The admonition of the prophet Jeremiah (2 Macc 2:1-2:3)

“One finds in the records

That the prophet Jeremiah ordered

Those who were being deported

To take some of the fire,

As has been mentioned.

The prophet,

After giving them the law,

Instructed those who were being deported

Not to forget the commandments of the Lord.

They were not to be led astray in their thoughts

On seeing the gold and silver statues with their adornment.

With other similar words,

He exhorted them

That the law should not depart from their hearts.”

Jeremiah the prophet is a key figure in Israelite history. He wrote a prophetic book, Jeremiah, unlike the prophets Elijah and Elisha where we have no books. He is more in the line of Samuel. There was nothing to support the idea that Jeremiah wanted them to take fire with them when they went into captivity, since he actually stayed in Judah during the exile. There is a reference in the Epistle of Jeremiah that seems to make this same claim, written sometime between 500 BCE and 100 BCE, probably in the late 4th century BCE. That letter from Jeremiah is found as the last chapter in the book of Baruch. This biblical author may be relying on that documentation. However, it may be certainly true that he told those going into captivity to keep the law close to their hearts.

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