Jeremiah 28:5
Then the prophet Jeremiah said to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests, and in the presence of all the people that stood in the house of the LORD,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Jeremiah 28:5-9. The Prophet Jeremiah said, Amen: the Lord do so! — Thereby expressing his hearty concern for the good of his nation, and wishing that God would repent him of the evil wherewith he had threatened them by his ministry; for such an affection had he for them, and so truly desirous was he of their welfare, that he would have been content to lie under the imputation of being a false prophet so that their ruin might have been prevented. Nevertheless, hear thou now this word — As if he had said, The word which I am about to speak concerns thee, and not thee alone, but all the people, therefore do thou mark it well, and let them observe it also. The prophets that have been before me and before thee — Namely, Joel, Amos, Hosea, Micah, Zephaniah, Nahum, Habakkuk, and others; prophesied both against many countries and great kingdoms, &c. — “Jeremiah offers two reasons in defence of his own prophecies, and against those of Hananiah. 1st, That many other prophets agreed with him in prophesying evil against the Jews, and other neighbouring countries; whereas Hananiah, being single in his predictions, nothing but the perfect answering of the event to them could give him the authority of a true prophet. 2d, That, considering the general corruption of the people’s manners, it was highly probable that God would punish their iniquities. To this the Jews add a third explication of the words, namely, that when any prophet foretold peace and prosperity, (namely, unconditionally and absolutely, as Hananiah here did,) his prophecy must certainly be fulfilled to prove him to be a true prophet; whereas, when a prophet foretold evil, which was Jeremiah’s case, the event might be suspended by the repentance of the persons concerned.” — Lowth.28:1-9 Hananiah spoke a false prophecy. Here is not a word of good counsel urging the Jews to repent and return to God. He promises temporal mercies, in God's name, but makes no mention of the spiritual mercies which God always promised with earthly blessings. This was not the first time Jeremiah had prayed for the people, though he prophesied against them. He appeals to the event, to prove Hananiah's falsehood. The prophet who spake only of peace and prosperity, without adding that they must not by wilful sin stop God's favours, will be proved a false prophet. Those who do not declare the alarming as well as the encouraging parts of God's word, and call men to repentance, and faith, and holiness, tread in the steps of the false prophets. The gospel of Christ encourages men to do works meet for repentance, but gives no encouragement to continue in sin.Jeconiah - Zedekiah not being popular, the people would have preferred the young king, who had not reigned long enough to make enemies. Probably also Zedekiah had started for Babylon Jeremiah 51:59. 5. the prophet Jeremiah—the epithet, "the prophet," is prefixed to "Jeremiah" throughout this chapter, to correspond to the same epithet before "Hananiah"; except in Jer 28:12, where "the prophet" has been inserted in English Version. The rival claims of the true and the false prophet are thus put in the more prominent contrast. No text from Poole on this verse. Then the prophet Jeremiah said unto the prophet Hananiah,.... The false prophet, as he is called by the Targum, Syriac, and Arabic versions:

in the presence of the priests, and in the presence of all the people that stood in the house of the Lord; waiting and worshipping in the temple; and said boldly and before them all, in answer to Hananiah's prophecy, what follows.

Then the prophet Jeremiah said to the {d} prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests, and in the presence of all the people that stood in the house of the LORD,

(d) He was so esteemed though he was a false prophet.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verses 5-9. - Jeremiah's reply. He heartily wishes that Hananiah's prediction were capable of fulfillment, but it runs directly counter to the declarations of all the older prophets. "War, and evil, and pestilence" was their constant burden, for the people to whom they prophesied were unworthy of the golden age of felicity in which the prophets so firmly believed. Only by a terrible judgment could the people of Israel be purified for the Messianic age. This appears to be what Jeremiah means by ver. 8. True, he speaks of "countries" and "kingdoms" in the plural, but all the great prophets include the nations best known to them within the range of their preaching, and even of their Messianic preaching. Isaiah, for instance, threatens sore judgment upon Egypt and Assyria, and yet he holds out the cheering prospect that Egypt and Assyria will have a part in the Messianic felicity. Thus Hananiah's prediction has probabilities very strongly against it He not only prophesies "peace,' but attaches no condition to his promise, which, therefore, has double need of verification by the event (comp. Deuteronomy 18:22). The priests and all the people are warned to give no belief to the false prophesyings of a speedy restoration of the vessels carried off to Babylon. - Jeremiah 27:16. "Thus hath Jahveh said: Hearken not to the sayings of your prophets that prophesy unto you: Behold, the vessels of Jahveh's house shall now shortly be brought again from Babylon; for they prophesy a lie unto you. Jeremiah 27:17. Hearken not unto them; serve the king of Babylon and live; wherefore should this city become a desert? Jeremiah 27:18. But if they be prophets, and if the word of Jahveh be with them, let them now make intercession to Jahveh of hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house of Jahveh, and in the king's house, and in Jerusalem, go not to Babylon. Jeremiah 27:19. For thus saith Jahveh of hosts concerning the pillars and the [brazen] sea and the frames, and concerning the other vessels that are left in this city, Jeremiah 27:20. Which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took not away when he carried away captive Jechoniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah from Jerusalem to Babylon, with all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem. Jeremiah 27:21. For thus saith Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that are left in the house of Jahveh, and in the house of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem: Jeremiah 27:22. To Babylon shall they be brought, and there shall they remain until the day that I visit them, saith Jahveh, and carry them up, and bring them back to this place."

Here Jeremiah gives King Zedekiah warning that the prophecies of a speedy end to Chaldean bondage are lies, and that confidence in such lies will hurry on the ruin of the state. He at the same time disabuses the priests of the hope raised by the false prophets, that the vessels of the temple and of the palace that had been carried off at the time Jechoniah was taken to Babylon will very soon be restored; and assures them that such statements can only procure the destruction of the city, since their tendency is to seduce king and people to rebellion, and rebellion against the king of Babylon means the destruction of Jerusalem - a prophecy that was but too soon fulfilled. The vessels of the temple, Jeremiah 27:16, are the golden vessels Solomon caused to be made (1 Kings 7:48.), which Nebuchadnezzar had carried to Babylon, 2 Kings 24:13. מבּבלה, from towards Babylon, i.e., from Babylon, whither they had been taken; cf. Ew. 216, b. "Now shortly," lit., hastily or speedily, i.e., ere long, cf. Jeremiah 28:3, where the prophet Hananiah foretells the restoration of them within two years, in opposition to Jeremiah's affirmation that the exile will last seventy years.

(Note: These words are not given in lxx, and so Mov. and Hitz. pronounce them spurious. Haev., on the other hand, and with greater justice, says (Introd. ii. 2), that the lxx omitted the words, because, according to an Alexandrian legend, the temple furniture was really very soon restored, even in Zedekiah's time, cf. Baruch 1:8ff.; so that the false prophets were in the right. The passage cited from Baruch does not indeed give a very rigorous proof of this. It alleges that the silver vessels which Zedekiah had caused to be made after Jechoniah's exile had been brought back by Baruch. But considering the innumerable arbitrary interferences of the lxx with the text of Jeremiah, the omission of the words in question cannot justify the slightest critical suspicion of their genuineness.)

To show more clearly the irreconcilableness of his own position with that of the false prophets, Jeremiah further tells what true prophets, who have the word of Jahveh, would do. They would betake themselves in intercession to the Lord, seeking to avert yet further calamity or punishment, as all the prophets sent by God, including Jeremiah himself, did, cf. Jeremiah 7:16. They should endeavour by intercession to prevent the vessels that are still left in Jerusalem from being taken away. The extraordinary expression לבלתּי באוּ has probably come from the omission of Jod from the verb, which should be read יבאוּ. As it stands, it can only be imperative, which is certainly not suitable. לבלתּי is usually construed with the infinitive, but occasionally also with the temp. fin.; with the imperf., which is what the sense here demands, in Exodus 20:20; with the perf., Jeremiah 23:14. - Of the temple furniture still remaining, he mentions in Jeremiah 27:19 as most valuable the two golden pillars, Jachin and Boaz, 1 Kings 7:15., the brazen sea, 1 Kings 7:23., and המּכונות, the artistic waggon frames for the basins in which to wash the sacrificial flesh, 1 Kings 7:27.; and he declares they too shall be carried to Babylon, as happened at the destruction of Jerusalem, 2 Kings 25:13. (בּגלותו for בּהגלותו.)

(Note: The statement in Jeremiah 27:19-22 is wide and diffuse; it is therefore condensed in the lxx, but at the same time mutilated. From the fact Mov., with Hitz. agreeing thereto, concludes that the Hebr. text has been expanded by means of glosses. Graf has already shown in reply to this, that the hand of a later glossator interpolating materials from Jeremiah 52:17; 2 Kings 24:13 and 2 Kings 24:1 is not betrayed in the extended account of the furniture remaining, and of the occasion on which it was left behind. He goes on to show that it is rather the editorial hand of Baruch than the hand of the glossator that is to be presumed from the fact that, in consequence of the narrative part of Jeremiah 27:20, Jeremiah 27:19 is repeated in Jeremiah 27:21; and from the further fact that it is impossible here to discriminate the interpolated from the original matter. Graf has also so conclusively proved the worthlessness of the distinguishing marks of the glossator adduced by Mov. and Hitz., that we adopt in full his argument. Such marks are (we are told), (1) the scriptio plena of מכונות here, as contrasted with Jeremiah 52:17; 2 Kings 25:13; 2 Chronicles 4:14, and of יכוניה, as against 2 Chronicles 24:1; 2 Chronicles 28:4; 2 Chronicles 29:2; and yet the interpolations in Jeremiah 27:19 and Jeremiah 27:20 are said to have been taken directly from Jeremiah 52:17 and Jeremiah 24:1. (2) The expression חרים, which is alleged not to have come into use till the exile. But the fact of its standing here and in Jeremiah 39:6 is enough to show it to have been earlier in use; cf. also 1 Kings 21:8, 1 Kings 21:11; and since it is not used in Jeremiah 24:1 and Jeremiah 29:2, it is certain that it has not been got from there. (3) The "slip-shod" וירושׁלים, Jeremiah 27:21, for ובירושׁלים, Jeremiah 27:18, which is, however, occasioned simply by the preceding accusative of place, 'בית יהוה וגו (Jeremiah 27:18 also בּבית יהוה).)

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