Bible Study

Jeremiah 1 – Solitary Man

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Jeremiah 1

January 8, 2024 2:53 PM
Solitary Man



For some time now, the Lord has put it in my heart to take all my scribbled notes in the margins of my bible for the book of Jeremiah and write them out as a verse by verse, or section by section commentary, and release them to the substack, so that others may be blessed by the insights that Jesus has given me. Therefore from time to time I will be releasing my commentary on Jeremiah, one chapter at a time. I pray that each one of you will find something of spiritual value for this season that we are living in, which so remarkably resembles the situation that Jeremiah found himself in.

I believe that the west in general is long past the point of time that Solomon found himself in. We love to quote 2 Chr 7:14, whereby if we do 4 things, then God will do 3 things, including healing our land. That pattern belonged to an era when Israel’s spiritual situation was as its peak, at the outset of Solomon’s reign, when Israel’s land mass, wealth, position and influence was at its peak. Solomon was then told that when God’s people began to stray, and recognized that fact, then they could always turn around and repent, and God would surely forgive and restore.

However, there are other patterns in the bible that pertain to different spiritual conditions. The northern kingdom was on its last legs when Isaiah chapters 7 to 9 were written. Also, the books of Jeremiah, Lamentations, and Ezekiel were penned as Judah was about to be conquered and destroyed by the Babylonians in 786 BC. In these books, you do not find a message of repentance, prayer, and imminent restoration and healing. Instead, the spiritual situation had deteriorated far beyond any hope of instant turnaround. No, the cup of iniquity for Israel and Judah had been filled, and now God’s anger, fury and wrath were about to be poured out on his people. There would be no deliverance.

This is the hard truth that the Lord has been speaking into my heart these last 4 years. The apostle Paul said that the things written in the Old Testament were for our instruction and learning. We need to be able to discern which pattern is applicable to the specific season that we’re in, and quit picking and choosing our favourite pattern and trying to apply it to our situation, just because we wish it were so.
I truly believe that Jeremiah is the book for our generation, more so than any other prophetic writing, along with Ezekiel.

The format I will be using is as follows: I will list a verse or section of text, followed by my own commentary. I will be using the King James version throughout. If I include certain words within the text in parenthesis, those are possible alternate meanings of the Hebrew words that have been solely derived from Strong’s concordance.

I pray that these lessons will provide the reader with some spiritual insights that may lead them to pursue further study and new understandings and revelations for themselves.

Introduction to Jeremiah

Jeremiah’s ministry spanned the years from 627 BC to 560 BC. When he records his final scene at the end of chapter 52, he may of been 85-90 years old. Further details of the timing of specific chapters and sections will be given in the commentary that will accompany each section, so we don’t repeat the same information here. Unlike Ezekiel, which essentially recorded his prophecies in chronological order, Jeremiah jumps forwards and back in time, and I will try to relate the timing of each section, in order to help the reader make sense of what he is reading, as it can become confusing if you are not aware of the time jumps. In addition, Jeremiah uses different methods of marking the date, sometimes using the Judean king’s reign, other times referring to the Babylonian king’s year of reign.

I believe that the word of God is completely inerrant. Any supposed discrepancies, which many ascribe to copyist errors, or factual mistakes, always have a logical explanation. If one has not yet been found, that would be due to our ignorance, and not to the text itself. I always find it amazing that so many supposed leaders in the church are always ready to compromise and agree that the scripture must be corrupted, at the first sign of a supposed textual inconsistency. Is it so hard to believe that God has the ability to preserve the text inerrantly, when he created the entire universe?

While the text in the original language may be inerrant, that does not mean that every translation into another language may always of been the best way of describing the original meaning of the text. Thus, there is certainly a place for the hard work of academia, where alternate renderings of the original text are examined and debated. Concordances and classic commentaries certainly do have their place, are are not to be entirely shunned as somehow too legalistic or nonspiritual. Sometimes I think that those who make such claims are simply too lazy to go the extra mile and study to mine the nuggets of truth that other great men of God have discovered in the past. Yet it goes without saying that we all should always primarily rely on the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit, without which all the study in the world would not profit us one bit.

So without further ado, let’s start on the text.

Chapter 1

Jer 1:1 The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin:

Hilkiah – possibly the high priest of that name (2 Ki 22:4, 23:4). Anathoth – 3 miles north of Jerusalem, home of Abiezer (2 Sm 23:27), Jehu (1Chr 12:13).

Jer 1:2 To whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign.
Jer 1:3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month.

Josiah reigned from 640 to 609 BC, Zedekiah from 598 to 586 BC.

Jer 1:4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Jer 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Here is another mystery of God, in that he knows us before we are conceived. Also this verse strongly indicated that life begins at conception. At least in Jeremiah’s case, and perhaps in everyone’s case as well, the calling of God and the empowerment thereof takes place in the womb. God had sanctified, or set apart, Jeremiah before he was even born. If ever we wanted to see an example of the doctrine of grace in the Old Testament, this is it. Note also that Jeremiah is ordained a prophet to the nations, not just Judah.

Jer 1:6 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.

Child – nahar – from infancy to adolescence, but also can mean a servant or a young man.

Jer 1:7 But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.

God does not want us to look at our natural limitations, but only focus on his commands to us.

Jer 1:8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.
Jer 1:9 Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.
Jer 1:10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.

Only if God supernaturally touches you in some indisputable way can you be placed in the office of a prophet. Note how God tells him of 4 tasks of judgment, versus 2 of building. Don’t let anyone intimidate you by criticizing you for your negativity. God has far more reason to warn against the perils of sin than to remind us of how much he wants to bless us. What is more important, to know that God really loves us so much, or to save us from eternal hellfire and damnation? Both are important, but if you had to pick one of the two, which would you choose?

Jer 1:11 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree.
Jer 1:12 Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten (watch for) my word to perform it.

Note that Aaron’s rod was an almond tree. Almond tree and hasten come from the same Hebrew root, it’s a play on words in the original Hebrew.

Jer 1:13 And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying, What seest thou? And I said, I see a seething pot; and the face thereof is toward the north.
Jer 1:14 Then the LORD said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.
Jer 1:15 For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, saith the LORD; and they shall come, and they shall set every one his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof round about, and against all the cities of Judah.
Jer 1:16 And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands.

The primary meaning is of course Babylon, who is depicted as coming out of the north. While we should never abandon the primary, obvious meaning, and replace it with a secondary one, that does not mean that certain sections of scripture do not contain 2 or more meanings. The north is often used as the direction from where judgment comes from. Keep that in mind whenever you see the north direction mentioned.

Perhaps this could also be a type of the fallen ones coming out of Mount Hermon (as described in the book of Enoch) and invading all the western Christian lands in 2020 as the judgment of God on his lukewarm and apostate Laodicean church.

Let’s get something out of the way, as the theme of this book will speak of it in virtually every chapter. I have found that when I try to speak of the judgment of God to other believers, either they believe its a false doctrine, as they’ve been taught that God is love, so judgment contradicts that in their thinking. Or, more likely is the rebuttal that yes, God has permitted the devil or man to bring bad things, but its not God doing it, he’s only permitting it. Where in the bible does it day that? Well, we do find it in the book of Job, where satan gets God’s permission to test Job. But here, as in hundreds of other passages, God does the calling, the doing, the executing of evil upon his rebellious people. Do we believe the bible or not?

Some say the Old Testament writers did not have the revelation of who is doing what behind the scenes like we do. They say look at their ignorant conception of heaven and hell. Eternal torment of the damned was really revealed by Jesus, as was the eternal rewards of the righteous. Therefore, when the OT (Old Testament) writers say God brought evil, they are just ignorant of the fact that it’s satan who brings evil, God just allows it.

This flies in the face of honest bible interpretation. It’s one thing to say that a truth has not been revealed in one era, but it’s an entirely different thing to say that the revelation given in that era was simply wrong. When God says in Isaiah 45:7 that he creates evil, it means that God creates evil. It doesn’t say that he’s the only one to create evil. It doesn’t say that he is permitting something or someone to create evil. Just because we’ve been taught a different version of God than the one found in the bible, does not negate what the bible actually says. Just because the true version of God found in the bible may not be to our liking, or may at times be even terrifying, does not negate the truth of the text.

Besides, look at the book of Job, by common consensus the oldest book of the bible. In it we see revelation of the divine council. We see satan, the accuser of the brethren, in action. The oldest book of the bible describes satan’s secret workings in greater detail than any other book. So all the subsequent authors of scripture knew about satan. Yet they don’t ascribe most calamity and evil to him, not in the context of judgment. No, even though they knew all about the existence of satan, the prophets continually stated that it was God who sent the plagues, the famines, the sword, the evil beasts, as punishment for sin, and possibly for other reasons such as refinement, repentance, and to preserve his holy name.

This is what it means when God is saying that he is restoring the old foundations of the faith. Judgment is the one thing that causes us to open our ears and our hearts to truth that we brushed off when times were good. Our doctrines of devils and traditions of men are not working anymore. It is time to put away our intellectual pride and self will and start to truly believe the word of God – all of it, for what it plainly says, whether we like it or not. When you do this, you will be amazed at what the Holy Spirit will show you.

Do not be afraid to cast aside these lies and deceits that all your church friends take for granted. Do not be afraid to examine everything that you once assumed must be true. Just because the majority believes something does not make it true. In fact, the opposite is usually the case.

Jer 1:17 Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.
Jer 1:18 For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land.
Jer 1:19 And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee.

There is protection in the will of God, but if Jeremiah chose to disobey, then God would confound him (break down by violence, or by confusion and fear, or terrify him) before his adversaries. It is a very dangerous place to be, having an assignment from God, and refusing to do it, as Jonah found out.

On the other hand, special assignments from God obtain special protection.

I pray that these insights will be meditated upon in your prayer closet, and new vistas of understanding may spring forth from something that the Lord quickens in your heart. I look forward to continue to bring you these teachings, as the Lord wills.

May God richly bless you in the study of his word.

Solitary Man

Photos courtesy Depositphotos


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