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Bible Commentaries

Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Jeremiah 29

Appended to this history of the struggle with the false prophets at home is a letter addressed to the exiles at Babylon Jeremiah 29:0. There was at Babylon as at Jerusalem the same determination of the Jews never to submit quietly to a foreign rule. This Jeremiah sought to quell. His words found credence, but not without resistance on the part of the false prophets.

Verse 1

The residue of the ciders - i. e., such of the elders as were still alive.

Verse 2

The queen - The queen-mother.

Verse 3

Elasah - Probably brother of Ahikam Jeremiah 26:24, and therefore an acceptable person at the Chaldaean court. As Zedekiah had to go in person to Babylon in his fourth year Jeremiah 51:59, this embassy was probably sent two or three years earlier. Its date, however, was subsequent to the vision in Jeremiah 24:1-10. It is appended therefore to Jeremiah 28:0, not as later in point of time, but because of the similarity of subject.

Verses 4-7

Seek the peace of the city ... - Not only because their welfare for seventy years was bound up with that of Babylon, but because it would have degraded their whole moral nature to have lived as conspirators, banded together against the country that was for the time their home.

Verse 8

Your prophets and your diviners - The evils from which the people had suffered so cruelly at home followed them in their exile.

Dreams which ye cause to be dreamed - As long as there was a market for dreams, so long there would be plenty of impostors to supply them.

Verse 10

After seventy years - literally, according to the measure of the fulfillment of 70 years for Babylon. The 70 years (Jeremiah 25:11 note) are primarily the length of the Babylonian empire, and only in a secondary sense that of the Jewish exile.

Verse 11

An expected end - Rather, a future and a hope. The nation shall not come to an end; the exile shall be followed by a restoration.

Verse 14

Turn away your captivity - Or, “restore your prosperity.”

Verses 16-20

Vile - The word does not occur elsewhere, but comes from a root signifying to shudder, and thus has an intense meaning.

Verse 22

A curse - There is a play here of words. which probably was the cause why the death of these men passed into a proverb. One of them was named ben-Kolaiah; and they are to be made a curse (קללה qelâlâh), because Nebuchadnezzar had roasted (קלה qâlâh) them. Compare the marginal reference note.

Verse 23

Villany - Elsewhere folly, in the sense of lewdness Judges 20:6, unchastity.

Verses 24-29

This captivity is long - Rather, It is long. God’s anger, their punishment, the exile, the time necessary for their repentance - all is long to men who will never live to see their country again.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 29". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.