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Jeremiah

Meaning: Raised up or appointed by Jehovah; Yahweh lifts up

There are ten different men named Jeremiah in the Bible:

  1. Jeremiah the prophet Jeremiah the major prophet, the most famous of the biblical Jeremiahs—One of the “greater prophets” of the Old Testament, son of Hilkiah (q.v.), a priest of Anathoth (Jer. 1:1; 32:6).

    He was called to the prophetical office when still young (1:6), in the thirteenth year of Josiah (B.C. 628). He left his native place, and went to reside in Jerusalem, where he greatly assisted Josiah in his work of reformation (2 Kings 23:1-25). The death of this pious king was bewailed by the prophet as a national calamity (2 Chr. 35:25).

    During the three years of the reign of Jehoahaz, we find no reference to Jeremiah, but in the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the enmity of the people against him broke out in bitter persecution, and he was placed apparently under restraint (Jer. 36:5).

    In the fourth year of Jehoiakim he was commanded to write the predictions given to him, and to read them to the people on the fast-day. This was done by Baruch his servant in his stead, and produced much public excitement.

    The roll was read to the king. In his recklessness, the King seized the roll, and cut it to pieces, and cast it into the fire, and ordered both Baruch and Jeremiah to be apprehended.

    Jeremiah procured another roll, and wrote in it the words of the roll the king had destroyed, and “many like words” besides (Jer. 36:32).

    Jeremiah the prophet speaking to crowd.

    He remained in Jerusalem, uttering from time to time his words of warning, but without effect. He was there when Nebuchadnezzar besieged the city (Jer. 37:4,5), B.C. 589. The rumour of the approach of the Egyptians to aid the Jews in this crisis induced the Chaldeans to withdraw and return to their own land. This, however, was only for a time.

    The prophet, in answer to his prayer, received a message from God announcing that the Chaldeans would come again and take the city, and burn it with fire (37:7,8). The princes, in their anger at such a message by Jeremiah, cast him into prison (37:15-38:13). He was still in confinement when the city was taken (B.C. 588).

    The Chaldeans released him, and showed him great kindness, allowing him to choose the place of his residence. He accordingly went to Mizpah with Gedaliah, who had been made governor of Judea.

    Johanan succeeded Gedaliah, and refusing to listen to Jeremiah's counsels, went down into Egypt, taking Jeremiah and Baruch with him (Jer. 43:6). There probably the prophet spent the remainder of his life, in vain seeking still to turn the people to the Lord, from whom they had so long revolted (Jeremiah 44).

    He lived till the reign of Evil-merodach, son of Nebuchadnezzar, and must have been about ninety years of age at his death. We have no authentic record of his death. He may have died at Tahpanhes (also called Tehaphnehes, an ancient city in northeast Egypt on Lake Manzala), or, according to a tradition, may have gone to Babylon with the army of Nebuchadnezzar; but there is no certain evidence.

  2. Jeremiah the Benjamite soldier—a slinger who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chronicles 12:4).

  3. Jeremiah the fifth, a Gadite soldier—joined David in the wilderness at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:10).

  4. Jeremiah the tenth, another Gadite warrior—joined David at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:13).

  5. Jeremiah of Libnah, the father of the woman Hamutal (2 Kings 23:31, 24:18), the wife of Josiah and mother of King Jehoahaz.

  6. Jeremiah the tribal chief—one of the chiefs of the tribe of Manasseh on the east of Jordan (1 Chr. 5:24).

  7. Jeremiah the Rechabite, father of Jaazaniah (Jeremiah 35:3).

  8. A priest who was sealed with others in a covenant with God (Nehemiah 10:2).

  9. A priest in the days Joiakim—returned to Judah with Zerubbabel after the Exile (Nehemiah 12:1, 12).

  10. One of the leaders who took part in the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 12:34).

Author: Matthew G. Easton and Paul S. Taylor.

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