Jeremiah 8: Images of Repentance

(22 verses, 3:55 to read)


What I am about to READ

  • Jeremiah continues to preach the law against Israel’s idolatry.


  • Jeremiah loves to preach in images. I’ll try an outline with this in mind:
    • 8:1-3, The bones of the kings of Judah will be brought out of the tombs so that they can “see” the sun and moon that the people worship. The people will choose death rather than life.
    • 8:4-6, The people, like a war horse rushing into battle have refused to turn from their sins.
    • 8:7, The birds know when bad weather is coming, but the people can’t see that God’s judgment is on the way.
    • 8:8-12, The priests and leaders have lost the Word of God, and the result is that they have no wisdom, only sin.
    • 8:13, Judah is a vine with no grapes, a tree with not figs and no leaves.
    • 8:14, The people should go to church and have a service of repentance and prayer, but they don’t.
    • 8:15-16, The people can hear the snorting of the war horses in Dan.
    • 8:17, The Lord is sending snakes.
    • 8:18-19, Jeremiah’s sadness at the people’s refusal to repent.
    • 8:20, The pasted harvest is a picture of the times, the people have missed the opportunity to repent.
    • 8:21-22, Jeremiah and the Lord are both mourning that there is no doctor to bring healing to the people, and no balm in Gilead (compare to Jeremiah 46:11).


  • All of the images of Jeremiah’s preaching make his words wonderful to meditate on. Can you imagine the Lord going to pick grapes, but finding none on the vine? Or the picture of the people refusing to repent but plunging head-long into their sins like a war horse charging into battle? Thinking on these things is helpful to us, and shapes our own heart and conscience.
  • The preaching of Jeremiah is aimed at repentance, that the people would turn from their fear, love, and trust int he idols of the nations and instead trust in the LORD, the One True God. We always need to hear this preaching of repentance, and rejoice in the promise that our sins are forgiven in Christ.

Thoughts? Comments? Join the conversation in our facebook group.

Lord’s Blessings,
Pr. Bryan Wolfmueller (
Hope Lutheran Church, Aurora, CO


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