Anathoth: about three miles north of Jerusalem. One of the priests: a member of a priestly family though seemingly not of the Jerusalem priesthood; see 1 Kgs. 2.26–27
Thirteenth year of Josiah: 627 B.C.E.
Eleventh year of Zedekiah: 587 B.C.E.
In the fifth month:
see 2 Kgs. 25.8, 11
. But chs. 40–44
imply that Jeremiah's activity actually extended into later years.
I consecrated you: set you apart. To the nations:
are against the nations.
I am too young suggests inadequacy.
Say whatever I tell you to say: the thought is dramatized in v. 9
Fear none of them: God fortifies the prophet in advance against the people's opposition, a thought which is developed in vv. 17–19
To uproot … pull down … build … plant: God's message has two aspects, the threat of disaster and consolation after calamity.
What God threatens through the prophet will be brought to sure fulfillment. The early blooming almond (shaked) reminds Jeremiah that God is “watchful” (shoked) to carry out the divine purpose.
Disaster looms from the north.
In steam from a boiling cauldron the prophet sees an omen of national calamity.
Peoples of the kingdoms of the north: the enemy, Babylon, is not directly identified until
. While some, indeed, speculate that the distant Scythians are intended, more probably Jeremiah had in mind the Babylonians,
the currently dominant Mesopotamian power. Similarly, in Amos 6.14
, an unnamed nation can be identified as Assyria.
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