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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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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.
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.
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:And said unto them, Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, unto whom ye sent me to present your supplication before him;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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.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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