What kind of evil maniac tortures people and then mocks them for being afraid? Yahweh, or course! (v 4-7) And then he has the gall to play the hero for releasing them from their captivity, and calling for a celebration, when he caused the misery in the first place. And still, if you look hard enough and believe strongly enough, you can find something positive to cherry-pick in this chapter.
Here’s a dubious promise – “Those who survive the coming destruction will find blessings even in the barren land…” (v 2) Woohoo, wouldn’t you be reassured? Yahweh expects the people to sing and shout for joy (v 7).
Read v 15-17 carefully and note their context here – Rachel is mourning her children who have not yet returned from the exile, and god generously promises her that they will. But Matthew will quote v 15 out of context (Matthew 2:17), claiming it applies to Herod killing baby boys after Jesus is born, in fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophesy. Total bullsh*t! Not even close! Another blatant case of the gospels being written in retrospect to FIT the OT prophesies.
Bit of trivia – v 29 of the KJV is the source of two well-known idioms “The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” And in context, v 29-30 refer to a promise that no longer will children suffer for the sins of their parents, but each will only suffer for his own sin. How long do you think that’ll last?
Continue on – it gets more relevant here for Christians with v 31-34 speaking of the ‘new covenant’ that god will make with his people. Is this another reference to the coming Messiah? And what of v 36-37 where god says he will no longer reject his people, any more than he would repeal the laws of nature, “as the heavens cannot be measured and the foundations of the earth cannot be explored” – well maybe they couldn’t then, but they can now. Does that mean the covenant is over? Interesting to think about, right? Might account for some of the anti-science sentiment among believers.