Understanding The Bible
Clarence E. Mason's
"OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETIC BOOKS"
JEREMIAH - EXPOSITORY ANALYSIS
E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETIC BOOKS
JEREMIAH: Expanded appendix
JEREMIAH: EXPOSITORY ANALYSIS
Introduction: The prophet's
call and commission 1
A. The title of the book 1-3
B. The prophet's call to his ministry. 4-10
C. The call confirmed by the signs of 11-16
1. the rod of the almond tree and
2. the seething pot
D. The encouraging exhortation to obedience 17-19
DIVISION I. MESSAGES TO JUDAH 2-45
- Messages before the fall of
- The indictment of the people
and the call to repentance 2-13
- The first message: Entreaty
and warning 2:1-3:5
- The second message: Future
glory conditional upon repentance 3:6-6:30
- Contrast between
Israel and Judah 3:6-11
- The call to repentance
(with promises of blessing) 3:12-25
- The proclamation
of judgment 4:1-6:26 This section describes:
- Judgment described
and declared inevitable 4
- Reason for judgment
5:1-6:21 Their corrupt conduct, Unbelief of the prophetic
message, And their hardness of heart Foretells the taking
of the city.
- Jerusalem will
fall amid suffering 6:22-26
- The prophet strengthened
and encouraged 6:27-30
- The message in the gate
of the temple 7-10
- The sins of those
who profess to worship God 7:1-8:3 Instead of trusting in their
- They are to amend
their ways and doings 7:1-15
- Their prayers
and sacrifices will be rejected because of disobedience and
rejection of the truth 7:16-28
- Because of their
sins and abominations the people themselves are rejected 7:29-8:3
- The judgments upon
those who falsely worship God 8:4-9:26 Caused by:
- Their perpetual
Parenthesis: The prophet's lamentation 8:18-9:2
- Their duplicity
- Their forsaking
of the Law 9:13
- Their worship
of Baal 9:14
- Resulting in
- A satire on idolatry
Parenthesis: The prophet's second lamentation and prayer 10:19-25
NOTE: Punishment for perpetual backsliding (8:5). Key verse is 8:20:
"The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved"!
Not saved! Why not?
chose death 8:3
of intellect 8:8-10
The rejection of God's Word results in the pathetic cry of 8:20
there no balm in Gilead?
is an unfailing remedy.
there no physician there?
the Great Physician.
then is not the health of the daughter of my people of the recovered?
do not avail themselves Physician and His remedy which is held out to
- The message concerning the
broken covenant 11-12
- The curse upon those
who break the covenant 11:1-17
Cp. v. 16 with Psalm 52:8 and Romans 11:17
- The men of Anathoth plot
to kill Jeremiah (who is protected by the Lord) 11:18-23
- The prophet's complaint
and Jehovah's answer 12
- The sign of the marred girdle
A girdle speaks of service. So Israel, the unprofitable servant, is rejected
and will be taken to Babylon.
NOTE: Judicial darkness is threatened. Key is v. 16: "Give glory
... before ... gross darkness" comes upon you. Four kinds of darkness
are mentioned in Scripture.
darkness - Eph. 4:18
darkness - Jn. 3:19
darkness - Jer. 13:16
darkness - Jude 13
- Final exhortation, and
proclamation of judgment 13:18-27
- Prophecies concerning the
fall of Jerusalem 14-38
- Famine - temporal and
- The sign of the drought
It is an indication of Jehovah's determination to punish.
There is no hope for recovery.
- The prophet's grief
and Jehovah's answer 15:10-21
- Sin - where the blood
should be! 16-17
- The sign of the unmarried
prophet (indicating the disruption of the social life of Judah)
- Promise of future
restoration and blessing 16:14-21
- The curse of sin
contrasted with the blessing of Jehovah 17:1-18
Benedict Arnold once wrote: "I see so much baseness and ingratitude
among men, I sometimes blush to think I belong to the same species.
Yet, this one who thought himself so pure became a traitor to
- The message concerning
the Sabbath 17:19-27
- Lessons from the potter's
In both this passage and Romans 9, which should be read together,
it is a matter of privilege in view here on earth, and not a question
of eternal destiny. Why were you born in a Christian country and not
in China or Africa? A matter of privilege.
Reading Scripture in four ways, we have:
- Historically - as
- Spiritually - man
a broken (sinful) vessel;
- Typically - Christ's
body is rent for us, and He makes our vessel over;
- Israel in view.
To Jeremiah, God explains that Divine grace can remake the nation
as a vessel of usefulness to God (18). But, to the elders (19),
the prophet indicates that the nation, as present in that generation,
is to be irreparably destroyed (like a fragile vessel) and the
fragments taken to Babylon. That generation of the nation was
not restored to the land.
Parenthesis: Jeremiah's persecution by Pashur; his perplexity
and complaint 20
- Messages emphasizing
the imminence of siege and captivity 21-24
- The messages concerning
the last four kings of Judah 21-22
- Message to Zedekiah
He will be carried to Babylon but will not see (his eyes were
- Message concerning
Jehoahaz (Shallum) 22:10-12
He will be carried off to Egypt and die there.
- Message concerning
Jehoiakim 22:13-19 (cp. 36:30)
He will die in captivity and have an unworthy burial.
- Message concerning
Jehoiachin (Coniah, Jeconiah) 22:20-30
He will die in captivity.
Parenthesis: God's true King (Messiah) 23:1-8
- He will gather
the scattered flock and reign righteously.
of the false prophets 23:9-40
- The two baskets
of figs 24This sets forth those carried into captivity and
those who remain in Palestine.
- The vision of
the two baskets of figs 24:1-3
- The interpretation
of the vision 24:4-10
- Messages emphasizing
the certainty, and the extent, of the captivity 25-29
- The captivity
to extend 70 years 25:1-11
- Prophecy of events
which will take place among Gentile nations 25:12-38
- (during and following
the 70-year captivity, even to the "end time")
- Concerning Babylon
- Concerning other
nations of that time 13b-28
Afflicted and conquered mainly through Babylon's armies.
- Concerning all
nations (particularly in "end time") 29-38
- The message in the
temple court (Jeremiah's danger and deliverance) 26
The persecution of Jeremiah and martyrdom of Urijah.
- The sign of the yokes
and the death of Hananiah, the false prophet 27-28 The name "Jehoiakim"
(27:1) should read "Zedekiah." See 27:3,12,20.
- Jeremiah's letter
to the Jews of the captivity 29
"You are not returning soon, as the false prophets say. Settle
down. You'll be there a long time."
- Jeremiah and the New
- The original book:
Prophecy of restoration after Great Tribulation 30-31
After the Day of Jacob's Trouble (30:7),
they are to be regathered (31:8) and
a new covenant made with them (31:31-34),
affirmed by the orderly universe (31:35-38).
(Jerusalem has been expanding exactly in pattern with 31:38-40.)
Parenthesis: Jeremiah's experiences during imprisonment were illustrative
of this 32-34
- Jeremiah commanded
to buy Hanameel's, his kinsman's, field 32:1-15
- Jeremiah's prayer
and Jehovah's answer - reaching far beyond Israel's return
from Babylon 32:16-33:26
- The prayer
- The first
- The second
(The great prophecy about the Davidic Kingdom, 33:14-17)
- A personal message
to Zedekiah (upon his issuing a decree liberating slaves)
- A message to
the people (following their failure to keep the decree) 34:12-22b.
Obedience and disobedience 35:1-36:26
- Obedience of the
Rechabites to a man's commandments 35
of Jehoiakim and Judah to God's commandments 36:1-26
- The book rewritten
and enlarged 36:27-32
- Jeremiah's further experiences
while imprisoned during the seige 37-38 (Ebed-Melech rescues Jeremiah,
- The long-prophesied judgment
upon Judah executed 39
(Ebed-Melech rewarded, 39:15-18.)
- Jeremiah's fidelity to the
remnant following the fall of Jerusalem 40-44
- The murder of Gedaliah and
the atrocities of Ishmael 40-41
- The warning to the remnant
not to go into Egypt 42
- Jeremiah carried into Egypt
- The conquest of Egypt foretold
- The message to the remnant
in Egypt (foretelling final judgment and ultimate destruction) 44
- The message to Baruch 45
Warning against seeking this world's fame.
DIVISION II. MESSAGES TO GENTILE NATIONS 46-51
- Against Egypt 46
- Against the Philistines, Tyre
and Sidon 47
- Against Moab 48
- Against Ammon, Edom, Damascus,
Kedar, Hazor, and Elam 49
- Against Babylon 50-51
Appendix: Historical conclusion
A. Second account of the capture
of Jerusalem and the exile of the people of Judah 52:1-30
NOTE: 52:28-30 that:
v.28 - 3023 people were deported. . .called the servitude, lasted exactly
v.29 - 832 people were deported, . .called the captivity, little over 70 years.
v.30 - 745 people were deported. . .called the desolations, not yet ended.
B. Jehoiachin delivered and exalted
LESSONS FROM THE PROPHETS
1. Sin is offensive to God, so
eventually necessitates judgment.
2. Sin never pays; it costs too dearly.
3. God allows the cup of iniquity to come to the full before judging, because
(1) He graciously allows abundant
opportunity for repentance of those who have been misinformed or misled,
but have not apostatized from the truth.
(2) He lets sin fully show what
it is so that there will be no question on the part of the sinner as to
the righteousness of the judgment.
4. Light persistently rejected
brings judicial blindness, i.e., apostasy's judgment.
5. There are times when it does no good to pray for some people.
6. God Himself laments the sin of man as revealed in the sufferings of His
7. Even in the midst of the proclamation of judgment, Jehovah remembers mercy
and sends forth messages of hope and salvation.
8. Even where one's work for Jehovah may seem to be a failure, after results
show that it is not in vain.
CHRONOLOGY OF JEREMIAH'S TIME
Nineveh destroyed by Medes, Chaldeans,
Josiah slain at Megiddo by Necho
Jehoahaz (3 mos.); taken to Egypt
by Necho. Necho
puts Jehoiakim on throne (11 yrs.)
Nebuchadnezzar begins reign
of Carchemish; Necho
of Egypt defeated by
Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon
Nebuchadnezzar conquers Judah and
Jerusalem, and Jehoiakim
Jehoiakim rebels, taken to Babylon,
and Jehoiachin succeeds him (3 mos.);
Jehoiachin (3 mos.); Zedekiah
Zedekiah rebels, and Nebuchadnezzar's
army comes against Jerusalem; this was in the
9th year, 11th month, 10th day, of Zedekiah's
Jerusalem falls in the 11th year, 4th month (July). Zedekiah
and most of people taken captive. Zedekiah's sons
are slain at Riblah (August) and
Zedekiah is blinded and taken to Babylon
Jeremiah returns to Jerusalem and
ministers to the remnant, but in 7th month (October) the murder of Gedaliah
causes remnant, against Jeremiah's word
from God, to flee into Egypt. Jeremiah
NOTE: The false Anglo-Israel theory
is that when Jeremiah went down to Egypt, he took the Ark of the Covenant, rescued
when the temple was taken. He also rescued the daughter of Zedekiah, who married
some nice young swain, and this couple took ship and landed in Ireland, where
they took the Ark of the Covenant and (for safe-keeping) hid it in some hill.
Excavators are still looking for it! We would rather believe Ezekiel, who said
that it was taken up into Heaven (Ezk. 10:1-4,18-19; 11:22-24).
Their talking points: "Saxons"
= "Isaac's-sons"; "British" = (Hebrew) "brith-ish,
" i.e., "man of the Covenant." Thus they hold that the Anglo-Saxon
race are the "lost" ten tribes. The whole theory is a fantastic fabrication,
made out of "old-wives tales" and vivid imagination, which ministers
to racial pride and promotes Anti-Semitism (the theory carefully distinguishes
between "Israel" (Britain) and "the Jews" (Judah). It seeks
to put Anglo-Saxons back under law (OT dietary laws, etc.) and in general misses
the point of the need of the new birth, through "race" emphasis, much
like Hitler's emphasis on being "Aryan."
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