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Jeremiah Untangled

The Book of Jeremiah Arranged Chronologically
with Historical Background

Edited with Commentary by Charles Siegel

new material in this edition copyright © 2019

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Understanding Jeremiah

Jeremiah was intensely involved in the politics of his time. For a time, he even wore a yoke to symbolize his belief that Judah should accept the yoke of Babylonian domination, and this position was so controversial that another prophet broke his yoke and king Zedekiah ultimately jailed him for opposing war against Babylon.

The conventional version of the Book of Jeremiah gives little or no background about historical context. It might mention that Jeremiah said something during the reign of Zedekiah, but this is not useful to an ordinary reader who does not know the history of Zedekiah’s reign.

Even worse, the conventional version of the Book of Jeremiah is not in chronological order: it is made up of a number of source documents that are just placed one after another. For example, the text of Jeremiah’s Temple sermon is in Chapter 7 because it comes from a document that contains prophecies by Jeremiah, while the account of how Jeremiah gave the Temple sermon is in Chapter 26 because it comes from a document that contains stories about Jeremiah. Connections like this one escape the ordinary reader, because the book jumps from one historical period to another.

For the first time, this edition arranges passages in the Book of Jeremiah in chronological order, so there is a continuous historical narrative of Jeremiah’s life, and it includes historical background so the reader can understand why Jeremiah wrote each passage. Undateable and inauthentic passages are in separate sections.

If readers who are not Biblical scholars want to understand the tumultuous life of this great thinker and poet, this is the book to read.