Back to List of Books

Jeremiah

The book of Jeremiah is the second of the four "major" prophets and it contains 52 chapters.

Jeremiah, son of Hilkiah, was a priest who lived during the reigns of Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiachin and Zedekiah, Kings of Judah about 628-583 BC. This was about 70 years after Isaiah when Babylon threatened to overrun Judah.

God directly inspired Jeremiah. He was young when God called him and he did not want to be a prophet but he later said that even if he decided not to prophesy, God's Word could not be resisted (20:9).

God chose Jeremiah to speak about His judgements, which were to come about on all nations (1:10) and especially on Judah and Jerusalem (1:18). He had to tell the Jews to submit to Babylon, as it was God's way of trying to teach them. For preaching such a message, Jeremiah was cast into a muddy dungeon and left to die (38:6).

So much of Jeremiah's prophecy had to be about God's judgements that he is often spoken of as a miserable prophet. In fact, some people use the word "Jeremiah" to mean a pessimist, one who always looks on the black side.

Jeremiah was right. Babylon did overthrow Judah and Egypt and the other nations. But those, who like Jeremiah, believed God, were spared even though they were in captivity.

Jeremiah did not only prophesy doom. He spoke of the time when God would restore Israel:
(a) After 70 years in Babylon (25:11-12)
(b) After centuries of scattering and persecution throughout the world (chapters 31-33).

God speaks of Himself as being like a potter - with complete control over what He makes (18:6). He is able to mould His people into shape, if they will let Him. On the other hand, He will destroy those who become so hardened that they cannot be changed (19:11,15).

God's Prophecies Fulfilled:

After 70 years in Babylon some of the Jews returned as predicted (see Ezra 1:1; Daniel 9:2).
In our own era, after centuries of scattering and persecution worldwide, the Jews have been returning to the Land of Israel, as was foretold.
In 1917 the Balfour Declaration promised Palestine (then under Turkish rule) as a national homeland for the Jews.
In 1948 the State of Israel was proclaimed; and in 1967 Jerusalem was unified as its capital city (see Luke 21:24).

Jeremiah's prophesying placed him in great personal danger from his own countrymen. His experiences were rather like those of Jesus, who was rejected by his countrymen. Jesus has been raised from the dead, like Jeremiah was brought out of the pit. He is still alive and his words will come true.

 

If you cannot see the blue links section and the BibleQuizzes.co.uk logo to the top and left of this page,
please click here to open the site within its correct frameset, then click on the BOOKSHELF link.