This period of the Prophet's career may be taken in three divisions: --
First, His Earliest Oracles, which reflect the lavish distribution of the high-places in Judah and Benjamin, and may therefore be dated before the suppression of these by King Josiah, in obedience to the Law-Book discovered in the Temple in 621-20 B.C.
Second, His Oracles on the Scythians, whose invasions also preceded that year; with additions.
Third, Oracles which imply that the enforcement of the Law-Book had already begun, and reveal Jeremiah's attitude to it and to the course of the reforms which it inspired.
We must keep in mind that the Prophet did not dictate his early Oracles till the year 604-03, and that he added to them on the Second Roll many like words.(136) We shall thus be prepared for the appearance among them of references to the changed conditions of this later date, when the Scythians had long come and gone, the Assyrian Empire had collapsed, its rival Egypt had been defeated at the Battle of Carchemish, and Nebuchadrezzar and his Chaldeans were masters of Western Asia.