Jeremiah served under several kings of Judah and saw Neco and Nebuchadnezzar flex their muscles in Judah. In Jeremiah’s book Manasseh and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, are mentioned. Jeremiah, in its present form, is not linear in construction but is grouped loosely by several different themes. One grouping could be that in the first part of the book is that people, priests, and prophets (false) are dealt with, and the second part focuses on kings and nations. So, in this post, I will try listing Jeremiah’s kings as they appear while doing something important. (Let me explain using Josiah. He is frequently listed with his son’s names as an identifier but not directly involved in that story. (In another context that is also a reminder that they could have been doing better because of his good example. Those listings I will not put in.) Some commentary will appear and some noteworthy events, but please go to the post on Josiah for a different look at his children and grandchild.
- 1:1 Jeremiah started in his thirteen-year of reign. (Jeremiah had been ministering for five years when Josiah celebrated Passover. 2 Chronicles 35:19)
- 3:6 A word about unfaithful Israel (northern kingdom) and unfaithful Judah. The leader was trying to do right, the people were not.
- 25:3 The length of time Jeremiah had been prophesying – twenty-three years.
- 36:2 Jeremiah’s commission to write down his words from the Lord. (Josiah is a time marker; the event was in the 4th year of Jehoiakim.)
22:11 The word that he would never return to Judah and Jerusalem. (He ruled three months.)
Jehoiakim/Eliakim – Possible Chronology Order
- 1:3 Time of his reign. (Eleven years)
- 22:18 No one would mourn for him.
- 24:1 Identified Jehoiachin as his son. (See Josiah’s Children)
- 25:1 His fourth year and the first of Nebuchadnezzar reign. Captives were taken. Verse 11 is the first mention, by Jeremiah, about seventy years of captivity.
- 36:1 Jehoiakim’s fourth year and when God told Jeremiah to write down all of the words he had been given.
- 36: 9 – 32 He burns the scroll Baruch wrote for Jeremiah.
- 45:1 Refers to the writing of the scroll in 36:1.
- 46:2 Refers to his fourth year, but this word is against Pharaoh Neco and his defeat at Carchemish.
- 26:1-20 Jeremiah prophesies and is threatened with death.
- 26:21,22,23 He had the prophet Uriah retrieved from Egypt and killed.
- 35:1 When Jeremiah learned a lesson from the Recabites.
- 52:2 Compares Jehoiakim to Zedekiah and the evil they did.
Other references: 2 Kings 23: 34 – 36; 24: 1- 19; 1 Chronicles 3:15+16; 2 Chronicles 36: 4-8; Daniel 1: 1+2
- 22:24 + 28 Words that he will be cast out with his children.
- 24:1 The word about two baskets of figs when he, his officials, and the craftsmen and artisans were taken to Babylon. (He ruled three months and ten days or 100 days.)
- 27:20 The pillars, the Sea, the movable stands, and other furnishings would be taken to Babylon.
- 28:4 A word from a false prophet about Jehoiachin’s return to Jerusalem.
- 29:2 Jeremiah had sent a letter after the time marker of Jehoiachin leaving Judah.
- 52:31, 33, 34 Jehoiachin was released and taken care of in Babylon.
Zedekiah – Possible Chronology Order
- 1:3 History of Jeremiah and Zedekiah’s eleven years.
- 24:8 Word about a basket of figs and how God will deal with Zedekiah and the survivors.
- 29:3 When Jeremiah sent the letter to the exiles about the seventy years of serving Babylon. (This is hard to place but I would put it before Zedekiah’s trip to Babylon. Jehoiachin was only in power 100 days.)
- 49:34 A word about Elam early in the rule of Zedekiah. Elam was an area north and east of the Persian Gulf. This is an interesting word about an ancient, long-surviving culture (see the link below). This is an example of the non-linear editing order. Elam/Susa is the setting for the Book of Esther. Verse 39 was fulfilled. Chapter 50:1 is a word against Babylon which subjugated Elam.
- 51:59 An event in his fourth year when he went to Babylon. Jeremiah sent a letter with Seraiah about Babylon. 29:3 and this verse/event is possibly the same story.
- 27:1,3,12 The word that Zedekiah and other kings were to bow their neck to Nebuchadnezzar. It was early in his reign. (28:1 has this in the same year.)
- 28:1 The fourth year and fifth month of Zedekiah’s rule (see 27:1-12) and a false prophet breaks the yoke.
- 21:1,3,7 He sent people to have Jeremiah inquire of God because of Nebuchadnezzar attacking Jerusalem.
- 34:2,4,6 A word about how Zedekiah would not die by the sword.
- 34:8 After Zedekiah gives slaves their freedom, only to enslave them again.
- 34:21 God retracts His offer and Zedekiah will die by the sword. (1. Pharaoh Neco had marched out of Egypt to battle Nebuchadnezzar. 2.There are several words about this topic. It seems that God was willing to give him a chance.)
- 37:1 – 21 The time must be after the ninth year of Zedekiah. They are not listening to Jeremiah but the king sends a private envoy to ask him a question. (The Babylonian army withdraws because of Neco. Jeremiah is thrown into prison because he tries to leave the city. Zedekiah calls for him again, he is afraid of the people. He also assigns Jeremiah to a different prison with food.)
- 32:1,3,4,5 Jeremiah bought his cousin’s field and Zedekiah is warned again about fighting Nebuchadnezzar. This is the tenth year and Jeremiah was held prisoner in the courtyard.
- 38:5 Jeremiah is put in a muddy cistern because Zedekiah won’t stop his officials.
- 38:14 – 24 Zedekiah again sends for Jeremiah to ask him questions. Zedekiah is afraid to follow the advice because of Jews who switched sides. Jeremiah cannot talk about the conservation because of the haters.
- 39:1-7 The story of the fall of the city and Zedekiah’s attempt to escape, his capture, and his punishment. Jeremiah was freed in this telling of the story.
- 52:1-11 A retelling of the fall of the city and the capturing of Zedekiah. This version goes into the destruction of the city and when more captives were removed.
- 44:30 This is a warning to the fleeing Jews to not go to Egypt. The association of Pharaoh and Zedekiah to the Jews was an example of what would happen to them. (A change in Pharaohs.)
Other references: 2 Kings 24:17 – 20, 25:1-7