Willmington's Bible at a Glance

Jeremiah at a Glance

This book, the second most lengthy in the entire Bible records the personal life, preaching, and persecutions of its author, Jeremiah who would become known as the weeping prophet. He both lashed out against and wept bitterly over the sins of his people Judah, before, during, and after the Babylonian invasion. Following the destruction of Solomon’s temple, Jeremiah attempted to minister to the surviving Jews in Jerusalem and, by way of letters, to comfort those already taken to Babylon.

Bottom Line Introduction


These are the sad words of a persecuted prophet, Jeremiah by name, who witnessed to and wept over Judah during her final days. Here is the autobiography of the most persecuted prophet in the Old Testament.

A. In many ways his sufferings foreshadowed the sufferings of Christ.

1. Both were mistreated by their own families (12:6; Jn. 7:5)

2. Both were plotted against by the citizens of their own hometowns (11:21; Lk. 4:28-30)

3. Both were hated by the religious world (26:7-8; Jn. 11:47-53)

4. Both were denounced by the two leading synagogue leaders of their day (20:1, 28; 1 Jn. 18:13, 24)

5. Both were temporarily aided by a king (38:16; Lk. 23:4)

6. Both were described in similar fashion (11:19; Isa. 53:7)

7. Both wept often over the city of Jerusalem (9:1; Lk. 19:41; Mt. 23:37)

8. Both predicted the destruction of the temple in their day (7:11-15; Mt. 24:1-2)

9. Jeremiah, like Job, on occasion suffered from extreme depression. Compare Jer. 20:14-18 with Job 3.

10. Like Elijah, Jeremiah once decided to resign (see 20:9; 1 Kings 19:4). However, he persevered, and his book became a great source of inspiration to the prophet Daniel years later (Dan. 9:2)

B. The book of Jeremiah gives the final of three great immutable Old Testament covenants.

1. The Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 12:1-3). This has to do with a land (Canaan) and a people (Israel).

2. The Davidic Covenant (2 Sam. 7:14-16; 1 Chron. 17:3-5). This has to do with a king to rule in that land over that people.

3. The New Covenant (31:31). This has to do with changed hearts so that the people in the land will allow that king to rule over them.

Facts Regarding the Author of this Book

1. Who? Jeremiah. He was known as the weeping prophet (Jer. 4:19; 9:1, 2, 10; 13:17; 14:17) and authored the longest book in the Bible (apart from the Psalms), the book of Jeremiah.

2. What? The books of 1 and 2 Kings, Lamentations, Jeremiah.

3. When and where?

a. 1 Kings: 600 B.C., from Jerusalem

b. 2 Kings: 600 B.C., from Jerusalem

c. Lamentations: 586 B.C., from Jerusalem

d. Jeremiah: 580 B.C., from Egypt

4. Why?

a. 1 Kings: A record of Israel’s kings from Solomon to Ahaziah, son of Ahab

b. 2 Kings: A record of Israel’s kings from Ahaziah to Zedekiah

c. Lamentations: A funeral chant over the doomed city of Jerusalem

d. Jeremiah: Events just prior to and following the destruction of Jerusalem

5. To whom?

a. 1 and 2 Kings written to both the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel

b. Lamentations and Jeremiah written to the southern kingdom

Key Events

1. The call of Jeremiah

2. Beginning of his numerous warning messages of judgment

3. Lessons learned while visiting a potter's house

4. Confession of Jeremiah's despair

5. Jeremiah predicts the 70-year captivity and eventual release of Judah

6. Promise of the New Covenant

7. Jeremiah's original scroll is burned by a godless Judean king

8. He is thrown into a filthy prison

9. Jeremiah witnesses the terrible destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians

10. Jeremiah is forced to accompany a group of surviving Jews into Egypt

11. He gives his extended prophecies against Babylon

Key Individuals

1. Jeremiah: known as the weeping prophet and author of scripture’s most lengthy book (apart from the Psalms), he pled (in vain) with Judah to repent and eventually predicted the terrible destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by the Babylonians

2. Jehoiakim: 18th king of Judah, a wicked ruler who burned Jeremiah’s original book

3. Zedekiah: 20th and final king of Judah who was captured, blinded, and carried off into Babylonian captivity

4. Nebuchadnezzar: Babylonian monarch who destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple

5. Baruch: discouraged scribe of Jeremiah who was reassured by the prophet

6. Gedaliah: man appointed by Nebuchadnezzar to govern Judah following the destruction of Jerusalem

7. Ishmael: rebel who assassinated Gedaliah, Judah’s post-war governor

8. Johanan: a Jewish army captain who forced the unwilling Jeremiah to accompany him and other Jews in their move to Egypt

Key Places

1. Anathoth: Jeremiah’s hometown, located in the land of Benjamin

2. Hanameel: a plot of land purchased by Jeremiah from his uncle at God’s command

3. Carchemish: city located on the Euphrates River in northern Syria where the Babylonians defeated both Assyria and Egypt

Unique Features

1. Jeremiah’s book is the second longest in the entire Bible with Psalms being the most lengthy.

2. His book may be the only one to have been written in Egypt.

3. It is the least chronological book in the Bible. Someone has observed it is a chronicle without a chronology.

4. The book is the most personal autobiographical account given by any Old Testament writer. (Especially note 1:4-6; 20:7-18.)

5. His book offers the first of scripture’s two strongest declarations that God views the unborn as fully human in every aspect! Compare 1:5 with Lk. 1:41-44.

6. Jesus later quoted from Jer. 7:11 when He cleansed the Temple (Mt. 21:13).

7. It is the only book where God instructs the writer not to pray for Jerusalem! (7:16; 11:14).

8. Verse 10:11 is written in Aramaic.

9. Jeremiah is the first of three biblical writers who were depicted as “eating” the Word of God. (Compare 15:16 with Ezek. 3:1-3; Rev. 10:9, 10.)

10. Like Moses, Jeremiah sets before the people the way of life and death (21:8; Deut. 30:19).

11. He alone predicted the length of the Babylonian captivity (70 years) and subsequent return of the Jews to Judah (25:11; 29:10).

12. His was the only biblical book to have been burned (36:21-23). Afterwards it was rewritten and lengthened (36:27, 28, 32).

13. Verse 39:8 of his book begins “the time of the Gentiles,” referring to that period of time when Jerusalem is “trodden down by the Gentiles,” i.e., under Gentile political control. This has been the case from the time of King Nebuchadnezzar to this day. Jesus spoke of this during His Mt. Olivet Discourse . . . “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Lk. 21:24).

14. His is the only biblical book to mention and condemn the Queen of Heaven pagan worship (7:18; 44:17-19, 25).

15. Jeremiah is the only writer to describe the world-famous battle of Carchemish (46).

16. Jeremiah contains the Bible’s most extended and detailed prophecies about Babylon, mentioning it 164 times – more than in all the rest of the Bible. The apostle John would give the name Babylon to the city of the Antichrist (Rev. 17-18).

17. Jeremiah was the only biblical writer forbidden by God to marry (16:2).

18. He was the only prophet to record an eyewitness account of Jerusalem’s fall (39, 52).

Comparison with Other Bible Books


The prophet’s initial capsule account of Jerusalem’s destruction which originated in Jeremiah is greatly expanded upon in Lamentations.

Matthew and Luke (Mt. 24:1-31; Lk. 21:8-28):

Jeremiah recorded the fate of Jerusalem and the Solomonic Temple during the days of Nebuchaddnezzar.

Matthew and Luke predicted the fate of Jerusalem and two future temples:

Jerusalem and the Herodian temple at the hand of Titus

Jerusalem and the tribulational temple at the hands of the Antichrist

Titles for and Types of Jesus

1. Lord God of Hosts (2:19)

2. The Merciful and Sin Forgiving God (3:12-18, 22-23)

3. The God of Israel (7:3)

4. The God of the Temple (7:11)

5. King of Nations (10:7)

6. The True God (10:10a)

7. The Living God (10:10b)

8. The Everlasting King (10:10c)

9. The Hope of Israel (14:8)

10. The Potter (18:6)

11. A Righteous Branch (23:5)

12. The Lord our Righteousness (23:6)

13. The Lord of the Kings of David (29:16)

14. The God of all the Families of Israel (31:1)

15. The Shepherd Who Gathers His Sheep (31:10)

16. The God of the New Covenant (31:31)

17. The Great and Mighty God (32:18)

18. The God of All Flesh (32:17)

19. The Branch of Righteousness (33:15)

20. The Holy One of Israel (51:5)

Dr. H. L. Willmington
Founder & Dean, Willmington School of the Bible
Founder & Dean, Liberty Home Bible Institute
Professor, Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary

Copyright © 2007 by Harold L. Willmington. Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved.

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