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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

The Book of The Prophet Jeremiah - Introduction

Jeremiah prophesied in Jerusalem mostly before the Babylonians destroyed the temple there in 587 B.C.E. but also for a short while after that event, and even, briefly, in Egypt among the fugitives from Judah. He foresaw this fall of the Southern Kingdom which occurred something over a century after the fall of the Northern Kingdom, Israel. He was no uninvolved spectator; loving his people, compelled by his God and undeterred either by ridicule or by persecution, he sought to salvage what he could from the national calamity. His major accomplishment as a prophet was his contribution to his people's maturation: Judah could survive, he knew, even without the Jerusalem sanctuary.

Chapters 1 to 20 contain two related types of matter: the tender prophet pleads with Israel for an appropriately loyal response, one that would enable a pardoning God to withhold a merited punishment; and he also reveals his dismay and sorrow at Israel's stubbornly heedless behavior and rebels against his need to pursue his seemingly futile mission to it. In chapters 21 to 45 a biographer, probably the prophet's disciple Baruch, records the dramatic course of Jeremiah's frustrating ministry. Both here and in the remaining section (chs. 46–52 ), messages of hope and consolation occasionally relieve the dreary forebodings.

Persons other than the prophet and his biographer may be responsible for certain passages, especially within the “prophecies against the nations” (chs. 46–51 ), but also elsewhere in the book. Some of the passages are written after the manner of Deuteronomy or in the style of the later chapters of Isaiah.

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