IT was the great unhappiness of this prophet to be a physician to, but that could not save, a dying state, their disease still prevailing against the remedy; and indeed no wonder that all things were so much out of order, when the book of the law had been wanting above sixty years. He was called to be a teacher in his youth, in the days of good Josiah, being sanctified and ordained by God to his prophetical office from his mother's womb, Jer_1:5 in a very evil time, though the people afterward proved much worse upon the death of that good king. He setting himself against the torrent of the corruptions of the times, was always opposed and unkindly treated by his ungrateful countrymen, as also by false prophets, and the priests, princes, and people, who encouraged all their impieties and unrighteousness. At length he threatened their destruction and captivity by the Chaldeans, which he lived to see, but foretells their return after seventy years; all which accordingly came to pass. He doth also, notwithstanding his dreadful threatenings, intermix divers comfortable promises of the Messiah, and the days of the gospel; he denounceth also heavy judgments against the heathens nations that had afflicted God's people, both such as were near, and also more remote, as Egypt, the Philistines, Moab, Edomites, Ammonites, Damascus, Kedar, Hazor, Elam, but especially Babylon herself, that is made so great a type of the antichristian Babylon in the New Testament. Upon the murder of Gedaliah, whom the Chaldeans had made governor of Judea, he was forcibly against his will carried into Egypt, where (after he had prophesied from first to last between forty and fifty years) probably he died; some say he was stoned.
Whatever else we hear mentioned of his writings, they are either counterfeit, as the Prophecies of Baruch, &c., or it is likely we have the sum of them in this book, though possibly some of his sermons might have had some enlargements in that roll which, by his appointment, was written by Baruch, Jer_36:2, &c.