Try out the new BibleStudyTools.com. Click here!

Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO JEREMIAH\\

The title of the book in the Vulgate Latin version is, "the Prophecy of
Jeremiah"; in the Syriac and Arabic versions, "the Prophecy of the
Prophet Jeremiah". According to a tradition of the Jews {a}, this book
stands the first of the Prophets, the order of which is, Jeremiah,
Ezekiel, Isaiah, and the twelve. Kimchi makes mention of it in a
preface to his comment on this book; and Dr. Lightfoot from hence
concludes, that this is the reason why a passage in Zechariah is cited
under the name of Jeremy, \\#Mt 27:9\\, because he standing first in the
volume of the Prophets gave name to the whole; just as the book of
Psalms, being the first of the Hagiographa, they are called the Psalms
from it, \\#Lu 24:44\\. The name of the writer of this book, Jeremiah,
signifies, "the Lord shall exalt", or "be exalted"; or, "exalting the
Lord"; being composed of \^Mry\^, "he shall exalt", and \^hy\^, "Jehovah",
according to Hillerus {b}. Though others {c} take it to be a composition
of \^hy\^, and \^hmry\^, "the Lord shall cast down"; as he did his enemies,
and also himself, he being greatly afflicted; and which suits with the
argument of his book, foretelling the casting away of the people of the
Jews. His style of writing, according to the opinion of Jerom {d}, is
more rustic than that of Isaiah and some other prophets, and which he
attributes to his being born and brought up in a country village; and
Abarbinel to his age, being a child when he began to prophesy. The
duration of his prophesying was forty years and upwards. He began to
prophesy in the thirteenth year of Josiah's reign; in 3375 A.M. or
before the era of Christ 629, according both to Bishop Usher {e} and
Mr. Whiston {f}, and the Universal History {g}; and according to Mr.
Bedford {h} 627. If any credit can be given to Epiphanius {i}, or to
the writer that bears his name, he was stoned to death by the people
at Taphnas in Egypt, and was buried where Pharaoh dwelt.
Abulpharagius, an Arabic writer {k}, says, that he went to Egypt,
where some of the Jews took him and put him into a well, and
afterwards took him out and stoned him, so that he died, and he was
buried in Egypt; and was from thence removed by Alexander, in his
time, to Alexandria, and buried there. And both Tertullian {l} and
Jerom {m} affirm that he was stoned by the people. This prophecy
contains several discourses delivered to the people of the Jews;
charging them with many sins they were guilty of; exhorting them to
repentance; threatening them with the destruction of their city and
temple, and with captivity in Babylon; and comforting the saints, not
only with a promise of deliverance from thence, but of spiritual
redemption by the Messiah. And it also has in it several predictions
of judgments upon other nations; and gives a particular account of the
destruction of Jerusalem, and of the carrying of the Jews captive into
Babylon; which he lived to see, as the fulfilment of his prophecies.

{a} T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 14. 2.
{b} Onomastic. Sacr. p. 326, 508.
{c} Schmidt in loc.
{d} Praefat. in Hieremiam, tom. 3. fol. 9. B,
{e} Annales Vet. Test, A. M. 3375.
{f} Chronological Tables, cent. 9.
{g} Vol. 21. p. 56.
{h} Scripture Chronology, p. 673.
{i} De Vit. Prophet. c. 8. Vid. Isidor. Hispalens. de Vit. & Mort. Sanct.
c. 38.
{k} Hist. Dynast. p. 46. Vid. Elmacin. Hist. Eccl. p. 128, Apud
Hottinger. Thesaur. Phil. p. 478.
{l} Scorpiace, c. 8.
{m} Adv. Jovinian. l. 2, tom. 2. fol. 32. I.

\\INTRODUCTION TO JEREMIAH 1\\

This chapter contains the title or inscription of the book; the call of
the prophet to his office, and the encouragement he had to enter upon
it. In the inscription the prophet is described by his name, by his
descent, by the place of his birth, and the time of his prophesying,
\\#Jer 1:1-3\\, the appointment and ordination of him to his office, which
was very early, and the signification of it to him, are in \\#Jer 1:4,5\\,
his excuse, on account of his childhood and weakness, \\#Jer 1:6\\, the
encouragement given him, notwithstanding this, from the mission and
command he had from the Lord, and the promise of his presence with him,
\\#Jer 1:7,8\\, and not only is he encouraged by words, but also by signs;
by the Lord's touching his mouth with his hand, as a symbol of putting
his words into his mouth, and setting him over nations and kingdoms, to
publish in a prophetic way their destruction, \\#Jer 1:9,10\\, and by a
vision of an almond tree, signifying the quick and hasty performance of
the word of the Lord by him, \\#Jer 1:11,12\\, and by another vision of a
seething pot northwards, intimating the coming of the Chaldeans from the
north against Jerusalem, and their taking it, and carrying the Jews
captive because of their wickedness, which was a principal part of the
message he was sent with, \\#Jer 1:13-16\\ and the chapter is concluded with
an exhortation to him to take heart, and be of good courage, and not be
dismayed; since he was made a defenced city, an iron pillar, and brasen
wall, against the whole land of Judea, its kings, princes, priests, and
people; who, though they should fight against him, should not prevail,
because God was with him, \\#Jer 1:17-19\\.