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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 45

Utley's You Can Understand the BibleUtley Commentary


Jeremiah 45:0


(The parentheses represent poetic literary units)

Message To BaruchAssurance To BaruchGod's Word to BaruchGod's Promise To BaruchA Prophecy of Comfort For Baruch
Jeremiah 45:1-5Jeremiah 45:1-5Jeremiah 45:1-5Jeremiah 45:1-3Jeremiah 45:1-5
Jeremiah 45:4-5

READING CYCLE THREE (see “Guide to Good Bible Reading”)


This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects (reading cycle #3). Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Third paragraph

4. Etc.

Verses 1-5

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Jeremiah 45:1-5 1This is the message which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to Baruch the son of Neriah, when he had written down these words in a book at Jeremiah's dictation, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying: 2”Thus says the LORD the God of Israel to you, O Baruch: 3'You said, “Ah, woe is me! For the LORD has added sorrow to my pain; I am weary with my groaning and have found no rest.”' 4Thus you are to say to him, 'Thus says the LORD, “Behold, what I have built I am about to tear down, and what I have planted I am about to uproot, that is, the whole land.” 5But you, are you seeking great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I am going to bring disaster on all flesh,' declares the LORD, 'but I will give your life to you as booty in all the places where you may go.'“

Jeremiah 45:1 “in the fourth year of Jehoiakim” The date for this would be 605 B.C. This was the same year Babylon defeated the remnants of the Assyrian army and the Egyptian army at Carchemish in northern Syria (cf. Jeremiah 46:2).

The historical setting for this brief chapter is chapter 36.

Jeremiah 45:3 Baruch was grieving over the current state of affairs (i.e., the king burning Jeremiah's scroll, chapt. 36).

1. “woe is me!” (cf. Jeremiah 4:13, Jeremiah 4:31; Jeremiah 6:4; Jeremiah 10:19; Jeremiah 13:27; Jeremiah 15:10; Jeremiah 22:13; Jeremiah 23:1; Jeremiah 48:1, Jeremiah 48:46; Jeremiah 50:27, obviously a cultural idiom of despair)

2. the Lord has added sorrow to my pain

3. I am weary with my groaning

4. I have found no rest

Jeremiah 45:4 This verbiage reflects Jeremiah's call in Jeremiah 1:10 (cf. Jeremiah 18:7-10; Jeremiah 24:6; Jeremiah 31:28; Jeremiah 42:10). The curses of Leviticus 26:0 and Deuteronomy 27-30 have come to reality! A reverse “exodus” has occurred in parallel to the removal of the Canaanite population who had previously inhabited Canaan (cf. Genesis 15:16). Their idolatry caused them to be exiled, so too, now Judah's idolatry has caused her to be exiled.

Jeremiah 45:5 “But you, are you seeking great things for yourself” This is always an appropriate question for fallen, self-centered humanity. Believers must remember that all things are in our God's hands. We are only stewards.

A good biblical example of a person who recognized his spiritual stewardship (at least at first) was Solomon (cf. 1 Kings 3:9, 1 Kings 3:11).

“I am going to bring disaster on all flesh” This hyperbolic idiom is also found in Jeremiah 25:31 and Isaiah 66:16. It is difficult for modern westerners to interpret ANE poetry because of our tendency toward literalism. A book that has really helped me in this genre is D. Brent Sandy, Plowshares and Pruning Hooks: Rethinking the Language of Biblical Prophecy and Apocalyptic. I commend it to you!

“but I will give your life to you as booty” YHWH promises to spare Baruch's life in the midst of the judgment which will fall on the Judeans in Egypt.

This military imagery occurs several times in Jeremiah (cf. Jeremiah 21:9; Jeremiah 38:2; Jeremiah 39:18).

Bibliographical Information
Utley. Dr. Robert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 45". "Utley's You Can Understand the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ubc/jeremiah-45.html. 2021.
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