Jeremiah 10 – 13

Jeremiah 9:23 – 10:25

  1. 9:23, 24. What is better than wisdom, power and wealth? Cf. also 1 Cor. 1:25-31; Phil. 3:8-11. What do you set most store by in the normal course of life?
  2. Set down, on the hand, the characteristics mentioned here of the idols of the heathen and, on the other, the character of the living God.
  3. What are the implications of 10:23, 24? Have you learnt to live by them? See 30:11 and cf. Prov. 3:5-7, 11, 12.


  1. 9:25, 26. All these nations practiced circumcision, and Judah, despite the fact that her circumcision was ordained to mark a unique relationship with God, takes her place here between Egypt and Edom because her spiritually uncircumcised state (cf. 4:4; Rom. 2:28, 29) has rendered her physical circumcision no more meaningful than theirs.
  2. 10:11. ‘Belongings’: a few hastily gathered possessions for immediate flight.
  3. 10:21. ‘Shepherds’: see 2:8 and mg.; 3:15.

Jeremiah 11 and 12

These chapters fall into three sections: 11:11-17, Judah’s stubborn idolatry and breaking of the covenant; 11:18 – 12:6, a complaint of the prophet because of plots against his life, and God’s answer to his questionings; and 12:7-17, which seems to refer to the attacks of surrounding peoples (see 2 Kgs. 24:1, 2), and closes with a remarkable promise to these nations on condition of their turning from idols to worship the Lord.

  1. What were the constituent elements of ‘this covenant’ (11:2)? What was God’s part and what the people’s? Cf. 2 Cor. 6:14 – 7:1.
  2. What did Jeremiah do with his perplexities, and what answer did he receive? Can we come with his confidence? Note 12:5 and 6 in particular. What does this answer of God imply? Cf. Heb. 12:3, 4.
  3. Jeremiah is often described as a Christ-like figure. As you read the book chapter, note the similarities. With 11:21 and 12: 6, cf. Mark 3:21; Luke 4:24, 29; 21:16.


  1. 11:15. See Note on 7:22, 23.
  2. 12:13. ‘They’: i.e., the people of Judah.


Jeremiah 13

  1. What is the purpose of the incident of the belt? Which is a truer description of you, verse 10 or verse 11?
  2. Consider the images used to describe the coming judgment, and their usefulness for preaching today. See Notes below; and cf. Pss. 1:4; 60:3; Is. 8:22; 51:17; Mic. 3:6, 7; John 12:35; 2 Thess. 2:11, 12.
  3. Verse 23. What answer does the New Testament give to this question? See Rom. 5:6; 2 Cor. 5:17.


  1. Verses 13, 14. ‘Drunkenness’ is used in a figurative sense to describe mental fear and bewilderment, when men in their panic turn against each other.
  2. Verse 16. ‘Give glory to the Lord’: a Hebrew expression for confession of sin, recognizing God’s holiness, and turning from sin to obedience. Cf. Josh. 7:19; Mal. 2:2; John 9:24.
  3. Verse 18: i.e., Jehoiachin and his mother Nehushta (2 Kgs. 24:8, 9). Queen mothers regularly wielded great influence at court.
  4. Verse 19. ‘The Negev’ is the area of Palestine south of Beersheba.
  5. Verse 21. Another translation reads ‘he’, i.e., God instead of ‘they’ (Driver). Cf. Deut. 28:13, 44; Lam. 1:5.

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