God’s People do not Obey the *Covenant
An EasyEnglish Bible Version and Commentary (2800 word vocabulary) on Jeremiah chapters 11 to 20
This commentary has been through Advanced Checking.
Words in boxes are from the Bible.
A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.
Verses 1-8 In 621 *BC, Josiah was in his 18th year as king. The chief priest found a book in the *Temple. Probably it was a part of Deuteronomy. It explained how the *LORD's people should obey him. They had to carry out the *covenant that the *LORD had made between himself and the *Israelites. He made it at *Mount Sinai. Josiah had a meeting next to the *Temple, where the people listened to the *covenant. They promised to carry out the *covenant (2 Chronicles 34:29-33). As long as Josiah was the king, the people did not *worship the false gods. But really their attitude had not changed. When Jehoiakim became the king, they returned to their old habits. They *worshipped the false gods of nature.
The *LORD told Jeremiah to declare the message in the *covenant. He had to declare it in the towns in Judah and in Jerusalem. Probably this ‘*covenant' refers to both the *covenant that Josiah had made and to the original *covenant at Sinai. Bad things would happen if the people did not obey the *LORD (Deuteronomy 28:15-68). So Jeremiah had to remind everyone about what would happen. He may have done that during Josiah's time as king. Or he may have done it during the early part of the time when Jehoiakim was the king. At that time, the people had gone back to their old *pagan ways.
'The very hot room where people heat iron.’ This described how much the people had suffered in Egypt.
Verses 9-10 The people were not obeying the rules of the *covenant any longer. Probably there was no actual plan not to obey the *LORD's laws. But it just seemed like it. Everywhere in Judah people *worshipped the false gods of nature.
Verses 11-13 The *LORD would punish them. But it would be of no use to ask him for help. It would be of no use to ask their false gods to help them. There were so many false gods and *altars to the false gods in Judah. They were like the great number of towns and streets. *Incense was a sweet substance that people burned on their *altars.
Verses 14-15 The *LORD did not allow Jeremiah to pray for his people. The *LORD loved the people in Judah. They thought that their *sacrifices in the *Temple would satisfy the *LORD. But they were wrong. The *LORD would punish them for their wicked behaviour. Ceremonies would not change his decision. They enjoyed their wrong actions. But they would not be happy when the *LORD punished them.
Verses 16-17 At one time, Judah was like a healthy tree with beautiful fruit. The fruits of an olive tree produce good oil. But the *LORD's punishment would be like a great storm that damages the tree. The *LORD had ordered an enemy to destroy their nation.
Verses 18-19 The *LORD warned Jeremiah that people wanted to kill him. Jeremiah had not been aware of his danger. An animal does not know that its owner plans to kill it. Jeremiah was like that animal. Isaiah, the *prophet, said that Jesus would be like a young sheep. That young sheep was ready for people to kill it (Isaiah 53:7). That happened to Jesus. The men who hated him killed him. The people from Jeremiah's own village, called Anathoth, intended to kill Jeremiah. Jeremiah was not married and he did not have any children. So if he died, the name of his family would not continue. That was very sad for a person.
Verse 20 Jeremiah knew that the *LORD is fair. The *LORD understands people's reasons for their actions. Jeremiah asked the *LORD to deal with his enemies. He wanted the *LORD to be like a lawyer, who was acting on his behalf.
Verse 21 It was his own family at Anathoth who were plotting against Jeremiah. The reason why they did that is not clear. These are possible reasons:
1. Josiah had ordered people to *worship in Jerusalem. Therefore, the priests in Anathoth lost their authority. They had to accept a less important rank in Jerusalem (2 Kings 23:8-9). Jeremiah’s family were priests. So they were angry that Jeremiah had agreed with Josiah's orders.
2. The people from Anathoth did not understand Jeremiah's messages against Israel's *religious and social *sins. He had blamed the whole nation because they did not obey the *covenant. He had declared that the *LORD would punish them. So they thought that Jeremiah had brought shame on their village.
3. Jeremiah had said that the *LORD would use Babylon to punish his people. The people were angry with Jeremiah
Verses 22-23 The *LORD would punish the people who wanted to kill his servant Jeremiah. An enemy would attack them so that the young men would die in battle. After the war, there would be a lack of food. So their sons and their daughters would die from hunger. There would be no people left. The *LORD would punish the people in Anathoth at the time that he decided. Ezra 2:23 says that 128 men from Anathoth returned to Judah after the *exile in Babylon.
Verses 1-2 Why do wicked people enjoy themselves? Why do they become successful? Why do innocent people have great troubles? People in every age ask these questions. Many people in the *Old Testament asked them too. (For example, Psalm 22:1-2; Habbakuk 1:2-4.) Jeremiah knew that the *LORD was always right. But the *LORD still allowed wicked people to remain. So Jeremiah wanted to know how the *LORD was fair. Psalm 1:1-3 uses the example of a good person. He is like a tree. People plant it where it can grow. And it produces fruit. Jeremiah changes that example. The wicked people are like plants. The plants grow and they produce fruit. The wicked people may speak the *LORD’s name, but they hide their real character. Really they do not care about the *LORD.
Verses 3-4 The *LORD had tested Jeremiah. The *LORD knew that he was a loyal servant. So Jeremiah wanted the wicked people to receive their punishment. When people are wicked, the natural world suffers. Amos believed that the *LORD caused the lack of water. The *LORD was trying to persuade his people to return to him (Amos 4:6-10). People were very wicked. They believed that the *LORD did not notice their behaviour.
Verses 5-6 The *LORD’s answer to Jeremiah did not solve his problem. Jeremiah found his present situation difficult. But the *LORD suggested that it would be worse in the future. There are two ways in which he described that:
1. Suppose that Jeremiah had been in a race with other men. If he became tired, he would not be able to compete with horses. The ‘other men’ were probably the false *prophets who had opposed Jeremiah. 'I did not send the *prophets, but they ran’, (Jeremiah 23:21). 'Horses' may describe the military power of Babylon. Jeremiah would find his situation even more difficult when a foreign enemy attacked Judah.
2. 'In the peaceful country' referred to Judah in a time of peace. 'The bushes near to the River Jordan.' That was a dangerous place. Lions lived there (Jeremiah 49:19). So it would be very dangerous when the *Babylonian army arrived.
In these verses, the *LORD told Jeremiah that he must not pity himself. He had to prepare for greater danger and troubles. We know that Jeremiah had the courage to continue his work.
Jeremiah did not trust even the members of his own family. They were shouting after him as if he were running away. Or he was like an animal that they wanted to catch.
Verse 7 The *LORD speaks about 'my people'. Also he says, ‘I have chosen my people’. And he says, 'the people whom I love'. So the *LORD was sad that he had to leave them. He had to allow their enemies to control them.
Verse 8 The *LORD's people had acted like a lion that was ready to attack. They had opposed the *LORD and they refused to obey his laws. The word 'hate' does not mean that the *LORD would not love his people. It means that he had to punish them. He would not continue to help them.
Verse 9 The big bird eats small animals. A bird with spots on it is so different and unusual that other birds attack it. The people in Judah would be like the bird that other birds notice. The other birds were like Judah's enemies. The wild animals were another way to describe Judah's enemies. Wild animals eat the food that they have killed. So Judah's enemies would destroy the country completely.
Verses 10-11 The *LORD now speaks about Judah as his '*vineyard'. The *shepherds were the foreign rulers who would not respect the land. They would march everywhere. They would destroy so much that the land would become like an empty desert with no water.
Verse 12 Nobody would be able to escape the enemies. Great numbers of them would come, like a great crowd of insects. (Compare this with Isaiah 7:18).
Verse 13 The enemy would enter the country. As a result, people would not be able to look after their crops. Then the wheat would not be able to grow because of the weeds. Foreign armies also destroyed crops. People understood that it was a part of the *LORD's punishment (Leviticus 26:16).
Verses 14-15 The evil neighbours were Syria, Moab and Ammon. The *LORD would send them into *exile because they attacked Israel. Judah had to go into *exile too. But the *LORD promised to let them go back into their own countries.
Verses 16-17 The other nations could become a part of the people that the *LORD had chosen. But the other nations had to accept the same customs of the *Israelite religion. Those nations must show that they wanted to obey the *LORD. Previously they had taught the *Israelites to use the name of *Baal with their promises. Now they had to say the *LORD’s name when they made serious promises. The *prophecy looks forward to the time when *Jews and *Gentiles *worship the *LORD together. Paul wrote about that in his letters to the people in cities called Ephesus and Galatia (Ephesians 2:14; Galatians 3:26-29). But those nations had to accept the *LORD as their king. The *LORD would destroy completely any nation that did not obey him.
Verses 1-5 *Linen is a material that is like cotton. People make it from a plant called 'flax'. Priests had to wear *linen clothes (Leviticus 16:4). Jeremiah had to put a new *linen belt round the middle part of his body. But the belt must not get wet. It had to be clean and dry. Then he had to go and hide it in a rock. In the *Old Testament, often the word 'Perath' means the River Euphrates (for example, Genesis 2:14). But the River Euphrates was more than 350 miles (560 kilometres) from Anathoth. A journey to go there and to return would take Jeremiah several months. But Perath may have been a source of water at a place called Ain Farah. That was about 4 miles (6 kilometres) from Anathoth. Jeremiah may have gone there to act the story.
Verses 6-11 When Jeremiah dug up the belt, it was broken and dirty. It did not have any use. *Linen was for special use in their religion. In the same way, Judah should have been the *LORD's special people who served him. That *linen belt was close to a person who was wearing it. And the *LORD had wanted Judah to have as close a relationship with him. But the people in Judah had not been loyal. They had turned away from the *LORD and they *worshipped *pagan false gods. So the nation had become like that dirty *linen belt. They were of no use to the *LORD. They were so proud. So the *LORD decided to destroy Judah and its capital city called Jerusalem. The people in Judah did not listen to the *LORD's message. Instead, always they did what they wanted to do.
Verse 12 People used *clay to make large jars. They baked them to make them hard. The jars stored a large quantity of wine or water. Probably these words were popular among the people who drank wine. Someone might joke and say this. 'We know that jars should be full of wine. That is why we use jars.’
Verses 13-14 The *LORD said that the people in Judah were like the jars. The *LORD’s anger was like the wine. He would make the people drink so much wine that they would become drunk. That kind of language was a way to describe the *LORD’s punishment. Isaiah describes a cup that contained the wine of the *LORD’s anger (Isaiah 51:17). And Psalm 60:3 speaks about God's wine. It made people unable to walk straight.
When *clay jars knocked against each other, they broke into pieces. So the *LORD would destroy his people. He would punish their kings and their *religious leaders. Old people and young people would have difficulties. Nobody would escape. They would be like people who are drunk. Those people do not know what they are doing. The *LORD’s people would not be able to defend themselves. Babylon would come to destroy them. The *LORD would not help them. They would receive the punishment that they deserved.
Verses 15-16 The nation should give attention to what the *LORD had said already. He had warned them. But the people in Judah were proud. And the *LORD opposes people who are proud (Proverbs 3:34). Jeremiah imagined a traveller who was walking in the hills in the evening. He needed to arrive at a shelter while it remained light. If it became completely dark, he might trip. Then he might fall. The people in Judah must give honour to the *LORD. Then they would be like someone with sufficient light in order to travel. But if they refused to give honour to the *LORD, he would send great trouble. That trouble would be like deep darkness. Darkness refers to the attack by Babylon. The army from Babylon would take the people in Judah away from their own country. Jeremiah may be referring to the first attack in 597 *BC. King Jehoiachin and important officials became prisoners.
But still there was some hope for the nation. It is like some light before the end of the day. The deep darkness refers to when Nebuchadrezzar destroyed Jerusalem itself, in 586 *BC.
Verse 17 Jeremiah thought about his people’s pride. And he thought about what would happen to them as a result. That made Jeremiah weep bitterly. It was very hard for him to think about his own people who would go into *exile.
Verse 18 The king was Jehoiachin and his mother was Nehushta. Jehoiachin became king when he was 18 years old. But after three months, Nebuchadnezzar took him to Babylon (2 Kings 24:8-12). That happened in 597 *BC. The king of Babylon gave Jehoiachin his freedom in 562 *BC, but he never returned to Judah. The record gives the name of the king’s mother. That showed that she was important in Judah. But in Babylon, the king and his mother had a humble position. Their beautiful crowns were probably a part of the precious things that the enemy took.
Verse 19 The Negev was the desert area south of Judah. But here it refers to cities in the south of Judah. The enemy may have reached as far as those cities. Nobody could enter them. Also nobody could leave them. Often in the Bible, `all’ means `many’. Not everyone in Judah went into *exile. But only the poorest people remained in the country called Judah.
Verses 20-21 Jerusalem had no power to protect the people in its country. It was like a *shepherd who could look after his sheep. The enemy from the north was Babylon, who was attacking Judah already. Judah had tried to make Babylon a political friend. But Babylon would rule Judah. The people in Judah would find that a painful experience. It would be painful, like a woman who was having a baby.
Verse 22 The people did not believe that such trouble would happen to them. They wanted to know why it would happen. They were like many people who ask this. 'Why should that happen to me?' Jeremiah said that it was because of Judah's great *sins. The *LORD's punishment would be like the enemy who tears off their clothes. They would appear naked. That happened to *prostitutes to make them ashamed in public. Hosea spoke about his wife in that way (Hosea 2:3, 10).
Verse 23 It seemed impossible for the nation to change its wicked behaviour. It is impossible for a black man to change the colour of his skin. A leopard is a large animal like a lion. It has small black spots all over its fur. It cannot remove its spots. Judah had not obeyed the *LORD's laws for a long time. Judah’s bad behaviour had become a habit.
Verse 24 Farmers threw their grain into the air so that the wheat fell to the ground. The wind blew away the outer part that had no use. The *LORD said that he would force the people of Judah out of their country. They would be like the outer part of the grain that the wind blows away.
Verses 25-27 The future punishment comes from the *LORD. It would come because the people had trusted false gods. The *LORD himself would show everyone how Judah had not been loyal to him. They would be like someone who had suffered a sex attack. They would be naked. Judah was interested in false gods. That *worship involved acts of sex. Jeremiah describes that in three ways:
a) Judah was like a husband who was not loyal to his wife.
b) Judah was like a horse who was trying to attract a female horse.
c) Judah was like a *prostitute who sold her body to men for sex.
The *LORD hated the false religion that happened in the hills and in the fields.
The *Babylonians would attack Jerusalem. Jeremiah thought about what would happen. He was very sad when he thought about that. His question, 'How long?' showed Jeremiah's slight hope that Judah might change. Perhaps Judah would become the *LORD's loyal nation. Jeremiah knew that the *LORD’s punishment was certain. But his great wish was that his people would return to the *LORD. The *LORD had chosen Judah to serve him.
Verses 1-6 This poem describes the effects of the lack of rain. The *Hebrew word is plural. So there may have been a long time without rain. Or perhaps there were several times when the country suffered from a serious lack of rain.
Verses 2-3 describe a national sad song. The lack of rain had affected the whole country, the cities as well as the villages. Everyone suffered, even the people who were of important rank. Their servants returned from the wells without any water in their jars. It was not their fault. They covered their heads. That showed that they were sad. And they were frightened too.
Verse 4 Farmers could not produce crops because the land was hard. It had become so dry that there were cracks in the earth.
Verse 5 Even an animal who had given birth recently would go against her natural behaviour. There was no grass so she could not feed her baby. So she would leave it.
Verse 6 When a wild dog (a small animal) needs water its tongue hangs out of its mouth. And it cannot breathe properly. The wild donkeys (animals like small horses) were behaving in the same way. And their eyes could not see clearly because they were dying. There was no grass for them to eat.
Verse 7 Jeremiah prayed on behalf of his people. First, he confessed that they were guilty of many *sins. They turned away from the *LORD. They failed to obey him many times. But Jeremiah asked the *LORD to act. The *LORD’s own honour was in danger. Often the word 'name' means 'character'. So Jeremiah was appealing to the *LORD to show his love and his pity.
Verse 8 The *LORD is the person in whom Israel hopes. The *LORD is the person who can rescue the *Israelites in times of trouble. The *LORD needed to save the country from the army of Babylon. The *LORD seemed to have no permanent interest in their country. He was like a stranger. He was like someone who travelled through the country. Or like someone who spent only one night there.
Verse 9 The *LORD was behaving as if events were a surprise for him. Jeremiah asked why the *LORD was not ready. The *LORD seemed like a soldier who had no power to rescue anyone. The nation said that they were the *LORD's people. But they had not been loyal to him. They appealed to the *LORD not to leave them. They did not want to be alone.
Verses 10-12 The people in Judah had wandered away from the *LORD in two ways. They had *worshipped false gods. Also, they had tried to make political friends with Babylon and Egypt. Jeremiah should not pray for 'these people'. 'These people ' makes them sound far away from the *LORD. The *LORD did not say 'my' people. The people did *religious acts. They went without food and they gave *sacrifices. But those acts meant nothing unless the people changed their behaviour too. Hunger and disease often followed war. The people did not obey the *LORD. They cried to the *LORD to help them. But that was of no use. God would not listen to them.
Verse 13 Jeremiah tried to give an excuse for his people. The false *prophets had told them that there would be peace. They would not have to experience war and its results.
Verses 14-16 The *LORD replied that the *prophets were telling lies. They pretended to give special messages from false gods. The *LORD had not sent the *prophets. They would be the first people to die in a war. The people who had listened to them, would die as well. There would be nobody left to bury them or their families. People thought that was an insult to the dead person. It is still true today. To have no grave causes shame.
Verses 17-18 Judah was like a young woman who had suffered an injury. Judah would not recover from it. The *prophet cried because Judah had great troubles. He did not stop. Everywhere he went he saw the dead people. These verses may refer to the time when Babylon attacked Judah in 597 *BC. Many people died, and some had to go into *exile in Babylon.
Verses 19-20 Jeremiah speaks on behalf of his nation. His people wondered why they had great troubles. There was a lack of rain. And the *Babylonian army had attacked them. They had hoped for rain and for a time of peace. But they were disappointed. They begin to realise that they had *sinned against the *LORD. They had continued to *sin as their *ancestors did.
Verse 21 Other nations would not respect the *LORD if he refused to help his people. The *LORD's magnificent *throne was the *Temple in Jerusalem. The nation had not obeyed the *covenant. But they ask the *LORD to remember his *covenant with them.
Verse 22 It is of no use to *worship false gods. The sky is not a false god who sends rain. The *LORD alone can provide the rain that they needed so badly. The only person in whom they can hope is the *LORD.
Verse 1 Moses had prayed to the *LORD to forgive the people’s *sin. They *sinned when they made a gold cow as their false god (Exodus 32:11). Moses asked the *LORD to punish him instead. Samuel had prayed on behalf of Israel. He asked the *LORD to protect them against the *Philistines. His prayer was successful because the *Philistines became afraid during a storm. The people in Israel were able to follow the *Philistines and defeat them (Samuel 7:5-9). But Jeremiah could not pray for his people, because they were not willing to obey the *LORD
Verses 2-3 People would die in war and die from hunger. Some people would go away from their own country as prisoners. Nobody would bury their bodies. The animals would drag them away. The birds and the wild animals that ate dead bodies, would destroy them completely.
Verse 4 Manasseh, Hezekiah's son, was the most wicked king in Judah. He had encouraged people to *worship all kinds of *idols. That included the *sacrifice of children (2 Kings 21:1-16). Josiah had tried to remove all those bad acts. But people continued to go against the very first *commandment. The *LORD ordered them to *worship him only.
Verses 5-7 The *LORD had not left the people in Judah, but the people had left him. They had continued to turn away from the *LORD. So the time had come for the *LORD to punish Judah. Nobody would pity them. The *LORD would be like a farmer who throws grain into the air with a large fork. The wind blows away the outer part that had no use. The people in Judah were like the outer part. The *LORD would scatter them in a foreign country, in the same way that wind blew the outer part away.
Verses 8-9 The *LORD had promised Abraham that his *descendants will be more than the grains of sand by the sea (Genesis 22:17). Now he was warning Judah that there would be more widows than the grains of sand. Women’s husbands and children would die. If a mother had many children, all of them would die. And they would die while they were still young. That meant that a person's family would end. There would be nobody left to remember them.
It was usual for an army to attack at dawn or in the night. But the enemy was very powerful. The enemy was bold enough to attack at noon. It was possible to destroy Judah during the brightest part of the day. Mothers would suffer so much when their children died. Then the mothers too would become ill and die. If people remained alive, they would die in the war.
Verse 10 Everyone opposed Jeremiah. And everyone attacked what he said. People hated him although he had done nothing bad to them. He had not lent anything to anyone. So nobody could say that he was unfair. He had not asked people for anything, not even for a short time. People wanted bad things to happen to him. But he did not understand why. He wished that he had never been born.
Verse 11 The *LORD’s answer was that he had a good plan for Jeremiah. So the *LORD would rescue him from his enemies. Times of trouble would come. And his enemies would ask him to pray for them.
Verses 12-14 Iron from the north was especially good iron. It came from the area near to the Black Sea. Babylon was the enemy from the north. Judah would not be able to defend itself. Babylon was very strong like the best iron. *Bronze was another strong metal. When Babylon defeated Judah, they would take away Judah's wealth. And they would take away everything that the people kept as valuable. That would happen because of Judah's *sins. The people in Judah would become slaves in a country about which they knew nothing. The *LORD was very angry with Judah. The *LORD’s punishment was like a fire that would burn against them.
Verse 15 Jeremiah was doing the *LORD's work. So Jeremiah reminded the *LORD that he had troubles because of that work. He wanted the *LORD to deal with the people who were making him so unhappy.
Verses16-18 Jeremiah had been happy to receive the *LORD's words. Ezekiel had also been happy like that (Ezekiel 3:3). Jeremiah was very happy with the *LORD’s words. They were like good food. He had not joined the people who were having a merry time. He had remained alone because the *LORD had made him aware of the people's *sin. Jeremiah felt as if he had a painful wound. He felt that nothing would heal it. He felt that the *LORD did not care about him now. The *LORD had been like a source of water that always gives fresh water. That kept Jeremiah in good health (Jeremiah 2:13). But the *LORD was now like a stream that had become dry.
Verse 19 Jeremiah wanted to give up his task. But the *LORD said that was a *sin. Jeremiah could speak on behalf of the *LORD again if he would give up that *sin. The *LORD would make him healthy again in his spirit, so that he could serve the *LORD. Jeremiah had to be careful about what he said. He should not say that the *LORD failed to care about him. The words that Jeremiah spoke should show the difference between true religion and *worthless *idol *worship. He should not worry what people thought about him. He might not be popular because of what he said. But he should urge people to turn back to the *LORD.
Verses 20-21 Jeremiah should remember the promise that the *LORD gave to him. That happened when the *LORD called him first (Jeremiah 1:17-19). People would oppose Jeremiah. But the *LORD would make him like a strong wall that an enemy could not break. The *LORD would save him from the wicked and cruel people who were trying to attack him. So first, the *LORD blamed Jeremiah because he pitied himself. Then the *LORD encouraged him to continue his work as the *LORD's *prophet. The *LORD would protect Jeremiah.
Verses 1-4 Jeremiah must not marry or have children. That would show that parents and children would die. They would die in a war. Or they would die because of the hunger and disease that were the results of a war. Nobody would bury their bodies, which would be like rubbish on the ground. The birds and the animals would eat their bodies. There would be nobody to weep for them.
Verses 5-7 Jeremiah must not join in social events. If there was a funeral, he must not show his sympathy. He must not eat the meal at the funeral. That showed that the *LORD had decided not to *bless those people. All kinds of people would die, important people as well as those people who were not important. Nobody would bury them or weep for them. Nobody would try to comfort sad people. Nobody would give them something to eat or to drink. Nobody would weep, not even for a mother or a father who had died. To shave the head showed that a person was sad. To cut oneself was a *pagan custom that the *LORD’s people must not copy (Leviticus 19:28).
Verses 8-9 Jeremiah must not join in happy social occasions. He must not go into a house where they were enjoying a wonderful meal. That showed that those happy occasions would not happen in the future. Soon people would not be able to enjoy themselves at weddings.
Verses 10-13 People would ask Jeremiah why the *LORD had ordered such great trouble for them. They said that they were innocent. They had not done any wrong things. But they were avoiding the truth. They had *sinned so much for a long time. So they did not see their wicked behaviour. Malachi also wrote about people who were very wicked. They did not understand why the *LORD was angry with them (Malachi 2:17; 3:8). But their *ancestors were not continuing to *worship the *LORD. They were not obeying his laws. But in Jeremiah's time, the people were more wicked than their *ancestors. They did not obey the *LORD. Instead, they decided to do whatever they wanted to do. So the *LORD would send them into a country that they did not know. There they would serve false gods all the time. The *LORD would not be kind to the people. The *Greek translation of this verse suggests that the foreign false gods would show no kindness to their prisoners.
Verses 14-15 In the future, people would describe the *LORD in a different way. The *LORD had rescued his people from Egypt. At some time in the future, they would say that he rescued them from Babylon. Or they would say that he had brought them back. They had come from other countries to which he had sent them. People used the words 'surely the *LORD lives'. They said that when they made serious promises. They were asking the *LORD to make their words happen. A long time ago, the *LORD had given the country to their *ancestors. And the people would return to live there.
Verse 16 The enemy would be like men who catch fish. The enemy would catch the people in Judah. In Amos 4:2, Amos had described how the *Assyrians would take away the people in Israel with fish hooks (bent pieces of metal). That happened when the *Assyrians led people away with hooks through their noses. Habbakuk also used that kind of description. He described that the enemy pulled people from the sea as if they were fish (Habbakuk 1:14-15). The enemy would also be like hunters. They would find the people wherever they might hide. Mountains and caves would not be safe places. Certainly, the enemy would find the people.
Verse 17 The people could not hide from the *LORD. Adam and Eve tried to hide from God when they had not obeyed his orders (Genesis 3:8-10). Children try to hide from their parents when they have done wrong things. Criminals try to hide so that they can escape from the police. But nobody can hide from God. The people in Judah did not believe that the *LORD knew all their actions. But the *LORD was aware of their wicked behaviour.
Verse 18 The word 'double' does not mean that the *LORD would punish people unfairly. It may mean that the punishment would be complete. Isaiah comforted Judah. He told them that their punishment was complete. They had paid for their *sin. They had received from the *LORD 'double' because of all their *sins (Isaiah 40:2). Or 'double' can mean that the punishment would be equal to the *sin.
The people in Judah had made the country *unclean by means of their *sin. They had *worshipped *idols that did not live. Those *idols were like dead animals. Nobody who touched the *idols was holy. The *LORD hated those *idols. The country belonged to the *LORD. But because the people *sinned, the country was not holy now. So the *LORD must punish the people. He removed from the country those people who had made the country not holy.
Verses 19-20 Jeremiah describes how the *LORD made him strong. The *LORD was like his strong building and his place of safety. These names for God are in other parts of the *Old Testament. The writer of Psalm 18:2-3 calls God his strong building and his shelter. God was King David’s strong place (Psalm 59:10; 16-17). David trusted God to give him strength.
One day all people will understand God's power. God promised Abraham that all the nations will receive *blessing (Genesis 12:3). Isaiah said that 'in the last days' all nations will come to *worship the *LORD (Isaiah 2:2). Jeremiah saw when that would happen. People would recognise that *idols had no value. Men made them. *Idols brought no benefit to the people who *worshipped them.
Verse 21 The *LORD himself will teach the nations. He will do that by means of his servants, the *prophets. Israel itself will also be the *LORD's servant. Israel will bring 'light to the *Gentiles', so that the *Gentiles will know the *LORD's power (Isaiah 49:6). He had rescued the *Israelites from Egypt. So all the nations in the entire world will come to know the *LORD's character.
Verse 1 People used to write on stone. They cut the stone with an iron tool or with a very hard, sharp stone. This verse means that Judah's *sin was deep and permanent. They refused to change their behaviour. They refused to obey the *LORD. *Altars had small points that stuck up from the four corners. The points protected the *sacrifice. The points were called the 'horns' of the *altar. They were like the horns (bones) that are on the heads of some animals. The *LORD told the people that the blood from a *sacrifice would hide their *sin (Leviticus 4:26). But Judah's *sin was so great that their *sin would remain even at the *altars.
Verse 2 The *pagan places where they *worshipped their false gods were under trees or on hills. The special poles gave honour to the female false god called Asherah. God’s law forbade those poles (Deuteronomy 16:21). The people in Judah gave *sacrifices to the *LORD. But they continued to *worship the false gods in the country as well. The people were not obeying their *covenant with the *LORD as their only God and King.
Verses 3-4 The children remembered too many wicked places. But soldiers would take away from Judah all its wealth and everything valuable. They would remove all the places where people had *worshipped false gods. The people in Judah would lose the country that the *LORD had given to them. But they could blame only themselves. They would serve the enemy in a country about which they knew nothing. That happened in 587 *BC (2 Kings 25:11-21). 'Fire' is a way to describe God's punishment. Judah's *sin had made the *LORD very angry. He would be angry for a long time.
Verses 5-8 show two ways to behave. And it contrasts their results. They are similar to Psalm 1. Jeremiah may have known this Psalm. Or Psalm 1 may have its origin in this passage. The person who turns away from the *LORD, is like a bush in the desert. It does not grow much because there is little water. That person will be lonely and of no use. When difficult times come, he will have no source of strength.
The person who trusts the *LORD is like a tree. The tree pushes its roots towards water so that it can grow. And that tree produces a lot of fruit. That person may have a difficult time, like a tree in a period without rain. But the *LORD makes him strong in his spirit.
These verses may also refer to the whole nation of Judah. Psalm 146:3 says that it is foolish to trust rulers for help. Judah had tried to obtain political strength when they trusted Egypt and Babylon. The nation did not trust the *LORD and serve him. So they became like a bush in the desert that has no fruit. The nation had no strength when an enemy attacked.
Verses 9-10 People are very clever because they can hide their real character. The writer of Proverbs says that a person's thoughts and plans are 'like deep water' (Proverbs 18:4a; 20:5). But God sees our real character. The words 'less honest' remind us about Jacob. He cheated his brother, Esau (Genesis 27:36). Without God, our thoughts and feelings are not very good. God will look at people’s actions before he decides about their rewards. He will give to people the reward that they deserve.
Verse 11 There was a popular belief about the bird called a partridge. In its nest, it had eggs that it had not laid. A person can do wrong things to gain great wealth. They are like that bird. But soon the young birds leave the nest. They fly away from the false parent bird. So the wealth that does not really belong to a person, soon will disappear. He is as foolish as the rich man in Jesus' story. He did not realise that the *LORD did not consider him rich (Luke 12:13-20).
Verse 12 ‘up high' refers to *Mount Zion, where the *Temple stood. A long time ago, the *LORD had chosen to be among his people at that place (Exodus15:17). It also refers to the 'wonderful *throne'. The people in Israel thought that the *LORD was present between the cherubim on the box of the *covenant (Psalm 80:1). The cherubim were gold images whose wings protected the *throne. In the *Temple, Isaiah saw the *LORD 'up high, above everything' (Isaiah 6:1). The words ‘up high' remind everyone that the *LORD is holy. He deserves respect and praise.
Verse 13 The *LORD’s people can find security only in the *LORD. 'The names of those people who turn away from you will die in the earth'. These words may mean this. Very quickly, people would forget those people who turn away from God. Their names were like dust that people soon walked on. However, 'earth' sometimes referred to the world after death. So the words may mean this. People who turn away from the *LORD must expect to die. God alone makes us alive. He is like water that always flows. Jesus used that description about himself. He is the only person who can give water or life that never fails (John 4:14).
Verse 14 Jeremiah had spoken about his troubles. He described them as a wound that nothing could heal (Jeremiah 15:18). But now he was confident that the *LORD could heal him. And the *LORD could rescue him from his enemies.
Verses 15-16 He praises the *LORD. But Jeremiah wanted the *LORD to know that the people laugh at him and at his message. He had said that he was giving a message from the *LORD. It was about trouble in the future. But nothing had happened. So the people did not believe what he had said.
Jeremiah had not tried to escape from his task. Still he was looking after his people. Jeremiah was like a *shepherd who looked after his sheep. He had no pleasure when he brought bad news to his people. The *LORD knew that very well.
Verses 17-18 Jeremiah asked that the *LORD would be his shelter during the time of trouble. He wanted the *LORD to prove that his attackers are guilty. He asked the *LORD to protect him from fear. But he wanted his enemies to be very frightened. He asked the *LORD to destroy them completely.
Verses 19-20 Jeremiah had to give his message at the city gates. Plenty of people would listen to him. The People's Gate was the one through which the king and the princes went in and out.
Verses 21-24 The *Sabbath was the 7th day of the week. The *LORD ordered the people in Israel to give it honour because it is a 'holy' day. 'Holy' means that it should be a special day for the *LORD. It was separate and different from the other days. It reminded the people that God created the world. God had rested after the six days when he created the world (Exodus 20:8-11; Genesis 2:3). Also it reminded them about how the *LORD had rescued his people from Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:12-15). To make it a special day, they must not work. That meant that they should not carry loads from their houses. And they should not carry loads through the city gates. They were obeying the *LORD’s laws when they made the *Sabbath a special day. It showed other nations how their God was different from the *pagan false gods. But their *ancestors refused to listen to the *LORD. They did what they wanted to do. Amos had spoken about the greedy people in Israel. They did not like the *Sabbath to interrupt their business. They wanted to continue their trade so that they could earn money (Amos 8:5). So Jeremiah warned the people in Judah to obey the *LORD’s *Sabbath law.
Verses 25-26 The *LORD promised the people in Judah three things if they obeyed the *Sabbath law:
a) The family of kings from David would continue.
b) The city of Jerusalem would have inhabitants always.
c) People would come to the *Temple to bring their *offerings to the *LORD. They would come from all directions in the country. Instead of an 'enemy from the north', people would come in peace from the region that belonged to Benjamin. That region was to the north of Jerusalem. The low hills were in the west. People would come from the mountains, and from the Negev. The Negev was the dry land in the south. They would bring all the kinds of *offerings that the book of Leviticus describes. Jeremiah did not say that people should not give *sacrifices. However, *sacrifices were wrong acts when the people did not obey the *LORD (Jeremiah 7:21-23).
Verse 27 'Fire' was a way to describe God's punishment. If the people did not obey the law, the *LORD would destroy Jerusalem completely.
Usually Christians respect the first day of the week, Sunday, as a special day. It was the day when Jesus rose again from death (Matthew 28:1). Nehemiah described all the activities on the *Sabbath in his time (Nehemiah 13:15). But these things happen in many places today. In England, it is not a special day for God. It has become as busy as any other day of the week. Now it is not a day of 'delight' and 'joy in the *LORD ' (Isaiah 58:13-14).
Verses 1-4 The ‘wheel’ that the *potter used was two round stones. The *potter's feet spun the lower stone. The upper stone then moved round. The *potter threw the lump of *clay into the middle of the upper stone. He shaped the *clay with his hands as the stone moved round. Sometimes there was something wrong with the *clay. He could not make the pot into the right shape. So the *potter squeezed together the *clay. And he began again, until the pot was the right shape.
Verses 5-11 The idea of the *LORD as a *potter and the people as the *clay was familiar. God created man from the ground (Genesis 2:7). Isaiah reminded the people that they had no right to question the *potter (Isaiah 29:16; 45:9). God can remake the character of a person, as he did with Peter and Paul in the *New Testament. But in these verses the *LORD is talking about nations. He is not the God of Israel alone. He is the *potter who has power over the nations. Amos had said that also (Amos 9:7). Israel and other nations were like *clay in the *LORD’s hands. He could shape their future to fit in with his plans. If a nation was like a less than perfect pot, he planned to destroy it. But perhaps that nation was ready to change and to obey the *LORD. Then the *LORD could change his plans as the *potter changed the shape of a pot.
Jonah had said that the *LORD would destroy Nineveh (Jonah 3:4). But the people were sorry because of their *sins. So the *LORD did not destroy the city (Jonah 3:10). The *LORD may intend to make a nation strong. But then, that nation may act wickedly. So he will think again whether to carry out his plan.
Jeremiah had to warn the people in Judah and Jerusalem to stop their wicked behaviour. The *LORD was preparing to bring great trouble upon them. Probably he warned them during the early years when Jehoiakim was the king.
Verse 12 For a long time the people had done what they wanted to do. So they found it impossible to change. They continued to follow their own plans.
Verse 13 The nation of Israel should have been like a virgin. A virgin was an unmarried woman. She kept herself *sexually pure before she had a husband. Instead, the nation of Israel was like a *prostitute. The people had made themselves not pure with *pagan customs. Some of the *pagan ceremonies involved people in wrong *sexual acts. Israel's *sin was so awful that other nations found it difficult to believe it.
Verses 14-15 The two statements emphasise that nature is constant. Always there was snow on the slopes of the mountain in Lebanon. There were sources of water that continued to flow. But Israel's behaviour was not natural. The people were not loyal to the *LORD. They had left him and they *worshipped *worthless false gods. *Incense gave a sweet smell when the people burnt it. God's law was like a good road or path on which they had walked at the beginning. But those false gods had caused God's people to leave the safe way of God's laws. The false gods caused the people to *sin. Without God’s laws, the people had difficulties. It would be like a bad path where they would trip. They would find no sign to show to them the right direction.
Verses 16-17 Because of Israel's *sin, the country would become like a desert. An enemy would destroy it. When other people saw that, they would laugh at Israel. Those people would be so astonished. They would not believe what they saw. The *LORD would act like the hot wind in the desert that blows away the dust. Their enemies would take them away into other countries. That happened in 587 *BC. The *Babylonian army took the people in Judah away from their own country. The *LORD would turn away from his people. That means that he would not notice them. So the *LORD would not help the people in Judah when the enemy came into their country.
Verse 18 Jeremiah had made some officials very angry. So they planned to say that he made false *prophecies. They said that he was insulting the *LORD. He spoke about trouble for the nation. The officials said that he was not loyal to the nation. They would have plenty of *religious experts without Jeremiah. Priests taught what the law meant. For example, the people asked Haggai about the meat that they gave to the *LORD (Haggai 2:11-14). Wise men would give practical advice. The *prophets would give to them the *LORD's messages. So they did not need Jeremiah. The priests, the wise men and the *prophets were three groups of officials. It was probably those three groups who had agreed to attack Jeremiah. He had spoken against them many times (Jeremiah 5:13; 6:13; 8:8).
Verses 19-20 Jeremiah asked the *LORD to notice what was happening to him. Jeremiah had prayed for good things for his people. And he asked the *LORD to remember that. He had asked the *LORD not to be angry with them. But they were not grateful. Instead, they were planning to kill him. People dug large holes to catch animals. One of David's soldiers had killed a lion that had fallen into a large hole (2 Samuel 23:20). Jeremiah felt that his enemies were trying to trap him like an animal.
Verses 21-23 Jeremiah's words that wish such damage seem very different from his other messages. But Jeremiah was a person with feelings. His own people's attitude had hurt his feelings deeply. He also cared about the *LORD whose *covenant his people had not obeyed. The *LORD’s people had not kept their serious promise to obey him. So Jeremiah believed that the *LORD must punish them. The details about the troubles that would come are also in Deuteronomy 28. When the enemy came, people would die in battle. Other people would starve to death.
Jeremiah's prayer that the *LORD will not forgive his enemies is very different from Jesus. Jesus asked God to forgive all those people who were making him suffer (Luke 23:34). Jeremiah had complained before. He was like a young sheep that people intended to kill (Jeremiah 11:9). Jesus told us to be willing to forgive our enemies. But God does not forgive them until they turn away from their *sin.
Verse 1-3 Jeremiah had to buy a *clay pot, from a *potter. Then he had to take some officials with him as witnesses. He had to go to the Valley of Ben Hinnom, near to the Potsherd Gate. The people threw away their broken pieces of pots there. Jeremiah had to announce the *LORD’s punishment on the people in Jerusalem. If a pot had something wrong with it, a *potter could shape it again. But the *clay on the *potter's wheel had to be soft. When the pot was hard, nothing could shape it again. So they had to break the pot. Judah had become like a hard pot, because the people had refused to change their behaviour. To break that pot in front of witnesses would show the *LORD punishment.
Verses 4-9 The people made *sacrifices to false gods. The people had even given their sons to the false god called Molech. They killed their children and they burnt them in the fire. 'The blood of people who were not guilty' probably refers to that act. King Manasseh had encouraged it (2 Kings 21:16). So the valley of Topheth, where that happened, would become a terrible place.
The *Hebrew word for 'ruin' in verse 7 is very similar to the word for 'pot'. When the enemy attacked the city of Jerusalem, many people would die in battle. Their dead bodies would lie where the birds and wild animals would eat them. In the city, people would starve. The people could not obtain food because the enemy was waiting outside the walls. They became so desperate that they ate their own children. And they ate each another.
That terrible thing had happened before, when Samaria suffered (2 Kings 6:6). It happened again when the *Babylonian army attacked Jerusalem in 587 *BC (Lamentations 4:10). It also happened in 70 *AD, when the Romans were waiting to destroy Jerusalem.
Verses 10-13 Jeremiah broke the pot into small pieces. That showed that the *LORD would destroy Judah and Jerusalem. Soon the witnesses would tell other people what Jeremiah had said. And they would tell what he had done. Jerusalem would not be suitable for *religious ceremonies for two reasons:
a) Dead bodies made a person or a place *unclean. And there would be dead bodies everywhere in the city.
b) People *worshipped *pagan false gods. People burnt *incense on the roofs of their houses when they *worshipped the stars. And they poured out drink to give to other false gods.
Topheth was *unclean already. It had become a place where people *worshipped *pagan false gods. Later, it became the place where people threw all their rubbish.
Verses 14-15 Jeremiah went to the *Temple area. There he repeated his message. The *LORD would destroy Jerusalem and all the villages near to it. The people could blame only themselves because of what would happen. They always refused to listen to the *LORD’s message when Jeremiah warned them. And they continued to please only themselves.
Verses 1-2 Pashhur was an official. He was responsible to keep everything in order in the *Temple. He arrested Jeremiah when he heard Jeremiah’s message. He made people beat Jeremiah. The Upper Gate of Benjamin was an entrance to the *Temple. But it was not the same as the Benjamin Gate on the north side of the city. There, Pashhur punished Jeremiah in a way that would be very painful. The *Hebrew word for ‘prison’ means 'to bend round’. It may have been in a very small room where Jeremiah could not move properly. And his body would ache. Some Bibles use the word 'stocks'. It describes a wooden structure with holes for the feet or hands. So the prisoner would not be able to move. His legs would become stiff and painful.
Verses 3-4 Jeremiah gave a new name to Pashhur. It was Magor-Missabib. It meant 'Terror on every side'. In the *Hebrew language these words may sound similar to his name. This phrase appears in other places. It means that everywhere people would be very afraid. There was terror on every side when the people heard the bad news. They heard that the enemy was approaching (Jeremiah 6:25). Jeremiah's enemies used the name to bother him (Jeremiah 20:10). Everyone lived in terror when the enemy attacked Jerusalem (Lamentations 2:22). Pashhur himself would become evidence of terror. He and his friends would watch many people in Jerusalem die. His 'friends' may have been political friends who trusted in Egypt rather than in the *LORD.
Verses 5-6 Jeremiah now says that the enemy was the king of Babylon. That king was called Nebuchadnezzar. He would take prisoners away into Babylon. He would steal everything that the rulers and the ordinary people possessed. The list showed that the enemy would leave behind nothing of any value.
Pashhur was one of the false *prophets. He had said that people had nothing to fear. He said that there would be peace (Jeremiah 6:14). But he and his friends would go to Babylon, where they would die. Their graves would be in a foreign country. Pashhur probably went into *exile in 597 *BC. The officer in charge in the *Temple after that was Zephaniah son of Maaseiah (Jeremiah 29:25-26).
Verses 7-8 Jeremiah was unhappy because of what had happened to him. He began to ask the *LORD questions about his work as a *prophet. The word 'persuaded' has a certain meaning in the *Hebrew language. It refers to the way that a man might tempt an unmarried woman to have sex with him (Exodus 22:16). Jeremiah was using language that almost insulted the *LORD. It meant that the *LORD had led him to be a *prophet against his own wishes. And the *LORD had allowed it to happen. The *LORD was more powerful than Jeremiah. So Jeremiah could not oppose him. The *LORD’s message about trouble in the future had not happened yet. So people were laughing at Jeremiah. Every day they insulted him. And they blamed him because of what he was saying.
Verse 9 Jeremiah decided that he would forget the *LORD. He would not *prophesy on behalf of the *LORD. But Jeremiah found that it was impossible. There was a strong feeling in him that made him continue. It was like a fire that was burning inside him. He could not escape from his work for the *LORD. He became tired when he tried not to speak the *LORD’s message. Amos had felt a similar feeling. 'The *LORD God has spoken. And I have to *prophesy' (Amos 3:3).
Verse 10 People laughed at Jeremiah's constant message about trouble in the future. So they used his words 'Terror on every side' as a name to insult him. The people should have been his friends. But they were watching everything that he did. They listened to everything that he said. They wanted to change what his words meant. They wanted to see him make a mistake. Then they would report him to the rulers. Jeremiah felt like David, whose enemies wanted to kill him (Psalm 56:6). Jeremiah had spoken against the people. Now they wanted him to have troubles because of what he said.
Verse 11 Then Jeremiah remembered that the *LORD promised to be with him (Jeremiah 1:18-19). He describes the *LORD in the same way that David did. The *LORD is powerful in battles (Psalm 24:8). The *LORD is his champion. So his enemies would not be able to defeat him.
Verse 12 This verse is similar to Jeremiah 11:20. The *LORD is able to see the emotions and the thoughts that people hide. Like a man who tests metals, the *LORD knew that Jeremiah was honest. And the *LORD would punish everyone who did wrong deeds. Jeremiah's enemies were trying to find a way to bring him to the rulers. Jeremiah trusted the *LORD to defend him against any false evidence.
Verse 13 These are sudden shouts to praise the *LORD. They show that Jeremiah's confidence in the *LORD had returned for a while. Jeremiah may have said that after Pashhur freed him from prison.
Verses 14-15 Then Jeremiah's mood changed from hope to despair. In Israel, anyone who spoke bad words about the *LORD or about his own parents was guilty of a crime. Someone would kill him (Leviticus 20:9; 24:10-16). Jeremiah did not wish evil things upon the *LORD. But he wished evil things upon the day that he was born. Before he was born, the *LORD had chosen him to be a *prophet (Jeremiah 1:5). So Jeremiah was speaking bad words about what the *LORD had chosen for him. He did not wish evil things upon his father. Instead, he wished evil things upon the man who took the news of a son to his father. The birth of a son was a happy event. It meant that the family name would continue. Jeremiah's father would have felt happy. There was a male child who would become the head of his family.
Verses 16-17 The towns that the *LORD destroyed were Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24-28). Jeremiah's despair was very great. He was wishing that an innocent man would have troubles. Jeremiah had wanted to die in his mother's body. That would have been his grave. She would have a large body, because the baby would be inside her for always. Really he did not want anyone to cause the death of a mother and her son. But he was making crazy remarks because he was so depressed.
Verse 18 He had seen trouble during all of his life. That made him sad. He thought that he would feel ashamed, even at the end his life.
AD ~ refers to the years after Christ was born.
altar ~ a block of wood or stone with a flat top. People gave gifts or *sacrifices on it to God or to a false god.
ancestors ~ members of your family who lived in the past.
Assyrian ~ people who live in, or come from, the country called Assyria; anything connected with Assyria.
Baal ~ a local false god. People thought that these false gods made crops grow.
Babylonian ~ people who live in, or come from, the country called Babylon; anything connected with Babylon.
BC ~ refers to the years before Christ was born.
bless ~ to say or to do good things to a person.
blessings ~ the good things that God gives to us or that he does for us.
bronze ~ a brown metal that is a mixture of two metals called copper and tin.
clay ~ a type of earth from which people made pots.
commandments ~ the 10 important commands or rules that God gave to Moses on *Mount Sinai
covenant ~ the special promise that the *LORD made to his people, the *Israelites. The *LORD’s covenant with the *Israelites established a special relationship between him and them. But they had to obey him.
descendants ~ members of your family who live after you live.
exile ~ absence from the country where usually you live. Usually somebody forces a person to go into exile.
Gentile ~ a person who is not a *Jew.
grapes ~ the fruit of a plant called a *vine. People eat grapes. Also they use grapes to make wine.
Greek ~ the language in which the authors wrote the *New Testament.
Hebrew ~ the language in which the authors wrote the *Old Testament. The language that the *Israelites spoke. Another name for a *Jew or an *Israelite.
idol ~ an image of a false god that people *worship instead of the *LORD.
incense ~ a substance that gives a sweet smell when people burn it.
Israelites ~ people from the nation called Israel; another name for the *Jews.
Jew ~ a *descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
kingdom ~ a country where a king rules.
linen ~ a special type of cloth of good quality. People make it from the plant called flax.
LORD ~ a special name for God. In the *Hebrew Bible it translates the word YHWH. Probably YHWH (Yahweh) means ‘he is always alive’.
mount ~ another name for mountain.
New Testament ~ the last part of the Bible that the writers wrote after the life of Jesus.
offering ~ a gift to
please the *LORD or a false god.
burnt offering ~ the *Israelite priest burnt the whole animal on the *altar
Old Testament ~ the first part of the Bible that the writers wrote before the life of Jesus.
pagan ~ a person who loves a false god or false gods; something that has a connection with a false god.
Philistines ~ a nation that fought against the people in Israel and in Judah.
potter ~ a person who makes pots from *clay.
prophecy/prophecies ~ the words that a *prophet speaks or writes.
prophesy ~ to speak or write about things that will happen in the future; to speak on behalf of God or on behalf of a false god.
prophet ~ a person who declares God's message.
prostitute ~ a person who sells their body for sex.
religious ~ something that has a connection with religion.
Sabbath ~ the 7th day of the *Jewish week; it starts from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday. The day on which God rested when he created the world. A day of rest in which *Jews are not allowed to work (Exodus 20:8-11). Something that has a connection with the Sabbath.
sacrifice ~ an *offering to God or to false gods. The *Israelites had to give sacrifices to the *LORD when they asked him to forgive their *sins. Usually the priest had to kill a special animal and burn it on the *altar. Sometimes *pagans killed a child as a sacrifice.
sexual ~ feelings or behaviour that have a connection with the act of sex.
shepherds ~ men who look after sheep. Sometimes leaders in Israel were called shepherds.
sin ~ when a person does or says bad things against God or against other people; the bad things that a person does or says when they do not obey God.
temple ~ a building where people *worship a false god.
Temple ~ the most important building in Jerusalem where the *Jews *worshipped God.
throne ~ a magnificent royal seat on which a king or ruler sits
unclean ~ not *clean; unsuitable for God or for God’s people. When somebody was unclean that person was unable to go and to *worship God.
vineyard ~ the place where *vines grow.
worship ~ to show honour to God or to a false god. People may sing or pray when they worship. Or they may kneel or give a gift to God.
worthless ~ of no value.
R.K. Harrison ~ Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries: Jeremiah and Lamentations ~ Tyndale Press 1973
Derek Kidner ~ The Bible Speaks Today: The Message of Jeremiah ~ IVP 2003 reprint
Alan Millard ~ Discoveries from Bible Times ~ Lion Publishing 1997
J A Thompson ~ New International Commentary on the *Old Testament: The Book of Jeremiah ~ Eerdmans 1980
Concise Oxford Chambers 21st Century
Thesaurus ~ Geddes and Grosset ~ 1999
New International Version ~1st published 1979
New International Readers Version ~ 1998
New International Version Study Bible ~ 1987
New English Bible ~ 1970
Jerusalem Bible ~ 1974
Today's English Version ~ 1976
© 2014, Wycliffe Associates (UK)
This publication is in EasyEnglish Level B (2800 words).
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