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He is the Weeping Prophet

Updated on February 27, 2015

Jeremiah 52:14

"The whole Babylonian army under the command of the imperial guard broke down the walls around Jerusalem."
"The whole Babylonian army under the command of the imperial guard broke down the walls around Jerusalem."

Historical Background

The book of Jeremiah is an account of Jeremiah's prophetic ministry, beginning at around 626 BC and continuing till about 586 BC. Jeremiah notates in chapter 1 and verses 2 and 3 that Jeremiah's ministry started about the middle of Josiah's reign and continued through to the siege of Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians during the reign of Zedekiah. Many of his prophesy sermons were fulfilled within a short period of time; many of his prophesy sermons were not fulfilled till much later or will not be fulfilled until time's end.

According to some, because Jeremiah was a son of Hilkiah of Anaothoth, who was a priest, Jeremiah may be a descendant of Abiathar, who was, in his time, a priest in the court of King Solomon. God decreed to Jeremiah that he not marry or have children (Jeremiah 16:1-4) because of the impending wave of God's judgment upon the people and the land leading to the sweeping away of the next generation of families. It was God's way of putting a bubble of great protection around Jeremiah's heart and soul. The time and place of Jeremiah's death is not known; but many Jewish scholars still believe that Jeremiah was stoned while living in Egypt. Their basis for this is found in the treatment of the prophets as told in Hebrews 11:32-40.

The prevailing theme of Jeremiah's messages was judgment, and, though he spoke of God's wrath and judgment, he also cried for repentance, letting the people know that if they heed the warning's, the judgments would be postponed. Jeremiah loved the people of Judah with great fondness, and he prayed, continually, for them. He was always urging them to submission and rebuking their rebellion.

And, though, the judgment came, a promise of restoration and renewal was given. Israel would see a restoration and renewal of their land. Israel would see a crushing of the nations that crushed her. There was a renewing and reviving of the old covenant, and later, God gave a New Covenant (Jesus).

See, I'm not the only one who likes to use visual aids!

I am very big on visual aids. I use them all the time as I home school my kiddos. My best learning myself, when I was a child, was through visual aids. For me, it's a matter of seeing it, then applying; whereas, some people can make words happen, I make pictures happen. And, so, apparently did Jeremiah. God is like that sometimes; He will use objects in our everyday lives to give us object lessons. Praise God!

Shaked Mazui

shə-kəh-dee-YAH
shə-kəh-dee-YAH

the Almond Tree and the Boiling Caldron

Jeremiah 1:11-15--

  • The word of the Lord came to me: "What do you see, Jeremiah?" "I see the branch of an almond tree," I replied.
  • The Lord said to me, "You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled."
  • The word of the Lord came to me again: "What do you see?" "I see a boiling pot, tilting away from the north," I answered.
  • The Lord said to me, "From the north disaster will be poured out on all who live the land. I am about to summon all the people of the northern kingdoms," declares the Lord.

**In the Hebrew language, the words for watching and almond tree, are very similar.

Jeremiah 13:11a

"For as a belt is bound around a man's waist, so I bound the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to me."
"For as a belt is bound around a man's waist, so I bound the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to me."

a Linen Belt

Jeremiah 13:1-7--

  • This is what the Lord said to me: "Go and buy a linen belt and put it around your waist, but do not let it touch water."
  • So I bought a belt, as the Lord directed, and put it around my waist.
  • Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time:
  • "Take the belt you bought and are wearing around your waist, and go not to Perath and hide it there in a crevice in the rocks."
  • So I went and hid it at Perath, as the Lord told me.
  • Many days later the Lord said to me, "God now to Perth and get the belt I told you to hide there."
  • So I went to Perath and dug up the belt and took it from the place where I had hidden it, but now it was ruined and completely useless.

The demonstration used here with this belt was for the Lord to show Jeremiah that the pride of Judah, and of Jerusalem, was about to meet with tragic ruin. The people of Judah had continued to ignore the warnings that God was giving to them through the prophets, and God was ready to send His judgment.

Isaiah 64:8

"Yet, O Lord, you are our Father.  We are the clay, you are the potter; we are the work of Your hand."
"Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are the work of Your hand."

the Potter's Wheel

Jeremiah 18:1-4--

  • This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord:
  • "Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my message."
  • So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel.
  • But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into anther pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.

God wanted Jeremiah to know that if the people continued in their rebellion, God would uproot them. If this same people repented, he would build them up. God is like the potter who, when working with his clay, fashions and re-fashions his pot to make it better. Oh, that I might be a moldable clay.

Jeremiah 24:6

"My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land.  I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them"
"My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them"

Two Baskets of Figs

Jeremiah 24:1-3--

  • After Jehoiachin [Jeconiah] son of Jehoiakim king of Judah and the officials, the craftsmen and the artisans of Judah were carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Lord showed me two baskets of figs placed in front of the temple of the Lord.
  • One basket had very good figs, like those that ripen early; the other basket have very poor figs, so bad they could not be eaten.
  • Then the Lord asked me, "What do you see, Jeremiah?" "Figs," I answered. "The good ones are very good, but the poor ones are so bad they cannot be eaten."

The Lord wanted Jeremiah to know that there would be a good remnant of people that would return to Jerusalem at the end of the exile; but, that there were the bad of the people (i.e.-Zedekiah and his officials) that the Lord would deal with in a severe manner. This is a promise of restoration and renewing.

a Book Sunk in the River

Jeremiah 51:63-64--

  • When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the Euphrates.
  • Then say, "So will Babylon sink to rise no more because of the disaster I will bring upon her. And her people will fall." The words of Jeremiah end here.

God, through divine providence, used Babylon to strip the pride of Judah, and of Jerusalem, and bring her to humbleness. God, through divine providence will bring to destruction Babylon for the cruel treatment of His people. God has always been in control. God will always be in control.

John 14:6

"Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'"
"Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'"

Jesus, the Weeping Prophet?

Like Jeremiah, Jesus lived in a time of unrest for Israel, for Jerusalem. Much like Jeremiah, Jesus gave grave warnings of what would happen to the people who rejected Him as Lord, Savior and King. Jesus preached against hypocrisy and cried for repentance, as did Jeremiah; and, as Jeremiah, Jesus was known to be an "enemy of the state." Not once did Jeremiah abandon his people, always giving them God's hope (Lamentations 3:22-25), and not once did Jesus abandon his people, always giving them God's hope (John 14:1, 27). Jeremiah was falsely accused, arrested and beaten as read in Jeremiah 37:12-15; Jesus was falsely accused, arrested and beaten as read in Matthew 26:61 and Matthew 27:26. Many, many other example of Jesus's weeping prophet status that could be compared with that of Jeremiah's. Jeremiah was an example of love and hope, even through death and destruction, for a people of his time; Jesus came as an example of love and hope, even through death and destruction for all people for all time.

Stay tuned...

In Lamentations, He is the cry for Israel.

Lamentations is so named because it is comprised of the deep sorrowfulness of the siege and destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC. The book is also a confessional of the sins committed through the rebellion of the people against God's laws, commands and decrees. The writer goes further to pray that God would once again give life ad liberty to His people in bringing them the promised restoration and renewing.

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    • Hannah David Cini profile image

      Hannah David Cini 

      3 years ago from Nottingham

      Great piece, very interesting and educational. I love the parallels between the prophets and Christ, its amazing how many little details line up.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Jeremiah would have been in his sixties when Jerusalem fell. Daniel was sixteen at the time (the book of Daniel chapter one) so not only contemporary but they may have known each other. Daniels vision of the seventy weeks was God's response for Daniels prayer because of what he read in Jeremiah letter to the exiles two years after the fall (Jeremiah chapter 29. Daniel waited 68 years and was asking God to fulfill his word) so your answer is yes they were but they may also have been 'teacher and student '

      Hope this helps

    • ShirleyJCJohnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Shirley Johnson 

      3 years ago from Sallisaw, OK

      BigMarble, I will do some research on this this week. I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

    • BigMarble profile image

      Gregory Jones 

      3 years ago from IL

      It is interesting to note that Jeremiah may have been a contemporary of Daniel if I am correct. You seem to really know your Bible history. Perhaps you could let me know if this is true or not (?). This is a great hub by the way. I will be reading more of your stuff in the future.

    • ShirleyJCJohnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Shirley Johnson 

      3 years ago from Sallisaw, OK

      We have been studying Jeremiah in Sunday School. His countrymen hated him; but, he loved his countrymen, and his country. If Jeremiah did, in fact, manage to hide the Ark of the Covenant, I don't think I would be surprised. Hollywood has so distorted anything Christian, so it's not a wonder so many people have become confused.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Jewish tradition has it that just before the fall of Jerusalem Jeremiah along with other priests knowing what was going to happen hid the ark of the covenant either on Temple mount or Mount nebo

    • ShirleyJCJohnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Shirley Johnson 

      3 years ago from Sallisaw, OK

      Thank you, very much, for your comment.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Awesome hub. There are many similarities between Jeremiah and Jesus. Well done

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