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Knowledge and Understanding of the Confessions of Jeremiah

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Outline your knowledge and understanding of the Confessions of Jeremiah Jeremiah was the son of Hilkiah, and a member of a priestly family. He was a native of Judah and came from Anathoth, a small village in the north east of Jerusalem. His prophetic ministry lasted from approximately 626 to 580BC, and is one of the longest of all the writing prophets. The prophet Jeremiah began his long prophetic career in 626BC; "in the thirteenth year of Josiah's reign" He was still a very young man at this time. The narrative of his call is in a dialogue between Jeremiah and Yahweh. From this we can see straight away that Jeremiah had a very intimate relationship with God from the outset. Unlike other prophets, Jeremiah seems to have been chosen to be a prophet before he was even born. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I consecrated you, I appointed you a prophet to the nations." It seemed it was the destiny of Jeremiah to be a prophet. According to Kidner, Jeremiah was "handmade for the task." Similarly to Moses and Amos, at first Jeremiah was reluctant to consent to his mission, saying "Ah Lord God behold I do not know how to speak for I am only a youth", but his faith in Yahweh gave him faith in himself, and he accepted the role God asked of him. ...read more.


Yahweh said to Jeremiah "You shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons and daughters in this place." This was due to the impending crisis. In the ancient near east, sterility was considered to be a terrible curse, so we know from this that Jeremiahs celibacy would not have been down to personal choice. This shows how Jeremiah endured personal suffering, as a result of the nation's wickedness. The first two passages in Jeremiahs confessions reveal a plot against his life, instigated by immediate family and acquaintances. The people saw Jeremiah, son of a priest, as a traitor. He reacted fiercely to this plot, and asked for the death of these men. The incident caused Jeremiah to reflect on his mission, and on the very meaning of human existence. As Jeremiah asked for no more than justice, God upheld his fierce reaction saying "I am going to punish them...For I will bring disaster upon the people of Anathoth." This punishment however is not for vengeance, it is for reform. It is here that Jeremiah shows us a different side of him. He exaggerates the gloom, and welcomes the thought of retribution. Yahweh tells him that he has to keep his faith and courage during his sufferings, because they are little compared to what is to come. God knows only too well the pain of ingratitude; desertion from a spouse; defiance of a son, a daughter. ...read more.


Jeremiah speaks of his struggle saying "If I saw I will not mention him, or speak anymore in his name, the n within me there is something like a burning fire shut up in my bones. I am weary with holding it in and I cannot." When Jeremiah says "But the Lord is with me like a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble", he seems to have come to realise that within him there was the potential to move forwards and cope with what he thought was impossible. He finally realised that he was not alone, and that God would always be with him. Although Jeremiah at times curses the day he was born, the one thing that lifted him out of his depression was the deep conviction that Yahweh would always be there for him. Kidner says on Jeremiah "He goes on to his worst ordeals with never a hesitation or a word of doubt." In conclusions, the outpourings from Jeremiahs heart that we witness in his confessions could be said to reveal imperfections about his human character, such as vindictiveness towards his fellow men and irrelevance towards God. However as Jeremiah was aware of his own perfections, by repenting Yahweh would help him overcome all of his human imperfections. If only the Jews had have realised the need to repent, then Yahweh could have help them overcome their imperfections through prayer and dialogue. Charlotte McCaffrey U6 ...read more.

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