Jeremiah – Chapter 1

Book of JeremiahHave you already read the Introduction to Jeremiah? If not, stop here and go back to it so there is foundation for the study of this book of 52 chapters. Jeremiah is not the longest book of prophecies per chapters but it is per verbiage. He, much like John the Baptist was preordained to be a servant and messenger (angel) of God. It was God’s purpose for his birth.

The first three verses reflect the fact that Jeremiah’s secretary, Baruch, did the penning as Jeremiah spoke the prophecies (see Jeremiah 36:4). The first copy was destroyed by Jehoiakim, King of Judah; son of King Josiah. The formal introduction in verses 1-3 are qualifiers as to the merit and authority of Jeremiah the prophet.

Jeremiah was the son of a priest thus a Levite. Baruch was of the Tribe of Judah. Jeremiah led a very complex life as he carried a message for the Kingdom of Judah and for the already dispersed tribes of the northern Kingdom of Israel. He saw into a future yet to be played out back then and some of it to this very day. In verse 4 Jeremiah goes into the first-person…”then came the word of the Lord unto me…”

Verse 5 tells us that he was a designated visionary and prophet before “God had formed him in the womb.” This is very unusual. Most appointed messengers of God are called after their childhood. Samuel was given by his mother (I Samuel 1:1) to serve the Lord in the Tabernacle as a condition on her delivering a son at birth. John the Baptist was chosen to be a forerunner of Jesus before he was born. Jesus was born as the Son of God through the Holy Spirit to pay the debt of our sin. Just as is Jesus, John the Baptist is mentioned in all four of the synoptic gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Jeremiah was a very young man at this time (v6). In some ways, his life and calling per age at his calling paralleled that of Daniel, Shaddrach, Meshach and Abednego. All four of these folks knew, or knew of each other; certainly contemporaries.

Verse 9 says God touched his lips that day and the Word was put in him. But, what is the comparison with or analogy of 1:11b… “the rod of an almond tree?” almond flowersIn Hebrew history, the almond tree is one of the first trees to “wake up” in the spring and it produces its fruit (nuts) far earlier than do other similar trees. If we went back to Numbers 17 we could get the significance of the rod(s) and almonds. The twelve tribes, each represented by a rod, were bound together. The next day Moses upon entering the Tabernacle saw that Aaron’s rod had sprouted and produced almonds. This was not so of the other 11 rods.

“There is nothing remarkable about a piece of wood with buds, blossoms, or fruit on it. But a piece of dead wood with all these things appearing in one night after sitting in a tent is remarkable. “Miracles in the Bible are often of this sort: natural events in unnatural conditions, timing, and placement.” (Allen)

The leaders of Judah in particular those from the Tribe of Levi and in charge of the Tabernacle at this time would have known the significance of this. Jeremiah was a Levite and a direct descendant of Aaron, the first Levite.

Jeremiah times []

Chronology for Jeremiah times (686 B.C.-586 B.C.).

686—Manasseh assumed sole kingship of Judah

– Jewish tradition says that it was during the rule of Manasseh Isaiah was put to death

648—Birth of Josiah, son of Manasseh

642—Amon succeeded Manasseh as king of Judah

640—Josiah succeeded Amon in the line and DNA of King David.

633—Josiah sought after God (2 Chron 34:3)

– Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria died

– Cyaxares became king of Media

628—Josiah began reforms in Judah

627—Jeremiah called to be a prophet

626—Nabopolassar became king of Babylonia

621—book of the law found in the Temple

612—Nineveh destroyed

609—Josiah slain at Megiddo

– Jehoahaz ruled three months

– Jehoiakim enthroned in Jerusalem

605—Babylonians defeated Egyptians at Carchemish

– Daniel, other hostages, and vessels taken to Babylon (Dan 1:1)

– Nebuchadnezzar became king of Babylon

604—Nebuchadnezzar returned to Pal. to receive tribute

601—Nebuchadnezzar defeated near Egypt

598—Jehoiakim’s reign ended

– Jehoiachin ruled from 9 Dec 598 to 16 March 597 and deported 22 April 597.

597—Zedekiah began as king in Judah

588—Siege of Jerusalem began on January 15

587—Jeremiah imprisoned (Jer 32:1, 2)

586—July 18, Zedekiah fled (2 Kings 25:2, 3; Jer 39:4; 52:5-7) Aug. 14, destruction began (2 Kings 25:8-10)

Oct. 7, 586 — Gedaliah slain and Jews migrated to Egypt taking Jeremiah with them but against his will.
The above gives us a great look at other events during the life of Jeremiah. It helps us to put things into historical context and perspective. We might like to know that it is also during the life of Jeremiah King Sennacherib of Assyria sacked Babylon; King Xi of Zhou becomes King of the Zhou Dynasty of China; the Assyria and Egypt were at war; 668 B.C. Nineveh of Jonah fame becomes the largest known city in the world; the Mayan empire of South America was in full swing; Lucius Tarquinius Priscus becomes king of Rome; by 612 B.C. Babylon replaces Nineveh as the largest city of the known world; the Chinese invent printing; 640 B.C. Macedonia of (future) Alexander the Great fame is established as a city-state; the Kingdom of Judah followed Baal including child sacrifice.

God concludes chapter 1 with this promise to Jeremiah…

(ESV) They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the LORD, to deliver you.”miniJim

Jeremiah: The Weeping Prophet

jeremiahHe began his prophecy during the time of the prophet Zephaniah and prophetess Huldah, in the thirteenth year of King Josiah’s reign around 627 B.C. His ministry immediately preceded that of Zephaniah. Habakkuk was a contemporary, as most likely was Obadiah. Since Ezekiel began his ministry in Babylon in 593, he too was a late contemporary of the great prophet in Jerusalem. Jeremiah lived until around 560 B.C. but his prophesying ended with the capture of Jerusalem around 597 B.C. Jewish history tells us he fled or was taken to Egypt. However, Nebuchadnezzar befriended him as he had prophesied NOT to resist since this was a judgment of God.

Jeremiah was probably 20 to 22 years old when God called him. That is quite young for a guy to be called in front of the King of Judah or any high official. He would fit in well with the protests of the college campus students over everything and anything they want to protest per his age grouping. The major difference, Jeremiah was called of God, not some protest group. They protest without answers or solutions. Jeremiah didn’t protests. He simply gave the solution; one the kings of Judah did not want to follow. Jeremiah served as one of God’s prophets through the rule of five kings of Judah; Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin and Zedekiah. Contemporary prophets during the time of Jeremiah include Zephaniah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Daniel and Ezekiel.

A great timeline website for the deep study bible student, one who enjoys historical knowledge go to

He was repeatedly arrested and King Jehoiakim had his prophecies burned after personally shredding them. But, Jeremiah’s scribe Baruch produced new copy.

Jer 1:1-10 – Jeremiah’s call
Jer 7:1-34 – Sermon against the Temple
Jer 16:1-4 – God instructs Jeremiah not to marry
Jer 36:1-32 – Jeremiah’s burned scroll by king Jehoiakim of Judah
Jer 43:1-7 – Jeremiah taken to Egypt (voluntarily or involuntarily is not know)

Jeremiah was born in Anathoth. Other mentions of this village in Jeremiah are found below:

Jeremiah 1:1 The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin:

Jeremiah 11:21 Therefore thus says Yahweh concerning the men of Anathoth, who seek your life, saying, You shall not prophesy in the name of Yahweh, that you not die by our hand;

Jeremiah 11:23 and there shall be no remnant to them: for I will bring evil on the men of Anathoth, even the year of their visitation.

Jeremiah 29:27 Now therefore, why have you not rebuked Jeremiah of Anathoth, who makes himself a prophet to you,

Jeremiah 32:7 Behold, Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle shall come to you, saying, Buy my field that is in Anathoth; for the right of redemption is yours to buy it.

Jeremiah 32:8 So Hanamel my uncle’s son came to me in the court of the guard according to the word of Yahweh, and said to me, Please buy my field that is in Anathoth, which is in the land of Benjamin; for the right of inheritance is yours, and the redemption is yours; buy it for yourself. Then I knew that this was the word of Yahweh.

Jeremiah 32:9 I bought the field that was in Anathoth of Hanamel my uncle’s son, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver.



an’-a-thoth (`anathoth; Anathoth): A town which lay between Michmash and Jerusalem (Isaiah 10:30), in the territory of Benjamin, assigned to the Levites (Joshua 21:18). It was the native place of Abiathar (1 Kings 2:26), and of the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:1; Jeremiah 11:21, etc.). Here lay the field which, under remarkable circumstances, the prophet purchased (Jeremiah 32:7). Two of David’s distinguished soldiers, Abiezer (2 Samuel 23:27) and Jehu (1 Chronicles 12:3), also hailed from Anathoth. It was again occupied by the Benjamites after the return from the Exile (Nehemiah 11:32, etc.). It is identified with `Anata, two and a quarter miles Northeast of Jerusalem, a small village of some fifteen houses with remains of ancient walls. There are quarries in the neighborhood from which stones are still carried to Jerusalem. It commands a spacious outlook over the uplands to the North, and especially to the Southeast, over the Jordan valley toward the Dead Sea and the mountains of Moab. There is nothing to shelter it from the withering power of the winds from the eastern deserts (Jeremiah 4:11; Jeremiah 18:17, etc.).  (Wikipedia)


  1. Ewing:
    Jeremiah’s attitude toward the *Deuteronomic reforms of King Josiah of Judah is difficult to assess. Clearly, he would have found much in them with which to agree; a passage in chapter 11 of Jeremiah, in which he is called on by Yahweh to urge adherence to the ancient Covenant upon “the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem,” is frequently interpreted as indicating that the prophet traveled around Jerusalem and the villages of Judah exhorting the people to follow the reforms. If this was the case, Jeremiah later became disillusioned with the reforms because they dealt too largely with the externals of religion and not with the inner spirit and ethical conduct of the people. This is not uncommon even in today’s churches.

*Deuteronomists were a school or movement who edited the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings into a more or less unified history of Israel (the so-called Deuteronomistic History) during the Jewish exile in Babylon (6th century BCE).[

Jeremiah prophesied not just during the reign of Jehoiakim, but began his prophetic career during the reign of Josiah ramping it up when Jehoiakim came to the throne of Judah. Josiah is seen as a good king. However, Jehoiakim very much disliked Jeremiah and his prophecies per the Kingdom of Judah. King Zedekiah, the son of Jehoiakin, put him in prison and on the run a number of times. He prophesied through the end of the reign of Zedekiah who himself was taken into captivity by the Babylonians. Jeremiah was allowed to remain wherever he wanted as the Babylonians saw him as an okay guy. This attitude was not shared by others in Judah.

It is difficult to discern any structure in Jeremiah, probably because the book had such a long and complex composition history. It can be divided into roughly 6 sections:Book of Jeremiah

  • Chapters 1–25 (The earliest and main core of Jeremiah’s message)
  • Chapters 26–29 (Biographic material and interaction with other prophets)
  • Chapters 30–33 (God’s promise of restoration including Jeremiah’s “new covenant” which is interpreted differently in Judaism than it is in Christianity)
  • Chapters 34–45 (Mostly interaction with Zedekiah and the fall of Jerusalem)
  • Chapters 46–51 (Divine punishment to the nations surrounding Israel)
  • Chapter 52 (Appendix that retells 2 Kings 24.18–25.30)

Jeremiah was active for forty years, from the thirteenth year of Josiah (627 BCE) to the fall of Jerusalem in 587. It is clear from the last chapters of the book, however, that he continued to speak in Egypt after the assassination of Gedaliah, the Babylonian-appointed governor of Judah, in 582. This suggests a theological parallel about Jeremiah comparing him to Moses . Moses spent forty years leading Israel from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land, Jeremiah’s forty years saw Israel exiled from the land and Jeremiah himself ultimately exiled in Egypt.

Several passages in Jeremiah that can be understood as “confessions or laments;” they occur in the first section of the book (chapters 1–25) and are 11:18–12.6, 15:10–21, 17:14–18, 18:18–23, and 20:7–18. Jeremiah wrote the book of Lament-ations (Lamentations).

The following is a list – not exhaustive – of noteworthy sign-acts found in Jeremiah:

  • Jeremiah 13:1–11 The wearing, burial, and retrieval of a linen waistband.
  • Jeremiah 16:1–9 The shunning of the expected customs of marriage, mourning, and general celebration.
  • Jeremiah 19:1–13 the acquisition of a clay jug and the breaking of said jug in front of the religious leaders of Jerusalem.
  • Jeremiah 27–28 The wearing of an oxen yoke and its subsequent breaking by a false prophet, Hananiah.
  • Jeremiah 32:6-15 The purchase of a field in Anathoth for the price of seventeen silver shekels. A demonstration of Jeremiah’s prophecy of a return to this land.
  • Jeremiah 35:1–19 The offering of wine to the Rechabites, a tribe known for living in tents and refusing to drink wine. This was done in the Temple, which is an important part of the breaking of societal norms.

Nebo-Sarsekim Tablet is a clay cuneiform inscription referring to an official at the court of Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon. It may also refer to an official named in the Biblical Book of Jeremiah.

It is currently in the collection of the British Museum. Dated to 595 BC, the tablet was part of an archive from a large sun-worship temple at Sippar. Archaeologists unearthed the tablet in the ancient city of Sippar (about a mile from modern Baghdad) in the 1870s. The tablet is dated just eight years before the events in Jeremiah. According to Jursa, the rarity of the Babylonian name, the high rank of the rab ša-rēši and the close proximity in time make it almost certain that the person mentioned on the tablet is identical with the biblical figure.

No one knows for sure how Jeremiah died. Some think he was stoned to death while in Egypt and by his own people. Some connect him with the British Isles. Some say he returned to Judah to possess the lands he purchased as stated in Jeremiah 32.

His book that bears his name is full of ancient and modern advice about the human character, our mind, and being close to God. Even though he never married he often gives examples of Israel (a wife) and her relationship with her husband (God). It might be wise here to point out to the reader that in Old Testament times God declared himself as the father of Israel. In the New Testament Jesus makes this claim over the church; bride and bride-groom. For those confused by these two seemingly at-odds statements read within this website our lessons on Daniel and Revelation. For those who want the short of it, Daniel 2:4 states: “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.”

Revelation 19:16 brings Jesus to the forefront of this kingdom mentioned by Daniel. It reads: On his [Jesus’] robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords.”

Add Revelation 19:6c and 21:3 to this understanding we find in 19:6… “For the Lord our GOD the Almighty reigns.” Then in 21:3 we read: “…the Lord our GOD will live with them. God himself will be with them.”

Jeremiah knew this but Israel continually refused to honor the covenants made between God and them as a separate people. Jesus covenants with the church, although they differ from God’s covenants with Israel, lead to the same conclusion and singular kingdom on earth.  Much of what Daniel studied in his years and lifetime in Babylon was the writings of Jeremiah. It will do us as students of the Word to do the same thing.miniJim



In Search of Purpose

Young people today are looking for their purpose in life. The world offers external stimuli that caters to the feelings and emotions of the younger generation. The Rev Paul Hoffmasterproblem with the secular approach is the ever changing satisfaction level of the recipient. When the level of acceptance begins to diminish, something new and exciting must be offered to fend off complacency. The world strives to feed the hungry seekers with high energy experiences that it hopes will fill the void in their lives. The problem with these approaches is they are temporary and ever changing. Apologist Ravi Zacharias once said, “People listen with their eyes and think with their feelings.” So many people are influenced by what they read and hear. Whatever goes through the air waves seems to carry an hypnotic affect on the hearers. If it is presented through the media outlets, many believe it must be right. Television and its cohorts, the news, and social media, all carry an invitation to experience truth through opinionated editorials. The evidence of this is the post election exchanges. To hear people’s reactions to the election evidences the biased rhetoric they have adopted from their selected sources. Young people are swayed to a large degree by what they see and hear. The world’s invitation to personal fulfillment is only a temporary fix to a permanent need.

What is the Church doing to counter the world’s offers? What can the Church do to attract young people from the wilderness of endless wanderings? Young people are looking for honesty, truthfulness, and integrity. They are tired of trying different things that continue to change seasonally. Young people listen to what they see and if it doesn’t fulfill their void, they will reject it for something else. Since the Church is made up of people, the younger generation will judge the validity of its claim by Christians themselves. If they see hypocrisy, they will dismiss the Church as just another movement that is trying to enlist their involvement. The Church is failing to understand what the younger generation is saying.

The Church seems to be caught up in the world’s methodology. Music is changed to cater to the emotions of the hearers. If you were to take the words out of Christian contemporary music, you could not tell the difference from the world’s music. Many churches are having two Sunday morning services; one a traditional worship, the other a contemporary gathering. Instead of keeping the unity of the Believers, there is a division. Family worship was just that, but today many young people never sit with their parents due to competing services or programs. One local church advertised a second service with an invitation that if they felt uncomfortable with worshiping in their sanctuary, they could come to their alternate service that meets in their gym. Pastors are shedding their suits and ties for jeans and sandals. The efforts that the Church is taking to reach the unchurched is meeting with little or no success. Yet the Church charges on with the hope that somehow they will find an answer for numerical growth.

The biggest problem facing the Church today is Christians who are not complementing Biblical teachings. It is not the type of worship that draws people to the Church, it is the One whom we promote. The younger generation wants unfaltering Truth. The kind of Truth that will set them free! They don’t want a cleaned up worldly approach. They want Truth with integrity.

In these changing times, it is not time for the Church to change from what has worked for generations. It is the proclaimed Word, not the logistics that makes the difference. It seems we sing “more like the world, we shall ever be,” instead of singing, “more like the Master I will ever be.” When we stay faithful to His Word, God will add to the Church! 

The Unpardonable Sin


  • Unpardonable sin…

    This means once committed it is not pardonable! Not now; not later; not ever. Satan are you listening?

    One of the most often asked questions is what is the unpardonable sin? What is blasphemy? Let’s take a look at what scripture tells us per these questions. However, it must be emphasized that if one is busy following Jesus and worshiping God, there is no chance of committing the unpardonable sin. Here are three synoptic gospel verses to consider.

    Jesus is the one making these statements:

    Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come (Matthew 12:31-32).

    Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation—because they said, “He has an unclean spirit” (Mark 3:28-30).

    And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven (Luke 12:10).

    Now let’s also include from our website Revelation Study the same word… “blasphemy.” Revelation 17:3 states, in part “…and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names…” Wikipedia defines it as Blasphemy is the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence to a deity…” It is a deliberate act on one’s part.

    Insulting; showing contempt; a lack of reverence? There goes the excuse of the one who says s/he is neutral per believing in a saving God and committing to Jesus. The blasphemy is found in the words, “lack of reverence.” Insulting and/or showing contempt are overt and obvious acts. But included in this definition is the simple act of not showing reverence; i.e. trying to be neutral, open minded or politically correct no matter what is the truth.

    Example: One knows that stealing is a crime. When one does not violate the law or simply does not get caught, they are not issued a penalty for their actions. When it comes to God, there is no such thing as “not getting caught” so that one does not fit in this situation. However, stealing is punishable. This is true even if up to this point it is the very first time one steals; i.e. a deliberate act on or one’s part or showing a lack of reverence for the law.

    Including the word “CONTEMPT” per the above definition adds to problem. It means getting caught and still showing contempt for the justice system and the law. A personal choice has been made. God is gracious in telling us in the above scriptures that such is forgivable if done against the son of God, Jesus. However, no such contempt against the Holy Spirit is forgivable. Just as in stealing, one made a choice and did the deed. The same is true of God the Holy Spirit. To reject him or turn ones back on him in a deliberate act is unforgivable. This is precisely why Satan does not have a choice to seek forgiveness and make everything alright between him and God. He showed contempt and there is no turning back or forgiveness.

    I recall a bible study where the instructor asked the question, “If Satan sought forgiveness, would God’s love be extended to him and forgive him.” There was great silence in the room as no one wanted to risk the fact that they believe God Is (only) Love. That statement alone, “God is Love,” is very misleading just as declaring the bible is full of stories. Stories may be true, but also may be just stories. It is very misleading to identify the Bible content as anything but history. Two books I have read include a History of the Civil War in America and “StoriesFrom the Civil War. The latter was qualified as unverified but still interesting as a read.  The author of this second book stated: “inside every story is often found a thread of truth.” A thread of truth????? What about Bible stories???? This is a gross misuse of Bible history when one relegates it to a book full of stories.

    Now back to the unpardonable sin focus of this article. None of the verses in our opening quotes from Matthew, Mark and Luke have a qualification. Satan has already done it. The Harlot (institution) will do it. The world has received the gospel of salvation but to reject it by NOT accepting God’s Provided Salvation (spiritual GPS) is akin to rejecting the civil statute of stealing. Once committed it is a done deal. There is and will be a price to pay.

    Nothing is said per who does the blasphemy or contempt. It remains a very loving and assuring statement to realize we can blaspheme Jesus or the Father God and it will be forgiven us. But rejecting, a deliberate act or not or no longer accepting HIM as holy is blasphemy. Notice in Matthew 12 that Jesus has just declared that a kingdom divided against itself (casting out demons in the name of Beelzebub) cannot stand. Without going into the detail of this history found in Matthew 12, anyone at any time can commit the one unforgivable sin. The only qualifier is one’s vocalization or demonstration of contempt for and/or claiming the Holy Spirit to be an unclean or non-existent spirit.

    So, can one lose his salvation? No! Can one surrender his salvation? Yes!

    Hebrews 13:5 “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” [NIV]

    Deuteronomy 31: 6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

    However, three passages in the New Testament say, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. Satan is already condemned but was once an angel of light in heaven. God will not forsake us, but we can at any time forsake His Spirit.

    Truth Text Red Black BurstFor the purpose of the series thinker, Let me add an after-thought. John 4:23, 24 states, “…a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth” [NIV].

    November 1, 2016