Book of Joshua Book of Judges First and Second Samuel First and Second Book of Kings

Isaiah Jeremiah Ezekiel Twelve Prophets

  • Isaiah
  • Jeremiah
  • Lamentations
  • Baruch including letter of Jeremiah
  • Hosea
  • Joel
  • Amos
  • Obadiah
  • Jonah
  • Micha
  • Nahum
  • Habakkuk
  • Zephaniah
  • Haggai
  • Zechariah
  • Malachi

Jeremiah (Hebrew ירמיהו Yirməyāhū, Jeremiah or ירמיה Yirməyā ( h), Jeremiah, " God increased " dt ) is next to Isaiah and Ezekiel, one of the three major writing prophets of the Tanach, the Hebrew Bible. In the canon of the Old Testament before his book of Ezekiel is the second of the prophetic books. In the Hebrew canon it belongs to the rear of the Nevi'im. Since medieval times, the book is divided into 52 chapters.

Author and History

Jeremiah worked as detailed in the book of Jeremiah in the 13th year of King Josiah, which corresponds to about the year 626 or 627 BC. His work at the time of the kings Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin and Zedekiah is reported to 585 BC in Jerusalem. He preached to the people of Israel conversion and repentance unto YHWH and prophesied many years the fall of Jerusalem and the Temple, the BC by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II actually occurred in the year 586.

The book is an important source for the history of the end of monarchy in the southern kingdom of Judah. It paints a vivid picture of the political and social conditions. Many of the mentioned therein peoples of the North are also found in Assyrian and Greek sources ( Ashkenaz, Gomer, Minni, Ararat ( Urartu ), Medes and Persians ).

The author refers to Jeremiah in Jer. 1.1, the son of the priest Hilkiah, who may of Abiathar the priest exiled from David to Anathoth (1 Kings 2:26), is descended. Whether this priest called with the 2 Kings 22 Hilkiah is identical, is highly doubtful. Jeremiah comes from Anathoth, whose inhabitants want to talk him out of the appearance of a prophet (Jer. 11.18 to 23 ).

A priestly stamping the message of Jeremiah, such as the prophet Ezekiel, in spite of his priestly origin is certainly not recognizable. His position in relation to the reform of Josiah (622 BC) remains unclear, since Jeremiah words are not handed down from the years of reform and the death of Josiah.

In the biblical book of Jeremiah is the last message his deportation to Egypt. Later non-canonical writings tell of his life there and his stoning about 580 BC


Different parts can be distinguished clearly in form. Firstly, there is the prophet Jeremiah's words, mostly formulated from the perspective of Jeremiah, of which individual sayings in rhyme, then there's psalm -like sections and on the other there is inserted stories and reports about Jeremiah and his appearance, formulated in the third person.

  • Chapter 1-10 contains the calling of Jeremiah as a prophet and words of judgment, Part of it is the temple of speech in Chapter 7 and the Götzenpolemik in Chapter 10 (see Isaiah 44).
  • Significant parts of these are the confessions of Jeremiah. They emphasize the loneliness of the prophet, therefore accuses God.
  • Memorable also the numerous symbolic actions are Jeremias: The tainted belt in Chapter 13 and the jug shattered in Chapter 19

Jeremiah 1 as program text

Jeremiah 1 can be read as the program text of the entire book. This chapter lays out many traces of the book into:

  • The complex title in Jeremiah 1.1 qualifies the " words of Jeremiah " as YHWH word and accented two primary data: 628 - possibly the beginning of the cult cleansing measures Josiah - and 586, the end of the kingdom of Judah.
  • Jeremiah 1:5 Jeremiah referred to as a "prophet to the nations" - as clear as no other character of the Old Testament he is wearing this item: 31 times Jer is referred to as " the prophet ".
  • " Do not be afraid of them " is Jeremiah 1:8 Before even mentioned the addressees of the Court of Jeremiah's words, is clear: Jeremiah as a messenger of God's word is severely threatened. In Jeremiah's opponents fall two groups: on the one hand, prophets and priests in Jeremiah 26-29, on the other hand, kings and officials in Jeremiah 21-24.34-38.
  • " Tearing and tear down, to destroy and tear down, to build and to plant " (Jeremiah 1:10) are Jeremias tasks. The preponderance of destructive word pairs corresponds to the dominance of the court speeches in the book of Jeremiah.
  • In Jeremiah 1.11-15 leads the sight of an almond branch, whose name in Hebrew as " guard tree " sounds, the inspiration that YHWH watches over the fulfillment of his word. This is a central message of the entire book.
  • "I will speak my judgment " is Jeremiah 1.16. Accordingly, the first half of the book of accusations and judgment Announcements dominated.

Theological Issues

Theological and ethical analysis merge into each other, as well as the criticism. A basic idea is that - if Israel followed other gods - YHWH litigated against his chosen people and threatened with the loss of the country. Šaeqaer ( Heb. = Lug, deceit, hypocrisy ) is considered keyword: no longer the law of YHWH determines a founded on solidarity community, but deception, fraud and gain shape society. Therefore, the criticism va hits the prophets, priests and kings.

In some texts, the Court seems to be inevitable, then again there are specific expectations of salvation - probably reinforced by later additions. Salvation and damnation divorce is not always neatly. Salvation lies in the fact that the time of the disaster is limited, that God dispensed punishment and Jerusalem shall return to YHWH.

Confessions of Jeremiah: Jeremiah 11-20

The confessions of Jeremiah are single final sections in Chapters 11-20. They focus on the internal and external conflicts of the Prophet, they are decorated in the style of psalms of lament and differ in form from the Prohetensprüchen.

These denominations were the reason that the Lamentations of Jeremiah were assigned and also led to the term jeremiad.

In the overall context of the book, however, turns the fate of Jeremiah: In Chap. 37ff heard Jeremiah to the saved, while his opponents know their punishment. Their superiority and success were therefore only provisional. You could tell the person and the fate of Jeremiah offered himself as a " film " of the tension between real conditions and justice of God that are still pending, but will ultimately prevail. In later writings, it was not a big step toward apocalyptic. The combination of risk and preservation of a prophet there in the form only in Jeremiah.

Textual history of the book

The book of Jeremiah is delivered in two different versions. The short version of the book of Jeremiah in the Greek Septuagint differs from the Masoretic text in the longer version in many ways from. In the matching passages the Greek version is obviously a faithful translation of the Hebrew original dar. Overall, however, the Hebrew text is about one-seventh longer. In addition, both version are different in structure significantly. So the Greek text follows the " tripartite eschatological scheme " ( evil sayings against Israel - evil sayings against the peoples - Healing announcements for Israel ), while in the Hebrew version after the healing announcements for Israel, which are also embedded in the narratives about Jeremiah, follow the peoples sayings.

As the finds at Qumran suggest the Greek version goes back to a distinct from the Masoretic Hebrew text template. Which of the two versions is the older, is controversial. Anyway, you can expect a long parallel history of tradition.

Genesis of the book

As a writer applies in the biblical tradition of the same prophet who worked in Jerusalem about BC 627-587.

The scientific discussion of the 20th century has long been determined by Bernhard Duhm's commentary (1901 ). He saw the oldest part of the book in the " poems of Jeremiah " in chapters 1 to 25, A second block consisted in his opinion, in the "Book of Baruch " (Chapter 26-45 ). Later additions were to be found in all parts of the book. At the historical Jeremiah had by Duhm only about 280 verses attributed, ie less than a quarter of the book.

Another route proposed Sigmund Mowinckel (1914 ) a. He distinguished in the book creation four sources: words of Jeremiah, stories of Jeremiah, Deuteronomic style speeches ( eg c 7 and 25) and the healing words in Jer 30f. However, the nature of the prose speeches is not liable source but editorially, ie they put their context foreshadowing, as Winfried Thiel was able to prove. Thiel therefore only made a distinction between Jeremiah African texts, a Deuteronomistic editors and nachdeuteronomistischen supplements.

However, to distinguish the so-called Deuteronomistic texts between linguistic and factual Deuteronomismen. The emergence of the book of Jeremiah is therefore probably far more complex present, as it can be represented in these simplistic models. In addition, a development model would also have very different versions of Hebrew and Greek Bible into account. The Book of Jeremiah is pervaded by references to an existing written culture: not only Baruch bears the title, writer ' ( 36,26 ), but the title is otherwise function name ( 36,12; 37,15.20; 52,25 ). From panel ( 17.3 ), ink ( 36,18 ) and penknife ( 36.23 ) is the speech. Jeremiah writes a letter to the exiles in chapter 29.1. The literally quoted evil threat of Micah ( 26:17 f) and allusions to many earlier prophets require written documentation of the earlier prophets Proverbs incurred.

Jeremiah in art

  • In the church of St. Nikolai in Potsdam is a ceiling painting of Jeremiah. It has been created by the painter Karl striker. More paintings on the pendentives of the dome below show the other main biblical prophet Isaiah ( by Eduard Holbein ), Daniel (of Hermann Theodor Schultz ) and Ezekiel and Ezekiel ( by Gustav Eich). They were created in collaboration with the Berlin painter Peter von Cornelius.
  • Karl Federlin created in 1877 to mark the 500th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone of Ulm Minster, the large sandstone statue of the prophet Jeremiah. It was donated by members of the local Jewish synagogue ( including by the father of Albert Einstein). The statue stands at the pulpit side of the nave beneath the great organ.
  • Auguste de Niederhäusern called Rodo (1863-1913), Prophet Jeremiah, statue in front of St. Pierre Cathedral, Geneva.
  • From Stefan Zweig comes expressionist drama Jeremiah. A dramatic poem in nine images. (Leipzig: Insel 1917)
  • The writer Franz Werfel in 1937 published the historical novel, Hear the voice in which he recorded the material for Jeremiah. The following year, appeared to Joseph Kasteins novel Jeremias: The report of the fate of an idea (Vienna / Jerusalem: Löwit 1938).
  • Leonard Bernstein's First Symphony (1942 ) bears the title Jeremiah.
  • Bertold Hummel's third symphony Jeremiah (1996 ) consists of four movements with the titles of Anathoth - Babylon - Lamentations of Jeremiah - hymn - sheet.

Commemoration of the Prophet

  • Evangelical: June 26, in the calendar of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
  • Roman Catholic 1 May
  • Orthodox May 1
  • Armenian May 1
  • Coptic: April 30