In the troubled period leading up to the Exile in Babylon, the prophet Jeremiah pronounced his oracles. His name is often associated with pessimism; but it would probably be truer to say that he was a realist, as well as a man of deep spiritual insight.

Jeremiah's Call and Commission show him to be one who did not readily respond (as did Isaiah of Jerusalem) to God's call. A deeply sensitive man, he shrank from the prospect of confrontation with his people, who would not agree with his conviction that Jerusalem's calamities were an inevitable and just retribution for the nation's sins. Nevertheless he found God's call overwhelming.
Jeremiah 1.vv.1-19, 2.vv.1-13, and v.19

Yet, says the prophet, God desires to show mercy if only His people will repent; otherwise calamity will overwhelm the land.
Jeremiah 3.vv.12-22, and 4.vv.15-29

The prophet despairs of finding even one just person in Jerusalem. Rich and poor alike have forsaken the Lord. Yet, says the Lord, there will be mercy shown to a remnant of the people.
Jeremiah 5.vv.1-5, vv.18-31

The religious practices of the Temple are no talisman against evil. The prophet grieves over the sin and sufferings of his compatriots.
Jeremiah 7.vv.1-11, 8.vv.18-21 and 9.v.1

Jeremiah represents his people as acknowledging their sin, and pleads their cause but is bidden to forbear. False prophets are deceiving the people with predictions of peace and priests are abetting them.
Jeremiah 14.vv.7-21

The prophet plumbs the depths of despair in his unpopularity but is assured of God's protection and His love for all who love and serve Him.
Jeremiah 15.v10, and 17.vv.7-16

In a well known parable or similitude we learn that as a potter shapes and reshapes his vessels, so can the Lord deal with His people.
Jeremiah 18.vv.1-17

The unpopularity of Jeremiah continues and increases, despite his pleas on his people's behalf. The enmity of the priesthood is incurred and violent hands are laid upon him; but he stoutly repeats his message of impending doom.
Jeremiah 18.vv.18-20, and 20.vv.1-6

In his grief the prophet complains to God about the unpopularity and suffering that his oracles have brought upon him in his obedience to the Lord.
Jeremiah 20.v7-18

Having denounced false prophets and a corrupt priesthood, Jeremiah now inveighs against the royal house, which should have been a shepherd to God's people.
Jeremiah 23.vv.1-6

The culmination of Jeremiah's prophecy was a sentence of death passed upon him on the grounds of treason, but common sense and Ahikam's help saved him for the time being.
Jeremiah 26.vv.1-19, v.24

Despite his personal danger, Jeremiah continues to counsel submission to Babylon before disaster should strike the land, warning his people that failure to submit was contrary to God's will.
Jeremiah 27.vv.8-15

One of the most optimistic oracles of Jeremiah was the letter he sent from Jerusalem to those who in an earlier deportation had become exiles in Babylon.
Jeremiah 29.vv.1-14

This is followed by an even more joyful oracle - the promised restoration of all who have been taken into exile.
Jeremiah 30.vv.1-22, and 31.vv.1-17

With the restored community God will make a new Covenant based upon individual responsibility.
Jeremiah 31.vv.27-34

Jeremiah was so confident that God would permit the exiles to return from exile that he bought some land outside Jerusalem where a besieging army of the Babylonians was encamped.
Jeremiah 32.vv.1-15, vv.36-41 and 33.vv.7-8, vv.10-11

There follows an interesting account of how Jeremiah's scroll was destroyed, but through his pertinacity and the good offices of his Scribe Baruch his oracles were preserved for posterity.
Jeremiah 36.vv.1-32

Not only was Jeremiah's scroll nearly destroyed, but he himself was beaten, imprisoned and consigned to a muddy pit, from which he was rescued by a servant of the king with the latter's connivance. Meanwhile the city continued in a state of siege.
Jeremiah 37.vv.1-21 and 38.vv.1-28

Jeremiah's predictions of impending doom were justified. The city of Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians. Jeremiah's life was spared and he was allowed to remain with the poorest people of the land in the ruins of Jerusalem under Gedaliah who was appointed by the Babylonians as Governor over them.
Jeremiah 39.vv.1-14 and 40.v.6

Some time after these events Gedaliah was murdered by a certain Ishmael. Fearful of the consequences of this deed, many of the leading Jews fled to Egypt, taking with them the reluctant Jeremiah, who continued in Egypt to pronounce oracles of wrath and destruction upon the fugitives who, he declared, had again disobeyed the Lord and incurred His wrath. So ends the "Word of the Lord" from the voice of Jeremiah and the pen of his faithful Scribe Baruch.
Jeremiah 44.vv.1-25

Of the death of Jeremiah nothing is known for certain. The book ends, as we might expect, with oracles concerning neighbouring peoples and with a prediction that Babylon will fall and Jerusalem rise again.
Jeremiah 50.vv.1-10 and vv.17-20

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