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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

Jeremiah 28

 

 

Verse 1

HANANIAH’S FALSE PROPHECY, Jeremiah 28:1-4.

1. Beginning… fourth year — From this it appears that the term “beginning” was extended so as to include the “fourth.” There is no necessity for regarding this an error in the text, as does Dean Smith. If, as would seem to be the case, Zedekiah did not become fully established in his kingdom until his fourth year, such an extension of the term “beginning” would be most natural.

Hananiah — Not otherwise known; but as he belonged to Gibeon, which was a city of the priests, it has been conjectured that he, like Jeremiah, belonged to a priestly family. Hence, there may be special significance in the statement that he confronted Jeremiah in the presence of the priests.


Verse 2

2. I have broken — A prophetical perfect. A thing determined on by God is as good as done.


Verse 3

3. Two… years — Certainly a very agreeable contrast to Jeremiah’s seventy years. The expression used is unusually definite. Literally, two years in days, as though it were not a general period, but one of mathematical exactness. In this exactitude, as well as in the opening formula, Hananiah seeks to give his deliverance the impress of a God-inspired prophecy.


Verse 4

4. The mention of Jeconiah suggests the probability that there were many to whom his return would be specially grateful — that there was an influential party identified with the exiled king.


Verse 5-6

JEREMIAH’S MILD AND PEACEABLE ANSWER, Jeremiah 28:5-11.

5, 6. Jeremiah said — The answer of Jeremiah does high honour to his judgment and his heart. He speaks with meekness and moderation, and yet without abating in the smallest measure the rigour of his appeal to God and his immutable law. Amen, etc. — This clause expresses the sympathy of the prophet. Could all this be true, who, as Jeremiah, would rejoice? He preferred the welfare of his country to his own honour. As Moses prayed to be “blotted out of the book” of God, or as Paul could wish himself “accursed from Christ” for the sake of Israel, so Jeremiah would joyfully offer up himself on the altar of his people and country.


Verse 8

8. The prophets that have been before me — Mentioned as the very best warrant for untoward predictions. With them it was not disloyalty, either to God or their country, to predict evil.


Verse 9

9. Shall come to pass — The event is a test, though not the only test, of prophecy. This it is which is here appealed to, and Jeremiah shows at once his faith and his moderation by proposing to abide the test.


Verse 10

10. Took the yoke… and brake it — Thus showing all unwillingness to wait for the event. Hananiah seeks to make a still more vivid and emphatic expression of his prediction by breaking in pieces Jeremiah’s yoke in the presence of the multitude — an act that doubtless gave great delight to the people.

Jeremiah went his way — In the popular disfavour, but strong and peaceful in the faith of God.


Verse 13

13. Yokes of wood — Representing the comparatively easy burden of dependency and tribute which the king of Babylon at first imposed.

Yokes of iron — Emblems of the bitter bondage of the near future, when their city and temple should be destroyed, and the body of the people carried into captivity. “It is better to take up a light cross in our way, than to pull a heavier one over our heads. We may escape destroying providences by submitting to humbling providences.”


Verse 16-17

16, 17. This year thou shalt die — A fearful pledge and earnest of the fulfilment of Jeremiah’s prophecies. Two months later, namely, in the seventh month, these words of prophetic judgment on one who claimed to speak in the name of Jehovah were fulfilled.

 


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Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Jeremiah 28:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/jeremiah-28.html. 1874-1909.

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