For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, said the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)For I know the thoughts . . .—The word used for “saith the Lord” implies that the gracious promise came to the prophet’s soul as an oracle from heaven. In the “thoughts” of God there is, perhaps, a reference to what had been said before of the Babylonian exiles in Jeremiah 24:6.
To give you an expected end.—Better, to give you a future (that which is to be hereafter) and a hope. This is the literal rendering of the words, and it is far more expressive than that of the English version. An “expected end” may be one from which we shrink in fear or dislike. Each word, in the amended translation, has its full meaning. The “future” tells them that their history as a people is not yet over; the “hope” that there is a better time in store for them. To wait for that future, instead of trusting in delusive assurances of immediate release, was the true wisdom of the exiles.
thoughts … I think—(Isa 55:9). Glancing at the Jews who had no "thoughts of peace," but only of "evil" (misfortune), because they could not conceive how deliverance could come to them. The moral malady of man is twofold—at one time vain confidence; then, when that is disappointed, despair. So the Jews first laughed at God's threats, confident that they should speedily return; then, when cast down from that confidence, they sank in inconsolable despondency.
expected end—literally, "end and expectation," that is, an end, and that such an end as you wish for. Two nouns joined by "and," standing for a noun and adjective. So in Jer 36:27, "the roll and the words," that is, the roll of words; Ge 3:16, "sorrow and conception," that is, sorrow in conception. Compare Pr 23:18, where, as here "end" means "a happy issue."
thoughts of peace, and not of evil: or "for evil" (t); these thoughts were concerning the temporal peace and prosperity of the Jews in Babylon, and not of anything to their hurt; yea, even their captivity was for their good, Jeremiah 24:5; and thoughts concerning his spiritual Israel, their peace and reconciliation with God, and the manner of bringing it about, by the blood, sufferings, and death of his Son in human nature, with whom he consulted and agreed about this matter; and concerning their inward spiritual peace of mind and conscience now, and their eternal peace hereafter: nor does he ever think of evil for them; whatever evil he thinks towards others, angels or men, he thinks none towards them; and whatever evil befalls them, he means it for good, and it does work for good unto them; he cannot think otherwise concerning them, consistent with his everlasting and unchangeable love to them; since he has designed so much good for them, does so much to them, and has so much to bestow upon them. The issue of all which is,
to give you an expected end; a very desirable one; such as they wished and hoped to have, and expected; such as would put an end to all their troubles, and put them into the enjoyment of all good things promised and waited for. This, in the mystical sense, may have reference to the Messiah, in whom all God's thoughts of peace, concerning his special people, issue; he is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, of all things, Revelation 1:8; of all things in creation; of the Scriptures, promises and prophecies of it: "the end of the law for righteousness", Romans 10:4, the fulfilling end of it, by his obedience, and sufferings, and death; and who was to come, and did come, at the end of the Jewish world, at the end of their civil and ecclesiastical state: he was long promised and prophesied of and was much waited for and expected, by the saints before the flood; from thence to Moses; from Moses to David; from David to the Babylonian captivity; from thence to the times of his coming, when there was a general expectation of him; and expected end was then given, as an instance of grace and good will to men. It may also be applied to salvation by Christ; the end of all God's gracious purposes and designs; the end of the covenant of grace, the provisions, blessings, and promises of it; the end of Christ's coming into the world, and of his obedience and death; the end of his prayers and preparations now in heaven; and the end of the faith of the saints on earth: this is an end hoped, waited for, and expected by faith; and for which there is good reason; since it is wrought out, prepared, and promised; saints are heirs of it; and now it is nearer than when they believed; and will be bestowed as a free grace gift, through Jesus Christ our Lord; and will be enjoyed as the issue and result of God's eternal thoughts of peace concerning them. Some render it, "an expected reward" (u); which is given at the end of the work: others, "posterity and hope" (w); a numerous posterity, and hope and expectation of good things from the Lord, promised in the days of the Messiah.For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)11. For I know] an assurance on Jehovah’s part that He forgets them not, even though they be far from their proper land.
the thoughts that I think] i.e. My purposes.
hope in your latter end] For mg. a latter end and hope cp. Proverbs 23:18; Proverbs 24:14; Proverbs 24:20.Verse 11. - For I knew the thoughts, etc.; i.e. though seventy years must pass over you in exile, yet do not apprehend that I have forgotten you, for I know full well what my purpose is towards you - a purpose of restoring to you "peace" and prosperity. An expected end; rather, a future and a hope; i.e. a hopeful future (comp. Jeremiah 31:17, "There is a hope for thy future"). That unexpectant apathy which is the terrible accompaniment of so much worldly sorrow was not to be an ingredient in the lot of the Jews. Jeremiah 29:4 the contents of the letter begin. Jeremiah warns the people to prepare for a lengthened sojourn in Babylonia, and exhorts them to settle down there. Jeremiah 29:5. "Build houses and dwell (therein), and plant gardens and eat the fruit of them. Jeremiah 29:6. Take wives and beget sons and daughters, and take for your sons wives and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and increase there and not diminish. Jeremiah 29:7. And seek the safety of the city whither I have carried you captive, and pray for it to Jahveh, and in its safety shall be safety to you." The imperatives "increase and not diminish" give the consequence of what has been said just before. "The city whither I have carried you captive" is not precisely Babylon, but every place whither separate companies of the exiles have been transported. And pray for the city whither you are come, because in this you further your own welfare, instead of looking for advantage to yourselves from the fall of the Chaldean empire, from the calamity of your heathen fellow-citizens. - With this is suitably joined immediately the warning against putting trust in the delusive hopes held out by the false prophets. "For thus saith Jahve of hosts, the God of Israel: Let not your prophets, that are in the midst of you, and your soothsayers, deceive you, and hearken not to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed; for falsely they prophesy to you in my name; I have not sent them, saith Jahveh." מחלמים is somewhat singular, since we have no other example of the Hiph. of חלם in its sig. dream (in Isaiah 38:16 the Hiph. of the same root means to preserve in good health); but the Hiph. may here express the people's spontaneity in the matter of dreams: which ye cause to be dreamed for you (Hitz.). Thus there would be no need to alter the reading into חלמים; a precedent for the defective spelling being found in מעזרים, 2 Chronicles 28:23. What the false prophets gave out is not expressly intimated, but may be gathered from the context Jeremiah 29:10, namely, that the yoke of Babylon would soon be broken and captivity come to an end. - This warning is justified in Jeremiah 29:10-14, where God's decree is set forth. The deliverance will not come about till after seventy years; but then the Lord will fulfil to His people His promise of grace. Jeremiah 29:10. "For thus saith Jahveh: When as seventy years are fulfilled for Babylon, I will visit you, and perform to you my good word, to bring you back to this place. Jeremiah 29:11. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith Jahveh, thoughts of peace and not for evil, to give you (a) destiny and hope. Jeremiah 29:12. And ye will call upon me, and go and pray unto me, and I will hear you. Jeremiah 29:13. And ye will seek me, and find me, if ye search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:14. And I will let myself be found of you, saith Jahve, and will turn your captivity, and gather you out of all the peoples and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith Jahveh, and will bring you again to the place whence I have carried you away." - לפי מלאת, according to the measure of the fulfilment of seventy years for Babel. These words point back to Jeremiah 25:11., and we must reckon from the date of that prediction. פּקד c. accus. sig. to visit in a good sense, to look favourably on one and take his part. "My good word" is expounded by the following infinitive clause. Jeremiah 29:11. "I know my thoughts" is not to be taken, as by Jerome, J. D. Mich., etc., as in contrast with the false prophets: I know, but they do not. This antithesis is not in keeping with what follows. The meaning is rather: Although I appoint so long a term for the fulfilment of the plan of redemption, yet fear not that I have utterly rejected you; I know well what my design is in your regard. My thoughts toward you are thoughts of God, not of evil. Although now I inflict lengthened sufferings on you, yet this chastisement but serves to bring about your welfare in the future (Chr. B. Mich., Graf, etc.). - To give you אחרית, lit., last, i.e., issue or future, and hope. For this sig. cf. Job 8:7; Proverbs 5:4, etc. This future destiny and hope can, however, only be realized if by the sorrows of exile you permit yourselves to be brought to a knowledge of your sins, and return penitent to me. Then ye will call on me and pray, and I will hear you. "And ye will go," Jeremiah 29:12, is not the apodosis to "ye will call," since there is no further explanation of it, and since the simple הלך can neither mean to go away satisfied nor to have success. "Go" must be taken with what follows: go to the place of prayer (Ew., Umbr., Gr. Ng.). In Jeremiah 29:13 אתי is to be repeated after "find." Jeremiah 29:12 and Jeremiah 29:13 are a renewal of the promise, Deuteronomy 4:29-30; and Jeremiah 29:14 is a brief summary of the promise, Deuteronomy 30:3-5, whence is taken the graphic expression שׁוּב את־שׁבוּת; see on that passage. - Thereafter in
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