We now come to the second division of the Book, that containing the account of the prophet's ministry. This falls into three sections: prophecies before the fall of Jerusalem (14-39), prophecies after the fall of Jerusalem (40-45), and prophecies concerning the nations (46-51).
The first series of messages declares God's determination to punish (14-17). This consists of a parable (14:l-6), an account of a controversy between the prophet and Jehovah (14:7-IS), and the new charge delivered to the prophet (16, 17). The opening parable is a graphic picture of drought. The high and the low alike are affected. The whole ground is barren, and all animal life is suffering.
After the word concerning the drought we have the account of a remarkable controversy between Jeremiah and Jehovah. In language full of stately dignity the prophet appealed to Jehovah not to persecute His people. This appeal was answered by solemn refusal. Because of the persistent wandering of the people the prophet was commanded not to pray for them, Jehovah declaring that He would not hear them. The prophet then pleaded that the prophets had declared that they should be preserved from evil. To this Jehovah replied that they had lied. Though speaking in His name, they had not been sent by Him, and therefore they would be consumed by sword and famine. Likewise the people to whom they had prophesied must be punished.
Again Jeremiah appealed, inquiring if God had utterly forsaken His people, making confession of sin, and beseeching God's pity on the people for His own name's sake.
the Second Week after Epiphany