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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

N. 15:10-17:27 Complaints and Interpretations: 16:1-9 Sign-Acts. Jeremiah is prohibited from marriage and children, Jeremiah is not allowed to take part in mourning rituals. And Jeremiah is not allowed to take part in festive social events. Some scholars think these verses describe biographical events, others think they are literary or symbolic actions. Verses 10-13 are an interpretation of why the exile happened. Verses 14-15 are words of hope of restoration. But verses 16-18 return to the theme of judgment and destruction. Verses 19-21 are a hymn of praise about the conversion of all nations.

17:1-18 these verses contain various oracles which have been gathered together. Notice the variety of images used. What other parts of the Bible do these verses bring to mind? Psalms? Wisdom poetry? The sections here are verses 5-8; 9-10;11;12-13;and 14-18 which is Jeremiah’s third personal lament.

17: 19-27 is about the Sabbath.What do they suggest about keeping the Sabbath and Judah?  These verses may be from the time of Nehemiah.

O.18:1-20:18 Narratives and Complaints

18:1-12 The allegory of the potter. The relationship between God and God’s people  is similar to the relationship between a potter and clay. 18:13-17  Judah has turned away from God. This nearly incredible act horrifies others and causes God to turn away. 18:18-23 is Jeremiah’s fourth personal lament. We do not know who “they” are. Jeremiah defends his actions and asked for the destruction of his enemies.

19: 1-20:1 the Public persecutions if Jeremiah. These verses describe one of Jeremiah’s symbolic acts. In verse 14, after Jeremiah performs his sign-act he went to the court of the Temple and spoke to the people. 20:1-6 Pashhur was in charge of monitoring prophetic activity. Jeremiah is beaten and placed in stocks. Afterward Jeremiah continues to prophecy.

20:7-13 is Jeremiah’s fifth personal lament. Jeremiah’s language is strong. He accuses God of deceiving or seducing him. Jeremiah cannot help but prophecy, even though he is derided and persecuted.

20:14-18 Jeremiah’s sixth personal lament: Jeremiah curses his own existence. What do these laments tell us about Jeremiah’s situation and his state of mind?

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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