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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Jeremiah 32

 

 

Introduction

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 1-5

Jeremiah 32. The Redemption of Land at Anathoth.—A token of confidence in the future restoration. Probably not much more than Jeremiah 32:6-15 is original. This narrative, it should be noticed, is both preceded (Jeremiah 32:30 f.) and followed (Jeremiah 32:33) by restoration prophecies.

Jeremiah 32:1-5. In 587 B.C., during the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, Jeremiah was a prisoner in the "guard-court", used for specially-treated prisoners (Jeremiah 37:20 f.); the explanation given is that he had prophesied (Jeremiah 21:7, Jeremiah 37:17, etc.) defeat and captivity for Zedekiah (fulfilled as in 2 Kings 25:7). Jeremiah 32:2-5 are parenthetical, and should be placed in brackets; Jeremiah 32:6 ff. are not, as they might seem, an answer to Zedekiah's question. According to Jeremiah 37:11 ff., Jeremiah was arrested in the interval during which the Babylonians had withdrawn from the siege, for alleged desertion to the enemy; the princes were hostile to him, but Zedekiah showed him kindness.


Verses 6-15

Jeremiah 32:6-15. Jeremiah, after a premonition of the coming opportunity (subsequently confirmed as being of Divine origin, Jeremiah 32:8) uses the "right of redemption" belonging to the next-of-kin (Leviticus 25:25; Ruth 4:3 ff.) to buy family property in Anathoth (Jeremiah 32:11) from his cousin Hanamel; he duly executes the purchase with all legal precision. By this prophetic act, he exhibited his confidence that land now in the enemy's occupation would ultimately be restored to Israel (cf. Livy 26:11 for a similar incident).

Jeremiah 32:9. The weight of uncoined metal named would be worth about 2. 6s. 9d. to-day, but the exchange value then would be much greater; cf. 2 Samuel 24:24.

Jeremiah 32:11. Read as mg.

Jeremiah 32:14. Excavation has revealed the similar Babylonian custom of keeping in an earthen vessel a tablet enclosed in an outer envelope, itself inscribed in duplicate. Baruch, with whom the deeds were deposited, was the prophet's secretary (Jeremiah 36), faithful companion (Jeremiah 43:3), and, probably, future biographer.


Verses 16-25

Jeremiah 32:16-25 (a later Deuteronomistic expansion, except perhaps in Jeremiah 32:24 f.). Prayer of Jeremiah, reviewing the Divine characteristics, and Yahweh's control of Israel's history, up to the present distress, and implying doubt as to the issue.

Jeremiah 32:24. mounts: earthen mounds raised by the besiegers, 66, 334.


Verses 26-44

Jeremiah 32:26-44. Yahweh answers the prophet by declaring the issue and cause of the present distress, and by promising (Jeremiah 32:36 ff.) the future restoration of the people to Palestine, where they shall dwell in religious unity and in prosperity. Most or all of this seems later than Jeremiah; e.g. Jeremiah 32:31 agrees with Ezekiel (Ezekiel 16), rather than with Jeremiah 32:43 presupposes the exile; Jeremiah 32:27-35 is irrelevant to the context.

Jeremiah 32:29. Cf. Jeremiah 19:13.

Jeremiah 32:34 f., as Jeremiah 7:30 f. (see the notes).

Jeremiah 32:39. Cf. Ezekiel 11:19.

Jeremiah 32:40. Cf. Jeremiah 31:33.

Jeremiah 32:44. Cf. Jeremiah 17:26.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Jeremiah 32:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/jeremiah-32.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, September 18th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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