Understanding The Bible
E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETIC BOOKS
JEREMIAH: Expanded appendix
The book of Jeremiah consists of history, biography, and prophecy. The mission of the prophet was a sad one, as he had to speak concerning the apostasy of the chosen people and the destruction of the Holy City, sanctuary, and nation. His ministry was exercised amid sin and judgment.
Jeremiah lived and ministered about a century later than Isaiah. He prophesied during the reigns of the last five kings of Judah: Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin (Coniah or Jeconiah), and Zedekiah. After Judah was taken captive, he then remained in the land with the poor who were not taken to Babylon, and later journeyed to Egypt with the remnant.
Jeremiah was a priest at Anathoth. His father's name was Hilkiah, probably not the High Priest of that name. There can be no doubt that he belonged to an influential family. His uncle Shallum was married to Huldah the prophetess, and he was received with great respect by some of the kings of Judah, particularly Zedekiah. His call to the prophetic office was clear (1:4-10). He was qualified for his work by Jehovah, receiving from Him both the message and the gift.
Jeremiah was a priest, while Isaiah was a prince. Jeremiah-went in unto God on behalf of men, yet had an intense priestly zeal for the holiness of God. Jonah was angry because his prophecy was not fulfilled; Jeremiah was heartbroken for the people on whom he had prophesied judgment. Isaiah is the evangelical prophet; Jeremiah, the weeping prophet. Jeremiah is called the "weeping prophet, " because his life and ministry were sad in the extreme. He was forbidden to marry, suffered persecution, and carried on his ministry with the assurance that it would be in vain.
Jeremiah prophesied before and during the Babylonian conquests, from about 627-575 BC (Whitcomb). He is contemporary with Nahum, Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Daniel, Ezekiel,. and Obadiah (Daniel and Ezekiel prophesying only DURING the captivities).
Introduction: The prophet's call and commission 1
DIVISION I MESSAGES TO JUDAH 2-45
DIVISION II. MESSAGES TO GENTILE
Appendix: Historical conclusion 52
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