corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.19.09.22
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Bible Commentaries

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical
Jeremiah 29

 

 

Verses 1-23

3. THE CONFLICT OF JEREMIAH WITH THE FALSE PROPHETS IN BABYLON

Jeremiah 29

1. The Letter to the Exiles

Jeremiah 29:1-23

1Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem unto the residue of the elders which were carried away captives, and to the priests, and to the prophets, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar carried 2 away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon (after that Jeconiah the king, and the queen, and the eunuchs, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the carpenters 3 and the smiths, were departed from Jerusalem); By the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan, and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah (whom Zedekiah the king of Judah sent unto Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon), saying,

4Thus saith the Lord of hosts [Jehovah Zebaoth], the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem 5 unto Babylon: Build ye houses and dwell in them, and plant gardens and eat the 6 fruit of them; Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and 7 daughters; that ye may be increased there and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray unto the Lord [Jehovah] for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.

8For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your 9 dreams which ye cause to be dreamed[FN1] For they prophesy falsely unto you in my 10 name: I have not sent them, saith the Lord. For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good 11 word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give 12 you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, 13and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall 14 search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity,[FN2] and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive15, 16Because[FN3] ye have said, The Lord hath raised us up prophets in Babylon; Know that thus saith the Lord of[FN4] the king that sitteth upon the throne[FN5] of David, and of all the people that dwelleth in the city, and of your brethren that are not gone 17 forth with you into captivity; Thus saith the Lord of hosts: Behold, I will send upon them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like vile[FN6] 18figs, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil. And I will persecute them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence, and will deliver them to be removed to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, and an astonishment, and an 19 hissing, and a reproach, among all the nations whither I have driven them: Because they have not hearkened to my words, saith the Lord, which I sent[FN7] unto them by my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but ye would not hear, saith the Lord [Jehovah].

20Hear ye therefore the word of the Lord, all ye of the captivity, whom I have 21 sent from Jerusalem to Babylon: Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, of Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and of Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, which prophesy a lie unto you in my name: Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, 22king of Babylon; and he shall slay them before your eyes; And of them shall be taken up a curse by all the captivity of Judah which are in Babylon, saying, The Lord make thee like Zedekiah and like Ahab,[FN8] whom the king of Babylon roasted 23 in the fire; Because they have committed villany in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbours’ wives, and have spoken lying words in my name, which I have not commanded them: even I know[FN9] and am a witness, saith the Lord.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

Jeremiah did not limit himself to contending against the perverse nationalism of the Jews in their own home, for those who had already been carried away captive were in constant communication with home, and the accounts of the views and expectations prevailing among the former at all events influenced the conclusions of the latter. If they adapted themselves to their state of exile and described it as tolerable, when they saw its inevitable necessity, and admonished their countrymen to bow to this necessity, this was at any rate a powerful auxiliary to Jeremiah’s preaching. Hence Jeremiah seeks to move the captives to humble submission to their lot, presenting before them on the one hand the true consolation of a deliverance to be hoped for after seventy years, and on the other hand most emphatically warning them against the false consolation of a deliverance in a shorter period, which the false prophets set before them. Jeremiah thus avails himself of the opportunity afforded by an embassy, despatched by Zedekiah to Babylon ( Jeremiah 29:3), to send a letter to those who had been already deported. We know nothing further either of the object of the embassy or of the persons of the ambassadors. As to the time of the composition and despatch of the letter Hitzig has correctly remarked that all the data we have point to the period between the first and the fourth years of Zedekiah. The deportation under Jeconiah had taken place ( Jeremiah 29:1-2). The deportation appears to be that event on which the sending of the letter leans; there seems to be nothing more important as the occasion of it. Add to this that the counsel which. Jeremiah gives suits the commencement of the exile. How are the exiles to arrange matters? Are they to compose themselves for a brief or lengthened sojourn? Jeremiah tells them they are to do the latter. It is incredible that he delayed this advice for years, the more so since of the seventy years of exile, for those who were carried away with Jeconiah, eight were already past. Besides this, it is not probable that Zedekiah in his fourth year, when he himself went to Babylon ( Jeremiah 51:59), would send an embassy thither. I therefore agree with Hitzig, who ascribes the epistle to the first or second year after the deportation. The vision, of which Jeremiah 24relates, must have preceded this letter, not only because from its purport it must have followed immediately after the deportation of Jeconiah, while our letter presupposes the arrival of the captives in Babylon, but also because in several places in the letter reference is made to it (comp. Jeremiah 29:10 with Jeremiah 24:6; Jeremiah 29:17 with Jeremiah 24:2; Jeremiah 24:8; Jeremiah 29:18 with Jeremiah 24:9).—It is true many commentators regard Jeremiah 29:16-20 as inauthentic, but incorrectly as we shall see.—The question, whether we have a true copy of the letter or only a later reproduction, or account of it, is variously answered. The last view has in its favor: 1. that the writing has not the form of a letter; 2. the apparently unconnected position of Jeremiah 29:15-20. But what is the Hebrew form of a letter? From the few examples which the Old Testament affords (comp. 2 Samuel 11:14; 1 Kings 21:8; 2 Kings 10:1-6; 2 Chronicles 30:6; Ezra 4:8; Nehemiah 6:5), we cannot derive any set form, and as to the absence of connection we shall hereafter show (on Jeremiah 29:15 sqq.) that such an absence does not exist. I find therefore no reason for doubting the agreement of our letter with the original. It contains four parts: 1. Jeremiah 29:4-7, the positive command to arrange for a longer sojourn in Babylon; 2. Warning against being deceived by the false prophets, since Jehovah promises deliverance and return only after seventy years; 3. Jeremiah 29:15-20, Warning against trusting in the false prophets, especially in reference to that part of the people which had remained in Jerusalem, since it is devoted to destruction; 4. Jeremiah 29:21-23, prediction of the severe punishment of two false prophets.

Jeremiah 29:1-7. Now these are the words … shall ye have peace. After the words of historical introduction, which give information concerning the receivers and bearers of the letter, follows the first part of the letter ( Jeremiah 29:4-7). As the command of God ( Jeremiah 29:4), Jeremiah proclaims to the exiles that they should build houses and lay out gardens ( Jeremiah 29:5), marry and give their children in marriage ( Jeremiah 29:6), and seek the welfare of the place assigned them as a residence as a condition of their own ( Jeremiah 29:7). Hitzig regards Jeremiah 29:1-3 as showing traces of a later hand in the abbreviated forms of the names, the mention of Nebuchadnezzar, which name is omitted by the LXX, and in the remark that Jeremiah was a prophet. But comp. on the other hand Graf, S. 342sqq.—The residue of the elders. The explanation of Hitzig and Graf that these were the elders who were not at the same time priests or prophets, cannot possibly be correct. For then this phrase must have come after, since those priests and prophets who were not elders, can be no others than those straightway mentioned. The supposition that the deceased elders must have been already replaced by others, so that the council of elders could not appear to the prophet as merely a residue, is unfounded. How could Jeremiah assume an organized community, when in his letter he exhorts them to enter into such relations. He will of course address those elders only who are alive.—Does the date in Jeremiah 29:2 refer to “sent” or “carried away?” Manifestly to the latter, for if referred to “sent” it would declare that Jeremiah wrote immediately after the surrender, which is not to be imagined. The sentence “after that,” etc., is therefore to be referred to “carried away” and the sense is: “which Nebuchadnezzar carried away after that, in accordance with the required condition, Jehoiachin, with those afterwards named, surrendered himself. For יָצָא is used of the surrendering of besieged persons ( 2 Kings 24:12 sqq.; 1 Samuel 11:3; 1 Samuel 11:10; 1 Kings 20:31; Isaiah 36:16; Jeremiah 21:9; Jeremiah 38:2; Jeremiah 38:21).—The queen. Comp. Jeremiah 13:18; 2 Kings 24:8; 2 Kings 24:12; 2 Kings 24:15.—The eunuchs, the princes. The two terms appear to be in apposition, but the princes of Judah were certainly not eunuchs. Either then is סָרִים to be taken in the sense of chamberlain, courtier (of which use there is certain proof. Comp. 2 Kings 24:14-15. Gesen. Thes., p973), or else וְ, and, is wanting before שָׁרֵי, princes.—On carpenters, etc., comp. rems. on Jeremiah 24:1.—The Lord designates the captives as carried away by him: Jeremiah 29:4; Jeremiah 29:7; Jeremiah 29:14; Jeremiah 29:20.—Increased there. This ancient theocratic blessing ( Genesis 13:16; Genesis 15:5; Genesis 17:2; Jeremiah 3:16; Jeremiah 3:19) is thus to be preserved to the people even in captivity.

Jeremiah 29:8-14. For thus … carried away captive. The direction in Jeremiah 29:5-7 is given by the prophet for two reasons, a negative and a positive. The negative reason Isaiah, the expectation of a speedy liberation, which false prophets seek to produce in the people and which is an illusion of their own dreams, a nonentity, by which they are not to allow themselves to be deceived ( Jeremiah 29:8-9). The positive reason is that not till after seventy years will the Lord verify His promise of grace. Then will the people call upon their God and seek Him, and He will hear and be found of them and turn away their captivity and bring them home from all the places where they have been dispersed ( Jeremiah 29:10-14).

Jeremiah 29:10. Seventy years. Comp. Jeremiah 25:11. The prophet does not calculate from the present, but he has in mind the absolute period of duration appointed to the Babylonian empire. Observe also, that he does not say: when the years of your exile are ended. The seventy years represent primarily the years of the Babylonian empire and only secondarily those of the captivity. The more justified are we in dating the seventy years from the siege of Carchemish. It should further be observed that the prophet opposes the arbitrary unfounded thesis of the false prophets, not in a harsh and severe but mild and consolatory antithesis, in which even the severest point, the seventy years’ duration of the exile, is expressed in the most forbearing manner. The Lord evidently wishes to soften and win their hearts, which had been rendered obstinate by false consolation, by presenting the true. Hence also the gracious thoughts of Jeremiah 29:11. I still know my thoughts, says the Lord, i. e. I have not forgotten them or let them pass from my view. אחרית corresponds to our English “future” (to “have a future,” etc.). Comp. Proverbs 23:18; Proverbs 24:14; Proverbs 24:20; Psalm 37:37; Jeremiah 31:17. The Lord, however, sets before the people not merely a future of outward prosperity, but above all a future of internal welfare, without which the former would be altogether inconceivable.—Ye shall go (והלכתם), Jeremiah 29:12, is best taken of going to a place of worship. So that ye shall call and and pray are distinguished as private and public worship (comp. 1 Kings 8:20; 1 Kings 8:29-30; 1 Kings 8:35, etc.). If the sentences of Jeremiah 29:13 and “I will be found of you,” Jeremiah 29:14, are not tautological, we must regard them as two sentences with two clauses each, the second forming the basis of the former; כִּ is not “when” but “for,” or “because:” ye will seek me and find me; because ye shall seek me with all your heart, I will be found of you.—Turn away your captivity. The expression is rooted in Deut. ( Jeremiah 30:3), as generally in our whole passage this chapter hovered before the mind of the prophet. The expression is found with special frequency in Jeremiah, and chiefly in chs 30–33,48–49. To turn the captivity stands, however, for restitutio in integrum generally ( Job 42:10; Jeremiah 30:18). The return from exile was only a weak beginning of the fulfilment of our prophecy. Comp. rems. on Jeremiah 3:12 sqq.

Jeremiah 29:15-19. Because ye have said … saith Jehovah. Not only has Jeremiah 29:15 been declared to be transposed hither from its first place, but the whole passage, Jeremiah 29:16-20, has been pronounced spurious (Hitzig), which is thought to be the more justified, because the passage is wanting in the LXX. It seems to me that two things have been overlooked here1. Jerusalem with its remaining population and the theocratic king at their head naturally still continued to the exiles to be the sun of their happiness and their hope. So long as Jerusalem and the temple were standing, the main foundation of the theocracy was unshaken and the hope existed that the present temporary adversity might be followed any moment by a turn for the better. Hence also the prophecies of the false prophets dwelt above all on the continuance of Jerusalem. Even the present misfortune, the partial deportation of the people and the sacred vessels, although they had not predicted it, they could explain as a mere episode, which did not refute the main tenor of their promises, so long as Jerusalem and the temple were standing, and there were people in Jerusalem. Hence Jeremiah takes away the ground from under the feet of those false prophets, by predicting in Jeremiah 29:16-20 the total destruction of the present population of Jerusalem, together with their king. We are not then to say that these words, Jeremiah 29:16-20, apply to the population of Jerusalem. They certainly do Song of Solomon, but only secondarily. Primarily they are to overthrow the basis on which the false prophets of the captivity are standing. I can then regard the words only as necessary parts of the genuine letter, written by Jeremiah to the exiles, and cannot assume with Graf that we have in this chapter only a report of the letter2. In its grammatical relations the כִּי in the beginning of Jeremiah 29:16 has given the greatest trouble to the commentators. They have taken it mostly in the causal signification, which it certainly usually has in this formula, which however affords no sense, whether we connect Jeremiah 29:16 with Jeremiah 29:15 or Jeremiah 29:14. It is here rather the pleonastic כִּי which so frequently introduces a direct statement. We have had it already in Jeremiah 29:10. Comp. Jeremiah 2:35; Jeremiah 22:22; and Textual Note.—Hath raised, etc. Jeremiah supposes a reply to Jeremiah 29:8-9. You despise our prophets; we however assure you that Jehovah raises up prophets not only in Jerusalem, but He has extended the inspiring influence of His Spirit even to Babylon. Hence the local form בָבֶלָה.—The sword. Comp. Jeremiah 9:15; Jeremiah 24:10; Jeremiah 27:8; Jeremiah 27:13.—Figs. The prophet has Jeremiah 24:2 in view. That the exiles were acquainted with the vision in Jeremiah 24is possible but not necessary. This passage is intelligible to those who had no knowledge of Jeremiah 24Ye would not hear. The 2 pers. plur. proceeds doubtless simply from the circumstance that the prophet quotes entire a frequent saying there: Jeremiah 7:13; Jeremiah 25:3-4; Jeremiah 25:7-8; Jeremiah 26:5. On Jeremiah 29:20 comp. Jeremiah 24:5.

Jeremiah 29:20-23. Hear ye therefore … witness, saith Jehovah. In conclusion the prophet predicts the punishment of two of those false prophets for their presumption and blasphemy generally by a terrible death. Nothing further is known of this Ahab and Zedekiah.—Slay them. It is very natural to suppose that Nebuchadnezzar feared the exciting preaching of such prophets and that he wished to terrify others by inflicting death in a terrible manner.

Jeremiah 29:22 a. Comp. Jeremiah 24:9; Jeremiah 25:18; Jeremiah 26:6 coll. Isaiah 65:15.—Roasted. Comp. Daniel 3:6.—Villany, (נבלה) a deed of shame, facinus rationi legique divinæ repugnans (Fuerst). Comp. Genesis 34:7; Deuteronomy 22:21; Joshua 7:15.—The Lord calls Himself a knower and witness, because He not only knows the truth, but brings it also to light. Comp. Malachi 3:5. Leviticus 5:1 may in general have been hovering before the mind of the prophet.

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL

1. On [“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 : 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 Prayer of Manasseh, 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 Prayer of Manasseh,’ 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. Comp. Auberlen, der Prophet Daniel, S. 41sqq.

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 [“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 ( Psalm 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 [“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 ( Wisdom of Solomon 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 ( Psalm 103:14), viz., that we are flesh, a wind which passeth away and returneth not again ( Psalm 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 Zion1. 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 prophets1. 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. On28. [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 us1. 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, 14April, 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 us2. Subjectively on this, that we (a) call upon and seek the Lord with all our hearts, (b) patiently wait for the time of hearing.

Footnotes:

FN#1 - Jeremiah 29:8.—מחלמים. Hiph. from חלם occurs only in Isaiah 38:16 and here; Part. Hiph. here only. The causative conjugation would not inappropriately intimate the self made character of those dreams (Hitzig). The form is not without analogies. Comp. מַעְזְרִים, 2 Chronicles 28:23. מַחְצְרִים (Keri) 1 Chronicles 15:24. But comp. Olsh, § 258 a, S. 580.

FN#2 - Jeremiah 29:14.—שׁוּב in this connection is used transitively. That שְׁבוּת cannot be taken as accusative of the object (I turn myself to the captivity) is evident from the circumstance, that, where the connection requires the imperfect we have אָשִׁיב Jeremiah 32:44; Jeremiah 33:11; Jeremiah 33:26 (Keri); Jeremiah 49:6; Jeremiah 49:39 (Keri); in Ezekiel 39:25; Ezekiel 33:7 we have even the perfect Hiphil.

FN#3 - Jeremiah 29:15.—כִּי. Comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 109, 1 a. Since the pleonastic כִּי requires a verbum dicendi to be supplied before it, we must here supply: thus I say; thus I declare to you. כִּי before אֲמַרְתֶּם=when, or as to this that—as almost all the commentators admit. The perfect is used (comp. the imperf. Jeremiah 29:13), because the fact supposed is real.

FN#4 - Jeremiah 29:16.—אל־המלך, Jeremiah 29:16. אֵל=in respect to, of, as frequently elsewhere: Jeremiah 29:21; Jeremiah 22:11. Comp. Naegelsb Gr., § 112, 5, b.

FN#5 - Jeremiah 29:16.—אֶל־כִּסֵא. אֶל for עַל, as frequently in Jeremiah. Comp. rems. on Jeremiah 10:1.

FN#6 - Jeremiah 29:17.—שֹׁעָר (probably from מַשֹׁעָר) here only—meaning horridus, abominandus. Comp. שַׁעֲרוּרָה.

FN#7 - Jeremiah 29:19.—אשׁר־שׁלחתי. On the construction with a double accusative comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 69, 2 c.

FN#8 - Jeremiah 29:22.—וּכְאֶחָב. In consequence of the elision of the א, patahh must, according to the well-known rule, pass over into Segol.

FN#9 - Jeremiah 29:23.—On the reading הַויּדֵעַ comp. Textual Notes on Jeremiah 17:23.


Verses 24-32

2. The Consequences of the Letter

Jeremiah 29:24-32

24, 25Thus shalt thou also speak to Shemaiah the Nehelamite, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, Because thou hast sent letters in thy name unto all the people that are at Jerusalem, and to Zephaniah, the son of Maaseiah 26 the priest, and to all the priests, saying, The Lord hath made thee priest in the stead of Jehoiada the priest, that ye should be officers in the house of the Lord, for every man that is mad[FN10] and maketh himself a prophet, that thou shouldest put 27 him in prison, and in the stocks.[FN11] Now therefore why hast thou not reproved[FN12] Jeremiah 28 of Anathoth, which maketh himself a prophet to you? For therefore[FN13] he sent [a letter] unto us in Babylon, saying, this captivity is [will continue] long:[FN14] build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them 29 And Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet30, 31Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah, saying, Send to all them of the captivity [a message] saying, Thus saith the Lord concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite; Because that Shemaiah hath prophesied unto you, and I sent him 32 not [without my having sent him] and he caused you to trust[FN15] in a lie: Therefore thus saith the Lord: Behold, I will punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite, and his seed: he shall not have a man to dwell among this people; neither shall he behold[FN16] the good that I will do for my people, saith the Lord; because he hath taught rebellion against the Lord.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

The letter, Jeremiah 29:4-23, caused great exasperation among the false prophets at Babylon. One of them, Shemaiah, complains to the overseer of the temple in Jerusalem that he did not interfere against the conduct of the mad Jeremiah. Jeremiah gets information of this letter and receives the command to announce to Shemaiah that his family shall become extinct, and that he himself will not see the salvation of Israel. The arrangement of the sentences in this passage is very irregular. In the first place all explanation concerning the proximate occasion of this utterance is passed over. Yet this may be accounted for by the fact that this may be learned from the tenor of the passage itself. The beginning will then be made with the command to make an announcement to Shemaiah. This announcement does begin in Jeremiah 29:25, and takes its regular course to the close of Jeremiah 29:28, so that in Jeremiah 29:26-28 the letter is communicated verbatim, which gave the occasion for the announcement to Shemaiah. Here the address to Shemaiah breaks off without a conclusion. Instead of this, after the prophet has suddenly sprung back from the point of the communication by him to the point of the communication to him, the conclusion is given in the form of an address to the exiles, in which Shemaiah is spoken of in the third person ( Jeremiah 29:30-32). Here accordingly two announcements seem to have been made (comp. Jeremiah 29:24-25 with Jeremiah 29:30-31), which on account of their identical tenor the prophet allows to combine in the course of his narrative.

Jeremiah 29:24-28. Thus shalt thou … eat the fruit of them. We might indeed translate אֵל here, as in Jeremiah 29:16; Jeremiah 29:21, of [Shemaiah] instead of to, but Jeremiah 29:25 contains a direct address to Shemaiah. Neither he nor his birth-place is mentioned elsewhere.—The letter, communicated in Jeremiah 29:26-28, is addressed specially to the priest Zephaniah. When notwithstanding, in Jeremiah 29:25, letters are spoken of which were addressed to all the prophets and all the priests besides Zephaniah, this may be explained in two ways; either there really were letters with the three addresses mentioned, the principal letter only being communicated to Zephaniah; or this letter was the only one, but designated in Jeremiah 29:25 as intended to be communicated to a wider circle. Both explanations are grammatically possible. For letters (ספרים) may be a general plural. (Comp. פֹטוֹת, yokes, Jeremiah 28:13 and Isaiah 37:14; Isaiah 39:1).— Zephaniah, the son of Maaseiah, was כֹּהֵן מִשְׁנֶה, second priest, Jeremiah 52:24. Comp. Jeremiah 21:1 and Jeremiah 37:3.—Officers (פקידים). This also might in itself be a general plural, if the mention of the predecessor did not require us to refer it to both officers.—That is mad. Here the expression involves an insult to Jeremiah. Zephaniah was not to restrain all those who prophesied, but only those who were deranged and presumed to prophesy, and Jeremiah is reckoned among these.—In prison. Comp. Jeremiah 30:2.—This is long. By this the70 years are meant ( Jeremiah 29:10), which, in comparison with the time predicted by the false prophets, would be a very long period.

Jeremiah 29:29-32. And Zephaniah … against Jehovah. The words of Jeremiah 29:29 do not clearly indicate whether Zephaniah read the letter of Jeremiah alone or in the presence of others. We may conclude from the two embassies ( Jeremiah 21:1; Jeremiah 37:3) that he was probably not personally hostile towards Jeremiah. We also find no indication that Shemaiah’s letter was at that time of any injury to Jeremiah. It is indeed possible that Zephaniah, though unable to keep the purport of the letter altogether secret, yet acted with the utmost possible consideration toward the prophet. At any rate Jeremiah was not intimidated. Shemaiah receives a reproving answer from the Lord’s prophet: his race shall be extirpated (the phrase “dwelling among his people” signifies a peaceful, secure existence, 2 Kings 4:13) and he himself will not have his eyes gladdened by the prosperity of his people.

Footnotes:

FN#10 - Jeremiah 29:26.—משׁנא. Only the Part. Pual and Part. and Inf. Hiphil of this word are found. The radical meaning is to be astray. (Comp. שָׁנָא, שָׁנַנ, שָׁנָה). The Hiphil is used of raving in general, 1 Samuel 21:15,16; מְשֻנָא likewise in Deuteronomy 28:34 and 1 Sam21:16; elsewhere only of prophets and always in a bad sense; Hosea 9:7; 2 Kings 9:11.

FN#11 - Jeremiah 29:26.—צינק. The word is ἅπ. λεγ. The root צָנַק also does not occur elsewhere in Hebrew. From the dialects the most suitable comparison is afforded by the Arabic zinäg, collar, ring (Hitzig). According to the older Rabbis in Kimchi צינק=לידים מסנר, כלי as מהפכת=לאוֹאר מסנר Symm.: μόχλος lever, pole, bar. Ges. Thes., p1175. Hitzig rightly supposes that both instruments formed the complete instrument of torture, one serving to confine the neck, the other the hands and feet.

FN#12 - Jeremiah 29:27.—נערת. Properly to chide (comp. Genesis 37:10) then to interfere, to stop any one ( Ruth 2:16; Malachi 3:11).

FN#13 - Jeremiah 29:28.—כי על־כן. In itself these particles might be taken in the most natural sense; for on this account (viz., on account of defective control); but elsewhere they always designate the reason supposed as the object or result; Jeremiah 38:4; Genesis 18:5; Genesis 19:8; Genesis 33:10; Genesis 38:26. Comp. Redslob, lexical. Erürterunyen. Stud. u. Krit., 1841, S 983sqq.

FN#14 - Jeremiah 29:28.—אָרֹךְ, of extension in time ( 2 Samuel 3:1), and in space ( Job 11:9). On the neuter significance of the feminine, comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 60, 6 b.

FN#15 - Jeremiah 29:31.—On ויבִטח comp. Jeremiah 28:15.

FN#16 - Jeremiah 29:32.—ראה withבְ. Comp. Naegelsb. Gr., § 112, 5, a; Psalm 37:34; 54:9; 118:7.

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL

1. On [“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 : 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 Prayer of Manasseh, 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 Prayer of Manasseh,’ 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. Comp. Auberlen, der Prophet Daniel, S. 41sqq.

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 [“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 ( Psalm 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 [“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 ( Wisdom of Solomon 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 ( Psalm 103:14), viz., that we are flesh, a wind which passeth away and returneth not again ( Psalm 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 Zion1. 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 prophets1. 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. On28. [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 us1. 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, 14April, 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 us2. Subjectively on this, that we (a) call upon and seek the Lord with all our hearts, (b) patiently wait for the time of hearing.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Jeremiah 29:4". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/jeremiah-29.html. 1857-84.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, September 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
ADVERTISEMENT
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology