Book Overview - Jeremiah
by Joseph Parker
The remainder of his life must be read in the prophecies themselves.
1. Some distinguished commentators have assigned thirty of the Psalm to the authorship of Jeremiah.
2. Some singular parallelisms with the Law have been noted:—Compare Jeremiah 11:3-5 with Deuteronomy 4:20; Deuteronomy 7:12; Compare Jeremiah 34:14 with Deuteronomy 15:12; Compare Jeremiah 32:18 with Exodus 20:6; Jeremiah 32:21 with Exodus 6:6.
3Jeremiah was contemporary with Zephaniah,, Habakkuk,, Ezekiel, and Daniel. The only one really connected with him is Ezekiel. It is agreed that the mind of Jeremiah is of a finer texture than Ezekiel"s, though Jerome complained of its rusticity.
4. Ewald maintains that "the book, in its present form, is from Jeremiah 1. to Jeremiah 49 substantially the same, as it came from the hand of the prophet, or his amanuensis, and seeks to discover in the present arrangement some plan according to which it is disposed. He finds that various portions are prefaced by the same formula, "The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord" ( Jeremiah 7:1; Jeremiah 11:1; Jeremiah 18:1; Jeremiah 21:1; Jeremiah 25:1; Jeremiah 31:1; Jeremiah 32:1; Jeremiah 34:1, Jeremiah 34:8; Jeremiah 35:1; Jeremiah 40:1; Jeremiah 44:1), or by the very similar expression, "The word of the Lord which came to Jeremiah" ( Jeremiah 14:1; Jeremiah 46:1; Jeremiah 47:1; Jeremiah 49:34). The notices of time distinctly mark some other divisions which are more or less historical ( Jeremiah 26:1; Jeremiah 27:1; Jeremiah 36:1; Jeremiah 37:1). Two other portions are in themselves sufficiently distinct without such indication ( Jeremiah 29:1; Jeremiah 45:1), whilst the general introduction to the book serves for the section contained in Jeremiah 1. There are left two sections ( Jeremiah 2, Jeremiah 3), the former of which has only the shorter introduction, which generally designates the commencement of a strophe; while the latter, as it now stands, seems to be imperfect, having as an introduction merely the word "saying." Thus the book is divided into twenty-three separate and independent sections, which, in the poetical parts, are again divided into strophes of from seven to nine verses, frequently distinguished by such a phrase as "The Lord said also unto me." These separate sections are arranged by Ewald so as to form five distinct books:—I. The introduction, Jeremiah 1;—II. Reproofs of the sins of the Jews, Jeremiah 2-24, consisting of seven sections—viz, 1. Jeremiah 2, 2. Jeremiah 3-6, 3. Jeremiah 7-10, 4. Jeremiah 11-13, 5. Jeremiah 14-17, Jeremiah 18, 6. Jeremiah 17, Jeremiah 19-20, 7. Jeremiah 21-24;—III. A general review of all nations, the heathen as well as the people of Israel, consisting of two sections, 1, Jeremiah 46-49 (which he thinks have been transposed), 2, Jeremiah 25, and an historical appendix of three sections, 1. Jeremiah 26, 2. Jeremiah 27,, 3. Jeremiah 28-29;—IV. Two sections picturing the hopes of brighter times, 1. Jeremiah 30-31,, 2. Jeremiah 32, Jeremiah 33, to which, as in the last book, is added an historical appendix in three sections, 1. Jeremiah 34:1-7; Jeremiah 34:2. Jeremiah 34:8-22; Jeremiah 34:3. Jeremiah 35;—V. The conclusion, in two sections, 1. Jeremiah 36, 2. Jeremiah 45. All this, he supposes, was arranged in Palestine, during the short interval of rest between the taking of the city and the departure of Jeremiah with the remnant of the Jews to Egypt. In Egypt, after some interval, Jeremiah added three sections—viz, Jeremiah 37-39, Jeremiah 40-43, and Jeremiah 44. At the same time, probably, he added Jeremiah 46:13-26 to the previous prophecy respecting Egypt, and, perhaps, made some additions to other parts previously written."
5. There are seven other Jeremiahs mentioned in Scripture.
6. Dante quotes Jeremiah largely, and was evidently indebted to him for much inspiration.
7. The time, place, and manner of Jeremiah"s death are unknown. It is estimated that his age was between seventy and seventy-five. Some of the fathers say that he was stoned at Tahpanhes. This is mere conjecture.
the Third Week of Lent