Raised up or appointed by Jehovah.
1. A Gadite who joined David in the wilderness (1 Chronicles 12:10).
2. A Gadite warrior (1 Chronicles 12:13).
3. A Benjamite slinger who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chronicles 12:4).
4. One of the chiefs of the tribe of Manasseh on the east of Jordan (1 Chronicles 5:24).
5. The father of Hamutal (2 Kings 23:31), the wife of Josiah.
6. One of the "greater prophets" of the Old Testament, son of Hilkiah (q.v.), a priest of Anathoth (Jeremiah 1:1; 32:6). He was called to the prophetical office when still young (1:6), in the thirteenth year of Josiah (B.C. 628). He left his native place, and went to reside in Jerusalem, where he greatly assisted Josiah in his work of reformation (2 Kings 23:1-25). The death of this pious king was bewailed by the prophet as a national calamity (2 Chronicles 35:25).
During the three years of the reign of Jehoahaz we find no reference to Jeremiah, but in the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the enmity of the people against him broke out in bitter persecution, and he was placed apparently under restraint (Jeremiah 36:5). In the fourth year of Jehoiakim he was commanded to write the predictions given to him, and to read them to the people on the fast-day. This was done by Baruch his servant in his stead, and produced much public excitement. The roll was read to the king. In his recklessness he seized the roll, and cut it to pieces, and cast it into the fire, and ordered both Baruch and Jeremiah to be apprehended. Jeremiah procured another roll, and wrote in it the words of the roll the king had destroyed, and "many like words" besides (Jeremiah 36:32).
He remained in Jerusalem, uttering from time to time his words of warning, but without effect. He was there when Nebuchadnezzar besieged the city (Jeremiah 37:4, 5), B.C. 589. The rumour of the approach of the Egyptians to aid the Jews in this crisis induced the Chaldeans to withdraw and return to their own land. This, however, was only for a time. The prophet, in answer to his prayer, received a message from God announcing that the Chaldeans would come again and take the city, and burn it with fire (37:7, 8). The princes, in their anger at such a message by Jeremiah, cast him into prison (37:15-38:13). He was still in confinement when the city was taken (B.C. 588). The Chaldeans released him, and showed him great kindness, allowing him to choose the place of his residence. He accordingly went to Mizpah with Gedaliah, who had been made governor of Judea. Johanan succeeded Gedaliah, and refusing to listen to Jeremiah's counsels, went down into Egypt, taking Jeremiah and Baruch with him (Jeremiah 43:6). There probably the prophet spent the remainder of his life, in vain seeking still to turn the people to the Lord, from whom they had so long revolted (44). He lived till the reign of Evil-Merodach, son of Nebuchadnezzar, and must have been about ninety years of age at his death. We have no authentic record of his death. He may have died at Tahpanhes, or, according to a tradition, may have gone to Babylon with the army of Nebuchadnezzar; but of this there is nothing certain.
exaltation of the Lord
2. A chief of Manasseh
1 Chronicles 5:24
3. An Israelite who joined David at Ziklag
1 Chronicles 12:4
5. The prophet:
Letter to the captives in Babylon
Foretells the desolation of Jerusalem
Pashur, the governor of the temple, scourges and casts him into prison
His melancholy and murmuring against God, in consequence of persecution
Has a friend in Ahikam
Ebed-Melech, the Egyptian, intercedes with the king for him, and secures his release
Prophecies of, destroyed by Jehoiakim
Book of the prophecies of, delivered to Seraiah, with a charge from Jeremiah
His intercession asked:
By Johanan and all the people
Johanan carries Jeremiah into Egypt
Foretells the conquest of Egypt by Babylon
Prophecies of, studied by Daniel
Purchases a field
2 Chronicles 35:25
Over the prosperity of the wicked
Over the desolation of God's heritage
Reference book of Lamentations
Dwells at Mizpah
1. (whom Jehovah has appointed) was "the son of Hilkiah of the priests that were in Anathoth." (Jeremiah 1:1)
He was called very young (B.C. 626) to the prophetic office, and prophesied forty-two years; but we have hardly any mention of him during the eighteen years between his call and Josiah's death, or during the short reign of Jehoahaz. During the reigns of Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin, B.C. 607-598, he opposed the Egyptian party, then dominant in Jerusalem, and maintained that they only way of safety lay in accepting the supremacy of the Chaldeans. He was accordingly accused of treachery, and men claiming to be prophets had the "word of Jehovah" to set against his. (Jeremiah 14:13; 23:7) As the danger from the Chaldeans became more threatening, the persecution against Jeremiah grew hotter. ch. 18. The people sought his life; then follows the scene in (Jeremiah 19:10-13) he was set, however, "as a fenced brazen wall," ch. (Jeremiah 15:20) and went on with his work, reproving king and nobles and people. The danger which Jeremiah had so long foretold at last came near. First Jehoiakim, and afterwards his successor Jehoiachin, were carried into exile, 2 Kings 24; but Zedekiah, B.C. 597-586, who was appointed by Nebuchadnezzar, was more friendly to the prophet, though powerless to help him. The approach of an Egyptian army, and the consequent departure of the Chaldeans, made the position of Jeremiah full of danger, and he sought to effect his escape from the city; but he was seized and finally thrown into a prison-pit to die, but was rescued. On the return of the Chaldean army he showed his faith in God's promises, and sought to encourage the people by purchasing the field at Anathoth which his kinsman Hanameel wished to get rid of. (Jeremiah 32:6-9) At last the blow came. The city was taken, the temple burnt. The king and his princes shared the fate of Jehoiachin. The prophet gave utterance to his sorrow in the Lamentations. After the capture of Jerusalem, B.C. 586, by the Chaldeans, we find Jeremiah receiving better treatment; but after the death of Gedaliah, the people, disregarding his warnings, took refuge in Egypt, carrying the prophet with them. In captivity his words were sharper and stronger than ever. He did not shrink, even there, from speaking of the Chaldean king once more as "the servant of Jehovah." (Jeremiah 43:10) After this all is uncertain, but he probably died in Egypt.
Canon Cook says of Jeremiah, "His character is most interesting. We find him sensitive to a most painful degree, timid, shy, hopeless, desponding, constantly complaining and dissatisfied with the course of events, but never flinching from duty...Timid in resolve, he was unflinching in execution; as fearless when he had to face the whole world as he was dispirited and prone to murmuring when alone with God. Judged by his own estimate of himself, he was feeble, and his mission a failure; really, in the hour of action and when duty called him, he was in very truth 'a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brazen walls against the whole land.' ch. (Jeremiah 1:18) he was a noble example of the triumph of the moral over the physical nature." (It is not strange that he was desponding when we consider his circumstances. He saw the nation going straight to irremediable ruin, and turning a deaf ear to all warnings. "A reign of terror had commenced (in the preceding reign), during which not only the prophets but all who were distinguished for religion and virtue were cruelly murdered." "The nation tried to extirpate the religion of Jehovah;" "Idolatry was openly established," "and such was the universal dishonesty that no man trusted another, and society was utterly disorganized." How could one who saw the nation about to reap the awful harvest they had been sowing, and yet had a vision of what they might have been and might yet be, help indulging in "Lamentations"?
2. Seven other persons bearing the same name as the prophet are mentioned in the Old Testament:
- Jeremiah of Libnah, father of Hamutal wife of Josiah. (2 Kings 23:31) (B.C. before 632.) 2,3,4. Three warriors
two of the tribe of Gad
in David's army. (1 Chronicles 12:4,10,13) (B.C. 1061-53.)
- One of the "mighty men of valor" of the transjordanic half-tribe of Manasseh. (1 Chronicles 5:24) (B.C. 782.)
- A priest of high rank, head of the second or third of the twenty-one courses which are apparently enumerated in (Nehemiah 10:2-8; 12:1,12) (B.C. 446-410).
- The father of Jazaniah the Rechabite. (Jeremiah 35:3) (B.C. before 606.)
3. In "Baal-hazor which is by Ephraim" was Absalom's sheepfarm, at which took place the murder of Amnon, one of the earliest precursors of the great revolt. (2 Samuel 13:23) There is no clue to its situation.
4. a city "in the district near the wilderness" to which our Lord retired with his disciples when threatened with violence by the priests. (John 11:54)
Consists of twenty-three separate and independent sections, arranged in five books. I. The introduction, ch. 1. II. Reproofs of the sins of the Jews, consisting of seven sections,
1. ch. 2;
2. ch. 3-6;
3. ch. 7-10;
4. ch. 11-13;
5. ch. 14-17.18;
6. ch. 17.19-ch. 20;
7. ch. 21-24. III. A general review of all nations, in two sections,
1. ch. 46-49;
2. ch. 25; with an historical appendix of three sections,
1. ch. 26;
2. ch. 27;
3. ch. 28, 29. IV. Two sections picturing the hopes of better times,
1. ch. 30, 31;
2. ch. 32, 33; to which is added an historical appendix in three sections,
1. ch. 34.1-7;
2. ch. 34.8-22;
3. ch. 35. V. The conclusion, in two sections,
1. ch. 36;
2. ch. 45.
In Egypt, after an interval, Jeremiah is supposed to have added three sections, viz., ch. 37-39; 40-43; and 44.
Jeremiah's prophecies are noted for the frequent repetitions found in them of the same words and phrases and imagery. They cover the period of about 30 years. They are not recorded in the order of time. When and under what circumstances this book assumed its present form we know not.
The LXX. Version of this book is, in its arrangement and in other particulars, singularly at variance with the original. The LXX. omits 10:6-8; 27:19-22; 29:16-20; 33:14-26; 39:4-13; 52:2, 3, 15, 28-30, etc. About 2,700 words in all of the original are omitted. These omissions, etc., are capricious and arbitrary, and render the version unreliable.
"There can be little doubt that the book of Jeremiah grew out of the roll which Baruch wrote down at the prophet's mouth in the fourth year of Jehoiakim. ch. (Jeremiah 36:2) Apparently the prophets kept written records of their predictions, and collected into larger volumes such of them as were intended for permanent use."
Canon Cook. In the present order we have two great divisions:
I. Chs. 1-45. Prophecies delivered at various times, directed mainly to Judah, or connected with Jeremiah's personal history. II. Chs. 46-51. Prophecies connected with other nations. Looking more closely into each of these divisions, we have the following sections:
- Chs. 1-21, including prophecies from the thirteenth year of Josiah to the fourth of Jehoiakim; ch. 21; belongs to the later period.
- Chs. 22-25. Shorter prophecies, delivered at different times, against the kings of Judah and the false prophets. Ch. (Jeremiah 25:13,14) evidently marks the conclusion of a series of prophecies; and that which follows, ch. (Jeremiah 25:15-38) the germ of the fuller predictions in chs. 46-49, has been placed here as a kind of completion to the prophecy of the seventy years and the subsequent fall of Babylon.
- Chs. 26-28. The two great prophecies of the fall of Jerusalem, and the history connected with them.
- Chs. 29-31. The message of comfort for the exiles in Babylon.
- Chs. 32-44. The history of the last two years before the capture of Jerusalem, and of Jeremiah's work int hem and in the period that followed.
- Chs. 46-51. The prophecies against foreign nations, ending with the great prediction against Babylon.
- The supplementary narrative of ch. 52.