Jeremiah 32:8
So Hanameel mine uncle's son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the LORD, and said unto me, Buy my field, I pray thee, that is in Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin: for the right of inheritance is thine, and the redemption is thine; buy it for thyself. Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD.
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(8) Buy my field, I pray thee, that is in Anathoth . . .—We are not told what led Hanameel to make the offer of sale. Probably, as in the Assyrian invasion (Isaiah 10:30), Anathoth was occupied and ravaged by the army of the Chaldæans, and the field seemed to its possessor little more than a damnosa hœreditas (“an inheritance of ruin”), which he was glad to get rid of at any price. Perhaps, too, looking to the part that Jeremiah had taken in urging submission to Nebuchadnezzar, it seemed prudent to transfer the ownership of the field to one whom the Chaldæans were disposed to protect, while, as Jeremiah was in prison, Hanameel might well expect to remain in occupation as his representative. The words “the right of inheritance is thine” indicate that Hanameel had no children. The description “Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin,” hardly natural in the lips of cousin speaking to cousin, is wanting in the LXX. version, and is traceable probably to the Jewish habit of writing in the text what with us would be notes in the margin.

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.The right of inheritance is thine - Hanameel therefore had no children, and at his death the land would have been Jeremiah's by right of birth. According to the Law Numbers 35:5, it must have been part of the suburbs of Anathoth, within less than a mile, which was all the priests and Levites might cultivate. 8. Then I knew—Not that Jeremiah previously doubted the reality of the divine communication, but, the effect following it, and the prophet's experimentally knowing it, confirmed his faith and was the seal to the vision. The Roman historian, Florus (2.6), records a similar instance: During the days that Rome was being besieged by Hannibal, the very ground on which he was encamped was put up for sale at Rome, and found a purchaser; implying the calm confidence of the ultimate issue entertained by the Roman people. Hanameel came freely, none drove or forced him, yet he came necessarily as to the event; he could not but go, else God had not told the prophet truth.

Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord; when I saw it came to pass, knowing that God alone knew what was in men’s hearts, told what they would do, I knew my former mentioned revelation was from God.

So Hanameel mine uncle's son came unto me,.... Freely and voluntarily, of his own accord; though it was determined he should, as it was predicted he would; for God's decrees do not infringe the liberty of the will: this man came from Anathoth, very probably, to Jerusalem, to the place where the prophet was:

in the court of the prison, according to the word of the Lord; which had been made known before to Jeremiah:

and said unto me, buy my field, I pray thee, that is in Anathoth,

which is in the country of Benjamin; it belonged to that tribe:

for the right of inheritance is thine; the reversion of this field; it would come to him after the death of his cousin, as being next heir:

and the redemption is thine; buy it for thyself; since, if it was sold to another, he, according to law, was obliged to redeem it; and therefore it was much better to buy it at once for himself:

then I knew that this was the word of the Lord; that it was the word of the Lord which came to him before, and that it was the will of the Lord that he should make this purchase; since there was such an exact agreement between the prophecy and the event.

So Hanameel my uncle's son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the LORD, and said to me, Buy my {e} field, I pray thee, that is in Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin: for the right of inheritance is thine, and the redemption is thine; buy it for thyself. Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD.

(e) Of the possession of the Levites, read Le 25:32.

8. which … Benjamin] absent from LXX and under the circumstances obviously a superfluity.

the right of inheritance is thine] We infer that Hanamel had no children.

Verse 8. - The right of inheritance (or rather, of taking possession) is thine. The right, however, was dependent on the previous right of redeeming the land. Hence the speaker continues: The redemption is thine; buy it for thyself. The Law directs, "If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold" (Leviticus 25:25). Jeremiah's kinsman, however, ascribes to him the right of pre-emption. This is not mentioned in Leviticus; hut, of course, no one would care to purchase a property till he was sure that the next kinsman would not insist on redeeming it. No one, it may be remarked, could purchase land unconditionally - the usufruct of it till the year of jubilee was all that was legally transferable; and even the original occupant had only a life interest in his land, the ownership of which was, strictly speaking, vested in the commune. This seems to Be the necessary inference from a comprehensive view of the passages relative to land in the Old Testament (see Mr. Fenton's 'Early Hebrew Life; ' and an article in the Church Quarterly Review, July, 1880). Then I knew, etc. We may, perhaps, interpret this notice combined with that in ver. 6 thus: Jeremiah had had a presentiment, founded, perhaps, upon the distress to which his cousin had been reduced, that the latter would invite him to carry out the provisions of the Law; and his presentiments were generally so ordered by the Divine Spirit of prophecy as to be ratified by the event. Still, he had a measure of uncertainty till Hanameel actually came to him, and so demonstrated "that this had been the word of the Lord." In recording the circumstances, he not unnaturally reflects his later feeling of certitude in his description of the presentiment. Jeremiah 32:8What had been announced to the prophet by God took place. Hanamel came to him, and offered him his field for sale. From this Jeremiah perceived that the proposed sale was the word of the Lord, i.e., that the matter was appointed by the Lord. Jeremiah 32:9. Jeremiah accordingly bought the field, and weighed out to Hanamel "seven shekels and ten the silver" (הכּסף is definite, as being the amount of money asked as price of purchase). But the form of expression is remarkable: "seven shekels and ten" instead of "seventeen" (שׁבעה ועשׂרת שׁקלי הכּסף). The Chaldee consequently has "seven manehs and ten shekels of silver;" and J. D. Michaelis supposes that the seven shekels which are first named, and are separated from the ten, were shekels of gold: "seven shekels of gold, and seven shekels of silver." But both assumptions are gratuitous, and perhaps only inferences, not merely from the unusual separation of the numerals, but likewise from the fact that seventeen silver shekels (less than two pounds sterling) was too small a price for an arable field. The supposition of Hitzig has more in its favour, that the mode of expression "seven shekels and ten (shekels) of silver" was a law form. Some have sought to explain the smallness of the price on the ground that the seller was compelled to part with his property through poverty, and that the land had become depreciated in consequence of the war. Both may be true; but, as Ngelsbach has already remarked, neither explains the smallness of the price. For instances have very properly been adduced from Roman history (Livy, xxvi. 11, and Florus, ii. 6) which show that occupation of a country by an enemy did not lessen the value of ground-property. It is rather to be taken into consideration, that in the first place we do not know the real value of arable land among the Hebrews; and secondly, the sale of portions of land was, correctly speaking, only the sale of the harvests up till the year of jubilee, for then the property returned to the former possessor of his heirs. In the case of a sale, then, the nearer the jubilee-year, the smaller must be the price of purchase in the alienation of the land.
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