The idea of a merciful and loving God that allows His people to suffer is not easy to digest. Theodicy has always been a topic of hot debate among scholars. Evil as such, however, is still considered a mystery. On the other hand, suffering is spread into all levels of society. Violence, death and pain can be greatly appreciated by almost all audiences in movies all over the world. People are used to seeing suffering through the television on daily news reports as well as on the streets of any small, medium or large city.
Jeremiah 20:7-18 gives us the greatest opportunity to understand suffering in the lives of people who are called by God to serve Him, to spread His message, and do His will. It seems paradoxical to see the great number of biblical characters who at some point of their lives went through great trials and tribulations. This paradox is also true in Jeremiah’s life. He is called at a very young age to “root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant” (Jer. 1.10b). Jeremiah is advised by God about the people’s resistance to the message he is going to deliver. Verse 19 of chapter 1 says: “They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you, says the Lord, to deliver you.”
Part of Jeremiah’s sufferings has to do with the consequences of the message of judgment he is proclaiming against Israel. This type of suffering is very different from that experienced by Job, for instance. In Job’s case, suffering comes from a decision from God after a conversation with the devil. In Jeremiah’s, suffering comes from people’s reaction to God’s word.
At this point, questions are inevitable. The first question to ask would be, why does God allow people to suffer, especially those He chose to serve Him? An important question though would be, is there a purpose for suffering? And if so, what is this purpose? A final question would be, where is God when His servant is suffering?
In this exegesis we will deal in details with all the nuances of Jeremiah’s lament in chapter 20, verses 7-18.
2) The Biblical Text
Due to the size of this pericope and the study of form criticism, this text is usually subdivided into at least two major poems. The first poem goes from verses 7-13, which includes Jeremiah’s laments, and the second, from verses 14-18 containing the prophet’s curses. In the NKJV we read:
O LORD, You induced me, and I was persuaded;
You are stronger than I, and have prevailed.
I am in derision daily;
Everyone mocks me.
For when I spoke, I cried out;
I shouted, “Violence and plunder!”
Because the word of the LORD was made to me
A reproach and a derision daily.
Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him,
Nor speak anymore in His name.”
But His word was in my heart like a burning fire
Shut up in my bones;
I was weary of holding it back,
And I could not.
For I heard many mocking:
“Fear on every side!”
“Report,” they say,
“and we will report it!”
All my acquaintances watched for my stumbling, saying,
“Perhaps he can be induced;
Then we will prevail against him,
And we will take our revenge on him.”
But the LORD is with me as a mighty, awesome One.
Therefore my persecutors will stumble, and will not prevail.
They will be greatly ashamed,
for they will not prosper.
Their everlasting confusion will never be forgotten.
But, O LORD of hosts,
You who test the righteous,
And see the mind and heart,
Let me see Your vengeance on them;
For I have pleaded my cause before You.
Sing to the LORD! Praise the LORD!
For He has delivered the life of the poor
From the hand of evildoers.
The form of this section more likely follows the pattern below:
v. 7aa - address
vv. 7-10 - lament
v. 11aa - confession of trust or confidence
vv. 11ab - 11bb - certainty of being heard
v. 12a - confession of trust
v. 12ba - petition
v.12bb - confession of trust
v. 13 - praise
Drinkard, Craigie, and Kelley suggest the follow chiastic structure for this passage:
A Complaint against Yahweh (vv. 7-9)
B Complaint against “enemies” (v. 10)
C Assurance: Yahweh is with me (v. 11a)
B’ Fall of the “enemies” (v. 11b-d)
C’ Assurance: Yahweh sees the heart (v.12a)
B’’ Vengeance on “enemies” (v. 12b)
A’ Praise of Yahweh for deliverance (v. 13)
In verse 7, the NIV reads “O LORD, you have deceived me.” The Hebrew verb here is patah. Apparently, the word deceive does not sound too good when applied to God. So, the NIV footnoted it, trying to explain that the meaning of the Hebrew text is very broad and can be also translated as persuaded. The NIV probably follows the same pattern of the KJV and the NASB, where the word deceived is also used. For Brueggemann, however, the verb deceived “could be rendered more strongly as harassed, taken advantage of, abused, even raped.” This sexual oriented interpretation, although popular among scholars, is not unanimous.
The next verb in this same verse is hazaq. The meaning here is of overpower, according to NRSV, NIV, JB, and of being strong, according to NAB, NRSV.
Verse 10, the Hebrew word for fear on every side (NKJV, KJV) is magor missabib, and is probably referred to a nickname given to Jeremiah. Here is probably the mocking word that Jeremiah refers to in verse 7. The NIV, Today’s NIV, and NASB translate it as terror on every side.
In verse 11, Jeremiah appeals to the mighty (NKJV), expressing his confidence in God. This verse is usually titled as Jeremiah’s confession of confidence. Other Bible versions vary on the designation given to God, for instance, the KJV states, mighty terrible one, the NASB says, dread champion, the NIV and Today’s NIV says, mighty warrior.
Verse 12 is almost identical to Jeremiah’s 11.20. Here, all versions translate the verb as vengeance. There is no variation on this translation.
Cursed be the day in which I was born!
Let the day not be blessed
in which my mother bore me!
Let the man be cursed
Who brought news to my father, saying,
“A male child has been born to you!”
Making him very glad
And let that man be like the cities
Which the LORD overthrew, and did not relent;
Let him hear the cry in the morning
And the shouting at noon,
Because he did not kill me from the womb,
That my mother might have been my grave,
And her womb always enlarged with me.
Why did I come forth from the
womb to see labor and
That my days should be consumed with shame?
Once again, the form suggested by Diamond will be used:
vv. 14-15 - doubled curse formula
v. 16 - curse developments
vv. 17-18 - curse substantiations
Again, the chiastic structure of the trio Drinkard, Craigie, and Kelley will be used:
A Curse on the day of birth (v. 14)
B Curse on messenger (v. 15)
B’ Motivation directed against messenger (v. 17)
A’ Lament on birth (v. 18)
This passage is a target of much debate. Several interpretations have been suggested, including “self-hatred or self-loathing and self-curse.” However, we will not enter into matters of interpretation at this point. By now, it is important to say that Jeremiah’s curses are neither directed to God nor to himself, but to both the day he is born and the messenger who brings the news of his birth.
In order to have a better understanding of the text critical readers need to look at the nuances of different translations. According to Fretheim, “the verbs beginning the two halves of v.16 are often translated as jussives [“let…”], following the LXX rather than the Hebrew.” The NIV and Today’s NIV do not translate let, but instead, may, indicating that its translation comes from the Masoretic text. On the other hand, the KJV, NKJV, and NASB, follow the Greek text (LXX), and translate the verb as let, instead of may.
Fretheim also points out that “as for the last line in v. 14, it can be translated, it could never be blessed, or similar. These translations would support the understanding that Jeremiah’s use of the word cursed (in vv. 14-15) is a declaration, not a petition or desire.”
3) The World of the Text
Due to several factors (length, complexity, literary structure, etc), it is very difficult to find the author of the book of Jeremiah. Added to all the difficulties found in the book, there are two traditions of the book or two ancient versions of Jeremiah. Another great challenge of the book of Jeremiah is with regard to the prophet himself. All those who want to take the book of Jeremiah seriously, must take the man (prophet) Jeremiah seriously as well.
For the purposes of this paper, we need to expand a little more about these two great challenges that one faces when approaching the book of Jeremiah: the Greek (LXX) and Hebrew (MT) versions of the book, and the book of Jeremiah versus the historical Jeremiah.
3.1) Masoretic (MT) vs. Septuagint (LXX)
First of all readers need to understand, beforehand, that these two versions of the book are authoritative and trustworthy versions of the Old Testament. According to Stulman, the two traditions share a common line until they separate in two branches. He then goes on to explain that due to the expansion of the MT tradition, the Hebrew text is longer than the LXX (which contains approximately three thousand fewer words). “The Greek text is one-eight shorter than the Hebrew text, sometimes omitting a word or phrase found in MT and sometimes omitting entire passages.” Bright gives us a detailed example of how the texts are placed in the LXX, taking chapter 25:1-13a, as an example:
“This is even more apparent in the Septuagint text…which, having omitted all reference to Babylon in the preceding verses, concludes vs. 13 at this point and then, omitting vs. 14 entirely, inserts between vv. 13 and 15 the whole of chapters 46-51 (in different order).” Here, one has a clear picture of how the two texts are intrinsically connected, however, with the sequence of narratives totally modified.
For Bright, the cautious reader will notice that the book of Jeremiah is composed of several shorter books plus miscellaneous materials. Expanding this thought, Carroll mentions that “the 52 chapters of Jeremiah form a series of independent elements”; he then suggests a four parts division for the book:
“1 and 52 form prologue and epilogue…; 2:1-3 are a preface to the ‘books’ contained in Part I (2-25) and especially to the first collections of poems in 2-6 (made up of smaller collections...) further collections are constituted by 7:1 – 10:25; 11:1 – 13:27; 14:1 – 17:27; 18:1 – 20:18; with an appendix to Part I in 21:1 – 24:10 and a concluding summary in 25:1-14; Part II begins in 25:15 – 38 (here MT and G differ in order of sequence) and is continued in 46 – 51; Part III (26 – 36) is made up of two collections 27 – 29 and 30 – 31 (appendices in 32 – 33) and a series of individual narratives in 26, 34, 35, 36; Part IV (37 – 45) consists of 37 – 38; 39:1 – 40:6; 40:7 – 41:18; 42 – 44; 45.”
3.2) The Historical Jeremiah
Although the term “historical Jeremiah” is not appropriated, some theologians have found parallels between the “hunt” for the historical Jesus with that of the historical Jeremiah. In order to simplify this matter, one needs to understand that there is a difference between the book of Jeremiah and the prophet named Jeremiah. The message of the book has only a few autobiographical data (see the so-called Confessions of Jeremiah), and it is not intended to give attention to the life of the prophet. “Viewed as biography, the Book of Jeremiah would be incomplete, inadequate, unchronological, and generally unsatisfactory.” When one looks to the superscription of the book (1:1-3), one will notice that Jeremiah was a priest from the village of Anathoth and his role as prophet last for approximately forty years (627-587). However, the Book of Jeremiah takes shape after this period. It addresses the people in captivity during the Babylonian exile. Regarding this, Stulman states, “one of the book’s central claims is that the future of Israel lies with the Jewish community in Babylon, and not with those left behind in Judah or with Judeans who eventually settled in Egypt.” In other words, the historical context of the writer(s) gives shape and content to the book as well as meaning for those who first read it.
4) The Historical Background
For the purpose of this work, the historical background will not be extended. A basic historical account fulfills what is expected.
Before the Babylonians take control of the region, Assyria is the super dominant power. Israel has been decimated by the Assyrians, and Judah was in servitude to them. However, things started changing for Judah, when during the course of the seventh century the Assyrians begin losing their power and finally collapse in 612 BCE at the battle of Nineveh.
Under King Josiah, important actions are taken to reverse the pro-Assyrian policies of King Manasseh. Among these reforms to restore the national identity of Judah are the efforts to repair the temple, the centralization of worship in Jerusalem, the restoration of “the book of the law” to a place of importance among the people, and the reduction of foreign influence. In light of these reforms, a new expectation of independence arises among the people. Judah indeed experiences during the final years of Josiah (622-609), a time of stability and autonomy.
However, during a battle against the Egyptians in Megiddo (609), Josiah is killed, and with his death, the hopes of an even brighter future to the people ended. Egypt takes control of Judah, and appoints Jehoiakim as king, deporting Johoahaz, who is Josiah’s successor. From Johoiakim on, a series of pathetic kings change positions in the throne of Judah. At this point, Babylon appears as the new superpower nation subjugating all surrounding countries, including Egypt and its allies.
Due to Jehoiakim’s rebellion, Babylon moves towards Jerusalem and eventually conqueres Judah. The king dies during the siege, and Jehoiachin becomes the king for a short period of time. The new king along with many authorities of the city is taken captive to Babylon. In captivity, Jehoiachin “remained the titular head of the Israel”; however, his uncle Zedekiah is appointed by Nabuchadrezzar as king of Judah.
The newly appointed king destroys the rest of what formerly was Judah. The relation between Judah and Babylon gradually becomes worse. Jeremiah’s advice to the king to submit is ignored, and many alliances are made in order to break free from Babylonian control. Stulman says that, “in 589 Zedekiah declared Judah’s independence.” All this together raises the fury of Babylon toward Judah, and a new attack happens. Babylonians destroys the city and the temple and send more people to exile.
Another leader is appointed by the Babylonian emperor, and Gedaliah becomes the governor of Judah. Jeremiah, who is not taken into captivity, stays in Judah helping those who are left in the land. Unfortunately the good work of Gedaliah is abruptly interrupted by a group of anti-Babylonian zealots who kill him. At this point, more Judeans are exiled and others flee to Egypt. Jeremiah and Baruch are forcefully taken with them to Egypt.
5) The text
Jeremiah 20:7-18 is the last of the prophet’s “confessions.” Prior to chapter 20, he has already spoken in similar ways in chapters 11:18 – 12:6; 15:10-21; 17:12-18; and 18:18-23. However, before getting into the “world of the text,” it is important to note the immediate context in which this pericope is inserted.
The main character in verses 1-6 of Jeremiah 20 is a man named Pashhur. Pashhur is a priest and chief officer in the temple. One of his duties is to maintain order in the house of the Lord. The words of doom from Jeremiah are hard enough, for Pashhur commands him to be beaten and put in the stocks at the upper Benjamin gate. Perhaps, one of the reasons for Jeremiah’s confession would be his public persecutions such as this. After one day in the stocks, Jeremiah is released, however, instead of going his way, he continues with his disturbing message. He now directs his message to Pashhur himself, saying that the Lord has given him a new name, Magor-missabib, which means, terror all around, the same name which Jeremiah is called in verse 10. The meaning of Pashhur’s new name is explained by the prophet from verses 4-6. From this point, Jeremiah introduces Babylon as the one who will really terrorize Israel. In verse 6, Pashhur is told that he, his family and friends will all go into exile and there, they all will die.
After this exchange between Jeremiah and Pashhur, one comes to find the text of lament. The relationship between the events previously described in verses 1-6 and what follows is very close. However, one cannot limit the motives of Jeremiah’s last confession to only this event with Pashhur. The prophet’s last lament is a combination of all his sufferings during his life as prophet.
As formerly mentioned, the text is commonly divided into two parts. In the first part, one finds Jeremiah’s laments (7-12) as well as a call to praise (13). In the second part, one finds a series of curses spoken by the prophet to particular situations of his life (14-18).
Several attempts to interpret Jeremiah’s confessions have already been made. The different interpretations vary from Jeremiah’s vocational crisis to an expression of faith instead of despair.
5.1) Jeremiah 20:7-12, (13)
Perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects of this first part of Jeremiah’s confessions would be the words used by the prophet. As mentioned already in the beginning of this paper, some of the words used by Jeremiah toward God can be understood as loaded with sexual connotations. This view, although accepted, is not held by all exegetes. Among those scholars who defend a different interpretation of the Hebrew word patah, one finds Kathleen M. O’Connor. O’Connor recognizes that the verb can have sexual implications, but only in three passages (out of many uses in the Old Testament) that the word must be translated and understood as regarding to sexuality (Ex. 22:15; Hos. 2:14; Jb 31:9). She then explains that the stem of the Hebrew word is what makes it possible to understand patah as not having sexual terms. She says:
“There are only six instances, all in the hiphil stem, where patah carries a sexual connotation…, but in Jer 20:7 patah appears in the Qal stem. Nowhere in Qal or Piel stems does patah have anything to do with sexual imagery. Instead, it conveys the basic idea of strength modified according to a variety of situations…”
For O’Connor, the right interpretation of patah, considering the context, is of deceiving and making Jeremiah a false prophet by domination and superior strength. Diamond also agrees with this domination motif in the beginning of Jeremiah’s lament. He says, “The prophet protest at this domination by Yahweh (v.7) against whom he cannot prevail (v.9).” For Brueggemann, Jeremiah is in a very difficult situation, due to Yahweh’s great power. Jeremiah, on one hand, cannot stop speaking because of the burning of God’s word within him; on the other hand, whenever he speaks, he is considered a laughingstock, mocked by everyone. And in both situations, according to Brueggemann, Yahweh does not do anything either to support or to console the prophet. Fretheim corroborates this view saying, “…God has called him [Jeremiah] into a vocation wherein he feels trapped, caught in the middle, squeezed between these two parties that have quite different ‘agendas.’”
In verse 10, Jeremiah hears the whisper of many (probably a conspiracy) saying terror on every side; the same Hebrew word Magor-missabib that he had directed toward Pashhur, is now being turned back to the prophet himself. He becomes a target of jokes and persecutions. His persecutors want to overpower and revenge the prophet due to his words of judgment. In reaction to his persecutors, the prophet has no other option other than trusting in Yahweh. This trust comes alive in verse 11, where the prophet brings the warrior motif to the surface. Yahweh is the mighty terrible one, the dread champion, the mighty warrior. Craigie, Kelley, and Drinkard observe that the Hebrew word which here is translated as dread champion is usually used elsewhere to refer to enemies and/or the wicked. Only here, in verse 11 (out of the entire Old Testament) this word is used as a reference to Yahweh. This ambiguous word is probably used as an expression of the prophet’s ambiguity towards Yahweh. However, Yahweh is not the enemy, as the prophet might have thought, but his deliverer. Now, the enemies of the prophet would stumble and not prevail against him. They would be ashamed and disgraced forever.
In chapter 12, we find the continuation of Jeremiah’s prayer. In this prayer, one finds a declaration affirming Yahweh’s justice toward those who are righteous and obey Him: “You who test the righteous, who see the mind and the heart (v. 12).” The prophet knows how he has conducted his life regarding the fulfillment of his calling. He is honest enough to lift his voice toward Yahweh saying what is going on in his heart, saying even that he wants to give up his calling, but that he cannot do so due to Yahweh’s power and dominion. For this reason, it is the time for Yahweh to show His vengeance toward those who are mocking not only the prophet, but also, the message that he is proclaiming, which comes directly from above, and ultimately mocking Yahweh.
Verse 13 is a doxology. Some exegetes consider it not part of the original poem. The hymnic elements of this verse, according to Brueggemann, give enough ground for assuming that it is an addition. Despite the conclusions one may find among some scholars, this verse smoothly fits in between the two parts of the prophet’s lament. Jones explains this verse, making a distinction between the poor and the evildoers. In the Psalms, we find poor or needy as a reference to faithful Israel, whereas the evildoers are the enemies of the nation. Jeremiah, in appropriating these words, is saying that he is the only representative of Yahweh, identifying with the poor ones; those who are mocking him are the enemies of Yahweh.
5.2) Jeremiah 20:14-18
This second portion of Jeremiah’s confession radically differs from the first one. While most of the biblical texts initiate a new topic after a doxology, here, Jeremiah goes back to a series of new complaints. In order to harmonize this tension, a few scholars have proposed the inversion of the parts, having verses 14-18 followed by 7-13. However, in this passage, the prophet does not have his enemies as the target of his lament, but instead he is lamenting the day that he is born and the messenger who brings the news of his birth to his father. Several suggestions have been given to explain the motivations of Jeremiah to speak these words. O’Connor suggests that Jeremiah’s misery or his life of misery, trouble and grief is the main reason for his laments. She uses Jeremiah’s same motif in his second confession (15:10) to explain her position. For her, “This diversion of attention from the birth to the problem of Jeremiah’s wearisome life indicates that the real issue in these two texts is not Jeremiah’s birth but his life.” Carroll gives three possible interpretations for this passage. First, he suggests that Jeremiah’s curse is a lament over a terrible disaster, “a cry of utter despair over the fate of the people and the city.” To support this interpretation, he uses Job 3 as a parallel to Jeremiah 20:14-18.
Job 3: 1, 3, 4, 8 Reference to the day of birth Jeremiah 20:14
Job 3:3 Birth announced, specifically of a male Jeremiah 20:15
Job 3:10 Reference to remaining in womb Jeremiah 20:17, 18
Job 3:11 Reference to death “from” the womb Jeremiah 20:17
Job 3:20ff The question why Jeremiah 20:18
Carroll’s second suggested interpretation relates to Jerusalem’s destruction. For him, verses 14-18 find support in v. 16 and its reference to Sodom and Gomorrah. However, in this passage, the prophet is changing the normal use of Sodom and Gomorrah in prophetic literature, from a situation related to Jerusalem’s wicked leaders to a more literal sense of city destruction. Perhaps Fretheim disagrees with Carroll when he suggests that “cities” mentioned in v.16 is related to Judah and not to Sodom and Gomorrah. Fretheim says, that “these cities are named elsewhere in Jeremiah (23:14; 49:18; 50:40) [italics in the original]” Fretheim uses the argument that Exilic readers, and possibly other audiences, would not see Sodom and Gomorrah as the cities mentioned by Jeremiah. Carroll’s third and last suggestion is that verses 14-18 relates to Jeremiah’s self-curse. For him, this interpretation is to be considered the least of all three, due to several difficulties found when one links the laments to the life of the prophet.
There are several interpretations of this passage, trying to find the more accurate background which plays a pivotal role in discovering the truth. However, as Craigie, Kelley and Drinkard say, “the setting for this pericope is ambiguous.” Some place it around 605-604 BCE, when Jeremiah’s life is being threatened by Jehoiakim. It can be also placed in 587 BCE during the aftermath of the fall of Jerusalem/Judah. Another suggestion relates the passage to the last days of Jeremiah, when he is forced to go into exile to Egypt. A final interpretation places this pericope as part of Pashhur incident (vv. 1-6) and the prophet’s response to humiliation.
The pericope ends with a question “Why?” and shifts Jeremiah’s thought from the past to the present. This is a question without answer, a question of a desperate man who is suffering the consequences of being an instrument of God, a question of a desperate prophet. As Brueggemann puts it, “it is the ‘why’ of being given a burden of ‘plucking up and tearing down,’ a message completely (and predictably) resisted.” Only God could answer Jeremiah’s question, however, it seems that He chose not to.
6) Contemporary Application
Jeremiah’s lament is the main proof that there is no superman in the Bible. The prophet as any other person is struggling between obeying God and standing right before Him or giving up His calling to live an average life. However, what makes this more interesting is the fact that even if the prophet wants to escape and run away from the presence of the Lord, he cannot not do so, because his “heart becomes like a burning fire” (v. 9b). The prophet’s overwhelming situation, however, does not take from him the passion for God and the certainty in his heart that God is still with him, battling his battles, protecting him from his enemies.
Jeremiah’s struggle is the same struggle faced by all who are called to the ministry. It is not easy to serve a Holy God in the midst of a wicked people. It demands faith, grace, endurance, love, hope, and patience in order to fulfill the word of God to its full. One cannot forget that the nature of those who are called by God is the same as those who are receiving the message, which means corrupted. Several of our day’s leaders are finding the pressure of ministry just too much. Many of them are overwhelmed with tasks and duties and are not being able to fulfill God’s word. Several others are being targets of criticism and gossip and are getting close to burnout.
Jeremiah’s confession comes like a balsam to all those who are struggling with their callings. This includes all those who are thinking about giving up, as well as those who are cursing God for having received such a difficult mission.
Nevertheless, we cannot limit the outreach of these verses to only those called to the ministry. Jeremiah’s lament reaches all righteous people, all those who suffer persecution just for the sake of God’s justice and righteousness. The theme of theodicy permeates the entire Bible. From Joseph to David and from Elijah to Jeremiah, we find righteous people suffering and encountering evil. The history of the church also bears witness to the suffering of those who did not negate their faith. “The English term martyr is based on the Greek word for those who ‘bear witness’ in times of persecution.” And finally, as our greatest model for suffering, we find Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He was publicly humiliated and crucified for the salvation of those whom the Father gave to Him. He had no sin, no fault, and yet, He is the ultimate sufferer.
 For a complete list of variances of the divisions of this text, see Peter C. Craigie, et al, Word biblical commentary (WORD BIBLICAL COMMENTARY; eds.David Allan Hubbard andGlenn W. Barker; Waco, Tex: Word Books, 270-272 . See also Samuel R. Driver, et al, eds., The International Critical Commentary: Critical and Exegetical Commentary: The Gospel According to St. Mark ( Edingurgh: T&T Clark Ltd, 1983), 317.T&T Clark, the International Critical Commentary, pages 467-470.
 A. R. Diamond, The confessions of Jeremiah in context : scenes of prophetic drama (JOURNAL FOR THE STUDY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT. SUPPLEMENT SERIES, 0309-0787 ; 45; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1987), 103.
 Craigie, et al, Word biblical commentary 271.
 Walter Brueggemann, A commentary on Jeremiah : exile and homecoming (Grand Rapids, Mich: W.B. Eerdmans, 1998), 181.
 Katheleen M. O’Connor strongly disagrees with this view. More on O’Connor’s view when we get in the study of the text.
 Terence E. Fretheim, Jeremiah (SMYTH & HELWYS BIBLE COMMENTARY; Macon, Ga: Smith & Helwys Pub., 2002), 290.
 John Bright, Bible. O.T. Jeremiah. English. Bright. 1964; Jeremiah. Introd., translation, and notes by John Bright (THE ANCHOR BIBLE, 21; Garden City, N.Y: Doubleday, 1965), 132-133.
 See Kathleen M. O'Connor, The confessions of Jeremiah : their interpretation and role in chapters 1-25 (DISSERTATION SERIES SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE; Atlanta, Ga: Scholars Press, 1988), 66.
 Diamond, 103.
 Craigie, Kelley, and Drinkard, 278.
 Fretheim, 294. See also Terence E. Fretheim, "Caught in the middle: Jeremiah's vocational crisis," WORD & WORLD 22 (2002): 357.
 O’Connor, 76.
 Fretheim, 296.
 Louis Stulman, Jeremiah (ABINGDON OLD TESTAMENT COMMENTARIES; Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2005), 8.
 Craigie, Kelley, and Drinkard, xlii.
 Bright, lvii.
 Robert P. Carroll, Jeremiah : a commentary (OLD TESTAMENT LIBRARY; London: SCM, 1986), 38.
 Craigie, Kelley, and Drinkard, xxxviii.
 Ibid, xxxix.
 Stulman, 4-5.
 A “full version” of the historical background of the Book of Jeremiah, can be found in the work of John Bright 1965, pages xxvi-liv.
 Fretheim, 3.
 Stulman, 4.
 See Fretheim, Caught in the middle: Jeremiah's vocational crisis 351.
 See O'Connor, The confessions of Jeremiah : their interpretation and role in chapters 1-25 183.
 O’Connor, 70.
 Ibid 71.
 Diamond, 103.
 Brueggemann, 182.
 Fretheim, Caught in the middle: Jeremiah's vocational crisis 357.
 Carroll, 400.
 Brueggemann makes reference to Carroll as a defender of this position in his “A commentary on Jeremiah: Exile & Homecoming” 1998. 184.
 Douglas R. Jones, Jeremiah : based on the Revised Standard Version (NEW CENTURY BIBLE COMMENTARY; London; Grand Rapids: Marshall Pickering; Eerdmans, 1992), 275.
 Craigie, Kelley, and Drinkard, 277.
 O’Connor, 76.
 Carroll, 402.
 Craigie, Kelley, and Drinkard, 277.
 Fretheim, 296, 297.
 Carroll 402, 403.
 Craigie, Kelley, and Drinkard, 278.
 Brueggemann, 186.
 John A. Dearman, Jeremiah and Lamentations (THE NIV APPLICATION COMMENTARY SERIES; Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2002), 195.