Jeremiah 14 - 15 - Outline of Jeremiah (Book Notes menu page)
The Drought and Jeremiah's Intercession: A parched land, bathed in tears.
I. The Drought Described, 14:1-6
The exact time of this crisis is unknown. However, coming during a period of gross sin and apostasy, it signified that the Lord was moving in judgment against the rebellious nation, as He had promised (Deu 28:15,23,24). Just as drought had preceded the Assyrian captivity of the northern kingdom, in the time of Elijah and king Ahab (1Kin 17:1), so now, the severity of this drought warned of more severe judgment still to come. The effects of the drought:
II. Jeremiah's First Intercession, 14:7-12
  1. Jeremiah prays (14:7-9). He appeals to the Lord, on the basis of:
    1. Confession of sin (14:7a,c).
    2. The LORD's Name (14:7b).-
      ie., That He would be known for his merciful kindness. Psa 25:11; Eze 20:9; Dan 9:9,18-19
    3. The LORD's historic identification with His people (14:8).
    4. The LORD's power to save (14:9a).
    5. The LORD's presence among a people identified with Him (14:9b).
  2. The Lord answers (14:10-12):
    1. (Contrary to Jeremiah's confession on their behalf)....
      The people love to sin, and show no sign of repentance. Their sin must be judged. (14:10)
    2. (Contrary to Jeremiah's appeal to the special relationship of this people to the Lord)...
      The people are not accepted, though they approach with prayers, fasting and sacrifices.
      Judgment will consume them. (14:11-12).
      Even Jeremiah's prayers would not be accepted in their behalf. (cp. 7:16; 11:14)
III. Jeremiah's Second Intercession, 14:13-18
  1. Jeremiah appeals (14:13) on the basis of:
    The deception of the people by false teachers. (ie., It's not their fault. They were deceived.)
  2. The Lord answers:
    1. The false prophets will be judged, by the judgment which they deny (14:14,15).
    2. The people will be judged, for receiving their false teaching (14:16-18, cp. 5:31; Eze 14:9-11; also 2The 2:10-12).
      The present drought foreshadowed the famine during the future siege (cp. 2Kin 25:3).
      The troubles described, in 14:18, befell them during the siege of Jerusalem (cp. Eze 7:15) and the subsequent captivity.
      Jeremiah's tears reflect the Lord's sorrow for His people. (14:17)
IV. Jeremiah's Third Intercession, 14:19- 15:9
  1. Jeremiah appeals (14:19-22) on the basis of:
    1. The tenderness of the Great Physician (14:19; cp. Ex 15:26)
    2. The forgiveness of God (14:20; cp. Jer 9:24; Ex 34:6,7)
    3. The honor of God's Name and Covenant (14:21; cp. Ex 32:11-13)
    4. The exclusivity of His Deity. (14:22).
      Though some might vainly appeal to idols or to the heavenly bodies, Jeremiah acknowledged that only the Creator God had power to send rain and end the drought. (cp. Jer 10:10-13)
         Note: Throughout this prayer, Jeremiah identifies himself with his people, by using the pronouns "us... we... our..." (also in 14:7-9). In behalf of his people, Jeremiah appeals to the only true and living God, who is "the LORD our God."
  2. The Lord answers (15:1-9):
    1. I could not accept these people, even if their case was appealed by Moses and Samuel (15:1).
      Moses (Ex 32:11-14) and Samuel (1Sam 7:8,9; 8:6; 12:16-23) were effective intercessors (Psa 99:6) .
      The problem was not with Jeremiah's prayer life, nor with God's ability to deliver, but with the sinfulness of the people (Isa 59:1,2).
      (Also see Eze 14:12-21: Noah, Daniel and Job were known for their righteousness. But the presence of a few righteous men would not spare the nation from the judgment which it deserved.)
    2. I will cast them away (15:2) to:
      1. Death - by any means (cp. Jer 9:20,21; 14:12)
      2. the Sword (outside the city walls)
      3. the Famine (within the city, during the coming siege), cp. 14:13-15
      4. the Captivity (upon the fall of the city), cp. 14:16-18
      The 'four kinds' of 15:3, refer to four types of judgments, as listed in 15:2 (the points above), and with variation in 15:3,4a (note the verbs: to slay, to tear, to devour and destroy, to remove). cp. Eze 14:21).
    3. I will cast them away because:
      1. King Manasseh, and the kings that followed him, had led the nation into corruption. (15:4; see 2Kin 21:1-16; 23:26,27; 24:3,4)
        Who shall have pity on thee? (15:5)- Their judgment was fully justified. No one would come to take up their cause.
        (But see Isa 51:19, and its context [Isa 51:17-23], where it is the Lord Himself, who, in the end, pities and redeems Israel.)
      2. The people turned away from God, and refused to turn back (15:6-7).
        • The Lord had repeatedly warned them. He had repeatedly withheld His wrath. But He would no longer turn back {'repent'} from exercising the deserved judgment.
        • The severity of that judgment is described in 15:8-9. The "spoiler" is Nebuchadnezzar and his army. The predicted destruction is so severe that widows will be innumerable, and a mother with seven sons will be bereaved of them all.
V. Jeremiah Laments... 15:10-18
  1. The offensiveness of his message of judgment. 15:10
    • The messenger (Jeremiah) had become an object of controversy and hatred,
      not for cheating anyone in business, but because he truthfully declared God's Word.
      The Lord comforts him as a representative of the believing remnant (15:11; cp. Eze 14:20-23).
    • The remnant also will be carried away captive with the unbelieving nation that opposed their message (15:14).
    • The remnant also would lose all their worldly wealth (15:13).
      "Shall iron break the northern iron and steel?" (15:12) - ie., Israel's military machine would not stand against the armies of Babylon. The captivity was certain to come. The remnant should not put their hope in human deliverance.
    • But the Lord would give the remnant favor in the eyes of their captors (15:11).
  2. The reproach of identification with the Lord and His Word (15:15,16)
    • for thy sake, I have suffered rebuke...-
      Jeremiah suffered reproach and scorn, because He was true to God and His Word.
    • Thy Words were found and I did eat them...-
      As soon as the Book of the Law was rediscovered in the Temple (2Kin 22:8), Jeremiah's appetite had been whetted. God's children hunger for His Word that they might know Him and serve Him aright. eg., Rev 3:20
    • Thy Word was unto me the joy {cheer} and rejoicing {delight} of mine heart...-
      In the midst of an evil world, the believer is encouraged by the Word of the Holy God. It is the believer's great desire that God's fore-ordained purposes will be fulfilled. True believers find God's Word sweet... and also bitter... for as they draw near to God, they are moved to grieve over sin, and for their neighbors who are willfully ignorant of the coming judgment. (cp. Eze 2:8-10; 3:1-7; Rev 10:9)
    • for I am called by Thy Name...-
      As a true child of God, Jeremiah gave heed to the Word of God, in whom he rejoiced. Although the people, who ridiculed Jeremiah, claimed to be God's people, and identified themselves with His Name (eg., Jer 7:4), they were not receptive or obedient to His Word (eg., Jer 7:28). Therefore, they rejected the Lord's representative (cp. 1Sam 8:7; Mat 10:24-25,40; Joh 15:20;21).
  3. The Separation of Indignation against sin, 15:17. (Indignation is righteous anger.)
    cp. Psa 1:1; 26:5; 2Cor 6:17; Jer 13:17; Lam 3:26-28
  4. The Disappointment of unanswered prayer, 15:18.
    Despite Jeremiah's continual intercession, the people had not responded to the message. As the drought continued unabated, Jeremiah's thirst intensified (cp. Psa 63:1,2).
The Lord answers Jeremiah, as a representative of the believing remnant (15:19-21),
addressing each complaint (in reverse order):
D. Return to the place of trusting Me fully... (19a). cp. Zech 3:7; Heb 10:35-39
I will bring thee again... (from the place of trouble and captivity, 15:11-15)
C. Continue living separated unto Me, and from sin... (19b). cp. Luke 21:34-36; Rom 12:1,2
I will make thee to stand for Me... cp. Jude 1:24,25
B. Speak My Word faithfully... (19c-20a). cp. Gal 1:10; 2Tim 4:1-4
(Speak without compromise, that others may return to the Truth.)
I will make thee a fenced brazen wall... (ie., hardened against falsehood)
They will attack, but will not prevail, for I am with thee to save and deliver...
A. Do not Fear those who hate and oppose you (20c-21). cp. Isa 41:10-13; Php 1:27-29
I will deliver thee... from the wicked {evil one}. cp. Rom 16:20
I will redeem thee... from the terrible {tyrannical one}. cp. Isa 29:20
The antidote for "Woe is me..." (15:10) is "I am with thee."

Click here to continue the study in Jeremiah 16 - 17
Return to Jeremiah - MENU page.

Limited permission is granted to copy & distribute these notes from

Go to The Book opening page.