Jeremiah 42:2
And said unto Jeremiah the prophet, Let, we beseech thee, our supplication be accepted before thee, and pray for us unto the LORD thy God, even for all this remnant; (for we are left but a few of many, as thine eyes do behold us:)
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) Pray for us unto the Lord thy God.—The prophet had gone to Gedaliah at Mizpah (Jeremiah 40:6), and would seem to have been among the captives whom Ishmael was carrying off when they were rescued by Johanan at Gibeon (Jeremiah 41:13-14). The people now turn to him, acknowledging him as a true prophet, and, trusting to his patriotism. ask for his guidance. Their position was difficult and dangerous. Would he not pray to Jehovah for wisdom, that they might see their way—the way to escape from the threatening peril—clearly? He complies with their wishes, and they, on their side, promise to follow the guidance for which they ask.

42:1-6 To serve a turn, Jeremiah is sought out, and the captains ask for his assistance. In every difficult, doubtful case, we must look to God for direction; and we may still, in faith, pray to be guided by a spirit of wisdom in our hearts, and the leadings of Providence. We do not truly desire to know the mind of God, if we do not fully resolve to comply with it when we know it. Many promise to do what the Lord requires, while they hope to have their pride flattered, and their favourite lusts spared. Yet something betrays the state of their hearts.Among those delivered by Johanan from Ishmael had been Jeremiah and Baruch Jeremiah 43:6; and to them now all, without exception, come for counsel.

Jezaniah - He is called Azariah in Jeremiah 43:2. The Septuagint, in both places, call him Azariah. Since there is little reason for identifying him with Jezaniah the Maachathite Jeremiah 40:8, it is probable that the Septuagint is right in calling him in both places Azariah, and that the reading Jezaniah arose from some scribe assuming that his name must be found in the earlier list.

2. Jeremiah—He probably was one of the number carried off from Mizpah, and dwelt with Johanan (Jer 41:16). Hence the expression is, "came near" (Jer 42:1), not "sent."

Let … supplication be accepted—literally, "fall" (see on [961]Jer 36:7; Jer 37:20).

pray for us—(Ge 20:7; Isa 37:4; Jas 5:16).

thy God—(Jer 42:5). The Jews use this form to express their belief in the peculiar relation in which Jeremiah stood to God as His accredited prophet. Jeremiah in his reply reminds them that God is their God ("your God") as well as his as being the covenant people (Jer 42:4). They in turn acknowledge this in Jer 42:6, "the Lord our God."

few of many—as had been foretold (Le 26:22).

These men (though wretched hypocrites) yet come to the prophet with great respect and reverence, first desiring that he would allow them to make their request to him: probably the evidence they had had so lately of his being a prophet of the Lord, by the fulfilling of all that he had foretold against both the city and the temple, might in some measure occasion this. Their request was, that he would put up his prayer to God for the remnant, for now there was but a small remnant of Jews left, a few of many.

And said unto Jeremiah the prophet,.... That is, some one of them, as the mouth of the whole body, very probably Johanan:

let, we beseech thee, our supplication be accepted before thee; they treat the prophet with great respect, and are very humble and submissive, as if they were very hearty and sincere in their request:

and pray for us unto the Lord thy God; as if they were conscious of their own inability to pray for themselves, and of their unworthiness to call God their God; and as if they had a high opinion of, he prophet, as having an interest in God, and great power with him in prayer, whom he could not well deny anything:

even for all this remnant; this poor remnant, this handful of people, left of the sword, famine, and pestilence, left in the land by the Chaldeans, and who had escaped the cruelty of Ishmael; and for whom it might be hoped the Lord would still have a regard, since he had so mercifully and wonderfully preserved them:

for we are left but a few of many, as thine eyes do behold us; the number of the people had been very large, but by the judgments of the sword, famine, and pestilence, and captivity, they were greatly reduced; here was their whole number before the prophet; his eyes beheld them, and the condition they were in: this they said to move his compassion, and very likely to suggest to him how improbable it was that they should ever be able to continue in their own land; but that it would be better to put themselves under the protection of a neighbouring nation, Egypt, whither they were inclined to go; and hoped to have a word from the Lord by the prophet, to direct them thither.

And said unto Jeremiah the prophet, Let, we beseech thee, our supplication be accepted before thee, and pray for us unto the LORD thy God, even for all this remnant; (for we are left but a few of many, as thine eyes do behold us:)
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. be accepted] For mg. See on Jeremiah 36:7.

2. then spake Azariah] See on ch. Jeremiah 42:1.

all the proud men, saying] The word in MT. (’ômĕrim) corresponding to “saying” here does not represent the ordinary Hebrew idiom. We should therefore, by a slight change in the original, read the proud and defiant (hammôrim) men.

Thou speakest falsely, etc.] The attack upon Baruch, and only indirectly and through him upon the prophet, may have arisen from their being reluctantly compelled to acknowledge that Jeremiah himself at any rate was possessed of integrity of purpose. This he had shewn by his refusal to seek protection and honourable treatment from the Chaldaeans, whose favour the worse section of his countrymen always suspected him of seeking.

Verse 2. - Said unto Jeromiah the prophet. Jeremiah, we have been already told, was one of the refugees at Mizpah (Jeremiah 40:6), and consequently was forced into the train of Ishmael (Jeremiah 41:16). Pray for us. This petition has been accused of hypocrisy, but the prophecy of Jeremiah assumes throughout that it was made in earnest (ver. 20 proven nothing to the contrary). The "captains" never supposed it possible that Jeremiah could direct them to stay in Judah; the only question with them was as to the best direction for flight. Jeremiah 42:2"And there drew near all the captains, namely, Johanan the son of Kareah, and Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people, from little to great, Jeremiah 42:2. And said to Jeremiah the prophet, Let our supplication come before thee, and pray for us to Jahveh thy God, for all this remnant (for we are left a few out of many, as thine eyes see us); Jeremiah 42:3. That Jahveh thy God may tell us the way in which we should go, and the thing that we should do." Of the captains, two, viz., Johanan and Jezaniah, are mentioned as the leaders of the people and the directors of the whole undertaking, who also, Jeremiah 42:1., insolently accuse the prophet of falsehood, and carry out the proposed march to Egypt. Jezaniah is in Jeremiah 40:8 called the Maachathite; here he is named in connection with his father, "the son of Hoshaiah;" while in Jeremiah 43:2, in conjunction with Johanan the son of Kareah, Azariah the son of Hoshaiah is mentioned, which name the lxx also have in Jeremiah 42:1 of this chapter. Hitzig, Ewald, etc., are consequently of the opinion that יזניה in our verse has been written by mistake for עזריה. But more probable is the supposition that the error is in the עזריה of Jeremiah 43:2, inasmuch as there is no reason to doubt the identity of Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah with the Jezaniah descended from Maacha (Jeremiah 40:8); and the assumption that יזניה is incorrect in two passages (Jeremiah 42:1 and Jeremiah 40:8) is highly improbable. They go to the prophet Jeremiah, whom they had taken with them from Mizpah, where he was living among the people, with the rest of the inhabitants of the place (Jeremiah 41:16). תּפּל־נא as in Jeremiah 37:20; see on Jeremiah 36:7. The request made to the prophet that he would intercede for them with the Lord, which they further urge on the ground that the number left out of the whole people is small, while there is implied in this the wish that God may not let this small remnant also perish; - this request Nהgelsbach considers a piece of hypocrisy, and the form of asking the prophet "a mere farce," since it is quite plain from Jeremiah 43:1-6 that the desire to go to Egypt was already deeply rooted in their minds, and from this they would not allow themselves to be moved, even by the earnest warning of the prophet. But to hypocrites, who were playing a mere farce with the prophet, the Lord would have probably replied in a different way from what we find in Jeremiah 42:8-22. As the Searcher of hearts, He certainly would have laid bare their hypocrisy. And however unequivocally the whole address implies the existence of disobedience to the voice of God, it yet contains nothing which can justify the assumption that it was only in hypocrisy that they wished to learn the will of God. We must therefore assume that their request addressed to the prophet was made in earnest, although they expected that the Lord's reply would be given in terms favourable to their intention. They wished to obtain from God information as to which way they should go, and what they should do, - not as to whether they should remain in the country or go to Egypt. "The way that we should go" is, of course, not to be understood literally, as if they merely wished to be told the road by which they would most safely reach Egypt; neither, on the other hand, are the words to be understood in a merely figurative sense, of the mode of procedure they ought to pursue; but they are to be understood of the road they ought to take in order to avoid the vengeance of the Chaldeans which they dreaded, - in the sense, whither they ought to go, in order to preserve their lives from the danger which threatened them.
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