Jeremiah 29:15
Because you have said, The LORD has raised us up prophets in Babylon;
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(15) Because ye have said, The Lord hath raised us up prophets . . .—The words point to the boast of some of the exiles, that they, too, had the guidance of prophets whom, as in Jeremiah 29:20; Jeremiah 29:24, they were inclined to follow in preference to Jeremiah. In answer to that boast, he emphasises the contrast between the exiles in whom the prophet sees the future hope of his nation and the worthless king (Zedekiah) and people who had been left in Jerusalem, and for whom he foretells yet sharper sufferings. The symbolism of the “vile figs” is reproduced in Jeremiah 29:17 from Jeremiah 24:1-2. The word for “vile” is, however, not the same as in that passage, and has the stronger force of “horrible” or “loathsome.”

Jeremiah 29:15. Because ye have said, &c. — The LXX. have transposed this verse, and placed it “where,” says Blaney, “it undoubtedly ought to stand,” immediately before Jeremiah 29:21; “this emendation,” says he, “I have adopted, as by it a due order and connection are restored, both in the place from whence the verse is removed, and in that to which it is transferred, a sufficient proof of its authenticity.” The Lord hath raised us up prophets in Babylon — This is meant of the false prophets who foretold nothing but peace and prosperity. The reader will easily observe how properly this sentence, as Blaney has just observed, would follow Jeremiah 29:20, and precede Jeremiah 29:21, and how well it would connect with both.29:8-19 Let men beware how they call those prophets whom they choose after their own fancies, and how they consider their fancies and dreams to be revelations from God. False prophets flatter people in their sins, because they love to be flattered; and they speak smoothly to their prophets, that their prophets may speak smoothly to them. God promises that they should return after seventy years were accomplished. By this it appears, that the seventy years of the captivity are not to be reckoned from the last captivity, but the first. It will be the bringing to pass of God's good word to them. This shall form God's purposes. We often do not know our own minds, but the Lord is never at an uncertainty. We are sometimes ready to fear that God's designs are all against us; but as to his own people, even that which seems evil, is for good. He will give them, not the expectations of their fears, or the expectations of their fancies, but the expectations of their faith; the end he has promised, which will be the best for them. When the Lord pours out an especial spirit of prayer, it is a good sign that he is coming toward us in mercy. Promises are given to quicken and encourage prayer. He never said, Seek ye me in vain. Those who remained at Jerusalem would be utterly destroyed, notwithstanding what the false prophets said to the contrary. The reason has often been given, and it justifies the eternal ruin of impenitent sinners; Because they have not hearkened to my words; I called, but they refused.Turn away your captivity - Or, "restore your prosperity." 15. Because—referring not to the preceding words, but to Jer 29:10, 11, "Jehovah saith this to you" (that is, the prophecy of the continuance of the captivity seventy years), "because ye have said, The Lord hath raised us up prophets in Babylon," namely, foretelling our speedy deliverance (this their prophecy is supposed, not expressed; accordingly, Jer 29:16-19 contradict this false hope again, Jer 29:8, 9, 21). He, in this fifteenth verse, turns his address from the godly (Jer 29:12-14) to the ungodly listeners, to false prophets. The prophet here turneth his speech to some wicked Jews that were in Babylon, or in Judea, and more believed some false prophets, who told them of a much quicker return, than Jeremiah telling them the truth from the mouth of God, Because ye have said,.... That is, some of them; for here the Lord, by the prophet, turns from the godly among the captives, whom he had been advising, encouraging, and comforting before, to those who gave heed to the false prophets, who promised them a speedy return to their own land, and which they believed; and therefore rejected and despised the prophecies of Jeremiah, and others:

the Lord hath raised us up prophets in Babylon; and therefore stood in no need of other prophets that were in Judea, or in Jerusalem, nor should hearken to them; but believe those that were raised up among themselves, rather than others at a distance; and though these were false prophets, yet, being such that prophesied to them things that were agreeable, they were willing to believe them, and to consider them, and receive them, as prophets sent of God, when they were not.

Because ye have said, The LORD hath raised up for us {g} prophets in Babylon;

(g) As Ahab, Zedekiah and Shemaiah.

15. This v. naturally links with Jeremiah 29:21 ff., while the intervening vv. make an apparent severance in the logical connexion, and are absent from LXX, except in a certain recension (Lucianic), where, however, they precede Jeremiah 29:15. With this transposition, as at least modifying the objection arising from the break of logical connexion, Gi. agrees, maintaining, as he does, their genuineness. Co. (and so Du.) refuses to consider the vv. as belonging to the original letter, making Jeremiah 29:16-18 to be in substance a reproduction of Jeremiah 24:8 f., Jeremiah 29:19 to have its origin in Jeremiah 24:4 ff. and parallel passages, and Jeremiah 29:20 to be taking up the line of thought anew from Jeremiah 29:16. Dr. suggests that, as the passage seems out of place in a letter to the Jews in Babylonia, dealing as it does with the fate of the Jerusalem Jews, it belongs only to the recension of that letter which subsequently was incorporated in this Book. If we are to abide by the MT. in the matter, the sense appears to be this: One of the difficulties raised by the exiles when the prospect of seventy years’ captivity was held out to them would be, We have prophets here at Babylon who tell us just the reverse of all this. Which shall we believe? To this the reply of Jeremiah is twofold. (i) These prophets’ teaching shall soon be disproved. The king and the remnants of the kingdom, upon whose continued existence at Jerusalem they lay such stress, will soon pass away. Ye shall not soon be restored to your brethren, but they shall be exiles and scattered like to you. (ii) The false prophets, who thus delude you, shall themselves miserably perish and become a proverb and by-word.

For] rather, Because, connecting this v. directly with Jeremiah 29:21. “Because ye congratulate yourselves on having prophets in your exile, I tell you how soon ye shall discover that they are valueless.”

15–19. The impending fate of Zedekiah and his people. Cp. Jeremiah 24:8-10.Verses 15-23. - Jeremiah's denunciation of two leading false prophets at Babylon, with a digression on the fate of Zedekiah and Jerusalem. Some eminent critics maintain that vers. 16-20 are an interpolation, and this view is certainly supported By the omission of these verses in the Septuagint. It must also in fairness be admitted that the natural connection of ver. 15 is with ver. 21, not with ver. 16. But it does not follow that vers. 16-20 are an arbitrary interpolation. They may be regarded either as a digression in the original letter, or as inserted by an after-thought when the substance of the letter was brought into its present form. At 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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