We will find in this book why Jeremiah was known as the weeping
prophet. He was born to a priestly family. He was born in Anathoth,
which was a suburb of Jerusalem.

     Jeremiah was reluctant to answer the call of God, because he was
just a teenager when God called him. He is like many of us, who feel
unworthy to do the task God calls us to.

     His ministry covered a period of sad times. Judah is overrun and
the Hebrews are carried away captive to Babylon. He, as many other
prophets, brought warning from God. The people did not heed the
warning and were taken. He later prophesies of the return of the
Hebrews to Jerusalem.

     This book is, of course, penned by Jeremiah. Jeremiah prophesied
during the reign of 5 kings.

     We will find that Jeremiah preached, as well as prophesied. When
the Hebrews were taken captive, Jeremiah was given the privilege of
staying in Jerusalem, if he wished, and he stayed. A band of Jews
forced him to go to Egypt, and he prophesied there.

     Jeremiah did not choose to be a prophet. God chose Jeremiah. God
had placed such a burden for the people on Jeremiah, that he was
compelled to prophesy. God touched his mouth and put His words in
Jeremiah's mouth. The message, then, was God's message, spoken through

     The name "Jeremiah" means Jah will rise. Jeremiah was a
contemporary of Ezekiel and Daniel. Daniel was God's choice to
prophesy in the Babylonian palace. Ezekiel prophesied and acted as
priest to the rural people. Jeremiah stayed in Jerusalem and saw it

     We will now begin this lesson in Jeremiah 1:1 "The words of
Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that [were] in Anathoth in
the land of Benjamin:"

     We see several things from this verse. 1. Jeremiah's daddy was a
priest. 2. His father's name was Hilkiah. 3. He was from Anathoth. 4.
Anathoth was in the land of Benjamin. 5. The first statement lets us
know that Jeremiah penned this prophecy.

     Jeremiah 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

     We know that Josiah was king in Judah. He did right in the sight
of the Lord. Josiah's father was an evil man, however. There is, also,
a specific time set for the Word of the Lord to come to Jeremiah. It
was in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah. The Word of the
LORD came to Jeremiah. As we have learned in Isaiah, and many of the
other prophetic books, the message Jeremiah was to speak, came
directly from the LORD.

     Jeremiah 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."

     This is not speaking of the entire prophecy of Jeremiah, but is
speaking of the warning given before Judah is carried away into
Babylon. This is just saying the prophecy extended into the reign of
Jehoiakim, and even unto the eleventh year of the reign of Zedekiah.
Jehoiakim was, also, Eliakim. It was during the reign of his son,
Jehoiachin, that Nebuchadnezzar battled Jerusalem and took the people
captive to Babylon. He had just been in power three months when the
battle against Jerusalem occurred. The name Zedekiah was given to
Mattaniah, by his uncle Nebuchadnezzar. Judah was carried away into
captivity the 5th month.

     Jeremiah 1:4 "Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,"

     We see, from this, that Jeremiah actually heard the voice of the
LORD. This is just establishing the fact, that the Lord directed

     Jeremiah 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."

     This is the Word of the LORD. The LORD called Jeremiah to
prophesy, even before he was born. His sole purpose in life was to
prophecy to Judah. This is very similar to the call of John the
Baptist. They had no private life, at all. Their lives were for the
purpose of God to be fulfilled. The LORD, not only, called him to
prophesy before he was born, but set him aside for the purpose of God
{sanctified him}, before he was born. We remember from the book of
Luke, that John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Ghost in his
mother's womb. This is a very special call. The LORD did not want
Jeremiah weighted down with worldly things. He separated him for a
purpose.  Jeremiah did not choose to be a prophet. God poured out His
Spirit on Jeremiah and ordained him for this purpose. Notice that
Jeremiah was to prophesy to nations {plural}, not just to Judah.

     Jeremiah 1:6 "Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak:
for I [am] a child."

     This does not mean that Jeremiah was a small child, but was an
expression used of someone in their teens. I personally believe that
he was about 17. "Ah, LORD God!" is a statement of shock. Jeremiah
felt totally inadequate to do the job. He was very much like Moses,
who said he could not talk. God asked Moses, who gave you your mouth?
The word "behold" is saying look and see that I am too young. Many of
us, when we are called, give some feeble excuse. That is what the age
factor is here. God is not concerned about Jeremiah's youth, so why
should he be concerned?

     Jeremiah 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 would not listen to the excuses of Jeremiah. He even tells
Jeremiah to hush. In the very next sentence, He reassures Jeremiah
that He will be with him. Jeremiah will not have to think up something
to say. God will put the Words in Jeremiah's mouth. Look, with me, at
what Jesus said about this very thing. Luke 12:11 "And when they bring
you unto the synagogues, and [unto] magistrates, and powers, take ye
no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:"
Luke 12:12 "For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what
ye ought to say."

     Jeremiah 1:8 "Be not afraid of their faces: for I [am] with thee
to deliver thee, saith the LORD."

     I love what Jesus said in the following Scripture along these
same lines.  Matthew 10:28 "And fear not them which kill the body, but
are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to
destroy both soul and body in hell."  The worst a man can do to you is
to kill your body. If they kill you, would immediately be with God.
That is nothing to fear. God alone can destroy the body and soul in
hell. If the LORD is with you, there is nothing to fear.

     Jeremiah 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

     I believe this happened. I know that the touch of the LORD can
change your life completely. Jeremiah could rely on the Words of God.
They will not fail. These Words did not come from the innermost place
of Jeremiah. They were placed in his mouth by the LORD. Jeremiah would
speak much more boldly, knowing the Words were the LORD's. I believe
ministers would be much more effective, if they allowed God to speak
through them, rather than preparing their own message. God has a
message for each congregation. When God speaks through the minister,
His Words apply to their current needs.

     Jeremiah 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."

     Had the LORD, chosen someone of greater age, or someone highly
respected as a priest in the temple, or even a king to speak: it would
have appeared it was their power. God knew that no one would expect
these mighty prophecies to come from such a youth. When he spoke, they
would know that the message had to be from God. This would have been a
difficult job for anyone, but would be unusually difficult for a
youth. He, probably, asked himself, who would listen? Let me say, that
God can send whoever He chooses. A king is a king, because God allowed
it. God has literally put this young man in charge over the nations.
He is like a watchman, or an overseer. Jeremiah will speak judgement
on these people. It is actually God speaking judgement on them through
the mouth of Jeremiah. Whatever comes out of Jeremiah's mouth will be,
because it is the Word of God. God is aware of all that they do. He is
causing the Babylonian captivity to come to cause them to repent.

     Jeremiah 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."

     Aaron's rod bloomed and brought forth almonds. Numbers 17:8 "And
it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of
witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was
budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded
almonds." It seems to me, that the LORD has shown Jeremiah that his
rod has bloomed like Aaron's. The things Jeremiah puts his hand to do
will be blessed of God. The "rod of the almond tree" means to awaken
and be ready to do whatever God has for him to do. This could, also,
mean that God is ready to bring judgement on Judah. The almond is the
first to bloom. It usually blooms in January. The rod could, also, be
the rod of correction. All of these things prevail at the time of
Jeremiah's prophecy.

     Jeremiah 1:12 "Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen:
for I will hasten my word to perform it."

     It seems, that not only does the LORD put His Words in Jeremiah's
mouth, but He opened Jeremiah's understanding, as well. God is telling
Jeremiah, this is soon coming.

     Jeremiah 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."

     The "seething pot" is speaking of the soon doom for the country
of Judah. Seething indicates it is just about to boil over. To those
who have received much, much is required. God's punishment on them
will be great, because they are His, and should know better than to
worship idols. The "seething pot" sometimes indicated impending war.
The pot is facing the prophet.

     Jeremiah 1:14 "Then the LORD said unto me, Out of the north an
evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land."

     The Babylonians were northern people. This does not specifically
mention Babylon, but they know from the direction, who it is. Actually
the road leading to Babylon went north. The army of Babylon will
overflow the land and capture it.

     Jeremiah 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."

     This is actually a description of how they camp at the gate
outside the wall. The kings and rulers will set up at the gate of the
city. They would not enter the city. The city will have to come out to
the gate to surrender. Jerusalem was besieged first, and then, the
other cities of Judah.

     Jeremiah 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."

     God's people had committed spiritual adultery. They had been
unfaithful to the LORD. They even burned incense to false gods and
made statues of false gods with their own hands. God is jealous. He
will not allow the worship of other gods. His judgement comes, because
of their unfaithfulness to Him. God has judged them and found them
guilty of unfaithfulness. He speaks the judgement on them to cause
them to repent and return to Him.

     Jeremiah 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."

     "Gird up thy loins" is an expression to prepare yourself and be
ready. Do not just sit there, get on with the work God has called you
to do. Jeremiah is to show no fear at all. He must place his
confidence in the Lord, and not waver at all in the things God has him
to say.

     Jeremiah 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."

     God has placed a hedge of protection around Jeremiah. God is his
defense. Iron shows the strength God has given Jeremiah. A pillar
holds something up. This pillar is Jeremiah, who holds up the Word God
has given him. Brass has to do with judgement. The whole land is
judged. The poor, the rich, the kings, even the priests of the temple
have been judged guilty as charged.

     Jeremiah 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."

     Of course, the people will not want to accept this message that
Jeremiah speaks, because it speaks of doom for them. They will fight
back, but God is with Jeremiah. God will deliver Jeremiah out of their

                          Jeremiah 1 Questions

1.  What kind of prophet was Jeremiah known as?
2.  He was born to a ____________ family.
3.  Where was he born?
4.  Why was Jeremiah reluctant to answer the call of God?
5.  How can we relate to Jeremiah?
6.  What terrible things went on in the time of Jeremiah's ministry?
7.  Did the people heed his warning?
8.  Who penned this book?
9.  Jeremiah prophesied during the reign of _____ kings.
10. Was Jeremiah taken into captivity?
11. A band of Jews forced him to go where?
12. Jeremiah did not choose to be a prophet. _______ chose Jeremiah.
13. How do we know that Jeremiah's message was actually God's message?
14. What does the word "Jeremiah" mean?
15. Who were contemporaries of Jeremiah?
16. Where did each of them prophesy?
17. What was Hilkiah, Jeremiah's father?
18. When did the Word of the Lord come to Jeremiah?
19. Was Josiah good, or bad?
20. What time is verse 3 speaking of?
21. Who was the king of Babylon, who took Jerusalem?
22. Who named Zedekiah?
23. When was Jeremiah known of God?
24. What was Jeremiah's sole purpose in life?
25. What excuse did Jeremiah give, for not answering God's call?
26. How old does the author believe Jeremiah was when he was called?
27. What was Jeremiah to speak?
28. Quote Luke chapter 12 verses 11 and 12.
29. Why should Jeremiah not be afraid of their faces?
30. Quote Matthew chapter 10 verse 28.
31. What miraculous thing did God do for Jeremiah?
32. What had God set Jeremiah over?
33. What did Jeremiah see?
34. Who else had a similar experience?
35. What are some of the things this could mean?
36. What did Jeremiah see the second time?
37. What is "seething pot" speaking of?
38. Which direction will the enemy come from?
39. Why has God brought judgement against Judah?
40. What does "gird up thy loins" mean?
41. How would Jeremiah be protected?
42. What does Jeremiah's message bring to them?