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Bible Commentaries

Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Jeremiah 29

 

 

Verses 1-32

CHAPTER 29

Jeremiah’s Letter to the Exiles

1. Jeremiah’s letter (Jeremiah 29:1-23)

2. Concerning Shemaiah and his false prophecies (Jeremiah 29:24-32)

Jeremiah 29:1-23. King Zedekiah sent Elasah and Gemariah on a diplomatic mission to King Nebuchadnezzar. Jeremiah used the occasion to send a letter by them to the exiles. The letter first of all makes it clear that their stay in Babylon will not be transitory. They are to settle down, build homes, many, rear families, take wives for their sons and husbands for their daughters. They were to seek the peace of Babylon, for Babylon’s peace would mean their own peace. The latter injunction has often been forgotten by the Jews during the past 1900 years, since their great dispersion; often have they fomented strife among the nations where they are strangers.

The false prophets had predicted a speedy return. Some of these false prophets had gone with them to Babylon and were present in the prison camp on the banks of the river Chebar. We read in Ezekiel 11:3 that they ridiculed the Divine command and gave wicked counsel. They felt themselves secure. Ezekiel continued the message of Jeremiah. (See annotations of Ezekiel.) Once more the seventy years are mentioned and what is to take place after they have expired. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” He promises an answer to their cry, and if they seek Him, He will be found. How gracious and merciful He is towards His own! In His own time all His gracious purposes will be fully accomplished in that nation, as they were partially accomplished in the return of a remnant after the exile. Jeremiah 29:14 speaks of the larger return “gathered out from all the nations.” But those who persistently continued in disobedience, who listened to the false prophets will suffer the predicted fate; for such there will be no deliverance. Two of the false prophets are mentioned by name, Ahab and Zedekiah (not the king). Besides being false prophets, they were adulterers and whoremongers. King Nebuchadnezzar roasted them in the fire (Jeremiah 29:22-23) .

Jeremiah 29:24-32. Shemaiah, a Nehelamite, which means “the dreamer,” was also in Babylon, and when the captives received the letter from Jeremiah, he answered the letter. The letter was received by a certain Zephaniah, of whom he inquired, “Why hast thou not reproved Jeremiah of Anathoth, which maketh himself a prophet to you?” When Zephaniah received this letter he read it to Jeremiah. The Lord exposes the Nehelamite as a deceiver, and his judgment is announced.

 


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Bibliography Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Jeremiah 29:4". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gab/jeremiah-29.html. 1913-1922.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, August 25th, 2019
the Week of Proper 16 / Ordinary 21
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