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Jeremiah, the Prophet


JEREMIAH, THE PROPHET

Born in Anathoth to a priestly family, Prophet Jeremiah commenced his prophetic ministry circa 626 BC. During a turbulent time before its fall to Babylon, he served in the southern kingdom of Judah. The hardships he endured during his prophetic ministry earned him the nickname “Weeping Prophet.”

Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah were the five kings of Judah during Jeremiah’s ministry. The focus of his prophecies was frequently on cautioning about impending disaster caused by the nation’s worship of idols and decline in morals. Despite his warnings, people largely ignored his messages, earning him the reputation of the “Weeping Prophet” because he deeply mourned the fate of his people.

Throughout his life, Jeremiah confronted considerable resistance, incarceration, and personal hardships. In spite of the obstacles, he continued to faithfully deliver God’s message to the people of Judah.

JEREMIAH AND JESUS

Jeremiah, one of four Major Prophets, along with Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, is a type of Jesus. The situation of Israel during the ministry of both Jeremiah and Jesus was similar, and so their preaching and actions also had a resemblance. The following are similarities between Jeremiah and Jesus:

Both were single, and the people of their hometowns rejected them.

Jeremiah and Jesus had to flee to Egypt because of the political persecution of the time.

False prophets and religious leaders were misguiding God’s chosen people. So, both Jeremiah and Jesus spoke against them and thus became their enemies who arrested and persecuted both for that reason.

Jeremiah was a weeping prophet. Jesus also wept at least three times: At the tomb of Lazarus (Jn 11:35), while prophesying the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem (Lk 19:41) and at the Garden of Gethsemane (Heb 5:7).

Both wept over the City of Jerusalem and predicted the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem. It happened for the first and the last temple as prophesied. During the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar II destroyed Solomon’s Temple in 586 (587) BC when Jeremiah was alive. The Romans under the leadership of Titus destroyed the second Temple of Jerusalem in 70 AD, 40 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Though both Jeremiah and Jesus had similarities, there were also differences. The Jews believed that Jeremiah would come as a forerunner of Messiah (2 Esdras 2:18). Before the Babylonians destroyed the First Temple of Jerusalem, Jeremiah had removed the tent, the ark, and the altar of incense from the Temple, hid and sealed them in a chamber of the cave where God had appeared to Moses (2 Macc 2:4-5). When those who helped the prophet to transport the holy items tried to mark the path, Jeremiah scolded them, “This place is to remain hidden until God has compassion on his scattered people and gathers them together. Then the LORD will reveal these things again and his glory shall appear in the cloud as it appeared in the time of Moses and when Solomon asked God to come and consecrate his house” (2 Mac 2:7-8). So, some people who had seen Jesus believed that Jesus was this precursor of the Messiah.

 


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