Jeremiah 32:36
And now therefore thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city, whereof ye say, It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Jeremiah 32:36-39. Now therefore, &c. — In this and the following verses God returns an answer to the prophet’s expostulation, Jeremiah 32:25. Or the words may be thus translated, But now, notwithstanding, [all this,] thus saith the Lord; concerning this city, whereof ye say, It shall be delivered into the hand, &c. — Many of the Jews now began to see that the Chaldeans would certainly take the city, and they became as much dispirited as before they were full of courage. By the sword and by the famine, &c. — The famine and pestilence, as well as the sword, seemed to fight for the king of Babylon, by the great havoc they made of the besieged, which rendered the taking of the city so much easier. Behold I will gather them out of all countries, &c. — See notes on Jeremiah 23:3; Jeremiah 23:8; Jeremiah 29:14. I will bring them again, &c., and cause them to dwell safely — Though the city shall be taken, and the people shall go into captivity, yet they shall not be utterly lost, for I will gather them again, and they shall dwell here in quietness and safety as formerly. It is justly observed, however, by St. Jerome, in his notes on the place, that this promise, taken in its full extent, was not made good to those that returned from captivity, because they were frequently infested with wars, as well by the kings of Syria and Egypt, as by the rest of their neighbours, as appears from the history of the Maccabees; and were finally subdued and destroyed by the Romans. And they shall be my people, &c. — See note on Jeremiah 24:7; Jeremiah 30:22. And I will give them one heart and one way — When the ten tribes set up a distinct kingdom from that of Judah, they stood divided, not only in their civil interests, but also in respect to their religious worship. These distinctions, God here says, he would entirely abolish, so that Israel and Judah should be united, and become one nation and one church, living under the same civil government, and using the same forms of divine worship, equally acknowledging and serving the one living and true God. That they may fear me for ever — That they may worship and obey me in truth, as a people that have a real reverence for and fear of offending me; for the good of them and of their children — Which will be for the great advantage and happiness of them and their posterity as long as they shall continue so to do. This promise, in its full sense, will not be accomplished till the general conversion of Judah and Israel to Christianity, and their restoration and reunion in the latter days. See notes on Jeremiah 3:18; Jeremiah 30:3.

32:26-44 God's answer discovers the purposes of his wrath against that generation of the Jews, and the purposes of his grace concerning future generations. It is sin, and nothing else, that ruins them. The restoration of Judah and Jerusalem is promised. This people were now at length brought to despair. But God gives hope of mercy which he had in store for them hereafter. Doubtless the promises are sure to all believers. God will own them for his, and he will prove himself theirs. He will give them a heart to fear him. All true Christians shall have a disposition to mutual love. Though they may have different views about lesser things, they shall all be one in the great things of God; in their views of the evil of sin, and the low estate of fallen man, the way of salvation through the Saviour, the nature of true holiness, the vanity of the world, and the importance of eternal things. Whom God loves, he loves to the end. We have no reason to distrust God's faithfulness and constancy, but only our own hearts. He will settle them again in Canaan. These promises shall surely be performed. Jeremiah's purchase was the pledge of many a purchase that should be made after the captivity; and those inheritances are but faint resemblances of the possessions in the heavenly Canaan, which are kept for all who have God's fear in their hearts, and do not depart from him. Let us then bear up under our trials, assured we shall obtain all the good he has promised us.These verses are repeated from Jeremiah 7:30-31, but with two important variations. Baal is put for Tophet, and to Molech instead of in the fire. Molech the king and Baal the lord are different names of the sun-god, but in altered relations. Molech is the sun as the mighty fire, which in passing through the signs of the Zodiac burns up its own children. It is an old Canaanite worship, carried by the Phoenicians to all their colonies, and firmly established in Palestine at the time when the Israelites conquered the country.36. And now therefore—rather, "But now, nevertheless." Notwithstanding that their guilt deserves lasting vengeance, God, for the elect's sake and for His covenant's sake, will, contrary to all that might have been expected, restore them.

ye say, It shall be delivered into … king of Babylon—The reprobate pass from the extreme of self-confidence to that of despair of God's fulfilling His promise of restoring them.

The Jews now began to see that the Chaldeans would take the city, and to be as dead-hearted as before they were full of courage, and to give over themselves for ever as lost.

And now therefore thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel,

concerning this city,.... Here begins the confirmation of the other part of the prophecy concerning the return of the Jews to their city and country, when they should again buy and possess fields and vineyards; which was thought impossible, supposing the destruction of the city; or however not easily reconcilable with it; but this is as strongly affirmed as the former; for though they had sinned so heinously, and had provoked the wrath of God to such a degree, that the destruction of their city was inevitable, of which they were now sensible themselves; "yet now, notwithstanding" (l), for so it is ushered in; and thus the words may be rendered, "thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel"; who is Jehovah, with whom nothing is impossible; and continues the covenant God of his own people, his spiritual Israel; for whose sake he does great and wonderful things; he says, "concerning this city", the city of Jerusalem, now besieged by the Chaldeans:

whereof ye say, it shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence; for, by these things, by the consumption that was made by them, they saw their case was desperate; and that there was no avoiding falling into the hands of the Chaldeans; wherefore, for the comfort of the Lord's own people among them, the following things are said; most of which respect the Gospel dispensation, either the beginning or latter end of it.

(l) "attamen num ideo", Schmidt.

And now {s} therefore thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city, of which ye say, It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence;

(s) Read Jer 30:16.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
36. thus saith the Lord] See on Jeremiah 32:27.

ye say] better, with LXX, thou (Jeremiah) sayest, referring to his words in Jeremiah 32:24. The MT. may have arisen from the influence of Jeremiah 33:10.

36–44. See introd. summary to the section. There seems much more to be said for the genuineness of this group of vv. in the main than for that of the previous one, though here too (see note introducing the section) there is far from a general acceptance of them by commentators. They have comparatively little in common with other passages as regards phraseology, and they are more relevant to the question which Jeremiah had asked (Jeremiah 32:24 f.). Jeremiah 32:37 (which speaks as though a general dispersion had already taken place) and Jeremiah 32:43 (referring to the land as already desolate) are perhaps the least defensible parts of the subsection.

Verse 36. - And now therefore. This introduces the strange and lovely contrast to the gloomy picture which has gone before. It will be observed that there is no direct reference to Jerusalem, but the capital was only emphasized before as the heart of the nation, and it would, of course, be no comfort to say that Jerusalem's inhabitants (alone) would be restored. Jeremiah 32:36The answer of the Lord. - Behold, I am Jahveh, the God of all flesh; is there anything impossible to me? Jeremiah 32:28. Therefore, thus saith Jahveh: Behold, I give this city into the hand of the Chaldeans, and into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar, the king of Babylon, that he may take it. Jeremiah 32:29. The Chaldeans that fight against this city shall come, and shall set fire to this city, and burn it and the houses on whose roofs you have burned incense to Baal and poured out libations to other gods, to provoke me. Jeremiah 32:30. For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have done only what is evil in mine eyes from their youth; for the children of Israel have only provoked me with the work of their hands, saith Jahveh. Jeremiah 32:31. For this city has been to me a burden upon mine anger and upon my wrath from the day that it was built till this day, that I might remove it from before my face;] Jeremiah 32:32. Because of all the wickedness of the children of Israel and the children of Judah, which they have done, to provoke me-they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Jeremiah 32:33. They turned to me the back and not the face; and though they were constantly being taught, they would not hear so as to receive instruction. Jeremiah 32:34. And they placed their abominations in the house which is called by my name, in order to defile it; Jeremiah 32:35. And built high places to Baal in the valley of Ben-hinnom, to devote their sons and their daughters of Moloch-which I did not command them, nor did it come into my mind that they would do such abomination-that they might lead Judah to sin. Jeremiah 32:36. And now, therefore, thus saith Jahveh, the God of Israel, concerning this city, of which ye say, 'It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, through the sword, famine, and pestilence:' Jeremiah 32:37. Behold, I shall gather them out of all lands whither I have driven them in my wrath, and in mine anger, and in great rage, and shall bring them back to this place, and make them dwell safely. Jeremiah 32:38. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. Jeremiah 32:39. And I will give them one heart and one way, to fear me always, for good to them and to their children after them. Jeremiah 32:40. And I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I shall not turn aside form doing them good; and I will put my fear in their heart, that they may not depart from me. Jeremiah 32:41. And I shall rejoice over them, to do them good, and shall plant them in this land, in truth, with my whole heart and my whole soul. Jeremiah 32:42. For thus saith Jahveh: 'Just as I have brought all this great evil on this people, so shall I bring on them all the good of which I speak regarding them.' Jeremiah 32:43. And fields shall be bought in this land, of which ye say, It is a desolation, without man or beast, and it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans. Jeremiah 32:44. They shall buy fields for money, and write it in the letter, and seal it up, and take witnesses, in the land of Benjamin, and in the places round Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, and in the cities of the hill-country, and in the cities of the plain, and in the cities of the south; for I shall turn again their captivity, saith Jahveh."

The Lord replies to the three points touched on in the prayer of the prophet. First, in Jeremiah 32:27, He emphatically confirms the acknowledgment that to Him, as Creator of heaven and earth, nothing is impossible (Jeremiah 32:17), and at the same time points out Himself as the God of all flesh, i.e., the God on whom depend the life and death of all men. This description of God is copied from Numbers 16:22; Numbers 27:16, where Jahveh is called "the God of the spirits of all flesh." "All flesh" is the name given to humanity, as being frail and perishing. - Then God reaffirms that Jerusalem will be given into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar, and be burned by the Chaldeans (Jeremiah 32:28.), because Israel and Judah have always roused His wrath by their idolatry and rebellion against His commands (Jeremiah 32:30-35). The substance of these verses has been often given before. On והצּיתוּ cf. Jeremiah 21:10; Jeremiah 37:8; on אשׁר cf. Jeremiah 19:13 with Jeremiah 7:9, Jeremiah 7:18. The mention of the children of Israel in connection with the children of Judah is not to be understood as if the destruction of Jerusalem was partly owing to the former; but it is here made, to signify that Judah can expect no better fate than the Israelites, whose kingdom has been destroyed long before, and who have for a long time now been driven into exile. היוּ, "they were only doing," i.e., doing nothing else than what is displeasing to the Lord. In Jeremiah 32:30 "the children of Israel" is a designation of the whole covenant people. The whole sentence has reference to Deuteronomy 31:29. "The work of their hands" is not the idols, but signifies the whole conduct and actions of the people. Jeremiah 32:31. The difficult construction היתה־לּי...על־אפּי is most easily explained from the employment of היה על with reference to the superincumbency of a duty or burden lying on one. "This city became to me a burden on my wrath," an object which lay upon my wrath, called it forth. No other explanation can be vindicated. The passages Jeremiah 52:3 and 2 Kings 24:3, 2 Kings 24:20, are of a different character, and the meaning juxta, secundum for על, after 2 Kings 6:14 (Hitzig), is quite unsuitable. The words, "from the day when it was built," are not to be referred to the earliest founding of Jerusalem, but to that time when the Israelites first built it; and even in reference to this, they are not to be pressed, but to be viewed as a rhetorically strong expression for, "from its earliest times." Even so early as David's time, opposition against Jahveh showed itself in the conspiracy of Absalom; and towards the end of Solomon's reign, idolatry had been introduced into Jerusalem, 1 Kings 11:5. After the words "to remove it from before my face," there follows once more, in Jeremiah 32:32, the reason of the rejection; cf. Jeremiah 7:12; Jeremiah 11:17, and for enumeration of the several classes of the population, Jeremiah 2:26; Jeremiah 17:25. The sins are once more specified, Jeremiah 32:33-35; in Jeremiah 32:33, as a stiff-necked departure from God, and in Jeremiah 32:34. the mention of the greatest abomination of idolatry, the setting up of idols in the temple, and of the worship of Moloch. With 33a cf. Jeremiah 2:27. The inf. abs. ולמּד stands with special emphasis instead of the finite tense: though they were taught from early morn, yet they were inattentive still. On this point cf. Jeremiah 2:13, Jeremiah 2:25; Jeremiah 25:3-4. On לקחת מוּסר cf. Jeremiah 17:23; Jeremiah 7:28. Jeremiah 32:34, Jeremiah 32:35 are almost identical with Jeremiah 7:30-31. לעשׂות וגו does not belong to the relative clause אשׁר לא וגו' (Nהgelsbach), but is parallel to להעביר וגו', continuing the main clause: "that they should commit these abominations, and thereby cause Judah to sin," i.e., bring them into sin and guilt. החטי with א dropped; see Jeremiah 19:15. - After setting forth the sin for which Judah had drawn on herself the judgment through the Chaldeans, the Lord proclaims, Jeremiah 32:36., the deliverance of the people from exile, and their restoration; thus He answers the question which had been put to Him, Jeremiah 32:25. ועתּה, "but now," marks what follows as the antithesis to what precedes. "Therefore, thus saith Jahveh," in Jeremiah 32:36, corresponds to the same words in Jeremiah 32:28. Because nothing is impossible to the Lord, He shall, as God of Israel, gather again those who have been scattered through every land, and bring them back into their own country. "To this city," - namely, of which ye speak. The suffix of מקבּצם refers to העיר, whose inhabitants are meant. Jerusalem, as the capital, represents the whole kingdom. "The dispersed" are thus, in general, the inhabitants of Judah. Hence, too, from the nature of the case, "this place" is the kingdom of Judah. On this point cf. Ezekiel 36:11, Ezekiel 36:33; Hosea 11:11.

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