Friday, November 03, 2006

There is a sound of fugitives and refugees from the land of Babylon

The headline news gives updates to the conflict in Iraq, and the explicit fulfillments of specific events of Jeremiah's prophecy regarding the land of Babylon -- the nation of modern-day Iraq -- are coming fast and furious within those updates.

This just in from the United Nations: Nearly 100,000 flee Iraq monthly. According to Ron Redmond, chief spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, "This is a steady stream of people now who are leaving [Iraq]." According to the U.N., the hundreds of thousands of refugees leaving Iraq are attempting to escape the continued sectarian violence. As Redmond says, "We've got a displacement crisis under way here."

So how does this fulfill prophecy? Placed within the bracketed context of a further description by Jeremiah of the U.S.-led coalition invasion -- "The LORD has opened his armory and has brought forth the weapons of his indignation... Come to her from the farthest border... Put all her young bulls to the sword... Summon many against Babylon, all those who bend the bow; encamp against her on every side; let there be no escape..." (Jer. 50:25-29) -- is this prophetic nugget: "There is a sound of fugitives and refugees from the land of Babylon" (Jer. 50:28).

That is a perfect example of the parenthetical prophecy, a stand alone statement placed within the middle of a congruous narrative, to establish it as an associated part of the narrative, but placed in such a way as to stand out as a flag to say, in essence, "this is a special note." This is a simple form of the common biblical literary device called "chiasmus." (Here is a more in-depth look at chiasmus in general literature.)

Verse 28 of Jeremiah 50 is such a prophetic nugget. And today the U.N. advised us that the sound is being heard loud and clear.

As promised, next post will deal with the outcome of the coalition occupation as prophesied by Jeremiah.

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