A second time Nebuchadrezzar sent an army to Jerusalem, which he captured in August 586. God told Jeremiah to announce Jerusalem’s coming destruction by invaders from the north (Jeremiah 1:14-15; 4:6; 6:22-23). Early in Zedekiah’s reign, Jeremiah wrote a letter to the exiles in Babylonia, advising them not to expect to return immediately to their homeland, as false prophets were encouraging them to believe, but to settle peaceably in their place of exile and seek the welfare of their captors. Answer: Jeremiah the prophet lived in the final days of the crumbling nation of Judah. The Behind the Name website says it is “from the Hebrew name … (Yirmiyahu) meaning ‘YAHWEH will exalt.’”. God gave Jeremiah the overview of his prophetic ministry: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. In fact, God had already set Jeremiah apart for the office of a prophet before he was even born, in order to take God’s words to all Israel and to the nations (verse 5). The scroll was read by Baruch in the Temple. When the King persisted in resisting Babylonia, Nebuchadrezzar sent an army to besiege Jerusalem. Even though this punishment would surely come, God also gave the encouraging promise of restoration in the future messianic Kingdom (Jeremiah 23:3-8). Contemporary with the kings of Judah named Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin (Coniah), Zedekiah. It was difficult to have become a laughingstock to the people and a target of mockery (verse 7). This continued into Jeremiah’s time (Jeremiah 7:31; 19:5; 32:35). Although the book does not specifically identify him, Jeremiah is presumed to be the author of Lamentations. Josiah’s reforms included the purification of worship from pagan practices, the centralization of all sacrificial rites in the Temple of Jerusalem, and perhaps an effort to establish social justice following principles of earlier prophets (this program constituted what has been called “the Deuteronomic reforms”). Some scholars doubt that Jeremiah’s career actually began as early as 627/626 bce and question the accuracy of the dates in the biblical account. It is told there that he responded to Yahweh’s (God’s) call to prophesy by protesting “I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth,” but he received Yahweh’s assurance that he would put his own words into Jeremiah’s mouth and make him a “prophet to the nations.” A few scholars believe that after his call Jeremiah served as an official prophet in the Temple, but most believe that this is unlikely in view of his sharp criticism of priests, prophets, and the Temple cult. The final fulfillment will come when Jesus Christ returns to establish the Kingdom of God. Invaders would plunder them; and finally they would be taken captive into a foreign land (Jeremiah 14:12; 15:1-4; 16:4; 19:8-9; 25:8-9). Sort through the facts in this quiz of Syria, Iraq, and other countries of the Middle East. According to a tradition that is preserved in extrabiblical sources, he was stoned to death by his exasperated fellow countrymen in Egypt. When King Josiah died, Jeremiah’s hardships as a prophet of God increased. The prophet continued to oppose those who wanted to rebel against Babylonia and promised the people a bright and joyful future. Although Jeremiah was protected from the fighting, he was surely aware of the grievous suffering of the people and the fall of the city. As Jeremiah 38:28 notes: “Now Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison until the day that Jerusalem was taken. Its capital, Nineveh, was captured in 612 by the Babylonians and Medes. He may have relapsed into a period of silence for several years because of the indifferent success of the reforms and the failure of his prophecies concerning the foe from the north to materialize. Jeremiah announced that the effects of sin would be that God would withdraw His blessings (Jeremiah 16:5-10). For additional information about this book of the Bible, see “Jeremiah.”, During the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem, Jeremiah was imprisoned within the city. God forbade Jeremiah from taking a wife during his ministry. Jeremiah lived in Jerusalem through this terrible time, witnessing its siege and destruction at the hands of the Babylonians (Jeremiah 37:4-5; 38:2, 28; 39:1). However, Jeremiah thinks he is too young to be a prophet. Judgment would now come upon the nation for the sins of the people. After paying Babylonia tribute for nearly 10 years, the King made an alliance with Egypt. The reign of Jehoiakim was an active and difficult period in Jeremiah’s life. Jeremiah’s early messages to the people were condemnations of them for their false worship and social injustice, with summons to repentance. Is the literacy rate in Afghanistan very high? Jeremiah would witness the fulfillment of God’s warnings of disaster, and he would share in the sorrow and troubles that would follow the destruction of Jerusalem. He was closely involved in the political and religious events of a crucial era in the history of the ancient Near East; his spiritual leadership helped his fellow countrymen survive disasters that included the capture of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586 bce and the exile of many Judaeans to Babylonia. Never miss a post! The nation would now be faced with famine and starvation. Ultimately, Josiah’s reforms would not be enough to preserve Judah and Jerusalem from God’s punishment because the sins of Manasseh had become so deeply embedded (Jeremiah 15:4; 2 Kings 23:26-27). He was from the small village of Anathoth, about three miles northeast of Jerusalem in the territory of Benjamin (Jeremiah 1:1). In the 13th year of King Josiah of Judah (around 627 B.C. It was against this background that Jeremiah was appointed to reveal the sins of the people and the grave consequences of ignoring them. Subsequently it was read before King Jehoiakim, who cut it into pieces and burned it. Even to the time of the fall of Jerusalem, Jeremiah’s message remained the same: submit to the yoke of Babylonia. Author of. siʹah starts destroying the idols out of the land, Jehovah tells Jeremiah to be His prophet. He proclaimed the coming of a foe from the north, symbolized by a boiling pot facing from the north in one of his visions, that would cause great destruction. After this, Jeremiah lamented the hardship that had come to him for speaking God’s words. Yet Jeremiah knew he had to speak the message God had given him. Jeremiah, Hebrew Yirmeyahu, Latin Vulgate Jeremias, (born probably after 650 bce, Anathoth, Judah—died c. 570 bce, Egypt), Hebrew prophet, reformer, and author of a biblical book that bears his name. Author of the book of Jeremiah in the Old Testament scriptures. Now, the question is: How will you respond? So he was entrusted to Gedaliah, a Judaean from a prominent family whom the Babylonians appointed as governor of the province of Judah. The small and comparatively insignificant state of Judah had been a vassal of Assyria and, when Assyria declined, asserted its independence for a short time. In fact, very soon after Josiah died—within the 11 years of King Jehoiakim’s short reign—Babylon attacked Judah’s cities repeatedly until the total destruction of Jerusalem and the collapse of the Jewish nation came. God told Jeremiah that if he would boldly speak His words and not shrink back in fear of the people, He would give him the strength he needed to withstand the persecution. Does Yemen take its name from the Arabic word meaning "northerly?" Even his own relatives conspired against him and betrayed him (Jeremiah 12:6). ), God called Jeremiah when he was still a youth, (verse 2). Jeremiah was immediately arrested and tried on a capital charge. In his childhood he must have learned some of the traditions of his people, particularly the prophecies of Hosea, whose influence can be seen in his early messages. Afterward, people’s hearts will turn to God. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. The era in which Jeremiah lived was one of transition for the ancient Near East. God reminds us that the opposite is also true: “And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it” (verses 9-10). It was in this same year that the Passover, a festival of God that had been neglected (2 Kings 23:22-23), was observed by the nation once again. The prophet’s most well-known writing bears his name. They had forsaken God by worshipping the false gods called Baals (Jeremiah 2:8; 7:9; 11:13) and even went as far as building altars to Baal in order to burn their children as offerings (Jeremiah 19:4-5). These men then lowered Jeremiah by ropes into a cistern, and he sank into a layer of mud (Jeremiah 38:1-6). Other specific sins he identified included idolatry (Jeremiah 44:1-30); adultery (Jeremiah 5:7-9; 7:9); oppressing the foreigners, orphans and widows (Jeremiah 7:5-6); lying and slander (Jeremiah 9:4-6); and Sabbath-breaking (Jeremiah 17:19-27). Black Friday Sale! Get the latest blog posts from Life, Hope & Truth straight to your inbox.