future in a similar manner. Jeremiah 4 is a chapter I believe has dual fulfillments. I will explain why I believe Jeremiah 4:5-28 may have dual fulfillments, including a fulfillment during the end times, in this article.
Jeremiah 4:5 Overview
Jeremiah 4:5 onward is about an attack on Judah and Jerusalem. The specific time frame of the attack is not explicitly stated, but many Bible commentators believe that the attack took place during the time of the Babylonians.
I believe there’s a strong possibility that this attack of Jerusalem and Judah occurred during the time of the Babylonians since Jeremiah prophesied around a time when Jerusalem was about be threatened by the Babylonians. However, I also think there is a possibility that Jeremiah 4:5 onward has dual fulfillment (fulfillment during Jeremiah’s time and future fulfillment). I’ll provide examples of why I think there is a possibility of a future fulfillment next.
The Destroyer of the Gentiles
The first thing that makes me think that Jeremiah 4:5 onward has future implications is that the leader of the military force coming against Jerusalem and Judah is referred to as the “destroyer of the Gentiles”:
“(5) Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defenced cities. (6) Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction. (7) The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant. (8) For this gird you with sackcloth, lament and howl: for the fierce anger of the LORD is not turned back from us.” (Jeremiah 4:5-8)
The title “destroyer of the Gentiles” could apply to Nebuchadnezzar, but the title is also seems (or even more) befitting of a future leader of a very powerful military force.
The Downfall of the Elite
Another reason I see potential for Jeremiah 4:5 onwards to have dual fulfillment is that Jeremiah 4:9 mentions that the religious and political elite of Jerusalem will be caught completely off guard by events. The downfall of Jerusalem’s political and religious elite is found elsewhere in end time Bible prophecy including the verses shown in the following table:
- Day of the Lord
- Political & Religious Elite
Jeremiah 4:9: And it shall come to pass at that day, saith the LORD, that the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes; and the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder.
Isaiah 3:1-4: (1) For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water, (2) The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, (3) The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator. (4) And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.
Ezekiel 7:26-27: (26) Mischief shall come upon mischief, and rumour shall be upon rumour; then shall they seek a vision of the prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients. (27) The king shall mourn, and the prince shall be clothed with desolation, and the hands of the people of the land shall be troubled: I will do unto them after their way, and according to their deserts will I judge them; and they shall know that I am the LORD.
Zephaniah 1:8-9: (8) And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD’S sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king’s children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel. (9) In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, which fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit.
The final portion of Jeremiah 4 is also something to consider when evaluating the potential end time relevance of Jeremiah 4:5. Jeremiah 4:23-28 describes how desolate the land becomes:
“(23) I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. (24) I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. (25) I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. (26) I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger. (27) For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end. (28) For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.” (Jeremiah 4:23-28)
Jeremiah 4:23-24 are particularly noteworthy verses because they parallel some of the verses found in Isaiah 24, a chapter that I believe relates to the end times.
- Earth Desolated
- Geological Instability
Jeremiah 4:23-24: “(23) I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. (24) I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.”
Isaiah 24:1, 3-4, 19-20: (1) Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof…(3) The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word. (4) The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish…(19) The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. (20) The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.”
In addition, the wide-scale desolation described in Jeremiah 4:23-28 parallels the impact that the end time army described in Joel will have:
- Becoming Wilderness
Jeremiah 4:26-28: (26) I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger. (27) For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end. (28) For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.
Joel 2:1-3, 10: (1) Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; (2) A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. (3) A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them…(10) The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:
Jeremiah 4:5 Onward’s Significance
Jeremiah 4:5 onward likely serves as additional piece to understanding an end time siege of Jerusalem mentioned in Zechariah 12:1-2 and Zechariah 14:1-2. For example, Jeremiah 4:16-17 mentions that the watchers (a word that can also be translated to mean “besiegers” in Hebrew) will lay siege against Jerusalem and the cities of Judah.
“(16) Make ye mention to the nations; behold, publish against Jerusalem, that watchers come from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah. (17) As keepers of a field, are they against her round about; because she hath been rebellious against me, saith the LORD.” (Jeremiah 4:16-17)
“(1) The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. (2) Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 12:1)
In addition, Jeremiah 4:13 and Isaiah 5:26-30 describe the incoming military force similarly (I’ve also include verse 4:28 in the table below to show another parallel between Isaiah 5 and Jeremiah 4):
- Traveling Fast
Jeremiah 4:13, 28: (13) Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled…(28) For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.
Isaiah 5:26-30: (26) And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth: and, behold, they shall come with speed swiftly: (27) None shall be weary nor stumble among them; none shall slumber nor sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the latchet of their shoes be broken: (28) Whose arrows are sharp, and all their bows bent, their horses’ hoofs shall be counted like flint, and their wheels like a whirlwind: (29) Their roaring shall be like a lion, they shall roar like young lions: yea, they shall roar, and lay hold of the prey, and shall carry it away safe, and none shall deliver it. (30) And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea: and if one look unto the land, behold darkness and sorrow, and the light is darkened in the heavens thereof.
In sum, here again are the reasons why Jeremiah 4:5 onwards may have potential end time implications:
- The leader of the military force besieging Judah and Jerusalem is known as the “destroyer of the Gentiles”
- The phrase “at that day” appears in Jeremiah 4:9.
- The political and religious elite of Jerusalem will be completely caught off guard by the events transpiring; something that is described elsewhere in end time Bible prophecy.
- The final portion of Jeremiah 4 parallels certain parts of Isaiah 24 and Joel 2.
Feel free to leave a comment if you have any thoughts about this or any other topic. If you want to learn about the timing of the end time siege of Jerusalem, click this link for my article on the topic: When Jerusalem Will Be Attacked During the End Times?
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