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I.       Introduction

A.     Author:

1.        Jeremiah was chosen to serve as prophet beginning in 626 B.C. and ending sometime after 586 B.C.; He served through the reign of kings Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin and Zedekiah.

2.        The Lord commanded him to remain single for the impending judgment. He was a prophet of doom and attracted only a few friends, but aroused many enemies by conveying the message of God’s judgment for their unfaithfulness by deserting God to worship idols.

3.        Jeremiah was called the “weeping prophet,” which characterized his spirit of anguish (; 9:1; -20; 23:9). He was timid in the beginning, but become fearless and courageous in the service of the Lord, after he received repeated reaffirmation of his commission as a prophet (; 7:2, 27-28; 11:2, 6.13:12-13; -20).

4.        Jeremiah was a worker with character; he always confessed his deep struggles (11:18-23; 12:1-4; 15:10-21; 17:12-18; 18:18-2320:7-18) and stated his honest feelings about God (12:1; 15:18).

5.        Jeremiah was fiercely against the sin of his people (44:23), scolding them severely for their idolatry. But he still loved the people who committed sin and prayed for them even when the Lord told him not to (14:7, 20; 7:16; 11:14; 14:11)

B.     Theme and theological points

Theme: God’s covenantal love aroused his fierce anger toward the chosen when they turned away from the Lord to worship idols. Judgment is the main theme of Jeremiah’s message; he warned them to surrender and be submissive to Babylon for survival, and to wait for restoration by God’s mercy.

Theological points:

1.        The sovereign Lord:

 a.      Creator of all (-16; 51:15-19)

 b.      Omnipotent (32:27; 48:15; 51:57)

 c.      Omnipresent (23:24)

 d.      Sovereign Lord to all (5:15; 18:7-10; 25:17-28; 46-51)

2.        The perpetual covenant: between God and His chosen

3.        The divine nature: Lord’s justice and mercy

4.        The sinful nature of the chosen

II.    Outline

A.     According to historical background and chronological order

1.        The Reign of King Josiah (1-12) (639-608 B.C.)

 a.      Call of the prophet (1-3)

 b.      The sin of Judah and call for repentance (2-6)

2.        The Reign of King Jehoiakim (608-597 B.C.)

 a.      The temple message: return and repent (26,7-10)

 b.      The fate of Jeremiah and Uriah (26)

 c.      The prophecy of captivity and restoration (25)

 d.      The judgment of Babylon and other nation (25,46-49)

 e.      The Rechabites (35,36)

 f.       The king destroyed the scroll (36)

3.        The Reign of King Zedekiah (597-584 B.C.)

 a.      Prophecy of captivity (21-24)

 b.      Pleading for surrender to Babylon (27-29)

 c.      Prophecy of restoration (32-34)

 d.      The fall of Jerusalem (37-39)

4.        The Fall of Jerusalem (586 B.C.)

 a.      The prophecy of captivity (30-31)

 b.      After the fall of Jerusalem (40-44)

 c.      Highlights of King Zedekiah’s life (52)

B.     According to messages

1.        The message of warning to the rebellion (1-25)

2.        The message of judgment and hope (26-36)

3.        The message for the nation in crisis (37-45)

4.        The message of judgment against nations (46-52)

C.     General

1.        The call of Jeremiah (1:1-19)

2.        The prophecy in the reign of the king Josiah, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah (2:1-25:38)

3.        The history of Jeremiah and his work (26:1-45:5)

4.        The prophecy of judging the nations (46:1-51:64)

5.        The fall of Jerusalem (52:1-34)

III. Essential teachings

A.     The prophecy for repentance (1-13)

1.        The call of the prophet (1)

 a.      God calls His worker according to His timing (3,11-19)

 b.      Fully assured the calling is from the Lord (5,18,19)

 c.      Vivid personal experience of God (4-8)

 d.      Understands the purpose of God’s calling (9,10)

2.        Rebuking the sin of Judah (2-6)

 a.      The wickedness and backsliding of God’s people (2:1-3:5)

(a)     The chosen’s marital love is prone to change (2:1-8)

(b)     Straying from God is the beginning of wickedness; forsaking springs of living water for cistern (2:9-13)

(c)     Suffering the consequence of wickedness (14-19)

(d)     The vine of choice turned into a corrupt wild vine (20-25)

(e)     The shame of punishment resulted from forgetting God (2:20-37; 18:15; 3:21; 13:25; Isa 17:10; Eze 22:12; 23:35; Hos 8: 14; Deut 7:18; 8:18; Judg 2:10; Hos 2:13)

(f)      The unfaithful chosen to the faithful God (3:1-5)

 b.      The unfaithfulness of Judah (3:6-5:31)

(a)     Return, faithless people; repentance urged (3:6-15). The adultery defiled the land (9). The return is insincere (10). God’s loving forgiveness (11). Promise of shepherds after God’s heart (15).

(b)     Promise of a cure to backsliding (3:19-4:4). The chosen returned God’s goodness with unfaithfulness (19-20). Weeping resulted from forgetting God (21). The salvation of Israel is in the Lord (23).

(c)     An imminent invasion (4:5-18). Sovereign God brought the disaster (6). God was enraged (8). God’s judgment will sweep good and bad alike (10-12). The ways of the chosen has brought this punishment (18).

(d)     Sorrow for the doomed nation (-31). The agony pounds Jeremiah’s heart (19). The foolishness and senseless of the chosen (22). Desolation but not the end of the land (27).

(e)     The justice of God’s judgment against the unfaithful chosen (5:1-31)—not even one righteous (1), the heart hardened (3), ignorant about the way of the Lord (4), broke off God’s law (5), paid no attention to the prophet (13). The fire of punishment will consume them (14). God will use an ungodly nation as His instrument (15). Balance of God’s justice with mercy (18). Warning against crossing God’s boundary (22). Sin has deprived the chosen of good things (25).

 c.      Babylonians served as God’s instrument of judgment (6:1-30)

(a)     Jerusalem wells up with wickedness (7) 

(b)     Take warning before it is too late (8)

(c)     Jeremiah was filled with the wrath of the Lord (11)

(d)     The prophets and priests practiced deceit (13, 14).

(e)     Israel refused the Lord’s ancient path (16)

(f)      The invasion from the north to refine the chosen (22-30)

3.        Repentance urged (7-10)

 a.      False religion is worthless (7:1-29)

(a)     Reform Israel’s way is the key to live (3-7)

(b)     Trusting the deceptive word brought destruction even to the temple the Israelites trusted in (8-15)

(c)     Prayer will be answered only after repentance (16-20)

(d)     Israel refused to listen to the Lord (21-28)

 b.      Judgment of obscene religion (7:30-8:3)

(a)     Judah defiled the temple which bears the Lord’s name (30)

(b)     The land will become desolate (7:30)

(c)     The survivors prefer death to life (8:3)

 c.      Sin and punishment (8:4-8:17)

(a)     Why has Jerusalem sled backward perpetually without repentance? (5)

(b)     The people do not know the requirement of the Lord (7)

(c)     What wisdom does the one rejecting the word of the Lord have? (9)

(d)     Prophets practice deceit (10,11)

(e)     The Lord will surely consume them (13)

 d.      The prophet mourns for the people (8:18-9:16)

(a)     The people provoke God’s anger ()

(b)     The prophet hurts because the people hurt (8:21)

(c)     The Lord refines His own people to purify their sin (9:7)

(d)     Who is wise to understand this? (9:12)

(e)     Prophecy of captivity (9:16)

 e.      The people mourn in judgment (9:17-26)

(a)     Destruction and death overshadow Jerusalem

(b)     The only boast the chosen should have (23)

(c)     The Lord will punish the uncircumcised (25)

 f.       Idols and the true God (10:1-16)

(a)     The idol is nothing: lifeless (1-5)

(b)     The Lord is incomparable: true and living (6-10)

(c)     The Lord is great: manifested in His works (12-16)

 g.      The coming captivity of Judah (10:17-25)

(a)     Distress to awaken the chosen (18, Ezk. )

(b)     He prophet and people suffer as one body (19)

(c)     Prosperity is doomed for those who do not seek after God (21)

(d)     The Lord directs man’s step (23)

(e)     Pleading for the Lord’s mercy (24,25)

4.        Exhaustion of the chosen to keep God’s covenant (11-13)

 a.      The broken covenant (11:1-17)

(a)     The covenant to be kept by the chosen (11:1-4)

(b)     The oath from God for the chosen (11:5)

(c)     The curse for breaking the covenant (6-13)

(d)     Doom of the chosen by provoking God (14-17)

 b.      The life of Jeremiah threatened (11:18-23)

(a)     The plot to silence Jeremiah (18-19)

(b)     The punishment of plotting against the prophet (11:22-23)

 c.      The Lord answered Jeremiah’s question (12)  

(a)     Why do the wicked prosper? (1-4)

(b)     Jeremiah’s trouble will increase (5-6)

(c)     The Lord will judge Judah, forsake His house and beloved the enemy (7-13)

(d)     God’s justice will be followed by His mercy (14-17)

 d.      Symbol of the linen sash (13:1-11)

(a)     God will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem (9)

(b)     God desires the Israelites to cling to Him (11)

 e.      Symbol of the wine bottle (13:12-14)

The eventual destruction of Judah’s leaders and people

 f.       Pride precedes captivity (13:15-27)

(a)     Last chance: return to God before it’s too late (15-17)

(b)     Why did shame and destruction come? For the greatness of iniquity (22)

(c)     The chosen scattered due to unchanged evil nature (23)

(d)     Captivity is the portion of their measures from God (25) 

B.     The prophecy of captivity (14-22)

1.        The nation of iniquity will be ruined (14)

 a.      The iniquities testify against the chosen (7)

 b.      Why is the Lord like a stranger, a man astonished? (8)

 c.      Pleading the Lord not to leave His people (9)

 d.      The Lord will consume them by sword, famine and pestilence (12)

 e.      The false prophet led the people astray (13-18)

 f.       The people plead for mercy, for the sake of the Lord’s name (21)

 g.      Return and wait for the Lord (22)

2.        The captivity is awaiting (15-17)

 a.      The Lord will not relent (15:1-18)

 b.      Jeremiah’s dejection (15:10-18)

 c.      The Lord reassures Jeremiah (15:19-21)

 d.      Jeremiah’s life style and message (16:1-13)

 e.      The Lord will restore Israel (16:14-21)

 f.       Judah’s sin and punishment (17:1-13)

 g.      Jeremiah’s prayer for deliverance (17:14-18)

 h.      Hallow the Sabbath (15:19-27)

3.        God’s sovereignty and judgment in the parable of the potter (18-19)

 a.      The potter and the clay (18:1-11)

 b.      God’s warning rejected (18:12-17)

 c.      Jeremiah persecuted (18:18-23)

 d.      The sign of broken clay jar (19:1-15)

4.        Persecution of Jeremiah (20)

 a.      The word of God to Pashhur (20:1-6)

 b.      Jeremiah’s unpopular ministry (20:7-18)

5.        The prophecy concerning Jerusalem and the chosen (21)

 a.      Jerusalem’s doom is sealed (21:1-10)

 b.      Message to the house of David (21:11-14)

6.        Denounce the evil kings (22)

 a.      What does the Lord require of the chosen? (3-5)

 b.      Warning of impending disaster for forsaking the covenant of the Lord (9)

 c.      Message to the son of Josiah: the consequence of failing to fulfill the purpose of reign as king (13-19)

 d.      The spiritual crisis of prosperity (20-23)

 e.      Conia--like father, like son (24-30)

C.     The captivity and promise of restoration (23-29)

1.        The chosen will be scattered and resembled (23)

 a.      The hope of restoration (1-4)

 b.      The branch of the righteous (5-8)

 c.      Denounce the false prophets who lead people astray (12-13)

 d.      The people were as wicked as Sodom (14)

 e.      The false and empty prophecy enraged the Lord (16-20)

 f.       The Lord is against the false prophets who caused the people to stray (32)

 g.      Everyone’s word will be his oracle/burden (36)

 h.      God will utterly forsake the chosen for shame (39)

2.        The pre-figuration of two baskets & fig trees (24)

 a.      Judah’s people were divided into good and bad (1-3)

 b.      The Lord’s determination to restore the good and destroy the bad (4-10)

3.        The instructions regarding to “seventy years” (25)

 a.      Seventy years of desolation (1-14)

 b.      Judgment on the nations (15-38)

4.        Jeremiah threatened with death (26)

 a.      Delivered the message of warning from the Lord faithfully (1-6)

 b.      Threatened with death (7-15)

5.        Refute the false prophet (27-28)

 a.      Symbol with the bond and yokes (27:1-7)

 b.      Urge for submission to Babylon (27:8-12)

 c.      Warning of listening to false prophet (27:12-15)

 d.      Request the false prophets to validate their prophecy (27:16-22)

 e.      Jeremiah confronts Hananiah’s falsehood and prediction of doom (28)

6.        Letter to the exiles (29)

 a.      Advice to accept God’s plan to settle down in exile (1-10)

 b.      God’s plan to prosper and give hope (10-14)

 c.      Warning of disobeying God’s word (15-23)

D.     The message of comfort (30-33)

1.        The covenant for the restoration of Israel (30-31)

 a.      Restoration of the relationship (30:22)

 b.      The remnant of Israel saved (31:1-14)

 c.      The Lord draws the chosen with everlasting love (31:3)

 d.      The Lord remembers and yearns for the people He had been against (31:20,15-22)

 e.      Future prosperity of Judah (31:23-30)

 f.       A new covenant (31:31-40)

2.        Jeremiah buys a field (32)

 a.      Obey the word of the Lord (1-15)

 b.      Pray for understanding (16-25)

 c.      God’s assurance for His people’s return (26-44)

3.        Promise of restoration for prosperity (33)

 a.      Excellence of the restored nation (1-18)

 b.      The permanence of God’s covenant (19-26)

E.     The prophecy concerning the fall of the nation (34-52)

1.        The city fallen, the king captured (34)

 a.      Zedekiah warned by God (1-7; 21:1-10)

 b.      Treacherous treatment of slaves (8-22)

2.        The role model of the Rechabites (35)

 a.      Obey forefathers command (6-10)

 b.      The blessing received (11-19)

3.        Jehoiakim burns Jeremiah’s scroll (36)

 a.      The scroll read in the temple (1-10)

 b.      The scroll read in the palace (11-19)

 c.      The king destroys Jeremiah’s scroll (20-26)

 d.      Jeremiah rewrites the scroll (27-32)

4.        Jeremiah imprisoned (37-38)

 a.      Zedekiah’s vain hope (37:1-10)

 b.      Jeremiah imprisoned (37:11-21)

 c.      Jeremiah thrown into cistern (38:1-13)

 d.      Zedekiah’s fears and Jeremiah’s advice (38:14-28)

5.        The fall of Jerusalem and the aftermath (39-45)

 a.      The fall of Jerusalem (39:1-10)

 b.      Jeremiah goes free (39:11-18)

 c.      Jeremiah with Gedaliah the governor (40:1-12)

 d.      Gedaliah assassinated (40:13-41:17)

 e.      The flight to Egypt forbidden (42)

 f.       Jeremiah taken to Egypt (43)

 g.      Israel will be punished in Egypt because of idolatry (44)

 h.      Message of assurance to Baruch (45)

6.        The messages of judgment to nations (46-51)

 a.      Judgment on Egypt (46:1-12)

 b.      Babylon will strike Egypt (46:13-26)

 c.      God will preserve Israel (46:27, 28)

 d.      Judgment on Philistia (47)

 e.      Judgment on Moah (48)

 f.       Judgment on Ammon (49:1-6)

 g.      Judgment on Edom (49:7-22)

 h.      Judgment on Damascus (49:23-33)

 i.        Judgment on Elam (49:34-39)

 j.        Judgment on Babylon and Babylonia (50:1-46)

 k.      The utter destruction of Babylon (51:1-64)

7.        The holy city fallen and the chosen captured (52)

 a.      The fall of Jerusalem reviewed (52:1-11)

 b.      The temple and city plundered and burned (52:12-23)

 c.      The people exiled to Babylon (52:24-30)

 d.      Jehoiachin released from prison (52:31-34)

Publisher: True Jesus Church