The prophet Jeremiah addressed the people of Judah and Jerusalem over a forty-year period leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 BC. The book of Jeremiah addresses the exiles, especially those in Babylon, in the years after the catastrophe. Here we encounter Jeremiah the prophet who, from his youth to old age, delivered the word of God to the people of Israel at the most terrifying time in all their troubled history. Understanding Jeremiah’s context is essential to understanding his life and message.
We must encounter the God of Jeremiah—an encounter that should be both profoundly disturbing and ultimately reassuring, as it was for him. If Jeremiah spoke in his day and if the book still speaks today, in both cases it is God who called the man to speak and commanded the book to be written for his day and for our day. Jeremiah is a book of the victory of God’s love and grace. His redemptive, reconstructive work comprises the book’s portrait of the future—a future that we see fulfilled in the New Testament through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. Ultimately we see it in God’s dwelling with his redeemed people forever in the new creation.
A replacement volume in The Bible Speaks Today: Old Testament series, this book offers a new exposition on the book of Jeremiah.
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“Jeremiah the prophet addressed the people of Judah and Jerusalem over a forty-year period leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 bc (and for a few years after that). Jeremiah the book addressed the exiles in the years after the catastrophe, especially the exiles in Babylon where it seems most likely that the present edited form of the book was preserved.” (Page 17)
“The point of preserving in such detail his forty years of preaching was to provide the exiles with an understanding of what had now fallen upon them—and out of that understanding to build hope. In other words, the book of Jeremiah, in its profound anticipation and explanation of the exile, is not Jeremiah’s gloating ‘I told you so’, but rather his tear-filled, ‘I told you why’.” (Page 47)
“He exposes apostasy as the height of stupidity and idolatry as the depths of futility.” (Page 69)
“God’s perspective is always bigger than the immediate moment. The” (Page 48)
“It is strange that some theologians and preachers see something incompatible or irreconcilable in the Bible’s portrayal of God’s anger and God’s love. Anger and love can co-exist simultaneously in a human heart; why not in God’s?” (Page 29)
This is a great pastoral commentary that shows how the difficult-to-understand book of Jeremiah applies today.
—Elliot Ritzema, Bible Study Magazine
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