The Book of Jeremiah is the second of the Latter Prophets in the TaNaCh. The introduction says: these are “the words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah,” and place the prophet historically from the reforms of king Josiah in 627 BC through to the assassination of the Babylonian-appointed governor of Judah in 582. Of all the prophets, Jeremiah comes through most clearly as a person, ruminating to his scribe Baruch about his role as a servant of God with little good news for his audience.
The book is a representation of the message and significance of the prophet substantially intended for the Jews in Babylonian exile: its purpose is to explain the disaster as HaShem’s response to Israel’s pagan worship: the people, says Jeremiah, are like an unfaithful wife and rebellious children: their infidelity and rebelliousness make judgment inevitable, although restoration is coming.
An overview of the chapters:
• Chapters 1–25 (The earliest and main core of Jeremiah’s message)
• Chapters 26–29 (Biographic material and interaction with other prophets)
• Chapters 30–33 (G-d’s promise of restoration)
• Chapters 34–45 (Mostly interaction with Zedekiah and the fall of Jerusalem)
• Chapters 46–51 (Divine punishment to the nations surrounding Israel)
• Chapter 52 (Appendix that retells 2 Kings 24.18–25.30)