Jeremiah Chapter Summary Jeremiah Chapter Summary Jeremiah Chapter Summary Jeremiah Chapter Summary

The following is taken from the Book of Old Testament Summaries.

  1. (629 B.C.?) The words of Jeremiah, son of Hilkiah, of the priests in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin in the days of Josiah, 15th king of Judah, in the 13th year of his reign, through Zedekiah, last king of Judah at the time of the fall of Jerusalem and captivity to Babylon (586 B.C.). Called from birth and encouraged by God as a child. Personal touch by God to speak His words. His first vision test: almond tree rod; passed. Second vision test: seething pot; passed. Visions' explanation of Jerusalem's destruction to come from the north now foretold to him. He is to fear no man, being totally protected by God.
  2. Commissioned and commanded now to begin: "Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem..." his first message. He reminds them of the days of old, questioning their reasoning for turning from God. None looks for Him. The land is polluted by the people. A great irony: Other nations are true to their gods who are false, but Israel is false to her true God! Astonishing! They are guilty of two evils: (1) they have forsaken God, the fountain of living waters; (2) made their own broken cisterns unable to hold water. When in trouble why did they flee to Egypt for help who had once enslaved them? They are covenant-breakers! A once noble vine now a degenerate plant. (See Isa.5.) Their lust for their false and hopeless gods is unrestrainable—one for every city. All are guilty. Discipline did no good. They kill the prophets who were sent to warn them and are sanctimonious and self-righteous in all their evil doings. God will not prosper them in their own vain conceited self-confidence.
  3. His message continues. They continue to commit spiritual adultery, yet returning again and again to God with no guilt. His blessings withheld from them did not turn them. The evil they could do, they did! Reminded of their sister, Israel's judgment (fall to Assyria in 721), but failed to heed it. Judah now more guilty than her. A call to repentance. A promise of a remnant, with Israel reunited under a Universal King with God as their Father. A further call to repentance. Salvation is only of God. The vanity of their false works. Israel's confession of their sin.
  4. (612 B.C.?) The results of genuine repentance only if they turn. It requires a spiritual circumcision of the heart. Let the land hear His final warning. Judgment will come from the north; so prepare. All will wonder. So the people won't be misled, Jeremiah seeks clarification if peace or judgment will come. God answers: the winds of war will come, but Jerusalem may be spared for now if she repents; warn everyone! The reason for their enemy allowed ( vs.17-18). The evil's lamentation: when will it end? The day of salvation. All shall flee. Her past lovers, now despising her, will seek her life. She will cry before the avenger against her bloody sins!
  5. Unlike Sodom with ten, Jerusalem will be spared if only one righteous is found. All swear to Him falsely, refusing to return. None will turn, not even the greatest. How can He pardon them? A call for the invasion. Name one good reason they should not be punished? They deceived themselves; His word is not in them. A nation of an unknown tongue will come for their judgment. A remnant is promised after their predicted captivity. He would have been to them as the shore to the sea, keeping back its pounding relentless waves, but their heart is turned away. Their evil deeds are described. Why shouldn't He punish them? They all follow after their own sick wicked ways, not considering their inevitable end.
  6. A warning is issued of the imminent enemy already in their countryside. Shepherds flee. Their enemy is encouraged and prepares for Jerusalem's siege. His warning goes unheeded. None will escape. All are consumed with covetousness, deluding themselves in a false peace before sudden destruction. No rest for their souls will come. Their evil thoughts will be exposed and they will be brought low by His chosen stumbling blocks placed before them. God's standard for them to be tried and rejected as reprobate silver.
  7. (600 B.C.?) Jeremiah's first gate message (next, 17:19) to the worshipers as they come: a divine call to repentance. Get pure religion, and then He will give peace! But their hypocrisy abounds and His Temple is abused. Shiloh was an example for them. Prayer for them is now hopeless. The whole family is corrupt. Utter desolation with unquenchable anger will come. His message—obey His voice that it be well— has been the same day after day since the beginning days of their fathers, but to no avail. They have done worse than their fathers, even offering their children as sacrifices! To Him, unthinkable! Jerusalem, take up a lamentation, the house of God is polluted; Hinnom (sight of children sacrifices south side of the city) shall be called the valley of slaughter! The land, desolate.
  8. Even the dead wicked's bones shall not have rest! Their graves will be desecrated by the enemy. Times will be so terrible, death will be preferred to life. No reason for Jerusalem's perpetual backsliding. God patiently listened for their repentant turning, but none did. Even nature knows the seasonal laws to turn and obeys. God's laws to man however were given in vain. God gives them up to the enemy to be judged, from the least to the greatest. Their evil, silenced. The harvest has passed, with no balm in Gilead.
  9. Thus, Jeremiah's lamentation. Their paths are crooked—evil touching evil. None to be trusted: for the deeds of the wicked are great and hypocrisy is proliferate. He asks: You tell me what I should do? The land is made barren. Does anyone understand? Again He gives the reason for their judgment: (1) His law is forsaken; (2) His voice is not obeyed; (3) They walk after the imagination of their own hearts. Now scattered among the heathen. Bring in the mourners! Great calamity will suddenly come. A warning to the upper classes. Man's glory is only in knowing Him! His chosen remain uncircumcised (unrepentant), consequently, He will punish them with the heathen.
  10. The heathen and their occult ways are condemned. The people's heightened interest in their idols, incapable of any action, good or evil, will not save them. There is none like God, His greatness, His wisdom, and truthfulness. He is Everlasting! No other god made the heavens and Earth. False gods and those who worship them will perish. They are impotent for their salvation. They are the reason for their destruction. God is the portion of Jacob. He will judge the land. The woe of a man for his hurt and loss. A news flash, a noise comes! Judah made desolate; given to the wild beasts. Man does not know enough to direct his own steps. A plea for correction with mercy, and a fury for the heathen.
  11. (608 B.C.?) God reminds Judah through Jeremiah of their Exodus Covenant and its associated cursings and blessings. He will be the God only of the obedient! This Covenant's message is to be preached in the streets of all their cities. Their sin is condemned, their idolatry exposed, their false idols as numerous as and found in every city. His life is threatened. His prayer for justice. God answers: all who threatened him from his hometown will die, with none spared!
  12. Having seen in his journeys the prosperity of the wicked, those whose hearts are far from God who scoff at his preachings and threaten his life, Jeremiah takes up his case of apparent injustice with God, albeit reverently. God may be upon their lips, but not within their hearts. God answers: do not be affected by those who deal treacherously. God's own lamentation over His house, land, and people, no one considering in his heart His ways. No one will have place. Israel will be taken out and a remnant returned. Even so, they will remain only if they obey.
  13. The parable of Jeremiah's girdle. What was once new, of fine material and pure, is now marred, rotten, and torn, worn as a sign to Judah of her own relation to God. His parable of wine bottles. They are filled with pride. He encourages them to repent. The high to be humbled, Judah carried captive. If one asks why concerning their calamities, tell him because of his forgetting God and trusting in falsehood. Their adulteress ways are heavily ingrained and it is hard to change one's evil nature.
  14. (601 B.C.?) The land now severely stricken with drought, all are ashamed. Jeremiah's prayer for them (his Christ-like compassion). God's answer of rejection. Instructed not to bother anymore. He continues in conversation with God, concerned about the false prophets' messages. God's answer: they lie, they shall die, with none to bury them. The prayer continues; Israel is humbled at His stroke. Will He cast off forever, appealing to His oath to His covenant? There is none else to turn to for salvation, save Him, so they will wait for His anger to pass. (See Jn.6:68.)
  15. The great condemnation of the people by God Himself. Moses nor Samuel could change His mind if they were present to pray for them. A fourfold judgment passed: (1) Deadly drought, (2) Slain by the sword, (3) Death by famine, (4) Captivity. Four Destroyers to come: (1) Sword, (2) Dogs, (3) Fowls, and (4) Beasts. Blame Manasseh for their dispersion. Each will die by the method selected by God. They are responsible themselves for His rejection. Jeremiah laments his birth and plight, pitying himself. Instructed by God to separate himself from them and He will strengthen and save him.
  16. As another sign of impending doom, Jeremiah is instructed not to marry; besides, all the women are wicked. (Not one righteous found earlier, 5:1.) He is to remain apart from them. The sad end of a nation once exalted. If they ask why, tell them because of their iniquity. As He was with their fathers, bringing them from Egypt, He will be to them also, bringing them from captivity in Babylon, and He won't forget a single one. But first, they must pay! The time of the Gentiles. His name to be made known universally.
  17. Judah's sin now permanently etched into their hearts. A cursing to one who trusts in man; a blessing to one who trusts in God. Man's heart is totally deceitful, with God knowing its ways. ( Prov.16:1-2) Jeremiah's prayer: do to them what seems right but don't number me with the wicked. God's answer with instructions for another gate message (#2): Observe the Sabbath, His instructions, and the city will be spared; fail and it will burn.
  18. (605 B.C.?) The parable of the potter illustrating God's power and providential care to reshape the truly penitent's destiny if in submission. His works for building and destroying contrasted. Go speak the word. Their reason again given for their judgment! A conspiracy against Jeremiah. He prays now for their judgment.
  19. Another gate message (#3): the parable of the earthen vessel he is to break in their presence at the east gate going into Hinnom. (Where they go to offer their children as sacrifices!) The news of His judgment will cause the hearers' ears to tingle. His message of condemnation for their abominable sacrifices, accompanied with the demonstration of breaking the flask. God will burn that place! He goes to the Temple to repeat the message.
  20. Imprisoned by Pashur, chief governor of the Temple, in stocks by the gate of Benjamin. He prophesies against Pashur —to be a terror to himself. Jeremiah's prayer, the reproach of men because he spoke God's word in truth, wanting to remain silent, but unable. Weary of life and his purpose, curses the day he was born.
  21. (589 B.C.?) Some years have passed, Jerusalem now under siege by Babylon, Zedekiah, last king of Judah, sends Pashur to Jeremiah requesting prayer that Assyria might withdraw. His answer to them: God Himself will engage in the battle with great fury; those who do not die of a great pestilence will go into captivity; those who surrender will live. Jerusalem will burn. To Zedekiah: engage in just government, relieve the oppressed, or be punished severely yourself. No place thought secure will be safe from the enemy! Each man will be punished in proportion to his own evil.
  22. (609 B.C.?) In earlier times, before the first captivity of 606 B.C. A prophecy to the kings of Judah. In general: Execute judgment; get true religion. A promise if obedient; a curse if not. And if they ask why, tell them it was they who broke the Covenant. About Shallum (Jehoahaz, 16th king of Judah): Do not weep for the dead. He will die in Egypt. About Jehoiakim, 17th king: He shall die in dishonor because he failed to execute judgment, unlike his father, Josiah, 15th king of Judah, in his time. About Jehoiachin, 18th king: He shall go into Babylon captive, never to return, with no son to succeed him.
  23. (599 B.C.?) Jeremiah's condemnation of the false prophets. Woe to the pastors who scatter His sheep. A remnant will be gathered. A future messiah is seen, the Righteous Branch of David's house, the True Shepherd. They will be restored. The false prophets are a burden to God. Both prophet and priest are profane, their judgment wicked. Jerusalem now as bad in her state of wickedness as Sodom and Gomorrah. A word for the people: They lie to you! None have counseled with God. They are not sent from Him. Is He not a God near to the repentant if given true counsel? The false prophet cannot hide his ways from God! (For further insight, see Isaiah's warning 100+ years earlier, Isa.29:15; and what God showed Ezekiel in his and Jeremiah's time, Ezek.8, key vs.7-12.) Modern prophets described, they preach the word of man in God's name! There is no profit for them. A warning to the people concerning the burden of God, He is tired of them perverting His word! He will put them to everlasting shame.
  24. (598 B.C.?) Parable of the 2 baskets, good figs and bad. The good figs: The first taken in captivity to Babylon (606), from whom He will return a remnant with a good heart. The bad: Zedekiah, the evil young rulers, and the residue of wicked people. The sword, famine, and pestilence sent to destroy them from the land. (God is sifting His people in whom can be found any goodness to be sanctified in captivity and returned with a heart solely toward Him! In whom can be found none, they will perish.)
  25. (606 B.C.?) [Again an earlier time, 4th year of Jehoiakim and 1st of Babylon's king Nebuchadrezzar.] Jeremiah's message to all Judah and Jerusalem. His word has been the same since the beginning, in Josiah's time, as have other prophets, even his contemporaries: Repent! They refused to listen. Judgment now to come. Joy will cease. Duration of captivity foretold: 70 years, then punishment for Babylon. Babylon will be enslaved. God's wine cup of wrath given to Jeremiah to give to all nations to drink. If it is refused, no escape. God orders: Drink! A universal noise of destruction. Too many dead to bury. A day of judgment for the false prophets. No where to run. His anger is fierce!
  26. (609 B.C.?) [Still even earlier in Jehoiakim's reign.] Jeremiah preaches repentance in the Temple. All hearing seek to kill him. Arrested and false prophets and witnesses accuse him. Princes come from the palace. Jeremiah's self-defense. The princes acquit him. A defense of Jeremiah by certain elders, citing two precedents of earlier prophets, Micah and Uriah. Jeremiah is spared by Ahikam.
  27. (598 B.C.?) [Following first captivity.] Employing and wearing the wooden yoke of an ox for demonstration, Jeremiah preaches to the kings to surrender to Babylon and live. False prophets who encouraged the people to fight and resist for peace to come are liars! Holy vessels to be restored from Babylon after being taken as well.
  28. (596 B.C.?) Hananiah's (false prophet) Temple message of short captivity (2 years) contradicting Jeremiah's predicted longer of 70 years. Jeremiah replies: If he says so then let it be; the proof will be in the fulfillment. Let's wait and see. Hananiah breaks Jeremiah's wooden yoke. Jeremiah goes his way. God's prophecy to Hananiah through Jeremiah: a yoke of iron and Hananiah's death within 2 years! Hananiah dies within that same year, fulfilling Jeremiah's prophecy.
  29. (599 B.C.?) [An earlier letter to the first captive in Babylon, the best of Judah's citizens.] Build houses, be fruitful and faithful, and multiply. Live in peace, captivity only for 70 years, then restored with a good heart, and God will be with you. False prophets are to be slain. Letter from prophet Shemaiah in Babylon to reprove Jeremiah for his prophecy. Read to Jeremiah by Zephaniah the priest. Jeremiah responds with a prophetic letter against Shemaiah: his seed cut off from seeing God's salvation.
  30. (606 B.C.?) [Still earlier, at outset of first captivity.] Commissioned by God to write a book, all the words God had spoken to him concerning Israel. A song of restoration. A voice of fear, a time of Jacob's trouble; no one will, or can help them for now. Outcasts to return, their oppressors punished. They will be His people and He will be their God. A new covenant. The intents of His heart surely to be done and will be remembered and considered in their latter days.
  31. The song continues. God's everlasting love for Israel. He will rebuild them again, and again be the God of Zion. Many are to return, from all the isles afar. All sorrow eliminated, the people satisfied with His goodness! A genuine turning described. God pleads for Israel's backslidden condition. Judah will be restored, a new covenant given, the law written in their heart, a new city to be built and established forever!
  32. (590 B.C.?) A message to Jeremiah in the 10th year of Zedekiah, just prior to Jerusalem's final siege and fall. Jeremiah imprisoned in the king's court prison by Zedekiah for prophesying a Chaldean victory and his captivity. Prediction and fulfillment of Jeremiah's field redemption. Jeremiah's thanksgiving prayer. Condemns the people for failure to establish the promised land given their fathers resulting in His judgment. God's response to Jeremiah, agreeing with his condemnation of these people. Jerusalem a problem for God from the very beginning! Their sin fourfold: (1) Turned their back on God; (2) Did not listen to His instructions; (3) Set idols in their houses; and (4) Built high places for Baal. Remnant to be united in heart and purpose. A new covenant. Worthless land will be restored to value.
  33. Second prison message. Promised return with righteous rulers. God will heal Jerusalem and Judah after their judgment by Babylon. Will be blessed among nations; joy and desolate places restored. A future messianic rule. A new Jerusalem, called by a new name. His new covenant as sure as night and day. Greatly multiplied. God's plan for salvation eternal, with messianic rule, just as sure as all of His present natural ordinances.
  34. (591 B.C.?) Jerusalem under siege. A message to Zedekiah. The city to be taken and Zedekiah to go into captivity. Zedekiah's covenant giving liberty for all Jewish slaves. Princes and people initially comply, but later break. God displeased, reminds them of His commandment concerning bondmen, rebuking them. Issues a fourfold judgment: (1) sword; (2) pestilence; (3) famine; and 4) captivity. Condemned for breaking their covenant with Zedekiah; to be given to the enemy and Judah made desolate.
  35. (607 B.C.?) [Another earlier prophecy in the days of Jehoiakim.] Instructions to Jeremiah to test the Rechabites and their patriarchal vows: to be brought to the Temple and offered wine. Their testimony of faithfulness as a witness against Judah's disobedience. Posterity of the Rechabites promised prosperity by God.
  36. Jeremiah instructed to write a book. Written by Jeremiah's scribe, Baruch, as he dictated. (Jeremiah had been barred from Temple discourse.) Sends book to be read in Temple by Baruch on a day of fast. Princes and scribes informed by Michaiah. Jehudi dispatched for Barach. Book read to them. Fearful, they encourage Jeremiah and Baruch to hide while they inform the king. In possession of the book, the king is informed. King summons the book, ordering it burned after reading 3/4 completed. Orders arrest of Jeremiah and Baruch. Hidden by God. Jeremiah instructed to record another scroll with addendum.
  37. (599 B.C.?) [Later, under Zedekiah.] Zedekiah sends Jehucal to Jeremiah for prayer. Babylonians break off siege of Jerusalem because of Egypt's advance. Jeremiah prophesies they will return. Judah then will be helpless. Jeremiah attempts to leave city but arrested, suspected of consorting with enemy. Returned to princes, smitten and imprisoned. Zedekiah secretly summons him to inquire of God's intentions. He is to be captured. Jeremiah pleads his case to the king. King retains him in court's prison with better provisions, possibly saving his life.
  38. (589 B.C.?) Rulers' seek his life after hearing his prophecy of doom to the people. Charge him with treason, discouraging the people and soldiers. Fearfully, Zedekiah releases him to them. Thrown into a miry cistern. Life spared by Ethiopian eunuch, Ebedmelech, who intercedes with king. Ordered taken up. Zedekiah again seeks Jeremiah's counsel. Concerned for his own life, requires an oath from king before giving counsel. King is to surrender and live and the city will be spared. Zedekiah, afraid he would be given to the Jews who deserted to Babylon, assured by Jeremiah he would not. Jeremiah sworn to secrecy for his counsel. Princes, suspicious, interrogate Jeremiah and release him. Jeremiah retained in court prison until fall of Jerusalem.
  39. [Jerusalem besieged in 9th year of Zedekiah, falling 2 years later. Repeated in #52. See II Ki.25.] Walls breached. Babylonian princes enter. Zedekiah escaped previous night. Overtaken in the plains of Jericho and taken to Nebuchadnezzar in Riblah for judgment. Sons slain while forced to watch, his eyes gouged, and chained to go to Babylon. Jerusalem destroyed. The remaining poor tend the vineyards and fields. Jeremiah kindly treated by Babylon's general. A personal prophecy to Ethiopian eunuch who spared him: his life to be spared because of his trust in God.
  40. (588 B.C.?) Jeremiah released from chains in Ramah, entreated to go to Babylon where he would be honored, but given choice of his unhindered freedom. Jeremiah remains, aligning with newly appointed governor Gedaliah at Mizpah, home of the few remaining poor. Instructs remaining Jewish forces. Many escaped Jews return from surrounding nations after hearing of Chaldean withdrawal and some spared. Johanan counsels Gedaliah of planned conspiracy for his assassination by the Ammonite king. Requests permission to slay Ishmael, the named assassin. Unconvinced, denies.
  41. Seven months after Jerusalem's fall, Gedaliah is slain after hosting Ishmael and army. A massacre ensues at Mizpah by Ishmael. Some spared, and along with treasures, taken away. Overcome by Johanan. Ishmael flees with eight of his men back into Ammon. Captives saved. Johanan, now fearing Chaldean retribution, leads people to Chimham in preparation of entering the safety of Egypt.
  42. All come to Jeremiah for counsel and prayer, promising obedience to God in any case. Jeremiah prays for them, receiving an answer after ten days. They are not to go into Egypt. He will be merciful to the obedient remnant. Forewarned not to go, they will be punished if they disobey.
  43. Jeremiah is not believed. They disobediently enter Egypt, taking all, including Jeremiah with them. Jeremiah prophesies their destruction in Egypt's coming judgment by Babylon.
  44. (587 B.C.?) [Jeremiah's last rebuke, appealing for obedience.] Even in Egypt, after just experiencing judgment, they are still guilty of gross idolatry, further provoking God's wrath. How soon they forget! Therefore, he now condemns them; they will be consumed with only a few escaping. He is stubbornly rejected and despised. They think they are better off worshiping the queen of heaven, Astoreth. Jeremiah rebukingly condemns them. God's word is not dependent upon their belief. Egypt herself will fall to Babylon!
  45. (607 B.C.?) [Earlier prophecy before the first captivity.] God instructs and encourages Baruch, Jeremiah's scribe. Do not let your personal ambitions lessen your satisfaction in the life God has given.
  46. Jeremiah's message to the Egyptian army and Necho at Carchemish. Prepare for war. This is the great day of judgment. Babylon will overcome. Egyptians flee in the face of many enemy. Egypt will fall. A message to Israel in this time, "Fear not." They will return after a temporary chastisement.
  47. (600 B.C.?) [After the first captivity.] A message to the Philistines. Judgment is to come to them and their allies as well. The "Sword of the Lord."
  48. Judgment pronounced on Moab because they trusted in their own works and riches; they will also go into captivity. His judgment upon all Moabite cities. To drink the cup of wrath because of their self-exaltation. False worship will cease. A devouring fire will consume them, with a latter day restoration.
  49. Prophesy of judgment upon Ammon. Edom. Syria. Kedar (Hazor). Elam. They will all be conquered by Babylon. Some will return.
  50. (595 B.C.?) Prophecy of judgment on Babylon. Their enemy will be strong and fierce. The Jews will return. Babylon will be overthrown as Sodom and Gomorrah because of their mistreatment of His chosen. Their leaders will fear the onslaught of the enemy.
  51. Judgment of Babylon continued. Medes, God's chosen instrument. (Repeat in vs.15-19 of 10:12-16. See Isaiah's prophecy of their judgment.) Their judgment described. An assembly of nations will come. Rumors of wars. Babylon will fall; Jews to remember their God. Babylon's wall of defensive pride (3 chariots wide) will fall. Jeremiah's book read to the Babylonians, then thrown into the Euphrates as a sign to them.
  52. (599 B.C.?) Zedekiah's reign evil, rebels against Babylon. Jerusalem besieged. The end of Jerusalem and Zedekiah. Holy vessels taken, Temple destroyed, rulers killed, and 4,600 total taken in three separate incursions: 1st = 3,023; 2nd = 832; Final = 745. Jehoiachin (king taken in second captivity) released from prison in Babylon after 37 years, remaining in house arrest and entreated at the king's table for the duration of his life.
- Author: Ken Livingston
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