Letter of Jeremiah 1:7


1 A copy of a letter that Jeremiah sent to those who were to be taken to Babylon as exiles by the king of the Babylonians, to give them the message that God had commanded him. 2 Because of the sins that you have committed before God, you will be taken to Babylon as exiles by Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Babylonians. 3 Therefore when you have come to Babylon you will remain there for many years, for a long time, up to seven generations; after that I will bring you away from there in peace. 4 Now in Babylon you will see gods made of silver and gold and wood, which people carry on their shoulders, and which cause the heathen to fear. 5 So beware of becoming at all like the foreigners or of letting fear for these gods possess you 6 when you see the multitude before and behind them worshiping them. But say in your heart, “It is you, O Lord, whom we must worship.” 7 For my angel is with you, and he is watching over your lives. 8 Their tongues are smoothed by the carpenter, and they themselves are overlaid with gold and silver; but they are false and cannot speak.

Tertullian Scorpiace 8


That person himself, at the close of the law and the prophets, and called not a prophet, but a messenger, is, suffering an ignominious death, beheaded to reward a dancing-girl. And certainly they who were wont to be led by the Spirit of God used to be guided by Himself to martyrdoms; so that they had even already to endure what they had also proclaimed as requiring to be borne. Wherefore the brotherhood of the three also, when the dedication of the royal image was the occasion of the citizens being pressed to offer worship, knew well what faith, which alone in them had not been taken captive, required — namely, that they must resist idolatry to the death. For they remembered also the words of Jeremias writing to those over whom that captivity was impending: And now you shall see borne upon (men's) shoulders the gods of the Babylonians, of gold and silver and wood, causing fear to the Gentiles. Beware, therefore, that you also do not be altogether like the foreigners, and be seized with fear while you behold crowds worshipping those gods before and behind, but say in your mind, Our duty is to worship You, O Lord. Therefore, having got confidence from God, they said, when with strength of mind they set at defiance the king's threats against the disobedient: There is no necessity for our making answer to this command of yours.

 Notes and References

"... Although Epistle of Jeremiah was regarded as canonical by many Church Fathers and accepted into the Christian scriptures, some dissented, most notably Jerome, who called it a pseudepigraphon. It seems to have had no clear or direct influence on later Jewish texts and little on Christian authors. The second-century Apology of Aristides appears to have known it, although it is not quoted directly. Tertullian (Scorpiace 8) cites verse 3-5, attributing the words to Jeremiah, and Cyprian’s De Dominica Oratione 5 contains what could possibly be a loose version of verse 5. Firmicus Maternus (fourth century) quotes extensive sections of the Epistle of Jeremiah in The Error of Pagan Religions 28 ..."

Wright, Benjamin G. "Epistle of Jeremiah" in Aitken, J. K. (ed.) T&T Clark Companion to the Septuagint (p. 526) T&T Clark International, 2015

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.