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Bible Commentaries

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Jeremiah 45

Events in Egypt 43:8-45:5

As the rebellious remnant moved from Judah to Egypt, so does the narrative.

Introduction

Baruch’s despair and consolation ch. 45

This chapter belongs after chapter 36 chronologically, either after Jeremiah 36:8 or Jeremiah 36:32. It serves as an appendix to the historical incidents recorded there. Perhaps the writer or final editor placed it here to show that Yahweh exempted faithful Baruch from the threats to the Judean remnant recorded in chapter 44.

"Probably Jeremiah placed this chapter last in his prophecies to Judah (Jeremiah 2-45) to emphasize the response that God wanted from godly Jews during the Exile." [Note: Dyer, "Jeremiah," p. 1192.]

This short chapter provides insight into Baruch’s life. [Note: For other references to Baruch in Jeremiah, see 32:12-13, 16; 36:4-5, 8, 10, 13-19, 26-27, 32; and 43:6.] It is also the last chapter in the book in which Jeremiah is part of the narrative.

Verses 1-2

The Lord had given Jeremiah a message for Baruch after he had copied Jeremiah’s prophecies in 605 B.C. (ch. 36). Which copying this was is unclear, the first one referred to in Jeremiah 36:8 or the second one in Jeremiah 36:32.

Verse 3

Baruch had complained about the sorrow, pain, inner turmoil, and restlessness that he had experienced because he carried out God’s will. He had copied Jeremiah’s prophecies and had suffered from his association with their negative message. His lament recalls Jeremiah’s "confessions" and some of the personal lament psalms.

Verse 4

The Lord was about to tear down and uproot Judah (cf. Jeremiah 1:10; Jeremiah 2:21; Jeremiah 31:5; et al.).

Verse 5

It was wrong, therefore, for Baruch to expect a life of comfort and ease. Baruch was an educated man whose brother was a high official under King Zedekiah (Jeremiah 51:59). His grandfather had been the ruler of Jerusalem during Josiah’s reign (cf. Jeremiah 32:12; 2 Chronicles 34:8). He may have entertained hopes of attaining a position of distinction in the nation, but he, too, would have to participate in the fallout of Yahweh’s judgment. The Lord promised to bless Baruch by preserving his life wherever he went because of his faithful service.

"Ironically, the very suffering through which Baruch passed because of his loyalty to Jeremiah gained him honor beyond anything he could have anticipated." [Note: Thompson, p. 684.]

"A crisis doesn’t ’make a person’; a crisis reveals what a person is made of." [Note: Wiersbe, p. 135.]

The Lord’s command not to seek great things for himself presupposes a proud motive. Seeking to serve the Lord in a significant position of ministry is not wrong in itself, provided one’s motive is to glorify God. It is seeking position for one’s own glory that is wrong.

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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Jeremiah 45". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/jeremiah-45.html. 2012.