- Verses 4-10 and 17-19. What did God require from Jeremiah, and what did he promise him? How can this apply to us?
- What is the divine interpretation of the two visions that Jeremiah saw?
- What aspects of God’s character and activity are brought before us in this chapter? Cf. Eph. 1:4.
- Verse 5. ‘Knew’: in the sense of ‘regarded’, almost equivalent to ‘chose’. ‘I consecrated you’: set apart for myself. For ‘prophet’, see verse 9.
- Verse 11. “Branch’: probably meaning a straight shoot just beginning to blossom. The word for almond tree is from the same root as the word ‘watching’ in verse 12 (see mg.). Moffatt translates ‘wake-tree’. The almond was so called because it was the first to awake after the sleep of winter.
- Verse 13. The boiling pot is ready to pour out its fiery contents southwards.
- Verse15. ‘Their thrones’: i.e., of judgment.
A review of Israel’s backsliding from the beginning.
- According to this section, what are the components of backsliding? Compare Israel’s beginnings with her later condition. Is any of this story true of you? Cf. Gal. 5:7.
- 2:12, 13. ‘Living’ water means fresh water from an ever-flowing spring. Cf. 6:7; John 4:13, 14. What do the ‘spring of living water’ and the ‘broken cisterns’ stand for in spiritual experience? Do you take as serious a view of backsliding as God does?
- What evil results does Jeremiah say have already followed from the nation’s forgetfulness of God?
- 2:10. ‘Kittim’ was Cyprus and western coastlands and ‘Kedar’ was a tribe east of Jordan. The verse means ‘search from east to west…’
- 2:16. ‘Memphis’ and ‘Tahpanhes’: cities of Egypt.
- 2:25. ‘Do not run thy foot bare, and thy throat dry in the eager pursuit of strange gods’ (Driver).
- 3:4. An allusion probably to the feigned penitence of many at the time of Josiah’s reform. Cf. 3:10; 2 Chr. 34:33.
- 3:6-20. What is the offence of Judah? And what aggravated it in the eyes of God? What forms does this sin take today? Cf. Jas. 4:4; 1 John 5:20, 21. What does God offer, and on what conditions?
- Trace the process of restoration as outlined in 3:21-4:4. What is meant by such phrases as ‘Break up your unploughed ground’ and ‘Circumcise yourselves to the Lord’? Cf. 9:26; Deut. 10:16; Rom. 2:28, 29.
- 4:5-31. A vivid picture of the approach of an invader from the north. What place does he have in the purpose of God?
- 3:8. An allusion to the conquest of northern Israel in 721 BC by the Assyrians.
- 3:10. See Note on 3:4.
- 3:14. ‘Husband’. Cf. verses 19, 20 for similar mixing of metaphors from the family.