Bible Book Summary
by Jay Smith
The book of Jeremiah is Prophetic Oracle and Narrative History, although not completely in chronological order. The prophet Jeremiah wrote it sometime during his ministry about 626-586 B.C. Key personalities are the many kings Judah, Baruch, Ebdemelech, King Nebuchadnezzar, and the Rechabites.
Its purpose was to warn of the destruction that they were about to face and to urge Judah to return and submit to God. Jeremiah was a priest who God calls to be His prophet. Jeremiah identifies their sins and treachery, as he wants them to realize the serious condition of their sinful ways. He then gives prophecies of the coming king and the New Covenant that would be made.
• In chapters 1-10, God calls Jeremiah and proclaims, “I have put My words in your mouth” (1:9). Jeremiah condemns Judah for their sins and attacks their faithlessness, obviously angry over their blatant sin.
• Chapters 11-28, Jeremiah warned of the destruction that would be poured out on Judah. He writes about God’s hard dispense of holy anger. At one point God says, “I will not listen when they call to Me because of their disaster” (12:14). A lot of the wickedness that angered God was the constant worship of false idols and gods, and the sacrifices they were burning to them.
• From chapters 29-38, Jeremiah writes about the New Covenant and the hope that God would bring when He delivers them after the captivity. King Zedekiah who did not heed his warning throws Jeremiah into prison and then into a cistern. Nevertheless, Jeremiah warned that the King would fall into the hands of the King of Babylon.
• Chapters 39-52, Jeremiah records the events of the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. As many prophets had announced in the past, the Empire of Babylon indeed laid siege to Jerusalem and the land of Judah. This completes the exile of both kingdoms, the Northern Kingdom in 722 B.C. and now the Southern Kingdom in 586 B.C. As Jeremiah had declared in 37:17, King Zedekiah was captured and his son murdered in his presence, he was blinded, bound and dragged off to Babylon in captivity.
• In chapter 50, God promises to rescue His nation from captivity. In verse 17-18 God declares, “Israel is a scattered flock, the lions have driven them away. The
first one who devoured him was the king of Assyria, and the last one who has broken his bones is Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am going to punish the king of Babylon and his land, just as I punished the king of Assyria.” The capital of Assyria was destroyed so severely it was not discovered until the 19th century A.D.