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CHAPTER 1 Ju1. 11 
God Calls Jeremiah
The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin: 2to whom the word of Yahweh came in the days of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. 3It came also in the days of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, to the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah son of Josiah king of Judah, to the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month. 4Now the word of Yahweh came to me saying, 5Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you came forth out of the womb, I sanctified you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations. 6Then I said, Ah, Lord Yahweh! Behold, I don’t know how to speak; for I am a child. 7But Yahweh said to me, Don’t say, ‘I am a child;’ for to whoever I shall send you, you shall go, and whatever I shall command you, you shall speak. 8Don’t be afraid because of them; for I am with you to deliver you, says Yahweh. 9Then Yahweh put forth His hand, and touched my mouth; and Yahweh said to me, Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. 10Behold, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down and to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.
Two Visions 
11Moreover the word of Yahweh came to me saying, Jeremiah, what do you see? I said, I see a branch of an almond tree. 12Then Yahweh said to me, You have seen well; for I watch over My word to perform it. 13The word of Yahweh came to me the second time saying, What do you see? I said, I see a boiling cauldron; and it is tipping away from the north. 14Then Yahweh said to me, Out of the north evil will break out on all the inhabitants of the land. 15For, behold, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, says Yahweh; and they shall come, and they shall each set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all its walls all around, and against all the cities of Judah. 16I will utter My judgements against them touching all their wickedness, in that they have forsaken Me and have burned incense to other gods and worshipped the works of their own hands. 17You therefore put your belt on your waist, arise, and speak to them all that I command you. Don’t be dismayed at them, lest I dismay you before them. 18For, behold, I have made you this day a fortified city, and an iron pillar, and bronze walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against its princes, against its priests, and against the people of the land. 19They will fight against you; but they will not prevail against you; for I am with you, says Yahweh, to deliver you.


1:5 Jeremiah is spoken of as having existed before birth. This wasn’t literally the case, but because God is outside time as we know it, He can speak of things which don’t exist as if they do, so total is His knowledge of the future (Rom. 4:17). All the believers and also Jesus are spoken of with this language (Eph. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:20), but it doesn’t mean that He nor we personally pre-existed.
1:6 So many called to preach God’s word feel unworthy or unqualified to do so; but God delights to work through those who feel this way.
1:10 This reflects the power which there is in God’s word, which we also can speak forth to this world.
1:17 Don’t be dismayed at them, lest I dismay you- This appears to be the basis of Christ’s warning to His preachers, that if we are ashamed of His words in this generation, He will be ashamed of us in the last day and we will walk before all men with the shame of the rejected (Lk. 9:26; Rev. 16:15). We are to therefore see Jeremiah as in some sense representative of us in our witness to the world.
1:18 The prophets required this psychological strengthening to do their work; because seeing the world from God’s perspective, perceiving the tragedy of a humanity who refuse to accept His salvation, realizing the depth of His pain- is all too much. And God will strengthen us too, to be His witnesses in a similar world.