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shall serve themselves of him. 8. And it shall come to pass, the nation and the kingdom which will not serve him, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and that which will not submit its neck to the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will visit that nation with the sword, and famine, and pestilence, is Yahveh's oracle, until I utterly extirpate them by his hand. 9. But as for you, hearken not to your prophets, and your diviners, and your dreams, and your interpreters of signs, and your sorcerers, who speak to you, saying: "You shall not serve the king of Babylon." 10. For they prophesy deceit to you in order to remove you far from your land, and that I may drive you away, and you perish. 11. But the nation which puts its neck into the yoke of the king of Babylon and serves him, that will I leave peacefully in its land, is Yahveh's oracle, to till it and dwell therein.
12. And I spoke according to all these words to Zedekiah, king of Judah, and said: Put your necks into the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him and his people, and live. 13. Wherefore will you die, thou and thy people, by the sword, by famine and by pestilence, according to what Yahveh said in regard to the nation which serves not the king of Babylon 1 14. And hearken not to the words of the prophets, who speak to you, saying: "You shall not serve the king of Babylon," for they prophesy deceit to you. 15. For I sent them not, is Yahveh's oracle, and they prophesy falsely in my name, that I may drive you away and you perish, you
indicate about the same duration of the Babylonian supremacy as in xxv. 11. Kin D3, to emphasize the suffix in IPK. With the end of the verse, cf. ix. 15. Ver. 8. DDn, here transitively; cf. ix. 15. Ver. 9 mentions the various means used by these nations to obtain professedly divine revelations. Cf. OrelJi, 0. T. Prophccy, p. 15. Prophets, i.e. those speaking from a kind of inspiration, come first; then D'DDp passes to technical divination; dreams, as is well known, were much resorted to by the heathen. The D'My, cloud - interpreters or weathermakers, and D'BC3 (elsewhere D'CBbp), whisperers, charmers, belong again to technical divination. Ver. 10. In order to remove you. This is the end they strive after, without meaning it. Ver. 12. The language goes on in the plural, because it concerns not merely the king's person, but the whole governand the prophets who prophesy to you. 16. And to the priests and this whole nation I said: Thus says Yahveh: Hearken not to the words of your prophets, who prophesy to you, saying: "Behold, the vessels of the house of Yahveh shall now quickly be brought from Babylon;" for they prophesy deceit to you. 17. Hearken not to them, serve the king of Babylon, and live. Wherefore should this city be made a wilderness? 18. And if they are prophets, and if the word of Yahveh is in them, let them now entreat Yahveh of hosts, that the vessels which are still left in the house of Yahveh and in the house of the king of Judah and in Jerusalem, come not to Babylon. 19. For thus has Yahveh of hosts said in regard to the pillars, and the sea, and the stands, and the other vessels which are left in this city, 20, which Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, did not take when he carried away Jeconiah, the son of Jehoiakim, from Jerusalem to Babylon, along with all the chief men of Judah and Jerusalem. 21. For thus has Yahveh of hosts, the God of Israel, said respecting the vessels which are left in the house of Yahveh and in the house of the king of Judah and Jerusalem: 22. They shall be brought to Babylon and remain
ment, and indirectly also the people. Wl, imper., as in xxv. 5. Ver. 16. Of your prophets, who, instead of being the Lord's prophets, say what pleases you. The golden vessels had been carried off on the deporting of Jehoiachin, according to ver. 20 and 2 Kings xxiv. 13. n^33D, properly," from toward Babylon," whither they were carried, Ges. § 90. 2c; Eng. § 88. The Hoph. of corresponds as passive to the Hiph. frequently used with object of those taken captive, ver. 22; cf. xxviii. 3. "Now speedily" (wanting in LXX), according to xxviii. 3 in two years. Ver. 18. Readhtta^ Tb2(?, the imperf. being required, Ges. § 72. a. 1. Ver. 19. The' pillars, 1 Kings vii. 15 ff.; the sea, 1 Kings vii. 23 ff.; the stand, 1 Kings vii. 27. These brasen " vessels" were broken up on the later conquest by the Babylonians and carried in part to Babylon, 2 Kings xxv. 13. Vv. 19-22 are greatly abbreviated in LXX on account of their difl'useness (Graf). Ver. 20. instead of vibini, as in
xxxvii . 12, xxxix. 7, and often. D'in, the noble, eminent by birth and wealth, 1 Kings xxi. 8, 11; Isa. xxxiv. 12. Ver. 22. DmK, referring to the vessels. Their return is, of course, included in that of the captives, cf. xxix. 10.
there until the day when I inquire after them, and bring them up and restore them to this place.
Contents of ch. xxvii. Submit to the Babylonian yoke!
a. Delivery of Yokes to the foreign Ambassadors, vv. 2-11.
b. Warning to Zedekiah, vv. 12-15. c. to the Priesthood, vv. 16-22.
Chs. xxvii.—xxix. contains proofs how Jeremiah, after Jehoiachin was carried away, continued, in energetic opposition to false prophets, to exhort government and people to quietly accept the Babylonian yoke, which, as he knew, would not so soon be removed from Judah and the neighbouring peoples. He had special occasion for doing this, according to xxvii. 1 ff. (cf. xxviii. 1), in the fourth year of Zedekiah, when ambassadors from Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre and Sidon came to Jerusalem, plainly in order to form a common defensive alliance against Babylon. Many then expected a speedy deliverance; the prophets foretold it with all explicitness, and encouraged to revolt; the government lent a willing ear to such counsels; the priests already saw in spirit their sacred vessels returning from Babylon; the Judaean people at Babylon and Jerusalem gave themselves up to similar hopes. Against these treacherous fancies the prophet was to raise loud protest, not from political prudence, but because it was God's will that the yoke of the foreign king imposed by him should meanwhile be borne with humility. Thus in that year Jeremiah himself appeared before all the people with a yoke round his neck, preaching by this means impressively enough what the Lord's will was. Moreover, at God's bidding he delivered such yokes to the foreign ambassadors, who were to carry this symbolical teaching to their rulers, along with the more explicit declaration that the God who created the earth (Yahveh adored in Israel and Judah), and therefore disposed of it at pleasure, had subjected their lands to the king of Babylon for the next two generations (which agrees with the seventy years, xxv. 11 f.). After this period has run out, the days of bondage for Babylon also will come. Whoever, meantime, presumptuously evades the divine appointment will suffer under God's threefold scourge (ver. 8). These nations are to beware of the specious delusions of their diviners and sorcerers, their promises being hollow, fatal shams (ver. 9 f.). Quite in the same spirit is the advice given to King Zedekiah and his people, ver. 12 ff. For the welfare of the land they are to submit willingly and patiently to the yoke of Babylon, and to beware of being misled by the prophets, who promised a speedy end of Babylon's supremacy, while really by this very means driving the people into exile. Along with the government the priestly party is especially warned; it showed itself specially susceptible to those soothing promises, and fancied itself already in possession of its lost temple-treasures. Did those seers really know God's counsel, Jeremiah says, instead of nursing such vain hopes, they would earnestly beseech God not to cause the brasen adornments of God's house to follow to Babylon the golden ones already lost; for it is God's purpose to give over everything to Babylon until the day of deliverance.
II. JEREMIAH AND HANAN1AH, CH. XXVIII.
XXVIII. 1. And it came to pass that year, in the first part of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, in the fourth year in the fifth month, Hananiah, the son of Azzur, the prophet who was of Gibeon, spoke to me before the eyes of the priests and
Ver. 1. Respecting the double, somewhat awkward indication of time, see on xxvii. 1. "In the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah" seems to have been added by a not very careful corrector. The following occurrences belong to the same year, nay, the same days, as ch. xxvii., when Jeremiah appeared with the yoke round his neck. rup'a, construct, Kethib (for which of the whole people, saying: 2. "Thus has Yahveh, the God of Israel, spoken: I have broken in pieces the yoke of the king of Babylon. 3. Within two years I bring again to this place all the vessels of the house of Yahveh, which Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, took away from this place and brought to Babylon. 4. And I bring again to this place Jeconiah, the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the whole body of captives of Judah who are come to Babylon, is Yahveh's oracle; for I break the yoke of the king of Babylon." 5. Then said Jeremiah the prophet to Hananiah the prophet, before the eyes of the priests and of all the people, of those who were standing in the house of Yahveh; 6. and Jeremiah the prophet said: Amen, Yahveh do so; Yahveh bring to pass thy words, which thou hast prophesied, to bring again the vessels of the house of Yahveh and the whole body of captives from Babylon to this place. 7. Only hear now this message, which I speak in thy ears and in the ears of the whole people: 8. The prophets, who were before me and before thee from of old, they have prophesied against extensive lands and respecting great kingdoms, for war, and for evil, and for
Keri needlessly has absolute, cf. Ewald, Gram. § 287a), as in xxxii. 1, xlvi. 2, li. 59. The fifth month is mentioned in allusion to ver. 17. Hananiah of Gibeon, native of a priest-town (Josh. xxi. 17), was perhaps himself a priest, like Pashhur (xx. 1, 6) and Jeremiah himself (l 1). Ver. 2. The example of Hananiah is instructive as to the way in which the false imitated the true prophets even in form and style. God says: I have said; so that to God it was already an accomplished fact (perf. proph.), which will certainly soon appear in outward reality. Ver. 3. Tijn, properly, in yet two years, days (= period), i.e. in the period of yet two years. The templevessels, whose absence was painfully felt at this time especially by the priests, stand first here also. Cf. on xxvii. 16 ff. Nebuchadnezzar, see on xxi. 2, xxvii. 1. Ver. 4. Jeconiah = Jehoiachin, see on xxvii. 1; and cf. xxii . 24 ff., where Jeremiah (ver. 26 f) declares, on the contrary, that Jeconiah will die in exile. Ver. 6. Amen, see on xi. 5. This solemn assent not merely expresses Jeremiah's pious wish that it may happen, but also holds the other speaker to his words in the form of the assent. Ver. 8. The well-known prophets of former days had the courage to prophesy war, etc., against mighty kingdoms, i.e. to