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2. THE CONFLICT OF JEREMIAH WITH THE FALSE PROPHETS IN THE FOURTH YEAR OF ZEDEKIAH
Jeremiah 27, 28
1In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim [Zedekiah], the son of Josiah, king 2of Judah, came this word unto Jeremiah from the Lord saying, Thus saith the 3Lord to me, Make thee bonds and yokes and put them upon thy neck, and send them to the king of Edom and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the Ammonites, and to the king of Tyrus, and to the king of Zidon, by the hand of the messengers 4which came to Jerusalem unto Zedekiah, king of Judah. And command them to say unto their masters, Thus saith the Lord of hosts [Jehovah Zebaoth] 5the God of Israel, Thus shall ye say unto your masters; I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my 6out-stretched arm, and have given it to whom it seemed meet unto me. And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, 7my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him. And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son’s son, until the very time of his land come: and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of 8him. And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, and that1 will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the Lord [Jehovah] with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I 9have consumed2 them by his hand. Therefore hearken not ye to your priests, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, 10which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon. For they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should 11drive you out, and ye should perish. But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, those will I let remain still in their own land, 12saith the Lord; and they shall till it and dwell therein. I spake also to Zedekiah, king of Judah, according to all those words, saying, Bring your necks under 13the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live.3 Why will ye die, thou and thy people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the Lord hath spoken against the nation that will not serve the king of 14Babylon? Therefore hearken not unto the words of the prophets that speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon; for they prophesy a lie unto 15you. For I have not sent them, saith the Lord, [Jehovah] yet they prophesy a lie in my name; that I might drive you out, and that ye might perish, ye and the 16priests that prophesy unto you. Also I spake to the priests and to all this people, saying, Thus saith the Lord [Jehovah]; Hearken not to the words of your prophets that prophesy unto you, saying, Behold the vessels of the Lord’s house shall now shortly be brought again from Babylon; for they prophesy a lie unto you. 17Hearken not unto them; serve the king of Babylon, and live: wherefore should 18this city be laid waste? But if they be prophets, and if the word of the Lord be with them, let them now make intercession to the Lord of hosts [Jehovah Zebaoth] that the vessels which are left in the house of the Lord, and in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, go4 not to Babylon.
19For thus saith the Lord of hosts concerning the pillars, and concerning the sea, and concerning the bases, and concerning the residue of the vessels that remain in 20the city, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took not, when he carried away captive5 Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah from Jerusalem to Babylon, 21and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem; Yea, thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that remain in the house of the Lord 22[Jehovah] and in the house of the king of Judah and of Jerusalem; they shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they be until the day that I visit them, saith the Lord; then will I bring them up, and restore them to this place.
1And it came to pass the same year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year,6 and in the fifth month, that Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet, which was of Gibeon, spake unto me in the presence of the 2priests, and of all the people, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, the God of 3Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. Within two full years7will I bring again into this place all the vessels of the Lord’s house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place, and carried them to 4Babylon: And I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah, that went into Babylon, saith the Lord, for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.
5Then the prophet Jeremiah said unto the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests, and in the presence of all the people that stood in the house of the 6Lord [Jehovah]. Even the prophet Jeremiah said, Amen: 8the Lord do so: the Lord perform thy words which thou hast prophesied, to bring again the vessels of the Lord’s house, and all that is carried away captive, from Babylon into this 7place. Nevertheless hear thou now the word that I speak in thine ears, and in the 8ears of all the people; the prophets that have been before me and before thee of old prophesied both against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, 9and of evil, and of pestilence. 9The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the Lord hath truly sent him.
10Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck, 11and brake it.10 And Hananiah spake in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith the Lord; even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years. And the 12prophet Jeremiah went his way. Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from off the neck of the 13prophet Jeremiah, saying, Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Thou hast broken the yokes of wood, but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron. 14For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; I have put a, yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also.
15Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now Hananiah; The Lord hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie. 16Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will cast11 thee from off the face of the earth; this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the 17Lord. So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
The two chh. 27 and 28 are so evidently parts of a whole that we do not seem to be justified in separating them. The occurrence here narrated is based entirely on Jeremiah 25:0. The sending of the yoke to the neighboring nations can indeed be regarded as the fulfilment of the commission received by the prophet in Jeremiah 25:15 only in so far as it may be understood in a double sense; in the sense of proclamation and the sense of the execution of the divine sentence.—The command to acknowledge Nebuchadnezzar as a world-ruler appointed by God is supplemented by the warning not to allow the deceptive promises of the false prophets to deter them from yielding in subjection to him (Jeremiah 27:9-22). Notwithstanding this, one of the false prophets, Hananiah, the son of Azur, dares to give the prophet of Jehovah the lie and by breaking the wooden yoke, which the latter bore on his neck, to symbolize his liberation from the dominion of Nebuchadnezzar. Thereupon Jeremiah receives the command to replace the wooden yoke by an iron one, and to predict Hananiah’s speedy death in the course of the year. Hananiah really died two months afterwards. The date of the whole occurrence is the fourth year of Zedekiah (Jeremiah 28:1), since the statement in Jeremiah 27:1 (beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim) is at any rate, and the other in Jeremiah 28:1 (beginning of the reign of Zedekiah) is very probably incorrect. Further particulars on this point below.
Jeremiah 27:1-11. In the beginning … dwell therein. There are weighty critical suspicions with respect to the first verse. In the first place the name Jehoiakim has long been a stumbling-block. How could the prophet receive a commission in the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim to the ambassadors who had come to Zedekiah הַבָּאִים, (Jeremiah 27:3)? And how could the prophet execute the same commission to Zedekiah (Jeremiah 27:12), and say in Jeremiah 28:1 that in the same year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah, Hananiah contradicted his prediction? Haevernick indeed [II., 2, S. 217) says “the words הבאים וגו׳ (Jeremiah 27:3) pertain to the compilation of the chapter,—to show how Zedekiah should fulfil that older prophecy of the time of Jehoiakim, and should behave towards the nations which were his allies.” But this would presuppose that Jeremiah received a message to ambassadors who did not come to Jerusalem till from eleven to fifteen years afterwards. Further, according to this the name of Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldeans would have been mentioned in the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, while we have demonstrated that before the battle of Carchemish, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, Jeremiah did not yet know that the enemies coming from the north would be the Chaldeans under Nebuchadnezzar. Add to this that the compiler must have proceeded very inconsiderately, to substitute the time of receiving the commission for that of its execution. We ought to have read in that case: In the time of Jehoiakim Jeremiah received the commission to declare the following to foreign ambassadors who should come. These ambassadors came in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah and unto them spake Jeremiah, etc. Instead of this we have: In the beginning of Jehoiakim’s reign Jeremiah received the command to deliver this message to the ambassadors, who are come to Zedekiah, etc. To attribute to the supposed compiler such a violent treatment of the text is truly much worse than to assume an oversight of the copyist. It is, moreover, a wonder to me that, as far as my knowledge extends, no commentator has hit on the idea of taking הַבָּאִים in the sense of the Fut. or Fut., exacti.: who come or will have come. There is unquestionably grammatical authority for this. For the participle, which in itself has no tense, may be taken according to the connection as present, past or future. Comp. Naegelsb., Gr., § 97; Ewald, § 335, b. Compare especially the same word in Isaiah 27:6=temporibus futuris, Ecclesiastes 2:16, הַיָמִים הַבָאִיםdiebus venturis, etc.—Whatever we have already urged is certainly opposed to this rendering of the word, viz. 1, the improbability of the communication of a message not to be delivered for fifteen years; 2, above all the entirely unhistorical mention of Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldeans in the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim. The objections to the reading Jehoiakim are of ancient date. Jerome helps himself out of the difficulty by connecting the verse with the previous chapter. It does not disturb him that thus Jeremiah 26:0 begins and ends with a similar date; yet he supposes that it was this circumstance, which led the Seventy to omit the verse. The Syriac and the unprinted Arabs Oxoniensis read “Zedekiah.” Likewise the Cod. Regiomont, II. Kennicott in his Diss. super ratione text. Hebr. V. T., I., p. 503; II., p. 346, Ed.Teller, decidedly favors the view that a copyist who had forgotten that Zedekiah was also a son of Josiah was moved by Jeremiah 26:1 to alter the name of Zedekiah into Jehoiakim. I also hold the view that Jeremiah 26:1 affected the rendering of Jeremiah 27:1, for as we shall see below at Jeremiah 49:34, chapter 27 has lost its original superscription by the oversight of a diaskenast who added this verse of the prophecy against Elam as a postscript. Hence Jeremiah 27:1 is still wanting in the LXX.; on the other hand the prophecy against Elam has in the. LXX. a superscription and a postscript, in the Hebrew text a superscription which does not correspond to the general purport, and Jeremiah 27:0 has obtained in the Hebrew a new beginning which was formed after Jeremiah 26:1, while the original text of Jeremiah 27:1, is to be sought nowhere else but in Jeremiah 49:34 (with the omission of אֶל־עֵילָם). So Movers and Hitzig, with whom on this point I feel obliged to agree. From Jeremiah 28:1 it is evident that by the beginning of Zedekiah’s reign we are to understand his fourth year. This appears to be entirely suitable in point of fact. For it is not to be imagined that Zedekiah undertook revolutionary projects immediately after his ascension of the throne. As to the mode of expression, “beginning” is a relative idea, and the first half of a period may be designated as the beginning, the latter half as its close. From the words Thus saith Jehovah unto thee, it is moreover apparent that from Jeremiah 27:2 onward the prophet, communicates the words as he spoke them to the people. Comp. “saith Jehovah,” Jeremiah 27:11 and Jeremiah 27:16. The introductory formula in Jeremiah 27:1 b, is then not to be referred specially to the moment of revelation, but it has this sense, that all the actions and speeches related in what follows are the result of a revelation to the prophet.
Jeremiah 27:2. Bondsi.e. cords (Jeremiah 2:20; Jeremiah 5:5; Jeremiah 30:8), not to hold together the wooden parts of the yokes, for such yokes there are none, but to fix the yoke to the body, are what Jeremiah is to prepare. So with מֹטוֹת. The word (מוּט, tottering above, crooked, broken from the branch, the bough, piece of wood) is in both these chapters used in a material sense, while עֹל always denotes the yoke in a figurative sense (Jeremiah 27:8; Jeremiah 27:11-12; Jeremiah 28:2; Jeremiah 28:4; Jeremiah 28:11; Jeremiah 28:14 coll. Jeremiah 28:10 sqq.). Jeremiah is to put these yokes on his neck and send them by the messengers to their master. As certainly as the prophet should put a yoke upon his neck, and has really put it on (Jeremiah 28:10 sqq. coll. Isaiah 20:2; Hosea 1:2 sqq.; Ezekiel 12:3 sqq.), so certainly should he really give the yoke to the messengers. This corresponded to oriental customs. If the messengers would not take the yoke with them, that was their affair. The four neighboring nations here mentioned (Edom, Moab, Ammon, Sidon) are named in the same order in Jeremiah 25:1-2. Niebuhr (Ass. u. Bab., S. 211) connects this consultation with the diversion, which resulted from Nebuchadnezzar’s pretended expedition against Media after the death of Cyaxares in B. C. 594 (Vid. sup., Jeremiah 25:26). But this connection is altogether uncertain, and we must be content to be ignorant why that epoch was considered adapted for a revolt. At all events the words of the prophet made an impression on the king. For in the same year (593) we find him on a journey to Babylon (Jeremiah 51:59), which can have had no other object than renewed homage. When Duncker (S. 834, etc.) says the Phœnicians were then left to their fate and subjugated by Nebuchadnezzar, the first part of the statement is correct. But I doubt whether they then immediately revolted on their own account, and were again subjugated. For when Sidon (Ezekiel 32:29) is mentioned among the nations which had fallen before the sword of Nebuchadnezzar, before the twentieth year of this king (Ezekiel 32:17), therefore before B. C., 585, it does not seem at all necessary to assume that the Phœnicians revolted sooner than Zedekiah himself, who was moved to open revolt by Hophra, the new king of Egypt, in B. C. 589. When also after the destruction of Jerusalem (586) only Tyrus among the Phœnician cities was still to he subdued, the conquest of the rest may have well taken place immediately before the attack on Judah and Jerusalem (588). The Edomites, Moabites and Ammonites, who are mentioned in 2 Kings 24:2 as Chaldean allies against Judah, appear according to our passage in their love of freedom to have momentarily forgotten their ancient enmity towards Judah, as well as their fear of the Chaldeans. But they can scarcely have revolted. According to Psalms 137:7 coll. Lamentations 4:21-22; Ezekiel 36:5 the Edomites were zealous co-operators at the destruction of Jerusalem.
Jeremiah 27:5. I have made, etc. The Creator has the right to dispose of His creatures.—As seemed meet unto me. Comp. Jeremiah 18:4.
Jeremiah 27:6. And the beasts of the field. Nebuchadnezzar is declared universal governor de jure divino.
Jeremiah 27:7. This verse is wanting in the LXX. Movers and Hitzig regard it as interpolated. Comp. on the other hand Graf, S. 348, Anm. An interpolator would certainly not have interpolated so incorrectly. For Nebuchadnezzar was succeeded only by his son Evilmerodach, who was murdered by Neriglissar, his father-in-law. He was succeeded by his son Labosoarchad, a child who was killed after a reign of nine months, to make place for Nabonnet, one of the conspirators. The latter was Babylon’s last king. On the contrary the LXX. omitted the verse because it seemed so inaccurate. The prophet does not, however, intend to be exact. The phrase “his son and his son’s son” is to denote an indefinite but brief period (Exodus 20:5; Exodus 34:7; Deuteronomy 5:9). The chronicler seems to refer to this passage in 2 Chronicles 36:20.—Shall serve themselves of him. Comp. Jeremiah 25:14. The expressions many nations, etc., remind us of Jeremiah 50:9; Jeremiah 50:41. When we remember that this passage originated at the same time with chh. 50 and 51, this relationship may well have its foundation in the mind of the prophet.
Jeremiah 27:8. The nation which … that will not, etc. At first it seems natural to take the second sentence as the correction of the first: he who will not serve, or rather, he who will not voluntarily submit himself. For all, indeed, will serve. He who has to be compelled may expect the extremity of distress, while he who voluntarily submits will retain at least his land and his life. But unfortunately it is not grammatically allowable to take ו in the meaning of “or rather.” We must therefore make this distinction between “serve” and “put their neck under the yoke,” that the former refers to the nations already subject to the Babylonian dominion, the latter to the others. In warning the heathen nations of their diviners, sorcerers, etc., the prophet puts the false prophets of the Jews afterwards mentioned in the same category with them.
Jeremiah 27:10. To remove. The consequence is represented as the object. Comp. Jeremiah 27:15.—And that I should drive. Observe the return of the discourse from the secondary to the main form. Comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 99, 3,
Jeremiah 27:15; Jeremiah 27:22.
Jeremiah 27:12-15. I spake also to Zedekiah … prophesy unto you. As in Jeremiah 27:2, the prophet here and in Jeremiah 27:16 sqq. gives an account, not of the reception, but the execution of the divine commission. Comp. Exeg. rems. on Jeremiah 26:2.—By the sword, etc Comp. Jeremiah 27:8.
Jeremiah 27:16-22. Also I spake to the priests … restore them to this place. Jeremiah speaks to the king of political subjection, to the priests and the people of the vessels which were the ornaments of the temple and its worship. These vessels carried away by Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 24:13) are according to the words of the false prophets to be brought back in a very brief period. In opposition to this Jeremiah makes the requisition on the false prophets to prove their authority by preventing through their intercession (יפגעו. Comp. Jeremiah 7:16) the deportation of the vessels still in their possession.—The pillars (1 Kings 7:15-22), sea (1 Kings 7:23-26), and bases (Jer 27:27 sqq.), were the largest and heaviest vessels, which were not therefore carried away the first time. Comp. Exeg. rems. on Jeremiah 52:17.—All the nobles. Comp. Isaiah 34:12; Jeremiah 39:6; Jeremiah 29:2; 2 Kings 24:11 sqq.—The refutation of Movers’ and Hitzig’s assertion that Jeremiah 27:16-21 are interpolated, may be seen in Graf, S. 351. He has also on pp. 344, 345 shown that the abbreviated name-ending, which prevails in chh. 27–29. (יה instead of יהי) is not to be regarded as the sign of a later date of composition.
Jeremiah 28:1-4. And it came to pass … the yoke of the king of Babylon. In the same year, doubtless shortly after the occurrences narrated in Jeremiah 27:0 came Hananiah from Gibeon (a city of priests, Joshua 21:17) and, therefore, probably himself a priest, in opposition to Jeremiah prophesying that in two years the Lord will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar, and bring back the sacred vessels and king Jehoiachin, together with the other captives from Babylon. On the date “in the beginning” comp. Comm. on Jeremiah 27:1. The month is mentioned on account of the statement in Jeremiah 28:17.—The deceptive promise of Hananiah is directly opposed to what Jeremiah has said in Jeremiah 22:26-27; Jeremiah 27:16.
Jeremiah 28:6-9. Then the prophet Jeremiah said … truly sent him. Jeremiah replies: would that thou wert right! But only prophecies of calamity have the presumption of truth in their favor, for they are connected with danger to their author. Prophecies of good fortune may be flattery. We must, therefore, wait for their result.—On Jeremiah 28:9 comp. Deuteronomy 18:21-22.
Jeremiah 28:10-11. Then Hananiah … went his way. Hananiah has the audacity to answer Jeremiah’s speech by taking the yoke from his neck and breaking it, at the same time repeating his previous prediction (Jeremiah 28:3-4). Jeremiah goes away for the time without uttering a word in reply. On מוֹטה and עֹל comp. Exeg. rems. on Jeremiah 27:2
Jeremiah 28:12-17. Then the word … seventh month. After some time Jeremiah received from the Lord a double message to Hananiah: 1. By the breaking of the wooden yoke all that he has effected is that an iron one takes its place, for iron will be the yoke, which Nebuchadnezzar will put upon the nations, according to the will of God; 2. Hananiah, who misuses the name of God and has misled the people into vain confidence, is to die this year. This also came to pass, for he died two months afterwards.—Yokes of wood. The plural is generic, as was remarked on Jeremiah 27:2. Comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 61, 2 d.—Yoke of iron. The prophet appears to have had Deuteronomy 28:48 in mind. On Jeremiah 28:14 comp. Jeremiah 27:6.—Rebellion (סרה), comp. Jeremiah 29:32. It is=revolt, rebellion, on account of the following אל־י׳.—In the seventh month corresponds to fifth month, Jeremiah 28:1.
DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL
1. On Jeremiah 26:3. [“See how God waits to be gracious, waits till we are duly qualified, till we are fit for Him to be gracious to, and in the meantime tries a variety of methods to bring us to be so.” Henry—S. R. A.]
2. On Jeremiah 26:6. “Deus nulli loco præcise alligatus est ita, ut ecclesiam suam et doctrinam cœlestem inde dimovere nequeat propter hominum ingratitudinem. Vehementer igitur errant Romanenses, dum ex auctoritate urbis Romæ suæ ecclesiæ ac religionis auctoritatem evincere satagunt. Multo rectius Hieronymus in hoc memorabili dicto, quod etiam allegatur in Jure Canon. Dist. Jeremiah 19:0 : Non facile est stare loco Pauli et tenere gradum Petri cum Christo regnantium. Non enim Sanctorum filii sunt, qui tenent loca Sanctorum, sed qui exercent opera eorum.” Förster.
3. On Jeremiah 26:8 sqq. “Scarcely has Jeremiah done speaking than they take him to task, and threaten his life. What does Jeremiah do? Instead of vindicating himself he says: ‘Reform your life, and hearken to the voice of the Lord, and it will be better for you,’ Jeremiah 26:13. You do not wish me to thunder away at you; reform then and I can let it alone. This preaching was seasonable, and produced an admirable effect. The priests and elders contradicted the priests, the parrhesia [free-spokenness, Acts 4:13] of the man filled them with astonishment. ‘He is not worthy of death,’ Jeremiah 26:16. A brief illustration of the saying ‘We need not our senses lose, when our enemies accuse.’ Jeremiah has to thank his honesty for this presence of mind, his profound meditation, his constrained calling, the necessity, the ardor, which urged him to preach, for no personal inclination had any share in it. I know in more recent times a man, who has unaffectedly practised Jeremiah’s behavior, a pastor, a teacher, I might say a prophet of many thousand people. Whenever he had to vindicate himself (which happened now and then) he preached, he repeated to the commissioners the very things of which he was accused, confessed and denied not, but pressed them on their hearts, and showed aliud agendo his innocence, his mind, his steadfastness, and all at the same time so plainly that they always returned with full conviction and knew not whether they had gone forth to see a prophet or were sent to examine a culprit? ‘Never man,’ they said, ‘spake like this man.’ That cannot be counterfeited. One must be just as full of the matter, as absorbed in the subject, as pressed at heart, kindled with the same ardor in order to explain himself with the same indifference, repose and plainness, when there is a knife at his throat.” Zinzendorf.
4. On Jeremiah 26:12 sqq. “Si injuriam deposueris penes Deum, ultor est; si damnum, restitutor est; si dolorem, medicus est; si mortem, resuscitator est.” Tertullian. [“Those that persecute God’s ministers hurt not them so much as themselves.” Henry.—S. R. A.]
5. On Jeremiah 26:7-8; Jeremiah 26:11; Jeremiah 26:16. “Auctores persecutionis plerumque esse solent ii, qui in ordine ecclesiastico eminent.” Förster. “Especially are the priests and men-pleasing prophets mad with Jeremiah, for if he is right they have lied.” Diedrich.
6. On Jeremiah 26:18 [“By this it appears that a man may be a true prophet of the Lord and yet may prophesy the destruction of Zion and Jerusalem. When we threaten secure sinners with the taking away of the Spirit of God, and declining churches with the removal of the candle-stick, we say no more than what has been said many a time, and what we have warrant from the word of God to say.” Henry.—S. R. A.]
7. On Jeremiah 26:20 sqq. “Urias, a true prophet, preached like Jeremiah, therefore the king wished to kill him, so he fled to Egypt but could not escape. Jeremiah did not flee and was spared … Our running and anxiety are of no use. The wickedness of the world must for its judgment be displayed on God’s servants, and these must yield to it; but on whom it is to come first God has in His own hand; and we may spare ourselves all our care and flight.” Diedrich. [“Nothing more is known of Urijah than is here related; but this incident suggests that God mercifully strove with His people by the ministry of many prophets whom He sent, rising up early and sending them (Jeremiah 26:5) whose names are written in the Book of Life and are canonized in God’s Martyrology, but do not appear in the pages of any earthly history.” Wordsworth.—S. R. A.]
8. On Jeremiah 26:24. “Monemur hic, Deum servis suis fidelibus subinde largiri quosdam patronos, ut Jeremiæ hic Achikamum et infra cap. 38 Ebedmelechum, Eliæ et prophetis συγχρόνοις Obadiam 1 Reg. 18, Luthero Electores Saxoniæ Fridericum sapientem, Johannem pium, Johannem-Fridericum constantem.” Förster.
9. On Jeremiah 27:2-11. Historical times are preceded by a long series of centuries which present themselves to us as altogether obscure or only in the dubious twilight of tradition. Accredited history also comprises only a relatively small portion of the human race, for the nations which are added as ciphers to the factors of history form the majority. A universal ruler in the biblical sense is not one whose dominion actually extends over the entire globe—for there is none such—but he who represents the leader in the concert of history. This part is here given to Nebuchadnezzar. Among all the universal monarchies that represented by him appears richest in noble capacity. It is therefore compared to the golden head of the image in Daniel 2:0. Comp. Auberlen, der Prophet Daniel, S. 41 sqq.
10. On Jeremiah 27:5 sqq. [“The things of the world are not the best things, for God often gives the largest share of them to bad men, that are rivals with him and rebels against him. Dominion is not founded in grace. Those that have not any colorable title to eternal happiness may yet have a justifiable title to their temporal good things.” Henry.—S. R. A.] “Great lords sit indeed on high thrones, but not firmly, for they are only God’s vassals. And when they do not please Him and act accordingly, he can easily transfer the fief to another; Daniel 2:21; Daniel 4:14; Daniel 4:22.” Cramer.
11. On Jeremiah 27:12. [“The conduct of Jeremiah, counselling Zedekiah and Jerusalem to submit to Nebuchadnezzar, has been represented as an act of political prudence to be imitated by Statesmen and Ecclesiastics, who are thereby justified in making large concessions of national rights and national independence in times of public emergency (Stanley, Lect. 534).
But was it not rather one of religious duty?
God had revealed to the prophet that He had given the Nation into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, ‘His servant,’ on account of their sins, and they must submit to Him as the Minister and Vicegerent of God.” Wordsworth. “Many might have prevented destroying providences by humbling themselves under humbling providences. It is better to take up a lighter cross in our way, than pull a heavier on our own head.” Henry.—S. R. A.]
12. On Jeremiah 27:14. “It is one sign of our depraved nature that we are more ready to believe lies than the truth. For when Jeremiah and his colleagues preached, no one believed. But no sooner did the false prophet come and open their mouths, than all their discourses must be spoken directly from heaven, and what they said, must pass current on earth (Psalms 73:9). But not what Jeremiah said. Take for example our mother Eve; what God said was of no account, but what the serpent said was something purely excellent.” Cramer.
13. On Jeremiah 27:18. “True prayer is a certain sign of Godliness and a fruit of faith and the Holy Ghost, which cries in our hearts: Abba, dear Father. Therefore he who cannot or will not pray is not a good Christian.” Cramer.
14. On Jeremiah 27:18. “If they be prophets let them supplicate the Lord. This was the great demonstration of Elias, to which Jeremiah adheres. It is infallibly the case that a false teacher has no heart for the Saviour, and goes out of His way. A heretic, who has a heart to pray (and that too in secret) is certainly not far from the truth.” Zinzendorf.
15. On Jeremiah 27:22. [“We are apt to set our clock before God’s dial, and then to quarrel because they do not agree, but the Lord is a God of judgment, and it is fit that we should wait for Him.” Henry.—S. R. A.]
16. On Jeremiah 28:1 sqq. “Wherever the dear lord builds His church, the devil has a chapel near by.” Cramer. This Hananiah (comp. Jeremiah 28:2; Jeremiah 28:11) shows us plainly what it is to lie or deceive in the name of God.
“O Lord, and must Thy glorious name
Thus be a cover to their shame?” Förster.
17. On Jeremiah 28:6. “Amen! the Lord do so. Quite a different attitude of the prophet from the preceding. A false prophet, a miserable comforter disputes with him, brings good news and appeals to an oracle, a voice which he had perhaps heard more lately than Jeremiah. Jeremiah without getting warm about it, says I shall be heartily glad if it be so: but take care that you have understood it correctly. His opponent is encouraged and goes further, he breaks off the prophetic yoke from Jeremiah’s neck. Jeremiah, with the same indifference, which he has shown from the beginning, goes his way … I dare not speak of anything, says Paul, which Christ hath not wrought by me (Romans 15:18).” Zinzendorf.
18. On Jeremiah 28:10-11. “Chananias hic præbet exemplum impudentiæ Jesuwilicæ, cujus magistrum non abs re appellaveris Eumundum Campianum (1580) qui epistola quadum Theologos Angliæ provocare non erubuit, ponens inter alia verba hæc fere thrasonica: Si præstitero cœlos esse, divos esse, Christum esse, fidem esse, causam obtinui: hic non animosus ero? Occidi quidem possum, superari non possum. Pari impudentia Jesuwitas ante Colloquium Ratisbonense scriplitasse legimus: The Prædicantes should come, if they had a heart in their body, they would catch them alive: if they would bring a syllogism, which is in Bocardo, they would throw it at one’s head and say it was in Bocallo.” Förster.
19. On Jeremiah 29:7. “Monemur hic, orandum esse pro magistratibus et non tantum iis, qui nostræ religioni addicti et veræ ecclesiæ membra, sed etiam pro iis, qui extra ecclesiam adeoque gentiles ut Nebuchadnezzar et Nero tyrannus (2 Timothy 2:2). Nam ex salute reipublicæ etiam salus et incolumitas ecclesiæ constat. Et Lutherus pereleganter: Politia, inquit, servit ecclesiæ, ecclesia servat politiam.” Förster. “Quod pastori hoc et ovibus.” The symbol of the Emperor Charles the Bald.
20. On Jeremiah 29:11. “God always has compassion, and His heart breaks for us (Jeremiah 31:20), for he exercises guardianship over His elect (Wis 4:15). And he knows how, in all that he does, to mitigate His justice with His mercy, so that we may see how richly His mercy is diffused over all His works; that even when He punishes, He straightway has mercy again according to His great goodness, and causes His mercy to be the more richly dispensed, because He knows our frame (Psalms 103:14), viz., that we are flesh, a wind which passeth away and returneth not again (Psalms 78:40). Cramer.
21. On Jeremiah 29:10-11. “The waiting of the righteous has always something to depend upon, namely, the promise, and it is a duty to God to believe the promises, but an insult and dishonor to the name of the Lord when no faith is put in them. Is it not enough that ye injure men, will ye also insult the Lord my God? (Isaiah 7:13).” Zinzendorf.
22. On Jeremiah 29:11. “God gives a happy ending; He also tells us beforehand, that we may honor Him by hoping; but He deals with us according to His wisdom and His righteousness, so that He chastens us as long as we need it. We cannot, therefore, do otherwise than place ourselves in His hands.” Diedrich.
23. On Jeremiah 29:12. “Let this be firmly established among the brethren, that there is no sham about the hearing of prayer. I remember that once a great minister said across the table: My pastor wrote me that he had settled it with the dear Lord that my wife should live; I should be comforted. My wife died. Now my pastor congratulates me and says, I could now indeed see that she lived. No wonder. The Bible has a nose or wax; and gentlemen also can explain their own words. … Is it then to be in vain that the Lord Jesus has said; whatever ye ask believing that ye shall receive, shall be given unto you (Mark 11:24; John 16:23; Matthew 7:7; James 4:4)? … Test it as often as it is necessary; ask however in faith, and doubt not. I know most assuredly that you will be heard. But I regard it as a matter for consideration, whether one is to ask.” Zinzendorf.
24. On Jeremiah 29:15-16. “A heavy cross often frees us from a heavier, which would otherwise have come upon us. The best way, therefore, is to be satisfied with God’s ways, who can bring good out of evil (1 Peter 4:19; Genesis 50:20). ” Starke.
25. On Jeremiah 29:24-32. “Those who seek their own consolation without God must be eternally deprived of the true consolation, which God grants to those who at this time humble themselves under Him. Those who preach false consolation confirm the resistance of men to the divine guidance and thus preach revolt, though intending to act conservatively. But in their blindness they do not see what sort of a time it is.” Diedrich.
HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL
1. On Jeremiah 26:1-24. A sermon in rebuke of the corruptions of Zion. 1. Its purport (Jeremiah 26:4-6); 2. How it is received (Jeremiah 26:7-11); 3. How the preacher must defend himself (Jeremiah 26:12-15); 4. What the fate of the preacher will be (a), in the most favorable case (Jeremiah 26:16-19; Jeremiah 26:24) (b), in the most unfavorable case (Jeremiah 26:20-23).
2. On Jeremiah 27:1-22. How the Lord’s servants are to treat Politics.—1. They are to point out to the people that it is the Lord who raises and overthrows the kingdoms of this world (Jeremiah 27:2-8). 2. They are to admonish the people to do what the Lord commands (Jeremiah 27:12-13). 3. They are to warn against those who speak their own thoughts to the people (Jeremiah 27:9-11; Jeremiah 27:14-17). 4. They are to admonish to prayer and intercession (Jeremiah 27:18 sqq).
3. On Jeremiah 28:1-17. Of false and true prophets. 1. False prophets, (a) publish on their own responsibility what the people like to hear (Jeremiah 28:2-4); (b) boldly contradict the true word of God (Jeremiah 28:10-11); (c) come to shame, by the non-fulfilment of their predictions (Jeremiah 28:8-9) and by their personal destruction (Jeremiah 28:15-17). 2. True prophets (a) proclaim faithfully the true word of God, (b) fearlessly oppose the lusts of men and the lies of the false prophets; (c) They are honored (α) by the fulfilment of their prophecies, (β) by martyrdom, i.e., honor with God and posterity.
4. On 28. [This year thou shalt die. Dwight:—A Sermon on the New Year.—S. R. A.]
5. On Jeremiah 29:7. The best Christians the best citizens: 1. They know that the prosperity of the whole is their own prosperity (they do not, therefore, seek selfishly their own personal advantage); 2. They actually labor with all diligence for the furtherance of the common good; 3. They employ for this end the power of Christian prayer. [A. Fuller:—Christian patriotism, or the duty of religious people towards their country. Christianity a religion of peace.—S. R. A.]
6. On Jeremiah 29:11. The thoughts of the Lord concerning us. 1. They are thoughts of peace and not of evil; 2, we must wait for their realization, for the Lord delays this, but he does not forget it.
7. On Jeremiah 29:11. Sermon at the funeral service of the Grand Hereditary Prince of Russia, delivered by Prof. Christiani, in Dorpat, 14 April, 1865: 1. Of the thoughts of peace which the Lord has had in this death; 2. Of the fruits and effects of these thoughts of peace.
8. On Jeremiah 29:11-14. Whereupon is our hope of peace based? 1. Objectively upon this, that the Lord Himself has thoughts of peace concerning us. 2. Subjectively on this, that we (a) call upon and seek the Lord with all our hearts, (b) patiently wait for the time of hearing.
Jeremiah 27:8; Jeremiah 27:8.—The construction here is not an anacoluthon, but הגוי ו׳ is accusative, and את אשׁר is not co-ordinate to the first אשׁר but to הגוי ו׳: as to the nation which will not serve, and as to that which will not how the neck, etc. Hence the singular יִתֵּן stands properly also in the second relative clause. The sign of the accusative stands before the second אשׁר to distinguish it as an accusative from the first, which is nominative, (comp. Ewald, § 277 d, 2, and Genesis 47:21; Genesis 2:0 Ki. 8:31), and thus at the same time to indicate that אשׁר does not stand parallel to הגוי ו׳.
Jeremiah 27:8; Jeremiah 27:8—&עד־תמי תמם in a transitive sense, as in Psalms 64:7.
Jeremiah 27:12; Jeremiah 27:12.—וחיו. Comp. Textual Note on Jeremiah 25:5.
Jeremiah 27:18; Jeremiah 27:18.—לבלתי כאו. The form באו as a perfect is abnormal. In Jeremiah 50:5 it is to he taken as imperative. It is therefore not improbable, as Hitzig, Olshausen and Graf suppose, that we are to read לְבִלְתִּ יָבֹאוּ.
Jeremiah 27:20; Jeremiah 27:20.—בגלותו. Comp. Exodus 13:21; Isaiah 23:11; Psalms 78:17; Olsh. § 78 c.
Jer 28:1—Instead of בּשְׁנַת הרביעית as the Chethibh is to be read, the Masoretes would here have בַּשָּׁנַה ה׳ as in Jeremiah 32:1. The reading of the Chethibh is found unimpeached by the Masoretes in Jeremiah 46:2; Jeremiah 51:59. Probably the Masoretes wished, here as in Jeremiah 32:1, the same punctuation for the word occurring twice in the verse, while in Jeremiah 46:2 and Jeremiah 51:59, no occasion was given for such an effort at conformity. On the St. const. in this connection, comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 65, 2, c.
Jeremiah 28:3; Jeremiah 28:3.—שׁנתים ימים. On the construction comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 70, g. Comp. besides Genesis 41:1; 1 Samuel 13:23, etc.
Jeremiah 28:6; Jeremiah 28:6.—אָמֵן occurs besides in Jeremiah, only in Jeremiah 11:5.
Jeremiah 28:8; Jeremiah 28:8.—On the construction in this verse, comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 88, 7; 111, 1, b, 10.
Jeremiah 28:10; Jeremiah 28:10.—The masc. suffix in וישׁברהו refers to the idea of עֹל. Comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 60, 4.
Jeremiah 28:16; Jeremiah 28:16.—The word משלחך, I cast thee off, must, as Hitzig has remarked, contain an allusion to שׁלחך, to Jeremiah 28:15.
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Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Jeremiah 27". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29