While several teachers continued to expound the gospel of Isaiah, it remained for Jeremiah to take the next bold step in the internationalization of Yahweh, God of the Hebrews.
Jeremiah fearlessly declared that Yahweh was not on the side of the Hebrews in their military struggles with other nations. He asserted that Yahweh was God of all the earth, of all nations and of all peoples. Jeremiah’s teaching was the crescendo of the rising wave of the internationalization of the God of Israel; finally and forever did this intrepid preacher proclaim that Yahweh was God of all nations, and that there was no Osiris for the Egyptians, Bel for the Babylonians, Ashur for the Assyrians, or Dagon for the Philistines. And thus did the religion of the Hebrews share in that renaissance of monotheism throughout the world at about and following this time; at last the concept of Yahweh had ascended to a Deity level of planetary and even cosmic dignity. But many of Jeremiah’s associates found it difficult to conceive of Yahweh apart from the Hebrew nation.
Jeremiah also preached of the just and loving God described by Isaiah, declaring: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you.” “For he does not afflict willingly the children of men.”
Said this fearless prophet: “Righteous is our Lord, great in counsel and mighty in work. His eyes are open upon all the ways of all the sons of men, to give every one according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings.” But it was considered blasphemous treason when, during the siege of Jerusalem, he said: “And now have I given these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, my servant.” And when Jeremiah counseled the surrender of the city, the priests and civil rulers cast him into the miry pit of a dismal dungeon.