Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, May 25th, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 41

Peake's Commentary on the BiblePeake's Commentary


Jeremiah 27-29. Certain linguistic peculiarities ( e.g. the incorrect spelling, Nebuchadnezzar) suggest that these three chapters may have circulated as a separate pamphlet, e.g. in Babylon. They deal with the rebuke of false hopes concerning a speedy return from exile.

Jeremiah 30-31. The Future of Israel and Judah.— These two chapters of prophecy, dealing with the future restoration of Israel and Judah, appear to be a later editorial insertion in the narrative scheme of Jeremiah 26-45, placed here perhaps because Jeremiah 32 and Jeremiah 33 contain narratives and prophecies dealing with the same subject ( cf. also Jeremiah 29:10 ff.). In Jeremiah 30 and Jeremiah 31, there are numerous points of contact with Deutero-Isaiah, a fact which, with other features, has suggested to many scholars an exilic or post-exilic date for much that these chapters contain. The contrast with the general “ pessimism” of earlier chapters is very noticeable. On the other hand, the internal evidence for Jeremiah 31:2-6, Jeremiah 31:15-22, Jeremiah 31:31-34 entitles us to regard these sections as Jeremianic.

Jeremiah 40-44. The next five chapters continue the biography of Jeremiah, including connected events, after the capture of Jerusalem.

Jeremiah 46-51. The Foreign Prophecies.— These form the third principal division of the Book of Jeremiah. As already seen ( Jeremiah 1:5; Jeremiah 1:10, Jeremiah 25:15), Jeremiah’ s prophetic horizon naturally included the surrounding nations; how far the prophecies that follow are his can be decided only by detailed criticism in each case. They refer, though in somewhat different order, to the several nations enumerated in Jeremiah 25:19-26 (which may be regarded as an introduction to them), except that an oracle on Damascus here replaces the reference to Tyre, Sidon, and the Mediterranean. (The LXX, which places this group of prophecies after Jeremiah 25:13, follows a third order.) It is generally admitted that the long prophecy on Babylon (Jeremiah 50 f.) is not by Jeremiah (see prefatory note). As to Jeremiah 46-49, there is considerable difference of opinion, ranging from Duhm’ s rejection of the whole, through Giesebrecht’ s acceptance of Jeremiah 47 (except towards end), with the nucleus of Jeremiah 46:2-12, Jeremiah 49:7-11, up to Cornill’ s acceptance of most of Jeremiah 46-49 (so also Peake). It is in any case natural to suppose that there are genuine prophecies by Jeremiah which underlie these chapters, though they have been worked over, or incorporated with other non-Jeremianic prophecies ( e.g. Jeremiah 48) by later writers. For details, the larger commentaries must be consulted.

Jeremiah 26-45. These chapters, usually ascribed in the main to Baruch, chiefly narrate selected incidents in the life of Jeremiah, often with connected prophecies; they form a second main section of the book, in contrast with 1– 25, which consist chiefly of prophecies, with little narrative.

Verses 1-3

Jeremiah 41:1-3 . Murder of Gedaliah by Ishmael.— Three months ( Jeremiah 39:2) after the capture of Jerusalem, Ishmael, who was of royal blood (and so perhaps jealous of the governor’ s position), together with ten followers, took advantage of Gedaliah’ s hospitality to murder him, and those with him (in his house, or at the banquet).

Jeremiah 41:3. Omit, with LXX, “ even with Gedaliah” , and “ even the men of war” , i.e. the body-guard.

Verses 4-18

Jeremiah 41:4-18 . Ishmael’ s Deeds and Flight.— Eighty pilgrims from N. Israel to Jerusalem, mourning its fall, and carrying offerings ( Jeremiah 17:26), were met by Ishmael and enticed into Mizpah. There he killed them all except ten who acknowledged that they had stores of grain, etc. Ishmael threw all the dead bodies into a great cistern, made by Asa, and started for Ammon, with the surviving Jews as his captives, including certain princesses (doubtless also Jeremiah and Baruch; cf. Jeremiah 42:2; Jeremiah 43:3). Johanan and other Jews pursued Ishmael and overtook him at Gibeon, but he escaped with eight men. His captives were taken by Johanan to the neighbourhood of Bethlehem, with a view to migration into Egypt (for other refugees there, cf. Jeremiah 24:8).

Jeremiah 41:5 . For the ceremonial cuttings, cf. Jeremiah 16:6. The offerings would presumably be made on the site of the destroyed Temple.

Jeremiah 41:6 . LXX refers this weeping more naturally to the pilgrims.

Jeremiah 41:8 . The stores “ hidden in the field” would be at home; underground pits are still used for such a purpose; see Thomson, pp. 509f.

Jeremiah 41:9 . by the side of Gedaliah: read instead, with LXX, “ was a great cistern” . Asa would make this for water-storage, when he fortified the place ( 1 Kings 15:22).

Jeremiah 41:12 . Gibeon: 1 m. N. of Mizpah; for the waters, see 2 Samuel 2:13.

Jeremiah 41:16 . Emend with Hitzig, “ Ishmael . . . had taken captive” for “ he had recovered from Ishmael” , and omit “ of war” . The eunuchs would be in attendance on the princesses of Jeremiah 41:10.

Jeremiah 41:17 . Geruth Chimham: Geruth should perhaps be “ folds of” (so Aquila); cf. Josephus ( Antiq. x. 9. 5); for Chimham, see 2 Samuel 19:37-40.

Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Jeremiah 41". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/jeremiah-41.html. 1919.
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