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THE word that came to Jeremias from the Lord in the tenth year of Sedecias king of Juda: the same is eighteenth year of Nabuchodonosor.

Ver. 1.  Tenth.  The city had been besieged about a year, (C. xxxix. 1.) and the prophet continued to admonish the king and people of their fate.  C. xxxiv.  C.

 

--- He bought land, to shew that they should one day return.  W.




2 At that time the army of the king of Babylon besieged Jerusalem: and Jeremias the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison, which was in the house of the king of Juda.

Ver. 2.  Court, at large, so that people might come to him freely.  He was not chained or in prison, as C. xxxvii. 15. and xxxviii. 6. 13.  C.




3 For Sedecias king of Juda had shut him up, saying: Why dost thou prophesy, saying: Thus saith the Lord: Behold I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it?


4 And Sedecias king of Juda shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans: but he shall be delivered into the hands of the king of Babylon: and he shall speak to him mouth to mouth, and his eyes shall see his eyes.

Ver. 4.  Eyes.  They were afterwards put out at Reblatha, (H.) so that he could not see Babylon.  Ezec. xii. 13.  W.

 

--- Sedecias was imprisoned, and buried there by the Jews.  C. xxxiv. 5. and 12.




5 And he shall lead Sedecias to Babylon: and he shall be there till I visit him, saith the Lord. But if you will fight against the Chaldeans, you shall have no success.


6 And Jeremias said: The word of the Lord came to me, saying: 7 Behold, Hanameel the son of Sellum thy cousin shall come to thee, saying: Buy thee my field, which is in Anathoth, for it is thy right to buy it, being akin.

Ver. 7.  Next.  Priests could sell only to their fellow priests.  Lev. xxv. 34.  S. Jer.

 

--- Others might dispose of their landed property to any, until the year of jubilee.  The nearest relation had the first offer, but he was not obliged to purchase.  Jeremias now consented, to shew that the people should return to possess the land, though it was now in the enemy's hands.  C.

 

--- Thus a Roman purchased the land on which Hannibal was encamped, despising his power and threats.  V. Max. iii. 8.  Livy xxvi.  H.



Anathoth

Anathoth was a sacerdotal town in Benjamin. M. --- Anathoth, a village to the north of Jerusalem, to which many priests had retired, though it did not belong to them. C.

8 And Hanameel my uncle's son cam to me, according to the word of the to the entry of the prison, and said me: Buy my held, which is in in the land of Benjamin: for the right of inheritance is thins, and thou art next of kin to possess it. And I understood this was the word of the Lord.

Ver. 8.  Came into the city clandestinely; or rather he entered before the siege.  C.


9 And I bought the held of my uncle's son, that is in Anathoth: and I weighed him the money, seven staters, and ten pieces of silver.

Ver. 9.  Silver.  Heb. "seventeen sicles of silver."  H.

 

--- Coin was not yet used.  C.



Anathoth

Anathoth was a sacerdotal town in Benjamin. M. --- Anathoth, a village to the north of Jerusalem, to which many priests had retired, though it did not belong to them. C.

10 And I wrote it in a book and sealed it, and took witnesses: and I weighed him the money in the balances. 11 And I took the deed of the purchase that was sealed, and the stipulations, and the ratifications with the seals that were on the outside.

Ver. 11.  Outside.  "There was another copy left open for inspection, (v. 14.) which custom still prevails," says S. Jerom.  H.


12 And I gave the deed of the purchase to Baruch the son of Neri the son of Maasias in the sight of Hanameel my uncle's son, in the presence of the witnesses that subscribed the book of the purchase, and before all the Jews that sat in the court of the prison.
13 And I charged Baruch before them, saying: 14 Thus saith the Lord of hosts the God of Israel: Take these writings, this deed of the purchase that is sealed up, and this deed that is open: and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days.

Ver. 14.  Days, safe from dampness, &c.  Thus Origen found a version of the Bible preserved at Jericho.  C.

 

--- After the captivity, the owners shall claim their land.


15 For thus saith the Lord of hosts the God of Israel: Houses, and fields, and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land. 16 And after I had delivered the deed of purchase to Baruch the son of Neri, I prayed to the Lord, saying: 17 Alas, alas, alas, O Lord God, behold thou hast made heaven and earth by thy great power, and thy stretched out arm: no word shall be hard to thee:

Ver. 17.  Alas.  Heb. ahah, ah! only once.  Sept. "O, thou Being, Lord God."  H.

 

--- Hard.  Heb. also, "hidden, wonderful," &c.  C.

 

--- "When the gods perform, nothing appears incredible."  Pindar, Pyt. x.  See v. 27.  Lu. i. 37.  H.


18 Thou shewest mercy unto thousands, and returnest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: O most mighty, great, and powerful, the Lord of hosts is thy name.

Ver. 18.  After them, to the third and fourth generation.  Ex. xxxiv. 7.  His mercy is more exalted.  C.



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19 Great in counsel and incomprehensible in thought: whose eyes are open upon all the ways of the children of Adam, to render unto every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his devices. 20 Who hast set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt even until this day, and in Israel, and amongst men, and hast made thee a name as at this day.

Ver. 20.  Day.  We remember thy ancient miracles, and witness others.




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 a stretched out arm, and with great terror.


22 And best given them this land which thou didst swear to their fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey. 23 And they came in, and possessed it: but they obeyed not thy voice, and they walked not in thy law: and they did not any of those things that thou didst command them to do, and all these evils are come upon them.

Ver. 23.  Any of.  Lit. "all those," which seems better, as he who offends in one, becomes guilty of all; and the Jews certainly had observed some precepts, though they did not persevere unto the end.  H.


24 Behold works are built up against the city to take it: and the city is given into the hands of the Chaldeans, who fight against it, by the sword, and the famine, and the pestilence: and what thou hast spoken, is all come to pass, as thou thyself seest.

Ver. 24.  By.  Lit. "at the presence of the sword," or by its force.  Ps. lix. 6.  W.


25 And sayest thou to me, O Lord God: Buy a field for money, and take witnesses, whereas the city is given into the hands of the Chaldeans?

Ver. 25.  Is given, in the eternal decrees.  v. 28.  H.


26 And the word of the Lord came to Jeremias, saying: 27 Behold I am the Lord the God of all flesh: shall any thing be hard for me? 28 Therefore thus saith the Lord: Behold I will deliver this city into the hands of the Chaldeans, and into the hands of the king of Babylon, and they shall take it.


29 And the Chaldeans that fight against this city, shall come and set it on fire, and burn it, with the houses upon whose roofs they offered sacrifice to Baal, and poured out drink offerings to strange gods, to provoke me to wrath.

Ver. 29.  Baal, the sun, &c.  C. xix. 13.  Soph. i. 5. and 4 K. xxiii. 12.  C.



Baal

Baal (1Chron 4:33), probably identical with Baalath Beer Ramath (Josh 19:8; Simeon), poss. Biâr Mãyîn, or Tell el-Lekiyeh, N. of Bersabee. Baal, or Ballath. Jos. xix. 1.

30 For the children of Israel, and the children of Juda, have continually done evil in my eyes from their youth: the children of Israel who even till now provoke me with the work of their hands, saith the Lord.

Ver. 30.  Continually, (Sym.) "moreover," (Aq.) or "alone."  Sept. and Theodot. v. 23.  H.




31 For this city hath been to me a provocation and indignation from the day that they built it, until this day, in which it shall be taken out of my sight.

Ver. 31.  Built it.  The Jebusites polluted it.  David himself offended, as well as Solomon, and under all the kings many crimes were committed, (C.) which is always the case in large cities.  These general terms only denote a great corruption, tough some would be virtuous.  H.


32 Because of all the evil of the children of Israel, and of the children of Juda, which they have done, provoking me to wrath, they and their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets, the men of Juda, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.


33 And they have turned their backs to me, and not their faces: when I taught them early in the morning, and instructed them, and they would not hearken to receive instruction.

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34 And they have set their idols in the house, in which my name is called upon, to defile it.

Ver. 34.  It, under Achaz, Manasses, and perhaps the last kings of Juda.  Ezec. viii. 9.



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35 And they have built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Ennom, to consecrate their sons and their daughters to Moloch: which I commanded them not, neither entered it into my heart, that they should do this abomination, and cause Juda to sin.

Ver. 35.  Consecrate.  Heb. "make them pass" through or into the fire, to be consumed in honour of Moloc.  4 K. xxi. 6.

 

--- Heart.  They perhaps meant to imitate Abraham.  C. vii. 31.



Baal

Baal (1Chron 4:33), probably identical with Baalath Beer Ramath (Josh 19:8; Simeon), poss. Biâr Mãyîn, or Tell el-Lekiyeh, N. of Bersabee. Baal, or Ballath. Jos. xix. 1.

36 And now, therefore, thus saith the Lord the God of Israel to this city, whereof you say that it shall be delivered into the hands of the king of Babylon by the sword, and by famine, and by pestilence:


37 Behold I will gather them together out of all the lands to which I have cast them out in my anger, and in my wrath, and in my great indignation: and I will bring them again into this place, and will cause them to dwell securely.

Ver. 37.  Lands.  What is here said must be understood of the captives, yet in such a manner that Christians are more particularly designated, for the Jews never enjoyed such perfect security, nor followed one way, nor enjoyed the eternal covenant, (v. 39. 40.  C. xxxi. 31.  C.) except those who embraced the true faith of Christ.  At all times one religion alone can be pleasing to God, (v. 39.) and those who were saved under the old law, must have believed in a Redeemer to come, as we must do in one already past.  H.

 

--- God would not suffer true believers to become extinct under the old law; much less will he since Christ's coming.  W.


38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. 39 And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me all days: and that it may be well with them, and with their children after them. 40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, and will not cease to do them good: and I will give my fear in their heart, that they may not revolt from me.

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41 And I will rejoice over them, when I shall do them good: and I will plant them in this land in truth, with my whole heart, and with all my soul.

Ver. 41.  Truth, like a tree which shall not be eradicated.


42 For thus saith the Lord: As I have brought upon this people all this great evil: so will I bring upon them all the good that I now speak to them. 43 And fields shall be purchased in this land: whereof you say that it is desolate, because there remaineth neither man nor beast, and it is given into the hands of the Chaldeans. 44 Fields shall be bought for money, and deeds shall be written, and sealed, and witnesses shall be taken, in the land of Benjamin, and round about Jerusalem, in the cities of Juda, and in the cities on the mountains, and in the cities of the plains, and in the cities that are towards the south: for I will bring their captivity, saith the Lord.

Ver. 44.  Juda, and in.  A farther description of these cities is given, situated about the capital, Hebron, Sephala, (the plain) near Gaza, (C.) and the Negeb or south country, (H.) towards Arabia.  Here the excellent commentary of S. Jerom ends, to our great loss.  C.

 

--- It was perhaps his last work, undertaken after the twelve minor and the other three great prophets.  He never wrote on Baruch, on the epistle of Jeremias, the Gr. parts of Daniel, &c. as the Jews did not allow them to be canonical, and the point was not then decided.  The Church styles S. Jerom "the greatest doctor in expounding the sacred Scriptures," as he translated and illustrated the greatest part of them; (H.) and indeed he seems to have been the best qualified for the undertaking, of all the fathers.  Du Pin.

 

--- Hence we may lament the more that we have not all his works in their genuine purity and perfection, as even the latest editions are very faulty, and proceed upon a plan which the learned do not approve.  See A. Butler, Kennicott, &c.  H.




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