Jeremiah was a major prophet because there is a lot of information about him in the Bible. That is the only difference between a major and minor prophet. Jeremiah began to prophesy during the reign of King Josiah, which is where he appears on the Bible Timeline. God used him to warn the people to turn from idolatry. This particular sin was destroying Judah, and it had already caused Israel to fall under the power of the Assyrians. Jeremiah told the Judeans about the immediate danger of judgment that was near, but most of the people didn’t listen to him. The Kings continued to worship idols and disregarded God’s warning. Eventually, what Jeremiah had prophesied came to pass. God gave King Nebuchadnezzar a lot of power and told him to go out and conquer the known world. While King Nebuchadnezzar did what the Lord commanded; God had revealed to him that he was to conquer Judah.
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King Zedekiah was the last ruler of Judah, and he was imprisoned in Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar then made a Hebrew man named Gedaliah governor to Judah. The people of Judah were also forced marched to Babylon as exiles. During his effort to get the people to turn from sin, Jeremiah used a variety of tactics. He used his life and various means to illustrate God’s word. For example, God had Jeremiah buy a linen belt that could not be used for its intended purpose. This was to illustrate the fact that the Judeans sin with worshipping false idols was useless. God had Jeremiah visit a potter’s house and watch him as he created various dishes. When the potter messed up a particular vessel, he had to reshape it to make it right. This example would be used by Jeremiah to show the people how God was going to use various circumstances to reshape their lives.
Jeremiah battled false prophets and priests, and he was imprisoned at various points in his prophetic career. When the people of Judah were put in chains and being prepared to march back to Babylon, God gave the prophet Jeremiah a choice concerning his destiny. A Babylonian military commander found Jeremiah and told him that he could go back with the captives or remain in Judah under the governor Gelediah. He also told him that God was going to take care of him no matter how he had decided to live his life.
Jeremiah chose to stay in Jerusalem. A Judean guerilla fighter named Ishmael assassinated governor Gelediah and when he did the people of Judah wanted to run to Egypt. They were afraid that the Babylonians would retaliate. Before they left, they decided to get a word from Jeremiah, but he told them to remain in Judah. He said that if they went back to Egypt they would go back into idolatry. He also revealed to them that God was going to kill anyone who decided to go to Egypt.
Once again, most of the people didn’t believe him. Eventually, King Nebuchadnezzar sent his forces into Egypt and took it over. All of the Hebrew people that escaped to Egypt perished. Jeremiah was a prophet whose fame is known by many people all over the world. His messages from God transcends the ages. He was born 655 B.C., and he became a prophet in 626 B.C. He lived during through the reign of Judah’s five last kings which included Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin and Zedekiah. His father was named Hilkiah, and he died in 586 B.C. He is also credited with writing the biblical book of Lamentations. Jeremiah will always be remembered as one of the greatest men of the Bible that has ever lived.
- Jeremiah 1: 1 – 3 Background information on Jeremiah
- Jeremiah 1 – 6 God uses Jeremiah to warn his people to turn from idolatry.
- Jeremiah 8 Jeremiah speaks out against false prophets.
- Jeremiah 12 Jeremiah questions God’s justice.
- Jeremiah 18: 18 – 23 The Judeans plot against Jeremiah
- Jeremiah 37: 11 – 21 Jeremiah is imprisoned
- Jeremiah 39: The Fall of Jerusalem
- Jeremiah 40 – 42 Jeremiah decides to remain in Judah and tells the people not to go to Egypt when governor Gedaliah is assassinated.