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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 28

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-4

JEREMIAH - CHAPTER 28

THE FALSE PROPHECY AND DEATH OF HANANIAH

Vs. 1-4: THE LYING PROPHECY

1. Verse 1 clearly declares that the prophecy of chapter 27 was for Zedekiah, rather than for Jehoiakim:

2. In the fourth year and fifth month of Zedekiah’s reign, Jeremiah was challenged in the temple, before the priests and a large number of people, by Hananiah, a false prophet of Gibeon, (vs. 1 b; comp. Joshua 9:5-6; Joshua 10:12; 1 Kings 3:4).

3. Hananiah had no qualms about claiming (falsely) to speak the words of Jehovah, (vs. 2, 11); nor did he hesitate to pervert Jeremiah’s symbolism -declaring that the yoke of Babylon was broken.

4. He, further, claimed that within two years all that Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Judah - the vessels of the Lord’s house, king Jeconiah, and all the captives of Judah - would be returned to their own land, (vs. 3-4a; contrast Jeremiah 27:16).

a. Here he flatly contradicts the earlier prophecy of Jeremiah, (Jeremiah 22:24-27).

b. He appears willing to submit to the "lie detector test" set forth in Deuteronomy 18:22).

5. Again, he insisted; "Jehovah says, I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon" - with the implication that the Lord had vowed to do this within two years, (vs. 4b).

Verses 5-11

Vs. 5-11: A CONFRONTATION OF THE TRUE AND THE FALSE

1. Jeremiah does not doubt that Hananiah means to challenge the validity of his prophetic authority, (vs. 5-6).

a. But, self-defense was not one of the things to which God had called His servant; Jehovah was his defense!

b. Thus, Jeremiah stood before the vast assembly, in the house of the Lord, and answered, "AMEN" (comp. Jeremiah 11:3-5) to what Hananiah had spoken.

1) He would be greatly pleased if Jehovah WOULD perform all that Hananiah had spoken.

2) The prosperity of Judah was certainly more important to him than his own reputation!

2. Nevertheless, Jeremiah has a further word to offer, (comp. 1 Kings 22:28).

a. The former prophets have ALL spoken of judgment that was to be poured out upon many nations; the validity of their words has been proved by the events that followed, (1 Kings 14:14-16; Isaiah 5:5-7).

b. They have also spoken of judgment upon Judah and her confederates at the hands of Babylon; with these Jeremiah is in agreement.

c. If a prophet now speaks of "peace" concerning these SAME PEOPLE, his words may be regarded as true ONLY WHEN THEY ARE FULFILLED, (vs. 9); the words of God’s true servant will always be fulfilled.

3. The obvious meekness of Jeremiah’s reply so emboldened the lying prophet that he lifted the yoke from Jeremiah’s neck and broke it in the presence of all the people, (vs. 10; comp. Jeremiah 36:23-26; 1 Kings 22:11­-28).

4. Claiming once more to speak in the name of Jehovah, Hananiah repeated his prophecy that within two years Jehovah would break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar from off the neck of ALL NATIONS!

a. Satan and his ministers often promise "peace, joy and comfort" when God calls for judgment.

b. But, their end will be sad, (14-18; Jeremiah 27:10).

5. Possibly wondering if God had changed His mind, and even abandoned him as His spokesman, Jeremiah walked away from the confrontation in silence.

a. To remain silent after one has spoken the truth is often the most effective rebuke of falsehood.

b. To wait in silence before the Lord is the surest way to hear His re-assuring voice in times of trial and perplexity.

Verses 12-17

Vs. 12-17: GO, AND TELL HANANIAH

1. There is nothing here to indicate how much time may have passed between Jeremiah’s confrontation of Hananiah in the temple and this command to take him a message from Jehovah.

a. It is most likely that Jeremiah has spent considerable time in prayer - desiring assurance that he was truly proclaiming the word of the Lord.

b. That assurance was given in the message he was to take to Hananiah.

2. Hananiah had broken a wooden yoke - in defiance of the will and word of God; he will, in turn, wear a yoke of iron, (comp. Psalms 107:16; Isaiah 45:12).

a. Submission to the word and will of God is a LIGHT yoke.

b. Insubordination inevitably leads to a yoke of heaviness!

3. God has put a yoke of iron upon the necks of all those nations, associated with Judah in their rebellion against Babylon, that they may surely serve Nebuchadnezzar - along with all the beasts of the field, (Jeremiah 25:11; Jeremiah 27:8; Deuteronomy 28:47-48).

4. But, that is not all: Jeremiah has a more specific and personal word for the false prophet, (vs. 15-17).

a. "The Lord has not sent you!" declared the faithful man of God, (vs. 15b; comp. Ezekiel 13:2-7; Ezekiel 13:22; Ezekiel 22:28).

b. "You are causing the people to trust In a lie!" (vs. 15c; comp. Jeremiah 29:31-32; La 2:14).

c. Therefore, the Lord will THIS YEAR cast him off the face of the earth (into sheol) because he has taught Judah to rebel against Jehovah, her God, (vs. 16; comp. 1 Kings 13:33-34; Jeremiah 20:6; Jeremiah 29:32).

5. The word of the true prophet came to pass, in the death of Hananiah, during the seventh month of that same year (vs. 17) - less than two months after Jeremiah had spoken!

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Jeremiah 28". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/jeremiah-28.html. 1985.
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