According to the book of Jeremiah 39:1-3, in the ninth year of Zedekiah, king of Judah, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, the army of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem and besieged the city.
Two and a half years later, that is, in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, the Babylonians broke through the walls of the city and Jerusalem fell. When Jerusalem fell, the officers of the Babylonian army came in and sat in triumph at the Middle Gate.
The versions differ in translating the names of the officers of the Babylonian army. The following are some of the translations of Jeremiah 39:3: And all the princes of the king of Babylon came in, and sat in the middle gate, even Nergalsharezer, Samgarnebo, Sarsechim, Rabsaris, Nergalsharezer, Rabmag, with all the residue of the princes of the king of Babylon. Ashurbanipal, died in 627 B.C. as the last of the Assyrian rulers. Nabopolassar, King of the Babylonian empire began his rule in 626 B.C. This was the year in which Jeremiah received his call from the Lord. (Jeremiah 1:1) Nabopolassar took control of the Assyrian empire capturing the capital of Ninevah in 612 B.C. Egypt tried to help their Assyrian allies by marching north to lend military support but to no avail.
Josiah, King of Judah tried to stop the Egyptians advancing north but at a battle at Megiddo in 609 B.C., Josiah was killed by Pharaoh Neco II. (2 Chronicles 35:20-24).
At this time Jeremiah is not well known as a prophet in Jerusalem as Josiah's servants go to the prophetess Huldah for insight from God. (2 Kings 22:14ff) But over time Jeremiah grows close to Josiah as is evident from his grief at his death at the hands of Pharaoh-Necho, in 609 B.C. at Megiddo.
Josiah (640-609 B.C.) came to the throne, after the murder of his father Amon, in the eighth year. 2 Kings 22:1 He was a Godly king who sought the Lord and in the twelfth year of his reign began to clear the land of heathen idols. (2 Chronicles 34:3-7) While the temple was being cleaned up the book of the law or Torah was found and read by Josiah who proceeded to carry out a strict reformation of worship in keeping with the Word of God which was found. (2 Kings 22, 23)
Jeremiah prophesied mainly in Jerusalem at the feasts of the Temple although he did visit other cities. (Jeremiah 11:6) As is often the case he received fierce opposition in his home town of Anathoth, which resulted in a dangerous plot against his life. But God warned him of the dangers and he was preserved. (Jeremiah 11:18)
Clay tablet giving the history of the first 17 years of the reign of Tiglath-Pileser III, from Nimrud. Names Jehoahaz, King of Judah, as bringing tribute. Dr. Bryant Wood.
Jehoahaz, who reigned three months is only mentioned in Jeremiah 22:11 under the name of Shallum. (2 Kings 23:31) Jehoahaz will not return to Jerusalem from his journey to the Egyptian camp at Riblah, where he was taken prisoner and carried off to Egypt by Pharaoh Neco II. (Reigned 610-595 B.C.) It was during this time that the royal court turned on Jeremiah and he suffers severe persecution and several imprisonment's. (Jeremiah 20:1-2; 32:2-3; 37:12-21; 38:6-13)
Relief of Tiglath-Pileser III (Pul) ca. 728 B.C. from Nimrud, Iraq. Dr Bryant Wood.
Jehoahaz's older brother, Jehoiakim, is appointed as the king of Judah under Neco and reigned eleven years. (609-598 B.C.) He was originally passed over by the people but raised to the throne by Pharaoh-Necho who changed his name from Eliakim to Jehoiakim. Unlike Josiah his father, Jehoiakim turned away from God and favoured the heathen gods and practices. (2 Kings 23:37)
Jehoiakim did not like Jeremiah or his messages and on one occasion when one of Jeremiah's prophecies were brought to him to be read, he cut it into small pieces and threw it into the fire. Jeremiah 36:21-32 God told Jeremiah to simply dictate the message over again through Baruch his scribe.
In 605 B.C. the course of history changed when the Egyptians were crushed by the Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar at Carchemish. Jeremiah 42:2 Pharaoh-Necho returns to Egypt defeated and the Babylonians ruled western Asia without resistance for the next 70 years. Jehoiakim had submitted to the Egyptians but three years under Nebuchadnezzar's rule he conspired against him. In this way Jehoiakim brought about the devastation of the land by Syrians, Moabites, and Ammonites. They gladly acted as the tools of the Chaldeans until Nebuchadnezzar under his successor came to Jerusalem and revenged himself by plundering and carrying away the people. (605 B.C.) Jeremiah severely rebuked the kings conduct and even prophesied personal punishment which was brought upon him by God. (Jeremiah 21:11-14) Jehoiakim is humiliated by God. Daniel 1:1-2 At the same time Daniel and his three friends are taken into captivity in Babylon. (Daniel 1:3-6)
Jerusalem is attacked again in 598-597 B.C. by Nebuchadnezzar and Jehoiakim is killed. His son Jehoiachin is prophesied by Jeremiah to be taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar Jeremiah 22:24-30 which is fulfilled in Jeremiah 29:1-2. In 597 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar puts Josiah's son Mattaniah on the throne of Judah and renames him Zedekiah. He was a puppet king who sometimes asked for Jeremiah's help while at other times allowed Jeremiah's enemies to persecute him. However Jeremiah did arrange for his own personal safety in exchange for revealing the will of God to Zedekiah. Jeremiah 38:15-27 The safety often took the form of house arrest which he was under until the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. (Jeremiah 38:28)
Zedekiah was overrun by the Babylonians as he fled the city of Jerusalem . His sons were executed before his eyes and then his eyes were removed by Nebuchadnezzar. (Jeremiah 39:1-7) Nebazaradan, who was the commander of the imperial guard advised Jeremiah to go and live with Gedaliah the governor of Judah. (Jeremiah 40:1-6) Gedaliah was assassinated and because he was a friend of Nebuchadnezzar some of the Jews fled to Egypt for safety. Jeremiah and Baruch went with them. Jeremiah 43:4-7 His last words are recorded in Jeremiah 44:24-30. The only place Pharaoh Hophra is mentioned in the Bible is found in this passage. He ruled Egypt from 589-570 B.C. The theme of Jeremiah's message is one of judgment against Judah. God would punish his people for their sins of idolatry, spiritual adultery and trusting in Egypt rather than Jehovah. The punishment would come by means of the Babylonians from the north. But God also brings grace as well as wrath and so there is found intersperse throughout Jeremiah glorious Messianic prophecies. They form a part of the prophets pleading with the people to repent. (Jeremiah 3:14-17; 23:5; 31:31; 33:16)
Date Written - c. 626-537 B.C.
From the events in the book it is safe to say that the book was written between the reigns of King Josiah (640-609 B.C.) and Zedekiah (597-586 B.C.) sometime during 626-537 B.C. This would include the period during which Jeremiah was in exile in Egypt following the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. This would place Jeremiah as a contemporary of Zephaniah, Ezekiel and Daniel. Nahum and Habakkuk may also have prophesied during this time.
Author - Jeremiah
Jeremiah was the author of the prophecies which bear his name. Chapter 36:1-2 states that
'in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that this word came unto Jeremiah from theLORD, saying, Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day.'
So Jeremiah called Baruch his scribe to copy everything down to have a permanent record of God's words.
Baruch read the scroll in the Temple and a year later read it before the people. The rulers were upset by its message and while they allowed Jeremiah and Baruch to escape, Jehoiakim destroyed the scroll by cutting it in pieces and burning it in a fire. (Jeremiah 36:9-23)
The Lord directed Jeremiah to rewrite the contents of the scroll so Jeremiah dictated all of its contents to Baruch 'and there were added besides unto them many like words' verse 32. These were the first written words of Jeremiah's prophecies from Josiah to Jehoiakim. However the prophecies of Jeremiah are not all recorded in chronological order. There are large and small sections joined together into a record of Jeremiah's prophecies.
In this way the book of Jeremiah came into existence in its present form. Since Jeremiah fled to Egypt after the fall of Jerusalem which he had prophesied, it is highly probable that he completed and rounded off his prophecies with the help of Baruch. Jeremiah 43:6 Baruch was strictly a scribe adhering to the words that were dictated to him. It is fair to assume that the work was completed before Jeremiah's death because the event of his death are not even alluded to in the book.
Scholars link biblical and Assyrian records. by Laura Sexton
Austrian Assyriologist Michael Jursa recently discovered the financial record of a donation made a Babylonian chief official, Nebo-Sarsekim. The find may lend new credibility to the Book of Jeremiah, which cites Nebo-Sarsekim as a participant in the siege of Jerusalem in 587 B.C.
The tablet is dated to 595 B.C., which was during the reign of the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar II. Coming to the throne in 604 B.C., he marched to Egypt shortly thereafter, and initiated an epoch of fighting between the two nations. During the ongoing struggle, Jerusalem was captured in 597, and again in 587-6 B.C. It was at this second siege that Nebo-Sarsekim made his appearance.
He ordered Nebo-Sarsekim to look after Jeremiah: "Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do unto him even as he shall say unto thee." (Jeremiah 39.12)
As the biblical story goes, the victorious Babylonian king departed the city with numerous Jewish captives. Desiring to spare the prophet Jeremiah, he ordered Nebo-Sarsekim to look after him: "Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do unto him even as he shall say unto thee." (Jeremiah 39.12). Nebo-Sarsekim obeyed these orders by taking Jeremiah out of the Babylonian court of the prison, and ensuring he was escorted home to Jerusalem to live among his people.
Aside from serving in the military, Nebo-Sarsekim evidently also fulfilled religious duties. Jursa was studying Babylonian tablets at the British Museum when he came across Nebo-Sarsekim's name. According to Jursa, the tablet contained the record of a donation to a Babylonian temple, and his interpretation was later verified by curators at the British Museum. However, one can't infer too much about Nebo-Sarsekim's life from this transaction. Museum spokesperson Hannah Boulton states that it would have been quite common for a high-ranking official to contribute religious donations. It is not necessarily the case, therefore, that Nebo-Sarsekim was particularly pious or religious.
The tablet may not reveal information about Nebo-Sarsekim's lifestyle or personal beliefs, but it does lend credibility to the Book of Jeremiah. It is important because it shows that a biblical character did actually exist. Jursa states, "Finding something like this tablet, where we see a person mentioned in the Bible making an everyday payment to the temple in Babylon and quoting the exact date is quite extraordinary." Boulton proposes an even deeper significance, suggesting that the finding may confer credibility to the rest of the Bible. "I think that it's important in the sense that if [his name] is right, then...presumably a great deal of other info in [the Book of Jeremiah], but also generally in the Bible, is also correct."
The tablet is important because it shows that a biblical character did actually exist.
On the other hand, the tablet also exposes the danger of multiple translations. The Greek Septuagint (LXX) and the Hebrew Masoretic text (MT) contain the two main versions of the Book of Jeremiah surviving from antiquity. Scholars agree that the name was translated incorrectly in both of these texts. Vowels and entire syllables were sometimes omitted, transforming the proper Babylonian rendering, "Nabu-sharussu-ukin," into the traditional spelling, "Nebo-Sarsekim," as well as a few variants. Remarkably, Juris showed that the different spellings referred to the same person by using contextual information from the tablet, including the title of occupation and date of transaction.
Spelling variations may seem like a minor problem, but they highlight a greater issue, namely the inconsistency between archaeological evidence and biblical text. One notorious discrepancy involves the 701 B.C. Babylonian campaign against Jerusalem. According to the Bible, Sennacherib, the Babylonian king who reigned from 701-681 B.C., was unsuccessful in his attempt to sack the city of Jerusalem. The Old Testament states that an angel came during the night to kill 185,000 soldiers, forcing Sennacherib and his weakened army to retreat (II Kings 18-19).
King Sennacherib, however, left a conflicting report on an artifact now known as the Prism of Sennacherib. Standing 38 cm high, the hexagonal clay prism contains 500 lines of writing on six columns. In direct opposition to the Bible, it states that Sennacherib captured settlements belonging to the King of Judah, took the king's daughters and enforced a heavy tribute. Both historical accounts cannot be completely correct, but in the absence of further archaeological evidence, historians can only speculate about what actually occurred.
The British Museum's collection of Babylonian tablets could hold answers to this question, as well as other lingering historical mysteries. There are currently more than 100,000 undeciphered tablets housed at the British Museum, containing letters, recipes, receipts, and scholastic works. Scholars have already extracted information about the Old Testament flood story, observations of Halley's Comet, and rules for the world's oldest board game. It is likely that future researchers will come across further information about the biblical era.
Cuneiform experts worry that their unique window to the past is being irreversibly closed by violence in Iraq.
Even so, cuneiform experts worry that their unique window to the past is being irreversibly closed by violence in Iraq, including the current situation and the Gulf War. With countless other cuneiform scripts scattered throughout the Middle East, the British Museum's collection is just the tip of the iceberg. Unfortunately, the tablets are easily smashed and broken, making it likely that only fragments of larger scripts will be recovered. Looting is also common, so they may be separated from the archaeological site and artifacts to which they refer. It is difficult to know what exactly has been lost so far, Boulton admits: "I mean we just have no idea really, but the prospect [that something important was lost] is certainly there; and that's why it's such a tragedy that these tablets are being lost all over Iraq at the moment because who can say what might be written on them."
Jeremiah and Archaeology
Several archaeological discoveries bear upon the book of Jeremiah. A few examples will suffice at this point.
· Between 1935-38, twenty-one pottery fragments (called ostraca), were discovered at the site of ancient Lachish (thirty miles SW of Jerusalem). Lachish was one of the last three cities to be conquered by Nebuchadnezzar (cf. Jer. 34:7). These potsherds were in a small guard-room located outside the city gate. Inscribed with Hebrew script reflecting the writing of Jeremiah's time, they are dated from the autumn of 589 B.C., having been found in an ash layer ?the remains of Nebuchadnezzar's burning of the city. They are thus contemporary with Jeremiah. Some of the fragments represent letters written by an outpost soldier to his commander at Lachish.
Letter VI complains about certain princes who "weaken our hands" by their defeatist actions. This is almost identical to the charge that some were lodging against Jeremiah: ".he weakeneth the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words unto them, for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt" (Jer. 38:4). Letter IV states that "we are watching for the signals of Lachish.." Compare this with Jeremiah 6:1, where the same word for "signal" is employed. Letter III contains a reference to a certain "prophet" who had proclaimed a message of "Beware." Some have speculated that this may be a reference to Jeremiah, but the identification is not certain. The texts of these communications are found in Pritchard (212-214).
· Following the fall of Jerusalem, Gedaliah, grandson of Shaphan (Josiah's scribe), was appointed governor over Judea by Nebuchadnezzar. His administration was centered at Mizpah and was short-lived; he was assassinated (2 Kgs. 25:22-26; Jer. 40:5-41:8). In the ruins of Lachish, a jar handle was found which read: "Gedaliah who is over the house." This may have been the Gedaliah of the book of Jeremiah (see Lewis, 113,114). In the British Museum there is a small stone seal, dating from the 6th century B.C., that contains the inscription: "Belonging to Hannaniah, son of Gedaliah." It is also possible that this is a reference to the Judean governor (Mitchell, 76). A seal impression at Mizpah bore the inscription "Jaazaniah, servant of the king." Scholars believe that this is the same Jaazaniah who met with Gedaliah at Mizpah (cf. Jer. 40:8; see Cornfield, 177).
· Jeremiah mentions that Jehoiachin, king of Judah, was a captive in Babylon, and that he was treated "kindly" (Jer. 52:31-34). Clay tablets found in the ruins of ancient Babylon confirm that Jehoiachin was treated well by Chaldean officials. He is referred to as "Yaukin, king of Judah," and a list of the provisions (e.g., oil and barley) for the former ruler and his family are detailed.
Note: For further study of the book of Jeremiah see the author's book "Jeremiah and Lamentations" available from "Courier Publications".
The author of this book is Jeremiah, a prophet (cf. Dan. 9:2; Mt. 2:17) of the city of Anathoth, a priestly community (cf. Josh. 21:18) about three miles northeast of Jerusalem. His father's name was Hilkiah. Some suggest that this was the high priest who found the copy of the law (2 Kgs. 22:4) in the ruins of the temple (Smith, 311-12). Most commentators do not make that connection.
The meaning of his name is uncertain; various suggestions have been: "Jehovah establishes," "Jehovah exalts," and "Jehovah casts down." Jeremiah had no immediate family; in fact, he was the only prophet of the Old Testament whom God forbade to marry (16:1,2).
"Jeremiah is an intensely human personality, a man whom we can understand and love, and yet a person endowed with such mysterious power from on high that we at times are overawed by his grandeur. Jeremiah, so humanly weak, and yet so divinely firm; his love so humanly tender, and at the same time so divinely holy; his eyes streaming with tears at beholding the affliction about to come upon his people, yet sparkling with fiery indignation against their sins and abominations; his lips overflowing with sympathy for the daughter of Zion, only to pronounce upon her almost in the same breath the judgment and condemnation she so fully deserved. Truly so remarkable and powerful a personality, at the same time so lovable, that we cannot fail to recognize in him an instrument especially chosen and prepared by the God of grace and strength and wisdom" (Laetsch, 23).
The bulk of the prophetic message is directed to the southern kingdom of Judah ?though sometimes referred to as "Israel" ?with its capital city, Jerusalem (chapters 2-45). Samaria and the northern kingdom had fallen to Assyria almost a century earlier. Additionally, miscellaneous oracles are aimed at a few other ancient nations (cf. 1:5). Chapters 46-51 address several of Judah's pagan contemporaries, e.g., Egypt, Philistia, Moab, Amon, Edom, Syria, Babylon, etc.
The Historical Time Frame
Jeremiah prophesied during the administrations of five of Judah's kings:
1. Josiah (639-608 B.C.) - 31 years
2. Jehoahaz (608 B.C.) - 3 months
3. Jehoiakim (608-597 B.C.) - 11 years
4. Johoiachin (597 B.C.) - 3 months
5. Zedekiah (597-586 B.C.) - 11 years
The prophet commenced his labor in the 13th year of Josiah (626 B.C.); he concluded his ministry in Judea when the temple was destroyed in 586 B.C. Thus, his work in the southern kingdom spanned approximately forty years. However, he prophesied periodically even after the fall of Jerusalem. The last date mentioned in the book comes thirty-seven years following the capture of Jehoiachin (597 B.C.), thus in 560 B.C. (52:31). This is twenty-six years beyond Jerusalem's fall. If chapter 52 was added by Jeremiah ?though not authored by him (Young, 255), his career could have spanned some sixty-six years.
The Conditions of the Time
When Judah's good king Hezekiah died, he was succeeded by his son, Manasseh. Under Manasseh, the nation became engrossed in idolatry. Baal was worshipped, pagan alters were built, children were sacrificed to Moloch, worship of the stars was instituted, etc. The prophets were persecuted. Tradition has it that Isaiah was sawn asunder in this era (cf. Heb. 11:37). It was a very bad time.
During Manasseh's administration the people of Judah "did more evil" than their heathen neighbors (2 Chron. 33:9). Manasseh was taken as a prisoner to Assyria; there, he came to his senses and repented of his evil. When he returned to Palestine, he tried to undo the spiritual damage he had done, but he could not stem the tide of idolatry. When the ruler died, he was succeeded by his son Amon who quickly re-instituted the wicked practices of his father's early days.
Amon was followed by his son Josiah, Judah's last good king. Josiah began to seek Jehovah when he was but a lad of sixteen years (2 Chron. 34:3). By the time he was twenty, he sought to purge the land of idolatry. One of his projects was to repair the temple. During this enterprise, a copy of the sacred law was discovered. When the king noted the contrast between the pure religion described in the Mosaic law, and the corrupt practices of the current Hebrews, he initiated a great reformation, which, however noble, was but superficial and temporal. The nation was on a headlong course of destruction; it was just a matter of time. It was during this era ?in the thirteenth year of Josiah's reign ?that Jeremiah was called to his great prophetic ministry.
Purpose of the Book
The basic thrust of Jeremiah's ministry is two-fold. Initially, he seeks to bring his people to a state of repentance (cf. 7:2-7). If Judah will turn back to God, she can avoid the horrible destruction that looms like a dark cloud on the horizon (the Babylonian invasion). Eventually, though, it became apparent that the people had no intention of abandoning their apostasy. Accordingly, it was Jeremiah's sad task to warn them of the approaching destruction (see 21:1-10). He informed them that this catastrophe was a judgment from God. They must submit to it and take their punishment. It was this message that provoked livid anger in the Jews. Jeremiah was viewed as a traitor and persecuted more intensely than any other Hebrew prophet ever had been.
Divisions of the Book
The book is a collection of Jeremiah's prophecies. Scholars outline the book differently, but the main segments appear to be:
a. Prophecies concerning Judah and Jerusalem (1-25).
b. Biographical data relating to Jeremiah, and prophecies of redemption in the coming Messianic age (26-45).
c. Oracles regarding the nations (46-51).
d. A historical appendix (52).
Chronology of the Book
A careful consideration of the material within the book reveals that events, prophecies, etc. are not always set forth chronologically. For example, chapters 21 and 24 come from the time of Zedekiah's reign (597-586 B.C.), while chapter 25 is related to Jehoiakim's administration (608-597 B.C.). D.J. Wiseman offers the following table, suggesting that some material might be arranged according to the administrations of certain rulers (817). This involves some speculation.
a. Josiah (1:1-19; 2:1-6; 30; 7:1-10:25; 18:1-20:18)
b. Jehoahaz (none)
c. Josiah or Jehoiakim (11:1-17:27)
d. Jehoiakim (25-26; 35-36; 45-48)
e. Jehoiachin (31:15-27)
f. Zedekiah (21-24; 27-34; 37-39; 49-51)
g. Gedaliah (& Egypt) (40-44)
Why is there a lack of chronological sequence? Some suggest the materials of this book were circulated originally in the form of separate scrolls, each of which illustrated a particular teaching. Later, it is contended, these scrolls were assembled to constitute the current book of Jeremiah (Deere, 898). On the other hand, some argue that Jeremiah himself arranged the materials, not in a sequential fashion, but in a logically topical way. Professor Charles Dyer has argued this case in his discussion of this book (Dyer, 1128). It is important to observe, however, that the arrangement of the book does not at all affect the question of inspiration. The task of the commentator is to deal with the book in the order given without being preoccupied with rearranging the text (Feinberg, 367). The liberal view should be rejected.
Features of the Book
The book of Jeremiah has several significant features that are worthy of note:
1. Over and over again the prophet stresses that the nation of Judah is a "backsliding" people (13 times). The Hebrews have "committed iniquity" (or sin, transgression, etc. ?53 times) against Jehovah. She should thus "return" (47 times) to the Lord. Because of their sins, the people of Judah would be "scattered" (14 times) and held "captive," or be in "captivity" (51 times) by the Babylonians. The Babylonians are referred to more times in the book of Jeremiah than in the balance of the Bible combined.
2. This is a powerful book of prophecy. For example: The seventy years of Babylonian captivity are foretold (25:11). But the captivity will not be a "full end" of Judah (5:18); rather, the Jews will return from Babylon (29:10-14). Eventually, mighty Babylon herself will fall (25:12-14). The "Righteous Branch" (the Messiah) will come to earth (23:5), and provide a "new covenant" (31:31-34) by means of which all nations may potentially be saved.
3. Jeremiah is the most persecuted prophet of the Bible. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter (11:18ff); his brethren dealt treacherously with him (12:6); he was confronted by false prophets (14:13); his brethren cursed him (15:10); he was smitten, put in stocks, and denounced (20:1ff); his heart was broken (23:9); he was seized and threatened with death (26:8,24); his teaching was opposed (28:1ff; 29:1ff); he was imprisoned (32:2,3); he was pursued (36:26); he was beaten and imprisoned (37:15); he was thrown into a dungeon (38:6); he was bound in chains (40:1); he was falsely accused (43:2); he was taken to Egypt (43:6,7). Tradition says he was stoned in Egypt.
4. The book of Jeremiah testifies quite eloquently to the biblical doctrine of inspiration. First, Jeremiah himself reflects a very high regard for earlier biblical documents. For instance, some sixty-six passages from the book of Deuteronomy are echoed in about eighty-six references in this book (Feinberg, 368). Second, this narrative itself claims prophetic inspiration over and over again. "In Jeremiah there are 151 clearly marked prophecies commencing with the prophetic formula, ?The word of the Lord came.'" (Boyd, 286). Third, he is designated as "Jeremiah the prophet" in the New Testament (Mt. 2:17; 27:9 ?for a discussion of the accuracy of this latter reference, see "Did Matthew Blunder?"). The writer of Hebrews cites from Jeremiah 31:31ff and attributes the declaration to God (8:8). The Greek Text of the United Bible Societies lists about ninety-six concurrences between the book of Jeremiah and the New Testament (Aland, Black, Metzger, & Wikgren, 904).