LESSON 25 THE BOOK OF JEREMIAH
The Book of Jeremiah is the longest in the Bible, coming from the hand of a single writer or author. These prophecies and events of his life cover about forty-four years, one of the most stirring periods of Hebrew history. He proclaimed a message of doom to the stiff-necked people of Judah.
THE PROPHET JEREMIAH: Jeremiah was the son of Hilkiah the priest and lived just over two miles north of Jerusalem in Anathoth. Because of his radical message of God's judgment through the coming Babylonian invasion, he led a life of conflict and was forbidden to marry (16:2).
The book clearly states that Jeremiah is its author (1:1). Jeremiah dictated all his prophecies to his secretary Baruch, from the beginning of his ministry until the fourth year of Jehoiakim. After this scroll was destroyed by the King, Jeremiah dictated a more complete edition to Baruch (See 36-38).
There are three stages in Jeremiah's ministry:
1. From 627 to 605 B.C. he prophesied while Judah was threatened by Assyria and Egypt.
2. From 605 to 586 B.C. he proclaimed God's judgment while Judah was threatened and besieged by Babylon.
3. From 586 to about 580 B.C. he ministered in Jerusalem and Egypt after Judah's downfall.
This segment of history may be found in II Kings 22-25.
CHRIST OF JEREMIAH: The Messiah is clearly seen in 23:1-8 as the coming Shepherd and righteous branch who "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." (23:5-6)
THE NEW COVENANT: Jeremiah 31:31-34 spells out the only hope for his people and the effects that it would have. The Lord told him of this New Covenant; a Covenant of grace, not law: not an outward command demanding obedience - but an inward renewal causing them to have a holy desire and motive. This New Covenant was to be centered in the Son of David. When Jesus came this New Covenant was sealed by His own blood.
Hebrews 8:6-7 Note verses 8-12
KEY WORD: JUDAH'S LAST CHANCE: God delays judgment and appeals to His people to repent before it is to late. God's warning is clear; Judah's time for repentance will soon pass. Because they defy God's word and refuse to repent, the Babylonian captivity is inevitable. Jeremiah lists the moral and spiritual causes for the coming disaster, but he also proclaims God's gracious promise of hope and restoration.
SURVEY OF JEREMIAH: Jeremiah is not easy to arrange chronologically or thematically, but the basic theme is clear; surrendering to God's will is the only way to escape calamity. The divisions are:
The Prophecies of Jeremiah 1 - 51 (A. Judah 2 - 45 B. Gentiles 46 - 51)
The Fall of Jerusalem 52
The Prophecies of Jeremiah
Chapter 1 serves as an introduction or preface, emphasizing Jeremiah's call, ordination and instruction.
The Prophecies to Judah
Jeremiah's message is communicated through a variety of Parables, sermons, and object lessons. In a series of twelve graphic messages, the prophet lists the cause of Judah's coming judgment.
The Prophecies to the Gentiles
These chapters are a series of prophetic oracles against nine nations.
The Fall of Jerusalem
Jeremiah's forty-year declaration of doom was finally vindicated in an event so significant that it is recorded in detail four times in the Scriptures. In this historical supplement, Jerusalem is captured, destroyed, and plundered. The leaders are killed and taken captive into Babylon.
1. Describe Jeremiah.
2. What covenant did Jeremiah see and record?
3. Describe the historical situation surrounding Jeremiah's prophecies.
4. What is the only way for us as a people and nation to avoid calamity?
FOR NEXT TIME:
Read the Book of Lamentations.