The Book of Jeremiah
Chapters 25 to 28
A Biblical Commentary Courtesy of Brit-Am
[Jeremiah 26:12] THEN SPAKE JEREMIAH UNTO ALL THE PRINCES AND TO ALL THE PEOPLE, SAYING, THE LORD SENT ME TO PROPHESY AGAINST THIS HOUSE AND AGAINST THIS CITY ALL THE WORDS THAT YE HAVE HEARD.
[Jeremiah 26:13] THEREFORE NOW AMEND YOUR WAYS AND YOUR DOINGS, AND OBEY THE
VOICE OF THE LORD YOUR GOD; AND THE LORD WILL REPENT HIM OF THE EVIL THAT HE
HATH PRONOUNCED AGAINST YOU.
Amend your ways and do god and God will help you and everybody else. You have an obligation to others. The good or bad you do influences your immediate surroundings and the the whole world.
[Jeremiah 26:14] AS FOR ME, BEHOLD, I AM IN YOUR HAND: DO WITH ME AS SEEMETH GOOD AND MEET UNTO YOU.
[Jeremiah 26:15] BUT KNOW YE FOR CERTAIN, THAT IF YE PUT ME TO DEATH, YE SHALL SURELY BRING INNOCENT BLOOD UPON YOURSELVES, AND UPON THIS CITY, AND UPON THE INHABITANTS THEREOF: FOR OF A TRUTH THE LORD HATH SENT ME UNTO YOU TO SPEAK ALL THESE WORDS IN YOUR EARS.
[Jeremiah 26:16] THEN SAID THE PRINCES AND ALL THE PEOPLE UNTO THE PRIESTS AND TO THE PROPHETS; THIS MAN IS NOT WORTHY TO DIE: FOR HE HATH SPOKEN TO US IN THE NAME OF THE LORD OUR GOD.
[Jeremiah 26:17] THEN ROSE UP CERTAIN OF THE ELDERS OF THE LAND, AND SPAKE TO ALL THE ASSEMBLY OF THE PEOPLE, SAYING,
[Jeremiah 26:18] MICAH THE MORASTHITE PROPHESIED IN THE DAYS OF HEZEKIAH KING OF JUDAH, AND SPAKE TO ALL THE PEOPLE OF JUDAH, SAYING, THUS SAITH THE LORD OF HOSTS; ZION SHALL BE PLOWED LIKE A FIELD, AND JEREMIAHUSALEM SHALL BECOME HEAPS, AND THE MOUNTAIN OF THE HOUSE AS THE HIGH PLACES OF A FOREST.
[Jeremiah 26:19] DID HEZEKIAH KING OF JUDAH AND ALL JUDAH PUT HIM AT ALL TO DEATH? DID HE NOT FEAR THE LORD, AND BESOUGHT THE LORD, AND THE LORD REPENTED HIM OF THE EVIL WHICH HE HAD PRONOUNCED AGAINST THEM? THUS MIGHT WE PROCURE GREAT EVIL AGAINST OUR SOULS.
[Jeremiah 26:20] AND THERE WAS ALSO A MAN THAT PROPHESIED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, URIJAH THE SON OF SHEMAIAH OF KIRJATHJEARIM, WHO PROPHESIED AGAINST THIS CITY AND AGAINST THIS LAND ACCORDING TO ALL THE WORDS OF JEREMIAHEMIAH.
[Jeremiah 26:21] AND WHEN JEHOIAKIM THE KING, WITH ALL HIS MIGHTY MEN, AND ALL THE PRINCES, HEARD HIS WORDS, THE KING SOUGHT TO PUT HIM TO DEATH: BUT WHEN URIJAH HEARD IT, HE WAS AFRAID, AND FLED, AND WENT INTO EGYPT;
[Jeremiah 26:22] AND JEHOIAKIM THE KING SENT MEN INTO EGYPT, NAMELY, ELNATHAN THE SON OF ACHBOR, AND CERTAIN MEN WITH HIM INTO EGYPT.
[Jeremiah 26:23] AND THEY FETCHED FORTH URIJAH OUT OF EGYPT, AND BROUGHT HIM UNTO JEHOIAKIM THE KING; WHO SLEW HIM WITH THE SWORD, AND CAST HIS DEAD BODY INTO THE GRAVES OF THE COMMON PEOPLE.
[Jeremiah 26:24] NEVERTHELESS THE HAND OF AHIKAM THE SON OF SHAPHAN WAS WITH
JEREMIAH, THAT THEY SHOULD NOT GIVE HIM INTO THE HAND OF THE PEOPLE TO PUT HIM
Hoffman says that in the trial of Jeremiah two precedents were adduced: Once concerned Micah the Prophet who had also prophesied about the impending destruction of Jerusalem and had not been punished: “THEREFORE SHALL ZION FOR YOUR SAKE BE PLOWED AS A FIELD, AND JERUSALEM SHALL BECOME HEAPS, AND THE MOUNTAIN OF THE HOUSE AS THE HIGH PLACES OF THE FOREST [Micah 3:12]”. The other case was that of Uriyah the Prophet who had been deported from Egypt. It was in the interests of Egypt to support the anti-Babylonian party in Judah and the Prophecies of Uriyah were working against this interest. Hoffman relates that at Lachish in the south of Judah an inscription has been found from about the time of Jeremiah and it may be relating to the case of Uriyah. The inscription relates how the Head of the Army (Chief of Staff) Yicbaryahu son of Elnathan is sent into Egypt on a matter connected with a “prophet” and the “Prophet” is to be warned “Guard yourself!”
[Jeremiah 27:1] IN THE BEGINNING OF THE REIGN OF JEHOIAKIM THE SON OF JOSIAH KING OF JUDAH CAME THIS WORD UNTO JEREMIAH FROM THE LORD, SAYING,
[Jeremiah 27:2] THUS SAITH THE LORD TO ME; MAKE THEE BONDS AND YOKES, AND PUT THEM UPON THY NECK,
[Jeremiah 27:3] AND SEND THEM TO THE KING OF EDOM, AND TO THE KING OF MOAB, AND TO THE KING OF THE AMMONITES, AND TO THE KING OF TYRUS, AND TO THE KING OF ZIDON, BY THE HAND OF THE MESSENGERS WHICH COME TO JERUSALEM UNTO ZEDEKIAH KING OF JUDAH;
The messengers of these kings had apparently come to Jerusalem to create a unified front against Babylon.
“TYRUS, AND TO THE KING OF ZIDON”: “Tyrus” is Tyre or in Hebrew “Tsor” (i.e. “Rock”) and Zidon is Sidon. Tyre and Sidon were the chief Phoenician cities.
[Jeremiah 27:4] AND COMMAND THEM TO SAY UNTO THEIR MASTERS, THUS SAITH THE LORD OF HOSTS, THE GOD OF ISRAEL; THUS SHALL YE SAY UNTO YOUR MASTERS;
[Jeremiah 27:5] I HAVE MADE THE EARTH, THE MAN AND THE BEAST THAT ARE UPON THE GROUND, BY MY GREAT POWER AND BY MY OUTSTRETCHED ARM, AND HAVE GIVEN IT UNTO WHOM IT SEEMED MEET UNTO ME.
[Jeremiah 27:6] AND NOW HAVE I GIVEN ALL THESE LANDS INTO THE HAND OF NEBUCHADNEZZAR THE KING OF BABYLON, MY SERVANT; AND THE BEASTS OF THE FIELD HAVE I GIVEN HIM ALSO TO SERVE HIM.
Nebuchadnezzar was to rule over all the world as if it was a Law of Nature that he have dominion. Archaeological evidence indicates that Nebuchadnessar ruled over ancient Athens. Josephus quotes Megasthenes (ca. 300 BCE?) to the effect that Nebuchadnessar ruled over North Africa. There is also linguistic evidence of a Babylonian presence in North Spain, North Italy, the Balkans, and in India. About other areas we cannot say but we do know that in North Germany and Scandinavia the “Bronze Age” Civilizations were closely connected to those of the Middle East. Also evidence exists that the Babylonians had contact with THE RULING CLASSES of South America. At that time most of Europe was sparsely populated and many peoples who later dwelt in Europe had previously dwelt in the Middle East.
[Jeremiah 27:7] AND ALL NATIONS SHALL SERVE HIM, AND HIS SON, AND HIS SON'S SON, UNTIL THE VERY TIME OF HIS LAND COME: AND THEN MANY NATIONS AND GREAT KINGS SHALL SERVE THEMSELVES OF HIM.
The line of Nebuchadnessar would last three generations. Nebuchadnessar was the son of Nabopolassar (625-605 BCE).
Conventionally it is claimed that Nebuchadnessar (604-562) was followed by Evil Merodoch for two years (561-560) after which he was killed by his brother-in-law, Nergal Sharatzar (i.e. “Neriglissar” also called “Rav-Mag”) who reigned for four years (559-556) over Babylon. Then came Labashi Merodoch (556) who was the son of the daughter of Nebuchadnessar. A general named Nabonaid (555-539) rebelled against Labashi Merodoch, killed him, and took over the Kingdom. Nabonaid was the son of Adda-Gupi, a priestess from Harran, who was related to the previous ruling clan of Assyria. Nabonaid left his son Belshazzar as regent in Babylon and retired for ten years to the oasis of Taima in northwest Arabia. He then returned to reign in Babylon, until it was conquered by Cyrus of Persia in ca 539 BCE. Later the inhabitants of the oasis Taima in northwest Arabia were Jews or converts to Judaism. Was (contrary to conventional supposition) Nabonaid from the family of Nebuchadnessar?
[Jeremiah 27:8] AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS, THAT THE NATION AND KINGDOM WHICH WILL NOT SERVE THE SAME NEBUCHADNEZZAR THE KING OF BABYLON, AND THAT WILL NOT PUT THEIR NECK UNDER THE YOKE OF THE KING OF BABYLON, THAT NATION WILL I PUNISH, SAITH THE LORD, WITH THE SWORD, AND WITH THE FAMINE, AND WITH THE PESTILENCE, UNTIL I HAVE CONSUMED THEM BY HIS HAND.
[Jeremiah 27:9] THEREFORE HEARKEN NOT YE TO YOUR PROPHETS, NOR TO YOUR DIVINERS, NOR TO YOUR DREAMERS, NOR TO YOUR ENCHANTERS, NOR TO YOUR SORCERERS, WHICH SPEAK UNTO YOU, SAYING, YE SHALL NOT SERVE THE KING OF BABYLON:
[Jeremiah 27:10] FOR THEY PROPHESY A LIE UNTO YOU, TO REMOVE YOU FAR FROM YOUR LAND; AND THAT I SHOULD DRIVE YOU OUT, AND YE SHOULD PERISH.
[Jeremiah 27:11] BUT THE NATIONS THAT BRING THEIR NECK UNDER THE YOKE OF THE KING OF BABYLON, AND SERVE HIM, THOSE WILL I LET REMAIN STILL IN THEIR OWN LAND, SAITH THE LORD; AND THEY SHALL TILL IT, AND DWELL THEREIN.
[Jeremiah 27:12] I SPAKE ALSO TO ZEDEKIAH KING OF JUDAH ACCORDING TO ALL THESE WORDS, SAYING, BRING YOUR NECKS UNDER THE YOKE OF THE KING OF BABYLON, AND SERVE HIM AND HIS PEOPLE, AND LIVE.
[Jeremiah 27:13] WHY WILL YE DIE, THOU AND THY PEOPLE, BY THE SWORD, BY THE FAMINE, AND BY THE PESTILENCE, AS THE LORD HATH SPOKEN AGAINST THE NATION THAT WILL NOT SERVE THE KING OF BABYLON?
[Jeremiah 27:14] THEREFORE HEARKEN NOT UNTO THE WORDS OF THE PROPHETS THAT SPEAK UNTO YOU, SAYING, YE SHALL NOT SERVE THE KING OF BABYLON: FOR THEY PROPHESY A LIE UNTO YOU.
[Jeremiah 27:15] FOR I HAVE NOT SENT THEM, SAITH THE LORD, YET THEY PROPHESY A LIE IN MY NAME; THAT I MIGHT DRIVE YOU OUT, AND THAT YE MIGHT PERISH, YE, AND THE PROPHETS THAT PROPHESY UNTO YOU.
[Jeremiah 27:16] ALSO I SPAKE TO THE PRIESTS AND TO ALL THIS PEOPLE, SAYING, THUS SAITH THE LORD; HEARKEN NOT TO THE WORDS OF YOUR PROPHETS THAT PROPHESY UNTO YOU, SAYING, BEHOLD, THE VESSELS OF THE LORD'S HOUSE SHALL NOW SHORTLY BE BROUGHT AGAIN FROM BABYLON: FOR THEY PROPHESY A LIE UNTO YOU.
[Jeremiah 27:17] HEARKEN NOT UNTO THEM; SERVE THE KING OF BABYLON, AND LIVE: WHEREFORE SHOULD THIS CITY BE LAID WASTE?
God does not want us to suffer or be punished. He wants us to repent and to do that which is for our own good.
[Jeremiah 27:18] BUT IF THEY BE PROPHETS, AND IF THE WORD OF THE LORD BE WITH THEM, LET THEM NOW MAKE INTERCESSION TO THE LORD OF HOSTS, THAT THE VESSELS WHICH ARE LEFT IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD, AND IN THE HOUSE OF THE KING OF JUDAH, AND AT JERUSALEM, GO NOT TO BABYLON.
[Jeremiah 27:19] FOR THUS SAITH THE LORD OF HOSTS CONCERNING THE PILLARS, AND CONCERNING THE SEA, AND CONCERNING THE BASES, AND CONCERNING THE RESIDUE OF THE VESSELS THAT REMAIN IN THIS CITY.
[Jeremiah 27:20] WHICH NEBUCHADNEZZAR KING OF BABYLON TOOK NOT, WHEN HE CARRIED AWAY CAPTIVE JECONIAH THE SON OF JEHOIAKIM KING OF JUDAH FROM JERUSALEM TO BABYLON, AND ALL THE NOBLES OF JUDAH AND JERUSALEM;
[Jeremiah 27:21] YEA, THUS SAITH THE LORD OF HOSTS, THE GOD OF ISRAEL, CONCERNING THE VESSELS THAT REMAIN IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD, AND IN THE HOUSE OF THE KING OF JUDAH AND OF JERUSALEM;
[Jeremiah 27:22] THEY SHALL BE CARRIED TO BABYLON, AND THERE SHALL THEY BE UNTIL THE DAY THAT I VISIT THEM, SAITH THE LORD; THEN WILL I BRING THEM UP, AND RESTORE THEM TO THIS PLACE.
There was finally to be a restoration of Judah and a rebuilding of the Temple.
[Jeremiah 28:1] AND IT CAME TO PASS THE SAME YEAR, IN THE BEGINNING OF THE REIGN OF ZEDEKIAH KING OF JUDAH, IN THE FOURTH YEAR, AND IN THE FIFTH MONTH, THAT HANANIAH THE SON OF AZUR THE PROPHET, WHICH WAS OF GIBEON, SPAKE UNTO ME IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD, IN THE PRESENCE OF THE PRIESTS AND OF ALL THE PEOPLE, SAYING,
A Talmudic source (Yerushalemi Sanhedrin 11;5) says that HANANIAH THE SON OF AZUR THE PROPHET was at first a true prophet but something went wrong and he apparently allowed his own wishful thinking to take control of him.
[Jeremiah 28:2] THUS SPEAKETH THE LORD OF HOSTS, THE GOD OF ISRAEL, SAYING, I HAVE BROKEN THE YOKE OF THE KING OF BABYLON.
[Jeremiah 28:3] WITHIN TWO FULL YEARS WILL I BRING AGAIN INTO THIS PLACE ALL THE VESSELS OF THE LORD'S HOUSE, THAT NEBUCHADNEZZAR KING OF BABYLON TOOK AWAY FROM THIS PLACE, AND CARRIED THEM TO BABYLON:
[Jeremiah 28:4] AND I WILL BRING AGAIN TO THIS PLACE JECONIAH THE SON OF JEHOIAKIM KING OF JUDAH, WITH ALL THE CAPTIVES OF JUDAH, THAT WENT INTO BABYLON, SAITH THE LORD: FOR I WILL BREAK THE YOKE OF THE KING OF BABYLON.
“JECONIAH” together with most of the nobility and all the skilled workers had been taken into Exile and Zedekiah appointed king in place of Jeconiah. Zedekiah was the uncle of Jeconiah. The false prophecy of Hananiah may have been an expression of the ruling faction at court that hankered after Jeconiah and considered him the legitimate king instead of Zedekiah. Jeconiah represented Egyptian interests and the idea is that Babylonian influence would be broken and those exiled to Babylon returned to Judah. King Zedekiah had been appointed king by the Babylonians but had been misled into plotting against them. King Zedekiah is actually often depicted as a favorable person in his own right but he was dominated by others and not really his own master.
[Jeremiah 28:5] THEN THE PROPHET JEREMIAH SAID UNTO THE PROPHET HANANIAH IN THE PRESENCE OF THE PRIESTS, AND IN THE PRESENCE OF ALL THE PEOPLE THAT STOOD IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD,
[Jeremiah 28:6] EVEN THE PROPHET JEREMIAH SAID, AMEN: THE LORD DO SO: THE LORD PERFORM THY WORDS WHICH THOU HAST PROPHESIED, TO BRING AGAIN THE VESSELS OF THE LORD'S HOUSE, AND ALL THAT IS CARRIED AWAY CAPTIVE, FROM BABYLON INTO THIS PLACE.
[Jeremiah 28:7] NEVERTHELESS HEAR THOU NOW THIS WORD THAT I SPEAK IN THINE EARS, AND IN THE EARS OF ALL THE PEOPLE;
[Jeremiah 28:8] THE PROPHETS THAT HAVE BEEN BEFORE ME AND BEFORE THEE OF OLD PROPHESIED BOTH AGAINST MANY COUNTRIES, AND AGAINST GREAT KINGDOMS, OF WAR, AND OF EVIL, AND OF PESTILENCE.
[Jeremiah 28:9] THE PROPHET WHICH PROPHESIETH OF PEACE, WHEN THE WORD OF THE PROPHET SHALL COME TO PASS, THEN SHALL THE PROPHET BE KNOWN, THAT THE LORD HATH TRULY SENT HIM.
In Rabbinical Law <<A Prophet is never tested through a prediction of evil. It is always possible for such evil to be averted by repentance and prayer.>> see Aryeh Kaplan, “The Handbook of Jewish Thought”, volume 1, 8:16 quotes from this passage of Jeremiah and from Jonah 3:10 and from Classical sources including Maimonides. This work by Kaplan is well worth acquiring and reading.
[Jeremiah 28:10] THEN HANANIAH THE PROPHET TOOK THE YOKE FROM OFF THE PROPHET JEREMIAH'S NECK, AND BRAKE IT.
[Jeremiah 28:11] AND HANANIAH SPAKE IN THE PRESENCE OF ALL THE PEOPLE, SAYING, THUS SAITH THE LORD; EVEN SO WILL I BREAK THE YOKE OF NEBUCHADNEZZAR KING OF BABYLON FROM THE NECK OF ALL NATIONS WITHIN THE SPACE OF TWO FULL YEARS. AND THE PROPHET JEREMIAH WENT HIS WAY.
[Jeremiah 28:12] THEN THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME UNTO JEREMIAH THE PROPHET, AFTER THAT HANANIAH THE PROPHET HAD BROKEN THE YOKE FROM OFF THE NECK OF THE PROPHET JEREMIAH, SAYING,
[Jeremiah 28:13] GO AND TELL HANANIAH, SAYING, THUS SAITH THE LORD; THOU HAST BROKEN THE YOKES OF WOOD; BUT THOU SHALT MAKE FOR THEM YOKES OF IRON.
[Jeremiah 28:14] FOR THUS SAITH THE LORD OF HOSTS, THE GOD OF ISRAEL; I HAVE PUT A YOKE OF IRON UPON THE NECK OF ALL THESE NATIONS, THAT THEY MAY SERVE NEBUCHADNEZZAR KING OF BABYLON; AND THEY SHALL SERVE HIM: AND I HAVE GIVEN HIM THE BEASTS OF THE FIELD ALSO.
[Jeremiah 28:15] THEN SAID THE PROPHET JEREMIAH UNTO HANANIAH THE PROPHET, HEAR NOW, HANANIAH; THE LORD HATH NOT SENT THEE; BUT THOU MAKEST THIS PEOPLE TO TRUST IN A LIE.
[Jeremiah 28:16] THEREFORE THUS SAITH THE LORD; BEHOLD, I WILL CAST THEE FROM OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH: THIS YEAR THOU SHALT DIE, BECAUSE THOU HAST TAUGHT REBELLION AGAINST THE LORD.
[Jeremiah 28:17] SO HANANIAH THE PROPHET DIED THE SAME YEAR IN THE SEVENTH MONTH.
|Jeremiah chs. 21 to 24|