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The Book of Jeremiah (2 of 5)
Dr. Ken Boa
Last week we gave you an overview of the book of Jeremiah, and tonight I'd kind of like to give you some highlights of the book and then move into the first, maybe, ten chapters. The structure of Jeremiah is fourfold, really, beginning and ending with the call of Jeremiah and ending with the fall of Jerusalem. The very first chapter of Jeremiah focuses on Jeremiah's personal call to ministry. The last chapter concludes with the people of Judea now in Babylonian captivity. So the bulk of the book, then is sandwiched between these two: the call of Jeremiah and the fall of Jerusalem, and the call, the ministry, and the retrospect, so that Jeremiah's ministry is really the major point and purpose of the book. Some of his prophecies were given before the fall, some during the fall, and some after the fall. And Jeremiah's book, really is not entirely chronological, as you've observed, and scholars disagree on how to date some of these prophetic oracles, because it dates - the range of the book, in terms of the time, are approximately 627 to 580 B.C., so you've got about 47 years of prophetic ministry over a number of reigns of various kings, the last five kings of Judah, followed by the demise of Judah, where they had no kings and were brought into Babylonian exile. Jeremiah himself, against his own will, and in spite of his warnings not to go back, to go down to Egypt to the captivity, the remnant decides to drag him with them down to Egypt, where apparently he dies in, with the remnant in Egypt.
So, we're going to be looking tonight at Jeremiah's prophetic commission, and we're going to be talking about the prophecies to Judah which occupy the bulk of this book, naturally, because Judah was the only surviving nation; the nation of Israel had already been brought into captivity in 722 B.C., and so essentially Israel, the northern ten tribes is no more. And so we now have to focus on Judah, but the ...
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