There are some interesting events in Jeremiah’s life that take place that remind us that he is in the midst of a war zone and that he is prophesying against his own nation. God will come and destroy Jerusalem is not a message that any ruler over Jerusalem wants to hear, but that is the message that he was given. Jeremiah begins with a message of restoration, and then a strange, but significant, reference to a nation that lives in tents.
These would be the Roma people, folks that are called pejoratively gypsies. They were commanded not to drink and to live in tents and to be nomads. In Jeremiah’s day they continued to live in the way that they had been commanded to live since their ancestors walked on the earth. Jeremiah uses them as an example of how God wants the people of Israel to live. They are given a way of life: be circumcised, do not follow other gods etc, and yet they disobeyed and quickly did not follow that way of life. These nomads serve as an object lesson for the people of God.