Three Sections. —Biblical Data:

Contents: At the beginning of the book is a superscription (i. 1-3) which, after giving the parentage of Jeremiah, fixes the period of his prophetical activity as extending from the thirteenth year of Josiah to the eleventh of Zedekiah (i.e., the year of the second deportation, 586 B.C.). This period certainly does not cover the whole contents of the book; hence probably the superscription was originally that of an older book of smaller compass. This is followed by the first part, i. 4-xxxviii. 28a, containing prophecies concerning the kingdom of Judah and incidents from the life of the prophet up to the destruction of Jerusalem and the second deportation. Only one passage treats of a different subject, viz., ch. xxv. 13 et seq., containing Yhwh's command to Jeremiah, according to which the prophet was to proclaim God's judgment to foreign peoples. The second part of the book, xxxviii. 28b-xliv. 30, contains prophecies and narrations from the period following the destruction of Jerusalem. As an appendix to this, in ch. xlv., is a short warning to Baruch on the occasion of his writing down the words of Jeremiah. A third part, xlvi.-li., comprises prophecies against foreign peoples. At the end are given, by way of appendix, historical data (lii.) concerning Zedekiah, the deportation of the captives to Babylon, and the change in the fortunes of King Jehoiachin.

§ I. The Prophecies in Part I.: —Critical View:

In he first part no consistent plan of arrangement, either chronological or material, can be traced. The speeches not being separated by superscriptions, and data generally (though not always as to time and occasion) being absent, it is very difficult to fix the date of composition. In this first part, however, may be distinguished different groups which, with a single exception, reflect substantially the successive phases of the development of Jeremiah's prophetic activity. These groups are five in number, as follows:

  • (1) Ch. i. 4-vi. 30, belonging to the reign of Josiah. Its first passage, describing the calling of the prophet, is also chronologically the oldest (iii. 6b-18, fixed by the superscription as belonging to the time of Josiah, does not harmonize with the assumed historical background [see below, § II.]; the superscription is undoubtedly a later addition).
  • (2) Ch. vii.-xx., in the main, of the time of Jehoiakim. This group contains passages that belong to earlier and later dates respectively. For instance, ch. xi. 1-8 is earlier: the mention of the "words of the covenant" assigns it to the antecedent period (Josiah) and as having been written soon after the discovery of the Book of Deuteronomy. Ch. xiii. is certainly later, and probably belongs to the time of the young king Jehoiachin (see below, § II.). Other passages in this group should be excluded as not being by Jeremiah, or at least as having been only partially written by him: ch. ix. 22 et seq.; ch. ix. 24 et seq.; ch. x. 1-16; and the sermon on the Sabbath, ch. xvii. 19-27 (see below, § II.).
Dated Prophecies.
  • (3) Speeches from various periods: (a) a proclamation of the certain fall of Jerusalem made, according to the superscription to Zedekiah and the people, during the siege of Jerusalem, i.e., about 588 B.C. (xxi. 1-10); (b) menacing prophecies against the kings of Judah in the time of Jehoiakim (608;xxi. 11-xxii. 19), completed by the passage xxii. 20-30, descriptive of the leading away of Jehoiachin into captivity (597); (c) threats against the "unfaithful shepherds" (i.e., the prophets), the promise of peace and of the real shepherd (after 597), and warnings against false prophets and godless priests (perhaps in the time of Jehoiakim; xxiii. 1-8, 9-40); (d) the vision of the two baskets of figs, illustrating the fate of the captives and of those who were left behind, from the period after the first deportation by Nebuchadnezzar, in 597 (xxiv.); (e) threats of punishments to be inflicted on Judah and the surrounding nations, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, i.e., the year of the battle of Carchemish (605; xxv.); (f) the first of the historical passages recounting Jeremiah's prophecy in the Temple (comp. vii.), his arrest, his threatened death, and his rescue, in which connection the martyrdom of the prophet Uriah is briefly mentioned (xxvi.).
  • (4) Utterances from the time of Zedekiah (see § II.), with an appendix, the last connected prophecy of any length, in ch. xxxv., treating of the fidelity of the Rechabites and of the unfaithfulness of Judah. This dates from a somewhat earlier period, that of Jehoiakim (because certainly before 597), and thus forms a transition to the first passages of the narrative sections.
  • (5) The fifth group of part I. consists of the first half of the historical narrative concerning Jeremiah's life and work, xxxvi.-xxxviii. 28a, and may be thus divided: (a) account of the writing, destruction, and rewriting of the prophecies of Jeremiah under Jehoiakim (xxxvi.); (b) narratives and sayings from the time of Zedekiah, who is introduced as a new ruler at the beginning of this historical account (xxxvii. 1), although often mentioned before in the prophecies (xxxvii.-xxxviii. 28a).
§ II. Displaced, Disputed, and Non-Authentic Passages of Part I.: Relations with Deutero-Isaiah.

In group 2 the short admonition in ix. 22 et seq. is certainly not genuine; it is a warning against self-glorification and an appeal to those who would boast to glory in the knowledge of God instead. As its sententious style indicates, it was probably taken from a collection of wise sayings. The question as to the genuineness of the second short utterance, ix. 24 et seq., which proclaims God's punishment upon the uncircumcised—the heathen who are uncircumcised in the flesh, and the Israelites who are uncircumcised in heart—can not be so easily decided, since the Biblical conception of being uncircumcised in heart is found elsewhere in Jeremiah. Again, the following section, x. 1-16, is certainly not genuine. Here, in a style wholly like that of Deutero-Isaiah, the speaker mocks at the unreality of idols, which exist only as images and hence are not to be feared; this recalls the time of Deutero-Isaiah and the idols of Babylon rather than the period of Jeremiah and the tendency of his contemporaries to worship other gods than Yhwh. The interpolated Aramaic verse (x. 11) is held by Duhm to be a magic formula with which the later Jews, who did not know much Hebrew, used to exorcise the various evil spirits in the air, shooting stars, meteors, and comets. In xi.-xx., besides various additions to Jeremiah's sayings which can not be by the prophet himself, there are two passages which till now have generally, and probably rightly, been held to be genuine, although they do not belong to the time of Jehoiakim. That the passage xi. 1-8 is earlier, and belongs to the time of Josiah, has been explained above (§ I.). Ch. xiii., however, must have been written later than Jehoiakim's time; after a symbolic narrative of a girdle buried beside the Euphrates, and which, in that it is soiled and unfit for use, represents Israel and Judah, the passage treats of the king and "queen"—that is, the queen mother—to whom it is announced that they must descend from their throne; and the deportation of the whole of Judah is similarly foretold. The king in this case, however, with whom his mother is mentioned on equal terms, is certainly (comp. xxii. 26, xxix. 2) the youthful Jehoiachin, and the time is shortly before his deportation to Babylon.

Passage on Sabbath Not Genuine.

The one non-authentic passage incorporated in group 2 is that concerning the Sabbath, xvii. 19-27. The reason why the prophet can not be credited with the authorship of this passage, though in form and content it is not unlike Jeremiah, is the high value put upon the observance of holy days, which is wholly foreign to the prophet. The author of the passage not only recommends the keeping of the Sabbath day holy as a day of rest ordained by God, but he even goes so far as to make the possibility of future salvation, and even directly the destruction of Jerusalem, depend upon the observance or non-observance of this day.

In group 3, ch. xxv. is doubtful (see below, § IV., in connection with the prophecy against foreign peoples in xlvi.-li.).

In group 4 (of the time of Zedekiah) certain parts of the promises in xxx.-xxxiii. have given rise to doubt in more than one respect. Of the three sections in this collection, xxx. et seq., xxxii., and xxxiii., the middle one may, however, be accepted without reserve. This section begins (xxxii. 9) with a relation of Jeremiah's purchase of a field in Anathoth in accordance with ancient usage, at the time when the Babylonians were already besieging Jerusalem (comp. xxxii. 1 with lii. 5, in opposition to lii. 4), and of Jeremiah's prophecy to Zedekiah of the conquest of the city and of the deportation to Babylon. The divine promise is appended to this narration: "Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again" (ib. verse 15), which, upon a question of the prophet's, is explained thus (ib. verses 26 et seq.): Jerusalem will be burned by the Chaldeans on account of its sins, but afterward Yhwh will collect His people, scattered in all lands. He will make an everlasting covenant with them, and will cause them with rejoicing to settle again in this land (ib. verse 41).

Ungenuine Passages in Later Sections.

The first of the three sections, xxx. et seq., foretells another day of terror for Jacob, but also promises liberation from foreign rule, punishment of the enemy, the rebuilding of the destroyed cities by the people (who will have begun to increase again and whose numbers will have been swelled by the return of Ephraim), and the making of a new covenant. Inthis section the following passages are doubtful as regards a Jeremianic origin: the passage in which the servant of God, Jacob, is comforted in his exile with words of Deutero-Isaiah (xxx. 10 et seq.; comp. Isa. xl. et seq.); the threat inserted among the words of promise (xxx. 23 et seq.; comp. xxiii. 19 et seq., where this threat occurs again, likewise in an inappropriate place); the description of Yhwh's power on the sea (xxxi. 35b, similar to Isa. li. 15); and various other passages which have many points of contact with Deutero-Isaiah. A considerable portion of this section is shown to be secondary matter by the fact that it is lacking in the text of the Septuagint. At any rate, examination leads to the conclusion that this section, like so much else in the Book of Jeremiah, was worked over afterward, although it is not justifiable to deny to Jeremiah the authorship of the whole of the section, nor to assume that it was written by a post-exilic author. Such a writer would have had more interest in the hope that the Judeans, only a part of whom had come back, would all return home, whereas for a prophet who wrote immediately before the downfall of Judah it was more natural to recall the overthrow of the Northern Kingdom, and to express the hope that with the return of Ephraim Judah also would return, although its present downfall seemed certain to him.

In the third of these sections, ch. xxxiii., the conclusion (xxxiii. 14-26) is suspicious. It is missing in the Septuagint, although no plausible reason for the omission is apparent. Not to speak of smaller matters, the fact that the people among whom (according to verse 24) the prophet was sojourning, and who were wholly opposed to the compatriots of the prophet, can only have been Babylonians—who indeed might have said insultingly of Israel that "it was no more a nation before them" (ib.)—does not seem to accord with Jeremiah's authorship. The passage must consequently have been written by one of the exiles in Babylon and not by Jeremiah, in whose time such a taunt could not have been uttered either in Palestine or later in Egypt.

§ III. The Historical Sections of Parts I. and II.: Ch. xxvi. and xxxv.-xlv.

The historical passages contained in xxvi. and xxxvi.-xlv. display such an exact knowledge of the events described in the life of Jeremiah, and contain so many interesting details, that as a matter of course they were formerly considered to have been written by a pupil of Jeremiah in close touch with him. When Kuenen and other commentators object that in certain passages the single episodes are not properly arranged and that details necessary for a complete understanding of the situation are lacking, it must be remembered that it is just an eye-witness who would easily pass over what seemed to him as matter of course and likewise displace certain details. Moreover, a comparison with the text of the Septuagint shows that in the historical as in the prophetical passages many changes were made after composition. It is therefore neither necessary nor advisable to set, with Kuenen, 550 B.C. as the date of the first edition of the book; but even if that late date be accepted one must still suppose that the notes of a pupil and eye-witness had been used as material.

Work of Baruch.

If, however, the former and generally prevalent opinion is maintained (which has been readopted also by Duhm), namely, that the historical passages were written by a pupil of Jeremiah, there can be no doubt that this pupil was Baruch. Since it is known that it was Baruch and not Jeremiah who first wrote down the prophecies, and since in all cases the speeches in the historical portions can not be taken out of their setting, it seems the most natural thing to suppose that Baruch was also directly concerned in the composition of the historical passages. But this does not at all exclude the possibility of the insertion, shortly after the passages had been written and put together, of various details and episodes. This theory is supported by Jeremiah's admonition to Baruch (in xlv.), which, although addressed to him by the prophet on the occasion of Jeremiah dictating the prophecies in the time of Jehoiakim, yet stands at the end of the section containing prophecies against Judah. The fact that this admonition occurs at the end of the original Book of Jeremiah (concerning xlvi. et seq. see § IV.) can only mean that Baruch placed it at the end of the book edited by him as a legitimation of his labor.

§ IV. The Prophecies Against Foreign Peoples in Part III.: Prophecy Not by Jeremiah.

Ch. xxv. speaks of the direction received by Jeremiah from God to proclaim His anger to foreign peoples. In the fourth year of Jehoiakim—that is, the year of the battle of Carchemish and of Nebuchadnezzar's victory and accession to the throne—Jeremiah proclaims that Yhwh, in revenge for Judah's sins, will bring His servant Nebuchadnezzar and the peoples of the north against Judah and the surrounding peoples; that they will serve the King of Babylon for seventy years; and that at the end of this time Yhwh will punish the King of Babylon and the Chaldeans. In connection with this, Jeremiah is further told to pass the wine-cup of divine wrath to all the nations to whom he is sent, and all the nations who must drink of the cup are enumerated. But however appropriate it may have been for Jeremiah to announce the downfall of foreign nations (comp. xxxvi. 2 and i. 5), and however much the expression "cup of wrath" may sound like one of Jeremiah's, since this illustration occurs often after him and accordingly probably goes back to him, yet this prophecy as it now stands (in xxv.) can not have been written by him. The proclamation of the punishment of Babylon (ib. verses 12-14) interrupts the connection of the threatening of the nations by Babylon. Also the words "all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations" (verse 13) can not of course have originated with Jeremiah. Finally, the enumeration of the nations that must drink from the cup of wrath (verses 17-26) is not Jeremianic; indeed, some of the nations were located far from Jeremiah's horizon, and the concluding remark (verse 26), with the puzzling word "Sheshach" (i.e., Babylon), certainly dates from a much later period. This passage characteristically illustrates the fact that more than one hand worked on the amplification, and that such passages arosein several stages, as may be observed in detail by a comparison with the Septuagint text (see § VI.).

Oracles Worked Over.

The question next arises as to whether the prophecies against foreign nations contained in xlvi.-li. are really those which, according to xxv., were to be expected as the latter's amplification. This question seems all the more natural because in the text of the Septuagint those prophecies are actually incorporated in xxv. If l. et seq., a long oracle dealing with the sentence against Babylon, be left out of consideration, there can be no doubt that the section xlvi.-xlix. has in some way a Jeremianic basis. The single oracles of this section are in part expressly referred to Jeremiah in the heading, and the victory of Nebuchadnezzar is in part given as their occasion. At any rate the hypothesis that this section is a working over of original Jeremianic material is to be preferred to the difficulties attending the various other theories that have been suggested to explain the later origin of xlvi.-xlix. On the face of it, it is hardly probable that a later author would have written a whole series of oracles and have artificially made them seem to belong to the time of Nebuchadnezzar, merely for the sake of enriching the Book of Jeremiah. If it is suggested that some one else, perhaps Alexander the Great, was intended by the Nebuchadnezzar of these oracles, it must be objected that even to the last judgment, that against Elam (which, however, did not originally belong in this section; see below), which might be taken to mean Persia, no reference to post-Jeremianic events can be found. A detailed examination, however, shows that in most of these prophecies only a Jeremianic basis is possible. The prophecy concerning the Philistines in xlvii. (but without the heading) is the one that could most readily be accepted as belonging as a whole to Jeremiah.

On the other hand, it is to be supposed that all the other oracles underwent a more or less extensive revision, so that they do not give the impression of being real prophetic utterances, but seem rather to be compilations by later scholars, who also made use of the oracles of other prophets, especially of the exilic and post-exilic passages in Isaiah (comp. Jer. xlviii. 43 et seq. with Isa. xxiv. 17, 18a; Jer. xlix. 18 with Isa. xiii. 19 et seq.; Jer. xlix. 24 with Isa. xiii. 8). This working over of the material explains the lack of perspicuity and the non-adherence to the historical situation which frequently characterize these prophecies. The following oracles are contained in this section: (a) the oracle against Egypt, in two parts, xlvi. 1-12 and xlvi. 13-28 (comp. xlvi. 27-28[= xxx. 10 et seq.] with the consolations of Deutero-Isaiah); (b) that against the Philistines, xlvii.; (c) that against Moab, xlviii., which in parts recalls Isa. xv. et seq.; (d) that against Ammon, xlix. 1-6; (e) that against Edom, xlix. 7-22, which has much in common with that of Obadiah; (f) that against Damascus and other Aramaic cities, xlix. 23-27; (g) that against Kedar and other Arabic tribes, xlix. 28-33; and (h) that against Elam, xlix. 34-39. Whereas the other nations named all lay within Jeremiah's horizon, this was not the case with Elam, since Judah had no direct dealings with this country until after the Exile. This alone would not, however, be a sufficient reason for denying that Jeremiah wrote the oracle, especially since as early as Isa. xxii. 6 the Elamites were known as vassals of the kings of Assyria, and hence an interest in the history of Elam could not have been so far removed from a prophet of Israel as may now appear. By whom and at what time the supposed revision of Jeremiah's original stock of material was made, it is impossible to determine; but the large number of similar expressions connecting the separate oracles makes it probable that there was only one redaction.

Not Before the End of the Exile.

The oracle against Babylon, l.-li. 58, which follows the section xlvi.-xlix., and to which a historical addition is appended (li. 59-64), is very clearly seen to be non-Jeremianic in spite of the fact that individual passages recall very vividly Jeremiah's style. It is really no oracle at all, but a description in oracle form, dating from after the Exile, and originally written so as to appear as a production by Jeremiah, for which purpose the author assumes the standpoint of an older time. Since he is acquainted with Deutero-Isaiah (comp. li. 15-19 with Jer. x. 12-16, which is also taken from Deutero-Isaiah, and apparently furnishes the direct basis for the passage in question), and describes the upheaval in Babylon and the destruction of the city—making use of the exilic oracle in Isa. xiii. et seq. (Jer. l. 16, 39 et seq.; comp. l. 39; li. 40 with Isa. xxxiv. 14 and xxxiv. 6 et seq.), he can not have written it before the end of the Babylonian exile at the earliest. This also explains why the destroyers of Babylon are called "kings of Media" (li. 28). Moreover, the author of the oracle against Babylon made use of the Jeremianic oracle against Edom, at times quoting it literally (comp. l. 44-46 with xlix. 19-21; and the origin of l. 41-43 is found in vi. 22-24). That he lived in Jerusalem may be inferred not only from l. 5, in which, speaking of the returning exiles, he says that their faces were turned "hitherward," but also from the fact that he is much more concerned with the desecrated and destroyed Temple of Jerusalem than are the prophets of the Exile. The added passage, li. 59-64, proceeding probably from a historical record of a journey to Babylon made by Seraiah, was most likely written by the author of the oracle against Babylon, if not by some one later, who desired by his short narrative to authenticate the oracle which he took to be Jeremianic.

The section closes with the words: "Thus far [are] the words of Jeremiah," showing that the Book of Jeremiah once ended at this point, and that that which follows is a later addition. In fact, lii. is a historical account, concerning Zedekiah, the deportation to Babylon, and the turning-point in the fortunes of Jehoiachin, which was transferred from the Book of Kings to that of Jeremiah. This is shown by the fact that with slight variations and with the exception of two passages, the two accounts agree; one of the exceptions is presented by three verses giving a count of the exiles, which are found only in Jeremiah (lii. 28-30) and which were probably inserted later from some separate source, since they are lacking also in the text of the Septuagint; the other is the short passage recordingthe appointment of Gedaliah as governor, his murder, and the flight to Egypt of those who were left, which is lacking in Jeremiah (II Kings xxv. 22-26), and which doubtless was purposely omitted because the same facts had already been recorded elsewhere in the Book of Jeremiah (xl. et seq.). Moreover, the addition of ch. lii. was of itself not necessary, since the information given in it was already partially known from earlier statements of the Book of Jeremiah; and the last passage concerning the change in the fate of Jehoiachin is wholly superfluous, since the event recorded took place after Jeremiah's death.

§ V. Sources of the Book of Jeremiah, According to Duhm:

What has here been said concerning the supposed origin of the Book of Jeremiah corresponds to the opinion held on the subject by most modern scholars, whose consensus, though they may differ in detail, has indorsed the view as a whole and in substance. The views of Duhm differ materially from this opinion, however many points of contact therewith it may show, because Duhm, in opposition to previous conceptions, has with an unparalleled boldness and confidence extended his critical investigation to the most minute details, for which reason his analysis is here given separately. Although it seems more plausible to suppose that the real prophecies of Jeremiah are contained in the versified portions, whereas in the prose utterances the thoughts of Jeremiah have been worked over, for the most part in the form of sermons, the question still arises whether one is justified in "ascribing, with the greatest detail, [the various parts of] writings which without doubt have passed through many hands before they received the form in which we know them, to their [respective] authors" (see Nöldeke in "Z. D. M. G." lvii. 412). Duhm distinguishes:

Duhm's Analysis.
  • (1) Jeremiah's Poems. These, in all about sixty, date (a) from the period when Jeremiah was still in Anathoth: the cycle ii. 2b, 3, 14-28; 29-37; iii. 1-5; 12b, 13, 19, 20; 21-25; iv. 1, 3, 4; the cycle xxxi. 2-6; 15-20; 21, 22, and perhaps xxx. 12-15; the oldest five poems concerning the Scythians, iv. 5-8; 11b, 12a, 13, 15-17a; 19-21, 23-26; 29-31; (b) from the time of Josiah: v. 1-6a; 6b-9; 10-17; vi. 1-5; 6b-8, 9-14; 16, 17, 20; 22-26a; 27-30; vii. 28 et seq.; viii. 4-7a; 8, 9, 13, 14-17; 18-23; ix. 1-8; 9; 16-18; 19-21; x. 19, 20, 22; (c) from the time of Joah: xxii. 10; (d)from the time of Jehoiakim: xxii. 13-17, and probably xi. 15 et seq.; xii. 7-12 (from the first period); xxii. 18 et seq., and perhaps xxii. 6b, 7; 20-23; xiii. 15 et seq.; 17; 18, 19; 20, 21a, 22-25a, 26 et seq. (from the time after the burning of the book-roll); (e) from the time of Jehoiachin: xxii. 24; 28; (f) from a later period (a more exact definition is unnecessary): description of the great famine, xiv. 2-10; of the evil conditions in the country and their results, xv. 5-9; xvi. 5-7; xviii. 13-17; xxiii. 9-12; 13-15; impressive complaints of personal enmities, xi. 18-20; xv. 10-12, 15-19a, 20 et seq.; xvii. 9 et seq., 14, 16 et seq.; xviii. 18-20; xx. 7-11; xx. 14-18; from an earlier period, but first inserted after the restoration of the roll: xiv. 17 et seq.; xvii. 1-4; (g) from the last period of Zedekiah (according to Baruch), xxxviii. 22.
Parts Ascribed to Baruch.
  • (2) The Book of Baruch. Besides single data and exhortations preserved in i.-xxv. (e.g., i. 1-3, 6; vii. 18; comp. xliv. 15 et seq., xi. 21, vii. 21 et seq.), the following passages are derived from this book (they are here arranged according to their original order of succession, the groups of verses which have been revised being marked with an asterisk): (a) on the time of Jehoiakim: xxvi. 1-3, 4 (to ), 6-24 (early period); xxxvi. 1-26; 32 (fourth and fifth years of Jehoiakim); xxxv. 1-11* (a later year); (b) on the time of Zedekiah: xxviii. 1a, xxvii. 2 et seq., xxviii. 2-13, 15-17 (fourth year of Zedekiah); xxix. 1 (to ), 3, 4a, 5-7, 11-15, 21-23, 24 et seq.,* 26-29 (probably the same period); xxxiv. 1-7* (ninth year); xxxiv. 8-11*; xxxvii. 5, 12-18, 20 et seq.; xxxii. 6-15; xxxviii. 1, 3-22, 24-28a (during the siege of Jerusalem); (c) on the time after the conquest of Jerusalem, events in Mizpah and the emigration to Egypt: xxxviii. 28b, xxxix. 3, 14a, xl. 6; xl. 7-xlii. 9, 13a, 14, 19-21, xliii. 1-7; (d) on an event in Egypt (comp. vii. 18): xliv. 15a, 16-19, 24 et seq.,* 28b; xlv. forms the conclusion.
Messianic Passages.
  • (3) The Supplements to the Writings of Jeremiah and Baruch. These comprise about 800 verses, that is, more than the poems of Jeremiah (about 280 verses) and the sections from the Book of Baruch (about 200 verses). The process of amplification, by which the Book of Jeremiah grew to its present size, must have gone on for centuries. It is possible that single additions (which are difficult to identify) were incorporated in the roll of the Book of Jeremiah in the Persian period. The greatest number of additions was made in the third century, the age of "the most midrashic literature"; the most recent are in general the Messianic passages and their complement, the prophecy concerning the heathen. They are in part (as in i.-xxv.) inserted among older additions, in part placed together in a separate section (xxx. et seq., xlvi.-li.), which could not have originated before the end of the second century B.C., and which have received even later additions; single passages (e.g., xxxiii. 14-26) are so late as not even to have come into the Septuagint. These additions fall into separate categories according to their contents: (a) amplifications in the nature of sermons in connection with verses of the Jeremianic text, to suit the needs of the post-exilic period; (b) short narratives, in the form of the Midrash or of free versification, recording deeds and sayings of the prophet; (c) consolatory passages which in part are appended to an admonitory sermon, and in part stand in a separate group in xxxii. et seq.; (d) additions of various kinds having no connection with the contents of the book.

However justifiable it may be to separate the "songs" of Jeremiah, the question still arises whether much of that which Duhm excludes as a later addition may not still be Jeremianic, since it is easy to suppose that besides the versified portions there must also have been prose utterances of Jeremiah, to which these excluded passages may have belonged.

§ VI. Relation of the Hebrew Text to the Septuagint: Additions to the Septuagint.

A comparison of the Masoretic text with theSeptuagint throws some light on the last phase in the history of the origin of the Book of Jeremiah, inasmuch as the translation into Greek was already under way before the work on the Hebrew book had come to an end. This is shown by the fact that a large part of the additions to the Hebrew text, which, absent in the Septuagint, are evidently secondary, are proved also by their contents to be later elaborations. The two texts differ above all in that the Septuagint is much shorter, containing about 2,700 words (that is, about one-eighth of the whole book) less than the Hebrew. On the other hand, headings in the Hebrew text are only comparatively rare. Even if the text of the Septuagint is proved to be the older, it does not necessarily follow that all these variations first arose after the Greek translation had been made, because two different editions of the same text might have been in process of development side by side. Furthermore, the correspondence between the Septuagint and the Hebrew is too great, and their relationship too close, for one to be able to speak of two redactions. They are rather two editions of the same redaction.

§ VII. Origin of the Book of Jeremiah: Final Redaction.

The different stages in the history of the growth of the book as they are shown in the two theories of its origin, that of Duhm and that of Ryssel, practically coincide. The book, dictated by Jeremiah himself under Jehoiakim, was first worked over by a pupil, probably Baruch, who added later utterances, which he wrote perhaps partly at the dictation of the prophet, but in the main independently, and to which he furthermore added narrative passages (at least for the time preceding the conquest of Jerusalem). This "Book of Baruch," the composition of which Kuenen without sufficient reason (see above, § III.) places first in the second half of the Babylonian exile, concludes with the passage addressed to that scribe. It contains oracles concerning foreign nations, which, however, stood immediately after the section referring to the cup of wrath for the nations, and had little to do with the group of oracles, now contained in xlvi.-li., concerning the nations conquered by Nebuchadnezzar. Besides the oracle concerning Babylon, which is without doubt not genuine, the one concerning Elam must also have been added later, since, according to its dating, it did not belong to the oracles of the fourth year of Jehoiakim. The Book of Jeremiah at a comparatively early date became subject to additions and revisions, which were made especially in the schools and from the material of Deutero-Isaiah; and the only question which suggests itself is whether this critical activity in reality must have continued until the end of the second century or even later. The book as a whole was first terminated by the addition of the oracle concerning Babylon, and again later by the addition of the account taken from the Book of Kings.

Bibliography: Commentaries:
  • Hitzig, in Kurzgefasstes Exegetisches Handbuch, Leipsic, 1841; 2d ed. 1866;
  • Ewald, in Prophetische Bücher des Alten Testaments, 1842: 2d ed. 1868;
  • Karl Heinrich Graf, 1862;
  • C. W. E. Nägelsbach, in Theologisch-Homiletisches Bibelwerk, 1868;
  • T. K. Cheyne, in Spence and Exell's Pulpit Commentary (3 vols., with Lamentations), 1883-85;
  • C. von Orelli, in Kurzgefasster Kommentar, 1887; 2d ed. 1891 (together with Jeremiah);
  • Friedrich Giesebrecht, in Handkommentar zum Alten Testament, 1894;
  • B. Duhm, in Kurzer Handkommentar, 1901.
  • Treatises and Monographs: (1) On single critical questions: K. Budde, Ueber die Kapitel 50 und 51 des Buches Jeremia, in Jahrbücher für Deutsche Theologie, xxiii. 428-470, 529-562;
  • C. J. Cornill, Kapitel 52 des Buches Jeremia (in Stade's Zeitschrift, iv. 105-107);
  • B. Stade, Jer. iii. 6-16 (ib. pp. 151-154), and Jer. xxxii. 11-14 (ib. v. 175-178);
  • Das Vermeintliche Aramäisch-Assyrische Aequivalent für , Jer. xliv. 17 (ib. vi. 289-339);
  • F. Schwally, Die Reden des Buches Jeremia Gegen die Heiden, xxv., xlvi-li. (ib. viii. 177-217);
  • B. Stade, Bemerkungen zum Buche Jeremia (ib. xii. 276-308).
  • (2) On the metrical form of the speeches: K. Budde, Ein Althebräisches Klagelied (in Stade's Zeitschrift, iii. 299-306);
  • C. J. Cornill, Die Metrischen Stücke des Buches Jeremia, Leipsic, 1902.
  • (3) On Biblical-theological questions: H. Guthe, De Fœderis Notione Jeremiana Commentatio Theologica, 1877;
  • A. von Bulmerincq, Das Zukunftsbild des Propheten Jeremia, 1894:
  • H. G. Mitchell, The Theology of Jeremiah, in Jour. Bibl. Lit. xx. 56-76.
  • (4) For the life and personality of Jeremiah see the bibliography to Jeremiah (the prophet).
  • The Text and Translations: (1) Edition of the text: C. J. Cornill, The Book of the Prophet Jeremiah (English transl. of the notes by C. Johnston), part xi. of P. Haupt's S. B. O. T. 1895.
  • (2) A collection of single conjectures in the appendixes to Kautzsch's translation of the Old Testament (2d ed. 1896) and to Het Oude Testament;
  • much scattered material, e.g., on Jer. ii. 17, in Stade's Zeitschrift, xxi. 192.
  • (3) Relation of the Masoretic text to the Septuagint: F. K. Movers, De Utriusque Recensionis Vaticiniorum Jeremiœ, Grœcœ Alexandrinœ et Hebraicœ Masorethicœ, Indole et Origine, 1837;
  • P. F. Frankl, Studien über die LXX. und Peschito zu Jeremia, 1873;
  • G. C. Workman, The Text of Jeremiah, 1889;
  • Ernst Kühl, Das Verhältniss der Massora zur Septuaginta im Jeremia, Halle, 1882;
  • A. W. Streane, The Double Text of Jeremiah, 1896.
  • In general, comp. also the introduction to the Old Testament and articles on the Book of Jeremiah in the theological cyclopedias.
E. G. H. V. Ry.