Jeremiah 32 Commentary

JEREMIAH OVERVIEW
Sin - "I Will Punish" (Jer 9:25)
Hope - "I Will Restore" (Jer 30:17)

Prophet
Called

Jer 1:1-1:19

Prophecies
to Judah

Jer 2:1-45:5
Prophecies
to the Gentiles

Jer 46:1-51:64
Prophet's
Appendix

Jer 52:1-52:34
Prophet's
Commission

Jer 1:1-19
Judah
Condemned

Jer 2:1-25:38
Jeremiah's
Conflicts

Jer 26:1-29:32
Jerusalem's
Future

Jer 30:1-33:26
Jerusalem's
Fall

Jer 34:1-45:5
Nations
Condemned

Jer 46:1-51:64
Historic
Conclusion

Jer 52:1-52:34
Before The Fall Of Jerusalem
Jer 1:1-38:28
The Fall
Jer 39:1-18
After
The Fall
Call Ministry Retrospect
Nation
of Judah
Surrounding
Nations
Future of
Babylon
627-582BC
Ministered 40+ Years!

SUGGESTED RESOURCES RELATED TO
JEREMIAH 30-33

Supplement you reading with the following conservative sources use a literal approach in interpretation of the Scriptures:

Commentaries - not free but take a literal approach to interpretation:

Journal Articles or other discussions related to Jeremiah 30-33:

Sermons on Jeremiah 30-33

Jeremiah 32:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar.

THE TIMING OF
JEREMIAH 32

ca 587BC

Context of this message from Jehovah - (1) Jerusalem was being besieged by Babylon and (2) Jeremiah was under arrest in the house of king Zedekiah.

Warren Wiersbe summarizes Jeremiah 32 - It wasn’t enough for the prophet merely to preach God’s promises; he also had to practice them and prove to his hearers that he believed them himself. “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). Therefore, God directed Jeremiah to give another “action sermon” and purchase a piece of property at a time when the fortunes of Judah couldn’t have been lower. In so doing, Jeremiah got the attention of the people and was able to affirm God’s great promises to them. He had to “put his money where his mouth was” and God blessed him for it.

The word that came to Jeremiah (similar phrase in Jer 7:1, 18:1, 21:1, 25:1, 30:1, 32:1, 44:1) - A prophet is one who speaks forth the Word he receives from the LORD. What we are reading is the inspired, inerrant Word from God to and through Jeremiah to us the readers. It is God breathed and profitable and in the context it a Word the Jews needed to hear. The first 29 chapters of Jeremiah were primarily (with a few exceptional passages) judgmental. Beginning in Jeremiah 30-33 we have a more encouraging message which most writers have referred to as the "Book of Consolation." Most of this chapter speaks of historical events (Jeremiah's imprisonment and charge to purchase the land of Anathoth), prophecy that has been fulfilled (prophetic at the time Jeremiah spoke it but fulfilled with the fall of Jerusalem) and a beautiful prayer by Jeremiah. Only the last section (Jeremiah 32:36-44) do we encounter prophetic passages that are yet to be fulfilled at the time of the return of Messiah.

Application of the word that come to Jeremiah - Beloved, while we cannot receive a word of new revelation from Jehovah as did Jeremiah, we can receive a Word from Jehovah in and through His living and active Word. What's the condition? We must come to the LORD, seeking Him with all our heart in His Word (cp Jer 29:13, Mt 6:33-note), before His Word comes to us! Draw near to Him today in His Word as you read it prayerfully and expectantly and He will draw near to you (James 4:8-note) and speak to your soul by His Spirit through His Word, the same Word that came to Jeremiah! And don't rush through your time in the Word, for you are sitting in the presence of the King and it should be time you cherish because of its (His) inestimable value to your soul and spirit (Be like Mary listening at His feet, not Martha who was distracted with her preparations - Lk 10:38-42). Learn to mediate on His Word, "chewing" over (meditating on) what you read, asking simple who, what, where, why, and how questions to stir your mind and heart. God's Spirit will lead you (pray Ps 25:4-5), instruct you and feed you with the holy "manna from heaven." And internalize His Word by memorizing it frequently and fervently (see Memory Verses by Topic) as if your very life depended on it...because it does, for Jesus said man does not live on break alone but on every Word which proceeds from the mouth of God (Mt 4:4, Lk 4:4) Open your mouth (Ps 119:131) and eat and you will experience life, indeed even abundant life!

Tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah (about 587BC) - From comparison of 2Ki 25:1-2 and Jer 39:1-2 below we can deduce that the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah in roughly the middle of Nebuchadnezzar's approximately 3 year siege of Jerusalem. Stated another way this would be about 587 BC or about one year left in the final siege of Jerusalem. Can you imagine the conditions in the holy city that was surrounded by the enemy and cut off from food and supplies!

Nebuchadnezzar begins his siege of Jerusalem - 2 Kings 25:1 (cp Jer 52:4) Now in the ninth year of his (Zedekiah's) reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, camped against it and built a siege wall all around it. 2 So the city was under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.

Nebuchadnezzar breaches the city of Jerusalem - Jeremiah 39:1 Now when Jerusalem was captured in the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came to Jerusalem and laid siege to it; 2 in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the city wall was breached.

Eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar - "The dating formulas indicate that the date was 588/87 B.C. Zedekiah had begun to reign in 598/97 and Nebuchadnezzar had begun to reign in 605/604 B.C. The dating of Nebuchadnezzar’s rule here includes the partial year before he was officially crowned on New Year’s day. See the translator’s note on Jeremiah 25:1 for the method of dating a king’s reign." (NET Note)

Charles Dyer has a detailed note on the dating of this passage - The 10th year of Zedekiah would have ended on October 17, 587 B.C. (using the Judean Tishri-to-Tishri year) while the 18th year of Nebuchadnezzar began on April 23, 587 (using the Babylonian Nisan-to-Nisan year). Thus this prophecy occurred sometime between April 23 and October 17, 587 B.C. During this time Babylon was besieging Jerusalem-a siege that lasted from January 15, 588 till July 18, 586-and Jeremiah was under arrest and confined in the palace courtyard of the guard.

NET Note - According to Jer 39:1 the siege began in Zedekiah’s ninth year (i.e., in 589/88 B.C.). It had been interrupted while the Babylonian army was occupied with fighting against an Egyptian force that had invaded Judah. During this period of relaxed siege Jeremiah had attempted to go to his home town in Anathoth to settle some property matters, had been accused of treason, and been thrown into a dungeon (Jer 37:11–15). After appealing to Zedekiah he had been moved from the dungeon to the courtyard of the guardhouse connected to the palace (Jer 37:21) where he remained confined until Jerusalem was captured in 587/86 B.C. (Jer 38:28).

John Butler succinctly divides Jeremiah 32 as follows (I have modified it adding "D")...

A. The Prison for Jeremiah (Jeremiah 32:1–5)

B. The Purchase by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 32:6–15)

C. The Prayer of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 32:16–35)

D. The Prophecy of Jeremiah of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 32:36-44)

The Restoration of Israel and Judah Illustrated (Jeremiah 32:1-44)

a. The Illustration: Buy a Field in Anathoth (Jeremiah 32:1-12)

(1) Jeremiah’s Circumstances (Jeremiah 32:1-5)

(2) The Purchase of the Field at Anathoth (Jeremiah 32:6-12)

b. The Explanation of the Purchase (Jeremiah 32:13-15)

c. The Prayer of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 32:16-25)

(1) His Praise for God’s Greatness (Jeremiah 32:16-23)

(2) His Puzzlement over God’s Promise (Jeremiah 32:24-25)

d. The Answer of the Lord (Jeremiah 32:26-44)

(1) The City Will Be Destroyed (Jeremiah 32:26-35)

(2) The City Will Be Restored (Jeremiah 32:36-44)

(Moody Bible Commentary - Charles Dyer)

Jeremiah 32:2 Now at that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the guard, which was in the house of the king of Judah,

THE PLACE OF JEREMIAH'S
PRISON - THE KING'S HOUSE

KJV For then the king of Babylon's army besieged Jerusalem: and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judah's house.

ESV At that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the guard that was in the palace of the king of Judah.

NIV he army of the king of Babylon was then besieging Jerusalem, and Jeremiah the prophet was confined in the courtyard of the guard in the royal palace of Judah.

NLT Jerusalem was then under siege from the Babylonian army, and Jeremiah was imprisoned in the courtyard of the guard in the royal palace.

Note - Jeremiah 32 is a good example of the fact that the Book of Jeremiah is not compiled in our Bibles in chronological order. And so in Jeremiah 32, we see that the events described here actually follow the events in a later chapter, Jeremiah 37. In fact to fully understand the events in Jeremiah 32 one needs to understand the background by reading Jeremiah 37. It won't take that long and it will give you a better context for interpreting Jeremiah 32...

Now Zedekiah the son of Josiah whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had made king in the land of Judah, reigned as king in place of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim. 2 But neither he nor his servants nor the people of the land listened to the words of the LORD which He spoke through Jeremiah the prophet. 3 Yet King Zedekiah sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, to Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “Please pray to the LORD our God on our behalf.” 4 Now Jeremiah was still coming in and going out among the people (Comment: He had freedom of movement in the city), for they had not yet put him in the prison. 5 Meanwhile, Pharaoh’s army had set out from Egypt; and when the Chaldeans who had been besieging Jerusalem heard the report about them, they lifted the siege from Jerusalem. (Comment: The Babylonians apparently drew back from the city which experienced a short respite) 6 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, saying, 7 “Thus says the LORD God of Israel, ‘Thus you are to say to the king of Judah (Zedekiah), who sent you to Me to inquire of Me: “Behold, Pharaoh’s army which has come out for your assistance is going to return to its own land of Egypt. 8 “The Chaldeans (Babylonian armies) will also return and fight against this city, and they will capture it and burn it with fire.”’ (Comment: Not what Zedekiah would want to hear!) 9 “Thus says the LORD, ‘Do not deceive yourselves, saying, “The Chaldeans will surely go away from us,” for they will not go. 10 ‘For even if you had defeated the entire army of Chaldeans who were fighting against you, and there were only wounded men left among them, each man in his tent, they would rise up and burn this city with fire.’”

11 Now it happened, when the army of the Chaldeans had lifted the siege from Jerusalem because of Pharaoh’s army, 12 that Jeremiah went out from Jerusalem to go to the land of Benjamin in order to take possession of some property there among the people. 13 While he was at the Gate of Benjamin, a captain of the guard whose name was Irijah, the son of Shelemiah the son of Hananiah was there; and he arrested Jeremiah the prophet, saying,You are going over to the Chaldeans!” 14 But Jeremiah said, “A lie! I am not going over to the Chaldeans”; yet he would not listen to him. So Irijah arrested Jeremiah and brought him to the officials. 15 Then the officials were angry at Jeremiah and beat him, and they put him in jail in the house of Jonathan the scribe, which they had made into the prison. 16 For Jeremiah had come into the dungeon, that is, the vaulted cell; and Jeremiah stayed there many days. (Comment: This is the first phase of his imprisonment for suspected desertion.) 17 Now King Zedekiah sent and took him out; and in his palace the king secretly asked him and said, “Is there a word from the LORD?” And Jeremiah said, “There is!” Then he said, “You will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon!” 18 Moreover Jeremiah said to King Zedekiah, “In what way have I sinned against you, or against your servants, or against this people, that you have put me in prison? 19 “Where then are your prophets who prophesied to you, saying, ‘The king of Babylon will not come against you or against this land’? 20 “But now, please listen, O my lord the king; please let my petition come before you, and do not make me return to the house of Jonathan the scribe, that I may not die there.” 21 Then King Zedekiah gave commandment, and they committed Jeremiah to the court of the guardhouse and gave him a loaf of bread daily from the bakers’ street, until all the bread in the city was gone. So Jeremiah remained in the court of the guardhouse. (Comment: This is where Jeremiah 32:2-3ff picks up the rest of the story of Jeremiah's "second" phase of imprisonment in the king's guard house.)

NET Note writes that Jer 32:2–5 is a parenthetical section (in other words Jer 32:1 pauses for these 4 verses and picks back up in Jer 32:6) which provides "the background for the actual report of what the LORD said in Jer 32:7. The background is significant because it shows that Jeremiah was predicting the fall of the city and the kingdom and was being held prisoner for doing so (Ed comment: That is only partially correct - from Jer 37:13 the reason he was arrested in the first place was because the guard accused him in essence of "desertion."). Despite this pessimistic outlook, the LORD wanted Jeremiah to demonstrate his assurance of the future restoration (which has been the topic of the preceding two chapters, Jeremiah 30-31) by buying a field as a symbolic act that the Israelites would again one day regain possession of their houses, fields, and vineyards (Jer 32:15, 44). (NET Note)

Charles Feinberg summarizes the background for Jeremiah's status as a prison in the king's house - "During the temporary (lull) of the Babylonian siege (Ed: when news came that the Egyptian army was approaching Jer 37:5), when he (Jeremiah) tried to leave the city to go to the land of Benjamin, Jeremiah was taken and thrown into a dungeon on the pretense that he was defecting to the Babylonians (Jer 37:11-16)(Ed: Jeremiah was accused of "“going over to the Chaldeans!” Jer 37:13). He remained there a good while ("stayed there many days" Jer 37:16) until Zedekiah ordered him to appear before him to be questioned about the outcome of the war. When he told Zedekiah that he would be captured by Nebuchadnezzar (Jer 37:17), Jeremiah then lamented about the difficulty of his own imprisonment (Jer 37:20) and begged not to be put back into the dungeon. So Zedekiah ordered him (Jer 37:21) to be moved to the “courtyard of the guard” (Jer 32:2), where he stayed until the city fell (Jer 38:13, 28; 39:14)."

Now at that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem - John MacArthur explains the chronology of the siege noting that "The siege, set up in the tenth month (Jan.) of 588 B.C. (circa Jan 15, 588 B.C. - cp Jer 39:1), lasted at least 30 months to the fourth month (July) of 586 B.C. (circa July 18, 586 B.C. - Jer 39:2, 52:5, 6)....The events of the chapter occurred in this setting of Judah’s imminent loss of its land, only about a year before Babylon’s final takeover detailed in Jeremiah 39, 40, 52 (Ed: For Babylon's destruction of Jerusalem see 2Ki 25:8,9)..

Shut up (03607)(kala') is a verb which has the basic meaning of restricting flow or movement of thing or person. The restriction could be by act (hold back or in) or by word (prohibit). The first use in Ge 8:2 refers to the rain being restrained (Lxx = sunecho = hold together, constrain) thus ending the worldwide flood (cp Hag 1:10 dew and produce withheld). In Ge 23:6 kala' means to refuse or withhold from Abraham the right to bury Sarah in the land. In Ex 36:6 Moses order the people and they stopped making anything for the holy sanctuary. In Nu 11:28 kala' is used by Joshua when he ask Moses to restrain men from prophesying. Kala' refers to confining animals in a pen (1Sa 6:10). In 1Sa 25:33 David was thankful that Abigail kept him from harming Nabal. In Ps 40:9 kala' refers to restraining one's lips (keep his mouth closed). In Ps 40:11 David speaks to the Lord saying He would not withhold His compassion. In Ps 119:101 the psalmist testifies "I have restrained my feet from every evil way, (why?) that I may keep Your word." No man can restrain the wind (Eccl 8:8) In Jehovah's promise to restore Israel He says to the south "do not hold them back!" (Isa 43:6) which conveys the sense of do not keep them from returning to the Land of Israel. In Jer 32:2-3 kala' (Lxx = phulasso) describes Jeremiah being held in prison (shut up).

Kala' - 16 verses translated in NAS hold them back(1), kept(1), refuse(1), restrain(3), restrained(3), shut(4), stopped(1), withheld(2), withhold(1). - Ge 8:2; 23:6; Ex 36:6; Nu 11:28; 1 Sam 6:10; 25:33; Ps 40:9, 11; 88:8; 119:101; Eccl 8:8; Isa 43:6; Jer 32:2f; Ezek 31:15; Hag 1:10

The court of the guard - The NET Note explains "the courtyard of the guarding” or “place of guarding.” This expression occurs only in the book of Jeremiah (Jer 32:2, 8, 12; 33:1; 37:21; 38:6, 12, 28; 39:14, 15) and in Neh 3:25. It is not the same as an enclosed prison which is where Jeremiah was initially confined (Jer 37:15–16; literally a “house of imprisoning” [בֵּית הָאֵסוּר, bet ha’esur] or “house of confining” [בֵּית הַכֶּלֶא, bet hakkele’]).

The next chapter begins with Jeremiah in the same imprisonment in the court of the guard - "Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the second time, while he was still confined in the court of the guard, saying..." (Jer 33:1)

Which was in the house of the king of Judah - This is clearly not your routine dungeon of antiquity! "It is said to have been in the palace compound (Jer 32:2) near the citadel or upper palace (Neh 3:25). Though it was a place of confinement (Jer 32:2; 33:1; 39:15) Jeremiah was able to receive visitors, e.g., his cousin Hanamel (Jer 32:8) and the scribe Baruch (Jer 32:12), and conduct business there (Jer 32:12). According to Jer 32:12 other Judeans were also housed there. A Cistern of one of the royal princes, Malkijah, was located in this courtyard, so this is probably not a “prison compound” as NJPS interpret but a courtyard adjacent to a guardhouse or guard post (so G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26–52 [WBC], 151, and compare Neh 12:39 where reference is made to a Gate of the Guard/Guardhouse) used here for housing political prisoners who did not deserve death or solitary confinement as some of the officials though Jeremiah did. (NET Note)

The king of Judah - King Zedekiah, the puppet king installed by Nebuchadnezzar to succeed Jeconiah in 597 BC after Babylon's second foray into Jerusalem (last = 586 which destroyed city and Temple). How sad that this king did not live up to his great name which means something like "My righteousness is Yahweh!"

Jeremiah 32:3 because Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up, saying, "Why do you prophesy, saying, 'Thus says the LORD, "Behold, I am about to give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will take it;

REGAL PROVOCATION
RESULTS IN IMPRISONMENT

KJV For Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up, saying, Wherefore dost thou prophesy, and say, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it;

NET For King Zedekiah had confined Jeremiah there after he had reproved him for prophesying as he did. He had asked Jeremiah, "Why do you keep prophesying these things? Why do you keep saying that the LORD says, 'I will hand this city over to the king of Babylon? I will let him capture it.

ESV For Zedekiah king of Judah had imprisoned him, saying, "Why do you prophesy and say, 'Thus says the LORD: Behold, I am giving this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall capture it;

NIV Now Zedekiah king of Judah had imprisoned him there, saying, "Why do you prophesy as you do? You say, 'This is what the LORD says: I am about to hand this city over to the king of Babylon, and he will capture it.

NLT King Zedekiah had put him there, asking why he kept giving this prophecy: "This is what the LORD says: 'I am about to hand this city over to the king of Babylon, and he will take it.

 

Because (for) - Always be alert to terms of explanation like "because" or "for" - Here because explains why Jeremiah was "shut up" - Zedekiah did not like the prophet's prediction and refused to repent. Little did Zedekiah know that the man of God might be imprisoned but the Word of God cannot be imprisoned (cp 2Ti 2:8-9-note) - within one year Jeremiah's prophecy became Zedekiah's history! Notice how simply asking what does because explain (see interrogating with the 5W/H questions), you are "forced" to re-read the context (which is "king" in interpretation). This is never a bad thing. The Bible was never "optimized" for speed reading but for meditation, for slowly chewing the great truths that they might be digested and thereby assimilated by the Spirit into our inner most being (cp 2Cor 3:18-note). See Primer on Biblical Meditation.

Why do you prophesy? (cp Jeremiah's prophecies in Jer 26:9, Jer 34:2-3, 37:6-10) - Jeremiah did not have a high approval rating in Jerusalem and Judah and in fact on more than one occasion the Jewish hearers sought to put him to death (Jer 26:8-9, Jer 38:4). Prophets are not popular personalities for the most part! That was true in Jeremiah's day and remains true in our day dear follower of Christ. While you might mention the Name of "God" in causal conversation in the secular world, the moment you mention the Name of "Jesus" (and not as a curse word!), you are in the "cross-hairs" (so to speak) of most of your audience. The world does not want to hear the truth because it is too convicting, too frightening (cf the reaction of Felix which "typifies" the lost world's reaction to the Gospel of Jesus - Acts 24:25, cp John 16:7-8 "Helper" = Holy Spirit). Similarly King Zedekiah did not enjoy Jeremiah's prediction of the fall of the city, which meant the defeat of his kingdom and his reign of power. Zedekiah is a bit like Ahab who, when he saw Elijah, cried out "Is this you, you troubler of Israel?" (1Ki 18:17) Do you ever feel like the "troubler" in your office, your school, etc? While these are not my favorite words from Jesus, they are words we cannot ignore as believers in an environment that is becoming increasingly hostile to the Gospel and Gospel Proclaimers - "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." (John 15:18-19).

Are you suffering for you faith like Jeremiah? Let Jesus encourage you that the suffering will end and a glorious future awaits you - "Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Mt 5:11-12-note). Remember that the cross always precedes the crown. This world is not our home and we should seek no reward from it. In fact we should not be surprised what the lost will ask us just like Zedekiah asked Jeremiah "Why do you prophesy (Why do you proclaim that Jesus is the only way to the Father and eternal life)?" Paul's last words of warning to Timothy in 2Ti 3:12-note were "Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." This is not a "promise" you will find in most little books that compile "The Promises of God," but it is just as certain. Forewarned is forearmed. In Phil 1:29-30-note Paul says God has given us a "gift" declaring "For to you it has been granted (charizomai from charis ~ a gift of grace!) for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me."

Behold (02009)(hinneh) directs the reader's mind to the text, imploring him to give it special attention. The Spirit is trying to arrest our attention that something very important follows! Spurgeon reminds us that "Behold is a word of wonder; it is intended to excite admiration. Wherever you see it hung out in Scripture, it is like an ancient sign-board, signifying that there are rich wares within, or like the hands which solid readers have observed in the margin of the older Puritanic books, drawing attention to something particularly worthy of observation." I would add, behold is like a divine highlighter, a divine underlining of an especially striking or important text. It says in effect "Listen up, all ye who would be wise in the ways of Jehovah!"

Behold is used 8 times in 7 verses of chapter 31 (Jer 32:3, 7, 17, 24, 27-28, 37) - It is interesting that about 10% of all the OT uses of "Behold" are found in Jeremiah. Jer 1:6, 9, 15, 18; 2:35; 3:5, 22; 4:13, 23ff; 5:14f; 6:10, 19, 21f; 7:8, 11, 20, 32; 8:8f, 15, 17, 19; 9:7, 15, 25; 10:18, 22; 11:11, 22; 12:14; 13:13; 14:18f; 16:9, 12, 14, 16, 21; 18:6, 11; 19:3, 6, 15; 20:4; 21:4, 8, 13; 23:2, 5, 7, 15, 19, 30-32, 39; 24:1; 25:9, 29, 32; 26:14; 27:16; 28:16; 29:17, 21, 32; 30:3, 10, 18, 23; 31:8, 27, 31, 38; 32:3, 7, 17, 24, 27-28, 37; 33:6, 14; 34:2, 17, 22; 35:17; 36:12; 37:7; 38:5, 22; 39:16; 40:4, 10; 42:4; 43:10; 44:2, 11, 26f, 30; 45:4f; 46:25; 47:2; 48:12, 40; 49:2, 5, 12, 15, 19, 22, 35; 50:9, 12, 18, 31, 41, 44; 51:1, 25, 36, 47, 52.

I am about to give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon - Jehovah affirms that this indeed will happen in Jer 32:28-29. In fact not only did Jehovah predict judgment but He participated in it declaring in Jer 21:5 "I Myself shall war against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm, even in anger and wrath and great indignation."

I am about to give - Notice Who is in control! Nebuchadnezzar thought he was, but clearly he could not even take a breath unless enabled by the Sovereign God of the universe (cp Da 5:23-note). "The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He (Jehovah) turns it wherever He wishes." (Pr 21:1) If this is true (and it is) what obstacle is too overwhelming in your life? Obstacles are opportunities to trust in God's faithfulness and grow in Christ-like character. (James 1:2-4-note) Remember that the same sovereign, omnipotent God of the Universe Who sees your circumstances and cares for you with infinite love, promises that "No temptation (test = peirasmos) has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful (YOU CAN TRUST HIM! = Memorize Lam 3:22-23), Who will not allow you to be tempted (tested = peirazo) beyond what you are able (dunamai), but with the temptation (test) will provide the (the specific) way of escape (so keep your eyes open for "the way" so you do not miss it!) also, that you may be able to endure it." (1Cor 10:13-note)

He will take it - This prophecy was consummated in the final Siege of Jerusalem in 587/586BC. Notice here we see an important Biblical principle in the juxtaposition of God's Sovereignty ("I...give") and man's responsibility ("he will take"). In fact this great truth is the "secret" of a "victorious" Christian life as explained by the juxtaposition of our responsibility (Php 2:12-note) to continually work out our salvation and the twin truth of God's sovereign provision both to give us the desire and the power (Php 2:13NLT-note) to continually work out our salvation! As an aside, Nebuchadnezzar was given power to take Jerusalem but he became arrogant and was therefore held accountable (Jer 50:28-29, 51:11, 24, 56).

Jeremiah 32:4 and Zedekiah king of Judah will not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, but he will surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will speak with him face to face and see him eye to eye;

KJV And Zedekiah king of Judah shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, but shall surely be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him mouth to mouth, and his eyes shall behold his eyes;

NET King Zedekiah of Judah will not escape from the Babylonians. He will certainly be handed over to the king of Babylon. He must answer personally to the king of Babylon and confront him face to face.

ESV Zedekiah king of Judah shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, but shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him face to face and see him eye to eye.

NIV Zedekiah king of Judah will not escape out of the hands of the Babylonians but will certainly be handed over to the king of Babylon, and will speak with him face to face and see him with his own eyes.

NLT King Zedekiah will be captured by the Babylonians and taken to meet the king of Babylon face to face.

Zedekiah king of Judah will not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans - No wonder Zedekiah did not want to hear Jeremiah's prophecy. He was a bearer of bad news, but it was true news! This prophecy implies Zedekiah would refuse to surrender and attempt to escape from the hand of Nebuchadnezzar but it would be to no avail. See Jeremiah 52:8-11 below for fulfillment of this prophecy.

The Chaldeans - "The Chaldeans were a group of people in the country south of Babylon from which Nebuchadnezzar came. The Chaldean dynasty his father established became the name by which the Babylonians are regularly referred to in the book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah’s contemporary Ezekiel uses both terms." (NET Note) (See also Chaldeans - American Tract Society Bible Dictionary; Chaldea; Chaldeans - International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)

He will speak with him face to face and see him eye to eye - Hebrew is more literally "“his [Zedekiah’s] mouth will speak with his [Nebuchadnezzar’s] mouth and his eyes will see his eyes."

Jeremiah 52:8-11 - But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho, and all his army was scattered from him.

9 Then they captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath; and he passed sentence on him.

10 And the king of Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar) slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and he also slaughtered all the princes of Judah in Riblah.

11 Then he blinded the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him with bronze fetters and brought him to Babylon, and put him in prison until the day of his death.

NET Note on the fall of Jerusalem in 587/586 BC - On the ninth day of the fourth month in the middle of July (Josephus) after a year and a half's siege (from the tenth month of the ninth year to the fourth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah) about midnight a breach was made in the wall The Babylonian princes took their seats in state in the middle gate, between the upper and the lower city. Zedekiah fled in the opposite direction, namely, southwards, with muffled face to escape recognition, and like one digging through a wall to escape (Ezekiel 12:12-note; Ezekiel 12:6-note), between the two walls on the E. and W. sides of the Tyropoeon Valley, by a street issuing at the gate above the royal gardens and the fountain of Siloam. Zedekiah was overtaken in the plains of Jericho. He was taken for judgment to Riblah at the upper end of Lebanon; there Nebuchadnezzar first killed his sons before his eyes, then caused the eyes of Zedekiah to be "dug out" (Jeremiah 39:1-18; Jeremiah 52:4-11). Thus were fulfilled the seemingly inconsistent prophecies, "his eyes shall behold his eyes," Jeremiah 32:4 , and Ezekiel 12:13-note "he shall not see Babylon, though he shall die there." Zedekiah was put "in prison," literally, "the house of visitations" or "punishments," where there was penal work enforced on the prisoners, as grinding, from whence Septuagint reads "in the house of the mill." So Samson "did grind" (Judges 16:21-note). He probably died before Evil (Amel)-Marduk, successor of Nebuchadnezzar who treated kindly Jehoiachin in the 37th year of his captivity, 26 years after the fall of Jerusalem; for no mention is made of him (Jeremiah 52:31).

Jeremiah 32:5 and he will take Zedekiah to Babylon, and he will be there until I visit him," declares the LORD. "If you fight against the Chaldeans, you will not succeed"'"

KJV And he shall lead Zedekiah to Babylon, and there shall he be until I visit him, saith the LORD: though ye fight with the Chaldeans, ye shall not prosper.

NET Zedekiah will be carried off to Babylon and will remain there until I have fully dealt with him. I, the LORD, affirm it! Even if you continue to fight against the Babylonians, you cannot win.'"

ESV nd he shall take Zedekiah to Babylon, and there he shall remain until I visit him, declares the LORD. Though you fight against the Chaldeans, you shall not succeed'?"

NIV He will take Zedekiah to Babylon, where he will remain until I deal with him, declares the LORD. If you fight against the Babylonians, you will not succeed.'"

NLT He will take Zedekiah to Babylon, and I will deal with him there,' says the LORD. 'If you fight against the Babylonians, you will never succeed.'"

Visit (06485)(paqad) in Jeremiah has several different meanings either most often in negative sense conveying the idea of punish (Jer 5:29, 6:6, 15, 9:9, 25, 11:22, 21:14, 23:34, 25:12, 27:8, 29:32, 30:20, 44:13, 29, 46:25, 49:8, 50:18, 31, 51:44, 47, 52). Paqad is used with the sense of to visit (always a visit from Jehovah) which was sometimes in a positive sense as in Jer 27:22 (restoration) and Jer 29:10 (fulfill word to end the 70 year exile). However, in the context of Jeremiah 32:5 Jehovah's "visit" to Zedekiah is used a negative sense for it refers to his imprisonment and ultimate death (Jer 52:11). The wages of sin are death! If Zedekiah had only listened to Jeremiah's words! There will be many in hell saying "If only I had listened to my Christian friend!" But then it will be "too little, too late" and will be a tragic regret that echoes throughout eternity! Woe!

Paqad is used 45x in Jeremiah (out of a total of 268 OT uses) - Jer 1:10; 3:16; 5:9, 29; 6:6, 15; 9:9, 25; 11:22; 13:21; 14:10; 15:3, 15; 21:14; 23:2, 4, 34; 25:12; 27:8, 22; 29:10, 32; 30:20; 32:5; 36:20, 31; 37:21; 40:5, 7, 11; 41:2, 10, 18; 44:13, 29; 46:25; 49:8, 19; 50:18, 31, 44; 51:27, 44, 47, 52

If you fight against the Chaldeans, you will not succeed (cp related prophecy in Jer 21:4-5, cp Jer 37:10) - To whom do these prophetic words of Jeremiah apply? Both pronouns ("you") are in the plural which supports that this is not a prophecy solely given to King Zedekiah but is a more general prophecy given to all of Jerusalem and Judah. "Jeremiah had counseled that they surrender (cf. Jer 27:12; 21:8–10) because they could not succeed against the Babylonian army even under the most favorable circumstances (Jer 37:3–10)." (ref) Note that Jer 34:2–3 gives essentially the same prophecy.

The NET Note adds that "The incident in Jer 34:1–7 appears to be earlier than this one. Here Jeremiah is confined to the courtyard of the guardhouse; there he appears to have freedom of movement."

Jeremiah 32:6 And Jeremiah said, "The word of the LORD came to me, saying,

GOD'S WORD TO JEREMIAH
BUY THE FIELD!

Jeremiah 32:6-15

As discussed in the notes on Jer 32:2, verses 2-5 serve as a parenthesis to give us background. In Jer 32:6 picks up where Jer 32:1 left off. And so we could read Jer 32:1 and Jer 32:6 as a continuous thought = "The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD" ("parenthesis") "And Jeremiah said, “The word of the LORD came to me, saying..." (Jer 32:1, 6).

The word of the LORD came to me - This phrase is found 57x in the NAS - 1 Chr 22:8; Jer 1:4, 11, 13; 2:1; 13:3, 8; 18:5; 24:4; 32:6; Ezek 3:16; 6:1; 7:1; 11:14; 12:1, 8, 17, 21, 26; 13:1; 14:2, 12; 15:1; 16:1; 17:1, 11; 18:1; 20:2, 45; 21:1, 8, 18; 22:1, 17, 23; 23:1; 24:1, 15, 20; 25:1; 26:1; 27:1; 28:11, 20; 29:1, 17; 30:20; 31:1; 32:1, 17; 33:1, 23; 34:1; 35:1; 36:16; 38:1; Zech 4:8. As discussed earlier for believers today, we can receive the Word of the LORD every day if we simply choose to meet Him in His Word and be humbly and prayerfully taught by His Spirit.

NET Note has an interesting analysis of this verse - This verse resumes the narrative introduction in Jer 32:1 which was interrupted by the long parenthetical note about historical background. There is again some disjunction in the narrative (compare the translator’s notes on Jer 27:2 and Jer 28:1). What was begun as a biographical (third person) narrative turns into an autobiographical (first person) narrative until Jer 32:26 where the third person is again resumed. Again this betrays the hand of the narrator, Baruch.

Jeremiah 32:7 'Behold, Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle is coming to you, saying, " Buy for yourself my field which is at Anathoth, for you have the right of redemption to buy it."'

A SYMBOL OF A FUTURE
AND A HOPE AFTER EXILE

KJV Behold, Hanameel the son of Shallum thine uncle shall come unto thee, saying, Buy thee my field that is in Anathoth: for the right of redemption is thine to buy it.

NET 'Hanamel, the son of your uncle Shallum, will come to you soon. He will say to you, "Buy my field at Anathoth because you are entitled as my closest relative to buy it."'

ESV Behold, Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle will come to you and say, 'Buy my field that is at Anathoth, for the right of redemption by purchase is yours.'

NIV Hanamel son of Shallum your uncle is going to come to you and say, 'Buy my field at Anathoth, because as nearest relative it is your right and duty to buy it.'

NLT "Your cousin Hanamel son of Shallum will come and say to you, 'Buy my field at Anathoth. By law you have the right to buy it before it is offered to anyone else.' "

 

For context recall that Jeremiah 30 and 31 present Jehovah's prophetic promises through Jeremiah that the nation of Israel did have a future and a hope (cp Jer 29:11). And remember that "hope" in Scripture is seldom "hope so" but "hope sure!" In other words, Biblical hope is the full assurance that God will do good to me in the future! Now in Jer 32:6-15 God calls Jeremiah to carry out another symbolic action that would serve as evidence that what he had just proclaimed about Israel's glorious future hope was absolutely true and certain to be fulfilled.

Related Resource - Blessed Hope - specifically the Messianic Hope of Israel

Behold - see note on Jeremiah 32:3.

Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle is coming to you - Jeremiah is being given a "heads up," especially in light of what would surely seem to him to be a somewhat strange suggestion in the context of his prophecies that the Babylonians would defeat Judah!

Warren Wiersbe adds that "God’s Word came to Jeremiah telling him to do a most illogical thing: Buy a piece of the battlefield!" (Comment: As Feinberg states the land Jeremiah was to purchase lay outside the besieged city and was under the control of the Babylonians!)

Wiersbe goes on to ask "Of what use would a field be to Jeremiah who couldn’t possibly live for another seventy years? That, however, is what faith is all about: obeying God in spite of what we see, how we feel, and what may happen. It’s well been said that faith is not believing in spite of evidence but obeying in spite of consequence, and Jeremiah’s actions illustrate that maxim. When word got out that Jeremiah was investing in worthless real estate, many people must have laughed, others shook their heads in disbelief, and some probably thought he was crazy....The witnesses attested to the signature and the deeds and probably went away wondering whether Jeremiah had lost his mind. The transaction was the talk of the city, you can be sure, with Hanamel the hero. Hanamel may have thought he engineered a shrewd deal, but he only gave evidence of his unbelief."

Hanamel has an interesting name which is derived from chanan meaning to be gracious and El which means God. And so his name is "God is gracious." So the God of all grace (1Peter 5:10-note) used a man named "God is gracious" to call Jeremiah to buy land which would be a symbol of His grace to restore His people to the land, first after their exile in Babylon and finally in the last days after their "exile" (dispersion) in the world (so to speak)! And surely Hanamel did not come up with this idea on his own but was instructed in some way by Jehovah to convey this message to Jeremiah. Hanamel did not play a "big role" in the Bible but he was faithful to follow through with the good work God had prepared for him. Beloved, we too need to be faithful "For we are His workmanship ("masterpiece" - poiema), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand (before we were born, before we were born again and before the heaven and earth were "born!"), that we should walk in them." (Eph 2:10-note)

Buy (imperative = a command) for yourself my field which is at Anathoth -

Anathoth (06068)(anathoth presumably from anath) was the name of both two persons and a place. Anathoth was a city located about three miles northeast of Jerusalem in the region assigned to Benjamin which had been given to the Levites (Josh 21:18). It was the home of Abiathar the priest and was the place Solomon sent him when he removed him as high priest (1Ki 2:26-27). Anathoth is probably the most famous as the birthplace of the prophet Jeremiah who himself may have been of the priestly line (Jer 1:1; 29:27). Two of David’s distinguished soldiers, Abiezer (2Sa 23:27) and Jehu (1Chr 12:3), also lived in Anathoth. Two times Anathoth refers to individuals, a Benjamite, the 8th of 9 sons of Beker, who was the son of Benjamin (1Chr 7:8). Anathoth was also the name of A chief that is a family or clan leader, who along with 84 other priests, Levites, and leaders signed a covenant that the Israelites would obey the law of God given through Moses (Neh. 10:19).

Another fact that makes the purchase of land in Anathoth very strange is that Jeremiah had been opposed and threatened by the citizens of Anathoth (Jer 11:21-23)! Who would want to purchase land next to those who were hostile to him? Yes, God had said he would punish them but it still makes Jeremiah's purchase an act of faith (faith obeys) as discussed elsewhere in these notes. It is notable that although Anathoth was overrun by the Babylonians at the time Jeremiah was instructed to purchase the land, it was resettled following the 70 year Babylonian exile (Neh 7:27, 11:32). Of course, Jeremiah would not have been alive to see the land resettled (as God had promised Jer 32:15), which again makes his act of purchase even more an act of great faith! Jeremiah had faith in God's Word. And as the Scripture clearly teaches genuine faith obeys. (see discussion of Paul's phrase "obedience of faith" in the commentary on Romans 1:5). To reiterate an earlier comment faith is not believing in spite of evidence but obeying in spite of consequences!

Anathoth 6/15 uses in Jeremiah - Josh 21:18; 1Ki 2:26; 1Chr 6:60; 7:8; Ezra 2:23; Neh 7:27; 10:19; 11:32; Isa 10:30; Jer 1:1; 11:21, 23; 32:7-9

You have the right of redemption to buy it - "that is, had it been sold to another, it would have lain upon him to have redeemed it, as being next of kin, that so it might not pass to another tribe and family." (John Gill)

Adam Clarke - "The law had established that the estates of a family should never be alienated. If, therefore, a man through poverty was obliged to sell his patrimony, the nearest relative had a right to purchase it before all others, and even to redeem it, if it had been sold to another. This is what is called the right of goel, or kinsman, Leviticus 25:25. And in the year of jubilee the whole reverted to its ancient master Leviticus 25:13."

NET Note on Jeremiah's right of redemption - Underlying this request are the laws of redemption of property spelled out in Lev 25:25–34 and illustrated in Ruth 4:3–4. Under these laws, if a property owner became impoverished and had to sell his land, the nearest male relative had the right and duty to buy it so that it would not pass out of the use of the extended family. The land, however, would not actually belong to Jeremiah because in the year of Jubilee it reverted to its original owner. All Jeremiah was actually buying was the right to use it (Lev 25:13–17). Buying the field, thus, did not make any sense (thus Jeremiah’s complaint in Jer 32:25) other than the fact that the LORD intended to use Jeremiah’s act as a symbol of a restored future in the land. (Bolding added)

Charles Feinberg adds that "Jeremiah’s purchase of the field from Hanamel, his cousin (v.7), was meant to encourage the people regarding their return from captivity and to show Jeremiah’s firm faith in their future despite their desperate situation....The situation is all the more dramatic since the field Jeremiah was to buy had already been captured by the invading Babylonians."

Leviticus 25:24-25 - Thus for every piece of your property, you are to provide for the redemption of the land. ‘If a fellow countryman of yours becomes so poor he has to sell part of his property, then his nearest kinsman is to come and buy back what his relative has sold.

Redemption (01353)(geullah = passive participle of ga'al) is feminine singular noun meaning redemption. The term is typically used in legal texts denoting who can redeem (Lev. 25:24, 31, 32, 48); what they can redeem (Lev. 25:26); when (Lev. 25:26, 51, 52); and for how much (Lev. 25:26, 51, 52). Redemption was a means by which property remained in families or clans and is most vividly portrayed in Ruth 4:6, 7-note.

Note that geullah is given a Strong's number different than (ga'al) (01350) but both Strong's definition and the respected Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament state that geullah (or ge'ulla) is a feminine passive participle of ga'al and functions as a feminine noun in the Hebrew. Don't let this technical explanation sidetrack you from the essence of the meaning of this word geullah, which expresses the action of a relative in setting free a member of his family or buying back his property. Geullah was also used in general of purchasing something for a price. A ransom-price is paid to secure the release of that which would otherwise be forfeited.

Geullah - 12 v translated redemption(7), redemption right(2), redemption rights(1), right of redemption(3). - Lev 25:24, 26, 29, 31-32, 48, 51-52; Ruth 4:6-7-note; Jer 32:7-8

Jeremiah 32:8 "Then Hanamel my uncle's son came to me in the court of the guard according to the word of the LORD and said to me, 'Buy my field, please, that is at Anathoth, which is in the land of Benjamin; for you have the right of possession and the redemption is yours; buy it for yourself.' Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD.

THE PLEA FOR
THE PURCHASE

KJV 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.

NET Now it happened just as the LORD had said! My cousin Hanamel(16 )came to me in the courtyard of the guardhouse. He said to me, 'Buy my field which is at Anathoth in the territory of the tribe of Benjamin. Buy it for yourself since you are entitled as my closest relative to take possession of it for yourself.' When this happened, I recognized that the LORD had indeed spoken to me.

ESV Then Hanamel my cousin came to me in the court of the guard, in accordance with the word of the LORD, and said to me, 'Buy my field that is at Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, for the right of possession and redemption is yours; buy it for yourself.' Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD.

NIV Then, just as the LORD had said, my cousin Hanamel came to me in the courtyard of the guard and said, 'Buy my field at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. Since it is your right to redeem it and possess it, buy it for yourself.' "I knew that this was the word of the LORD;

NLT Then, just as the LORD had said he would, my cousin Hanamel came and visited me in the prison. He said, "Please buy my field at Anathoth in the land of Benjamin. By law you have the right to buy it before it is offered to anyone else, so buy it for yourself." Then I knew that the message I had heard was from the LORD.

 

According to the word of the LORD...then I knew that this was the word of the LORD - Just as Jehovah had promised in Jer 32:7. When God says it, that settles it whether we believe it or not! So when Jeremiah saw that it had happened just as the LORD had predicted and he proceeds to make what looks like a foolish purchase. Jeremiah's action would seem as ridiculous as closing a deal on a vacation home on the Gulf Coast with a hurricane in the Gulf heading toward the home you are going to purchase! Not smart! But Jeremiah obeys God.

Buy the field - Some commentators feel that Hanamel (either a cousin or uncle) was trying to unload his property before the Babylonians seized it but others fell they had already taken control of the land of Anathoth.

It is interesting that on two other occasions Jeremiah was instructed to carry out symbolic acts with prophetic import and in both of them he was commanded by Jehovah to buy something. In Jer 13:1-27 he was commanded to "Go and buy yourself a linen waistband." In Jer 19:1-15 he was commanded to "Go and buy a potter’s earthenware jar."

Jeremiah 32:9 "I bought the field which was at Anathoth from Hanamel my uncle's son, and I weighed out the silver for him, seventeen shekels of silver.

THE PURCHASE
CONSUMMATED

KJV And I bought the field of Hanameel my uncle's son, that was in Anathoth, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver. {seventeen...: or, seven shekels and ten pieces of silver}

NET So I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel. I weighed out seven ounces of silver and gave it to him to pay for it.

ESV "And I bought the field at Anathoth from Hanamel my cousin, and weighed out the money to him, seventeen shekels of silver.

NIV so I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel and weighed out for him seventeen shekels That is, about 7 ounces (about 200 grams)} of silver.

NLT So I bought the field at Anathoth, paying Hanamel seventeen pieces of silver for it.

NET Note on weighed out the silver - Coins were not in common use until the postexilic period. Payment in gold and silver was made by cutting off pieces of silver or gold and weighing them in a beam balance using standard weights as the measure. A shekel weighed approximately 0.4 ounce or 11.4 grams. The English equivalents are only approximations.

I weighed out the silver for him - Integrity was evidenced by Jeremiah in paying for the property.

Shekel - The shekel was properly and only a weight. It was used especially in weighing uncoined gold and silver: "The land is worth 400 shekels of silver...Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver-in the audience of the sons of Heth," Genesis 23:15,16 . In such cases the word shekel is often omitted in the Hebrew, as in Genesis 20:16, 37:28 , where our translators have supplied the word "pieces," but improperly, because coined money was not then known. (American Tract Society Bible Dictionary)

Jeremiah 32:10 "I signed and sealed the deed, and called in witnesses, and weighed out the silver on the scales.

PURCHASE PRICE
PAID

KJV And I subscribed the evidence, and sealed it, and took witnesses, and weighed him the money in the balances. {subscribed...: Heb. wrote in the book}

NET I signed the deed of purchase, sealed it, and had some men serve as witnesses to the purchase. I weighed out the silver for him on a scale.

ESV I signed the deed, sealed it, got witnesses, and weighed the money on scales.

NIV I signed and sealed the deed, had it witnessed, and weighed out the silver on the scales.

NLT I signed and sealed the deed of purchase before witnesses, weighed out the silver, and paid him.

Speaking of the future, Jeremiah 32:44 says "Men shall buy fields for money, sign and seal deeds, and call in witnesses in the land of Benjamin, in the environs of Jerusalem, in the cities of Judah, in the cities of the hill country, in the cities of the lowland, and in the cities of the Negev; for I will restore their fortunes,’ declares the LORD.”

I signed and sealed the deed - Sealing authenticated the deed and kept it secure.

Sealed (02856)(chatham/hatam) describes the act of affixing an impression to serve as a symbol to certify and/or authenticate a document. Chatham describes the action of signing a document and then placing a personal seal on it (1Ki 21:8, Jer 32:10, 44). It can describe the act of sealing something to make it secure, the most likely meaning in this present passage (cp Da 9:24, 12:4, Dt 32:34 [in sense of lock or store away with respect to goods or property], Isa 29:11, Jer 32:11, 14). It is interesting that an archaeological find in recent years is that of a seal that says "Berekyahu (Baruch is apparently a shortened form of this name) son of Neriyahu (Neriah) the scribe." (See picture of seal of Baruch or here) The full name "Baruch the son of Neraiah, the scribe" appears in Jer 36:32.

The deed - This refers to a deed of purchase (see Jer 32:11-13).

Called in witnesses - more literal the Hebrew reads "cause witnesses to witness." “I had some witnesses serve as witness.”

Jeremiah 32:25 ‘And Thou hast said to me, O Lord GOD, “Buy for yourself the field with money, and call in witnesses”–although the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.’”

Jeremiah 32:11 "Then I took the deeds of purchase, both the sealed copy containing the terms and conditions and the open copy;

TWO COPIES OF
THE DEED OF PURCHASE

KJV So I took the evidence of the purchase, both that which was sealed according to the law and custom, and that which was open:

NET There were two copies of the deed of purchase. One was sealed and contained the order of transfer and the conditions of purchase. The other was left unsealed.

ESV Then I took the sealed deed of purchase, containing the terms and conditions and the open copy.

NIV I took the deed of purchase-- the sealed copy containing the terms and conditions, as well as the unsealed copy--

NLT Then I took the sealed deed and an unsealed copy of the deed, which contained the terms and conditions of the purchase,

Then - An expression of time which marks what is next in a sequence of events. This word is very useful in prophetic passages in which it helps establish the order of events in that prophecy.

Remember that this entire transaction is taking place in a most unusual place - the court of the guardhouse where Jeremiah was still Zedekiah's prisoner!

Sealed copy...and the open copy - The deed of purchase was in duplicate (see explanations below).

NET Note on sealed copy and open copy - Part of the confusion is due to the nature of this document which consisted of a single papyrus scroll, half of which was rolled up and sealed and the other half which was left “opened” or unsealed.....Aramaic documents from a slightly later period help us understand the nature of such deeds. The document consisted of a single papyrus sheet divided in half. One half contained all the particulars and was tightly rolled up, bound with strips of cloth or thread, sealed with wax upon which the parties affixed their seal, and signed by witnesses. The other copy consisted of an abstract and was left loosely rolled and unsealed (i.e., open to be consulted at will). If questions were raised about legality of the contract then the sealed copy could be unsealed and consulted.

Thompson has a different explanation for sealed copy...open copy - There is some ambiguity here. It would appear that a deed of purchase was prepared which Jeremiah sealed with his personal seal in the presence of the witnesses. If the practice was that of the Jewish community at Elephantine in Egypt in the late fifth century B.C., the contract was written out on papyrus and was then folded over several times, tied, and sealed. This was the closed official copy. An unsealed copy was attached to it for consultation. A similar practice was followed in Mesopotamia, where the official contract written on clay was enclosed in a clay envelope bearing the same contract and the seal impressions of the witnesses’ cylinder seals. The same practice obtained in Palestine in the fourth century B.C. Similar “tied deeds” have been discovered in the Judean desert. (NICOT-Jeremiah)

Another source comments that there were "Four steps were involved in this real estate transaction: Jeremiah recorded the transaction on a scroll, sealed it, called in witnesses, and stored it in two copies: a sealed copy and an open copy. The sealed copy was rolled up with a seal placed on the outside as a backup copy to verify that no tampering had taken place. The open copy was a duplicate." (HCSB Study Bible)

Jeremiah 32:12 and I gave the deed of purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, in the sight of Hanamel my uncle's son and in the sight of the witnesses who signed the deed of purchase, before all the Jews who were sitting in the court of the guard.

DEED OF PURCHASE
TRANSFERRED TO BARUCH

KJV And I gave the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, in the sight of Hanameel mine uncle's son, and in the presence of the witnesses that subscribed the book of the purchase, before all the Jews that sat in the court of the prison.

NET I took both copies of the deed of purchase and gave them to Baruch son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah. I gave them to him in the presence of my cousin Hanamel, the witnesses who had signed the deed of purchase, and all the Judeans who were housed in the courtyard of the guardhouse.

ESV And I gave the deed of purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah son of Mahseiah, in the presence of Hanamel my cousin, in the presence of the witnesses who signed the deed of purchase, and in the presence of all the Judeans who were sitting in the court of the guard.

NIV and I gave this deed to Baruch son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, in the presence of my cousin Hanamel and of the witnesses who had signed the deed and of all the Jews sitting in the courtyard of the guard.

NLT and I handed them to Baruch son of Neriah and grandson of Mahseiah. I did all this in the presence of my cousin Hanamel, the witnesses who had signed the deed, and all the men of Judah who were there in the courtyard of the guardhouse.

 

Clearly Jeremiah and Baruch had a special relationship and Jeremiah completely trusted his friend.

Baruch (01263)(see note below on Baruk) - This is the first mention in this chapter.

Hanamel...witnesses...all the Jews - This appears to be a fairly big group of men who saw this unusual and "crazy" (to those who walked by sight, not by faith) transaction take place.

Jeremiah 32:13 "And I commanded Baruch in their presence, saying,

IMPORTANCE OF
MANY WITNESSES

I commanded Baruch In their presence - Who was present? Why is that so significant? Hanamel, the witnesses and all the Jews saw Jeremiah transfer the deed with specific instructions. While we can only speculate, it is certainly probable that the news of Jeremiah's foolish purchase went "viral" throughout Jerusalem much like youtube videos do in our day. Seen with eyes of faith, not sight (2Cor 5:7), Jeremiah's act was not "crazy" but was meant to be a symbol (much like a red octagon symbolizes "Stop!" even without the word) to the men and women of Jerusalem (that would soon be overrun by the Babylonians) that God was not finished with Israel! The command relates to Jeremiah's instructions given in Jer 32:14, 15.

Jeremiah 32:14 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, "Take these deeds, this sealed deed of purchase and this open deed, and put them in an earthenware jar, that they may last a long time."

A SECOND
EARTHENWARE JAR

KJV Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences, this evidence of the purchase, both which is sealed, and this evidence which is open; and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days.

NET 'The LORD God of Israel who rules over all says, "Take these documents, both the sealed copy of the deed of purchase and the unsealed copy. Put them in a clay jar so that they may be preserved for a long time to come."'

ESV 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Take these deeds, both this sealed deed of purchase and this open deed, and put them in an earthenware vessel, that they may last for a long time.

NIV 'This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Take these documents, both the sealed and unsealed copies of the deed of purchase, and put them in a clay jar so they will last a long time.

NLT "This is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies, the God of Israel, says: 'Take both this sealed deed and the unsealed copy, and put them into a pottery jar to preserve them for a long time.'

Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel - Jehovah was and will always be the God of Israel, a truth which soundly trumps the tragic teaching of replacement theology or supersessionism! Jehovah Sabaoth said it and that settles it whether non-literalists believe it or not!

Related Resources -

Earthenware jar - This is the second earthenware jar used to carry out a symbolic action before the Jews of Jerusalem. The first jar was described in Jeremiah 19:1-15. There the jar was broken to symbolize the breaking of the people and the city of Jerusalem (Jer 19:10, 11), whereas here in Jeremiah 32 the jar symbolized that Jehovah was not finished with Israel..

A long time - Literally "many days" (KJV, YLT). How long? We cannot discern for certain from the context.

Jeremiah 32:15 'For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, "Houses and fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land."'

JEHOVAH'S PROMISE THAT
PROPERTY WOULD BE BOUGHT AGAIN

For - Always be alert to this often strategic term of explanation. What is Jeremiah explaining?

Thus says the LORD of hosts (Lord of the armies) - This is a prophetic promise from the "non-lying" God! Jeremiah's symbolic act of purchasing property that would be captured by the Babylonians was to serve as a picture of Jehovah's promise that property would once again be purchased in Israel. Hanamel, the official witnesses and all the Jews (unofficial witnesses) in Jer 32:12 saw the business transaction and heard this promise from Jehovah through the words of Jeremiah. One wonders how this message was received by the hearers for the majority of Jeremiah's message had been more about retribution than restoration. At this time (Jerusalem still intact) they probably did not fully grasp what they had seen and heard because (presumably) the Babylonian siege was still withdrawn. But that would soon change and within about a year they would lose their houses and lands to the Babylonians.

Related Resources -

Houses...will again be bought in this land - This is another way of saying that the people of Israel will be brought back to Israel. This was partially fulfilled when the exiles returned after 70 years of captivity in Babylon. The final fulfillment awaits the return of the Redeemer at the end of the time of Jacob's distress (Jer 30:7-note; cp Jer 32:37).

This same promise of restoration of the land of Israel (and the people of Israel) is a theme repeated multiple times in this "letter of consolation" (Jeremiah 30-33) - Read Jer 32:37,43,44 30:18 31:5,12,24 33:12,13. Compare also Jehovah's promises in Jer 12:15), promises which will be consummated when Messiah Israel's Kinsman-Redeemer returns.

Compare Jehovah's promise in Jer 24:6 = "For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them again to this land; and I will build them up and not overthrow them, and I will plant them and not pluck them up." Were they overthrown or plucked up after their return from Babylonian exile? Absolutely. And so this speaks of a time after 70AD when the Romans destroyed the Temple and the Jews were dispersed throughout the world.

Related Resource - Kinsman-Redeemer - The Goel

In Amos we see a similar promise -

"Also I will restore (shub/sub; Lxx = epistrepho) the captivity of My people Israel, and they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them (Ed: This portion of the prophecy could have been fulfilled in their return from Babylon). They will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, and make gardens and eat their fruit. I will also plant them on their land, And they will not again (this is a Time Phrase) be rooted out from their land which I have given them (Given to who?)," Says the LORD your God (compare your God with the related phrase God of Israel)." (Amos 9:14-15)

Comment: Do you see how this qualifying promise "they will not again be rooted out from their land" indicates this was not fully fulfilled in the return from exile Babylon but looks forward to a future fulfillment? Note that twice Jehovah ("your God') calls the land "their land!" We can either interpret that literally or figuratively but in the context there is no reason it cannot be interpreted literally unless one holds the false belief that God is finished with Israel!

An example of this genre of essentially anti-Semitic replacement theology or supersessionism thinking is found in the Reformation Study Bible comment on Amos 9:15 - "The physical Promised Land is but a type of the New Israel’s life in Christ; it points forward to the heavenly Jerusalem (Heb. 11:13–16; 12:22–24)." Note first if one is honest and rightly divides the Word of Truth (2Ti 2:15), the prophet Amos is speaking to the "old Israel" not the so-called "New Israel!" Secondly, notice that the text in no way justifies calling "their land" a type and this type (pun intended) of "hermeneutical twisting" is not uncommon in misapplication of typology (see critique of this easy to abuse method of interpretation). In other words this "type" of reasoning reads a passage that in context can (and should) be interpreted literally and instead interprets it allegorically (which means in essence to look for a hidden spiritual meaning that transcends the literal sense of the text). Jehovah, the covenant keeping God, made the promise through a literal Jewish prophet Amos to a literal land of Israel and it follows that it will be literally fulfilled. There is nothing in the text that would allow the phrase "their land" to be interpreted as the "heavenly Jerusalem." As John Walvoord says "the term the land and its related promises are frequently spiritualized as if they had no geographic implications whatever." (See The Promise Of The Land To Israel)

The ESV Study Bible notes (which not infrequently allegorize OT promises to Israel) is more accurate commenting that "This final blessing of the people is predicated upon their recognition of their Davidic messiah, something that is yet to occur. See Ro 11:25–27."

The MacArthur Study Bible comments that "The ultimate fulfillment of God’s land promise to Abraham (cf. Ge 12:7; 15:7; 17:8) will occur during Christ’s millennial reign on earth (cf. Joel 2:26, 27)." I would add that "In those days the house of Judah will walk with the house of Israel" (Jer 3:18). As an aside I am a "literalist" and NOT a dispensationalist and don't even know what that term means!

 

Zechariah reaffirms that

"In that day,' (Always observe and interrogate expressions of time - What day? Zec 3:9 says "I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day" the day Messiah returns) declares the LORD of hosts, 'every one of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his vine and under his fig tree.'" (Zechariah 3:10)

Again is used several times in the book of Jeremiah with an eschatological meaning, specifically signifying the time of the end, when Messiah returns and supernaturally reverses Israel's fortunes = 12/32 times (not counting the uses in NET) - Jer 12:15; 24:6; 31:4-5, 12, 23, 29, 34 (Jer 31:40NET); Jer 32:15; 33:10 (Jer 33:11NET), Jer 33:12-13. As an aside keep alert for the phrase No longer which is used in a similar eschatological sense - Jer 3:16, 16:14, (Jer 23:4NET), Jer 23:7, 30:8 (Jer 31:19NET, Jer 31:29NET, Jer 31:34NET - twice)

Jeremiah 32:16 "After I had given the deed of purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah, then I prayed to the LORD, saying,

JEREMIAH'S PRAYER
Jeremiah 32:16-25

KJV Now when I had delivered the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed unto the LORD, saying,

NET "After I had given the copies of the deed of purchase to Baruch son of Neriah, I prayed to the LORD,

ESV "After I had given the deed of purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed to the LORD, saying:

NIV "After I had given the deed of purchase to Baruch son of Neriah, I prayed to the LORD:

NLT Then after I had given the papers to Baruch, I prayed to the LORD:

Jeremiah 32:16-25 is a beautiful prayer for all of us to pause and ponder for it's eloquence and it's focus on Jehovah.

The question one might ask at this point is why did Jeremiah pray? Some think he had a moment of doubt or at least a time of questions. Feinberg comments that "Although he had explained the meaning of the episode (v.15), he was still troubled by its improbabilities; furthermore, he also longed for reassurance for the people."

Huey - Jeremiah then prayed as he sought “ultimate clarity.” The only other time Jeremiah was said to pray is found in Jer 42:2–4 (but cf. Jer 37:3), though he was frequently told not to pray for Judah’s deliverance (Jer 7:16; 11:14; 14:11). Perhaps Jeremiah was having second thoughts about purchasing land at such a critical time. If so, the prayer was a complaint rather than praise. (New American Commentary - Jeremiah)

Ryken says "Living for God was as daunting a challenge in Jeremiah’s times as it is in our own. As soon as the prophet put his money where his mouth was, he turned to the Lord in prayer: “After I had given the deed of purchase to Baruch son of Neriah, I prayed to the LORD” (32:16). Calvin observes, “By this we are taught, that whenever thoughts creep into our minds, which toss us here and there, we ought to flee to prayer.” What follows is a page from Jeremiah’s prayer journal. It is a prayer for the bewildered. For forty years Jeremiah preached the destruction of Jerusalem. But when the city was finally about to be overrun, God told him to buy land. Jeremiah obeyed the Lord immediately, of course, but then he started to have second thoughts. So he took his doubts and his misgivings to the Lord in prayer.

James Smith introduces Jeremiah's prayer - Jeremiah had to predict the long captivity of Israel and Judah; then he was directed to make a purchase in the land that was to be laid desolate; and having done what the Lord commanded him, deeply affected — he retired to pour out his heart before the throne of grace. Prayer fits us for our most arduous duties — and is a sweet relief when duty has been performed. We never prize the throne of grace — as we do when our hearts are overcharged with grief and sorrow, and no one but our heavenly Father can give us relief. How deep the devotion, how solemn the reverence manifested by this prophet. (Read full devotional - Nothing Too Hard for God)

Susannah Spurgeon - Dear reader, your difficulties and trials may not be similar to those of "the weeping prophet," but they are very real, and seemingly insurmountable to you; and it is a fact that, of yourself, you can neither overcome nor endure them, so I want to remind you that the Lord's hand is not shortened — that what was true of His power in Jeremiah's time, is as certainly true today — and that whatever present hardship may press upon you, or whatever burden may be weighing you down — you, yes, you may look up to Him with confident faith, and say, "There is nothing too hard for You!" (Think of all the hard things there are in your life)

Baruch (01263)(baruk) means blessed. In the book of Jeremiah Baruch the son of Neriah was a scribe and faithful friend of Jeremiah. He recorded Jeremiah’s prophecies twice (he was his Amanuensis). In the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah (605 B.C.), Baruch wrote Jeremiah’s prophecies of destruction from the prophet’s dictation and read them to the people. King Jehoiakim, on hearing the opening sentences of Jeremiah's prophecy (Jer. 36:1-8), became greatly angered and burned the scroll. He ordered the arrest of Baruch and Jeremiah, but they escaped. Baruch rewrote the prophet’s oracles with additions (Jer 36:27–32). Baruch read Jeremiah’s words publicly on a day of fasting, then read them to the officials of the king’s court. He and Jeremiah were both forcefully taken to Egypt (Jer. 43:4–7). After that, all reliable records about him cease. According to tradition, they died in Egypt. He was so well respected as a scribe that later apocalypses were given his name (e.g., The Apocalypse of Baruch). Two other men named Baruch are mentioned in Nehemiah (a priest in Neh 10:6 and the father of Maaseiah in Neh 11:5).

A clay seal inscribed “Baruch son of Neriah the scribe,” dating from Jeremiah’s time and clearly belonging to his secretary (see Jer. 36:32), was recently discovered in a burnt archive in Israel. (See picture of seal of Baruch or here)

Baruk - 26x in 24v in NAS - Neh 3:20; 10:6; 11:5; Jer 32:12-13, 16; 36:4-5, 8, 10, 13-15, 26-27, 32; 43:3, 6; 45:1-2

Kidner summarizes Jeremiah's prayer noting that "It is a fine example of the way to pray in a desperate situation: concentrating first on the creative power (Jer 32:17) and perfect fidelity and justice (Jer 32:18–19) of God; remembering next his great redemptive acts (Jer 32:20–23a; to which the Christian can now add the greatest of them all)—and then with this background, laying before God the guilt of the past (Jer 32:23b), the hard facts of the present (Jer 32:24) and the riddle of the future (Jer 32:25)."

Rosscup summarizes Jeremiah's prayer...

Adoration is on the lips of God’s servant.

The relevancy of it (Jer 32:16). The purchase and deed of purchase were just completed. These bore the witness of God that Israel’s claim-holders, like Jeremiah, would have title to the land in the future.

The review of it (Jer 32:17–25). Jeremiah praises the God of such an expectation for several things.

(1) His power in creation (Jer 32:17; cf. Jer 32:27).

(2) His power later in showing covenant kindness to many but also judging sin (Jer 32:18)

(3) His wisdom in discernment (tyle="text-decoration: none">Jer 32:19). He is able to give counsel (His Word), back all His plans by works of might, see into men’s hearts and judge each one equitably in accord with his works.

(4) His miracles (Jer 32:20, 21). He has worked these in Egypt and up to the present time, manifesting the stature of His reputation.

(5) His gift of the covenant land (Jer 32:22). He had sworn that Palestine (“this land”) would be the possession of this people, and had given it to them. This meant the land that Jeremiah’s one example purchase illustrated; in integrity it can be no other than that very land, the land the Israelites were in the process of losing to the Babylonian attackers.

(6) His present fulfillment (Jer 32:23, 24). Even the process of judgment already underway comes within the purview of praise. It is a testimony of God’s bringing to pass precisely and literally the very thing his honorable word guaranteed He would do.

(7) His direction to buy the land (Jer 32:25). God said this in a seemingly impossible situation. Babylonians were besieging, and ready to seize control over all the land. Yet the God of miracles (cf. Jer 32:17, 27) was able to fulfill what He pledged. (An Exposition of Prayer in the Bible)

Jeremiah 32:17 'Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You,

PRAISE GOD THE
OMNIPOTENT CREATOR

KJV Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:

NET 'Oh, Lord GOD, you did indeed make heaven and earth by your mighty power and great strength. Nothing is too hard for you!

ESV 'Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.

NIV "Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.

NLT "O Sovereign LORD! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you!

Ah Lord GOD - Jeremiah has a similar phrase three times the first being akin to an excuse (Jer 1:6) and the others being in essence laments (Jer 4:10; 14:13).

In using "Ah" Jeremiah begins with "a cry from the soul" (Ryken). Three other times in this book Jeremiah uttered this soul cry...

(Jer 1:6) Then (When God called him to minister) I said, “Alas, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, Because I am a youth.”

(Jer 4:10) Then (When the Lord announced that Jerusalem would be invaded) I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Surely Thou hast utterly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘You will have peace’; whereas a sword touches the throat.”

(Jer 14:13) (When other prophets were refuting Jeremiah's prophecy) But, “Ah, Lord GOD!” I said, “Look, the prophets are telling them, ‘You will not see the sword nor will you have famine, but I will give you lasting peace in this place.’”

 

Ryken sums up these soul cries - Whenever Jeremiah had a crisis—whenever he did not know what the Lord wanted him to do, was worried about the future, or was being attacked by enemies—his soul cried out to the Lord...It is appropriate to begin some prayers with a groan. When the only thing that comes out is “Arrrgh!” God knows what you mean. The Holy Spirit articulates the cries of the soul. He turns frustration into intercession." (cp Ro 8:26-27)

Ah (0162)('ahah) is an interjection usually rendered ah! oh! alas! and reflects great emotion, especially despair as in the first use in Josh. 7:7 (cp Jdg. 11:35; Ezek. 11:13) but also a strong sense of marvel with fear (Jdg. 6:22). It can indicate a feeling of inability (Jer. 1:6) or confusion (Jer. 4:10; Ezek. 4:14). It may introduce an announcement of the day of the Lord (Joel 1:15).

The Lxx translates 'ahah here with the interjection "o" an interjection "O! oh!" as used in address or in an exclamation

Ahah - 15v translated Ah(5), alas(10) - Josh 7:7; Jdg 6:22; 11:35; 2Ki 3:10; 6:5, 15; Jer 1:6; 4:10; 14:13; 32:17; Ezek 4:14; 9:8; 11:13; 20:49; Joel 1:15

Pray Don Moen's lively praise song Ah, Lord God (another version with children singing) -

Ah Lord God
Thou has made the heavens
And the earth by Thy great power
Ah Lord God
Thou has made the heavens
And the earth by Thine outstretched arm

Nothing is too difficult for Thee
Nothing is too difficult for Thee
Great and mighty God
Great in counsel and mighty in deed
Nothing Nothing
Absolutely nothing
Nothing is too difficult for Thee

Behold - see note on Jeremiah 32:3. Jeremiah begins with praise in Jer 32:17-23 focusing on Jehovah's mighty act of creation.

YOU ARE CREATOR
OF EVERYTHING

This "creation cry" reflects the heart of a man who believes God for as the writer of Hebrews says "By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible." (Heb 11:3)

Recalling that the context of Jeremiah's prayer is a command to make a outwardly foolish land purchase F B Meyer comments that "Surely if God could make the heavens and the earth by his great power and by his stretched-out arm, He could easily bring it to pass that the Chaldeans should recede from the land, Israel again inhabit it, and the purchase and tenure of property be unhindered."

 

You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power - Jeremiah begins by praising God's creative power which speaks of His omnipotence. As Spurgeon says "knowing that man can do nothing at all for him the prophet resorts at once to the God that created the heaven and the earth....And so, my brother in Christ, you are greatly troubled are you? It is a common lot with us all. And so, you have nothing on earth to trust to now, and are going to be cast on your God alone? Your vessel is on her beam-ends, and now there is nothing for you but just to be rolled on the providence and care of God. What a blessed place to be rolled on! Happy storm that wrecks a man on such a rock as this! O blessed hurricane that drives the soul to God and God alone! So that, I say again, happy trouble that drives thee to thy Father! Blessed storm that wrecks thee on the rock of ages! Glorious billow that washes thee upon this heavenly shore! And now thou hast nothing but thy God to trust to what art thou going to do? To fret? To whine? O, I pray thee do not thus dishonour thy Lord and Master! Now, play the man, play the man of God. Show the world that thy God is worth ten thousand worlds to thee. Show rich men how rich thou art in thy poverty when the Lord God is thy helper. Show the strong man how strong thou art in thy weakness when underneath thee are the everlasting arms. Now man, now man, now is thy time to glorify God." (Read the full sermon Creation - An Argument for Faith)

God Himself commands us to

"Lift up your eyes on high and see Who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number. He calls them all by name. Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, not one of them is missing." (Isaiah 40:26)

Outstretched arm - 16 verses in the OT - Ex 6:6; Dt 4:34; 5:15; 7:19; 9:29; Dt 11:2; 26:8; 1Ki 8:42; 2Ki 17:36; 2Chr 6:32; Ps 136:12; Jer 27:5; 32:17, 21; Ezek 20:33-34.

In the first use of outstretched arm Jehovah redeemed Israel "with an outstretched arm and with great judgments." In fact the majority of uses (Dt 4:34; 5:15; 7:19; 9:29, 11:2, 26:8, Ps 136:12, Jer 32:21) describe deliverance from Egypt. The picture of outstretched arm is clearly one of God's power or strength (as is the sister phrase "outstretched hand" found only in Jer 21:5), especially His power to deliver from bondage or oppression. The phrase links with God's power to create everything In Jer 27:5 where Jehovah declared "I have made the earth, the men and the beasts which are on the face of the earth by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and I will give it to the one who is pleasing in My sight."

In Ezekiel 20 the phrase outstretched arm is used in the context not of Israel's past deliverance (from Egypt), but of her future deliverance (not just from her 70 years of exile in Babylon but finally and full when her Deliverer the Messiah comes from Zion to remove ungodliness from Jacob - Ro 11:26). -

As I live,” declares the Lord GOD, “surely with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out, I shall be king over you. 34 “And I shall bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out (Probably a reference to the horrible wrath described in Revelation 6-19 which precedes the return of the Messiah)." (Ezekiel 20:33-34)

Nothing is too difficult for You - Whatever the task, God is up to it. He never meets his limitations. Why does Jeremiah make this statement? Because he has just testified that God is the Creator of all things and has great power. It logically follows that if He can make the universe with His great power, then He can do anything! Absolutely anything! He has the power! In the context God has the power to vindicate Jeremiah's purchase of land even though it seemed ridiculous at the time.

As an aside note that Jeremiah's affirmation is the answer to the Lord's (rhetorical) question in Genesis 18:14 - "Is anything too difficult for the LORD?" Beloved, mark it down. There is no promise too difficult for God to keep! Someone has estimated there are over 30,000 promises in the Bible and every one is "yea and amen" in Christ Jesus (2Cor 1:20KJV)! Paul says that God cannot lie (Titus 1:2), so it follows that there is no promise in the Bible that God cannot keep. If God made the promise, God cannot lie. There is no promise too difficult for God to keep. This is good news beloved! Do you believe it is true? In Jeremiah 33:3 God says "Call to Me, and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know." There is no prayer too difficult for God to answer. As John Newton said " Thou art coming to a King, Large petitions with Thee bring; For His grace and power are such, None can ever ask too much." There is no problem too difficult for our God to solve! There is no soul too difficult for God to save! Beloved, let me encourage you to memorize Jeremiah 32:17 (Memorization), so that the Holy Spirit might then be able to bring it to your mind in your time of need (Meditation), and if you are like me, that time is ALL THE TIME! Remember that the only thing that lies outside the power of God is that which is outside of His will! The only thing God cannot do is sin, lie or deny Himself. So today if you have a problem, a heartache, a tear, a perplexity, your great and mighty God is able to meet your need!

Spurgeon has a devotional on Jeremiah 32:17 - At the very time when the Chaldeans surrounded Jerusalem, and when the sword, famine and pestilence had desolated the land, Jeremiah was commanded by God to purchase a field, and have the deed of transfer legally sealed and witnessed. This was a strange purchase for a rational man to make. Prudence could not justify it, for it was buying with scarcely a probability that the person purchasing could ever enjoy the possession. But it was enough for Jeremiah that his God had bidden him, for well he knew that God will be justified of all his children. He reasoned thus: “Ah, Lord God! thou canst make this plot of ground of use to me; thou canst rid this land of these oppressors; thou canst make me yet sit under my vine and my fig-tree in the heritage which I have bought; for thou didst make the heavens and the earth, and there is nothing too hard for thee.” This gave a majesty to the early saints, that they dared to do at God’s command things which carnal reason would condemn. Whether it be a Noah who is to build a ship on dry land (Ge 6:13-22), an Abraham who is to offer up his only son (Ge 22:1-19), or a Moses who is to despise the treasures of Egypt (Heb 11:25-27), or a Joshua who is to besiege Jericho seven days (Joshua 6:1-27), using no weapons but the blasts of rams’ horns, they all act upon God’s command, contrary to the dictates of carnal reason; and the Lord gives them a rich reward as the result of their obedient faith (cp "obedience of faith" - Ro 1:5). Would to God we had in the spirituality of these modern times a more potent infusion of this heroic faith in God. If we would venture more upon the naked promise of God, we should enter a world of wonders to which as yet we are strangers. Let Jeremiah’s place of confidence be ours—nothing is too difficult for the God Who created the heavens and the earth!

Difficult (06381)(pala)refers to acts that are performed by Jehovah expressing actions that are beyond the bounds of human powers or expectations, especially His deliverances of Israel (Ex 3:20, Ps 106:22, 136:4). He has done things beyond the limits of human powers or expectation. God showed His people miracles when they came out of bondage in Egypt and as they were going into the freedom of the promised land (Josh 3:5) and in the present context the difficult thing He would do is bring the Jews back into the land after the Babylonian exile and at the end of this age (Jer 32:37-44). Then Jeremiah's purchase of the land would not look so foolish![/FONT>

Henry Morris - God, being omnipotent, simply called into existence the infinite expanse of the heaven and the infinite complexity of the earth. There is nothing "too hard" (same word as "wonderful") for Him to accomplish (Genesis 18:14; Luke 1:37, 18:27; Eph 3:20; Phil 4:13)). The concept of instantaneous, perfect creation by Almighty God is far more reasonable than that of a billion year trial-and-error naturalistic evolutionary growth from primeval chaos to the complex cosmos and its inhabitants.

Jeremiah 32:18 Who shows lovingkindness to thousands, but repays the iniquity of fathers into the bosom of their children after them, O great and mighty God. The LORD of hosts is His name ;

JEREMIAH PRAISES THE
ATTRIBUTES OF GOD

KJV Jeremiah 32:18 Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name,

NET Jeremiah 32:18 You show unfailing love to thousands. But you also punish children for the sins of their parents. You are the great and powerful God who is known as the LORD who rules over all.

ESV Jeremiah 32:18 You show steadfast love to thousands, but you repay the guilt of fathers to their children after them, O great and mighty God, whose name is the LORD of hosts,

NIV Jeremiah 32:18 You show love to thousands but bring the punishment for the fathers' sins into the laps of their children after them. O great and powerful God, whose name is the LORD Almighty,

NLT Jeremiah 32:18 You show unfailing love to thousands, but you also bring the consequences of one generation's sin upon the next. You are the great and powerful God, the LORD of Heaven's Armies.

Notice how Jeremiah does not just praise Jehovah only for what He does and how He does it (Jer 32:17), but also for Who He is.

Clarke - And what a prayer! What weight of matter, sublimity of expression, profound veneration, just conception, Divine unction, powerful pleading, and strength of faith! Historical, without flatness; condensed, without obscurity; confessing the greatest of crimes against the most righteous of Beings, without despairing of his mercy, or presuming on his goodness: a confession that, in fact, acknowledges that God's justice should smite and destroy, had not his infinite goodness said, I will pardon and spare.

THE MERCY FILLED GOD

Who shows lovingkindness to thousands - The statement emphasizes God’s great desire to bless as opposed to the reluctant necessity to punish. It is part of the attributes of God spelled out in Ex 34:6–7 and echoes the Second Commandment...

Exodus 20:6 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Deuteronomy 5:10 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Lovingkindness (02617)(hesed/chesed/heced) in this context speaks of Jehovah's loyal, steadfast, unfailing love which is related to God’s loyalty and faithfulness to His covenant. Stated another way hesed is the devoted love promised within a covenant, a love that is willing to commit itself to another by making its promise a matter of solemn record.

God's omnipotence is balanced by His lovingkindness (cp Jer 31:3).

THE PERFECTLY JUST GOD

Repays the iniquity of fathers into the bosom of their children after them (see Ex 32:23) - Achan's iniquity did result in death for his entire family (Joshua 7:24-26). However Ryrie notes that they family must have known something ("must have been accomplices"). Why does he say that? Because of Moses declaration that "Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin." (Dt 24:16). In Ezekiel 18:20 we read that "The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father's iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son's iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself." And finally even in the previous chapter Jeremiah recorded the principle that "everyone will die for his own iniquity; each man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth will be set on edge." (Jer 31:30) Criswell commenting on Dt 24:14 adds the qualifier that "Every person was accountable for his own wrongdoing, but one's children were inevitably affected by the consequences of his sin (cf. Dt 5:8-10)."

Warren Wiersbe adds this comment on why Achan's entire family was judged by God - "Since a law in Israel prohibited innocent family members from being punished for the sins of their relatives (Deut. 24:16), Achan’s family must have been guilty of assisting him in his sin. His household was judged the same way Israel would deal with a Jewish city that had turned to idols (Josh. 13:12–18). Achan and his family had turned from the true and living God and had given their hearts to that which God had said was accursed—silver, gold, and an expensive garment. It wasn’t worth it!" At the beginning of a new period in Bible history, God sometimes revealed His wrath against sin in some dramatic way. After the tabernacle had been set up, Nadab and Abihu invaded its holy precincts contrary to God’s law; and God killed them. This was a warning to the priests not to treat God’s sanctuary carelessly (Lev. 10). When David sought to restore the ark to its place of honor, and Uzzah touched the ark to steady it, God killed Uzzah (2Sa 6:1–11); another warning from God not to treat sacred things carelessly. At the beginning of the Church Age, when Ananias and Sapphira lied to God and God’s people, the Lord killed them (Acts 5:1–11). The death of Achan and his family was certainly a dramatic warning to the nation not to take the Word of God lightly. The people and the animals were stoned, and their bodies burned along with all that the family possessed. The troubler of Israel was completely removed from the scene, the people were sanctified, and now God could march with His people and give them victory. (Be Strong - Commentary on Joshua)

EL GIBBOR - MIGHTY GOD

O great and mighty God, the LORD of hosts is His Name - Note that Jeremiah calls Jehovah "Mighty God," which is also how Isaiah described Jesus in Isaiah 9:6. What's the point? Jehovah is Jesus. He is great in power. He is mighty. He is the great and mighty God, the LORD of hosts!

Mighty (01368)(gibbor) is from a root commonly associated with warfare and has to do with the strength and vitality of the successful warrior. And God is ultimate "successful Warrior!"

See study of El Gibbor - Mighty God

JEHOVAH SABAOTH - LORD OF ARMIES

The LORD of hosts is His name - God's Name speaks of the essence of His being, His character, His conduct. Here we see He is Jehovah Who is over all the armies of heaven, who stand ready to do His bidding. Jeremiah acknowledges this great Name, knowing that what God has planned, He will accomplish - his land purchase will not be in vain! Dear child of God do you have a similar confidence in Your Father's ability to cause all things in your life to work together for good. Ask the Spirit to enable you to not look so much at the awful circumstances but at your Awesome God, for He is able! (e.g., Eph 3:20-note, Heb 7:25-note).

Related Resources -

Jeremiah 32:19 great in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, giving to everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds;

MORE PRAISE OF
ATTRIBUTES OF GOD

KJV Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings:

NET You plan great things and you do mighty deeds. You see everything people do. You reward each of them for the way they live and for the things they do.

ESV great in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the children of man, rewarding each one according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds.

NIV great are your purposes and mighty are your deeds. Your eyes are open to all the ways of men; you reward everyone according to his conduct and as his deeds deserve.

NLT You have all wisdom and do great and mighty miracles. You see the conduct of all people, and you give them what they deserve.

THE ALL WISE GOD

Great in counsel - This speaks of Jehovah's perfect wisdom. See discussion of His attribute Wise. Jesus of course is called "Wonderful Counselor." (Isa 9:6).

Paul wrote "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR?" (Ro 11:33-34)

Mighty in deed - Lxx translates with dunatos which the One Who possesses power

THE ALL SEEING GOD

Ryken observes that "Jeremiah had been reminded of God’s universal knowledge, or omniscience, when his cousin Hanamel showed up at his prison cell. God knew all about the visit even before it happened, as he always does."

Whose eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men - This description speaks of God's Omniscience. This attribute of God is described elsewhere in Jeremiah and multiple other Scriptures.

Jeremiah 16:17 "For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity concealed from My eyes.

Jeremiah 23:24 "Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?" declares the LORD. "Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?" declares the LORD.

Job 34:21 "For His eyes are upon the ways of a man, And He sees all his steps.

Proverbs 5:21 For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD, And He watches all his paths.

Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Watching the evil and the good.

Hebrews 4:13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

THE GOD WHO REPAYS PERFECTLY

Giving to everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds - This is the immutable principle of reaping and sowing (Gal 6:7-8-note, cp Job 4:8; Ps 62:12, 126:5; Pr 22:8; Hos 8:7; 10:12-15; Lk 19:21-23; 1Cor 3:12-15; 9:11; 2Cor 9:6). (cp "repays the iniquity" in Jer 32:18)

Fruit...deeds = Pr 12:14, Micah 7:13-note

Earlier Jeremiah had recorded this same basic principle quoting Jehovah "I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds." (Jer 17:10, cp Eccl 12:14)

REVIEW OF THE ATTRIBUTES
FOR WHICH JEREMIAH PRAISES GOD...

Ryken sums up Jeremiah's prayer commenting that "This prayer is rich in its praise of the attributes of God. Jeremiah worships God for his omnipotence and omniscience, for his love and justice. The prayer is highly theological, informed by his understanding of the rich doctrine of God. The same thing ought to be true of the prayers of every Christian. You must have a theology before you can have a prayer life. Knowing the character of God precedes having intimacy with him through prayer. Too many prayers are superficial in their grasp of the character of God. Instead, they ought to be saturated with the praise of his glorious attributes."

After exalting God as Creator, he then rehearses God as Redeemer (Jer 32:20-21)

Jeremiah 32:20 who has set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, and even to this day both in Israel and among mankind; and You have made a name for Yourself, as at this day.

PRAISE THE GOD OF
SIGNS AND WONDERS

Play God of Wonders by Third Day

KJV Which hast set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even unto this day, and in Israel, and among other men; and hast made thee a name, as at this day;

NET You did miracles and amazing deeds in the land of Egypt which have had lasting effect. By this means you gained both in Israel and among humankind a renown that lasts to this day.

ESV You have shown signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, and to this day in Israel and among all mankind, and have made a name for yourself, as at this day.

NIV You performed miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt and have continued them to this day, both in Israel and among all mankind, and have gained the renown that is still yours.

NLT You performed miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt-- things still remembered to this day! And you have continued to do great miracles in Israel and all around the world. You have made your name famous to this day.

 

REDEMPTION OF ISRAEL FROM EGYPT

Who has set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt - ("You did miracles and amazing deeds" = NET, "

Even to this day - NET = "which have had lasting effect."

Both in Israel and among mankind - What does Jeremiah mean "in Israel"? This question is answered by examining the context -- Jer 31:21 alludes to God's "signs and wonders in the land of Egypt." The fact that the signs and wonders were also performed among mankind is clear evidence that God desired that the Gentiles would also come to know Him and not just the Jews.

You have made a Name for Yourself - Exodus 6:6-7,7:5 - "Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. 'Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians....And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the sons of Israel from their midst."

As at this day - "that lasts to this day" (NET)

Jeremiah 32:21 'You brought Your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs and with wonders, and with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm and with great terror;

PRAISE GOD
THE REDEEMER

KJV And hast brought forth thy people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs, and with wonders, and with a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with great terror;

NET You used your mighty power and your great strength to perform miracles and amazing deeds and to bring great terror on the Egyptians. By this means you brought your people Israel out of the land of Egypt.

ESV You brought your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs and wonders, with a strong hand and outstretched arm, and with great terror.

NIV You brought your people Israel out of Egypt with signs and wonders, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with great terror.

NLT "You brought Israel out of Egypt with mighty signs and wonders, with a strong hand and powerful arm, and with overwhelming terror.

YLT 'And Thou bringest forth Thy people Israel from the land of Egypt, with signs and with wonders, and by a strong hand, and by a stretched-out arm, and by great fear,

You brought Your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs and with wonders - God's deliverance of Israel from Egypt is a repeated theme in the OT - Ex 6:6, Dt 4:34, 7:19, 26:8, 2Sa 7:23, 1Chr 17:21, Ps 136:11.

With signs and with wonders - This phrase occurs 11x in the OT - Deut 4:34; 6:22; 26:8; 29:3; 34:11; Neh 9:10; Ps 135:9; Isa 8:18; Jer 32:20; Dan 4:2; 6:27. For example in the context of His soon to come deliverance of Israel out of Egypt Jehovah issued this promise - "I will harden Pharaoh's heart that I may multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt (cp Ex 9:16, 11:9). "When Pharaoh will not listen to you, then I will lay My hand on Egypt, and bring out My hosts, My people the sons of Israel, from the land of Egypt by great judgments. "And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the sons of Israel from their midst." (Ex 7:3-5, see also Ex 10:2, Dt 4:34, 6:22, 7:19, 26:8, Neh 9:10, Ps 78:23-51, Ps 105:27-36, Ps 135:9, Acts 7:36)

With great terror - fear, not reverential but shaking type of fear as when He struck the firstborn of the Egyptians (Ex 12:30-33). Pharaoh had been able to rationalize the other plagues, but could not rationalize the trauma of the death of his own son. He called for Moses and Aaron that night and gave them permission to go, this time without insisting on any concessions. Notice how Moses records not just an outcry but a "great cry in Egypt" (Ex 12:30). While I am not absolutely certain of the following description from Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, it certainly paints a picture of that fearful night in Egypt - "No people were more remarkable and frantic in their mourning than the Egyptians. When a relative died, every one left the house, and the women, with their hair loose, and their bosoms bare, ran wild about the street. The men also, with their apparel equally disordered, kept them company; all shrieking, howling, and beating themselves. What a scene of horror and distress must now have presented itself, when there was not a family in Egypt where there was not one dead!"

With a strong hand - This anthropomorphic description conveys God's great power in rescuing Israel from their Egyptian bondage. This phrase is found 5x once referring to Edom coming against Israel but all other times referring to God - Num 20:20; Deut 3:24; Neh 1:10; Ps 136:12; Jer 32:21

An outstretched arm (see comments on v17) - The second anthropomorphic description symbolizing God's strength.

With great terror - The signs and wonders God wrought in Egypt brought great fear.

Jeremiah 32:22 and gave them this land, which You swore to their forefathers to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey.

GOD'S GIFT OF
THE LAND TO ISRAEL

KJV And hast given them this land, which thou didst swear to their fathers to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey;

NET You kept the promise that you swore on oath to their ancestors. You gave them a land flowing with milk and honey.

ESV And you gave them this land, which you swore to their fathers to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey.

NIV You gave them this land you had sworn to give their forefathers, a land flowing with milk and honey.

NLT You gave the people of Israel this land that you had promised their ancestors long before-- a land flowing with milk and honey.

YLT And thou givest to them this land that thou didst swear to their fathers to give to them, a land flowing with milk and honey,

Gave them this land which You swore to their forefathers to give them - See Dr Walvoord's excellent discussion of The Promise Of The Land To Israel.

Rosscup observes that this passage refers to "His gift of the covenant land (Jer 32:22). He had sworn that Palestine (“this land”) would be the possession of this people, and had given it to them. This meant the land that Jeremiah’s one example purchase illustrated; in integrity it can be no other than that very land, the land the Israelites were in the process of losing to the Babylonian attackers."

A land flowing with milk and honey - This description is repeated in 16 verses - Ex 3:8, 17; 13:5; 33:3; Lev 20:24; Num 16:13f; Deut 6:3; 11:9; 26:9, 15; 27:3; 31:20; Josh 5:6; Jer 11:5; 32:22

Jeremiah 32:23 'They came in and took possession of it, but they did not obey Your voice or walk in Your law; they have done nothing of all that You commanded them to do; therefore You have made all this calamity come upon them.

ISRAEL SOWS SIN
AND REAPS GOD'S JUDGMENT

KJV And they came in, and possessed it; but they obeyed not thy voice, neither walked in thy law; they have done nothing of all that thou commandedst them to do: therefore thou hast caused all this evil to come upon them:

NET But when they came in and took possession of it, they did not obey you or live as you had instructed them. They did not do anything that you commanded them to do. So you brought all this disaster on them.

ESV And they entered and took possession of it. But they did not obey your voice or walk in your law. They did nothing of all you commanded them to do. Therefore you have made all this disaster come upon them.

NIV They came in and took possession of it, but they did not obey you or follow your law; they did not do what you commanded them to do. So you brought all this disaster upon them.

NLT Our ancestors came and conquered it and lived in it, but they refused to obey you or follow your word. They have not done anything you commanded. That is why you have sent this terrible disaster upon them.

YLT And they come in, and possess it, and they have not hearkened to Thy voice, and in Thy law have not walked, all that which Thou didst lay a charge on them to do they have not done, and Thou dost proclaim to them all this evil.

They came in and took possession of it - But they did not completely drive out the idolatrous pagan nations when became thorns in their sides because they were ensnared by their so-called gods. (Jdg 2:1-3)

They did not obey Your voice or walk in Your law; they have done nothing of all that You commanded them to do - Israel had been warned that in a prophecy that they would "be left few in number" because they did not obey the LORD your God. The rejected the promised blessing of obedience in Jer 26:4-6.

The psalmists' lament

They did not keep the covenant of God, And refused to walk in His law; And they forgot His deeds, And His miracles that He had shown them. (Ps 78:10-11)

My people did not listen to My voice; And Israel did not obey Me. (Ps 81:11)

Earlier Jehovah had declared

this is what I commanded them, saying, 'Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you.' Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward and not forward. (Jer 7:23-24)

For I solemnly warned your fathers in the day that I brought them up from the land of Egypt, even to this day, warning persistently, saying, "Listen to My voice." 'Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked, each one, in the stubbornness of his evil heart; therefore I brought on them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did not.' (Jer 11:7-8)

NET Note on they have done nothing of all that You commanded them to do - Jeremiah has repeatedly emphasized that the history of Israel since their entry into the land has been one of persistent disobedience and rebellion (cf., e.g. Jer 7:22–26; 11:7–8). The statement, of course, is somewhat hyperbolical as all categorical statements of this kind are.

Therefore (term of conclusion) You have made all this calamity come upon them - God had set before Israel life and prosperity versus death and adversity (Dt 30:15). Tragically for most of their history Israel had made the foolish choice of death and adversity. Read the lengthy list of calamities enumerated in Lev 26:14-46 and Dt 28:15-68. God had clearly warned Israel...

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them. (Dt 30:19-20)

Jeremiah 32:24 'Behold, the siege ramps have reached the city to take it; and the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans who fight against it, because of the sword, the famine and the pestilence; and what You have spoken has come to pass; and behold, You see it.

JEHOVAH'S PROPHECY
OF JERUSALEM COMES TO PASS

KJV Behold the mounts, they are come unto the city to take it; and the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans, that fight against it, because of the sword, and of the famine, and of the pestilence: and what thou hast spoken is come to pass; and, behold, thou seest it.

NET Even now siege ramps have been built up around the city in order to capture it. War, starvation, and disease are sure to make the city fall into the hands of the Babylonians who are attacking it. LORD, you threatened that this would happen. Now you can see that it is already taking place.

ESV Behold, the siege mounds have come up to the city to take it, and because of sword and famine and pestilence the city is given into the hands of the Chaldeans who are fighting against it. What you spoke has come to pass, and behold, you see it.

NIV "See how the siege ramps are built up to take the city. Because of the sword, famine and plague, the city will be handed over to the Babylonians who are attacking it. What you said has happened, as you now see.

NLT "See how the siege ramps have been built against the city walls! Through war, famine, and disease, the city will be handed over to the Babylonians, who will conquer it. Everything has happened just as you said.

YLT 'Lo, the mounts -- they have come in to the city to capture it, and the city hath been given into the hand of the Chaldeans who are fighting against it, because of the sword, and the famine, and the pestilence; and that which Thou hast spoken hath come to pass, and lo, Thou art seeing;

Behold - see note on Jeremiah 32:3.

Ryken observes that "The final part of Jeremiah’s prayer concerned his situation. It is worth noticing the proportions of his prayer. The prophet spent more time praising God than he did talking about his problems. John Guest says he “offered seven parts of praise to one part of puzzlement.”"

Siege ramps have reached the city to take it - Click to see a depiction of a siege ramp.

The city has been given - This is the so-called "prophetic perfect" which views the action as good as done.

The sword, the famine, and the pestilence - This is a key phrase in Jeremiah as this combination is used approximately 14 times (Jer 14:12, Jer 21:7, 9, Jer 24:10, Jer 27:8, 13, Jer 29:17, 18; Jer 32:24; Jer 34:17; Jer 38:2; Jer 42:17, 22, Jer 44:13)

Pestilence (01698) (see note below on deber in Jer 32:36). Deber is a key word in Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 32:25 'You have said to me, O Lord GOD, "Buy for yourself the field with money and call in witnesses"--although the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.'"

JEREMIAH'S PUZZLEMENT OVER
GOD'S PROMISE

KJV And thou hast said unto me, O Lord GOD, Buy thee the field for money, and take witnesses; for the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.

NET The city is sure to fall into the hands of the Babylonians. Yet, in spite of this, you, Lord GOD, have said to me, "Buy that field with silver and have the transaction legally witnessed."'"

ESV Yet you, O Lord GOD, have said to me, "Buy the field for money and get witnesses"--though the city is given into the hands of the Chaldeans.'"

NIV And though the city will be handed over to the Babylonians, you, O Sovereign LORD, say to me, 'Buy the field with silver and have the transaction witnessed.'"

NLT And yet, O Sovereign LORD, you have told me to buy the field-- paying good money for it before these witnesses-- even though the city will soon be handed over to the Babylonians."

Although the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans - NET = "The city is sure to fall into the hands of the Babylonians."

Ryken makes an interesting comment - Jeremiah had just settled a land deal. Arguably, it was one of the worst real estate investments in the history of the Middle East. Jeremiah himself was in jail. Judah was at war. Jerusalem was surrounded by the Babylonians. Yet the prophet carefully counted out seventeen shekels of silver and bought the family farm from Cousin Hanamel. It was a bad time to buy, especially since the property in question lay in enemy-occupied territory. The strangest thing about the whole transaction was that it was God’s idea. Why would God tell Jeremiah to make such a risky investment? Jeremiah was willing to do it, of course, even to pray about it, but his prayer ends with more than a hint of reproach in Jeremiah 32:24–25. What Jeremiah offered was a “Lord, look what you’re doing to my life” prayer. He worded it as a statement, but it sounds more like a suspicious question: “Lord, seriously, you’re really telling me to buy this field? Are you sure? Is that your final answer?”

Jeremiah 32:26 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying,

Then - This "time sensitive word" should always prompt at least a "When?" and sometimes a "Why?" type question. Jeremiah has just told the Lord God that he has been given a command to buy land in Judah in the face of Judah's certain defeat. It does not seem to "add up." But like Paul Harvey used to say "And now for the rest of the story!"

The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah - This phrase occurs 11x in 11v - Jer 28:12; 32:26; 33:1, 19, 23; 34:12; 35:12; 36:27; 37:6; 42:7; 43:8

Jeremiah 32:27 "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?"

JEHOVAH ANSWERS JEREMIAH:
"IS ANYTHING TOO DIFFICULT FOR ME?"

The answer to this rhetorical question is a resounding "NO!"

Behold - see note on Jeremiah 32:3. Here behold introduces the reason for the rhetorical question which follows. Jeremiah was asking the same kind of question Sarah asked in Genesis 18:10, 13,14, wondering if God could really make good on His promise. The answer is “Since I am the LORD, the God of all mankind, there is indeed nothing too hard for me," including the ability to make your bad real estate transaction into a successful business venture! As Jesus said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Mt 19:26). Ryken adds "The Dutch theologian Herman Bavinck put it like this: “He possesses absolute power in regard to everything.” Enough said!"

This "behold" is one of which all saints need to "take hold," for it is the great truth that our God is the God of the impossible. What circumstance in your life seems impossible? I have a son who was "high" on some substance literally every day of his life for 20 years, from about age 17 to age 37. He would call me from the cemetery and speak of hanging himself. I tried everything humanly possible. I spent more money than I care to mention. Nothing worked. I continued to pray but it seemed like God did not hear. But one day in 2014 the God of the impossible broke through my son's hard heart and caused him to be born again (1Pe 1:3). I learned that day that nothing is too difficult for our God! I don't know what your situation is, but I know God knows and God cares and God is active in some way in your situation. He is worthy of our trust today and forever. Amen!

Ryken asks "What was the point of Jeremiah’s prayer? He did not actually make a request. He did not ask God for anything. He simply told God what God already knew—namely, that the Babylonian siege engines were at the gates and that he had just made the worst financial decision of his life. Jeremiah’s prayer sounds like a complaint. The word “though” is not in the Hebrew text, but it properly captures the reproach in Jeremiah’s voice: “And you, you tell me, ‘Buy the field!’ ” (Jer 32:25). Jeremiah called attention to the fact that God told him to buy property even though it did not take a military genius to figure out that Jerusalem was on the verge of ruin. The prophet was perplexed by the whole thing, even flabbergasted. He did not understand what God was doing. So his prayer ends with a question mark. “You’re really telling me to invest in real estate, Lord? Seriously?” Or perhaps Jeremiah did not even make it to the question mark. It sounds as if he ran out of prayer before he figured out what to pray, which is the way bewildered prayers often end.

The only one who never gets bewildered is God!"

I am the LORD - Literally "I Yahweh." Jewish Bible = "Look, I am ADONAI." (see 'adonay)

The Savior can solve every problem,
The tangles of life can undo.
There’s nothing too hard for Jesus;
There’s nothing that He cannot do.
—Author unknown

The God of all flesh - "Of all mankind." This speaks of His sovereignty, His rule over every created being. He is free and able to do all that He wills (Ps 135:6). God possesses all power and is the ruler of all things (Da 4:34, 35). God rules and works according to His eternal purposes, even through events that seem to contradict or oppose His purposes! The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia adds that the sovereignty of God is "the absolute, irresistible, infinite, and unconditional exercise of God’s self-will over every area of His creation. God is the Disposer of all events throughout both time and eternity, as well as the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists. God “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph 1:11).

In Jeremiah 27:5-6 we see God's sovereignty as Jehovah declares

"I have made the earth, the men and the beasts which are on the face of the earth by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and I will give it to the one who is pleasing in My sight. And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, My servant, and I have given him also the wild animals of the field to serve him."

Is anything too difficult (wonderful, miraculous, amazing, extraordinary) for Me? - Jeremiah had already affirmed this truth (Jer 32:17). Obviously this is a rhetorical question calling for a negative response. This speaks of God's unquestioned, incontestable omnipotence.

Ryken - So God’s answer to his prophet’s prayer was to say, “That’s right, Jeremiah, you have the right God!” If Jeremiah would only listen to his own prayer, he could answer his own question. Nothing is too difficult or wonderful for God. If God says he will rebuild Jerusalem, then rebuild it he will. And if God says it is a good time to buy, then it is a buyer’s market for men and women of faith. Jeremiah’s example shows the value of praying with an informed view of God, especially during desperate times. Approach God with a proper sense of his power, love, justice, and knowledge and you will find the faith to trust him, even if he tells you to fork over seventeen shekels to Cousin Hanamel."

Compare God's promise to give elderly Abraham and Sarah an heir in Ge 18:14 “Is anything too difficult for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.”

Difficult (06381) see pala - Difficult means not easy; requiring great physical or mental effort to accomplish, comprehend, or endure. Not easy to do; requiring effort. Not easy to understand or solve. 

Spurgeon comments on God asking Jeremiah a question - THIS method of questioning the person to be instructed is known to teachers as the Socratic method. Socrates was wont, not so much to state a fact, as to ask a question and draw out thoughts from those whom he taught. His method had long before been used by a far greater teacher (Jesus of course). Putting questions is Jehovah’s frequent method of instruction. When the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind it was with a series of questions. “Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth? Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee? Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, Here we are?” and so forth. Questions from the Lord are very often the strongest affirmations. He would have us perceive their absolute certainty. They are put in this particular form because he would have us think over his great thought, and confirm it by our own reflections. The Lord shines upon us in the question, and our answer to it is the reflection of his light. The Infallible One challenges a contradiction, or even a doubt. “Is anything too hard for me?” is the strongest way of saying that nothing can be too hard for him, for it proclaims defiance to heaven, and earth, and hell, to produce a difficulty which can perplex the Lord. (Read the full sermon - Is Anything too Hard for the Lord?)

Luke in explaining Elizabeth's pregnancy (with John) despite her old age records "For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37) More literally this verse reads "No (spoken) word (rhema) of God is devoid of power!"

NET Note - This statement furnishes the grounds both for the assurance that the city will indeed be delivered over to Nebuchadnezzar (Jer 32:28–29a) and that it will be restored and repopulated (Jer 32:37–41). This can be seen from the parallel introductions in Jer 32:28, “Therefore the LORD says” and “Now therefore the LORD says.” As the Creator of all and God of all mankind He has the power and authority to do with His creation what He wishes (cf. Jer 27:5–6). Spurgeon - Exactly how powerful is the God we serve, anyway? We talk about His power. We hear about His power. We even sing about His power. Jeremiah 32:17 has been made into a chorus and sung in churches all over North America. But do we really experience His power? Jeremiah needed a miracle. He was in prison for confronting the king of Judah with a word from God, just as God had told him to do. Everyone was angry with Jeremiah. From the heads of state down to the peasants, everyone in Judah hated him and mocked him for saying unpopular things. But that’s exactly what God had told him to do! As Jeremiah was praying, he looked at the sky and contemplated how powerful God must be to have created the heavens and the earth. Then he reviewed in his mind all the miracles God had done through the ages. Jeremiah had heard about the mighty miracles in the history of God’s people, but now he needed to see one for himself. He needed to experience God’s power. God was faithful to Jeremiah. Not only was Jeremiah freed from captivity, but everything God had predicted occurred exactly as he said they would. Don’t settle for mere talk about God’s power—or books and songs about His power. Ask Him to show you for yourself. If God has given you a task that looks impossible, do it anyway; then you can experience His power accomplishing His will through your life. Don’t consider your own inadequacy. That’s irrelevant. Remember, nothing is impossible for God!

Jeremiah 32:28 Therefore thus says the LORD, "Behold, I am about to give this city into the hand of the Chaldeans and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will take it.

Therefore (see discussion of value of interrogating this term of conclusion) thus says the LORD, - Based on the fact that nothing is too difficult for God, He will intervene in the life of His Chosen People and give them over to Babylon.

Behold - see note on Jeremiah 32:3.

I am about to give this city into the hand of the Chaldeans - This declaration emphasizes that it is God Who is in control, not Nebuchadnezzar. How often do I think "I am in control of a certain situation," when the truth is that God is really the One in control of the situation! This truth should both humble us and assure us!

Into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon - The hand was often used figuratively in the OT as a symbol for power.

He will take it - Once again we see the mysterious but very real juxtaposition of God's sovereignty ("I...give") and Man's responsibility ("He will take"). As you read the Scriptures be alert for this pattern as it permeates the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.

Jeremiah 32:29 "The Chaldeans who are fighting against this city will enter and set this city on fire and burn it, with the houses where people have offered incense to Baal on their roofs and poured out drink offerings to other gods to provoke Me to anger.

DIVINE ACCUSATIONS
AGAINST ISRAEL

(Jer 32:29-35)

Beginning in Jer 32:29-35 is Israel's "dirty laundry" list of evils perpetrated against God - worship of idols (Jer 32:29), making of idols (Jer 32:30), from the day Jerusalem was built (Jer 32:31), evil permeating every level of society (Jer 32:32), rejection of God's teaching (Jer 32:33), defiling the Holy Temple with idols (Jer 32:34), building of high places for detestable idol worship, even child sacrifice (Jer 32:35).

The Chaldeans who are fighting against this city will enter and set this city on fire and burn it - This was happening as Jeremiah wrote and it would be consummated in God's perfect timing. Recall the setting of this chapter was during the second year of Nebuchadnezzar's final 3 year siege of Jerusalem. The city was surrounded and here God says it will be entered. The siege would turn into a slaughter!

With the houses where people have offered incense to Baal on their roofs - Do you see the irony? God burns the houses upon which incense was burned to idols! There is a verse in Hosea which says "they (Israel) sow the wind, and they reap the whirlwind." (Hos 8:7, cp Gal 6:7-8) Here Judah had sown the seeds of idolatrous incense and reaped the fire of God incensed by their foolish, empty idolatry! Idolatry is always a road named "No Win!"

Poured out drink offerings to other gods to provoke Me to anger - This is a frightening passage. The Jews had perverted the instructions in Lev 23:10-14. In our day God is not interested so much in drink offerings but of the pouring out of our lives to Him in Spirit filled, God glorifying service (cp 2Ti 2:6-note, Php 2:17-note cp Ro 6:12-13, Ro 12:1-2- note) How many times do I "pour out drink offerings" to something that is really not God. We all have idols be they money or power or prestige, etc. And since God is the same today as He was in Jeremiah's day, He still reacts the same ways as He did to Judah - He is provoked to anger! And yet while we deserve His fiery judgment, because of Jesus and the forgiveness available through His finished work on the Cross (He suffered the fire of God's holy wrath in our place), God gives us favor instead of fire. Of course, as a loving Father, He may have to carry out divine discipline to get our attention, but even then He does, even that is for our good and His glory (Read Hebrews 12:5-11-note and list the "benefits" of discipline which are priceless!)

Compare Jer 19:13 "And the houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah will be defiled like the place Topheth, because of all the houses on whose rooftops they burned sacrifices to all the heavenly host and poured out libations to other gods.”’” .

Jeremiah 32:30 "Indeed the sons of Israel and the sons of Judah have been doing only evil in My sight from their youth; for the sons of Israel have been only provoking Me to anger by the work of their hands," declares the LORD.

ISRAEL'S EVIL PROVOKES
DIVINE ANGER

KJV For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have only done evil before me from their youth: for the children of Israel have only provoked me to anger with the work of their hands, saith the LORD.

NET This will happen because the people of Israel and Judah have repeatedly done what displeases me from their earliest history until now and because they have repeatedly made me angry by the things they have done. I, the LORD, affirm it!

ESV For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have done nothing but evil in my sight from their youth. The children of Israel have done nothing but provoke me to anger by the work of their hands, declares the LORD.

NIV "The people of Israel and Judah have done nothing but evil in my sight from their youth; indeed, the people of Israel have done nothing but provoke me with what their hands have made, declares the LORD.

NLT Israel and Judah have done nothing but wrong since their earliest days. They have infuriated me with all their evil deeds," says the LORD.

Indeed the sons of Israel and the sons of Judah have been doing only evil in My sight from their youth

Evil in My sight - 6x in OT - 2 Kgs 21:15; Isa 65:12; 66:4; Jer 7:30; 18:10; 32:30

From their youth - Jer 22:21 and Ezek 23:3 describe Israel's perverse penchant to practice idolatry from the beginning of their birth as the chosen people of God, a nation who was charged by God from the beginning to be holy unto the LORD (Ex 19:6). Compare Ge 8:21 of the world condemned to death in the global flood.

Jeremiah 3:25 “Let us lie down in our shame, and let our humiliation cover us; for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, since our youth even to this day. And we have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.”

For - (See term of explanation) Explains the evil Israel has been committing against Jehovah.

The sons of Israel have been only provoking Me to anger by the work of their hands - Instead of raising hands in prayer and praise they were using their hands to "raise" idols (but see NET Note below) of their vain imaginations! Compare Jeremiah 1:16, 10:3.

NET Note on Jeremiah 25:6 - The term “work of your own hands” is often interpreted as a reference to idolatry as is clearly the case in Isa 2:8; 37:19. However, the parallelism in Jer 25:14 and the context in Jer 32:30 show that it is more general and refers to what they have done. That is likely the meaning here as well. (Comment: While the NET Note suggestion may be correct, it certainly does not exclude the possibility that the reference is to idolatry.)

Provoking Me to anger - 4x in OT - 1Ki 16:2; 2Ki 21:15; Jer 32:30; 44:8

The work of their hands - 6x in OT - 2Ki 22:17; Isa 2:8; 65:22; Jer 25:14; 32:30; Lam 3:64

Jeremiah 32:31 "Indeed this city has been to Me a provocation of My anger and My wrath from the day that they built it, even to this day, so that it should be removed from before My face,

THEIR JUST PUNISHMENT:
BANISHMENT FROM GOD'S PRESENCE

KJV For this city hath been to me as a provocation of mine anger and of my fury from the day that they built it even unto this day; that I should remove it from before my face,

NET This will happen because the people of this city have aroused my anger and my wrath since the time they built it until now. They have made me so angry that I am determined to remove it from my sight.

ESV This city has aroused my anger and wrath, from the day it was built to this day, so that I will remove it from my sight

NIV From the day it was built until now, this city has so aroused my anger and wrath that I must remove it from my sight.

NLT "From the time this city was built until now, it has done nothing but anger me, so I am determined to get rid of it.

YLT 'For a cause of Mine anger, and a cause of My fury, hath this city been to Me, even from the day that they built it, and unto this day -- to turn it aside from before My face,

Ryken - Not only was there sin at every level, there was sin in every place, especially the sin of idolatry. Even from their rooftops, the people provoked God to anger “by burning incense … to Baal and by pouring out drink offerings to other gods” (v. 29b). They were making gods with their own hands and then bowing down to them on top of their houses. Baal worship was everywhere. The entire city was characterized by idolatry. The same could well be said of the post-Christian West at the dawn of the twenty-first century. True, not many people burn incense to Baal on their roofs. But God would not have any trouble identifying the idols we worship in our homes and on our streets—money, self, sex, and a pantheon of others. What idols would God find in the church?...Christians commit a similar abomination whenever they carry idols in their hearts and bring them into the church. Many who claim to be servants of the Lord Jesus Christ still worship fashion, intellect, luxury, and privacy. The reason the evangelical church is so feeble is not because Christians have ceased to worship God. Rather, its weakness comes from the desire to worship God plus a few other things. Many Christians, in fact, are like the Roman Emperor Alexander Severus (208–235). When Alexander heard about Christianity, he wanted to adopt it as one of the Roman religions. So he set up an image of Jesus Christ in his private chapel, adding the Christian God to the gods he already worshiped. But anyone who refuses to worship God alone is an idolater. The true and living God will not stand for any rivals. He will not share his glory, his worship, or his praise with any other god.

NET Note on the day they built it - The Israelites did not in fact “build” Jerusalem. They captured it from the Jebusites in the time of David. This refers perhaps to the enlarging and fortifying of the city after it came into the hands of the Israelites (2 Sam 5:6–10).

Norman Geisler - Did God delight in Zion (Jerusalem) or did it provoke His anger? PROBLEM: The psalmist declared that “the Lord loves the gates of Zion.” (Ps. 87:2). In fact, “the Lord has chosen Zion … [as] My resting place forever” (Ps. 132:13–14). But, in this text, Jeremiah quotes God as saying, “This city has been to Me a provocation of My anger and My fury from the day that they built it, even to this day.” Well, then, does God delight in Zion forever, or has He been provoked by it from the beginning? SOLUTION: Actually both are true, whether taken in a spiritual sense or in a literal sense. Some scholars take this spiritually, as a reference to God’s eternal blessing on His heavenly Zion, the church (cf. Heb. 12:22; Rev. 21–22). Other Bible scholars understand this literally as yet to be fulfilled when Israel is restored to their land forever as God promised (see comments on Rom. 11:26). Accordingly, the city of Jerusalem which was chosen by God as the capital of His people Israel was a perpetual pain to God. But, when the Messiah returns to set up His throne and reign there (cf. Zech. 13:1-14:21; Mt. 19:28), it will be a source of endless delight to God.

Jeremiah 32:32 because of all the evil of the sons of Israel and the sons of Judah which they have done to provoke Me to anger--they, their kings, their leaders, their priests, their prophets, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

SIN AT EVERY
LEVEL OF SOCIETY

NET I am determined to do so because the people of Israel and Judah have made me angry with all their wickedness– they, their kings, their officials, their priests, their prophets, and especially the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem have done this wickedness.

ESV because of all the evil of the children of Israel and the children of Judah that they did to provoke me to anger--their kings and their officials, their priests and their prophets, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

NIV The people of Israel and Judah have provoked me by all the evil they have done-- they, their kings and officials, their priests and prophets, the men of Judah and the people of Jerusalem.

NLT "The sins of Israel and Judah-- the sins of the people of Jerusalem, the kings, the officials, the priests, and the prophets-- have stirred up my anger.

YLT Because of all the evil of the sons of Israel, and of the sons of Judah that they have done, so as to provoke Me -- they, their kings, their heads, their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Because - This term of explanation explains why the city would be removed from Jehovah's face (His presence)- It was because of all the evil of the sons of Israel and the sons of Judah which they have done to provoke Me to anger--

All Israel was sinful from the top to the bottom, they were infected with evil! = they, their kings, their leaders, their priests, their prophets, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Jeremiah 32:33 "They have turned their back to Me and not their face; though I taught them, teaching again and again, they would not listen and receive instruction.

GIVING GOD THE
"COLD SHOULDER!"

KJV And they have turned unto me the back, and not the face: though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction.

NET They have turned away from me instead of turning to me. I tried over and over again to instruct them, but they did not listen and respond to correction.

ESV They have turned to me their back and not their face. And though I have taught them persistently, they have not listened to receive instruction.

NIV They turned their backs to me and not their faces; though I taught them again and again, they would not listen or respond to discipline.

NLT My people have turned their backs on me and have refused to return. Even though I diligently taught them, they would not receive instruction or obey.

They have turned their back to Me and not their face - What an incredible picture! Turning one's back on God Almighty, the only One in all creation worthy of worship! That's what sin will do to you when it takes root and bears fruit!

Compare the same idiom in Jer 2:27 = "Who say to a tree, ‘You are my father,’ And to a stone, ‘You gave me birth.’ For they have turned their back to Me, And not their face; But in the time of their trouble they will say, ‘Arise and save us.’"

Though I taught them, teaching again and again, - KJV = "though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them" - The point of course is that they were without excuse for this rampant rebellion! This is summarized in Second Chronicles "And the LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place but they continually mocked the messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, until there was no remedy." (2Chr 36:15-16)

Rising up early (KJV) - This Hebrew idiom (cp Jer 7:25; 11:7; 25:3, 4)is more literally “to do something early" with the main idea to do it eagerly (which is why one arises early!)” Compare Micah's description of those "Who work out evil on their beds! When morning comes, they do it." (Micah 2:1-note)

NET Note on teaching again and again - This refers to God teaching them through the prophets whom he has sent as indicated by the repeated use of this idiom elsewhere in Jer 7:13, 25; 11:7; 25:3, 4; 26:5, 19.

They would not listen and receive instruction - More literally "But they were not listening so as to accept correction."

Jeremiah 32:34 "But they put their detestable things in the house which is called by My name, to defile it.

DEFILEMENT OF
GOD'S TEMPLE

But they put their detestable things in the house which is called by My name, to defile it. - Cf. Jer 7:10, 11, 14 from the shaqats = to detest - Lev 11:11, 13, 43, 20:25, Dt 7:26, Ps 22:24)

They put their detestable things in the House - Amazing! Detestable idols in the Holy Temple! But stop for a moment and ask "Where is His holy temple today?" Our bodies of course (1Cor 6:19-20)! Do we defile His Temple with any idols? I think we all know the answer to that rhetorical question.

NET Note - Compare, e.g., 2Ki 21:3, 5, 7; 23:4, 6; Ezekiel 8:3, 5, 10-12, 16. Manasseh had desecrated the temple by building altars, cult symbols, and idols in it. Josiah had purged the temple of these pagan elements. But it is obvious from both Jeremiah and Ezekiel that they had been replaced shortly after Josiah’s death (Ed: So much for Josiah's "revival" - reformation for a time might be more accurate, but for most there was no genuine heart change!). They were a primary cause of Judah’s guilt and punishment (see Jer 19:5).

In Jeremiah 19 Jehovah declared why He would punish Judah - “(“Behold I am about to bring a calamity upon this place, at which the ears of everyone that hears of it will tingle" Jer 19:3) Because (term of explanation) they have forsaken Me (NB: The first step downward!) and have made this an alien place and have burned sacrifices in it to other gods that neither they nor their forefathers nor the kings of Judah had ever known, and because they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent (cp Jer 32:35). (Jer 19:4-5)

Detestable (elsewhere translated abominations)(08251)(shiqquts) means disgusting, filthy, detestable, detestable thing. Shiqquts is a generic term for anything that is reprehensible to Yahweh because of its nature or effects. It refers especially to an idol per se (Jer 16:18, 2Kings 23:13, 24) or to practices associated with idolatry (especially in Ezekiel 5:11, 7:20, 11:18, 21 which led to the departure of the Shekinah glory of God from His Temple - He will never share His glory with another so called god!). Jesus commented on this prophetic event (which was still a prophecy at the time He spoke and as of 2016 is still prophetic) - "Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand)." (Mt 24:15) Shiqquts is the second most common Hebrew term for abominations - toebah being the most common word. Sad, isn't it, that God needed two words for abomination! Such is the depraved nature of our hearts!

The Septuagint (LXX) translates shiqquts with the noun miasma which is that which defiles and thus is a shameful deed, pollution, moral corruption (thru evil and ungodly living).

The house which is called by My name - 4x in the OT all in Jeremiah = Jer 7:10, 11, 14, 30; 32:34; 34:15. This is the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

Jeremiah 32:35 "They built the high places of Baal that are in the valley of Ben-hinnom to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I had not commanded them nor had it entered My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

THE HORRIBLE SIN
OF INFANTICIDE

KJV And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

NET They built places of worship for the god Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom so that they could sacrifice their sons and daughters to the god Molech. Such a disgusting practice was not something I commanded them to do! It never even entered my mind to command them to do such a thing! So Judah is certainly liable for punishment.'

ESV They built the high places of Baal in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did it enter into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

NIV They built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molech, though I never commanded, nor did it enter my mind, that they should do such a detestable thing and so make Judah sin.

NLT They have built pagan shrines to Baal in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and there they sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molech. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing. What an incredible evil, causing Judah to sin so greatly!

They built the high places of Baal - This identical phrase is also found in Nu 22:41 and Jer 19:5.

Jer 7:31 - “And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, and it did not come into My mind." (NET Note on Topheth - The noun Topheth is generally explained as an artificial formation of a word related to the Aramaic word for “cooking stove” combined with the vowels for the word for “shame.” Hence, Jewish piety viewed it as a very shameful act, one that was contrary to the law (Lev 18:21; 20:2–6). Child sacrifice was practiced during the reigns of the wicked kings Ahaz and Manasseh and apparently during Jeremiah’s day = cf. 2Ki 16:3; 21:6; Jer 32:35).

Jer 19:5 and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I never commanded or spoke of, nor did it ever enter My mind;

High places - 80x in 72v in NAS - Lev 26:30; Num 22:41; 33:52; Deut 32:13; 33:29; Judg 5:18; 2 Sam 1:19, 25; 22:34; 1 Kgs 3:2f; 12:31f; 13:2, 32f; 14:23; 15:14; 22:43; 2 Kgs 12:3; 14:4; 15:4, 35; 16:4; 17:9, 11, 29, 32; 18:4, 22; 21:3; 23:5, 8f, 13, 19f; 2 Chr 11:15; 14:3, 5; 15:17; 17:6; 20:33; 21:11; 28:4, 25; 31:1; 32:12; 33:3, 17, 19; 34:3; Ps 18:33; 78:58; Prov 9:14; Isa 15:2; 36:7; Jer 7:31; 17:3; 19:5; 26:18; 32:35; Ezek 6:3, 6; 16:16, 39; Hos 10:8; Amos 4:13; 7:9; Mic 1:3; 3:12; Hab 3:19

NET Note on high places (Jer 7:31, 17:3, 19:5, 26:18, 32:35, 48:35) - These places of worship were essentially open air shrines often located on hills or wooded heights. They were generally connected with pagan worship and equipped with altars of sacrifice and of incense and cult objects such as wooden poles and stone pillars which were symbols of the god and/or goddess (see Asherah) worshiped at the site. The Israelites were commanded to tear down these Canaanite places of worship (Nu 33:52) but they did not do so, often taking over the site for the worship of Yahweh but even then incorporating some of the pagan cult objects and ritual into their worship of Yahweh (1Ki 12:31, 32; 14:23). The prophets were especially opposed to these places and to this kind of Syncretism (Hos 10:8; Amos 7:9) and to the pagan worship that was often practiced at them (Jer 7:31; 19:5; 32:35).

High places (01116)(bamah) Six activities seem to be related to high places -- burning of incense, sacrificing, eating of sacrificial meals, praying, prostitution, child sacrifice (cf. bama in the valley, Je7:31). The first use in Lev 26:30 is God's declaration to Israel "I will destroy your high places." In Dt 32:13 speaking of Jacob (Israel) He declared "He made him ride on the high places of the earth," so clearly some uses of bamah are not negative. In a similar use God says Israel "you will tread upon their (Israel's enemies') high places." Another positive use is Psalm 18:33 where David declared Jehovah "makes my feet like hinds' feet, And sets me upon my high places." (cp Hab 3:19 - NET Note = David "compares his agility in battle to the ability of a deer to negotiate rugged, high terrain without falling or being injured.", cp Isa 58:14) We see he effect of Israel's high places on Jehovah in Ps 78:58 = "For they provoked Him with their high places and aroused His jealousy with their graven images."

A sad phrase that is repeated again and again (speaking of Israel) is "the high places were not taken away" (1Ki 15:14, 2Chr 15:17 = King Asa but notice he did remove some of them - 2Chr 14:3, 5, 1Ki 22:43, 2Chr 20:33 = King Jehoshaphat, 2Ki 12:3 = King Jehoash, 2Ki 14:4 = King Amaziah, 2Ki 15:4 = King Azariah, 2Ki 15:35 = King Jotham son of Uzziah and look what his son did in 2Ki 16:1-4!, 2Chr 20:33). In many of these passages the context was of a king doing "spiritual house cleaning" so to speak and yet still failing to remove the high places. Isn't sin that way? We confess one or two sins but we have a little pet sin (better a "venomous viper") that we just don't have the heart to kill! God grant us spiritual eyes and hearts to learn from Israel's mistakes. Amen! Some kings like Hezekiah (1Ki 18:4, 2Chr 31:1, Isa 36:7) and Josiah (2Ki 23:4,8, 13, 15, 19-20, 2Chr 34:3 cp prophecy about Josiah 300 years earlier = 1Ki 13:2) did destroy the high places, but in Hezekiah's case his own son Manasseh rebuilt them (2Ki 21:1-2, 3, 2Chr 33:3) and in Josiah's case the people rebuilt them!

We see the spiritual effect of high places on the people when King Jehoram (2Chr 21:5-10) "made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the harlot and led Judah astray." (2Chr 21:11)

One of the most incredible (and saddest) verses in the OT (in my opinion) is "Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable idol of Moab, on the mountain which is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon." (1Ki 11:7, cp 1Ki 3:3 = Solomon had "half a heart" for God!) This was too much for Jehovah and He declared that the 12 tribes would be split as a result of Solomon's sin! Sin is costly. You may think you are getting away with it, but you are not! You may think you are the wisest man in the world (like Solomon) but you are really the most foolish (as Solomon was)! There was one high place that was not idolatrous (at least not at the outset) - "Then Solomon, and all the assembly with him, went to the high place which was at Gibeon; for God's tent of meeting was there, which Moses the servant of the LORD had made in the wilderness." (2Chr 1:3, cp 1Chr 16:39-40, 21:29).

In Amos we see bamah is used in a description of Jehovah - For behold, He who forms mountains and creates the wind And declares to man what are His thoughts, He who makes dawn into darkness And treads on the high places of the earth, The LORD God of hosts is His name. (Amos 4:13, cp Micah 1:3)

Bamah - Over 100x in 91 verses translated in NAS as heights(3), high place(19), high places(76), places(1), waves(1). - Lev 26:30; Nu 22:41; 33:52; Deut 32:13; 33:29; 1 Sam 9:12ff, 19, 25; 10:5, 13; 2 Sam 1:19, 25; 22:34; 1Kgs 3:2ff; 11:7; 12:31f; 13:2, 32f; 14:23; 15:14; 22:43; 2 Kgs 12:3; 14:4; 15:4, 35; 16:4; 17:9, 11, 29, 32; 18:4, 22; 21:3; 23:5, 8f, 13, 15, 19f; 1 Chr 16:39; 21:29; 2 Chr 1:3, 13; 11:15; 14:3, 5; 15:17; 17:6; 2Chr 20:33; 21:11; 28:4, 25; 31:1; 32:12; 33:3, 17, 19; 34:3; Job 9:8; Ps 18:33; 78:58; Isa 14:14; 15:2; 16:12; 36:7; 58:14; Jer 7:31; 17:3; 19:5; 26:18; 32:35; 48:35; Ezek 6:3, 6; 16:16; 20:29; 36:2; Hos 10:8; Amos 4:13; 7:9; Mic 1:3, 5; 3:12; Hab 3:19

Vines on bamah - This noun occurs in other Semitic languages, meaning the "back" of an animal or of a man (Ugaritic), the incline or "back" of a mountain (Akkadian), and the "block" (of stone) or grave of a saint (Arabic). Bamah is used about 100 times in biblical Hebrew, and the first occurrence is in Lev. 26:30: Most of the uses are in Kings and Chronicles, with the sense of "cultic high place." The word is rarely used in the Pentateuch or in the poetic or prophetic literature. Bamah with the sense of "back" is still to be found in the OT: (Dt. 33:29). The Bible's metaphorical use of the "backs" of the clouds and the waves of the sea gives problems to translators: (Isa 14:14 = above the heights of the clouds), and (Job 9:8 = tramples down the waves of the sea). A similar problem is found in Ps 18:33 (cf. 2Sa 22:34; Hab 3:19) = In these passages, bamah must be understood idiomatically, meaning "authority." The word is used metaphorically to portray the Lord as providing for His people in Dt. 32:13 (cf. Isa 58:14). The idiom, "to ride upon the high places of the earth," is a Hebraic way of expressing God's protection of His people. It expresses the exalted nature of Israel, whose God is the Lord. Not every literal bamah was a cultic high place; the word may simply refer to a geographical unit = Amos 4:13; Mic. 3:12. The Canaanites served their gods on these hills, where pagan priests presented the sacrifices to the gods: Israel imitated this practice (1Ki 3:2), even when they sacrificed to the Lord (Ed: = Syncretism). The surrounding nations had high places dedicated to Chemosh (1Ki 11:7), Baal (Jer 19:5), and other deities. On the "high place," a temple was built and dedicated to a god: "[Jeroboam] made a house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi" (1Ki 12:31). Cultic symbols were added as decoration; thus, the sacred pillars ('aserah) and sacred trees or poles (massebah) were associated with a temple: "For they also built them high places, and [sacred stones], and groves, on every high hill [gib'ah], and under every green tree" (1Ki 14:23; cf. 2Ki 16:4). Before the temple was built, Solomon worshiped the Lord at the great bamah of Gideon (1Ki 3:4). This was permissible until the temple was constructed; however, history demonstrates that Israel soon adopted these "high places" for pagan customs. The bamah was found in the cities of Samaria (2Ki 23:19), in the cities of Judah (2Ki 23:13). The bamah was a place of cult prostitution:(Am 2:7-8).

Related Resources on Baal -

That are in the valley of Ben-hinnom -

Gehenna (see Greek word study on geenna = literally the valley of Hinnom) is derived from a place outside ancient Jerusalem known in the Hebrew Bible as the Valley of the Son of Hinnom

To cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech - Murder of their own children! Unthinkable! Abominable! This shows how far our hearts can traverse into the pit when we backslide from (forsake) the God of Truth and His Word of Truth! Are you daily performing "preventive maintenance" on your heart and soul lest you be led astray and end up in some detestable depravity you never dreamed was even possible? That is what sin unconfessed and unrepented will do! If any of us think we stand (especially in our own power independent of the enabling power of God and His Spirit and His Word) we had been take heed lest we fall headlong into sins as abominable as Israel (1Cor 10:12). I know a young believer (I believe he is genuine) who was actively studying the Word, but he began slowly to drift away and then he began surfing the web for pornography, and was soon frequenting prostitutes and finally ended up having an adulterous affair! His wife saw his phone one day and the truth of Numbers 32:23 came home to roost, the immutable principle that when we sin against Jehovah, we can "be sure (our) sin will find (us) out!"

Molech (Moloch in Acts 7:43)(04432)(molek from melek = king) was the god of the Ammonites and Phoenicians to whom some Israelites sacrificed their infants in the valley of Hinnom. In the first Biblical use Jehovah warned Israel (before they committed this sin) "'You shall not give any of your offspring to offer them to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God; I am the LORD." (Lev 18:21) and the penalty for committing this heinous idolatrous sacrifice was death (Lev 20:2-5) It is tragic that the one king of Israel who was incriminated in this heinous sin was Solomon (1Ki 11:7)! This is a mystery to me but perhaps 1Ki 3:3 gives us a clue - there was an evil seed (the high places) that Solomon neglected to "kill!" As Owen said "Kill sin lest it be killing you!" Too true! King Josiah was broken and contrite when the Word of the Lord was found (cp the effect of God's Word = Ps 119:25) and from his personal repentance came personal revival (cp 2Ki 23:10).

NET Note on Molech - The god Molech is especially associated with the practice of child sacrifice (Lev 18:21; 20:2–5; 2Ki 23:10). In 1Ki 11:7 this god is identified as the god of the Ammonites who is also called Milcom in 1Ki 11:5; 2Ki 23:13. Child sacrifice, however, was not confined to this god; it was also made to the god Baal (Jer 19:5) and to other idols that the Israelites had set up (Ezek 16:20–21). This practice was, however, strictly prohibited in Israel (Lev 18:21; 20:2-5; Dt 12:31; 18:10). It was this practice as well as other pagan rites that Manasseh had instituted in Judah that ultimately led to Judah’s demise (2Ki 24:3-4)! Though Josiah tried to root these pagan practices (2Ki 23:4–14) out of Judah he could not do so. The people had only made a pretense of following his reforms; their hearts were still far from God (Jer 3:10; 12:2).

Molek - 8x - Lev 18:21; 20:2-5; 1Ki 11:7; 2Ki 23:10; Jer 32:35

Related Resources on Molech/Moloch...

Which I had not commanded them nor had it entered My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

Abomination (08441)(toebah) refers to a practice or a thing that which is detestable, loathsome or abhorrent. the Lxx translates toebah with bdelugma (946) (derived from bdelusso [see word study] = emit foul odor, turn away from something or someone on account of the "stench". A loathing or disgust, abhor in turn derived from bdeo = to stink; see word study on related - bdekluktos) which describes something foul, that which is extremely hated, disgusted, detested or abhorred. The first NT use of bdelugma is in Mt 24:15 which is fitting as it describes the "Abomination (bdelugma) of desolation" (the Antichrist) (cp Mk 13:14).

Compare Jer 7:10 = "then come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’–that you may do all these abominations?" (NET Note - God expresses his incredulity that they could do these sins, come into the temple and claim the safety of his protection, and then go right back out and commit the same sins.)

Ryken - The moral worth of a culture is not determined by how it treats the strong, the rich, and the beautiful, but by how it treats the weak, the poor, and the vulnerable. What can one say about a culture that takes the lives of its own children, whether inside or outside the womb? Or about a culture that makes allowance for assisted suicide? What can one say, in other words, about the post-Christian culture of death...? In the spring of 1997 New Jersey residents were shocked to learn what one high school student did on her prom night. The girl left her glass by the punch bowl, went to the bathroom, gave birth, strangled her child, and then went back out on the floor to dance to her favorite song. A “post-term abortion,” some called it. God calls it an abomination, a human sacrifice to the goddess of self.

Guzik - So abhorrent was this practice that the Lord by a strong anthropomorphism says that it had never entered His mind that His favored people would stoop so low. (Feinberg)

Jeremiah 32:36 "Now therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel concerning this city of which you say, 'It is given into the hand of the king of Babylon by sword, by famine and by pestilence.'

THE BAD NEWS

KJV And now therefore thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city, whereof ye say, It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence;

NET "You and your people are right in saying, 'War, starvation, and disease are sure to make this city fall into the hands of the king of Babylon.' But now I, the LORD God of Israel, have something further to say about this city:

ESV "Now therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city of which you say, 'It is given into the hand of the king of Babylon by sword, by famine, and by pestilence':

NIV "You are saying about this city, 'By the sword, famine and plague it will be handed over to the king of Babylon'; but this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says:

NLT "Now I want to say something more about this city. You have been saying, 'It will fall to the king of Babylon through war, famine, and disease.' But this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says:

Now therefore (term of conclusion) thus says the LORD God of Israel concerning this city - God reiterates what He had said in Jer 32:28. The "therefore" serves as God's conclusion (giving over of the city) which is based on His lengthy description of their sin in the intervening passages (Jer 32:29-35)

Of which you say - Speaking of the prophecy that Jeremiah has uttered concerning the judgment of Jerusalem.

It is given prophetic perfect) into the hand of the king of Babylon by sword, by famine and by pestilence - The sword of the Babylonians which led to the siege of they city and its famine and infestation by pestilence. In horse racing we might call Judah's "reward" a divine "Trifecta!"

Pestilence (01698)(deber from dabar = to speak) refers to plague. In the first 3 uses in Exodus deber speaks of divinely induced pestilence on Egypt (Ex 5:3, 9:3, 15). In Lev 26:25 as punishment for Israel's sin God promises "I will send pestilence among you, so that you shall be delivered into enemy hands." (Compare Nu 14:12, Dt 28:21) In 2Sa 24:13, 15 we see the pestilence was sent on Israel because of King David's sin and as a result 70,000 men died! King Solomon referred to pestilence as one of the judgments that should stimulate the people to pray asking God to hear their cries (1Ki 8:37, 2Chr 6:28). God delivers from pestilence (Ps 91:3). Pestilence is clearly a key word in the book of Jeremiah (17/48 uses in the OT) which is summed up well in Jeremiah 21:6 where God promises "I will also strike down the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast; they will die of a great pestilence."

Pestilence in the English dictionary = a deadly or highly infectious epidemic outbreak usually of an infectious disease but figuratively can be an evil influence.

While one cannot state with absolute certainty many authorities feel that deber in many contexts (such as the siege of Jerusalem for 3 years) was in fact the Bubonic plague.

It is interesting that the Septuagint (Lxx) translates deber in this passage with the noun apostole which means a sending off (as of a fleet of ships, a man on a mission), a sending away, a dispatching and in the present context would speak of Judah's sending off into exile, their banishment from the promised land!

ISBE on deber - Any sudden fatal epidemic is designated by this word, and in its Biblical use it generally indicates that these are divine visitations. The word is most frequently used in the prophetic books, and it occurs 25 times in Jeremiah and Ezekiel, always associated with the sword and famine. In 4 other passages it is combined with noisome or evil beasts, or war. In Amos 4:10 this judgment is compared with the plagues of Egypt, and in Habakkuk 3:5 it is a concomitant of the march of God from the Arabian mountain. There is the same judicial character associated with pestilence in Exodus 5:3; Exodus 9:15; Leviticus 26:25; Numbers 14:12; Deuteronomy 28:21; 2 Samuel 24:21; 1 Chronicles 21:12; Ezekiel 14:19 , Ezekiel 14:21 . In the dedication prayer of Solomon, a special value is besought for such petitions against pestilence as may be presented toward the temple (2 Chronicles 6:28 ). Such a deliverance is promised to those who put their trust in God (Psalm 91:6 ). Here the pestilence is called noisome, a shortened form of "annoysome," used in the sense of "hateful" or that which causes trouble or distress. In modern English it has acquired the sense of loathsome. "Noisome" is used by Tyndale where the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) have "hurtful" in 1 Timothy 6:9 . The Latin word pestilentia is connected with pestis , "the plague," but pestilence is used of any visitation and is not the name of any special disease; debher is applied to diseases of cattle and is translated "murrain."

Strong and McClintock - deber (Septuagint usually translates deber with thanatos), which originally seems to mean simply destruction, but is regularly applied to that common Oriental epidemic the plague (q.v.). The same term is also used in the Hebrew Scriptures for all epidemic or contagious diseases (Leviticus 26:25). (Pestilence)

Deber - 48v translated in NAS as pestilence(38), plague(10), thorns(1). - Ex 5:3; 9:3, 15; Lev 26:25; Num 14:12; Deut 28:21; 2Sa 24:13, 15; 1Kgs 8:37; 1Chr 21:12, 14; 2Chr 6:28; 7:13; 20:9; Ps 78:50; 91:3, 6; Jeremiah 14:12; 21:6-7, 9; 24:10; 27:8, 13; 28:8; 29:17-18; 32:24, 36; 34:17; 38:2; 42:17, 22; 44:13; Ezek 5:12, 17; 6:11f; 7:15; 12:16; 14:19, 21; 28:23; 33:27; 38:22; Hos 13:14; Amos 4:10; Hab 3:5

Related Resources:

NET Note - Compare Jer 32:24, 28. In Jer 32:24 this is Jeremiah’s statement just before he expresses his perplexity about the LORD’s command to buy the field of his cousin in spite of the certainty of the city’s demise. In Jer 32:28 it is the LORD’s affirmation that the city will indeed fall. Here, the LORD picks up Jeremiah’s assessment only to add a further prophesy (Jer 32:37–41) of what is just as sure to happen (Jer 32:42). This is the real answer to Jeremiah’s perplexity. Jer 32:28–35 are an assurance that the city will indeed be captured and a reiteration again of the reason for its demise. The structure of the two introductions in Jer 32:28 and v. 36 are parallel and flow out of the statement that the LORD is God of all mankind and nothing is too hard for him (neither destruction nor restoration [cf. 1:10]).

It is given (KJV = It shall be delivered) - This is the prophetic perfect which NAS translates as if this future event had taken place so sure is its fulfillment.

NET Note - God does not deny that Jeremiah’s assessment is correct; he affirms it but has something further to say in answer to Jeremiah’s prayer.

Jeremiah 32:37 "Behold, I will gather them out of all the lands to which I have driven them in My anger, in My wrath and in great indignation; and I will bring them back to this place and make them dwell in safety.

THE GOOD NEWS

KJV Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely:

NET 'I will certainly regather my people from all the countries where I will have exiled them in my anger, fury, and great wrath. I will bring them back to this place and allow them to live here in safety.

ESV Behold, I will gather them from all the countries to which I drove them in my anger and my wrath and in great indignation. I will bring them back to this place, and I will make them dwell in safety.

NIV I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety.

NLT I will certainly bring my people back again from all the countries where I will scatter them in my fury. I will bring them back to this very city and let them live i

Behold - see note on Jeremiah 32:3.

Ryken observes the abrupt transition from bad news to good news commenting that now "God changed the subject by saying something totally surprising and completely unexpected. Whereas Jer 32:28–35 showed the power of God in the judgment of sin, Jer 32:36-44 go on to show the power of God in the salvation of sinners. God moves from sin to salvation so quickly it is hard to keep up. Gordon McConville goes so far as to say that Jer 32:36 is “unexpected and illogical.” (Jeremiah and Lamentations - From Sorrow to Hope - Preaching the Word- Philip Graham Ryken)

I will gather them out of all the lands - Notice Jehovah does not say out of the land of Babylon but out of all the lands which broadens the fulfillment of this prophecy. When the exiles returned from Babylon after their 70 year exile, the 10 northern tribes did not return from their Assyrian exile. So the fulfillment of this prophecy must speak of a future time. This deduction is substantiated by the qualifying statement dwell in safety. (see below) Feinberg agrees that "The mention of “all the lands” presupposes a world-wide dispersion."

I will gather them...I have driven them...I will bring them back - In the midst of wrath God remembers mercy on His people Israel (cp His covenant love, His lovingkindness toward Israel - Jer 9:24, 32:18). The same God who promised and fulfilled judgment also promised and would fulfill restoration. One was as sure as the other. In Jer 16:5 Jehovah says "I have withdrawn...My lovingkindness and compassion" but in Jer 31:3 He declares "I have drawn you with lovingkindness!"). It was God Who had driven them ( prophetic perfect) and it is the same loving God Who will gather them (future tense)! And why? Because His lovingkindnesses indeed never cease! (Lam 3:22-23) Perhaps you feel far from God (as if He has driven you away). If so you are no farther away than a cry of forgive my sins Lord God. He specializes in gathering the wandering ones and the lost ones. That is His heart of everlasting lovingkindness!

I have driven them - This is a so-called prophetic perfect tense which pictures the future event as if it had already occurred since the prophecy of that exile was so certain.

To this place - What place? If words meaning anything and context counts for anything in interpretation, this is indubitably a reference to Jerusalem, a geographic place on earth. It does not say this place is the New Jerusalem and to interpret that way is to (1) avoid the normal meaning of the words and (2) to jettison the critical role of context in accurate interpretation! In short, the only way to interpret this as other than a literal city of Jerusalem on earth is to spiritualize the passage. While one could posit this is a reference to the returning remnant of Babylonian exiles, as discussed in this section, the return of the Jews after Babylonian exile or their return in May, 1948 after 2000 years of Jewish diaspora does not satisfy or fulfill two specific details in this verse - (1) all the lands to which I have driven them (see above) and (2) their dwelling in safety (see below).

Make them dwell in safety - God is in charge of the "safety," the same God of Whom Jeremiah declared there is nothing is too difficult. Yes Jews are back in the Land of Palestine after a 2000 year hiatus, but they are hardly there in safety today (just watch you local news as hardly a week goes by without a bombing or some terrorist activity in Israel!) And yes there is a great obstacle to Israel's dwelling in safety and that is Temple Mount which is controlled by the Muslims as this is their third most holy site. How can Israel be safe with an avowed enemy in her midst? I have some thoughts but they are speculation. What one can say with absolute certainty is that "Nothing is too difficult for Thee!" (Jer 32:17, 27). So when will Israel dwell in safety in the city of Jerusalem? Not until the Messiah, the Prince of peace, returns to bring lasting peace to Jerusalem (cp Ps 122:6).

Notice also that they won't dwell in safety because of their own power but because Jehovah will make them safe (NIV and NLT not as accurate for they both have "I will let them"). After the return from exile in Babylon to the land the Jews did not dwell in safety. Even today after a return in May, 1948, Israel does not dwell in safety. Clearly this speaks of a time that is yet to come. When the Messiah returns, then the Jews will dwell in safety as affirmed in an earlier prophecy in Jer 23:6 = "In His days (Time phrases should always prompt at least one question = "When?" Answer = When the Righteous Branch returns - Jer 23:5, cp Jer 23:1-4) Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell securely; And this is His name by which He will be called, 'The LORD our righteousness.'

Jeremiah reiterates this prophecy in the next chapter = 'In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell in safety; and this is the name by which she will be called: the LORD is our righteousness.' (Jeremiah 33:16) And what important detail does Jeremiah add? "Judah will be saved" which parallels Paul's prophecy in Romans 11:26 that "all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB.”"

Ezekiel gives a similar assurance prophesying that Israel "will no longer be a prey to the nations, and the beasts of the earth will not devour them; but they will live securely, and no one will make them afraid." (Ezekiel 34:25)

Zechariah reiterates that "People will live in it (Jerusalem), and there will no longer be a curse, for Jerusalem will dwell in security." (Zech 14:11; see also Joel 3:20, Zech 2:4-5, Zech 3:10)

It is clear from a simple, normal (literal) reading of the preceding three OT prophets (Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah) that Jehovah will cause or make the literal nation of Israel dwell in safety, a promise which has not yet been fulfilled and awaits to be fulfilled at some time in the future.

Even John Calvin recognized that this prophecy "was not fulfilled when the Jews returned to their own country; for they were greatly harassed by their neighbors, and the building of the Temple was at first hindered, and they endured many troubles from all quarters, and at length they were oppressed with tyranny by the Syrian kings, and reduced to such extremities, that exile would not only have been more tolerable, but even pleasanter and more desirable, in comparison with the many miseries with which they were oppressed."

While I respect John Piper very much, it is sad to see him spiritualize this passage as shown by his comments on Jer 32:36-41...

"How can we be sure of this triumph of grace? If God is a God of justice who can send Israel into devastating exile where many are lost because of their sin and disobedience, then how can we have confidence that this will not happen to God’s chosen people today—the church, the bride of Christ, the true Israel, you and me, who have been called into the fellowship of his Son?" (Sustained by Sovereign Grace—Forever-June 16, 1996)

I respectfully disagree with Dr Piper's statement that the church is the "true Israel." See the discussion of the phrase in Galatians 6:16 the Israel of God. I find it fascinating that the name Israel is used 77x in 75 verses in the New Testament and every one of them refers to the nation or people of literal Israel! Sadly many in the modern evangelical church have bought into the false teaching of replacement theology or supersessionism. And of course when highly respected scholars (and I do respect him highly!) like Dr John Piper make these type of dogmatic declarations, many if not most of those who hear him accept this as orthodox doctrine because he is truly one of the bastions of orthodoxy in post-Christian America. Sadly in Dr Piper's message on Jeremiah 32:36-41 for the most part he failed to give a literal interpretation of the text, but used it to launch into a more general teaching on grace. I doubt if many who heard that sermon understood the great import it had to the people of Israel in the future!

Ryken's comment is interesting - "He promised the end of the Exile. God’s people Israel were scattered across the globe, but God would gather them together and bring them back home." This begs the question has this occurred? Has Jehovah brought Jews from across the world back to Palestine? In a sense He has when the state of Israel was re-born in May, 1948. But as discussed above, this cannot be the final and full fulfillment of this promise because Israel in our day is not dwelling in safety.

Charles Simeon (NOT a dispensationalist!) preached the following sermon excerpt between 1832-63 -- Amongst the numberless manifestations of God’s mercy in the Scriptures, we cannot but be particularly struck with this, that scarcely ever do we find any awful denunciation of God’s wrath against his offending people, but there is some gracious promise annexed to it, as an encouragement to them to repent. In the whole preceding part of the chapter before us (Jeremiah 32), God declared His determination to give up Jerusalem into the hands of the Chaldeans. Yet behold, at that very time does God open to His people the most consolatory prospects of an ultimate restoration to their own land, and of numberless attendant blessings to be poured out upon them.....A restoration from Babylon is doubtless the point here primarily intended: and that was vouchsafed to them at the expiration of seventy years, according to the predictions of the prophet respecting it. But the terms in which this is declared almost necessarily lead our minds to a restoration yet future....they experienced but little of peace and safety after their first restoration: they were grievously harassed, from time to time....Jerusalem, instead of being defended, as formerly, against enemies, by ramparts of man’s construction, “will be inhabited as a town without walls; because the Lord will be a wall of fire round about her, and the glory in the midst of her (Zech 2:4-5)." (See full sermon Jeremiah 32:37–42.The future Conversion of the Jews)

Jeremiah 32:38 "They shall be My people, and I will be their God; (Jer 31:33)

COVENANT ONENESS

BETWEEN GOD AND ISRAEL

Feinberg observes that "The New Covenant is reiterated (Jer 32:38–40) because the prophets looked forward to more than just a physical return of the people (cf. Jer 31:32). The covenant bond between God and his people will be renewed, and they will walk in righteousness."

Lundborn - The repetition of the pronoun “I” puts the emphasis here on Yahweh, as happens also in the formulas of 11:4; 24:7; and 30:22. But in the formulas of 7:23; 31:1, and 33, a repeated “they” puts the emphasis on the people. (Anchor Yale Bible Commentary)

They shall be My people, and I will be their God - The blessing is not just a transfer to a place; it is a matter of belonging to the Lord. The question to ask is who are they? To whom is Jeremiah writing? Who are the people who will be God's people? Beloved, this is not rocket science! If words and context mean anything this is unquestionably referring to the Jews. This is not addressed to the church, which is no where to be found in the entire book of Jeremiah, a literal Jewish prophet addressing literal Jewish people who are literally exiled in a literal Babylon. Let me challenge anyone who would seek to argue this passage is directly addressed by Jehovah to the church. Has Jeremiah not been describing God's judgment on a literal people in Judah and a literal city of Jerusalem? Of course He has and thus there is absolutely no warrant for jettisoning this context in this last prophetic section! Frankly, that borders on intellectual dishonesty. But that is what many do because to see these promises as given by Jehovah to literal people of Israel is to totally disrupt their systematic interpretation of prophetic passages. If you disagree with this discussion, then you are probably accusing me of being another wacko dispensationalist. But as I have said before and will continue to say until the day I meet Jesus face to face, I am not a dispensationalist! I will confess to being a simple minded medical doctor, specifically a pathologist, who has been trained to carefully observe details lest he give an errant diagnosis and the patient incurs undue harm! I can assure you that I apply that same diligence to the observation of the Word of Truth, lest I might make a "misdiagnosis" and lead someone astray from God's intended meaning of the text. That thought horrifies in the spiritual realm even more than it did in the physical realm when I daily rendered scores of life changing diagnoses that radically impacted patient's lives! All that to say, after 30 years of studying the Scriptures, I am firmly convinced that the most honest, simple and safe way to interpret the text, is (in dependence on the Holy Spirit) to allow the text to speak for itself. In so doing the statement in Jeremiah 32:38 is clearly a "covenant" statement that is reiterated many times in the Old Testament as documented in the following passages.

Spurgeon - Is not this a wonderful passage? After all this sin, and all this provocation, when we expect the thunder and lightning of divine judgment, behold, there is nothing but the sweet voice of pitying love: “They shall be my people, and I will be their God.” Oh, the wonders of divine grace! See what the covenant of grace does for guilty men.

This promise is given repeatedly to Israel by Jehovah by several OT prophets (Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah)...

"And I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the LORD; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart." (Jeremiah 24:7)

"But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. (Jeremiah 31:33)

"And they shall be My people, and I will be their God, and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good, and for the good of their children after them." (Jeremiah 32:38-39)

"And I shall give them one heart, and shall put a new spirit within them (Ed: The blessings of the New Covenant). And I shall take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances, and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God." (Ezekiel 11:19-20-note)

"In order that the house of Israel may no longer stray from Me and no longer defile themselves with all their transgressions. Thus they will be My people, and I shall be their God,"' declares the Lord GOD." (Ezekiel 14:11-note)

"For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands, and bring you into your own land. 25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 “And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. 28 “And you will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God. (Ezekiel 36:24-28-note)

"And they will be My people, and I will be their God....."My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people." (Ezekiel 37:23, 27-note)

"And I will bring them back, and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem, and they will be My people and I will be their God in truth and righteousness." (Zechariah 8:8 )

"And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, 'They are My people,' And they will say, 'The LORD is my God.'" (Zechariah 13:9)

NET Note - The covenant formula setting forth the basic relationship is reinstituted along with a new covenant (Jer 32:40). See also 24:7; 30:22; 31:1.

Unfortunately Phillip Ryken in his excellent, well worded comments on these last passages given to Israel does not even hint that they are fulfilled in Jews who become believers, but uses more general terms such as "God would enter into a beautiful romance with his people."

Similarly the Reformation Study Bible and the ESV Study Bible are both strangely silent on who are the recipients of these great promises in Jer 32:37-44.

Jeremiah 32:39 and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them.

GOD'S GIFT OF
A NEW HEART

KJV And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them:

NET I will give them a single-minded purpose to live in a way that always shows respect for me. They will want to do that for their own good and the good of the children who descend from them.

ESV I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them.

NIV I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them.

NLT And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants.

YLT and I have given to them one heart, and one way, to fear Me all the days, for good to them, and to their sons after them:

I will give them one heart and one way (cp Jer 24:7) - (“singleness of mind and of purpose”) "It was duplicity in worship that led to a breakdown of the Sinai covenant and the crisis that the people are now in." (Lundborn)

The English translation of the Greek Septuagint is interesting - "And I will give them another way, and another heart" where "another" is heteros which means another of a different kind. Not like their old duplicitous heart but one that like a faithful spouse holds fast to monogamy eschewing polygamy (not perfectly in this life but as the general direction of one's life!).

One heart and one way is a reference to the New Covenant which was described in Jeremiah 31:31 but was also promised through the prophet Ezekiel who emphasized the effect of that covenant on the heart - Ezekiel 11:19 “And I shall give them one heart, and shall put a new (brand new, like nothing ever seen before) spirit within them. And I shall take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh." Ezek 36:26-27 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27“And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes (God's Power), and you will be careful to observe My ordinances (Man's Responsibility)." Note that it is no coincidence that the same Hebrew adjective "new" (chadash) is also used in the description of the "New Covenant" (see New Covenant in the Old Testament ) in Jeremiah 31:31-note. Whereas the one heart speaks of the power for a new way of life, one way speaks of living out that new life in outward conduct.

See also discussion of the spiritual meaning of circumcision including Circumcision of the Heart.

See also - GIVE ME AN UNDIVIDED HEART

Charles Dyer in the Moody Bible Commentary writes that "Not only will the people of Israel be restored to their land, but also they will be restored to their God. They will be His people and He will be their God."

NET Note on one heart and one way - The phrase “one heart” refers both to unanimity of will and accord (cf. 1Chr 12:38; 2Chr 30:12) and to singleness of purpose or intent (cf. Ezek 11:19 and see BDB 525 s.v. ֵלב 4 where reference is made to “inclinations, resolutions, and determinations of the will”). The phrase “one way” refers to one way of life or conduct (cf. BDB 203 s.v. דֶּרֶךְ 6.a where reference is made to moral action and character), a way of life that is further qualified by the goal of showing “fear, reverence, respect” for the LORD....Other passages also speak about the “single-minded purpose” (one heart) and “living in a way that shows respect for me.” Dt 30:6–8 speaks of a circumcised heart that will love Him, obey Him, and keep His commands. Ezek 11:20–21 speaks of the removal of a stony heart and the giving of a single-minded, “fleshy” heart and a new spirit that will follow his decrees and keep his laws. Ezek 36:26–27 [Ed: Describing the New Covenant] speaks of the removal of a stony heart and the giving of a new, “fleshy” heart and a new spirit and an infusion of God’s own Spirit so that they will be able [Ed: under the Old Covenant they simply were NOT ABLE to] to follow his decrees and keep his laws. Jer 24:7 speaks of the giving of a (new) heart so that they might “know” [Ed: Not just "know about Him" but intimately know God in personal experience] Him. And Jer 31:33 speaks of God writing his law on their hearts. All this shows that there is a new motivation and a new enablement for fulfilling the old stipulations, especially that of whole-hearted devotion to him (cf. Dt 6:4–6 = “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! 5“And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6“And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart;).

Feinberg - The reference to inner disposition and outward expression again points to the new covenant with its promise of a new heart.

That - Always be alert to these terms of purpose or result which give help to decipher the passage. What is the purpose? That they may fear Me always. Some think "fear" is an OT teaching and has no place in the NT but this is not correct. Paul mentions holy fear in 2Cor 7:1-note and Phil 2:12-note as an important aspect of the sanctification process. Peter mentions holy fear also in the context of a motivating factor in our sanctification in 1Pe 1:17-note. John includes fear as a integral component in the description of the "eternal Gospel" in Rev 14:6-7-note. Finally we even see a call for holy fear in heaven (Rev 19:5-note). So godly fear is a good, Scriptural quality which is an important aspect of the Gospel and an identifying attribute of a genuine believer.

They may fear Me always - "Always" is a long time! There is simply no way men with fallen flesh can or will fear Jehovah always! The implication is that they have a new power (the Holy Spirit in Ezek 36:27) Who enables them to fear...always. fear God is to submit to His sovereign majesty and walk according to His way. Jer 32:40 explains the source of this holy fear. It is not intrinsic to fallen men but is a divine benefit of the New Covenant.

The key to real life is the fear of the Lord (Deut 4:10; 6:2; 14:23; 31:13). It was in the OT and it still true in the New Testament, but praise God now in the New Covenant, God has but this holy, reverential fear within our hearts. And yet we still have responsibility to nurture and cultivate this good, godly fear, that we might order our steps motivated and empowered by that fear. One aspect of this fear is that I as a child of God have a holy dread of saying or doing anything that would grieve my heavenly Father. This has always been God's desire for us in the NT even as it was for His Chosen People Israel in the OT over which He said in Deuteronomy 5:29 "Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me, and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!" Holy fear is a good thing!

For their own good and for the good of their children after them (Deut 6:24, 4:10, 6:2 contrast your own ruin in Jer 7:6, 25:7 = your own harm) - Jon Courson comments “I’m doing this for their good,” God says. Perhaps you feel carried away tonight. The bill collectors are calling. The lab reports are coming. Maybe the divorce papers are arriving. But the Lord would remind you—just as He did His people in Jeremiah’s day—that what He allows is for your good, to bring you to the place where you might have a single heart, a right heart. Everything God does is with this in mind.

Jeremiah 32:40 "I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me.

GOD CUTS AN

EVERLASTING COVENANT

WITH ISRAEL

KJV And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.

NET I will make a lasting covenant with them that I will never stop doing good to them. I will fill their hearts and minds with respect for me so that they will never again turn away from me.

ESV I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me.

NIV I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me.

NLT And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me.

YLT and I have made for them a covenant age-during, in that I turn not back from after them for My doing them good, and My fear I put in their heart, so as not to turn aside from me;

I will make (karath = cut) an everlasting (olam) covenant (beriyth) with them - This is clearly a reference to the New Covenant (see Jeremiah 31:31-34-note) which is in a sense an "extension" of the previous "everlasting" covenant Jehovah had cut with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Everlasting Covenant - This phrase occurs 16x in the Old Testament but you need to check the context to determine which covenant is in view - Ge 9:16; 17:7, 13, 19; Lev 24:8; Nu 18:19; 2Sa 23:5; 1Chr 16:17; Ps 105:10; Isa 24:5; 55:3; 61:8; Jer 32:40; 50:5; Ezek 16:60; 37:26, Isa. 55:3; Ezek. 16:60; 37:26. "What is unsaid in this passage, but detailed in other passages in the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, is that this change of disposition is due to the atoning work of the Messiah, where His righteousness is granted to His people by faith." (Guzik)

The everlasting covenant is described elsewhere as a covenant of “peace” (Ezek 34:25; 37:26; Isa 54:10).

With them - The critical question is who is them? If context is king in interpretation (and it is!), then clearly them refers to the Jews. Jeremiah 31:31 which also describes this everlasting covenant teaches us that them is the house of Israel (Northern 10 Tribes that went off into Assyrian Exile) and the house of Judah (the Southern 2 Tribes - Judah and Benjamin - which in context of Jeremiah were soon to go off into Babylonian Exile). To say this covenant was not cut with the Jews is to deny the normal sense of the text. Can we apply these truths to the NT Church? Absolutely and without a doubt we can. But the promise from Jehovah was not addressed directly to the Church but to Israel.

See related resources -

NET Note - For other references to the lasting (or everlasting) nature of the new covenant see Isa 55:3; 61:8; Jer 50:5; Ezek 16:60; 37:26. The new covenant appears to be similar to the ancient Near Eastern covenants of grants whereby a great king gave a loyal vassal a grant of land or dynastic dominion over a realm in perpetuity in recognition of past loyalty. The right to such was perpetual as long as the great king exercised dominion, but the actual enjoyment could be forfeited by individual members of the vassal’s dynasty. The best example of such an covenant in the OT is the Davidic covenant where the dynasty was given perpetual right to rule over Israel. Individual kings might be disciplined and their right to enjoy dominion taken away, but the dynasty still maintained the right to rule (see 2Sa 23:5; Ps 89:26–37 and note especially 1Ki 11:23–39). The new covenant appears to be the renewal of God’s promise to Abraham to always be the God of his descendants and for his descendants to be his special people (Ge 17:7) something they appear to have forfeited by their disobedience (see Hos 1:9). However, under the new covenant he promises to never stop doing them good and grants them a new heart, a new spirit, the infusion of his own spirit, and the love and reverence necessary to keep from turning away from him. The new covenant is not based on their past loyalty but on his gracious forgiveness and his gifts.

That I will not turn away from them, - God affirms His everlasting faithfulness to Israel, somewhat ironically by using the Hebrew verb shub/sub which had so often been used in descriptions of Israel's turning away from Jehovah! (e.g., Mal 3:7-note) "Ironic grace" indeed!

Lundborn - The Hebrew actually reads, “I will not turn away from after them (lō-āšûb mē'ahărêhem),” which is strange because of an assumed anthromorphism. The idea seems to be that Yahweh, in times past, has followed behind his covenant people and seen detestable sights, e.g., disgusting idols, and turned to walk away. But in the future, Yahweh says he will not do this. The same imagery, basically, is present in Deut 23:14, where it says that excrement in the camp must be covered up because Yahweh on a walk through the camp might come upon it, in which case the people are warned: “He will turn away from after you” (šāb mē'ahăreykā).

To do them good - In the context of the bad news for the first 29 chapters, this is surely "good news" of a good God doing good to them.

I will put the fear of Me in their hearts - I will signifies God is the initiator and the enabler of this holy reverential fear of Himself because we know that fallen, unregenerate men do not rightly fear God (Ro 3:18-note). They may shake at the thought of His wrath, but they have no sense of genuine awe.

Their hearts - Recall that in Hebrew the heart does not so much speak of one's emotions (as often used in English) but of the center of one's will and intellect. I like to think of it as our "control center" so to speak.

I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me - Who is their and they? From the context Jehovah is speaking directly to Israel and not to the church. This truth is applicable to the church but it was spoken first and directly to Israel and as noted before this promise is yet to be fully fulfilled to Israel as a nation. One component of the New Covenant is that they will now have a reverential fear of Jehovah. Notice the term of purpose "so that," which shows that the purpose of proper reverential fear of Jehovah is to turn away (same Hebrew verb shub/sub) from evil. Job 1:1 clearly demonstrates this dynamic relationship between fear and behavior = "There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job, and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God, and turning away from evil." Fear is a good thing in the Christian life as it serves as a restrainer of the strong lusts of our fallen flesh nature. Fear is a motivating incentive which counters the evil impulses emanating from our depraved flesh. (Read Pr 8:13, Pr 14:27, 16:6, Job 28:28, Ps 34:11-14, Eccl 12:13, 2Cor 7:1-note, 1Pe 1:17-note)

They will not turn away from me - The 1871 commentary by Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, reads and interprets this text literally noting that this promise has "never yet fully realized as to the Israelites." This is another way to describe the perseverance of the saints. As an aside the 1871 Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible is probably one of the better pre-1900 commentaries in terms of conservative, literalistic interpretation of the Bible and as such tends to give a more accurate rendering of the prophetic passages.

Lundborn - The covenant people “turned away” (sûr) from Yahweh in the wilderness when they made the golden calf (Ex 32:8; Deut 9:12). Compare the admonitions in 1 Sam 12:20 and Deut 11:16–17.

Jeremiah 32:41 "I will rejoice over them to do them good and will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul.

GOD WILL REJOICE

OVER ISRAEL

KJV Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.

NET I will take delight in doing good to them. I will faithfully and wholeheartedly plant them firmly in the land.'

ESV I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.

NIV I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul.

NLT I will find joy doing good for them and will faithfully and wholeheartedly replant them in this land.

YLT and I have rejoiced over them to do them good, and have planted them in this land in truth, with all my heart, and with all My soul.

I will rejoice over them to do them good (Deut. 28:63, 30:9; Isa. 62:5; 65:19) - Zephaniah 3:17 (note) echoes this promise to Israel that better days are coming because "The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy."

J Vernon McGee - Now Jehovah is delivering Judah unto judgment. In a future day, He will deliver them in mercy—this is His promise. When we go to God and let Him know how we feel, He will encourage our hearts as He did for Jeremiah. Oh, my friend, He wants you to come to Him. The day is very dark for Judah, but God allows Jeremiah to look down through the tunnel to where light can be seen at the other end. In chapter 33 God confirms and reaffirms the covenant that He made with David. There is a day coming when He will restore the people to the land of Israel and to fellowship with Himself.

I will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul - This is the only time this dual expression, heart and soul, is used of God. With all My heart and all My soul is an amazing anthropomorphism which echoes the very attitude He called for from His Chosen People in Deut 6:5 = "you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." In Hebrew psychology these two terms would be a comprehensive expression of a person’s total being. The point is clear that the Almighty God is faithful and "personally passionate" (totally devoted in heart, will, and emotions) about planting His chosen people Israel (the believing remnant) in the literal Land He promised to their ancestors.

Spurgeon - See how God puts his whole heart to the work when he is blessing his people. When he forgives sin, it is with his whole heart and soul. May we, with our whole heart and soul, repent of our sin; and then, with all our heart and soul, serve the Lord!

The Lxx gives a slightly different sense - And I will visit them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness (~Israel will be faithful), and with all my heart, and with all my soul.

Jamieson commenting on plant them writes that the idea is "rather, in stability, that is, permanently, forever." (Ref)

Lundborn on with all My heart and with all My soul - Yahweh is using language normally reserved for the people and their commitment to Yahweh (Dt 4:29; 6:5; 10:12; 1Ki 2:4; 2Ki 23:3). Only here in the OT is the expression “with all my heart and with all my soul” used in reference to God.

I will faithfully plant them (Literal - have planted them in this land in truth) - Elsewhere in Jeremiah this same construction is found in Jer 4:2RSV “in truth”; Jer 26:15RSV “in truth”; and Jer 28:9RSV “truly”.

Faithfully (0571)('emeth from the verb aman = to confirm, support, believe, be faithful) is a feminine noun meaning truth, faithfulness, that which gives complete reliability. It is frequently connected with lovingkindness (Pr 3:3; Hos 4:1, 40:11, 61:7, 69:13, 85:10, 86:14, 89:14, 108:4) and occasionally with other terms such as peace (2Ki 20:19); righteousness (Isa. 48:1); and justice (Ps. 111:7). To walk in truth is to conduct oneself according to God’s holy standards (1Ki 2:4; 3:6; Ps. 86:11; Isa. 38:3). Truth was a measure of one’s word (1Ki 22:16; Da 11:2) and actions (Ge 24:49; Josh. 2:14). God is the God of truth (Ps 31:5, Ps 57:3, 10, 69:13 = "saving truth"; Ps 71:22, Ps 111:7, 115:1) See God's attribute of Truth. The Lxx often uses aletheia (or cognates like alethinos) to translate 'emeth.

The first use fittingly describes Jehovah's faithfulness (Ge 24:27, cp Ge 32:10, Ps 30:9, Neh 9:33, Ps 54:5, Ps 91:4) Who is described as the "God of truth" (Ps 31:5) Jacob asks Joseph to deal with him in faithfulness (Ge 47:29) In Ge 42:16 Joseph tests the brothers to see if their words are truth. God told Moses to select men of truth to be judges which He characterized as those who hate dishonest gain (Ex 18:21). Jehovah revealed Himself to Moses as "The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth." In Deuteronomy 'emeth is used 3 times of that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality and thus genuine and not false. (Dt 13:14, 17:4, 22:20, cp 1Ki 10:6, 2Chr 9:5) When the Israelites encountered Rahab she bid them to give her a pledge of truth that she and her household would be treated kindly and they responded they would "deal kindly and faithfully" with her. (Josh 2:12, 14) In some of his last words before passing on Joshua called on Israel to "fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth and put away the gods" their fathers had served (Joshua 24:14) Samuel gave a similar exhortation to Israel to “Only fear the LORD and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you." (1Sa 12:24, cp Ps 51:6). These last two uses beg the practical question - "Am I serving God in truth (e.g., putting away the gods" or idols that entice me) or is there an element of hypocrisy in my service, a mask that hides who I really am when I am alone and no one else can see or know what I am thinking or doing?" God is most interested in men walking before "Him in truth with all their heart and with all their soul." (1Ki 2:4, Ps 86:11, cp David in 1Ki 3:6, Ps 26:3, Hezekiah in 2Ki 20:3, 2Chr 31:20, Ps 15:2 = "truth in his heart" is one of characteristics of the man who dwells on God's holy hill - Ps 15:1) 2 Chronicles 15:3 records the tragedy that "For many days Israel was without the true God and without a teaching priest and without law." Ps 19:9 says "The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether." 'Emeth (truth) is a godly trait men should pray for (Ps 25:5 , cp the prayer in Ps 43:3) ) for all Jehovah's paths are "lovingkindness an truth to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies." (Ps 25:1)

'Emeth - 127x in 126v - Gen 24:27, 48f; 32:10; 42:16; 47:29; Ex 18:21; 34:6; Deut 13:14; 17:4; 22:20; Josh 2:12, 14; 24:14; Jdg 9:15f, 19; 1 Sam 12:24; 2 Sam 2:6; 7:28; 15:20; 1 Kgs 2:4; 3:6; 10:6; 17:24; 22:16; 2 Kgs 20:3, 19; 2 Chr 9:5; 15:3; 18:15; 31:20; 32:1; Neh 7:2; 9:13, 33; Esth 9:30; Ps 15:2; 19:9; 25:5, 10; 26:3; 30:9; 31:5; 40:10f; 43:3; 45:4; 51:6; 54:5; 57:3, 10; 61:7; 69:13; 71:22; 85:10f; 86:11, 15; 89:14; 91:4; 108:4; 111:7f; 115:1; 117:2; 119:43, 142, 151, 160; 132:11; 138:2; 145:18; 146:6; Prov 3:3; 8:7; 11:18; 12:19; 14:22, 25; 16:6; 20:28; 22:21; 23:23; 29:14; Eccl 12:10; Isa 10:20; 16:5; 38:3, 18f; 39:8; 42:3; 43:9; 48:1; 59:14f; 61:8; Jer 2:21; 4:2; 9:5; 10:10; 14:13; 23:28; 26:15; 28:9; 32:41; 33:6; 42:5; Ezek 18:8f; Dan 8:12, 26; 9:13; 10:1, 21; 11:2; Hos 4:1; Mic 7:20; Zech 7:9; 8:3, 8, 16, 19; Mal 2:6

Christopher J H Wright in the respected commentary series Bible Speaks Today has an amalgamated interpretation of the promises in Jeremiah 32:37-44. He writes "The expectations and hopes of Jeremiah’s Book of Consolation, along with similar oracles in Hosea, Isaiah and Ezekiel, were indeed realized. From 538 BC onward groups of exiles returned to Judah and rebuilt the country and their city." I will go on to quote Wright to show how difficult it is to find evangelical modern writers that interpret the Biblical text literally and in context. For example Wright goes on to say "Some commentators reject and denounce any attempt to read the new covenant text of Jeremiah 31 with Christian significance. They brand such reading as ‘ supersessionist’, i.e. the presumed belief that the Christian church has simply replaced the Jews, who are said to have been rejected from God’s purposes. Such commentators therefore wish to confine the relevance and the promise of these verses to ethnic Old Testament Israel and contemporary Jewish people alone, and regard Christian appropriation of them as ‘preemptive’, and distorting (Ed comment - That is an unfair criticism at least of the writer you are reading. Clearly the New Covenant has applicability to NT believers because that's what the NT says. But that applicability by no means excludes a future fulfillment to the Jewish Nation in the end-times)."

Wright continues "it is surely necessary for any reading of the text that claims to be Christian to reflect on how it ( the New Covenant) is further and ultimately fulfilled through Jesus Christ. That is certainly what the New Testament does (Ed comment - Well, not exactly. While the New Covenant is indeed inaugurated by Jesus Christ and by His blood, the fulfillment of His covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah [Jer 31:31] will not occur until Jesus returns a second time as Paul clearly describes in Romans 11:26! How could one possibly say that this has already transpired when the majority of the literal nation of Israel at present are not believers and most are not even orthodox Jews!) Finally Wright sees a future fulfillment of some of Jeremiah's prophecies, but not in a literal land of Israel (which a literal reading of the text makes it difficult to avoid if one sticks to a normal reading of the text! Compare parallel literal land promises in Amos 9:14-15!) Instead, Wright sees the fulfillment of the promises "in the new creation" referring to the New Heaven and New Earth (Rev 21-22). So while Wright may not agree that he is a "supersessionist," his comments essentially end up erasing the nation of Israel as a recipient of the literal promises. He attempts to explain Romans 9-11 but he fails to mention Romans 11:26.

Let me just mention nine of the more obvious flaws with Wright's lengthy discourse on Jeremiah 32:37-44 -

(1) Gather them out of all the lands" (v37) - Even an ancient writer like Jerome who was certainly not a dispensationalist says "This promise, taken in its full extent (Ed: I take that he means "literally" but I could be incorrect) was not made good to those that returned from (Babylonian) captivity; because they were frequently infested with wars, as well by the kings of Syria and Egypt as by the rest of their neighbours; and they were finally subdued and destroyed by the Romans." The TSK adds "God's word cannot fail; therefore there remaineth yet a rest for the ancient people of God."

(2) Make them dwell in safety (v 37b) - When? On the New Earth? Jehovah says I will bring them back to THIS PLACE." If words have meaning, Jehovah is clearly speaking of the land of Israel. That simply cannot be ignored without spiritualizing the text.

(3) They shall be My people - (v38) - To whom is Jeremiah writing? If context means anything, clearly he is addressing Judah. This is not addressed directly to the church unless one spiritualizes the text.

(4) Them (v39) - same argument as in #3 - Jehovah is addressing the Jews.

(5) I will faithfully plant them in this land (v41). What land? What does the context say? Look at the names of the specific geographic places. They are all in Israel. He is speaking of Israel and to interpret this as the New Earth is to spiritualize a text which begs to be read and interpreted literally!

6) Great disaster on this people (v42) - Who are "this people" in context? A normal reading by an unbiased observer leaves no doubt that this is a reference to the Jews. And so just as Jehovah brought disaster on them He would "bring on them ALL the good" that He promised to "them" (the Jews). Regardless of whether you accept a millennium or not, how can one honestly read this text literally and not see it clearly as referring to the Jews. And "all the good" of the promises have not been fulfilled to them - they are not secure in their land (cp the cry for peace in the middle east, etc), they do not have one heart and one way that they fear Jehovah always, etc.

(7) Fields shall be bought in this land (v 43) - "This land" is the land of Israel and this passage cannot be spiritualized because there is no hint that fields will be bought in the New Earth.

(8) 'Men shall buy fields for money, sign and seal deeds, and call in witnesses (v44a) Are deeds going to be signed, sealed, and witnessed throughout Judah in the "new creation?" And if this is not normal language, what is? This is a major historical theme of this chapter. Did God just mean for Jeremiah to spiritualize His command to buy, sign, seal and witness the purchase of land in Israel? Of course not, so what right does the honest interpreter have to say in this passage these terms are just being used allegorically. That is "hermeneutical hopscotch" to put it kindly!

(9) Jeremiah lists six specific geographic locations (v44). Note that these 6 geographic locations are also mentioned in Jer 17:26. These are real places! A literal, normal reading of the these two texts (Jer 17:26 and Jer 32:44) clearly speaks of a literal land of Israel! To try to spiritualize these specific geographic locations to the New Earth would be like saying the text has no literal meaning.

Clearly Christopher Wright has spiritualized the text to fit with his preconceived systematic interpretation which has no place for a literal Israel in the last days before Jesus returns. Finally, I would add that even pre-1900, non-dispensationalists such as C H Spurgeon, J C Ryle, Horatius Bonar and Charles Simeon saw a literal Israel as playing a key in fulfilling prophecies such as those in Jeremiah 30-33! If you are interested in a literal interpretation of Jeremiah, I would strongly recommend not buying Wright's commentary on Jeremiah. (Bible Speaks Today-Jeremiah)

Regarding Jer 32:41 Spurgeon's understanding of the passage is fundamentally different from that of Calvin for in 1887 Spurgeon declared, "We cannot help looking for the restoration of the scattered Israelites to the land which God has given to them by a covenant of salt: we also look for the time when they shall believe in the Messiah Whom they have rejected, and shall rejoice in Jesus of Nazareth, whom today they despise. There is great encouragement in prophecy to those who work among the seed of Israel; and it is greatly needed, for of all mission fields it has been commonly represented to be one of the most barren, and upon the work the utmost ridicule has been poured. God has, therefore, supplied our faith with encouragements larger than we have in almost any other direction of service. Let those who believe work on! Those who believe not may give it up. They shall not have the honor of having helped to gather together the ancient nation to which our Lord himself belonged; for be it never forgotten that Jesus was a Jew."

It is notable that a pre-1900 commentary by Adam Clarke has a generally more literal interpretation then most of the modern evangelical commentaries - "Verse 42. Will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised] God’s word cannot fail. The Jews have never yet received the good that God has promised. Nothing like the fulfilment of these promises took place after their return from Babylon; therefore there remaineth yet a rest for these ancient people of God; and it is under the Christian dispensation that they are to have it. Verse 44. Men shall buy fields for money] This is a reference to the symbolical purchase mentioned at the beginning of the chapter; that may be considered by them as a sure sign of their restoration, not only to the same land, but to their respective inheritances in that land. This the power of God could alone perform."

Jon Courson makes a great point that "God’s promise of blessing is as sure to be fulfilled as His promise of chastening!" Non-literalists have no argument with a literal, historical interpretation of the passages that speak of God's chastening of Israel, but then they spiritualize those passages which if interpreted literally would make it very difficult to say that God is finished with the literal nation of Israel. And how can those who spiritualize the texts discount the miraculous rebirth of the nation of Israel in May, 1948? If God were truly finished with Israel in the "Church Age" then why did He resurrect the literal nation of Israel in the "Church Age"? Common sense would say He did it "because God is not finished with Israel, but has plans that are to be fulfilled in the future, plans which are described in many of the passages in Jeremiah 30-33!

RECOMMENDATIONS ON
JEREMIAH COMMENTARIES

There are two sites that list the top 5 commentaries for books of the Bible, Best Commentaries on Jeremiah - Challies and Top 5 Commentaries on the Book of Jeremiah by Keith Mathison - Ligonier Ministries. While I do find them helpful on certain books, if one is honest in appraising their recommendations on Jeremiah (and most of their recommendations on OT prophetic books like Isaiah and the Minor Prophets), both sites seem to have a distinct bias against any commentary that interprets the prophetic passages in Jeremiah regarding the nation of Israel with a literal approach and thus I found none of the "top 5" (and even the alternates on Ligonier's site) useful in interpreting the prophetic passages in Jeremiah 30-33 (but see Lundborn below). Personally, Ryken is the most readable and has many excellent points of application which would help in preparing a sermon, but he is sorely lacking when in comes to literal interpretation of the text. Actually Temper Longman in his commentary does at least leave the door open to literal fulfillment to the literal nation of Israel declaring "This passage clearly looks forward to the restoration from the exile and more." He does not however explain the "and more!" Jeremiah, Lamentations- An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture (The New American Commentary) by Huey is a well done literalistic commentary (and is not mentioned at all on either of the above sites which tends to substantiate my suspicion that there is bias against literalistic interpretation). Although the comments in the following two study Bibles are short, they are almost uniformly representative of a literal interpretation in the MacArthur Study Bible and the Holman Christian Standard Bible - Study Bible. The ESV Study Bible is literal is interpretation of some passages and more figurative in interpretation of other prophetic passages, while the Reformation Study Bible is largely non-literal in interpretation of prophetic passages related to Israel and should be used with a healthy Berean-like mindset (Acts 17:11).

Lundborn is an exception (Jeremiah The Anchor Yale Bible) at least in his comment on Jer 32:40 where he writes "It is generally agreed that this “eternal covenant” (bĕrît ôlām), cited again in Jer 50:5, is the “new covenant” (bĕrît hădāšâ) promised by Yahweh in Jer 31:31–34 (Calvin; von Rad 1965: 214–15), to be cut in the future with Israel and Judah as a replacement for the now-broken Sinai (Mosaic) covenant (Ed: Praise God for Lundborn's literal interpretation of the Scriptures!). The Sinai covenant with its blessings and curses was never guaranteed to be eternal. This covenant and the new covenant are both without conditions; thus, they really are new and are for all time."

Jeremiah 32:42 "For thus says the LORD, 'Just as I brought all this great disaster on this people, so I am going to bring on them all the good that I am promising them.

GOD PROMISES
ISRAEL GOOD

KJV For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them.

NET "For I, the LORD, say: 'I will surely bring on these people all the good fortune that I am hereby promising them. I will be just as sure to do that as I have been in bringing all this great disaster on them.

ESV "For thus says the LORD: Just as I have brought all this great disaster upon this people, so I will bring upon them all the good that I promise them.

NIV "This is what the LORD says: As I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will give them all the prosperity I have promised them.

NLT "This is what the LORD says: Just as I have brought all these calamities on them, so I will do all the good I have promised them.

YLT 'For thus said Jehovah: As I brought in unto this people all this great evil, so I am bringing in on them all the good that I am speaking concerning them;

This passage is similar to Jehovah's promise in Jeremiah 31 -

And it will come about that as I have watched over them to pluck up, to break down, to overthrow, to destroy, and to bring disaster, so I will watch over them to build and to plant," declares the LORD. (Jer 31:28-note)

Just as I brought all this great disaster on this people (Jer 4:6, 6:19), so I am going to bring on them all the good - This declaration underscores God's sovereignty and His everlasting love and lovingkindness (Jer 31:3) for His Chosen People Israel. God is not finished with the literal nation of Israel. In the last days He will bring on them all of this good promised in Jeremiah 32:37-44 as well as the good promised in all four chapters of the "Book of Consolation" (Jeremiah 30-33). Compare Jehovah's promise in the next chapter...

Thus says the LORD, 'Yet again there shall be heard in this place, of which you say, "It is a waste, without man and without beast," that is, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man and without inhabitant and without beast, the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who say, "Give thanks to the LORD of hosts, For the LORD is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting"; and of those who bring a thank offering into the house of the LORD. For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were at first,' says the LORD. (Jeremiah 33:10-11)

Charles Dyer writes that "Just as God had been faithful to His word in bringing great disaster on Israel because of her sin (Dt 28:15-68), so He will also be faithful in providing the good He had promised them (Dt 30:1-10). Thus Jeremiah’s purchase of the field (Jer 32:1-15) was a symbolic act to show that people will buy fields for money throughout Israel, from Benjamin and Judah to the hill country to the Negev, because God will restore their fortunes (cf. Jer 30:18; 33:11, 26; Dt 30:3)." (Moody Bible Commentary)

Jamieson - The restoration from Babylon was only a slight foretaste of the grace to be expected by Israel at last through Christ. (Ref)

Jeremiah 32:43 'Fields will be bought in this land of which you say, "It is a desolation, without man or beast; it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans."

FIELDS WILL BE
BOUGHT IN ISRAEL

KJV And fields shall be bought in this land, whereof ye say, It is desolate without man or beast; it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.

NET You and your people are saying that this land will become desolate, uninhabited by either people or animals. You are saying that it will be handed over to the Babylonians. But fields will again be bought in this land.

ESV Fields shall be bought in this land of which you are saying, 'It is a desolation, without man or beast; it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.'

NIV Once more fields will be bought in this land of which you say, 'It is a desolate waste, without men or animals, for it has been handed over to the Babylonians.'

NLT Fields will again be bought and sold in this land about which you now say, 'It has been ravaged by the Babylonians, a desolate land where people and animals have all disappeared.'

YLT and bought hath been the field in this land of which ye are saying, A desolation it is, without man and beast, it hath been given into the hand of the Chaldeans.

Fields will be bought in this land - Observe the repeated emphasis on "land" (Jer 32:41, 43, 44) in this "Good News" section. Imagine Jeremiah's reaction to this truth! He had purchased real estate that had plucked out of his hand (cp Jer 1:10) by the Babylonians but because of the promise by God to faithfully plant them in the land of Israel (Jer 32:41), his real estate transaction will not appear foolish in the day this promise is fulfilled! As you read this section notice that there is nothing in the context that suggests the word land is allegorical or is a term that can be hijacked by spiritualizing it! Land refers to a literal land, a geographic place. This land will be given to Israel in the future, and this will occur in the next age, the Messianic Age. God will fulfill this promise to Israel!

promises are frequently spiritualized as if they had no geographic implications whatever." (See The Promise Of The Land To Israel)

 

Fields bought...a desolation - Notice the striking contrast and God was involved in both. God brought desolation, but He would bring about restoration.

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Man...beast - 8 uses in Jeremiah - Jer 7:20; 21:6; 32:43; 33:10, 12; 36:29; 50:3; 51:62

 

Jeremiah 32:44 'Men will buy fields for money, sign and seal deeds, and call in witnesses in the land of Benjamin, in the environs of Jerusalem, in the cities of Judah, in the cities of the hill country, in the cities of the lowland and in the cities of the Negev; for I will restore their fortunes,' declares the LORD."

FORTUNES WILL BE

RESTORED TO ISRAEL

KJV Men shall buy fields for money, and subscribe evidences, and seal them, and take witnesses in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, and in the cities of the mountains, and in the cities of the valley, and in the cities of the south: for I will cause their captivity to return, saith the LORD.

NET Fields will again be bought with silver, and deeds of purchase signed, sealed, and witnessed. This will happen in the territory of Benjamin, the villages surrounding Jerusalem, the towns in Judah, the southern hill country, the western foothills, and southern Judah. For I will restore them to their land. I, the LORD, affirm it!'"

ESV Fields shall be bought for money, and deeds shall be signed and sealed and witnessed, in the land of Benjamin, in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, in the cities of the hill country, in the cities of the Shephelah, and in the cities of the Negeb; for I will restore their fortunes, declares the LORD."

NIV Fields will be bought for silver, and deeds will be signed, sealed and witnessed in the territory of Benjamin, in the villages around Jerusalem, in the towns of Judah and in the towns of the hill country, of the western foothills and of the Negev, because I will restore their fortunes, declares the LORD."

NLT Yes, fields will once again be bought and sold-- deeds signed and sealed and witnessed-- in the land of Benjamin and here in Jerusalem, in the towns of Judah and in the hill country, in the foothills of Judah and in the Negev, too. For someday I will restore prosperity to them. I, the LORD, have spoken!"

YLT Fields with money they buy, so as to write in a book, and to seal, and to cause witnesses to testify, in the land of Benjamin, and in suburbs of Jerusalem, and in cities of Judah, and in cities of the hill-country, and in cities of the low country, and in cities of the south, for I turn back their captivity -- an affirmation of Jehovah.'

Men will buy fields for money, sign and seal deeds, and call in witnesses in the land of Benjamin - It is almost as if God wanted to speak directly to His servant Jeremiah to reassure him regarding his own seemingly foolish land purchase. Notice that the words used here are almost identical to those used in the description of Jeremiah's land purchase (Jer 32:6-15)! And recall that the land Jeremiah purchased in Anathoth is in fact in the land of Benjamin!

- Jeremiah mentions several specific places in the land to show that the Lord’s promise covers the whole country (cf. Jer 17:26 for the various geographical divisions of the country).

 

I would add that this large number of specific geographic designations emphasizes the truth that God is speaking of the literal land of Israel. This description in no way fits the description of the New Jerusalem, New Heaven or New Earth of Revelation 21-22. This literal prophecy will be literally and fully fulfilled in the last days when Messiah returns!

 

Lundborn - After the fall of Jerusalem, a remnant community was formed at Mizpah in Benjamin (Jer 40:6), and some land transactions—under Babylonian supervision—doubtless occurred there while this community was in existence. We are told that the poorest of people were given fields and vineyards by Nebuzaradan (Jer 39:10). But this cannot be a fulfillment of the present prophecy, for Jeremiah doubtless has in mind a time when the land will be free from foreign occupation, and Judahites will be able to conduct their affairs in traditional ways....The whole of Judah is envisioned here as being repopulated, with people once again making land purchases such as the one Jeremiah just made. (Jeremiah The Anchor Yale Bible)

Restore their fortunes - God wants to make sure this message is heard and understood for this is the repeatedly makes this promise. In Jer 30:3 He said "'For, behold, days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel and Judah. (Notice both Northern and Southern divisions of the nation are mentioned - this cannot refer to the return from Babylonian exile because the Ten Lost Tribes were still lost!) The LORD says, 'I will also bring them back to the land (Notice again the emphasis on the land! Literal land!) that I gave to their forefathers, and they shall possess it.'" In fact similar promises of restoration are made in all 4 chapters of the so-called "Book of Consolation" (Jer 30-33) and are found in Jer 30:18-note, Jer 31:23-note, Jer 32:44-note and Jer 33:7-note. And remember that these four promises of restoration of the land are given before their land was fully captured by Babylon! Amazing grace indeed!

NET Note on I will restore their fortunes - Alternately, “I will bring you back from exile.” This idiom occurs twenty-six times in the OT and in several cases it is clearly not referring to return from exile but restoration of fortunes (e.g., Job 42:10; Hos 6:11–7:1; Jer 33:11). It is often followed as here by “regather” or “bring back” (e.g., Jer 30:3; Ezek 29:14) so it is often misunderstood as “bringing back the exiles.” The versions (LXX, Vulg., Tg., Pesh.) often translate the idiom as “to go away into captivity,” deriving the noun from שְׁבִי (shévi, “captivity”). However, the use of this expression in Old Aramaic documents of Sefire parallels the biblical idiom: “the gods restored the fortunes of the house of my father again” (J. A. Fitzmyer, The Aramaic Inscriptions of Sefire [BibOr], 100–101, 119–20). The idiom means “to turn someone’s fortune, bring about change” or “to reestablish as it was” (HALOT 1386 s.v. 3.c). In Ezek 16:53 it is paralleled by the expression “to restore the situation which prevailed earlier.” This amounts to restitutio in integrum, which is applicable to the circumstances surrounding the return of the exiles.

Declares the LORD - I like Young's Literal rendering = "an affirmation of Jehovah." In short, this is like a "divine postscript!" from the promise keeping God that He will bring all these prophetic promises to fruition in His (perfect) time.

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