JER'EMI'AH Yirmeyahii, Yahweh casts. perhaps in the sense of 'ap points'). one ot the greatest of the Ilel(rew pro phets, lie was the son of llilkiah and a member of a priestly family dwelling at Anathoth near .1( rnsalem. While the earliest references to him in the Old Testament are not older than the second ventury still it is possible. from a study of his diseourses in the book that bears his name. to follow the general course of his cancer. The date of his birth may be fixed ap proximately at about B.C. 650. since we know that in n.c 625 he came forward into public notice. The beginning of his activity, therefore, is almost coincident with the promulgation of the Denteronomie code (see DEr•usoxouvl under Josiah. The adoption of this code marked the triumph of Yahwism. Jeremiah's complete sympathy with this code. which established among other things the centralization of Yahweh wo•ship in the temple at Jerusalem. is indieated by the numerous references to it in the discourses of the prophet. Whether or not there was a local cult at Anathoth, to which Jeremiah may at one time have been attached. it is certain that after B.C. 620 the prophet's home was at Jeru salem. and that lie remained there till the eapt ore of the city. t'nlike Habakkuk, who hails the new Chaldean power with joy, Jeremiah secs in it the instrument of Yahweh's wrath to punish Judah as he had punished Israel. The death of Josiah at Megiddo in 60S. which threw the
country into eonfusion, may have led to a reac tion against the religious instituted by the King. and which by his tragic death were demonstrated to be futile in averting the dis pleasure of Yahweh. Jeremiah develops into a prophet of gloom and woe. declaring that neither prayers nor sacrifices will avail to ward off the coming disaster. and that even the temple of Yahweh may he wiped out, as a punishment for the long period of defection on the part of the people. The refrain which sounds throughout his discourse is `too late.' When the end came Jeremiah counseled submission to Babylonian authority. He deprecated, as did .Tosiah (q.v.). reliance upon Egypt. and he did not favor the attempt of Zedekiah to throw off the Babylonian yoke. In assuming this attitude .Jeremiah was guided by his stern but profound conviction that the people of Yahweh had been guilty and must suffer toe consequences. Naturally such a position rendered him exceedingly unpopular. lie was denounced as manifesting lack of patriot ism, and no doubt endured much suffering and persecution, even though the accounts of his martyrdom were subsequently exaggerated. After the destruction of Jerusalem in ti.c. 586 he went to Egypt, if we may rely upon the statement embodied in the islitorial revision of his utter ances (chap. xliii. 6, 7).