Easton's Bible Dictionary
Consists of twenty-three separate and independent sections, arranged in five books.
|I. The introduction,
II. Reproofs of the sins of the Jews, consisting of seven sections,
chapter 3 - 6;
chapter 7 - 10;
chapter 11 - 13;
chapter 14 - 17:18;
chapter 17:19 - 20;
chapter 21 - 24.
III. A general review of all nations, in two sections,
|chapter 46 - 49;
chapter 25; with an historical appendix of three sections,
chapter 28 , 29.
IV. Two sections picturing the hopes of better times,
|chapter 30 , 31;
chapter 32 , 33; to which is added an historical appendix in three sections,
chapter 34:1 - 7 ;
chapter 34:8 - 22 ;
V. The conclusion, in two sections,
In Egypt, after an interval, Jeremiah is supposed to have added three sections,
viz., chapter. 37 - 39 ; 40 - 43; and 44.
The principal Messianic prophecies are found in Jeremiah
23:1 - 8 ; 31:31 - 40 ; and 33:14 - 26 .
Jeremiah's prophecies are noted for the frequent repetitions found in them of
the same words and phrases and imagery. They cover the period of about 30 years.
They are not recorded in the order of time. When and under what circumstances
this book assumed its present form we know not.
The LXX. Version of this book is, in its arrangement and in other particulars,
singularly at variance with the original. The LXX. omits Jeremiah 10:6 - 8 ; 27:19
- 22 ; 29:16 - 20 ; 33:14 - 26 ; 39:4 - 13 ; 52:2 , 52:3 , 52:15 , 52:28 - 30
, etc. About 2,700 words in all of the original are omitted. These omissions,
etc., are capricious and arbitrary, and render the version unreliable.
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
Smith's Bible Dictionary
"There can be little doubt that the book of Jeremiah grew out of the roll which
Baruch wrote down at the prophets mouth in the fourth year of Jehoiakim. ch. (
Jeremiah 36:2 ) Apparently the prophets kept written records of their predictions,
and collected into larger volumes such of them as were intended for permanent
use." --Canon Cook.
In the present order we have two great divisions:-- Looking more closely into
each of these divisions, we have the following sections:
I. Chs. Jeremiah 1 - 45. Prophecies delivered at various times, directed mainly
to Judah, or connected with Jeremiahs personal history.
|Chs. 1 - 21, including prophecies from the thirteenth year
of Josiah to the fourth of Jehoiakim; ch. 21; belongs to the later period.
Chs. 22 - 25. Shorter prophecies, delivered at different times, against the kings
of Judah and the false prophets. Ch. ( Jeremiah 25:13 , Jeremiah 25:14 ) evidently
marks the conclusion of a series of prophecies; and that which follows, ch. (
Jeremiah 25:15 - 38 ) the germ of the fuller predictions in chs. 46 - 49, has
been placed here as a kind of completion to the prophecy of the seventy years
and the subsequent fall of Babylon.
Chs. 26 - 28. The two great prophecies of the fall of Jerusalem, and the history
connected with them.
Chs. 29 - 31. The message of comfort for the exiles in Babylon.
Chs. 32 - 44. The history of the last two years before the capture of Jerusalem,
and of Jeremiahs work in them and in the period that followed.
II. Chs. 46 - 51. Prophecies connected with other nations.
| Chs. 46 - 51. The prophecies against foreign nations, ending
with the great prediction against Babylon.
The supplementary narrative of ch. 52.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
1 - 4 (SEE JEREMIAH)
5. The Book of Jeremiah:
The first composition of the book is reported in Jeremiah 36:1. In the 4th year
of Jehoiakim, at the command of Yahweh, he dictated all of the prophecies he had
spoken down to this time to his pupil Baruch, who wrote them on a roll. After
the destruction of this book-roll by the king, he would not be stopped from reproducing
the contents again and making additions to it (Jeremiah 36:32). In this we have
the origin of the present Book of Jeremiah. This book, however, not only received
further additions, but has also been modified. While the discourses may originally
have been arranged chronologically, and these reached only down to the 4th year
of King Jehoiakim, we find in the book, as it is now, as early as Jeremiah 21:1
; 23:1 ; 26:1, discourses from the times of Zedekiah. However, the 2nd edition
(Jeremiah 36:28) contained, no doubt, Jeremiah 25, with those addresses directed
against the heathen nations extant at that time. The lack of order, from a chronological
point of view, in the present book, is attributable also to the fact that historical
accounts or appendices concerning the career of Jeremiah were added to the book
in later times, e.g. Jeremiah 26 ; 35 ; 36 and others; and in these additions
are also found older discourses of the prophet. Beginning with Jeremiah 37, the
story of the prophet during the siege of Jerusalem and after the destruction of
the city is reported, and in connection with this are his words and discourses
belonging to this period.
It is a question whether these pieces, which are more narrative in character,
and which are the product of a contemporary, probably Baruch, at one time constituted
a book by themselves, out of which they were later taken and incorporated in the
book of the prophet, or whether they were inserted by Baruch. In favor of the
first view, it may be urged that they are not always found at their proper places
chronologically; e.g. Jeremiah 26 is a part of the temple discourse in Jeremiah
7 - 9. However, this "Book of Baruch," which is claimed by some critics to have
existed as a separate book beside that of Jeremiah, would not furnish a connected
biography, and does not seem to have been written for biographical purposes. It
contains introductions to certain words and speeches of the prophet and statements
of what the consequences of these had been. Thus it is more probable that Baruch,
at a later time, made supplementary additions to the original book, which the
prophet had dictated without any personal data. But in this work the prophet himself
may have cooperated. At places, perhaps, the dictation of the prophet ends in
a narrative of Baruch (Jeremiah 19:14 - 20:6), or vice versa. Baruch seems to
have written a historical introduction, and then Jeremiah dictated the prophecy
(Jeremiah 27:1 ; 18:1 ; 32:1 , and others). Of course, the portions of the book
which came from the pen of Baruch are to be regarded as an authentic account.
6. Authenticity and Integrity of the Book:
However, critics have denied to Jeremiah and his pupil certain sections of the
present book, and they claim that these belong to a later date. Among these is
Jeremiah 10:1 - 16, containing a warning to those in the exile against idolatry
(and related to Isaiah 40) which, it is claimed, could not possibly in this form
and fullness be the work of Jeremiah. Also Jeremiah 17:19 - 27 is without reason
denied to Jeremiah, upon the ground that he could not have thought of emphasizing
the Sabbath law. He was, however, no modern idealist, but respected also the Divine
ordinances (compare Jeremiah 11:1 - 8). Then Jeremiah 25 is rejected by some,
while others attack especially Jeremiah 25:12 - 14 and 25:27 - 38; but in both
cases without reason. On the other hand, we admit that Jeremiah 25:25 and also
25:13 f are later additions. The words, "all that is written in this book, which
Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations," are probably a superscription,
which has found its way into the text. In Jeremiah 25:26 the words, "and the king
of Sheshach shall drink after them," are likewise considered spurious. Sheshach
is rightly regarded here, as in Jeremiah 51:41, as a cipher for "Babel," but the
use of 'At-bash (a cipher in which the order of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet
is reversed, taw (t) for 'aleph ('), shin (sh) for beth (b), etc., hence, SHeSHaKH
= BaBHeL, see the commentaries) does not prove spuriousness. The sentence is not
found in the Septuagint. The attacks made on Jeremiah 30 and 31 are of little
moment. Jeremiah 33:14 - 26 is not found in the Septuagint, and its contents,
too, belong to the passages in Jeremiah that are most vigorously attacked. Critics
regard Jeremiah as too spiritual to have perpetuated the Levitical priesthood.
In Jeremiah 39:1 , 2 , 4 - 10 are evidently additions that do not belong to this
place. The remaining portion can stand. Among the discourses against the nations,
Jeremiah 46 - 51, those in 46:1 - 12, spoken immediately preceding the battle
of Carchemish, cannot be shown to be unauthentic; even Jeremiah 46:13 - 28 are
also genuine. The fact, however, is that the text has suffered very much. Nor
are there any satisfactory reasons against the prophecy in Jeremiah 47 - 49, if
we assume that Jeremiah reasserted some of his utterances against the heathen
nations that did not seem to have been entirely fulfilled. Jeremiah 50 and 51,
the discourses against Babylon, have the distinct impress of Jeremiah. This impression
is stronger than the doubts, which, however, are not without weight. The events
in Jeremiah 51:59, which are not to be called into question, presuppose longer
addresses of Jeremiah against Babylon. The possibility, however, remains that
the editing of these utterances as found in the present book dates from the time
after 586 BC. That any influence of Deutero-Isaiah or later authors can be traced
in Jeremiah cannot be shown with any certainty. Jeremiah 52 was written neither
by Jeremiah nor for his book, but is taken from the Books of Kings, and is found
there almost verbatim (2 Kings 24 ; 25).
7. Relation to the Septuagint (Septuagint):
A special problem is furnished by the relation of the text of Jeremiah to the
Alexandrian version of the Seventy (Septuagint). Not only does the Hebrew form
of the book differ from the Greek materially, much more than this is the case
in other books of the Old Testament, but the arrangement, too, is a different
one. The oracle concerning the heathen nations (Jeremiah 46 - 51) is in the Septuagint
found in the middle of Jeremiah 25, and that, too, in an altogether different
order (namely, Jeremiah 49:35 , 46 ; 50 ; 51 ; 47:1 - 7 ; 49:7 - 22 ; 49:1 - 5
, 28 - 33 , 13 - 27 ; 48). In addition, the readings throughout the book in many
cases are divergent, the text in the Septuagint being in general shorter and more
compact. The Greek text has about 2,700 Hebrew words less than the authentic Hebrew
text, and is thus about one-eighth shorter.
As far as the insertion of the addresses against the heathen nations in Jeremiah
29 is concerned, the Greek order is certainly not more original than is the Hebrew.
It rather tears apart, awkwardly, what is united in Jeremiah 25, and has probably
been caused by a misunderstanding. The words of Jeremiah 25:13 were regarded as
a hint that here the discourses against the heathen were to follow. Then, too,
the order of these discourses in the Greek text is less natural than the one in
Hebrew. In regard to the readings of the text, it has been thought that the text
of the Septuagint deserves the preference on account of its brevity, and that
the Hebrew text had been increased by additions. However, in general, the Greek
version is very free, and often is done without an understanding of the subject;
and there are reasons to believe that the translator shortened the text, when
he thought the style of Jeremiah too heavy. Then, too, where he met with repetitions,
he probably would omit; or did so when he found trouble with the matter or the
language. This does not deny that his translation in many places may be correct,
and that additions may have been made to the Hebrew text.
Calvin, Praelectiones in Librum Prophetiae Jer et Thren, Geneva, 1653; Sebastian
Schmidt, Commentarii in libr. prophet. Jeremiah, Argent, 1685. Modern commentary
by Hitzig, Ewald, Graf, Nagelsbach, Keil; also Cheyne (Pulpit Comm.), Peake, Duhm,
and von Orelli.
C. von Orelli
babylon, bible commentary, bible history, bible reference, bible study, book of jeremiah, define, false prophets, heathen nations, idolatry, invasion, jeremiah, jerusalem, judgment, judah, lament, old testament, prayer, prophecy, repentance, zion