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Old Testament Overview - Jeremiah

A weeping prophet speaks to a dying nation.  (As our country becomes more and more hardened in sin, Jeremiah's ministry becomes more and more relevant to us.)

Key EventsJeremiah's commissioning (1:4-9)  (1) He was appointed by God for this task before he was born. (1:4-5)  (2) Jeremiah's humility: "I do not know how to speak." (1:6)  (3) God's promise to him: "I am with you and will rescue you."  "I have put my words in your mouth."  "I appoint you over nations." (1:7-10)  (4) God's purpose for him: to pronounce God's judgment of Judah by a country from the north. (1:11-16) See 25:9, 39:1-10  (5) God protection of him (1:17-19)  "Do not be terrified by them . . . I have made you a fortified city.")  (We will see that there will be times when Jeremiah does not feel like "a fortified city.")
Jeremiah's ministry during Josiah's reign (2-20) (11:1-17:27 may have taken place during Zedekiah's reign)  (1) Judah's rejection of God described. (2-6)  (Israel's rejection of God traced. 2:1-13)  (Israel's two sins: they have "forsaken God" "the spring of living water and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water." 2:13)  (In vain, God disciplined Israel. 2:14-3:5)  (Symbolisms: they drank from Egypt's and Assyria's rivers, 2:18; "broke off" their "yoke" with God, 2:20; they are like a "prostitute," 2:20; they are like a "wild vine," 2:21; "soap" cannot wash away their guilt," 2:22; they are like an animal in "heat," 2:23-24; they killed the "prophets" "like a ravening lion", 2:30; God is like a desert to them, 2:31; they "lived as a prostitute with many lovers," 3:1; and they have no "shame." 3:3)  (Return to me. 3:6-4:4)  (See "returns" in 3;12, 14, 22, 4:1)  (Judah followed Israel in adultery against God. 3:6-11)  (Return and I will give you shepherds after my heart. 3:12-4:5)  (If you do not return, be prepared for God's judgment. 4:5-6:30)  (Flee, for disaster is coming from the North. 4:5-31)  ("Like a lion" coming "out of his lair" 4:7)  ("Your own conduct and actions have brought this on you." 4:18)  (There is not honest person in Jerusalem. 5:1-2)  ("They refused correction." 5:3)  (The leaders have rejected God. 5:5-6)  (They consider the prophets of God to be wind-bags. 5:12-13)  (Therefore, I will bring a cold and heartless nation against them. 5:14-17)  (For you are a "foolish and senseless people."—you are hardened by your self-indulgence. 518-31)  (God will bring Jerusalem under siege. 6:1-30)  ("'Peace, peace,'" they say, when there is no peace." 6:14)   (2) Jeremiah's message before the temple (7-10)  (Remember, Josiah had the temple cleansed and put in order during his reign. See II Kings 22  Also see Jer. 8:8-9  (Do not trust in the temple, turn from your deception, oppression, robbery, murder, and idolatry, and I will let you live in the land. 7:1-11)  (The Jews saw the temple as a magic charm that would protect them from evil happening to them; even if they themselves were doing evil. 7:4, 10)  (Jeremiah seeks to cleanse the people as Jesus would cleanse the temple in the future. Compare  Matt. 21:13 and 7:11)  (God would remove His presence from the temple as He removed the Ark from Shiloh. 7:12-15 See Josh. 18:1; Judges 18:31; I Sam. 4:3-11; Ps. 78:56-61)  (Do not pray for them, for I will not listen. 7:16-29)  (They worship the "Queen of Heaven." 7:18)  (They were "stiff-necked and did more evil than their forefathers." 7:26 Compare  I Jn. 5:16-17 and 7:16)  (God will turn their worship place into the "Valley of Slaughter." 7:30-8:3)  (It would become a graveyard for those slaughtered by the Babylonians.  Later, it would become Jerusalem's garbage dump—it became Gehenna, symbolizing the fires of hell. See II Kings 16:3, 21:6, 23;10; Ps. 106:35; Isa. 30:33; Jer. 19:5, 32;35)  (They "refuse" to return to God. 8:4-17)  ("They do not even know how to blush." 8:12)  (It breaks God's heart. 8:18-9:26 See 8:18, 22, 9:1-2, 10, 17-22)  ("balm" of "Gilead"—a healing substance produced in Gilead, east of the Jordan River. 8:22 See Jer. 46:11 and Gen. 37:25)  (God must punish His people, though it grieves Him to do it.  Nothing can heal Him of the pain.  "What man is wise enough to understand this?" 9:12)  (Proper boasting 9:23-24)  (Fear God and not idols. 10:1-16)  (Idols are frauds; God is real.)  (God is about to judge Israel. 10:17-22)  (Jeremiah prays that God will not turn his anger on him. 10:23-25)  (3) A record of some of Jeremiah's struggles and some signs given to Judah (11-20)  (Judas has broken the covenant with God made at Sinai and now must receive the curses promised to those who disobey. 11:1-17)  (God tells Jeremiah to remind Judah of the covenant. 11:1-8)  (Because Judah would not listen to God, He will not listen to them. 11:9-17)  (Notice how many gods they had. 11:13)  (A plot against Jeremiah. 11:18-12:7)  (The "men of Anathoth" developed a plan to end Jeremiah's prophesying by ending his life. 11:18-23 Jeremiah was from "Anathoth. See 1:1 )  (God promises He will judge these conspirators. 11:22-23 See 1:8, 18-10)  (Jeremiah compares himself to a "gentle lamb" being "led to the slaughter"—like Jesus. 11:19 See Isa. 53:7)  (Jeremiah complains about the prosperity of the wicked. 12:1-4)  (God gives Jeremiah His answer. 12:5-17)  (God will not allow them to go unpunished—they will receive what they deserve.)  (Notice: God rebukes Jeremiah for his complaining by telling him that if he cannot handle it now, how will he handle it when it really gets rough.  "If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?" Jeremiah 12:5)  (Certainly, this is a message for all of us when we complain about some struggle we are having that is small compared to what Christians are going through in more anti-Christian countries.)  (God continues to predict His judgment on Judah through the symbolisms of a linen belt and wineskins. 13:1-15:14)  (The linen belt 13:1-11)  (Actually, it was more like a pair of linen underpants or shorts.)  (He was to take a worn belt and hide it in the rocks.  The rotting of this linen undergarment symbolizes how Israel was to be humbled.)  (The smashed wineskins 13:12-14)  (God uses the smashed wineskins to symbolize how Judah was filled with drunkenness, and would be smashed together until it burst.)  (Humble yourselves as a nation; God is going to judge you because of your pride and your sins. 13:15-27)  (There will be drought, famines, you will die by the sword, and you will become slaves. 14:1-15:14)  (droughts, 14:1-6, 22; famines and the sword, 14:12-18, 15:2-3, 9; and captivity, 15:12-14)  (Jeremiah's self-pity and God's answer 15:15-21)  (Jeremiah's self-pity is in 15:15-18)  (Notice the "I"s, "my"s, and "me"s. See Job 6:15-20 and 15:18  See also Numb. 11:10-15; I Kings 19:1-14 (God's answer 15:19-21)  (God rebukes Jeremiah for his self-pity and repeats His promise to him. Compare 15:20 and 1:18)  (God places restrictions on Jeremiah. 16:1-13)  (He was not to marry, for children will die horrible deaths. 16:1-4)  (He was not to participate in funerals or mourning, for God no longer joined in their mourning. 16:5-7)  (He was not to participate in feasting, for feasting was about to end. 16:8-9)  (Nevertheless, God will bring them back to the Land. 16:14-15, 21)  (The reason for God's judgment. 17:1-13)  (The depth of their sins,  17:1; they put their trust in man and not in God, 17:5-8; and because of the state of their hearts. 17:9  "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" Jeremiah 17:9)  (In 17:5-8, Jeremiah contrasts the different consequences that result when one trusts in man or God—one is like a tree beside water. See Ps. 1)  (Jer. 17:9 describes the heart of man. See Deut. 5:27-29)  (Jeremiah's appeal for God's help. 17:14-18)  (Because Jeremiah is not seeing God's judgment on the wicked—they seem to be doing wrong with no consequences—their mocking of him and his message are getting to him.)  (God's judgment on Judah for breaking the Sabbath. 17:19-27) See Deut. 5:14-15; Exod. 31:13)  (Judah had ignored the commandment about the Sabbath.)  (The Parable of the Potter. 18:1-17)  (As a potter destroys a pot, if it comes out flawed, and remakes it, so God will need to destroy Judah so He can remake it.)  (Jeremiah's cry for help. 18:18-23)  (Another plot against Jeremiah. 18:18)  (They conspired not to listen to him and to attack him with their tongues. See II Tim. 4:2-5)  (Jeremiah's cry for help. 18:19-23)  (The Parable of the Smashed Pot. 19:1-15)  (Jeremiah smashes a pot and predicts that God will smash Judah in the same way. 19:10-12)  (Jeremiah is put in stocks. 20:1-18)  (The priest Pashhur punished him for preaching judgment on Judah by putting him in stocks. 20:1-6)  (Jeremiah complains that God broke His promise to him to protect him. 20:7-18)  (God promised to protect him, yet he is ridiculed and has been put in stocks.)  (Notice how Jeremiah is torn into: he is mocked and insulted, yet God's "word is in" his "heart like a fire." 20:9  He is anxious because everyone is against him, yet he continues to trust God!  The turmoil within him is more than he can endure and he prefers that he had never been born. See Job 3:10-11 and 21:18)
Jeremiah's ministry during the reign of Jehoiakim and Zedekiah—just before Judah's fall (21-29)  (1) Zedekiah seeks Jeremiah's and God's help. (21:1-14)  (Out of fear of Nebuchadnezzar, Zedekiah sends Pashhur, but not the Pashhur of chapter 20, and Zephaniah, not Zephaniah the prophet, to Jeremiah. 21:1-2)   (He does it in hope that God will rescue them from His judgment.  People who do not think about God at all during good times, often come to Him during bad times.  They get themselves in trouble by ignoring Him and His ways; then, look to God to get them out of the trouble.  God will, nevertheless, respond to those who come to Him in genuine repentance. See Ps. 51; Isa. 1:18; Luke 18:13-14; James 4:6)  (God's answer: "I will help Babylon and not you." 21:3-7)  (Judah's request was too little too late.  There is a difference between worldly sorrow and true godly sorrow. See II Cor. 7:8-11)  (Judah is to surrender to Nebuchadnezzar. 21:8-14)  (2) Jeremiah's message to the leaders of Judah. (22-23)  (Seek to be just and fair, rescue the oppressed, and do not oppress the weak; only then will the kings of the line of David be maintained.  Otherwise, your palace will become a ruins. 22:1-10)  (Because Jehoiakim chose to enrich himself at the expense of the weak rather than defend the weak as his father had done, he was going to die in shame. 22:11-30)  (Zedekiah would die like a donkey. 22:19 See 36:30  His father Shallum had already been judged. 22:11.  Shallum is another name for Jehoahaz. See II Kings 23:31-34)  (Jehoiakim's son Jehoiachin was also to be judged. 22:24)  (Here, we see that God's judgment included the promise that none of Jehoiakim's children would sit on the throne of David.)  (For more about Jehoiachin, See II Kings 24:8-17, 25:27-30; Jer. 52:31-34)  (Jeremiah's description of Jehoiakim is found in 22:13-14, 17, 21-22)  (Jeremiah's message to the religious leaders. 23:1-40)  (In the future, God will replace the shepherds who have scattered the sheep with shepherds who will care for them. 23:1-4)  (In the future, God will raise up from David a Righteous Branch. 23:5-8 See 33:15; Isa. 11:1; Zech. 3:8, 6:12)  (Israel's and Judah's prophets are corrupt and are actually helping God's people to do evil. 23:9-17)  (They speak visions from their own minds and tell those who stubbornly reject God that all will be well with them. 23:16-17)  (A characteristic of a false prophet is that they tell people what they want to hear. See I Kings 22:1-28)  (If the false prophets received their messages from God, they would have led God's people away from evil. 23:18-24)  (Instead, they say, "I had a dream.  I had a dream."  God is against those prophets who "wag their own tongues and yet declare, the Lord declares." 23:25-40)  (3) God's prophecy to Zedekiah through two baskets of figs. (24:1-3)  (God shows Jeremiah two baskets, one good and one rotten. 24:1-3 Compare 24:1 to I Kings 24:1-16)  (The good figs represent the exiles from Judah who will be taken to Babylon—they are good because God will bless them and they will return to God with all of their heart and they will return to their land. 24:4-7)  (The poor figs represent Zedekiah, King of Judah, those that stay in the land, and those that go to Egypt; for God will be against them and give them a life of misery. 24:8-10)  (4) Nebuchadnezzar's victorious conquests are God's wrath against Judah and the nations. 25:1-38)  (Because Judah had not listened to Jeremiah or the prophets, God was going to send Nebuchadnezzar against her and the surrounding nations and to bring them under his enslavement for 70 years. 25:12-14)  (God gives Jeremiah a cup filled with His wrath, for the nations to drink. 25:15-29) See also 15:17, 22; Zech. 12:2)  (Jeremiah's prophecies describing the coming disaster. 25:30-38)  (5) Jeremiah's unpopular message in the temple courtyard. (26)  (God instructs Jeremiah to stand in the courtyard at the temple and talk to the people as they come to worship. 26:1-6)  (If they listen, God will change His mind about punishing them, but if they do not listen, He will make them like Shiloh. See 7:12-14; Josh. 18:1; I Sam. 4:3-11; and Ps. 78:60-61) See 7:1-14 and compare to 26:4-6  (The people are so outraged at Jeremiah's message to them that the priests, prophets and the people grab him and attempt to have him sentenced to death. 26:7-11)  (They were outraged that he would predict that anything bad could happen to the people of God.  Jesus also predicted that the temple of His time would be torn down, and he got the same response from Israel as Jeremiah got. See Matt. 24:1-2)  (Jeremiah argues in his own defense. "Then the officials and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, 'This man should not be sentenced to death! He has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God.'" 26:12-24)  (They argue that other prophets predicted God's judgment and were not put to death—with one exception. 26:17-24 Compare 26:18-19 and Micah 3:12  Compare 26:24 with II Kings 22:12, 25:22; and Jer. 39:14(6) God instructs Jeremiah to give a message to Judah and the nations using a wooden yoke. (27:1-22)  (If you put your neck under Nebuchadnezzar's yoke, you can remain in your land; but, if you do not, God will punish with the sword, famine, and plague. 27:1-11)  (The message to Zedekiah—Put your neck under Nebuchadnezzar's yoke, so you will live. 27:12-22)  (Do not listen to the lying prophets. 27:14-18)  (7) Jeremiah versus the false prophet Hananiah (28:1-17)  (Hananiah's false prophecy: he predicts that God will remove the yoke of Babylon and return all that Nebuchadnezzar took from them, including King Jehoiachin. 28:1-4)  (Jeremiah's response:  Oh, that it would be so, but your prediction is the opposite of what God predicts through His prophets. 28:5-9)  (Hananiah takes the yoke off Jeremiah's neck and breaks it, and he claims that God will break Nebuchadnezzar's yoke in the same way. 28:10-11)  (God tells Jeremiah to tell Hananiah that He is going to replace the wooden yoke with an iron yoke, and because he has convinced Judah to believe lies, he will die this very year. 28:12-17)  (Hananiah died that year.  Who passed the test and who was a true prophet of God, Jeremiah or Hananiah?)  (8) Jeremiah's letters to the exiles. (29:1-32)  (Jeremiah's first letter 29:1-23)  (Accept your punishment graciously; do not listen to the false prophets, and when the 70 years are completed, call on God and He will return you to your land.) ("'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" Jeremiah 29:11  "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13)  (Jeremiah's second letter in response to Shemaiah's criticisms of his first letter 29:24-32)  (Shemaiah wanted Jeremiah put in stocks. 29:24-28)  (Jeremiah predicts God's judgment on Shemaiah. 29:29-32) 

Jeremiah's ministry of hope (30-33)  (1) The future restoration of Israel (30:1-31:30) (The time of Jacob's trouble will precede the restoration of Israel. 30:1-7 See Isa. 2;12; Joel 2:11; Lam. 1:12; Matt. 24:21)  (In that day, I will break off the yokes and raise up David their king. 30:8-9 See also Isa. 55:3; Ezek. 34:23-24, 37:24-35; Hos. 3;5; Lk. 1:69; Acts 2:30)  (The "David" promised is Jesus Christ who was born in the line of David. See Acts 13:32-34 and 23:5)  (Judah was not to fear, for though God would punish them for their sins, He would restore them. 30:10-31:14)  (God will hear the cries of His disciplined people and when they have repented of their sins, he will restore them to their land. 31:14-30) ("Ramah" 31:15 See Matt. 2:16-18)  ("children's teeth are set on edge"  "The fathers ate sour grapes"—sinned—and the children suffered for it—their "teeth are set on edge")  (2) The New Covenant (31:31-40)  (In the future, God will make a New Covenant with Israel. 31:31-34)  (It will not be like the Old Covenant—for they broke it. 31:31-32)  (This time, the Law will be written on their hearts—they will be God's people on the inside; no one will need to be taught to know God, for they will already know Him; and God will forgive their sin. 31:33-34) (This covenant with Israel is as enduring as the sun, moon, stars, and sea. 31:33-37)  (At that time, Jerusalem will be rebuilt and this time it will never again be demolished. 31:38-40)  (This prediction is referring to the rebuilding of Jerusalem that is still in our future.)  (3) Jeremiah buys a field. (32)  (While Jeremiah is imprisoned by Zedekiah because of his prophecies that Babylon will successfully besiege Jerusalem, he is instructed by God to buy a field. 32:1-7)  (This took place one year before the fall of Jerusalem. Compare 31:1 and 39:2)  (Jeremiah buys the field because God had predicted that the land would be restored to Israel. 32:8-16)  (Jeremiah prays with mixed doubt and faith. 32:17-25)  (The faith: "Nothing is too hard for you. 32:17)  (The doubts: 32:25)  (God agrees with Jeremiah that nothing is too hard for Him, and He also predicts that His judgment is coming on Judah because of their sins. 32:26-35)  (Nevertheless, God will return them to their land and give them a heart to fear Him. 32:36-41 Compare 32:40 and Isa. 55:3; Ezek. 37:2)  (At that time, fields will once again be bought in Israel. 32:42-44)  (4) The promise of restoration (33:1-26)  (God tells Jeremiah about the horrors of destruction that is about to take place to Jerusalem. 33:1-5 Compare 33:3 to Ps. 144:18; Isa. 48:16-17)  "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." (Jeremiah 33:3)  (Nevertheless, God will restore His people to health, joy, peace, and security. 33:6-13)  (He will bring them back from captivity and forgive their sins.)  (At that time, a righteous Branch will sprout from David's line. 33:14-18)  (He will be a King whose rule will be totally righteous.)  (This Covenant will be broken only if God's Covenant with day and night can be broken. 33:19-25)

Jeremiah's ministry during the reigns of Jehoiakim and Zedekiah continued (34-39)  (1) Jeremiah warns Zedekiah of the imminent fall of Jerusalem (34)  (Jeremiah is instructed by the Lord to tell Zedekiah that Babylon will soon conquer Jerusalem, and Zedekiah will also be brought "face to face" with Babylon's king.  But God would, nevertheless, let him die in peace. 34:1-5)  (Jeremiah gives Zedekiah the message. 34:6-7)  (In an apparent attempt to turn God's judgment from them, Zedekiah makes a covenant to free the Jewish slaves. 34:8-11)  (First of all, it was wrong for them to have Jewish slaves. See Lev. 25:39-42)  (Also, even the poor who sold themselves to pay off a debt were to be set free every seventh year—Sabbatical year—or at the year of Jubilee. See Ex. 21:2-11 and Deut. 15:12-18)  (God tells Jeremiah that it was right for them to free the slaves, for He Himself had instructed Israel to free their slaves every 7 years.  But because, after releasing their Jewish slaves, they took them back again as slaves, they would face His anger through the swords of the Babylonians. 34:12-22)  (2) The example of the Recabites. (35)  (The Recabites fully obeyed the commands of their forefather Jonadab son of Recab not to drink wine, build houses to live in, or grow vineyards or crops.  They even refused wine when Jeremiah strongly tempted them to drink some. 35:1-11)  (Jonadab desired that his descendents remain as nomads.)  (For some background on this Jonadab, see II Kings 10:15-16, 23)  (Yet, Judah fully disobeyed God, though He spoke to them "again and again." 32:12-16)  (3) Jehoiakim burns Jeremiah's scroll. (36)  (God instructs Jeremiah to write all of His judgments on Judah, Israel, and the nations on a scroll; in hope that when they will see all of these judgments together, they will turn from their wickedness and be forgiven. 36:1-3)  (Jeremiah dictates these judgments of God to Baruch, and asks him to read them publicly of the temple on a day of fasting. 36:4-7)  (Baruch follows Jeremiah's instructions and reads the scroll before the temple.  Afterwards, the officials of the temple ask Baruch to read it to them privately.  Following the reading, they go and tell the king about the scroll. 36:8-20)  (The officials warn Baruch and Jeremiah to go and hide. 36:19)  (The king then sends for the scroll and has it read to him.  As it is read, he has the scroll cut off and thrown into the fire. 35:21-26)  (The king continued to cut and burn the scroll, even though he was strongly warned not to do it.)  (The king is unsuccessful in arresting Baruch and Jeremiah because "the Lord had hidden them." 36:26) Compare these verses with Josiah's response when he found the scrolls of the Bible. See II Kings 22:11-13)  (God instructs Jeremiah to write out a second scroll with the same judgments as the first scroll; and He predicts that Jehoiakim will also be judged—he will have no descendents to sit on the throne of David. 36:27-32)  (Jehoiakim reigned for just three months. See II Chron. 36:9-10)  (Also, on the second scroll, there were even more of God's words written; so, instead of Jehoiakim eradicating God's words, he had actually helped to add to God's words.)  (Through history, men have tried to do away with God's Word, but they have not been any more successful than Jehoiakim was.)  (4) Jeremiah is captured and put in prison. (37)  (In chapter 37 and 38, the princes are against Jeremiah and the king, though weak, helps them.)  ("Zedekiah son of Josiah was made king of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; he reigned in place of Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim." (Jeremiah 37:1) (Though King Zedekiah, had closed his ears to Jeremiah's prophecies, he asked Jeremiah to pray for them. 37:1-3)  (The Babylonians abort their siege when they hear that the Pharaoh has sent his army against them. 37:4-5)  (But God predicts to Jeremiah that when Egypt returns to their land, Babylon will return to Jerusalem and continue their attack on the city. 37:6-10  "'This is what the Lord says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, “The Babylonians will surely leave us.” They will not! Even if you were to defeat the entire Babylonian army that is attacking you and only wounded men were left in their tents, they would come out and burn this city down.'" (Jeremiah 37:9-10)  (During the let up in the Babylonian siege, Jeremiah attempts to leave Jerusalem, but he is accused of deserting to the Babylonians and is arrested. 37:11-15)  (Apparently, Jeremiah was seeking to look at the new land he had just bought. See 32:6-15)  After Jeremiah had been in prison for a long time, Zedekiah sends for him and asks him if has received any word from the Lord, but, Jeremiah can only repeat the prophecy that they refused to hear—that Babylon was going to defeat them. 37:16-17)  (Jeremiah challenges Zedekiah to tell him why he is being imprisoned. Then, he asks Zedekiah not to send him back in the house of Jonathan, for fear he will die there. 37:18-20)  (King Zedekiah allows Jeremiah to be imprisoned, instead, in the courtyard of the guard. 37:21)  (Zedekiah reminds us of Pilate, for both men were troubled by their consciences, but both chose the easy route over what is right.  Here, it would have been right to release Jeremiah; but, instead, he gives him an easier imprisonment.)  (5) Jeremiah is thrown into a cistern. (38)  (King Zedekiah allows four of his officials who are upset with Jeremiah's prophecies of judgment to do anything they wish with Jeremiah—they choose to put him in a dry cistern. 38:1-6)  (The cistern has no water in it, but Jeremiah does sink into the mud in it.)  (Jeremiah's troubles here tell us that those who obey the Lord are not immune from troubles.)  (Cisterns were used to catch water and were often pear-shaped.)  (Ebed-Melech, a Cushite servant, intervenes with the king on behalf of Jeremiah and is allowed to take Jeremiah out of the cistern. 38:7-13)  (Zedekiah again asks Jeremiah what he should do and Jeremiah again tells him if he turns himself over to the Babylonians; he, his family, and the city will be spared.  If he does not, the city will be burned and he will not escape. 38:14-18)  (Zedekiah balks because he fears that he will be handed over to the Jews who have already surrendered to the Babylonians.  Jeremiah promises that this will not happen, but if he does not surrender himself, the women of the palace will mock him, and he and his family will soon be in the hands of the Babylonians anyway. 38:19-23)  (Zedekiah makes Jeremiah promise that he will tell no one what they talked about.  He even orders Jeremiah to lie about what they talked about.  When the officials of the palace confront Jeremiah, he complies with Zedekiah's request and tells them what he told him to say.)  (6) Jerusalem falls to Babylon in 586 B.C. (39)  (In the ninth year of Zedekiah's reign, Nebuchadnezzar marches against Jerusalem and in the eleventh year of Zedekiah's reign, the city's wall is broken through. 39:1-2)  (Zedekiah flees the city, but the Babylonian army catches him and takes him to Nebuchadnezzar. 39:3-7)  (Zedekiah's sons are killed "before his eyes." 39:6)  (Zedekiah is blinded. 39:7)  ("The king who would not see had his eyes put out.  The people who held their slaves captive were themselves led captive by the Babylonians." Taken from Death of a Nation by Ray Stedman.)  (The Babylonians burn down the palace and break down the walls of Jerusalem. 89:8)  (Nebuzaradan, the commander of Babylon's imperial guard, sends the people in Jerusalem and others in Judah into exile. 39:9-10)  (Some of the poor were allowed to remain—they were not a threat to Babylon.)  (Nebuchadnezzar frees Jeremiah and instructs Gedaliah, the Ahikam, to take him back to his home. 39:11-14) See 26:24—Ahikam had been a supporter of Jeremiah)  (God instructs Jeremiah to tell Ebed-Melech, the Cushite, that he would be rescued from God's judgment. 39:15-18 See 38:7-13)

After the fall of Jerusalem (40-44)  (1) Jeremiah is freed. (40:1-6)  (Nebuzaradan tells Jeremiah that he is free to do whatever he chooses to do.  Jeremiah chooses to stay with Gedaliah.)  (2) The rebellion continues (40:7-41:10)  (We would think that the destruction of Jerusalem would have caused Judah to turn back to God, but Judah's rebellion went too deep.)  (The "army officers and their men" are instructed by Gedaliah to serve the Babylonians, and it will go well for them. 40:7-10)  ("Johanan son of Kareah" seeks to warn Gedaliah of an attempt on his life by a man named Ishmael. 40:11-16)  (Gedaliah chooses to ignore the warning.)  (Ishmael kills Gedaliah while he is eating with him. 41:1-3)  (Ishmael and ten men also kill the Jews and Babylonians who were with Gedaliah.)  (Ishmael kills 70 more. 41:4-9)  (Ishmael takes the rest of the Jews in Mizpah captive. 41:10)  (The bodies of those killed were thrown in a cistern. 41:7) (Johanan hears about what Ishmael had done and he chases him back to the Amonnites. 4:11-15)  (Johanan had volunteered to kill Ishmael when he heard that he had plotted with the Amonnites to kill Gedaliah, but Gedaliah did not believe that Ishmael had conspired to kill him. See 40:15  (3) The flight to Egypt (41:16-44:30)  (Johanan leads the survivors at Mizpah toward Egypt out of fear of what the Babylonians will do in retaliation for Ishmael's rebellion. 41:16-18)  (They ask Jeremiah to pray and seek God's guidance for them. 42:1-6)  (God's answer to Jeremiah's prayer: stay in the land. 42:7-18)  (God will protect them in the land, 42:7-12, but disaster will come to them if they go to Egypt, 42:12-18.)  (Their answer: They refuse to listen to Jeremiah and go to Egypt. 42:19-43:7)  (In Egypt: God predicts through Jeremiah that Nebuchadnezzar will also conquer Egypt. 42:8-13)  (God instructs Jeremiah to bury some large stones in the pavement at the entrance of Pharaoh's temple in Tahpanhes, Egypt, and to predict that Nebuchadnezzar will put his "royal canopy" over those stones. 43:8-13)  (God's message to the Jews in Egypt. 44:1-30)  (Remember how God judged Judah because of their evil, their idolatry, and their unwillingness to listen to the prophets. 44:1-6)  (God will also judge you in the same way for worshiping Egypt's gods. 44:7-14)  (The men of Israel in Egypt refused to listen to Jeremiah and chose to continue to worship other gods and to worship the "Queen of Heaven." 44:15-19)  (They chose to believe that the destruction of Jerusalem was not due to their disobedience of God, but due to their disobedience of the "Queen of Heaven." See 7:18)  (Because the Jews of Egypt chose to stubbornly reject God and to pursue false gods, they will be punished in the same way as Judah. 44:20-30)  (God will allow them to make their foolish choice, and the Pharaoh in whom they trusted in rather than trusting in God will be conquered just as Zedekiah was conquered.)

Jeremiah's message from God to Baruch (45)  (1) You are feeling sorry for yourself. (45:1-3)  (2) Instead, you should consider God's sorrow over Judah's sin and Him needing to judge them. (45:4)  (3) Do not "seek great things for yourself," but be glad that you will be rescued from judgment. (45:5)

God's judgment on the nations (46-52)  (1) God's judgment on Egypt. (46) (Egypt expects to rise up like the Nile and flood the world.  46:1-9)  (But Egypt will be flooded over by Nebuchadnezzar. 46:10-26)  (God promises the Israelites who are in exile that He will one day rescue them. 46:27-28)  (2) God's judgment on the Philistines. (47:1-7)  (Babylon will also conquer them like a flood—"by waters in the north." 47:2)  (3) God's judgment on Moab. (48:1-47)  (Moab will be destroyed because she trusted in herself—in her riches and in the god Chemosh. 48:1-10 See particularly 48:8-9)  (Solomon built a high place for Chemosh. See I Kings 11:7)  (Moab is confident that no judgment will come on her, for she "has been at rest from her youth." 48:11)  (But the time has come for Moab to be judged."  48:12-25)  (Moab ridiculed others, but she will be ridiculed and humbled. 48:26-47 See 48:26-27, 29, 37, 39, 41)  (Moab's condition will become utterly hopeless.)  (God mourns over Moab. 48:31-32, 36)  (Moab mourns. 48:33-34, 37-38, 41)  (Notice God promises to restore Moab in the future. 48:47)  (4) God's judgment on Ammon (49:1-6)  (Ammon drove Israel out of Gad, but the day will come when Israel will drive Ammon out. 49:1-2)  ("Molech" is the main god of the Ammonites.)  (Though Ammon trusts in her riches and does not fear that she will be attacked, she will be attacked. 49:4-6)  (Notice: God also promises to restore Ammon in the future.)  (5) God's judgment on Edom (49:7-22)  (Flee for "disaster" is coming on Edom and she will be stripped "bare." 49:7-11)  (For if those who deserve judgment receive it, why do you think that you will escape it? 49:12-15)  (Your rock fortresses will not save you. 49:16-22 See Obadiah 1-4)  (The capital of Edom, Petra was carved out of rock.)  (6) God's judgment on Damascus (49:23-37)  (Damascus will become like a woman in childbirth. 49:24)  (7) God's judgment on Kedar and Hazor (49:28-33)  (They were nomadic tribes that were confident in themselves rather than confident in God.)  (For them, there will be no future restoration. 49:33)  (8) God's judgment on Elam (49:34-39)  (They put their confidence in their archers and their bows. 49:35)  (Elam will be restored. 49:39 See Acts 2:8(9) God's judgment on Babylon (50-51)  (Babylon also will be humbled. 50:1-31)  (She also will be attacked by a nation from the north. 50:3, 9)  (At that time, Israel and Judah will seek to return to the Promised Land. 50:4-10)  (Because Babylon pillaged God's inheritance—God's people, God will totally destroy Babylon. 50:11-16 See 50:13, 51:26, 42)  (Israel will return to the Land, and God will forgive their sins. 50:17-20)  (Babylon will be destroyed because she opposed the Lord and was arrogant. 50:21-32 See also 50:24-25, 29, 31-32)  (Though Babylon holds on to God's people, God's "Redeemer" is stronger still and will free them. 50:33-38)  (Babylon will never be inhabited again. 50:39-40)  (A fearful army will come from the north and totally overrun Babylon. 50:41-51:14)  (The kings of the north are "the kings of the Medes." See 51:11, 28)  ("You who live by many waters and are rich in treasures, your end has come, the time for you to be cut off." 51:13)  (God made the earth and the heavens; man's gods are frauds. 51:15-19 Compare to 10:12-16)  (God will destroy the nation He used as a destroyer—as a destroying arm of His judgment. 51:20-35)  (Babylon as a destroyer. 51:20-23, 25, 34)  (Babylon will be destroyed forever. 51:26)  (God will defend the cause of His people and destroy Babylon. 51:36-58 See 51:36, 45-47, 49, 51-53)  (Jeremiah gave this message on a scroll to King Zedekiah's staff officer Seraiah just before he went to Babylon with King Zedekiah, so he could read it aloud at Babylon. 51:59-64)  (After he had finished reading it, he was to throw it into Euphrates River, for Babylon would sink and rise no more.)  (Seraiah was undoubtedly Baruch's brother. See 32:12, 45:1(10) God's judgment on Jerusalem (52:1-34)  (The fall of Jerusalem is described.)  (Jerusalem is brought under siege by Nebuchadnezzar from the ninth year to the eleventh year of Zedekiah's reign. 52:1-5)  (Nebuchadnezzar breaks through the city wall in the eleventh year of Zedekiah's reign, captures Zedekiah and his army when they try to flee the city, slaughters Zedediah's sons; puts out Zedekiah's eyes, binds him with bronze shackles, and takes him to Babylon. 52:6-11)  (Nebuzaradan, Babylon's commander of the imperial guard comes to Jerusalem and burns down the temple and the palace, breaks down the wall around Jerusalem, and takes more Jews into exile. 52:12-16)  (The Babylonians smash the large temple articles for the metal and take away the smaller temple articles to Babylon. 52:17-23) See II Kings 25:13-17)  (Nebuzaradan takes as prisoners the highest officials in Jerusalem and takes them to Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon where they are executed. 52:24-30)  (Those that went into captivity are numbered in 52:28-30)  (Jehoiachin is released in the thirty-seventh year of Israel's exile, and he is given a place of honor by the new king of Babylon, Evil-Merodach. 52:31-34)

Key People:  Jeremiah, Pashhur, (20:1-6), Baruch (35), Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradon (39:9-10, 40:1-6, 52:12-16, 24-30), Gedaliah (39:14, 40:5-16), Ebed-Melech a Cushite. (38:7-13, 39:15-18)

Key Verses: 1:1-19, 2:13, 6:14, 7:30-34, 8:11, 18-9:26, 9:23-24, 13:7, 23, 17:6-8, 9, 18:1-17, 20:7-18, 21:8-9, 23:5-8, 16-17, 25:11, 29:11, 13, 31:15, 29, 31-40, 32:17, 33:3, 14-18, 42:1-6, 45:5, 50:4, 39:40, 51:13, 15-19, 20-23

Key Teachings:  God chose Jeremiah before he was born. (1:4-5)  God promised to strengthen and protect Jeremiah. (1:6-19)  God mourns that He must punish sin. (8:18-9:26)  God's protection does not mean we will not suffer. (20:7-18)  God's word was like a fire in Jeremiah's bones. (20:9)  False prophets speak from their own minds and say it is God speaking. (23:16-18) See Matt. 24:5, 11  The New Covenant. (31:33-40)  Seek God's Guidance (42:1-6) and do not refuse it when you get it. (42:9-43:7)  God uses nations to bring His judgment on other nations. (51:20-23)  But He also judges those nations for their sins. (51:24)

Old Testament Overview Studies

Old Testament Overview
Table of Contents
Old Testament Overview Outline
Old Testament Overview Genesis
Old Testament Overview Exodus to Deuteronomy
Old Testament Overview Furniture of the Tabernacle
Old Testament Overview Dress of Priests and High Priest
Old Testament Overview Dress of High Priest
Old Testament Overview Canaan: What Can it Teach Us?
Old Testament Overview Israel, God's Kingdom
Old Testament Overview Moses—Failure the Backdoor to Success
Old Testament Overview The Mosaic Covenant
Old Testament Overview The Ten Commandments
Old Testament Overview The Offerings
Old Testament Overview Uncleanness
Old Testament Overview The Priesthood
Old Testament Overview The Festivals
Old Testament Overview The Nazirite Vow
Old Testament Overview Joshua to Ruth
Old Testament Overview Prophecies of the Redeemer—Genesis to Ruth
Old Testament Overview I and II Samuel
Old Testament Overview Saul and David Compared
Old Testament Overview Jonathan and David Compared
Old Testament Overview The Davidic Covenant
Old Testament Overview I And II Kings
Old Testament Overview Israel's and Judah's Kings
Old Testament Overview Divided Kings who Divided
Old Testament Overview Criticisms of God's Actions in the Old Testament
Old Testament Overview Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther
Old Testament Overview Ruth and Esther Compared
Old Testament Overview Job to Song of Solomon
Old Testament Overview Proverbs: Wise Man or Fool?
Old Testament Overview Isaiah
Old Testament Overview Jeremiah
Old Testament Overview Daniel
Old Testament Overview Hosea
Old Testament Overview Joel
Old Testament Overview Amos
Old Testament Overview Obadiah
Old Testament Overview Jonah
Old Testament Overview Micah
Old Testament Overview Nahum
Old Testament Overview Habakkuk
Old Testament Overview Zephaniah
Old Testament Overview Haggai
Old Testament Overview Zechariah
Old Testament Overview Malachi