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Introduction.

I. Title. So called from the name of the—II. Author, Jeremiah, the S. of Hilkiah, a priest of Anathoth (i. 6) in Benj., called to proph. office 70 yrs. aft. d. of Isa., in 13th yr. of K. Josiah (i. 1). Some yrs. aft., Jer, came to Jerus., visited cities of Judah, prophesying above 40 years (ii. 6). Jehoiakim spurned his predictions, cut the roll in pieces, and burned it. Jer. rewrote it with additions (xxxvi.). Falsely accused, in the reign of Zedekiah, of deserting to Chaldæans, he was imprisoned. By order of Nebuchadnezzar he had the choice of going to Babylon, but preferred to remain with his own people. They, disobeying his message, went to Egypt, taking him and Baruch with them (xliii. 6), there he still sought to turn the people (xliv.), but we have no further acc. of him. Trad. says the Jews put him to death at Taphanhes (Jerome). Jer. was contemp. with Zeph., Hab., Eze., and Dan. “The hist. of Jer, brings before us a man forced, as it were, in spite of himself, from obscurity and retirement into the publicity and peril which attended the prophetical office. Naturally mild, susceptible, and inclined rather to mourn in secret for the iniquity which surrounded him than to brave and denounce the wrong-doers, he stood forth at the call of God and proved himself a faithful, fearless champion of the truth, amidst reproaches, insults, and threats. This combination of qualities is so marked, that Havernick regards it as a proof of the Divine origin of his mission. In Eze., on the other hand, we see the power of Divine inspiration acting on a mind naturally of the firmest texture, and absorbing all the powers of the soul" (Angus). III. Time. B.C. 628—585. " The style of Jer. corresponds with the character of his mind ; it is peculiarly marked by pathos. He delights in expressions of tenderness, and gives touching descriptions of the miseries of his people" (Angus).

“His style, though inferior to that of Isaiah in power and sublimity, is marked by pathos and tenderness, in accordance with what seems to have been the cast of his mind. He excels in expressing and awakening the softer emotions" (Litton, Lowth). With this Horne agrees, and he adds, " The middle part of his book is almost entirely historical, and is written in a plain prosaic style, suitable to historical narrative. On many occasions he is very elegant and sublime, especially in xlvi.- li. 1–59, which are wholly poetical, and in which the Prophet approaches very near the sublimity of Isaiah.”

Two or three of the prophecies of Jer. clearly announce the Messiah. Thus, in xxiii. 5, 6, He is called the Lord our righteousness, and on this passage Dr. Hales says this is “to intimate that He will be a mediatorial God, by whose hand we shall obtain justification from the name, wherefore it calls him by the name of the name; that is, the ineffable name Jaoh, here put for God Himself. Again in xxxi. 22 we have a distinct prediction of the miraculous conception of Jesus Christ; and in xxxi. 31–36, and xxxiii. 8, the efficacy of Christ's atonement, the spiritual character of the new covenant, and the inward efficacy of the Gospel are most clearly and emphatically described. Comp. Epistle to the Hebs. viii. 8–13, and x. 16, et scq.

The character of Jeremiah is reflected in his writings. His speech is clear and simple, incisive and pithy, and though generally speaking somewhat diffuse, yet ever rich in thought. If it lacks a lofty strain, the soaring flight of an Isaiah, yet it has beauties of its own. It is distinguished by a wealth of new imagery which is wrought out with great delicacy and deep feeling, and by a " versatility that easily adapts itself to the most various objects, and by artistic clearness (Erald). In the management of his thoughts, Jeremiah

Synopsis,

Part III.-PROPHECIES DELIVERED IN

REIGN OF ZEDEKIAH.

xi., xii.

Part IV.-EVENTS IN JUDAH FROM

TAKING OF JERUS. TO RETREAT
INTO EGYPT.

has more recourse than other Prophets to the law and the older sacred writings;
and his style is rich in repetitions and standing phrases. These peculiarities
are not, however, to be regarded as signs of the progressive decline of the
prophetic gift, but are to be derived from deeper foundations, from positive
and fundamental causes. The continual recurrence to the law and the fre-
quent application of the prophetic parts of Deuteronomy, was prompted by the
circumstances of the time. The wider the people's apostasy from the law of
God extended itself, so much the greater became the need for a renewed
preaching of the law, that should point to the sore judgments there threatened
against hardened sinners, now about to come into fulfilment. And as against
the guile of false prophets, whose influence with the infatuated people became
eTer greater, the true witnesses of the Lord could have no more effective means
of showing and proving the Divineness of their mission and the truth of their
testimony than by bringing strongly out their connection with the old Prophets
and their atterances (Delitzsch).

this town is 20

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sent Anata

to

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CHAPTEP THE FIRST. a Josephus says 1–3. (1) the words, better, the life and acts. Some understadia distant fr. stand by the term “a collection of the prophecies of Jeremiah." Jerusalem, and Jeremiah, a name variously translated. Some say from ramah, Jerome describes to throw down, and so meaning “Jehovah shall throw down; miles north of

others take it from ram, high, and think it means, “God exalteth.” that city. Hilkiah, poss. the well-known priest of this name. Anathoth,

Jos. xxi. 13, 18. (2) came, lit. was, or began to come, from this “ Dr. Robinson considers the pre

time onward. thirteenth year, wh. would be the year after

Josiah began his national reformations. Jehoiakim, etc., occupy the site Jehoahaz and Jehoiachin are omitted in this reference, for they of this ancient reigned only three months each. town, portions of the wall of which,

The young Christian.-The young Christian, trembling on the as also the foun- threshold of life of service, is equipped and comforted by his dations of some Master. I. The young Christian's fears, arising from sense of, of the houses, 1. Weakness, “a child,” without influence, experience, stability ; Henderson. 2. Ignorance : how_comprehend a theme into which angels

desire to look? 3. Unworthiness : might not some one better 6 " The first and known do the work required of him better? 4. Human opposilast of the kings tion : he saw that children can see how men hate the truth. II. Prophet prophe- The young Christian's encouragements. 1. God sends him to

are often work: “I ordained thee :" God will aid whom He sends ; 2. the general title." Disclosure of God's purpose : no less God's purpose to send him -Fausset. than to save Israel ; God's plan to use us, as well as to save

others; 3. Promise of Divine presence : "I am with thee :" "From the sixth Wesley's saying, “The best of all is, God is with us;" 4. The we may infer that message should be supplied, c. 9: His words are spirit and life ; Jeremy was very wisdom and power of God. Learn :-(1) Advance courageously : young, when he (2) Expect opposition : “they hated Me before they hated you ;' to the prophetic (3) Look constantly for Divine aid. office." -Louth. Anathoth.-A poor village of some twenty houses, built among

white rocks and white ruins, on a bare, grey mountain side. No c Hive.

trees, no verdure, no richness, nor grandeur, nor beauty ; here, d Dr. Porter. amid mountain solitudes and rocky dells, he (Jeremiah) mourned

and wept over the foreseen calamities of his beloved country. ... One can trace in nearly all the images and illustrations with which his writings abound, the influence of those wild scenes amid which he passed his boyhood. Mountains, rocks, wild

beasts, shepherds, are again and again introduced.a a “This call was 4–6. (4) word . . came,“ the way in which Divine messages part of Jeremiah's first ad came to the Prophets is never described. Probably they distinctly

the heard an inward voice; or felt an impulse to utter certain things. people. It was (5) formed thee, the figurative assertion of God's predestinano afterthought, tion of Jeremiah to the prophetic office, in fulfilment of the clamation, by wh. Divine plan. knew thee, in the sense of " approved of thee” from the first he as a fit agent for My purpose. sanctified thee, in the sense stood forth, of set thee apart," not in the sense of “made thee holy." by an external ordained thee, or appointed thee by this public call. nations, authority, and to generally: to other beside the Jewish nation. (6) child, either speak not his own

as young in years,' or as inexperienced. He had never occupied words, but those

any public position. Spk. Com.

Fears and comforts in prospect of labour for God (vv. 5—9).

dress

to

of Jehovah."

cleansed him fr.

him in His eternal counsel to the work in which

I. The fears of God's servant in prospect of labour. 1. He feels 0 Is. xlix. 1, 5. his weakness, having no influence, no experience, being unstable; declares that he 2. He feels his ignorance ; 3. His unworthiness ; 4. He dreads had sanctified the the enmity of man. II. The comforts of God's servants in the Prophet before prospect of labour. 1. The assurance they are called to the work ;

his birth, the 2 The knowledge of the purpose of God; 3. The promise of the meaning is not presence of God ; 4. The fact that the message is from God. Jeremiah.

the pollution of I am the man sore smitten with the wrath

original sin, as

some have supOf Him who fashion'd me; my heart is faint,

posed, but that And crieth out, Spare, spare, o God! Thy saint.

He had separated
But yet with darkness doth He hedge my path.
My eyes with streams of fiery tears run down

he was to be To see the daughter of my people slain,

engaged."- HenAnd in Jerusalem the godless reign.

derson. Trouble on trouble are upon me thrown ;

d It is supposed

that at his call Mine adversaries clap their sinful hands

Jeremiah was The while they hiss and wag their heads, and say,

under 25 years of

age. " Where is the temple but of yesterday

e For the relucThe noblest city of a hundred lands ?”

tance of men to We do confess our guilt; then, Lord, arise,

do Gorl's work, Avenge, avenge us of our enemies !

comp. Ex. iv. 10,

vi. 12, 30; Jno. 7–10. (7) say not, etc., comp. Ex. vi. 30, vii. 1, 2. thou 1: 3.

f Stems and Twigs. shalt go, God renews a command which requires a simple and

g G. Smith. taquestioning obedience. (8) of their faces, the look of an aadience often terrifies a young and untried speaker, and as

a Ex. iii. 12; De.

xxxi. 8; Jos. i. 5. Jeremiah had bitter judgments to announce, the faces would be likely to daunt him. I am with thee, the usual and all-suf-8 Comp. Is. vi. 7, feing assurance. (9) touched my mouth, as a symbol of the li. 16. bestowment of grace for the speaking or prophesying required. "God, by this (10) set thee over, or given thee the oversight; set thee to visible sign, ashave an eye to the conduct and the future of the nations. He had conferred build.. plant, indicating the restoration of nations when they upon are duly repentant and reformed.

gift of utterance, Jeremiah, a lesson for the disappointed (v. 8).-Sketch the un- will and purposes

and imparted His grateful treatment of the Prophets by the Israelites : of all per- in such a measure tecuted Prophets we know most of Jeremiah. See—I. How these to him that his vons apply to him: his ministry may be summed up in three words ought to Foads : 1. Good hope ; 2. Labour ; 3. Disappointment. II. How oracles of God.” these words apply to use

Proridential interpositions.—The goodness or mercy of God is C J. H. Neuman. sen when it interposes for the help of man. Thus Moses was v.10. Dr. G. Croft, preserved on the margin of the Nile. The ravens, in a time of ii. 48; A. Fuller, lamine, bring Elijah bread and flesh, 1 Kings xvii. 6. The story 683. abnown how Du Moulin, during the massacre of the Huguenots, " It is reported in Paris, was cherished

for a fortnight by a hen, which came that in the constantly and laid her eggs where he was concealed. Also how, there is no word at Calais, an Englishman, who crept into a hole under a staircase, for hope. Alas! was there preserved by means of a spider, which had woven its poor men, if we heb over the hole, and so the soldiers slighted the search there. were all as desIt is related of Aristomenes that, being thrown for dead into a blessed ditch along with others, he found his way out by means of a fox itself

Tamul speakers which came thither, and pointed a passage out. Lord Mountjoy, coming from Ireland, had perished, together with his ship's What must be company, had not Providence wonderfully preserved them by the misery of

him the

- Lowth.

of the

comfort as these tion seems to be

are of the word !

souls in hell means of certain sea-birds. Camerarius relates how, in the time where they hea of a siege, the inhabitants, who were sorely pressed by the me mn ber the word, but can Turks, placed a large store of beehives on the walls of the benever know hope sieged place, and furiously tumbling down the hives on their itself !” — Spur enemies, the latter were so desperately stung, that in a pang of geon.

indignation they gave up the siege, to the inexpressible joy of d Crane.

the besieged Christians, who were holpen by these new and wonderful recruits! And thus is mercy displayed in the meanest

creatures. a It is the first 11–16. (11) seest thou, this indicates that God guided the of trees to blos- Prophet by visions. rod, or branch. almond tree, wh., putting som, and hence forth its flowers before its leaves, is an image of wakefulness and plied to it the activity. The Heb. words shaked, an almond tree, and shoked, epithets vigi, hastening, have an affinity in their sound. So the almond is lant”

and made the symbol of God's hastening. (12) hasten, or I watch “watchful." Its blossoms, which for opportunity to perform it. (13) seething pot, a metal are white and vessel used for cooking meat. The seething intimates that it plentiful, burst

was boiling furiously. north, the district of the Chaldæans. forth in January: (14, 15) families . . north, the Assyrian kingdom is treated in leaf-buds appear.

the Bible as a composite kingdom, consisting of many provinces The seething and nations. his throne, intimating a general council and pot is a figure of determination to destroy the city. (16)

judgments, as distinct the Chaldæans ; from prophecies. and the concep- The almond tree in blossom.—" A little after sunrise, went out that it will boil by the Jaffa gate, and, turning to the left, took the path that over, and the winds down the slope of Zion. As I went along, the pleasant contents down

sound of bees, the wild bees of Palestine,' clustering over the desolation of Je- pink blossoms of an almond tree on the left, greeted me. The rusalem. tree itself, all flower, without a single leaf, was a gay contrast Lit., from the face to the dark olives below. A few days ago it was brown and

the region bare ; to-day it is all brightness; and to this sudden change situated towards reference is made when Jeremiah is taken to one of the orchards

of Anathoth and bidden look at the 'rod of the almond tree,' for c“ Or

. Each prince shall pitch

it is added, “I will hasten My word to perform it."" Note on v. his royal pavi- 13.-To compensate in some measure for the scarcity of fuel, the lion, with all the Orientals endeavour to consume as little as possible in preparing marks of sove their victuals. For this purpose they make a hole in their reignty belong dwellings, about a foot and a half deep, in which they put their of having ob- earthen pots, with the meat in them, closed up, about the half tained a com above the middle ; three fourth parts they lay about with stones, plete victory, and and the fourth part is left open, through which they fling in taken entire possession of the their dried dung, and any other combustible substances they can city.'”—Louth. procure, which burn immediately, and produce so great a heat, “In the destruc

that the pot becomes as hot as if it stood over a strong fire of tion of Jerusa- coals ; so that they boil their meat with greater expedition and

Chal. much less fuel than it can be done upon the hearth. The hole dæans would

but in which the pot is set has an aperture on one side, for the purposes and coun- pose of receiving the fuel, which seems to be what Jeremiah calls

the face of the pot. “I see," said the Prophet, “a pot, and the Henderson.

face thereof is towards the north ;” intimating that the fuel to 2. 11. J. Saurin, heat it was to be brought from that quarter. This emblematical

prediction was fulfilled when Nebuchadnezzar, whose dominions d Dr. Bonar. lay to the north of Palestine, led his armies against Jerusalem, e Paxton. and overturned the thrones of the house of David.

17—19. (17) gird .. loins, the sign of earnest preparation

to

pour
the

of

the north,

lem

the

cils of God."

vii. 204.

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