Then said the prophet Jeremiah to Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The LORD has not sent you; but you make this people to trust in a lie.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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.Jeremiah 28:15-17. Then said Jeremiah, Hear now, Hananiah — Jeremiah, being a second time confirmed in the truth of what he had foretold, and having likewise a special revelation relating to this false prophet, comes and calls him by his name, and tells him his doom, that he should die within a year, because he had taught rebellion against the Lord — Had taught people to believe and trust to what was false, contradicting God’s will revealed by Jeremiah, and encouraging and exciting the people to hold out against Nebuchadnezzar, and not quietly to yield to this dispensation of God. “Thus, as Hananiah had limited the accomplishment of his prophecy to the space of two years, to gain credit with the people by such a punctual prediction, so Jeremiah confines the trial of his veracity to a much shorter time, and the event, exactly answering to the prediction, evidently showed the falsehood of Hananiah’s pretences.” — Lowth. So Hananiah died the same year in the seventh month — Two months after he had uttered this false prophecy, as appeareth from Jeremiah 28:1. So dangerous a thing it is for those who speak in the name of God to teach people contrary to his revealed will!
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.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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 15. - 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." Jeremiah 28:6), but then reminds his opponent that all the prophets of the Lord up till this time have prophesied of war and calamity (Jeremiah 28:7 and Jeremiah 28:8). So that if a prophet, in opposition to these witnesses of God, predicts nothing but peace and safety, then nothing short of the fulfilment of his prediction can make good his claim to be a true prophet (Jeremiah 28:9). - Jeremiah's answer is to this effect: Jeremiah 28:6. "Amen (i.e., yea), may Jahveh so do! may Jahveh perform thy words which thou hast prophesied, to bring again the vessels of Jahveh's house and all the captives from Babylon into this place. Jeremiah 28:7. Only hear now this word that I speak in thine ears, and in the ears of all the people. Jeremiah 28:8. The prophets that were before me and before thee from of old, they prophesied concerning many lands and great kingdoms, of war, and of trouble, and of pestilence. Jeremiah 28:9. The prophet that prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet cometh to pass, shall be known as the prophet that Jahveh hath truly sent. - As to אמן, yea, see on Jeremiah 11:5. The scope of this assent is straightway defined in "may Jahveh so do." But in order that the hearers may not misunderstand his assent, Jeremiah proceeds to show that hitherto only threatening predictions have carried with them the presumption of their being true prophecies, inasmuch as it is these alone that have been in harmony with the predictions of all previous prophets. ויּנּבאוּ (Jeremiah 28:8) is explained by the fact that "the prophets" with the accompany relative clause is made to precede absolute-wise. In the same absolute manner the clause "the prophet...peace" is disposed so that after the verb יוּדע the word הנּביא is repeated. For לרעה many MSS have לרעב; manifestly an adaptation to passages like Jeremiah 14:12; Jeremiah 21:9; Jeremiah 24:10; Jeremiah 27:8, Jeremiah 27:13; Jeremiah 29:17., where sword, famine, and pestilence are mentioned together as three modes of visitation by God; whereas only the general word רעה seems in place here, when mentioned alongside of "war." For this very reason Hitz. rejects רעב as being the least difficult reading, while Ew. takes it under his protection on account of the parallel passages, not considering that the train of thought is different there. - The truth expressed in Jeremiah 28:9 is based on the Mosaic law concerning prophecy, Deuteronomy 18:21., where the fulfilment of the prediction is given as the test of true, God-inspired prophecy.
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