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5 Then the prophet Jeremiah said unto the prophet Ilamni.-ih in the presínce of the priests, and in the presence of all the people

6 that stood in the house of the Lord, Even the prophet Jeremiah said, Amen: the Lord do so: the Loh D perform thy word» •which thou hast prophesied, to bring again the vessels of the Lord's house, and all that is carried away captive, from Babylon into this place; though I have firo/ihcsied evil, I heartily wish the good of my country, and that God would revoke the sentence of

7 ruin which I have pronounced. Nevertheless hear thou now this word that I speak in thine ears, and in the ears of all the people;

8 The prophets that have been before me and before thee of old prophesied both against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence ; yea, many of the Je-iaiish firo/ihets foretold the destruction of their city and country, and it came to fiass; then-fore I may be a true /trofifiet, though I

9 foretell evil. The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, [then] shall the prophet be known, that the Lord hath truly sent him; the event wilt firovc whether I speak truth or thou.

10 Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from off the pro

11 phet Jeremiah's neck, and brake it. And Hananiah spake in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Even so vvill I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years. And the prophet Jeremiah went his way, having no directions from the Lord what re/ily to make.

12 Then the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah [the prophet,] after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke

13 from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying, Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord ; Thou hast broken the yokes of wood; but thou shalt make for them yokes of

•* iron ; the more they resist Nebuchadnezzar, the more ¡lotver he shall have over them; they »hall bring more confusion into their affairs, and süßer more from him. He then renew» the former firc

14 fihccy in stronger terms. For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the , God of Israel; I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all

these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also.

15 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 ; thou hast taught the fifo/ile to disbelieve his word, and rebel against his commandments.

Î tj Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold. I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shall die, because thou hast

17 taught rebellion against the Lord. So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month, just two months after his firojihecy. He had limited the return of Jeconiah and the vessels to two years, that the fieofile might more readily believe .him; Jeremiah confined the evidence of his falsehood to one year ¡ -and !wo tnonifn confirmed it.



\. TPAÏTHFUL ministers heartily wish the welfare of sinners, Л. though they denounce evil against them, т>. 7. Jeremiah sincerely desired the prosperity of his country, and that God would revoke the dreadful message sent by him, though they had hated and persecuted him. Thus Christian ministers who are faithful to their trust, desire the happiness of the worst of men, though they threaten them with the wrath to come; yea, bear them more good will than those who only prophesy smooth things, and are therefore more agreeable to them. They say no more than Christ and his apostles, and the ministers before them, have said, concerning the evil of sin, and the wrath of God against it: they do not love to terrify and alarm; it gives them pain to do it. Bui they are compelled by fidelity to God and love to souls: and their hearers should always consider their admonitions in this light.

2. Let us observe and adore the judgment of God upon this infamous liar. What a presumptuous wretch was Hananiah, to declare that God had sent him, when he had not ; and to teach the people rebellion against God in his name! All liars are abominable to the God of truth; especially those who falsify his word, and father their lies upon him. Those who encourage sinners in an evil way, who tell them that they shall have peace, bid them not mind what God's ministers say, and thus make them trust in a lie, are the worst and vilest of sinners. May we avoid and abhor all lying and deceit; especially where the souls of men are concerned; lor alt liars, and particularly such as these, shall have their jiunion in the lake 4vhiclt èurnfiA Tuithjire.

3. How great is the stupidity and hardness of those sinners, who will not be alarmed by the word or the judgments of God. These extraordinary predictions were delivered in the presence of the priests and all the people ; and when they saw Hananiah so awfully convicted of being a false prophet by his death, one would have expected that such a providence would have awakened them to attend to Jeremiah's message, and comply with his admonitions. It is strange also that the predictions should have had no efiect on Hananiah himself, who knew in his conscience that he was speaking lies in God's name; yet both he and the people continued obstinate, and Jeremiah's words all came true in their destruction. So dreadfully doth sin stupify and besot the human mind. This should teach us to pay a serious regard to God's word ; and excite our earnest prayers that he would deliver us from hardness tj'hiart.


Contain» Jeremiah's letter to the captives in Babylon ; and the JearfuL end of Ahab and Zedekiah, two lying prophets.

1 VTOVV these [are] the words of the letter that Jeremiah -LN the prophet sent from Jerusalem unto the residue of the elders which were carried away captives, and to the priests, and to the false prophets, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnez

2 zar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon ; (After that Jeconiah the king, and the queen mother, and the eunuchs, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the carpen

S tcrs, and the smiths, were departed from Jerusalem. ;) By the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan, and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, (whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent unto Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, to renew his promise of fideU

4 ty,and to flay his tribute,) saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon; a message that imfilied encouragement, as it was an evidence

5 that God had not east them off; Build ye houses, and dwell [in

6 them ;] and plant gardens and eat the fruit of them; Take yc wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished; think not of a speedy return, but accommodate yourselves to your conditisn, and make no attempts to shake off the yoke: consider Babylon as your country, and endeavour to be happy tAere•

7 And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, by your hyalty and submission, and pray unto the Loud for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.

8 For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that [be] in the midst of you, deceive you, for if you exficct soon to return you will not take pains to make your settlements comfortable, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed, encouraging them

9 to foretell these things, because ye love to hear them. For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, sailh the Lord.

to For thus saith the Lord, that after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon, at the very instant of, or immediately upon, thr completion of seventy years, I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you or your posterity to re

f I turn to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, though

It is tn be remembered that these Israelites were not absolute sVaves. b-n wrt settle,! as a colony to cultivate some particular part of the countrv; as the trn trit»rs and other cthifurred nations were, whom they Imo;:-^!,1; to theirUnd: tluswusffisc poiic,', lo kerp thea;U •obiectinn*

1 seem to have casi you off, to give you an expected end, such as

12 you look for and desire. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye

13 shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And yc shall seek me, and find [me,] when ye shall search for me with all your heart; / ivilt sir ufi a spirit of prayer among you; ye shall call upon me, and I will answer you, according to the prcm

14 ises'of the law,Deut. iv. 29. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither 1 have driven you, saith the Lord ; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.

15 Because ye have said, The Lord hath raised us up prophets in Babylon, mho have foretold different things from what Jercmi

16 ah foretold ;• [Know] that thus saith the Lord of the king that sitteth upon the throne of David, that is, Zedekiah, and of ail the people that dwelleth in this city, [and] of your brethren that are

17 not gone forth with you into captivity; Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Behold, I will send upon them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like vile figs, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil; they shall come to you, and not you to

18 them, and shall perish among you. And I will persecute them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence, and will deliver them to be removed to all th« kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, and an astonishment, and an hissing, and a reproach, among all the nations whither I have driven them:

19 Because they have not hearkened to my words, saith the Lord, which I sent unto them by my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending [them ;] but ye would not hear, saith the Lord, but rather gave ear to false prophets.

20 Hear ye therefore the word of the Lord, all ye of the captivity, whom I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon: Whereas ye have said, the Lord hath raised us up prophets in Babylon;

21 Thus sahh the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, of Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and of Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, which prophesy a lie unto you in my name, predicting your speedy return; Behold, I will deliver them into the hand Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon ; and he shall slay them before your eyes;

22 And of them shall be taken up a curse by all the captivity of Judah which [are] in Babylon, saying, The Lord make thee like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire ;t probably being incensed against them for persuading the people not to settle according to his orders, or sowing

23 sedition; Because they have committed villany in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbours' wives,{ and

• This Verse seems to be transposed, it should have come in after v. 20,

t In nil pronability they were treated in the same manner as was intended fc,r Sbr«lrach, Meshach.and Abedne^n, ill 20, 21. One-would think it uould in.Uicis theui much Co receive such a proph.-cy, and to see It so remarkably accomplished.

I The Jewish rabb'ns. as Grotias observes, have a tradition that these were the two el !era who attempted the chastity of Sua nmab. the story of which they think to be true ui pan, t!i Mgh not altogether such u is represented in the Apocrypha.

Vol. V. Z z

have spoken lying words in my naroe, which I have not commanded them; even 1 know, and [am] a witness, saith tbe LoBD) though men cannot fir ove it against them,

24 [Thus] shall thou also speak to Shemaiah the Nehelamite,

25 saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; saying, Because thou hast sent letters in thy name unto all the people that [are] at Jerusalem, and to Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, and to all the priests, in answer to the letter of Shemaiah, n'hich vías brought to Jerusalem by t fiase -who carried

26 Jeremiah's letter to Babylon^ saying, The Lord hath made Uiee priest in the stead of Jchoiada, the priest, the high jiriest who •was carried captive, that ye should be officers in the house of the Lord, for every man, or, in the case of any one, [that is] mad, and maketh himself a prophet, that thou shouldst put him in prison, and in the stocks; telling him that he had authori

27 ty to punish every one {¡retending to be a firofihet. Now therefore why hast thou not reproved Jeremiah of Anathoth, which maketh himself a prophet to you? vihy hast thou not executed

28 thy authority ujion him? For therefore, or rallier, because he sent unto us [in] Babylon, saying, This [captivity is] long: build ye houses, and dwell [in them ;] and plant gardens, and

29 eat the fruit of them. And Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet, though, bang a friend to him, he would not shorn it jiublicly.

30 Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah, saying,

31 Send to all them of the captivity, saying, Thus saith the Lord concerning Shemaiah the Nchelamite ; Because that Shemaiah hatli prophesied unto you, and I sent him not, and he caused you

32 to trust in a lie: Therefore thus saith the Lorp; Behold, I-. will punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite, and his seed: he shall not have a man to dwell among this people; neither shail he behold the good that I will do for my people, saith the Lord; because he hath taught rebellion against the Lord ; none cf hi» fiosterity shall live to see the end of the captivity, nor the favour God will show his fieofile both in and after their return.


I. TÄ7E may infer from hence the usefulness of letters; and V V how much we may serve God, and instruct and comfort our friends, by writing to them, as well as conversing with them. The art of writing is an inestimable blessing to the world ; friendly correspondence is very comfortable, and may be very useful, if our letters are seasoned with grace. This we should be careful of; since, if idle words are to be accounted for, much more will idle letters, as so much more time is spent about them, and the impression made by them, whether it be good or bad, may be more lasting.

2. It is our duty to bring our mind to our condition, Whatever it is. The Israelites in Babylon art commanded to act as if they were

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