Jeremiah 29:16
Know that thus said the LORD of the king that sits on the throne of David, and of all the people that dwells in this city, and of your brothers that are not gone forth with you into captivity;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Jeremiah 29:16-19. Thus saith the Lord of the king and all the people, &c. — See Jeremiah 24:8-10; that dwell in this city — Namely, the city of Jerusalem, which is the city spoken of. I will make them like vile figs — Rather like sour figs, that cannot be eaten — The meaning is, I will deal with them as men deal with bad figs. They have made themselves vile and hateful, and I will use them accordingly. This refers to the vision, chap. 24., and the prophecy which we had there upon it. And I will deliver them to be a curse, &c. — A more severe punishment is denounced upon these than upon those of the two former captivities; because though warned by the example of Jehoiakim and Jeconiah, who suffered heavily for their perfidy, they yet again, a third time, broke the faith which they had pledged to the king of Babylon in the name of God, and despised all the admonitions and counsels of God by Jeremiah, as is observed in the next verse.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.These verses are not in the Septuagint. But the text of the Septuagint is here throughout so brief and confused as to be explicable only on the supposition, that it represents what was left behind in Egypt when Jeremiah died, copied probably with extreme haste, and with no opportunity of careful collation afterward. On the other hand the Hebrew text represents no hurried transcript, but the original manuscript, and is especially trustworthy in the case of these letters sent to Babylon (see also Jeremiah 51), because the originals of them would be available for collation with the text preserved by Jeremiah himself. The verses were probably intended to allay excitement in Babylon consequent upon the knowledge that the representatives of various kings were assembled at that very time at Jerusalem to form a coalition against Babylon Jeremiah 27:3.16. people … in this city … not gone forth—So far from your returning to Jerusalem soon, even your brethren still left dwelling there shall themselves also be cast into exile. He mentions "the throne of David," lest they should think that, because David's kingdom was to be perpetual, no severe, though temporary, chastisements could interpose (Ps 89:29-36). The word

know is, as some think, needlessly supplied, for the following particle might be as well translated for, or because, or therefore. By the king he meaneth Zedekiah, whom he chooseth to express under the notion of him

that sitteth upon the throne of David, to take away the vain hopes which the Jews conceived from the promises which God had made to David, and to his seed. Know that thus saith the Lord,.... Or "for", or "wherefore thus saith the Lord" (x); for the word "know" is not in the text, and seems needless; though it is also supplied by other interpreters (y). The words are illative, and follow upon the former; and the sense is, that since they gave heed to their false prophets in Babylon, who told them that they should quickly return; therefore the Lord sent the following message to them, informing them that it was so far from being true that they should in a short time return to Jerusalem, that, on the other hand, they that were there should soon be with them in captivity, or be destroyed:

of, or "concerning"

the king that sitteth on the throne of David; that is, King Zedekiah, who was then the reigning king at Jerusalem:

and of all the people that dwelleth in this city; the city Jerusalem, where Jeremiah was, and from whence this letter was written, in the name of the Lord, to the captives at Babylon:

and of your brethren that are not gone forth with you into captivity; that lived in the several parts of the land of Judea, who were left behind, and not carried captive, when those were to whom these words are directed.

(x) "nam sic ait", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius; "ideo", Calvin; "ita namque", Schmidt. (y) "Scitote quod", Vatablus.

Know that thus saith the LORD of the king that sitteth upon the throne of David, and of all the people that dwelleth in this city, and of your brethren that are not gone forth with you into captivity;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. the king] Zedekiah. See Jeremiah 28:1. See note on Jeremiah 29:24.Verse 16. - Know that thus saith the Lord; rather, Surely thus saith the Lord. 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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