Author: Ron Graham
—And the persecutions he suffered
Time ~ 7. Exile and Scattering
Span ~ 200 years
Books ~ Jer, Lam, Eze, Dan, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Obadiah, [Joel]
Figures ~ Jeremiah, Daniel
Begins with ~ Wars upon Israel and Judah
Ascendant empire ~ Babylon
One of the great prophets of the time of exile was Jeremiah. This lesson is about him. After the fall of Jerusalem at the hands of the Babylonians, only a small remnant of Judah was left in the land. Jeremiah, like most of the prophets, was despised, ignored, persecuted, and abused.
1 Jeremiah Persecuted
By enduring this suffering and not giving up his ministry, he and the other prophets foreshadowed and shared in the sufferings of Christ of whom they spoke.
We too may have to undergo sufferings for the sake of Christ, and thus become partakers in his sufferings (1Peter 4:12-14, James 5:10, Acts 5:41).
The Bible story now turns to their disobedience and punishment. Jeremiah takes up the narrative in chapter 32 of his book. In chapter 35 he takes the story back ten years to what happened before and during the fall of Jerusalem. He then continues the story of those left in Judah after all the others been led captive to Babylon.
2 Bible Summary (Jeremiah 32-52)
- Jeremiah imprisoned (32)
- Jeremiah buys a field although the land is enemy-occupied (33)
- The seed promise repeated (33)
- Zedekiah's death prophesied (34)
- Judah condemned for not freeing her slaves (34)
A new narrative begins, starting from Jehoiakim's reign.
- The Rechabite's fine example a rebuke to Judah (35)
- Baruch reads Jeremiah's scroll ~Jehoiakim cuts and burns it (36)
- Coniah then Zedekiah become kings (37)
- Jeremiah thrown into a cistern (38)
- Jeremiah talks privately with Zedekiah (38)
- The fall of Jerusalem (39 see also 2Chronicles 36, 2Kings 25, Jeremiah 52)
- Gedaliah optimistally takes charge of remnant left in Judah (40)
- Gedaliah assassinated (41)
- Remnant joined by other refugees flees toward Egypt (41)
- Near Bethlehem, Jeremiah asked to obtain God's counsel (42)
- God says not to go to Egypt but to remain in Judah (42)
- The remnant disobeys and goes to Egypt anyway (43)
- Jeremiah foretells the entry of the Babylonians into Egypt (43)
- Jeremiah condemns the disobedience and idolatry of the remnant in Egypt, and foretells their destruction (44)
The record of events ends here. The final chapters include...
- Jeremiah's promise to Baruch (45)
- Prophecy concerning Egypt (46)
- Prophecy concerning nations around Judah (47-49)
- Prophecy concerning Babylon (50-51)
- Further account of the fall of Jerusalem (52)
The next book is Jeremiah's lament poems about Jerusalem.
3 A Few Facts About Jeremiah
- A prophet in Jerusalem at the time of the seige and destruction by the Babylonians.
- Named Jeremias and Jeremy in the King James New Testament.
- Contemporary with the kings of Judah named Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin (Coniah), Zedekiah.
- Dealt with the false prophet Hananiah.
- Mistreated by just about everybody, even his own people.
4 Jeremiah, Another Despised Prophet
Like most of the prophets, Jeremiah was despised and abused. Time and again it is said, "They will not listen!" (Jeremiah 7:27, Jeremiah 13:10, Jeremiah 17:23, Jeremiah 18:12, Jeremiah 19:15).
- The temple chief had Jeremiah beaten and put in the stocks (Jeremiah 20:1-2)
- His countrymen tried to have him executed (Jeremiah 26)
- Jehoiakim burned the scroll that Jeremiah sent him (Jeremiah 36)
- He was thrown down a well and left to die (Jeremiah 38)
- He was accused of telling lies to those who consulted him (Jeremiah 43:2).