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Coachlight Bible Study

Living Water And Broken Cisterns


Jeremiah Chapter Two And Three

Jeremiah 2:13  For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.



Jeremiah Chapter Two – Living Water And Broken Cisterns


The mighty nation of Judah is in its final days.  The glory of this nation, the line of David the King has long ago faded.  The glory faded, not because God forsook them, but because the entire nation has “turned away” or “back-slid” forsaking God.

It got really bad during the reign of Manassah and Amon, kings of Judah.  Not only had the priests not read the Word of God, but actually lost the scrolls!  During Jeremiah’s ministry and king Josiah’s reign, the temple was repaired and many reforms were made. Hilkiah, Jeremiah’s father, was high priest and found the scrolls of the Word of God that had been lost in the previously forsaken temple.  When the Word of God was found and read, a revival broke out in the land.

The revival was short lived, however, because the priests, people, and kings after Josiah, did not stay in the Word of God but substituted the old Pagan  religions for the void created by a lack of the Word of God.  Ostensibly, this dumb substitution leaves the people thirsting for God but numbed by the immorality of Paganism.  The problem is not what one does, but to what one gives his assent.

I believe that our land is in the same condition that Judah was during Jeremiah’s time. The people have rebelled against God and reverted to a form of Paganism.  Like Judah, we do not need counseling or education, but what we need is to conform to the Word of God.  If this happens we will experience a revival and have our thirst quenched eternally.  The message to us today is the same message long ago given to Judah.

The immediate background for the book of Jeremiah is found in II kings 22 and II Chronicles 34.   Before we begin chapters 2 & 3, let’s review some historical background.  Again, our problem is the same as Judah’s – Not what we do, but to what we give our assent.


1.) Jeremiah was born a priest in Anathoth (2 miles north of Jerusalem)  (1:1)

2.) He was chosen to be a prophet before he was born.  (Jeremiah 1:5)

3.) He was called to be a prophet at a young age.  (Jeremiah 1:6)

4.) He was commissioned by God to be a prophet (Jeremiah 1:9-10)

5.) He began prophesying during Josiah’s reign (II Chronicles 35:25)

6.) He was a mourner at Josiah’s funeral (II Chronicles 35:25)

7. He was forbidden to marry because of the troubled times in which he lived (Jeremiah 16:1-4)

8. He had no converts and was rejected by his own people. (Jeremiah 11:18-21; 12:6; 18:18)

9.) He was hated, beaten, and put into stocks. (Jeremiah 20:1-3)

10. He was charged for being  a traitor and placed in prison.  (Jeremiah 37:11-16)

11. His message broke his own heart.  (Jeremiah 9:1)

12. He wanted to resign but God would not allow it.  (Jeremiah 20:9)

13. He saw the destruction of Jerusalem and Babylonian captivity and was allowed by Nebuchadnezzar to stay in the land when most others were deported to Babylon.  When the remnant wanted to flee to Egypt, he prophesied against it.  (Jeremiah 42:15 – 43:3)

14. He was forced to go with the remnant to Egypt, where he died. (Jeremiah 43:6-7). 


I. Josiah Was Judah’s Last Good King

A. Josiah began to reign when he was 8 years old.

B. Josiah reigned for 31 years

C. Josiah and Jeremiah were a similar age and were friends


II. Jeremiah’s Ministry Begins With A Revival  In Judah (II Kings 22 & II Chronicles 34)

A. Hilkiah, a priest, Finds the Word of God in the temple 622 BC  (Jeremiah’s father)

B. Josiah, hears the Word of God and repents

C. Josiah then brings about reform because Pagan  religions are a result of forsaking God.


III. Josiah repents after hearing the Word of God  (II Kings 22:3)

A. He rids the temple with religious articles for Baal

B. Destroys all false religious articles outside of Jerusalem

C. A revival breaks out in Judah after God’s Word is found and Read.


IV. Josiah killed by Pharaoh Necho in 609 BC (I Chronicles 35:25)

A. Jeremiah prophesies during 18 years of Josiah’s reign

B. Jeremiah attends Josiah’s funeral


V. Jeremiah Was Allowed To Stay In The Land By Nebuchadnezzar.  (Jeremiah 39:11-12)

A. Jeremiah did not want to go with people who rejected the Word of God.

B. Many of the remnant wanted to flee to Egypt – Jeremiah prophesied against it

C. Jeremiah had to go with the remnant to Egypt, but continued giving God’s Word


VI. , The Rest Of The Story (Background History)

A. Jehoahaz, a son of Josia, Judah’s next king

1. Reigned for only 3 months

2. Was deported to Egypt

3. Pharoh Necho places his brother on the throne of Judah

B. Eliakim next king of Judah- Name changed to Jehoikim

1. Reigned for 11 years

2. Reigned as an Egyptian vassal until 605 BC

a. Egypt was defeated by Nebuchadnezzar at Carchemish 

b. Nebuchadnezzar then went into Judah and deported Daniel and friends

3. Jehoiakim now rules as a Babylonian vassal

a. Jeremiah prophesied that Jehoiakim should not rebel agaist Nebuchadnezzar

b. Jehoiakim rejects God’s Word and rebelled against Babylon

c. Nebuchadnezzar returns to Judah and places Jehoichin as king

C. Jehoiachin is king of Judah – Also called Jeconiah or Coniah

1. Reigned for 3 months and 10 days

2. Replaced by Nebuchadnezzar - deported Jehoiachin


3. Curse of Jeconiah – No one in his line will be on throne.  Christ was only in Jeconiah’s line through His legal father Joseph.  In Mary’s line Jeconiah was not present.  Christ will reign as King.  (Jeremiah 22:18 – 30)

D. Zedekiah king of Judah

1. He was the father of the brother of Jehoiachin

2. He reigned for 11 years

3. He attempted an alliance with Egypt

4. He caused Nebuchadnezzar to destroy Jerusalem as God had said

5. His eyes were destroyed and he was carried to Babylon


VII.  Three Stages Of Jeremiah’s Ministry

A. 627 – 605 BC – Jeremiah Prophesied While Judah Was Threatened By Assyria and Egypt

B. 605 – 586 BC – Jeremiah Prophesied While Judah Was Threatened And Besieged By Babylon

C. 586 – 580 BC – Prophesied In Jerusalem And Egypt After Jerusalem Destroyed


VIII. Jeremiah Chapter Two

Chapters 2- 20 contain Jeremiah’s prophecies before Zedekiah’s reign.  In chapter two, God is explaining why His people are about to face judgment.


The Call To Remember Judah’s First Relationship With God.  God blessed them and gave them a fertile land.  The people loved and served God.  The people then turned away from God.


Jeremiah 2:1   Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

Jeremiah 2:2  Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.

Jeremiah 2:3  Israel was holiness unto the LORD, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the LORD.

Jeremiah 2:4  Hear ye the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel:


The Word of the Lord Is speaking to the people of Jerusalem and bringing to their remembrance their original relationship with Him.  Using the figurative language comparison to a espousal or as Judah in an engagement as before marriage.  The Lord is in effect calling them back to the first when they sought the Lord Who guided them through the desert with a cloud and pillar of fire.  The Lord gave them a fertile land that they did not sow themselves.  God treated them a His own and protected them from their enemies. 


Jeremiah 2:5  Thus saith the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?

Jeremiah 2:6  Neither said they, Where is the LORD that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt?


Now the Lord uses a rhetorical question asking what iniquity did their forefathers find in God that they stopped seeking Him.  Of course there is no iniquity in God, but this language demonstrates the absurdity of refusing a loving God.


Jeremiah 2:7 And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination.


The above absurdity is especially ridiculous since God gave them a good land with plenty of great food and they treated God back by defiling the land. But notice how the land was defiled.  Today’s Paganism worshipping “mother earth” & “mother nature” would teach us that we are defiling the land with our “carbon footprint”.  Under this false religion, we can only “save the earth” by taxing our economy out of existence or sending Al Gore money.  We would have to agree that the nation of Judah had no SUV’s or private jets emitting carbon gasses into the air.  No, Judah defiled the good land God gave them with their Paganism.  Today, the United States is not defiling the land God Gave us by causing “global warming”, but by worshipping at the altar of the idolatrous religion of evolution, psychology, socialism, and all other forms of science falsely so called.  The land is defined by the immorality caused by a false belief system.


Jeremiah 2:8  The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.


In Judah’s time, the prophets prophesied by Baal and other false religions which were actually sex in the name of religion to attempt to pacify the population ands promote their own power over the people.  Today, the religion has a little different form, but identical in scope.  Leaders today do not want individuals to be prosperous because they would not be dependent on government anymore.  Today, confiscation of property from those that have it and redirection of funds to those that do not tends to keep people dependent on government.  This is often called “creating an equal playing field”.  Actually the outcome is “equal misery”, and is not profitable.


Jeremiah 2:9   Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD, and with your children’s children will I plead.

Jeremiah 2:10  For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing.

Jeremiah 2:11  Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit.

Jeremiah 2:11  Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit.

Jeremiah 2:12  Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD.


As God was pleading with Judah, so is He pleading today with a land that was founded on liberty and the Bible.  Both lands have changed their gods.  Changed from the glory of the  loving Creator, to the false god of vanity and ultimate slavery and destruction.


Jeremiah 2:13  For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.


No other language could explain it better.  God uses the metaphor of water in a dry land.  Many inhabitants of the desert had to build “cisterns” or large containers to collect precious rain water for drinking in the desert.  In this metaphor, the Truth is called a fountain of luscious flowing water that will satisfy and sustain.  The person that changes his god, however, builds his own cistern that will ultimately leak the contents, leaving the person pacified for An instant, but thirsting for the “living water”.


Jeremiah 2:14   Is Israel a servant? is he a homeborn slave? why is he spoiled?

Jeremiah 2:15  The young lions roared upon him, and yelled, and they made his land waste: his cities are burned without inhabitant.

Jeremiah 2:16  Also the children of Noph and Tahapanes have broken the crown of thy head.

Jeremiah 2:17  Hast thou not procured this unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, when he led thee by the way?

Jeremiah 2:18  And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? or what hast thou to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river?

Jeremiah 2:19  Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings<04878> shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.

04878 משׁובה m@shuwbah mesh-oo-baw’ or משׁבה m@shubah mesh-oo-baw

backsliding 11, turning away 1; 12

1) turning away, turning back, apostasy, backsliding



Jeremiah 2:20   For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands; and thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot.

Jeremiah 2:21  Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?

Jeremiah 2:22  For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD.

Jeremiah 2:23  How canst thou say, I am not polluted, I have not gone after Baalim? see thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done: thou art a swift dromedary traversing her ways;

Jeremiah 2:24  A wild ass used to the wilderness, that snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure; in her occasion who can turn her away? all they that seek her will not weary themselves; in her month they shall find her.

Jeremiah 2:25  Withhold thy foot from being unshod, and thy throat from thirst: but thou saidst, There is no hope: no; for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go.

Jeremiah 2:26  As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets,

Jeremiah 2:27  Saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us.

Jeremiah 2:28  But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble: for according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah.

Jeremiah 2:29   Wherefore will ye plead with me? ye all have transgressed against me, saith the LORD.

Jeremiah 2:30  In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction: your own sword hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion.

Jeremiah 2:31  O generation, see ye the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? a land of darkness? wherefore say my people, We are lords; we will come no more unto thee?

Jeremiah 2:32  Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number.

Jeremiah 2:33  Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love? therefore hast thou also taught the wicked ones thy ways.

Jeremiah 2:34  Also in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents: I have not found it by secret search, but upon all these.

Jeremiah 2:35  Yet thou sayest, Because I am innocent, surely his anger shall turn from me. Behold, I will plead with thee, because thou sayest, I have not sinned.

Jeremiah 2:36  Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way? thou also shalt be ashamed of Egypt, as thou wast ashamed of Assyria.

Jeremiah 2:37  Yea, thou shalt go forth from him, and thine hands upon thine head: for the LORD hath rejected thy confidences, and thou shalt not prosper in them.


IX. Jeremiah Chapter Three – Changing gods is actually Back Slidding


Jeremiah 3:1   They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD.

Jeremiah 3:2  Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness.

Jeremiah 3:3  Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.

Jeremiah 3:4  Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My father, thou art the guide of my youth?

Jeremiah 3:5  Will he reserve his anger for ever? will he keep it to the end? Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest.

Jeremiah 3:6   The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot.


Here is that word backsliding again.  What does it actually Mean? Many wrongly think that the term simply means “sliding back”. There are two words in Hebrew that was used meaning the same thing.  We have already looked at the first word – Meshooah.  The second word, sawrar, translated “backsliding” as used in Hosea will explain its meaning:


Hosea 4:16 For Israel slideth back as a backsliding<05637> heifer: now the LORD will feed them as a lamb in a large place.


05637 סרר carar saw-rar

rebellious 6, stubborn 4, revolters 2, revolting 1, slide back 1, backslide 1, away 1, withdrew 1; 17

1) to rebel, be stubborn, be rebellious, be refractory - 1a) (Qal)

1a1) to be stubborn - 1a2) stubborn, rebel (subst)


“Backsliding” is explained as a stubborn heifer.  If you have ever tried to make an four legged animal go up a ramp, you found that if the animal does not want to go up the ramp he will stiffen up the front legs.  This causes it to be difficult to get the animal up the ramp and ultimately causes the animal to slide down the ramp.

You see the cause of Judah’s forsaking God was not the sliding action, but rather stubbornness on Judah’s part.  If we do not trust God’s Word, we will also stiffen up and refuse to “go up the ramp”.


Jeremiah 3:7  And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.

Jeremiah 3:8  And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.


Judah’s “sister” nation, Israel, had already backslidden, and had been judged.  God had the empire of Assyria conquer the land and deport many of the Israelites to Assyria.

Judah should have seen what happened to Israel as a warning.  If they repented, turning back to God, they would not have been subjected to captivity.

Today, we have both Israel and Judah as examples.  If the United States would stop the backsliding, our nation would not be judged as well. To stop Backsliding we are to agree with God’s Word, acknowledging that we are a sinner just like the Word of God states.


Jeremiah 3:9  And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks.

Jeremiah 3:10  And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the LORD.

Jeremiah 3:11  And the LORD said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah.

Jeremiah 3:12   Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever.

Jeremiah 3:13  Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD.

Jeremiah 3:14  Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:

Jeremiah 3:15  And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

Jeremiah 3:16  And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more.

Jeremiah 3:17  At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.

Jeremiah 3:18  In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers.

Jeremiah 3:19  But I said, How shall I put thee among the children, and give thee a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hosts of nations? and I said, Thou shalt call me, My father; and shalt not turn away from me.

Jeremiah 3:20   Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD.

Jeremiah 3:21  A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the LORD their God.

Jeremiah 3:22  Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the LORD our God.

Jeremiah 3:23  Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains: truly in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel.

Jeremiah 3:24  For shame hath devoured the labour of our fathers from our youth; their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters.

Jeremiah 3:25  We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us: for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.

All Israel and Judah needed to do was to acknowledge that they had sinned just as God’s Word had stated, and they would escape judgment.  It is still the same today.  The same message is found in the New Testament.  The “once saved always saved crowd” will tell us that “ backsliding is just an Old Testament word- but it is the same in all times:


I John 1:6  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

I John 1:7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

I John 1:8   If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

I John 1:9  If we confess<3670> our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I John1:10  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.


3670 ομολογεω homologeo hom-ol-og-eh’-o - from a compound of the base of 3674 and 3056; Meaning, “To say the same thing”; v

confess 17, profess 3, promise 1, give thanks 1, confession is made 1, acknowledgeth 1; 24

1) to say the same thing as another, i.e. to agree with, assent - 2) to concede

2a) not to refuse, to promise - 2b) not to deny - 2b1) to confess - 2b2) declare