41. “I Have Made Thee This Day…an Iron Pillar”

Jeremiah’s call as a prophet gives us insight into a premortal existence. His prophecies are of destruction, scattering, and punishment, but also peace, gathering, and blessings.

“Jeremiah, Prophecies of” by William J. Adams Jr., Encyclopedia of Mormonism
“The book of Jeremiah presents a number of elements that are significant for Latter-day Saints. Such features range from important doctrinal teachings connected with Jeremiah’s call to his prophecies of the latter days. Notably, his work reveals more about him as a person than most other prophetic works do about their authors. Moreover, his definition of a testimony, hard won through years of persecution, is a classic: The word of God ‘was in mine heart as a burning fire.'”

“History and Jeremiah’s Crisis of Faith,” S. Kent Brown, in Isaiah and the Prophets: Inspired Voices from the Old Testament, 105–18.
Looking closely at Jeremiah’s early ministry shows that traditional assumptions about his prophecies need to be revisited. At the time of his call, Jeremiah saw two visions, the first of which was of “a seething pot boiling in the north. But just who was coming from the north remained unknown, apparently even to the prophet.” “It is to Jeremiah’s credit that he remained faithful as he passed through a severe test of his trust in the Lord.”

“Jeremiah,” Bible Dictionary
“Notable passages from Jeremiah include the following: 1:4–5, an acknowledgment of man’s premortal existence, and Jeremiah’s foreordination; 3:12–19, prophecy of the return of Israel from the scattered condition, gathering one of a city and two of a family to Zion, a pleasant land where Israel and Judah can dwell in safety and peace; 16:14–21, a prophecy of the Lord gathering Israel from the north countries by sending many fishers and hunters to find them. This event of the latter days will supersede in proportion even the bringing of Israel out of Egypt by Moses.”

“Before Jeremiah Was: Divine Election in the Ancient Near East,” Dana M. Pike, in A Witness for the Restoration: Essays in Honor of Robert J. Matthews, 33–59.
“The election, or divine choosing, of Israel as God’s covenant people is a dominant theme in the Hebrew Bible. However, the words ‘election’ and ‘elected’ do not appear in the King James Version of the Old Testament, and ‘elect’ occurs only four times, always in a phrase wherein the Lord refers to “mine elect.’” “Most people would agree that the account of Jeremiah’s prophetic call preserves one of the most obvious examples of individual divine election in the Hebrew Bible. The account of Jehovah’s commission of Jeremiah begins: “Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations’” (Jeremiah 1:4–5, NRSV). This is a fine example of a biblical passage that conveys the concept of election with vocabulary that is complementary to the Hebrew lexical root bḥr.”

“The Trials of Jesus and Jeremiah,” by Bernard S. Jackson, BYU Studies, Volume 32, no. 4
Jeremiah 26 tells of Jeremiah being put on trial. Points of this narrative can be compared to the trial of Jesus: “Jeremiah, like Jesus, preaches in the court of the Temple. He does so following a divine mission but with no guarantee of success. He prophesies of the destruction of the Temple. There is priestly involvement in arresting and charging the prophet alleged to be prophesying falsely. There is some form of hearing in the Temple itself (i.e. within priestly jurisdiction). The secular authority then convenes a court. The priests take the lead in framing the accusation before the secular authority. The accused prophet defends himself, reasserting the genuineness of his mission. The secular rulers tell the priests that they have decided to exonerate the prophet. A parallel is cited from the prophetic mission of Micah. Comparison is made with the fate of another accused. The latter suffers execution by the secular authority. Jeremiah escapes this fate, but stress is laced upon the potential role of the people as being responsible for the life-or-death decision.”

“Prophets and Kings in Lehi’s Jerusalem and Margaret Barker’s Temple Theology,” by Kevin Christensen, Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture,Volume 4, no. 1
King Josiah’s reign has come under increasing focus for its importance to the formation of the Hebrew Bible, and for its proximity to the ministry of important prophets such as Jeremiah and Lehi. Whereas the canonical accounts and conventional scholarship have seen Josiah portrayed as the ideal king, Margaret Barker argues Josiah’s reform was hostile to the temple. This essay offers a counterpoint to Professor Hamblin’s “Vindicating Josiah” essay, offering arguments that the Book of Mormon and Barker’s views and sources support one another.