Who was the author? The Holy Spirit inspired the book of Jeremiah through the prophet Jeremiah, although the book's contents may have been written down by Jeremiah's scribe, Baruch, who may also have been inspired to write other parts of the book.
What is the book? The book of Jeremiah is a record of God's prophecies made through Jeremiah during the reigns of five different kings of Judah and probably around the same time as the work of prophets like Habakkuk and Ezekiel.
Where was it written? Given that Jeremiah stayed in and around Jerusalem at the Lord's command, the book was likely recorded in the vicinity of the city.
When was it written? The approximate dates for Jeremiah's prophetic work are 626-586 B.C.. Parts of the book may have been recorded before the fall of Jerusalem, but the book was likely completed shortly after that fall of Judah's capital to the Babylonians. Note well that the prophetic oracles are not thought to be in chronological order.
Why? While Jeremiah foretells God's punishment for sins in the form of the destruction of Jerusalem and Judah's exile to Babylon, he also promises God's comfort of forgiveness in the form of the people's return to their land and city. Moreover, he reports God's promises of Christ, His kingdom, and the New Testament in His blood.
How? Jeremiah's book gives its inspired message in prose and poetry, along the way using a number of memorable passages. At God's direction, he performs prophetic actions and proclaims prophecies rich in symbolism. Repeated phrases are also common, as are repeated consonants and other sounds in the Hebrew original.
For further reading on the book of Jeremiah:
- Keil, C.F. and F. Delitzsch. Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, Volume VIII: Jeremiah, Lamentations, translated by David Patrick and James Kennedy and published as two volumes in one. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, reprinted August 1985. (There are some 760 pages on Jeremiah.)
- Kretzmann, Paul E. Popular Commentary of the Bible: The Old Testament, Volume II, The Poetical and the Prophetical Books. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1924. (This volume, one that is in our Grace library, has 103 pages on Jeremiah.)