This and the following chapter have to do with the direct relations between Jeremiah and the false prophets against whom Jeremiah so solemnly warned Zedekiah.
In this chapter we have the account of the incident between Hananiah and Jeremiah. In the house of Jehovah Hananiah told Jeremiah that Jehovah had declared that within two full years He would restore the vessels and the people, breaking the yoke of the king of Babylon. Evidently deceived, Jeremiah assented, and yet it is evident that he was not assured, for he declared to Hananiah that the only proof of divine authority was the fulfilment of prediction. He was, however, so far persuaded as to allow Hananiah to take the bar from off his neck and break it. This was done publicly, and Hananiah declared to the people that Jehovah would break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar within two years.
Immediately the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, contradicting all that Hananiah had declared. It is evident from the story that Jeremiah's failure was a mistake of judgment rather than any deviation from loyalty to duty. Punishment fell not on him but on Hananiah, because he had made the people to trust in a lie.
the Second Week after Epiphany