The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Jeremiah 1

Jer 1:1

See Lesson, Prophet, the.

JEREMIAH: Sig "Yahweh is exalted", or "Yahweh establishes". Not the man of 2Ki 23:31.

HILKIAH: Sig "Yahweh is my portion (or inheritance)": cp Psa 16:5. This Hilkiah is poss the High Priest in the days of Josiah (2Ki 22:4). This may explain how Jeremiah is represented as a man of importance, with ready access to kings and priests.

ANATHOTH: A small Levitical village three miles northeast of Jerusalem. It was the home of Abiathar the priest and of Jeremiah, his descendant (1Ki 2:26; Jer 1:1; 11:21-23). Located in the land of Benjamin (Jos 21:18), it was assigned to the sons of Aaron. Two of David's men of valor, Abiezer and Jehu, came from Anathoth (2Sa 23:27; 1Ch 12:3). Here, by revelation, Jeremiah purchased a field which had belonged to his ancestors (Jer 32:7-25). Upon their return from exile, the Benjamites again occupied it (Neh 11:32).

Jer 1:2

THE THIRTEENTH YEAR OF THE REIGN OF JOSIAH: Approx 41 1/2 years before the fall of Jerusalem (cp prophecy of John Bapt and Jesus, approx 40 years before fall of Jerusalem again).

Jer 1:4

Did the call come through his grandmother Huldah the prophetess?

Jer 1:5

BEFORE I FORMED YOU IN THE WOMB I KNEW YOU: The foreknowledge of God, who knows end from beginning. (But does not, of course, prove that Jeremiah actually existed before his birth!) See 1Pe 1:20,21; Rev 13:8; Joh 1:6; Rom 8:29; Eph 1:4.

Jer 1:6

ONLY A CHILD: Prob 20-25 years old. "In person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing" (2Co 10:10).

Examples of prophetic reluctance: Exo 4:10; Jer 1:6; Eze 3:14; Jon 1:3; 1Ki 19:10; Luk 5:8,10; 9:59; 18:23; Act 13:13; 18:9. Ct Isa 6:8.

Jer 1:8

"DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THEM, FOR I AM WITH YOU AND WILL RESCUE YOU," DECLARES THE LORD: "Whenever fear comes in and makes us falter, we are in danger of falling into sin. Conceit is to be dreaded, but so is cowardice. 'Dare to be a Daniel.' Our great Captain should be served by brave soldiers. What a reason for bravery is here! God is with those who are with Him. God will never be away when the hour of struggle comes. Do they threaten you? Who are you that you should be afraid of a man that shall die? Will you lose your situation? Your God whom you serve will find bread and water for His servants. Can you not trust Him? Do they pour ridicule upon you? Will this break your bones or your heart? Bear it for Christ's sake, and even rejoice because of it.

"God is with the true, the just, the holy, to deliver them; and He will deliver you. Remember how Daniel came out of the lions' den and the three holy children out of the furnace. Yours is not so desperate a case as theirs; but if it were, the LORD would bear you through and make you more than a conqueror. Fear to fear. Be afraid to be afraid. Your worst enemy is within your own bosom. Get to your knees and cry for help, and then rise up saying, 'I will trust, and not be afraid' " (CHS).

Jer 1:10

Jeremiah's declarations would be so sure (Jer 23:29) that it would appear he had done the things!

"For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building": 1Co 3:9.

Jer 1:11

ALMOND TREE: Heb "shaked". From rt "to hasten" -- ie, the "awakener". Almond is the first to bloom in Palestine. The symbol of divine selection -- Aaron's rod (Num 17:8; Heb 9:4), related to land of Israel (Isa 27:6) and worship in Tabernacle (Exo 25:34). Like the almond tree, God has quickly and suddenly awakened to His nation.

Jer 1:13

NORTH: See Eze 1:4n. The direction of Babylon, Gog; sig "dark", "hidden". But Jerusalem = cauldron in Eze 1:3,7; 24:1-14. Into it was to be poured the fury of the Babylonian invasion.

Jer 1:17

Vv 17-19: God reassures Jeremiah. (To proclaim the coming invasion would seem to be unpatriotic, and would bring serious persecution upon Jeremiah.)

GET YOURSELF READY: Lit, "gird up thy loins": as for a grueling race (1Ki 18:46) or a desperate fight (Job 38:3). Prophets often "run" with their messages (Jer 23:21; Hab 2:2; Amo 8:12; Psa 147:15; Eze 1:14,20; etc).

DO NOT BE TERRIFIED BY THEM: "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell" (Mat 10:28).

Jer 1:18

PILLAR: A pillar to mark separation of the faithful remnant from the faithless majority: cp Gen 31:45-52; Exo 14:19,20.

Jer 1:19

FOR I AM WITH YOU: "Immanuel" -- ct Jer 20:7.

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