The Prophets (05): Jeremiah 18 - The Weeping Prophet
The Prophets: Jeremiah (01) - The Weeping Prophet
Jeremiah was one of the priests from Anathoth, banished by King Solomon in fulfillment of the word of the Lord (1 Kings 2:26). Jeremiah’s father was Hilkiah (1:1). Jeremiah’s name can mean “‘the Lord founds’, ‘the Lord exalts’ and ‘the Lord throws down’” (R. K. Harrison, Tyndale). Jeremiah began his ministry at about age twenty in the thirteenth year of Josiah (626 B.C.). He was about the same age as Josiah. He lived during the reforms of Josiah as a youth and most of his prophecies were given during the reigns of Jehoiakim and Zedakiah. Scripture does not say, but ancient legend teaches that Jeremiah was stoned to death by his brethren fleeing exile in Tahpanhes, Egypt (Jer. 43:1-7). The book of Jeremiah takes up about 60 years after the close of the book of Isaiah and deals with the last 40 years of Judah’s decline to their final fall from 627 to 562 B.C.
Jeremiah’s lived in a tragic time. He warned of God’s judgment, but was rejected. His ministry overlaps the reign of several important Biblical kings Josiah, Jehoiakim, and Zedekiah. He overlaps several other prophets. He also begins his ministry at the time of Nahum, Zephaniah, and Habakkuk and ends at the time of Daniel and Ezekiel. Remember that the northern kingdom had been captured and scattered by Assyria by 721-722 B.C.
All kinds of moral and religious wickedness were caused by Manasseh, Judah’s most evil king (686-643 B.C.). King Josiah made great reforms (641-609 B.C.) with the rediscovery of a scroll of the Law (perhaps Deuteronomy) (2 Kings 22-23). Still, the reforms lasted only a short time and were somewhat external. Then Jehoiakim (609-597 B.C.), Josiah’s son, returned to idolatry and even practiced child sacrifice. Jehoiakim disregarded the warnings of the Lord by Jeremiah (Jer. 36). He even burned the prophecies of Jeremiah. Then Jehoiachin, son of Jehoiakim, acted wickedly too. When Nebuchadnezzar attacked Jerusalem in 597, Jehoiachin was taken captive along with the nobility of Jerusalem as the city was largely plundered (2 Kings 24:1-17). In 2 Kings 24:17, the text says, “Then the king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin's uncle, king in his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah.” Despite Jeremiah’s warnings, Zedekiah rebels against Nebuchadnezzar in 589 B.C. because he listens to false prophets promising deliverance.
Nebuchadnezzar attacked Jerusalem and after 18 months of breaking into the walls, destroyed it with the palace and the temple (586 B.C.). There is also a sad end to Zedekiah. “Then they killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, put out the eyes of Zedekiah, bound him with bronze fetters, and took him to Babylon” (2 Kings 25:7). Yahweh was using Babylon to chastise His people and show the Great Pattern of all Prophecy: the death of exile and then resurrection.
Vs 1-6 The Potter’s House
Vs 7-10 The Potter God
Vs 11 The Call of the Potter
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more