Teks -- Jeremiah 37:1-21 (NET)
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JFB: Jeremiah (Pendahuluan Kitab) JEREMIAH, son of Hilkiah, one of the ordinary priests, dwelling in Anathoth of Benjamin (Jer 1:1), not the Hilkiah the high priest who discovered the ...
JEREMIAH, son of Hilkiah, one of the ordinary priests, dwelling in Anathoth of Benjamin (Jer 1:1), not the Hilkiah the high priest who discovered the book of the law (2Ki 22:8); had he been the same, the designation would have been "the priest", or "the high priest". Besides, his residence at Anathoth shows that he belonged to the line of Abiathar, who was deposed from the high priesthood by Solomon (1Ki 2:26-35), after which the office remained in Zadok's line. Mention occurs of Jeremiah in 2Ch 35:25; 2Ch 36:12, 2Ch 36:21. In 629 B.C. the thirteenth year of King Josiah, while still very young (Jer 1:5), he received his prophetical call in Anathoth (Jer 1:2); and along with Hilkiah the high priest, the prophetess Huldah, and the prophet Zephaniah, he helped forward Josiah's reformation of religion (2Ki. 23:1-25). Among the first charges to him was one that he should go and proclaim God's message in Jerusalem (Jer 2:2). He also took an official tour to announce to the cities of Judah the contents of the book of the law, found in the temple (Jer 11:6) five years after his call to prophesy. On his return to Anathoth, his countrymen, offended at his reproofs, conspired against his life. To escape their persecutions (Jer 11:21), as well as those of his own family (Jer 12:6), he left Anathoth and resided at Jerusalem. During the eighteen years of his ministry in Josiah's reign he was unmolested; also during the three months of Jehoahaz or Shallum's reign (Jer 22:10-12). On Jehoiakim's accession it became evident that Josiah's reformation effected nothing more than a forcible repression of idolatry and the establishment of the worship of God outwardly. The priests, prophets, and people then brought Jeremiah before the authorities, urging that he should be put to death for his denunciations of evil against the city (Jer 26:8-11). The princes, however, especially Ahikam, interposed in his behalf (Jer 26:16, Jer 26:24), but he was put under restraint, or at least deemed it prudent not to appear in public. In the fourth year of Jehoiakim (606 B.C.), he was commanded to write the predictions given orally through him, and to read them to the people. Being "shut up", he could not himself go into the house of the Lord (Jer 36:5); he therefore deputed Baruch, his amanuensis, to read them in public on the fast day. The princes thereupon advised Baruch and Jeremiah to hide themselves from the king's displeasure. Meanwhile they read the roll to the king, who was so enraged that he cut it with a knife and threw it into the fire; at the same time giving orders for the apprehension of the prophet and Baruch. They escaped Jehoiakim's violence, which had already killed the prophet Urijah (Jer 26:20-23). Baruch rewrote the words, with additional prophecies, on another roll (Jer 36:27-32). In the three months' reign of Jehoiachin or Jeconiah, he prophesied the carrying away of the king and the queen mother (Jer 13:18; Jer 22:24-30; compare 2Ki 24:12). In this reign he was imprisoned for a short time by Pashur (Jer. 20:1-18), the chief governor of the Lord's house; but at Zedekiah's accession he was free (Jer 37:4), for the king sent to him to "inquire of the Lord" when Nebuchadnezzar came up against Jerusalem (Jer 21:1-3, &c.; Jer 37:3). The Chaldeans drew off on hearing of the approach of Pharaoh's army (Jer 37:5); but Jeremiah warned the king that the Egyptians would forsake him, and the Chaldeans return and burn up the city (Jer 37:7-8). The princes, irritated at this, made the departure of Jeremiah from the city during the respite a pretext for imprisoning him, on the allegation of his deserting to the Chaldeans (Jer 38:1-5). He would have been left to perish in the dungeon of Malchiah, but for the intercession of Ebed-melech, the Ethiopian (Jer 38:6-13). Zedekiah, though he consulted Jeremiah in secret yet was induced by his princes to leave Jeremiah in prison (Jer 38:14-28) until Jerusalem was taken. Nebuchadnezzar directed his captain, Nebuzar-adan, to give him his freedom, so that he might either go to Babylon or stay with the remnant of his people as he chose. As a true patriot, notwithstanding the forty and a half years during which his country had repaid his services with neglect and persecution, he stayed with Gedaliah, the ruler appointed by Nebuchadnezzar over Judea (Jer 40:6). After the murder of Gedaliah by Ishmael, Johanan, the recognized ruler of the people, in fear of the Chaldeans avenging the murder of Gedaliah, fled with the people to Egypt, and forced Jeremiah and Baruch to accompany him, in spite of the prophet's warning that the people should perish if they went to Egypt, but be preserved by remaining in their land (Jer. 41:1-43:13). At Tahpanhes, a boundary city on the Tanitic or Pelustan branch of the Nile, he prophesied the overthrow of Egypt (Jer 43:8-13). Tradition says he died in Egypt. According to the PSEUDO-EPIPHANIUS, he was stoned at Taphnæ or Tahpanhes. The Jews so venerated him that they believed he would rise from the dead and be the forerunner of Messiah (Mat 16:14).
HAVERNICK observes that the combination of features in Jeremiah's character proves his divine mission; mild, timid, and susceptible of melancholy, yet intrepid in the discharge of his prophetic functions, not sparing the prince any more than the meanest of his subjects--the Spirit of prophecy controlling his natural temper and qualifying him for his hazardous undertaking, without doing violence to his individuality. Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Daniel, and Ezekiel were his contemporaries. The last forms a good contrast to Jeremiah, the Spirit in his case acting on a temperament as strongly marked by firmness as Jeremiah's was by shrinking and delicate sensitiveness. Ezekiel views the nation's sins as opposed to righteousness--Jeremiah, as productive of misery; the former takes the objective, the latter the subjective, view of the evils of the times. Jeremiah's style corresponds to his character: he is peculiarly marked by pathos, and sympathy with the wretched; his Lamentations illustrate this; the whole series of elegies has but one object--to express sorrow for his fallen country; yet the lights and images in which he presents this are so many, that the reader, so far from feeling it monotonous, is charmed with the variety of the plaintive strains throughout. The language is marked by Aramæisms, which probably was the ground of JEROME'S charge that the style is "rustic". LOWTH denies the charge and considers him in portions not inferior to Isaiah. His heaping of phrase on phrase, the repetition of stereotyped forms--and these often three times--are due to his affected feelings and to his desire to intensify the expression of them; he is at times more concise, energetic, and sublime, especially against foreign nations, and in the rhythmical parts.
The principle of the arrangement of his prophecies is hard to ascertain. The order of kings was--Josiah (under whom he prophesied eighteen years), Jehoahaz (three months), Jehoiakim (eleven years), Jeconiah (three months), Zedekiah (eleven years). But his prophecies under Josiah (the first through twentieth chapters) are immediately followed by a portion under Zedekiah (the twenty-first chapter). Again, Jer 24:8-10, as to Zedekiah, comes in the midst of the section as to Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, and Jeconiah (the twenty-second, twenty-third, twenty-fifth chapters, &c.) So the thirty-fifth and thirty-sixth chapters as to Jehoiakim, follow the twenty-seventh, twenty-eighth, twenty-ninth, thirty-third, thirty-fourth chapters, as to Zedekiah; and the forty-fifth chapter, dated the fourth year of Jehoiakim, comes after predictions as to the Jews who fled to Egypt after the overthrow of Jerusalem. EWALD thinks the present arrangement substantially Jeremiah's own; the various portions are prefaced by the same formula, "The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord" (Jer 7:1; Jer 11:1; Jer 18:1; Jer 21:1; Jer 25:1; Jer 30:1; Jer 32:1; Jer 34:1, Jer 34:8; Jer 35:1; Jer 40:1; Jer 44:1; compare Jer 14:1; Jer 46:1; Jer 47:1; Jer 49:34). Notes of time mark other divisions more or less historical (Jer 26:1; Jer 27:1; Jer 36:1; Jer 37:1). Two other portions are distinct of themselves (Jer 29:1; Jer 45:1). The second chapter has the shorter introduction which marks the beginning of a strophe; the third chapter seems imperfect, having as the introduction merely "saying" (Jer 3:1, Hebrew). Thus in the poetical parts, there are twenty-three sections divided into strophes of from seven to nine verses, marked some way thus, "The Lord said also unto me". They form five books: I. The Introduction, first chapter II. Reproofs of the Jews, the second through twenty-fourth chapters, made up of seven sections: (1) the second chapter (2) the third through sixth chapters; (3) the seventh through tenth chapters; (4) the eleventh through thirteenth chapters; (5) the fourteenth through seventeenth chapters; (6) the seventeenth through nineteenth and twentieth chapters; (7) the twenty-first through twenty-fourth chapters. III. Review of all nations in two sections: the twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth through forty-ninth chapters, with a historical appendix of three sections, (1) the twenty-sixth chapter; (2) the twenty-seventh chapter; (3) the twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth chapters. IV. Two sections picturing the hopes of brighter times, (1) the thirtieth and thirty-first chapters; (2) the thirty-second and thirty-third chapters; and an historical appendix in three sections: (1) Jer 34:1-7; (2) Jer 34:8-22; (3) Jer. 35:1-19. V. The conclusion, in two sections: (1) Jer 36:2; (2) Jer 45:1-5. Subsequently, in Egypt, he added Jer 46:13-26 to the previous prophecy as to Egypt; also the three sections, the thirty-seventh through thirty-ninth chapters; fortieth through forty-third chapters; and forty-fourth chapter. The fifty-second chapter was probably (see Jer 51:64) an appendix from a later hand, taken from 2Ki 24:18, &c.; 2Ki 25:30. The prophecies against the several foreign nations stand in a different order in the Hebrew from that of the Septuagint; also the prophecies against them in the Hebrew (the forty-sixth through fifty-first chapters) are in the Septuagint placed after Jer 25:14, forming the twenty-sixth and thirty-first chapters; the remainder of the twenty-fifth chapter of the Hebrew is the thirty-second chapter of the Septuagint. Some passages in the Hebrew (Jer 27:19-22; Jer 33:14-26; Jer 39:4-14 Jer 48:45-47) are not found in the Septuagint; the Greek translators must have had a different recension before them; probably an earlier one. The Hebrew is probably the latest and fullest edition from Jeremiah's own hand. See on Jer 25:13. The canonicity of his prophecies is established by quotations of them in the New Testament (see Mat 2:17; Mat 16:14; Heb 8:8-12; on Mat 27:9, see on Introduction to Zechariah); also by the testimony of Ecclesiasticus 49:7, which quotes Jer 1:10; of PHILO, who quotes his word as an "oracle"; and of the list of canonical books in MELITO, ORIGEN, JEROME, and the Talmud.
JFB: Jeremiah (Garis Besar)
EXPOSTULATION WITH THE JEWS, REMINDING THEM OF THEIR FORMER DEVOTEDNESS, AND GOD'S CONSEQUENT FAVOR, AND A DENUNCIATION OF GOD'S COMING JUDGMENTS FOR...
- EXPOSTULATION WITH THE JEWS, REMINDING THEM OF THEIR FORMER DEVOTEDNESS, AND GOD'S CONSEQUENT FAVOR, AND A DENUNCIATION OF GOD'S COMING JUDGMENTS FOR THEIR IDOLATRY. (Jer. 2:1-37)
- GOD'S MERCY NOTWITHSTANDING JUDAH'S VILENESS. (Jer. 3:1-25)
- CONTINUATION OF ADDRESS TO THE TEN TRIBES OF ISRAEL. (Jer 4:1-2). THE PROPHET TURNS AGAIN TO JUDAH, TO WHOM HE HAD ORIGINALLY BEEN SENT (Jer. 4:3-31). (Jer. 4:1-31)
- THE CAUSE OF THE JUDGMENTS TO BE INFLICTED IS THE UNIVERSAL CORRUPTION OF THE PEOPLE. (Jer. 5:1-31)
- ZION'S FOES PREPARE WAR AGAINST HER: HER SINS ARE THE CAUSE. (Jer. 6:1-30)
- THE SEVENTH THROUGH NINTH CHAPTERS. DELIVERED IN THE BEGINNING OF JEHOIAKIM'S REIGN, ON THE OCCASION OF SOME PUBLIC FESTIVAL. (Jer. 7:1-34)
- THE JEW'S COMING PUNISHMENT; THEIR UNIVERSAL AND INCURABLE IMPENITENCE. (Jer. 8:1-22) The victorious Babylonians were about to violate the sanctuaries of the dead in search of plunder; for ornaments, treasures, and insignia of royalty were usually buried with kings. Or rather, their purpose was to do the greatest dishonor to the dead (Isa 14:19).
- JEREMIAH'S LAMENTATION FOR THE JEWS' SINS AND CONSEQUENT PUNISHMENT. (Jer. 9:1-26) This verse is more fitly joined to the last chapter, as Jer 9:23 in the Hebrew (compare Isa 22:4; Lam 2:11; Lam 3:48).
- CONTRAST BETWEEN THE IDOLS AND JEHOVAH. THE PROPHET'S LAMENTATION AND PRAYER. (Jer. 10:1-25)
- EPITOME OF THE COVENANT FOUND IN THE TEMPLE IN JOSIAH'S REIGN. JUDAH'S REVOLT FROM IT, AND GOD'S CONSEQUENT WRATH. (Jer. 11:1-23)
- CONTINUATION OF THE SUBJECT AT THE CLOSE OF THE ELEVENTH CHAPTER. (Jer. 12:1-17) (Psa 51:4).
- SYMBOLICAL PROPHECY. (Jer 13:1-7). (Jer. 13:1-27)
- PROPHECIES ON THE OCCASION OF A DROUGHT SENT IN JUDGMENT ON JUDEA. (Jer. 14:1-22) Literally, "That which was the word of Jehovah to Jeremiah concerning the dearth"
- GOD'S REPLY TO JEREMIAH'S INTERCESSORY PRAYER. (Jer. 15:1-21)
- CONTINUATION OF THE PREVIOUS PROPHECY. (Jer. 16:1-21)
- THE JEWS' INVETERATE LOVE OF IDOLATRY. (Jer. 17:1-27) The first of the four clauses relates to the third, the second to the fourth, by alternate parallelism. The sense is: They are as keen after idols as if their propensity was "graven with an iron pen (Job 19:24) on their hearts," or as if it were sanctioned by a law "inscribed with a diamond point" on their altars. The names of their gods used to be written on "the horns of the altars" (Act 17:23). As the clause "on their hearts" refers to their inward propensity, so "on . . . altars," the outward exhibition of it. Others refer "on the horns of . . . altars" to their staining them with the blood of victims, in imitation of the Levitical precept (Exo 29:12; Lev 4:7, Lev 4:18), but "written . . . graven," would thus be inappropriate.
- GOD, AS THE SOLE SOVEREIGN, HAS AN ABSOLUTE RIGHT TO DEAL WITH NATIONS ACCORDING TO THEIR CONDUCT TOWARDS HIM; ILLUSTRATED IN A TANGIBLE FORM BY THE POTTER'S MOULDING OF VESSELS FROM CLAY. (Jer. 18:1-23)
- THE DESOLATION OF THE JEWS FOR THEIR SINS FORETOLD IN THE VALLEY OF HINNOM; THE SYMBOL OF BREAKING A BOTTLE. (Jer 19:1-15)
- JEREMIAH'S INCARCERATION BY PASHUR, THE PRINCIPAL OFFICER OF THE TEMPLE, FOR PROPHESYING WITHIN ITS PRECINCTS; HIS RENEWED PREDICTIONS AGAINST THE CITY, &c., ON HIS LIBERATION. (Jer. 20:1-18)
- ZEDEKIAH CONSULTS JEREMIAH WHAT IS TO BE THE EVENT OF THE WAR: GOD'S ANSWER. (Jer 21:1-14)
- EXHORTATION TO REPENTANCE; JUDGMENT ON SHALLUM, JEHOIAKIM, AND CONIAH. (Jer. 22:1-30)
- THE WICKED RULERS TO BE SUPERSEDED BY THE KING, WHO SHOULD REIGN OVER THE AGAIN UNITED PEOPLES, ISRAEL AND JUDAH. (Jer. 23:1-40)
- THE RESTORATION OF THE CAPTIVES IN BABYLON AND THE DESTRUCTION OF THE REFRACTORY PARTY IN JUDEA AND IN EGYPT, REPRESENTED UNDER THE TYPE OF A BASKET OF GOOD, AND ONE OF BAD, FIGS. (Jer 24:1-10)
- PROPHECY OF THE SEVENTY YEARS CAPTIVITY; AND AFTER THAT THE DESTRUCTION OF BABYLON, AND OF ALL THE NATIONS THAT OPPRESSED THE JEWS. (Jer. 25:1-38)
- JEREMIAH DECLARED WORTHY OF DEATH, BUT BY THE INTERPOSITION OF AHIKAM SAVED; THE SIMILAR CASES OF MICAH AND URIJAH BEING ADDUCED IN THE PROPHET'S FAVOR. (Jer. 26:1-24)
- THE FUTILITY OF RESISTING NEBUCHADNEZZAR ILLUSTRATED TO THE AMBASSADORS OF THE KING, DESIRING TO HAVE THE KING OF JUDAH CONFEDERATE WITH THEM, UNDER THE TYPE OF YOKES. JEREMIAH EXHORTS THEM AND ZEDEKIAH TO YIELD. (Jer. 27:1-22)
- PROPHECIES IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THOSE IN THE TWENTY-SEVENTH CHAPTER. HANANIAH BREAKS THE YOKES TO SIGNIFY THAT NEBUCHADNEZZAR'S YOKE SHALL BE BROKEN. JEREMIAH FORETELLS THAT YOKES OF IRON ARE TO SUCCEED THOSE OF WOOD, AND THAT HANANIAH SHALL DIE. (Jer. 28:1-17)
- LETTER OF JEREMIAH TO THE CAPTIVES IN BABYLON, TO COUNTERACT THE ASSURANCES GIVEN BY THE FALSE PROPHETS OF A SPEEDY RESTORATION. (Jer. 29:1-32)
- RESTORATION OF THE JEWS FROM BABYLON AFTER ITS CAPTURE, AND RAISING UP OF MESSIAH. (Jer. 30:1-24)
- CONTINUATION OF THE PROPHECY IN THE THIRTIETH CHAPTER. (Jer. 31:1-40)
- JEREMIAH, IMPRISONED FOR HIS PROPHECY AGAINST JERUSALEM, BUYS A PATRIMONIAL PROPERTY (HIS RELATIVE HANAMEEL'S), IN ORDER TO CERTIFY TO THE JEWS THEIR FUTURE RETURN FROM BABYLON. (Jer 32:1-14)
- PROPHECY OF THE RESTORATION FROM BABYLON, AND OF MESSIAH AS KING AND PRIEST. (Jer. 33:1-26)
- CAPTIVITY OF ZEDEKIAH AND THE PEOPLE FORETOLD FOR THEIR DISOBEDIENCE AND PERFIDY. (Jer. 34:1-22)
- PROPHECY IN THE REIGN OF JEHOIAKIM, WHEN THE CHALDEANS, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE SYRIANS AND MOABITES, INVADED JUDEA. (Jer. 35:1-19)
- BARUCH WRITES, AND READS PUBLICLY JEREMIAH'S PROPHECIES COLLECTED IN A VOLUME. THE ROLL IS BURNT BY JEHOIAKIM, AND WRITTEN AGAIN BY BARUCH AT JEREMIAH'S DICTATION. (Jer. 36:1-32)
- HISTORICAL SECTIONS, THIRTY-SEVENTH THROUGH FORTY-FOURTH CHAPTERS. THE CHALDEANS RAISE THE SIEGE TO GO AND MEET PHARAOH-HOPHRA. ZEDEKIAH SENDS TO JEREMIAH TO PRAY TO GOD IN BEHALF OF THE JEWS: IN VAIN, JEREMIAH TRIES TO ESCAPE TO HIS NATIVE PLACE, BUT IS ARRESTED. ZEDEKIAH ABATES THE RIGOR OF HIS IMPRISONMENT. (Jer. 37:1-21)
- JEREMIAH PREDICTS THE CAPTURE OF JERUSALEM, FOR WHICH HE IS CAST INTO A DUNGEON, BUT IS TRANSFERRED TO THE PRISON COURT ON THE INTERCESSION OF EBED-MELECH, AND HAS A SECRET INTERVIEW WITH ZEDEKIAH. (Jer. 38:1-28)
- JERUSALEM TAKEN. ZEDEKIAH'S FATE. JEREMIAH CARED FOR. EBED-MELECH ASSURED. (Jer. 39:1-18)
- JEREMIAH IS SET FREE AT RAMAH, AND GOES TO GEDALIAH, TO WHOM THE REMNANT OF JEWS REPAIR. JOHANAN WARNS GEDALIAH OF ISHMAEL'S CONSPIRACY IN VAIN. (Jer. 40:1-16)
- ISHMAEL MURDERS GEDALIAH AND OTHERS, THEN FLEES TO THE AMMONITES. JOHANAN PURSUES HIM, RECOVERS THE CAPTIVES, AND PURPOSES TO FLEE TO EGYPT FOR FEAR OF THE CHALDEANS. (Jer. 41:1-18)
- THE JEWS AND JOHANAN INQUIRE OF GOD, THROUGH JEREMIAH, AS TO GOING TO EGYPT, PROMISING OBEDIENCE TO HIS WILL. THEIR SAFETY ON CONDITION OF STAYING IN JUDEA, AND THEIR DESTRUCTION IN THE EVENT OF GOING TO EGYPT, ARE FORETOLD. THEM HYPOCRISY IN ASKING FOR COUNSEL WHICH THEY MEANT NOT TO FOLLOW, IF CONTRARY TO THEIR OWN DETERMINATION, IS REPROVED. (Jer. 42:1-22)
- THE JEWS CARRY JEREMIAH AND BARUCH INTO EGYPT. JEREMIAH FORETELLS BY A TYPE THE CONQUEST OF EGYPT BY NEBUCHADNEZZAR, AND THE FATE OF THE FUGITIVES. (Jer 43:1-13)
- JEREMIAH REPROVES THE JEWS FOR THEIR IDOLATRY IN EGYPT, AND DENOUNCES GOD'S JUDGMENTS ON THEM AND EGYPT ALIKE. (Jer. 44:1-30)
- JEREMIAH COMFORTS BARUCH. (Jer 45:1-5)
- THE PROPHECIES, FORTY-SIXTH THROUGH FIFTY-SECOND CHAPTERS, REFER TO FOREIGN PEOPLES. (Jer. 46:1-28) General heading of the next six chapters of prophecies concerning the Gentiles; the prophecies are arranged according to nations, not by the dates.
- PROPHECY AGAINST THE PHILISTINES. (Jer 47:1-7) Pharaoh-necho probably smote Gaza on his return after defeating Josiah at Megiddo (2Ch 35:20) [GROTIUS]. Or, Pharaoh-hophra (Jer 37:5, Jer 37:7) is intended: probably on his return from his fruitless attempt to save Jerusalem from the Chaldeans, he smote Gaza in order that his expedition might not be thought altogether in vain [CALVIN] (Amo 1:6-7).
- PROPHECY AGAINST MOAB. (Jer. 48:1-47)
- PREDICTIONS AS TO AMMON, IDUMEA, DAMASCUS, KEDAR, HAZOR, AND ELAM. (Jer. 49:1-39)
- BABYLON'S COMING DOWNFALL; ISRAEL'S REDEMPTION. (Jer. 50:1-46) Compare Isa. 45:1-47:15. But as the time of fulfilment drew nearer, the prophecies are now proportionally more distinct than then.
- CONTINUATION OF THE PROPHECY AGAINST BABYLON BEGUN IN THE FIFTIETH CHAPTER. (Jer. 51:1-64)
- WRITTEN BY SOME OTHER THAN JEREMIAH (PROBABLY EZRA) AS AN HISTORICAL SUPPLEMENT TO THE PREVIOUS PROPHECIES. (Jer. 52:1-34)
TSK: Jeremiah 37 (Pendahuluan Pasal) Overview
Jer 37:1, The Egyptians having raised the seige of the Chaldeans, king Zedekiah sends to Jeremiah to pray for the people; Jer 37:6, Jerem...
Jer 37:1, The Egyptians having raised the seige of the Chaldeans, king Zedekiah sends to Jeremiah to pray for the people; Jer 37:6, Jeremiah prophesies the Chaldeans’ certain return and victory; Jer 37:11, He is taken for a fugitive, beaten, and put in prison; Jer 37:16, He assures Zedekiah of the captivity; Jer 37:18, Intreating for his liberty, he obtains some favour.
Poole: Jeremiah (Pendahuluan Kitab) BOOK OF THE PROPHET JEREMIAH
IT was the great unhappiness of this prophet to be a physician to, but that could not save, a dying sta...
BOOK OF THE PROPHET JEREMIAH
IT was the great unhappiness of this prophet to be a physician to, but that could not save, a dying state, their disease still prevailing against the remedy; and indeed no wonder that all things were so much out of order, when the book of the law had been wanting above sixty years. He was called to be a teacher in his youth, in the days of good Josiah, being sanctified and ordained by God to his prophetical office from his mother’ s womb, Jer 1:5 in a very evil time, though the people afterward proved much worse upon the death of that good king. He setting himself against the torrent of the corruptions of the times, was always opposed and unkindly treated by his ungrateful countrymen, as also by false prophets, and the priests, princes, and people, who encouraged all their impieties and unrighteousness. At length he threatened their destruction and captivity by the Chaldeans, which he lived to see, but foretells their return after seventy years; all which accordingly came to pass. He doth also, notwithstanding his dreadful threatenings, intermix divers comfortable promises of the Messiah, and the days of the gospel; he denounceth also heavy judgments against the heathens nations that had afflicted God’ s people, both such as were near, and also more remote, as Egypt, the Philistines, Moab, Edomites, Ammonites, Damascus, Kedar, Hazor, Elam, but especially Babylon herself, that is made so great a type of the antichristian Babylon in the New Testament. Upon the murder of Gedaliah, whom the Chaldeans had made governor of Judea, he was forcibly against his will carried into Egypt, where (after he had prophesied from first to last between forty and fifty years) probably he died; some say he was stoned.
Whatever else we hear mentioned of his writings, they are either counterfeit, as the Prophecies of Baruch, &c., or it is likely we have the sum of them in this book, though possibly some of his sermons might have had some enlargements in that roll which, by his appointment, was written by Baruch, Jer 36:2 , &c.
Poole: Jeremiah 37 (Pendahuluan Pasal) CHAPTER 37
The Egyptians raise the siege of the Chaldeans; and king Zedekiah sendeth to Jeremiah, to pray and inquire of the Lord for them, Jer 37:...
The Egyptians raise the siege of the Chaldeans; and king Zedekiah sendeth to Jeremiah, to pray and inquire of the Lord for them, Jer 37:1-5 . He prophesieth the Chaldeans’ return and victory, Jer 37:6-10 . He is apprehended for a fugitive, beaten, and put into prison, Jer 37:11-15 . He assureth Zedekiah of the captivity; and, entreating for liberty, obtaineth some favour, Jer 37:16-21 .
The history of this succession we have 2Ki 24:17 2Ch 36:10 . Zedekiah’ s name was Mattaniah, the king of Babylon changed his name to Zedekiah. He reigned instead of Jehoiachin, the son of Jehoiakim, who reigned but three months, 2Ki 24:8 ; his name was Jeconiah, 1Ch 3:16 , and, in a way of derision or contempt, is here called
MHCC: Jeremiah (Pendahuluan Kitab) Jeremiah was a priest, a native of Anathoth, in the tribe of Benjamin. He was called to the prophetic office when very young, about seventy years afte...
Jeremiah was a priest, a native of Anathoth, in the tribe of Benjamin. He was called to the prophetic office when very young, about seventy years after the death of Isaiah, and exercised it for about forty years with great faithfulness, till the sins of the Jewish nation came to their full measure and destruction followed. The prophecies of Jeremiah do not stand as they were delivered. Blayney has endeavoured to arrange them in more regular order, namely, ch. 1-20; 22; 23; 25; 26; 35; 36; Jer 45:1-5; Jer 24:1-10; 29; 30; 31; 27; 28; Jer 21:1-14; 34; 37; 32; 33; 38; 39; (Jer 39:15-18, Jer 39:1-14.) 40-44; 46-52. The general subject of his prophecies is the idolatry and other sins of the Jews; the judgments by which they were threatened, with references to their future restoration and deliverance, and promises of the Messiah. They are remarkable for plain and faithful reproofs, affectionate expostulations, and awful warnings.
MHCC: Jeremiah 37 (Pendahuluan Pasal) (Jer 37:1-10) The Chaldean army will return.
(Jer 37:11-21) Jeremiah is imprisoned.
Matthew Henry: Jeremiah (Pendahuluan Kitab) An Exposition, with Practical Observations, of The Book of the Prophet Jeremiah
The Prophecies of the Old Testament, as the Epistles of the New, are p...
An Exposition, with Practical Observations, of The Book of the Prophet Jeremiah
The Prophecies of the Old Testament, as the Epistles of the New, are placed rather according to their bulk than their seniority - the longest first, not the oldest. There were several prophets, and writing ones, that were contemporaries with Isaiah, as Micah, or a little before him, as Hosea, and Joel, and Amos, or soon after him, as Habakkuk and Nahum are supposed to have been; and yet the prophecy of Jeremiah, who began many years after Isaiah finished, is placed next to his, because there is so much in it. Where we meet with most of God's word, there let the preference be given; and yet those of less gifts are not to be despised nor excluded. Nothing now occurs to be observed further concerning prophecy in general; but concerning this prophet Jeremiah we may observe, I. That he was betimes a prophet; he began young, and therefore could say, from his own experience, that it is good for a man to bear the yoke in his youth, the yoke both of service and of affliction, Lam 3:27. Jerome observes that Isaiah, who had more years over his head, had his tongue touched with a coal of fire, to purge away his iniquity (Isa 6:7), but that when God touched Jeremiah's mouth, who was yet but young, nothing was said of the purging of his iniquity (Jer 1:9), because, by reason of his tender years, he had not so much sin to answer for. II. That he continued long a prophet, some reckon fifty years, others above forty. He began in the thirteenth year of Josiah, when things went well under that good king, but he continued through all the wicked reigns that followed; for when we set out for the service of God, though the wind may then be fair and favourable, we know not how soon it may turn and be tempestuous. III. That he was a reproving prophet, was sent in God's name to tell Jacob of their sins and to warn them of the judgments of God that were coming upon them; and the critics observe that therefore his style or manner of speaking is more plain and rough, and less polite, than that of Isaiah and some others of the prophets. Those that are sent to discover sin ought to lay aside the enticing words of man's wisdom. Plain-dealing is best when we are dealing with sinners to bring them to repentance. IV. That he was a weeping prophet; so he is commonly called, not only because he penned the Lamentations, but because he was all along a mournful spectator of the sins of his people and of the desolating judgments that were coming upon them. And for this reason, perhaps, those who imagined our Saviour to be one of the prophets thought him of any of them to be most like to Jeremiah (Mat 16:14), because he was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. V. That he was a suffering prophet. He was persecuted by his own people more than any of them, as we shall find in the story of this book; for he lived and preached just before the Jews' destruction by the Chaldeans, when their character seems to have been the same as it was just before their destruction by the Romans, when they killed the Lord Jesus, and persecuted his disciples, pleased not God, and were contrary to all men, for wrath had come upon them to the uttermost, 1Th 2:15, 1Th 2:16. The last account we have of him in his history is that the remaining Jews forced him to go down with them into Egypt; whereas the current tradition is, among Jews and Christians, that he suffered martyrdom. Hottinger, out of Elmakin, an Arabic historian, relates that, continuing to prophesy in Egypt against the Egyptians and other nations, he was stoned to death; and that long after, when Alexander entered Egypt, he took up the bones of Jeremiah where they were buried in obscurity, and carried them to Alexandria, and buried them there. The prophecies of this book which we have in the first nineteen chapters seem to be the heads of the sermons he preached in a way of general reproof for sin and denunciation of judgment; afterwards they are more particular and occasional, and mixed with the history of his day, but not placed in due order of time. With the threatenings are intermixed many gracious promises of mercy to the penitent, of the deliverance of the Jews out of their captivity, and some that have a plain reference to the kingdom of the Messiah. Among the Apocryphal writings an epistle is extant said to be written by Jeremiah to the captives in Babylon, warning them against the worship of idols, by exposing the vanity of idols and the folly of idolaters. It is in Baruch, ch. 6. But it is supposed not to be authentic; nor has it, I think, any thing like the life and spirit of Jeremiah's writings. It is also related concerning Jeremiah (2 Macc. 2:4) that, when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Chaldeans, he, by direction from God, took the ark and the altar of incense, and, carrying them to Mount Nebo lodged them in a hollow cave there and stopped the door; but some that followed him, and thought that they had marked the place, could not find it. He blamed them for seeking it, telling them that the place should be unknown till the time that God should gather his people together again. But I know not what credit is to be given to that story, though it is there said to be found in the records. We cannot but be concerned, in the reading of Jeremiah's prophecies, to find that they were so little regarded by the men of that generation; but let us make use of that as a reason why we should regard them the more; for they are written for our learning too, and for warning to us and to our land.
Matthew Henry: Jeremiah 37 (Pendahuluan Pasal) This chapter brings us very near the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, for the story of it lies in the latter end of Zedekiah's reign; we ...
This chapter brings us very near the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, for the story of it lies in the latter end of Zedekiah's reign; we have in it, I. A general idea of the bad character of that reign (Jer 37:1, Jer 37:2). II. The message which Zedekiah, notwithstanding, sent to Jeremiah to desire his prayers (Jer 37:3). III. The flattering hopes which the people had conceived, that the Chaldeans would quit the siege of Jerusalem (Jer 37:5). IV. The assurance God gave them by Jeremiah (who was now at liberty, Jer 37:4) that the Chaldean army should renew the siege and take the city (Jer 37:6-10). V. The imprisonment of Jeremiah, under pretence that he was a deserter (Jer 37:11-15). VI. The kindness which Zedekiah showed him when he was a prisoner (Jer 37:16-21).
Constable: Jeremiah (Pendahuluan Kitab) Introduction
The title of this book derives from its writer, the late seventh an...
The title of this book derives from its writer, the late seventh and early sixth-century Judean prophet Jeremiah. The book occupies the second position in the Latter Prophets section of the Hebrew Bible after Isaiah and before Ezekiel, which accounts for its position in the Septuagint and most modern translations.
The meaning of "Jeremiah" is not clear. It could mean "Yahweh founds or establishes," "Yahweh exalts," "Yahweh throws down," "Yahweh hurls," or "Yahweh loosens (the womb)."
The composition and structure of Jeremiah, discussed below, have led many scholars to conclude that an editor or editors (redactors) probably put the book in its final form. Many conservatives, however, believe that Jeremiah himself was responsible for the final form, though it is clear that the book went through several revisions before it reached its final canonical form. Jeremiah could even have written the last chapter, which describes events that took place about 25 years after the next latest events, since he would have been approximately 83 years old, assuming he was still alive. Clearly Jeremiah's secretary, Baruch, provided the prophet with much assistance in writing the material and possibly arranging it in its final form (36:17-18; 45:1). Baruch was to Jeremiah what Luke was to Paul: his companion, amanuensis, and biographer. The book bears marks of having been assembled by one person at one time.
"There is no satisfactory reason for doubting that Jeremiah himself was the author of the entire book."1
The Book of Jeremiah tells us more about the prophet Jeremiah than any other prophetic book reveals about its writer. It is highly biographical and autobiographical.2 We know more about his personality than that of any other prophet.
Jeremiah's hometown was Anathoth, a Levitical town in the territory of Benjamin three miles northeast of Jerusalem.3 Jeremiah's father, Hilkiah, was evidently a descendant of Abiathar, a descendant of Eli (1 Sam. 14:3). Thus Jeremiah had ancestral connections to Shiloh, where the tabernacle stood during the judges period of Israel's history (the amphictyony). Jeremiah referred to Shiloh in his Temple Sermon (7:12, 14; 26:6). Abiathar was the sole survivor of King Saul's massacre of the priests at Nob, also only a few miles northeast of Jerusalem (1 Sam. 22:20). Later Solomon exiled Abiathar to Anathoth, where Abiathar had property, because Abiathar had proved unfaithful to David (1 Kings 2:26). Jeremiah's father Hilkiah may have been the high priest who found the book of the Law in the temple during Josiah's reforms (1 Kings 2:26).4 Even though Jeremiah came from a priestly family (like Ezekiel and Zechariah), there is no indication that he ever underwent training for the priesthood or functioned as a priest.
Jeremiah's date of birth is a matter of dispute. Most scholars believe he was born about 643 B.C., one year before the end of King Manasseh's reign.5 He probably died in Egypt.
"A late, unattested tradition, mentioned by Tertullian, Jerome, and others, claims that the people of Tahpanhes [in Egypt] stoned Jeremiah to death."6
His call to the prophetic office came in 627 or 626 B.C. (1:2; 25:3) when he would have been about 20 years old.7 His ministry as a prophet may have extended over 40 years.8 He evidently exercised his ministry mainly during periods of crisis in Judah's history, though it is impossible to date some of his prophecies. His ministry involved prophesying about Judah and the other ancient Near Eastern nations of his time (1:10).
Judging by Jeremiah's autobiographical remarks and the narrative information about him in this book, his life was a sad one, one long martyrdom. He probably encountered more opposition from more enemies than any other prophet. Much of it stemmed from his message to his own people: unconditional surrender to Babylon.
"No braver or more tragic figure ever trod the stage of Israel's history than the prophet Jeremiah. . . .
Jeremiah is the only prophet who recorded his own feelings as he ministered, which makes him both very interesting and very helpful to other ministers. Some authorities believe that his greatest contribution to posterity is his personality.
". . . by birth a priest; by grace a prophet; by the trials of life a bulwark for God's truth; by daily spiritual experience one of the greatest exponents of prophetic faith in his unique relation to God; by temperament gentle and timid, yet constantly contending against the forces of sin; and by natural desire a seeker after the love of a companion, his family, friends, and above all, his people--which were all denied him."10
"He was a weeping prophet to a wayward people."11
There are many similarities between Jeremiah and Hosea. Hosea announced the fall of Samaria, and Jeremiah announced the fall of Jerusalem. Both prophets experienced much personal tragedy. In his ideas as well as in his vocabulary, Jeremiah demonstrates familiarity with Hosea's prophecies. There are also affinities with Job and the Psalter.
There are also remarkable parallels between Jeremiah and the Lord Jesus Christ. No other prophet bears as many striking similarities to the Savior, which makes him the most Christ-like of the prophets. The people of Jesus' day noted these similarities (Matt. 16:14). In both cases Jerusalem was about to fall, the temple would suffer destruction soon, the worship of Yahweh had become a formalistic husk, and there was need for emphasis on individual relationship with God. Both men had a message for Israel and the whole world. Both of them used nature quite extensively for illustrative purposes in their teaching. Both came from a high tradition: Jeremiah from a priestly prophetic heritage and Jesus from a divine royal position. Both were very conscious of their call from God. Both condemned the commercialism of temple worship in their day (7:11: Matt. 21:13). Their enemies charged both of them with political treason. Both experienced persecutions, trials, and imprisonments. Both foretold the destruction of the temple (7:14; Matt. 13:2). Both wept over Jerusalem (9:1; Luke 19:41). Both condemned the priests of their day. Both experienced rejection by members of their own families (12:6; John 1:11). Both were so tenderhearted that some Jewish leaders identified them with the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53. Both loved Israel deeply. Both were lonely (15:10; Isa. 53:3). And both enjoyed unusually intimate fellowship with God (20:7; John 11:41-42).12
"It has often been remarked that Jeremiah's life was finally a failure. He was alone for most of his ministry. It seemed that no one gave any heed to his words. He was dragged off finally to live his last days in exile against his own will. He was a failure as the world judges human achievement. But a more balanced assessment of him would be that his very words of judgment saved Israel's faith from disintegration, and his words of hope finally helped his people to gain hope in God's future for them."13
"The character of Jeremiah is also reflected in his writings. His speech is clear and simple, incisive and pithy, and, though generally speaking somewhat diffuse, yet ever rich in thought. If it lacks the lofty strain, the soaring flight of an Isaiah, yet it has beauties of its own. It is distinguished by a wealth of new imagery which is wrought out with great delicacy and deep feeling, and by a versatility that easily adapts itself to the most various objects, and by artistic clearness' (Ewald)."14
The biblical records of the times in which Jeremiah ministered are 2 Kings 21-25 and 2 Chronicles 33-36. His contemporary prophets were Zephaniah and Habakkuk before the Exile, and Ezekiel and Daniel after it began.
King Manasseh had been Judah's most ungodly king, but toward the end of his life he repented (2 Chron. 33:15-19). He was responsible for many of the evil conditions that marked Judah in Jeremiah's earliest years (cf. 15:4; 2 Kings 23:26). His long life was not a blessing for faithfulness, as his father Hezekiah's had been, but an instrument of chastening for Judah.
King Amon succeeded Manasseh and reigned two years (642-640 B.C.). Rather than perpetuating the repentant attitude that his father had demonstrated, Amon reverted to the policies of Manasseh's earlier reign and rebelled against Yahweh completely. This provoked some of his officials to assassinate him (2 Kings 21:23).
Josiah was eight years old when his father Amon died. He began reigning then and continued on the throne for 31 years (640-609 B.C.). Josiah was one of Judah's best kings and one of the four reforming kings of the Southern Kingdom. He began to seek the Lord when he was 16 years old and began initiating religious reforms when he was 20 (2 Chron. 34:3-7). Jeremiah received his call to minister in the thirteenth year of Josiah when the king was 21, namely, 627 B.C. (1:6). Josiah's reforms were more extensive than those of any of his predecessors. He began the major projects when he was 26. During these years Assyria was declining as a world power and Neo-Babylonia was not yet the dominant empire it soon became. One of Josiah's projects was the repairing of Solomon's temple (v. 5; cf. 12:4-16). During its renovation Hilkiah, the high priest and possibly Jeremiah's father, discovered the Mosaic Law, which had been lost for a long time (cf. 2 Kings 22:8). This discovery spurred a return to the system of worship that the Book of Deuteronomy specified (2 Kings 23). Josiah also did much to clear the land of idolatry, sacred prostitution, child sacrifice, and pagan altars not only in Judah but also in some formerly Israelite territory. He also reinstituted the Passover. Unfortunately for Judah, Josiah felt compelled to travel to Megiddo to try and block Pharaoh Necho II from advancing north to assist the Assyrians in resisting the westward expanding Babylonians. Josiah died at Megiddo in 609 B.C. at the age of 39. His death was a tragic loss for Judah.
Three of Josiah's sons and one of his grandsons ruled Judah after his death. The first of these, though he was the second son, was Jehoahaz who ruled for only three months in 609 B.C. The Judean people favored Jehoahaz, but Pharaoh Necho, who by slaying Josiah gained control over Judah, found him uncooperative. Therefore, Pharaoh deported Jehoahaz to Egypt as a prisoner where he died (22:10-12). God gave Jeremiah a few prophecies during this king's brief reign.
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Jehoahaz's older brother Jehoiakim succeeded him on Judah's throne, thanks to Pharaoh Necho. He reigned for 11 years (609-598 B.C.). Jehoiakim was a weak king who changed allegiances between Egypt and Babylon whenever he thought a change might be to Judah's advantage. During his tenure Prince Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon defeated the allied Egyptian and Assyrian forces at Carchemish thus establishing Babylonian supremacy in the ancient Near East (605 B.C.). Shortly thereafter King Nebuchadnezzar, as he had become, invaded Palestine, conquered some cities, and took some of the nobles, including Daniel, as exiles to Babylon (Dan. 1:1-3). Jehoiakim refused to follow Jeremiah's counsel to submit to the Babylonians. Instead he showed his contempt for the prophet by burning his prophecies (ch. 36). Jeremiah despised this king for his wickedness (22:18-19; 26:20-23; 36). Jehoiakim rebelled against Babylon in 601 B.C., so the Babylonians deposed him and took him to Babylon (2 Chron. 36:6). Later they allowed him to return to Jerusalem where he died in 561 B.C. (cf. 22:19). Several of Jeremiah's prophecies apparently date from Jehoiakim's reign. Habakkuk probably also ministered at this time, as the content of his book suggests.
Jehoiakim's son Jehoiachin succeeded his father but only reigned for three months (598-597 B.C.). During that time Nebuchadnezzar attacked Jerusalem and carried off a large portion of the city's population (in 597 B.C.). The king was evil, and Jeremiah predicted that none of his sons would rule over the nation (22:30). He ended his days in Babylon enjoying the favor of the Babylonian king Evilmerodach (52:31-34).
Zedekiah was the third son of Josiah to rule Judah, and he too ruled under Nebuchadnezzar's sovereignty (597-586 B.C.). The Babylonian monarch summoned Zedekiah to Babylon in 593 B.C. (51:59), but he rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar by making a treaty with Pharaoh Hophra (589-570 B.C.) under pressure from Judean nationalists (chs. 37-38). This resulted in the final siege of Jerusalem in 588 and its fall two years later in 586 B.C. (ch. 39).16 The Babylonians took Zedekiah captive to Riblah in Syria where they slew his sons and put out his eyes. He died later in Babylon. Since Jeremiah advocated surrender to the Babylonians, Nebuchadnezzar allowed him to choose where he wanted to live when Jerusalem fell, and the prophet elected to stay where he was.
Shortly after he defeated Zedekiah, Nebuchadnezzar set up a pro-Babylonian Judean named Gedaliah as his governor (40:5-6). But a group of Jewish nationalists under Ishmael's leadership assassinated Gedaliah within the year (586 B.C.; 41:2). This ill-advised act resulted in the rebels having to flee to Egypt for safety from Nebuchadnezzar. They forced Jeremiah to accompany them against his will (chs. 42-43). There the prophet evidently spent the remaining years of his life and produced his final prophecies.17
|Important Dates for Jeremiah|
|643||Probable date of Jeremiah's birth|
|640||Josiah becomes king of Judah at age 8||2 Chron. 34:1|
|628||Josiah begins his reforms||2 Chron. 34:3|
|627||Jeremiah begins his ministry||Jer. 1:2; 25:3|
|626||Nabopolassar founds the Neo-Babylonian Empire|
|622||The book of the Law discovered in the temple||2 Chron. 34:8, 14|
|612||The fall of Nineveh, Assyria's capitol|
|609||Josiah killed in battle by Egyptians at Megiddo||2 Chron. 35:20-25|
|Jehoahaz reigns over Judah for 3 months||2 Chron. 36:1-3|
|Jehoiakim made king of Judah by Pharaoh Necho||2 Chron. 36:4|
|605||Nebuchadnezzar defeats the Egyptians at Carchemish||Jer. 46:2|
|The first deportation of exiles (including Daniel) to
|604||Jehoiakim burns Jeremiah's first scroll||Jer. 36|
|601||Jehoiakim rebels against Babylon||2 Kings 24:1|
|598||Jehoiakim is deposed and dies||2 Chron. 36:3|
|Jehioachin reigns over Judah for 3 months||2 Kings 24:8|
|597||The second deportation of exiles (including
||2 Kings 24:12-16|
|Zedekiah made king of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar||2 Kings 24:17|
|593||Zedekiah summoned to Babylon||Jer. 51:59|
|588||Zedekiah is besieged in Jerusalem for treachery||Jer. 52:3-4|
|586||Fall of Jerusalem||Jer. 39|
|Gedaliah appointed governor of Judah by
|Gedaliah assassinated by Ishmael||Jer. 41:2|
|Judean refugees flee to Egypt taking Jeremiah with
|581||The third deportation of exiles to Babylon||Jer. 52:30|
|568||Nebuchadnezzar invades Egypt||Jer. 43:8-13; 46:13-26|
|561||Jehoiachin released from prison in Babylon||Jer. 52:31-34|
|539||Fall of Babylon to Cyrus the Persian||Dan. 5:30|
|538||Cyrus issues his decree allowing the Jews to return to Palestine||Ezra 1:1-4|
As has already been pointed out, Jeremiah gave the prophecies and composed the narratives that constitute this book at various times during his long ministry. The date at which the book reached the state in which it is today is debatable. Most scholars believe that editors continued to add and rearrange the material long after Jeremiah's day. However, the tradition that Jeremiah was responsible for the book is old and has encouraged conservative scholars to view it as the product of the prophet himself or perhaps his scribe Baruch. If Jeremiah was the final editor of the work, as well as its writer, he completed this editorial task after his last historical reference and before his death. The last historical reference is Jehoiachin's release from captivity in Babylon (561 B.C.; 52:31-34). We do not know when Jeremiah died, but if he was born about 643 B.C., he probably did not live much beyond 560 B.C. Some scholars believe Jeremiah wrote this account himself and or that Baruch provided it. Others believe the writer of the Book of Kings added it to the collections of Jeremiah's writings.18 One writer speculated that the final canonical form of the book was in circulation not later than 520 B.C.19 Another believed it was available shortly after Jeremiah's death, which he guessed was about 586 B.C.20
Jeremiah ministered to the people of Judah during the last days of the monarchy and the early part of the captivity. Almost all of his ministry took place in Jerusalem. He spoke to kings, priests, and prophets, as well as the ordinary citizens, and he delivered oracles against foreign nations.
"The book of Jeremiah and the book of Lamentations show how God looks at a culture which knew Him and deliberately turned away."21
Jeremiah's purpose was to call his hearers to repentance in view of God's judgment on Judah, which would come soon from an army from the north (chs. 2-45). Judgment was coming because God's people had forsaken Yahweh and had given themselves to idolatry. Jeremiah spoke more about repentance than any other prophet. He also assured his audience that God had a future for Israel and Judah (chs. 30-33). Once it became clear that the people would not repent, he advocated submission to Babylon to minimize the destruction that was inevitable. As God's prophetic spokesman, he also uttered oracles against the nations that opposed God's chosen people (chs. 46-51).
"The theme of this prophet consists largely in a stern warning to Judah to turn from idolatry and sin to avoid the catastrophe of exile."22
The Book of Jeremiah is not theologically organized in the sense that it develops a certain theological emphasis as it unfolds, as Isaiah does. Rather it presents certain theological truths in greater or lesser degree throughout its 52 chapters. The dominant theological emphases are as follows.
The prophet paid more attention to God and the Israelites than to any other subjects of revelation. His appreciation for God as the Lord of all creation is noteworthy. In contrast to Isaiah, Micah, Zechariah, and Daniel, Jeremiah did not reveal much about the coming Messiah, though he did record some significant messianic predictions. A coming revealer would outshine the ark of the covenant (3:14-17), and the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant promises would come (33:14-26).
Regarding the Israelites, Jeremiah stressed the fact that immorality always accompanies idolatry. Israel's present problems were the result of her past and present apostasy. The priests, Jeremiah asserted, were primarily responsible for the degeneration of worship from spiritual to merely formal, though several false prophets also misled the people. The Judahites could not escape going into captivity because they refused to repent. Therefore, they needed to accept the inevitable and not resist the Babylonians. Jerusalem and Judah would suffer destruction, the Davidic kings would not rule (for some time), and the Israelites would lose their land (temporarily). But there would be a return from exile (25:11; 29:10). Israel had hope of a glorious future in view of God's faithfulness to His promises (32:1-15). In the distant future, Israel would return in penitence to the Lord (32:37-40). Messiah would rule over her (23:5-8).
". . . Jeremiah placed an enormous emphasis on the sins and misdeeds of Israel. . . .
"The evil deeds in which Israel was involved were of two broad classes--the worship of false gods, and the perpetration of personal and social sins of an ethical and moral kind."23
"The theology of the book of Jeremiah may be summarized as follows: God's judgment would fall on Judah because she had broken His covenant."24
The nations were God's agents in executing His will, particularly Nebuchadnezzar (27:6). But Babylon would fall (chs. 50-51). The nations, as well as Israel, needed to demonstrate righteousness (chs. 46-51). God had a concern for the nations as well as for His people (29:1-14). In the distant future, the remnant of the nations would enjoy blessing from the Lord (3:17; 16:19).
There is also a strong emphasis on the biblical covenants in Jeremiah, particularly the Mosaic and New Covenants. Jeremiah viewed Israel as the chosen people of God adopted by Him for a special relationship with Himself and for a special purpose in the world. The Mosaic Covenant was pure grace, and Yahweh had made it with a redeemed people. It involved promises from God and responsibilities for the Israelites that required trust, obedience, and holiness. Obedience would result in blessing from God, and disobedience would yield divine cursing. The prophet knew the Mosaic Law and compared the conduct of the people to what it required.25 Jeremiah anticipated the appearing of the promised Davidic Messiah and the fulfillment of the kingdom promises that God had made to David. He also predicted that God would make a new covenant with the Israelites sometime in the future that would involve new provisions and conditions for living (31:31-34). It would replace the old Mosaic Covenant and would feature personal relationship with God to an extent never experienced before.
"Probably the outstanding emphasis in Jeremiah's ministry was the priority of the spiritual over everything else. He saw how secondary the temporal features of Judah's faith were. . . .
"The lasting value of Jeremiah's book lies not only in the allusions (between forty and fifty of them) in the NT (over half are in Revelation) but also in its being a wonderful handbook for learning the art of having fellowship with God."26
The present canonical form of the book was probably the result of a long and complex process of collection. The Book of Psalms also underwent compilation in a similar fashion over many years. The compilation is not chronological, but it did occur in stages.
"Precisely how the final form of the prophecy arose is unknown."27
In some cases key words link units of material together. There is also some grouping of subject matter according to genre within the larger sections of the book.28
The attempt to identify the original sources of material in Bible books is a worthy subject of study, but the purpose of these notes is to expound the text.29 The book itself indicates that King Jehoiakim destroyed some of Jeremiah's earlier written prophecies and that Baruch rewrote them and added more to form another collection (ch. 36). This information explains to some extent the anthological structure of the book and suggests that Jeremiah, Baruch, and perhaps others added even more prophecies as time passed and that the final product is what we have.
"It is clear that the book assumed its present form either very late in the prophet's lifetime, or more probably after his death."30
About half of Jeremiah is poetry and half prose. But poetry and prose appear side by side in many sections of the book; several literary units contain both forms of composition.
Scholars have identified three types of literature (genre) in Jeremiah: poetic sayings or oracles (so-called Type A material), prose narratives that are largely biographical and historical (so-called Type B material), and prose speeches or discourses (so-called Type C material).31
Several generations of scholars have held that the poetic oracles toward the first part of the book represent Jeremiah's original sayings, and the historical and biographical narratives that follow were the product of Baruch, Jeremiah's scribe. This view, while a common one, contains serious problems, and many competent authorities have pointed out the inconsistencies of this position. I mention it here because it is a common view, not because I accept it. I do not.
Like most other prophetic books of the Old Testament, Jeremiah is a collection of oracles and other materials. It is an anthology of Jeremiah's speeches and writings, really an anthology of anthologies. It is not like a novel that one may read from start to finish discovering that it unfolds in a logical fashion as it goes.
"No commentator, ancient or modern, has seriously posited a chronological arrangement of its prophecies."32
This book, even more than most of the other prophetic books, strikes the western mind initially as not following any consistently logical order, especially within the body of the book. The difficulty that students of Jeremiah have had in discovering its underlying plan is clear from the fact that commentators have offered so many different outlines of it.33
"When we come to inquire whether any principles of arrangement can be observed in the book of Jeremiah, we have to admit that any consistent principles escape us."34
". . . it is often difficult to see why certain passages occur at precisely the point where they do occur."35
In addition to the lack of a clear organizing plan, Jeremiah is quite repetitive. The repetition is for emphasis, no doubt, and many very similar passages occur two and even three times.
The last chapter is unique because someone must have written it long after the rest of the book. The options are that Jeremiah or Baruch wrote it or that some other writer added it later. There is no way to tell for sure who wrote it or when, but it's purpose seems clear enough. It provides hope at the end of a record of discouraging circumstances.
The biographical and autobiographical sections of the book are also distinctive. No other prophet wrote as much about himself and his experiences as Jeremiah did, and no other prophet let us into his head and his heart as much as he did by sharing how he thought and felt.
Jeremiah used object lessons to communicate spiritual truth more than the other prophets. He made his prophecies concrete and vivid by this means. He did not delight to paint word pictures as much as Isaiah did, but he did acts and spoke of real situations far more than that earlier prophet did.
The history of the textual transmission of Jeremiah is unusual. The Septuagint (Greek) translation, made in the third and second centuries B.C. in Alexandria, Egypt, is about one-eighth shorter than the Masoretic Text (the Hebrew text formalized in the fifth century A.D. that is the basis for the modern Hebrew Bible and our English translations). In addition to its being shorter, the arrangement of material in the book is in a different order in several places. The Septuagint version of Jeremiah differs from the Hebrew more widely than is true of any other Old Testament book. There are omissions, additions, transpositions, alterations, and substitutions.36
Probably the Septuagint translators worked from a different version of Jeremiah than the one that was the basis for the Masoretic Text.37 The Septuagint was the Bible of most of the early Christians, especially those who lived outside Palestine. Which version is more reliable, the shorter one that they used (and quoted in the New Testament) or the longer one that we have? Most conservative scholars believe that the Masoretic Text has a solid history and is more reliable than the Septuagint. The differences between these two versions are not significant in terms of theology. We do not have contradictions between what the New Testament writers quoted as being from Jeremiah and what we read in our English translations of Jeremiah.38
The reader of Jeremiah must have a knowledge of the times in which this prophet lived and ministered to appreciate the message of this book. This is more important for understanding Jeremiah than it is for understanding any other prophetic book.
Jeremiah lived in days of darkness and disaster. He ministered about a century after Isaiah had finished prophesying. The Northern Kingdom was no more; it had ceased to exist with the Assyrian invasion of 722 B.C. Only the Southern Kingdom of Judah remained.
Two strong nations greatly affected life in Judah when Jeremiah began his ministry: Egypt on the southwest, and Assyria on the northeast. Judah was the jelly in this sandwich and found herself pressed on both sides. Instead of looking to God for their security, the people looked either to Egypt or to Assyria. There were two parties in Jeremiah's day: the pro-Egyptian party and the pro-Assyrian party. Each vied with the other trying to gain supporters for alliances with their particular favorite superpower, trying to outwit their opponents and trick their enemy.
The internal condition of Judah was the result of 52 years of rule by the apostate King Manasseh who reacted to godly King Hezekiah's trust in Yahweh.
Manasseh, and King Amon who ruled after him for two years, set up pagan altars all over Judah. These kings encouraged idolatry of every sort, even in the Jerusalem temple. The people departed farther and farther from the Lord. It was a condition very much like the one in North America today.
The next king was Josiah. Josiah tried to turn the people back to the Lord, but his reforms were more external than internal. The people just did not want to submit to Yahweh. They had gone their own way for so long that they viewed following the Mosaic Law as a step backward rather than forward. Jeremiah began to minister during Josiah's reign. Unfortunately Josiah died prematurely, so his reforms did not last very long or have much effect.
The four kings who followed Josiah, the last four in Judah's history, were all weak men who lacked spiritual conviction. They just played politics and tried to win Judah's security through political intrigue and alliances. Three of these sad rulers were sons of Josiah: Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, and Zedekiah. The fourth was Josiah's grandson, Jehoiachin, the son of Jehoiakim. The last of these kings was Zedekiah, the most spineless of them all. He was a chameleon, a double-minded man who was unstable in all his ways. Jeremiah ministered during the reigns of these four kings until Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians in 586 B.C., and he ministered beyond that from Egypt.
Throughout Jeremiah's entire ministry he was never blessed to see the people of Judah turn back to God. Repentance was one of his greatest pleas, but the kings, priests, false prophets, and ordinary citizens did not return to the Lord. He did not check the deterioration of his nation. He was very unpopular in his day because he was always preaching to the people to do the opposite of what they wanted to do. Even after the fall of the nation the Judahites proved unresponsive to his preaching. There was no encouraging revival in his day, as there was in Isaiah's day with the appearance of King Hezekiah. Things just kept going from bad to worse.
The meaning of "Jeremiah" is not clear. It could mean "Yahweh founds or establishes," "Yahweh exalts," "Yahweh throws down," "Yahweh hurls," or "Yahweh loosens." All of these meanings reflect aspects of Jeremiah's ministry as a prophet. He announced that Yahweh founds or establishes those who trust in Him rather than trusting in other people or nations. He announced that Yahweh eventually exalts those whom He has chosen and that He throws down and humbles those who disregard Him. He also announced that Yahweh hurls into captivity people who depart from Him and loosens from their captivity those whom He has disciplined.
Just as God had foreordained Jeremiah to his ministry (1:5), so He had foreordained Israel to a royal priestly ministry on the earth (Exod. 19:5-6). Just as Jeremiah felt inadequate for his ministry (1:6), so Israel was inadequate to fulfill her calling without divine enablement. And just as Jeremiah received divine enablement for his ministry (1:7-8), so Israel received divine enablement for hers.
What was true for Jeremiah on the personal level and for Israel on the national level is also true for Christians on the personal level and for the church on the corporate level.
The Book of Jeremiah also reveals more about the person of the prophet than any other prophetic book. Jeremiah shared his life with His Lord, and the Lord shared the record of Jeremiah's life with the reader. Four things characterized Jeremiah: his simplicity, his sensitivity, his strength, and his spirituality.
We see the first indication of Jeremiah's simplicity in his response to the Lord's call when he was a teenager. He realized that he was an inadequate child (1:7). He never lost that sense of inadequacy. He was poor in spirit in that he sensed his own personal lack of resources to carry out the task God had given him (cf. Matt. 5:3).
We see his sensitivity in the way he shrunk from his work. He confessed to his Lord how much he disliked having to proclaim messages of judgment to the people he loved. He felt the pain of the prophecies he delivered. He mourned over the fate of his hardhearted and stubborn fellow Judahites (cf. Matt. 5:4).
We see Jeremiah's strength in his willingness to stand alone against the popular opinions and opinion makers of his day. He always delivered the whole message that God had given him to proclaim, and he never stopped speaking what God told him to say. He was persecuted for the sake of righteousness (cf. Matt. 5:10). His contemporaries reviled him, persecuted him, and said all kinds of evil things against him falsely (Matt. 5:11). Nevertheless through it all Jeremiah followed God faithfully, and undoubtedly his reward in heaven will be great (Matt. 5:12).
No prophet in the Old Testament was more like our Lord Jesus Christ than Jeremiah. He faithfully represented the true King of Israel, Yahweh, when the Judahites rejected His authority and neglected His grace. He was God's representative on the earth when people were acting like there was no Sovereign in heaven. God knew him and chose him before his birth, equipped him by giving him His word, led him to practice a simple and solitary lifestyle, strengthened him to love his people, enabled him to oppose the apostasy of his day, and preserved his life until his work was done.
One of the great values of the Book of Jeremiah is that it reveals how God behaves when His people fail Him and depart from Him.
When His people fail Him and depart from Him, God judges their sin. As Isaiah emphasizes the salvation of God, Jeremiah stresses the judgment of God. God enabled Jeremiah to see what the Judahites did not see, namely that all the bad things that were happening to them were divine discipline on them for their apostasy. The people interpreted these calamities as the result of their failure to continue worshipping the Queen of Heaven and their other pagan idols (44:18). Jeremiah saw that sin leads to death. He came to appreciate the devastating effects of sin. Ever since the Fall Satan has been convincing people that they can sin with impunity. Jeremiah shows that the sin of God's people will find us out, and when it does there is a terrible price to pay.
Jeremiah also reveals how human sin causes great suffering for God. It breaks His heart when His people sin. Not only did God explain to Jeremiah how sin hurt Him, but Jeremiah reflected God's pain over sin with his own tears and terror at the prospect of the fall of Jerusalem and its attending horrors. We see God's attitude toward the people in the prophet's attitude.
Jeremiah also reveals that there is life beyond sin, there is victory over sin. In the prophet's life we see how God blessed him and preserved His faithful servant in the midst of what we might compare to the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City. In Jeremiah's messages to Judah, Israel, and the nations we see how bright the distant future is beyond the present judgment for sin. God's plans for humankind are plans for blessing ultimately. Judgment is His immediate response to sin, but blessing is His ultimate purpose. The politicians in Jeremiah's day blamed the nation's troubles on the nations around them. Jeremiah blamed them on the internal condition of Judah herself.
We need voices and lives like Jeremiah's today calling people to recognize the fact that all ruin and loss and national decay are due to forgetting God who lifts up or breaks down according to how we relate to Him. Though Jeremiah lived 2, 600 years ago, his voice continues to challenge us today. We appear to be ministering in a context very similar to Jeremiah's. The study of his life and ministry encourages and motivates us to remain faithful. He enables us to understand what Christ-like ministry in such a context looks like.
What is the message of Jeremiah? Jeremiah teaches us that God's judgment falls when people break His covenant. There are constant references to Judah's covenant unfaithfulness to her sovereign suzerain. Judgment is inevitable unless there is repentance. But when there is repentance, God is rich in mercy. One of Jeremiah's favorite words was shub, meaning "return." God and he held out the possibility of return and release from judgment as long as possible. However, as with Pharaoh, repentance is not always possible when one resists Yahweh continually (cf. Heb. 6:4-6). It was not possible eventually for Judah.
There are at least three abiding lessons of this book.
Sin brings destruction. No policy can outmaneuver God. National rebellion is national ruin. Sin brings with it its own destruction and retribution.
Sin wounds the heart of God. He weeps over the doom of a city and its people. He does not delight in bringing devastation and ruin, and neither should His servants.
The ultimate victory is with God. He made again the vessel that He destroyed because of its flaws. The stump of David will sprout. Though the last Davidic king died in exile, God promised that another Davidic King would emerge (23:5; 30:9). There is hope of a new covenant and enabling grace that will replace the old covenant that no one could keep (31:31-34).
Constable: Jeremiah (Garis Besar) Outline
I. Introduction ch. 1
A. The introduction of Jeremiah 1:1-3
I. Introduction ch. 1
A. The introduction of Jeremiah 1:1-3
B. The call of Jeremiah 1:4-19
1. The promise of divine enablement 1:4-10
2. Two confirming visions 1:11-19
II. Prophecies about Judah chs. 2-45
A. Warnings of judgment on Judah and Jerusalem chs. 2-25
1. Warnings of coming punishment because of Judah's guilt chs. 2-6
2. Warnings about apostasy and its consequences chs. 7-10
3. Warnings in view of present conditions 11:1-15:9
4. Warnings in view of Judah's hardheartedness 15:10-25:38
B. Controversies concerning false prophets chs. 26-29
1. Conflict with the people ch. 26
2. Conflict with the false prophets in Jerusalem chs. 27-28
3. Conflict with the false prophets in exile ch. 29
C. The Book of Consolation chs. 30-33
1. The restoration of all Israel chs. 30-31
2. The restoration of Judah and Jerusalem chs. 32-33
D. Incidents surrounding the fall of Jerusalem chs. 34-45
1. Incidents before the fall of Jerusalem chs. 34-36
2. Incidents during the fall of Jerusalem chs. 37-39
3. Incidents after the fall of Jerusalem chs. 40-45
III. Prophecies about the nations chs. 46-51
A. The oracle against Egypt ch. 46
B. The oracle against the Philistines ch. 47
C. The oracle against Moab ch. 48
D. The oracle against Ammon 49:1-6
E. The oracle against Edom 49:7-22
F. The oracle against Damascus 49:23-27
G. The oracle against the Arab tribes 49:28-33
H. The oracle against Elam 49:34-39
I. The oracle against Babylon chs. 50-51
IV. Conclusion ch. 52.
A. The fall of Jerusalem and the capture of Zedekiah 52:1-16
B. The sacking of the temple 52:17-23
C. The numbers deported to Babylon 52:24-30
D. The release of Jehoiachin from prison 52:31-34
Constable: Jeremiah Jeremiah
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Copyright 2003 by Thomas L. Constable
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Haydock: Jeremiah (Pendahuluan Kitab) THE PROPHECY OF JEREMIAS.
Jeremias was a priest, a native of Anathoth, a priestly city, in the tribe of Benjamin, and was sanct...
THE PROPHECY OF JEREMIAS.
Jeremias was a priest, a native of Anathoth, a priestly city, in the tribe of Benjamin, and was sanctified from his mother's womb to be a prophet of God; which office he began to execute when he was yet a child in age. He was in his whole life, according to the signification of his name, great before the Lord, and a special figure of Jesus Christ, in the persecutions he underwent for discharging his duty, in his charity for his persecutors, and in the violent death he suffered at their hands; it being an ancient tradition of the Hebrews, that he was stoned to death by the remnant of the Jews who had retired into Egypt, (Challoner) at Taphnes. His style is plaintive, (Worthington) like that of Simonides, (Calmet) and not so noble as that of Isaias and Osee. (St. Jerome) --- He was the prophet of the Gentiles, as well as of the Jews, predicting many things which befell both, and particularly the liberation of the latter, the year of the world 3485, after the seventy years' captivity, dating from the year of the world 3415, (Calmet) or 3398, the 4th of Joakim. (Usher) (Chap. xxv.) (Haydock) --- He began to prophesy when he was very young, the year of the world 3375, in the 13th year of Josias, (Calmet) before that prince had brought his reformation to any great perfection. (Haydock)
Gill: Jeremiah (Pendahuluan Kitab) INTRODUCTION TO JEREMIAH
The title of the book in the Vulgate Latin version is, "the Prophecy of Jeremiah"; in the Syriac and Arabic versions, "the...
INTRODUCTION TO JEREMIAH
The title of the book in the Vulgate Latin version is, "the Prophecy of Jeremiah"; in the Syriac and Arabic versions, "the Prophecy of the Prophet Jeremiah". According to a tradition of the Jews a, this book stands the first of the Prophets, the order of which is, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and the twelve. Kimchi makes mention of it in a preface to his comment on this book; and Dr. Lightfoot from hence concludes, that this is the reason why a passage in Zechariah is cited under the name of Jeremy, Mat 27:9, because he standing first in the volume of the Prophets gave name to the whole; just as the book of Psalms, being the first of the Hagiographa, they are called the Psalms from it, Luk 24:44. The name of the writer of this book, Jeremiah, signifies, "the Lord shall exalt", or "be exalted"; or, "exalting the Lord"; being composed of
Gill: Jeremiah 37 (Pendahuluan Pasal) INTRODUCTION TO JEREMIAH 37
This chapter makes mention of the reign of Zedekiah, and what happened in it; of his message to Jeremiah, to pray for t...
INTRODUCTION TO JEREMIAH 37
This chapter makes mention of the reign of Zedekiah, and what happened in it; of his message to Jeremiah, to pray for the kingdom; of the king of Babylonian's raising the siege of Jerusalem, on hearing the king of Egypt was coming to its relief; of the assurance the prophet gave that the Chaldean army would return again, and destroy the city; of the prophet's attempt to depart the city, his imprisonment, conversation with Zedekiah, and his clemency to him. A short account is given of Zedekiah, and of the disobedience of him and his people to the word of the Lord, Jer 37:1; of the message sent by him to the prophet to pray for them, Jer 37:3; the time, when Jeremiah was at liberty, and the siege of Jerusalem was raised, Jer 37:4; the prophet's answer to them from the Lord, assuring them the Chaldeans would return and burn the city, Jer 37:6; the prophet attempting to go out of the city is stopped, and charged as a deserter to the Chaldeans; is had before the princes, and beat and imprisoned, Jer 37:11; but the king sending for him out of prison, and having some private discourse with him, upon the prophet's expostulation and intercession, his confinement was mitigated, and bread allowed him, Jer 37:16.