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the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 1

Gaebelein's Annotated BibleGaebelein's Annotated

Verses 1-19

Analysis and Annotations



The Call of the Prophet

1. The introduction (Jeremiah 1:1-3 )

2. The divine call (Jeremiah 1:4-10 )

3. The renewed call and the first visions (Jeremiah 1:11-19 )

Jeremiah 1:1-3 . The first three verses introduce us to the person of the prophet, to the time the Word of the Lord came unto him, and to the sphere of his ministry. Jeremiah’s father, Hilkiah, was a priest of the line of Ithamar; his home was Anathoth of Benjamin. (See general introduction.)

Jeremiah 1:4-10 . “Then the Word of the LORD came unto me” (Jeremiah 1:4 ). The prophet is the writer who tells us how he was called into the office of a prophet. A sovereign, omniscient and omnipotent Lord speaks to and informs the young Jeremiah that He knew him, that his call was prenatal. He had been chosen and set apart for the specific work which he now was to undertake. (See Isaiah 49:1 ; Galatians 1:15-24 ). What comfort this assuring knowledge must have been to the prophet in his trying ministry, in the persecutions which were his portion and the suffering he passed through! The Lord had called him, the Lord knew all that would take place, and He had the power to sustain him. And he is the same Lord today, and Jeremiah’s comfort is still the comfort of His trusting people.

Jeremiah expresses at once his fear. Like Moses Exodus 4:10 , he manifests self-distrust. He was but a child, not in the sense of a mere child, but a youth. The Septuagint translates it, “I am too young.” After that the Lord encouraged him by the promise of His presence, “I am with thee to deliver thee.” Then He touched his mouth and said, “Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.” He was the mouthpiece of Jehovah, Who commissioned him to fulfill a ministry over nations and kingdoms, to announce the overthrow of them by the judgments of the Lord.

Jeremiah 1:11-19 . Some think that this renewed call came in the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim. There is nothing in the text to indicate this. The first vision is that of the rod of the almond tree. The Hebrew word for almond is “Shakad,” which means to watch, to wake early. It is the first tree which shows the return of spring. It denotes the early fulfillment of the judgment purposes of the Lord. The vision of the seething pot toward the north denotes the coming invasion by the kingdom of the north, that is, the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar. Then follows the renewed commission with a threat in case of disobedience; if his fearfulness would lead him to abandon the commission. More than that, the Lord, knowing the fears of the servant He had called and separated, encouraged him and once more promised him, “I am with thee saith the LORD, to deliver thee.”

Bibliographical Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Jeremiah 1". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gab/jeremiah-1.html. 1913-1922.
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