One of those pretended prophets spoken of on the preceding chapter, having contrasted and opposed Jeremiah, receives an awful declaration that, as a proof to the people of his having spoken without commission, he should die in the then current year; which accordingly came to pass its the seventh month, vv. 1-17.
And it came to pass the same year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year, and in the fifth month, that Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet, which was of Gibeon, spake unto me in the house of the LORD, in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying,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.
Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon.Thus speaketh the Lord - What awful impudence! when he knew in his conscience that God had given him no such commission.
Within two full years 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, and carried them to Babylon: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.
And I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah, that went into Babylon, saith the LORD: for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.
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 the LORD,
Even the prophet Jeremiah said, Amen: the LORD do so: the LORD perform thy words which thou hast prophesied, to bring again the vessels of the LORD'S house, and all that is carried away captive, from Babylon into this place.Amen; the Lord do so - O that it might be according to thy word! May the people find this to be true!
Nevertheless hear thou now this word that I speak in thine ears, and in the ears of all the people;
The prophets that have been before me and before thee of old prophesied both against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence.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.
The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the LORD hath truly sent him.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.
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 Jeremiah 28:2, Jeremiah 28:3, Jeremiah 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.
Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from off the prophet Jeremiah's neck, and brake it.Then Hananiah - took the yoke - and brake it - He endeavored by this symbolical act to persuade them of the truth of his prediction.
And Hananiah spake in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith the LORD; 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. And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.
Then the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the prophet, after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying,
Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Thou hast broken the yokes of wood; but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron.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.
For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these 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; The LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie.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.
Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the LORD.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.
So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.So Hananiah - died the same year in the seventh month - The prophecy was delivered in the fifth month, (Jeremiah 28:1), and Hananiah died in the seventh month. And thus God, in mercy, gave him about two months, in which he might prepare 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.