St. Irenaeus Ministries
Scripture Studies brought to you by the St. Irenaeus Center.
St. Irenaeus Ministries - a center of orthodox Catholic mission and renewal in Rochester, NY

God tells the people of Israel and the surrounding nations that they will be conquered, but Israel will be restored, as well as any nation that will worship God as other nations have convinced Israel to worship Baal. Any nation that does not do this will be destroyed.

There is an extended section of visions told in a parabolic form next. Jeremiah is told to bury a waistcloth, a piece of intimate apparel, and then to dig it up, finding it spoiled. This is analagous to Israel, who was designed to be intimate to God, who now has become spoiled. God also likens the people to clay pots filled with wine, as God will fill the priests, prophets and kings with drunkenness, and he will dash the pots together. Jeremiah then begins a long section of comparisons of what will happen to Israel, it will weep when the Lord's flock are taken into exile, as well as the king and the queen mother, who will be brought low, the nation will be raped, and they will be like chaff.

Jeremiah asks that God might have mercy, since He is in their midst in the Ark of the Covenant in the temple. God says that He will not. Jeremiah also protests that the people are not listening to him but rather the false prophets who are preaching prosperity. Contrary to what they are saying, the drought and famine will come.

Direct download: Jeremiah06.mp3
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Jeremiah embraces the book of the law that was discovered, the book of Deuteronomy. Meredith Klein, in ''The Treaty of the Great King'', says that Deuteronomy follows a well-defined formula of a Hittite treaty from a subject to his ruler. These treaties go over the history of the relationship, the conditions of the treaty, and the consequences of breaking it. (Some of these curses can be found in Deuteronomy 27).

Jeremiah takes the people to task for failing to meet that covenant, and his kinsmen turn on Jeremiah. It can be confusing at times to read as it is unclear if it is Jeremiah or God speaking, and some sections of things to come are described as having happened already, as God's assurance that they will happen is every bit as real as having been completed already.  Even though God will punish the people for their infidelity, God promises that He will have compassion on them.

Direct download: Jeremiah05.mp3
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The Lord tells His people that if they circumcise their hearts as Moses told them to do in Deuteronomy 10:16, they will be able to return to the land. Jeremiah protests to the Lord that He is deceving the people: we know from 2 Thessalonians that God can allow the people to be deceived.

The people had been led astray by the priests (the tradition of being led astray by those claiming religious authority continues in some quarters down until today), but they would have to be reconciled to God by themselves.

Direct download: Jeremiah04.mp3
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God recalls when Israel came into the land out of Egypt and how He dealt harshly with those who would dare to touch His people, the first fruits of the harvest. Unfortunately, Israel became dissolute. The people carried on the religious ceremonies despite God not being in the ceremonies, and the people didn't even ask where God was.

The Israelites did not seek refuge in God when the nation was threatened; they sought protection from Egypt, who liked to exact a terrible price from their beneficiaries later. Jeremiah says that Israel's unfaithfulness is as bad as a prostitute's. Even the faithless Samaritans were not as guilty as Israel, who should have known better.

Direct download: Jeremiah03.mp3
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Josiah, at age 8, came to the throne, and showed signs of clear piety by his teens. During the time of his reign, there was a lack of competing power in the area, giving Josiah room to make needed reforms.

Josiah cleansed the temple, and the priests discovered the book of the law there, which had been neglected. Josiah elevated the Passover to a great festival, and Huldah prophesies that those who participated in these reforms would die before seeing the judgment on Judah.

Jeremiah, son of Hilkiah, was born of a well-to-do priestly family around 646 BC. Unlike even priests and nazirites, he was forbidden to marry or even to be at celebrations.

Jeremiah's opponents plot his demise and ultimately, King Zedekiah declares that he will not oppose killing Jeremiah. After the Babylonians conquer Israel, the Babylonians offer to take Jeremiah back to Babylon because he said not to oppose them, but Jeremiah did not accept.

Direct download: Jeremiah02.mp3
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