According to the account of the book that bears his name, Jeremiah was called to the prophetical office when still relatively young, in the thirteenth year of Josiah around 628 B.C.E.
Jeremiah's predictions, as usual, would eventually prove correct, but in the short term both he and the nation faced serious trouble.
Jeremiah or Yirmiyбhu (???????????, Standard Hebrew Yirm?yбhu), was one of the "greater prophets" of the Old Testament, and the son of Hilkiah, a priest of Anathoth.
Jews expelled from Europe, or who fled because of persecution, found refuge in the Muslim world.
According to a Christian legend (in pseudo-Epiphanius, "Lives of the Prophets") Jeremiah was stoned by his compatriots in Egypt because he reproached them with their evil deeds.
More than any historical figure in the Bible, Jeremiah bears his soul to his readers.
Not to be deterred, Jeremiah subsequently dictated his prophecies to Baruch and instructed him to read them in the Temple courtyard.
From the same source comes another story that Jeremiah's prayers freed Egypt from a plague of crocodiles and mice; for which reason his name was for a long time honored by the Egyptians.
To Jeremiah, God revealed a heart broken by the betrayal of his people.
In an act of high prophetic drama, Hananiah then grabbed the yoke from Jeremiah's shoulders and broke it.
Jeremiah remained captive in the palace prison until his liberation by the Babylonians after they captured Jerusalem.
Jeremiah warned the king directly that resistance would bring disaster, but in the current political climate this was difficult advice for the independence-minded king to accept.
Jeremiah's message went beyond that of mere support of monotheism an opposition to idolatry.
Jeremiah retreated to consider, and then countered with a prophecy of his own declaring that Hananiah himself would die within the promised two-year period (28).
In any case, Jeremiah's predictions proved true, as Jerusalem now faced a Babylonian invasion and siege, during which Jehoiachim died.
At an uncertain point after his calling, Jeremiah left his native home and priestly family in Anathoth and went to reside in Jerusalem.
Jeremiah develops the concept of God's love and the importance of man's faithfulness more fully than any previous biblical prophet.
Jeremiah lived in a time when the Kingdom of Judah not only faced military challenges from foreign invaders and spiritual challenges from Canaanite religion, but also bitter internal divisions.
The two outlaws went into hiding, where Jeremiah dictated an even longer collection of prophecy.
Certainly Jeremiah's earlier prophecy challenging the king on social justice issues would have been difficult for the king to hear.
Christians believe that Jeremiah's prediction that there would be a “new covenant” was fulfilled in Jesus and in the community of those who follow him.
Jeremiah, on the other hand, believed that the Babylonians were the instrument of God's wrath against Judah on account of its sin.
Some of the prophecies included in the Book of Jeremiah itself are also thought to be latter additions.
When Josiah restored the true worship, Jeremiah became a traveling preacher to the exiled ten tribes, many of whom returned to Palestine under Josiah's rule.
Jeremiah's most enduring theme was the idea of a New Covenant.
Another possibility, however, is that Jeremiah's relations with Josiah became strained.
The only Hebrew prophet specifically instructed not to marry, Jeremiah often faced isolation and rejection.
The Babylonians honored Jeremiah, allowing him to choose his place of residence, and he decided to settle in the new capital of Mizpah with Gedaliah, the newly appointed governor of Judea.
Jeremiah's prophecies contain some of the most inspiring and troubling passages in the Bible.
The most dramatic events of Jeremiah's ministry came during the reign of Judah's last king.
Hulda supposedly ministered to Jerusalem's women while Jeremiah spoke to the men in the street.
Babylon had defeated Egypt at the Battle of Carchemish in 605 B.C.E., and Jeremiah urged accommodation with the Babylonians.
The merits of Jeremiah were so great that God would not bring punishment upon Jerusalem so long as the prophet was in the city.
Hebrews 8:7-8 directly quotes Jeremiah's own prophecy of the New Covenant as being fulfilled in Jesus.
Exactly which of Jeremiah's oracles offended Jehoiachim is not specified.
Few details are given regarding Jeremiah's career during the reign of Josiah.
Jeremiah countered this by appearing in the marketplace with a wooden yoke around his neck publicly counseling a policy of submission to the Babylonian power.
Having been appointed by the Babylonian authorities, Zedekiah was initially cooperative and even lifted the restrictions against Jeremiah, who was now allowed back into the Temple.
Jeremiah's warnings against resisting Babylon certainly caused Jehoiachim to view him as a political liability or possibly even a Babylonian agent.
Another tradition states that Jeremiah warned Josiah against going to war against Egypt, which resulted in Josiah's death.
Like all true biblical prophets, Jeremiah strongly condemned idolatry, which he likened to a wife's committing adultery, and warned of doom for God's people if they did not repent.