(Part 1 of 3)(Part 1 of 3)



JEREMIAH (Part 1 of 3)





Jeremiah lived about 100 years after Isaiah
Isaiah saved Jerusalem from Assyria.
Jeremiah tried to save Jerusalem from Babylon but failed.
Jeremiah was called as a prophet in 626BC.

There were three deportations of Jerusalem: Partly destroyed 606 BC
                                                                     Further devastated 597 BC
                                                                     Finally burned and desolated 586 Jeremiah lived

through 40 terrible and dreadful years (626 – 586 BC)
He was a ‘pathetic’ and lonely figure as God’s last attempt to his holy city that had become hopelessly and fanatically attached to idols. He implored and begged them, crying that if they would repent than God would save them from Babylon. His ministry was one of failure for 40 years.

Just as Assyria was the background of Isaiah’s ministry, so Babylon was the background of Jeremiah’s ministry.

The northern kingdom had fallen about 100 years previous in 722 BC, and when Jeremiah was called to prophetic office in 626 BC, much of Judah had fallen as well, till only Jerusalem was left. Still they ignored the continued warnings of the prophets, and grew harder and harder in their idolatry and wickedness. They were 20 years away from doom in 606 BC.

There had always been a three cornered contest for world domination between Assyria, Babylon and Egypt.

2340 – 2000 BC Babylon was the dominating world power. After the flood, Babylon had been the cradle of the human race, being situated down river from the garden of Eden. Assyria was founded by colonists from Babylon.
2000 -1000 BC a struggle between Babylon and Assyria
2000 – 1446 BC Egypt a world power. Destroyed with the Jew’s exodus.
1446 – 900 BC Babylon takes over as world power
900 – 600 BC Assyria rules the world
606 BC – Babylon breaks the power of Assyria, conquers Egypt, destroys Judah.
606 – 536 BC Babylon
536 – 430 BC The Jewish struggle
430 – 332 BC Persia
336 BC Greece with Alexander the Great was the world power
332 BC – Alexander invades Palestine. He dies 323 BC.

     Four generals of Alexander the Great

     Syria in the North went to Seleucus (the Seleucids)

     Egypt in the South went to Ptolemy (the Ptolemies) (See Daniel 11 for wars between Syria and Egypt)
333–301 BC - Israel in the middle under control of Syria
301-198 BC – Israel under Egypt
198 BC - Antiochus the Great re-captures Israel under Syria
175-164 BC – Antiochus Epiphanes (Syria) extreme violence to exterminate the Jews.
167-63 BC – Maccabean revolt & independence. Mattathias had 5 sons – Judas (a brilliant warrior), Jonathan, Simon, John and Eleazar                  
63 BC - Rome under Pompey. Then Antipater (Esau descendant ruler of Judea).

           Then Herod the great (Matt 2:1)
46 BC-180 AD Height of Roman power
46-44 BC Julius Caesar

From the very beginning, and especially from 606-586 BC (20 years), Jeremiah stresses that Babylon would be the victor.

1.   Judah will be destroyed by a victorious Babylon.

2.   If Judah would turn form her wickedness God would save Israel

3.   If no repentance, and from a realistic standpoint, if Israel would submit to Babylon, God will spare her

4.   Babylon herself will be destroyed and never rise again 



1.   His enemies called him a traitor because he didn’t waver when repeatedly saying Israel should surrender to Babylon

2.   Nebuchadnezzar rewarded Jeremiah for advising Israel to submit and could have any request fulfilled  (39:12)

3.   Jeremiah cried aloud that Nebuchadnezzar was committing a crime in destroying God’s people

4.   For that Babylon would be destroyed (chap 50-51)

Manasseh  697-642 BC 55 years. Very wicked. Jeremiah born under his reign
Amon 641-640  BC       2 years    The wicked reign of Manasseh his father had long sealed the doom of Israel
Josiah  639-608 BC      31 years  Good king  Great reformation but only on the outside not in the heart.

Jeremiah begins ministry 13 years into Josiah’s reign in 626BC and lasts 40 years
Jehoahaz 608BC  3 months carried off to Egypt
Jehoiakim 608-597 BC  11 years Openly for idols, boldly defiant of God, bitter enemy of Jeremiah
Jehoiakin 597 BC   3 months carried off to Babylon
Zedekiah 597-586 BC  Friendly to Jeremiah but a weak king, a tool in the hands of the wicked princes of Israel

627 BC  Josiah begins reforms (See 2 Chron 14)
626 BC  Jeremiah’s call
626 BC  Scythian invasions that began in 634 to about 618, weakened Assyria.
621 BC The Book of Deuteronomy found in the temple. Josiah’s reformation (2Ki 22, 23)
608 BC Josiah slain at Meggido by Pharaoh
607 BC Nineveh destroyed by Babylon
606 BC Judah subdued by Babylon 1st captivity
605 BC Battle of Carchemish – Babylon crushes Egypt
597 BC Jehoiachin’s captivity
593 BC Zedekiah visits Babylon
586 BC Jerusalem burned. Temporary end of David’s kingdom


Jeremiah was the leader and there was a brilliant group of prophets around the destruction of Jerusalem.
Ezekiel went into captivity and preached
Daniel was in Nebuchadnezzar’s court
Habakkuk and Zephaniah helped Jeremiah in Jerusalem
Nahum predicts fall of Nineveh
Obadiah predicts fall of Edom

Chapter 1 Jeremiah’s call
Like Moses he was reluctant to accept the call (Ex 3:11; 4:10). Anathoth was 2.5 miles NE of Jerusalem

V14 – Babylon will destroy from the North

Chapter 2 Israel’e apostasy
Israel likened to a wife going after other men. Like a common prostitute

Chapter 3 Judah worse than Israel
Blind to the Northern tribes captivity and fall, sunk into lower depths of depravity under Manasseh

Chapter 4 Approaching desolation of Judah
Describes the advancing armies of Babylon. Possibly? No. Also the Scythian invasion which preceded that came from the East. In the same year Jeremiah was called, immense armies of Barbarians from the North struck terror to nations. They weakened Assyria to a tottering nation.

Chapter 5 Universal depravity of Judah
v1 - No righteous man to be found; promiscuous sexual indulgence (v7-8); scoffing at Jeremiah (v12); deceit, oppression and robbery (v26-28); rotten government (v30-31)

Chapter 6 Destruction from the North
v22-26 – vivid description of the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon. Over and over he warns that repentance is their only hope

Chapter 7 Repentance is their only hope
v5-7 If only the people of Israel would hearken to their God Jerusalem would never fall. Evil practices (v9, 31); idols in the temple (v30); God’s temple is there (v4,10); the Queen of heaven is Ashtoreth which is the foremost deity of the pagan Canaanites (v18); Hinnom (v31-32) was a valley on the South side of Jerusalem where children were thrown into fire to sacrifice to Molech

Chapter 8 The harvest is past
V20 Jeremiah speaks as if Jerusalem has fallen already; V10-11 false prophets insisted that Jerusalem was not in danger

Chapter 9 Jeremiah’s eyes are a fountain of tears
People had given themselves up to everything vile (8:6; 9:2-9) and weeping day and night, begging, pleading, persuading, threatening, entreating, imploring that they turn form their wickedness. But in vain

Chapter 10 Jehovah the true God
People were making idols, stocks of vanities (v3-11) but they could not save them as they were dumb and made of wood; this was only adding to their appalling sins against God.

Chapter 11 The broken covenant
God will not hear them. They have disobeyed. V19-21 – Jeremiah’s enemies seek to kill him

Chapter 12 Near to God with their mouths but far in their hearts
Pastors have trodden down the flock and the pasture (v10); they have sown wheat and shall reap thorns;  but the Lord will eventually have compassion v15-16

 GO TO Part 2

**** ****

Harley Hitchcock

This website’s front page is:


 Australian Bible Ministries, PO Box 5058 Mt. Gravatt East 4122 Qld, Australia