Jeremiah 1 - Intro - 1:4-19 Commission of a Prophet

מִכְּדִי יְשַׁעְיָה קָדֵים מִיִּרְמְיָה וִיחֶזְקֵאל לַיקְדְּמֵיהּ לִישַׁעְיָה בְּרֵישָׁא!

כֵּיוָן דִּמְלָכִים סוֹפֵיהּ חוּרְבָּנָא וְיִרְמְיָה כּוּלֵּיהּ חוּרְבָּנָא וִיחֶזְקֵאל רֵישֵׁיהּ חוּרְבָּנָא וְסֵיפֵיהּ נֶחָמְתָּא וִישַׁעְיָה כּוּלֵּיהּ נֶחָמְתָּא סָמְכִינַן חוּרְבָּנָא לְחוּרְבָּנָא וְנֶחָמְתָּא לְנֶחָמְתָּא:

The Gemara further asks: Consider: Isaiah preceded Jeremiah and Ezekiel; let the book of Isaiah precede the books of those other prophets.

The Gemara answers: Since the book of Kings ends with the destruction of the Temple,

and the book of Jeremiah deals entirely with prophecies of the destruction,

and the book of Ezekiel begins with the destruction of the Temple but ends with consolation and the rebuilding of the Temple,

and Isaiah deals entirely with consolation, as most of his prophecies refer to the redemption,

we juxtapose destruction to destruction and consolation to consolation.

This accounts for the order: Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah.

...נמצאת אתה אומר, שלושה נביאים הם. אחד תבע כבוד האב וכבוד הבן, ואחד תבע כבוד האב ולא כבוד הבן, ואחד תבע כבוד הבן ולא כבוד האב.

ירמיה תבע כובד האב וכבוד הבן שנאמר 'נחנו פשענו ומרינו' [איכה ג']. לכך נכפלה נבואתו, שנאמר 'נוסף עליהם דברים' [ירמיה לו'].

אליהו תבע כובד האב ולא כבוד הבן, שנאמר 'קנא קנאתי לה' אלקי צבאות' [מלכים א' יט']. ומה נאמר? 'לך שוב לדרכך מדברה דמשק וגו' ואת יהוא בן נמשי תמשוח למלך על ישראל ואת אלישע בן שפט תמשוח לנביא תחתיך' שאין ת"ל לנביא תחתיך, אלא שאי אפשי בנבואתך.

יונה תבע כבוד הבן ולא כבוד האב, שנאמר 'ויהי דבר ה' אל יונה שנית' [יונה א'], שנית נדבר עמו שלישית לא. ...

...We find there to have been three (kinds of) prophets. One claimed the honor of the Father and the father of the son; another, the honor of the Father, but not the honor of the son; another, the honor of the son, but not the honor of the Father.

Jeremiah claimed the honor of the Father and the honor of the son, viz. (Eichah 3:42) "We have offended and rebelled" (the honor of the Father); "You have not forgiven" (the honor of the son). Therefore, his prophecy was "doubled," (Jeremiah 36:33) "… and many other words were added to them" (the prophecies of Jeremiah).

Eliyahu claimed the honor of the Father, but not the honor of the son, viz. (I Kings 19:10) "I have been very jealous for the L rd, the G d of hosts, etc." And what is stated in this regard? (Ibid. 15-16) "And the L rd said to him: Go, return on your way to the desert of Damascus … And Yehu the son of Nimshi shall you anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shafat … shall you anoint to be a prophet in your place." What is the intent of this? He does not desire your prophecy (because you do not claim the honor of Israel).

Jonah claimed the honor of the son, but not the honor of the Father. What is stated in that regard? (Jonah 1:3) "And the word of the L rd came to Jonah a second time, saying." What is the intent of this? We will speak with him a second time, but not a third, (for he did not claim the honor of the L rd). ...

(א) דִּבְרֵ֥י יִרְמְיָ֖הוּ בֶּן־חִלְקִיָּ֑הוּ מִן־הַכֹּֽהֲנִים֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בַּעֲנָת֔וֹת בְּאֶ֖רֶץ בִּנְיָמִֽן׃

(ב) אֲשֶׁ֨ר הָיָ֤ה דְבַר־יְהֹוָה֙ אֵלָ֔יו בִּימֵ֛י יֹאשִׁיָּ֥הוּ בֶן־אָמ֖וֹן מֶ֣לֶךְ יְהוּדָ֑ה בִּשְׁלֹשׁ־עֶשְׂרֵ֥ה שָׁנָ֖ה לְמׇלְכֽוֹ׃ (ג) וַיְהִ֗י בִּימֵ֨י יְהוֹיָקִ֤ים בֶּן־יֹאשִׁיָּ֙הוּ֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ יְהוּדָ֔ה עַד־תֹּם֙ עַשְׁתֵּ֣י עֶשְׂרֵ֣ה שָׁנָ֔ה לְצִדְקִיָּ֥הוּ בֶן־יֹאשִׁיָּ֖הוּ מֶ֣לֶךְ יְהוּדָ֑ה עַד־גְּל֥וֹת יְרוּשָׁלַ֖͏ִם בַּחֹ֥דֶשׁ הַֽחֲמִישִֽׁי׃ {פ}

(1) The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin.

(2) The word of the LORD came to him in the days of King Josiah son of Amon of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign, (3) and throughout the days of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of King Zedekiah son of Josiah of Judah, when Jerusalem went into exile in the fifth month.

Rembrandt van Rijn, Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem, 1630. Oil on canvas, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Source: https://www.bibleodyssey.org/tools/image-gallery/j/jeremiah-arts-2

Our Text: 1:4-19

(ד) וַיְהִ֥י דְבַר־יְהֹוָ֖ה אֵלַ֥י לֵאמֹֽר׃ (ה) בְּטֶ֨רֶם (אצורך) [אֶצׇּרְךָ֤] בַבֶּ֙טֶן֙ יְדַעְתִּ֔יךָ וּבְטֶ֛רֶם תֵּצֵ֥א מֵרֶ֖חֶם הִקְדַּשְׁתִּ֑יךָ נָבִ֥יא לַגּוֹיִ֖ם נְתַתִּֽיךָ׃ (ו) וָאֹמַ֗ר אֲהָהּ֙ אֲדֹנָ֣י יֱהֹוִ֔ה הִנֵּ֥ה לֹֽא־יָדַ֖עְתִּי דַּבֵּ֑ר כִּי־נַ֖עַר אָנֹֽכִי׃ {ס}

(ז) וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהֹוָה֙ אֵלַ֔י אַל־תֹּאמַ֖ר נַ֣עַר אָנֹ֑כִי כִּ֠י עַֽל־כׇּל־אֲשֶׁ֤ר אֶֽשְׁלָחֲךָ֙ תֵּלֵ֔ךְ וְאֵ֛ת כׇּל־אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֲצַוְּךָ֖ תְּדַבֵּֽר׃ (ח) אַל־תִּירָ֖א מִפְּנֵיהֶ֑ם כִּֽי־אִתְּךָ֥ אֲנִ֛י לְהַצִּלֶ֖ךָ נְאֻם־יְהֹוָֽה׃ (ט) וַיִּשְׁלַ֤ח יְהֹוָה֙ אֶת־יָד֔וֹ וַיַּגַּ֖ע עַל־פִּ֑י וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהֹוָה֙ אֵלַ֔י הִנֵּ֛ה נָתַ֥תִּי דְבָרַ֖י בְּפִֽיךָ׃ (י) רְאֵ֞ה הִפְקַדְתִּ֣יךָ ׀ הַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֗ה עַל־הַגּוֹיִם֙ וְעַל־הַמַּמְלָכ֔וֹת לִנְת֥וֹשׁ וְלִנְת֖וֹץ וּלְהַאֲבִ֣יד וְלַהֲר֑וֹס לִבְנ֖וֹת וְלִנְטֽוֹעַ׃ {פ}

(יא) וַיְהִ֤י דְבַר־יְהֹוָה֙ אֵלַ֣י לֵאמֹ֔ר מָה־אַתָּ֥ה רֹאֶ֖ה יִרְמְיָ֑הוּ וָאֹמַ֕ר מַקֵּ֥ל שָׁקֵ֖ד אֲנִ֥י רֹאֶֽה׃ (יב) וַיֹּ֧אמֶר יְהֹוָ֛ה אֵלַ֖י הֵיטַ֣בְתָּ לִרְא֑וֹת כִּֽי־שֹׁקֵ֥ד אֲנִ֛י עַל־דְּבָרִ֖י לַעֲשֹׂתֽוֹ׃ {ס}

​​​​​​​ (יג) וַיְהִ֨י דְבַר־יְהֹוָ֤ה ׀ אֵלַי֙ שֵׁנִ֣ית לֵאמֹ֔ר מָ֥ה אַתָּ֖ה רֹאֶ֑ה וָאֹמַ֗ר סִ֤יר נָפ֙וּחַ֙ אֲנִ֣י רֹאֶ֔ה וּפָנָ֖יו מִפְּנֵ֥י צָפֽוֹנָה׃ (יד) וַיֹּ֥אמֶר יְהֹוָ֖ה אֵלָ֑י מִצָּפוֹן֙ תִּפָּתַ֣ח הָרָעָ֔ה עַ֥ל כׇּל־יֹשְׁבֵ֖י הָאָֽרֶץ׃ (טו) כִּ֣י ׀ הִנְנִ֣י קֹרֵ֗א לְכׇֽל־מִשְׁפְּח֛וֹת מַמְלְכ֥וֹת צָפ֖וֹנָה נְאֻם־יְהֹוָ֑ה וּבָ֡אוּ וְֽנָתְנוּ֩ אִ֨ישׁ כִּסְא֜וֹ פֶּ֣תַח ׀ שַׁעֲרֵ֣י יְרוּשָׁלַ֗͏ִם וְעַ֤ל כׇּל־חוֹמֹתֶ֙יהָ֙ סָבִ֔יב וְעַ֖ל כׇּל־עָרֵ֥י יְהוּדָֽה׃ (טז) וְדִבַּרְתִּ֤י מִשְׁפָּטַי֙ אוֹתָ֔ם עַ֖ל כׇּל־רָעָתָ֑ם אֲשֶׁ֣ר עֲזָב֗וּנִי וַֽיְקַטְּרוּ֙ לֵאלֹהִ֣ים אֲחֵרִ֔ים וַיִּֽשְׁתַּחֲו֖וּ לְמַעֲשֵׂ֥י יְדֵיהֶֽם׃ (יז) וְאַתָּה֙ תֶּאְזֹ֣ר מׇתְנֶ֔יךָ וְקַמְתָּ֙ וְדִבַּרְתָּ֣ אֲלֵיהֶ֔ם אֵ֛ת כׇּל־אֲשֶׁ֥ר אָנֹכִ֖י אֲצַוֶּ֑ךָּ אַל־תֵּחַת֙ מִפְּנֵיהֶ֔ם פֶּֽן־אֲחִתְּךָ֖ לִפְנֵיהֶֽם׃ (יח) וַאֲנִ֞י הִנֵּ֧ה נְתַתִּ֣יךָ הַיּ֗וֹם לְעִ֨יר מִבְצָ֜ר וּלְעַמּ֥וּד בַּרְזֶ֛ל וּלְחֹמ֥וֹת נְחֹ֖שֶׁת עַל־כׇּל־הָאָ֑רֶץ לְמַלְכֵ֤י יְהוּדָה֙ לְשָׂרֶ֔יהָ לְכֹהֲנֶ֖יהָ וּלְעַ֥ם הָאָֽרֶץ׃ (יט) וְנִלְחֲמ֥וּ אֵלֶ֖יךָ וְלֹא־י֣וּכְלוּ לָ֑ךְ כִּי־אִתְּךָ֥ אֲנִ֛י נְאֻם־יְהֹוָ֖ה לְהַצִּילֶֽךָ׃ {פ}

(4) The word of the LORD came to me: (5) Before I created you in the womb, I selected you;
Before you were born, I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet concerning the nations.
(6) I replied:
Ah, Lord GOD!
I don’t know how to speak,
For I am still a boy.

(7) And the LORD said to me:
Do not say, “I am still a boy,”
But go wherever I send you
And speak whatever I command you.
(8) Have no fear of them,
For I am with you to deliver you
—declares the LORD.

(9) The LORD put out His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me: Herewith I put My words into your mouth. (10) See, I appoint you this day
Over nations and kingdoms:
To uproot and to pull down,
To destroy and to overthrow,
To build and to plant.

(11) The word of the LORD came to me: What do you see, Jeremiah? I replied: I see a branch of an almond tree. (12) The LORD said to me:
You have seen right,
For I am watchful to bring My word to pass.

(13) And the word of the LORD came to me a second time: What do you see? I replied:
I see a steaming pot,
Tipped away from the north.
(14) And the LORD said to me:
From the north shall disaster break loose
Upon all the inhabitants of the land!
(15) For I am summoning all the peoples
Of the kingdoms of the north
—declares the LORD.
They shall come, and shall each set up a throne
Before the gates of Jerusalem,
Against its walls round about,
And against all the towns of Judah.
(16) And I will argue My case against them
For all their wickedness:
They have forsaken Me
And sacrificed to other gods
And worshiped the works of their hands.

(17) So you, gird up your loins,
Arise and speak to them
All that I command you.
Do not break down before them,
Lest I break you before them.
(18) I make you this day
A fortified city,
And an iron pillar,
And bronze walls
Against the whole land—
Against Judah’s kings and officers,
And against its priests and citizens.
(19) They will attack you,
But they shall not overcome you;
For I am with you—declares the LORD—to save you.

Commission of the Prophet

(י) וְעַתָּ֣ה לְכָ֔ה וְאֶֽשְׁלָחֲךָ֖ אֶל־פַּרְעֹ֑ה וְהוֹצֵ֛א אֶת־עַמִּ֥י בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מִמִּצְרָֽיִם׃ (יא) וַיֹּ֤אמֶר מֹשֶׁה֙ אֶל־הָ֣אֱלֹהִ֔ים מִ֣י אָנֹ֔כִי כִּ֥י אֵלֵ֖ךְ אֶל־פַּרְעֹ֑ה וְכִ֥י אוֹצִ֛יא אֶת־בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מִמִּצְרָֽיִם׃ (יב) וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ כִּֽי־אֶֽהְיֶ֣ה עִמָּ֔ךְ וְזֶה־לְּךָ֣ הָא֔וֹת כִּ֥י אָנֹכִ֖י שְׁלַחְתִּ֑יךָ בְּהוֹצִֽיאֲךָ֤ אֶת־הָעָם֙ מִמִּצְרַ֔יִם תַּֽעַבְדוּן֙ אֶת־הָ֣אֱלֹהִ֔ים עַ֖ל הָהָ֥ר הַזֶּֽה׃
(10) Come, therefore, I will send you to Pharaoh, and you shall free My people, the Israelites, from Egypt.” (11) But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and free the Israelites from Egypt?” (12) And He said, “I will be with you; that shall be your sign that it was I who sent you. And when you have freed the people from Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain.”
(טו) וְדִבַּרְתָּ֣ אֵלָ֔יו וְשַׂמְתָּ֥ אֶת־הַדְּבָרִ֖ים בְּפִ֑יו וְאָנֹכִ֗י אֶֽהְיֶ֤ה עִם־פִּ֙יךָ֙ וְעִם־פִּ֔יהוּ וְהוֹרֵיתִ֣י אֶתְכֶ֔ם אֵ֖ת אֲשֶׁ֥ר תַּעֲשֽׂוּן׃
(15) You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth—I will be with you and with him as you speak, and tell both of you what to do—
(יח) נָבִ֨יא אָקִ֥ים לָהֶ֛ם מִקֶּ֥רֶב אֲחֵיהֶ֖ם כָּמ֑וֹךָ וְנָתַתִּ֤י דְבָרַי֙ בְּפִ֔יו וְדִבֶּ֣ר אֲלֵיהֶ֔ם אֵ֖ת כׇּל־אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֲצַוֶּֽנּוּ׃
(18) I will raise up a prophet for them from among their own people, like yourself: I will put My words in his mouth and he will speak to them all that I command him;
(ה) וָאֹמַ֞ר אֽוֹי־לִ֣י כִֽי־נִדְמֵ֗יתִי כִּ֣י אִ֤ישׁ טְמֵֽא־שְׂפָתַ֙יִם֙ אָנֹ֔כִי וּבְתוֹךְ֙ עַם־טְמֵ֣א שְׂפָתַ֔יִם אָנֹכִ֖י יוֹשֵׁ֑ב כִּ֗י אֶת־הַמֶּ֛לֶךְ יְהֹוָ֥ה צְבָא֖וֹת רָא֥וּ עֵינָֽי׃ (ו) וַיָּ֣עׇף אֵלַ֗י אֶחָד֙ מִן־הַשְּׂרָפִ֔ים וּבְיָד֖וֹ רִצְפָּ֑ה בְּמֶ֨לְקַחַ֔יִם לָקַ֖ח מֵעַ֥ל הַמִּזְבֵּֽחַ׃ (ז) וַיַּגַּ֣ע עַל־פִּ֔י וַיֹּ֕אמֶר הִנֵּ֛ה נָגַ֥ע זֶ֖ה עַל־שְׂפָתֶ֑יךָ וְסָ֣ר עֲוֺנֶ֔ךָ וְחַטָּאתְךָ֖ תְּכֻפָּֽר׃
(5) I cried,
“Woe is me; I am lost!
For I am a man of unclean lips-b
And I live among a people
Of unclean lips;
Yet my own eyes have beheld
The King LORD of Hosts.”
(6) Then one of the seraphs flew over to me with a live coal, which he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. (7) He touched it to my lips and declared,

“Now that this has touched your lips,
Your guilt shall depart
And your sin be purged away.”

Images and Word Play: Almonds and Watchfulness

(כז) הִנֵּ֛ה יָמִ֥ים בָּאִ֖ים נְאֻם־יְהֹוָ֑ה וְזָרַעְתִּ֗י אֶת־בֵּ֤ית יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ וְאֶת־בֵּ֣ית יְהוּדָ֔ה זֶ֥רַע אָדָ֖ם וְזֶ֥רַע בְּהֵמָֽה׃ (כח) וְהָיָ֞ה כַּאֲשֶׁ֧ר שָׁקַ֣דְתִּי עֲלֵיהֶ֗ם לִנְת֧וֹשׁ וְלִנְת֛וֹץ וְלַהֲרֹ֖ס וּלְהַאֲבִ֣יד וּלְהָרֵ֑עַ כֵּ֣ן אֶשְׁקֹ֧ד עֲלֵיהֶ֛ם לִבְנ֥וֹת וְלִנְטֹ֖עַ נְאֻם־יְהֹוָֽה׃
(27) See, a time is coming—declares the LORD—when I will sow the House of Israel and the House of Judah with seed of men and seed of cattle; (28) and just as I was watchful over them to uproot and to pull down, to overthrow and to destroy and to bring disaster, so I will be watchful over them to build and to plant—declares the LORD.