How Old Was Jeremiah When God Called Him?

By Charalampos •  Updated: 04/13/23 •  6 min read

Are you curious about one of the most interesting prophets in the Bible? Jeremiah has captivated believers for centuries with his powerful words and faithfulness to God—even in difficult times!

In this blog post, we’ll explore a fascinating question: How old was Jeremiah when God called him?

We’ll unpack why his age may have been so significant to God’s plan, as well as look at other awesome facts about his life. 

When Did God Call Jeremiah?

The Prophet Jeremiah

According to the Bible, Jeremiah’s calling as a prophet occurred during the thirteenth year of the reign of King Josiah of Judah.

The Book of Jeremiah says: «The word of the Lord came to me, saying, Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. I said, Alas, Sovereign Lord, I do not know how to speak; I am too young. But the Lord said to me, Do not say, “I am too young.” You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.» (Old Testament, Jeremiah 1:4-7)

From this part of the Bible, we can know that Jeremiah was still a young man at the time of his calling. When God first called him, Jeremiah objected, saying that he was too young and inexperienced to be a prophet.

This suggests that Jeremiah was likely in his late teens or early twenties when he received his calling. However, God knew in advance that it was he who would deal with this task. Despite his young age, Jeremiah didn’t let God down and carried out all his commands.

What Do The Church Fathers Say?

The idea that Jeremiah was young when he became a prophet is supported by Church Fathers. For example, Saint Jerome of Stridon wrote «Jeremiah, who prophesied in the reign of Josiah, was not yet a man, but a youth, when he began to prophesy. But God, who calls things that are not as though they were, chose him and appointed him to be a prophet to the nations.»

Jeremiah’s Age Plays A Big Role in His Preaching

Saint John Chrysostom wrote about Jeremiah’s calling at a young age: «God chooses the young to be prophets, so that they may have no excuse for delaying or putting off the work, but may be fired with zeal, and complete it with all earnestness.»

The young age of the prophet could play an important role in his preaching, apparently, at that moment God needed such a person to carry His thoughts to the people.

Saint Jerome wrote: «In choosing Jeremiah, God shows that age is no barrier to being called to his service. For just as the prophet was young in years, so too was he young in his understanding of the ways of God. But God chose him, and through his trials and suffering, he learned to trust in God and to speak out against the sins of his people.»

It wasn’t easy for the prophet to believe this, and it was even more difficult to preach among people at that age, but it only made him stronger.

A True Prophet

Saint Gregory Palamas says:

Jeremiah was a true prophet, who spoke the word of God without fear or hesitation. He was willing to suffer persecution and even death for the sake of his message, and he remained faithful to his calling until the end of his life.

In this way, he serves as a model for all who seek to follow God’s call, and his example continues to inspire us to this day.

The saint says that the prophet coped with his task perfectly, that is, God wasn’t mistaken in choosing him at such an early age.

The Meaning Behind Jeremiah’s Young Age

the book of Jeremiah

Prophet Jeremiah’s young age is significant for us. It shows the idea that God can call anyone, regardless of age or experience, to do His work. 

Saint Jerome also wrote: «Jeremiah’s youth is a testimony to the power of God, who can use even the weak and foolish things of this world to confound the strong and wise.»

In other words, God’s choice of a young and inexperienced prophet like Jeremiah shows that His power and wisdom aren’t limited and any person can be chosen.

Following God’s Call

It also shows the importance of listening to and following God’s call, even if it comes at a young age. In this sense, Jeremiah’s youth serves as an inspiration to all believers, reminding us that God can use us at any age if we are willing to listen and obey His voice.

His obedience to God’s call, despite his initial reluctance, teaches us about the importance of trusting in God’s plan, even when it may seem difficult.

Jeremiah himself wrote: «For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.» (Jeremiah 29:11) 

This verse tells us that God has a plan for our lives, even when we don’t understand it.

Prophetic voices were needed in every generation. Throughout his ministry, Jeremiah spoke out against the sins and injustices of his time, calling the people of Judah and Jerusalem to repentance and renewal. His message wasn’t always popular, but he remained faithful to his calling, even when it brought him persecution and suffering.

Final Thoughts

It can be concluded that Jeremiah was a teenager or he was about twenty years old when God called him to preach.

This shows that for God there is no difference in what age a person has. He treats all people equally.

God also knew that it was Jeremiah who could cope with his task, at such an early age he was perfectly able to preach among people.

All Christians should believe in God, just as Jeremiah believed that he was destined to become a prophet despite his age because God knows all possible events in the future.

With this faith, we will cease to feel fear and will deal with the difficulties of life with the same confidence that Jeremiah had and preach the teaching of Christ with the help of our own example.


Charalampos is an Orthodox Christian who wants to help others learn about Christianity. His main goal is to help people understand the Bible and how to apply its teachings in their everyday lives. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing sports, and hiking.

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