Much of the background for Jeremiah is covered in the last chapters of 2 Kings and the last chapters of 2 Chronicles. Understanding a rough outline of the history behind the readings in Jeremiah should help make it more understandable. Remember that for a while we have not been studying materials that are chronologically ordered. Below is a chronology cobbled together from various sources. It covers the period from the time of Solomon to the time of Jeremiah. Perhaps it will help you understand better how the things we have been reading are related to one another. In this chronology, kings’ names are in bold and prophets’ names are in italics.
Like Isaiah, the book of Jeremiah is a collection of prophecies edited into a book after the fact rather than one, extended prophecy. It describes itself as a history rather than as a prophecy, though obviously it contains a number of prophecies. But the word history doesn’t mean the same for ancient Israel as it means today. It is closer to our word “story” or “account.”
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