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Exposition of the Old and New Testament, by John Gill, [1746-63], at

Jeremiah Introduction


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The title of the book in the Vulgate Latin version is, "the Prophecy of Jeremiah"; in the Syriac and Arabic versions, "the Prophecy of the Prophet Jeremiah". According to a tradition of the Jews (a), this book stands the first of the Prophets, the order of which is, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and the twelve. Kimchi makes mention of it in a preface to his comment on this book; and Dr. Lightfoot from hence concludes, that this is the reason why a passage in Zechariah is cited under the name of Jeremy, Mat 27:9, because he standing first in the volume of the Prophets gave name to the whole; just as the book of Psalms, being the first of the Hagiographa, they are called the Psalms from it, Luk 24:44. The name of the writer of this book, Jeremiah, signifies, "the Lord shall exalt", or "be exalted"; or, "exalting the Lord"; being composed of "he shall exalt", and "Jehovah", according to Hillerus (b). Though others (c) take it to be a composition of and "the Lord shall cast down"; as he did his enemies, and also himself, he being greatly afflicted; and which suits with the argument of his book, foretelling the casting away of the people of the Jews. His style of writing, according to the opinion of Jerom (d), is more rustic than that of Isaiah and some other prophets, and which he attributes to his being born and brought up in a country village; and Abarbinel to his age, being a child when he began to prophesy. The duration of his prophesying was forty years and upwards. He began to prophesy in the thirteenth year of Josiah's reign; in 3375 A.M. or before the era of Christ 629, according both to Bishop Usher (e) and Mr. Whiston (f), and the Universal History (g); and according to Mr. Bedford (h) 627. If any credit can be given to Epiphanius (i), or to the writer that bears his name, he was stoned to death by the people at Taphnas in Egypt, and was buried where Pharaoh dwelt. Abulpharagius, an Arabic writer (k), says, that he went to Egypt, where some of the Jews took him and put him into a well, and afterwards took him out and stoned him, so that he died, and he was buried in Egypt; and was from thence removed by Alexander, in his time, to Alexandria, and buried there. And both Tertullian (l) and Jerom (m) affirm that he was stoned by the people. This prophecy contains several discourses delivered to the people of the Jews; charging them with many sins they were guilty of; exhorting them to repentance; threatening them with the destruction of their city and temple, and with captivity in Babylon; and comforting the saints, not only with a promise of deliverance from thence, but of spiritual redemption by the Messiah. And it also has in it several predictions of judgments upon other nations; and gives a particular account of the destruction of Jerusalem, and of the carrying of the Jews captive into Babylon; which he lived to see, as the fulfilment of his prophecies.

(a) T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 14. 2. (b) Onomastic. Sacr. p. 326, 508. (c) Schmidt in loc. (d) Praefat. in Hieremiam, tom. 3. fol. 9. B, (e) Annales Vet. Test, A. M. 3375. (f) Chronological Tables, cent. 9. (g) Vol. 21. p. 56. (h) Scripture Chronology, p. 673. (i) De Vit. Prophet. c. 8. Vid. Isidor. Hispalens. de Vit. & Mort. Sanct. c. 38. (k) Hist. Dynast. p. 46. Vid. Elmacin. Hist. Eccl. p. 128, Apud Hottinger. Thesaur. Phil. p. 478. (l) Scorpiace, c. 8. (m) Adv. Jovinian. l. 2, tom. 2. fol. 32. I.

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