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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 32

Verses 1-44

Chapter 32

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

Now in the eleventh year of Zedekiah is when Jerusalem fell. So this is right at the end.

For then [even at this time, the tenth year] the king of Babylon's army had besieged Jerusalem: and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judah's house. For Zedekiah king of Judah had imprisoned him, saying, Why do you prophesy, and say, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it; and Zedekiah the king of Judah shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, but shall surely be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him mouth to mouth, and his eyes shall behold his eyes; And he shall lead Zedekiah to Babylon, and there shall he be until I visit him, saith the LORD: though ye fight with the Chaldeans, ye shall not prosper ( Jeremiah 32:2-5 ).

So because of this prophecy of Jeremiah saying, "Zedekiah's going to be taken, the king is going to look at him eye to eye and all and going to carry him away captive," it got the king upset and threw him in jail. Now this particular prophecy that he is referring to, to show you that we're not in chronological order, is a prophecy that you find in the thirty-fourth chapter of Jeremiah here. And so this particular prophecy of him looking at him eye to eye and so forth is further on. So you see that we're not in a chronological order as far as the prophecies are given here in Jeremiah. So you can't really look at this in a chronological order, but these are just prophecies that have come down and we'll get that this evening as we get into the thirty-fourth chapter the first part there, this particular prophecy that got Jeremiah thrown in jail. Now he is in the prison, in the king's court in prison.

And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Behold, Hanameel the son of Shallum thine uncle shall come unto thee, saying, Buy thee my field that is in Anathoth: for the right of redemption is yours to buy it. So Hanameel mine uncle's son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the LORD, and said unto me, Buy my field, I pray thee, that is in Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin: for the right of inheritance is yours, and the redemption is thine; buy it for thyself. Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD ( Jeremiah 32:6-8 ).

Now the incongruous part of this is that already Benjamin had fallen to Babylon. And so this field that was in question is already under Babylonian control. And they are going to be captives in Babylon for seventy years. Why would he want to redeem a field that is already under Babylon control? So when the Lord spoke to him and said, "Now buy the field. Tomorrow Hanameel your cousin is going to come and ask you to buy his father's field for the right of redemption is yours, go ahead and buy it." He thought, "Man, is this me? Surely this can't be the Lord telling me this." Until when Hanameel came in and said, "Hey, my father wants you to redeem the field, the right of redemption is yours." "Then I knew it was the Lord saying it." But he still didn't know, he still was troubled by the thing. "Why in the world does God want me to do it?" But he went ahead in obedience.

And I bought the field of Hanameel my uncle's son, that was in Anathoth, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver. And I subscribed the evidence, and I sealed it, and I took two witnesses, and weighed him the money in the balances ( Jeremiah 32:9-10 ).

In the scales there, he weighed out the money.

And I took the evidence of the purchase, both that which was sealed according to the law and customs, and that which was open: And I gave the evidence of the purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, in the sight of Hanameel my uncle's son, and in the presence of the witnesses that subscribed the book of the purchase, before all the Jews that sat in the court of the prison. And I charged Baruch before them, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences, this evidence of the purchase, both which is sealed, and this evidence which is open; and put them in a clay pot, that they may continue many days ( Jeremiah 32:11-14 ).

In other words, preserve them because it's going to be a long time before I'm going to be able to take this field. So seal these things and preserve them.

For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in the land ( Jeremiah 32:15 ).

So it was a sign of his faith that God was going to bring them back from captivity. Though it's already under enemy control, God's going to bring us back. The land's going to be ours again and so we're going to possess this land again.

Now under Jewish law, when you had sold or forfeited property, they would always draw up these legal instruments and they would seal them. And there came the time of redemption, usually in the seventh year, so that the thing that you had sold remains in the new ownership for six years and in the seventh year you had the right to redeem it providing you could fulfill the requirements that were in the sealed scroll. So at the time of redemption, you would come forth, you would bring these scrolls, and you would break the seal, you'd open the scroll. You would prove that you had the right to redeem it, and then you would pay the price or whatever was required within the scroll and you could redeem it. And it became your property again so that you never really sold your property permanently unless you could not redeem it in the year of redemption.

Now another aspect was added to this law of redemption, and that is, if you were personally unable to redeem it, you didn't have the money, you couldn't redeem it yourself in the time of redemption, if you had a brother or an uncle or a cousin or someone who is a part of your family, a kin to you, he could step in and he could pay the money and he could redeem it so that it remains in the family and in the family's name. He would be called the ga'al, the family redeemer. And that is, he keeps it in the family, the ga'al.

An interesting Jewish law that God no doubt established in order to give a broader picture. For the earth originally was God's because He created it. But when God placed man upon the earth, God gave the earth to man. God placed Adam upon the earth and He said, "Hey, be fruitful and multiply, replenish the earth. For I have given it to thee and I've given you dominion over the earth, over the fish of the sea, the fowls of the air, over every moving and creeping thing." And God gave man dominion over the earth. Now when Satan came into the garden and tempted Eve and Eve gave to Adam and he also ate of that forbidden fruit, in their action of submitting themselves to Satan, they in reality turned the control of the earth over to Satan. So that Satan at that point and from that point began to be the owner of the earth in effect. It's his. Man turned it over to him, forfeited it to Satan. And since that time, the earth has been under Satan's control.

You do not see the world that God created, nor do you see the world that God intended. You see a world that is filled with suffering. God never intended the suffering. You see a world that is filled with prejudice. God never intended the prejudice. You see the world in which the poor are oppressed by the rich. God never intended it to be that way. You see a world where children are starving to death. God never intended that. You see a world that is filled with sickness. God never intended that. All of the calamities and the evils that we see in the world today have been created because of man's rebellion against God. Because man will not obey God and obey the laws of God, you see the result in a world that is filled with corruption and violence and greed and inequality. God never intended it to be that way. He intended us to all live together as brothers in equality. And it is wrong to blame God for the troubles of the world today. It is wrong to blame God for the crimes, for the sicknesses, for the malformed babies, for all of these evil things that we see. It isn't God's world. Jesus twice in referring to Satan called him the prince of this world.

Now, man could not redeem the world back. When man forfeited the world over to Satan, that was it. There was no way that man could redeem it back. Man's bankrupt spiritually. And so, "God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son" ( John 3:16 ). For what purpose? To redeem the world back to God. Now Jesus became a man in order that He might be next of kin or a kinsman. And He is our kinsman-redeemer. He became man in order that He might redeem the world back to God. And when Jesus came, Satan took Him up into a high mountain and showed to Him all of the kingdoms of the earth and he said, "All of these and the glory of them I will give to You if You'll bow down and worship me, for they are mine and I can give them to whomever I will" ( Luke 4:5-7 ). Satan is promising Him the kingdoms. Jesus didn't say, "What do you mean? They're not yours. You can't give them." Jesus recognized that Satan had this right. He was boasting. "They are mine, I can give them to whomever I will." That was a true boast of Satan. It is still true, it's still Satan's world. Though Jesus paid the price of redemption by His death upon the cross, He redeemed us by His blood. He paid the price. Yet the world still is under satanic control, the world is still in subjection to Satan, under Satan's rule. All creation is still groaning and travailing, waiting for this day of the manifestation of the sons of God. This day of redemption, we long, we look forward to it.

In the book of Revelation, chapter 4, as John is taken into the heavenly scene he sees the throne of God. He sees the elders on their lesser thrones around the throne of God. He sees the glassy sea before the throne of God. He sees the cherubim as they are there. He hears them as they worship God saying, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty, which is, which was and which is to come" ( Revelation 4:8 ). And he watches the twenty-four elders at this point as they fall on their faces, take their golden crowns and cast them before this glassy sea which is before the throne of God and he hears them declare, "Thou art worthy to receive glory and honor for Thou hast created all things. And for your good pleasure they are and were created" ( Revelation 4:11 ). Then as you move into chapter 5, he sees in the right hand of Him who is sitting upon the throne a scroll that is sealed with seven seals writing both within and without.

All right, now here you have the thing with Jeremiah here making these scrolls and sealing one and leaving another one open. The instruments, the title deeds for the property. And he has the scroll sealed with seven seals and the angel proclaims with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to take these scrolls and to loose the seals?" In other words, "Who can redeem the earth so that it again becomes God's?" "And no man was found worthy in heaven, in earth, under the sea to take the scroll or to loose the seals. And I, John, began to sob convulsively because no one was found worthy to do this" ( Revelation 5:2-4 ). Why is John so upset? Why is he sobbing like that? Because if no one redeems the earth at this point, it remains in Satan's control forever. And the thought of that is more than John can bear. "But the elders said unto me, 'Don't weep, John. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah hath prevailed. He's going to take the scroll and open the seal.'" And John said, "I turned and I saw Him as a Lamb that had been slaughtered. And He came forth and He took the scroll out of the right hand of Him that is sitting upon the throne. And when He did, the elders came forth with golden vials full of odors which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song saying, 'Worthy is the Lamb to take the scroll and loose the seals thereof, for He was slain and has redeemed us by His blood out of all of the nations, people, tongues and tribes and hath made us unto our God kings and priests and we shall reign with Him on the earth'" ( Revelation 5:6-10 ).

And then there was a hundred million angels plus millions of others who joined in saying, "Worthy is the Lamb to receive glory and honor and dominion and mights and authorities and thrones and powers" ( Revelation 5:11-12 ), and so forth. That glorious day when the kingdoms of this world will again become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and the earth is restored and we see what God intended when He created the earth and placed man upon it. As we live together in peace and in love and in harmony and in righteousness. When all commercial systems are put away and man lives as God intended him to live. Every man 'neath his vine and fig tree and me under my coconut.

So this little insight here into Jeremiah is interesting because it gives you an insight into this law. But one extra little facet here which I find quite interesting is that most generally under the Jewish law... Of course, Jesus then takes the scroll and He begins to open the seals. And the judgment comes and then He comes in chapter 10, the scroll is open. He puts one foot upon the sea, and one foot upon the earth and He says, "The kingdoms of this world have now become the kingdoms of our Lord Jesus Christ." He lays claim to that which He purchased with His blood.

The interesting thing to me is that generally the pattern was six years of servitude and the seventh year set free. And it was just about 6,000 years ago now that Adam went into the servitude of sin and Satan. We are coming very, very close to the seven thousandth year. The time of redemption is at hand. I mean, we're... look at it. We're coming out to the year 2000. Now just when it was that Adam fell, we do not know for sure. One chronology, Usher's, Bishop Usher has it figured about 4,004 B.C. If that is so, then the seven thousandth year will begin about 1996. But we don't want to really be date-setters as such, but just know that we're getting close. The time and the seasons, we do know. And man has just about had it; 6,000 years is about all we can take. We've about done as much damage as we can possibly do without destroying now ourselves. And the Lord's going to intervene. And He's going to establish His kingdom, a kingdom that will never end.

So it's fascinating to read Jeremiah here and to realize the significance of the scroll of the laws of redemption and of the kinsman-redeemer. Whereas Jeremiah became the kinsman-redeemer; Shallum could not redeem his own property. Jeremiah stepped in and redeemed it for him. Man can't redeem himself. Jesus stepped in and redeemed us. Jesus redeemed the world and us as His children.

Now when I had delivered [Jeremiah says] this evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed unto the LORD, saying ( Jeremiah 32:16 ),

Jeremiah's still troubled with this. "Lord, it's stupid for me to buy this. Why should I do it?"

Ah Lord GOD! behold, you have made the heaven and the earth by your great power and your stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee ( Jeremiah 32:17 ):

Now I think it's valuable to study the prayers in the Bible and this prayer of Jeremiah is a valuable one to study. Notice how he begins his prayer. "Oh Lord God, You've created everything, and there is nothing too hard for You." Oh, what a glorious way to begin a prayer. "Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name" ( Matthew 6:9 ). The disciples followed this pretty much in their prayer in, "O Lord, Thou art God. Thou hast created the heaven and earth and everything that is in them" ( Acts 4:24 ). It's good when you start to pray to, in your addressing of God, to sort of remind yourself of Who you're talking to. "Lord, there's nothing too hard for You." Remember that when you pray.

You show loving-kindness unto thousands, and you recompense the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: You are The Great, The Mighty God, The LORD of hosts, is your name; You are great in counsel, and mighty in work: for your eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men, to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings: And you have set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even unto this day, and Israel, and among other men; and you have made thee a name, as at this day; And you have brought forth your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs, and with wonders, and with a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with great terror; And you have given them this land, which you did swear to their fathers to give them, a land that is flowing with milk and honey; And they came in, and possessed it; but they did not obey your voice, nor did they walk in your law; they have done nothing of all that you have commanded them to do: therefore you have caused all this evil to come upon them: Behold [the Babylonians have these machines out there] the mounts, they are coming against the city to take it; and the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans, that fight against it, because of the sword, and of the famine, and of the pestilence: that you have spoken is come to pass; and, behold, we are seeing it ( Jeremiah 32:18-24 ).

You said there'd be the sword, the pestilence, famine, and God, we see it.

And now, Lord, you say to me to buy this field ( Jeremiah 32:25 ),

You're so smart. You've done all of these things. But God, it's stupid to buy that field because the Babylonians have it. And You said unto me, O Lord God, "Buy thee the field for money."

and take witnesses; for the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans ( Jeremiah 32:25 ).

They already, why would I buy it when it's all going to fail?

So it's interesting he doesn't get to his complaint until he goes through quite a long prayer. He doesn't rush right in with the complaint, but he talks about the greatness and the power of God and all. And then he finally gets down to the real issue. "God, You've done all this and now You tell me to buy this field? When the Chaldeans have already taken the place?" And so the Lord spoke to him.

He said, Behold, I am the LORD ( Jeremiah 32:26-27 ),

And God picks up something from Jeremiah. He said,

[I'm] the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me? ( Jeremiah 32:27 )

Jeremiah says, "Lord, You are God. There's nothing too hard for You." And God is saying, "Is there anything too hard for Me?"

Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the Chaldeans, and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he shall take it: and the Chaldeans, that fight against this city, shall come and set fire on this city, and burn it with the houses, upon whose roofs they have offered incense unto Baal, and poured out drink offerings unto other gods, to provoke me to anger ( Jeremiah 32:28-29 ).

Now, all of those houses over there are flat roofs and the people's patios are all out on the roofs of their houses. You see ladies scrubbing the roofs of their houses. It's very interesting thing. You go over there today and so many flat roofs and you see the ladies out there scrubbing the roofs as they are family areas. And in that day, people were offering sacrifices unto the false gods, pouring out the drinks to the false gods there in the roofs of their own houses. Lord says, "I'm going to burn them."

For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have only done evil before me from their youth: for the children of Israel have only provoked me to anger with the work of their hands, saith the LORD. For this city hath been to me as a provocation of my anger and my fury from the day that they built it even to this day; that I should remove it from before my face; Because of all of the evil of the children of Israel and of the children of Judah, which they have done to provoke me to anger, they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And they have turned unto me their backs, and not their face: though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction. But they set their abominations in the house, which is called by my name, to defile it. [They have even set up in the temple abominations.] And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom [Gehinnom there], to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech ( Jeremiah 32:30-35 );

They burn their children in the fires to appease the god Molech.

which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. And now therefore thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city, whereof ye say, It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence; Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in my anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath ( Jeremiah 32:35-37 );

Now God is saying, "Yes, this is going to happen, but this is the future. Behold, I will in the future gather them out of all of the countries, whither I have driven them in Mine anger, and in My fury, and in My great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely."

And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul. For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon the people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them. And fields shall be bought in this land, whereof ye say, It is desolate without man or beast; it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans. Men shall buy fields for money, and subscribe the evidences, and seal them, and take witnesses in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, and in the cities of the mountains, and in the cities of the valley, and in the cities of the south: for I will cause their captivity to return, saith the LORD ( Jeremiah 32:38-44 ).

So God is saying, "All right now, don't worry about it, Jeremiah. They're going to come back and the land is going to be theirs. I'm going to fulfill also My promise to bring them back again."


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Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Jeremiah 32". "Smith's Bible Commentary". 2014.