Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Jeremiah 32

Verses 1-44

Jeremiah 32:1 . The eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar. This name, which in Hebrew signifies groaning and complaint, aptly describes the miseries he inflicted on the nations. Like an inundation he ravaged all the conquered states, instead of watering them. He was son of Merodach, and founder of the Babylonian empire. Daniel 2:7. He is called the head of gold, and the flying eagle. In the first year of his military career, which was the twenty ninth of king Josiah, he ruined Nineveh, and put a final end to the Assyrian empire, which had continued one thousand three hundred years. He defeated Pharaoh Necho in the fourth year of king Jehoiakim, and subdued Egypt. Jeremiah 46:2. In the twelfth year of his reign he subdued Arphaxad, who is thought to be Astyages, king of the Medes, who had founded Ecbatana, the capital of Media. Judith 1. After this he subdued all the kingdoms of the west; though for one year, the immortal Judith stopped his whole army by cutting off the head of Holofernes. But having appointed Nebuzaradan to succeed, in the nineteenth year of his reign, he burned Jerusalem and its temple. In four years more he spread his conquests as far as Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, and even to Gibraltar, called by the ancients the pillar of Hercules. These authorities are collected from Berosus, as in Josephus. Eusebius Præp. lib. 5. Strabo, lib. 15. Nebuchadrezzar reigned forty five years, not including the five years he conquered under his father.

Jeremiah 32:5 . Until I visit him. The Vatican copy of the LXX reads, “And there he shall abide.” Two other Versions of the LXX read, “And there he shall die.” But others give this gloss; “Until I shall deprive him of life by the visitation of death,” as in Numbers 16:29.

Jeremiah 32:9 . Seventeen shekels of silver, which are less than two guineas of our money. The Hebrew word is shekels; but the Chaldaic reads minas, viz. seven minus, and ten pieces of silver, which sum our Prideaux estimates at sixty eight pounds.

Jeremiah 32:18 . The iniquity of the fathers. See Exodus 20:5.


What a mercy that the Lord preserved Jeremiah so long among a rebellious people, and unhurt. But matters come to extremities in the issue. The Chaldeans fighting without, and Jeremiah fighting within, though not with carnal weapons, excited vengeance in the court, when it ought to have excited repentance towards God, and submission towards the Babylonians; and then a multitude of lives would have been saved.

Here we may first observe that Jeremiah was comforted by the spirit of prophecy. The Lord apprized him of his cousin Hananeel’s approach to sell a field. See Leviticus 25:25; Leviticus 25:34. Then he knew assuredly that the Lord had spoken by him, and that fields and vineyards should again be bought and sold in Jerusalem. Thus at all times the accomplishment of prophecy is the comfort of the church.

Next, Jeremiah was not only obedient to the Lord, but he was humane and charitable. He well knew that the land was of no value now; that the country must be desolate for fifty eight years longer, till the seventy years should be accomplished; yet when his cousin was become distressed, he bought his land and paid him the money with pleasure. When the beauty of grace is surrounded with the glory of moral excellence it bears a striking resemblance of heaven.

We have also Jeremiah’s supplication to the Lord in prison. He had bought a field for others to possess, an occurrence common in human affairs, but he wanted support and counsel. Like John the baptist, who in similar circumstances sent to Jesus, this prophet entreated the Lord to clear up his dark ways. It seemed unaccountable that he was forbidden to marry, as in chap. 16., because of impending calamities, and yet commanded to buy a field. Hence we learn, that good men in the dark and cloudy day must pray to God, and wait his pleasure in the path of obedience.

The Lord sends a speedy answer to the prayers of his afflicted saints. He repeats to this prophet the reasons for his visitation on Israel, and he repeats the promises of their return. Consequently, he had directed him to preserve the writings in an earthen glazed vessel, to be a proof to posterity of the truth of prophecy, and that the field purchased in such extraordinary circumstances belonged to the prophet’s family. Thus the faithful have hope in the promises, while every aspect of providence inspires the wicked with despair.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Jeremiah 32". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. 1835.