Posted: Tuesday 16 January 2024 ( 2 months ago )
If you've listened to the Bible in Fewer Words podcast lately, you've probably noticed that Carole and I have gone back to our first few episodes of Genesis and re-did them by splitting them into two. It took us a while to figure out how much material to include in an episode, and so we tended to include way too much in the first ones.
But now we are back to Jeremiah, with our latest episode covering Jeremiah 27-31, which includes God's 135th killing: Hananiah.
Here is the story from Drunk with Blood: God's Killings in the Bible
Whenever two prophets get together in the Bible, you can be pretty sure that one of them will soon be killed by God. Remember how God sent a lion to kill a prophet for believing another prophet's lie? And then he sent another lion to kill another prophet for refusing to smite fellow prophet? Yeah, well, the same thing happens to here to Hananiah, sans lion.
The trouble starts when Hananiah prophesies good news for the people of Judah. God was going to break the yoke of the king of Babylon and bring the people of Judah back home.
Hananiah ... the prophet ... spake ... in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. Within two full years ... I will bring again to this place ... all the captives of Judah ... for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon. Jeremiah 28:1-4
Which contradicted what Jeremiah had been telling everyone. Lately, in fact, Jeremiah was running around wearing a wooden yoke, symbolizing Nebuchadnezzar's absolute power over Israel. So Hananiah's good news was anathema to him.
Jeremiah replied with his usual sarcasm.
Amen: the LORD do so: the LORD perform thy words which thou hast prophesied, to bring again the vessels of the LORD's house, and all that is carried away captive, from Babylon into this place. 28:6
Then Hanaiah took Jeremiah's silly yoke and broke it in front of everyone.
Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from off the prophet Jeremiah's neck, and brake it. 28:10
And he repeated his prophecy about the end of Judah's exile within two years.
And Hananiah spake in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years. 28:11
Jeremiah went away after that. But a little later God told Jeremiah to tell Hananiah that he wants everyone to serve Nebuchadnezzar, even the animals.
Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD ... I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also. 28:14
Oh, yeah, and that within a year God would kill him.
Hear now, Hananiah; The LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the LORD. 28:15-16
And, by golly, that's what happened.
So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month. 28:17