Jeremiah means “YHVH Exalts.”
Jeremiah’s ministry began in the thirteenth year of Josiah, king of Judah, c626 BC, and lasted until after the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of Solomon’s Temple in Tammuz [the fourth month] 587 B.C. and the flight of Johanan to Egypt. This period spanned the reigns of five kings of Judah: Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoichin, and Zedekiah.
Jeremiah is traditionally credited with authoring the Book of Jeremiah, 1 Kings, 2 Kings and the Book of Lamentations and was the son of Hilkiah, a kohen (priest).
Jeremiah was living at that time and was speaking to Judah directly at that time, because Israel had already been taken away [references to Israel were a reference to Judah as a part of Israel, as an allegory of latter day Israel].
This was a direct and immediate warning from God to those people at that time, that Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar would destroy Judah as a nation for their wickedness at that time.
Nevertheless this is definitely a dual warning for us in our day, because God is consistent and if we commit the same sins [which we are committing today] we will also be corrected.
God was warning Judah through Jeremiah about their sins in that day, and about the correction which did come upon them at that time; but the whole circumstance of that time was an allegory of the latter day as well.
This was recorded and preserved as an example for us, that because we – both physical and spiritual Israel today – are full of the same sins, we shall surely be similarly corrected.
The book of Jeremiah is divided into two main sections, the first being warnings and prophecies about the fall of Jerusalem and Judah including explanations of their sins and why they are being corrected, and second, Jeremiah 47 to 51 contains prophecies concerning the other regional nations and the rise and fall of Babylon, beginning with the defeat of Egypt on the Euphrates.
The Jeremiah 47 to 51 prophecies were actually made along with the other prophecies beginning with king Josiah and continued concurrently with the messages to Judah, but have been placed together near the end of the book.
Judah was paying tribute to Assyria, but after the death of Ashurbanipal of Assyria (in 627 BC), the Assyrian empire began to slowly disintegrate and ultimately entered into an alliance with Egypt only to be totally defeated by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon at the battle of Carchemish in 605 B.C.
After the defeat of Egypt and Assyria at Carchemish in 605 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar took Daniel and certain others to Babylon about 604 B.C.
Later in c 598 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon removed Jehioakin [Jeconiah] from the throne of Judah and replaced him with Zedekiah his brother. This event indicates that Babylon had replaced Egypt as the regional power.
Ezekiel was taken to Babylon at the removal of king Jehioachin [Jeconiah] c 598 B.C. Josephus claims that three thousand leading Jews were removed to Babylon with king Jehioachin [Jeconiah].
King Josiah became king at the age of thirteen and began a religious reform in Judah in about 622 B.C. under the regency of the high priest, and Jeremiah was called to prophesy at that same time.
On Josiah’s death, Jehoiakim’s younger brother Jehoahaz (or Shallum) was proclaimed king. Pharaoh Necho II then deposed the younger brother Jehoahaz after a reign of only three months and took him to Egypt, where he died.
The eldest son Eliakim adopted the regal name Jehoiakim when he was installed by Egypt as king of Judah in c 608 B.C., and became king at the age of twenty-five and reigned for eleven years to 598 B.C. before being killed by Nebuchadnezzar in the first big siege of Jerusalem c 597 B.C.
Eliakim had abandoned his alliance with Egypt due to the prohibitive demands of the Egyptians and joined with Babylon, but after three years Jehoichim [Eliakim] switched back to the Egyptians and ceased paying the tribute to Babylon. Then in 599 BC, Nebuchadnezzar II invaded Judah and laid siege to Jerusalem.
Jehoiakim [Eliakim] ruled originally as a vassal of the Egyptians, paying a heavy tribute. To raise the money he “taxed the land and exacted the silver and gold from the people of the land according to their assessments.” He was succeeded by his son Jeconiah, (also known as Jehoiachin), who reigned for only three months.
The book of Jeremiah begins with the introduction in chapter 1 and is properly followed by a prophecy – placed out of its proper sequence in Jeremiah 46 – about the impending defeat of Egypt at the battle of Carchemish on the Euphrates in c 605 B.C. and the subsequent fall of the surrounding nations to Babylon.
These prophecies of the regional nations continued through the same period as the prophecies regarding Judah until the prophecy regarding Elam was made in Tammuz [the fourth month] 587 B.C. (Jer 49:34) when Jerusalem and the temple were burned. Then comes a prophecy about Babylon itself and the conclusion of the book.
The Order of Jeremiah
- Chapters 1 – 29, warn Judah and gave them the reasons for their impending correction. The book should begin with Jeremiah 46 but that prophecy is placed in Chapter 46 instead of chapter 1.
- Chapters 30 -33 gives the promise of restoration and a New Covenant [which will begin in its fullness at the coming of Christ].
- Chapters 34 to 45 concern Zedekiah and the fall of Jerusalem and Judea.
- Chapter 46 rightly belongs at the beginning of Jeremiah and refers to the initial defeat of Egypt and Assyria at the battle of Carchemish on the Euphrates in 605 B.C.
- Chapters 47 to 51 tell of the destruction of the local nations as Nebuchadnezzar goes down to fight Egypt after Johanan flees there, and finally a prophecy about Babylon itself.
- Chapter 52 is a summation about the fall of Jerusalem and the flight of Johanan into Egypt of Jeremiah chapters 34 – 45 and 2 Kings 24:18-25:1-30.
The Battle of Carchemish was fought about 605 B.C. between the allied armies of Egypt and Assyria against the armies of Babylon, allied with the Medes, Persians and Scythians. The Egyptians and Assyrians were routed by the Babylonians at the Battle of Carchemish on the Euphrates and the rising Babylonians slowly gained control of the region in competition with the Egyptians as the Assyrian Empire expired.
When the Egyptians were defeated by the Babylonians at Carchemish in 605 B.C., Jehoiakim changed allegiances from Egypt to pay tribute to Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon and sent various people including Daniel to Babylon.
The Babylonians moved into the Philistine plain the next year and devastated Ashkelon as well as causing great anxiety in Jerusalem. Jeremiah took advantage of the situation to preach his “Temple Sermon” (ch. 26).
After three years, with the Egyptians and Babylonians still competing for dominance, Jehoichim switched back to the Egyptians and ceased paying the tribute to Babylon. In 599 BC, Nebuchadnezzar II invaded Judah and laid siege to Jerusalem.
In c 598 BC, Jehoiakim died and his body was thrown off of the walls. He was succeeded by his son Jeconiah (also known as Jehoiachin), Jerusalem fell within three months. Jeconiah was then deposed by Nebuchadnezzar, who installed Zedekiah, Jehoiakim’s younger brother, in his place.
On March 15/16th, 597 BC, Jeconiah, his entire household and three thousand Jews [including Ezekiel], were exiled to Babylon. Ezekiel saw his first vision five years later in c 592 B.C.
Ezekiel 1:2 In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s captivity, 1:3 The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans.
Nebuchadnezzar removed Daniel and certain others in 605 B.C., later capturing Jerusalem in 597 B.C. and deposing King Jehoiakim making Zedekiah king.
Then ten years later in Tammuz [the fourth month] 587 B.C., due to rebellion by king Zedekiah who was placed on the throne by Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king destroyed both the city and the temple, and deported many of the prominent citizens along with a sizable portion of the Jewish population of Judea to Babylon, leaving the country folk to till the land.
These events are described in the Prophets and History sections of the Bible (in the books 2 Kings, Jeremiah, and 2 Chronicles, respectively).
After destroying Jerusalem and the temple in Tammuz [the fourth month] 587 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar engaged in a thirteen-year siege of Tyre (585–572 BC) which ended in a compromise, with the Tyrians accepting Babylonian authority.
Following the pacification of the Phoenician state of Tyre, Nebuchadnezzar turned again to Egypt. A clay tablet, now in the British Museum, states: “In the 37th year of Nebuchadnezzar [c 568 B.C.], king of the country of Babylon, he went to Mitzraim (Egypt) [with an army of Persians and Babylonians] to wage war.
The city of Jerusalem and the temple were burned on the 9th of Av [fifth month] in c 587 B.C. for which event the Book of Lamentations was written. Some time after that the remaining Jews rebelled against God and went down into Egypt.
Jeremiah was based in Judea before during and after the fall of Jerusalem, and remained with the Jews who were left in Palestine, accompanying them when they later went down to Egypt.
Jeremiah was called to strengthen the reformations of Josiah (2 Kings 21 to 23, 1 Chronicles 3:14-15, 2 Chronicles 33:25 to 35:22) within the first year of Josiah being made king of Judah c626 B.C.); and to prophesy of the fall of Judah and Jerusalem because of wickedness under the subsequent kings of Judah until after the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of Solomon’s Temple in Tammuz [the fourth month] 587 B.C.
These prophecies were mainly fulfilled by Nebuchadnezzar as an initial fulfillment of a later day final fulfillment is our time when Babylon the Great [the now rising New Federal Europe] will once again take Jerusalem, this time occupying the city for 42 months (Rev 11:2, 13:5).
Jeremiah’s ministry was active from the thirteenth year of Josiah, king of Judah c626 B.C., until after the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of Solomon’s Temple in 587 B.C. This period was largely alongside Isaiah and Ezekiel and spanned the reigns of five kings of Judah: Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah.
The Hebrew-language chronology Seder HaDoroth (published 1768) gives Jeremiah’s final year of prophecy in 595 B.C. after which he died in Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar then attacked Egypt in c 568 B.C. sweeping through Moab, Ammon, Edom and Gaza on his way and destroying the Jews who had fled into Egypt.
Ekklesia: Often mistranslated as “Church” giving the thought of a corporate organization or a building, the word Ekklesia actually means a group or meeting, and in spiritual terms means those faithful believers in whom God’s Spirit dwells.
YHVH or YHWH: means “The Eternal” and refers to both God the Father and to the one who gave up his Godhood to become flesh as Jesus Christ; both being eternal.
Jeremiah is prophesying to ancient Judah, however the prophecy is also applicable to all those of today who are guilty of the same sins. Jeremiah also addresses many prophecies to the “Daughter of my people” which term refers to their latter day descendants, in both the physical and spiritual sense; meaning that the prophecies particularly refer to the latter day physical and spiritual [New Covenant] Israel.
Jeremiah receives his prophetic calling
Jeremiah 1:1 The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin: 1:2 To whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. 1:3 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.
God tells Jeremiah that he was called from the womb to be God’s prophet. I believe that God chooses his own prophets and servants at a very early stage and then trains them through guiding their life experiences [often without their knowledge] to mold them into exactly the proper tools to proclaim God’s will.
1:4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 1:5 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.
Jeremiah objects, feeling inadequate, somewhat like Moses.
The true servants of God are often poor speakers like Jeremiah, Moses and Paul and they are often physically weak, poor and of no reputation among the brethren. God does that for a purpose; so that when the work is done, people will know that it was not the work of a man, but the work of the Spirit of God.
Zechariah 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.
Jeremiah 1:6 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.
Jesus Christ does not accept excuses and he is quite able to use even the reluctant if they are otherwise zealous for him, as Moses, Paul and Jonah discovered!
1:7 But the LORD 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. 1:8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.
The godly person speaks the Word of God the Father as Jesus did; Christ did not speak his own words, he spoke as God the Father instructed him; and so do all the true servants of Christ and God the Father. The person who speaks his own words and not the whole Word of God, is NOT a servant of God the Father or of Christ.
1:9 Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.
The man of God is commissioned to root out wickedness and to teach the righteousness of the whole Word of God.
1:10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
These things happened to Judah and were recorded as an example for US. The rod of correction is coming upon us, just as surely as it came upon ancient Judah; IF we commit the same sins [which we are most definitely doing today].
1:11 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree [a rod of correction]. 1:12 Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.
Jeremiah is told that great evil [suffering and affliction] would come upon Judah from the north. In reality Babylon was rising and God would allow Nebuchadnezzar to take Judea, destroy Jerusalem and conquer Egypt.
A latter revival of Babylon is now at the door, coming in the form of a ten nation New Europe [Babylon the Great, the ten toes of Dan 2], and that soon coming system will also conquer Judah and dominate Egypt and occupy Jerusalem for the last time.
1:13 And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying, What seest thou? And I said, I see a seething pot; and the face thereof is toward the north. 1:14 Then the LORD said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.
These events occurred in those days, as a fore-type of the latter day Babylon now rising in Europe.
1:15 For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, saith the LORD; and they shall come, and they shall set every one his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof round about, and against all the cities of Judah.
Why did Judah go into the Babylonian captivity? Because of sin.
Is God a respecter of persons that he should show partiality to rebellious children?
If Christ corrected sinful Judah which did not have God’s Spirit; how much greater will he correct us who are supposed to know better?
Those who have forsaken living by every Word of God for their own false traditions and the idolizing of men and organizations will be afflicted in great tribulation, until they are humbled of their great arrogant pride and sincerely repent, turning to learning and living by the whole Word of God in enthusiastic zeal.
1:16 And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands.
Jeremiah is told to fear God and not man; and to be full of good courage to speak the truth to those claiming to be in authority in the church of God of the time.
1:17 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.
The godly person who dares to take a stand for the righteousness of the whole Word of God; will have the full backing of the Mighty One who delivered Israel his called out from Egypt.
The lukewarm to live by every Word of God leaders and elders of the latter day Ekklesia, who are zealous for their own false ways and traditions will not heed the warnings.
The major groups have studied the Biblical Calendar and the Sanctity of the Sabbath etc; and they know that they are wrong! Yet they cling to error instead of growing in knowledge excusing themselves by saying; “The church said this and this is what we will stand on.”
God the Father and Jesus Christ are with all those who are zealous to live by every Word of God! They are with their servants who faithfully declare their Word.
1:18 For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land.
1:19 And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee.