The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah
This is the general title of the whole book, and includes all his discourses, sermons, and prophecies; and designs not his own words, but the words of the Lord, which were put into his mouth, and he delivered under divine inspiration. The Septuagint version renders it, "the word of God": and the Arabic version, "the word of the Lord": the Targum,
``the words of the prophecy of Jeremiah;''who is described by his descent and parentage, "the son of Hilkiah". The Arabic version calls him Selkiah. This was not Hilkiah the high priest, who in the days of Josiah found the book of the law, ( 2 Kings 22:8 ) as Kimchi's father and Abarbinel think, and so Clemens of Alexandria F14; since he is not said to be a high priest, or of the high priests, but of the priests that were in Anathoth,
in the land of Benjamin; though the Targum paraphrases the words to the other sense,
``of the heads of the ward of priests, of the amarcalin, or governors which were in Jerusalem, a man that took his inheritance in Anathoth, in the land of the tribe of Benjamin;''nor is Jeremiah mentioned among the posterity of Hilkiah the high priest in ( 1 Chronicles 6:13 1 Chronicles 6:14 ) , besides, Hilkiah, a priest of Anathoth, must be of the family of Ithamar; the last of which family that was high priest was Abiathar, who had fields in Anathoth, ( 1 Kings 2:26 ) , and so could be no other than a common priest; for Hilkiah the high priest was of the family of Phinehas; for, from the times of that Abiathar to the Babylonish captivity, there was no high priest but of that family. The Jews say that Jeremiah descended by his mother's side from Rahab the harlot F15. Anathoth was a city in the tribe of Benjamin, as is here said, and belonged to the priests, ( Joshua 21:18 ) , it lay north of Jerusalem about three miles from it, according to Jerom F16 and others; but, according to Josephus F17, it was but twenty furlongs from it, that is, two and a half miles.
F14 Stromat. l. 1. p. 328.
F15 T. Bab. Megilia, fol. 14. 2. Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 59. 3. Jarchi in loc.
F16 Comment. in Hieremiam, I. 1. fol. 121. H. tom. 5. & I. 2. fol. 135. F. & I. 6. fol. 161. C. Isidor. Hispalens. de Vit. & Mort. Sanct. c. 38.
F17 Antiqu. I. 10. c. 7. sect. 3. Ed. Hudson.