We will begin this lesson in Jeremiah 8:1 "At that time, saith
the LORD, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and
the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones
of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of
their graves:"

     We see, in this Scripture, they had no regard for the bodies of
the dead. It did not matter whether it was the bones of some official
in the government, or some high official in the temple, they did not
bury their bodies. They just left them to the vultures. It appears,
also, from this, they might have even robbed some of the graves, and
brought their bones out, too. This is showing total disgust and
disregard for the people of Judah and Benjamin.

     Jeremiah 8:2 "And they shall spread them before the sun, and the
moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they
have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have
sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor
be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth."

     The reason God allowed this, was so they could be placed in front
of all these things they had worshipped falsely. It was to show that
the sun, moon, and stars, and all the idols of false worship had no
power to revive them. They were left to decay. Their bodies came from
the earth, and they would decay and return to that earth.

     Jeremiah 8:3 "And death shall be chosen rather than life by all
the residue of them that remain of this evil family, which remain in
all the places whither I have driven them, saith the LORD of hosts."

     Even the fate of the dead was better than the fate of those left
living. They would be taken into a foreign country as slaves. Death
would have been welcomed. Notice, again, this judgement is from God.

     Jeremiah 8:4  "Moreover thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the
LORD; Shall they fall, and not arise? shall he turn away, and not

     These people had not just committed a single sin against God.
They had taken on the sinful way of life. They were not repentant at
all. God may turn away from them for a moment, because He cannot bear
to look upon sin, but He is always ready to accept their repentance.
It is not a natural thing for a person to fall, and not get back up.
This can be in the spirit, as well as in the flesh. God will help them
arise, if they repent and turn to Him.

     Jeremiah 8:5 "Why [then] is this people of Jerusalem slidden back
by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to

     The word "perpetual" tells it all. They have continued in sin.
Their backsliding is not for a moment, but is a continuous thing. It
is not natural for them to do this. They should see the error of their
ways, and turn back to God. They are too stubborn to ask for God's
help. They cling to their belief in false gods. They have believed a

     Jeremiah 8:6 "I hearkened and heard, [but] they spake not aright:
no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every
one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle."

     A horse goes into battle without thinking, because he goes
wherever his rider directs him. This is true with these people. They
rush into sin, like the horse that does not think rushes into battle.
They have their ears of understanding closed off to the message God
sends them. They are on the road of sin, and have no intentions of
turning around. They do not stop and consider what is happening. They
do not repent of their sins. Jeremiah heard, but they just heard words
which meant nothing to them.

     Jeremiah 8:7 "Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed
times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time
of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD."

     Even the dumb animals know their appointed times, but man who
could understand, does not even stop to consider the LORD. An animal
follows the instincts God has given him. Even though all of this
happened to these people of God, they never once considered that they
brought it on themselves with their sins.

     Jeremiah 8:8 "How do ye say, We [are] wise, and the law of the
LORD [is] with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he [it]; the pen of the
scribes [is] in vain."

     These were not the heathen of the world, but God's chosen people.
They say they know the law. They believe that just the knowledge of
the law will save them. To be able to memorize the law of God, would
be of no use at all, unless they understood the meaning of those
words.  The pen of the scribes wrote the law in book form for them to
read. It would be in vain to read it without understanding it. By the
law, no man is saved. Galatians 3:11 "But that no man is justified by
the law in the sight of God, [it is] evident: for, The just shall live
by faith." Abraham should have been their example. His faith in God
was counted unto him as righteousness.

     Jeremiah 8:9 "The wise [men] are ashamed, they are dismayed and
taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom
[is] in them?"

     The wisdom they possessed was of the world. Their wisdom is of
nothing. The real wisdom that is a gift from God, comes when we fear
and reverence God. The wisdom verse 9 is speaking of is not of God,
but from the world. That kind of wisdom is worth nothing at all.

     Jeremiah 8:10 "Therefore will I give their wives unto others,
[and] their fields to them that shall inherit [them]: for every one
from the least even unto the greatest is given to covetousness, from
the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely."

     Their wives were taken by the Babylonians. The land and goods go
to the victor. In this case, the victor is Babylon. The reason for
this judgement from God, was the fact they were a sinful nation. The
sin had even entered the temple. A few hundred years later, Jesus will
tell the priests in the temple that the laws they practiced were their
own, not God's. This was the case here, as well. They had twisted the
law to fit their own needs. It was no longer recognizable as God's

     Jeremiah 8:11 "For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of
my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when [there is] no peace."

     The temple priests were crying peace, when war was at the door.
The only true peace comes, when Jesus sets up His kingdom of peace.

     Jeremiah 8:12 "Were they ashamed when they had committed
abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they
blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of
their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the LORD."

     They had committed so many sins, they had forgotten what was sin.
Their conscience had been seared over. The more they sinned, the less
they recognized sin for what it was. Judgement begins at the house of
God. When Jesus judges the world, there will be many that will cry out
to Him and say, didn't we do this, or that, in your name, and He will
say, Get away from me, I never knew you. It will not matter how big
the church was that you pastored. If your heart is not right with God,
you will be cast down by Jesus. This was the same thing here.

     Jeremiah 8:13  "I will surely consume them, saith the LORD:
[there shall be] no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and
the leaf shall fade; and [the things that] I have given them shall
pass away from them."

     God had miraculously fed them, but that will be no more. In some
sense, they were the branches, but they produced no fruit. I believe
in this, God is speaking of cutting of their source of help from Him,
however. Now God will not look upon them and care for their needs.
They will go without. The things of nature would no longer cooperate
with them. This is like the curse on the ground, spoken of in Genesis.

     Jeremiah 8:14 "Why do we sit still? assemble yourselves, and let
us enter into the defenced cities, and let us be silent there: for the
LORD our God hath put us to silence, and given us water of gall to
drink, because we have sinned against the LORD."

     This is certainly a bitter cup that they must drink. Remember,
they brought it on themselves by being unfaithful to God. They are in
silence, because they know it is true, and there is nothing left for
them to say. They could have fled south, as they had been warned to
do, but they just sat, and let it happen. I do not believe they
thought God would allow this to happen to them.

     Jeremiah 8:15 "We looked for peace, but no good [came; and] for a
time of health, and behold trouble!"

     Remember, their leaders had cried peace. They believed the
leaders, and thought peace was on its way. They never once dreamed of
the trouble that would come. They never even bothered to repent, and
seek God's face.

     Jeremiah 8:16 "The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan: the
whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones;
for they are come, and have devoured the land, and all that is in it;
the city, and those that dwell therein."

     This was a mighty army of horses and men that came and destroyed.
Fear rose up in the people, when the horses got near enough for them
to hear them snorting. The sad thing is, it was too late to run or
even to repent. Everything was destroyed.

     Jeremiah 8:17 "For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices,
among you, which [will] not [be] charmed, and they shall bite you,
saith the LORD."

     The serpents that God sent were both physical, and of a
figurative nature. It appears that vipers {very poisonous snakes}
roved through the land biting people. Also, the army of invaders were
like serpents. Look, with me, at another time when God sent serpents.
Numbers 21:6 "And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and
they bit the people; and much people of Israel died."  Notice, also,
why they came and who sent them, in the following Scripture. Numbers
21:7 "Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned,
for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the
LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the
people." God controls the serpent, the same as He controls everything

     Jeremiah 8:18  "[When] I would comfort myself against sorrow, my
heart [is] faint in me."

     Even though God had told Jeremiah ahead of time about all the
problems, Jeremiah still felt great sorrow for these people. He was
known as the prophet of sorrows. Jeremiah had not planned to grieve,
but it was more than he could endure. His heart was broken.

     Jeremiah 8:19 "Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my
people because of them that dwell in a far country: [Is] not the LORD
in Zion? [is] not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger
with their graven images, [and] with strange vanities?"

     The people of God have provoked God to bring this terrible
punishment on them, the temple, and the land, by worshipping false
gods. They cry out, because of their loss, not because they have
repented. God never leaves Zion. Zion, as we have said before, is the
mount in Jerusalem, but is also God's church. God never leaves the
church. The answer, for them or us, is repent and come back to God.

     Jeremiah 8:20 "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we
are not saved."

     The captivity of this people is not for just a season, but for
many years. We know at the end of harvest the people rested, but there
will be no rest for them. They have not been delivered from captivity.
The children of Israel waited 400 years, or more, for God to send them
a deliverer to bring them out of Egypt {world}. This captivity will be
shorter, but will not be over in one year.

     Jeremiah 8:21 "For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I
hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me."

     The word translated "black" here, implies mourning. The mourning
was great. It appeared to be the blackest time in their history. It
was difficult to see any hope for them. "Astonishment" is speaking of
surprise at the terribleness.

     Jeremiah 8:22 "[Is there] no balm in Gilead; [is there] no
physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my
people recovered?"

     We see a people, who seem to be desolate without hope. The "balm
of Gilead" was a substance with healing power in it. It was very
expensive. I think of the Aloe-vera plant when I see this mentioned.
You can squeeze a little juice out for a burn, or rash, and it is very
helpful. The only medicine that would help them, would come from the
great Physician {Jesus}. Their illness was spiritual. They must seek
God anew. They will not recover, until they repent of their false
worship, and turn to God.

                         Jeremiah 9 Questions

1.  Whose bones will be brought out?
2.  Where shall they spread the bones?
3.  Why are the bones put in that place?
4.  What will their bones become to the earth?
5.  What was better than the fate of those left?
6.  The judgement comes from _______.
7.  What way of life had they taken on, that brought judgement on
8.  When will God help them arise?
9.  What kind of backsliding were they guilty of?
10. Who heard in verse 6?
11. What attitude did the people have?
12. What animal were they compared to in verse 6?
13. What did these evil people not consider even once?
14. What did they believe would save them?
15. What is wrong with that thinking?
16. Quote Galatians chapter 3 verse 11.
17. What kind of wisdom did they have?
18. What happened to their wives?
19. What did Jesus have to say about the law of the temple?
20. What were the leaders crying out, that was not true?
21. Why were they not ashamed of their sins?
22. How had these people been fed in the past?
23. What is the bitter cup spoken of as in verse 14?
24. When did they begin to fear that what Jeremiah had said was true?
25. What did God send to torment them, besides the army?
26. When was another time God sent the same thing to punish people?
27. What effect on Jeremiah did all of this have?
28. Why did the people cry out?
29. How quickly had they thought God would send them a deliverer?
30. What does "black" indicate in verse 21?
31. What was the "balm of Gilead"?