Jeremiah 1

Study the Inner Meaning

King James Version         

← Isaiah 66   Jeremiah 2 →

1 The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin:

2 To whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign.

3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month.

4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

6 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.

7 But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.

8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.

9 Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.

10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.

11 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree.

12 Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.

13 And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying, What seest thou? And I said, I see a seething pot; and the face thereof is toward the north.

14 Then the LORD said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.

15 For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, saith the LORD; and they shall come, and they shall set every one his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof round about, and against all the cities of Judah.

16 And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands.

17 Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.

18 For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land.

19 And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee.

← Isaiah 66   Jeremiah 2 →
   Study the Inner Meaning

Exploring the Meaning of Jeremiah 1      

Chapter 1 of the Book of Jeremiah could be titled: Humility Precedes Enlightenment

Rev. Louis Hoecht, in his book of Bible commentary, "The Tree of Life", provides this explanation:

The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah from the time of Josiah, king of Judah, unto the carrying away of Jerusalem into captivity.

The discovery of a long lost book of the law in Josiah's reign started a great reformation. This revival and the subsequent decadence and captivity form the background of this prophecy.

Jeremiah saw clearly the cause of his people's decline, and yearned to sound the alarm, and save them from the impending fall, but felt incompetent to say the word. A touch of the Divine hand upon his lips, however, conferred the power of speech without fear or favor for the best interests of the last remnant of a great nation.

And so humility, and an irrepressible desire to do something to be different and make the world different, open the mind to the meaning of prophecy and its bearing upon evils within that are the source of all the disorder in the world. The vision of the rod of an almond tree, the first to blossom in the spring, is reassuring. "If winter comes, can spring be far behind?" Trouble is nigh, a heartburning of alarming intensity.

The word comes to uncover the complete collapse of the church, or of religion itself, under pressure from the love of dominion, Babylon will invest Jerusalem with intent to destroy her defences, and exterminate her kings, and princes, and priests and people. "They shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee."

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 67


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 699, 2838, 3708, 5622, 8106, 8408, 9475, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 194, 457, 898, 899

Doctrine of the Lord 53

True Christian Religion 158


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 79, 208, 219, 223, 324, 433, 585, ...

Spiritual Experiences 228

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Exodus 4:10, 15, 6:29

Deuteronomy 18:16, 17, 18, 28:20, 31:6

Joshua 1:9, 21:18

2 Kings 23:34

2 Chronicles 28:2, 34:1

Ezra 2:23

Psalms 139:15

Ecclesiastes 3:3

Isaiah 2:8, 6:6, 55:11, 59:21

Jeremiah 2:13, 19, 28, 4:6, 12, 6:1, 22, 27, 7:17, 18, 11:19, 21, 15:10, 19, 20, 18:7, 15, 18, 20:10, 11, 24:3, 25:3, 9, 26:2, 8, 30:11, 31:28, 32:7, 34:1, 6, 37:12, 39:2, 42:11, 43:1, 52:12, 15

Ezekiel 2:6, 3:8, 17, 11:3, 7, 12:25, 28, 16:18, 24:3

Daniel 10:16

Hosea 6:5

Joel 2:20

Amos 8:2

Jonah 3:2

Zephaniah 1:1

Matthew 10:28

Luke 12:35

John 10:36

Acts of the Apostles 18:10, 26:17

Galatians 1:15

Revelation 10:11

Bible Word Meanings

words
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

jeremiah
Jeremiah, in the Book of Jeremiah 1:1 and what follows, represents the Lord. (Arcana Coelestia 2838 [2]). In Jeremiah 13:7, he signifies the state of...

son
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

priests
Priests' represent the Lord regarding His divine good. When they do not acknowledge the Lord, they lose their signification of the Lord.

land
Is there any difference in meaning between “earth” and “ground”? At first it doesn’t seem so; both refer to the soil making up the land...

Benjamin
'The tribe of Zebulon' signifies the conjunction of people in the third heaven with the Lord, 'the tribe of Joseph,' the conjunction of people in...

the Word
In general, we tend to be very aware of how knowing what's true leads to doing what is good. That starts as children, with parents...

word
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

days
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

judah
City of Judah,' as in Isaiah 40:9, signifies the doctrine of love towards the Lord and love towards our neighbor in its whole extent.

thirteenth
'Thirteen,' between twelve and fourteen, denotes the intermediate state. 'Thirteen,' as the sum of ten and three, denotes remains.

Thirteenth year
'The thirteenth year,' as in Genesis 14, signifies the beginning of the Lord’s temptations in childhood.

reign
To reign,' as in Revelation 5, signifies being in truths and goods, and so in power, from the Lord, to resist evils and falsities which...

Jehoiakim
Jehoiakim,' as in Jeremiah 36:30, after he had burnt the scroll written by Jeremiah, it is said, 'that his dead body shall be cast out...

jerusalem
Jerusalem, on Mount Zion, signifies the doctrine of love to the Lord, and how it governs your life. Jerusalem first comes to our attention in...

month
'A month' has respect to the state of truth in a person. 'A month' signifies a full state. Month,' as in Genesis 29, signifies the...

formed
Forming from the womb, as in Isaiah 44:2, 24; 49:1, 5, signifies the reformer. For references to the Lord as Reformer and Regenerator, see Doctrine...

belly
The belly (Psalms 16:4) signifies the interior understanding.

knew
In a general sense, men represent things of the intellect – facts, ideas, knowledge, everything from the deepest truths to the most pernicious falsities about...

womb
'Matrix' signifies opening of the spiritual mind.

sanctified
'To sanctify' denotes being led by the Lord. 'To sanctify' denotes being incapable of being violated.

prophet
The idea of a "prophet" is very closely tied to the idea of the Bible itself, since the Bible was largely written by prophets. At...

nations
The Bible generally uses two different terms for large groups: “people” and “nation.” When it uses the term “nation,” it is talking about a group...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

speak
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

say
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

send
'Being sent' everywhere signifies, in an internal sense, going forth, as in John 17:8. In similar manner, it is said of the holy of the...

command
To command is to give an order that something must be done, and is directed to an individual, or a group. It is an imperative,...

afraid
The fearful signify people who have no faith.

faces
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

saith
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

hand
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

touched
Imagine having your mother touch your cheek. Then imagine having your spouse or someone you love romantically touch your cheek. Then imagine having a baby...

mouth
In most cases, "mouth" in the Bible represents thought and logic, especially the kind of active, concrete thought that is connected with speech. The reason...

see
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

day
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

build
wrought (also entwined or entwisted) is predicated of the natural scientific principle, and in Isaiah 45:13, of divine natural truth.

plant
'A shrub' signifies the knowledges of truth.

seen
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

pot
There is an interesting relationship between facts and truth. It's necessary to have facts if we want to know the truth, but facts on their...

face
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

north
'North' signifies people who are in obscurity regarding truth. North,' in Isaiah 14:31, signifies hell. The North,' as in Jeremiah 3:12, signifies people who are...

evil
'To hurt,' as mentioned in Revelation 6:6, signifies violation and profanation. 'To hurt' as mentioned in Revelation 9:4, signifies perverting the truths and goods of...

the inhabitants
'The inhabitants of Teman,' as in Jeremiah 49:20, signifies the evils and falsities opposed to the Lord’s celestial kingdom.

inhabitants
Inhabitants,' in Isaiah 26:9, signify the men of the church who are in good of doctrine, and thence in the good of life.

call
To call someone or summon someone in the Bible represents a desire for conjunction between higher and lower states of life. For instance, imagine someone...

families
Families (Gen 8:19) signify goodnesses and truths arranged in man by the Lord, according to order. Families have respect to truths. (Nahum 3:4)

come
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

Every one
The phrase “Every one,” where it occurs in Genesis 20:7, signifies every thing or all things.

throne
'The Lord's throne' signifies, in general, the whole heaven, and specifically, the spiritual heaven, and by extension, divine truth proceeding, and so, everything of heaven...

gates
"Gates" in ancient times had a significance that does not hold in the modern world. Cities then were enclosed by walls for protection; gates in...

Round about
'Round about' denotes the things most distant from the middle, or from good and truth.

cities
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

judgments
Judgement' pertains to the Lord's divine human and holy proceeding. Judgment' has two sides, a principle of good, and a principle of truth. The faithful...

touching
Imagine having your mother touch your cheek. Then imagine having your spouse or someone you love romantically touch your cheek. Then imagine having a baby...

wickedness
'Wickedness' signifies evil, and 'iniquity' signifies falsities.

gods
When the Bible speaks of "Jehovah," it is representing love itself, the inmost love that is the essence of the Lord. That divine love is...

works
'Works,' as in Genesis 46:33, denote goods, because they are from the will, and anything from the will is either good or evil, but anything...

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

hands
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

loins
'Loins' in general, signify love, and when referring to the Lord, divine love. 'Loins' signify the interiors of conjugial love. Loins,' as in Isaiah 11:5,...

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

city
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

iron
'Iron,' in Deuteronomy 8:9, signifies natural or rational truth. Iron' signifies natural truth, and consequently, the natural sense of the Word. At the same time,...

pillar
A pillar of a cloud by day,' and 'a pillar of fire by night,' as in Exodus 8:21, signifies a state of illustration which is...

brasen
Brass and iron as in Isaiah 48:4 and Daniel 7:19 signify what is hard.

walls
'A wall' signifies truth in outer extremes. 'A wall,' as in Revelation 21, signifies the divine truth proceeding from the Lord, and so, the truth...

the kings of
The kings of Media and Persia' represent people who are in faith separate from charity.

kings
The human mind is composed of two parts, a will and an understanding, a seat of loves and affections, and a seat of wisdom and...

princes
Captains and Rulers (Jer. 51:23) signifies principal evils and falsities. Captains and Rulers (Ezek 33:6) signifies principal truths. See Chief Captains.

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 The Major Prophets (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 The Major Prophets (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 The Major Prophets Crossword (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 The Major Prophets: Jeremiah
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3


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