Jeremiah 42:3
That the LORD your God may show us the way wherein we may walk, and the thing that we may do.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
42:1-6 To serve a turn, Jeremiah is sought out, and the captains ask for his assistance. In every difficult, doubtful case, we must look to God for direction; and we may still, in faith, pray to be guided by a spirit of wisdom in our hearts, and the leadings of Providence. We do not truly desire to know the mind of God, if we do not fully resolve to comply with it when we know it. Many promise to do what the Lord requires, while they hope to have their pride flattered, and their favourite lusts spared. Yet something betrays the state of their hearts.Among those delivered by Johanan from Ishmael had been Jeremiah and Baruch Jeremiah 43:6; and to them now all, without exception, come for counsel.

Jezaniah - He is called Azariah in Jeremiah 43:2. The Septuagint, in both places, call him Azariah. Since there is little reason for identifying him with Jezaniah the Maachathite Jeremiah 40:8, it is probable that the Septuagint is right in calling him in both places Azariah, and that the reading Jezaniah arose from some scribe assuming that his name must be found in the earlier list.

3. They consulted God, like many, not so much to know what was right, as wishing Him to authorize what they had already determined on, whether agreeable to His will or not. So Ahab in consulting Micaiah (1Ki 22:13). Compare Jeremiah's answer (Jer 42:4) with Micaiah's (1Ki 22:14). The thing they would have him pray to God for, was direction what they should do in this desolate state into which God had brought them. What could be more pious? a practice founded upon a Divine precept, and encouraged by a promise, Proverbs 3:6, Acknowledge him in all thy ways, and he shall direct thy steps. But we may well apply here what God had said to their forefathers, Deu 5:29, when they had so freely promised their obedience to the law of God, Oh that there were such an heart in them, &c. That the Lord thy God may show us the way wherein we may walk,.... Not the way of their duty as to religious worship, or their moral conversation, which was the way of God's commandments, and had been shown them, and they knew it; but which way they should steer their course for their safety; they had departed from Mizpah of themselves, and had taken up their dwelling at Geruthchimham, in the way to Egypt; whither they had set their faces, and where their hearts were, only they wanted the Lord's sanction for it, pretending they would be directed by him:

and the thing that we should do; the steps they should take in order to proceed; and what they should do before they left their own country, and went into another.

That the LORD thy God may show us the way in which we may walk, and the thing that we may {a} do.

(a) This declares the nature of hypocrites who would know of God's word what they should do, but will not follow it, unless it agrees with that thing which they have purposed to do.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. that the Lord thy God may shew us] They make up their minds to flee into Egypt, and only after they have done this, proceed to enquire God’s will. Hence we cannot acquit them of hypocrisy. Cp. Ahab in 1 Kings 22:3 ff.When those who had been carried off by Ishmael saw these captains, they were glad, since they had followed their captor merely because they were forced to do so. They all turned, and went over to Johanan; but Ishmael escaped from Johanan, with eight men, - having thus lost two in the fight with Johanan, - and went to the Ammonites.
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