Jeremiah 1

1 The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, one of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin. 2 the LORD’s word came to him in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. 3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, to the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, to the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month. 4 Now the LORD’s word came to me, saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I sanctified you. I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” 6 Then I said, “Ah, Lord the LORD! Behold, I don’t know how to speak; for I am a child.” 7 But the LORD said to me, “Don’t say, ‘I am a child;’ for you must go to whomever I send you, and you must say whatever I command you. 8 Don’t be afraid because of them, for I am with you to rescue you,” says the LORD. 9 Then the LORD stretched out his hand, and touched my mouth. Then the LORD said to me, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. 10 Behold, I have today set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to uproot and to tear down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.” 11 Moreover the LORD’s word came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.” 12 Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well; for I watch over my word to perform it.” 13 the LORD’s word came to me the second time, saying, “What do you see?” I said, “I see a boiling cauldron; and it is tipping away from the north.” 14 Then the LORD said to me, “Out of the north, evil will break out on all the inhabitants of the land. 15 For, behold, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north,” says the LORD. “They will come, and they will each set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all its walls all around, and against all the cities of Judah. 16 I will utter my judgements against them concerning all their wickedness, in that they have forsaken me, and have burned incense to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands. 17 “You therefore put your belt on your waist, arise, and say to them all that I command you. Don’t be dismayed at them, lest I dismay you before them. 18 For, behold, I have made you today a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against its princes, against its priests, and against the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you, but they will not prevail against you; for I am with you”, says the LORD, “to rescue you.”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-10

Jeremiah’s early call to the work and office of a prophet is stated. He was to be a prophet, not to the Jews only, but to the neighbouring nations. He is still a prophet to the whole world, and it would be well if they would attend to these warnings. The Lord who formed us, knows for what particular services and purposes he intended us. But unless he sanctify us by his new-creating Spirit, we shall neither be fit for his holy service on earth, nor his holy happiness in heaven. It becomes us to have low thoughts of ourselves. Those who are young, should consider that they are so, and not venture beyond their powers. But though a sense of our own weakness and insufficiency should make us go humbly about our work, it should not make us draw back when God calls us. Those who have messages to deliver from God, must not fear the face of man. The Lord, by a sign, gave Jeremiah such a gift as was necessary. God’s message should be delivered in his own words. Whatever wordly wise men or politicians may think, the safety of kingdoms is decided according to the purpose and word of God.

Verses 11-19

God gave Jeremiah a view of the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem by the Chaldeans. The almond-tree, which is more forward in the spring than any other, represented the speedy approach of judgments. God also showed whence the intended ruin should arise. Jeremiah saw a seething-pot boiling, representing Jerusalem and Judah in great commotion. The mouth or face of the furnace or hearth, was toward the north; from whence the fire and fuel were to come. The northern powers shall unite. The cause of these judgments was the sin of Judah. The whole counsel of God must be declared. The fear of God is the best remedy against the fear of man. Better to have all men our enemies than God our enemy; those who are sure they have God with them, need not, ought not to fear, whoever is against them. Let us pray that we may be willing to give up personal interests, and that nothing may move us from our duty.

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