|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
29:20-32 Jeremiah foretells judgments upon the false prophets, who deceived the Jews in Babylon. Lying was bad; lying to the people of the Lord, to delude them into a false hope, was worse; but pretending to rest their own lies upon the God of truth, was worst of all. They flattered others in their sins, because they could not reprove them without condemning themselves. The most secret sins are known to God; and there is a day coming when he will bring to light all the hidden works of darkness. Shemaiah urges the priests to persecute Jeremiah. Their hearts are wretchedly hardened who justify doing mischief by having power to do it. They were in a miserable thraldom for mocking the messengers of the Lord, and misusing his prophets; yet in their distress they trespass still more against the Lord. Afflictions will not of themselves cure men of their sins, unless the grace of God works with them. Those who slight the blessings, deserve to lose the benefit of God's word, like Shemaiah. The accusations against many active Christians in all ages, amount to no more than this, that they earnestly counsel men to attend to their true interest and duties, and to wait for the performance of God's promises in his appointed way.
Verses 24-32. - A threatening oracle against the false prophet Shemaiah. Great excitement had been caused among the so-called prophets in Babylon by the emphatic language of Jeremiah. Accordingly one of them, named Shemaiah, wrote letters to the Jews at home, and especially to a high official called Zephaniah (see on ver. 26) to put a stop to Jeremiah's bold agitation. Zephaniah, however, was not the man for whom Shemaiah took him, and read the letter to the intended victim. Upon this, Jeremiah received a special revelation, announcing dire punishment to Shemaiah and his family (according to the principle of the Divine government described in Exodus 20:5). Verse 24. - To Shemaiah; or, of, concerning (as the same preposition is rendered in vers. 16, 21, 31). The oracle itself speaks of Shemaiah in the third person (vers. 31, 32). The Authorized Version, however, can be defended by its accordance with ver. 25. The Nehelamite. This is evidently a patronymic, but whether of the family or the locality of the bearer cannot be decided. The analogy of "Jeremiah of Anathoth" (ver. 27), however, favors the view that it is local.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thus shalt thou speak to Shemaiah the Nehelamite,.... Or, "the dreamer" (h); because he pretended to have dreams from the Lord; or because what he delivered as prophecies were mere dreams; as that the captives should quickly return to their own land; so Kimchi: but Jarchi takes it to be the name of a place, from whence he was so called; perhaps the place of his birth, or habitation formerly; so the Targum, paraphrasing
"who was of Halem;''
he was, another of the false prophets in Babylon. This latter part of the chapter is of a later date than the former; and refers to what was done after the above letter of Jeremiah came to the captives in Babylon; and after, the return of the messengers from thence, who brought, account how it was received, and what umbrage it gave to the false prophets:
saying; as follows:
(h) "quasi" "somniator somniorum", Kimchi and Ben Melech.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
24-32. A second communication which Jeremiah sent to Babylon, after the messenger who carried his first letter had brought a letter from the false prophet Shemaiah to Zephaniah, &c., condemning Jeremiah and reproving the authorities for not having apprehended him.
Nehelamite—a name derived either from his father or from a place: alluding at the same time to the Hebrew meaning, "a dreamer" (compare Jer 29:8).
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