Jeremiah 43:3
But Baruch the son of Neriah setteth thee on against us, for to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they might put us to death, and carry us away captives into Babylon.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) Baruch the son of Neriah setteth thee on against us.—This was the solution which presented itself to the suspicions of the murmurers. The prophet’s amanuensis had become his leader, and was making use of him as a tool for the furtherance of his own designs, and those designs were to court the favour of the conqueror by delivering the remnant of the people into his hands. The warning of Jeremiah 45:5 may perhaps be taken as an indication that there was a certain ambition and love of eminence in Baruch’s character which gave a colour to the suspicion. Baruch himself has not appeared on the scene since the days of Jehoiakim (Jeremiah 36:32), but it lies in the nature of the case that he would be known as advocating, like Jeremiah, the policy of submission to Nebuchadnezzar. The apocryphal Book of Baruch (Baruch 1:1) represents him as being actually at Babylon at the time of the capture of Jerusalem, and this was in itself probable enough. On this assumption Jeremiah was perhaps suspected of actually receiving instructions from the Babylonian Court through Baruch, who in Jeremiah 43:6 suddenly re-appears as the prophet’s companion. Prophet and scribe were apparently seized and carried off by force, to prevent their carrying out the schemes of which they were suspected. The “remnant of Judah returned from all nations” refers to the fugitives from Moab, Ammon, or Edom, mentioned in Jeremiah 40:11. As the emigration included all who had gathered together under the protection of Gedaliah, it must have left the lands of Judah almost entirely depopulated, and the fear of this result may well have been among the reasons that determined Jeremiah’s counsels.

43:1-7 Only by pride comes contention, both with God and man. They preferred their own wisdom to the revealed will of God. Men deny the Scriptures to be the word of God, because they are resolved not to conform themselves to Scripture rules. When men will persist in sin, they charge the best actions to bad motives. These Jews deserted their own land, and threw themselves out of God's protection. It is the folly of men, that they often ruin themselves by wrong endeavours to mend their situation.These captains belonged to the party who had all along resisted Jeremiah's counsels, and had led Zedekiah astray. Now however that events had proved that the prophet's counsels had been wise and true, they cannot for shame find fault with him, but they affirm that he is under the influence of Baruch, a traitor who has sold himself to the Chaldaeans, and seeks only the hurt of the people.

These captains belonged to the party who had all along resisted Jeremiah's counsels, and had led Zedekiah astray. Now however that events had proved that the prophet's counsels had been wise and true, they cannot for shame find fault with him, but they affirm that he is under the influence of Baruch, a traitor who has sold himself to the Chaldaeans, and seeks only the hurt of the people.

3. Baruch—He being the younger spake out the revelations which he received from Jeremiah more vehemently. From this cause, and from their knowing that he was in favor with the Chaldeans, arose their suspicion of him. Their perverse fickleness was astonishing. In the forty-second chapter they acknowledged the trustworthiness of Jeremiah, of which they had for so long so many proofs; yet here they accuse him of a lie. The mind of the unregenerate man is full of deceits. Baruch was but a clerk or secretary to Jeremiah, so not very probable to overrule the prophet to a falsifying of his trust, and a betraying of his countrymen into the hands of their enemies; but so fond are wicked men of their lusts, that they will say any thing in justification of them, rather than deny themselves in them, and become obedient to the will of God.

But Baruch the son of Neriah setteth thee on against us,.... First they charge the prophet with a lie, and deny his mission from the Lord; and now to lessen the prophet's crime they charged him with, they lay the blame on Baruch, as if he, out of ill will to them, had instigated the prophet to deliver such a message; which is not at all likely, that he should be prevailed upon by a younger person, and his secretary, to take such a step: nor can it be thought that Baruch should have any interest to serve by it; and, besides, both he and the prophet were too good men, the one to instigate, and the other to be instigated, to declare a falsehood in the name of the Lord. The end proposed, they suggest, was

for to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they might put us to death, and carry us away captives into Babylon; either that he or the prophet might deliver them into the hands of the Chaldeans, to be put to death by them, or be carried captive; which is not at all probable, it being inconsistent with that piety and humanity which were conspicuous in them both, and with their conduct, who chose rather to abide in their own land, with this small and despicable handful of people, than to go and live in the court of Babylon, where good care would have been taken of them.

But Baruch the son of Neriah {e} setteth thee on against us, to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they may put us to death, and carry us away captives into Babylon.

(e) Thus the wicked not only contemn and hurt the messengers of God, but slander and speak wickedly of all them that support or favour the godly.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 3. - Baruch the son of Neriah setteth thee on. A singular supposition - Jeremiah leaving the initiative to his secretary! It may be conjectured that Baruch had somehow made himself specially unpopular; he may have been a more practical man (comp. Jeremiah 45:5) than Jeremiah. Jeremiah 43:3The march of the people to Egypt. - When Jeremiah had thus ended all the words which the Lord had announced to him for the people, then came forward Azariah (probably an error for Jezaniah, see on Jeremiah 42:1) the son of Hoshaiah, Johanan the son of Kareah, and the rest of the insolent men, and said to Jeremiah, "Thou dost utter falsehood; Jahveh our God hath not sent thee unto us, saying, Ye must not go to Egypt to sojourn there; Jeremiah 43:3. But Baruch the son of Neriah inciteth thee against us, in order to give us into the hand of the Chaldeans, to kill us, and to take us captive to Babylon." אמרים is not the predicate to כּל־האנשׁים, but forms a resumption of ויּאמר, with which it thus serves to connect its object, Jeremiah, and from which it would otherwise be pretty far removed. Azariah (or, more correctly, Jezaniah) occupies the last place in the enumeration of the captains, Jeremiah 40:8, and in Jeremiah 42:1 is also named after Johanan, who is the only one specially mentioned, in what follows, as the leader on the march. From this we may safely conclude that Jezaniah was the chief speaker and the leader of the opposition against the prophet. To avoid any reference to the promise they had made to obey the will of God, they declare that Jeremiah's prophecy is an untruth, which had been suggested to him, not by God, but by his attendant Baruch, with the view of delivering up the people to the Chaldeans.
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