The Message

Jeremiah 1

Demolish, and Then Start Over

11-4 The Message of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah of the family of priests who lived in Anathoth in the country of Benjamin. God’s Message began to come to him during the thirteenth year that Josiah son of Amos reigned over Judah. It continued to come to him during the time Jehoiakim son of Josiah reigned over Judah. And it continued to come to him clear down to the fifth month of the eleventh year of the reign of Zedekiah son of Josiah over Judah, the year that Jerusalem was taken into exile. This is what God said:

“Before I shaped you in the womb,
    I knew all about you.
Before you saw the light of day,
    I had holy plans for you:
A prophet to the nations—
    that’s what I had in mind for you.”

But I said, “Hold it, Master God! Look at me.
    I don’t know anything. I’m only a boy!”

7-8 God told me, “Don’t say, ‘I’m only a boy.’
    I’ll tell you where to go and you’ll go there.
I’ll tell you what to say and you’ll say it.
    Don’t be afraid of a soul.
I’ll be right there, looking after you.”
    God’s Decree.

9-10 God reached out, touched my mouth, and said,
    “Look! I’ve just put my words in your mouth—hand-delivered!
See what I’ve done? I’ve given you a job to do
    among nations and governments—a red-letter day!
Your job is to pull up and tear down,
    take apart and demolish,
And then start over,
    building and planting.”

Stand Up and Say Your Piece

11-12 God’s Message came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?”
    I said, “A walking stick—that’s all.”
And God said, “Good eyes! I’m sticking with you.
    I’ll make every word I give you come true.”

13-15 God’s Message came again: “So what do you see now?”
    I said, “I see a boiling pot, tipped down toward us.”
Then God told me, “Disaster will pour out of the north
    on everyone living in this land.
Watch for this: I’m calling all the kings out of the north.”
    God’s Decree.

15-16 “They’ll come and set up headquarters
    facing Jerusalem’s gates,
Facing all the city walls,
    facing all the villages of Judah.
I’ll pronounce my judgment on the people of Judah
    for walking out on me—what a terrible thing to do!—
And courting other gods with their offerings,
    worshiping as gods sticks they’d carved, stones they’d painted.

17 “But you—up on your feet and get dressed for work!
    Stand up and say your piece. Say exactly what I tell you to say.
Don’t pull your punches
    or I’ll pull you out of the lineup.

18-19 “Stand at attention while I prepare you for your work.
    I’m making you as impregnable as a castle,
Immovable as a steel post,
    solid as a concrete block wall.
You’re a one-man defense system
    against this culture,
Against Judah’s kings and princes,
    against the priests and local leaders.
They’ll fight you, but they won’t
    even scratch you.
I’ll back you up every inch of the way.”
    God’s Decree.

Amplified Bible

Jeremiah 1

Jeremiah’s Call and Commission

1The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, [one] of the priests who were in [a]Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, to whom the word of the Lord came during the thirteenth year (627 b.c.) of the reign of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. It came [to Jeremiah] also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, [continuing] until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah, king of Judah, [and continuing] until the exile of [the people of] Jerusalem in the fifth month (July-August, 586 b.c.).

Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,


“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you [and approved of you as My chosen instrument],
And before you were born I consecrated you [to Myself as My own];
I have appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Then I said, “Ah, Lord God!
Behold, I do not know how to speak,
For I am [only] a young man.”

But the Lord said to me,
“Do not say, ‘I am [only] a young man,’
Because everywhere I send you, you shall go,
And whatever I command you, you shall speak.

“Do not be afraid of them [or their hostile faces],
For I am with you [always] to protect you and deliver you,” says the Lord.

Then the Lord stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me,

“Behold (hear Me), I have put My words in your mouth.
10 
“See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms,
To uproot and break down,
To destroy and to overthrow,
To build and to plant.”

The Almond Branch and Boiling Pot

11 The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see the branch of an [b]almond tree.” 12 Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am [actively] watching over My word to fulfill it.”

13 The word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see a boiling pot, tilting away from the north [its mouth about to pour out on the south, on Judea].” 14 Then the Lord said to me, “Out of the north the evil [which the prophets foretold as the result of national sin] will reveal itself and spill out on all the people of the land. 15 For, behold, I will call all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north,” says the Lord; “and they will come and each one will set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all its surrounding walls, and against all the cities of Judah [as My judicial act, the consequence of Judah’s deliberate disobedience]. 16 I will speak My judgments against them for all the wickedness of those who have abandoned (rejected) Me, offered sacrifices or burned incense to other gods, and worshiped the [idolatrous] works of their own hands. 17 But you [Jeremiah], [c]gird up your loins [in preparation]! Get up and tell them all which I command you. Do not be distraught and break down at the sight of their [hostile] faces, or I will bewilder you before them and allow you to be overcome. 18 Now behold, I have made you today like a fortified city and like an iron pillar and like bronze walls against the whole land—against the [successive] kings of Judah, against its leaders, against its priests, and against the people of the land [giving you divine strength which no hostile power can overcome]. 19 They will fight against you, but they will not [ultimately] prevail over you, for I am with you [always] to protect you and deliver you,” says the Lord.

Notas al pie

  1. Jeremiah 1:1 Jeremiah’s hometown, two or three miles north of Jerusalem.
  2. Jeremiah 1:11 The almond tree was known as the “awake tree” because it was the first tree to bud in the new year (late January). It was the symbol of watchfulness.
  3. Jeremiah 1:17 Gird up your loins, a phrase often found in the Bible, may be an urgent call to get ready for immediate action, or it may be a call to prepare for a coming action or event. The phrase is related to the type of clothing worn in ancient times. To keep from impeding the wearer during any vigorous activity, e.g. battle, exercise, strenuous work, etc., the loose ends of a garment (tunic, cloaks, mantle, etc.) had to be gathered up and tucked into the girdle. The girdle was a band about six inches wide that had fasteners in front. It was worn around the loins (the midsection of the body between the lower ribs and the hips) and was normally made of leather.