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32
Jeremiah Buys a Field
1 # 2 K 25.1-7. The Lord spoke to me in the tenth year that Zedekiah#32.1 Zedekiah: See the note at 1.3. was king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year that Nebuchadnezzar#32.1 Nebuchadnezzar: See the note at 21.2. was king of Babylonia. 2At that time, the Babylonian army had surrounded Jerusalem, and I was in the prison at the courtyard of the palace guards. 3Zedekiah had ordered me to be held there because I told everyone that the Lord had said:
I am the Lord, and I am about to let the king of Babylonia conquer Jerusalem. 4King Zedekiah will be captured and taken to King Nebuchadnezzar, who will speak with him face to face. 5Then Zedekiah will be led away to Babylonia, where he will stay until I am finished with him. So, if you people of Judah fight against the Babylonians, you will lose. I, the Lord, have spoken.
6Later, when I was in prison, the Lord said:
7Jeremiah, your cousin Hanamel, the son of your uncle Shallum, will visit you. He must sell his field near the town of Anathoth, and because you are his nearest relative, you have the right and the responsibility to buy it and keep it in the family.#32.7 you have the right … in the family: See Leviticus 25.25-32.
8Hanamel came, just as the Lord had promised. And he said, “Please buy my field near Anathoth in the territory of the Benjamin tribe. You have the right to buy it, and if you do, it will stay in our family.”
The Lord had told me to buy it 9from Hanamel, and so I did. The price was 17 pieces of silver, and I weighed out the full amount on a scale. 10-11I had two copies of the bill of sale written out: an official copy containing the details of our agreement and another copy, without the details. Some witnesses and I signed the official copy, which was folded and tied, before being sealed shut with hot wax.#32.10,11 signed the official copy, which was folded and tied, before being sealed shut with hot wax: The signing was actually done by pressing a carved clay stamp (called a “seal”) into the hot wax, leaving the design in the wax. Then I gave Hanamel the silver. 12And while he, the witnesses, and all the other Jews sitting in the courtyard were still watching, I gave both copies to Baruch son of Neriah.#32.12 Baruch son of Neriah: Hebrew “Baruch son of Neriah and grandson of Mahseiah.”
13-14I told Baruch that the Lord had said:
Take both copies of this bill of sale, one sealed shut and the other open, and put them in a clay jar so they will last a long time. 15I am the Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, and I promise you that people will once again buy and sell houses, farms, and vineyards in this country.
Jeremiah Questions the Lord
16Then I prayed:
17 Lord God, you stretched out your mighty arm and made the sky and the earth. You can do anything. 18You show kindness for a thousand generations,#32.18 for a thousand generations: Or “to thousands of people.” but you also punish people for the sins of their parents. You are the Lord All-Powerful. 19With great wisdom you make plans, and with your great power you do all the mighty things you planned. Nothing we do is hidden from your eyes, and you reward or punish us as we deserve.
20You are famous because you worked miracles in Egypt, and you are still working them in Israel and in the rest of the world as well. 21You terrified the Egyptians with your miracles, and you reached out your mighty arm and rescued your people Israel from Egypt. 22Then you gave Israel this land rich with milk and honey, just as you had promised our ancestors.
23But when our ancestors took over the land, they did not obey you. And now you have punished Israel with disaster. 24Jerusalem is under attack, and we suffer from hunger and disease. The Babylonians have already built dirt ramps up to the walls of our city, and you can see that Jerusalem will be captured just as you said.
25So why did you tell me to get some witnesses and buy a field with my silver, when Jerusalem is about to be captured by the Babylonians?
The Lord Explains about the Field
26The Lord explained:
27Jeremiah, I am the Lord God. I rule the world, and I can do anything!
28 # 2 K 25.1-11; 2 Ch 36.17-21. It is true that I am going to let King Nebuchadnezzar#32.28 Nebuchadnezzar: See the note at 21.2. of Babylonia capture Jerusalem. 29The Babylonian army is already attacking, and they will capture the city and set it on fire. The people of Jerusalem have made me angry by going up to the flat roofs of their houses and burning incense to Baal and offering wine sacrifices to other gods. Now these houses will be burned to the ground!
30-33The kings and the officials, the priests and the prophets, and everyone else in Israel and Judah have turned from me and made me angry by worshiping idols. Again and again I have tried to teach my people to obey me, but they refuse to be corrected.
I am going to get rid of Jerusalem, because its people have done nothing but evil. 34#2 K 23.10; Jr 7.30,31; 19.1-6. They have set up repulsive idols in my temple, and now it isn't a fit place to worship me. 35#2 K 23.10; Jr 7.31; Lv 18.21. And they led Judah into sin by building places to worship Baal in Hinnom Valley, where they also sacrificed their sons and daughters to the god Molech. I have never even imagined they would commit such disgusting sins.
36Jeremiah, what you said is true. The people of Jerusalem are suffering from hunger and disease, and so the king of Babylonia will be able to capture Jerusalem.
37I am angry with the people of Jerusalem, and I will scatter them in foreign countries. But someday I will bring them back here and let them live in safety. 38They will be my people, and I will be their God. 39-41I will make their thoughts and desires pure. Then they will realize that, for their own good and the good of their children, they must worship only me. They will even be afraid to turn away from me. I will make an agreement with them that will never end, and I won't ever stop doing good things for them. With all my heart I promise that they will be planted in this land once again. 42Even though I have brought disaster on the people, I will someday do all these good things for them.
43Jeremiah, when you bought the field, you showed that fields will someday be bought and sold again. You say that this land has been conquered by the Babylonians and has become a desert, emptied of people and animals. 44But someday, people will again spend their silver to buy fields everywhere—in the territory of Benjamin, the region around Jerusalem and the towns of Judah, and in the hill country, the foothills to the west, and the Southern Desert. Buyers and sellers and witnesses will sign and seal the bills of sale for the fields. It will happen, because I will give this land back to my people. I, the Lord, have spoken.
32
Jeremiah Buys a Field
1This is the word the Lord spoke to Jeremiah. It was in the tenth year that Zedekiah was king of Judah. The tenth year of Zedekiah was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar. 2At that time the army of Babylon was surrounding Jerusalem. Jeremiah was under arrest in the courtyard of the guard. This courtyard was at the palace of the king of Judah.
3Zedekiah king of Judah had put Jeremiah in prison there. Zedekiah had asked, “Why have you prophesied the things you have?” (Jeremiah had said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘I will soon give the city of Jerusalem to the king of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar will capture this city. 4Zedekiah king of Judah will not escape from the army of the Babylonians. But he will surely be given to the king of Babylon. And Zedekiah will speak to the king of Babylon face to face. Zedekiah will see him with his own eyes. 5The king of Babylon will take Zedekiah to Babylon. Zedekiah will stay there until I have punished him,’ says the Lord. ‘If you fight against the Babylonians, you will not succeed.’”)
6While Jeremiah was prisoner, he said, “The Lord spoke his word to me. He said: 7Jeremiah, your cousin Hanamel will come to you soon. He is the son of your uncle Shallum. Hanamel will say to you, ‘Jeremiah, you are my nearest relative. So buy my field near the town of Anathoth. It is your right and your responsibility to buy that field.’
8“Then it happened just as the Lord had said. My cousin Hanamel came to me in the courtyard of the guard. He said to me, ‘Buy my field near Anathoth in the land of Benjamin. Buy that land for yourself. It is your right to buy it and own it.’ So I knew this was a message from the Lord.
9“I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel. I weighed out seven ounces of silver for him. 10I signed the record that showed I now owned the field. And I had a copy of the record sealed up. Some men witnessed it and signed it also. And I weighed out the silver on the scales. 11Then I took the sealed copy of the record of ownership. And I took the copy that was not sealed. 12And I gave them to Baruch son of Neriah. Neriah was the son of Mahseiah. The sealed copy of the record of ownership had all the demands and limits of my purchase. I gave this paper of ownership to Baruch. It was while my cousin Hanamel and the other witnesses were there. Those witnesses also signed the record of ownership. There were also many Jews sitting in the courtyard. And they saw me give the record of ownership to Baruch.
13“With all the people watching, I said to Baruch, 14‘This is what the Lord of heaven’s armies, the God of Israel, says: Take both copies of the record of ownership. Take both the sealed copy and the copy that was not sealed. And put them in a clay jar. Do this so that they will last a long time. 15This is what the Lord of heaven’s armies, the God of Israel, says: In the future my people will once again buy houses. They will also buy fields for grain and vineyards in the land of Israel.’
16“I gave the record of ownership to Baruch son of Neriah. Then I prayed to the Lord. I said: 17Oh, Lord God, you made the skies and the earth. You made them with your very great power. There is nothing too wonderful for you to do. 18Lord, you show love and kindness to thousands of people. But you also bring punishment to children for their fathers’ sins. Great and powerful God, your name is the Lord of heaven’s armies. 19You plan and do great things, Lord. You see everything that people do. You reward people for the way they live and for what they do. 20Lord, you did miracles and wonderful things in the land of Egypt. You have kept on doing them even until today. You did miracles in Israel and among the other nations. You have become well known. 21Lord, you used signs and miracles and brought your people, the Israelites, out of Egypt. You used your great power and strength to do those things. You brought great terror on everyone. 22Lord, you gave this land to the people of Israel. This is the land you promised to their ancestors long ago. It’s a land where much food grows. 23The people of Israel came into this land and took it for their own. But those people did not obey you. They did not follow your teachings. They did not do the things you commanded. So you made all these terrible things happen to them.
24“And now, the enemy has surrounded the city. They are building roads to the top of the walls. There will be war, hunger and terrible diseases. These will cause the city to be handed over to the Babylonians. They are attacking the city now. Lord, you said this would happen. And now you see it is happening. 25But now, Lord God, you are telling me, ‘Buy the field with silver. Choose some men to watch while I purchase it.’ You are telling me this while the Babylonian army is ready to capture the city.”
26Then the Lord spoke his word to Jeremiah: 27“I am the Lord. I am the God of every person on the earth. You know that nothing is impossible for me. 28So this is what I say: I will soon give the city of Jerusalem to the Babylonian army. And I will give it to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. That army will capture the city. 29The Babylonian army is already attacking the city of Jerusalem. They will soon enter the city and start a fire to burn down the city. They will also burn down the houses. The people of Jerusalem made me angry. They offered sacrifices to Baal on the roofs# In Bible times houses were built with flat roofs. The roof was used for drying things such as flax and fruit. And it was used as an extra room, as a place for worship and as a place to sleep in the summer. of their houses. And the people poured out drink offerings to other idols. 30The people of Israel and Judah have done only the things I said were wrong. They have done this since they were young. They have made me angry by worshiping idols made with their own hands,” says the Lord. 31“From the day Jerusalem was built until now, they have made me very angry. Jerusalem has made me so angry I must remove it from my sight. 32I will destroy it. This is because of the evil the people of Israel and Judah have done. The people, their kings and officers have made me angry. Their priests and prophets have made me angry. All the men of Judah and the people of Jerusalem have made me angry. 33They turned their backs to me. I tried to teach them again and again. But they wouldn’t listen to me. I tried to correct them, but they wouldn’t listen. 34They put their hated idols in the place where I have chosen to be worshiped. In this way they made it unclean. 35In the Valley of Ben Hinnom those people built places to worship Baal. They built them so they could burn their sons and daughters as sacrifices to Molech. But I never commanded them to do such a hated thing. I never even thought of it! This would make Judah sin.
36“You are saying, ‘There will be war, hunger and terrible diseases. So the city will be handed over to the king of Babylon.’ But the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 37I have forced the people of Israel and Judah to leave their land. I was very furious and angry with them. But I will gather them from the land where I forced them to go. I will bring them back to this place. I will let them live in peace and safety. 38The people of Israel and Judah will be my people. And I will be their God. 39I will make them want to be truly one people. They will have one goal. They will truly want to worship me all their lives. They will do this for their own good and for their children after them.
40“I will make an agreement with them. This agreement will last forever. And I will never turn away from them. I will always be good to them. I will make them want to respect me. Then they will never turn away from me. 41I will enjoy doing good to them. And I will surely plant them in this land and make them grow. I will do this with my whole being.”
42This is what the Lord says: “I have brought this great disaster to the people of Israel and Judah. In the same way I will bring good things to them. I promise to do good things for them. 43You are saying, ‘This land is an empty desert. There are no people or animals here. The Babylonian army defeated this country.’ But in the future, people will once again buy fields in this land. 44They will use their money and buy fields. They will sign and seal their agreements. People will witness their signing records of ownership. They will again buy fields in the land of Benjamin and in the area around Jerusalem. They will buy fields in the towns of Judah and in the mountains. They will buy them in the western mountain slopes and in southern Judah. This is because I will make everything as good as it once was,” says the Lord.