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Prophet of doom and hope.
Jeremiah was Yahweh' s reluctant prophet to Judah and:Jerusalem through the reigns of Josiah (l8 yrs) Jehoahaz (3 months) , Jehoiakim (ll yrs), Jehoiachin (3 months) and Zedekiah (ll yrs), Judah's last king until he come whose right it is. This is a total of 40yrs, when Jerusalem fell to Nebuchadnezzar (compare Mtt.23, 24 AD70 - 40 yrs on from the beginning of Christ's ministry). Jeremiah types Christ in his escatology and sufferings.
His message was essentially one of warning of pending judgment on the apostate house of Judah, and is no different to the end of Gentile times and the state of the ecclesial camp which fails to heed the warnings. The political setting and background is Babylon.
Jeremiah was hated because of his message and was despised and rejected by the Jewish (ecclesial) elders, suffering persecution and potential death (Jer. 11.21, Jer.20.2, Jer.38.6), prefiguring Christ at the hands of the elders of Judah. He had few friends, and was a valiant man standing alone amidst a sea of Apostasy, but with saving words to those few who would listen (Jer.l7.7,8). At times he desired to flee away (Jer.9.2), and wished that he had never been born, so agrieved was he, at the end of his tether with contending against error and apostasy (Jer.20.l4-18).
He was instructed to keep separate, but to pluck out the precious from the vile (Jer.l5. 17,19), and so as to highlight Judah as the faithless bride, who Yahweh rejected, he was instructed not to marry (Jer.l6.8), nor even to pray for them (Jer 4. 11). They were so far gone that even the greatest of lsrael's intercessor's (Moses and Samuel) could not have availed any (Jer.l5.1) ,
Jeremiah warned and prophesied of the 70 years captivity in Babylon (Jer.25), but also he
held out the prospect of a glorious national restoration under Messiah (e.g. Jer.30, 31, 33),
coincident with the destruction of their enemies.
Bro Richard Lister
The Apocalyptic Messenger, Sept 2019
1 The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah [Divrei Yirmeyah ben Chilkiyah], of the priests [kohanim] that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin [Anatot in Eretz Binyamin]:
These words were Yahweh' s words spoken by the prophet who gave him utterance (v. 7). Jeremiah means Yah will throw down or Yahweh exalteth from root ramah. So it is a cipher for his message to punish apostate Judah, but to exalt those who remain faithful amidst the Apostasy.
Hiikiah (=portion of Yah) his father, was High priest in the time of Josiah (2Kgs 22.4·14), and who embarked on restoration of the Temple and renewal of the Law finding the torah scrolls in the Temple.
Anathoth (=Answer), 2-3 miles north of Jerusalem, was a possession of the House of Aaron (priestly class) (Josh.21.18), who turned against Jeremiah (Jer. 11.21-23), as the Pharisees did against Christ.
Jeremiah commenced his ministry in the 13th year of Josiah (V.2). Josiah reigned 31 yrs, so that, 18 of the 40 yrs ministry was in the reign of Josiah. The prophet was very cut up when Josiah was suddenly slain in battle (2 Chron.35.25) since he knew that dark times would follow the death of this righteous king.
There was great lamentation.
Bro Richard Lister
The Apocalyptic Messenger, Sept 2019.
2 To whom the word of Yahweh came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign.
3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month.
James recommends when he says, "Take, my brethren, the prophets who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction and of patience." Jeremiah is more serviceable in this respect than almost any of the prophets, for we get closer to him, and observe the shades of his individual feelings in the various circumstances in which he was placed.
His prophecy is remarkable for the absence of all pompous introduction. Nothing could be more bald or literal than the preface which describes him ...
...What a total absence is there here of any attempt to magnify the importance of Jeremiah and his writings. How unlike in this respect to all ordinary literary efforts; how indicative, amongst many things, of the genuine character of his communications from God. *
4 Then the word of Yahweh came unto me, saying,
5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
...he had been ordained a prophet before his birth. The natural corollary of this as a matter of human thought would have been one of two things, and perhaps both; first, that God would have made Jeremiah a strong, self-sufficient, impervious man, proof against all trouble; and secondly, that Jeremiah would at least have had a strong sense of his capacity for the work to which he was called. Instead of that, the very first response of Jeremiah is...*
6 Then said I, Ah, Adonai Yahweh! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.
...we have Jeremiah's extreme sense of unfitness for the work to which he was called...This response never could have been written but for the sincere experience of the sentiment; and it never could have found entrance into a human conception of a prophet's mission.
It is a characteristic that crops up very frequently in the history of God's use for men. Even Moses, that first and greatest of the prophets, raised a similar objection, a sense of extreme self-deficiency; and Paul confesses to the same feeling.
Such a feature naturally belongs to the genuine employment by God of men for purposes of revelation. It is easy to understand that Omnipotence would employ weak human mediums in the revelation of divine purposes and wishes: human importances and self-confidences would naturally have been in the way. Jeremiah appears very far from one in the position of self-confidence. At this very opening interview he is divinely exhorted to be strong, because he was feeling weak. *
7 But Yahweh said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.
17 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.
Thus authorised, Jeremiah goes forth to his work, and soon finds it the most painful work a man could have been called to; so painful that he wished himself dead. "Cursed be the day wherein I was born; let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed. Cursed be the man that brought tidings unto my father, saying, A man child is born unto thee, making him very glad. Let that man be as the cities which the Lord overthrew, because he slew me not from the womb. Wherefore came I forth to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?" *
* TC Exhort 275