Jeremiah 51:64

Then say, 'So will Babylon sink to rise no more because of the disaster I will bring on her. And her people will fall.'" The words of Jeremiah end here.

Jeremiah 52:1

Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. His mother's name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah; she was from Libnah.

  • What follows the statement '... end here' is two sections of historical narrative which is not the words of Jeremiah but recounted historical fact. What 'issue' are you interested in, please ?
    – Nigel J
    Nov 30 '20 at 16:45
  • 1
    I do not know if there is one. That's why I asked. Your answer is pretty good.
    – Tony Chan
    Nov 30 '20 at 16:50

The structure of the OT prophetic message is not entirely clear. The fact that Jeremiah could say that his words ended in Jer 51 and then have another chapter 52 could be easily explained by any of the following:

  • The prophetic message of Jeremiah ends with Jer 51. Jer 52 is just historical fact and not part of Jeremiah's "prophecy".
  • Jeremiah really did write Jer 51 as his final words but some ancient scribe found some further material of Jeremiah and appended it to his book.
  • Jeremiah's words ended with Jer 51 and his secretary, Baruch (or someone else) added the historical material.

Of the standard commentaries, most prefer the third option.

Ellicott concludes:

Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.—The words are clearly of the nature of what we should call an editorial note by the compiler of Jeremiah’s prophecies, Baruch or another. He is careful to inform his readers that the narrative that follows in Jeremiah 52 was not written by Jeremiah.

Barnes is similar:

Thus far ... - Whoever added Jeremiah 52, evidently felt it his duty to point out that it was not written by Jeremiah.

The Pulpit commentary is also similar:

Thus far, etc. Proving that the Book of Jeremiah once ended with ch. 51.

  • 1
    You forgot the fourth option, which is that the book is not written in chronological order.
    – aefrrs
    Nov 30 '20 at 22:58
  • @aefrrs - fair comment. That is certainly possible.
    – Dottard
    Nov 30 '20 at 23:14

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