Book of Jeremiah

Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

(exalted). (1) Second of greater prophets. His prophecies cover reigns of Josiah, Jehoiakim, and Zedekiah, B. C. 628-586, and constitute the 24th O. T. book. Life one of vicissitude. Prophecies noted for boldness and beauty, and chiefly denunciative of Judah and her policy. Withdrew to Egypt, where he probably died. (2) Seven others in O. T. (2 Kings 23:3131Jehoahaz was twenty and three years old when he began to reign; and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. (2 Kings 23:31); 1 Chron. 12:4-13; 5:244And Ismaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty man among the thirty, and over the thirty; and Jeremiah, and Jahaziel, and Johanan, and Josabad the Gederathite, 5Eluzai, and Jerimoth, and Bealiah, and Shemariah, and Shephatiah the Haruphite, 6Elkanah, and Jesiah, and Azareel, and Joezer, and Jashobeam, the Korhites, 7And Joelah, and Zebadiah, the sons of Jeroham of Gedor. 8And of the Gadites there separated themselves unto David into the hold to the wilderness men of might, and men of war fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as the roes upon the mountains; 9Ezer the first, Obadiah the second, Eliab the third, 10Mishmannah the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth, 11Attai the sixth, Eliel the seventh, 12Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth, 13Jeremiah the tenth, Machbanai the eleventh. (1 Chronicles 12:4‑13)
24And these were the heads of the house of their fathers, even Epher, and Ishi, and Eliel, and Azriel, and Jeremiah, and Hodaviah, and Jahdiel, mighty men of valor, famous men, and heads of the house of their fathers. (1 Chronicles 5:24)
; Neh. 10:2; 12:1,12,342Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah, (Nehemiah 10:2)
1Now these are the priests and the Levites that went up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, (Nehemiah 12:1)
12And in the days of Joiakim were priests, the chief of the fathers: of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, Hananiah; (Nehemiah 12:12)
34Judah, and Benjamin, and Shemaiah, and Jeremiah, (Nehemiah 12:34)
; Jer. 35:33Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habaziniah, and his brethren, and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites; (Jeremiah 35:3)).

Concise Bible Dictionary:

This prophecy commenced in the thirteenth year of Josiah, B.C. 629, and extended beyond the destruction of Jerusalem. The great captivity was in B.C. 599, when Zedekiah was left in Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, and Jerusalem was not destroyed until B.C. 588, eleven years after. Great efforts were made by the prophet to bring Zedekiah to the fear of the Lord. What especially marks the spirit of the prophet personally is sorrow. It was a grief to him to see Judah departing from Jehovah, and to be obliged to predict the judgment of God upon them, the people he loved; added to which he actually suffered from the hand of those whom he sought to help. A similar sorrow is seen in the Lord Jesus respecting Jerusalem, and in Paul respecting the church. In some instances Jeremiah’s parables were acted, so as the more forcibly to impress the careless people. The prophecies are not arranged chronologically, but there is doubtless a divine reason why that order is not followed. In the LXX the order of the chapters differs widely from that in the Hebrew and the AV, but it is not known what led to the difference. The LXX appears to have been made from a faulty copy, or the text was misunderstood by the translators, for there are many deviations from the Hebrew. The phrase “the Lord saith” is omitted sixty-four times, with other omissions—in all about one-eighth of the whole.
Jeremiah 1. Jeremiah is established in his office, to which he had been sanctified from his birth as prophet to the nations, Israel having been set in the midst of the Gentiles as the direct center of God’s government in the earth. He was in great fear, but was assured of God’s presence. He saw a rod of an almond tree (which is the first tree to blossom) signifying that God would hasten to perform what He said. The prophet also saw a seething pot, and its face towards the north, answering to Chaldea.
Jeremiah 2-6. This section is an appeal to Jerusalem with exhortations to repentance, and warnings as to what had befallen Israel. It was given in the days of Josiah, when there had been a reformation, but they had not turned to God with the whole heart: backsliding Israel had justified herself more than treacherous Judah (Jer. 3:6,116The 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. (Jeremiah 3:6)
11And the Lord said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah. (Jeremiah 3:11)
Jeremiah 7-10. This section is respecting the temple. The people boasted of possessing the temple, but there was insincerity and idolatry. Touching exhortations are made, and judgments declared.
Jeremiah 11-12. The responsibility of the people is pressed: they had entered into covenant with God, yet they had gone into idolatry, so that the Lord asks, “What hath My beloved [people] to do in Mine house?” Judgment must follow; but here and there future blessings are spoken of. There is deep grief that judgments are needed. Jeremiah 12:1414Thus saith the Lord against all mine evil neighbors, that touch the inheritance which I have caused my people Israel to inherit; Behold, I will pluck them out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah from among them. (Jeremiah 12:14) shows the prophet’s office against the nations—“mine evil neighbors.”
Jeremiah 13. The destruction of the pride of Jerusalem is foretold under the figure of a marred girdle which Jeremiah had buried, the great sorrow being that though as a girdle cleaves to the loins of a man, the Lord had caused all Israel to cleave to Him for His glory, yet they had left Him (compare Luke 19:4141And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, (Luke 19:41)). (Some objectors consider it very improbable that Jeremiah would be told to go from Jerusalem to the Euphrates to hide the girdle, and then again to fetch it back. Some judge it to have been a vision only, and others that Ephrath (that is Bethlehem) is meant instead of the Euphrates. Jeremiah may however have gone but once, and it would have been a striking lesson of obedience to Jehovah to go such a long distance on such an errand.) The parable of the bottles of wine follows, with exhortations to repent of the abominations.
Jeremiah 14-15. A grievous famine occurred: the Lord would not be interceded with for them, yet Jeremiah takes up the sin of the people, and acknowledges it; but the answer (Jer. 15) is terrible. The false prophets were no excuse: they were utterly rejected. Jeremiah, though he loved the people, was hated by them. He had stood before the people for the Lord, who now identified him with the remnant. It should be well with them. Meanwhile Jehovah’s words were the joy of his heart. Jehovah would deliver him.
Jeremiah 16-17. The prophet is told to take no wife: the children of the place should only come to death (compare Matt. 12:46,5046While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. (Matthew 12:46)
50For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. (Matthew 12:50)
). God would drive them out of the land, but there was mercy in store for the future. The prophet was mocked by the people: he had to call them to the observance of the Sabbath.
Jeremiah 18-20. God was the potter and the people were the clay: He could do as He pleased with them, or with any nation—either pull down or build up; but they determined to walk after their own devices. He would fulfill His word concerning them. The people laid plots against Jeremiah: he was put in the stocks, and smitten by Pashur, upon whom a doom was denounced. Jeremiah bemoaned his lot.
Jeremiah 21-24. When Nebuchadnezzar came against Jerusalem, Zedekiah sent to the prophet to know whether the Lord would appear for them. Jeremiah had to utter the dreadful news that God would Himself fight against them. To the people it was said that if they would surrender to the king of Babylon they should live; if not, they should die. They were exhorted to repentance, and the prophecies against Shallum, Jehoiakim, and Coniah are detailed. Woe to the shepherds, but there was a day of blessing coming, when the true Son of David, the righteous Branch and King, should reign and prosper. A lamentation was made against the false prophets. The people carried away with Jeconiah to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar are compared to good figs; but those left in the land under Zedekiah to bad ones.
Jeremiah 25. gives a summary of God’s judgments by Nebuchadnezzar, with a seventy years’ captivity for Judah: then Babylon and all the nations that surrounded Palestine should come under God’s judgments, but judgment begins with the city called by God’s name.
Jeremiah 26. In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, Jeremiah exhorted to repentance, but the priests and prophets demanded his death. The princes however protected him, and the elders reminded the people that Hezekiah did not put Micah to death. To this it was apparently responded that Jehoiakim had put the prophet Urijah to death. Ahikam however shielded Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 27. Most probably the name Jehoiakim in Jeremiah 27:11In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word unto Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, (Jeremiah 27:1) should be Zedekiah; but it may be that the prophecy was given to Jeremiah in the days of Jehoiakim though not related till the days of Zedekiah. The king is exhorted to submit to the king of Babylon.
Jeremiah 28. Hananiah prophesies falsely, and is opposed by Jeremiah, who foretells his death.
Jeremiah 29. Jeremiah wrote to the captives in Babylon, urging them to make themselves homes there, and God would bring them back at the end of the seventy years. The false prophets are condemned.
Jeremiah 30-31. The captives should surely return; but these chapters apply to the future, and this restoration will be after the “time of Jacob’s trouble,” a tribulation such as has never been (Compare Matt. 24; Mark 13). The new covenant blessings concern both Judah and Israel. God will appear for them, and the restoration will be full and complete, with universal blessing.
Jeremiah 32-33. Jeremiah was put in prison by Zedekiah, but he bought a field in token of his assurance of the captives’ return. In Jeremiah 33 the prophecy goes on to the future, when the Lord Jesus will appear as the Branch of righteousness, and the successor of David (Jer. 33:1515In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. (Jeremiah 33:15)).
Jeremiah 34. All who had Hebrew bondservants had made a covenant with Zedekiah, and had set them free, but afterward they again made bondmen of them. This is denounced by Jeremiah and its punishment foretold.
Jeremiah 35. The faithfulness of the Rechabites is held up as a worthy example: God would bless them and their posterity.
Jeremiah 36. Jeremiah caused Baruch to write his prophecy against Jerusalem in a roll. On this being read to king Jehoiakim he burnt it, and sought to arrest the prophet and Baruch; but God hid them. Another roll was obtained and the prophecies rewritten.
Jeremiah 37-39. The taking of Jerusalem was at hand. Jeremiah was about to leave the city, but was arrested, beaten, and put into prison. Zedekiah gave him some relief; but on foretelling the fall of the city he was put into a dungeon, where he sank in the mire. He was delivered by Ebed-melech, an Ethiopian, on whom a blessing was pronounced. The city was taken. Zedekiah was captured by the Chaldeans; his sons were slain before his eyes, and he himself was blinded and taken to Babylon. Jeremiah was protected by Nebuchadnezzar.
Jeremiah 40-45. These chapters give the history of the remnant left in the land under Gedaliah, Jeremiah being with them. Gedaliah was murdered by Ishmael, sent by the king of the Ammonites, and the people were carried away. They were however rescued by Johanan, and Jeremiah was requested to inquire of God for them, the people promising obedience. God bade them abide in the land; but they, refusing to obey, went into Egypt, carrying Jeremiah with them. There they persistently practiced idolatry, though warned by Jeremiah. The end of Jeremiah is not recorded.
Jeremiah 46-51. Judgments are pronounced against the various nations that had been in contact with Israel. God had used some of them as His instruments; but their pride, malice, and cruelty had afterward to be punished. Judgments were to fall upon Egypt, the Philistines, Moab, the Ammonites, Edom, Damascus, Kedar, Elam, and Babylon. The prophecy against Babylon was written in a book, and given to Seraiah, “a quiet prince,” to carry to Babylon, to be read there; then he was to bind a stone to the book and cast it into the Euphrates. Babylon was to be desolate forever.
Babylon has a special place in the prophecy of Jeremiah: Israel and Judah had been unfaithful, and the government of the world was entrusted to Babylon; but Babylon failed and its destruction was the setting free of Judah to return to their land. This was a sort of type of the judgment of the last empire in a future day when Israel will be fully restored and blessed. This is foreshadowed in some places, as in Jeremiah 50:17-2017Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones. 18Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will punish the king of Babylon and his land, as I have punished the king of Assyria. 19And I will bring Israel again to his habitation, and he shall feed on Carmel and Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied upon mount Ephraim and Gilead. 20In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve. (Jeremiah 50:17‑20), which speaks of both Judah and Israel being pardoned. Jeremiah 51 closes with “Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.”
Jeremiah 52. is historical and nearly the same as 2 Kings 24:18-25:3018Zedekiah was twenty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 19And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. 20For through the anger of the Lord it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 1And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it; and they built forts against it round about. 2And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah. 3And on the ninth day of the fourth month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land. 4And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between two walls, which is by the king's garden: (now the Chaldees were against the city round about:) and the king went the way toward the plain. 5And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho: and all his army were scattered from him. 6So they took the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they gave judgment upon him. 7And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon. 8And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzar-adan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem: 9And he burnt the house of the Lord, and the king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man's house burnt he with fire. 10And all the army of the Chaldees, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about. 11Now the rest of the people that were left in the city, and the fugitives that fell away to the king of Babylon, with the remnant of the multitude, did Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard carry away. 12But the captain of the guard left of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen. 13And the pillars of brass that were in the house of the Lord, and the bases, and the brazen sea that was in the house of the Lord, did the Chaldees break in pieces, and carried the brass of them to Babylon. 14And the pots, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass wherewith they ministered, took they away. 15And the firepans, and the bowls, and such things as were of gold, in gold, and of silver, in silver, the captain of the guard took away. 16The two pillars, one sea, and the bases which Solomon had made for the house of the Lord; the brass of all these vessels was without weight. 17The height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits, and the chapiter upon it was brass: and the height of the chapiter three cubits; and the wreathen work, and pomegranates upon the chapiter round about, all of brass: and like unto these had the second pillar with wreathen work. 18And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door: 19And out of the city he took an officer that was set over the men of war, and five men of them that were in the king's presence, which were found in the city, and the principal scribe of the host, which mustered the people of the land, and threescore men of the people of the land that were found in the city: 20And Nebuzar-adan captain of the guard took these, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah: 21And the king of Babylon smote them, and slew them at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was carried away out of their land. 22And as for the people that remained in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left, even over them he made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, ruler. 23And when all the captains of the armies, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah governor, there came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, even Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan the son of Careah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah the son of a Maachathite, they and their men. 24And Gedaliah sware to them, and to their men, and said unto them, Fear not to be the servants of the Chaldees: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon; and it shall be well with you. 25But it came to pass in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the seed royal, came, and ten men with him, and smote Gedaliah, that he died, and the Jews and the Chaldees that were with him at Mizpah. 26And all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the armies, arose, and came to Egypt: for they were afraid of the Chaldees. 27And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, that Evil-merodach king of Babylon in the year that he began to reign did lift up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison; 28And he spake kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon; 29And changed his prison garments: and he did eat bread continually before him all the days of his life. 30And his allowance was a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life. (2 Kings 24:18‑25:30).

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