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You will find an outline and introduction to Jeremiah here.

Here is a from the Book of Common Worship to use before reading.

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

An Outline of Jeremiah (based on Overholt)

I. 1:1-25:38 Confronting the People with Words and Deeds

A. 1:1-3 Superscription: This type of superscription is common in the prophetic books. This superscription is somewhat more detailed than some of the others. It tells us four things: The title of the text “the words of Jeremiah”, some biographical information, the basis for Jeremiah’s authority (“to whom the word of the Lord came”) and information dating his activity as a prophet.

B. 1:4-19 Jeremiah’s Call: Verses 4-10 describe Jeremiah’s call. It follows the typical way call stories are told in the bible, the commissioning, the objection, reassurance and a sign. Verses 11-19 are two visions. The vision of the almond tree contains a word play. Almond tree= shaqed. Watching =sheqed. The almond tree is an early blooming tree. The boiling pot, tilted away from the north is thus spilling its contents to the south, symbolizing trouble from the north.Historically, their enemies attacked from the north. What are these visions telling Jeremiah?

C. 2:1-4:4 Accusations and Exhortations: Notice the metaphors and figures of speech. This section is a mixture of poetry and prose.                                                    2:1-3:5 Inexcusable Sin and God’s Judgment: Verses 1-3 compare the covenant to a marriage vow. Verse 4-8 describes God’s faithfulness and Israel’s unfaithfulness. Verses 9-13 “I accuse you” is a legal term. God makes a l egal complaint against Israel. Verses 14-19 begin with a rhetorical question and outline the results of Israel’s apostasy. Verses 20-28, Israel is compared to a wild vine, a whore, and a thief. Trees and stones were symbols of foreign gods. Verses 29-37 again contains “complain against” a legal term. Again, Israel’s behavior is wrong and defies common sense. 3:1-5 again Israel is compared to a promiscuous woman.                                                                                                    3:6-4:4 A Call for Judah and Israel to Return: Judah is more guilty than Israel. Notice verses 6-11 are prose rather than poetry. The poetry of verses 11-14 invites Israel to return. Then in verse 15 prose is returned to. Some believe this section takes up from verse 11. The ark of the covenant was not present in the Temple during Jeremiah’s time. It may have been removed in a military attack. Verses 19-22a are mixed oracles asking Israel to return.Verses 19-20 seem to continue vv 12-14. Verses 22-25 are Israel’s confession. Verses 4:1-4 set the conditions for the return.

D. 4:5-6:30 An Enemy from the North: This section focuses on the threat of invasion from the north. Oracles of judgment are mixed with descriptions of the attack. Most of the time the attacking nation is not named.                                             4:5-31 The foe from the North:Verse 5-9 the leaders and sentinels are to sound the alarm. Verse 10 is Jeremiah speaking. Verses 11-18, the siege is near. A wind too strong to winnow would blow away both the grain and the chaff. Verses 19-28 are the voice of the prophet. Verses 29-31 Jerusalem is like a rejected prostitute or a woman in anguished labor.

Here are several good sources to aid your reading.

Anderson, Bernhard W., Katheryn Pfister Darr, Understanding the Old Testament Abridged fourth Edition. (Upper Saddle River,New Jersey: Prentice Hall) 1998.

The New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol 7, Keck, Leander E. ed. (Nashville: Abingdon Press) 2001.

Hutton, Rodney R. “Jeremiah” in The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version.Coogan, Michael D.; Brettler, Marc Z.; Perkins, Pheme; Newsom, Carol A. (2010-01-20) Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

Gold, Victor R., William Holladay, “Jeremiah” in The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books, Metzger,Bruce M.;Murphy,Roland E., eds. (New York:Oxford University Press) 1994.

Overholt,Thomas W. “Jeremiah” in  HarperCollins Bible Commentary Mays, James L. ed.(San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco) 2000.

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