Where Was Jeremiah Born?

As Jeremiah 1:1 and Jeremiah 29:27 state, Jeremiah was born in the city of Anathoth.

But how much do you know about that place? Let’s consider a few facts about Anathoth that might just surprise you.

Anathoth’s Location

Anathoth was a city in the territory of Benjamin.

Anathoth’s Ownership

Anathoth was a city originally given over to the Levites by Joshua as is recorded in the book bearing his name (Joshua 21:17-18). The record of that transaction is also attested to in 1 Chronicles 6:60.

The Origin of Anathoth’s Name

Like many cities in Israel, this one was named after a person. Anathoth was actually the son of a man named Becher (1 Chronicles 7:6,8). And Becher was the son of Benjamin.

So the family tree goes…

  1. Benjamin
  2. Becher
  3. Anathoth

Anathoth’s Notable Residents

Abiathar

Abiathar the priest in King David’s time also lived in Anathoth (1 Kings 2:26).

Abiezer

Abiezer the Anathothite was one of David’s thirty mighty men (2 Samuel 23:27 and 1 Chronicles 11:28). He was not a priest, but was a Benjamite commander of the army under David (1 Chronicles 27:1,12).

Jehu

Jehu, who was from Anathoth, joined David’s army in Ziklag when David was being pursued by Saul (1 Chronicles 12:3).

Anathoth in the Book of Jeremiah

God promises judgement on the men of this city in Jeremiah’s time because they were threatening Jeremiah’s life (Jeremiah 11:21,23).

God later commanded Jeremiah to buy a field in Anathoth about one year before he exiled Judah by means of the nation of Babylon (Jeremiah 32:7-9). By this act of purchasing a field there, the Lord was indicating that he would restore Judah to their land in the future (Jeremiah 32:15).

Anathoth’s Restoration

After the seventy years of Judah’s exile in Babylon, 128 men from Judah returned to Anathoth (Ezra 2:23; Nehemiah 7:27; Nehemiah 11:31-32).

Who Was Jeremiah’s Father?

Jeremiah’s Father, In Brief

There’s a short answer to this question. The father of the prophet Jeremiah was a man named Hilkiah (Jeremiah 1:1).

But there’s a more involved answer to the question, “Who was Jeremiah’s father?”

Jeremiah’s Father: a Priest

Since Jeremiah was a priest who lived in Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin (Jeremiah 1:1), we can be sure that his father was a priest.

Jeremiah’s Father: From Benjamin, But Not a Benjamite

But we know for sure that his father wasn’t a Benjamite. How do we know? Because the priests in Israel didn’t come from Benjamin. They came from another son of Jacob — Levi.

Jeremiah’s Father Ministered Right Before His Son’s Time

So, Jeremiah’s father was a priest. Do we know of any priests in the Bible named Hilkiah around the time when Jeremiah was ministering?

Remember, Jeremiah served the Lord and his people during the reigns of…

  1. King Josiah
  2. King Shallum/Jehoahaz
  3. King Jehoiakim/Eliakim
  4. King Jehoiachin/Jeconiah/Coniah
  5. King Zedekiah/Mattaniah
  6. Governor Gedaliah (and the other few who tried to lead the people who remained of Judah after the Babylonian exile)

So, was there a priest named Hilkiah who lived and ministered somewhere around the beginning of Josiah’s reign?

There was a Hilkiah spoken of in Josiah’s day!

Hilkiah: A (High) Priest

This Hilkiah was a priest — a high priest, that is (2 Kings 22:4,8).

Hilkiah Found the Book of the Law

And he was actually the one who found the book of the Law in the Temple (2 Kings 22:8; 2 Chronicles 34:15).

Hilkiah Had a Zeal for the Lord

This man also was at Josiah’s right hand as the king made all of his righteous reforms in Judah (2 Kings 23:4; 2 Chronicles 35:8). He was at the center of the action of the religious reforms that Josiah made — the reforms that God’s word of judgement led to!

So, is this Hilkiah the high priest Jeremiah’s father? It’s possible — even likely!

Hilkiah Would Have Influenced His Children

But it makes sense. Can you imagine Jeremiah growing up in the house of a man who had found God’s word after it had been missing for so long? Can you imagine the zeal for the Law that this father must have had? Can you imagine that some of that zeal would rub off on his sons?

Jeremiah’s Father, in Summary

So, the final word is that we can’t absolutely prove that Hilkiah the high priest of Josiah’s day is the father of Jeremiah. But we can’t disprove it either. And it makes for a really intriguing backstory to the book of the prophecies of Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 1 Summary

This Jeremiah 1 summary contains a number of links to several fine articles that seek to explain the first chapter of this Old Testament prophetic book.

Jeremiah 1 Summary | Father

We begin by exploring who Jeremiah’s Father was.

Jeremiah 1 Summary | Birth

We then explore where Jeremiah was born.

Jeremiah 1 Summary | Kings

We consider which kings reigned during Jeremiah’s ministry. And then we stop to talk about why God only mentions three kings in Jeremiah 1.

Jeremiah 1 Summary | Prophet or Priest?

Next, we examine whether Jeremiah was a prophet or a priest.

Jeremiah 1 Summary | Ministry Start

Then we turn to consider when exactly Jeremiah started his ministry.

Jeremiah 1 Summary | Foreknowledge

Have you ever asked if God can know someone before they’re born? Well, that’s exactly what God claims of Jeremiah – he knew him before he was born.

Jeremiah 1 Summary | God’s Call

You can explore to whom God sent Jeremiah. That is – God sent him to be a prophet to the nations.

Jeremiah 1 Summary | His Doubt

And then we consider Jeremiah’s response to God’s call on his life.

Jeremiah 1 Summary | God’s Response

But God responds to Jeremiah’s doubt with assurance.

Jeremiah 1 Summary | Almond Tree

God gives Jeremiah a vision of an almond tree.

Jeremiah 1 Summary | Boiling Pot

Then God gives Jeremiah a vision of a boiling pot.

Jeremiah 1 Summary | Conclusion

Finally, God ends his commissioning of Jeremiah.

What is the Message of the Book of Jeremiah?

So how would you summarize all of what we’ve considered in the summaries of Jeremiah 1-6, 7-2021-2627-29, 30-35, and 36-52?

In other words, what is the book of Jeremiah really about?

Punishment?

Is it about punishment?

It is. But there’s more to it than that.

After all, we see in Jeremiah 36-52 that both Ebed-Melech and Baruch are singled out for reward in this book – not punishment.

And if the book of Jeremiah could be summed up in the concept of punishment, then where would the Book of Encouragement fall? Much of that section is not about punishment. It’s about deliverance and restoration.

(Un)Faithfulness?

What else? The unfaithfulness of Judah and the faithfulness of God? Those concepts are surely here as well.

But these concepts don’t justify the presence of – for example – the prophecies to the nations.

So, punishment is prominent. God’s faithfulness is on display. His people’s unfaithfulness is also very apparent. But I think these concepts don’t fully describe this book and convey its message.

Authority

So let me propose something. Everywhere I look in the book of Jeremiah I see one thing. God’s authority. His authority and control of every situation. And not only his control of the current situation in Jeremiah’s day – but his control of the future.

Think about it…

  • God sovereignly calls Jeremiah to be his spokesman.
  • God has the authority to call his people to account for their abandoning him.
  • God has authority to dole out punishment for those who reject his authority.
  • Interestingly enough, God’s authority even allows for people to reject that authority!
  • But the people who do reject his authority meet with a bitter end.
  • While those who submit to God’s authority live and are blessed.
  • In Jeremiah’s day the nations of the world had long ago thrown off God’s authority.
  • But God is still ultimately in control and he would punish those nations that rebelled against his authority.
  • And what do you know – the very last chapter of this book shows the blessings of one of those kings who actually submitted to God’s authority. King Jeconiah submitted – however imperfectly – to that one authoritative command of God about going over to Babylon. And as a result Jeconiah lived.

So, then I think that God’s authority is undeniably at the heart of this book. And our responsibility as creatures of this sovereign king is to submit to that authority. And we see several instances in this book in which someone actually gets it right and submits to God’s authority. And the result is – life.

And so, I think that’s the message of the book of Jeremiah. Submit to God’s Authority and Live.

A Summary of Jeremiah 36 – 52

Jeremiah 36–45 | The Bitter End

Now, I have labeled Jeremiah 36-45 as The Bitter End.

What we have in these 10 chapters is generally chronological with a few flashbacks. And it details the temporary end of the nation of Judah’s occupation of the Promised Land at the hands of Babylon.

Within this section I see 6 sub-sections.

Jeremiah 36 | Jehoiakim Didn’t Tremble at God’s Word

First, Jeremiah 36 shows us that King Jehoiakim Didn’t Tremble at God’s Word.

God sends his message of punishment to the people in the days of Jehoiakim in hopes that the people will repent and he could spare them.

Jeremiah somehow by this time is not allowed into the Temple. So he sends the message with Baruch his scribe. On a fast day a few months later Baruch gives the message to the people.

The people hear but we don’t know their reaction. The officials hear and tremble. They relate the message to the king… who burns it up.

God promises then to bring all the punishment that was contained in that burned-up message.

Jeremiah 37–39:14 | Zedekiah Wavers

The second sub-section jumps forward quite a bit to Zedekiah’s reign. This sub-section chronicles the Wavering of Zedekiah in Jeremiah 37-39:14.

Zedekiah wavers between protecting Jeremiah and handing him over to his enemies. In addition, Zedekiah is faced with trusting God and going over to the Babylonians. But he won’t do it.

As a result he ultimately witnesses the murder of his children and then experiences the blinding of his own eyes. Ultimately Jerusalem is taken by Babylon and all the people – besides the poorest of the poor – are exiled.

But Jeremiah is treated well.

Jeremiah 39:15-18 | Flashback: Ebed Melech Saved by Faith

At the end of Jeremiah 39 there’s an interesting flashback. And it seems that the message of this flashback in Jeremiah 39:15-18 is Ebed-Melech Saved by Faith.

As opposed to Zedekiah’s terrible and yet merciful fate, Ebed-Melech who helped Jeremiah and trusted God is promised deliverance.

So, that’s the third sub-section of this Bitter End of Judah.

Jeremiah 40–43 | Gedaliah / Johanan

Then fourth, in Jeremiah 40-43 we have The Gedaliah/Johanan Fiasco.

After deporting most of the Jews from the land Babylon appoints Gedaliah to govern Judah. But one of the king’s relatives kills him and takes the captives to the nation of Ammon. Johanan rescues them and brings them to Bethlehem intending to escape to Egypt. They ask God’s counsel – “should we go to Egypt or stay in the Promised Land?” – while fully intending to go to Egypt. God and Jeremiah rebuke them for this. But the remnant won’t listen and they proceed to Egypt. God sends word in Egypt to Jeremiah that he will send Babylon against Egypt.

Jeremiah 44 | To the Jews in Egypt

The fifth sub-section — which consists of Jeremiah 44 — is God’s Message to the Jews in Egypt.

God sends a message to the Jews who rebelled by going to Egypt. They will meet their end there. God would rather have them repent and stop worshipping idols.

However, Israel doesn’t care what God wants and defies God’s message as delivered through Jeremiah. So God will overthrow all of Egypt on account of his rebellious people there.

Jeremiah 45 | Flashback: Baruch

Then we have one last flashback in Jeremiah 45. And in this shortest chapter of Jeremiah, we see Baruch Rewarded with Life.

At the end of this main section that details the historical catastrophe that came upon the Jews for their disobedience, we’re brought back to the 4th year of Jehoiakim and we’re reminded of a promise that God made to Baruch, Jeremiah’s scribe.

It turns out that Baruch was seeking great things in a society that was crumbling to pieces. And so God told him to stop doing that, since God was going to uproot the whole nation in which he lived. But God would deliver Baruch.

Jeremiah 46–51 | Prophecies Concerning the Nations

Then in Jeremiah 46-51 we have Prophecies Concerning the Nations.

God foretells the destruction of 8 nations at the hands of Babylon. Finally he tells of the future destruction of Babylon at the hands of the Medes.

And as I mentioned before, the end of chapter 51 ends the “words of Jeremiah”.

Jeremiah 52 | God’s Promises Fulfilled

And then the absolute last section of this book. Jeremiah 52. It’s the Conclusion: God’s Promises Fulfilled.

All of what God spoke through Jeremiah concerning the punishment of Judah came to pass. Jerusalem was taken. Zedekiah and the Jews were exiled. The city was burned with fire. But the one king who had willingly gone over to Babylon – Jeconiah – was eventually treated well in captivity.

A Summary of Jeremiah 30 – 35

Jeremiah 30–34:7 | Book of Encouragement

And at this point — having summarized Jeremiah 1-6, 7-20, 21-26, and 27-29 — you need to admit that things are looking pretty bleak. Sin has brought God’s punishment and no one is getting out of this unscathed.

But this is exactly where God nuances his tone a bit. In Jeremiah 30-34:7 God still does recognize his need of judging the sinful rebels in Judah. But he looks beyond that immediate judgement to a time of restoration. And it’s for this reason that these 4-plus chapters are often called in the academic literature on Jeremiah the Book of Consolation or the Book of Encouragement. And within this larger Book of Encouragement there are a few sub-sections.

Jeremiah 30:1-3 | Introduction

Jeremiah 30:1-3 serve as a short introduction to this Book of Encouragement.

Jeremiah 30:4-31 | Concerning Israel & Judah

Following that to the end of chapter 31 we have Encouragements Concerning Israel and Judah. God gives prophecies of future restoration and a new covenant with Israel and Judah in the midst of his current punishment for their sin.

Jeremiah 32 | Jeremiah Redeems a Field

Then in Jeremiah 32 we have a story about Jeremiah Redeeming a Field.

As a continuation of the book of consolation, Jeremiah is told by God to buy a field in Anathoth from his relative – though Jeremiah himself is in prison. God is signifying by this that in the future God will restore Judah to its land and that people will buy fields once again.

This is all in the context of the last year before Jerusalem was taken by Babylon.

Jeremiah 33 | David, Levi, & Jacob Will Never End

Next in Jeremiah 33 God promises that David, Levi, & Jacob Will Never End.

Jeremiah – still imprisoned like he was in the last chapter – receives word from the Lord that God will restore Judah. In particular, he will restore the cities of Judah and preserve sons of David and sons of the Levites to minister to himself.

Also promised – just like in chapter 23 – is the coming of the Righteous Branch of David.

Jeremiah 34:1-7 | Zedekiah Will Not Die

And the last part of this Book of Encouragement is in Jeremiah 34:1-7 where God says that Zedekiah Will Not Die.

In the midst of the great siege of Babylon against Jerusalem, God sends Jeremiah to King Zedekiah to relay a message. The message is that God will not allow Zedekiah to die. Zedekiah will lose to Nebuchadnezzar, but he will live and even have a decent burial.

And that ends the Book of Encouragement.

Jeremiah 34–35 | Promise Keeping

Then in the rest of Jeremiah 34 and to the end of 35 we’re taught The Importance of Keeping Promises. And this breaks into two sub-sections.

Jeremiah 34:8-22 | Jubilee Covenant Violated

First in Jeremiah 34:8-22 we see The Jubilee Covenant Violated.

King Zedekiah and the officials in Jerusalem apparently released their Hebrew servants in keeping with the law of Jubilee. But it seems that when Nebuchadnezzar left briefly they took their servants back by force.

God was not pleased that they broke the covenant they made with their former servants in keeping with Jubilee. So God promises to destroy them.

Jeremiah 35 | Rechabites

And then the second section that teaches the importance of keeping promises – Jeremiah 35 where we see the Rechabites’ Obedience.

In contrast to the broken covenant of Zedekiah’s day just previously related, the Rechabites obeyed a relatively obscure command of their ancestor to not drink wine. They serve as an example to Judah of how to obey.

And yet Judah has not obeyed God like the Rechabites obeyed their ancestor. So God needs to punish Judah. But the Rechabites will always have someone to stand before God as a result of their obedience.

A Summary of Jeremiah 27 – 29

Jeremiah 27–28 | Submit to Babylon

Jeremiah 27 and 28 deal more with Judah’s responsibility to submit to Babylon. Remember? That was God’s gracious provision for the people of Judah to not lose their lives for their disobedience. If they go out and surrender to Babylon, they were promised life.

In Jeremiah 27 God tells Jeremiah to make bonds and wooden yokes, put them on his neck, and then prophesy that God is metaphorically putting the yokes of Babylon on the necks of the surrounding nations and Judah. The message of that metaphor was that the people needed to submit to God’s appointed nation to rule over them. Jeremiah gives this message to King Zedekiah and the priests and all the people. He stresses that they must not listen to the false prophets who are telling them that the exiled king (Jeconiah) and the temple vessels are coming back.

Then in Jeremiah 28 we have Hannaniah & the Broken Yoke. One of those false prophets that God just warned about – Hannaniah was his name – breaks the yoke off Jeremiah’s neck and prophesies a return of the exiled king (Jeconiah) and the temple vessels! Jeremiah then gets a word from God to tell Hannaniah the false prophet that he will die for his false prophesies. And so Hannaniah the false prophet dies two months later.

Jeremiah 29 | Exiles, Live Well in Exile

Jeremiah 29 is a message aimed at the Exiles. They are told to Live Well in Exile.

God sends a letter to the exiles in Babylon through Jeremiah. He tells them to live well in Babylon and to seek the welfare both of themselves and of the cities in which they live.

After 70 years (we’ve heard that number before!) they will be restored to the land. And therefore they need to not listen to the false Jewish prophets in Babylon who are prophesying that they will return to Judah sooner than that. They wouldn’t want to return to Jerusalem if they knew what God was going to do to the Jews who were refusing to leave that city.

So, God singles out a few of the false prophets by name for punishment.

A Summary of Jeremiah 21 – 26

Jeremiah 21–23 | No Favor Without Repentance

As we continue to summarize the various sections of Jeremiah, we notice that the next section spans Jeremiah 21-23. This is what God is communicating in this section – No Favor Without Repentance.

King Zedekiah sends to Jeremiah requesting that God would help him defeat Nebuchadnezzar. God sends back through Jeremiah a response to:

  • Zedekiah
  • The people
  • The king’s household
  • The prophets and priests

The gist of his messages is:

  • Zedekiah will lose
  • Everyone should go out to the king of Babylon
  • Repent and do right before it’s absolutely too late
  • Speak God’s word and not the deceptions of your own mind

This section contains the first mention of Nebuchadnezzar and Chaldea/Babylon. Also, I think we have here the first mention of surrendering to Babylon as an option for the people whereby they might live and escape the full brunt of punishment.

Jeremiah 24 | Exiles Blessed, Remnant Punished

Then Jeremiah 24 seems to be a follow-up to the previous section where blessing was promised for surrendering to Babylon.

Here’s the idea of this section. Exiles Blessed, Remnant Punished.

King Jeconiah did surrender and go out to Babylon and because of that he would be blessed, as we’ll see at the end of this book – in Jeremiah 52. But the Jews who stayed in Jerusalem are going to be punished.

Jeremiah 25 | Judah Not the Sole Recipient of Punishment

Jeremiah 25 has the Lord assuring Judah that She’s Not the Sole Recipient of Punishment.

Both Judah and all the surrounding nations will be punished through the Lord sending Babylon. For seventy years these nations will be exiled. After that God will punish Babylon itself as we’ll hear later toward the end of the book.

Jeremiah 26 | Jerusalem like Shiloh, Jehoiakim not like Hezekiah

Jeremiah 26 compares Jerusalem to Shiloh. But in contrast, it shows that King Jehoiakim was not like righteous King Hezekiah of old.

God sent Jeremiah to proclaim punishment to Jerusalem in the beginning of King Jehoiakim’s reign, hoping that the people would repent.

Instead of repenting, the religious leaders sought to kill Jeremiah. But the people actually rose up and refused to execute him. They reminded their leaders of the prophet Micah’s previous prophecies of judgement and how Hezekiah humbled himself before God’s word.

But then Jeremiah — or someone else — relates a story of how Jehoiakim did indeed kill a true prophet for saying about the same thing that Jeremiah did. But in Jeremiah’s case, Ahikam (son of Shaphan and father of Gedaliah the future governor) was on his side to protect him.

A Summary of Jeremiah 7 – 20

Jeremiah 7–10 | Disobedience Outweighs External Devotion

Jeremiah 7-10 have God proclaiming that Judah’s Disobedience Far Outweighs Their External Religious Devotion.

God makes it clear to Judah through Jeremiah that he’s not interested in religious exercises without true obedience. He will destroy the Temple and exile Judah if they continue their unrepentant idolatry and falsehood.

And even though the Lord holds out the possibility of Judah repenting, he goes so far as to command Jeremiah to not pray for his disobedient, unrepentant, and idolatrous people.

In times past God sent prophets to his people and they haven’t listened. Neither will they listen to Jeremiah.

Judah is then portrayed as wanting to flee from the coming exile and Jeremiah echoes that sentiment.

This section ends with a plea for God to judge the nations who threaten Judah’s existence – even though those nations are being used by the Lord to judge his people.

(Also pay attention to mentions of “wisdom” or “wise men” in this section.)

Jeremiah 11–12 | Covenant & Conspiracy

On to Jeremiah 11:1-12:17. I give the label of Covenant & Conspiracy to this section.

The people of Judah conspire:

  1. Against the Lord’s covenant to disobey both him and it and
  2. Against Jeremiah to kill him.

God tells Jeremiah to not pray for Judah — just like in the last section — and that things will get worse. In fact, Judah will be exiled along with her neighbors. But her neighbors will be allowed to return if they repent in captivity.

Jeremiah 13 | Waistband

In Jeremiah 13 we see the story about the Waistband/Belt.

Perhaps in the days of Jeconiah God has Jeremiah give Judah an object lesson involving a ruined waistband. Just like the waistband, Judah will be ruined. God will make them drunk and will destroy them. He will exile the king and the king’s mother – which is why I think this is in Jeconiah’s day. God will do all this because of Judah’s spiritual and even literal prostitution.

Jeremiah 14–15 | Drought

Jeremiah 14 and 15 stem from a Drought that God sent to Judah at some point, which Jeremiah pictures with words.

Also pictured is Judah’s crying out to the Lord about it, whether they actually did or not. They should have, obviously.

But God cannot remove the punishment of drought because of the people’s disobedience.

God tells Jeremiah again to not pray for the people because of their wickedness.

Jeremiah points out to God that the prophets are deceiving the people. God acknowledges that and pronounces curses on both prophets and people.

Jeremiah laments his birth and God assures him that if he does right then God will deliver him from the coming punishment.

Jeremiah 16–17 | Sympathy & Sabbath

I label Jeremiah 16 and 17 as Sympathy & Sabbath.

Jeremiah is told to not have a family nor to mourn with the people nor rejoice with them — in other words, have no sympathy.

God promises a restoration of the people in the future but not in a very positive manner – hunters and fishers will bring them back, indicating harm done in the process. Jeremiah responds with praise to the Lord.

The Lord issues blessings and cursings and ultimately has Jeremiah remind the people to keep the Sabbath.

Jeremiah 18–20 | Potter, Pot, Passhur

Jeremiah 18-20 speak of the following three things – and they all begin with the same English letter – P:

  • The Potter
  • The Pot
  • Passhur

The Lord gives Jeremiah a picture of how he deals with nations by showing him a potter destroying his work and rebuilding it. Jeremiah communicates this to Judah and they refuse to listen and instead they plot schemes to kill him.

Jeremiah complains to the Lord about this and the Lord tells him to take a clay pot, smash it in front of the leaders of Judah, and proclaim judgement against them.

Passhur the priest hears this message and beats and imprisons Jeremiah. Jeremiah utters the Lord’s word of judgement to Passhur.

The section ends with Jeremiah struggling with the Lord and actually wishing he had been aborted before birth.

A Summary of Jeremiah 1 – 6

I trust that if you’re reading this, you’re already convinced that the book of Jeremiah is worthy of our study. So now we’ll work to break up the book into its narrative units.

And by the way the book of Jeremiah is notoriously difficult to break up into units. But here we go – giving my best to give a breakdown of this book.

1:1-51:64 Jeremiah’s Words

Let’s start with Jeremiah 1:1. Jeremiah 1:1 starts a unit that runs all the way to Jeremiah 51:64. That’s most of the book. But at Jeremiah 51:64 you have this assertion – “Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.” And then you have the final chapter – chapter 52 that we’ll get to. So from Jeremiah 1:1 – Jeremiah 51:64 you have the words of Jeremiah.

And within that 51 chapter section you have thankfully smaller sections.

Jeremiah 1 | Intro & Jeremiah’s Commissioning

Jeremiah 1:1-3 contains an introduction that just explains who’s speaking and when. Then Jeremiah 1:4 to the end of the chapter is basically Jeremiah’s commissioning from the Lord to be a prophet to the nations.

Jeremiah 2:1-3:5 | God Forsaken, Judah Unshaken

In Jeremiah 2:1-3:5 we have what I’ve labeled God Forsaken, Judah Unshaken. Here’s a summary of that section.

Chronic spiritual unfaithfulness from Israel has led to God’s chastisement which was intended to produce repentance in Israel. But it has not produced that intended response. In fact, Israel has constantly done evil at the very same time that she pretends as if nothing is wrong. And instead of returning to the Lord, Israel seeks help from Egypt and Assyria to deal with their problems. Because of this total lack of repentance, God will have to send Israel into exile.

That’s the first major section of this book after the intro and commissioning. We’re off to a sobering start!

Jeremiah 3:6–6 | Future Restoration, Current Punishment

From Jeremiah 3:6 to the end of chapter 6 we have a message of Future Restoration but Current Punishment.

Here – in the days of Josiah, God holds out the possibility of restoration and blessing for Israel and Judah if they only repent. But as things are currently, God simply cannot bless them but must rather punish.

This shift in extremes causes Jeremiah to accuse God of deception. God ignores Jeremiah’s comment and continues to foretell punishment for Israel’s continued disobedience. God accuses Israel of chronic falsehood and adultery (spiritual and physical) and yet they continue their meaningless religious exercises. For this there must be punishment unless they repent.

The prophets have played a devastating part in perpetuating the falsehood and they will be dealt with.

God threatens an invasion from a northern enemy and the eventual exile of his people.

God can’t find one good man in the whole nation that would cause him to relent, but he will continue to use Jeremiah as his spokesman, despite his earlier outburst.