Jeremiah’s Covenant Revelation
Have you ever noticed how the book of Jeremiah is not in chronological order? Since it is not in chronological order, what kind of order is it arranged in? After examining the book, I believe it is thematically arranged. A rough outline would be:
Jeremiah 1-19 ~ General preaching and prophesying of Jeremiah to the nation of Israel
Jeremiah 20-29 ~ Jeremiah interacting with specific people
Jeremiah 30-33 ~ Jeremiah’s Covenant Revelation
Jeremiah 34-38 ~ Jeremiah testifies before royalty
Jeremiah 39-44 ~ Jeremiah witnesses judgement upon Judah and Jerusalem
Jeremiah 46-51 ~ Jeremiah pronounces judgement upon the nations
Here are some general observations about the chronology. The judgements upon the nations were given before the fall of Jerusalem yet listed after. Their timing is varied throughout the chapters, but they all appear together at the end of the book as a whole. The episodes concerning Kings Jehoiakim and Zedekiah are given in the same section (34-38) even though the timings for the events are separated by years. There is a prophecy to Zedekiah, then to Jehoiakim, then back to Zekekiah again. So we see that these prophecies are grouped together because they were prophecies directed at the king.
I don’t have everything about the book of Jeremiah figured out, but I have noticed that Jeremiah 30-33 has one theme, the covenant plan of God. These three prophecies (30-31, 32, 33) were placed together specifically, on-purpose to show God’s future plan for the nation of Israel at the time when He was about to lead them into 70 years of captivity. The oracles include the new covenant (30-31), an everlasting covenant (32), and the Davidic Covenant (33). This is why I am referring to this section as Jeremiah’s Covenant Revelation.
A series of posts on these four chapters will prove beneficial to those who study eschatology. The subject of the new covenant is so important that the division within our scriptures is based on this subject. The scriptures are divided into the old covenant and the new covenant, or you are more familiar with these terms: Old Testament and New Testament. We might even question whether this type of division is biblical or not. Another matter of importance is differing positions about the new covenant when considering questions concerning the nature of the church, the future of the nation of Israel, and how we view the covenant plan of God as a whole. These questions will naturally lead into the subject of eschatology.
The placement of chapters 30-33 is pivotal for how Jeremiah’s work is to be received as a whole. Jeremiah was pronouncing doom upon his own nation (and himself), but what about after this judgement? What about all God’s promises to the nation of Israel? The first 19 chapters of Jeremiah are fairly gloomy. Even chapters 20-29 are quite bleak excepting a word of hope contained in 29:10-14 and a Davidic revelation in 23:5-8. These four chapters act as the swinging point of the entire book. Given that this is the sole reference to the new covenant in the entire Old Testament (see what I mean) scriptures, we should be paying close attention to the way this particular prophecy is laid out. Further, since Jeremiah grouped it with two other oracles with the same theme, we cannot view the prophecy of the new covenant by itself, but we must examine chapters 32 and 33 as well.
I hope you will follow my thoughts on Jeremiah’s Covenant Revelation. I’m not sure how many posts it will entail. I will be delving into the original settings and contexts for these prophecies. Then I will wind up examining New Testament (new covenant?) passages as well.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman