Jeremiah Chapter 1
We will find in this book why Jeremiah was known as ‘the weeping prophet’. He was born to a priestly family in Anathoth, which was a suburb of Jerusalem.
Jeremiah was reluctant to answer the call of God, because he was just a teenager when God called him. He is like many of us, who feel unworthy to do the task God calls us to.
His ministry covered a period of sad times. Judah is overrun and the Hebrews are carried away captive to Babylon. He, as many other prophets, brought warnings from God. The people did not heed the warning and were taken captive. He later prophesies the return of the Hebrews to Jerusalem.
This book is of course, penned by Jeremiah. Jeremiah prophesied during the reign of 5 kings.
We will find that Jeremiah preached, as well as prophesied. When the Hebrews were taken captive, Jeremiah was given the privilege of staying in Jerusalem if he wished, and he stayed. A band of Jews forced him to go to Egypt, and he prophesied there.
Jeremiah did not choose to be a prophet, God chose Jeremiah. God had placed such a burden for the people on Jeremiah, that he was compelled to prophesy. God touched his mouth and put His words in Jeremiah’s mouth. The message then was God’s message, spoken through Jeremiah.
The name “Jeremiah” means “Jah will rise”. Jeremiah was a contemporary of Ezekiel and Daniel. Daniel was God’s choice to prophesy in the Babylonian palace. Ezekiel prophesied and acted as priest to the rural people. Jeremiah stayed in Jerusalem and saw it destroyed.
Verses 1-3a: These verses are almost identical to 2 Chron. 36:22-23. The pre-Exilic history of 1 and 2 Chronicles gave the post-Exilic returnees direction regarding the Davidic kingship, the Aaronic priesthood and temple worship. This book continues the story.
Verses 1-2: The Bible contains the second edition of what God wanted Jeremiah to say to His people. The original was cut up and destroyed by King Zedekiah (36:21-26).
Jeremiah 1:1 “The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that [were] in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin:”
The phrase “son of Hilkiah” distinguishes “Jeremiah” from several other people of the same name in the Old Testament:
- The head of a family from Manasseh (1 Chron. 5:24);
(2-4) Three of David’s warriors who were with him at Ziklag (1 Chron. 12:4, 10, 13);
(5) The father of Hamutal, Josiah’s wife (52:1; 2 Kings 23:31; 24:18);
(6) The father of Jaazaniah, head of the Rechabites (35:3);
(7) The head of a priestly family who returned with Zerubbabel from exile (Neh. 12:1-2); and
(8) A priestly head connected with the ceremonies of covenant renewal in Nehemiah’s day (Neh. 10:2; 12:34).
“Anathoth” had also served as a hometown for two of David’s mighty men: Abiezer (2 Sam. 23:27) and Jehu (1 Chron. 12:3). Anathoth was a town in Benjamin, 3 miles north of Jerusalem, assigned to the Levites (compare Joshua 21:18), where Abiathar had once lived (1 Kings 2:26).
Jeremiah was the major prophet during the decline and fall of Judah’s southern kingdom. He prophesied during the reigns of the last five kings of Judah. Jeremiah was born in the village of Anathoth, situated north of Jerusalem in the territory of Benjamin (verses 1 and 2). Called to the prophetic ministry in the thirteenth year of godly Josiah’s reign (about 627 B.C.), Jeremiah’s ministry lasted more than 40 years, extending beyond the fall of Jerusalem (in 586 B.C.). His call actually had been planned by God before his birth (verse 5). The nature of his ministry consisted of tearing down and rebuilding, uprooting and planting (verse 10). Jeremiah was a prophet of doom, who was even forbidden to marry so that he could fully devote himself to the preaching of God’s judgment (16:1-13). After the fall of Jerusalem, Jeremiah was taken by some Jewish zealots to Egypt, where he continued to preach (chapters 43-44).
We see several things from this verse;
(1) Jeremiah’s daddy was a priest;
(2) His father’s name was Hilkiah;
(3) He was from Anathoth;
(4) Anathoth was in the land of Benjamin;
(5) Jeremiah penned this prophecy.
Jeremiah 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.”
“In the days of”: Jeremiah’s ministry spanned a little over 4 decades, from Judah’s king Josiah (13th year, 627 B.C.), to the final king, Zedekiah, in his last year (586 B.C.).
We know that Josiah was king in Judah. He did right in the sight of the Lord. Josiah’s father was an evil man, however. There is also, a specific time set for the Word of the Lord to come to Jeremiah, it was in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah. As we have learned in Isaiah and many of the other prophetic books, the message Jeremiah was to speak, came directly from the LORD.
Jeremiah 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.”
“Fifth month”: Babylonian conquerors began deporting Judeans into captivity in the Hebrew month Ab (July/August; in 586 B.C.; 52:12; 2 Kings 25:8-11), shortly after breaking into Jerusalem on the fourth month and ninth day (39:2; 52:6).
This is not speaking of the entire prophecy of Jeremiah, but is speaking of the warning given before Judah is carried away into Babylon. This is just saying the prophecy extended into the reign of Jehoiakim, and even unto the eleventh year of the reign of Zedekiah. Jehoiakim was also Eliakim. It was during the reign of his son Jehoiachin that Nebuchadnezzar battled Jerusalem and took the people captive to Babylon. He had just been in power three months when the battle against Jerusalem occurred. Nebuchadnezzar made Jehoiachin’s uncle Mattaniah king of Judah and changed his name to Zedekiah. Judah was carried away into captivity the 5th month.
Verses 4-8: Notice in these verses the prominence of the pronoun “I” in reference to the Lord, “I formed you, I knew you, I sanctified you, I ordained you, I shall send thee, I command thee,” and “I am with thee”. Jeremiah knew he was not a prophet by his own choosing, God had set him apart and commissioned him (Isa. 49:1; Psalm 139:23; Gal. 1:15).
Jeremiah 1:4 “Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,”
The words imply obviously a revelation, the introduction of a new element into the human consciousness. In many cases such a revelation implied also the spiritual tension of an ecstatic or trance-like state, a dream, or an open vision. Here there is no mention of dream or vision, and we must assume therefore, a distinct consciousness that the voice which he heard in his inmost soul was from Jehovah.
We see from this, that Jeremiah actually heard the voice of the LORD. This is just establishing the fact that the Lord directed Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 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.”
“Before I formed thee”: This is not reincarnation; it is God’s all-knowing cognizance of Jeremiah and sovereign plan for him before he was conceived (compare Paul’s similar realization, Gal. 1:15).
Jeremiah was foreknown by God and set apart as His messenger to “the nations” long before his birth. The whole process was carefully watched over by God, so that Jeremiah’s existence as a person, as well as his call, had become a reality while he was still in the womb.
This is the Word of the LORD. The LORD called Jeremiah to prophesy, even before he was born. His sole purpose in life was to prophesy to Judah. This is very similar to the call of John the Baptist. They had no private life at all. Their lives were for the purpose of God to be fulfilled. The LORD not only called him to prophesy before he was born, but set him aside for the purpose of God (sanctified him). We remember from the book of Luke, that John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Ghost in his mother’s womb. This is a very special call. The LORD did not want Jeremiah weighted down with worldly things. He separated him for a purpose. Jeremiah did not choose to be a prophet. God poured out His Spirit on Jeremiah and ordained him for this purpose. Notice that Jeremiah was to prophesy to the nations (plural), not just to Judah.
Verses 6-7: Jeremiah’s sense of unworthiness helps us to recall others such as Moses (Exodus 3:4), Barak (Judges 4:8), Gideon (Judges 6:15), Saul (1 Sam. 10:22), David (2 Sam. 7:19), Solomon (1 Kings 3:7), and many others who understood clearly that sufficiency for God’s service comes only from God Himself (compare 2 Cor. 2:16).
The word translated “child” is sometimes used not only of young children (2 Kings 2:23), but also of servants (2 Sam. 16:1; 2 Kings 4:12). It is likewise used of military trainees or young professional soldiers (1 Kings 4:12; 20:14-15). Jeremiah here seems to emphasize his lack of experience more than his youth.
Jeremiah 1:6 “Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I [am] a child.”
Jeremiah’s response points out his inability and his inexperience. If as a young man he was 20 to 25 years old in 626 B.C., he was 60-65 in 586 B.C., when Jerusalem fell (chapter 39), and 85-90 if he lived to the time of 52:31-34; ca. 561 B.C.
“I [am] a child”: This does not mean that Jeremiah was a small child, but was an expression used of someone in their teens. I personally believe that he was about 17.
“Ah, LORD God!” is a statement of shock. Jeremiah felt totally inadequate to do the job. He was very much like Moses, who said he could not talk. God asked Moses, who gave you your mouth? The word “behold” is saying, look and see that I am too young. Many of us when we are called, give some feeble excuse. That is what the age factor is here. God is not concerned about Jeremiah’s youth, so why should he be concerned?
Verses 7-10: The power backing Jeremiah’s service was God’s presence and provision (compare 2 Cor. 3:5).
Jeremiah 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.”
Do not plead excuses.
“Thou shalt go”: This is God’s answer to Jeremiah, in respect of his sense of his own inability. This may be by way of command, and then it is a check to his timidity: “Thou shalt go, therefore draw not back”. Or by way of promise, and then it is a satisfactory answer to his excuse, as both proceeded from a sense of his own insufficiency: i.e., Fear not, I will make thee eloquent and courageous.
“To all”: this relates either to persons or things. I.e. to all persons to whom I shall send thee; thou shalt hesitate with no one (see Rev. 10:11). Or upon all, so is the Hebrew; and then it is: Thou shalt go upon all errands and messages that I shall send thee (see Isa. 55:11; Acts 26:16).
“And whatsoever I command thee, thou shall speak”: Outright and openly, and keep back nothing due to the fear of men (as follows in verse 8).
God would not listen to the excuses of Jeremiah. He even tells Jeremiah to hush. In the very next sentence, He reassures Jeremiah that He will be with him. Jeremiah will not have to think up something to say, God will put the Words in Jeremiah’s mouth. Look with me at what Jesus said about this very thing.
Luke 12:11-12 “And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and [unto] magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:” “For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.”
Jeremiah 1:8 “Be not afraid of their faces: for I [am] with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.”
People need the Lord, but they need the companionship of other people too. In those moments in the dark caverns of loneliness, they have the Master Companion who stays with them through it all: “I am with thee … to deliver thee”:
I love what Jesus said in the following Scripture along these same lines.
Matthew 10:28 “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
The worst a man can do to you is to kill your body. If they kill you, you would immediately be with God. That is nothing to fear. God alone can destroy the body and soul in hell. If the LORD is with you, there is nothing to fear.
Jeremiah 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.”
When the “Lord … touched my mouth” the results were not only a message to deliver but a messenger transformed and purified (Isa. 6:7).
“My words in thy mouth”: God used him as His mouthpiece, speaking His message (15:19); thus, Jeremiah’s fitting response was to receive God’s Word (15:16).
I believe this happened. I know that the touch of the LORD can change your life completely. Jeremiah could rely on the Words of God. They will not fail. These Words did not come from the innermost place of Jeremiah. They were placed in his mouth by the LORD. Jeremiah would speak much more boldly, knowing the Words were the LORD’s. I believe ministers would be much more effective if they allowed God to speak through them, rather than preparing their own message. God has a message for each congregation. When God speaks through the minister, His Words apply to their current needs.
Jeremiah 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.”
“Set thee … over”: Because God spoke through Jeremiah, the message has divine authority.
Jeremiah was a prophet of both judgment and salvation. God would judge and then restore His people. The verbs “root out, pull down, destroy,” and “throw down” depict Jeremiah’s words of judgment, and “build” and “plant” portray his message of salvation. These verbs appear throughout the book to summarize the two aspects of his ministry (18:7-11; 24:6; 31:28; 33:7; 42:10; 45:4).
Had the LORD chosen someone of greater age, or someone highly respected as a priest in the temple, or even a king to speak: it would have appeared it was in their power. God knew that no one would expect these mighty prophecies to come from such a youth. When he spoke, they would know that the message had to be from God. This would have been a difficult job for anyone, but would be unusually difficult for a youth. He probably asked himself, who would listen? Let me say that God can send whoever He chooses. A king is a king, because God allowed it. God has literally put this young man in charge over the nations. He is like a watchman, or an overseer. Jeremiah will speak judgement on these people. It is actually God speaking judgement on them through the mouth of Jeremiah. Whatever comes out of Jeremiah’s mouth will be, because it is the Word of God. God is aware of all that they do. He is causing the Babylonian captivity to come to cause them to repent.
Verses 11-16: Illustrations of God’s charge was twofold. First, there was the sign of the almond rod. The almond tree was literally “the wakeful tree,” because it awakened from the sleep of winter earlier that the other trees, blooming in January it was a symbol of God’s early judgment, as Jeremiah announced (605 – 586 B.C.). Second, the boiling pot pictured the Babylonian invaders bringing judgement on Judah (compare 20:4).
Verses 11-12: There is a play on sounds here in the Hebrew text. The word translated “almond” (shaqed), has the same root as the word rendered “shade” (shoqed). As the early blossoming “almond tree” gave promise of the later spring fruit so God would watch over His “word” to bring it to fruition.
God gave Jeremiah a vision to confirm his calling. The “rod of an almond tree” buds early in the season, announcing the arrival of spring and life. Here it announces that God said “hasten my word to perform it”, His Word through Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 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.”
As before, we have the element of ecstasy and vision, symbols not selected by the prophet, and yet, we may believe, adapted to his previous training.
The poetry of the symbols is of exquisite beauty. In contrast to the words of terror, in harmony with the words of hope, he sees the almond-bough, with its bright pink blossoms and its pale green leaves, the token of an early spring rising out of the dreariness of winter. The name of the almond-tree (here the poetical, not the common, name), made the symbol yet more expressive. It was the watcher, the tree that “hastens to awake” (shâkêd), out of its wintry sleep, and thus expresses the divine haste which would not, without cause, delay the fulfilment of its gracious promise. But would, as it were, make it bud and blossom and bear fruit.
Aaron’s rod bloomed and brought forth almonds.
Numbers 17:8 “And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.”
It seems to me, that the LORD has shown Jeremiah that his rod has bloomed like Aaron’s. The things Jeremiah puts his hand to do will be blessed of God. The “rod of the almond tree” means to awaken and be ready to do whatever God has for him to do. This could also mean that God is ready to bring judgement on Judah. The almond is the first to bloom. It usually blooms in January. The rod could also, be the rod of correction. All of these things prevail at the time of Jeremiah’s prophecy.
Jeremiah 1:12 “Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.”
The thing seen is a very proper emblem of what I am about to do, and the quick dispatch that will be made therein.
“For l will hasten my word to perform it”: The words, “shoked ani“, “I will hasten”, or “I am hastening”, are in allusion to “shoked“, the name of the almond tree in Hebrew. Which is so called because it is quick and early, and as it were, hastens to bring forth its flowers, leaves, and fruit. In like manner, the Lord says He would hasten to perform what He had said or should say concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, and the captivity of the people, and everything else He should give Jeremiah in commission to say. Jarchi and Abendana make mention of an ancient Midrash, or exposition, to this sense. That from the time of the almond tree’s putting forth, until its fruit is ripe, are one and twenty days, according to the number of days which were between the seventeenth of Tammuz, in which the city was broken up, and the ninth of Ab, in which the temple was burnt. But though the almond tree is the first of trees, and is very early in putting forth, yet there is a greater time than this between its putting forth and its fruit being ripe. For Pliny says, that the almond tree first of all flowers in January, and its fruit is ripe in March.
It seems that not only does the LORD put His Words in Jeremiah’s mouth, but He opened Jeremiah’s understanding as well. God is telling Jeremiah, this is soon coming.
Verses 13-16: The boiling pot vision pictures impending doom. The bubbling heat of God’s judgment is about to boil over. The scalding effects will flow against the “gates” and “Walls thereof”. God’s Word through Jeremiah will have to root out and destroy before it can build up and plant (1:10).
Verses 13-15: The nature of the Lord’s dealing with Judah and Jerusalem is underscored in the second vision. Like a “seething pot” (or caldron), ready to spill over, God’s judgments were about to descend from the “north” against His sin-hardened people. Some have suggested that the phrase “seething pot” might better be translated “kindled thorn,” evoking the image of wildfire consuming the land. Either way, the figure of speech suggests imminent judgment. Jeremiah was commanded to deliver a difficult message in critical times. His would be no easy task.
Jeremiah 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.”
In the same vision:
“Saying, what seest thou?”: Besides the almond tree rod; which perhaps was now removed out of sight, another object appears.
“And I said, I see a seething pot”: A pot with fire under it, boiling and bubbling up.
“And the face thereof is towards the north”: Either the mouth of the pot where it boiled up, which might be turned to the north in the vision; or that side of the pot, as Kimchi thinks, on which the liquor was poured out. It may be that side of it on which the fire was put to cause it to boil. And so denotes from what quarter the fire came, and was put under it, and the wind that blew it up. The Targum paraphrases the words thus, “and I said, I see a king boiling as a pot, and the banner of his army, which was brought and came from the north.” The explanation follows (in verse 14).
The “seething pot” is speaking of the soon coming doom for the country of Judah. “Seething” indicates it is just about to boil over. To those who have received much, much is required. God’s punishment on them will be great, because they are His, and should know better than to worship idols. The “seething pot” may have indicated impending war. The pot is facing the prophet.
Jeremiah 1:14 “Then the LORD said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.”
Explaining the above vision:
“Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land”: That is, out of Babylon, which lay north, as Jarchi says, and so the Talmud; or north east, as Kimchi and Ben Melech, as from the land of Israel. From hence came Nebuchadnezzar and his army, which are meant by “the evil” that should break forth, or “be opened” and loosed. Which before were bound and hindered by the providence of God (see Rev. 9:14). And come upon all the inhabitants of the land of Israel; and who are signified by the boiling pot to the north. Or however, by the fire under it, which came from thence. For rather by the pot is meant Jerusalem; and, by the boiling of it, its destruction by the Chaldeans (see Ezek. 11:3).
The Babylonians were northern people. This does not specifically mention Babylon, but they know from the direction who it is. Actually, the road leading to Babylon went north. The army of Babylon will overflow the land and capture it.
Jeremiah 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.”
Which belonged unto and were under the jurisdiction of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon; and the “call” of them, as Kimchi well observes, is none other than putting it into their hearts to come.
“And they shall come”: Being influenced and directed by the providence of God, who had a principal concern in this matter.
“And they shall set everyone his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem”: Meaning, not only that they should pitch their military tents, and encamp about Jerusalem, and place themselves at the entering of the gates, in order to get in; but that they should sit down there in great safety and security. And be very successful, victorious, and triumphant.
“And against all the walls thereof round about, and against all the cities of Judah”: Not only besiege Jerusalem and take her, but also all the rest of the cities of the land.
This is actually a description of how they camp at the gate outside the wall. The kings and rulers will set up at the gate of the city. They would not enter the city. The city will have to come out of the gate to surrender. Jerusalem was besieged first and then the other cities of Judah.
Jeremiah 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.”
Not against the kingdoms of the north, but against those “who have forsaken me, and have burned incense to other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands”. The sense is, that God would enter into judgment with this people, and pass sentence upon them, and execute it.
“Touching all their wickedness”: Or on account of all their sins and transgressions hereafter mentioned.
“Who have forsaken me”: The Targum explains, “who have forsaken my worship”. For to forsake the public worship of God, attendance on His word and ordinances, or to forsake the assembling of themselves together for such a purpose, is to forsake the Lord Himself, the fountain of living waters. And this is to forsake their own mercies.
“And have burnt incense to other gods”: To the idols of the Gentiles, as the Targum explains it. To Baal, to the queen of heaven, and to others.
“And worshipped the works of their own hands”: Idols of gold, silver, brass, and wood, which their own hands formed and carved. And had spoken with great stupidity and ignorance.
God’s people had committed spiritual adultery. They had been unfaithful to the LORD. They even burned incense to false gods and made statues of false gods with their own hands. God is jealous. He will not allow the worship of other gods. His judgement comes because of their unfaithfulness to Him. God has judged them and found them guilty of unfaithfulness. He speaks the judgement on them to cause them to repent and return to Him.
Verses 17-19: Jeremiah’s part was proclamation, as God’s mouthpiece (verse 17); God’s part was preservation in defending the prophet (verses 18-19). God did protect him often, e.g. 11:18-23; 20:1, and 38:7-13.
Jeremiah would face a persistently hostile environment, but God had “made” him “a defensed city, and an iron pillar.” The reason he would prevail is God’s presence: “For I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee” (15:20). God’s presence in people’s lives makes all the difference.
Jeremiah 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 expression “gird up thy loins,” which literally meant tucking in one’s long robe while engaged in strenuous activity, conveys the ideas of action and obedience (compare 1 Kings 18:46; 1 Peter 1:13). Jeremiah was being called up for immediate duty, and should be ready to serve his Lord’s will.
“Gird up thy loins”: is an expression to prepare yourself and be ready. Do not just sit there, get on with the work God has called you to do. Jeremiah is to show no fear at all. He must place his confidence in the Lord, and not waver at all in the things God has him to say.
Jeremiah 1:18 “For, behold, I have made thee this day a defensed city, and an iron pillar, and brazen 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.”
Images of strength are heaped one upon another. The prophet is represented as attacked by kings, princes, priests, and people, as the cities of Judah are by the invading armies. But the issue is different. They fall: he will hold out.
“And an iron pillar”: Which cannot be removed out of its place.
“And brazen walls”: Which cannot be broken down. All these metaphors show the safety and security of the prophet, being surrounded by the power of God. His constancy, immovableness, and invincibleness in the work of the Lord, having such a spirit of power, fortitude, and of a sound mind, that nothing was able to move and shake him, or to deter him from the execution of his office; and that he should stand inflexible.
“Against the whole land”: Of Judea, and all the inhabitants of it.
“Against the kings of Judah”: In successive reigns, as Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, or Jechonias, and Zedekiah.
“Against the princes thereof”: Who desired he might be put to death (Jer. 38:4).
“Against the priests thereof”: Who dealt falsely, and were given to covetousness (Jer. 8:10).
“And against the people of the land”: Who were grievously addicted to idolatry and all manner of wickedness.
God has placed a hedge of protection around Jeremiah. God is his defense. Iron shows the strength God has given Jeremiah. A pillar holds something up. This pillar is Jeremiah who holds up the Word God has given him. Brass has to do with judgement. The whole land is judged. The poor, the rich, the kings, even the priests of the temple have been judged guilty as charged.
Jeremiah 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.”
The Targum adds, “That they may hide the words of thy prophecy.”
“But they shall not prevail against thee”: As to do either: Hinder him from prophesying, stop his mouth, or even take away his life.
“For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee”: As He did; He hid him when they sought for him, and delivered him out of the dungeon and bonds into which he was cast by them (Jer. 1:8).
Of course, the people will not want to accept this message that Jeremiah speaks, because it speaks of doom for them. They will fight back, but God is with Jeremiah. God will deliver Jeremiah out of their hands.
Jeremiah Chapter 1 Questions
- What kind of prophet was Jeremiah known as?
- He was born to a ____________ family.
- Where was he born?
- Why was Jeremiah reluctant to answer the call of God?
- How can we relate to Jeremiah?
- What terrible things went on in the time of Jeremiah’s ministry?
- Did the people heed his warning?
- Who penned this book?
- Jeremiah prophesied during the reign of _____ kings.
- Was Jeremiah taken into captivity?
- A band of Jews forced him to go where?
- Jeremiah did not choose to be a prophet, _______ chose Jeremiah.
- How do we know that Jeremiah’s message was actually God’s message?
- What does the word “Jeremiah” mean?
- Who were contemporaries of Jeremiah?
- Where did each of them prophesy?
- What was Hilkiah, Jeremiah’s father?
- When did the Word of the Lord come to Jeremiah?
- Was Josiah good, or bad?
- What time is verse 3 speaking of?
- Who was the king of Babylon, who took Jerusalem?
- Who named Zedekiah?
- When was Jeremiah known of God?
- What was Jeremiah’s sole purpose in life?
- What excuse did Jeremiah give, for not answering God’s call?
- How old does the author believe Jeremiah was when he was called?
- What was Jeremiah to speak?
- Why should Jeremiah not be afraid of their faces?
- What miraculous thing did God do for Jeremiah?
- What had God set Jeremiah over?
- What did Jeremiah see?
- Who else had a similar experience?
- What are some of the things this could mean?
- What did Jeremiah see the second time?
- What is “seething pot” speaking of?
- Which direction will the enemy come from?
- Why has God brought judgement against Judah?
- What does “gird up thy loins” mean?
- How would Jeremiah be protected?
- What does Jeremiah’s message bring to them?
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