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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible
Jeremiah 42

 

 

Verse 1

THE REMNANT DESIRE JEREMIAH TO INQUIRE OF GOD, Jeremiah 42:1-6.

1. All the captains — The “captains” who were with the scattered Jews in the neighbourhood.

Johanan… and Jezaniah — In addition to the “captains” above referred to. This last is called, in Jeremiah 43:2, “Azariah.” This has led to the conjecture that an error has crept into the Hebrew text as to the form of this name. The Septuagint in both places gives the name Azariah.


Verse 2

2. Pray for us — Nagelsbach regards this as a piece of hypocrisy, since their mind seems to have been already strongly set to go to Egypt. But this is by no means necessary. They may have been sincerely desirous to know God’s will, even though they greatly preferred that it should be in a given direction. It is not unusual for honest people to consult God or his servants, not so much to know the right as to secure approval for that already determined on.


Verse 4

4. I have heard you — I agree to your request.

The Lord your God — As he was their God they had a right to prefer to him their requests.


Verse 5

5. A true and faithful witness — “True and faithful” are from the same root, and both occupy emphatic positions in the sentence. “True and faithful is Jehovah.”


Verse 6

6. Good, or… evil — That is, agreeable or disagreeable according as in accord with our wishes or opposed to them.

We will obey — The theory of these men was certainly perfect. “Piety obeys God without questioning, at all costs.” The pronoun here is anu, ( אנו,) a form which occurs nowhere else in the Old Testament. It is, however, the ordinary form of the pronoun in the Talmud. It illustrates Jeremiah’s tendency to use the language of the people rather than that of literature.


Verse 7

JEREMIAH’S ANSWER, (A) SAFETY IN JUDEA, Jeremiah 42:7-12.

7. After ten days — The delay was doubtless to prepare them for the answer. The excitement of the time would in some measure have passed away, and they would have had time to consider the situation of affairs. It is good for man to wait God’s time.


Verse 9

9. Thus saith the Lord — How definite and vivid, apparently, was the consciousness of Jeremiah that he was the organ of God! And how clearly does such a belief as this on the part of individuals and the people generally lie at the foundation of every thing characteristic in the Old Testament.


Verse 10

10. If ye will still abide — One chapter of their probation had closed, another now opens. They had proven disobedient and corrupt under Jewish rule, and the catastrophe had come; they were again to be put to trial under Babylonian rule. Though they had proven rebellious, and so had been given over into the power of their enemies, God had by no means deserted them, or become their enemy. And so this message is full of assurances of his continued interest in their behalf: “I repent me,” “I will build you,” “save you,” “deliver you,” “show mercies unto you.”


Verse 11

11. Be not afraid of the king of Babylon — For his power to harm you comes from me, and I will say to him, “Hitherto, but no farther.”


Verse 14

JEREMIAH’S ANSWER, (B) DESTRUCTION IN EGYPT, Jeremiah 42:13-18.

14. Egypt,… no war — A natural thought for the reason that in the recent troublous times the land of Egypt had been in a state of tranquillity. Egypt had indeed been defeated at Carchemish, but no battle had been fought on her own soil.


Verse 16

16. It shall come to pass — The evils which we seek to escape by disobedience we multiply unto ourselves thereby.


Verse 17

17. All the men — This universal expression is not to be pressed with mathematical exactness. The fact that some loyal and obedient men, like Jeremiah and Baruch, were carried to Egypt and afterward escaped does not stand against this passage. See Jeremiah 44:28 : “Yet a small number… shall return out of the land of Egypt.”


Verse 19

JEREMIAH REPROVES THEIR HYPOCRISY, Jeremiah 42:19-22.

19. I have admonished — Protested, testified against you.


Verse 20

20. Ye dissembled, etc. — The marginal reading is better: ye have used deceit against your souls. That is, your self-delusion is against your own souls.

 


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Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Jeremiah 42:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/jeremiah-42.html. 1874-1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, September 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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