© 2014, Mike Parker http://bit.ly/ldsarc For personal use only. Not a Church publication.
Background on Jeremiah
He is identified as “Jeremiah, the son of
“may Jehovah raise up,” “Jehovah loosens [the womb],” or “Jehovah founded.”
His father was a priest at Anathoth (1:1), a village two to three miles north of Jerusalem in the territory of Benjamin.
He was probably a descendant of Abiathra, priest of David whom Solomon exiled to Anathoth when he became king (1 Kings 2:26
His family owned land (Jeremiah 32:9) and may have been wealthy.
He never married and had no children (16:1
He was the last major prophet of the Southern Kingdom of Judah before the Babylonian captivity and exile began in 587
He was a contemporary of Lehi, and possibly of Habakkuk and Obadiah. Ezekiel and Daniel were taken to Babylon as young men when Jeremiah was prophesying.
According to Rabbinic tradition, he was the author of the books of Jeremiah, Lamentations, and 1 and 2 Kings. His scribe, Baruch, is also credited with writing four of his own eponymous books.
Many of Jeremiah’s prophecies were
included on the plates of brass obtained by Nephi
(1 Nephi 5:13). Nephi
Jeremiah’s prophecies of the destruction of
Jerusalem and the coming of the Son of God (Helaman 8:20).
Jeremiah was born about 640
. He was called as a prophet in 627, the thirteenth year of King Josiah (Jeremiah 1:2; 25:3). He began his ministry in 621, the year Josiah began his religious reforms (1:13
19; 15:16; 2 Kings 22:1
23:28), and continued after he went into exile in Egypt following the overthrow of Judah by the Babylonians in 587 (43:1
7). He died in Egypt sometime thereafter.
Jeremiah’s ministry extended through the
reigns of five kings of Judah:
.; 2 Kings 21:24
Jehoahaz (609; 2 Kings 23:30
598; 2 Kings 23:34
597; 2 Kings 24:6
587; 2 Kings 24:17
In the late 7th century
. the Babylonians overthrew the Assyrians and became the major power in the Near East. The transition allowed Judah a brief period of independence, during which King Josiah was able to carry out significant
religious reforms. But after Josiah’s death
, Judah rejected the Josian reformations, and the Lord allowed the Babylonians to overtake Judah and carry her people into captivity and exile.
Wicked king Manasseh died after a 55- year reign. His son Amon reigned in his stead. (2 Kings 21:1, 18.)
Amon was killed by anti-Assyrian conspirators. His eight-year-old son Josiah was made king (2 Kings 21:23
22:1). Jeremiah was born around this time.
Ashurbanipal, last powerful king of Assyria, died.
Nabopolassar of Babylon lead a revolt against Assyria. Judah and most other nations under Assyrian control also revolted. Jeremiah received his call to be a prophet.
Hilkiah the high priest found
the book of the law
” in the temple. Based on its contents,
Josiah began his attempts at cleansing the temple and reforming Israelite religious worship (2 Kings 22:3
). Jeremiah supported Josiah’s
reforms (Jeremiah 11:1
27) and began his ministry about this time.
Nineveh, the Assyrian capital, fell to the combined forces of the Medes and Babylonians.
Josiah was killed in battle against the Egyptians, who supported Assyria (2 Kings 23:29
30). Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah (2 Chronicles 35:25)
. Josiah’s son
Jehoahaz reigned only three months before being taken captive to Egypt. His brother Jehoiakim was installed as a puppet ruler loyal to Egypt (2 Kings 23:31
: King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon defeated the Egyptians at Carchemish (Jeremiah 46:3
12). Jeremiah prepared a scroll of his revelations, which King Jehoiakim burned (36:1
26). Jeremiah wrote the revelations again on a second
scroll, and “
added besides unto them many like words
Nebuchadnezzar quickly conquered the Syro-Palestine region. For the next three years, Judah paid tribute to the Babylonians (2 Kings 24:1). The young boy Daniel was taken into captivity in Babylon about this time (Daniel 1:1
Judah joined Egypt and rebelled against Babylon. The rebellion failed and Babylon sent Chaldeans, Syrians, Moabites, and Ammonites to plunder Judah (2 Kings 24:2).