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Jeremiah

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The Book of Jeremiah

Jeremiah 1:17-19 - Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them. For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I [am] with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee.

Jeremiah 3:16 - And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit [it]; neither shall [that] be done any more. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.

Jeremiah 23:5-6- Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this [is] his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survey - Jeremiah
Hebrew Name - Yirmiyahu "Yah is my appointer"
Greek Name - Ieremias (Greek form of the Hebrew)
Author - Jeremiah (According to Tradition)
Date - 629 BC Approximately
Theme - The destruction of Judah
Types and Shadows - In Jeremiah Jesus is the Lord our righteousness

ARCHAEOLOGY

The Black Obelisk

The Black Obelisk

The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III. Discovered at Calah now in the British Museum. The Obelisk stands nearly 7 feet tall and is about 2 feet thick. On each of the 4 sides there are 5 panels with carvings of various kings bringing tribute to king Shalmaneser III. The second panel from the top of the obelisk reveals king Jehu of Israel bowing at the feet of Shalmaneser of Assyria. This is the same Jehu who is mentioned in Scripture, and this carved relief is the only image in all history of one of the Hebrew kings. On the panel Shalmaneser is offering a libation to his god. The cuneiform text around the panel reads:

"The tribute of Jehu, son of Omri: I received from him silver, gold, a golden bowl, a golden vase with pointed bottom, golden tumblers, golden buckets, tin, a staff for a king [and] spears."


The Jehu Panel on the Black Obelisk

Summary of The Book of Jeremiah

The prophet Jeremiah prophesied to the Jews in Jerusalem and Judah about 50 years before Jerusalem would  fall and be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Jeremiah continually preached against the folly of idolatry and pleaded with the people the Word of God, "what injustice have you found in me?" he cried, "why have you gone far from me and followed idols, and have become idolaters?", "I brought you into a beautiful country to eat of its fruit and its goodness, but you have defiled my land and made my heritage and abomination." Jeremiah warned that Jerusalem would be destroyed and the Jews would be  taken away as captives to the land of Babylon. The words of Jeremiah were violently rejected and he was continually persecuted, but God warned them at the beginning of his ministry not to be "afraid of their faces". While Jeremiah was in prison grieving over the sins of his people the Lord came to him and said "behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant" (Jeremiah 31). Soon afterwards Jerusalem was indeed destroyed in 586 BC as Jeremiah prophesied. But he claimed that their captivity would only last 70 years and then they would return to their land. Jeremiah also prophesied against the pagan nations around Israel. Later he was forced to go and live in the land of Egypt and there is no record of what happened to him.

The prophet Jeremiah began his ministry during the reign of King Josiah, and he prophesied the Word of the Lord until the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC when Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came and destroyed the city and her Temple (Jeremiah 1), and he continued to prophesy even after this event. Jeremiah began ministering in 627 BC during the reign of King Josiah, he was the "son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth" which was a city near Jerusalem. When the Lord called him he was very young (Jeremiah 1:6), and the Lord revealed to him that his word would be rejected and yet he was not to be afraid of their faces. They also learned that an enemy from the North would come and bring about the destruction of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 1:11-16), and this time it would not be the Assyrians as with the northern kingdom of Israel, but it would be the Babylonians. All the kings who reigned during the time of Jeremiah were: Josiah, Jehoa-haz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin and Zedekiah and Jerusalem was destroyed in the 11th year of the reign of king Zedekiah in 586 BC. The event of the burning of the city of Jerusalem and of the Temple of Solomon is found in 2 Kings 25:8,9 and Jeremiah 52:12-13.

Jeremiah was quick to obey God and to reveal to the children of Israel in Judah their sins, and as God had warned him he was hated with much hostility both in his hometown of Anathoth and in Jerusalem (Jeremiah 11:18-23). It even indicates that his own family "dealt treacherously" with him (Jeremiah 12:6), but this was a calm before the storm for Jeremiah who was known as the weeping prophet. Because of his fearless prophesying during the reigns of the next four kings of Judah, and the fact that he predicted the destruction of Jerusalem because of the people's sins he was hated all the more. He went into hiding because of the wrath of Jehoiakim who had cut up his book of prophecies and burned them. Judah finally went into a first wave of captivity by the Babylonians under Jehoiachin, and they placed Zedekiah in his stead as a puppet king. Eventually Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon but was warned by Jeremiah not to do so (Jeremiah 27:12). Finally the inevitable happened, on the terrifying day of Av 9 in the Jewish calendar Nebuchadnezzar's forces destroyedthe Temple of Solomon and the city of Jerusalem making true all of Jeremiah's prophecies about the Babylonian invasion.

Jeremiah stayed in Jerusalem but finally was forced to go to Egypt and his companion and secretary, Baruch came with him. They are in Egypt, in the city of Tahpanhes we have the last mention of Jeremiah's life, and after this there is no information and nothing is certain. His book was completed and he lived a very long life. According to Christian tradition the Jews at Tahpanhes, hating him for his prophecies stoned him to death. There is also a Jewish tradition that when Nebuchadnezzar had conquered Egypt, Jeremiah and Baruch had escaped to the land of Judea where they were allowed to die in peace.

The book of Jeremiah is recognized as his own writings and a complete book just like the book of Isaiah. In Jeremiah 36:1-2, 4, 8, 32 it is written that Jeremiah collected his own writings and prophecies, some speculate that he put the book together with Baruch in the land of Egypt but there is no way to know for certain.

Jeremiah's prophecies consisted of these primary messages:

1 ) The impending destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon;
2 ) the possibility of averting this destruction by repentance;
3 ) the submitting to Babylonian rule after it becomes apparent that domination is inevitable;
4 ) Babylon herself will be destroyed, never to rise again; and
5 ) Judah will return from captivity and eventually achieve an unsurpassed glory.

Outline of the Book of Jeremiah

The prophecies contained in the book are not in chronological order, a factor which makes logical analysis somewhat difficult; however, the following general divisions of the material is outlined here:

1) The call of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1).
2) The depravity of Judah and the inevitability of destruction from the north (Jeremiah 2-6).
3) The illusions of temple security (Jeremiah 7-10). In this section Jeremiah weeps over the attitude of the people that their formal observance of the temple services will save them from destruction. He warns them that genuine repentance is their only hope.
4) Jeremiah's complaint over his own miserable estate and the infidelity of the Jews of the covenant (Jeremiah 11-12).
5) Further preaching and signs of the impending doom (Jeremiah 13-25). In Jeremiah 25, Jeremiah predicted that the length of the captivity would be 70 years.
6) Prophecies and events during the reigns of the last kings of Judah (Jeremiah 26-39 ).
7) Prophecies and events in Judah after the captivity (Jeremiah 40-41).
8) Jeremiah's activity after he is forced to flee to Egypt (Jeremiah 42-51). After a final exhortation to abandon idolatry (Jeremiah 44), the bulk of this section consists of prophecies against foreign nations, including a prediction of the eventual fall and desolation of Babylon.
9) A summary chapter on the captivity of Judah (Jeremiah 52).

Quick Reference Map
Map of Judah and the Chaldean Empire
Map of Judah and the Chaldean Empire (Click to Enlarge)

Quick Reference Maps - Jeremiah

Judah During the Time of Hezekiah

The New Babylonian Empire and Isaiah

Sites and Events in 2 Kings

Israel and Judah - The kingdoms of Israel and Judah during the period of the kings can be seen on this map. After Solomon had died there was a civil war and 10 tribes took to the north and were called the northern kingdom of Israel, and every king was evil and forsook the LORD. The remaining 2 tribes stayed in the south and were called the southern kingdom of Judah, several of those kings trusted in the LORD.

Mesha's Kingdom - The Bible reveals that Mesha, the king of Moab rebelled against Jehoram the king of Israel (2 Kings 3:4-5). Jehoram requested the help of Judah and Jehoshaphat allied with him, he sought Elisha the prophet and victory was predicted, only because of the faith of Jehoshaphat. Mesha sought the god Chemosh and sacrificed his own son (2 Kings 3:27).

Israel and Syria Naaman the leper, captain of the Syrian army was healed by a miracle at the command of Elisha the prophet (2 Kings 5). At that time Aram (Syria) was a dominant fighting machine in the north under the leadership of Ben-Hadad, who was later murdered by Hazael (2 Kings 8:15).

Syria at Its Height - 2 Kings 10 reveals that Hazael of Syria smote all the coasts of Israel and the east Jordan territory expanding the kingdom of Damascus. Jehu knew that he would need to rely on a foreign power for help and he turned to Shalmanessar IV, King of Assyria.

The Kingdom of Jeroboam II - 2 Kings 14:25 indicates that Jeroboam II, fourth king from the line of Jehu, brought the northern kingdom of Israel to its greatest extent in the north. This was just after Syria was severely crushed by the Assyrians who had recently returned home to regroup.

Habor, the River of Gozan - In 2 Kings 17:6 the Bible says that the King of Assyria (Sargon II) conquered Samaria and took away the remaining inhabitants of Israel as prisoners to Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gorzan, and in the cities of the Medes. The river of Gorzan is identified as the river Khabur, a tributary of the Euphrates river which flows into it from the north from southern Turkey.

The Cities of Samaria and the Surrounding Lands - The Bible records in second Kings 17:24 that the King of Assyria (Sargon II) brought colonists from many of the cities within the Assyrian Empire: Babylon, Cuthah, Ava, Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed the inhabitants within the cities of Samaria to replace the children of Israel who would been taken into captivity.

The Assyrian Empire When Sennacherib Came to Power - Israel was destroyed, Judah was left and Hezekiah a man who sought the LORD had come to power in 720 BC. He offered tribute to Sennacherib but Jerusalem was was still a target for the Assyrian ruler.

The Assyrian Empire During the Reign of Esarhaddon - Esarhaddon marches into Egypt and extends the Assyrian Empire. 2 Kings 19

Necho Battles Josiah - Pharaoh Necho on his way to the Euphrates slays King Josiah at Megiddo. 2 Kings 23

The Captivity of the Ten Tribes - The ten tribes in the northern kingdom of Israel were conquered by the Assyrians in 722 BC and taken to the land of Assyria as captives.

Judah Captives in Babylon - The remaining remnant of Judah were taken as prisoners to Babylon as predicted by Jeremiah the prophet.

The Babylonian, Mede and Persian Empires - Pharaoh Necho is defeated by Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon who also destroyed Jerusalem in 586 BC. Later the Mede and Persian Empires defeated Babylon and governed the world in the sixth century BC until Alexander the Great.

 

The First Day. Light.

Jeremiah Resources

The Divided Kingdom
The Northern Kingdom of Israel
The Southern Kingdom of Judah
The Assyrian Captivity
The Babylonian Captivity
The Return From Babylon
The Prophets
The Messiah

The Book of Jeremiah

More About the Book of Jeremiah
Jeremiah in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
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