Jeremiah 1:5
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

New Living Translation
"I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations."

English Standard Version
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

New American Standard Bible
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations."

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born. I appointed you a prophet to the nations.

International Standard Version
"I knew you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart for me before you were born; I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations."

NET Bible
"Before I formed you in your mother's womb I chose you. Before you were born I set you apart. I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations."

New Heart English Bible
"Before I formed you in the belly, I knew you. Before you came forth out of the womb, I sanctified you. I have appointed you a prophet to the nations."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart for my holy purpose. I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations."

JPS Tanakh 1917
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee, And before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee; I have appointed thee a prophet unto the nations.

New American Standard 1977
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
            And before you were born I consecrated you;
            I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
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 Gentiles.

King James 2000 Bible
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet unto the nations.

American King James Version
Before I formed you in the belly I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet to the nations.

American Standard Version
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee, and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee; I have appointed thee a prophet unto the nations.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Before I formed thee in the bowels of thy mother, I knew thee: and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and made thee a prophet unto the nations.

Darby Bible Translation
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I hallowed thee, I appointed thee a prophet unto the nations.

English Revised Version
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee, and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee; I have appointed thee a prophet unto the nations.

Webster's Bible Translation
Before I formed thee in embryo I knew thee; and before thou wast born I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet to the nations.

World English Bible
"Before I formed you in the belly, I knew you. Before you came forth out of the womb, I sanctified you. I have appointed you a prophet to the nations."

Young's Literal Translation
'Before I form thee in the belly, I have known thee; and before thou comest forth from the womb I have separated thee, a prophet to nations I have made thee.'
Study Bible
The Call of Jeremiah
4Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, 5"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations." 6Then I said, "Alas, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, Because I am a youth."…
Cross References
Luke 1:15
for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He shall never take wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb.

John 10:36
then what about the One whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world? How then can you accuse Me of blasphemy for stating that I am the Son of God?

1 Corinthians 8:3
But the one who loves God is known by God.

Galatians 1:15
But when God, who set me apart from my mother's womb and called me by His grace, was pleased

Psalm 139:15
My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;

Psalm 139:16
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.

Isaiah 49:1
Listen to Me, O islands, And pay attention, you peoples from afar. The LORD called Me from the womb; From the body of My mother He named Me.

Isaiah 49:5
And now says the LORD, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel might be gathered to Him (For I am honored in the sight of the LORD, And My God is My strength),

Jeremiah 1:4
Now the word of the LORD came to me saying,

Jeremiah 1:10
"See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms, To pluck up and to break down, To destroy and to overthrow, To build and to plant."
Treasury of Scripture

Before I formed you in the belly I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet to the nations.

before I

Psalm 71:5,6 For you are my hope, O Lord GOD: you are my trust from my youth…

Isaiah 49:1,5 Listen, O isles, to me; and listen, you people, from far; The LORD …

Luke 1:76 And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Highest: for you …

Galatians 1:15,16 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, …

I knew

Exodus 33:12,17 And Moses said to the LORD, See, you say to me, Bring up this people: …

Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed …

2 Timothy 2:19-21 Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, …

and before

Luke 1:15,41 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither …

Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated …

and I ordained. Heb. and I gave

Ephesians 1:22 And has put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head …

Ephesians 4:11,12 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; …

(5) I knew thee.--With the force which the word often has in Hebrew, as implying. not foreknowledge only, but choice and approval (Psalm 1:6; Psalm 37:18, Amos 3:2).

I sanctified thee.--i.e., consecrated thee, set thee apart as hallowed for this special use.

Ordained.--Better, I have appointed, without the conjunction, this verb referring to the manifestation in time of the eternal purpose.

Unto the nations.--i.e., to the outlying Gentile nations. This was the distinguishing characteristic of Jeremiah's work. Other prophets were sent to Israel and Judah, with occasional parentheses of prophecies that affected the Gentiles. The horizon of Jeremiah was to extend more widely. In part his work was to make them drink of the cup of the Lord's fury (Jeremiah 25:15-17); but in part also he was a witness to them of a brighter future (Jeremiah 48:47; Jeremiah 49:39). It is as though he had drunk in the Spirit of Isaiah, and thought of the true prophet as one who was to be a light of the Gentiles (Isaiah 49:6).

In this way, seemingly abrupt, yet probably following on a long process of divine education, was the youthful Jeremiah taught that he was to act a part specially appointed for him in the drama of his nation's history. He could not see a chance in the guidance that had led him thus far. The call that now came to him so clearly was not the echo of his own thoughts. All his life from infancy had been as that of one consecrated to a special work. Could he stop there? Must he not, like St. Paul, think of the divine purpose as prior to the very germ of his existence? (Galatians 1:15.)

Verse 5. - Knew thee; i.e. took notice of thee; virtually equivalent to selected thee (comp. Genesis 39:6; Amos 3:2; Isaiah 58:3; Psalm 144:3). Observe, the predestination of individuals is a familiar idea in the Old Testament (comp. Isaiah 45:4; Isaiah 49:1; Psalm 139:16). It was also familiar to the Assyrians: King Assurba-nipal declares at the opening of his ' Annals ' that the gods "in the body of his mother have made (him) to rule Assyria." Familiar, too, to the great family of religious reformers. For, as Dean Milman has truly observed, "No Pelagian ever has or ever will work a religious revolution. He who is destined for such a work must have a full conviction that God is acting directly, immediately, consciously, and therefore with irresistible power, upon him and through him He who is not predestined, who does not declare, who does not believe himself predestined as the author of a great religions movement, he in whom God is not manifestly, sensibly, avowedly working out his pre-established designs, will never be saint or reformer" ('Latin Christianity,' 1:111, 112). Sanctified thee; i.e. set thee apart for holy uses. Ordained; rather, appointed. Unto the nations. Jeremiah's prophecies, in fact, have reference not only to Israel, but to the peoples in relation to Israel (ver. 10; Jeremiah 25:15, 16; Jeremiah 46-49; Jeremiah 50 and Jeremiah 51.?). Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee,.... Not merely by his omniscience, so he knows all men before their conception and birth; but with such a knowledge as had special love and affection joined with it; in which sense the Lord knows them that are his, as he does not others, and predestinates them unto eternal life; and which is not only before their formation in the womb, but before the foundation of the world, even from all eternity. The forming of the human foetus is God's act, and a curious piece of workmanship it is; see Psalm 139:15.

And before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee; not by infusing holiness into him, but by separating him in his eternal purposes and decrees to the office of a prophet before he was born, and even before the world began; just as the Apostle Paul was separated to the Gospel of God, Romans 1:1, for it follows,

and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations; not to the Israelites only, who Jarchi thinks are so called, because they now followed the usages and customs of the nations; but to the Gentiles, against whom be was sent to prophesy, Jeremiah 46:1 as Egyptians, Philistines, Moabites, Ammonites, and Chaldeans. This ordination of him to be a prophet was not done in time, but in eternity, in the mind and thought of God; he was foreordained to this office before the foundation of the world, of which a declaration was made unto him when he was now called unto it; to which he makes answer. 5. knew—approved of thee as My chosen instrument (Ex 33:12, 17; compare Isa 49:1, 5; Ro 8:29).

sanctified—rather, "separated." The primary meaning is, "to set apart" from a common to a special use; hence arose the secondary sense, "to sanctify," ceremonially and morally. It is not here meant that Jehovah cleansed Jeremiah from original sin or regenerated him by His Spirit; but separated him to his peculiar prophetical office, including in its range, not merely the Hebrews, but also the nations hostile to them (Jer 25:12-38; 27:1-21; 46:1-51:64), [Henderson]. Not the effect, but the predestination in Jehovah's secret counsel, is meant by the sanctification here (compare Lu 1:15, 41; Ac 15:18; Ga 1:15; Eph 1:11).1:1-10 Jeremiah's early call to the work and office of a prophet is stated. He was to be a prophet, not to the Jews only, but to the neighbouring nations. He is still a prophet to the whole world, and it would be well if they would attend to these warnings. The Lord who formed us, knows for what particular services and purposes he intended us. But unless he sanctify us by his new-creating Spirit, we shall neither be fit for his holy service on earth, nor his holy happiness in heaven. It becomes us to have low thoughts of ourselves. Those who are young, should consider that they are so, and not venture beyond their powers. But though a sense of our own weakness and insufficiency should make us go humbly about our work, it should not make us draw back when God calls us. Those who have messages to deliver from God, must not fear the face of man. The Lord, by a sign, gave Jeremiah such a gift as was necessary. God's message should be delivered in his own words. Whatever wordly wise men or politicians may think, the safety of kingdoms is decided according to the purpose and word of God.
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