This is Thucydides reporting from Syria for the BNN (Biblical News Network):
The world waits with bated breath as the two great armies of
Babylon and Egypt prepare for their second confrontation. The market places are filled with passionate discussions and predictions.
Which of these two superpowers will emerge victorious?
Religious temples are having difficulty dealing with the high volume of sacrifices at this time of uncertainty. Donations are down as people wonder which will be the dominant religion after the battle. Judea is especially concerned. They feel vulnerable to the Babylonian hordes and have traditionally looked toward their Egyptian neighbors to the south as military allies. For a special report from our Jerusalem bureau we turn now to our correspondent in Jerusalem:
Hello, this is Herodotus reporting from Jerusalem.
The city is buzzing today with a shocking report that Jeremiah the Prophet has proclaimed that Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonian armies will swiftly defeat Israel’s last important military allies. Many in Jerusalem are calling for the prophet to be tried for treason. “He is devastating our spirits even before the battle has begun,” said one angry citizen. “We are already terrified of the Babylonians and Jeremiah is just making things worse!”
When asked to comment, Jeremiah simply replied, “But you, be not afraid, My servant Jacob, and be not frightened, O’ Israel, for I shall save you from afar, and your offspring from the land of their captivity.” ((46:27)
When I asked one of King Zedekiah’s top advisors for his reaction to Jeremiah, he quickly dismissed the prophet’s warnings and reassurances: “That phrase, “Be not afraid, My servant Jacob,” is old hat. We all learned it in Bible school. God said the same thing to Jacob when he went down to Egypt, and look what happened then!”
Thank you Herodotus. The BNN has convened a panel with Aristotle, Sigmund Freud and Rabbi Simcha Weinberg, of TheFoundationStone.org™. to discuss this current controversy over Jeremiah’s words:
Aristotle: The Children of Israel have much to fear, not only from the Babylonians but from God as well. He has made it clear that He is quite upset with them. Perhaps the Babylonian’s are God’s instrument. The question they must ask themselves is, “What do we need to do to fix this rift?”
Sigmund Freud: Israel’s fears are healthy. It is natural to fear when you witness God’s wrath and its devastating effects on Egypt. Yet, Jeremiah’s words of comfort send a mixed message; God is angry, yet, reassuring. No wonder Jews are neurotic!
Rabbi Simcha Weinberg: We know from historical records that the Jews of the Exodus were also frightened of God. Though they heard His promises, they witnessed the destruction of their former masters and were frightened of God. Jeremiah is telling them that despite the terrifying destruction of God’s enemies, Israel should know that all they are witnessing is an expression of God’s love for them. We also know from history that God will not destroy them, but will restore their land, their wealth and their relationship, but only when they are ready to return to Him. I urge them; Listen to Jeremiah.
Thank you to our distinguished panel for their remarks into this important controversy. This has been the BNN reporting to you from, the soon to be bloody, battlefield in Syria.