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I. Title And Canonical Placement

I. Title And Canonical Placement

The introductory statement (1:1-3) constitutes the title of the book of Jeremiah. The phrase “the words of Jeremiah” (v. 1) refers to the entire book. The words of Jeremiah are “the word of the Lord” (deḇar yahweh) that “came” (lit. “happened”) within a particular historical setting (vv. 2-3). In the prophetic literature, the phrase deḇar yahweh is a common expression for the prophetic word of revelation. The title thus makes clear the divine origin of the content of this book. Jeremiah ben Hilkiah was Yahweh's spokesman and a witness of His sovereign actions in history.

The book of Jeremiah is located between the books of Isaiah and Ezekiel in the Hebrew canon. The English versions follow the Septuagint order in which the book of Lamentations is found between the books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel. An ancient rabbinic tradition mentions Jeremiah before Ezekiel and Isaiah. This order is maintained by many European manuscripts. In the Syriac version (Peshitta) the book is placed immediately after the Minor Prophets.