Jeremiah 1:1

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

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About Jeremiah chapter 1 verse 1:

The Book of Jeremiah (abbreviated Jer. or Jerem. in citations) is the second of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, and the second of the Prophets in the Christian Old Testament. The superscription at chapter 1:1–3 identifies it as "the words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah," and places the prophet historically from the reforms of king Josiah in 627 BCE through to the assassination of the Babylonian-appointed governor of Judah in 582. Of all the prophets, Jeremiah comes through most clearly as a person, ruminating to his scribe Baruch about his role as a servant of God with little good news for his audience.

Jeremiah is written in a very complex and poetic Hebrew (apart from verse 10:11, curiously written in Biblical Aramaic). It has come down in two distinct though related versions, one in Hebrew, the other known from a Greek translation. Scholars have had differing opinions as to how to reconstruct the historical aspects of the Book of Jeremiah due to the differences each version contains when compared with each other. The book is a representation of the message and significance of the prophet substantially intended for the Jews in Babylonian exile: its purpose is to explain the disaster as God's response to Israel's pagan worship: the people, says Jeremiah, are like an unfaithful wife and rebellious children: their infidelity and rebelliousness make judgement inevitable, although restoration and a new covenant are foreshadowed.

Historical background

The background to Jeremiah is briefly described in the superscription to the book: Jeremiah began his prophetic mission in the thirteenth year of king Josiah (about 627 BCE) and finished in the eleventh year of king Zedekiah (586), "when Jerusalem went into exile in the sixth month." During this period, Josiah changed the Judahite religion, Babylon destroyed Assyria, Egypt briefly imposed vassal status on Judah, Babylon defeated Egypt and made Judah a Babylonian vassal (605), Judah revolted but was subjugated again by Babylon (597), and Judah revolted once more. This revolt was the final one: Babylon destroyed Jerusalem and its Temple and exiled its king and many of the leading citizens in 586, ending Judah's existence as an independent or quasi-independent kingdom and inaugurating the Babylonian exile.

Prayer of the Day

Prayer for Peace

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who said to Your Apostles: "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you," regard not my sins but the faith of Your Church, and deign to give her peace and unity according to Your Will: Who live and reign, God, world without end.

Amen.