Jeremiah 29:29
And Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(29) And Zephaniah the priest . . .—The fact thus related agrees with what has been said as to the character of Zephaniah. He does not act as Shemaiah wished him. At the most he only uses the letters as a threat, possibly to put the prophet on his guard against the machinations of his enemies, possibly also to induce him to moderate his tone. We are reminded of the like conduct of the Pharisees who reported Herod’s threats to our Lord, in Luke 13:31.

29:20-32 Jeremiah foretells judgments upon the false prophets, who deceived the Jews in Babylon. Lying was bad; lying to the people of the Lord, to delude them into a false hope, was worse; but pretending to rest their own lies upon the God of truth, was worst of all. They flattered others in their sins, because they could not reprove them without condemning themselves. The most secret sins are known to God; and there is a day coming when he will bring to light all the hidden works of darkness. Shemaiah urges the priests to persecute Jeremiah. Their hearts are wretchedly hardened who justify doing mischief by having power to do it. They were in a miserable thraldom for mocking the messengers of the Lord, and misusing his prophets; yet in their distress they trespass still more against the Lord. Afflictions will not of themselves cure men of their sins, unless the grace of God works with them. Those who slight the blessings, deserve to lose the benefit of God's word, like Shemaiah. The accusations against many active Christians in all ages, amount to no more than this, that they earnestly counsel men to attend to their true interest and duties, and to wait for the performance of God's promises in his appointed way.This captivity is long - Rather, It is long. God's anger, their punishment, the exile, the time necessary for their repentance - all is long to men who will never live to see their country again. 29. Zephaniah … read … in the ears of Jeremiah—He seems to have been less prejudiced against Jeremiah than the others; hence he reads the charge to the prophet, that he should not be condemned without a hearing. This accords with Shemaiah's imputation against Zephaniah for want of zeal against Jeremiah (Jer 29:26, 27). Hence the latter was chosen by King Zedekiah as one of the deputation to Jeremiah (Jer 21:1; 37:3). It is uncertain whether Zephaniah did this out of kindness to Jeremiah, for we read he was sent to Jeremiah upon messages, Jeremiah 21:1 37:3, from the king, or because he would not apprehend him before he heard him, and let him know that he did nothing against him but upon information, &c. And Zephaniah the priest read this letter,.... Of Shemaiah's to him, and the other priests:

in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet: whether out of good will, to let him know who were his enemies abroad; or out of ill will, to stir up the people against him; or in pretence of proceeding equitably with him; not taking him up, and punishing him before he brought the accusation and charge against him; and acquainted him who were his accusers, and what evidence there was, and heard what he had to say in his own defence whether one or the other is uncertain; however, by this means Jeremiah came to the knowledge of Shemaiah's letter.

And Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
29. read this letter, etc.] shewing thereby that he was in sympathy with the prophet.Verse 29. - And Zephaniah the priest, etc. This should rather be printed as a parenthetical remark. After having set forth the divine determination, the prophet's letter addresses itself specially against the false prophets and tells them their punishment from God. Jeremiah 29:21. "Thus saith Jahveh, the God of hosts, of Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and of Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, who prophesy to you in my name falsely: Behold, I give them into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, that he may smite them before your eyes. Jeremiah 29:22. And of them shall be taken up a curse by all the exiles of Judah that are in Babylon, saying: Jahveh make thee like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire, Jeremiah 29:23. Because they have done folly in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbours' wives, and have spoken in my name lying words which I have not commanded them. But I know it and am witness, saith Jahveh." - Beyond what is here told, we know nothing of these two pseudo-prophets. The name אחאב is written in Jeremiah 29:20 without א; thus the Kametz comes to be under the ח, and in consequence of this the Pathach is changed into a Seghol "Smite," i.e., slay. The manner of their death is called, probably with allusion to the name Kolaiah, קלה, roast, burn in a heated furnace; a mode of execution usual in Babylon, acc. to Daniel 3:6. This punishment is to fall on them because of two kinds of sin: 1. Because they have done folly in Israel, namely, committed adultery with their neighbours' wives; 2. Because they have prophesied falsely in the name of Jahveh. Except in Joshua 7:15, the phrase: commit folly in Israel, is always used of the grosser sins of uncleanness; see on Genesis 34:7. So here also. - The Chet. הוידע is expounded in the Keri by היּודע, according to which there has been a transposition of the letters ו and י, as in Jeremiah 2:25; Jeremiah 8:6, etc. Still the article here is extraordinary, since עד has none. Therefore J. D. Mich., Ew., Hitz., Graf suppose we should read הוּ ידע, the א having been dropped from הוּא in scriptio continua, as it often is, especially after י, in הביא and other words, cf. Jeremiah 19:15; Jeremiah 39:16, 1 Kings 21:29, etc. הוּא is then the copula between subject and predicate, as in Isaiah 43:25; cf. Ew. 297, b.
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