Reading for Today:
- Jeremiah 1:1–2:37
- Psalm 116:5-14
- Proverbs 27:1
- Philippians 3:1-21
Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you… This is not reincarnation; it is God’s all-knowing cognizance of Jeremiah and sovereign plan for him before he was conceived (Paul’s similar realization, Gal. 1:15).
Philippians 3:2 dogs. During the first century, dogs roamed the streets and were essentially wild scavengers. Because dogs were such filthy animals, the Jews loved to refer to Gentiles as dogs. Yet here Paul refers to Jews, specifically the Judaizers, as dogs to describe their sinful, vicious, and uncontrolled character. evil workers. The Judaizers prided themselves on being workers of righteousness. Yet Paul described their works as evil, since any attempt to please God by one’s own efforts and draw attention away from Christ’s accomplished redemption is the worst kind of wickedness. mutilation. In contrast to the Greek word for “circumcision,” which means “to cut around,” this term means “to cut down (off).” Like the prophets of Baal (1 Kin. 18:28) and pagans who mutilated their bodies in their frenzied rituals, which were forbidden in the Old Testament (Lev. 19:28; 21:5; Deut. 14:1), the Judaizers’ circumcision was, ironically, no spiritual symbol; it was merely physical mutilation.
Philippians 3:7 what things were gain…I have counted loss. The Greek word for “gain” is an accounting term that means “profit.” The Greek word for “loss” also is an accounting term used to describe a business loss. Paul used the language of business to describe the spiritual transaction that occurred when Christ redeemed him. All his Jewish religious credentials that he thought were in his profit column were actually worthless and damning (Luke 18:9–14). Thus, he put them in his loss column when he saw the glories of Christ.
Philippians 3:8 knowledge of Christ Jesus. To “know” Christ is not simply to have intellectual knowledge about Him. Paul used the Greek verb that means to know “experientially” or “personally” (John 10:27; 17:3; 2 Cor. 4:6; 1 John 5:20). It is equivalent to shared life with Christ. It also corresponds to a Hebrew word used of God’s knowledge of His people (Amos 3:2) and their knowledge of Him in love and obedience (Jer. 31:34; Hos. 6:3; 8:2). rubbish. The Greek word refers to garbage or waste and can even be translated “dung” or “manure.”
DAY 8: Who was the prophet Jeremiah?
Jeremiah, who served as both a priest and a prophet, was the son of a priest named Hilkiah. He was from the small village of Anathoth (1:1), today called Anata, about 3 miles northeast of Jerusalem. As an object lesson to Judah, Jeremiah remained unmarried (16:1–4). He was assisted in ministry by a scribe named Baruch, to whom Jeremiah dictated and who copied and had custody over the writings compiled from the prophet’s messages (36:4, 32; 45:1). Jeremiah has been known as “the weeping prophet” (9:1; 13:17; 14:17), living a life of conflict because of his predictions of judgment by the invading Babylonians. He was threatened, tried for his life, put in stocks, forced to flee from Jehoiakim, publicly humiliated by a false prophet, and thrown into a pit.
Jeremiah carried out a ministry directed mostly to his own people in Judah, but which expanded to other nations at times. He appealed to his countrymen to repent and avoid God’s judgment via an invader (chaps. 7; 26). Once invasion was certain after Judah refused to repent, he pled with them not to resist the Babylonian conqueror in order to prevent total destruction (chap. 27). He also called on delegates of other nations to heed his counsel and submit to Babylon (chap. 27), and he predicted judgments from God on various nations (25:12–38; chaps. 46–51).
The dates of his ministry, which spanned 5 decades, are from the Judean king Josiah’s thirteenth year, noted in 1:2 (627 B.C.), to beyond the fall of Jerusalem to Babylon in 586 B.C. (chaps. 39; 40; 52). After 586 B.C., Jeremiah was forced to go with a fleeing remnant of Judah to Egypt (chaps. 43; 44).
From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.