Updated: Feb 15
We have looked at Isaiah and Ezekiel as they foreshadow the New Testament. Isaiah does so by its division into chapters and by many of those chapters having undeniable correlations with New Testament books. (See Another Look at Verses July 13, 2017) Ezekiel does its foreshadowing by its number of verses in the last 9 chapters that prophecy of Israel's future. (See Ezekiel Scrutinized by Verse Markings August 4, 2017) Jeremiah will do it a little differently.
Each of the major prophets is distinguished by their respective 39th chapters. There is an obvious change in style and emphasis in Isaiah after the 39th chapter. Likewise, Ezekiel changes radically after the 39th chapter. Can the same be said for Jeremiah? Yes, For the first 38 chapters of Jeremiah God is warning his people of their upcoming destruction. In the 39th chapter that destruction comes. The walls are breached, the king is captured, his sons are killed, his eyes are put out and he is transported to Babylon to die in a dungeon.
To understand how the last 13 chapters foreshadow the New Testament, something must be established. The Jews who had been in the will of God and who had obeyed the prophets, surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar. Those who disobeyed God resisted Nebuchadnezzar. As late as Jeremiah 38:18, the Lord was offering to spare Zedekiah if he would surrender himself to the Babylonians.
When the city is finally overthrown in Chapter 39 and the prophecies of its destruction are fulfilled, there are five chapters that follow detailing the fate of the rebellious Jews who would not surrender to their Gentile conquerers. This is a picture of the period of time between the end of the Old Testament and the restoration of Israel when they are ushered into those blessings promised them in the New Testament. It is a picture of the diaspora, that grievous exile of the Jewish people. Just as the Jews of the Book of Acts could not accept the times of the Gentiles, the Jews of Jeremiah 40-44 could not accept the rule of Gentiles even though it was ordained of God.
What follows those five chapters are 8 chapters to end the book. Just as in those last 9 chapters of Ezekiel that foretell of the future of Israel there are 260 verses foreshadowing the 260 chapters in the New Testament; there are 260 verses in those last 8 chapters of Jeremiah. In other words, Jeremiah foreshadows the New Testament by narrating and prophesying for 39 chapters which culminate with destruction. In fact Jeremiah wrote of that destruction, Her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes are among the Gentiles: the law is no more; her prophets also find no vision from the LORD, Lamentations 2:9. After that destruction, there are five chapters of the useless wandering of Jews, followed by 260 verses that foreshadow the New Testament's 260 chapters.
The first 39 chapters correspond to the Old Testament, the next 5 chapters correspond to the diaspora, and the last 8 chapters correspond to the New Testament. It is a picture of the end of the Old Testament, the rejection of the New Testament by many Jews, and ultimately the coming of the New Testament for them. God gave us the verse and chapter markings.