Jeremiah was a priest at Anathoth and God called him to be His prophet as well.

Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.” Jeremiah 1:9-10 NIV

He was a prophet to Judah and all the nations from 626 BC to 586 BC. Tradition says he was stoned in Egypt. Daniel, Obadiah, Habakkuk and Ezekiel were contemporaries of Jeremiah.

The main theme of Jeremiah is God’s judgment on Judah and the nations because of their sin.

“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh– Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the desert in distant places. For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.” Jeremiah 9:25-26 NIV

The book of Jeremiah is mostly lyrical and lofty poetry with some prose, and it is not arranged chronologically but topically. It has the most words of any book in the Bible. Jeremiah uses alliteration, repetition, and assonance to wonderful effect in the original Hebrew. God often tells Jeremiah to use symbolism in his prophecy. The weeping prophet shares his struggles and extremely honest feelings toward God in his six “confessions” or complaints (Jeremiah 11:18-23, 12:1-4, 15:10-21, 17:12-18, 18:18-23, 20:7-18). Jeremiah also expresses his anguish often (Jeremiah 4:19, 9:1, 10:19-20, 23:9). But he also remembers his calling and God’s promises to him,

“Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them. Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land–against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD. Jeremiah 1:17-19 NIV

God frequently reaffirmed Jeremiah’s calling as His prophet, (Jeremiah 3:12, 7:2, 27-28, 11:2,6, 13:12-13, 17:19-20) and as a result he fearlessly served His God. “I will make you a wall to this people, a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you to rescue and save you,” declares the LORD,” Jeremiah 15:20 NIV.

Jeremiah also has a message of hope for restoration of God’s covenant with His people.

“The time is coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, ” declares the LORD. “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, `Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Jeremiah 31:31-34 NIV.

The Bible Project does quick animated chalk talk type videos as overviews of each of the books of the Bible. The one for Jeremiah is helpful in understanding how the book is arranged and what it contains. Enjoy watching this sometime this week.