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In which we have an account of Jeremiah's imprisonment ; his com.
plaint to God; the prophecy of the captivity is confirmed ; and the promise of a gracious return.
THE word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the
1 tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which (was] the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, and one year before the de2 struction of Jerusalem. For then the king of Babylon's army be
sieged Jerusalem : and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in
the court of the prison, which (was] in the king of Judah's 3 house. 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 Baby
lon, and he shall take it, and so dishearten the people from defend. 4 ing it ; 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 ; he shall see him 5 look with fierceness and indignation ; And he shall lead Zedeki
ah to Babylon, and there shall he be until I visit hin, or his pos terity, saith the LORD : though ye fight with the Chaldeans,
ye shall not prosper. 6 And Jeremiah said, The word of the LORD came unto me, 7 saying, Behold, Hanameel the son of Shallum thine uncle shall
come unto thee, saying, Buy thee my field that [is] in Anathoth, which was three miles from Jerusalem, so that it was now in the power of the Chaldeans : for the right of redemption [is] thine to buy (it.] 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, and done by 9 his special direction. 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 ; about forty shillings. 10 And I subscribed the evidence, and sealed [it,) and took wito Il nesses, and weighed [him) the money in the balances. So I
took the evidence of the purchase, (both) that which was sealed [according) to the law and custom, and [that which was] open ;
the original and counterpart, or the deed of assignment that was 12 sealed, and the certificate of the witnesses : And I gave the evi
dence 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. 13 14 And I charged Baruch before them, saying, 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 ; may be hid under ground for greater 15 security, and produced after the captivity. For thus saith the
LORD of hosts, the God of Israel ; Houses and fields and vine
yards shall be possessed again in this land. 16 Now when I had delivered the evidence of the purchase un to 17 Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed unto the LORD,* saying, Ah - Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth
by thy great power and stretched out arm, [and] there is nothing 18 too hard for thee : Thou showest loving kindness unto thou.
sands, and recompenses the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom
of their children after them : the Great, the Mighty God, the 19 LORD of hosts, [is] his name, Great in counsel, and mighty in
work, or execution : for thine eyes (are] open upon all the ways
of the sons of men : to give every one according to his ways, 20 and according to the fruit of his doings : Which hast set signs
and wonders in the land of Egypt, which are remembered, [even) ' unto this day, and in Israel, and among (other) men, the na
tious round about, and hast made thee a name, as at this day ; 21 And hast brought forth thy people Israel out of the land of
Egypt with signs, and with wonders, and with a strong hand, 22 and with a stretched out arm, and with great terror ; And hast
given them this land, which thou didst swear to their fathers to 23 give them, a land flowing with milk and honey ; And they came
in, and possessed it ; but they obeyed not thy voice, neither walked in thy law; they have done nothing, comparatively,
of all that thou commandedst them to do : therefore thou hast 24 caused all this evil to come upon them : 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.) 35. And thou hast said unto me, () Lord Gon, Buy thee the field
for money ; and take witnesses; for, or although, the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and therefore I have no prospect
of enjoying it. 26 37 Then came the word of LORD unto Jeremiah, saying, Be
hold, I [ain] the LORD, the God of all flesh : Is there any thing
too hard for me? I can easily surmount all the difficulties thou 28 foreseest. Therefore thus saith the LORD ; Behold, I will give
this city into the hand of the Chaldeans, and into the hand of 29 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he shall take it : 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
• Jeremiah did as God commanded him, but he wanted to understand this mysteriors providence ; perhaps he thought that the threatening was revoked, and therefore prayed to God for an explanation.
unto other gods, in the most open, audacious manner, to provoke -50 me to anger. For the children of Israel and the children of Ju
dah have only done evil before me from their youth ; for the chil
dren of Israel have only provoked me to anger with the work of 31 their hands, saith the Lord. For this city hath been to me (as)
à provocation of mine anger and of my fury from the day that they built it, from Solomon's time, when it was beautified and complered; then their idolatry began, and has continued even unto
this day ; that I should remove it from before my face ; there. 32 fore I will withdraw my protection from it, Because of all the eyil
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, 33 and inhabitants of Jerusalem. 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 hearkeded to re34 ceive instruction. But they set their abominations in the house, 35 which is called by my name, to defile it. 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. 36 And now therefore thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel,
concerning this city, whereof ye say, in the language of despuir, It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, to be
destroyed by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pesti37 lence ; 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 38 cause them to dwell safely : And they shall be my people, and 39 I will be their God: And I will give them one heart, and one
way, a new heart, no more divided between God and idols, that
they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their 40 children after them: 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 41 depart from me. 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 goul ; with a true and lasting affec42 tion. 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 ; I will be as fairhful to my 43 promises as I have been to my threatenings. And fields shall be
bought in this land, whereof ye say, [It is) desolate without 44 man or beast ; it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans. Men
shall buy fields for money, and subscribe evidences, and seal [them, 7 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, add a the cites of the south : for I will cause their captivity to return, saith the LORD ; they shall have such plenty of money, such a flourishing trade and husbandry, that they shall buy lands, not only about Jerusalem and other cities, but all over the country.
1. TROM the circumstances of the prophet's purchase we
T may learn, that it is a matter of prudence and duty to be honest, punctual, and open in bargains and sales. To have them done by the best advice, before competent and sensible witnesses, and to keep the deeds safe. This is necessary for the peace and prosperity of purchasers and their posterity. It is much to be lamented that a most useful act for registering deeds was laid aside by the artifice of those who make a figure, without substance to support it; or who live by the failures of deeds, and the doubtful ness of titles. A wise man guidcth his affairs with discretion,
2. It is very desirable to know the full meaning and extent of God's will ; whether by his word or providence. It is our duty, like Jeremiah, implicitly to obey the divine commands, however made known to us. Yet we may humbly desire to know their meaning, as our obedience in that case will be more ready and cheerful ; and therefore it becomes us to look to God by prayer, that he would show us what and why he requires of us. If any man lack wisdom, let him ask it of God.
3. In the most gloomy prospects it is good to dwell on the di. vine perfections and promises ; both to promote our reverence and patience, and encourage our hope. Jeremiah mentions those perfections of God in his prayer which have this tendency; and God himself, in his answer, reminds hin of them. And this answer shows us, that he can retrieve national affairs, and revive the interests of his church when it is at the lowest ebb. He can likewise revive his work in our souls ; for nothing is too hard for him. What he did for Israel, and what he hath promised to do for his people, are sufficient grounds for thankfulness and cheerful expectation.
4. A change of heart and life, are necessary to the acquisition of the divine favour and acceptance. When God promises the Jews a happy return to and prosperity in their land, he proniises to give them one heart, and to put his fear within them. And thus must our hearts be one ; entirely devoted to God ; and not divided between him and the world, or any creature. Our obedience must be en tire and hearty ; and we must, in order to this, seek to God, that he would implant good dispositions and principles in us ; and unike our hearts to fear his name. Then he quill do us good, and that with all his heart and soul, and at length bless us with an inheritance in the heavenly country, incorruprible, undefiled, and that fadeth 7:06 kway.
In which God promises the Jews a gracious return from captivity, a
settled government, and, in due time, Christ the Branch of righteousness. IMPOREOVER the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah
1 1 the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court 2 of the prison, saying, Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof,
of Zion and Jerusalem, the LORD that formed it, to establish or 3 regulate it ; the Lord is his name; Call unto me, and I will
answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not; an expression of God's favour to the prophet and of his kindness to his people ; as if he had said, I will make further discoveries of my kind intentions to Israel, not only in their return from captivity, but in the blessings of the Messiah's kingdom. For thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city, and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah, which are thrown down by the mounts, and by the sword; that is, by engines and mattocks ; (the next verse comes in as a parenthesis
concerning the present state of Jerusalem, and the ruin coming up5 on it ;) They come to fight with the Chaldeans, but (it is] to
fill them with the dead bodies of men, whom I have slain in mine anger and in my fury, and for all whose wickedness I have hid my face from this city; that is, those from the country that come
to attack the besiegers, or the besieged themselves sallying out, will 6 only provoke them to do so much the more mischief. Behold, I will
bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth ; or, I will grant
their prayer for peace and truth; I will restore their captivity, 7 and heal their civil and spiritual disorders. And I will cause the
captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will 8 build them as at the first. And I will cleanse them from all
their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me; I will remit the hunish. 9 ment of their iniquities. And it shall be to me a name of joy, a
praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it; they shall be struck with religious awe, and give glory to me for whai I have done for them.
Thus saith the LORD; Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say (shall be] desolate, without man, and without beast, [even) in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Je
rusalem, that are desolate, without man and without inhabitant, 11 and without beast, The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness,
the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts; for the LORD Vol. V.