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pestilence. 9. The prophet who prophesies for peace—by the fulfilment of the message of this prophet is the prophet known whom Yahveh has truly sent. 10. Then the prophet Hananiah took the yoke from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah and broke it to pieces. 11. And Hananiah spoke before the eyes of the whole people as follows: "Thus has Yahveh said: Just so I will break in pieces the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, within two years from the neck of all nations." Then the prophet Jeremiah went his way. 12. Then came Yahveh's word to Jeremiah, after the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying: 13. Go and speak to Hananiah as follows: Thus says Yahveh: Thou hast broken in pieces wooden yokes, and instead of them hast prepared iron yokes. 14. For thus says Yahveh of hosts, the God of Israel: I have laid an iron yoke on the neck of all these nations, to be subject to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and they shall serve him; and I have given him even the wild beasts of the field. 15. Then said Jeremiah the prophet to Hananiah the prophet: Hear now, Hananiah, Yahveh has not sent thee, and thou makest this people to trust in deceit. 16. Therefore thus says Yahveh: Behold, I chase thee from the face of the earth; this year thou shalt die; for thou hast preached
announce to them divine decrees of evil import, which was no pleasant office, but only to be undertaken at the divine command. Instead of njr6, many MSS. have 3jnb, answering to the usual formula, but to which nDntab does not belong. Ver. 9. The prophet, singular, because evidently such an one forms an exception in the choir of acknowledged prophets. Ver. 10. nDiDn, see on xxvii. 2. Ver. 14. These nations, see on xxv. 9. The wild beasts, see on xxvii. 6. Ver. 16. "\rb&Q is a retort to TW, ver. 15. Because he unjustly attributes to himself a divine mission, the Lord will roughly dismiss him from the face of the earth. Because he uttered disobedience to Yahveh, i.e., as in xxix. 32, preached apostasy, the Lord Himself executes on such a prophet the punishment threatened in Deut. xiii . 1 fT. Tempting to disobedience against God's will is here described as apostasy. Cf. also Deut. xviii . 20 £f. Similar oracles against individuals are found also elsewhere, xx. 6, xxix. 21, 32. The example to be given in this Hananiah, whose conduct was full of danger lor king and people, was an especially striking one in rebellion against Yahveh. 17. And Hananiah the prophet died the same year, in the seventh month.
view of the shortness of the time and the rapidity of the fulfilment. The case no doubt tells the more strongly against the rationalistic conceptions of prophecy, but is not to be disparaged in favour of the latter.
Contents of ch. xxviii. Unmasking of the false prophet Hananiah: a. Hananiah's Oracle and Symbolic Act, vv. 1-11. b. Answer thereto, and Sentence of Death, vv. 12-17.
The chapter stands in intimate relation to what goes before. In the very days of the fourth year of Zedekiah, when Jeremiah went about with a yoke round his neck exhorting to submission to Babylon and warning against false prophets, one of the boldest of these fanatics appeared in the temple, Hananiah of Gibeon, declaring that God had broken the yoke of the king of Babylon, and in a short time would bring in deliverance. In two years (not seventy) the stolen templetreasures should be there again, and King Jehoiachin (contrary to Jeremiah's express assertion) should return with all the captives! Jeremiah confronted this prophet of peace publicly, at first declaring his assent to his words (ver. 6), but adding the explanation that the fulfilment of these words would decide on the genuineness of his mission. He reminds him, ver. 7 ff., that the genuine prophets were from of old as a rule prophets of evil to their countrymen, the courage and self-suppression shown in the delivery of so unwelcome a message giving security for its truth. But now when a prophet announces good, and what will be heard with pleasure, it is doubly necessary to apply the canon laid down in Deut. xviii. 21 f.: only the fulfilment of his message will attest the divinity of his mission. Hananiah, however, pays no heed to warning; on the contrary, he is daring enough, by way of confirming his prediction, to break the yoke Jeremiah carries; whereupon the latter at first quietly goes his way, but soon returns with an oracle received from the Lord. The only effect of that prophet breaking of his own will the wooden yoke will be, that by God's design an iron one will take its place. The corresponding fact in history will be, that the nations who shall rebel against the supremacy of Babylon will have to endure the rule of that empire in a more oppressive form. In addition, Jeremiah passes on the deceiver sentence of death, which he merits by law, and which the Lord Himself will execute on him within a very brief space. Ver. 17 says that this actually happened in a few weeks. It is a natural supposition that Jeremiah's prophetic influence was not a little enhanced by such public fulfilment of his oracle as the further history shows. Despite the deep impression made by such occurrences, and the regard for the representative of God's genuine word which followed in consequence, no true obedience to that word appeared.
III. TWO LETTERS TO BABYLON, CH. XXIX
XXIX. 1. And this is the wording of the letter which Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the remaining elders of the captivity, and to the priests, and the prophets, and the whole people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had led captive from Jerusalem to Babylon, 2. (after the departure of king Jeconiah, and the queen-mother, and the courtiers, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the smiths and the locksmiths from
Ver. 1. rVDT, briefer form, see on xxvii. 1. Those remaining, alludes to the fact that some of these elders had died, either on the journey, or during the early part of the sojourn in Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar, see on xxi. 2, xxvii. 1. Ver. 2. Cf. xxiv. 1; see 2 Kings xxiv. 12, 14 ff. The account of those addressed in ver. 1 is followed by a statement of the time, ver. 2. ntw, cf. tOP, ver. 16, here compulsory departure. rrv33?l, see on xiii. 18. D'D'iD, eunuchs, here courtiers generally; hence explained by princes of Judah; whereas in 2 Kings xxiv. 12 the princes.are Jerusalem,) 3. by the hand of Elasah the son of ShaphaD, and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, (whom Zedekiah, king of Judah, sent to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, to Babylon,) saying: 4. Thus has Yahveh of hosts, the God of Israel, said to the whole captivity, which I carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5. Build ye houses and settle down; and plant gardens and eat their fruit. 6. Take wives and beget sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and daughters, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters, and multiply there and diminish not. 7. And seek the weal of the city whither I led you captive, and make intercession for it to Yahveh; for, when it goes well with it, it will go well with yon. 8. For thus says Yahveh of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not be misled by your prophets, who are in your midst, and your soothsayers; and hearken not to your dreams, which you make yourselves dream; 9. for they prophesy to you in my name deceitfully; I have not sent them, is Yahveh's oracle. 10. For thus says Yahveh: Only when seventy years are fulfilled for Babylon, I will visit you and accomplish in you my word, that good (word), to restore you to this place. 11. For I know my thoughts
distinguished from the sarisim, i.e. subordinate officials, unless the word there embraces court-people generally, as noblemen in distinction from priests, which is more probable. Ver. 3. Shaphan, see on xxvi. 24 'Whether the same person is meant as there, is uncertain. The ambassadors, also, who bring the latter, are not mentioned elsewhere. The object of their mission in general was to present the homage of the king. We know no further particulars. The ambassadors bringing the letter shows that its contents were in accord with the court-policy of the moment. Ver. 7. The city is not necessarily Babylon, but the place where they happen to dwell, and will dwell for some generations. Ver. 8. The prophets, who promise a speedy revolution in the style of the Jerusalem prophets, are in their midst, a part of the body of exiles. On the other hand, the DVDDp are heathen soothsayers, who seek to encourage them. The Hiphil of tbn, to cause oneself to dream (with weakened vowel, Ges. § 53. 3. a. 5; Eng. § 52), essentially = Kal, here only. Ver. 9 refers to the prophets first named in ver. 8. Ver. 10. As to the period of seventy years formerly announced and already passing away, see on and after xxv. 11. which I cherish respecting you, is Yahveh's oracle, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and hope. 12. And you shall call on me, and go and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13. And you shall seek and find me, when you shall ask after me with all your heart. 14. And I will be found of you, is Yahveh's oracle. And I will turn your captivity, and gather you together out of all nations and from all the places whither I have driven you, is Yahveh's oracle, and cause you to return to this place from which I led you captive.
15. If you say: Yahveh has raised us up prophets in Babylon, 16. yea, thus has Yahveh spoken concerning the king, who sits on David's throne, and the whole people, that dwells in this city, your brethren, who did not go with you into exile. 17. Thus has Yahveh of hosts said: Behold, I send upon them the sword, and famine, and pestilence, and make them like abominable figs, which cannot be eaten for badness. 18. And I pursue them with the sword and famine and pestilence, and make them a horror to all kingdoms of the earth, a curse, and an astonishment, and a hissing, and a
Ver. 11. A future which is more precisely defined by mpTO = an auspicious future; cf. xxxi. 17; Prov. xxiii . 18, xxiv. 14, 20. Ver. 12. ^>Bnn, with the introductory T^n, seems, in distinction from Kip, to apply to solemn, set worship. Ver. 13. Cf. xxiv. 7. Ver. 14. nuC 3lC, cf. Deut . xxx. 3 and Jer. xxiii. 3. The LXX make ver. 21 follow directly on ver. 15, omitting vv. 16-20, which does not justify the critical rejection of these verses because it is plainly a designed simplifying. On the contrary, an account of what will befall those left in Jerusalem, completely dashing the premature hopes nourished by the pretended prophets, forms a necessary part of the letter. Ver. 15. If you say, Yahveh has raised us up prophets in Babylon, ni>33 (usually accus. of direction, Ges. § 90. 2b; Eng. § 88) implies that the God dwelling in Jerusalem has now sent His messengers to the heathen city,—and build your confidence on this fact, not recognising what was said in ver. 9,—verily, thus has Yahveh said. Ver. 16. This '3 is asseverating: verily thus. Ver. 17. "Ij?C, from IyC, to shudder, abominable, here only. Jeremiah borrows the figure from the vision of ch. xxiv., though the Babylonian readers did not need to know that chapter in order to understand the reference. Ver. 18. Almost