Jeremiah wrote Jeremiah between 627 and 586 B.C. In Hebrew, Yirmeyahu or Yirmeyah means “Yahweh Throws” or “Yahweh Appoints.” Descendant of Eli and Abiathar, Jeremiah lived in Anathoth, about two and a half miles northeast of Jerusalem. Most likely he dictated to his scribe Baruch, who may have contributed to the book’s narratives. The final chapter, which begins with the words “Thus far are the words of Jeremiah” describes events that occurred long after Jeremiah’s ministry.
Jeremiah incorporates more biographical and historical information into his book than any other prophet. Beginning in the thirteenth year of Josiah’s reign, he preached reform to Judah’s last five kings in the final 40 years of its history. After following God’s call to Jerusalem, Jeremiah traveled around to preach in several cities. The first of many attempts on his life awaited him in Anathoth, so he moved to Jerusalem, but his prophecies about the temple’s destruction angered the priests and false prophets and they tried to kill him. The princes defended him, though he remained in prison until Nebuchadnezzar freed him after Jerusalem’s destruction.