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peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the Lord hath truly sent him. Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from off the prophet Jeremiah's neck, and brake it. And Hananiah spake in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years. And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.

12—17. Rebuke and punishment of Hananiah.

Then the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah the prophet, after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying, Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Thou hast broken the yokes of wood; but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron. For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also. Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The

is famine. This however probably arose from the recollection of Jeremiah's frequent union of sword, famine and pestilence (xiv. 12, xxi. 9, xxiv. 10, xxvii. 8, 13, xxix. 17, 18). Here however war, not sword, is the introductory word.

9. when the word of the prophet shall come to pass] This was from the first the criterion of a true prophet (Deut. xviii. 22) unless he advocated idolatry, in which case he was not to be believed, even though his "sign or wonder" came to pass (Deut. xiii. 1—3).

10. Hananiah, instead of waiting the issue of events, as Jeremiah suggests that he should do, has recourse to an act of violence that shall impress the multitude.

12—17. Rebuke And Punishment Of Hananiah.

13. Thou hast broken the yokes of wood] Hananiah's act only served, by exciting the Jews to resistance, to render the servitude which they should undergo more harsh. Had Zedekiah not resisted further he and the remainder of the people might have been spared the horrors of a siege and their subsequent exile.

thou shalt make] perhaps, thou hast made, i.e. by this action of thine.

14. / have given him the beasts of the field also] See xxvii. 6 with note.

Lord hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to

16 trust in a lie. Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the

17 Lord. So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.

Chap. XXIX. 1—-3. Circumstances under which jferemiaKs letter to the exiles was written.

29 Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem unto the residue of the elders which were carried away captives, and to the priests, and to the prophets, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar 2 had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon; (after that Jeconiah the king, and the queen, and the eunuchs,

16. / will cast thee] literally, / send thee away. There is apparently a play on the word, which is the same as that rendered 'sent' in ver. 15. The Lord hath not sent thee here to prophesy, but is now sending thee away to die.

because thou hast taught rebellion against the Lord] For the law in such cases see Deut. xiii. 5, xviii. 20.

17. in the seventh month] two months after this time (see ver. 1).

Chap. XXIX. 1—3. Circumstances Under Which Jeremiah"s

LETTER TO THE EXiLES WAS WRiTTEN.

1. Now these are the words of the letter] The exiles in Babylon were subjected to the same danger from false prophets as their fellowcountrymen, who remained at home. The former were however on the whole a better class (chap. xxiv. 5—7), and thus the prophet might hope that his words would have more effect. The assertion that the captivity would speedily come to an end, which was loudly made at Babylon as at Jerusalem by those who bid recklessly for. their favour, would prevent the captivity from having the salutary effect which it was intended to have upon both those who went and those who remained. It was therefore Jeremiah's duty earnestly to deprecate such a belief, and insist in the plainest language that the punishment should last for seventy years.

the residue of the elders] This probably means those who had survived the journey, and the (perhaps two or three years') interval since then.

2. After that Jeconiah...] This gives us only an approximation to the date of the letter. It may have been as late as the fourth year of Zedekiah, when he went up himself with Seraiah (li. 59) to Babylon. It is more likely however on account of the different names mentioned in connexion with this journey (ver. 3) to have been sent on a somewhat the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the carpenters, and the smiths, were departed from Jerusalem;) by the 3 hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan, and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent unto Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, saying,

4—14. Release shall come, but nol till after seventy years. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all 4 that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon; build ye houses, 5 and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and 6 take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the 7 peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace. For thus saith the Lord 8 of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed. For 9

earlier occasion not elsewhere mentioned. At any rate it appears to have been later than chap, xxiv., to which it plainly alludes more than once. Compare ver. 17 with xxiv. 2, 8, and ver. 18 with xxiv. 9. the queen] See note on chap. xiii. 18.

the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the carpenters, and the smiths] Compare chap. xxiv. 1.

3. Elasah] As the son of Shaphan he may have been a brother of Ahikam (xxvi. 24) who, taking Jeremiah's side in political matters, would be well received at Babylon.

4—14. Release Shall Come, But Not Till After Seventy

YEARS.

4—7. Instead of looking for an immediate return to Palestine, which would cause the exiles to sit loose to the country where they found themselves, they were to be interested in its welfare and to make homes for themselves. Otherwise they would not only fail to obtain any influence, but would soon dwindle away.

7. seek the peace of the city] probably referring not to Babylon only, but to any city in which a body of exiles might be planted.

8. your dreams which ye cause to be drcamed] The dreams may be either (i) those of the people, induced by their restlessness and in turn intensifying that condition, or (ii) those announced by the false prophets, as portending a speedy return to Palestine. The form of the verb in

JEREMiAH 13

"1

they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent Jo them, saith the Lord. For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word towards you, in causing you to "return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of « evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken '3 unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye J4 shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence 1 caused you to be carried away captive

15— 23. The mouths of the False Prophets at Babylon shall

soon be stopped.

is Because ye have said, The Lord hath raised us up pro

the original is peculiar. On the whole the latter sense is perhaps the better of the two.

10. after seventy years] See note on xxv. 11.

at Babylon] for Babylon. The announcement has respect to the duration of the empire of Nebuchadnezzar and his successors, and only secondarily to the consequent limitation of the captivity.

my good word] my gracious promise. See xxvii. 22.

11. For I know] The pronoun is emphatic in the original. The suppressed contrast however is not, as some have taken it to be, between the false prophets' ignorance and God's knowledge, but rather between this latter and the suspicions and faithlessness of the people. Ye may think me regardless, but I know to the contrary.

an expected end] a future (literally, something after), and an expectation. Compare Prov. xxiii. 18, xxiv. 14, 20.

12. Then shall ye call upon me] Here comes the reason for the favourable change that God has announced as about to come when the punishment shall be completed.

10—23. The Mouths Of The False Prophets At Babylon Shall Soon Be Stopped.

15, 16. A difficulty has been found in connecting these two verses. Hence it has been suggested that the former has got out of its place and should rightly stand before ver. 20. Others would wholly omit verses

16— 19. These however are very unlike an interpolation, being much too long to be a marginal note which might in the hands of a copyist

1 Babylon; Know that thus saith the Lord of the 16 king that sitteth upon the throne of David, and of all the people that dwelleth in this city, and of your brethren that are not gone forth with you into captivity; thus saith the 17 Lord of hosts; Behold, I will send upon them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like vile figs, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil. And I will per-18 secute them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence, and will deliver them to be removed to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, and an astonishment, and a hissing, and a reproach, among all the nations whither I have driven them: because they have not hearkened 19 to my words, saith the Lord, which I sent unto them by my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but ye would not hear, saith the Lord. Hear ye there- so

find its way into the text, and unlikely to have been inserted without cause from the very difficulty which exists at first sight in discovering the connexion of thought. The Septuagint it is true omits these verses, but, as has been said before (notes on chap. xix. 11), this by itself forms no sort of argument against them. The sense appears to be in fact this. One of the difficulties raised by the exiles when the prospect of seventy years' captivity was held out to them would be, We have prophets here at Babylon who tell us just the reverse of all this. Which shall we believe? To this the reply of Jeremiah is twofold, (i) These prophets' teaching shall soon be disproved. The king and the remnants of the kingdom, upon whose continued existence at Jerusalem they lay such stress, will soon pass away. Ye shall not soon be restored to your brethren, but they shall be exiles and scattered like to you. (ii) The false prophets, who thus delude you, shall themselves miserably perish and become a proverb and by-word.

16. in Babylon] literally, as far as Babylon, I. e. His prophets reach even hither.

16. Know that thus saith] Yea, thus saith, is perhaps more literal, but the Eng. Vers. expresses the sense with sufficient closeness.

of the king] concerning the king. See note on ver. 24.

17. vilefigs] Compare xxiv. 2—8. The exiles would probably have already heard of that prophecy, and if not, they would naturally learn it now from the embassy who brought this letter. The word rendered vile is derived from a root meaning to shudder, and hence is a word intended to express intense badness.

18. For the general sense and language of the verse compare xix. 8, xxiv. 9, xxv. 18, xlii. 18.

to be removed to] See note on xv. 4.

19. ye would not hear] The sudden change of person is very natural, and yet serves to shew us incidentally the scrupulous care with which

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