Jeremiah 42:9
And said to them, Thus said the LORD, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your supplication before him;
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42:7-22 If we would know the mind of the Lord in doubtful cases, we must wait as well as pray. God is ever ready to return in mercy to those he has afflicted; and he never rejects any who rely on his promises. He has declared enough to silence even the causeless fears of his people, which discourge them in the way of duty. Whatever loss or suffering we may fear from obedience, is provided against in God's word; and he will protect and deliver all who trust in him and serve him. It is folly to quit our place, especially to quit a holy land, because we meet with trouble in it. And the evils we think to escape by sin, we certainly bring upon ourselves. We may apply this to the common troubles of life; and those who think to avoid them by changing their place, will find that the grievances common to men will meet them wherever they go. Sinners who dissemble with God in solemn professions especially should be rebuked with sharpness; for their actions speak more plainly than words. We know not what is good for ourselves; and what we are most fond of, and have our hearts most set upon, often proves hurtful, and sometimes fatal.After ten days - On previous occasions Jeremiah when consulted answered at once Jeremiah 21:3. The present delay (compare Jeremiah 28:12) was probably granted by God in order to free the minds of the people from the panic caused by the murder of Gedaliah and their fear of Chaldaean vengeance. Jeremiah could have had no doubt that the flight into Egypt was contrary to the tenor of his former prophecies. 7. ten days—Jeremiah did not speak of himself, but waited God's time and revelation, showing the reality of his inspiration. Man left to himself would have given an immediate response to the people, who were impatient of delay. The delay was designed to test the sincerity of their professed willingness to obey, and that they should have full time to deliberate (De 8:2). True obedience bows to God's time, as well as His way and will. The prophet after ten days, all which time some (but upon what ground I know not) think he spent in prayer, receiveth an answer from God, which he presently communicates to the princes and people, with a preface that containeth in it many arguments to have induced this compliance with it:

1. Because it came from the Lord.

2. From that God who, as he was in covenant with Israel, so in all the course of his providence had so carried himself to them, as they had no just reason to suspect either his kindness or his power.

3. From their employing of him to seek God upon their behalf. And said unto them, thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel,.... That had chosen Israel; had a favour for that people, and bestowed many blessings on them, and continued in a covenant relation to them; and therefore what he said should be regarded by them. This preface is made by the prophet, to show that what he was about to say was not of himself, and in his own name; but was from the Lord, and who bore a good will to them; and therefore whatever he said should be taken in good part, and as what was best for them:

unto whom ye sent me, to present your supplication before him; or, "to cause your supplication to fall before him" (t); to make it in the most humble and submissive manner; and which carries in it other arguments to engage them to obey the word of the Lord he brought to them; both because they had sent him to the Lord on this errand, to get a word from him; and by him had entreated him for it, in the most suppliant manner. The word from the Lord follows:

(t) "ut cadere facerem preces vestras coram ipso", Schmidt.

And said unto them, Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, unto whom ye sent me to present your supplication before him;
9–22. Du. (see introd. note to section) considers Jeremiah 42:15-18 as wholly an addition, and Jeremiah 42:9-14 as containing much editorial matter."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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