Both the books of Jeremiah and Lamentations were written by the prophet Jeremiah during the kingdom split. He lived through the destruction of Jerusalem and long enough to see his prophecy of exile come true.
In the year 650 BC, Jeremiah served as a prophet to the people of Judah.
However, what he had to say wasn’t good news, and it wasn’t the first time the people had heard these warnings. As a matter of fact, I’ve lost track of the number of times the people have been told to remember their God and follow him. It seems that even after their deliverance from slavery, their enemies, and hardship, the Israelites haven’t done a good job in passing down their faith to the next generation.
The people’s faith is so far removed from their families, that it’s been centuries since they have followed God. King David and his son Solomon led the Israelites in worship to God, but after the kingdom split, the majority of the kings that followed were corrupt worshippers of false gods from neighboring countries.
So God anoints certain people during these times called prophets, to warn the Israelites that judgement is coming if they don’t obey God.
Here’s an overview of several prophets to the leaders of the Israelites since we started the journey through the books of the Bible:
- Samuel = Kings Saul and David
- Elijah = King Ahab
- Elisha = Kings Jehoshaphat and Joram
- Isaiah = Kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah
- Jeremiah = Kings Josiah, Jehoiakim, Zedekiah
The prophet Jeremiah spoke to the Israelites from 650-582 BC while they are under the rule of Kings Josiah, Jehoiakim and Zedekiah of the southern kingdom of Judah during the kingdom split.
Jeremiah lives long enough to prophesy and warn the people of the coming disaster, but also witnesses his prophecy come true in 586 BC when Babylonians take over Judah.
However, God promises to eventually punish the Israelites’ enemies (Babylon, Assyria among many others) because of their false idol worship. Before the exile, leaders imprison and persecute Jeremiah multiple times in response to his gloomy message. After the exile, tradition says that Jeremiah dies in Egypt as a martyr.
While Jeremiah is a book about the historical events that occurred during this time, the book of Lamentations (also written by Jeremiah) is a 5 chapter lament (or sorrowful prayer) to God asking for forgiveness and deliverance of the Israelite people.
- Lament over the destroyed city of Jerusalem
- Lament over God’s anger with Israelites
- Jeremiah’s personal lament
- Lament over the punishment for Israelites
- Lament of repentance
JEREMIAH AND LAMENTATIONS PRINTABLES
Want an easy visual to help keep all the major events straight? Open up your Bible, read through the books of Jeremiah and Lamentations and print out these visual notes to guide you as you read.
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You can find all of my Bible Timelines as I work my way through the ENTIRE BIBLE in my shop.
For more Biblical history, check out these other posts:
- Understanding the Old Testament Timeline
- Genesis Printables
- Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs
- Isaiah Printables
- Printable Study for the Book of Ezekiel in the Bible
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