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Jeremiah, Chapter 32
Jeremiah purchases a field in Anathoth.
This chapter records another historical event in the life of the prophet Jeremiah. The time was during the final months of the siege of Jerusalem which resulted in the final capture and destruction of the city and the deportation of the population to Babylon. Zedekiah was on the throne of Judah, this being in his tenth year as king, which was the eighteenth year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, about 588-87 B.C. There is no point arguing that, according to the Babylonian method of reckoning the reign of kings, this was only the seventeenth year of Nebuchadnezzar. Babylon did not count the year of accession to the throne; but the Jews did.
In the year preceding this Chapter, The siege had been lifted for a short time by the arrival near Jerusalem of an Egyptian army led by Pharaoh-Hophra (Jer.44:30), the Apries of Herodotus, an ally of Zedekiah against Babylon (Eze.17:15); but the Egyptians were either defeated quickly or decided to withdraw. The siege was promptly renewed with increased vigor, and in the period in-between, while famine and disease was daily making Jerusalem less and less able to defend itself.
At the time of this Chapter, Jeremiah was a prisoner of Zedekiah, who was distressed by Jeremiah's prophecies concerning Jerusalem and its king, and had imprisoned the prophet; but, at the time of the incident recorded here, Zedekiah had yielded to Jeremiah's request to be removed from the dungeon and had brought him to the stockade area of the palace, where, it seems, Jeremiah did enjoy some privileges.
A general outline of the chapter is: (1). A statement of the historical situation (32:1-5); (2). Jeremiah was commanded to purchase a field in Anathoth, which he quickly did (32:6-15); (3). Puzzled by what God had commanded him to do, and maybe having some doubt, Jeremiah prayed a long prayer to God (32:16-25); (4). God's first answer (32:26-35; (5). God's second answer (32:36-44).
Theme: Imprisoned Jeremiah buys real estate; the Coming Kingdom as promised to David.
In chapter 32 Jeremiah is in prison, and Jerusalem is under siege by Nebuchadnezzar; but, Jeremiah buys a piece of property in Anathoth.
Statement of the historical situation (32:1-5)
Jer. 32:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar. (KJV)
The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, . . . see how Jeremiah pinpoints the time: it was the tenth year of Zedekiah (Jer.39:1; 2 Ki.25:1) 588/87 B.C., the year Nebuchadnezzar breached the walls of Jerusalem and destroyed it.
Which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar . . . Zedekiah would rule 11 years so this is very close the end of his reign. It appears this was shortly after Jerusalem was attacked. The episode detailed here closely relates to the events of Chapters 37 & 38.
*****This was something more than a year before the city was taken, for it was taken in the fourth month of the eleventh year of this king's reign (Jer.39:2). This tenth year agrees with the eighteenth year of the king of Babylon's absolute reign, who began to reign in the third and fourth year of Jehoiakim (Dan.1:1); so as Jehoiakim's last year was the seventh and eighth of Nebuchadrezzar, who is sometimes called Nebuchadnezzar and Nabuchodonosor.
Jer. 32:2 For then the king of Babylon's army besieged Jerusalem: and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judah's house. (KJV)
The king of Babylon (as appears from 2 Ki. 25:1; Jer. 39:1), besieged Jerusalem in the tenth month of the ninth year of Zedekiah, so he had besieged it sometime before the revelation of this prophecy came to Jeremiah. Jeremiah was at that time a prisoner, in a prison within the king's house. The king could keep him from revealing God's will to the people, but he could not keep God from revealing Himself to the prophet.
*****Jerusalem was then under siege by the Babylonians, and Jeremiah was imprisoned in the court of the guard somewhere in the king’s palace. This seems to have been a guarded yard similar to a modern prison yard. Chapters 37-38 provide a more historical background.
Jer. 32:3 For Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up, saying, Wherefore dost thou prophesy, and say, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it; (KJV)
For Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up . . . no where do we read that Zedekiah commanded Jeremiah to be imprisoned. He seemed instead, to have been favorable to Jeremiah, and interpreters think his present prison was a favorable prison.
Saying, Wherefore dost thou prophesy, and say, Thus saith the LORD . . . why do you prophesy, and why do you say, thus saith the LORD?
Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it . . . meaning the city of Jerusalem, now besieged by the king of Babylon. This prophecy stands in Jer.34:1. The prophecies of the Book of Jeremiah are not put together in proper order of time.
*****Zedekiah here repeated the prophecies of Jeremiah for which he had retaliated by casting the prophet into prison. It seems incredible that he would still have doubted Jeremiah after all the fulfillments of Jeremiah's prophecies which had taken place and were still taking place before his very eyes.
Jer. 32:4 And Zedekiah king of Judah shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, but shall surely be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him mouth to mouth, and his eyes shall behold his eyes; (KJV)
And Zedekiah king of Judah shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans . . . this continues the prophecy of Jeremiah, repeated by the king to him, and which concerns himself more specifically; who, upon the taking of the city, would try to make his escape, but would not be able (Jer.52:8).
But shall surely be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon . . . not only into the hands of his army, and of his generals, but into the king’s own hand personally.
And shall speak with him mouth to mouth, and his eyes shall behold his eyes . . . they would talk together face to face, eye to eye; but no doubt with different tones and stares. The king of Babylon reproaching the king of Judah with perjury and ingratitude, and looked on him with indignation and contempt; the other speaking faintly, and looking down with confusion, grief and shame. In addition, the eyes of the king of Babylon saw the eyes of Zedekiah, and ordered them to be put out, as they were (2 Ki.25:7).
*****His eyes shall behold his eyes, a phrase; when coupled with the parallel expression face to face, means that Zedekiah would be personally confronted by Nebuchadnezzar, his enemy.
Jer. 32:5 And he shall lead Zedekiah to Babylon, and there shall he be until I visit him, saith the LORD: though ye fight with the Chaldeans, ye shall not prosper. (KJV)
And he shall lead Zedekiah to Babylon . . . as he did, in chains from Riblah, where he was brought unto him after he was taken, trying to make his escape (Jer.52:8).
And there shall he be until I visit him, saith the LORD . . . in taking him away by death; for he continued in Babylon to the time of his death, which was not violent, but natural; and, considering his circumstances, his captivity, imprisonment, and loss of sight, might be considered a visit in mercy. Some understand this of God's visiting the people at the return of them from their seventy years' captivity. If Zedekiah lived until then, he must have been a very old man; but of this, we have no account, nor is it likely.
Though ye fight with the Chaldeans, ye shall not prosper . . . even though they would charge upon them, in order to beat them out of their trenches, and drive them from the walls of the city, yet without success.
Jeremiah was commanded to buy a field in Anathoth, Which he quickly did (32:6-15)
Jer. 32:6 And Jeremiah said, The word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (KJV)
And Jeremiah said, the word of the LORD came unto me, saying . . . God did not say this to Zedekiah; but to the prophet, after the above introduction, he returns to declare what the word of the LORD was, which came to him at the time before mentioned.
Jer. 32:7 Behold, Hanameel the son of Shallum thine uncle shall come unto thee, saying, Buy thee my field that is in Anathoth: for the right of redemption is thine to buy it. (KJV)
Behold, Hanameel the son of Shallum thine uncle shall come unto thee . . . Hilkiah, the father of Jeremiah and Shallum, were brothers; so that Jeremiah and Hanameel were brothers' sons, or cousins: this coming of Hanameel to Jeremiah was a dependent event, with respect to second causes, and yet it foretold what would certainly be, shows that such events are foreknown by the LORD, and are sure to Him.
Saying, buy thee my field that is in Anathoth . . . Anathoth was the place from where Jeremiah came, and was about two or three miles from Jerusalem, and so must be now in the possession of the Chaldean army; so it seems strange that Hanameel had it for sale, and stranger still for Jeremiah to buy it. Field . . . in Anathoth . . . Anathoth was a priestly city: and so had one thousand cubits of suburban fields outside the wall attached to it (Num.35:4-5). The prohibition to sell these suburban fields (Lev.25:34) applied just to their alienating them from Levites to another tribe. Besides, what is here meant is only the purchase of the use of the field until the year of jubilee. On the failure of the owner, the next of kin had the right of redeeming it (Lev.25:25; Ruth 4:3-6).
For the right of redemption is thine to buy it . . . meaning had it been sold to another, it would have lain upon Jeremiah to have redeemed it, as being next of kin, that so it might not pass to another tribe and family.
Jer. 32:8 So Hanameel mine uncle's son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the LORD, and said unto me, Buy my field, I pray thee, that is in Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin: for the right of inheritance is thine, and the redemption is thine; buy it for thyself. Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD. (KJV)
So Hanameel mine uncle's son came unto me . . . freely and willingly, of his own accord; as it was determined he would, as it was predicted he would; for God's decrees do not invade the liberty of the will: this man came from Anathoth, very probably, to Jerusalem, to the place where the prophet was.
In the court of the prison, according to the word of the LORD . . . which had been made known before to Jeremiah.
And said unto me, Buy my field, I pray thee, that is in Anathoth . . . it was the will of God that he should buy it, and he submitted, though the money seemed to be thrown away.
Which is in the country of Benjamin . . . it belonged to that tribe.
For the right of inheritance is thine . . . the return of this field, would come to Jeremiah after the death of his cousin, as being the next heir.
And the redemption is thine; buy it for thyself . . . if it was sold to another, Jeremiah, according to Law, was forced to redeem it; therefore it was much better to buy it for himself.
Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD . . . that it was the word of the LORD which came to him before, and that it was the will of the LORD that he should make this purchase; since there was such an exact agreement between the prophecy and the event.
*****The right of inheritance is thine . . . Hanameel had no children, and at his death the land would have been Jeremiah’s by right of birth. According to the Law (Num.35:5), it must have been part of the suburbs of Anathoth, within less than a mile, which was land all the priests and Levites might cultivate.
Jer. 32:9 And I bought the field of Hanameel my uncle's son, that was in Anathoth, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver. (KJV)
And I bought the field of Hanameel mine uncle's son; that was in Anathoth. . . Jeremiah agreed with his cousin to buy his field, at a certain price hereafter mentioned. This may seem strange that the poor prophet, now a prisoner, and the land just ready to be subject to the Chaldeans. I think the plan of this was to show that there would be a return from captivity, when houses and fields would be bought and sold again, of which this purchase was a pledge.
And weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver . . . which, calculating a shekel at half a crown, was no more than two pounds, two shillings and sixpence; a small sum of money to make a purchase of a field with. This may be because of the scarcity of money, and the field being in the hand of the enemy. There being only his kinsman's life in it, the prophet bought the return, being his of right; and besides, it might be only an orchard or garden.
*****At the darkest hour in Judah's history, Jeremiah buys real estate. This seems to be a very strange time to be buying real estate. Why did Jeremiah buy this piece of land at this time? It was to show the people he believed God when He said that they were going to return to the land. This is remarkable to say the least.
But Jeremiah had a question which was too hard for him to answer, and in the following verses he brings this question to the LORD in prayer.
Jer. 32:10 And I subscribed the evidence, and sealed it, and took witnesses, and weighed him the money in the balances. (KJV)
And I subscribed the evidence . . . wrote in a book; the instrument or bill of sale, the deed of purchase; which described the field sold, and expressed the condition on which the purchase was made; and by subscribing it he agreed to it, and laid himself under obligation to perform it.
And sealed it . . . to further confirm it.
And took witnesses . . . to be present at the payment of the money, and to sign the deed as well.
And weighed him the money in the balances . . . this Jeremiah did a second time; he weighed it first before Hanameel himself, and then before the witnesses; everything was done fairly, and with great accuracy.
Jer. 32:11 So I took the evidence of the purchase, both that which was sealed according to the law and custom, and that which was open: (KJV)
So I took the evidence of the purchase . . . the deed of purchase, the book or bill of sale, the instrument of the bargain, as before mentioned.
Both that which is sealed, according to the law and custom . . . which was both sealed by the buyer and seller, and was sealed up, and not to be looked into by everyone, only when there might be a necessity; this was the original copy.
And that which was open . . . the copy of the former, which although was signed and sealed as the other, yet not sealed up, but was open and exposed to view; either for the relations to see what was done, or for the judges, to approve and make authentic: or, as is most likely, this copy was laid in some public register, to have option unto any occasion; it was according to the laws and customs of those times, which Jeremiah so carefully attended to; it lay open for the witnesses to sign. So there are three separate things; first the written contract; then that as signed and sealed by buyer and seller, according to law; and then as signed, but not sealed, by the witnesses.
Jer. 32:12 And I gave the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, in the sight of Hanameel mine uncle's son, and in the presence of the witnesses that subscribed the book of the purchase, before all the Jews that sat in the court of the prison. (KJV)
And I gave the evidence of the purchase . . . both that which was sealed and that which was open; both the original and the copy; or the whole, as signed, sealed, and witnessed.
Unto Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah . . . this Baruch, as seems from other places in this book, was one that attended Jeremiah (Jer.Ch.36), was his scribe or secretary, and did work for him in one kind or another, and is described here by his pedigree; and it was the more necessary now to make use of him in this affair, because the prophet was confined, and could not go out of the court of the prison; to him he gave the above deed.
In the sight of Hanameel mine uncle's son . . . of whom the purchase was made.
And in the presence of the witnesses that subscribed the book of the purchase . . . the same book that the prophet subscribed; so that the book the witnesses subscribed was not a separate book, as some have thought; for there was but one book or deed in all, besides the copy that was made of it.
Before all the Jews that sat in the court of the prison . . . where Jeremiah was; and who probably came to visit him, and to hear the word of the LORD from his mouth; unless we can suppose that these were fellow prisoners, or maybe they were set as spies upon him, to watch what he said and did.
Jer. 32:13 And I charged Baruch before them, saying, (KJV)
And I charged Baruch before them . . . before his kinsman, the witnesses of the deed, and the Jews that were in the court.
Saying . . . as follows:
Jer. 32:14 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences, this evidence of the purchase, both which is sealed, and this evidence which is open; and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days. (KJV)
Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel . . . the order to do the following is ushered in in this solemn manner, partly that Baruch might more strictly observe it, and act according to it; and partly that the persons before whom it was given might take the greater notice of it, and believe that there was something intended by it of moment and importance.
Take these evidences . . . or books; the deeds of purchase.
This evidence of the purchase, both which is sealed, and this evidence which is open . . . both the original and the copy.
And put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days . . . it seems, even though it is not said, that this earthen vessel, with these deeds in it, were to be put under ground, and very probably in some part of the field that was bought.
*****Had these writings been laid up in a chest or box, they might have been stolen and destroyed; and had they been laid in the earth by themselves, they would have rotted and consumed; but being put into a dry earthen vessel, they might be preserved from the damage of the air and the moistness of the earth. The earthen vessel would protect them from the elements for a very long time.
Jer. 32:15 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land. (KJV)
For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel . . . who is the LORD God Almighty, and can do what He pleases; because He is the Covenant God of His people, and therefore will do them good by all His wisdoms in the issue of things.
Houses, and fields, and vineyards, shall be possessed in this land . . . or bought in it; of which the prophet's buying this field was a pledge and earnest; indicating, that although the city now besieged should be taken, and the people carried captive, yet they would return to their own land, and purchase and enjoy houses, fields and vineyards again, as at the present time.
*****Houses and fields - shall be possessed again meaning this is evidence that the captivity shall not last long: houses and fields and vineyards shall here be possessed again, either by their present owners or by their descendants. The young might return; at least, all under the age of ten; there was no natural impossibility that they would not live until they would be fourscore.
Puzzled by what God had commanded him to do, and maybe having some doubt, Jeremiah prayed a long prayer to God (32:16-25)
Jer. 32:16 Now when I had delivered the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed unto the LORD, saying, (KJV)
Now when I had delivered the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah . . . when Jeremiah had finished his worldly business, which was by a divine order, and to answer a divine purpose, he then proceeded to prayer. It is right and proper that we should be free from worldly cares and concerns when we go to God in prayer. Our soul should be separated from the world and the things of it, and totally devoted to God.
I prayed unto the LORD . . . either for further information in this matter, of the use and design of buying the field; and how this part of the prophecy, signified by it, concerning the Jews buying and possessing houses and fields, can be made to agree with the other prophecy, that the city should be delivered into the hands of the Chaldeans; or, at least, that he might be able to answer the complaints and objections made by the Jews to it. It seems that Jeremiah was in some way puzzled, perplexed and distressed by his prayer, which begins,
Saying . . . as follows:
Jer. 32:17 Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: (KJV)
Ah Lord GOD! . . . which one version repeats three times, Ah, ah, ah, as being greatly distressed with the trouble that was coming upon his people; and, it may be, not without some doubts and temptations about their deliverance; or, at least, he was pressed in his mind with the difficulties and objections started by the Jews that were with him in the court.
Behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm . . . with great graciousness is the making of the Heaven and the Earth ascribed to the mighty power of God; for nothing short of God’s Almighty power could have produced such a remarkable work as the heavens, with all the host of them, sun, moon, and stars, the terraqueous (part land, part sea) globe, meaning the Earth and Sea, with all that in them; and all this produced out of nothing (Gen.1:1), by the sole command and Word of God. With great importance the prophet does begin his prayer with such a description of God; both to encourage and strengthen his faith in him touching the fulfilment of the above prophecy, and to stop the mouths of the Jews, who objected to the impossibility of it.
And there is nothing too hard for thee . . . or hidden from thee; which His wisdom and knowledge did not reach, or His power could not touch. He is too wonderful for words; there is nothing that has so much of the wonderful in it, as to be above the compass of His understanding, and out of the reach of His power, as such things which are beyond the power and ability of men. There is no such thing with God, whose understanding is unsearchable, and His power irresistible; with Him nothing is impossible. Jeremiah praises God's Creative power, as a ground of humility on his part as man, for it is not his part to call the LORD, the Mighty God, to account for His ways.
Jer. 32:18 Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name, (KJV)
Thou showest lovingkindness unto thousands . . . the words are, in part, an echo from (Ex 20:6), yet more from the revelation of the Divine glory in: Ex. 34:6-7 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. (KJV)
And recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them . . . they recognize the laws of a righteous revenge, working even through the seeming injustice of that visiting the sins of the fathers upon the children which is inseparable from the continuity of family or national life, and which had been mimicked in the sour grapes proverb of (Jer. 31:29).
The Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name . . . in the Mighty God we have the reproduction of the Name used by Isaiah in his great Messianic prediction (Isa. 9:6).
*****In a way, this prayer of Jeremiah's is an honor and a praise of God. In reality, Jeremiah is not asking God for anything, he is talking with God on a level above the understanding of common man. Jeremiah realizes that even though God is a God of great love, He is also a God of perfect justice. Jeremiah was expressing the absolute greatness of God above any common man, when He says the Great, Mighty God, LORD of hosts, is His Name.
Jer. 32:19 Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings: (KJV)
Great in counsel, and mighty in work . . . counsel belongs to Him, and He does all things after the counsel of His will, all things in nature, providence, and grace; and such a display of His wisdom there is in all things, that show Him to be excellent in counsel; to excel all others; not only to be great, but to be the greatest in counsel; and who on a regular basis, perfectly performs all that He has wisely planned. His wisdom and His power are equal to each other; He forms the pattern of all that He does with the greatest wisdom, and accomplishes by His power all that He has determined in His eternal mind
For thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men. . . all their thoughts, schemes, plans and purposes; all their words and actions, every step they take, whether good or bad, they are all before Him, and are clear to Him. He is God all-knowing, all-seeing, as well as God all-powerful; and He does not look on men, and their ways and works, as an idle spectator or uncaring person, as unconcerned at what they do, letting them pass without calling them to account for them, or without passing any judgment on them, or sentence concerning them . . . no, He is the Judge of all the Earth, and He sits in the highest Heaven and observes what is done on Earth, and judges accordingly.
To give everyone according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings . . . good things to good men for Christ Jesus's sake; and evil things to evil men, according to the just failing of their sins and transgressions.
Jer. 32:20 Which hast set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even unto this day, and in Israel, and among other men; and hast made thee a name, as at this day; (KJV)
Which hast set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even unto this day . . . the prophet here descends to the specific instances of the power, wisdom and goodness of God; and begins with the miracles done in Egypt, the plagues inflicted on the Egyptians for refusing to let Israel go. These things were set among them, they were true and real things, and clear to everyone; there was no deception in them, and the remembrance of them continued among the Egyptians to the times of the prophet. The tradition of what was done was handed down among them to the time of Jeremiah.
And in Israel, and amongst other men . . . that is, signs and wonders were set among the Israelites, or done for them; such as bringing them out of Egypt; leading them through the Red Sea as on dry land (Ex.14:21, 29; 15:19); feeding them in the wilderness with manna
(Ex.16:15, 31, 33, 35), they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan, and quails (Ex.16:13; Num.11:31-32; Ps.105:40). He subdued their enemies, and settled them in the land of Canaan; and in other nations. Very wonderful things have been done in one age after another.
And hast made thee a name as at this day . . . He got praise, honor and glory, in Egypt, in Israel, and in other nations because of the good He had done for them.
Jer. 32:21 And hast brought forth thy people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs, and with wonders, and with a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with great terror; (KJV)
And hast brought forth thy people Israel of the land of Egypt . . . as He promised Abraham, hundreds of years before, that they would come out from there; where they had been as bondsmen, even though they were the LORD'S peculiar people (Deu.14:2; 26:18; Tit.2:14; 1 Pet.2:9); and this was His own doing, because they could not deliver themselves; the enemy would not let them go until He was forced to do it by the LORD’S s superior power.
With signs and with wonders . . . which He did for them at the time of their deliverance, slaying the firstborn; and at the Red Sea, and in the wilderness, after He brought them out of Egypt, and before their settlement in the land of Canaan; and so these may be considered as distinctive from the signs and wonders in the land of Egypt before mentioned.
And with a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm . . . with great power, and so delivered the Israelites from them that were stronger than they; with a mighty hand, that protected His people; and with a long, outstretched arm, that reached their farthest enemies, and destroyed them.
And with great terror . . . but with great reverence in the Israelites, who saw the power and majesty of Almighty God; and with great terror to Pharaoh and his army, when they saw the waters return and overwhelm them; and to all the nations round about, when they heard of it (Deu.4:34).
Jer. 32:22 And hast given them this land, which thou didst swear to their fathers to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey; (KJV)
And hast given them this land, which thou didst swear to their fathers to give them . . . Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; so that God was faithful to His Word, kept His Covenant and Oath; and the faithfulness of God is observed and acknowledged by the prophet, along with all the other perfections of God before taken notice of. The land of Canaan was a Land of Promise (Heb.11:9), confirmed by an oath, and was the gift of God to the Israelites, and not by any merit of theirs. It was given to them by the LORD who had a right to dispose of it as He desired, and could give them a good title to it, and which they had; even though before it had been in the possession of others, who for their wickedness were driven out.
A land flowing with milk and honey . . . it abounded in abundance of all good things, for the provisions and comfort of human life; a very frequent description of the land of Canaan, and also expresses the great kindness and goodness of God Israel.
Jer. 32:23 And they came in, and possessed it; but they obeyed not thy voice, neither walked in thy law; they have done nothing of all that thou commandedst them to do: therefore thou hast caused all this evil to come upon them: (KJV)
And they came in and possessed it . . . after forty years travel in the wilderness; they entered into it with Joshua at the head of them, and the LORD with them; giving victory over the Canaanites, who were soon subdued; and the Israelites with little trouble settled in their land, which was divided to them by lot, and possessed as their inheritance.
But they obeyed not thy voice . . . although they promised at Sinai they would, and even though they were so grateful by the goodness of God to them; this shows the great ingratitude in them.
Neither walked in thy law . . . not the moral, ceremonial and judicial Law, given as the rule of their obedience; but they did NOT walk according to it.
They have done nothing of all that thou commandedst them to do . . . instead they did evil and their punishment was equal with their sin. The result of violating the Covenant was to receive the curses of the Covenant (Lev. 26:14-33; Deut. 28:15-29:28). They were not only deficient in some things, but in all things; they not only broke some of the laws of God, but all of them; there was not one law, one command, observed by them as it should have been; and yet these people were always inclined to to establish their own righteousness, and seek justification by it.
Therefore thou hast caused all this evil to come upon them . . . the Chaldean army, now besieging them; and the famine and pestilence among them; which was the righteous judgments of God upon them for their sins.
Jer. 32:24 Behold the mounts, they are come unto the city to take it; and the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans, that fight against it, because of the sword, and of the famine, and of the pestilence: and what thou hast spoken is come to pass; and, behold, thou seest it. (KJV)
Behold, the mounts, they are come unto the city, to take it . . . these were ramparts or batteries or mounds that were erected against the city, to annoy it. Some take these to be engines from which they cast out stones; and others suppose them to be battering rams, used to break down the walls of the city; whatever they were, they now were brought near the city to make way for the Chaldeans to enter into it, and take it.
And the city is given into the hands of the Chaldeans that fight against it . . . not only was it the purpose of God that it should be, but it was plain that the LORD had withdrawn His protection from it, and that the city was indefensible. It was impossible that it should hold out long, because of the following reasons:
Because of the sword, and of the famine, and of the pestilence . . . the sword of the Chaldeans destroyed those that attacked them, or tried to make their escape; and the famine and pestilence, made such ravages, and weakened them, that they would never be able to stand it out against the enemy very long, but must surrender.
And what thou hast spoken is come to pass . . . what was foretold by the prophets, and by Jeremiah himself, was now being fulfilled.
And, behold, thou seest it . . . therefore he had no need to dwell any longer on this subject; only he hints what follows, as having some difficulty in it on his own account.
Jer. 32:25 And thou hast said unto me, O Lord GOD, Buy thee the field for money, and take witnesses; for the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans. (KJV)
And thou hast said to me, O Lord GOD . . . the country all around is in the hand of the enemy, and the city is as good as delivered up to them, yet God had given me such orders, as follows:
Buy thee a field for money, and take witnesses . . . for although these words were not expressly said to him by the LORD; yet it is as He told him that his uncle's son would come to him, and propose the selling of his field to him; and as a result did come, which agreed to the Word of the LORD; Jeremiah understood it as the will of the LORD, that he should buy it before witnesses; which he did, as before stated.
For the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans . . . although the city is given, yet thou hast said so: now by this the prophet suggests, that although he had obeyed the divine order, as he should have done, yet there was some difficulty in his mind; or there were some objections. How can these things be reconciled; that he should be ordered to buy a field at such a time as this, and thereby indicate that fields and vineyards should be bought and possessed in the land, and yet the city was just going to be surrendered into the hands of the Chaldeans. Although we are bound to follow God with an implicit obedience, yet we should make an effort that it may be more an intelligent obedience. We must never dispute God's statutes and judgments, but we may and should enquire: What do You mean by these statutes and judgments? (Deu. 6:20).
Jeremiah is no hypocrite. He trusts the God who made Heaven and Earth, the God who had so wonderfully cared for Israel. But now the Chaldeans are right outside the city and are going to take it; yet God told Jeremiah to buy a field. He obeyed, but it didn't make sense to him. So he brings his question to the LORD. There is nothing wrong with asking why. If you have a doubt or a question, talk to the LORD about it. That is what He wants us to do. We should be honest like Jeremiah. He obeyed the LORD, but he admitted his doubts, taking them to the LORD in prayer.
*****Jeremiah prayed to the LORD . . . and what a prayer it is! It is a prayer of weight of substance, stimulating expression, deep adoration and worship. It is sincerely earnest, powerful in its pleading, and reveals his strength of faith! It is historical, without being dull, compressed, without being vague, confessing the greatest of crimes against the Most Righteous of Beings, without being hopeless of His mercy, or taking His goodness for granted. It is a confession that recognizes and admits that God's justice should smite and destroy, had not His infinite goodness said, I will pardon and spare.
God's First Answer (32:26-35)
Jer. 32:26 Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying, (KJV)
Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah . . . this is an answer to the prophet's prayer, and especially the last part of it; showing the consistency of the destruction of the city with his purchase of a field, and with God's Promise of fields and vineyards being purchased and possessed again; and how each of these would be brought about:
Saying . . . as follows:
Jer. 32:27 Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me? (KJV)
Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh . . . behold is to excite attention, to take notice of what was said; to encourage faith, and remove doubts and difficulties; the Almighty LORD God, the Self-Existent Being, that gives being to all creatures; and is above all, the God of all men, the Maker and Preserver of them, and Who provides for them. Mankind are called flesh, to mean their weakness and corruption, how unworthy of the divine favor they are, and how they are unable to resist His will, or hinder or stop the performance of His purposes. For if the LORD God is the Being of all beings; if He is the God and Governor of the world, and all men in it, what is it that He cannot do?
Is there anything too hard for me?. . . suggesting, that even though the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed, and the people carried captive, yet He could return them again to their own land; where they would purchase fields and vineyards, and possess them as before. Is there anything hidden from me? Can anything unexpected arise to hinder the fulfilment of Promises and Prophecies? NO! Nothing can, because all things are in view before the LORD continually! Is there anything too wonderful for me? That which is too wonderful for men, and is beyond their comprehension, and their faith . . . yet it is not so with Almighty God.
Jer. 32:28 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the Chaldeans, and into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and he shall take it: (KJV)
Therefore thus saith the Lord, behold, I will give this city into the hand of the Chaldeans . . . as the LORD had foretold by the prophet, and was now going to be fulfilled. Here the LORD repeats and confirms the first of the two things which seemed inconsistent; the destruction of the city by the Chaldeans, who were now besieging it, and into whose hands it would certainly come.
And into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon . . . who was now before it with his army.
And he shall take it . . . and be master of it. The LORD would give it to him, that he may take it; which he could NOT do, even with his powerful army, had not the LORD delivered it into his hands.
Jer. 32:29 And the Chaldeans, that fight against this city, shall come and set fire on this city, and burn it with the houses, upon whose roofs they have offered incense unto Baal, and poured out drink offerings unto other gods, to provoke me to anger. (KJV)
And the Chaldeans, that fight against this city, shall come . . . or shall enter, for they had come to it already, and were fighting against it, battering the walls, and throwing in their arrows, and putting to the sword such as came out, or were within their reach.
And set fire on this city . . . as they did (Jer.39:8).
And burn it, with the houses, upon whose roofs they have offered incense unto Baal . . . or especially the houses particularly mentioned in the history of the destruction as burnt; and which, most likely, are here intended; besides the LORD'S House, and all the houses in Jerusalem, and the king's house, and the houses of the great men or princes; and which were higher than others; on which they burnt incense to Baal. It was a just retaliation, upon them that they should be burnt with fire.
And poured out drink offerings unto other gods, to provoke me to anger . . . to other gods, rather than the TRUE God; to strange gods, and to other gods besides Baal; which was done as if they really wanted to provoke the LORD; as if they had it in mind to insult and disrespect Him.
Jer. 32:30 For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have only done evil before me from their youth: for the children of Israel have only provoked me to anger with the work of their hands, saith the LORD. (KJV)
For the children of Israel and the children of Judah . . . the former are mentioned, as well as the latter, although they had been carried captive some years ago, to justify the dealings of God with them; and besides, there were some of the ten tribes that remained, and were mingled with the tribes of Judah and Benjamin: of all which it is said, that they,
Have only done evil before me from their youth . . . being conceived in sin, and shapen in iniquity (Ps.51:5); and so being destitute of the grace of God, did nothing but sin all their days, as is said of the men of the old world (Gen.6:5). Some understand this, from the time of their becoming a people, or from the time of their coming out of Egypt, and being in the wilderness, when their idolatry began, which they brought out of Egypt; or from the time of the judges.
For the children of Israel have only provoked me to anger with the work of their hands, saith the LORD . . . with their idols, made by their own hands; these they worshipped instead of their Creator and Benefactor; which had to be very provoking indeed!
Jer. 32:31 For this city hath been to me as a provocation of mine anger and of my fury from the day that they built it even unto this day; that I should remove it from before my face, (KJV)
For this city hath been tame as a provocation of mine anger and of my fury . . . the LORD had been provoked to anger and wrath by their sins, to have destroyed the city long ago, but He had postponed it to this time. The inhabitants of this city had always been a provoking people to Him; and He had thought to have poured out His wrath and fury upon them,
From the day they built it, even unto this day . . . when built and inhabited by the idolatrous Canaanites; possessed by the Jebusites; rebuilt by David; beautified with the Temple and other stately buildings by Solomon, who was drawn to it, to idolatry by his wives. It is a tradition of the Jews, that the same day that the foundation of the Temple was laid, Solomon married Pharaoh's daughter; and which was the foundation of his idolatry; and which was more or less practiced in every reign afterwards, to this time; and which so provoked the LORD, that He took up this resolution early, although He did not put it in execution; which expressed as follows.
That I should remove it from before my face . . . as a man does with that which is nauseous and abominable to him; meaning the removing the inhabitants of it into other lands, or causing them to go into captivity.
Jer. 32:32 Because of all the evil of the children of Israel and of the children of Judah, which they have done to provoke me to anger, they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. (KJV)
Because of all the evil of the children of Israel and of the children of Judah . . . His anger and fury were because of their sins, and so was His carrying them captive.
Which they have done to provoke me to anger . . . which was done, as to deliberately provoke Him; and which was done not by just a few of them, but by all of them; not by just the common people, but by men of every rank and order, from the lowest to the highest.
They, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets . . . their kings, princes, priests and false prophets, ALL the inhabitants of the land, both in city and country.
And the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem . . . the city of the nation; the seat of the kings of Judah; and where the Temple was, the priests ministered, and the prophets taught, and the people came up to worship.
Jer. 32:33 And they have turned unto me the back, and not the face: though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction. (KJV)
And they have turned unto me the back, and not the face . . . when He reproved them for their sins; called them to repentance; instructed them in their duty; and warned them of the dangers they exposed themselves to; instead of turning their face to Him, as scholars to their masters, and as subjects to their prince, to listen to what was said to them; they turned their backs to Him, expressing their contempt, and showing great disrespect and scorn.
Though I taught them, rising up early, and teaching them . . . by His prophets, whom He sent to them when they first began to practice idolatry; so careful was the LORD of them; so diligent to instruct them, and prevent their ruin.
Yet have not hearkened, to receive instruction . . . or correction, as to repent of their sins, reform and amend their ways (Jer.7:13).
Jer. 32:34 But they set their abominations in the house, which is called by my name, to defile it. (KJV)
But they set their abominations in the house . . . their idols, which were abominable to the LORD, and should have been so to them. They placed these idols in the House (which is called by My Name), to defile it; in the Temple; as did Ahaz, Manasseh and others.
Which is called by my name, to defile it . . . Jer. 7:30 For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the LORD: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it. (KJV)
Jer. 32:35 And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. (KJV)
And they built the high places of Baal . . . which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, To cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech . . . which I commanded them not to do, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. Cause their sons ... to pass through the fire . . . by way of purification, they passed through with bare feet (Lev.18:21). Molech, meaning king; is the same as Milcom (1 Ki.11:33).
Which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind . . . I commanded not. This cuts off from the superstitious the plea of a good intention (Col. 2:18, 23).
Neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin . . . Jer. 19:6 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter. (KJV) . . . For the LORD, by His prophet, threatened that this place, anciently in Joshua's time, called The valley of the son of Hinnom, and more recently Tophet, from the noise of drums and tabrets there, while children were burning, would have a new name, and be called The valley of slaughter, because of the multitude of dead bodies that there would be there after the taking of the city, they would be slain and thrown into this valley. It was explained: Jer. 7:32-34 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter: for they shall bury in Tophet, till there be no place. 33 And the carcases of this people shall be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth; and none shall fray them away. 34 Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate. (KJV)
To cause Judah to sin . . . which some understand of the children of Israel, who first began this practice, and seduced and drew the children of Judah into it; but rather it seems to mean the kings, princes, priests, prophets and inhabitants of Jerusalem, who by their example, led the people of the LORD into the same practice.
God's Second Answer (32:36-44)
Jer. 32:36 And now therefore thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city, whereof ye say, It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence; (KJV)
And now therefore thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city . . . the Jews now began to see that the Chaldeans would take the city, and to be as hard-hearted as before they were full of courage, and to give over themselves for ever as lost.
Whereof ye say, it shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence . . . for, by these things, by the consumption that was made by them, they saw their case was desperate; and that there was no avoiding falling into the hands of the Chaldeans; thus, for the comfort of the LORD'S own people among them, the following things are said; most of which respect the Gospel dispensation, either the beginning or latter end of it.
Jer. 32:37 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: (KJV)
Behold, I will gather them out of all countries . . . at the end of the seventy years' captivity; and which will have a greater accomplishment in the latter day, when the Jews shall be converted, and gathered from their present dispersion all over the Earth.
Whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath . . . or where I shall drive them, for as yet they were not as yet driven and dispersed. So many words are used to express the greatness of the LORD'S anger at them for their sins, which was the cause of their removal from the land.
And I will bring them again unto this place . . . the city of Jerusalem; as they were at the end of the seventy years' captivity; and when the Promise was fulfilled, that they would purchase and possess fields and vineyards; and as they will do at the time of their conversion in the latter day.
And I will cause them to dwell safely . . . which yet they did not for any time after their return from Babylon; being often molested by the Persians, Macedonians and Egyptians; and at last destroyed by the Romans, so this refers either to the first times of the Gospel, and to the Jews that then believed in Christ; or to times yet to come, and which are prophesied of here.
Jer. 32:38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: (KJV)
And they shall be my people, and I will be their God . . . a complete summary of the covenant of grace, which shall be made known to the Jews at the time of their conversion, and the blessings of it applied to them, and bestowed on them; though now just a loammi (Hos.1:9), is written on them (Jer.30:21).
Hosea 1:9 Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God. (KJV) . . . God is speaking to the prophet, as before (Hos.1:4,6). The name of this new-born son, the sign or type of the ten tribes, who had rejected God, and would not be reclaimed. "Lo-ammi" . . . not my people; even though once they were a "peculiar people" (Ex.19:5; Deut.14:2; 26:18; Ps.135:4; Tit.2:14; 1 Pet.2:9), they were no more, they are cast off as they deserved.
For ye are not my people . . . meaning the whole house of apostate Israel, who first cast off the house of David and God's Temple, and at last rejected God. Although they were circumcised (Gen. 17:10-14), they cast off God's covenant. They neither worshipped God, nor came up to His Temple, nor kept His Law. Baal, the golden calves and the idols of their neighbors were their gods. Although God had chosen them to be His people above all people, and had distinguished them from others by many kinds of blessings and privileges; yet they did not behave as such to Him. They did NOT serve, did NOT obey, and did NOT worship Him, but instead worshipped the ridiculous calves at Dan and Bethel. Therefore they did NOT deserve to be called "His people" (Ps.14:7; 29:11; 33:12; 94:14; 100:3; 149:4). "For ye are not my people" . . . because they did NOT confirm the words of God's Law, His Word would NOT be their help. It should burden our soul . . . for Israel and for ALL people who abandon God.
And I will not be your God . . . God would not behave toward them as their God. He would not take them under His care and protection (Ps.91:4). He would not be their King and Defender, but give them up into the hands of their enemies. This could refer to the captivity of the ten tribes by Shalmaneser (2 Ki.17:6-7).
Jer. 32:39 And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: (KJV)
And I will give them one heart and one way . . . one heart, all of them seeking the LORD with unity, in contrast to their state when only scattered individuals sought Him (Eze.11:19-20; Zep.3:9). One and the same heart; truly converted persons, be they Jews or Gentiles, they have the same experience; they all have a sight and sense of sin, and how evil sin really is; they are led to Christ Jesus for life and eternal salvation; and are made partakers of precious Promises. They all have the same things placed in their hearts; the Laws of God are written there; the doctrines of the Gospel are there; the Spirit of Christ is given to them (John 14:16-18); the fruits of the Spirit are implanted, love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and self-control (Gal.5:22-23). Their new heart, is given to them at conversion, is a sincere and upright heart, and they serve and worship God with true hearts.
That they may fear me for ever . . . the one heart will be given them to fear and reverence the LORD inwardly; and to fear or serve Him outwardly, and in which they shall always continue; there will be no betrayal, no disloyalty, no desertion, no heresy from the true grace of God, and no defection from His worship to superstition and idolatry.
For the good of them, and of their children after them . . . for the good of them Ps.34:12-15). The one heart means harmony of heart; sincerity and uprightness of soul. It means walking in the way of the LORD; having His honor and glory before their eyes, and on their hearts, which will result in spiritual good here and eternal happiness hereafter.
Jer. 32:40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. (KJV)
And I will make an everlasting covenant with them . . . (Jer.31:31, 33; Isa.55:3), which is made known and clear at conversion; when the grace of it is applied; the blessings of it bestowed; and the Promises of it made good. It is said to be made; for the covenant of grace spoken of here was made from all eternity with Christ, and His people; as appears from His being set up as the Mediator so early, and from the blessings and promises of it. It is founded on the everlasting love of God, and is according to His eternal purpose; and is none other than an eternal transaction between the Father and the Son concerning the salvation of His elect; and which will last forever, and never be outdated, as the covenant under the former dispensation was; and which shows that this respects Gospel times.
That I will not turn away from them to do them good . . . (Isa.30:21). The LORD God compares Himself to a zealous teacher following His pupils everywhere. He may withdraw His gracious Presence for a while; but He NEVER turns from His love and affections to His people; nor from His gracious purposes concerning them; nor from His Promises to them. He will NEVER utterly leave them and forsake them (Heb.13:5), or cease to do them good.
But I will put my fear in their hearts . . . which is not naturally in the hearts of men; and, where it is, it is put there by the LORD, and is a blessing of the covenant. This fear (reverence) appears in those who truly see their sin, as they humble themselves, and depend on the LORD. They have a respectful affection for Him: and a true and spiritual worship of Him; and which secures them from a final and total apostasy from Him.
That they shall not depart from me . . . not depart from me . . . this has never yet been fully realized in the Israelites. Not depart from me . . . both the conversion and perseverance of the saints are the work of God alone, by the process of the Holy Spirit.
Jer. 32:41 Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul. (KJV)
Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good . . . rejoice over them (Deu.30:9; Isa. 62:5; 65:19; Zep.3:17).
And I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul . . . plant them . . . permanently, forever (Jer. 24:6; Am. 9:15).
*****He will plant His covenant people, to whom He gives one heart and one way, and who have His fear implanted in them, and shall never depart from Him, but shall persevere to the end. These He loves with a love of satisfaction and delight. He rejoices over them, not as considered in themselves, but as in Christ. He rejoices over them, as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride. He does them good, and with the utmost joy and pleasure. He delights in showing mercy to them. He beautifies them with salvation, and takes pleasure in their success. He has good thoughts and purposes concerning them in His Heart and has promised good things to them in His Covenant. He has provided good things for them in His Son, and bestows them on them in regeneration. He constantly supplies them with His grace, and will withhold no good thing from them (Ps.84:11), until He has brought them to glory. All this, He does cheerfully and with the utmost delight.
Assuredly means in truth, in fact, in reality. It refers to God's firm purpose, rather than to the safety and security of the people. The new covenant is one of grace, indicated by God's rejoicing over His people, and planting them with His whole heart. He will not only do them good, but He will take pleasure and delight in doing them good. And He will certainly bring them to this land, and continually and freely do them good when they shall be there. See Special Comments in Jeremiah Chapter 31, for more on regeneration.
Jer. 32:42 For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them. (KJV)
For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people . . . the Chaldean army now surrounding them, the famine and pestilence among them, as well as their captivity, which was just at hand and certain.
So will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them . . . in the preceding verses; as being their God, and they His people; giving them one heart, and one way, putting His fear into them and causing them to persevere to the end. God is just as faithful to His Promises as He is to His threats. Anyone who has seen the fulfilment of the one, can be assured of the other. For if He has done all the evil things He threatened to do, which are His acts of justice, much more will He do the good things He has promised, which are His acts of lovingkindness and mercy, in which He delights. God has brought all this evil upon them to make them repent, and when that is done, He will pour out His blessings upon them. God NEVER never breaks a Promise. When He says something, you can count on it.
*****These Promises shall as surely be performed, just as surely as the foregoing threats were; and the accomplishment of those threats. As God has brought all this great evil upon them, following the warnings and threats, and for the glory of divine justice, so too I will bring upon them all this good, following the Promise, for the glory of divine mercy. As Almighty God is faithful to His threats, so too He will much more be so to His Promises to do good. He will comfort His people according to the time that He has afflicted them. The churches shall have rest after the days of adversity.
Jer. 32:43 And fields shall be bought in this land, whereof ye say, It is desolate without man or beast; it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans. (KJV)
And fields shall be bought in this land, whereof ye say . . . (vs. 15).
It is desolate without man or beast . . . it is desolate (Jer. 33:10).
It is given into the hand of the Chaldeans . . . life will return to normal in the land, and property will be bought in the aftermath of the desolation. Jeremiah's purchase of the field, like Abraham's purchase of the field and cave (Gen.23), is an earnest of the future. It is an act of faith founded on God's gracious Promises.
*****All of the above was said to tell Jeremiah as to why God told him to buy the land. It was an act of absolute faith in the Promise that God would restore the land to them. Jeremiah was to buy the land in bad times to give the people hope that God would restore them to their land. In the natural, it seemed foolish to buy this land that had neither man nor beast. God knew that would change.
Jer. 32:44 Men shall buy fields for money, and subscribe evidences, and seal them, and take witnesses in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, and in the cities of the mountains, and in the cities of the valley, and in the cities of the south: for I will cause their captivity to return, saith the LORD. (KJV)
Men shall buy fields for money . . . they shall have plenty of money, and they shall put it in land, and cultivate the ground, which had lain long untilled, but now would be used for public as well as private good. This some understand of particular churches planted in Judea and throughout the whole world; and of men's gathering and joining themselves to them by a profession of that faith which is more precious than gold or silver.
And subscribe evidences, and seal them, and take witnesses . . . as Jeremiah had done before, when he bought the field of his uncle's son (vs.10). This is spiritually understood by some of the Word of God laid hold on by faith; and of the sealing of the Spirit, and of the ordinances of the Gospel.
In the land of Benjamin . . . where Anathoth was, and Jeremiah's field lay; and where the same would be done by others as was done by him.
And in the places about Jerusalem . . . in the suburbs of it, and in the villages round about it.
And in the cities of Judah . . . throughout the whole country, divided into the three following parts:
And in the cities of the mountains . . . in the hilly country of Judea, where was Hebron, and other cities (Luke 1:39).
And in the cities of the valley . . . or the plain, in which were Emmaus, Lydda, Sharon, places mentioned in the New Testament.
And in the cities of the south . . . or Nagab, the south part of Judea, which led to Gaza (Acts 8:26). This division of Judea into the mountains, valley, and south, agrees exactly with the account of it in Joshua 15:21. Some understand this of the Gospel going out of Jerusalem after the day of Pentecost, not only to the places near that city, but to Samaria, and the cities of the south towards Egypt, and so into all the world.
For I will cause their captivity to return, saith the LORD . . . their temporal captivity from Babylon, and their spiritual captivity from sin, Satan, and the law.
*****Jeremiah now understands why the LORD commanded him to buy the field offered to him by Hanameel in Anathoth in the lot of Benjamin. It was to assure him, that even though the Chaldeans, at present shall prevail against Jerusalem, and the Jews shall be carried into captivity, and the Jews shall neither buy nor sell here at present, yet fields shall here be bought again. Men shall buy, and sell, and seal titles in all parts of Judea, as they were accustomed to do in former times, for they shall return again from the captivity of Babylon into their own land, and have business one with another as before.
Jeremiah's purchase was a purchase as an example of better days to come. All of the procedures Jeremiah went through to buy the land would be the order of the day when the land was restored. It was a physical example of the fulfilling of the prophecy God had given Jeremiah. It was saying what God has promised and it will be so.
Book of Jeremiah
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