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(c) Frequent cases of coincidence in language with earlier prophets, as well as especially with the Book of Deuteronomy. Of this also we may easily perceive the reason. It was natural that one daily exposed to so much obloquy for the nature of his predictions should be anxious to vindicate himself by shewing that there was no break, no want of harmony, between himself and the older prophets, that what he maintained was the same that they had ever maintained, viz. that idolatry and national crimes entailed national overthrow1. The newly-discovered Book of the Law would, we might well expect, supply him with many examples of this- teaching.

(d) Numerous images used by way of illustration. But here we notice a peculiar mingling of the image and the thing signified by it. Jeremiah's vehemence and rapidity of thought are so great, that before he has done more than present us with a portion of the figure, he dismisses it, and falls back upon the subject itself. Thus e.g. (chap. i. 15) he speaks of the attack of hostile nations upon Jerusalem under the guise of judges sitting in the

Rising up early, vii. 13, 25, xi. 7, xxv. 3, 4, xxvi. 5, xxix. 19, xxxii. 33, xxxv. 14, 15, xliv. 4. Water of gall, viii. 14, ix. 15, xxiii. 15. The incurable wound, xv. 18, xxx. 12. The figs too bad to be eaten, xxiv. 8, xxix. 17. Phrases which often recur—

Walking in the stubbornness of the heart, chap. iii. 17, vii. 14, ix. 14, xi. 8, xiii. 10, xvi. 12, xxiii. 17.

The evil of men's doings, iv. 4, xxi. 12, xxiii. 2, 22, xxv. 5, xxvi. 3, xliv. 22.

The voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, vii. 34, xvi. 9, xxv. 10, xxxiii. 11.

Men dying in the siege by the sword, by the pestilence, and by famine, xiv. 12, 15, 16, xv. 2, xviii. 2f, xxi. 7, 9, xxiv. 10, xxvii. 13, xxix. 17, xxxii. 24, 36, xxxiv. 17, xxxviii. 2, xlii. 17, 22, xliii. u, xliv. 13. (Taken with slight additions from the Speaker's Commentary.)

1 Parallels between Jeremiah and older books, exclusive of those supplied by Deuteronomy, which have been already given (Introd. chap. i. %b)t are Is. iv. 2, xi. 1 with Jer. xxiii. 5, 6, xxxiii. 15; Is. xiii., xlvii. with Jer. 1., li.; Is. xv. with Jer. xlviii.; Is. xl. 19, 20 with Jer. x. 3—5; Is. xlii. 16 with Jer. xxxi. 9; Hos. viii. 13 with Jer. xiv. 10; Ps. lxxix. 6 with Jer. x. 25; Ps. cxxxv. 7 with Jer. x. 13. (See Art. Jeremiah in Sm. Bibl. Diet.)

city gates for judgment. But no sooner has he indicated the simile, than he returns to language not of judgment but of war1.

In regard to variations of style within the Book itself, the prophet shews more calmness a'nd uniformity of tone in the earlier parts; the latter have more traces of individual suffering.

9. The Hebrew of Jeremiah displays a considerable number of words and grammatical forms, which do not belong to the language in its purer state. For his use of the species of cypher, or secret writing, called Atbash, see notes on chaps, xxv. 26, li. 1.

10. Jeremiah's style, however it may form a contrast with that of Isaiah and others, is yet truly poetical. 'If we compare Jeremiah's land with the fruitful Carmel and cedar-forest of Isaiah, it is a waste, but a poetic waste, and a true image of the melancholy state of things, which lay before his eyes3.' 'He is certainly the greatest poet of desolation and sorrow, because he most deeply feels them3.'

CHAPTER III.

CONTENTS AND ARRANGEMENT.

i. The prophecies of Jeremiah cover, as we have seen, a period of at least some thirty years. But when we proceed to read the Book in which they and the events which accompanied them are contained, we find that the order of arrangement is not that of time. Prophecies uttered in the reign of Zedekiah occur in the midst of those that relate to Jehoiakim. The Jewish captives carried to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar are addressed in words of comfort, several chapters earlier than the announcement made to Jehoiakim that that event is imminent, while the prophecies which chiefly form the later portion of the Book and relate to foreign nations (chaps, xlvi.—li.), were most or all

1 A similar characteristic is found chaps, iii. 1, vi. 3—5, 27—30, xxii. 6, xxv. 16, where see notes.

'Umbreit quoted in Speaker's Commentary. 3 Ibid.

of them delivered before the final overthrow of the city and kingdom.

2. So far as any order is observable, it is an order not of time but of subject-matter. The following is a summary of the contents of the Book.

(i) Chaps. i.—xlv. Prophecies mainly relating to home events

and history of the times.

(ii) Chaps. xlvi.—li. Prophecies relating to foreign nations.

(iii) Chap. lii. Supplementary and historical.

(i) may be subdivided thus:—

(a) Chaps. i.—xx. Prophecies mostly from the time of Jeremiah's call (13th year of Josiah) to the 4th year of Jehoiakim.

(b) Chaps. xxi.—xxv. 14. Prophecies directed at various times against the kings of Judah and against the false prophets.

(c) Chap. xxv. 15—38. A kind of summary of the fuller predictions against foreign nations which occur chaps. xlvi.—li.; perhaps placed here as suggested by the announcement of the approaching overthrow of Babylon, which ends (l>).

(d) Chaps. xxvi.—xxviii. Prophecies concerning the fall of Jerusalem, with historical notices interspersed. These belong to different periods of Jeremiah's life, and seem grouped together here in accordance with the principle of arrangement mentioned above.

(e) Chap. xxix. Letter and message to the captives in Babylon. (/) Chaps. xxx., xxxi. Prophecies mainly of comfort and hope. (g) Chaps. xxxii.—xliv. History of the two years preceding the

capture and destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldaeans, and the prophecies of Jeremiah during that time. Chaps xxxv., xxxvi. break the chronological order here.

[A) Chap. xlv. A supplementary notice on the part of Baruch.

(ii) may be subdivided thus:—

(a) Chap. xlvi. r. Superscription.

(b) Chap. xlvi. 2—28. Against Egypt.

(c) Chap. xlvii. Against the Philistines.

(d) Chap. xlviii. Against Moab.

(e) Chap. xlix. 1—6. Against Ammon.

(/) Chap. xlix. 7—22. Against Edom.

{g') Chap. xlix. 23—27. Against Damascus.

(h) Chap. xlix. 28—33. Against Kedar and Hazor.

(») Chap. xlix. 34—39. Against Elam.

(/') Chaps. 1., li. Against Babylon.

3. Such being the arrangement of the contents, we have now to enquire whether we have any clue which will guide us in an attempt to explain it. Such a clue is to be found in chap. xxxvi. We there read, as we have noticed already1, that Baruch writes (ver. 2) in a roll Jeremiah's prophecies "against Israel and against Judah, and against all the nations" from the days of Josiah till the present (4th) year of Jehoiakim. When this roll was burned by the king, Baruch wrote another at the dictation of Jeremiah, as before, containing all the words of the previous one, while "there were added unto them many like words" (ver. 32"). This therefore gives us the nucleus of the present Book, although the portion which precedes this part of the narrative, as we have it, cannot have been wholly contained in the roll which Baruch then wrote. Chap. xiii. (see notes there) belongs in all probability to the very end of Jehoiakim's reign or even to that of his successor. Chaps, xxi. and xxiv. also belong to the days of Zedekiah, as do chaps, xxvii.—xxxiv.

4. It appears then that Jeremiah, like other prophets, wrote or caused to be written by his scribe groups of prophecies either as he uttered them, or after some lapse of time. The title to the Book (chap. i. 1—3) next suggests to us by the peculiar form which it assumes, something of the way in which this was done. If we compare it with the Introduction to other prophecies, e.g. Isaiah or Hosea, we shall see not only that it differs from them in form, but that the difference is of a kind that implies repeated alteration from the original shape. Verses i, 2 might very well be the heading of a prophecy including only the utterances of Josiah's reign. Verse 3 is evidently an addition

1 Chap. i. § 13.

made when a further group was added, and even as it stands does not include that part of the history of the Book which belongs to the period after the overthrow of the Jewish kingdom. It is most probable therefore that at some earlier period than that treated of in chap, xxxvi. Jeremiah had written one or more groups of predictions, which would all no doubt be incorporated by him with the new matter contained in the roll of chap. xxxvi.

5. Again, by the close of Zedekiah's reign, much new matter was ready to be introduced into the Book. If we ask why this was not done in the chronological order that we might expect, the answer is to be found in the history of the period. At the very time that the collection of which the roll (chap. xxxvi.) consisted was made, Jeremiah was a prisoner, and presently had to fly for his life. He did not return to Jerusalem for some years. Secrecy had to be observed during this period, and in fact we have no prophecy of Jeremiah in the Book until the Chaldaeans' approach at the end of Jehoiakim's reign. Again, after the troubles and imprisonment which befel him during the reign of Zedekiah, on the capture of the city Jeremiah was taken in chains to Ramah, arid though presently set free, yet by the death of Gedaliahand the forced flight into Egypt, followed probably by a speedy and violent death there, he would be hindered from an orderly arrangement of the whole Book of his prophecies. Accordingly the fulfilment of this duty, as we may suppose, fell to his trusty follower Baruch. Thus we find in the Book, as we now have it, certain portions of Jeremiah's later prophecies (e.g. chaps. xiii., xxi., etc.) inserted in the earlier roll; we find also the history connected with the last years of the kingdom, and the events which immediately followed, and the prophecy addressed by Jeremiah to Baruch himself (chap. xlv.).

6. We cannot, however, think Baruch to have been in any sense the author of the Book. The very words of that chapter, which is so strictly personal to himself (xlv., see especially ver. 5), shew what a gulf he felt to lie between him and his master. This feeling seems to be that which prevented him from venturing upon any thing like an elaborate arrangement of the

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