J. Vernon McGee
JEREMIAH WRITER: Jeremiah, “the prophet of the broken heart” HIS LIFE: His book is partly autobiographical since he gave us so much of his personal history. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Born a priest in Anathoth, north of Jerusalem (1:1). Chosen to be a prophet before he was born (1:5). Called to the prophetic office while very young (1:6). Commissioned (1:9-10). Began his ministry during the reign of King Josiah and was a mourner at his funeral ( kjv@2Chronicles:35:25). Forbidden to marry because of the terrible times (16:1-4). Never made a convert, and was rejected by his people (11:1821; 12:6; 18:18), hated, beaten, put in stocks (20:1-3), imprisoned (37:11-16), and charged with being a traitor. His message broke his own heart (9:1). Wanted to resign but could not (20:9). He saw the destruction of Jerusalem and the Babylonian captivity, and was permitted to remain in the land by the captain of the Babylonian forces. When the remnant wanted to flee to Egypt, Jeremiah prophesied against it (42:15-43:3), was forced to go with the remnant to Egypt (43:6-7), and died there. Tradition says that he was stoned by the remnant.
8. 9. 10.
HIS PERSONALITY: God chose this man, who had a mother’s heart, a trembling voice, and tear-filled eyes, to deliver a harsh message of judgment. The message that he gave broke his own heart. One author has written, “He was not a man mighty as Elijah, eloquent as Isaiah, or seraphic as Ezekiel, but one who was timid and shrinking, conscious of his helplessness, yearning for a sympathy and love he was never to know — such was the chosen organ through which the Word of the Lord came to that corrupt and degenerate age.” The Lord Jesus Christ, weeping over Jerusalem, was a perfect fulfillment of Jeremiah.
HIS MESSAGE: The message of Jeremiah was the most unwelcome ever delivered to a people. He was called a traitor because he said that they were to yield to Babylon (34; 38:17-23). Isaiah, almost a century before him, had said to resist. Why this change? In Jeremiah’s day there was only one thing left to do — surrender. In the economy of God the nation was through (15:1), and the “times of the Gentiles” had already begun with Babylon, the head of gold (cf. kjv@Daniel:2). Jeremiah predicted the 70-year captivity in Babylon (25:9-12). However, he saw beyond the darkness to the light, and no prophet spoke so glowingly of the future as did he (23:3-8; 30; 31; 33:15-22). The message of Jeremiah was not only unwelcomed, but it was rejected by the nation (26:8-16). KEY WORDS: Backsliding — occurs 13 times (used only 4 other times in the Old Testament Proverbs once, Hosea three times) Babylon — occurs 164 times (more than in the rest of Scripture combined) OUTLINE: (Difficult to outline because there is no logical or chronological order) I. Call of prophet during reign of Josiah, Chapter 1 II. Prophecies to Judah and Jerusalem prior to Zedekiah’s reign, Chapters 2 — 20 A. Twofold condemnation of Judah, Chapters 2 — 3:5 1. Rejected Jehovah 2. Reared their own gods B. Charge of backsliding during reign of Josiah, Chapters 3:6 — 6:30 C. Warning delivered in the gate of the Lord’s house, Chapters 7 — 10 D. Israel disobeyed God’s covenant made in wilderness, Chapters 11, 12 E. Parable in action — the linen girdle, Chapter 13
F. Backsliding nation judged by drought and famine, Chapters 14, 15 G. Jeremiah forbidden to marry, Chapters 16 — 17:18 H. Message to king in the gate, Chapter 17:19-27 I. Sign at the potter’s house, Chapters 18, 19 J. Jeremiah’s persecution, Chapter 20 III. Prophecies during reign of Zedekiah, Chapters 21 — 29 (Leads to destruction of Jerusalem) A. B. C. D. E. Answer to Zedekiah re: Nebuchadnezzar, Chapters 21, 22 A bright light in a very dark day, Chapter 23 Parable of two baskets of figs, Chapter 24 God spells out 70-year captivity, Chapter 25 Message in temple court during reign of Jehoiakim, Chapter 26 F. Parable of the yokes, Chapters 27, 28 G. Message of hope to first delegation of captives, Chapter 29 IV. Prophecies re: future of 12 tribes and Judah’s near captivity, Chapters 30 — 39 A. B. C. D. E. F. G. Coming of Great Tribulation, Chapter 30 The “I will” chapter, Chapter 31 Jeremiah imprisoned, buys real estate, Chapter 32 Coming kingdom as promised to David, Chapter 33 Zedekiah’s captivity foretold, Chapter 34 Rechabites obey God, Chapter 35 Jehoiakim destroys Word of God with knife and fire, Chapter 36 H. Jeremiah imprisoned again, Chapters 37, 38 I. Judah goes into captivity; Jeremiah released from prison, Chapter 39 V. Prophecies to remnant left in land after destruction of Jerusalem, Chapters 40 — 42 VI. Prophecies during Jeremiah’s last days in Egypt, Chapters 43 — 51 A. To remnant in Egypt, Chapters 43, 44 B. To Baruch, Chapter 45
C. D. E. F.
To Egypt, Chapter 46 To Philistia, Chapter 47 To Moab, Chapter 48 To Ammon, Edom, Damascus, Kedar, Hazor and Elam, Chapter 49 G. To Babylon, Chapters 50, 51 VII. Fulfillment of prophesied destruction of Jerusalem, Chapter 52 COMMENT: I. Call of prophet during reign of Josiah, Chapter 1 5:1 — Jeremiah is the son of Hilkiah, the priest of Anathoth. Evidently this was the Hilkiah who found the book of the Law of the Lord given by Moses, which sparked the revival during the reign of Josiah ( kjv@2Kings:22:8; kjv@2Chronicles:34:14-21). Anathoth was a few miles directly north of Jerusalem. 5:2 — Josiah, 8 years old when he came to the throne, reigned 31 years. Jeremiah began his ministry when Josiah was 22 years old, and he prophesied during 18 years of Josiah’s reign. Jeremiah was a mourner at his funeral ( kjv@2Chronicles:35:25). 5:3 — Jehoahaz, a son of Josiah not mentioned here, reigned 3 months. Then the king of Egypt placed another son, Eliakim (Jehoiakim), upon the throne, and he reigned 11 years. When he rebelled, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, took him captive to Babylon and placed on the throne at Jerusalem Jehoiachin, who reigned 3 months and 10 days. Nebuchadnezzar took him captive to Babylon and placed Zedekiah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, on the throne, and he reigned 11 years. When Zedekiah rebelled, Nebuchadnezzar came and destroyed Jerusalem, slew the sons of Zedekiah, put out Zedekiah’s eyes, and took him captive to Babylon. Jeremiah continued his ministry to the remnant left at Jerusalem. The remnant forced him to go with them when they fled to Egypt, and this is where he died. vv. 4, 5 — Jeremiah was called to the prophetic office before his birth. The Lord told him this to give him courage and conviction.
v. 6 — Notice the reluctance and hesitation of Jeremiah. “Child” is “young man”; he was about 20. vv. 7-10 — God empowered Jeremiah and put His words in his mouth. vv. 11, 12 — Sign of a rod of an almond tree — the almond tree is called “waker” because it wakes first from the long night of winter to bloom in the spring. Jeremiah was to be an alarm clock to wake the nation from a life of ease, luxury, and indifference to the coming danger. An alarm clock is never popular when it is ringing early in the morning. vv. 13-18 — Sign of the seething (boiling) pot in the north — Egypt and Assyria were no longer a danger to the southern kingdom of Judah, but the boiling pot in the north was the rising power of Babylon, which eventually would destroy the nation. 5:19 — Jeremiah was to alert the nation to the new danger, but they would resist and reject his warning — in fact, they would attempt to destroy him. II. Prophecies to Judah and Jerusalem prior to Zedekiah’s reign, Chapters 2 — 20 A. Twofold condemnation of Judah, Chapters 2 — 3:5 1. Rejected Jehovah 2. Reared their own gods Chapter 2 vv. 1-7 — God asks His people to remember the springtime of their relationship to Him. They loved and served Him. God blessed them and gave them a good land. Then they turned from Him. 5:8 — The reason: the priests no longer knew God and turned to Baal. 5:9 — The Lord would not give them up. 5:13 — They reared up their own gods and followed their own devices. People may reject God, but they cannot get rid of their need for Him — they must substitute something.
Chapter 3 5:1 — Judah played the harlot, yet God asks her to return to Him. 5:3 — God judges her by withholding rainfall. B. Charge of backsliding during reign of Josiah, Chapters 3:6 — 6:30 Backsliding is mentioned 7 times in chapter 3 (more than half the number in the entire book). 5:6 — Pagan gods and heathen altars are placed on the mountaintops and under trees in groves. Israel had turned from the living God to these. 5:14 — Israel belongs to Jehovah by the right of redemption out of Egypt. She is the wife of Jehovah in a spiritual relationship. Jehovah looks to the future — “I will bring you to Zion.” vv. 15-18 — “In those days” is a reference to the millennial kingdom. This is the first of a long list of prophecies filled with glorious prospects for the future. 5:19 — In that day the nation Israel will call Jehovah their Father — that which they have never done before. 5:23 — See kjv@Psalms:121:1. Chapter 4 vv. 6-8 — Jeremiah continues to warn of the coming invasion by Babylon. He urges the nation to return to God. 5:22 — This is God’s charge against His people. Chapter 5 — Jeremiah spells out the specific sins of the people. 5:1 — This reminds us of Diogenes who went through the streets of the city with a lantern looking for an honest man. Jeremiah says that they are scarce in Jerusalem. 5:8 — Adultery is the prevalent sin. 5:23 — The people revolt against God. 5:27 — They have become great and rich, but their homes are honeycombed with deceit.
Chapter 6 — Conclusion of message against the backsliding nation. 5:1 — The tribe of Benjamin is warned to flee from Jerusalem before the fatal blow falls upon the city. 5:10 — The word of warning is unheeded. 5:13 — The entire nation is obsessed with covetousness. 5:14 — The propaganda of this day promises peace ( kjv@1Thessalonians:5:3). 5:16 — God urges them to return to the old paths of blessing, but they refuse. 5:22 — The enemy from the north was surely coming. C. Warning delivered in the gate of the Lord’s house, Chapters 7 — 10 Chapter 7 vv. 1, 2 — Jeremiah is now to carry his message to the people who are coming to the Lord’s house to worship. If anyone in the nation should listen, it would seem that these would be the people. But their worship is formal ritualism with no life or meaningful message for their hearts. vv. 3, 4 — Jeremiah implores them not to depend on a dead religion to deliver them from coming judgment. vv. 9, 10 — Their lives deny the religion they profess. 5:11 — This is the same charge that the Lord Jesus will make later on when He cleanses the temple. 5:16 — God says that it is no longer useful to pray for the people. They are too far gone — gone too far away from God. 5:20 — A severe warning. 5:23 — The nation is commanded, “Obey my voice.” vv. 24-27 — Although the message will go unheeded, Jeremiah’s responsibility is to deliver it. 5:34 — Judgment is coming to Jerusalem.
Chapter 8 — The theme is still the backsliding of the people of Jerusalem. 5:9 — The crowning sin is that they reject the Word of the Lord. 5:11 — False prophets are like quack doctors who offer only temporary relief instead of real or permanent healing. 5:12 — The nation not only indulged in sinful acts, but was doing them unblushingly — with no shame. vv. 13, 17 — The emphasis is upon the Word of the Lord — “saith the LORD.” 5:20 — The accepted time and day of salvation were slipping away, and it would soon be too late for their deliverance. 5:22 — God had made adequate provision, but they refuse the remedy. Chapter 9 — The emphasis is on the Word of God — “saith the LORD” (vv. 3, 6, 9, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22-25). 5:1 — When Jeremiah delivers a message of judgment and sees the people spurn the solicitude of God, it breaks his heart. 5:2 — He longs to flee from his own people who will not give up their sinning. His is a painful path. 5:16 — He warns that they will be scattered among the Gentiles. vv. 23, 24 — They need to have God’s set of values. Spiritual endowment is more valuable than tangible wealth. Chapter 10 — This concludes the message in the gate of the Lord’s house. 5:6 — The Lord cannot be compared to anything. 5:11 — The gods of the heathen are not creators. 5:12 — The Lord is the Creator of the earth and the heavens. 5:23 — Man as a creature cannot guide himself in God’s creation. God gave man everything he needed except a steering wheel. God wants to guide man. D. Israel disobeyed God’s covenant made in wilderness, Chapters 11, 12
Chapter 11 5:3 — Judgment will ensue for disobedience. 5:8 — The simple fact is: “Yet they obeyed not.” vv. 12-17 — Jeremiah pronounces judgment. vv. 18-21 — Because Jeremiah delivers faithfully God’s solemn Word, he is rejected by his hometown of Anathoth. Chapter 12 5:6 — He is rejected by his own family for the same reason. 5:15 — God has not utterly repudiated them. This is the glimmer of light that shines in the darkest hour. E. Parable in action — the linen girdle, Chapter 13 vv. 1-7 — Jeremiah takes a linen girdle and goes to the Euphrates to hide it. vv. 8-27 — God explains this strange act. 5:11 — God had bound Israel to Himself like a belt (girdle); but because of their disobedience and sinning, He will send them to Babylon. vv. 12-14 — Fierce and harsh judgment is coming. 5:16 — This is the last call of God before the fatal blow will fall. 5:19 — This is a vivid prophecy literally fulfilled — total captivity. 5:23 — It is impossible for Israel (or mankind) to do good. F. Backsliding nation judged by drought and famine, Chapters 14, 15 Chapter 14 vv. 2-6 — He describes the condition of the land in the drought. 5:7 — Jeremiah confesses, “We have sinned,” but to no avail. 5:11 — It will do no good to pray for them. vv. 13, 15 — False prophets lie when they say that there will be no famine or sword in the land.
v. 17 — Jeremiah is moved to tears, revealing the heart of God. Chapter 15 5:1 — The nation is in such a desperate condition of sin that even the prayers of Moses and Samuel would not be heard. 5:10 — Jeremiah does have a sense of humor. We still have the old adage: The best way to lose a friend is to lend him money! 5:16 — Jeremiah finds comfort and joy in the Word of God, though it is hard to swallow. G. Jeremiah forbidden to marry, Chapters 16 — 17:18 Chapter 16 vv. 1-4 — God knows how women and children will suffer in the invasion. O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. kjv@Psalms:137:8-9) By this we know that the invading army took Israel’s little ones and dashed their heads against the stones. God wants to spare Jeremiah this anguish. Our Lord gives warning of the coming Tribulation period. And woe unto those who are with child, and to those who nurse children in those days! kjv@Matthew:24:19) vv. 14, 15 — In this darkest moment of their history, the prophet sees the brightest future. Jehovah will restore them to the land. 5:17 — Their iniquity is not concealed from the eye of God. 5:21 — They must recognize and obey their God. Chapter 17 5:5 — “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man.” 5:7 — “Blessed is the man who trusteth in the LORD.” 5:8 — See kjv@Psalms:1:3. vv. 9, 10 — Only God knows how depraved the human heart
really is. No man can fathom its depths of iniquity (see kjv@Matthew:15:19). H. Message to king in the gate, Chapter 17:19-27 vv. 21, 22 — They are to observe the Sabbath day. 5:27 — Failure to obey will mean the destruction of the gates and palaces of Jerusalem. I. Sign at the potter’s house, Chapters 18, 19 Chapter 18 vv. 3, 4 — Notice the power of the Potter and the personality of the clay. The Potter has absolute power over the clay. (Paul uses the same figure of speech in kjv@Romans:9:21 potter and kjv@2Timothy:2:21 clay.) 5:6 — This teaches the incontestable and irresistible sovereignty of God. Israel is clay in the Potter’s hand. There are 3 striking and important features: 1. The Potter, 2. the clay, 3. the wheel (fortuitous concurrence of circumstances). 5:8 — Notice the personality of the Potter and the power of the clay. Man is different from clay — he is given a will. He can yield to God. The Potter is not arbitrary or vindictive. He is patient. “He remembers that we are dust” kjv@Psalms:103:14). 5:18 — Jerusalem rejects Jeremiah and his message. Chapter 19 — Jeremiah pronounces a frightful judgment upon Jerusalem. The clay has resisted the hand of the Potter. J. Jeremiah’s persecution, Chapter 20 vv. 1, 2 — Pashur, priest and governor in the temple, puts Jeremiah in stocks. 5:4 — Jeremiah gives a precise prophecy against Pashur. 5:9 — Because the message was breaking Jeremiah’s heart, and it had earned for him the persecution of the religious rulers, he
attempts to resign. However, he finds that he cannot, for God’s Word is in the very fiber of his being. vv. 14-18 — Jeremiah indulges in a sorrowful dirge of “Why was I born?” He is like Job and Elijah before him in this. III. Prophecies during reign of Zedekiah, Chapters 21 — 29 (Leads to destruction of Jerusalem) A. Answer to Zedekiah re: Nebuchadnezzar, Chapters 21, 22 Chapter 21 5:1 — In the presence of danger, Zedekiah turns to Jeremiah. 5:8 — God offers the nation one more opportunity to turn to Him. Chapter 22 — Jeremiah calls upon Zedekiah to turn back to God in obedience. He warns that failure to do so will bring immediate judgment. vv. 24-30 — This is the harshest judgment ever pronounced upon any man (including Cain and Judas). The man is Jehoiachin (or Jeconiah), last king of the line of David by Solomon. kjv@Matthew:1:11 reveals that Joseph was in this line and therefore could not be the father of Jesus. Jesus must come from the line of Mary through Nathan, a son of David kjv@Jeremiah:33:17 kjv@Jeremiah:36:30; kjv@Luke:3:31). B. A bright light in a very dark day, Chapter 23 vv. 3-8 — This is the prophecy of the regathering of the nation Israel for the Millennium. It will far outstrip the exodus out of Egypt in miracle and power. Read these verses carefully. vv. 16-21 — The false prophets persisted in prophesying peace. God repudiates them. C. Parable of two baskets of figs, Chapter 24 Read this chapter carefully. God makes a distinction between the remnant that was faithful to Him in the nation and the rest who were apostate. Figs and the fig tree are figures of the nation Israel (12 tribes). D. God spells out 70-year captivity, Chapter 25 5:9 — God calls Nebuchadnezzar His servant.
v. 11 — Notice how the 70-year Babylonian captivity is spelled out (read kjv@2Chronicles:36:21; kjv@Daniel:9:2). vv. 15-26 — Jeremiah concludes the prophecy by taking the familiar figure of the wine cup of the wrath of God. These are the bowls of wrath in kjv@Revelation:15 and 16 which lead to the final judgment of the 2 Babylons. E. Message in temple court during reign of Jehoiakim, Chapter 26 vv. 8-16 — Jeremiah’s message of impending judgment brings down the threat of death from the princes of Judah. vv. 18, 19 — Jeremiah refers them to a similar prophecy of Micah during the reign of Hezekiah kjv@Micah:3:12). vv. 20-24 — Uriah was put to death by Jehoiakim for prophesying against Jerusalem. F. Parable of the yokes, Chapters 27, 28 Chapter 27 — The yoke of Babylon would be put on the surounding nations by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. Chapter 28 vv. 1-4 — The yoke of Babylon will be broken, and Israel (12 tribes) will return. vv. 15-17 — Hananiah, the prophet, is denounced as a false prophet, and death is pronounced upon him. G. Message of hope to first delegation of captives, Chapter 29 5:10 — After 70 years they will return. IV. Prophecies re: future of 12 tribes and Judah’s near captivity, Chapters 30 — 39 A. Coming of Great Tribulation, Chapter 30 5:3 — God promises that both Israel and Judah will return to the land (this has not been fulfilled). vv. 4-7 — The future glorious return to the land will be preced-
ed by the time of the Great Tribulation, labeled here “the time of Jacob’s trouble.” 5:9 — David will be raised from the dead to reign again over them. vv. 10, 11 — There is a glorious prospect for the future because of the mercy and faithfulness of God. Israel will never be destroyed although other nations will be. B. The “I will” chapter, Chapter 31 (“I will” occurs 15 times) 5:3 — The prospect of the future is bright because of God’s love for them. vv. 8-11 — God promises a future regathering of Israel (12 tribes) and the redemption of the nation. 5:9 — There exists a Father-son relationship of God to the nation, but this does not hold for the individual Israelite. 5:15 — This is a remarkable verse in connection with the first coming of Christ kjv@Matthew:2:18). It will have even a larger fulfillment for the future. 5:22 — This is another remarkable verse that is interpreted as a reference to the virgin birth of Jesus. vv. 31-37 — A new covenant with Israel (12 tribes) is promised by God. This will be different from the covenant given to Moses at Mt. Sinai. The grand distinction is that this covenant will be engraved upon their hearts and not upon cold tables of stone. Their sins will be forgiven. This covenant will never be changed or abrogated. 5:38 — The tower of Hananeel was lost for centuries, but archaeologists have now located it again kjv@Nehemiah:3:1; kjv@Zechariah:14:10). C. Jeremiah imprisoned, buys real estate, Chapter 32 vv. 1-5 — Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon besieges Jerusalem in the tenth year of Zedekiah. Jeremiah is put in prison for predicting that God would deliver the city to Nebuchadnezzar and also that Zedekiah would go into captivity.
vv. 6-15 — Hanameel, a cousin of Jeremiah, wants to sell his inheritance because of the presence of Nebuchadnezzar in the land. Jeremiah buys the field to prove that he believes the prophecy of future blessing will come true. (Using the old aphorism, he puts his money where his mouth is.) vv. 16-25 — Jeremiah prays about buying the field, for he does not consider it a good business deal. vv. 26-44 — Jehovah answers Jeremiah by putting down the axiom that nothing is too hard for God. God is delivering the city over to the Chaldeans, and in His own time He will deliver the city from the Chaldeans. Jehovah is delivering them for judgment. In a future day, He will deliver them in mercy as He has promised. D. Coming kingdom as promised to David, Chapter 33 5:1 — This glorious prophecy of the kingdom comes to Jeremiah when he is in prison. 5:3 — God’s promise of encouragement to Jeremiah. vv. 14-18 — God’s covenant with David (2 Samuel 7:11-25). vv. 19-22 — God will make good His promise to David in spite of the sin of David’s line. E. Zedekiah’s captivity foretold, Chapter 34 5:2 — Jerusalem is to be burned with fire by the king of Babylon. 5:3 — Zedekiah is to be delivered to the king of Babylon. F. Rechabites obey God, Chapter 35 5:16 — The Rechabites, part of the remnant, are in contrast to the nation. G. Jehoiakim destroys Word of God with knife and fire, Chapter 36 vv. 1, 2 — Jeremiah sends the Word of God to Jehoiakim. 5:18 — Baruch delivers the Word in writing to the king. vv. 21-24 — The king brazenly cuts the Word of God with a penknife and burns it with fire.
vv. 27-28 — Jeremiah sends another message in writing. 5:30 — No one in the line of Jehoiakim is ever to sit on the throne of David. H. Jeremiah imprisoned again, Chapters 37, 38 (There are 5 recorded imprisonments of the prophet. See the Scofield Reference Bible notes for these chapters.) Chapter 38 vv. 17-23 — From prison, Jeremiah pleads with Zedekiah to obey God. 5:28 — Jeremiah is in prison at the time of the captivity. I. Judah goes into captivity; Jeremiah released from prison, Chapter 39 5:7 — Zedekiah’s eyes are put out. vv. 11, 12 — Jeremiah is released and permitted to do as he pleases. V. Prophecies to remnant left in land after destruction of Jerusalem, Chapters 40 — 42 Chapter 40 5:4 — The captain of the guard permits Jeremiah to choose whether he wants to go to Babylon or remain in the land. Jeremiah chooses to remain. Chapter 41 — Jeremiah speaks to the remnant. vv. 4-6— They promise to obey the voice of the Lord. Chapter 42 vv. 18-20 — Jeremiah warns the remnant not to go to Egypt. VI. Prophecies during Jeremiah’s last days in Egypt, Chapters 43 — 51 A. To remnant in Egypt, Chapters 43, 44 Chapter 43 5:2 — The remnant refuses to believe Jeremiah. vv. 10, 11 — Jeremiah warns that Nebuchadnezzar will take
Egypt also and will yet take those of the remnant who go there for refuge. They will not escape the king of Babylon. However, they refuse to heed the warning, and they take Jeremiah with them to Tahpanhes in Egypt. Chapter 44 5:16 — The remnant in Egypt refuse to obey the Word of the Lord. B. To Baruch, Chapter 45 5:1 — This message was given during the reign of Jehoiakim. (Remember that the Book of Jeremiah is not arranged chronologically.) 5:5 — Evil days are not conducive for personal gain. C. To Egypt, Chapter 46 5:17 — Egypt will be reduced to a second-rate power by Nebuchadnezzar. 5:19 — Noph is Memphis, the great city of Egypt, and is to be finally destroyed. D. To Philistia, Chapter 47 5:4 — There will be no help from Tyre and Sidon. 5:5 — Gaza and Ashkelon are to be destroyed. E. To Moab, Chapter 48 5:4 — Moab is to be destroyed. 5:42 — Moab is no longer to be a people. The modern nation of the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan occupies the territory of Moab. 5:47 — Moab evidently will enter the Millennium. F. To Ammon, Edom, Damascus, Kedar, Hazor and Elam, Chapter 49 vv. 1-6 — Ammon is to be restored. vv. 7-22 — Edom is to be a perpetual desolation (v. 13). Edom is to remain a city (Petra) but will not be inhabited (vv. 16-18). The continual desolation of Edom is literally fulfilled. vv. 23-27 — Damascus, one of the oldest cities, has been
destroyed many times. vv. 28-33 — Kedar and Hazor, wealthy kingdoms, will become desolate. vv. 34-39 — Elam is to be destroyed but will be restored in “the latter days.” All of these kingdoms are currently nonexistent. G. To Babylon, Chapters 50, 51 Chapter 50 — Babylon, the rod of God’s anger against His own people and other nations, will, in turn, be judged and destroyed. 5:9 — Media-Persia will destroy Babylon. 5:13 — This prophecy has been literally fulfilled. vv. 17, 18 — God will punish Babylon as He has Assyria. 5:24 — Babylon will be destroyed suddenly (see kjv@Daniel:5). 5:26 — It is utter destruction. 5:28 — The report of the destruction of Babylon is to be announced in Zion. vv. 38-40 — The destruction of Babylon is compared to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. 5:42 — Gabyrus, the Median. Chapter 51 vv. 5-9 — Babylon is to be suddenly destroyed (see kjv@Daniel:5). vv. 25, 26 — Perpetual desolation has been literally fulfilled. vv. 36-38 — This has been literally fulfilled. 5:45 — This warning is for that day and also a day which is yet future. vv. 60-64 — Jeremiah wrote out the predicted judgment on Babylon. VII. Fulfillment of prophesied destruction of Jerusalem, Chapter 52 Jeremiah recounts Nebuchadnezzar’s destruction of Jerusalem in detail. What he first gave as prophecy, he now writes as history.
vv. 31-34 — This is the end of Jehoiachin in the line of David through Solomon.
LAMENTATIONS WRITER: Jeremiah ESTIMATION: “There is nothing like the Lamentations of Jeremiah in the whole world. There has been plenty of sorrow in every age, and in every land, but such another preacher and author, with such a heart for sorrow, has never again been born. Dante comes next to Jeremiah, and we know that Jeremiah was the great exile’s favorite prophet.” (Whyte) The book is filled with tears and sorrow. It is a paean of pain, a poem of pity, a proverb of pathos, a hymn of heartbreak, a psalm of sadness, a symphony of sorrow, a story of sifting, a tale of tears, a dirge of desolation, a tragedy of travail, an account of agony, and a book of “boo-hoo.” It is the wailing wall of the Bible. KEY VERSE: It explains the reason that Jerusalem is in ruins. The LORD is righteous; for I have rebelled against his commandment. Hear, I pray you, all people, and behold my sorrow; my virgins and my young men are gone into captivity. kjv@Lamentations:1:18) FEATURE: Jeremiah reminds us of Another as He sat weeping over Jerusalem. The only difference is that Jerusalem was in ruins and the temple burned as Jeremiah gazed upon the debris. Jesus, about 6 centuries later, wept over the city because it would be destroyed again in the near future. To Jeremiah, the destruction of Jerusalem was a matter of history. To Jesus, the destruction of Jerusalem was a matter of prophecy. No blues singer ever sang a sadder song than Jeremiah. Lamentations is composed of 5 of his sad songs, which are elegies.
OUTLINE: I. Elegy, Chapter 1 A call to consider the destruction of Jerusalem. vv. 8, 18 — The reason for the frightful destruction. 5:12 — An invitation to all to enter into the sorrow of the prophet. II. Elegy, Chapter 2 5:10 — Doleful details of the effect of the judgment of God upon the remnant that remain. 5:15 — The elation of the enemy from without. III. Elegy, Chapter 3 The tragic and catastrophic destruction of Jerusalem would have been total had it not been for the mercies and faithfulness of God. IV. Elegy, Chapter 4 Contrast between the former state of prosperity and the present state of Jerusalem in poverty. V. Elegy, Chapter 5 A cry to God to remember the nation Israel. “Prayer of Jeremiah.”
These notes, prepared by J. Vernon McGee, are for the purpose of giving assistance to the listeners of the THRU THE BIBLE RADIO program. They are to be used with the Bible and will be more meaningful as you look up all the Scripture references. Due to the necessary brevity of both notes and broadcasts, a list of recommended books is included for those wanting a more detailed study. These books may be obtained from a Christian library or bookstore or ordered from the publishers.
RECOMMENDED BOOKS: Gaebelein, Arno C. The Annotated Bible. Neptune, New Jersey: Loizeaux Brothers, 1917. Gray, James M. Synthetic Bible Studies. Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1906. Ironside, H. A. Notes on Jeremiah. Neptune, New Jersey: Loizeaux Brothers, 1946. Jensen, Irving L. Isaiah and Jeremiah. Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, n.d. (A self-study guide.) Jensen, Irving L. Jeremiah: Prophet of Judgment. Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1966. Meyer, F. B. Jeremiah: Priest and Prophet. Fort Washington, Pennsylvania: Christian Literature Crusade, 1894. (A rich devotional study.) Sauer, Erich. The Dawn of World Redemption. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1951. (An excellent Old Testament survey.) Scroggie, W. Graham. The Unfolding Drama of Redemption. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1970. (An excellent survey and outline of the Old Testament.) Unger, Merrill F. Unger’s Commentary on the Old Testament. Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1982. (Highly recommended.)
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