Jeremiah 32:14
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences, this evidence of the purchase, both which is sealed, and this evidence which is open; and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days.
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(14) Put them in an earthen vessel . . .—We are reminded of the “earthen vessels” in which men kept their most precious treasures (2Corinthians 4:7). Such a vessel was obviously a better protection against damp or decay than one of wood, and was, as it were, the “safe” of a Jewish household. (See Note on Jeremiah 41:8.) In the “many days” we have an implied warning to the listeners that they were not to expect a speedy deliverance or restoration, however certain might be their assurance that it would come at last.

32:1-15 Jeremiah, being in prison for his prophecy, purchased a piece of ground. This was to signify, that though Jerusalem was besieged, and the whole country likely to be laid waste, yet the time would come, when houses, and fields, and vineyards, should be again possessed. It concerns ministers to make it appear that they believe what they preach to others. And it is good to manage even our worldly affairs in faith; to do common business with reference to the providence and promise of God.Translate: And I wrote the particulars of the purchase in the deed ... And I took the purchase-deed, both that which was sealed containing the oiler and the conditions, and that which was open etc. There were two indentures, of which one was called the purchase-deed, and was signed by the purchaser and the witnesses. It was then sealed, not in our sense of appending a seal in place of signatures, but to close it up. The open deed was probably an exact copy, and was that intended for common use. In case its authenticity was called in question, the sealed copy would have to be produced before the judge, the seal opened, and if its contents agreed with those of the open deed, the decision would be in the buyer's favor.

By the offer is probably meant the specification. The conditions, literally, the statutes, would be the stipulations and terms of the sale, e. g. as to its restoration at the year of jubile, its price etc. The placing of the deeds in jar was of course intended to preserve them from damp during the long years of the exile.

14. in an earthen vessel—that the documents might not be injured by the moisture of the surrounding earth; at the same time, being buried, they could not be stolen, but would remain as a pledge of the Jews' deliverance until God's time should come. No text from Poole on this verse.

Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel,.... The order to do the following is ushered in in this solemn manner, partly that Baruch might more strictly observe it, and act according to it; and partly that the persons before whom it was given might take the greater notice of it, and believe that there was something intended by it of moment and importance:

take these evidences; or "books" (x); the deeds of purchase:

this evidence of the purchase, both which is sealed, and this evidence which is open; both the original and the copy:

and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days; it seems, though it is not said, that this earthen vessel, with these deeds in it, were to be put under ground, and very probably in some part of the field that was bought: had these writings been laid up in a chest or box, they might have been stolen and destroyed; and had they been laid in the earth by themselves, they would have rotted and consumed; but being put into a dry earthen vessel, they might be preserved from the injury of the air and the moistness of the earth; and so might continue many days, even many years, to the end of the captivity, as it was designed they should; when Jeremiah's heirs, having some him of them where they were deposited, might take them up and claim the estate; though something more useful and instructive than this was designed by it, as appears by the following words:

(x) "libellos hos", Cocceius, Schmidt; "literas has", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these deeds, this deed of the purchase, both that which is sealed, and this deed which is open; and put them in an earthen {h} vessel, that they may continue many days.

(h) And so to hide them in the ground, that they might be reserved as a token of their deliverance.

Jeremiah 32:14The purchase was concluded in full legal form. "I wrote it (the necessary terms) in the letter (the usual letter of purchase), and sealed it, and took witnesses, and weighed out the money on the balance" (it was then and still is the custom in the East to weigh money). חתם means here, not to append a seal instead of subscribing the name, or for attestation (cf. 1 Kings 21:8; Nehemiah 10:1; 2), but to seal up, make sure by sealing (Isaiah 29:11, etc.). For, from Jeremiah 32:11, Jeremiah 32:12, we perceive that two copies of the bill of purchase were prepared, one sealed up, and the other open; so that, in case the open one were lost, or were accidentally or designedly injured or defaced, a perfect original might still exist in the sealed-up copy. Then "Jeremiah took the bill of purchase, the sealed one," - the specification and the conditions - "and the open one." The words המּצוה והחקּים are in apposition with 'את־ספר וגו. The Vulgate renders stipulationes et rata; Jerome, stipulatione rata, which he explains by stipulationibus et sponsionibus corroborata. מצוה, usually "a command, order," is probably employed here in the general sense of "specification," namely, the object and the price of purchase; חקּים, "statutes," the conditions and stipulations of sale. The apposition has the meaning, "containing the agreement and the conditions." Both copies of this bill, the prophet-before the eyes of Hanamel, his cousin (דּדי, either in the general sense of a near relation, since the relationship has been stated exactly enough already, or בּן־ has been inadvertently omitted), and before the eyes of, i.e., in the presence of "the witnesses, who wrote in the letter of purchase," i.e., had subscribed it as witnesses in attestation of the matter, and in the eyes of all the Jews who were sitting in the court of the prison, and in whose presence the transaction had been concluded - delivered up to his attendant Baruch, son of Nerijah, the son of Mahsejah, with the words, Jeremiah 32:14 : "Thus saith Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel: Take these letters, this sealed-up letter of purchase and this open letter, and put them into an earthen vessel, that they may remain a long time there. Jeremiah 32:15. For thus saith Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel: Houses, and fields, and vineyards shall still be bought in this land." - The second utterance of the Lord (Jeremiah 32:15) declares the reason why the letters were to be preserved in an earthen vessel, in order to protect them from damp, decay, and destruction, namely, because one could make use of them afterwards, when sale of property would still be taking place. There is also implied the intimation, that the present desolation of the land and the transportation of its inhabitants will only last during their time; and then the population of Judah will return, and enter again on the possession of their land. The purchase of the field on the part of Jeremiah had this meaning; and for the sake of this meaning it was announced to him by God, and completed before witnesses, in the presence of the Jews who happened to be in the court of the prison.
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