Jeremiah 21:8 - Every Choice We Make Is Either For Life Or For Death.

Jer.21:8: Every Choice We Make Is Either For Life Or For Death.

CONTENT; What's in the verse; Translations; Paraphrase; Word 

Jer 21:8 (TEV)  Then the LORD told me to say to the people,  
"Listen! I, the LORD, am giving you a choice between the way that leads 
to life and the way that leads to death. 

Jer 21:8 (CWR)  The Lord spoke to me again, "Go tell the people, 
'This is what the Lord says: I am giving you a choice between life and 

CONTEXT; What's around the verse; Overview; Topic:

Zedekiah was refused divine aid against Babylon (21:1-14), and 
Jeremiah condemned Judah's evil kings (22:1-30). In the distant future 
Messiah will restore a scattered Israel (23:1-8), but the immediate 
future holds judgment, despite the lies of Judah's prophets (vv. 9-40). 
God would bless those who went into Captivity (24:1-10), and in 70 
years restore Judah to her land (25:1-14). Later He would punish her 
pagan persecutors (vv. 15-38). Jeremiah was viewed as a traitor and 
threatened with death (26:1-24). Yet he did not stop calling on Judah to 
submit to Babylon and God's will (27:1-22). His words are authenticated 
by the predicted death of the false prophet Hananiah (28:1-17), but 
a letter to Jewish captives already in Babylon sparks a new charge 
of treason against Jeremiah (29:1-32). [The 365-Day Devotional 

The prophecy recorded in Jeremiah 21 took place in the reign of 
Zedekiah (597-586 B.C.), the last king of Judah. [New Bible Companion] 


God rejects Zedekiah's request  (21:1-14)
Jeremiah's Message for Zedekiah
Jerusalem Will Be Captured by the Babylonians
Jerusalem Will Fall to Nebuchadnezzar  (21:1-10)

CROSS REFERENCES; What's in verses elsewhere.

Deut. 11:26 (KJV)  Behold, I set before you this day a blessing 
and a curse;  

Deut. 30:15 (KJV)  See, I have set before thee this day life and 
good, and death and evil;  

Deut. 30:19 (KJV)  I call heaven and earth to record this day 
against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and 
cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:  

Isaiah 1:19-20 (KJV)  If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall 
eat the good of the land: [20] But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall 
be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken 

COMMENTARY / APPLICATION: Moving From The Head To The Heart
What is God teaching here? What does it teach about Jesus?

Responding to a request from King Zedekiah (597-586) for a 
favorable word from the LORD about the outcome of the attack on Judah by 
Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon in 597, Jeremiah announces the certain defeat of 
Judah, since the LORD will fight against his people. The king and the 
majority of the people will be taken into exile. Those remaining will be 
beset by pestilence, sword, and famine (21:7). The only positive 
alternative for the people is to surrender to the Chaldeans. The royal 
family is to execute justice, but the fire of God's justice will 
consume Judah in any case. [Cambridge Annotated SB]  

Jeremiah had foretold Jerusalem's destruction. The city's 
leaders had denied his word and mocked his announcements. In 
desperation, King Zedekiah turned to God for help, but without acknowledging 
God's warnings or admitting his sin. Too often we expect God to help 
us in our time of trouble even though we have ignored him in our 
time of prosperity. But God wants a lasting relationship. Are you 
trying to build a lasting friendship with God, or are you merely using 
him occasionally to escape trouble? What would you think of your 
family or friends if they thought of you only as a temporary resource? 
[Life Application SB] 

"Perhaps the LORD will perform wonders for us" Jer. 21:1-14. 
With the city under siege, King Zedekiah at last turned to Jeremiah 
and the LORD for help. Grimly the prophet repeated the message he 
had given faithfully for so many years. God would not fight for, but 
against, His people. Jeremiah did offer one hope. Those who left the city 
of Jerusalem and surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar would survive. Those 
who stayed in the city to resist him would die. It was this call to 
surrender that aroused so much fury, and led to accusations of treason 
against Jeremiah. "My country, may she ever be right; but right or 
wrong, my country," was clearly the sentiment in Judah. This popular 
patriotic slogan is just as wrong today as it was then. In a conflict 
between right and country, or God and country, we must choose as 
Jeremiah did. We must take our stand for God and right. [The 365-Day 
Devotional Commentary] 

Death would come to those who attempted to survive the siege of 
Jerusalem; life was possible through surrender to the Chaldeans 
(Babylonians). Prize usually refers to the booty and spoils of war. Those who 
submitted to the Babylonians were on the side of God, and their "booty" 
would be their lives (38:2). [Nelson SB] 

The people are offered a choice, but few of them will make the 
right decision. [NIV SB] 

Our Lord never insists on having authority over us. He never 
says, "You will submit to me." No, He leaves us perfectly free to 
choose--so free, in fact, that we can spit in His face or we can put Him to 
death, as others have done; and yet He will never say a word. But once 
His life has been created in me through His redemption, I instantly 
recognize His right to absolute authority over me. It is a complete and 
effective domination, in which I acknowledge that "You are worthy, O Lord" 
(Revelation 4:11). It is simply the unworthiness within me that refuses to 
bow down or to submit to one who is worthy.  If our Lord insisted on 
our obedience, He would simply become a taskmaster and cease to have 
any real authority. He never insists on obedience, but when we truly 
see Him we will instantly obey Him. Then He is easily Lord of our 
life, and we live in adoration of Him from morning till night. [My 
Utmost For His Highest re Joh.13:13]