Jeremiah 29:8
For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed.
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(8) Let not your prophets and your diviners . . .—The words are significant as showing that the same agencies which were counteracting the prophet’s teaching in Jerusalem were at work also in Babylon. There, too, “prophets and diviners,” whom the Lord had not sent, were prophesying of a speedy deliverance, and it was necessary to reiterate for those who would listen to the prophet’s warnings, that the exile would run its appointed course of seventy years, as Jeremiah had announced to the people of Jerusalem in Jeremiah 25:12; Jeremiah 27:22. The “dreams which ye cause to be dreamed” (an altogether exceptional phrase) indicates that the supply was created by a demand for visions of this nature.

Jeremiah 29:8. For thus saith the Lord of hosts — The prophet continues to speak by the authority of God; Let not your prophets, &c., deceive you — Suffer not yourselves to be deluded by them. While we have the word of God, by which to try the spirits, it is our own fault if we be deceived; for by it we may be directed. Neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed — The LXX. render this clause, και μη ακουετε εις τα ενυπνια υμων, α υμεις ενυπνιαζεσθε, hearken not, or attend not, to your dreams which you dream. Thus also the Vulgate. Blaney, however, prefers translating the words, Neither hearken ye to your dealers in dreams, whom ye cause to dream; observing, “These dreamers might be said to be made, or encouraged, to dream, by the easy credit given to their impostures, and the reputation and respect they thereby acquired.” Some have thought it probable that those who interpreted dreams (which sort of people abounded in Babylon) used to interpret all the dreams of Jews, on which they were consulted, to signify their speedy return to their own country; as they knew that this was what the Jews earnestly wished for, and would be glad to hear, and consequently be induced to consult these interpreters the more frequently; who therein found their profit.

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.Your prophets and your diviners - The evils from which the people had suffered so cruelly at home followed them in their exile.

Dreams which ye cause to be dreamed - As long as there was a market for dreams, so long there would be plenty of impostors to supply them.

8. your dreams which ye caused to be dreamed—The Latin adage says, "The people wish to be deceived, so let them be deceived." Not mere credulity misleads men, but their own perverse "love of darkness rather than light." It was not priests who originated priestcraft, but the people's own morbid appetite to be deceived; for example, Aaron and the golden calf (Ex 32:1-4). So the Jews caused or made the prophets to tell them encouraging dreams (Jer 23:25, 26; Ec 5:7; Zec 10:2; Joh 3:19-21). The Lord knows that you have a company of false prophets that tell you other things, and promise you a sudden return out of your captivity, pretending to know it by revelation from God, or by divination, &c., or to have it discovered to them in dreams. It is the will of God that you should not hearken to them, for they do but deceive you, and ye are accessory to your own ruin; they see you are pleased to hear such stories, and that causeth them to dream, as Jeremiah 5:31, The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means, and my people love to have it so. Thus, Isaiah 30:10, they said to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not to us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits. False teachers and guides of people’s souls are the greatest plague can befall a nation, people from them expecting to hear the mind of God, and for the most part people are accessory to their own ruin in them. It can indeed hardly be imagined what other temptation persons whose office it is to reveal the mind of God should have to do otherwise, but the humouring and pleasing of a corrupt people, who through their fondness of their lusts are not patient of sound doctrine; so as though the church of God hath in all ages been troubled with dreamers, yet it is a wicked people that causeth them to dream.

For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel,.... See Gill on Jeremiah 29:4;

let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you; their false prophets, as the Targum; and there were many such in the captivity; see Ezekiel 13:2; and such who pretended to divine and foretell future things, and so impose upon the people, who were too apt to believe them; these insinuated, that in a little time they should have their liberty, and return to their own land again, contrary to the prophecies that came from the Lord himself:

neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed; for that of a speedy return to their own land was no other than a dream, which they both dreamed themselves; their thoughts running on it in the daytime, they dreamed of it at night; and fancied it was from the Lord; a divine dream; and so built much upon it; and also which they encouraged the false prophets and diviners to dream, and tell their dreams, by their listening to them, and being pleased with them, giving credit to them as if they came from God.

For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed.
8. cause to be dreamed] mg. dream. The MT., as it stands, gives the sense as in the text, but its form is Aramaic rather than Hebrew and the causative sense is not wanted. The apparent error has arisen from the accidental repetition of one letter in the original. Co., however, would read they dream, because in Jeremiah 23:25; Jeremiah 23:27 f. it is the false prophets who use dreams as the vehicle of their prophecies. Du. considers Jeremiah 29:8-10 to be from a later hand, and Co. is disposed to agree with him as to 8 and 9.

Verse 8. - Let not your prophets and your diviners, etc. It seems as if the Babylonian "Jewry" were a copy of that at home. It had not only its "princes" and its "elders," but its "prophets" and its "diviners," who encouraged the same false hopes as those in Judah (comp. Jeremiah 27:9; Jeremiah 28:2). Your dreams which ye caused to be dreamed; or, which ye cause yourselves to dream (comp. Jeremiah 27:9). Jeremiah 29:8At 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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