Encountering the Old Testament, 3rd Edition

A Christian Survey

series: Encountering Biblical Studies


28. Jeremiah 21–52 and Lamentations: Dealing with Disaster

Chapter Intro Video

Chapter Objectives

  • Outline chapters 21–52 of Jeremiah
  • Describe how Jeremiah challenged the rulers and false prophets
  • Explain why Jeremiah 30–33 is often called “The Book of Comfort”
  • Compare God’s covenant with Moses with the new covenant with his people
  • List the incidents of disobedience leading to Jerusalem’s fall
  • Name the nations to which Jeremiah spoke oracles in chapters 46–51
  • Outline the book of Lamentations
  • Describe how acrostics are used in Lamentations
  • Summarize key themes from Lamentations

Chapter Summary

  1. Jeremiah challenged the rulers and false prophets by rebuking the rulers and the government, by rebuking the false prophets and their audiences, by describing God’s anger, by confronting the people about their behavior, by wearing a yoke, and by writing to the Judeans in exile in Babylon.
  2. God promised to spare Jerusalem if the king and his leaders truly repented.
  3. The yoke God instructed Jeremiah to wear symbolized Judah’s submission to Nebuchadnezzar.
  4. God had not forgotten his people, in spite of their sin.
  5. God promised that he would make a new covenant with his people.
  6. Jeremiah’s land purchase pointed to God’s coming restoration of the land.
  7. Jesus will one day fulfill some of Jeremiah’s prophecies by ruling as a good king and a faithful high priest.
  8. The Judeans in Egypt placed blame for their captivity on Jeremiah rather than on their own sin and continued to worship idols.
  9. The nations to which Jeremiah spoke oracles included Egypt, Philistia, Moab, Ammon, Edom, Damascus, Kedar, Hazar, Elam, and Babylon.
  10. The author of the book of Lamentations used acrostics as a literary device.
  11. The author of Lamentations is in great sorrow because of Jerusalem’s total devastation.

Study Questions

  1. Describe King Zedekiah’s relationship with Jeremiah. Do you think Zedekiah really believed Jeremiah? Why or why not?
  2. Identify Judah’s last five kings and provide a brief summary of each one’s reign.
  3. Why did false prophets pose such a problem for God’s people?
  4. Describe the role of the Book of Comfort (chapters 30–33) in the book of Jeremiah. How was Jeremiah’s prophecy of the new covenant fulfilled in Jesus Christ?
  5. Why do you think the people refused to listen to Jeremiah even after Jerusalem fell?
  6. When was the book of Lamentations written? Provide a basic summary of the authorship question.