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THERE is no prophet of whose personal history and character we have more information than concerning Jeremiah. His book of prophecy includes many details which shew the difficulties which attended his ministry, and the opposition which he met with from all classes of his countrymen. We learn from the first verse that he was of the sacerdotal tribe, and resided at Anathoth, a city of the tribe of Benjamin, not far from Jerusalem, and appropriated to the use of the priests (Josh. xxi. 18). As the priest his father was called Hilkiah, some have supposed that he was the same as the highpriest of that name who found the book of the Law in the Temple in the time of Josiah. But there seems no foundation for this conjecture. Had the father of Jeremiah been high-priest, the fact would surely have been mentioned: the name of Hilkiah was also a common one among the Jews; to which we may add, that Josephus says that the high-priests were obliged to reside at Jerusalem, which would alone shew that the Hilkiah of Anathoth could not have been the high-priest. Jeremiah appears to have been very young when he was called to the exercise of the prophetical office; from which he modestly endeavoured to excuse himself by pleading his youth and incapacity; but, being overruled by Divine authority, he set himself to discharge the duties of his function with unremitted diligence and fidelity during a period of at least forty-two years, reckoning from the thirteenth year of Josiah's reign. The prophet lived to see that ruin to his country which he had predicted. The Jews who then, against his remonstrances and advice, withdrew into Egypt, took him with them. He there continued to prophesy, protesting against the idolatrous practices which they there adopted, and foretelling the awful consequences. There is a very old and general tradition that his freedom and zeal cost him his life; the Jews at Tahpanhes taking such offence at his rebukes and predictions, that they stoned him to death. It is added that he was buried there : and another tradition states that, the attention of Alexander the Great having been drawn to his tomb, occasion was taken to acquaint him with the prophet's predictions, which induced him to order the removal of his remains to Alexandria, where he erected over them a magnificent monument. All this rests on very precarious authority; but, as Blayney observes, “ the account of the manner of his exit, though not absolutely certain, is at least very likely to be true, considering the temper and disposition of the parties concerned.'

Jeremiah, who repeatedly claims the authorship of these prophecies, seems to have usually employed Baruch in committing them to writing (xxxii. 4; xlv. 1). He appears to have formed, at different times, collections of what he had delivered. The first seems to have been formed in the first year of Jehoiakim, when the prophet was expressly commanded by God to write upon a roll all the prophecies which he had uttered concerning Israel, Judah, and other nations (xxxvi. 2 ; xxv. 13); and this he did by means of Baruch. But this roll having been burnt by Jehoiakim (xxxvi. 23), another was written under the prophet's direction, with many additional particulars (xxxv. 32). In the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the prophet seems to have collected into one book all the prophecies which he had delivered before the taking of Jerusalem (i. 3). To this he probably added such further revelations as he had occasionally received during the government of Gedaliah, and during the residence in Egypt, the account of which terminates with the fifty-first chapter. The fifty-second chapter seems to have been compiled from the five last chapters of the Second Book of Kings, and was probably not written by Jeremiah, as it not only contains a repetition of what the prophet had before in part related in the thirty-ninth and fortieth chapters, but contains some circumstances which it has been supposed did not happen till after his death.

Jeremiah appears to have been pre-ordained,' as Dr. Gray states, as a prophet both to the Jews and Gentiles. He certainly delivered many prophecies relative to foreign nations. His name translated is " he shall exalt Jehovah," and his whole life was spent in endeavouring to promote God's glory. His reputation was so considerable, that some of the fathers fancifully supposed that, as his

death is nowhere mentioned in Scripture, he was living in the time of Christ, whom, as the Gospel informs us, some supposed to have been this prophet (Matt. xvi. 24). They likewise apply to him and to Elias what St. John mysteriously speaks, of two witnesses that should prophesy 1260 days: which superstitious fictions serve, at least, to shew the traditional reverence that was entertained for the memory of the prophet, who long afterwards continued to be venerated in the Romish Church as one of the greatest saints that had fourished under the old covenant; as having lived not only with the general strictness of a prophet, but, as was believed, in a state of celibacy; and as having terminated his righteous ministry by martyrdom.'

Much has been said of the style of Jeremiah, as distinguished from that of other prophets, particularly Isaiah. Jerome considers his style characterized by its rusticity, as compared with that of Isaiah, Hosea, and some others. This he attributes to his having been born and bred at Anathoth, where he probably had no opportunity of acquiring that elevation, elegance, and purity of style which is seldom found except in capitals and' in the courts of princes. But the proximity of Anathoth to Jerusalem renders this rather an unsatisfactory explanation, even were the premises admitted. Bishop Lowth does not subscribe to Jerome's opinion as to the style of this prophet; and is unable to discover the rusticity which he regards as its characteristic. Although deficient neither in elegance nor sublimity, Jeremiah must, indeed, give place in both to Isaiah: and while his sentiments are not always elevated, nor his periods uniformly neat and compact, yet his style is in a high degree tender and beautiful, when he has occasion to excite the emotions of sympathy and grief.' This observation is strongly exemplified in the Lamentations, where these are the prevailing passions, and in the earlier portion of the book of prophecy. These parts are chiefly poetical. The middle of the book is almost entirely historical, and is written in a prosaic style, suitable to historical narrative. The latter part, again, consisting of the six last chapters, is altogether poetical, and contains several distinct predictions, in which the prophet makes a near approach to the sublimity of Isaiah. Upon the whole, about one-half of the book may be regarded as poetical.

De Wette, whose eminent abilities as a Hebrew critic claim the respect which is not due to the general character of his opinions, has examined the subject of Jeremiah's style with his usual discrimination. His judgment rather confirms that of Jerome, whose words he cites with approbation. He says, ' In Jeremiah's prophecies the spirit of his time and the condition of his people are faithfully reflected. His mood is sad, and melancholy, and depressed. His thoughts have no great elevation, and only attempt short, single flights. But he is by no means destitute of noble and expanded ideas; nor does he lack deep feeling. ... His style is without uniformity or consistency in regard to expression or rhythm. It is unequal; frequently energetic and concise, especially in the twelve first chapters; but sometimes it seems tedious, running out into flatness. It is full of repetitions and of fixed thoughts and expressions. But it is not without certain charms of its own. ... The style, now rising into rhythm, now sinking into prose, is attractive. But it seems like the flickering of a flame that finds not sufficient fuel : for sometimes whole passages are repeated ; sometimes images, thoughts, and expressions. This writer adds that the passages in the prophecies of Jeremiah which relate to foreign nations are distinguished by a more energetic tone, and by a more animated style, which has a tendency to rhythm. Of this peculiarity different explanations have been given. It is probably because most of these passages are composed of threatenings; for it is remarked that the threatenings in the more domestic portions of his prophecies are distinguished by the same characteristic.

As the prophecies of Jeremiah are by no means exhibited in chronological order, the following arrangement of them, which has been given by Professor Dahler, of Strasburg, in his new version of this prophet, will be useful :

1. Discourses published in the reign of Josiah.
Year of Reign. Chapter.

Year of Reign.
i. 1-19...

iii. 6.-iv.4

After 18 iv. v. vi. xxx. ..

xvii. 19-27.

After 18
ii. 1.-iii. 5
After 18 xlvii. 1-7

2. Discourses published during the reign of Jehoiakim.
vii.-ix. 25

After 18

1 or 2

xx. 14-18... xxvi. 1-24

1 or 2
xxiii. 9-40

uncertain xlvi. 2-12... x. 1-16 ....

4 or 5 xiv. 1.-7. 21

Xxxvi. 1-32 xvi, 1.-xvii, 18

uncertain xlv. 1-5 xviii, 1-23


xii. 14-17. xix. 1.-xx. 13

. uncertain

x. 17-25..
3. Discourse published during the reign of Jeconiah.
Chapter xiii. 1-27.

4 or 5

3 or 4

XXXV. 1-19.
xxv. 1-38

7 or 8


.. 10

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4. Discourses published during the reign of Zedekiah.
Year of Reign. Chapter.

Year of Reign.
xxii. 1.-xxiii. 8.

xxxiv. 1-7

xi, 1-17

Xxxvii, 1-10

xi, 18.-xii. 13

xxxiv. 8-22 .

xxiv. 1-10

Xxxvii, 11-21

xxix. 1-32

1 or 2
Xxxviii. 1-28

xxvii. 1.--xxviii. 17.


xxxix. 15-18 xlix, 34-39.


xxxii. 1-44
li. 59-64

Xxxiii. 1-26.

xxi, 1-14

xxxix, 1-10

11 5. History of Jeremiah, and Discourses addressed by him to the Jews who were left in Palestine

after the capture of Jerusalem.
Year after Jerusalem taken. Chapter.

Year after Jerusalem taken.
xxxix, 11-14

xlii. 1. xliii. 7.

1 xl, 1. xlii, 16..

xxx. 1.-xxxi. 40...... 1 6. Discourses addressed to the Jews in Egypt. Chapter.

Year after Jerusalem taken. xliii. 8-13

1 xlii. 1-30...

17 or 18
xlvi. 13-28

7. Discourses of uncertain date concerning foreign nations.

xlvi. 1.--xlix. 1-6 concerning the Ammonites.
xlviii. 1-47

xlix. 7-22

Edom. xlix. 23-27

Damascns. 1. 1.---li, 58-64

Babylon. There are Jewish commentaries by the same Rabbins who have written on Isaiah and other prophets--as Jarchi, Kimchi, Abarbanel, etc. Origen wrote forty-five Homilies on Jeremiah ; Jerome composed six books upon Jeremiah; but his Commentary does not extend beyond the 32nd chapter. There are also Commentaries by Ephræm Syrus and Theodoret. The following are those of more modern date :--Zwinglii Complanatio Jeremiæ Propheta, Tiguri, 1531; Ecolampadii in Jeremiam Prophetam Commentariorum, Argent. 1533; Bugenhagii Adnotationes in Jeremiam et Threnos, Vitemb. 1546; Zichemii Enarrationes in Prophetam Jeremiam, Coln. 1559; Pinti Comment. in Iesaiam, Jeremiam et Threnos, Lugd. 1561 ; Calvini Prælectiones in Jeremiam et Threnos, Genevæ, 1563 ; Strigelii Conciones Jeremia Propheta, Lips. 1564; Capellæ Comm. in Jeremiam Prophetam, Tarraconæ, 1586; Figueiro, Paraphrases in Prophetias Jeremia, Lugd. 1596; Hugh Broughton, Comm. in Jeremia Prophetiam et Lament., Genevæ, 1606 ; also in his collected works, 1662 ; Polani Comm, in Jeremiam et Exegesis in Threnos, Basil, 1608 ; De Castro Comm. in Jeremia, Lamentationes et Baruch, Mogunt. 1616; Sanctius (Sanchez), Comm. in Jeremiam Prophetiam et Threnos, Lugd. 1618; Ghislerii in Jeremiam Prophetam Commentari, Lugd. 1623; Hulsemanni in Jeremiam et Threnos Commentarius posthumus, Rudolstadt, 1653 ; Forster, Comment. in Prophetam Jeremiam, Vitemb. 1672 ; Schmid, Comment, in Librum Prophetiarum Jeremia, in quo textus exquisitiori analysi resolvitur, annotationibus ad singulos Versus illustratur, Argent. 1685—an able and excellent commentary, probably the best on the book-there were subsequent editions; Altingii Comm. in Jeremiam, Amstelod. 1687 ; Noordbeek, Bekoopte Uitlegginge van de Prophetie Jeremie, Franeker, 1701 ; Lowth (William), Commentary upon the Prophecy and Lamentations of Jeremiah, Lond. 1718; Burscher, Versuch einer kurzen Erläuterung des Propheten Jeremie, Lips. 1756; Venema, Comm. ad librum Prophetiarum Jeremie, Leovard., 1765—there are many excellent things in this Commentary, which is however inferior to some of the other commentaries of the same author ; Blayney, Jeremiah and Lamentations, a New Translation, with Notes, Critical, Philological, and Explanatory, Oxford, 1784-a good, though inelegant translation, with Notes, learned, useful, and exact, but heavy and insufficient; Michaelis, Observationes Philologicæ et Criticæ in Jeremia Vaticinia et Threnos, Gott., 1793; Spohn, Jeremias Vates et Versione Judæorum Alexandrinorum ac Reliquorum interpretum Græcorum, Lips. 1794, 1824; Gaab, Erklärung schwererer Stellem in den Weissagungen Jeremias, Tübingen, 1824—a good book on the difficulties of Jeremiah ; Dahler, Jérémie, traduit sur le Texte original

, accompagné de Notes explicatives, historiques, et critiques, Strasburg, 1828–1830-a fine work in two vols., of which the first contains the translation and the second the notes; Küper, Jeremias Librorum sacrorum interpres atque vindex, Berlin, 1837. [Jeremia erklärt von F. Hitzig, 1841 ; Nägelsbach, Der Prophet Jeremias und Babylon, 1850.]


unto me, Behold, I have put my words in

thy mouth. 1 The time, 3 and the calling of Jeremiah. 11 His

10 See, I have this day set thee over the prophetical visions of an almond rod and a seething pot. 15 His heavy message against Judah. 17 God | nations and over the kingdoms, to 'root out, encourageth him with his promise of assistance. and to pull down, and to destroy, and to

throw down, to build, and to plant. HE words 11 | Moreover the word of the LORD of Jeremiah came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest the son of thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond Hilkiah, of tree, the priests

12 Then said the LORD unto me, Thou that were in hast well seen : for I will hasten my word to Anathoth in perform it. the land of 13 And the word of the LORD came unto Benjamin : me the second time, saying, What seest thou ?

2 To And I said, I see a seething pot; and the whom the face thereof is '°toward the north. word of the 14 Then the LORD said unto me, Out of LORD came

the ''north an evil "shall break forth upon in the days all the inhabitants of the land. of Josiah 15 For, lo, I will call all the families of

the son of the kingdoms of the north, saith the LORD; Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year and they shall come, and they shall set every of his reign.

one his throne at the entering of the gates of 3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of round about, and against all the cities of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Jo- Judah. siah king of Judah, unto the carrying away of

16 And I will utter my judgments against Jerusalem captive in the fifth month.

them touching all their wickedness, who have 4 | Then the word of the LORD came unto forsaken me, and have burned incense unto me, saying,

other gods, and worshipped the works of their 5 Before I 'formed thee in the belly I

own hands. knew thee; and before thou camest forth out 17 Thou therefore gird up thy loins, of the womb I 'sanctified thee, and I ordained and arise, and speak unto them all that I thee a prophet unto the nations.

command thee : be not dismayed at their 6 Then said I, Ah, 'Lord God! behold, Ifaces, lest I 'confound thee before them. cannot speak : for I am a child.

18 For, behold, I have made thee this day 7 But the Lord said unto me, Say not, 'a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and I am a child : for thou shalt go to all that I brasen walls against the whole land, against shall send thee, and whatsoever I command the kings of Judah, against the princes thee thou shalt speak.

thereof, against the priests thereof, and 8 "Be not afraid of their faces : for "I am against the people of the land. with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. 19 And they shall fight against thee; but

9 Then the LORD put forth his hand, and they shall not prevail against thee; for I am "touched my mouth." And the LORD said with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee.

1 Isa. 49. 1. 5.

2 Gal. 1. 15, 16. 6 Exod, 3. 12. Deut. 31, 6.8. Josh. 1.5. Heb. 13. 6. 10 Heb. from the face of the north. "! Clap. 4. 6.

14 Or, break to pieces.

3 Heb. gave.
4 Exod. 4. 10.

5 Ezek. 3. 9.
7 Isa. 6. 7. 8 Chap, 6. 14, 9 Chap. 18. 7. 2 Cor. 10.4, 5.

12 Heb. shall be opened. 19 Chap. 5. 15, and 6. 22, and 10. 22. 15 Isa. 60.7. Chap. 6. 27, and 15. 20.

Verses 11, 12.– A rod of an almond-tree....for I will hasten,'-The almond-tree seems to have derived its name -expressing haste or vigilancefrom its being one of the first if not the very first of trees, to put forth its blossoms and bear its fruit. From this circumstance it appears

to have become a symbol of that which its name expresses ; and, in the present instance, the symbol denotes the speed with which the judgments announced by Jeremiah should be accomplished : and, accordingly, this prophet lived to see most of his own prophecies fulfilled.



evils; they have forsaken me the 'fountain of 1 God, having shewed his former kindness, expostulateth living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, with the Jews on their causeless revolt, 9 beyond any

broken cisterns, that can hold no water. example. 14 They are the causes of their own cala- 14 | Is Israel a servant? is he a homemities. 20 The sins of Judah. 3i Her confidence born slave ? why is he ''spoiled ? is rejected.

15 The young lions roared upon him, and MOREOVER the word of the LORD came to "yelled, and they made his land waste : his me, saying,

cities are burned without inhabitant. 2 Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, 16 Also the children of Noph and Tahasaying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember panes ?have broken the crown of thy head. 'thee, the kindness of thy #youth, the love of 17 Hast thou not procured this unto thythine espousals, when thou wentest after me in self, in that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy the wilderness, in a land that was not sown. God, when he led thee by the way ?

3 Israel was holiness unto the Lord, and 18 | And now what hast thou to do in the the firstfruits of his increase : *all that devour way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor ? him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, or what hast thou to do in the way of Assyria, saith the LORD.

to drink the waters of the river ? 4 Hear ye the word of the LORD, O house 19 Thine own wickedness shall correct of Jacob, and all the families of the house of thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee : Israel :

know therefore and see that it is an evil thing 5 Thus saith the LORD, What iniquity have and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD your fathers found in me, that they are gone thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith far from me, and have walked after vanity, the Lord God of hosts. and are become vain ?

20 For of old time I have broken thy 6 Neither said they, Where is the LORD yoke, and burst thy bands; and thou saidst, that “brought us up out of the land of Egypt, I will not '*transgress; when "upon every that led us through the wilderness, through a high hill and under every green tree thou land of deserts and of pits, through a land wanderest, playing the harlot. of drought, and of the shadow of death, 21 Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, through a land that no man passed through, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned and where no man dwelt ?

into the degenerate plant of a strange vine 7 And I brought you into a plentiful coun- unto me? try, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness 22 For though thou ''wash thee with nitre, thereof; but when ye entered, ye "defiled my and take thee much sope, yet_thine iniquity is land, and made mine heritage an abomination. marked before me, saith the Lord God.

8 The priests said not, Where is the Lord ? 23 How canst thou say, I am not polluted, , and they that handle the law knew me not: I have not gone after Baalim ? see thy way the pastors also transgressed against me, and in the valley, know what thou hast done : the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked thou art a swift dromedary traversing her after things that do not profit.

ways ; 9 Wherefore I will yet plead with you, 24 "A wild ass 2'used to the wilderness, saith the Lord, and with your children's that snuffeth up the wind at 'her pleasure ; children will I plead.

in her occasion who can turn her away? all 10 For pass over the isles of Chittim, and they that seek her will not weary themselves ; see; and send unto Kedar, and consider dili- in her month they shall find her. gently, and see if there be such a thing.

25 Withhold thy foot from being unshod, 11 Hath a nation changed their gods, which and thy throat from thirst : but thou saidst, are øyet no gods ? but my people have changed 4sThere is no hope: no; for I have loved their glory for that which doth not profit. strangers, and after them will I

go. 12 Be astonished, 0 ye heavens, at this, 26 As the thief is ashamed when he is and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; saith the LORD.

they, their kings, their princes, and their 13 For my people have committed two priests, and their prophets, 1 Or, for thy sake.

• Isa. 63. 9, 11, 13. Hos. 13. 4. & Rom. 2. 20.

8 Chap. 16. 20. 9 Psal. 36. 9. Chap. 17. 13, and 18. 14. 12 Or, feed on thy crown, Deut. 33. 12. Isa. 8. 8.

16 Exod. 15. 17. Psal. 44.2, and 80.8. Isa. 5.1, &c. Matt. 21. 33. Mark 12. 1. Lake 20. 9. 18 Or, O swift dromedary. 19 Or, 0 wild ass, &c.

20 Heb. taught. 21 Heb. the desire of her heart.

23 Or, Is the case desperate ?

? Ezek, 16. 8. 8 Chap. 12. 14.

7 Or, over to. 11 Heb. gave out their voice.

13 Isa. 57. 5, 7. Chap. 3. 6. 17 Job 9. 30.

22 Or, reverse it.

5 Psal. 78. 58, and 106. 38.

10 Heb. become a spoil. 13 Isa. 3. 9. Hos. 5. 5.

14 Or, serre.

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