Jeremiah 2–3: Judah's Sins and Jeremiah's Message

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 156


Jeremiah 2–3 records what the Lord told Jeremiah to say to the people after he was called to preach to them. Much of what the Lord told Jeremiah to say deals with ways the children of Israel sinned before the Lord. Jeremiah 2:13 best describes their problems: they not only rejected the living waters (the living God), but their cisterns (water containers), symbolic of their spiritual lives, had holes in them and could hold no water. In other words, their lives were so full of sin that they could not receive the Lord’s blessings.Jeremiah 3 contains another example of the Lord using marriage as a symbol of His relationship with His covenant people. He said Israel and Judah were sisters who were both symbolically married to the Lord. Israel was unfaithful to her husband (the Lord), so He divorced (or rejected) her (see v. 8). The warning in Jeremiah 3 is to Israel’s “sister,” Judah, who did not seem to learn from Israel’s mistakes.Jeremiah 3 also contains promises that the Lord will take Israel and Judah back if they will repent and humble themselves before Him. This return is what we call the gathering of Israel (see vv. 14–25). When Israel returns—if they will humble themselves and be true to their “marriage” covenants—the Lord promises to “heal” them.