Jeremiah 32:8
So Hanameel my uncle's son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the LORD, and said to me, Buy my field, I pray you, that is in Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin: for the right of inheritance is yours, and the redemption is yours; buy it for yourself. Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD.
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(8) Buy my field, I pray thee, that is in Anathoth . . .—We are not told what led Hanameel to make the offer of sale. Probably, as in the Assyrian invasion (Isaiah 10:30), Anathoth was occupied and ravaged by the army of the Chaldæans, and the field seemed to its possessor little more than a damnosa hœreditas (“an inheritance of ruin”), which he was glad to get rid of at any price. Perhaps, too, looking to the part that Jeremiah had taken in urging submission to Nebuchadnezzar, it seemed prudent to transfer the ownership of the field to one whom the Chaldæans were disposed to protect, while, as Jeremiah was in prison, Hanameel might well expect to remain in occupation as his representative. The words “the right of inheritance is thine” indicate that Hanameel had no children. The description “Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin,” hardly natural in the lips of cousin speaking to cousin, is wanting in the LXX. version, and is traceable probably to the Jewish habit of writing in the text what with us would be notes in the margin.

32:1-15 Jeremiah, being in prison for his prophecy, purchased a piece of ground. This was to signify, that though Jerusalem was besieged, and the whole country likely to be laid waste, yet the time would come, when houses, and fields, and vineyards, should be again possessed. It concerns ministers to make it appear that they believe what they preach to others. And it is good to manage even our worldly affairs in faith; to do common business with reference to the providence and promise of God.The right of inheritance is thine - Hanameel therefore had no children, and at his death the land would have been Jeremiah's by right of birth. According to the Law Numbers 35:5, it must have been part of the suburbs of Anathoth, within less than a mile, which was all the priests and Levites might cultivate. 8. Then I knew—Not that Jeremiah previously doubted the reality of the divine communication, but, the effect following it, and the prophet's experimentally knowing it, confirmed his faith and was the seal to the vision. The Roman historian, Florus (2.6), records a similar instance: During the days that Rome was being besieged by Hannibal, the very ground on which he was encamped was put up for sale at Rome, and found a purchaser; implying the calm confidence of the ultimate issue entertained by the Roman people. Hanameel came freely, none drove or forced him, yet he came necessarily as to the event; he could not but go, else God had not told the prophet truth.

Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord; when I saw it came to pass, knowing that God alone knew what was in men’s hearts, told what they would do, I knew my former mentioned revelation was from God. So Hanameel mine uncle's son came unto me,.... Freely and voluntarily, of his own accord; though it was determined he should, as it was predicted he would; for God's decrees do not infringe the liberty of the will: this man came from Anathoth, very probably, to Jerusalem, to the place where the prophet was:

in the court of the prison, according to the word of the Lord; which had been made known before to Jeremiah:

and said unto me, buy my field, I pray thee, that is in Anathoth,

which is in the country of Benjamin; it belonged to that tribe:

for the right of inheritance is thine; the reversion of this field; it would come to him after the death of his cousin, as being next heir:

and the redemption is thine; buy it for thyself; since, if it was sold to another, he, according to law, was obliged to redeem it; and therefore it was much better to buy it at once for himself:

then I knew that this was the word of the Lord; that it was the word of the Lord which came to him before, and that it was the will of the Lord that he should make this purchase; since there was such an exact agreement between the prophecy and the event.

So Hanameel my uncle's son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the LORD, and said to me, Buy my {e} field, I pray thee, that is in Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin: for the right of inheritance is thine, and the redemption is thine; buy it for thyself. Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD.

(e) Of the possession of the Levites, read Le 25:32.

8. which … Benjamin] absent from LXX and under the circumstances obviously a superfluity.

the right of inheritance is thine] We infer that Hanamel had no children.Verse 8. - The right of inheritance (or rather, of taking possession) is thine. The right, however, was dependent on the previous right of redeeming the land. Hence the speaker continues: The redemption is thine; buy it for thyself. The Law directs, "If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold" (Leviticus 25:25). Jeremiah's kinsman, however, ascribes to him the right of pre-emption. This is not mentioned in Leviticus; hut, of course, no one would care to purchase a property till he was sure that the next kinsman would not insist on redeeming it. No one, it may be remarked, could purchase land unconditionally - the usufruct of it till the year of jubilee was all that was legally transferable; and even the original occupant had only a life interest in his land, the ownership of which was, strictly speaking, vested in the commune. This seems to Be the necessary inference from a comprehensive view of the passages relative to land in the Old Testament (see Mr. Fenton's 'Early Hebrew Life; ' and an article in the Church Quarterly Review, July, 1880). Then I knew, etc. We may, perhaps, interpret this notice combined with that in ver. 6 thus: Jeremiah had had a presentiment, founded, perhaps, upon the distress to which his cousin had been reduced, that the latter would invite him to carry out the provisions of the Law; and his presentiments were generally so ordered by the Divine Spirit of prophecy as to be ratified by the event. Still, he had a measure of uncertainty till Hanameel actually came to him, and so demonstrated "that this had been the word of the Lord." In recording the circumstances, he not unnaturally reflects his later feeling of certitude in his description of the presentiment. The time and the circumstances of the following message from God. - The message came to Jeremiah in the tenth year of Zedekiah, i.e., in the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar (cf. Jeremiah 25:1 and Jeremiah 52:12), when the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and Jeremiah was kept in confinement in the fore-court of the royal palace. These historical data are inserted (Jeremiah 32:2-5) in the form of circumstantial clauses: 'ואז חיל וגו, "for at that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem." The siege had begun in the ninth year of Zedekiah (Jeremiah 39:1; Jeremiah 52:4), and was afterwards raised for a short time, in consequence of the approach of an auxiliary corps of Egyptians; but, as soon as these had been defeated, it was resumed (Jeremiah 37:5, Jeremiah 37:11). Jeremiah was then kept confined in the court of the prison of the royal palace (cf. Nehemiah 3:25), "where Zedekiah, king of Judah, had imprisoned him, saying: Why dost thou prophesy, 'Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, so that he shall take it; Jeremiah 32:4. And Zedekiah, the king of Judah, shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, but shall assuredly be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, and his mouth shall speak with his mouth, and his eyes shall behold his eyes; Jeremiah 32:5. And he shall lead Zedekiah to Babylon, and there shall he be until I visit him, saith the Lord. Though ye fight with the Chaldeans, ye shall not succeed?'" - We have already found an utterance of like import in Jeremiah 21:1-14, but that is not here referred to; for it was fulfilled at the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem, and did not bring on Jeremiah the consequences mentioned here. From Jeremiah 37 we learn that Jeremiah, during the siege of Jerusalem, on till the time when it was raised through the approach of the Egyptian army, had not been imprisoned, but went freely in and out among the people (Jeremiah 37:4.). Not till during the temporary raising of the siege, when he wanted to go out of the city into the land of Benjamin, was he seized and thrown into a dungeon, on the pretence that he intended to go over to the Chaldeans. There he remained many days, till King Zedekiah ordered him to be brought, and questioned him privately as to the issue of the conflict; when Jeremiah replied, "Thou shalt be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon." On this occasion Jeremiah complained to the king of his imprisonment, and requested that he might not be sent back into the dungeon, where he must soon perish; the king then ordered him (Jeremiah 37:11-21) to be taken into the court of the prison-house (חצר , Jeremiah 37:21), where he remained in confinement till the city was taken (Jeremiah 38:13, Jeremiah 38:28; Jeremiah 39:14). The statement in our verses as to the cause of this imprisonment does not contradict, but agrees with the notice in Jeremiah 37, as soon as we perceive that this account contains merely a brief passing notice of the matter. The same holds true of the utterance of the prophet in Jeremiah 32:3-5. Jeremiah, even at the beginning of the siege (Jeremiah 21:3.), had sent a message of similar import to the king, and repeated the same afterwards: Jeremiah 34:3-5; Jeremiah 37:17; Jeremiah 38:17-23. The words of our verses are taken from these repeated utterances; Jeremiah 32:4 agrees almost verbatim with Jeremiah 34:3; and the words, "there shall he remain עד־פּקדי אתו, till I regard him with favour," are based upon the clearer utterance as to the end of Zedekiah, Jeremiah 34:4-5. - The circumstances under which Jeremiah received the following commission from the Lord are thus exactly stated, in order to show how little prospect the present of the kingdom of Judah offered for the future, which was portrayed by the purchase of the field. Not only must the kingdom of Judah inevitably succumb to the power of the Chaldeans, and its population go into exile, but even Jeremiah is imprisoned, in so hopeless a condition, that he is no longer sure of his life for a single day.
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