Overview of the Book of Jeremiah
Jeremiah – The Weeping Prophet
Jeremiah 2:2,9 Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ….Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD, and with your children’s children will I plead.
Jeremiah 9:1 Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!
KEY WORD: Return (40x)
DATE: Jeremiah began to prophesy when he was a young man in the reign of Josiah (628 B.C.)
Jeremiah started prophesying 100 years later than Isaiah.
Events of the Book of Jeremiah cover 41 years (from 629-588 B.C.) Jeremiah started 22 years before Israel went into captivity and stopped prophesying 2 years before Judah went into captivity.
THEME: Jeremiah makes an appeal to backslidden, sinning Israel to repent and turn back to God in light of the coming invasion of the Babylonian Empire. The book was written over a period of more than 40 years. No chronological order or logical arrangement can be given to the prophesy. It was written to announce to Judah that Babylon would be victorious over her, but that, if Judah would turn from her wickedness, somehow, God would save her from her destruction by the hands of Babylon. Jeremiah spells out a clear account of captivity that would follow Judah’s backsliding and rebellion, and then, the judgments that would come upon the nations for their oppression of Judah.
THE WRITER: Jeremiah
He was the son of a priest. 1:1
He was commanded to remain unmarried. 16:2
He protested his call by God at first, pleading that he was to young 1:6
He was assured that god had already chosen him prior to birth 1:5
He attempted to find one honest man in Jerusalem 5:1-5
He pleaded with Judah to return to God 3:13-14
He fearlessly denounced Judah’s sin and was persecuted:
by his family 12:16
by his home-town people 11:21
by the religious world 2:1-3
He listed Judah’s many sins, such as:
the worship of the queen of heaven 7:18
their sacrifice of their own children to devil gods 8:3
their murder of Judah’s own prophet 2:30
He warned them about coming Babylonian captivity. 4:17, 7:15
He wept over this captivity 4:19-21
He had his original manuscripts burned by king Jehoiakim 36:21-23
He threatened to resign 20:7-9
He was set free by Nebuchadnezzar 40:1-6
He helped the newly appointed governor, Gedaliah 40:6
He advised Johanan when Gedaliah was killed 42:1-5
He was carried by force to Egypt by Jehonan 43:1-7
He continued to preach out against sin 43-44
He probably died in Egypt
Backsliding occurs thirteen times, but Jeremiah’s harsh message of judgment delivered with tears never won a convert. His message was unwelcome and totally rejected.
Jeremiah used many object lessons to teach the people.
He put a yoke upon his neck like an oxen
He broke a bottle in the presence of a ruler
He bought a field and buried the deed
Rulers that Jeremiah ministered under.
Josiah Judah’s last godly king
Jehoiakim Ungodly Bible-burning king
Jehoiachin A ninety-day wonder judged by God
Zedekiah Judah’s final king
Nebuchadnezzar Great Babylonian conquerer
Gedaliah Babylonian-appointed governor of the occupied Jerusalem
Johanan Successor of Gedaliah
A Simple Outline of Jeremiah
Complaints against the Jews ch. 2-20
Prophecies against individuals ch. 21-29
Restoration of Israel ch. 30-33
Historical Narrative ch. 34-35
Judgements of Nations ch. 36-49
Doom of Babylon ch. 50-51
Historical review ch. 52
Nations that Jeremiah prophesied against.
Egypt to be defeated by Nebuchadnezzar 46:1-27
Philistia to be overrun and destroyed by Egyptians 47:1-6
Moab to be conquered by Babylon 48:1-47
Ammmon to be destroyed for sinning against Israel and re-established during the Millennium 49:1-6
Edom to become Sodom and Gomorrah 49:7-22
Damascus to be destroyed in a single day 49:23-27
Kedar and Hazor To be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and re-established in the Millennium. 49:34-39
Babylon There are two Babylons. The historical and the future
As you look at these countries can you name one of them that is not a Modern-Day Muslim Nation? The answer is “NO”
These are all prophesies against ISLAM because that is going to be the kingdom of the Antichrist.
LESSON: There are a lot of truths taught in the book of Jeremiah. We are going to look at some practical things in the Book from Jeremiah’s life.
God had a plan for Jeremiah’s life before Jeremiah was ever born.
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.
God knew you before you were ever born. God created you to do a specific job for Him. God did not create you and then wonder what He was going to do for you. God had a specific task in mind for you to do that only you can do and if you don’t do it, it won’t get done. This is why the will of God is so important. Living for God is exciting. God has things planned for your life that you cannot imagine.
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
You should give yourself to God and love the Lord with all of your heart so you can find out God’s will for your life.
Romans 12:1‑2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Colossians 1:9‑10 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
He didn’t want to do what God wanted him to do because he thought he was to young.
Jeremiah 1:6‑8 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak:
for I am a child.
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.
8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.
There is no place in the Bible that says you have to be a certain age to live right and live holy and do right. When you see the need, you can fill it. When God touches your heart to do something for Him then God knows you are ready. God won’t call you to do something for Him that you cannot do. The best time to serve God is when you are young.
Ecclessiastes 12:1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
1 Samuel 2:18 But Samuel ministered before the LORD, being a child, girded with a linen ephod.
1 Samuel 3:19 And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground.
2 Chronicles 34:1‑2 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem one and thirty years.
2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left.
Psalm 71:17 O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.
Lamentations 3:27 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.
1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
God says that if anyone can live for Him, you can. The Bible teaches that if anyone love God with all of their heart, you can while you are young. You should give your life to God when you are young.
He fearlessly denounced Judah’s sin and was persecuted by his family, and home-town people and the religious crowd of his day.
His Family was against him
Jeremiah 12:5‑8 If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?
6 For even thy brethren, and the house of thy father, even they have dealt treacherously with thee; yea, they have called a multitude after thee: believe them not, though they speak fair words unto thee.
7 I have forsaken mine house, I have left mine heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies.
8 Mine heritage is unto me as a lion in the forest; it crieth out against me: therefore have I hated it.
The people of his home-town were against him
Jeremiah 11:21‑23 Therefore thus saith the LORD of the men of Anathoth, that seek thy life, saying, Prophesy not in the name of the LORD, that thou die not by our hand:
22 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine:
23 And there shall be no remnant of them: for I will bring evil upon the men of Anathoth, even the year of their visitation.
The religious crowd of the day was against him
Jeremiah 26:8‑13 Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak unto all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die.
9 Why hast thou prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate without an inhabitant? And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.
10 When the princes of Judah heard these things, then they came up from the king’s house unto the house of the LORD, and sat down in the entry of the new gate of the LORD’s house.
11 Then spake the priests and the prophets unto the princes and to all the people, saying, This man is worthy to die; for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard with your ears.
12 Then spake Jeremiah unto all the princes and to all the people, saying, The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that ye have heard.
13 Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you.
He preached hard against sin
Jeremiah 2:19 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.
Jeremiah preached against worshiping the queen of heaven which would be similiar to people who pray to and worship Mary as the mother of God.
Jeremiah 7:18‑19 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.
19 Do they provoke me to anger? saith the LORD: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces?
Jeremiah also preached against the shedding of innocent blood or the killing of new born babies to heathen God’s. This would be like our modern day abortion. God keeps track of all the babies that are killed.
Jeremiah 22:17 But thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness, and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence, to do it.
II Kings 24:1‑5 In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up,
and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him.
2 And the LORD sent against him bands of the Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servants the prophets.
3 Surely at the commandment of the LORD came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did;
4 And also for the innocent blood that he shed: for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; which the LORD would not pardon.
5 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
This passage is talking about the innocent blood that was shed in Jeremiah’s time under king Jehoiakim.
Jeremiah knew how to cry when he prayed
Jeremiah 9:1 Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!
Psalm 42:3 My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
Jeremiah 13:17 But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the LORD’s flock is carried away captive.
Jeremiah 14:17 Therefore thou shalt say this word unto them; Let mine eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease: for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great breach, with a very grievous blow.
Do you know how to cry to the Lord for someone else? When was the last time you cried for someone other than yourself? When was the last time someone’s sin broke your heart? When was the last time you cried for your Dad? When was the last time you cried for your Mom? When was the last time you wept because of your family members who are not in church? It is so strange that we will cry over a movie or T.V. show that is not real and yet we cannot weep to God for the sin that is destroying our loved ones. When was the last time you wept for America? Do you know why a Christian cannot cry? It is hard to weep because of something we are playing with. A Christian won’t weep over dirty T.V. shows if they themselves are watching them. A Christian won’t cry over cussing if they themselves cuss. A Christian won’t cry over the tragedy of someone else living in sin when they themselves are living in sin. When was the last time you wept over someone else? We should want to live holy and close to the Lord so those who need us the most to pray for them can have us free to cry for them to God to help them.
Ecclessiastes 7:2‑4 It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.
3 Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
It is not good to be silly and giddy.
Joel 2:12‑13 Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
James 4:8‑10 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
God knows those who can cry. God sees what you cry over and how tender your heart is. God puts a very high value on a Christian who is tender enough to cry over sin because they know it hurts God.
Ezekiel 9:4‑8 And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.
5 And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity:
6 Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.
7 And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.
8 And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem?
Psalm 4:3 But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.
Psalm 65:4 Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.
Some Key Chapters In Jeremiah
Jeremiah 17 – The negative view of man
Jeremiah protested publically against the sins of the people, priests, and public officials. He exposed the wicked conspiracy among Judah (Jer. 11:9; Ezek. 22:25). Jeremiah served during times of apostasy. He was completely alone at times and totally negative toward everyone and everything (1:18-19). Truth hurts the flesh before it helps the spirit.
The biblical viewpoint of man is totally negative (Ps. 39:5-6; Isa. 64:6). The main activity of the heart is self-justification and self-righteousness (Prov. 16:2; 20:6). The heart deceives the man into believing that God cannot know his motives (Ps. 139:1-12), but every deed and thought will be judged by the word of the God (John 12:48; Rom. 2:16; Heb. 9:27). The solution is a rebirth of the heart in Christ Jesus and the word of God (Ps. 40:8; 119:11; I Peter 1:23).
Jeremiah 20 – Jeremiah’s fainting fits
Jeremiah had mental conflicts during his persecution from the priests and people. Jeremiah desired to quit because he was upset with the LORD (Jonah 4:9). Everyone was against Jeremiah and they wanted him to quit or slip up (1 Cor. 4:9). At this time Jeremiah was against himself, but God called him to this work. Jeremiah had memorized much Scripture and the words of God burned inside his heart. When a man has the word hid in heart he cannot be silent (Prov. 21:28). It is not beliefs, fundamentals, message, or principles, but the words that motivate a man to preach (Ps. 12:6-7; Acts 4:31; Col. 3:16).
Memorize the Word of God.
Jeremiah 20:9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.
One of the main things that kept Jeremiah from quiting was he had God’s word in his heart.
How can you memorize the word of God?
Write or type the verse out according to punctuation.
Here is an example of how to display the verse by punctuation.
Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?
by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life:
and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life;
but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Read it 5 times fast then 5 times slow looking at each word.
Attempt to quote the verse without looking at it until you no longer have to peek.
Once it memorized quote the verse with the reference 49 times.
Jeremiah 22 – The times of the Gentiles begin.
Here God tells Jeremiah to prophesy against Jehoiakim and the Lord curses Jeconiah because he despised, cut up and burned the word of God in Jeremiah 36. Jeconiah is cursed from any of his children sitting on the throne of David.
The theme of the Scriptures is kings and kingdoms. The two major kingdoms are called the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of God occurs 70 times and kingdom of heaven occurs 33 times in the Bible. These two kingdoms have some similarities, but they are two separate kingdoms. As God and heaven are not the same (Gen. 1:1), so the kingdom of God and the kingdom heaven are not the same. God is a Spirit (John 4:24) and heaven is a place (John 14:2). The kingdom of God usually refers to a spiritual kingdom that operates within man (Luke 14:21; Rom. 14:17), but occasionally it is associated with the kingdom on earth (Luke 9:27; Gal. 5:21). The kingdom of heaven is a literal, physical, earthly kingdom that has been placed under the authority of many. Both kingdoms will be together in the millennial kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 6:33; Rev. 11:15).
Both kingdoms were present with Adam, but the kingdom of God was forfeited as a result of the fall of man. The kingdom of God does not appear until the penalty of sin was paid at Calvary (John 3:1-7). The OT records the history of the kingdom of heaven, while the NT records the history of the kingdom of God. In the OT God commanded the Jews to literally fight for an earthly kingdom (Deut. 7:1-8; I Sam. 15:3), but in the NT this is forbidden (2 Cor. 10:3-6). The death sentence was ordered for apostates in the OT (Deut. 13), but a spiritual sword is used to rebuke and separate from heretics in the NT (2 Thess. 3:6, 14; Titus 3:10-11).
The dominion over the kingdom of heaven was passed from Adam to Noah to Abraham to Isaac to Jacob and to the nation of Israel. It was officially taken from Judah under the reign of Jeconiah (Jer. 22:24-30). The control over the earthly kingdoms belongs to Satan and he gives it to the Gentiles with the limitations that God places over him (Dan. 4:34-37; 2 Cor. 4:4). The first worldwide ruler was Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (Ezek. 26:7; Dan. 2:37). This period of time is called the times of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24; Rom. 11:25; Rev. 11:2, 15) and it covers the last 600 years of the OT through the end of the Tribulation. All earthly kingdom builders are bloody killers (Matt. 2:16-18; 11:12-14; Mark 10:42; Luke 22:25).
Jeremiah 23 – Woe unto apostate pastors (Jeremiah preaches this to the apostate pastors in Jerusalem and Ezekiel preaches it in Babylon (Ezekiel 34), 20 years later.
The word pastors, refers to the political and spiritual leaders of Judah, but honest spiritual application can be applied to all pastors. The deceptive ways to ruin sheep are to cast doubt upon their faith in the words of God (Gen. 3:1) and to establish multiple authorities for faith and practice (Matt. 6:24; Mark 7:8). When the many authorities contradict, the pastor decides which authority is right based upon his personal preferences (Gen. 3:5; Jud. 21:25). Any lamb who questions the shepherd’s illogical beliefs will be driven from the flock, but the faithful LORD draws closer to the humble lamb of the word (Luke 6:22; John 9:35; 1 Peter 4:12-16).
The main thrust of false prophets is exalting the human ego through a positive approach. Their degree in Psychology help them deceive the people by professing the dream of a better world because of the cooperative human spirit (John 17:9; Rom. 16:17-18), but they totally ignore the gospel of Jesus Christ.
False prophets are not called of God (Judges 17:10-13). The call to preach is verified by the desire to preach and teach the words of God (John 8:47). There will be no other work that will completely satisfy the man called of God, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t work with his hands (Acts 20:34). The fulfillment of the call to preach will provide great joy (Ps. 100:2), but God must open the doors of opportunity to verify the call (2 Cor. 2:12; 1 Tim. 3:1).
Faithful preaching of the words will draw the right crowd and repel the wrong crowd. The pure words of God bring conviction of sin and encourage holy living (John 16:7-11).
The pure words of God have been perverted by the thievery of Bible revisers (Gen. 3:1-5; Rom. 1:18, 25; 2 Cor. 2:17). The NKJV stole over 500 words; the NASV stole over 10,000 words, and the NIV stole over 30,000 words (Rev. 22:18-19). The tainted word of the Hebrew Bible is the Babylonian Talmud.
The proper question to ask any preacher or teacher is, “Will you please give me the book, chapter, and verse for the basis of your beliefs?” (Acts 17:11; 1 Thess. 5:21; I Peter 3:15).
Jeremiah 44 – The pagan queen of heaven
The worship of the goddess-mother with child was observed in many cultures. The pagan Madonna and child were called Semiramis and Tammuz in Babylon (Gen. 10:9; Ezek. 8:14), Isis and Horus in Egypt, Isi and Iswara in India, and Fortuna and Jupiter-puer in pagan Rome. She was also called Astarte, Ishtar, Juno, and Diana (Acts 19:27). Papal Rome has foolishly applied this pagan heresy to Mary, the mother of Jesus (Luke 11:27-28).