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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 42

Barnes' Notes on the Whole BibleBarnes' Notes

Verse 1

Among those delivered by Johanan from Ishmael had been Jeremiah and Baruch Jeremiah 43:6; and to them now all, without exception, come for counsel.

Jezaniah - He is called Azariah in Jeremiah 43:2. The Septuagint, in both places, call him Azariah. Since there is little reason for identifying him with Jezaniah the Maachathite Jeremiah 40:8, it is probable that the Septuagint is right in calling him in both places Azariah, and that the reading Jezaniah arose from some scribe assuming that his name must be found in the earlier list.

Verse 5

Between us - Against us, as in Jeremiah 42:19 (margin.)

According to all things - literally, “according to the whole word as to which Yahweh thy God shall send thee to us.”

Verse 6

We - The form used here occurs nowhere else in the Old Testament, but is the regular form of the pronoun in the Talmud. It is one out of many instances of Jeremiah using the popular instead of the literary language of his times.

Verse 7

After ten days - On previous occasions Jeremiah when consulted answered at once Jeremiah 21:3. The present delay (compare Jeremiah 28:12) was probably granted by God in order to free the minds of the people from the panic caused by the murder of Gedaliah and their fear of Chaldaean vengeance. Jeremiah could have had no doubt that the flight into Egypt was contrary to the tenor of his former prophecies.

Verse 10

I repent me - As punishment had been inflicted, the divine justice was satisfied.

Verse 12

Or, I will give you compassion before (i. e., obtain pity from) the king of Babylon, and “he shall have mercy upon you, and let you dwell upon your own soil.”

Verse 14

Egypt had lost the battle of Carchemish, but it had not been the scene itself of military operations; while Judaea, from the date of the battle of Megiddo, had perpetually been exposed to the actual horrors of war.

Verses 16-17

Translate it: “Then shall the sword of which ye are afraid reach you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine whereof ye pine shall cleave close unto you in Egypt, and there shall ye die; and all the men who have set their faces to go into Egypt to sojourn there shall die ... by the pestilence, nor shall they have anyone that is left or escaped from the evil which I will bring upon them.”

Verse 18

A curse - contempt, or ignominy.

Verse 19

The request made in Jeremiah 42:3 has been fulfilled: Yahweh has spoken. The prophet now adds these four verses as a sort of epilogue, in which he urges upon them the several points of the divine message. In the ten days which had intervened between the request and the answer Jeremiah had become aware that neither princes nor people were prepared to obey unless the answer was in accordance with their own wishes. He does therefore his best to convince them, but as usual it was his lot to speak the truth to willful men, and gain no hearing.

Verse 20

Ye dissembled in your hearts - Or, “ye have led yourselves astray,” i. e., your sending me to ask counsel of God was an act of self-delusion. You felt so sure that God would direct you to go into Egypt, that now that He has spoken to the contrary, you are unable to reconcile yourselves to it.

Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 42". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnb/jeremiah-42.html. 1870.
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