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“That Which was Spoken by Jeremy the Prophet”

Matthew 27:9

 

The passage here cited by Matthew is found in Zechariah 11:12, not in the book of Jeremiah. So why did Matthew say it was spoken by Jeremiah? The order of the books of the Old Testament is not the same now, as it was in Matthew’s day. The ancient Jews divided the Old Testament into three sections (Luke 24:44).

(1)  The Law, referring to the Pentateuch, the Five Books of Moses, Genesis through Deuteronomy

(2)  The Prophets, referring to Joshua, Judges, 1st Samuel through 2nd Kings and the Prophetic Books

(3)  The Psalms, referring to the Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and 1st and 2nd Chronicles

As the whole section was called “The Psalms” because it began with the Psalms in their arrangement of the books, so “The Prophets” were commonly called “Jeremiah” because that section began with Jeremiah. That which is recorded in Zechariah was attributed to Jeremiah simply because it was in that section of the Old Testament Scriptures called “Jeremiah” in Matthew’s day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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