The prophet which prophesies of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the LORD has truly sent him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The prophet which prophesieth of peace.—“Peace,” with its Hebrew associations, includes all forms of national prosperity, and is therefore contrasted with famine and pestilence, not less than with war. The obvious reference to the test of a prophet’s work, as described in Deuteronomy 18:22, shows, as other like references, the impression which that book had made on the prophet’s mind.By peace is here meant prosperity, all good being by the Hebrews usually understood under the notion of peace. The prophets either prophesied evil or good, according as God revealed his will unto them; what way was for them to discover whether the prophets were truly sent of God, yea or no? It was known by the event: this was the rule God set, Deu 18:22,
When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken. But this was not true on the contrary part, for a prophet might speak a thing, which thing might come to pass, and yet be none of the Lord’s prophets, nor be hearkened to, as appeareth from Deu 13:1-3. Some have thought that prophecies concerning good things always were brought to pass if the prophet were a true prophet, but it appeareth otherwise from Jeremiah 18:9,10. Prophecies both concerning good and evil might not come to pass, and yet the prophet be a true prophet, in case the manners of the people altered; for in all promises or threatenings of temporal good or evil there is a condition to be understood; God neither by his promises bindeth himself to do good to wicked men, nor by his threatenings tieth up his own hands from showing mercy to such as turn good: but some observe yet this difference, that good things are in Scripture never absolutely promised, but they come certainly to pass, and are fulfilled; but God for terror often threateneth evil things, without expressing any condition, when notwithstanding a condition is understood, upon the fulfilling of which the threatening cometh not to pass, as it was in the case of Nineveh, upon the prophecy of Jonah. But the greater difficulty is to determine by what rule they could judge one a true or false prophet, if they might not always judge by the event, the coming or not coming to pass of what he prophesied. I answer, they were to judge from the word of God, as well as from the event, Isaiah 8:20; therefore, Deu 13:1-3, the people were commanded not to hearken to that prophet which should confirm what he said by a sign or wonder, if his scope were by it to persuade people to idolatry. So that if a prophet prophesied good and prosperity to any people, the people were to consider what his scope was, and whether what he prophesied was according to the law of God, which speaketh no good to a wicked impenitent people; and though what he said came to pass, yet he was to be determined no true prophet, if what he said were contrary to God’s revealed will, or his scope in speaking of it was to harden people in sinful courses, or to seduce them from the right ways of God. Jeremiah here, as to the trial of the truth of his and Hananiah’s contrary prophecies, appealeth to the event, telling him that he as a man heartily wished that his words might prove true.
when the word of the Lord shall come to pass; when the prophecy of good things, which he delivers in the name of the Lord, shall be filled:
then shall the prophet be known that the Lord hath truly sent him; and not till then; it is the event that must make it manifest: in the other case it may be in a good measure known before it comes to pass, and, whether it comes to pass or not, that a prophet is a true prophet; because his prophecies are agreeable to the word and the declared will of God; contain evils threatened on account of sin, and in order to bring men to repentance, which must needs be right; and besides, they have no interest of their own to serve, but run contrary to the stream of the people, and are exposed to their rage and censure: whereas, a man that prophesies of peace, he is more to be suspected of flattering the people, and of prophesying out of his own heart; and nothing but the event can show him a true prophet; which if he delivers with a proviso, that the people do not do that which is evil in the sight of God, to provoke him to deny them the promised good, is always certainly fulfilled; and if it is not, then he appears manifestly a false prophet.The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the LORD hath truly sent him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Jeremiah 28:1-4. This man's prophecy. At the same time, namely in the fourth year of Zedekiah (cf. rem. on Jeremiah 27:1. The Chet. בּשׁנת is supported by Jeremiah 46:2 and Jeremiah 51:59; the Keri בּשּׁנה is an unnecessary alteration), in the fifth month, spake Hananiah the son of Azur, - a prophet not otherwise known, belonging to Gibeon, a city of the priests (Joshua 21:17; now Jib, a large village two hours north-west of Jerusalem; see on Joshua 9:3), possibly therefore himself a priest - in the house of the Lord, in the presence of the priests and people assembled there, saying: Jeremiah 28:2. "Thus hath Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel, said: I break the yoke of the king of Babylon. Jeremiah 28:3. Within two years I bring again into this place the vessels of the house of Jahveh, which Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon took away from this place and carried them to Babylon. Jeremiah 28:4. And Jechoniah, the son of Jehoiakim the king of Judah, and all the captives of Judah that went into Babylon, bring I again to this place, saith Jahveh; for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon." - The false prophet endeavours to stamp on his prediction the impress of a true, God-inspired prophecy, by copying the title of God, so often used by Jeremiah, "Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel," and by giving the utmost definiteness to his promise: "within two years" (in contrast to Jeremiah's seventy years). "Two years" is made as definite as possible by the addition of ימים: two years in days, i.e., in two full years.See on Genesis 41:1; 2 Samuel 13:23.
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