JEREMIAH THE PROPHET He was son of Hilkiah, one of the priests of Anathoth, in the land of Benjamin, in Judah. He was called to the prophetic office about 627 BC. He was called to be a prophet by God when he was young and a bachelor.
He ministered for 45 years. He died in exile in Egypt. JEREMIAHS CALL (1:4-14) 1. Had been appointed before he was conceived. 2. Jeremiah told God that he didnt know how to speak because he was too young. 3. God touched his mouth as a sign of
giving him the words to speak. 4. God also assured him that he would be with him. POLITICAL SITUATION When Jeremiah started his prophetic ministry Assyria was the super power, but by the end of his ministry, Babylon stood supreme.
When Babylon attacked Assyria, Egypt tried to assist Assyria to prevent a total victory by Babylon. However, Egypt was defeated by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. THE LAST KINGS OF JUDAH 1. JOSIAH (640-609) His Religious Reforms
(2Kings 23: 4-30) 1. He removed idols from the temple and burned them. 2. He banished the idolatrous priests from Jerusalem. 3. He tore down the apartments of the cultic prostitutes from the temple. 4. He brought down the elevated gates where offerings to foreign gods
were done. 5. He destroyed Topeth where human beings were sacrificed. 6. He did away with the horses which the preceding kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun god. 7. He destroyed the chariots dedicated to the sun god. 8. He destroyed the altars made by Ahaz
and Manasseh. 9. Reversed his reforms. 10. He destroyed the high place that had been made by King Solomon for the goddess Astarte. 11. He burned the altar that had been built by Jeroboam at Bethel. 12. He commanded the people to observe the Passover Festival.
13. He purged the consultation of 2. JOHOAHAZ (609 BCE) His reign was for three month. He was captured and imprisoned by Neco, the Pharaoh of Egypt.
3. JEHOIAKIM (609-598) He was appointed by the king of Egypt. He became a vassal of Nebuchadnezzar. He rebelled against Babylon in 599, and Jerusalem was besieged. 4. JOHOIAKIN (598 BCE)
He surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar and was taken captive. He took all the people except the lowliest of them. He ransacked the temple and took away its treasures (2Kings 24:10-16). 5. ZEDEKIAH (597-586)
He was Johoiakims brother and was appointed king by the King of Babylon. In 589, he rebelled against Babylon and tried to join Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar moved in faster and laid siege on Jerusalem. Zedekiah tried to escape, but was captured at Jericho.
More people were taken into exile. Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed completely. METHODS OF SPREADING THE MESSAGE (A) VISIONS 1. The Almond tree (1:11-12) 2. The boiling pot (1:13-19)
3. The loin cloth (13:1-7) 4. The basket of figs (24:1-10) 5. The wine drinkers (25:15-38) (B) PARABLES 1. Jeremiahs bachelorhood (16:1-4) 2. The potter at work (18:1-12) 3. The broken pot (19:1-20:6) 4. The yolk of Iron (27:1-28:17)
5. The field purchase (32:6-44) 6. The pile of stones (43:8-13) 7. The book in the River (51:59-64) (C) ORACLES (D) LETTERS (29:1-23) In this letter he warned people that the exile would be long.
MESSAGE OF JEREMIAH 1. His message was against idolatry and injustice. 2. He preached obedience to the covenant. 3. He assured people that God still wanted to forgive (2:2-3, 3:12). 4. The message of hope disappeared when people refused to repent.
4. He warned against seeking help from Assyria or Egypt (2:17-18). 5. He condemned their oppression of the poor and powerless (2:3334). 5. At one point Jeremiah claimed that God had stopped him from interceding (7:6, 11:14). 6. He condemned widespread adultery and fornication (5:7-8).
7. He condemned the worship of idols (2:27-28, 10:3-5). 8. He reminded people of the Exodus experience (2:27-28, 7:1619, 10:1-5). CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR REFUSAL TO REPENT 1. It would bring about an enemy from the North. 2. Terror would come from God (6:25,
20:3). 3. Incurable wounds (8:22, 30:12-13). 4. Funeral would come (9:10). 5. Exile (27:9-22) THE TEMPLE SERMON (7:1-20, 26:1ff) 1. He called upon people to reform their ways. 2. He encouraged them not to place
their trust in the temple. 3. He encouraged the practice of justice. 4. People not to oppress the alien, orphan, and the widow. 5. No shedding of blood. 6. No worship of other gods. 7. People to do away with hypocrisy, stealing, adultery and perjury. 8. People should not make the temple a
den of thieves. 9. He warned them of the judgment/destruction that was coming just like the one experienced at Shiloh. 10. He told people that he would not intercede for them. MESSAGE OF HOPE 1. Judah would come back
(33:6-9). 2. They would be given a new covenant written on their hearts (31:31-34) THE CONFESSIONS OF JEREMIAH According to G. von Rad, the confessions are the most characteristic of Jeremiah. These are most intimate and solitary
conversations between Jeremiah and Yahweh. They show us how much Jeremiah suffered because of his prophetic ministry. Confessions of Jeremiah are unparalleled in the Old Testament. They are not prophetic proclamations. The direction of these speeches is not down from above, but up from below. Here the
prophet speaks about himself, not about God. They show his anxiety, fear, anguish, despair, loneliness, disillusionment, shame, doubts, hopelessness, etc. However, he did not lose his loyalty to God. 1. JEREMIAH 15:16-20 (A) Jeremiahs Anguish
Jeremiah speaks of his inner sufferings and problems. Having accepted the call of God Jeremiah enjoyed the words of Yahweh. His reaction to the revelation is very nearly one of carnal passion (I devoured your words).
He feels a close inward connection with God. His situation is unique. His close friendship and alignment with Yahweh utterly turned him towards God, but away from other human beings. Because of his ministry, he now lives in solitude.
He sees unfaithfulness on the part of Yahweh. He even accuses God of having deceived him. He had enticed him to the prophetic ministry, taking him away from his friends. (B) Yahwehs Response God gives conditions under which
Jeremiah could be restored to his prophetic office. Jeremiah must go to where God began with him. He must not withdraw from his prophetic office. He must realize that his ministry makes him different from other citizens, and because of that he must not confirm to
their ways. He should be an example. He had to face complications and sufferings in his office. The words of a prophet should come from God, through the prophet to the people, not from the prophet to Yahweh. 2. JEREMIAH 12:1-5 (A) Jeremiahs Anguish
Jeremiah wants to present his case before God, but he cannot do that because he realizes that God is holy and cannot be brought to court. As a human being, he should be subordinate to God. He questions Yahweh, why the evil prosper. Good men know suffering only.
(B) Yahwehs Response Yahwehs answer in no answer at all because it does not address the question which Jeremiah has asked. He tells the prophet that harder times would indeed come. God had no solution for his anguish. As a prophet he was destined to suffer.
He could not race with God. He needed to have courage and faith in God in all that suffering. It seems Jeremiah had failed to see the wisdom of that suffering, but Yahweh called for faith. God is concerned with Jeremiah obedience, not reasoning. 3. JEREMIAH 8:18-9:1
(C) Jeremiahs anguish This section is filled with eerie inner unrest and suffering. A variety of pictures are formed in the prophets mind. He hears the cry and lament of his people. It seems that Yahweh has forsaken
them and would not provide any assistance. If Yahweh will not help, then help should come from elsewhere. Jeremiah is hopeless and nearly collapses of misery. Here Yahweh does not respond. 4. JEREMIAH 20:7-9 (A) Jeremiahs Anguish
The introduction is shocking. Jeremiah accuses Yahweh of having taken advantage of his ignorance of the nature of his ministry. He did not know that it involved suffering, misery, mockery, etc. He accuses Yahweh of making him a laughing stock before the whole world.
He accuses Yahweh of having forced him into the prophetic ministry. It was a matter of force. His vocation had become a burden. He wants God to take away all his sorrows and sufferings. He is exhausted to the point of death. God compels him to speak out. He demands obedience.
5. JEREMIAH 20:14-19 (A) Jeremiahs anguish Darkness has now completely covered the prophet. This passages deals with the final phase of the prophets sufferings. Jeremiah curses the day on which he was born. The blessings brought by it had to be nullified.
The curse does not spare the unsuspecting man who announced his birth. He wished to have died in his mothers womb. He sees only sorrow, shame, and suffering in his life He brings his father, mother and friends into his despair.
CAUSES OF JEREMIAHS SUFFERING 1. God had forbidden Jeremiah to intercede for the people (7:16, 11:14, and 14:11). It is believed that intercession was one of the chief characteristics of the prophetic ministry. To be forbidden to intercede for the people was like being retrenched from the
prophetic office. 2. ALIENATION (a) He never got married (16:2), so he had no one with whom to share the burdens of his work. (b) He had few friends (20:7). (c) His own family opposed him (12:6).
(d) His home people plotted to kill him (11:19, 21). (e) Common people of Jerusalem cursed him (15:10). (f) False prophets ridiculed him (28:10-11, 29:24-28). (g) The priests of the Temple stopped him from worshipping in the temple
(36:5). (h) Civil authorities plotted against him (36:26, 38:4-6). (i) He was at times flogged (20:2, 37:15). (j) He was threatened with death (11:21, 26:7-9) 3. Jeremiah suffered because he thought that God had forsaken him.
4. Jeremiah had great love for his country and his fellow people (8:1822, 9:1-2, 14:19-22). He came to know that God would punish them. He was heartbroken. 5. Jeremiah as the last prophet before the capture of Jerusalem carried the sorrows of all the preceding prophets. Their silent suffering, anxieties, disillusionment, and anguish found their outlet in Jeremiah.
6. He was too young for the ministry. 7. In making public his inner anguish, Jeremiah offered to other Israelites a model for bearing exilic suffering with honesty and hope.
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