Jeremiah 28 commentary

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JEREMIAH 28 COMMENTARY EDITED BY GLENN PEASE The False Prophet Hananiah 1 In the fifth month of that same year, the fourth year, early in the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, the prophet Hananiah son of Azzur, who was from Gibeon, said to me in the house of the Lord in the presence of the priests and all the people: BARNES, "In the beginning ... Zedekiah - Probably a gloss put into the margin to explain “the same year,” from where it has crept into the text. Gibeon - A city of priests Jos_21:17. Hananiah was probably a priest as well as a prophet. He chose either a Sabbath or a new moon, that he might confront Jeremiah not only in the presence of the priests, but also of all the people. He used Jer_28:2 the solemn formula which claims direct inspiration. CLARKE, "And it came to pass the same year - the fifth month - Which commenced with the first new moon of August, according to our calendar. This verse gives the precise date of the prophecy in the preceding chapter; and proves that Zedekiah, not Jehoiakim, is the name that should be read in the first verse of that chapter. Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet - One who called himself a prophet; who pretended to be in commerce with the Lord, and to receive revelations from him. He was probably a priest; for he was of Gibeon, a sacerdotal city in the tribe of Benjamin. GILL, "And it came to pass the same year,.... That the prophet was bid to make yokes and bonds, and send them to the neighbouring kings, whose ambassadors were in Zedekiah's court; and when he spoke the things related in the preceding chapter to Zedekiah, the priests, and people: 1

Transcript of Jeremiah 28 commentary

Page 1: Jeremiah 28 commentary

JEREMIAH 28 COMMENTARYEDITED BY GLENN PEASE

The False Prophet Hananiah1 In the fifth month of that same year, the fourth year, early in the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, the prophet Hananiah son of Azzur, who was from Gibeon, said to me in the house of the Lord in the presence of the priests and all the people:

BARNES, "In the beginning ... Zedekiah - Probably a gloss put into the margin to explain “the same year,” from where it has crept into the text.

Gibeon - A city of priests Jos_21:17. Hananiah was probably a priest as well as a prophet. He chose either a Sabbath or a new moon, that he might confront Jeremiah not only in the presence of the priests, but also of all the people. He used Jer_28:2 the solemn formula which claims direct inspiration.

CLARKE, "And it came to pass the same year - the fifth month - Which commenced with the first new moon of August, according to our calendar. This verse gives the precise date of the prophecy in the preceding chapter; and proves that Zedekiah, not Jehoiakim, is the name that should be read in the first verse of that chapter.

Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet - One who called himself a prophet; who pretended to be in commerce with the Lord, and to receive revelations from him. He was probably a priest; for he was of Gibeon, a sacerdotal city in the tribe of Benjamin.

GILL, "And it came to pass the same year,.... That the prophet was bid to make yokes and bonds, and send them to the neighbouring kings, whose ambassadors were in Zedekiah's court; and when he spoke the things related in the preceding chapter to Zedekiah, the priests, and people:

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in the beginning the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah; perhaps in the first year of his reign: in the fourth year, and in the fifth month; not in the fourth year of Zedekiah's reign, though the Septuagint and A table versions so render it; since his reign was but eleven years in all, and therefore the fourth could not be called with so much propriety the beginning of his reign: though, according to Jarchi, it was the fourth of Zedekiah's reign, the same year in which he paid a visit to the king of Babylon, Jer_51:59; and was not only confirmed in his kingdom by him, but, according to the same writer, had it enlarged, and was made king over five neighbouring kings; and so this, though the fourth of his reign over Judah, was the first of his enlarged dominions: but rather this was the fourth year of the sabbatical year, or the fourth after the seventh year's rest of the land, as Kimchi observes; which was the first of Zedekiah's reign, who reigned eleven years, and the temple was destroyed at the end of a sabbatical year; in which he is followed by many, though there is nothing in the text or context that directs to it. Some divide Zedekiah's reign into three parts, the beginning, and middle, and end; and so what was done within the first four years of his reign might be said to be in the beginning of it. Others think that here are two distinct dates; that the former respects the things in the preceding chapter, which were in the beginning of his reign; and the latter that affair of Hananiah, which was in the fourth year of it. But Noldius (m), after Glassius (n), gets clear of the difficulties of this text, by rendering the words, "and it was from that year, the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, unto the fourth year of his reign"; that is, the prophet went on for the space of four years, signifying the will of the Lord by words and types; when in the fifth month of the fourth year, which was the month of Ab, answering to part of our July and of August, Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet; the false prophet, as the Targum, Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions call him, which was of Gibeon; a city of the priests; so might be a priest, though not the high priest, as some have thought: spake unto me in the house of the Lord, in the presence of the priests, and of all the people; he came to the temple, where Jeremiah was, to confront him; and he addressed himself to him, the priests and all the people being present, who were come thither to minister and worship: saying; as follows:

HENRY, "This struggle between a true prophet and a false one is said here to have happened in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah, and yet in the fourth year, for the first four years of his reign might well be called the beginning, or former part, of it, because during those years he reigned under the dominion of the king of Babylon and as a tributary to him; whereas the rest of his reign, which might well be called the latter part of it, in distinction from that former part, he reigned in rebellion against the king of Babylon. In this fourth year of his reign he went in person to Babylon (as we find, Jer_51:59), and it is probable that this gave the people some hope that his negotiation in

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person would put a good end to the war, in which hope the false prophets encouraged them, this Hananiah particularly, who was of Gibeon, a priests' city, and therefore probably himself a priest, as well as Jeremiah. Now here we have,JAMISON, "Jer_28:1-17. Prophecies immediately following those in the twenty-

seventh chapter. Hananiah breaks the yokes to signify that Nebuchadnezzar’s yoke shall be broken. Jeremiah foretells that yokes of iron are to succeed those of wood, and that Hananiah shall die.in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah — The Jews often divided any period into two halves, the beginning and the end. As Zedekiah reigned eleven years, the fourth year would be called the beginning of his reign, especially as during the first three years affairs were in such a disturbed state that he had little power or dignity, being a tributary; but in the fourth year he became strong in power.Hananiah — Another of this name was one of the three godly youths who braved Nebuchadnezzar’s wrath in the fear of God (Dan_1:6, Dan_1:7; Dan_3:12). Probably a near relation, for Azariah is associated with him; as Azur with the Hananiah here. The godly and ungodly are often in the same family (Eze_18:14-20).Gibeon — one of the cities of the priests, to which order he must have belonged.

K&D 1-4, "Against the False Prophet Hananiah. - Jer_28:1-4. This man's prophecy. At the same time, namely in the fourth year of Zedekiah (cf. rem. on Jer_27:1. The Chet. בשנת is supported by Jer_46:2 and Jer_51:59; the Keri בשנה is an unnecessary alteration), in the fifth month, spake Hananiah the son of Azur, - a prophet not otherwise known, belonging to Gibeon, a city of the priests (Jos_21:17; now Jib, a large village two hours north-west of Jerusalem; see on Jos_9:3), possibly therefore himself apriest - in the house of the Lord, in the presence of the priests and people assembled there, saying: Jer_28:2. "Thus hath Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel, said: I break the yoke of the king of Babylon. Jer_28:3. Within two years I bring again into this place the vessels of the house of Jahveh, which Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon took away from this place and carried them to Babylon. Jer_28:4. And Jechoniah, the son of Jehoiakim the king of Judah, and all the captives of Judah that went into Babylon, bring I again to this place, saith Jahveh; for I will break the yoke of the king ofBabylon." - The false prophet endeavours to stamp on his prediction the impress of a true, God-inspired prophecy, by copying the title of God, so often used by Jeremiah, "Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel," and by giving the utmost definiteness to his promise: "within two years" (in contrast to Jeremiah's seventy years). "Two years" is made as definite as possible by the addition of ימים: two years in days, i.e., in two full years.See on Gen_41:1; 2Sa_13:23.

CALVIN, "The Prophet relates here with what haughtiness, and even fury, the false prophet Hananiah came forward to deceive the people and to proclaim his trumperies, when yet he must have been conscious of his own wickedness. (192) It hence clearly appears how great must be the madness of those who, being blinded by God, are carried away by a satanic impulse. The circumstances of the case

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especially shew how great a contempt of God was manifested by this impostor; for he came into the Temple, the priests were present, the people were there, and there before his eyes he had the sanctuary and the ark of the covenant; and we know that the ark of the covenant is everywhere represented as having the presence of God; for God was by that symbol in a manner visible, when he made evident the presence of his power and favor in the Temple. As Hananiah then stood before God’s eyes, how great must have been his stupidity to thrust himself forward and impudently to announce falsehood in the name of God himself! He had yet no doubt but that he falsely boasted that he was God’s prophet.And he used the same words as Jeremiah did, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel Surely these words ought to have been like a thunderbolt to him, laying prostrate his perverseness, even had he been harder than iron; for what does Jehovah of hosts mean? This name expresses not only the eternal existence of God, but also his power, which diffuses itself through heaven and earth. Ought not Hananiah then to have trembled when any other had alleged God’s name? But now, though he derided and laughed to scorn the prophetic office as well as God’s holy name, he yet hesitated not to boast that God was the author of this prophecy, which was yet nothing but an imposture. And he added, the God of Israel, so that he might be in nothing inferior to Jeremiah. This was a grievous trial, calculated not only to discourage the people, but also to break down the firmness of the holy Prophet. The people saw that God’s name was become a subject of contest; there was a dreadful conflict, “God has spoken to me;” “Nay, rather to me.” Jeremiah and Hananiah were opposed, the one to the other; each of them claimed to be a Prophet. Such was the conflict; the name of God seemed to have been assumed at pleasure, and flung forth by the devil as in sport.As to Jeremiah, his heart must have been grievously wounded, when he saw that unprincipled man boldly profaning God’s name. But, as I have already said, God in the meantime supported the minds of the godly, so that they were not wholly cast down, though they must have been somewhat disturbed. For we know that God’s children were not so destitute of feeling as not to be moved by such things; but yet God sustained all those who were endued with true religion. It was indeed easy for them to distinguish between Jeremiah and Hananiah; for they saw that the former announced the commands of God, while the latter sought nothing else but the favor and plaudits of men.But with regard to Hananiah, he was to them an awful spectacle of blindness and of madness, for he dreaded not the sight of God himself, but entered the Temple and profaned it by his lies, and at the same time assumed in contempt the name of God, and boasted that he was a prophet, while he was nothing of the kind. Let us not then wonder if there be many mercenary brawlers at this day, who without shame and fear fiercely pretend God’s name, and thus exult over us, as though God had given them all that they vainly prattle, while yet it may be fully proved that they proclaim nothing but falsehoods; for God has justly blinded them, as they thus profane his holy name. We shall now come to the words:

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And it was in the same year, even in the fourth of Zedekiah’s reign, etc. The fourth year seems to have been improperly called the beginning of his reign. We have said elsewhere, that it may have been that God had laid up this prophecy with Jeremiah, and did not design it to be immediately published. But there would be nothing strange in this, were the confirmation of his reign called its beginning. Zedekiah was made king by Nebuchadnezzar, because the people would not have been willing to accept a foreigner. He might indeed have set one of his own governors over the whole country; and he might also have made a king of one of the chief men of the land, but he saw that anything of this kind would have been greatly disliked. He therefore deemed it enough to take away Jeconiah, and to put in his place one who had not much power nor much wealth, and who was to be his tributary, as the case was with Zedekiah. But in course of time Zedekiah increased in power, so that he was at peace in his own kingdom. We also know that he was set over neighboring countries, as Nebuchadnezzar thought it advantageous to bind him to himself by favors. This fourth year then might well be deemed the beginning of his reign, for during three years things were so disturbed, that he possessed no authority, and hardly dared to ascend the throne. This then is the most probable opinion. (193)He says afterwards, that Hananiah spoke to him in the presence of the priests and of the whole people (194) Hananiah ought at least to have been touched and moved when he heard Jeremiah speaking, he himself had no proof of his own call; nay, he was an impostor, and he knew that he did nothing but deceive the people, and yet he audaciously persisted in his object, and, as it were, avowedly obtruded himself that he might contend with the Prophet, as though he carried on war with God. He said, Broken is the yoke of the king of Babylon, that is, the tyranny by which he has oppressed the people shall be shortly broken. But he alluded to the yoke which Jeremiah had put on, as we shall presently see. The commencement of his prophecy was, that there was no reason for the Jews to dread the present power of the king of Babylon, for God would soon overthrow him. They could not have entertained hope of restoration, or of a better condition, until that monarchy was trodden under foot; for as long as the king of Babylon bore rule, there was no hope that he would remit the tribute, and restore to the Jews the vessels of the Temple. Hananiah then began with this, that God would break the power of the king of Babylon, so that he would be constrained, willing or unwilling, to let the people free, or that the people would with impunity extricate themselves from the grasp of his power. He then adds, —ELLICOTT, "(1) And it came to pass the same year . . .—The chapter stands in immediate sequence with that which precedes and confirms the conclusion that the name Jehoiakim in Jeremiah 27:1 is simply a transcriber’s mistake. Of the Hananiah who appears as the most prominent of the prophet’s adversaries, we know nothing beyond what is here recorded. He was clearly one of the leaders of the party of resistance whom we have seen at work trying to form an alliance with the neighbouring rations in Jeremiah 27, and whose hopes had been revived by the accession of Pharaoh Hophra (Apries) to the throne of Egypt in B.C. 595. The mention of Gibeon suggests two or three thoughts not without interest :—(1) It was,

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like Anathoth, within the tribe of Benjamin, about six or seven miles from Jerusalem, and so the antagonism between the true prophet and the false in Jerusalem may have been the revival of older local conflicts. (2) Gibeon, like Anathoth, was one of the cities of priests (Joshua 21:17), and Hananiah was probably, therefore, a priest as well as prophet. (3) As still retaining the venerable relics of a worship that had passed away; it had also once been the sanctuary of Jehovah (1 Chronicles 16:39). There the old tabernacle stood which had been with the people in the wilderness—which had been removed from Shiloh when the sacred ark was taken (2 Chronicles 1:3). There Solomon, at the beginning of his reign, offered a stately sacrifice (1 Kings 3:4). Ought not the prophet who had grown up in the midst of those surroundings to have learnt that no place, however sacred, could count on being safe from the changes and chances of time, all fulfilling the righteous purposes of God? The occasion on which he now appears was probably one of the new moon, Sabbath, or other feast-days on which the courts of the Temple were crowded.WHEDON, " 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.COFFMAN, "Verse 1JEREMIAH 28JEREMIAH vs. HANANIAHHaving already tried to bring about the execution of Jeremiah under the reign of Jehoiachim, the false priests and prophets elected to counteract Jeremiah's teachings by a dramatic confrontation and denial of his prophecies publicly. Their representative in this endeavor was Hananiah, son of Azur, a Gibeonite, probably a priest, a self-called false prophet with the brazen face, the loud voice, and the arrogant self-confidence that made him quite convincing with his smooth message of peace, prosperity, restoration and glory for Judah, all to be within two years!There are extensive differences between the Septuagint (LXX) and the text of ASV, which is more complete than the LXX, which is certainly a mere abbreviation of the American Standard Version. The details of the American Standard Version are

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confirmed by recent archaeological discoveries, thus confirming it as superior to the LXX. False critics love to make those differences the basis of efforts to discredit certain words in the true text.Hananiah means "`The Lord is Gracious,' and there are no less than fourteen characters in the Old Testament who bear this name."[1] Nothing is revealed in the Bible regarding this man except what is written here. The very fact of his being a Gibeonite should have suggested caution to the people. The citizens of this place deceived Joshua and earned for themselves favored status in the conquest of Canaan (Joshua 9:23); King Saul massacred large numbers of them (2 Samuel 21:1ff); and there Joab treacherously slew Amasa (2 Samuel 20:4ff).[2]Jeremiah 28:1-4THE FALSE PROPHECY"And it came to pass in the same year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, in the fourth year, in the fifth month, that Hananiah the son of Azur, the prophet, who was of Gibeon, spake unto me in the house of Jehovah, in the presence of the priests and of all the people. Thus speaketh Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. Within two full years will I bring into this place all the vessels of Jehovah's house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place, and carried to Babylon: and I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiachim, king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah, that went to Babylon, saith Jehovah; for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.""In the beginning of the reign ... in the fourth year ..." (Jeremiah 28:1). The critics, practically all of them, agree that these clauses "are self-contradictory."[3] Now we do not deny that there are in the Bible examples of some copyist's error, or some scribal note, here and there, that may have been accidentally and unconsciously adopted into the traditional text of the scripture. However, we do not believe that this is a blanket reason for explaining everything men do not understand as "a gloss," or "a copyist's error."Some of the wisest men who ever wrote commentaries on the Bible find no fault with these clauses.<SIZE=2>"These clauses accord with the common reckoning by dividing a reign into two halves; and, as Zedekiah reigned eleven years, this date was in the first half, therefore `in the beginning.'[4]"Michaelis states that, "up to the fourth year, Zedekiah had the throne only upon the basis of his yearly appointment by Nebuchadnezzar, but that he was vested with the royal title and authority in the fourth year." (This would make the first year of his full authority as indeed the fourth year). This opinion was also adopted by

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Scholz.[5] The first four years of Zedekiah's reign were indeed `the beginning of it,' because in those years he was tributary to the king of Babylon; but afterward he was truly "king" in rebellion against Babylon.[6]"Some interpreters have been troubled by the fact of the fourth year of Zedekiah's reign being here referred to as `the beginning'; but according to Jewish usage it was indeed `the beginning' of his reign, for the Jews divided periods of time into two halves, the beginning and the end. The simple meaning of the passages is, `In the first half of his reign.'"[7]SIZE>In the light of such observations as these, we are constrained to label the critical claims of "an interpolation," or of "a gloss," or of "a copyist's error," as being far more likely the inadequate efforts of scholars to explain their ignorance. After all, where is there the slightest evidence of any kind of an error in the text?"In the presence of the priests and of all the people ..." (Jeremiah 28:1). "He chose either a sabbath or a new moon that he might confront Jeremiah not only in the presence of the priests but also of all the people."[8] It is amazing that not merely this comment, but practically the exegesis of this whole chapter appears almost verbatim in the writings of Payne Smith. On this verse, Smith has this: "He seems to have come to Jerusalem on purpose to confront Jeremiah, and to have chosen either a sabbath or a new moon for the occasion, that his act might be done not only in the presence of the priests, but also of all the people."[9]"Thus speaketh Jehovah, the God of Israel, saying ..." (Jeremiah 28:2). Hananiah here presented himself as an authentic prophet of God, using all of the right formula, and confronting Jeremiah with a contradiction of that true prophet's word, which was as blunt, convincing, and evil as the claim of Satan himself in the Garden, that "Ye shall not surely die!" How were the people to know who spoke the truth? This chapter will shed light on that problem.Cheyne commented that, "One has only to say a thing very firmly, and to repeat it very often, and the very force of utterance will make way for it. A brazen face, a loud voice, and a positive assertion are enough to convince many people of assertions that are against all reason."[10] The recent Nazi, Adolph Hitler, exploited this human weakness to the limit, adding the principle that, "the bigger the lie, the more people will believe it!"One thing that might have bolstered the confident arrogance of Hananiah was the fact that, "Nebuchadnezzar at that very time was busy putting down a rebellion at home, and probably Hananiah's friends had sent him word of this."[11] Additionally, there was also the conspiracy of the kingdoms against Babylon mentioned in the previous chapter. It all seemed very promising from the standpoint of a "prophet" who was relying upon his own political shrewdness, instead of relying upon what God had revealed to him.

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"I will bring again to this place Jeconiah ..." (Jeremiah 28:4). For many years, one of the favorite arguments against the authenticity of the prophecy of Ezekiel was the fact that certain events were dated from the reign of Jehoiachin who reigned only three months. "However, archaeology has turned the tables on the critics and has revealed this feature of Ezekiel as an impregnable argument in favor of its genuineness."[12] It also confirms the authenticity of this trust of the false prophet Hananiah in the speedy return of Jeconiah to Jerusalem. "That Jeconiah was still considered king of Judah, even by the Babylonians themselves, was proved in 1940 by the publication of tablets from the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, enumerating the recipients of royal bounty, and including `Yaukin (Jeconiah), king of the land of Yahud (Judah).'"[13]PETT, "Verses 1-17Hananiah, A Cult Prophet, Declares That There Will Be Full Liberation Within Two Years, And Breaks Jeremiah’s Yoke From Round His Neck. Jeremiah Replies That His Own Word From YHWH Will Come True And That Hananiah Will Die Within The Year As A False Prophet (Jeremiah 28:1-17).We have already learned of the antagonism of the cult prophets in Jerusalem towards Jeremiah and one named Hananiah now challenges him head on. Using similar prophetic phraseology to Jeremiah he declares that within two years there will be full restoration for Judah and Jerusalem, with the Temple vessels, along with Jehoiachin and his courtiers, returning in triumph to Jerusalem. His antagonistic attitude is emphasised by the fact that he breaks the yoke off Jeremiah’s shoulder, considering by that means that he would break the power of Jeremiah’s prophecies. It was a direct challenge to Jeremiah’s claims and would be seen by him, and by many, as a prophetic working out of the coming deliverance and as a direct confrontation with Jeremiah’s source of truth. His very action would have been seen by many of the superstitious as contributing to the fulfilment of his prophecy. He claimed to be doing it in the Name of YHWH, but did not realise (because he was deceived) that he was in fact thereby directly opposing YHWH.His visible action would have had a huge impact on the crowds, who would see it as a real step towards deliverance, countering what Jeremiah had been prophesying, and portraying by wearing the yoke. Jeremiah initially replies to him placatingly. He hopes that he is right. But he points out that it would be to go against previous prophecies of doom and destruction, and suggests that they let the future reveal the truth.However, he is then required by YHWH to inform the people more forcefully that Hananiah is wrong, and that what Jeremiah has previously prophesied will come about. Furthermore all should note that, as a consequence of Hananiah’s action, instead of yokes of wood there would now be yokes of iron. They had made submission even more certain. Then, as a sign that what he has stated will take place, and that Hananiah is a false prophet, he informs them that Hananiah will die

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within the year because he is a false prophet, an event which accordingly takes place, thus vindicating Jeremiah and countering the impact caused by the breaking of the yoke.Jeremiah 28:1‘And it came about the same year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year, in the fifth month, that Hananiah the son of Azzur, the prophet, who was of Gibeon, spoke to me in the house of YHWH, in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying,’As we have previously seen these heading are a deliberate means of carrying the action forward from the commencement of Jehoiakim’s reign, when Jeremiah gave his address warning of what would come on the city and the Temple, through his wearing of a yoke as an indication of Judah’s servitude by the will of YHWH, which also commenced in the days of Jehoiakim, to the time when duplicates of that yoke were sent out to the surrounding nations who were contemplating rebellion against Babylon in the days of Zedekiah. Now things come to a head. A rival prophet of YHWH challenges him and his prophecies openly in the Temple in the presence of the priests and the festal crowds. The prophet was named Hananiah, who was the son of Azzur (otherwise unknown) and came from Gibeon. As will emerge, this was intended to be a head on challenge and collision between the two prophets, carried out with the people as witnesses, with the intention of settling mattes once and for all. The breaking of the yoke which was a prophetic symbol of Jeremiah’s message was intended to be a decisive step.It is clear that ‘in the beginning’ included the fourth year of his reign. Rather than arguing about contradiction we should recognise that Jeremiah knew the nuances of Hebrew in his day better than we do. ‘In the beginning’ apparently therefore simply meant ‘in the initial stages, the commencing years, of his reign’.PULPIT, "Verses 1-17EXPOSITIONHananiah's false prophecy; his reprimand from Jeremiah; and his fate. The preciseness of the date in verse 1 is to emphasize the supernatural character of Jeremiah's prediction. The latter was uttered in the fifth month of the fourth year of Zedekiah, and Hananiah died in the seventh month of the same year (verse 17).Jeremiah 28:1In the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah. It seems strange that the fourth year of a reign which only lasted eleven years in all should be called "the beginning. Is it not probable that the clause was interpolated here by a later copyist on account of Jeremiah 27:1, where at present a similar clause (see note) is found? Originally

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placed in the margin as a gloss upon the words "the same year," it would very easily find its way into the text. Hananiah … the prophet (see on Jeremiah 27:15). Gibeon. This was a priestly city (Joshua 21:17), so that Hananiah was probably himself a priest like Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:1) and Pashur (Jeremiah 20:1). The modern El Jib, on an isolated, rocky hill, doubtless represents the ancient Gibeon. In the presence of the priests and of all the people. Apparently the event took place on either a new moon or a Sabbath, when the people would throng to the temple.

2 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.

CLARKE, "Thus speaketh the Lord - What awful impudence! when he knew in his conscience that God had given him no such commission.

GILL, "Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel,.... Using the language of the true prophets, and describing the Lord just in the same manner they do, when coming from him, and speaking in his name: a bold and daring action, when he knew the Lord had not sent him, nor had said any such thing to him: he next relates with all assurance, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon; which he had put upon the neck of the king of Judah; signifying that he should be no more subject to him; that is, he had determined to do it, and would do it, in a very short time.

HENRY, "The prediction which Hananiah delivered publicly, solemnly, in the house of the Lord, and in the name of the Lord, in an august assembly, in the presence of the priests and of all the people, who probably were expecting to have some message from heaven. In delivering this prophecy, he faced Jeremiah, he spoke it to him (Jer_28:1), designing to confront and contradict him, as much as to say, “Jeremiah, thou liest.” Now this prediction is that the king of Babylon's power, at least his power over Judah and Jerusalem, should be speedily broken, that within two full years the vessels of the temple should be brought back, and Jeremiah, and all the captives that were carried away with him, should return; whereas Jeremiah had foretold that the yoke of the king

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of Babylon should be bound on yet faster, and that the vessels and captives should not return for 70 years, Jer_28:2-4. Now, upon the reading of this sham prophecy, and comparing it with the messages that God sent by the true prophets, we may observe what a vast difference there is between them. Here is nothing of the spirit and life, the majesty of style and sublimity of expression, that appear in the discourses of God's prophets, nothing of that divine flame and flatus. But that which is especially wanting here is an air of piety; he speaks with a great deal of confidence of the return of their prosperity, but here is not a word of good counsel given them to repent, and reform, and return to God, to pray, and seek his face, that they may be prepared for the favours God had in reserve for them. He promises them temporal mercies, in God's name, but makes no mention of those spiritual mercies which God always promised should go along with them, as Jer_24:7, I will give them a heart to know me. By all this it appears that, whatever he pretended, he had only the spirit of the world, not the Spirit of God (1Co_2:12), that he aimed to please, not to profit.JAMISON, "broken the yoke — I have determined to break: referring to

Jeremiah’s prophecy (Jer_27:12).ELLICOTT, "(2) I have broken the yoke . . .—The word is obviously used with special reference to the symbol which Jeremiah had made so conspicuous (Jeremiah 27:2). With something, it may be, of ironical repetition, he reproduces the very formula with which the true prophet had begun his message. He, too, can speak in the name of “the Lord of Sabaoth, the God of Israel.”PETT, "Jeremiah 28:2“Thus speaks YHWH of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, ‘I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon’.”Hananiah declares that he speaks in the Name of YHWH of host, the God of Israel, and that His word is that He has ‘broken the yoke of the King of Babylon’. Note the use of the same distinguished and significant title as that used by Jeremiah, and no doubt by many prophets. He was claiming to speak on the same authority as Jeremiah. And he gave a prophetic declaration claiming to present the very words of YHWH. ‘Thus says YHWH --- “I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon”.’ It was a declaration directly in the face of what Jeremiah was saying signifying that God’s time was now. We can see why the crowds might have been confused. And there could be no doubt whose message they would want to believe. Hananiah’s message appealed to their sense of what YHWH owed to them as their God. They were still unable to believe that God was not satisfied with them.PULPIT, "Hananiah opens his prophecy with the usual formula, claiming Divine inspiration in the fullest sense. His message is short and sweet: I have broken—i.e. I have decreed to break (the perfect of prophetic certitude)—the yoke of the king of Babylon. Had Hananiah stopped here, he might, perhaps, have escaped Jeremiah's indignant rebuke. But with light-hearted arrogance he ventures to fix a time close at

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hand for the event, which, no doubt, was destined to occur, but after a long interval. Dr. Payne Smith suggests that he probably cherished the belief that the confederacy then on foot (Jeremiah 27:3) would defeat Nebuchadnezzar.

3 Within two years I will bring back to this place all the articles of the Lord’s house that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon removed from here and took to Babylon.

BARNES, "Within two full years - literally, In yet two years even days. Hananiah probably was induced to fix this date by the expectation that the confederacy then on foot would defeat Nebuchadnezzar.

CLARKE, "Within two full years - Time sufficient for the Chaldeans to destroy the city, and carry away the rest of the sacred vessels; but he did not live to see the end of this short period.

GILL, "Within two full years,.... Or, "within two years of days" (o); when they are up to a day. The Targum is, "at the end of two years;'' what the false prophets before had said would be done in a very little time; this fixes the precise time of doing it; a very short time, in comparison of the seventy years that Jeremiah had spoken of, Jer_25:11; will I bring again into this place all the vessels of the Lord's house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place; the temple, where he now was; namely, all such vessels as before this time had been taken by him, both in Jehoiakim's reign, and at the captivity of Jeconiah: and carried them to Babylon; where they still remained, and according to Jeremiah still would; and were so far from being brought back in a short time, that what were left

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would be carried thither also, Jer_27:19.

JAMISON, "two full years — literally, “years of days.” So “a month of days,” that is, all its days complete (Gen_29:14, Margin; Gen_41:1). It was marvelous presumption to speak so definitely without having any divine revelation.

CALVIN, "We now see that what Hananiah had in view was to promise impunity to the people, and not only this, but also to soothe them with vain confidence, as though the people would have their king soon restored, together with the spoils which the enemy had taken away. But he began by referring to the power of the king, lest that terrible sight should occupy the minds of the people so as to prevent them to receive this joyful prophecy. He then says, Further, when two years shall pass, (195) I will bring back to this place all the vessels which King Nebuchadnezzar has taken away Jeremiah had assigned to the people’s exile seventy years, as it has been stated before, and as we shall hereafter often see; but here the false prophet says, that after two years the exile of the king and of the people would come to an end, and that the vessels which had been taken away would be restored; he speaks also of the king himself, —ELLICOTT, "(3) Within two full years.—Literally, two years of days. Hananiah, not deterred by the previous warnings of Jeremiah, becomes bolder in the definiteness of his prediction. The conspiracy of Judah and the neighbouring states against Nebuchadnezzar was clearly ripening, and he looked on its success as certain. Prediction stood against prediction, and, as there were no signs or wonders wrought, men had to judge from what they knew of the lives of the men who uttered them which of them was most worthy of credit. The contest between the two prophets reminds us of Deuteronomy 18:20-22.PETT, "Jeremiah 28:3“Within two full years will I bring again into this place all the vessels of YHWH’s house, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place, and carried to Babylon,”He further declared that YHWH’s promise was that within two full years (in contrast with Jeremiah’s prophecy of seventy years of which fifty or so years remained) all the vessels of the house of YHWH which had been taken away by Nebuchadnezzar in the days of Jehoiakim, would be returned to Jerusalem and the Temple (this place). It would be restored to its former glory.‘Within two full years.’ Literally ‘within two years of days.’

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4 I will also bring back to this place Jehoiachin[a] son of Jehoiakim king of Judah and all the other exiles from Judah who went to Babylon,’ declares the Lord, ‘for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.’”

BARNES, "Jeconiah - Zedekiah not being popular, the people would have preferred the young king, who had not reigned long enough to make enemies. Probably also Zedekiah had started for Babylon Jer_51:59.

CLARKE, "And I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah,.... This he knew would please the people, who looked upon Zedekiah only as a deputy of the king of Babylon, and not properly their king; but Jeconiah, as he is here called; and he knew that Zedekiah dared not resent this, but was obliged to feigned a desire of Jeconiah's return, though otherwise not agreeable to him: with all the captives of Judah that went into Babylon, saith the Lord; the princes, officers, and others, that should be living at the time fixed: for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon; weaken his power over other nations, and particularly deliver the king of Judah from his bondage, and from subjection to him.GILL, "And I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah,.... This he knew would please the people, who looked upon Zedekiah only as a deputy of the king of Babylon, and not properly their king; but Jeconiah, as he is here called; and he knew that Zedekiah dared not resent this, but was obliged to feigned a desire of Jeconiah's return, though otherwise not agreeable to him: with all the captives of Judah that went into Babylon, saith the Lord; the princes, officers, and others, that should be living at the time fixed: for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon; weaken his power over other nations, and particularly deliver the king of Judah from his bondage, and from subjection to him.

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JAMISON, "bring again ... Jeconiah — not necessarily implying that Hananiah wished Zedekiah to be superseded by Jeconiah. The main point intended was that the restoration from Babylon should be complete. But, doubtless, the false prophet foretold Jeconiah’s return (2Ki_24:12-15), to ingratiate himself with the populace, with whom Jeconiah was a favorite (see on Jer_22:24).

CALVIN, "Hananiah promised as to the king himself, what he had just predicted respecting the vessels of the Temple and of the palace. But it may be asked, how did he dare to give hope as to the restoration of Jeconiah, since that could not have been acceptable to Zedekiah? for Jeconiah could not have again gained what he had lost without the abdication of Zechariah; but he would have never submitted willingly to lose his own dignity and to become a private man, and to allow him who had been deprived of this high honor to return again. But there is no doubt but that he relied on the favor of the people, and that he was fully persuaded that if Zedekiah could ill bear to be thus degraded, he would yet be constrained to shew a different feeling; for Zedekiah himself regarded his own reign as not honorable, as he sat not in David’s throne by the right of succession. He had been set on the throne by a tyrant, and he dared not to make any other pretense to the people than that he wished Jeconiah to return and to possess the kingdom of which he had been deprived. As then this impostor knew that the king dared not to shew any displeasure, but that his prophecy would be gratifying and acceptable to the people, he boldly promised what we here read respecting the return of Jeconiah.He hence says in God’s name, Jeconiah, the son of Jehoiakim, the king of Judah, and all the captive people, who have been led away to Babylon, will I restore to this place. We see that he was ever inflated with the same arrogance, and that he wholly disregarded God, whose name he thus in sport profaned. But all this flowed from this fountain, even because he had been blinded by the righteous judgment of God.he then confirms his own prophecy, repeating its beginning, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon (196) He had made open for himself an entrance, by saying that the destruction of the Babylonian monarchy was at hand; and now, after having given utterance to what seemed good to him on the whole affair, he refers again to that event. As then he promised that the monarchy would not stand longer than two years, the Jews might have supposed that they would become free, and might thus have hoped for a happy state of things; and this was the design of the impostor; but what was the answer of Jeremiah? His opposition to him was frank and firm; but as he saw that he had incurred the ill-will of the people, he was anxious to remove it; and before he repeated what he had said of their seventy years in exile, he shewed that he had not eagerly received his commission, as though he had been alienated from his people, or had disregarded their welfare, or had been carried away by some morbid feeling to bring a sad and mournful message. He therefore said, —

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ELLICOTT, "(4) And I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim . . .—We get here a new glimpse into the nature of the anti-Chaldæan confederacy. Zedekiah was to be deposed as too submissive to Nebuchadnezzar, and the young Jeconiah was to be brought back from his prison at Babylon, and re-established in the kingdom as the representative of the policy of resistance, resting on the support of Pharaoh-Hophra.PETT, "Jeremiah 28:4“And I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah, who went to Babylon, the word of YHWH, for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.”And what was more their legitimate king, Jehoiachin (Jeconiah), who had been chosen by the people (Zedekiah had been appointed by Nebuchadnezzar and ruled by default) would again be brought to this place, along with the other exiles, and would once again be their king present among them, and most importantly, the yoke of the King of Babylon would be broken (a direct reference to the yoke that Jeremiah was wearing). It was a cheering message for the people, and he emphasised n good prophetic manner that it was by ‘the prophetic and sure word of YHWH’. His message must have uplifted the crowds and raised their hopes, making things difficult for Jeremiah, and seemingly exposing him as a false prophet. It was an encouragement to the king and the people to partake in what would be a fatal rebellion.But it was probably not just a saying taken out of the air. We know from what is called ‘the Babylonian chronicle’ (historical records which were regularly maintained by the Babylonians although unfortunately we do not have all of them), that around this time there was a serious rebellion in Babylon which Nebuchadnezzar had to quell, and it may well be that hopes raised by that event, as communicated back to Jerusalem, combined with the rise of a powerful Pharaoh in Egypt (Pharaoh Hophra), were responsible for Hananiah’s confident prediction (the rebels in Babylon may well have promised some of the exiles that in return for their support they would be allowed to return home with the Temple vessels. See Jeremiah 29:21 which could have been connected with such a situation). Hananiah does genuinely appear to have believed that he was a prophet of YHWH, and the priests clearly believed it too. But it is a reminder that it is not enough to have confidence in one’s own spirituality, based on popular opinion. We can so easily deceive ourselves, whilst others will admire us if we say what they want us to say. It is a reminder to us that we need to beware of overstating our own inspiration by the Holy Spirit. The widespread disagreement on certain doctrines among genuine Christians is an indication that none of us are guided fully. And we are foolish to think otherwise. I am always a little wary when someone says, ‘the Holy Spirit told (showed) me’. Full inspiration was limited to the Apostles. We are vulnerable to error.

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PULPIT, "Jeremiah 28:4And I will bring again … Jeconiah. Hananiah thus directly contradicts the assurance of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 22:26, Jeremiah 22:27) that Jehoiachin would not return, but would die in a foreign land. Has he a political object in his favorable prognostication for the deposed king? Does he, in short, belong to a Jehoiachin party opposed to the friends of Zedekiah? The view is possible, and may seem to be confirmed by the emphatic repetition of the fall of Nebuchadnezzar, the liege lord of Zedekiah. Still there is evidence enough in modern history that the return of an exile is not necessarily tantamount to his reinstatement in his office.

5 Then the prophet Jeremiah replied to the prophet Hananiah before the priests and all the people who were standing in the house of the Lord.

GILL, "Then the prophet Jeremiah said unto the prophet Hananiah,.... The false prophet, as he is called by the Targum, Syriac, and Arabic versions: in the presence of the priests, and in the presence of all the people that stood in the house of the Lord; waiting and worshipping in the temple; and said boldly and before them all, in answer to Hananiah's prophecy, what follows.

HENRY 5-9, " Jeremiah's reply to this pretended prophecy. 1. He heartily wishes it might prove true. Such an affection has he for his country, and so truly desirous is he of the welfare of it, that he would be content to lie under the imputation of a false prophet, so that their ruin might be prevented. He said, Amen; the Lord do so; the Lord perform thy words, Jer_28:5, Jer_28:6. This was not the first time that Jeremiah had prayed for his people, though he had prophesied against them, and deprecated the judgments which yet he certainly knew would come; as Christ prayed, Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me, when yet he knew it must not pass from him. Though, as a faithful prophet, he foresaw and foretold the destruction of Jerusalem, yet, as a faithful Israelite, he prayed earnestly for the preservation of it, in obedience to that command,

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Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Though the will of God's purpose is the rule of prophecy and patience, the will of his precept is the rule of prayer and practice. God himself, though he has determined, does not desire, the death of sinners, but would have all men to be saved. Jeremiah often interceded for his people, Jer_18:20. The false prophets thought to ingratiate themselves with the people by promising them peace; now the prophet shows that he bore them as great a good-will as their prophets did, whom they were so fond of; and, though he had no warrant from God to promise them peace, yet he earnestly desired it and prayed for it. How strangely were those besotted who caressed those who did them the greatest wrong imaginable by flattering them and persecuted him who did them the greatest service imaginable by interceding for them! See Jer_27:18. 2. He appeals to the event, to prove it false, Jer_28:7-9. The false prophets reflected upon Jeremiah, as Ahab upon Micaiah, because he never prophesied good concerning them, but evil. Now he pleads that this had been the purport of the prophecies that other prophets had delivered, so that it ought not to be looked upon as a strange thing, or as rendering his mission doubtful; for prophets of old prophesied against many countries and great kingdoms, so bold were they in delivering the messages which God sent by them, and so far from fearing men, or seeking to please them, as Hananiah did. They made no difficulty, any more than Jeremiah did, of threatening war, famine, and pestilence, and what they said was regarded as coming from God; why then should Jeremiah be run down as a pestilent fellow, and a sower of sedition, when he preached no otherwise than God's prophets had always done before him? Other prophets had foretold destruction did not come, which yet did not disprove their divine mission, as in the case of Jonah; for God is gracious, and ready to turn away his wrath from those that turn away from their sins. But the prophet that prophesied of peace and prosperity, especially as Hananiah did, absolutely and unconditionally, without adding that necessary proviso, that they do not by wilful sin put a bar in their own door and stop the current of God's favours, will be proved a true prophet only by the accomplishment of his prediction; if it come to pass, then it shall be known that the Lord has sent him, but, if not, he will appear to be a cheat and an impostor.

JAMISON, "the prophet Jeremiah — the epithet, “the prophet,” is prefixed to “Jeremiah” throughout this chapter, to correspond to the same epithet before “Hananiah”; except in Jer_28:12, where “the prophet” has been inserted in English Version. The rival claims of the true and the false prophet are thus put in the more prominent contrast.K&D 5-9, "the prophet Jeremiah — the epithet, “the prophet,” is prefixed to “Jeremiah” throughout this chapter, to correspond to the same epithet before “Hananiah”; except in Jer_28:12, where “the prophet” has been inserted in English Version. The rival claims of the true and the false prophet are thus put in the more prominent contrast.CALVIN, "I have shortly reminded you of the design of the Prophet; for it was to be feared that the people would not hear him, or at least that they would not well receive him, as he had threatened them and handled them roughly and severely. We know that men ever seek to be flattered; hence adulations are ever delightfully received. Such is the pride of men, that they cannot bear to be called to an account for what they have done; and they become also indignant, when they see their

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crimes and vices brought to light; besides, they are so delicate and tender, that they avoid as much as they can all adverse rumors; and if any fear assails them, they instantly resist.Now Jeremiah had been furnished with a twofold message, to expose the vices of the people, to shew that the Jews were unworthy to inherit the land, as they were covenant-breakers and despisers of God and of his Law; and then, as they had been so often refractory and perverse, he had another message, that they would not be suffered to escape unpunished, as they had in so many ways, and for so long a time continued to provoke God’s wrath; all this was very displeasing to the people. It was therefore Jeremiah’s object to turn aside the false suspicion under which he labored, and he testified that he desired nothing more than the well-being of the people; “Amen,” he said, “may it thus happen, I wish I were a false prophet; I would willingly retract, and that with shame, all that I have hitherto predicted, so great is my care and anxiety for the safety of the public; for I would prefer the welfare of the whole people to my own reputation.” But he afterwards added, as we shall see, that the promise of Hananiah was wholly vain, and that nothing would save the people from the calamity that was very near at hand. WHEDON, "Verse 5-6JEREMIAH’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.

COFFMAN, "JEREMIAH'S RESPONSE TO THE FALSE PROPHECY"Then the prophet Jeremiah said unto the prophet Hananiah, in the presence of the priests, and in the presence of all the people that stood in the house of Jehovah, even the prophet Jeremiah said, Amen: Jehovah do so; Jehovah perform thy words which thou hast prophesied, to bring again the vessels of Jehovah's house, from Babylon unto this place. Nevertheless hear now this word that I speak in thine ears, and in the ears of all the people: The prophets that have been sent before me and before thee of old prophesied against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence. The prophet that prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that Jehovah hath truly sent him. Then Hananiah the prophet took the bar from off the prophet Jeremiah's neck, and brake it. And Hananiah spake in the presence of all

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the people, saying, Thus saith Jehovah: Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon within two full years from off the neck of all the nations. And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.""Jeremiah said, Amen: Jehovah do so ..." (Jeremiah 28:6). This was not sarcasm, because Jeremiah truly desired that such wonderful things as the false prophet had spoken might indeed be done by the Lord, only if it were possible. It was the same kind of plea that Jesus made, when he said, "If it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done."However, this was in no sense whatever a statement that Jeremiah, even for a single moment, believed the lying words of the evil prophet. Green missed this truth altogether. He said, "Jeremiah revealed here his belief in the sincerity of Hananiah, and that Jeremiah himself was possibly wrong."[14] Such a view cannot be reconciled with what Jeremiah immediately said."Nevertheless, hear now this word that I speak in your ears ..." (Jeremiah 28:7). The real answer to Hananiah's false prophecy was that it made liars out of every prophet God had ever sent, including Jeremiah, all of whom had prophesied the ruin and captivity of Judah. Jeremiah also pointed out that the prophets of "peace" could be verified as true only by the conformity of subsequent events with the things they had prophesied. With that announcement, Jeremiah terminated the argument.Deuteronomy 18:22 had laid down the test for prophets that only those prophets were true whose predictive prophecies were proved true by subsequent events; and Jeremiah referred to this, but as the false prophets had allowed a margin of two whole years for the fulfillment of his prediction, the truth of Hananiah's falsity was not at once evident.We should observe the meekness and mildness of Jeremiah's response. He engaged in no loud and boisterous repetitions. He did not, upon his own unsupported authority, at once declare Hananiah to be the false prophet which he knew him to be. He simply waited for God to provide the answer, and turned away and left the scene. Although Jeremiah had given his personal assent to the glorious words of the false prophet, "He well knew that the truth was otherwise."[15]"Hananiah took the bar ... and brake it ..." (Jeremiah 28:10). It might have appeared to Hananiah and the crowd in the house of the Lord that Jeremiah had been silenced. Jeremiah did not at once deny Hananiah's evil prophecy. Why? No answer had then appeared from Jehovah; and Jeremiah did not give an answer that God had not yet spoken. "Encouraged by Jeremiah's patience and in the absence of any answer from God that his prophecy was a lie, Hananiah resorted to violence, tore the yoke from the prophet's neck, and broke it, probably to the great delight of the crowd who considered the action as a symbol of deliverance."[16]

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"And the prophet Jeremiah went his way ..." (Jeremiah 28:11). "There are men with whom it is always useless to argue,"[17] and Jeremiah instantly recognized in Hananiah just such a person. He had falsely claimed to have God's Word; Jeremiah had already pointed out that his prophecy was contrary to what all previous prophets had prophesied; and, since God had at that point in time not refuted Hananiah with any dramatic additional revelation, there was nothing else for Jeremiah to do, except to leave; and that he at once did.NISBET, "THE FALSE PROPHET AND THE TRUE‘The prophet Jeremiah … the prophet Hananiah.’Jeremiah 28:5I. The prophecy of Hananiah of the speedy return of the exiles and the break-up of the power of the king of Babylon was evidently dictated by a desire to win popularity with the people.—He spoke in the name of Jehovah, and may even have supposed that his message was Divinely given, but his soul was filled with human voices and reasonings, which made him unable to distinguish the still small voice of inspiration. Jeremiah was quite as anxious as he was that his country should be spared further suffering. He uttered a fervent Amen to Hananiah’s predictions. Nothing could have given him deeper pleasure than their realisation; but, standing as he did in the counsels of God, he knew it could not be.So is it still. Men who follow simply their own thoughts, or are deeply dyed with the spirit of society around, are apt to prophesy smooth things to such as live selfish and worldly lives. ‘There is no such place as the outer darkness, no such experience as the second death.’ So they speak. But we know it cannot be. Earnestly as we might wish for it, and say Amen, we know that it cannot be immaterial how men live, and that wickedness is destined to bring infinite anguish and pain. Ah! how terrible will their position be at last, who cried Peace, Peace, when there was none, and encouraged rebellion against the Lord. Let them be warned by the fate of this false prophet!Hananiah was, without doubt, very popular. It was not easy for Jeremiah to stand alone, as we find him doing.II. What a picture is presented, as these two prophets oppose each other in the presence of priests and people in the house of God!—By his amen to the words of Hananiah, the true prophet avowed his passionate desire that his hopes might be realised, but he knew certainly that they could not be. Hananiah closed the conference by breaking the yoke which Jeremiah carried on his neck, but the prophet of God made no reply, he simply went his way. It is good not to hold altercations with men who have set their hearts on opposing the truth. Better yield quietly and go your way. Better say nothing than speak in temper. Hold your peace,

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even from good, until you know precisely what is the message from the Lord.The word of the Lord did come to him afterwards: that iron would be substituted for wood, that the land would be given up to the beasts of the field, that Hananiah should die. And God vindicated his words by the false prophet’s sudden decease. The man who can commit himself to Him that judgeth righteously cannot fail of vindication.Illustration‘A false prophet, a miserable comforter disputes with him, brings good news and appeals to an oracle, a voice which he had perhaps heard more lately than Jeremiah. Jeremiah, without getting warm about it, says “I shall be heartily glad if it be so: but take care that you have understood it correctly.” His opponent is encouraged and goes further, he breaks off the prophetic yoke from Jeremiah’s neck. Jeremiah, with the same indifference which he has shown from the beginning, goes his way.… “I dare not speak of anything,” says Paul, “which Christ hath not wrought by me”’ (Romans 15:18).PETT, "Jeremiah 28:5-6‘Then the prophet Jeremiah said to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests, and in the presence of all the people who stood in the house of YHWH, even the prophet Jeremiah said, “Amen. YHWH do so. YHWH perform your words which you have prophesied, to bring again the vessels of YHWH’s house, and all those of the captivity, from Babylon to this place.”Very wisely Jeremiah did not enflame the people gathered in the Temple (and thus full at the time of religious zeal of a kind) by directly denying Hananiah’s prophecy. Rather he responded sarcastically. What Hananiah prophesied was very good, but it was to be noted that it went against the trend of past prophecy. So, yes, if YHWH wanted to do this, so be it (amen). Let YHWH perform the words that Hananiah had prophesied, bringing back from Babylon to Jerusalem the vessels of the Temple and the people from exile. Nothing would please Jeremiah more. But it went against all that the ancient prophets had spoken.Alternately Jeremiah may have been wondering whether YHWH had indeed given a new revelation to Hananiah without communicating it to him. It would explain why, in spite of his doubts, he was willing to go along with it until he had further information from YHWH.PULPIT, "Jeremiah 28:5-9Jeremiah's reply. He heartily wishes that Hananiah's prediction were capable of fulfillment, but it runs directly counter to the declarations of all the older prophets. "War, and evil, and pestilence" was their constant burden, for the people to whom

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they prophesied were unworthy of the golden age of felicity in which the prophets so firmly believed. Only by a terrible judgment could the people of Israel be purified for the Messianic age. This appears to be what Jeremiah means by verse 8. True, he speaks of "countries" and "kingdoms" in the plural, but all the great prophets include the nations best known to them within the range of their preaching, and even of their Messianic preaching. Isaiah, for instance, threatens sore judgment upon Egypt and Assyria, and yet he holds out the cheering prospect that Egypt and Assyria will have a part in the Messianic felicity. Thus Hananiah's prediction has probabilities very strongly against it He not only prophesies "peace,' but attaches no condition to his promise, which, therefore, has double need of verification by the event (comp. Deuteronomy 18:22).

6 He said, “Amen! May the Lord do so! May the Lord fulfill the words you have prophesied by bringing the articles of the Lord’s house and all the exiles back to this place from Babylon.

BARNES, "Jeremiah’s own wishes concurred with Hananiah’s prediction, but asserts that that prediction was at variance with the language of the older prophets.

CLARKE, "Amen; the Lord do so - O that it might be according to thy word! May the people find this to be true!GILL, "Even the prophet Jeremiah said, Amen,.... Or, "so be it"; he wished it might be so as Hananiah had said, if it was the will of God; as a prophet he knew it could not be; as an Israelite, out of respect to his country, he wished it might be; or, however, he wished that they would repent of their sins, that the evil he had threatened them with might not come upon them, and the good that Hananiah had prophesied might be fulfilled: the Lord do so: the Lord perform the words which thou hast prophesied; such a hearty regard had he for his country, that, were it the Lord's pleasure to do this, he could be content to be accounted a false prophet, and Hananiah the true one; it was very desirable to him to have this prophecy confirmed and fulfilled by the Lord. The Jews (p) have a saying, that whoever deals hypocritically with his friend, at last falls into

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his hand, or the hands of his son, or son's son; and so they suppose Jeremiah acted hypocritically with Hananiah, and therefore fell into the hands of the son of his son's son, Jer_37:13; but he rather spoke ironically, as some think: to bring again the vessels of the Lord's house, and all that is carried away captive, to Babylon into this place; as a priest, this must be very desirable to Jeremiah, the Jews observe, since he would be a gainer by it; being a priest, he should eat of the holy things; when Hananiah, being a Gibeonite, would be a hewer of wood and a drawer of water to hi

JAMISON, "Amen — Jeremiah prays for the people, though constrained to prophesy against them (1Ki_1:36). The event was the appointed test between contradictory predictions (Deu_18:21, Deu_18:22). “Would that what you say were true!” I prefer the safety of my country even to my own estimation. The prophets had no pleasure in announcing God’s judgment, but did so as a matter of stern duty, not thereby divesting themselves of their natural feelings of sorrow for their country’s woe. Compare Exo_32:32; Rom_9:3, as instances of how God’s servants, intent only on the glory of God and the salvation of the country, forgot self and uttered wishes in a state of feeling transported out of themselves. So Jeremiah wished not to diminish aught from the word of God, though as a Jew he uttered the wish for his people [Calvin].

CALVIN, "We began in the last Lecture to explain the answer of Jeremiah, when he said to Hananiah, “May God confirm thy words, and may the vessels of the Temple be restored to this place and return together with the captive people.” We briefly stated what is now necessary again to repeat, that there were two feelings in the Prophets apparently contrary, and yet they were compatible with one another. Whatever God had commanded them they boldly declared, and thus they forgot their own nation when they announced anything of an adverse kind. Hence, when the Prophets threatened the people, and said that war or famine was near at hand, they doubtless were so endued with a heroic greatness of mind, that dismissing a regard for the people, they proceeded in the performance of their office; they thus strenuously executed whatever God had commanded them. But they did not wholly put off every humane feeling, but condoled with the miseries of the people; and though they denounced on them destruction, yet they could not but receive sorrow from their own prophecies. There was, therefore, no inconsistency in Jeremiah in wishing the restoration of the vessels of the Temple and the return of the exiles, while yet he ever continued in the same mind, as we shall hereafter see.If any one objects and says that this could not have been the case, for then Jeremiah must have been a vain and false prophet; the answer to this is, that the prophets had no recourse to refined reasoning, when they were carried away by a vehement zeal; for we see that Moses wished to be blotted out of the book of life, and that Paul expressed a similar wish, even that he might be an anathema from Christ for his brethren. (Exodus 32:32; Romans 9:3.) Had any one distinctly asked Moses, Do you wish to perish and to be cut off from the hope of salvation? his answer, no doubt, would have been, that nothing was less in his mind than to cast away the immutable

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favor of God; but when his mind was wholly fixed on God’s glory, which would have been exposed to all kinds of reproaches, had the people been destroyed in the Desert, and when he felt another thing, a solicitude for the salvation of his own nation, he was at the time forgetful of himself, and being carried away as it were beyond himself, he said, “Rather blot me out of the book of life,” and the ease of Paul was similar. And the same view we ought to take of Jeremiah, when he, in effect, said, I would I were a false prophet, and that thou hast predicted to the people what by the event may be found to be true.” But Jeremiah did not intend to take away even the least thing from God’s word; he only expressed a wish, and surrendered to God the care for the other, the credit and the authority of his prophecy, he did not, then, engage for this, as though he ought to have made it good, if the event did not by chance correspond with his prophecy; but he left the care of this with God, and thus, without any difficulty, he prayed for the liberation and return of the people. But it now follows — ELLICOTT, " (6) Amen, the Lord do so.—It is impossible to mistake the tone of keen, incisive irony with which the words were spoken. The speaker could, without falsehood, echo the wish as far as it was a wish, but he knew that it was a wish for the impossible. The whole condition of things would have to be altered before there could be the slightest prospect of its fulfilment. It was not wise to pray for that which was obviously out of the lines of God’s normal methods of working in history, and against His purpose, as uttered by His prophets.COKE, "Jeremiah 28:6. Amen: The Lord do so— Jeremiah well knew the falsity of Hananiah's prediction: he testified it by his answer: he would only shew, that if he foretold melancholy things to his country, and if he opposed the false prophets, it was not through malice or envy. "God grant that you may find this man a true prophet, and that my predictions may not be verified: may the Lord deign to turn from my country, and from the princes of my people, the miseries which I have denounced!" See Calmet.

7 Nevertheless, listen to what I have to say in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people:

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Though this would be very acceptable to me, and I should be glad to have it fulfilled; yet carefully attend to what I am about to say, it being what greatly concerns thee to observe, as well as all present to listen to: and therefore it is added, and in the ears of all the people; that stood round to hear the conversation that passed between the two prophets.CALVIN, "Jeremiah, having testified that he did not wish for anything adverse to his own people, but had a good will towards them, now adds that what he had predicted was yet most true. Here is seen more fully what I have said of his twofold feeling; for though the Prophet wished to consult the welfare of the people, he did not yet cease to render full obedience to God, and to announce those messages which were at the same time very grievous: thus Jeremiah did not keep silence, but became an herald of God’s vengeance against the people. On the one hand, then, he showed that he desired nothing more than the welfare and the safety of his people, and that yet it was not in his power nor in that of any mortal to change the celestial decree which he had pronounced. We hence see that God so influenced the minds and hearts of his servants, that they were not cruel or barbarous; and yet they were not made soft and pliable through the influence of humanity, but boldly declared what God had commanded them.For this reason he said, Nevertheless, hear thou this word which I pronounce in thine ears, and in the ears of all the people By these words Jeremiah indirectly condemned the vanity of Hananiah, who sought to flatter the people, and by his adulations hunted for favor and applause, as it is usual with such impostors, he then said that it availed him nothing to give the people the hope of a near deliverance, for God had not changed his purpose. And Jeremiah now boldly and openly opposed him, as he had sufficiently rebutted that ill-will with which he was unjustly loaded; for impostors ever find out calumnies by which they assail the faithful servants of God. He might at the beginning have objected to Jeremiah and said, “Thou art alienated from thine own nation, thou art not touched by the many miseries by which we have been hitherto distressed, nor carest thou for what may happen to us in future.” Thus he might have kindled hatred against Jeremiah, had he not cleared himself. But after he had testified that he felt kindly and was well affected towards his own nation, he assailed the impostor himself, and hesitated not to assert what seemed very grievous, that the people would become captives.Yet Jeremiah seems here to have been smitten in some measure with fear; for he did not confirm his own prophecy, but left that as it were in suspense; and yet he doubtless exposed the false declaration of Hananiah. But we know that the whole of what the Prophet said is not recited; for he only in a brief way records the heads or the chief things; and further, as we shall presently see, Jeremiah could not act as he wished in the midst of such a tumult, for he would have spoken to the deaf; and as Hananiah had prejudiced the minds of almost all, the holy Prophet would not have been listened to while there was such a confusion. He was therefore satisfied with the brief assertion, that God would soon shew that Hananiah was a false witness in

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promising so quick a return to the captives and exiles.

8 From early times the prophets who preceded you and me have prophesied war, disaster and plague against many countries and great kingdoms.

CLARKE, "The prophets that have been before me - Namely, Joel, Amos, Hosea, Micah, Zephaniah, Nahum, Habakkuk, and others; all of whom denounced similar evils against a corrupt people.

GILL, "The prophets that have been before me, and before thee of old,.... Such as Isaiah, Hoses, Joel, Amos, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, and others: these prophesied both against many countries and against great kingdoms; as Egypt, Babylon, Syria, Ethiopia, Moab, &c. as Isaiah particularly did: of war, and of evil, and of pestilence; by evil some think is meant famine, because that usually goes along with the other mentioned, and there being but one letter in which the words for evil and famine differ; and now the prophets that prophesied of these were sent of God, were the true prophets of the Lord; and therefore this ought not to be objected to the prejudice of Jeremiah, that his prophecies were of this sort: yea, if they should not come to pass, yet a man is not to be counted a false prophet, because such things are threatened in case nations do not repent of their sins and reform, which they may do; and then the evils threatened are prevented, as in the case of the Ninevites.

JAMISON, "prophets ... before me — Hosea, Joel, Amos, and others.evil — a few manuscripts, read “famine,” which is more usually associated with the specification of war and pestilence (Jer_15:2; Jer_18:21; Jer_27:8, Jer_27:13). But evilhere includes all the calamities flowing from war, not merely famine, but also desolation, etc. Evil, being the more difficult reading, is less likely to be the interpolated one than famine, which probably originated in copying the parallel passages.

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CALVIN, "But he makes here only a general statement, The Prophets who have been before, me and thee, and prophesied against many (or great) lands, and against great kingdoms, have prophesied of war, and of evil, and of pestilence The word roe, evil, is placed between two other kinds of evil; but it is to be taken here no ,רעהdoubt for famine, as it is evident from many other passages. (197) Then he adds, changing the number, “When any prophet spoke of peace, the event proved whether or not he was a true prophet. (198) Now, experience itself will shortly prove thee to be false, for after two years the people who are now in Babylon will be still there under oppression, and the condition of the residue will be nothing better, for those who now remain in the city and throughout all Judea shall be driven into exile as well as their brethren.”It is rather difficult to render this verse. Calvin here repeats the word “prophesied,” which perhaps would be the best construction. There is a ו before “prophesied” in the text, which connects it with “have been.” I would then render it as follows, —8.The prophets, who have been before me and before thee from the beginning, and have prophesied concerning many lands and against mighty kingdoms, have prophesied of war, and of famine, and of pestilence.There were prophets who did not prophesy “concerning many lands,” etc.; he refers not to these, but to those who had done this. — Ed.9.The prophet who shall prophesy (or who prophesies) of peace, when the word of that prophet shall come, he will be known as the prophet whom Jehovah hath sent in truth.The first word, “the prophet,” is a nominative case absolute, many instances of which are found in Hebrew. — Ed. ELLICOTT, "(8) The prophets that have been before me and before thee . . .—The appeal to the past is of the nature of an inductive argument. The older prophets whose names were held in honour had not spoken smooth things. They had not prophesied of peace; war, pestilence, and famine had been the burden of their predictions. And there was, therefore, an antecedent probability in favour of one who spoke in the same tone now, rather than of those who held out flattering hopes of peace and victory. The onus probandi in such a conflict of claims lay with the latter, not the former. Prophecies like those of Elijah (1 Kings 17:1; 1 Kings 21:21-24), Micaiah (1 Kings 22:17), Elisha (2 Kings 8:1), Joel (Joel 1:1-20), Hosea (Hosea 2:11-12), Amos (Amos 1-4), Micah (Micah 3:12), Isaiah (Isaiah 2-6), were probably in Jeremiah’s thoughts.COKE, "Jeremiah 28:8. The prophets that have been before me— Namely, Joel, Amos, Hosea, Micah, Zephaniah, Nahum, Habbakuk, and others. Jeremiah offers two reason's in defence of his own prophesies, and against those of Hananiah. First,

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That many other prophets agreed with him in prophesying evil against the Jews, and other neighbouring people; whereas, Hananiah being single in his predictions, nothing less than the perfect answering of the event could give him the authority of a true prophet. Secondly, That, considering the corruption of the people's manners, it was highly probable that God would punish their iniquities. This is one of the principles laid down by Maimonides, whereby to judge a true prophet: "He is a true prophet (says he) who is not deceived in foretelling things future:" and this principle is deduced from Jeremiah 28:9. See Deuteronomy 18:22 and Chandler's "Defence." Instead of prophesied, we may read, have prophesied; and instead of, the word of the prophet, in the next verse, the word of that prophet. PETT, "Jeremiah 28:8“The prophets who have been before me and before you of old prophesied against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence.”And that word was that the ancient and revered prophets who had prophesied before either of them were born, and whose words had been preserved because of their accuracy, had prophesied of war, evil and pestilence which would strike at many countries and even at great kingdoms. That was the trend of past prophecy.

9 But the prophet who prophesies peace will be recognized as one truly sent by the Lord only if his prediction comes true.”

BARNES, "Jer_28:9Then shall the prophet ... - Or, “shall be known as the prophet whom the Lord hath truly sent.”

CLARKE, "When the word of the prophet shall come to pass - Here is the criterion. He is a true prophet who specifies things that he says shall happen, and also fixes the time of the event; and the things do happen, and in that time.

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You say that Nebuchadnezzar shall not overthrow this city; and that in two years from this time, not only the sacred vessels already taken away shall be restored, but also that Jeconiah and all the Jewish captives shall be restored, and the Babylonish yoke broken, see Jer_28:2, Jer_28:3, Jer_28:4. Now I say that Nebuchadnezzar will come this year, and destroy this city, and lead away the rest of the people into captivity, and the rest of the sacred vessels; and that there will be no restoration of any kind till seventy years from this time.

GILL, "The prophet which prophesieth of peace,.... Of prosperity, of good things, as Hananiah did, and which are always acceptable to men; and such a prophet is agreeable to them: when the word of the Lord shall come to pass; when the prophecy of good things, which he delivers in the name of the Lord, shall be filled: then shall the prophet be known that the Lord hath truly sent him; and not till then; it is the event that must make it manifest: in the other case it may be in a good measure known before it comes to pass, and, whether it comes to pass or not, that a prophet is a true prophet; because his prophecies are agreeable to the word and the declared will of God; contain evils threatened on account of sin, and in order to bring men to repentance, which must needs be right; and besides, they have no interest of their own to serve, but run contrary to the stream of the people, and are exposed to their rage and censure: whereas, a man that prophesies of peace, he is more to be suspected of flattering the people, and of prophesying out of his own heart; and nothing but the event can show him a true prophet; which if he delivers with a proviso, that the people do not do that which is evil in the sight of God, to provoke him to deny them the promised good, is always certainly fulfilled; and if it is not, then he appears manifestly a false prophet.

JAMISON, "peace — Hananiah had given no warning as to the need of conversion, but had foretold prosperity unconditionally. Jeremiah does not say that all are true prophets who foretell truths in any instance (which Deu_13:1, Deu_13:2, disproves); but asserts only the converse, namely, that whoever, as Hananiah, predicts what the event does not confirm, is a false prophet. There are two tests of prophets: (1) The event, Deu_18:22. (2) The word of God, Isa_8:20.

CALVIN, "Jeremiah seems here to conclude that those alone are to be deemed true prophets who prove by the event that they have been sent from above; and it not only appears that this may be gathered from his words, but it may also be shewn to be the definition of a true prophet; for when the event corresponds with the prophecy, there is no doubt but that he who predicted what comes to pass must have been sent by God. But we must bear in mind what is said in Deuteronomy 13:1, where God reminds the people that even when the event answers to the prophecy, the prophets are not to be thoughtlessly and indiscriminately believed, as though they predicted what was true;

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“for God,” he says, “tries thee,” that is, proves thy faith, whether thou wilt be easily carried away by every wind of doctrine.”But there are two passages, spoken by Moses himself, which at the first sight seem to militate the one against the other. We have already quoted the first from Deuteronomy 13:0; we have the other in the Deuteronomy 18:18,“The prophet who has predicted what is found to be true,I have sent him.”God seems there to acknowledge as his faithful servants those who foretell what is true. But Moses had before reminded the people that even impostors sometimes speak the truth, but that they ought not on this account to be believed. But we must remember what God often declares by Isaiah, when he claims to himself alone the foreknowledge of things,“Go,” he says, “and inquire whether the gods of the Gentiles will answer as to future things.” (Isaiah 44:7)We see that God ascribes to himself alone this peculiarity, that he foreknows future events and testifies respecting them. And surely nothing can be more clear than that God alone can speak of hidden things: men, indeed, can conjecture this or that, but they are often mistaken.With regard to the devil, I pass by those refined disquisitions with which Augustine especially wearied himself; for above all other things he toiled on this point, how the devils reveal future and hidden things? He speculated, as I have said, in too refined a manner. But the solution of the difficulty, as to the subject now in hand, may be easily given. We first conclude, that future events cannot be known but by God alone, and that, therefore, prescience is his exclusive property, so that nothing that is future or hidden can be predicted but by him alone. But, then, it does not follow that God does not permit liberty to the devil and his ministers to foretell something that is true. How? As the case was with Balaam, who was an impostor, ready to let on hire or to sell his prophecies, as it is well known, and yet he was a prophet. But it was a peculiar gift to foretell things: whence had he this? Not from the devil any farther than it pleased God; and yet the truth had no other fountain than God himself and his Spirit. When, therefore, the devil declares what is true, it is as it were extraneous and adventitious.Now, as we have said, that God is the source of truth, it follows that the prophets sent by him cannot be mistaken; for they exceed not the limits of their call, and so they do not speak falsely of hidden things; but when they declare this or that, they have him as their teacher. But these terms, as they say, are not convertible — to foretell what is true and to be a true prophet: for some, as I have said, predict what is found afterwards by trial and experience to be true, and yet they are impostors;

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nor did God, in the eighteenth chapter of Deuteronomy, intend to give a certain definition by which his own prophets are to be distinguished; but as he saw that the Israelites would be too credulous, so as greedily to lay hold on anything that might have been said, he intended to restrain that excess, and to correct that immoderate ardor. Hence he commanded them to expect the event, as though he had said, “If any arise among you who will promise this or that in my name, do not immediately receive what they may announce; but the event will shew whether I have sent them.” So also, in this place, Jeremiah says, that the true prophets of God had spoken efficiently, as they had predicted nothing but what God had ratified and really proved to have come from him.Thus, then, we ought to think of most, that is, that those who predict what is true are for the most part the prophets of God: this is to be taken as the general rule. But we cannot hence conclude, that all those who apparently predict this or that, are sent by God, so that the whole of what they teach is true: for one particular prophecy would not be sufficient to prove the truth of all that is taught and preached. It is enough that God condemns their vanity who speak from their own hearts or from their own brains, when the event does not correspond. At the same time he points out his own prophets by this evidence, — that he really shews that he has sent them, when he fulfils what has been predicted by them. As to false prophets there is a special reason why God permits to them so much liberty, for the world is worthy of such reward, when it willingly offers itself to be deceived. Satan, the father of lies, lays everywhere his snares for men, and they who run into them, and wish to cast themselves on his tenterhooks, deserve to be given up to believe a lie, as they will not, as Paul says, believe the truth. (2 Thessalonians 2:10.)We now then see what was the object of Jeremiah: his design was not to prove that all were true prophets who predicted something that was true, for this was not, his subject; but he took up another point, — that all who predicted this or that, which was afterwards found to be vain, were thus convicted of falsehood. If then any one predicted what was to be, and the thing itself came not to pass, it was a sufficient proof of his presumption: it hence appeared, that he was not sent of God as he boasted. This was the object of Jeremiah, nor did he go beyond it; for he did not discuss the point, whether all who predicted true things were sent from above, and whether all their doctrines were to be credited and they believed indiscriminately; this was not the subject handled by Jeremiah; but he shewed that Hananiah was a false prophet, for it would appear evident after two years that he had vainly spoken of what he had not received from God’s Spirit. And the same thing Moses had in view, as I have already explained.As to the prophets, who had been in all ages and prophesied respecting many lands and great kingdoms, they must be considered as exclusively the true prophets: for though there had been some prophets among heathen nations, yet Jeremiah would not have thought them worthy of so great an honor; and it would have been to blend together sacred and profane things, had he placed these vain foretellers and the true prophets in the same rank. But we know that all God’s servants had so directed

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their discourse to the elect people, as yet to speak of foreign kingdoms and of far countries; and this has not been without reason distinctly expressed; for when they spoke of any monarchy they could not of themselves conjecture what would be: it was therefore necessary for them thus to speak by the impulse of the Holy Spirit. Were I disposed to assume more than what is lawful, and to pretend that I possess some special gift of prophesying, I could more easily lie and deceive, were I to speak only of one city, and of the state of things open before my eyes, than if I extended my predictions to distant countries: when therefore Jeremiah says that the prophets had spoken of divers and large countries, and of most powerful kingdoms, he intimates that their predictions could not have been ascribed to human conjectures; for were any one possessed of the greatest acuteness, and were he to surpass angels in intelligence, he yet could not predict what is hereafter to take place in lands beyond the seas But whatever had been predicted by the prophets, God sanctioned it by the events of time. It then follows that their call was at the same time sanctioned; that is, when God as it were ratified from heaven what they had spoken on earth. Whether therefore the prophets spoke of peace, that is, of prosperity, or of war, famine, and pestilence, when experience proved that true which they had said, their own authority was at the same time confirmed, as though God had shewed that they had been sent by him.We must also notice the word באמת , beamet, he says that God sent them in truth He condemns here the boldness which impostors ever assume; for they surpass God’s faithful servants in boasting that they have been sent. As then they were thus insolent, and by a fallacious pretense of having been called to their office, deceived unwary men, the Prophet adds here this clause, intimating that they were not all sent in truth. He thus conceded some sort of a call to these unprincipled men, but yet shewed how much they differed from God’s servants, whose call was sealed by God himself. It follows —ELLICOTT, "(9) The prophet which prophesieth of peace.—“Peace,” with its Hebrew associations, includes all forms of national prosperity, and is therefore contrasted with famine and pestilence, not less than with war. The obvious reference to the test of a prophet’s work, as described in Deuteronomy 18:22, shows, as other like references, the impression which that book had made on the prophet’s mind.PETT, "Jeremiah 28:9“The prophet who prophesies of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come about, then shall the prophet be known, that YHWH has truly sent him.”Thus it was the prophet who prophesied peace and well-being whose prophecies were to be seen as in doubt. Indeed they were to be seen as in such doubt that it was only when they came into fulfilment that they could be looked on as prophecies coming directly from YHWH. When the word actually came about, that was when the people could know that it was YHWH who had sent such a prophet.

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It will be noted how cleverly Jeremiah had dealt with the situation He did it by sowing doubts in the minds of the people rather than by a direct refutation which could have raised their anger. He left them to ponder on the facts, demonstrating thereby that he was not alone in his views whatever current prophets might be saying, which incidentally demonstrates the high regard in which those past prophets were held by many even at this time (as we have already seen in Jeremiah 26:18).

10 Then the prophet Hananiah took the yoke off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah and broke it,

BARNES, "The multitude would see in Hananiah’s act a symbol of deliverance.

CLARKE, "Then Hananiah - took the yoke - and brake it - He endeavored by this symbolical act to persuade them of the truth of his prediction.

GILL, "Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from off the prophet Jeremiah's neck,.... Which he wore as a symbol of the subjection of Judea, and other nations, to the king of Babylon: an impudent and insolent action this was, to take the prophet's yoke from his neck; and the more so, as it was by the command of God that he made it, and wore it: and brake it; being made of wood, as it afterwards appears, and so might easily be broken.

HENRY, "We have here an instance,I. Of the insolence of the false prophet. To complete the affront he designed Jeremiah, he took the yoke from off his neck which he carried as a memorial of what he had prophesied concerning the enslaving of the nations to Nebuchadnezzar, and he broke it, that he might give a sign of the accomplishment of this prophecy, as Jeremiah had given of his, and might seem to have conquered him, and to have defeated the intention of his prophecy. See how the lying spirit, in the mouth of this false prophet, mimics the language of the Spirit of truth: Thus saith the Lord, So will I break the yoke of the king of Babylon, not only from the neck of this nation, but from the neck of all nations, within two full years. Whether by the force of a heated imagination Hananiah had

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persuaded himself to believe this, or whether he knew it to be false, and only persuaded them to believe it, does not appear; but it is plain that he speaks with abundance of assurance. It is no new thing for lies to be fathered upon the God of truth.II. Of the patience of the true prophet. Jeremiah quietly went his way, and when he was reviled he reviled not again, and would not contend with one that was in the height of his fury and in the midst of the priests and people that were violently set against him. The reason why he went his way was not because he had nothing to answer, but because he was willing to stay till God was pleased to furnish him with a direct and immediate answer, which as yet he had not received. He expected that God would send a special message to Hananiah, and he would say nothing till he had received that. I, as a deaf man, heard not, for thou wilt hear, and thou shalt answer, Lord, for me. It may sometimes be our wisdom rather to retreat than to contend. Currenti cede furori - Give place unto wrath.JAMISON, "the yoke — (Jer_27:2). Impious audacity to break what God had

appointed as a solemn pledge of the fulfillment of His word. Hence Jeremiah deigns no reply (Jer_28:11; Mat_7:6).

K&D, "Had Hananiah been sent by the Lord, he might have been satisfied withJeremiah's opinion, and have contentedly awaited the issue. But instead of this, he seeks by means of violence to secure credence for his prophesying. He takes the yoke from off the neck of the prophet, and breaks it in pieces, as he repeats before the people his former prediction: "Thus hath Jahveh said: Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within two years." -Thereupon Jeremiah went his way without answering a word, calmly entrusting to the Lord the vindication of the truth of His own word.

CALVIN, "It was not enough for the impostor to resist the holy servant of God to his face, without laying sacrilegious hands on that visible symbol, by which it had pleased God to testify that the Prophet’s message was true. For such was the tardiness of the people, nay, their insensibility, that they could not be much moved by words; therefore God added a symbol, for Jeremiah carried cords or bands around his neck: and it was a sign of reproach before men, yet, in order to touch the people, he refused not to undergo that reproach.The band then on the neck of Jeremiah was like a sacrament; for it was a visible sign to establish the credit of his message. And what did Hananiah do? After having insolently inveighed against Jeremiah, and promised deliverance to the people after two years, he violently broke and took off the cord or the band which Jeremiah had around his neck.We hence see how great and how impetuous is the fury of those whom the devil impels: for when once they arrive at that degree of temerity as to dare to resist the word of God, and, were it possible, to cast him from his own throne, they spare no

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symbols of his power and glory. We ought especially to notice this madness of Hananiah; for he not only resisted God’s servant, and endeavored to subvert his prophecy, but also snatched away the bands, that he might set up the falsehood of the devil in opposition to the true sacrament. This sign, as we have said, availed to confirm the prophecy of which we have heard; but what was done by Hananiah? he not only took away that sign, but by breaking the bands he attracted the attention of men, and by such a representation made them to believe that there would be in two years a deliverance. Then Hananiah displayed his furious zeal in two ways; for he profaned that symbol which Jeremiah had adopted according to God’s command, and he also took it away, as though he aimed to be above God, and to overthrow his truth, and would triumph over it.The same thing we now see done under the Papacy: for we know that what Christ had commanded has been either corrupted, or obscured, or blotted out by them; and they have also devised fictitious sacraments and innumerable pompous rites, by which they fascinate foolish and credulous men. The same did Hananiah; and therefore his disciples and imitators are the Papists; who not only reject or extenuate the testimonies which have come from God, but plainly dishonor his sacraments by arrogantly bringing forward their own devices and inventions. ELLICOTT, "Verse 10-11(10, 11) Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke . . .—We are reminded of the conduct of Zedekiah, the son of Chenaanah, in 1 Kings 22:24. Personal violence, as has been the case in some Christian controversies, takes the place of further debate. The hateful symbols of servitude should not be allowed to outrage the feelings of the people any longer. His success in breaking that was to be the pledge of the destruction of the power which it represented. Jeremiah, it will be noted, does not resist or retaliate, but commits himself to Him that judgeth righteously. “He went his way.”PETT, "Jeremiah 28:10‘Then Hananiah the prophet took the bar from off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck, and broke it..Jeremiah’s words clearly got under Hananiah’s skin, for he advanced on Jeremiah, determined to prove his credentials. He seized the yoke that was around Jeremiah’s neck, the symbol of his message, and deliberately broke it. We must not underestimate the significance of this act carried out in full view of the gathered people. It was a fierce and emphatic indication that Jeremiah was a false prophet, and that the prophetic sign that he wore around his neck was not to be seen as having any effect, but as a fraud. For certainly there would be some among the people who took it very seriously, indeed as a guarantee that YHWH would maintain the subjection of His people. Hananiah was almost certainly aware of the impact that it was having among the people. Once it was broken, and there was no

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reaction from YHWH, some would breathe a sigh of relief. They would see it as indicating that YHWH had changed His mind. That was why once it had been done, it could not be overlooked. There had to be a strong response. (They would otherwise have argued that no one other than a prophet who had a counter-message from YHWH would have dared to tamper with such a sacred symbol, and that the fact that he had got away unscathed proved him to be in the right).

11 and he said before all the people, “This is what the Lord says: ‘In the same way I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon off the neck of all the nations within two years.’” At this, the prophet Jeremiah went on his way.

BARNES, "And Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people,.... Explaining to them his meaning, in taking the yoke, and breaking it: saying, thus saith the Lord; wickedly making use of the Lord's name, to give countenance to his words and actions: even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations, within the space of two full years; the time he had fixed for the bringing back of the vessels of the sanctuary, Jer_28:3; and the prophet Jeremiah went his way; showing thereby his dissent from him, and his dislike and detestation of his lies and blasphemies; patiently bearing his affronts and insolence; and prudently withdrawing to prevent riots and tumults; returning no answer till he had received one from the Lord himself, which he quickly had.GILL, "And Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people,.... Explaining to them his meaning, in taking the yoke, and breaking it: saying, thus saith the Lord; wickedly making use of the Lord's name, to give countenance to his words and actions:

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even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations, within the space of two full years; the time he had fixed for the bringing back of the vessels of the sanctuary, Jer_28:3; and the prophet Jeremiah went his way; showing thereby his dissent from him, and his dislike and detestation of his lies and blasphemies; patiently bearing his affronts and insolence; and prudently withdrawing to prevent riots and tumults; returning no answer till he had received one from the Lord himself, which he quickly had.

JAMISON, "neck of all nations — opposed to Jer_27:7.CALVIN, "We must also notice how craftily this impostor insinuated himself; for he seemed to imitate the true prophets of God, for he set a sign before the people, and then added a doctrine. The Papists have their empty signs, but they only delight the eyes, while yet they have no care nor concern for the ears. But Hananiah came still nearer to God’s servants, so that he might deceive even those who were not stupid. What, indeed, could we desire more in this man than that he should set forth a sign? He also added the name of God and declared what was his purpose, in this manner will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar: nor did he speak in his own name, but assumed the person of God, Thus saith Jehovah, I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar.But as we have elsewhere said, this preposterous imitation of the devil ought not to disturb pious minds; for God ever supplies his own people with the spirit of discernment, provided they humbly pray to him. And therefore whenever Jeremiah repeated the word prophet, which he conceded to Hananiah, as he assumed it himself, for whenever he spoke of Hananiah, he honored him with this name, even that he was a prophet, — the holy man was not ignorant what an occasion of offense it was, when a prophet, who is so acknowledged in the Church of God, is yet the minister of Satan, a liar and an impostor. But his object was to warn us in due time, lest novelty should frighten us when any boasts of the title of a prophet. So the Papists brag that they are prelates and bishops, and boast that they are the successors of the Apostles: but the devil is their chief, who calls himself the Vicar of Christ on the earth. Then Jeremiah designedly called Hananiah so many times a prophet, so that our faith, when any such thing happens to us, may not fail, as though some new thing had taken place. I cannot to-day finish the last part of the verse. PETT, "Jeremiah 28:11‘And Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, “Thus says YHWH, Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon within two full years from off the neck of all the nations.”Many in the crowd were probably apprehensive at what might be YHWH’s response to Hananiah’s action, perhaps he was a little apprehensive himself, but

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when nothing did happen he then declared triumphantly to the people that YHWH had said that in the same way He would break the yoke of Babylon from the neck of all the nations. He appeared to have gained a significant triumph. But his folly was shortly to be revealed. (We can tend to forget that God has plenty of time. He does not always react to things immediately).Jeremiah 28:11‘And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.’Jeremiah was probably shaken by the incident and went quietly away with nothing further to say at the time. He knew that it was time to consult with YHWH. Perhaps he too wondered why YHWH had not revealed His anger at Hananiah’s action. Or possibly he felt that the excitement of the crowds was such that it would have been foolish at the time to say anything more. But he was soon to learn that far from not being concerned about what "And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.Self in service (with Jer_26:14):—We couple these passages together, because they lead our minds to the same important thought, namely, the laying aside of “self” by the servants of the Lord. Hananiah takes the yoke from off Jeremiah s neck, and breaks it, and so discredits him and his prophecy in the presence of the people. “And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.” He left it to God to vindicate His own honour, which He did very soon—very terribly. Before the princes also, in chap. 26., he tells out uncompromisingly all the truth of God; he knew that he did so at the peril of his life. “As for me,”—he was not insensible to personal suffering, still himself he was as nothing—“behold I am in your hand, do with me as seemeth meet unto you.” By this complete abnegation of “self” on the part of the prophet, we are led to consider some matters connected with “self” in our service. There is a young period in the Christian’s life, when we are deceived by not seeing “self” at all; when we have no dread of it; when we never even suspect its existence. At this time, we mistake its energies for spiritual life, and often seek to carry out what is really the Lord’s work, in the powers and energies of the flesh, i.e. “self.” There is a period farther on, when we detect “self” partially. The Spirit of God has led us onward in our education, and raised our standard, making us watchful and distrustful of “self” to some degree. Then comes a yet more advanced stage, when we see “self” to such an extent as to make us dread it greatly when we see it ever intrusive, ever substituting motives low and mean for what should be holy and high; and we wage war with this “self,” fully determined to put it down. There is also yet a more advanced state, when we have attained such a knowledge of the power of “self” that, while we war with, and repress it, we have come to know that here we shall never have done with it, and look forward to full deliverance only when we reach that land where there is perfect freedom.I. The wrong operations of “self” in service. Much that we do may be done from the action of mere natural feelings—there may be nothing of God in it at all A man may be gratifying only his own natural energy in all that seems so earnest and true. And when we allow “self” to influence us, we shall be subjected to disturbing influences. Self-love will be easily wounded in the rough contact with opposers of the truth. And our judgment will be warped. It is very hard to be calm, and judicial, when under the influence of strong personal feelings, and where personal interests are concerned. Self

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will also drive us on too far. We shall not know when “to go our way.” We need not go far to detect some of the evil effects which flow from this wrong operation of “self” in service. It gives the enemy occasion to blaspheme. Satan continually attempts to confound persons and principles; men will look at the imperfect way in which we have manifested the principle, and not at the principle itself. Our infirmities become mixed up with the cause of God, and so far as they can, bring it into disrepute. And thus that saying becomes true—“religion suffers more from her friends than her enemies.”II. The expulsion of “self” from service. How can this be done? In the most favourable of cases only by degrees. But what is a man to do?

1. He must seek for enlightenment on this subject from the Holy Spirit.2. Let him seek for a more perfect sympathy with Christ. If we have this, we shall become assimilated with Him—we shall grow like Him; His mind will transfuse itself into our mind—and the principles, on which He acted, will become ours.3. And then the seeking for a true knowledge of our own insignificance is very important in putting down “self.” We both think and act sometimes as though we were the first cause; and not only the first cause, but the final object also—as if all were to be by us, and for us—the axe thinks that it is doing all the work, and is independent of the one that heweth therewith. The very learning our insignificance will be helpful; and, when we have learned it in some degree, it will keep us, in proportion as the lesson has been learned, to our proper place. (P. B. Power, M. A.)

was happening YHWH was about to Hananiah’s act very firmly.

12 After the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah:

GILL, "Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet,.... When in his own house or apartment, to which he retired; and this came to him either in a vision or dream, or by some articulate voice, or by an impulse upon his spirit, directing him what to say to the false prophet: after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from off the neck of the Prophet Jeremiah: how long afterwards is not known, perhaps the same day; or, however, it is certain it was in the same year, and less than two months after, Jer_28:17;

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and very probably in a few hours after: saying; as follows:

K&D 12-17, "The Lord's testimony against Hananiah. - Apparently not long afterJeremiah had departed, he received from the Lord the commission to go to Hananiah and to say to him: Jer_28:13. "Thus saith Jahveh: Yokes of wood hast thou broken, but hast made in place of them yokes of iron. Jer_28:14. For thus saith Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel: A yoke of iron I lay upon the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and they shall serve him; and the beasts of the field also have I given him." - When the prophet says: Yokes of wood hast thou broken,etc., we are not to understand him as speaking of the breaking of the wooden yoke Jeremiah had been wearing; he gives the deeper meaning of that occurrence. By breaking Jeremiah's wooden yoke, Hananiah has only signified that the yoke Nebuchadnezzar lays on the nations will not be so easily broken as a wooden one, but is of iron, i.e., not to be broken. The plural "yokes" is to be explained by the emblematical import of the words, and is not here to be identified, as it sometimes may be, with thesingular, Jer_28:10. Jer_28:14 shows in what sense Hananiah put an iron yoke in the place of the wooden one: Jahveh will lay iron yokes on all nations, that they may serve the king of Babel. Hananiah's breaking the wooden yoke does not alter the divine decree, but is made to contribute to its fuller revelation. With the last clause of Jer_28:14, cf. Jer_27:6. - Hereupon Jeremiah forewarns the false prophets what is to be God's punishment on them for their false and audacious declarations. Jer_28:15. "Hear now, Hananiah: Jahveh hath not sent thee, and thou hast made this people to believe a lie. Jer_28:16. Therefore thus saith Jahveh: Behold, I cast thee from off the face of theearth; this year shalt thou die, for thou hast spoken rebellion against Jahveh." "The year" = this year, as in Isa_37:30. The words "for thou hast spoken," etc., recall Deu_13:6. They involve an application to Hananiah's case of the command there given to put such a prophet to death, and show how it can with justice be said that the Lord will cast him from off the face of the earth. The verb משלח is chosen for the sake of the play on לא God has not sent him as prophet to His people, but will send him away from .שלחoff the earth, i.e., cause him to die. - In Jer_28:17 it is recorded that this saying was soon fulfilled. Hananiah died in the seventh month of that year, i.e., two months after his controversy with Jeremiah (cf. Jer_28:1).

CALVIN, "It hence appears that Jeremiah had regard only to the common benefit of the people, and that he wisely kept silence for a time, that he might not throw pearls before swine, and thus expose in a manner the holy name of God to the insolence of the ungodly. He therefore waited until he might again go forth with new messages, and thus secure more credit to himself. For had he contended longer with Hananiah, contentions would have been kindled on every side, there would have been no hearing in a tumult, and the Jews would have wholly disregarded anything he might have then spoken. But as he had withdrawn from the crowd, and was afterwards sent by God, the Jews could not have so presumptuously despised him or his doctrine. This, then, was the reason why he was for a short time silent.

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If he feared and trembled in the midst of these commotions, God in due time confirmed him by giving him new commands: The word of Jehovah, he says, came to Jeremiah, after Hananiah broke the band from his neck. By these words he intimates, that the ungodly, however insolently they may rise up against God, ever depart with shame and reproach. For Hananiah had not only opposed Jeremiah by his words and tongue, but had also broken the cords or bands from his neck. This, then, the Prophet now repeats, in order that he might shew, as it were by his finger, that Hananiah by his audacity gained nothing, except that he rendered his vanity more notorious. ELLICOTT, "(12) Then the word of the Lord . . .—The narrative suggests the thought of a time of silent suffering and of prayer, to which the “word of the Lord” came as an answer. And that word declared, keeping to the same symbolism as before, that all attempts at resistance to the power which was for the time the scourge, and therefore the servant, of Jehovah, would only end in a more bitter and aggravated bondage. In the “iron yoke” we have an echo of Deuteronomy 28:48.COFFMAN, "Verse 12GOD GAVE THE ANSWER; VINDICATING JEREMIAH"Then the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah, after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the bar off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying, Go, and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith Jehovah: Thou hast broken the bars of wood; but thou hast made in their stead bars of iron. For thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all the nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also. Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah: Jehovah hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie. Therefore thus saith Jehovah, Behold, I will send thee away from the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast spoken rebellion against Jehovah. So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.""Bars of wood ... bars of iron ..." (Jeremiah 28:13). The meaning here is that the Babylonian disaster coming upon the nations would be even worse after the rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar, which, of course, was finally led by Zedekiah. For Judah, it resulted in the second great siege of Jerusalem, the absolute and total destruction of the temple, and the removal of many more captives to Babylon."Jehovah hath not sent thee... I will send thee away from the face of the earth ..." (Jeremiah 28:15,16). There is a play upon the words here. Jehovah had indeed not "sent" Hananiah with his false prophecy, but God here promised that he would indeed be "sent" away from the face of the earth. This was a clear prophecy of the death of Hananiah; but God spelled it out for him, "this year thou shalt die."

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"Because thou hast spoken rebellion against Jehovah ..." (Jeremiah 28:16). This is very similar to countless other statements throughout the Bible. Note that the sentence of death here announced against Hananiah, "Accords perfectly with Deuteronomy 18:20 which declares that to prophesy falsely in the name of Jehovah, as Hananiah had done, was to commit a capital offense."[18] This is only another example of the innumerable instances in which the discernible shadow of the Pentateuch lies over every single subsequent word in the holy Bible. As Harrison pointed out, this sudden death of Hananiah is similar to the deaths of "Pelatiah (Ezekiel 11:13) and Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11)."[19]Most current commentators treat this and the preceding two chapters as a single unit, which indeed they are; but we prefer to deal with all of these chapters as units in their own right.PETT, "Jeremiah 28:12‘Then the word of YHWH came to Jeremiah, after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the bar from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying,’YHWH’s reply is specifically said to be connected with Hananiah’s action in breaking off the yoke from the neck of Jeremiah. Such were the ideas of the people that it was not something that could pass unnoticed or be ignored. It would have been looked on as highly significant.

13 “Go and tell Hananiah, ‘This is what the Lord says: You have broken a wooden yoke, but in its place you will get a yoke of iron.

CLARKE, "Yokes of iron - Instead of Nebuchadnezzar’s yoke being broken, this captivity shall be more severe than the preceding. All these nations shall have a yoke of iron on their neck. He shall subdue them and take all their property, even the beasts of the field.

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GILL, "Go and tell Hananiah, saying, thus saith the Lord,.... Whose name he had abused; whose prophet he had ill treated; and whose prophecies he had contradicted, and the symbols of them had contumeliously used: thou hast broken the yokes of wood: or, "bonds", or "the thongs" (q); with which the yokes of wood were bound and fastened, as Kimchi interprets it: but thou shall make for them yokes of iron; not Hananiah, but Jeremiah; who should prophesy of a more severe bondage the nations should be brought into by Nebuchadnezzar, in direct contradiction to Hananiah's prophecy; instead of wooden yokes, they should have iron ones; which should lie heavier, and bear harder upon them, and which could not be broken nor taken off.

HENRY 13-17, " Of the justice of God in giving judgment between Jeremiah and his adversary. Jeremiah went his way, as a man in whose mouth there was no rebuke, but God soon put a word into his mouth; for he will appear for those who silently commit their cause to him. 1. The word of God, in the mouth of Jeremiah, is ratified and confirmed. Let not Jeremiah himself distrust the truth of what he had delivered in God's name because it met with such a daring opposition and contradiction. If what we have spoken be the truth of God, we must not unsay it because men gainsay it; for great is the truth and will prevail. It will stand, therefore let us stand to it, and not fear that men's unbelief or blasphemy will make it of no effect. Hananiah has broken the yokes of wood,but Jeremiah must make for them yokes of iron, which cannot be broken (Jer_28:13), for (says God) “I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, which shall lie heavier, and bind harder, upon them (Jer_28:14), that they may serve the king of Babylon, and not be able to shake off the yoke however they may struggle, for they shall serve him whether they will or no;” and who is he that can contend with God's counsel? What was said before is repeated again: I have given him the beasts of the field also, as if there were something significant in that. Men had by their wickedness made themselves like the beasts that perish, and therefore deserved to be ruled by an arbitrary power, as beasts are ruled, and such a power Nebuchadnezzar ruled with; for whom he would he slew and whom he would he kept alive. 2. Hananiah is sentenced to die for contradicting it, and Jeremiah, when he has received commission from God, boldly tells him so to his face, though before he received that commission he went away and said nothing. (1.) The crimes of which Hananiah stands convicted are cheating the people and affronting God: Thou makest this people to trust in a lie, encouraging them to hope that they shall have peace, which will make their destruction the more terrible to them when it comes; yet this was not the worst: Thou hast taught rebellion against the Lord; thou hast taught them to despise all the good counsel given them in God's name by the true prophets, and hast rendered it ineffectual. Those have a great deal to answer for who, by telling sinners that they shall have peace though they go on, harden their hearts in a contempt of the reproofs and admonitions of the word, and the means and methods God takes to bring them to repentance. (2.) The judgment given against him is, “I will cast thee off from the face of the earth, as unworthy to live upon it; thou shalt be buried in it. This year thou shalt die, and die as a rebel against the Lord, to whom death will come with a sting and a curse.” This sentence was executed, Jer_28:17. Hananiah died the same year, within two months; for his prophecy is dated the fifth month (Jer_28:1) and his death the seventh. Good men may perhaps be suddenly taken off by death in the

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midst of their days, and in mercy to them, as Josiah was; but this being foretold as the punishment of his sin, and coming to pass accordingly, it may safely be construed as a testimony from Heaven against him and a confirmation of Jeremiah's mission. And, if the people's hearts had not been wretchedly hardened by the deceitfulness of sin, it would have prevented their being further hardened by the deceitfulness of their prophets.

JAMISON, "Thou hast broken ... wood ... thou shalt make ... iron — Not here, “Thou hast broken ... wood,” and “I will make ... iron” (compare Jer_28:16). The same false prophets who, by urging the Jews to rebel, had caused them to throw off the then comparatively easy yoke of Babylon, thereby brought on them a more severe yoke imposed by that city. “Yokes of iron,” alluding to Deu_28:48. It is better to take up a light cross in our way, than to pull a heavier on our own heads. We may escape destroying providences by submitting to humbling providences. So, spiritually, contrast the “easy yoke” of Christ with the “yoke of bondage” of the law (Act_15:10; Gal_5:1).

CALVIN, "Now it is an abrupt sentence when he says, Go and speak to Hananiah, saying, Thus saith Jehovah, Thou hast broken the wooden bands; but make to thee iron bands; Jeremiah does not keep to the same point; for in the first clause he relates what he had been commanded to say to Hananiah; and in the second he relates what God had commanded him to do, even iron bands. But there is no obscurity as to the meaning; for doubtless the Prophet might have arranged his words thus, “Thou hast broken the bands from my neck; but God has commanded me to make new ones from iron.” (199) Though Jeremiah, then, only tells us here that God commanded him to make iron bands, it may yet be easily concluded that when he spoke of wooden bands he at the same time added what he relates of iron bands, but in a different connection., Now follows the explanation, —The yokes of wood thou hast broken, But I have made for them yokes of iron.Or if the vau be considered conversive, the line would be, —But I will make for them yokes of iron.The exigency of a passage is one of our best guides. — Ed. WHEDON, " 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.”

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PULPIT, "The yokes of wood; rather, a yoke of wood. The word rendered in the Authorized Version" yokes" means properly "poles," two of which, with the "bands," composed a "yoke" (see on Jeremiah 27:2). But thou shalt make; rather, but thou hast made. The sense in which Hananiah is said to have made "a yoke of iron" (we should render in the singular) comes out in Jeremiah 28:14. The point is that there was a certain justification for Hananiah's violent act, but not that which he supposed. Jeremiah's wooden yoke was really an inadequate symbol; the prophet was too tender to his people. Thus God made the truth appear in still fuller brightness from the very perverseness of its enemy.MACLAREN, "YOKES OF WOOD AND IRONJeremiah 28:13.I suppose that I had better begin by a word of explanation as to the occasion of this saying. One king of Judah had already been carried off to Babylon, and the throne refilled by his brother, a puppet of the conquerors. This shadow of a king, with the bulk of the nation, was eager for revolt. Jeremiah had almost single-handed to stem the tide of the popular wish. He steadfastly preached submission, not so much to Nebuchadnezzar as to God, who had sent the invaders as chastisement. The lesson was a difficult one to learn, and the people hated the teacher. In the Jerusalem of Jeremiah’s day, as in other places and at other times, a love of country which is not blind to its faults and protests against a blatant militarism, was scoffed at as ‘unpatriotic,’ ‘playing into the hands of the enemy,’ ‘seeking peace at any price,’ whilst an insane eagerness to rush to arms without regard to resources or righteousness was called a ‘spirited foreign policy.’ So Jeremiah had plenty of enemies.He had adopted a strange way of enforcing his counsel, which would be ridiculous to-day, but was natural and impressive then and there. He constantly for months went about with an ox-yoke on his neck, as a symbol of the submission which he advocated. One day, in the temple, before a public assembly, a certain Hananiah, a member of the opposite faction, made a fierce attack on the prophet and his teaching, and uttered a counter-prophecy to the effect that, in two years, the foreign invasion would be at an end, and all would be as it used to be. Our prophet answered very quietly, saying in effect, ‘I hope to God that it may be true; the event will show.’ And then Hananiah, encouraged by his meekness, proceeded to violence, tore the yoke off his shoulders and snapped it in two, reiterating his prophecy. Then Jeremiah went away home.Soon after, the voice which he knew to be God’s, and not his own thoughts, spoke within him, and gave a much sharper answer. God declared, through Jeremiah, the plain truth that, for a tiny kingdom like Judah to perk itself up in the face of a world-conquering power like Babylon, could only bring down greater severity from the conqueror. And then he declared that Hananiah, for rebellion-not against

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Babylon, but against God, the true King of Israel-would be taken from the earth. He died in a couple of months.My text forms the first word of this divine message. I have nothing more to do with its original application. It gives a picturesque setting to a very impressive and solemn truth; very familiar, no doubt, but none the less because of its familiarity needing to be dinned into people’s ears. It is that to throw off legitimate authority is to bind on a worse tyranny. To some kind of yoke all of us must bend our necks, and if we slip them out we do not thereby become independent, but simply bring upon ourselves a heavier pressure of a harder bondage. The remainder of my remarks will simply go to illustrate that principle in two or three cases of ascending importance. I begin at the bottom.I. We have the choice between the yoke of law and the iron yoke of lawlessness.We all know that society could not be held together without some kind of restraints upon what is done, and some stimulus to do what is apt to be neglected. Even a band of brigands, or a crew of pirates, must have some code. I have read somewhere that the cells in a honeycomb are circles squeezed by the pressure of the adjacent cells into the hexagonal shape which admits of contiguity. If they continued circles there would be space and material lost, and no complete continuity. So, in like manner, you cannot keep five men together without some mutual limitations which are shaped into a law. Now, as long as a man keeps inside it, he does not feel its pressure. A great many of us, for instance, who are in the main law-abiding people, do not ever remember that there is such a thing as restrictions upon our licence, or as obligations to perform certain duties; for we never think either of taking the licence or of shirking the duties. The yoke that is accepted ceases to press. Once let a man step outside, and what then? Why, then, he is an outlaw; and the rough side of the law is turned to him, and all possible terrors, which people within the boundary have nothing to do with, gather themselves together and frown down upon him. The sheep that stops inside the pasture is never torn by the barbed wires of the fence. If you think of the life of a criminal, with all its tricks and evasions, taking ‘every bush to be an officer,’ as Shakespeare says; or as the first of the brood who was the type of them all said, ‘Every man that seeth me shall kill me’: if you think of the sword that hangs over the head of every law-breaker, and which he knows is hanging by a hair; if you think of men in counting-houses who have manipulated the books of the firm, and who durst not be away from their desks for a day lest all should come to light; and if you think of the punishment that follows sooner or later, you will see that it is better to bear the light yoke of the law than the heavy yoke of crime. Some men buy their ruin very dearly.So much for the individual. But there is another aspect of this same principle on which I venture to say a word, although it is only a word, in passing. I do not suppose that there are many of my hearers who are likely to commit overt breaches of the law. But there are a great many of us who are apt to neglect the obligations of citizenship. In a community like ours, laziness, fastidiousness, absorption in our own

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occupations, and a number of other more or less reputable reasons, tempt many to stand aloof from the plain imperative obligations of every citizen in a free country. Every man who thus neglects to do his part for the common weal does his part in handing over the rule of the community to the least worthy. You will find-as you see in some democratic countries to-day, where the cultivated classes, and the classes with the sternest morality, have withdrawn in disgust from the turmoil-the mob having the upper hand, the least worthy scrambling into high places, and the community suffering, and bearing a heavier yoke, by reason of the unwillingness of some to bear the yoke and do the duty of a citizen. Vice lifts up its head, morality is scouted, self-interest is pursued unblushingly, and the whole tone of public opinion is lowered. Christian men and women, remember that you are members of a community, and you bear the yoke of responsibility therefore; and if you do not discharge your obligation, then you will have a heavier burden still to bear.I need not remind you, I suppose, of how this same thesis-that we have to choose between the yoke of law and the iron yoke of lawlessness-is illustrated in the story of almost all violent revolutions. They run the same course. First a nation rises up against intolerable oppression, then revolution devours its own children, and the scum rises to the top of the boiling pot. Then comes, in the language of the picturesque historian of the French Revolution, the type of them all-then comes at the end ‘the whiff of grapeshot’ and the despot. First the government of a mob, and then the tyranny of an emperor, crush the people that shake off the yoke of reasonable law. That is my first point.II. Let me take a higher illustration;-we have to choose between the yoke of virtue and the iron yoke of vice.We are under a far more spiritual and searching law than that written in any statute-book, or administered by any court. Every man carries within his own heart the court, the tribunal; the culprit and the judge. And here too, if law is not obeyed, the result is not liberty, but the slavery of lawlessness.No man can ponder his own nature and make without feeling that on every fibre of him is stamped a great law which he is bound to obey, and that on every fibre of him is impressed the necessity of part of his nature coercing, restraining, or spurring other parts of it. For, if we take stock of ourselves, what do we find? The broad basis of the pyramid, as it were, is laid in the faculties nearest the earth, the appetites which are inseparable from our corporeal being, and these know nothing about right or wrong, but are utterly blind to such distinctions. Put a loaf before a hungry man, and his mouth waters, whether the loaf belongs to himself or whether it is inside a baker’s window.Then above these, as the next course of the pyramid, there are other desires, sentiments, affections, and emotions, less grossly sensuous than those of which I have been speaking, but still equally certain to be excited by the presence of their appropriate object, without any consideration of whether law is broken or kept in

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securing of it. Above these, which are, so to speak, branded on their very foreheads with the iron of slavery, stand certain faculties which are as clearly anointed to rule as the others are intended to serve. There is reason or intelligence, which is evidently meant to be eyes to these blind instincts and emotions of desire, and there is what we call the power of will, that stands like an engine-driver with his hand upon the lever which will either stop the engine or accelerate its revolutions. It says to passions and desires ‘Go!’ and they go; and, alas! it sometimes says ‘Halt!’ and they will not halt. Then there is conscience, which brings to light for every man something higher than himself. A great philosopher once said that the two sublimest things in the universe were the moral law and the starry heavens; and that law ‘I ought’ bends over us like the starry heavens with which he associated it. No man can escape from the pressure of duty, and on every man is laid, by his very make, the twofold obligation, first to look upwards and catch the behests of that solemn law, and then to turn his eyes and his strength inwards and coerce or spur, as the case may be, the powers of his nature, and rule the kingdom within himself.Now, as long as a man lets the ruling parts of his nature guide the lower faculties, he feels comparatively no pressure from the yoke. But, if he once allows beggars to ride on horseback whilst princes walk- sense and appetite and desire, and more or less refined forms of inclination, to take the place which belongs only to conscience interpreting duty-then he has exchanged the easy yoke for one that is heavy indeed.What does a man do when, instead of loyally accepting the conditions of his nature, and bowing himself to serve the all-embracing and all-penetrating law of duty, he sets up inclination of any sort in its place? What does he do? I will tell you. He unships the helm; he flings compass and sextant overboard; he fires up the furnaces, and screws down the safety-valve, and says, ‘Go ahead!’ And what will be the end of that, think you? Either an explosion or a crash upon a reef; and you may take your choice of which is the better kind of death-to be blown up or to go down. Keep within the law of conscience, and let it govern all inclinations, and most of all the animal part of your nature; and you will feel little pressure, and no pain, from the yoke. Shake it off, and there is fulfilled in the disobedient man the threatening of my text, which rightly translated ought to be, ‘Thou hast broken the yokes of wood, and thou hast made instead of them yokes of iron.’For do you think it will be easy to serve the base-born parts of your nature, when you set them on the throne and tell them to govern you? Did you never hear of such a thing as a man’s vices getting such a hold on him that, when his weakened will tried to shake them off, they laughed in his face and said, ‘Here we are still’? Did you never hear of that other solemn truth-and have you never experienced how true it is?-that no man can say, ‘I will let my inclination have its fling this once’? There are never ‘this onces.’ or very, very seldom. When you are glissading down a snowy Alpine slope, you cannot stop when you like, though you strike your alpenstock ever so deep into the powdery snow. If you have started, away you must go. God be thanked! the illustration does not altogether apply, for a man can stop if he will repent, but he cannot stop unless he does. Did you never hear that a teaspoonful of

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narcotic to-day will have to be a tablespoonful in a week or two, to produce the same effect? Are there not plenty of men who have said with all the force that a weakened will has left in it, ‘I will never touch a drop of drink again, as long as I live, God helping me’?-and they have gone down the street, and they have turned in, not at the first or the second public-house, but at the fourth or the fifth. Ah! brother, ‘they promised them liberty, but they are the servants of corruption.’ Fix this in your minds. ‘He that committeth sin is the slave of sin,’ of the sin that he commits. Do not put off the easy yoke of obedience to conscience and duty, or you will find that there is an iron one, with many a sharp point in its unpolished surface rubbing into your skin and wounding your shoulders. ‘It’s wiser to be good than bad. It’s safer to be meek than fierce.’ ‘Thou hast broken the yokes of wood’; it is not difficult to do that; ‘thou hast made instead of them yokes of iron.’ That is my second point.III. Lastly, we have the choice between the yoke of Christ and the iron yoke of godlessness.You may think that to be a very harsh saying, and much too vehement an antithesis. Let me vindicate it according to my own belief in a sentence or two. It seems to me that for civilised and cultivated Europe at this day, the choice lies between accepting Jesus Christ as the Revealer of God, or wandering away out into the wastes of uncertainty, or as they call it nowadays, agnosticism and doubt. I believe myself, and I venture to state it here-though there is not time to do more than state it-that no form of what is now called Theism, which does not accept the historic revelation of God in Jesus Christ as the ‘master-light of all our seeing,’ will ever be able to sustain itself permanently in the face of present currents of opinion. If you do not take Christ for your Teacher, you are handed over either to the uncertainty of your own doubts, or to pinning your faith to some man and enrolling yourself as a disciple who is prepared to swallow down whole whatsoever the rabbi may say, and so giving to him what you will not give to Jesus; or else you will sink back into utter indolence and carelessness about the whole matter; or else you will go and put your belief and your soul into the hands of a priest, and shut your eyes and open your mouth and take whatever tradition may choose to send you. The one refuge from all these, as I believe, is to go to Him and learn of Him, and so take His yoke upon your shoulders.But, let me say further, it is better to obey Christ’s commandments than to set ourselves against them. For if we will take His will for our law, and meekly assume the yoke of loyal and loving obedience to Him, the door into an earthly paradise is thrown open to us. His yoke is easy, not because its prescriptions and provisions lower the standard of righteousness and morality, but because love becomes the motive; and it is always blessed to do that which the Beloved desires. When ‘I will’ and ‘I ought’ cover exactly the same ground, then there is no kind of pressure from the yoke. Christ’s yoke is easy because, too, He gives the power to obey His commandments. His burden is such a burden {as I think one of the old fathers puts it} as sails are to a ship or wings to a bird. They add to the weight, but they carry that which carries them. So Christ’s yoke bears the man that bears it. It is easy, too,

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because ‘in,’ and not only after or for, ‘keeping of it there is great reward’; seeing that He commands nothing which is not congruous with the highest good, and bringing along with it the purest blessing. Instead of that yoke, what has the world to offer, or what do we get to dominate us, if we cast off Christ? Self, the old anarch self, and that is misery. To be self-ruled is to be self-destroyed.There is no need that I should remind you of how it is better to accept Christ’s providences than to kick against them. Sorrow to which we submit loses all its bitterness and much of its sadness. Kicking against the affliction makes its sharp point penetrate our limbs. The bird that will dash itself against the wires of its cage beats itself all bloody and torn. Let us take the providence and it ceases to be hard.One last word;-we all carry an iron yoke upon our shoulders. For, hard as it is for us preachers to get our friends that listen to us to believe and realise it, ‘We all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.’ That yoke is on us all. And I, for my part, believe that no man by his own efforts can cast it off, but that the attempt to do so often brings greater strength to the sins that we seek to cast out, just as the more you mow the grass, the thicker and the stronger it grows. So I come with the great message which Jesus Christ Himself struck as the keynote and prelude of His whole ministry, when in the synagogue He said, ‘The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me . . . to preach deliverance to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.’ He, and He only, will break every yoke and let the oppressed go free. And then He addresses us, after He has done that, with the immortal words, the sweetness of whose sound, sweet as it is, is less than the sweetness of their sense: ‘Take My yoke upon you . . . and ye shall find rest to your souls.’ Oh, brother! will you not answer, ‘O Lord! truly I am Thy servant. Thou hast loosed my bonds, and thereby bound me for ever to wear Thy yoke’; as the slave clings to his ransomer, and delights to serve him all the days of his life?PETT, "Jeremiah 28:13-14“Go, and tell Hananiah, saying, ‘Thus says YHWH, You have broken the bars of wood, but you have made in their place bars of iron’. For thus says YHWH of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘I have put a yoke of iron on the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and they will serve him, and I have given him the beasts of the field as well’.”YHWH points out through Jeremiah that by breaking the wooden yoke Hananiah has accomplished nothing. He has only added to the woes of the nations, for it has meant that YHWH has replaced His wooden yoke with a yoke of iron on all the nations involved. It meant that Nebuchadnezzar’s position was even more secure. And while Hananiah might break a wooden yoke, he would be totally unable to break a yoke of iron. His action had thus caused the people nothing but harm. The reference to the ‘beasts of the field’ in addition to men reminds us of Jeremiah 27:6 and demonstrates Nebuchadnezzar’s total control of the area and of all forms of life (compare also Jonah 4:11 which demonstrates how closely man and beast were seen

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as involved with each other).BI, "Thou hast broken the yokes of wood; but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron.Yokes of wood and of ironTo throw off legitimate authority is to bind on a worse tyranny. Some kind of yoke every one of us must bend our necks to, and if we slip them out we do not thereby become independent, but simply bring upon ourselves a heavier pressure of a harder bondage.I. We have the choice between the yoke of law and the iron yoke of lawlessness. Even a band of brigands, or a crew of pirates, must have some code. I have read somewhere that the cells in a honeycomb are circles squeezed by the pressure of the adjacent cells into the hexagonal shape which admits of contiguity. If they continued circles, there would be space and material lest, and no complete continuity. So, in like manner, you cannot keep five men together without some mutual limitations which are shaped into a law. Now, as long as a man keeps inside it he does not feel its pressure. A great many of us, for instance, who are in the main law-abiding people, do not ever remember that there is such a thing as restrictions upon our licence, or the obligation to perform certain duties; for we never think either of taking the licence or of shirking the duties. The yoke that is accepted ceases to press. Once let a man step outside, and what then? Why, then, he is an outlaw; and the rough side of the fence is turned outwards, and all possible terrors, which people within the boundary have nothing to do with, gather themselves together and frown down upon him. I need not remind you of how this same thesis—that we have to choose between the yoke of law and the iron yoke of lawlessness—is illustrated in the story of almost all violent revolutions. They run the same course. First the rising up of a nation against intolerable oppression, then revolution devours its own children, and the scum rises to the top of the boiling pot. Then comes, in the language of the picturesque historian of the French Revolution, the type of them all—then comes at the end “the whiff of grapeshot” and the despot. First the government of a mob, and then the tyranny of an emperor comes to the people that shake off the yoke of reasonable law.II. We have to choose between the yoke of virtue and the iron yoke of vice. We are under a far more spiritual and searching law than that written in any statute-book, or administered by any Court. Every man carries within his own heart two things, and two persons; the court, the tribunal, the culprit, and the judge. And here, too, if law be not obeyed, the result is not liberty, but the slavery of lawlessness. A great philosopher once said that the two sublimest things in the universe were the moral law and the starry heavens. And that law “I ought” bends over us like the starry heavens with which he associated it. No man can escape from the pressure of duty, and on every man is laid, by his very make, the twofold obligation, first to look upwards and catch the behests of that solemn law of duty, and then to turn his eyes and his strength inwards and coerce or spur, as the case may be, the powers of his nature, and rule the kingdom within himself. Now, as long as a man lets the ruling parts of his nature guide the lower faculties, he feels comparatively no pressure from the yoke. But if he once allows beggars to ride on horseback whilst princes walk—sense and appetite and desire, and more or less refined forms of inclination to take the place which belongs only to conscience interpreting duty—then he has exchanged the easy yoke for one that is heavy indeed. What does a man do when, instead of loyally accepting the conditions of his nature, and bowing himself to serve the all-embracing law of duty, he sets up inclination of any sort in its place? What does he do? I will tell you. He unships the helm; he pitches compass and

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sextant overboard; he fires up the furnaces, and screws down the safety-valve, and says, “Go ahead!” And what will be the end of that, think you! Either an explosion or a crash upon a reef! and you may take your choice of which is the better kind of death—to be blown up or to go down.III. We have the choice between the yoke of Christ and the iron yoke of godlessness. If you do not take Christ for your Teacher you are handed over either to the uncertainty of your own doubts or to pinning your faith to some man and enrolling yourself as a disciple who is prepared to swallow down whole whatsoever the rabbi may say, giving to him what you will not give to Jesus; or else you will sink back into utter indolence and carelessness about the whole matter; or else you will go and put your belief and your soul into the hands of a priest; or shut your eyes and open your mouth and take whatever” tradition may choose to send you. The one refuge from all these, as I believe, is to go to Him and learn of Him, and take His yoke upon your shoulders. But, let me say further, it is better to obey Christ’s commandments than to set ourselves against them. For if we will take His will for our law, and meekly assume the yoke of loyal and loving obedience to Him, the door into an earthly paradise is thrown open to us. His yoke is easy, not because its prescriptions and provisions lower the standard of righteousness and morality, but because love becomes the motive, and it is always blessed to do that which the Beloved desires. When “I will” and “I ought” cover exactly the same ground, then there is no kind of pressure from the yoke. Christ’s yoke is easy because, too, He gives the power to obey His commandments. (A. Maclaren, D. D.)

The two yokesI. Men must wear some yoke. In every stage of life—childhood, youth, manhood; and in every station of life—servants, masters, &c.

1. God has made and sustains us, and asks that we submit to His will2. With our passions and propensities, if we break the yoke it is meet we should wear, and do not serve God, we at once bend our necks to another yoke and serve slavishly our own selves.

II. Christ’s yoke is an easy one to wear.1. The yoke of Christ is a right one. Serve Jesus Christ, and it is found that the Christian law is perfection itself.2. The yoke of Christ is framed in our interest. To believe in Christ is the highest wisdom; to repent of sin is the most delightful necessity; to follow after holiness is the most blissful pursuit; to become a servant of Christ is to be made a king and priest unto God.3. Christ s yoke is not exacting. He, in His grace, always gives us of His bounty when He asks of us our duty.4. It is an easy yoke. Never did a man wear it but he always loved to wear it.5. The bright example of Christ makes the yoke pleasant to bear. He Himself has carried the very yoke we bear, and we have blessed fellowship with Him in this.6. All who have borne Christ’s yoke have had grace given equal to the weight of the burden. Wolsey regretted that he had not “served God with half the zeal he had

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served his king,” but none has ever bewailed the zeal with which he followed Christ!7. Christians who have borne this yoke always desire to get their children into it. Often men say, “I do not want my sons to follow my trade, it is wearying, its pay is small,” &c.

III. Those who refuse Christ’s easy yoke will have to wear a worse one.1. Turning from the right road, from the cry of rectitude, because it threatens shame or loss, will entail vaster after-losses.2. Backsliders, by putting off the yoke of Christianity, have not improved their condition.3. They who refuse the Bible and follow tradition, Do these perverts of the true Christian religion get an easier yoke? No.; there are penances and mortifications, &c,4. The self-righteous who attempt to work their own way to heaven. Self-righteousness is an iron yoke indeed.5. Unbelievers, who will not believe the simple revelation of God, presently find themselves committed to systematic misbeliefs, which distract reason, oppress the heart, and trammel the conscience.6. Lovers of pleasure. Pleasure often means lust, and gaiety means crime; and self-indulgence brings beggary and degradation, In the last tremendous day of Christ’s coming to judgment, the Christian’s yoke will be as a chain of gold about his neck; but sin, pleasure, will be as an iron yoke, a burden of enslaving woe. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

14 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I will put an iron yoke on the necks of all these nations to make them serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and they will serve him. I will even give him control over the wild animals.’”

GILL, "For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel,.... Under which titles 55

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he is often spoken of; and which he uses, when he delivered anything to his prophets to declare in his name to others: I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations: mentioned in Jer_27:3; that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and they shall serve him; directly contrary to what Hananiah had prophesied, Jer_28:11; that his yoke should be broke off from them; but instead of that, it should become heavier unto them, and they should be obliged to serve him, whether they would or not; and refusing to pay tribute to him, should be carried captive by him, as had been foretold: and I have given him the beasts of the field also; as he had said he would, Jer_27:6; and which is repeated, to show that the whole would be punctually fulfilled; that not only those nations, the men, the inhabitants of them, would be delivered to him; but even the very cattle, and all that belonged to them.

JAMISON, "I have put — Though Hananiah and those like him were secondary instruments in bringing the iron yoke on Judea, God was the great First Cause (Jer_27:4-7).

CALVIN, "It would have been a vain spectacle, had Jeremiah brought only his iron band around his neck; but when he added an explanation of the symbol, he no doubt prevailed on many to believe his prophecy, and rendered those inexcusable who had hardened themselves in their wickedness. But it is worthy of being observed, that God replaced the wooden bands with iron bands; and he did this, because the whole people had through their foolish and wicked consent approved of the madness of that impostor, who had dared to profane that symbol, by which God had testified that he did not speak in vain, but seriously by the mouth of his servant.A profitable doctrine may be hence elicited, — that the ungodly by barking against God gain nothing, except that they kindle more and more his wrath, and thus render double their own evils, like a dog, who being ensnared obstinately strives to extricate himself from the snare and to shake it off, and thus strangles himself. In like manner the ungodly, the more they resist God, the heavier judgment they procure for themselves. And, therefore, whenever God declares to us that he is offended with our sins, we ought to take heed, lest while we seek to break the wooden bands, he be preparing and forming for us iron bands. Our condition will ever become worse, unless we humbly deprecate God’s wrath as soon as it appears, and also patiently submit to his scourges when he chastises us for our offenses. We ought then to bear this in mind as to the wooden and iron bands.He adds, Upon the neck of all these nations The Jews, as it has been stated, hoped that Nebuchadnezzar could be in a moment driven back beyond the Euphrates, and would be made to surrender other countries which he had occupied; and all the neighboring nations had conspired, and sent ambassadors here and there; and when the Amorites, the Moabites, and other nations gave encouragement to the Jews, they

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also in their turn animated others, so that they might all make an assault on the Babylonians. As, then, such a secret conspiracy gave courage to the Jews, this was the reason why the Prophet spoke of other nations. He says, And they shall serve him He had, indeed, already subdued all these countries; but the Prophet means, that the domination of the king of Babylon would continue, though Hananiah had said, that it would stand only for two years. Continuance, then, is set in opposition to a short time, as though the Prophet had said, “Let, indeed, the nations chafe and fret, but they shall abide under the yoke of King Nebuchadnezzar, and in vain shall they attempt to extricate themselves, for God has delivered them up to bondage.”This servitude may at the same time be explained in another way; the condition of these nations was bearable, as long as Nebuchadnezzar ordered tribute to be paid; and when he sent his prefects, the object was no other than to retain possession; but when he found that they could not be otherwise subdued than by a harder servitude, he began to exercise great tyranny, though he had been before an endurable master. The same thing may be also said of the Jews; for we know that they had been tributaries to the king of Babylon; and as he had spared them, his humanity might have been deemed a sort of liberty; but when he found that a hard wood could not be split but by a hard wedge, he began more violently to oppress them. Then that servitude began which is now mentioned. The Jews, therefore, began then really to serve the king of Babylon, when he saw that they would not endure that bearable yoke which he had laid on them, but in their obstinacy and pride ever struggled against it.The Prophet adds, The beast of the field have 1 also given him By these words he indirectly upbraids the Jews, as we have before reminded you, with their perverseness, because they perceived not that it was the righteous judgment of God, that Nebuchadnezzar imposed laws on them as a conqueror; for they would have been defended by a celestial aid, as it is said by Moses, had they not deprived themselves of it. (Deuteronomy 29:25.) As, then, they had long rejected the protection of God, hence it was that Nebuchadnezzar invaded their country and conquered them. As they now continued to bite and champ their bridle, the Prophet exposes their madness; for they did not humble themselves under the mighty hand of God, while wild beasts, void of reason and understanding, perceived that it happened through God’s secret and wonderful providence, that Nebuchadnezzar took possession of these lands. This, then, is the reason why the Prophet expressly mentioned wild beasts, as though he said, that the Jews were so refractory, that there was in them less reason, humility, and solicitude than in lions, bears, and animals of the like kind; for through the secret impulse of God the wild beasts submitted to the authority of King Nebuchadnezzar, while the Jews became more and more insolent. It was the highest madness not to acknowledge God’s judgment, while this was done by wild and savage animals. It follows, —

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15 Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, “Listen, Hananiah! The Lord has not sent you, yet you have persuaded this nation to trust in lies.

CLARKE, "Hear now, Hananiah; the Lord hath not sent thee - This was a bold speech in the presence of those priests and people who were prejudiced in favor of this false prophet, who prophesied to them smooth things. In such cases men wish to be deceived.

GILL, "Then said Jeremiah the prophet unto Hananiah the prophet,.... The false prophet, as he is again called by the Targum, and in the Syriac version; where he went to him, and met with him, whether in the temple or elsewhere, is not mentioned; very probably in some public place, that there might be witnesses of what was said; for it was for the conviction of others, as well as for his own confusion, the following things are observed: hear now, Hananiah, the Lord hath not sent thee; though he spoke in his name, and pretended a mission from him, when he had none, which was abominable wickedness: but thou makest this people to trust in a lie: that the Lord would break off the yoke of the king of Babylon, and free the nations from servitude to him, particularly Judea; and that the king, and his princes, and people, and the vessels of the temple, carried away with him, would be returned within two years; this the people depended on as coming from the Lord, when he was not sent by him.

JAMISON, "makest ... trust in a lie — (Jer_29:31; Eze_13:22).CALVIN, "There would not have been weight enough in the plain teaching of Jeremiah had he not confronted his adversary, as the case is at this day with us; when insolent and unprincipled men rise up and dare to vomit forth their blasphemies, by which they darken and degrade the doctrines of true religion, we are under the necessity to contend with them, otherwise what we teach would be

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ineffectual; for the minds of many, I mean the simple, are in suspense and fluctuate when they see a great conflict between two contrary parties. It was therefore necessary for the holy man to expose the lies of Hananiah, for he ever vaunted himself and boasted of his own predictions.But what did Jeremiah say? Jehovah hath not sent thee This refutation ought to be noticed whenever we contend with Satan’s ministers and false teachers; for whatever they may pretend, and with whatever masks they may cover their lies, this one thing ought to be more than sufficient to put an end to their boastings, — that they have not been sent by the Lord. Jeremiah might have contended in a long speech with Hananiah, for he might have been made sufficiently eloquent through the Holy Spirit suggesting and dictating whatever was needful on the subject; but this concise brevity produced much greater effect than if he had made great display and used many words. Let this, then, be borne in mind, that wherever there is a controversy about religion, we ought ever to ask whether he who speaks has been sent by God; for whatever he may babble, though the most acute, and though he may talk things which may fill with wonder the minds of the simple, yet all this is nothing but smoke when his doctrine is not from God. So also we ought at this day to deal in a brief manner with those mercenary dogs of the Pope who bark against the pure truth of the Gospel; we ought to be satisfied with this compendious answer, — that God is not their master and teacher. But as our state now is different from that of the ancient people, we must observe that sent by the Lord is he only whose doctrine is according to the rule of the Law, and of the Prophets, and of the Gospel. If, then, we desire to know whom the Lord has sent, and whom he approves as his servants, let us come to the Scripture, and let there be a thorough examination; he who speaks according to the Law, the Prophets, and the Gospel, has a sure and an indubitable evidence of his divine call; but he who cannot prove that he draws what he advances from these fountains, whatever his pretences may be, ought to be repudiated as a false prophet. We hence see what an important instruction this passage contains.He then adds, Thou hast made this people to rely on falsehood They pervert the meaning of the Prophet who thus render the words, “Thou hast falsely rendered this people secure,” at least they lessen by one half what the Prophet intended to express; for not only is Hananiah condemned because he vainly and falsely pretended God’s name, but the word שקר , shicor, is introduced, the very thing employed; as though he had said, “Thou feedest this people with a vain hope which thou hast formed in thine own brains; therefore thy fictions make this people to go astray.” Hence Jeremiah not only accused this impostor that he by his fictions deceived the people, but also that he brought forward his prophecies in God’s name; and these removed their fear and gave them some hope, so that the people became torpid in their security.Let us learn from this passage that we ought especially to take heed when the ground of trust is the subject, lest we rely on any empty or perishable thing, like wretched hypocrites who devour shadows only, and afterwards find nothing solid in

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their own fictions. But when we refer to trust, let there be something solid on which we can safely rely; and we know that we cannot possibly be disappointed, if we look to God for all things, if we recumb on his mercy alone; for there is no rest nor peace for us anywhere else but in Christ. Let us then retain this object of trust, and let it be our only support. It follows, — ELLICOTT, " (15) Hear now, Hananiah . . .—The narrative leaves the time and place of the interview uncertain, but suggests an interval of some days between it and the scene in the Temple court just narrated. In the strength of the “word of the Lord” which had come to him, the prophet can now tell his rival that he is a pretender, claiming the gift of prophecy for his own purposes and that of his party. There is a strange significance in the fact that the same official title is applied to both the true and the false prophets.PETT, "Jeremiah 28:15‘Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, “Hear now, Hananiah. YHWH has not sent you, but you make this people to trust in a lie.” “Therefore thus says YHWH, Behold, I will send you away from off the face of the earth. This year you will die, because you have spoken rebellion against YHWH.”And because YHWH had not sent him, and because he had made the people trust in a lie, he was convicted of being a false prophet, and the punishment for that was death (Deuteronomy 18 22). It was therefore YHWH’s intention that he be removed from the face of the earth, and that he die within the year, because he had spoken rebellion against YHWH. Because YHWH had not ‘sent’ him He would now ‘send’ him away altogether.PULPIT, "The prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet. In one sense Hananiah was a prophet as much as Jeremiah. He claimed to have received the prophetic call, and God alone, who searcheth the heart, could pronounce upon the justice of his claim. Whatever training was regarded as necessary for the office he had probably gone through, and now for a number of years he had been universally recognized as a member of the prophetic class. Probably he had those natural gifts, including a real, though dim and not unerring, "second sight," which seems to have formed the substratum of Old Testament prophecy; but he certainly had not the moral backbone so conspicuous in Jeremiah, and he lacked that intimate communion with God (this became dear on the present occasion) which alone warranted the assurance that "Jehovah, the God of Israel, hath sent me."

16 Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I am 60

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about to remove you from the face of the earth. This very year you are going to die, because you have preached rebellion against the Lord.’”

BARNES, "I will cast thee - Rather, I send thee away. God had not sent Hananiah to prophesy, but He does now send him away to die.

Taught rebellion - As Nebuchadnezzar was Yahweh’s servant, to teach rebellion against him was to teach rebellion against his Master.

CLARKE, "This year thou shalt die - By this shall the people know who is the true prophet. Thou hast taught rebellion against the Lord, and God will cut thee off; and this shall take place, not within seventy years, or two years, but in this very year, and within two months from this time.

GILL, "Therefore thus saith the Lord,.... Because of this heinous offence, in lying in the name of the Lord, and deceiving the people: behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth; with the utmost indignation and abhorrence, as not worthy to live upon it: it signifies that he should die, and that not a natural, but violent death, by the immediate hand of God, by some judgment upon him; and so be by force taken off the earth, and buried in it, and be no more seen on it: this year thou shalt die; within the present year, reckoning from this time; so that, had he died any time within twelve months from hence, it would have been sufficient to have verified the prophecy: because thou hast taught rebellion against the Lord; to despise his word by his prophet; to contradict his will; to refuse subjection to the king of Babylon; to neglect his instructions, directions, and exhortations; and to believe a lie.

JAMISON, "this year ... die — The prediction was uttered in the fifth month (Jer_28:1); Hananiah’s death took place in the seventh month, that is, within two monthsafter the prediction, answering with awful significance to the two years in which Hananiah had foretold that the yoke imposed by Babylon would end.

rebellion — opposition to God’s plain direction, that all should submit to Babylon (Jer_29:32).

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CALVIN, "Here is added the punishment which confirmed the prophecy of Jeremiah; for it was God’s purpose to have regard to the ignorance of many who would have otherwise stumbled, or made their ignorance a pretext, for they could not determine which of the two had been sent by God, Hananiah or Jeremiah. It was then God’s design, in his paternal indulgence, to stretch forth his hand to them, and also in an especial manner to render inexcusable the unbelieving who had already given themselves up, as it were, to the devil; for the greater part were not moved by an event, so memorable; (200) for it follows immediately, —Blayney says that, סרה properly signifies declining or turning aside from the straight path, the path of truth and right, and that here it means the presumption of uttering as a revelation from God what a man knew to be not so. The same phrase occurs in two other places, Deuteronomy 13:5; Jeremiah 29:32. The אל here before Jehovah is על in several MSS.; but the prepositions are sometimes the same. The rendering that would suit the three places would be the following: — “For of turning aside hast thou spoken contrary to Jehovah,” that is, to his expressed will or command. The meaning might be thus conveyed, — “for thou hast encouraged disobedience contrary to the express command of God.” — Ed ELLICOTT, " (16) I will cast thee . . .—Literally, I send thee. The verb is the same as in the preceding verse, and is repeated with an emphatic irony.This year thou shalt die . . .—The punishment is announced, with time given for repentance. In part, perhaps, the threat may have tended to work out its own fulfilment through the gnawing consciousness of shame and confusion in the detection of the false prophet’s assumptions. He knew that the Lord had not sent him. Seven months passed, and then the stroke fell. It is one of the instances of the prophet’s work, as “rooting out” and “pulling down” (Jeremiah 1:10), and has its parallels in the punishment of Ananias, in Acts 5:4-5, and of Elymas, in Acts 13:11.WHEDON, "Verse 16-1716, 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.COKE, "Jeremiah 28:16. This year thou shalt die— As Hananiah had limited the accomplishment of his prophesy to the space of two years, in order to gain credit with the people by so punctual a prediction; so Jeremiah confines the proof of his veracity to a much shorter time; and the event being exactly conformable, evidently shewed the falsehood of Hananiah's pretences.Jeremiah commonly counts the months according to the ecclesiastical year. The seventh month answers to August and September. Compare the 17th with the first verse.

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REFLECTIONS.—1st, The date of this prophesy is the fourth of Zedekiah, called the beginning of his reign, or the former part, it continuing seven years longer; or because in this year he paid a visit to the king of Babylon, and received, as some suggest, a fresh investiture of his dominions, with considerable additions of territory, chap. Jeremiah 51:59.We have here the struggle between a false and true prophet.1. Hananiah, the son of Azur, a false prophet, in the Lord's house; in the presence of the priests and people, undertook to contradict all that Jeremiah had spoken, and, using the solemn preface of Thus speaketh the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, as if he spoke by inspiration from him, confidently asserts, both that the Babylonish yoke should be broken, the vessels of the sanctuary restored, and the captive king Jeconiah, with all the prisoners, return from Babylon to Judaea; and fixes the term, within two full years. Note; The smooth tongues of lying prophets never speak reproof, but flattery. By this ye shall know them.2. Jeremiah heard him, and immediately replied. Warm in his country's interest, he wished nothing more ardently than its prosperity, and therefore adds his Amen, the Lord do so; the Lord perform thy words which thou hast prophesied; as, if the Lord so pleased, he could be content to be counted a false prophet for the sake of his brethren; so unjust were all their calumnies against him, as if he desired the ruin of the nation. Though some suppose that he spoke these words ironically, fully sure, as the next words shew, of the determined destruction coming upon them; and therefore appeals to the event to prove the falsehood of Hananiah's assertion. He reminds him, before the people, how the prophets who were before their days spoke, all of whom, to a man, had denounced God's judgments against that and the neighbouring lands; such as Isaiah, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Micah, Nahum; it was, therefore, rather a presumption in Jeremiah's favour, who corresponded with them herein, that he had drank at the same fountain of inspiration; whereas the prophet which prophesied of peace, as Hananiah had done, and unconditionally, without any calls to repentance, was much to be suspected that he sought to please men; and at least the event of the prediction should be waited for, ere his claim to a divine mission should be admitted.2nd, Enraged at such a reply,1. Hananiah seizes the yoke which Jeremiah wore in token of the subjection of the nations by Nebuchadnezzar, and, plucking it from his neck, broke it in the presence of all the people, impiously and daringly adding this explication, which he prefaces with, Thus saith the Lord; so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years. Note; (1.) Falsehood, advanced with solemnity and confidence, often gains regard. (2.) Many dare affirm that to be God's truth, which shortly, to their own damnation, will be found to be a lie.

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2. Jeremiah went his way, disdaining to contend with him; or abhorring his profaneness; or withdrawing himself from the rage that he saw kindling; or patiently sitting down under these reproaches; or to wait an answer from God.3. He is sent back with a fearful message; probably the same day, perhaps the same hour, while the people were yet assembled before the temple, and Hananiah triumphing, as if the day was his own; but short is the triumphing of the wicked. So far should the nations be from breaking the yoke of the king of Babylon, as Hananiah had broken the yoke of wood, that it should grow more rigorous and severe, a yoke of iron; all efforts to shake it off would be fruitless, and all the foregoing prophesies, chap. Jeremiah 27:6., &c. be to a tittle fulfilled. Such is the nation's doom. But Hananiah has a burden peculiarly his own, the punishment of his atrocious crimes. He had pretended a commission from God, and with his name given sanction to his own lies; he had led the people with a delusive hope, to rush on their destruction; and, above all, had taught rebellion against the Lord, encouraging them to reject the warnings of the true prophets, and despise the divine admonitions; for which crimes he is doomed to death by the immediate judgment of God, within the course of that very year; which was within two months fulfilled; for he died in the seventh month, and this was the fifth: and in his doom the people might have read the certainty of their own, and the truth of all that Jeremiah had spoken; but their foolish hearts were darkened. Note; (1.) God will not suffer his prophets to be insulted with impunity. (2.) None may expect a heavier judgment than they who are hinderers of the word of God, and who seek to prejudice men's minds against the faithful ministers of it. (3.) That sudden death is terrible indeed, which comes from God in a way of judgment. PULPIT, "I will east thee; rather, I song thee away. Possibly, as Hitzig suggests, there is an allusion to the preceding verse, in which the same verb occurs. Thou hast taught rebellion; literally, thou hast spoken turning aside. To "speak turning aside (or, 'rebellion')" is a phrase of Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 13:6), where it is used, as here, of opposition, not to Jehovah, but to revealed truth.BI, "This year thou shalt die.Thoughts on death

1. Let men live ever so many years, some one year will be the year of their death.2. Every year is a year of death to many; there never was a year since the abbreviation of human life, since the extensive propagation and dispersion of mankind over all countries on the face of the earth, which has not been a year of death to tens of thousands,3. Last year was a year of death to very many.4. This year, very probably, will be a year of death to some of us. This or the other tree may be cut down; this or the other branch may be lopt off, and fall to the ground. Let us see then that we be ready, that if cut down, it may be in mercy, not in

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wrath; that if plucked up by the root and transplanted, it may be to be transplanted in a far better soil, where the air is more genial, where the fruits are always ripe.5. No one of us knows but God may be saying to him or her, “This year thou shalt die.” Futurity is wisely hid from man; we know not the year or day of our death we need therefore constantly to watch.6. It may be in mercy or in wrath that God is saying to this or the other one, “This year thou shalt die.” It was in wrath that this was said to Hananiah.7. The year of one’s death is a most eventful year to him. This dissolves our connection with the present world; it issues us into the world of spirits. If we are the Lord’s people, it associates us with God, Christ, angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect in the state of glory and blessedness.8. There is no outliving the appointed year of one’s death. No distinction of rank, no worldly pre-eminence, no degree of riches, influence, or power, no plea of necessity, no supposed usefulness in civil or sacred society, can prevent death.9. The year of one’s death may come very unexpectedly. (Anon.)

Solemn thoughtsI. This sentence is doubtless expressive of the decision of God concerning many this year.

1. The page of history affords no record of a single year in which death desisted from his work of destruction.2. The last year of many is now commended.3. Various are the means by Which God’s design will be executed.

II. No individual can be certain that this does not express God’s decision concerning himself.1. Utterly impossible for us to know who are, or are not, included in God’s appointments.2. The circumstances of some render it most probable that this year will be their last.3. Doubtless those who think least of death, and confidently reckon on future years, will find this sentence fulfilled.

III. It is the duty and interest of all to use wisely the gracious hours they enjoy.1. What is it to die? To pass from this state of being into the immediate presence of our Maker and Judge.2. Am I prepared to die?3. Begin the year with earnest preparation. (J. Bunter.)

A sermon on the New YearIt is highly probable, that if some prophet, like Jeremiah, should open to us the book of

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the Divine decrees, one or other of us would there see our sentence, and the time of its execution fixed, “Thus saith the Lord, This year thou shalt die.” There some of us would find it written, “This year thou shalt enjoy a series of prosperity, to try if the goodness of God will lead thee to repentance.” Others might read this melancholy line, “This year shall be to thee a series of afflictions: this year thou shalt lose thy dearest earthly support and comfort; this year thou shalt pine away with sickness, or agonise with torturing pain, to try if the kind severities of a Father’s rod will reduce thee to thy duty. Others, I hope, would road the gracious decree, “This year, thy stubborn spirit, after long resistance, shall be sweetly constrained to bow to the despised Gospel of Christ. This year shalt thou be born a child of God, and an heir of happiness, which the revolution of years shall never, never, terminate.” Others perhaps would read this tremendous doom, “This year My Spirit so long resisted, shall cease to strive with thee; this year I will give thee up to thine own heart’s lusts, and swear in My wrath thou shalt not enter into My rest.” Others would probably find the doom of the false prophet Hananiah pronounced against them: “Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die.”I. This year you may die.

1. Your life is the greatest uncertainty in the world.2. Thousands have died since the last New Year’s Day; and this year will be of the same kind with the last; the duration of mortals; a time to die.3. Thousands of others will die: it is certain they will, and why may not you?4. Though you are young; for the regions of the dead have been crowded with persons of your age; and no age is the least security against the stroke of death.5. Though you are now in health and your constitution seems to promise a long life; for thousands of such will be hurried into the eternal world this year, as they have been in years past.6. Though you are full of business, though you have projected many schemes, which it may be the work of years to execute, and which afford you many bright and flattering prospects.7. Though you have not yet finished your education, nor fixed in life, but are preparing to appear in the world, and perhaps elated with the prospect of the figure you will make in it.8. Though you are not prepared for it.9. Though you deliberately delay your preparation, and put it off to some future time.10. Though you are unwilling to admit the thought. Death does not slacken his pace towards you, because you hate him, and are afraid of his approach.11. Though you may strongly hope the contrary, and flatter yourself with the expectation of a length of years.

II. What if you should? If you should die this year, then all your doubts, all the anxieties of blended hopes and fears about your state and character will terminate for ever in full conviction. If you are impenitent sinners, all the artifices of self-flattery will be able to make you hope better things no longer; but the dreadful discovery will flash upon you 66

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with the resistless blaze of intuitive evidence. You will see, you will feel yourselves such. This year you may die: and should you die this year, you will be for ever cut off from all the pleasures of life. Then an everlasting farewell to all the mirth, the tempting amusements and vain delights of youth. Farewell to all the pleasures you derive from the senses, and all the gratifications of appetite. Then farewell to all the pompous but empty pleasures of riches and honours. The pleasures both of enjoyment and expectation from this quarter will fail for ever. But this is not all If you should die this year, you will have no pleasures, no enjoyments to substitute for those you will lose. Your capacity and eager thirst for happiness will continue, nay, will grow more strong and violent in that improved adult state of your nature. And yet you will have no good, real or imaginary, to satisfy it; and consequently the capacity of happiness will become a capacity of misery; and the privation of pleasure will be positive pain. If you die this year, you will not only be cut off from all the flattering prospects of this life, but from all hope entirely, and for ever. If you die in your sins, you will be fixed in an unchangeable state of misery; a state that will admit of no expectation but that of uniform, or rather ever-growing misery; a state that excludes all hopes of making a figure, except as the monuments of the vindictive justice of God, and the deadly effects of sin.III. Is it possible to escape this impending danger?

1. Your case is not yet desperate, unless you choose to make it so; that is, unless you choose to persist in carelessness and impenitence, as you have hitherto done.2. You all know that prayer, reading, and hearing the Word of God, meditation upon Divine things, free conference with such as have been taught by experience to direct you in this difficult work; you all know, I say, that these are the means instituted for your conversion: and if you had right views of things, and a just temper towards them, you would hardly need instruction or the least persuasion to make use of them. (S. Davies, D. D.).

17 In the seventh month of that same year, Hananiah the prophet died.

CLARKE, "So Hananiah - died the same year in the seventh month - The prophecy was delivered in the fifth month, (Jer_28:1), and Hananiah died in the seventh month. And thus God, in mercy, gave him about two months, in which he might prepare

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to meet his Judge. Here, then the true prophet was demonstrated, and the false prophet detected. The death of Hananiah thus predicted, was God’s seal to the words of his prophet; and must have gained his other predictions great credit among the people.

GILL, "So Hananiah the prophet died the same year,.... That he had delivered out his prophecy; in the same year in which Jeremiah said he should die; which proved him to be a false prophet, and Jeremiah to be a true one: in the seventh month: it was two months after he had prophesied; for it was in the fifth month that he prophesied, and in the seventh he died; not after seven months, as Theodoret remarks, but in two months; so he that prophesied, that within two years what he foretold would come to pass, in two months time dies himself, according to the word of the Lord, and his prophecies die with him. The Jewish writers move a difficulty here, how he should be said to die the same year, when the seventh month was the beginning of another year; for the civil year of the Jews began from the seventh month, or the month Tisri; as their ecclesiastical year from the month Nisan or Abib. To solve this they observe a tradition, that he died the last day of the sixth month, or the eve of the new year; and ordered his sons and his servants, before his death, to hide it, and not bring him out to be buried till after the year was begun, to make Jeremiah a liar: to which agrees the Targum, both of the clause in Jer_28:16; and this; the former of which it paraphrases thus, "this year shall thou die; and in the other year (or the year following) thou shalt be buried;'' and this verse thus, "and Hananiah the false prophet died this year, and was buried in the seventh month:'' but there was no occasion to raise such a difficulty, since it would have been enough to have verified the prediction, that he died any time within the twelve months from the date of it; and, besides, the solution makes the difficulty greater, and contradicts the very text, which says, he died in the seventh month.

HENRY, "The judgment given against him is, “I will cast thee off from the face of the earth, as unworthy to live upon it; thou shalt be buried in it. This year thou shalt die,and die as a rebel against the Lord, to whom death will come with a sting and a curse.” This sentence was executed, Jer_28:17. Hananiah died the same year, within two months; for his prophecy is dated the fifth month (Jer_28:1) and his death the seventh. Good men may perhaps be suddenly taken off by death in the midst of their days, and in mercy to them, as Josiah was; but this being foretold as the punishment of his sin, and coming to pass accordingly, it may safely be construed as a testimony from Heaven against him and a confirmation of Jeremiah's mission. And, if the people's hearts had not been wretchedly hardened by the deceitfulness of sin, it would have prevented their being further hardened by the deceitfulness of their prophets.CALVIN, "All those who had disregarded Jeremiah saw, in a manner, before their

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eyes the judgment of God. No surer confirmation could have been expected by the Jews, had they a particle of understanding, than to see the impostor slain by the word of Jeremiah alone; for he never touched him with a finger, nor caused him to be led to punishment, though he deserved this; but he drove him out of the world by the mere sound of his tongue. As, then, the word of the holy Prophet had a celestial and divine power, as though God himself had fulminated from heaven, or with an armed hand had slain that ungodly man, how great was their blindness not to be moved! However, they were not moved; hence some of the Rabbins, wishing to conceal, as their manner is, the reproach of their own nation, imagine that the disciples of Hananiah secretly took away his body, and that then the people knew nothing of his death. But what need is there of such an evasion as this? for Jeremiah says no such thing, but speaks of the event as well known; it was indeed a sure testimony of his own call. It hence follows that it was not unknown to the Jews; and yet the devil had so blinded the greatest part of them, that they paid no more attention to the holy man than before; on the contrary, they wholly disregarded those threatenings of which he had been the witness and herald.But how does this appear? the greatest part of the people often rose up against him as though he was the most wicked of men; he was accused as the betrayer of his country, and hardly escaped, through the clemency of. a cruel king, when he was cast into a dungeon as one half-dead. Since, then, the Jews thus pertinaciously raged, we hence understand what the Prophet so often threatened them with, even with the spirit of giddiness, and of fury, and of madness, and of stupor, and of drunkenness. Moreover, it was needful for that small portion which was not wholly irreclaimable to be restored to the right way; and this was done by this manifest proof of Jeremiah’s call. It was also necessary on the other hand that the unbelieving should be more restrained, so that they might be condemned by their own conscience, as Paul calls heretics self-condemned who were become fixed in their own perverseness, and had willingly and designedly sold themselves as slaves to the devil. PETT, "Jeremiah 28:17‘So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.’And sure enough he did die within the year, in the seventh month. His death was necessary in order to counter the impression that he had made on the people by breaking Jeremiah’s symbolic yoke. It was a further warning of the fact that what Jeremiah had prophesied was the truth, and confirmed that Hananiah’s action in breaking the wooden yoke was false and had accomplished nothing. It was also a warning of the danger of falsely speaking in YHWH’s Name. While the good prophets had to fear men’s opposition (Jeremiah 26:20-23), the false prophets needed to fear God’s. A similar example will also end chapter 29.It is in fact understandable that Judah wanted to be free, and why they felt so deeply about it, but there was an important lesson underlying what was happening

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to Judah if only they had realised it, one that had already been emphasised when Israel had gone to Egypt in the days of Joseph. And that was that it was not independence and possession of the land that was most important to God, but obedience to Him. That was why YHWH was taking them into Exile. He was removing them from the places that had gripped their minds with idolatry and was emphasising to them that environment and freedom were only of secondary importance (many Christian slaves would later have a poor environment and little freedom). The only hindrance to the worship of YHWH was an unbelieving heart.

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