Second of the ‘major prophets'
possibly Baruch, Jeremiah's
written : probably between
626 B.C. and sometime about 586BC
Gets its name from the prophet of that
It is a mixture of historical incidents
and prophecies. (It has more historical happenings than Isaiah ad Ezekiel)
The history is especially important
as it occurs in the period before, during and after the fall of Jerusalem
and the Exile.
The prophecies against Judah
, in particular, are important as they show us how the Lord sought
again and again to draw this people back from the brink of destruction
(Note: Ezekiel was doing exactly the same thing from Babylonia)
The prophecies against the surrounding
nations show us how the Lord holds accountable those who treat
His people badly.
Jeremiah began prophesying in Judah halfway
through the reign of Josiah (640-609BC) and continued throughout the
reigns of Jehoahaz (609), Jehoiakim (609-598), Jehoiachin (598-597)
and Zedekiah (597-586).
Call of the Prophet
Warnings and Exhortations to Judah
Covenant and Conspiracy
Messages concerning the Drought
Disaster and Comfort
Command to Keep the Sabbath Holy
Lessons from the Potter
Condemnation of Kings, Prophets and People
Foretelling the Babylonian Exile
Promises of Restoration
Sufferings and Persecutions of the Prophet
Burning Jeremiah's Scroll
The Fall of Jerusalem and Its Aftermath
The Fall Itself
Accession and Assassination of Gedaliah
Migration to Egypt
Prophecy against Those in Egypt
Historical Appendix: Promise to Baruch
Judgment against the Nations
Against Ammon , Edom , Damascus , Kedar & Hazor and Elam
uses a number of things to act as prophetic symbols:
The Almond Rod
The boiling caldron
The marred girdle
The full bottle
The potter's vessel
The broken bottle
Two baskets of figs
Buying a field
The buried stones
The book buried in the Euphrates
Pictures in Jeremiah
Fountain of living water
the Righteous Branch
David the King
The Lord our Righteousness
Events during his ministry
Battle of Megiddo (609BC) when Josiah was fatally wounded by Pharaoh Neco
2 Chron 35:25 Jeremiah
composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the men and women singers
commemorate Josiah in the laments.
2. Battle of
Carchemish (605BC) where Nebuchadnezzar brought down Pharaoh Neco of
46:2 Jeremiah prophesied over Egypt
is the message against the army of Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt , which
was defeated at Carchemish on the Euphrates River by Nebuchadnezzar king
of Babylon in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah
3. Fall of
Jerusalem (586 or 587BC) where Jeremiah was fully involved.
The extent of Jeremiah's ministry
words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests at Anathoth in
the territory of Benjamin . The word of the LORD came to him in the
thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon
king of Judah , and through the reign of Jehoiakim
son of Josiah king of Judah , down to the fifth month of the eleventh
year of Zedekiah son of Josiah king of Judah , when
the people of Jerusalem went into exile.
method and hope of his ministry
the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah , this word
came to Jeremiah from the LORD: "Take a scroll and write on it
all the words I have spoken to you concerning Israel , Judah and all
the other nations from the time I began speaking to you in the reign
of Josiah till now. Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about every
disaster I plan to inflict on them, each of them will turn from his
wicked way; then I will forgive their wickedness and their sin."
The Elements of his ministry: guilt, judgment, hope
primary claim against the people: disregarding God's provision and looking
to other for provision
people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of
living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that
cannot hold water.
extent of the guilt of Jerusalem
up and down the streets of Jerusalem , look around and consider, search
through her squares. If you can find but one person who deals honestly
and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city.
specific wrongs of Jerusalem and their false belief in the security of
is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: "Stand at the
gate of the LORD's house and there proclaim this message: "Hear
the word of the LORD, all you people of Judah who come through these
gates to worship the LORD. This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of
Israel, says: Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you
live in this place. Do not trust in deceptive words and say, "This
is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the
If you really change
your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly,
if you do not oppress
the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood
in this place, and
if you do not follow
other gods to your own harm,
I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your forefathers
for ever and ever. But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that
are worthless. "Will you
steal and murder,
burn incense to
follow other gods
you have not known,
then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and
say, "We are safe" - safe to do all these detestable things?
Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you?
But I have been watching! declares the LORD.
is God's instrument of discipline and judgment
word to the kings of Edom , Moab , Ammon, Tyre and Sidon through the
envoys who have come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah . Give
them a message for their masters and say, `This is what the LORD Almighty,
the God of Israel, says: "Tell this to your masters: With my
great power and outstretched arm I made the earth and its people and
the animals that are on it, and I give it to anyone I please. Now
I will hand all your countries over to my servant Nebuchadnezzar
king of Babylon ; I will make even the wild animals subject to
him. All nations will serve him and his son and his grandson until
the time for his land comes; then many nations and great kings will
applies to Judah as well
gave the same message to Zedekiah king of Judah . I said, "Bow
your neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon ; serve him and his
people, and you will live. Why will you and your people die by the
sword, famine and plague with which the LORD has threatened any nation
that will not serve the king of Babylon ?
of Hope to the Exiles
is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I
carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon : "Build houses
and settle down ; plant gardens and eat what they produce.
Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give
your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters.
Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and
prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray
to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper."
is what the LORD says: "When seventy years are completed
for Babylon , I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to
bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for
you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to
harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon
me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek
me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found
by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from
captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I
have banished you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you
back to the place from which I carried you into exile."
this very clear message of hope – you will come back!)
Message of hope is reiterated (a number of times)
is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: "This is what
the LORD, the God of Israel, says: `Write in a book all the words
I have spoken to you. The days are coming,' declares the LORD, `when
I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore
them to the land I gave their forefathers to possess,' says the LORD."
The Difficulties of Jeremiah
the priest Pashhur son of Immer, the chief officer in the temple of
the LORD, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things, he had Jeremiah
the prophet beaten and put in the stocks at the Upper Gate of Benjamin
at the LORD's temple.
the officials of Judah heard about these things, they went up from
the royal palace to the house of the LORD and took their places at
the entrance of the New Gate of the LORD's house. Then the priests
and the prophets said to the officials and all the people, "This
man should be sentenced to death because he has prophesied against
this city. You have heard it with your own ears!"
the prophet Hananiah took the yoke off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah
and broke it, and he said before all the people, "This is what
the LORD says: `In the same way will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar
king of Babylon off the neck of all the nations within two years.'
" At this, the prophet Jeremiah went on his way…...
the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, "Listen, Hananiah!
The LORD has not sent you, yet you have persuaded this nation to trust
in lies. Therefore, this is what the LORD says: `I am about to remove
you from the face of the earth. This very year you are going to die,
because you have preached rebellion against the LORD.' " In the
seventh month of that same year, Hananiah the prophet died
the word of the LORD, all you exiles whom I have sent away from Jerusalem
to Babylon . This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says
about Ahab son of Kolaiah and Zedekiah son of Maaseiah, who are prophesying
lies to you in my name: "I will hand them over to Nebuchadnezzar
king of Babylon , and he will put them to death before your very eyes.
Tell Shemaiah the Nehelamite, "This is what the LORD Almighty,
the God of Israel, says: You sent letters in your own name to all the
people in Jerusalem , to Zephaniah son of Maaseiah the priest, and to
all the other priests. You said to Zephaniah, `The LORD has appointed
you priest in place of Jehoiada to be in charge of the house of the
LORD; you should put any madman who acts like a prophet into the stocks
and neck-irons. So why have you not reprimanded Jeremiah from Anathoth,
who poses as a prophet among you? He has sent this message to us in
Babylon : It will be a long time. Therefore build houses and settle
down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.' "
the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah , which was the eighteenth
year of Nebuchadnezzar. The army of the king of Babylon was then besieging
Jerusalem , and Jeremiah the prophet was confined in the courtyard
of the guard in the royal palace of Judah . Now Zedekiah king of Judah
had imprisoned him there, saying, "Why do you prophesy as you
were angry with Jeremiah and had him beaten and imprisoned in the
house of Jonathan the secretary, which they had made into a prison.
Jeremiah was put into a vaulted cell in a dungeon, where he remained
a long time. ( King
Zedekiah then gave orders for Jeremiah to be placed in the courtyard
of the guard and given bread from the street of the bakers each day
until all the bread in the city was gone. So Jeremiah remained in
the courtyard of the guard)
different form of prison
they took Jeremiah and put him into the cistern of Malkijah, the king's
son, which was in the courtyard of the guard. They lowered Jeremiah
by ropes into the cistern; it had no water in it, only mud, and Jeremiah
sank down into the mud. (Ebed-Melech, a Cushite, an official in the
royal palace, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern…..
and they pulled him up with the ropes and lifted him out of the cistern.
And Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard.
The Message of Jerusalem 's fall encapsulated in one message: judgment,
cause & hope
the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: "I am the LORD, the God
of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me? Therefore, this is what
the LORD says: I am about to hand this city over to the Babylonians
and to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon , who will capture it. The Babylonians
who are attacking this city will come in and set it on fire; they
will burn it down, along with the houses where the people provoked
me to anger by burning incense on the roofs to Baal and by pouring
out drink offerings to other gods.
people of Israel and Judah have done nothing but evil in my sight
from their youth; indeed, the people of Israel have done nothing but
provoke me with what their hands have made, declares the LORD. From
the day it was built until now, this city has so aroused my anger
and wrath that I must remove it from my sight. The people of Israel
and Judah have provoked me by all the evil they have done--they, their
kings and officials, their priests and prophets, the men of Judah
and the people of Jerusalem . They turned their backs to me and not
their faces; though I taught them again and again, they would not
listen or respond to discipline. They set up their abominable idols
in the house that bears my Name and defiled it. They built high places
for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to sacrifice their sons and daughters
to Molech, though I never commanded, nor did it enter my mind, that
they should do such a detestable thing and so make Judah sin.
are saying about this city, `By the sword, famine and plague it will
be handed over to the king of Babylon '; but this is what the LORD,
the God of Israel, says:
I will surely gather
them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and
great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live
They will be my
people, and I will be their God. I will give them singleness of heart
and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and
the good of their children after them.
I will make an
everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them,
and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away
I will rejoice
in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all
my heart and soul.
is what the LORD says: As I have brought all this great calamity on
this people, so I will give them all the prosperity I have promised
them. Once more fields will be bought in this land of which you say,
`It is a desolate waste, without men or animals, for it has been handed
over to the Babylonians.' Fields will be bought for silver, and deeds
will be signed, sealed and witnessed in the territory of Benjamin ,
in the villages around Jerusalem , in the towns of Judah and in the
towns of the hill country, of the western foothills and of the Negev
, because I will restore their fortunes, declares the LORD."
The end of the ministry?
deliverance – by the invader!
Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had given these orders about Jeremiah
through Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard: "Take him
and look after him; don't harm him but do for him whatever he asks."
the commander of the guard found Jeremiah, he said to him, "The
LORD your God decreed this disaster for this place. And now the LORD
has brought it about; he has done just as he said he would. All this
happened because you people sinned against the LORD and did not obey
him. But today I am freeing you from the chains on your wrists. Come
with me to Babylon , if you like, and I will look after you; but if
you do not want to, then don't come. Look, the whole country lies
before you; go wherever you please." However, before Jeremiah
turned to go, Nebuzaradan added, "Go back to Gedaliah son of
Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has appointed
over the towns of Judah , and live with him among the people, or go
anywhere else you please."
not to go to Egypt
word of the LORD came to Jeremiah……He said to them….. If you stay
in this land, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant
you and not uproot you, …..and if you say, `No, we will go and live
in Egypt, where we will not see war or hear the trumpet or be hungry
for bread…… then the sword you fear will overtake you there, and the
famine you dread will follow you into Egypt, and there you will die…..
the rebellious remnant force the others to go
son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the arrogant men
said to Jeremiah, "You are lying! The LORD our God has not sent
you to say, `You must not go to Egypt to settle there….. Instead,
Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers led away all the remnant
of Judah who had come back to live in the land of Judah from all the
nations where they had been scattered….. They also led away all the
men, women and children and the king's daughters whom Nebuzaradan
commander of the imperial guard had left with Gedaliah son of Ahikam,
the son of Shaphan, and Jeremiah the prophet and Baruch son of Neriah.
So they entered Egypt in disobedience to the LORD and went as far
in Egypt Jeremiah continues prophesying
Tahpanhes the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: "While the Jews
are watching, take some large stones with you and bury them in clay
in the brick pavement at the entrance to Pharaoh's palace in Tahpanhes.
Then say to them, `This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel,
says: I will send for my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon ,
and I will set his throne over these stones I have buried here; he
will spread his royal canopy above them.
word came to Jeremiah concerning all the Jews living in Lower Egypt--in
Migdol, Tahpanhes and Memphis --and in Upper Egypt ….. None of the remnant
of Judah who have gone to live in Egypt will escape or survive to return
to the land of Judah , to which they long to return and live; none will
return except a few fugitives…… This is what the LORD says: `I am going
to hand Pharaoh Hophra king of Egypt over to his enemies who seek his
life, just as I handed Zedekiah king of Judah over to Nebuchadnezzar
king of Babylon, the enemy who was seeking his life.' "
The heart and happenings of Jeremiah are
displayed more clearly than any of the other prophets.
He lived through this incredibly difficult
time (for a man of God) of the last kings of Judah , anguishing against
their folly and warning against the coming judgment.
Essentially he was ignored and even persecuted
for being the Lord's mouthpiece, but the Lord was there for him when
the fall of Jerusalem occurred and he was spared by the conqueror.
The remaining remnant in the land reveal
their ongoing folly and the last we see of Jeremiah is him being taken
by them (but still prophesying!) as they flee the land to go to Egypt
The book is fascinating because of the
historical nature of it, the things that Jeremiah went through. As the
verses above show, he was still prophesying after he had been taken
to Egypt .
It is also amazing in that it reveals
just how many times the Lord sought to speak to this people to stop
them plunging to destruction. it was a destruction they brought on their
Yet despite this there are a number of
words of hope that the Lord WILL bring His people back to Jerusalem
and to the Land. Hope is the all important word. There IS a future,
even after God has dealt with this rebellious and foolish people; yet
He will redeem them!