King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Jeremiah 32

Jeremiah buys a field. (1-15) The prophet’s prayer. (16-25) God declares that he will give up his people, but promises to restore them. (26-44)

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Jeremiah buys a field

1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar.

2 For then the king of Babylon’s army besieged Jerusalem: and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judah’s house.

3 For Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up, saying, Wherefore dost thou prophesy, and say, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it;

4 And Zedekiah king of Judah shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, but shall surely be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him mouth to mouth, and his eyes shall behold his eyes;

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 prosper.

6 And Jeremiah said, The word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

7 Behold, Hanameel the son of Shallum thine uncle shall come unto thee saying, Buy thee my field that is in Anathoth: for the right of redemption is thine to buy it.

8 So Hanameel mine uncle’s son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the LORD, and said unto me, Buy my 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.

9 And I bought the field of Hanameel my uncle’s son, that was in Anathoth, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver.

10 And I subscribed the evidence, and sealed it, and took witnesses, and weighed him the money in the balances.

11 So I took the evidence of the purchase, both that which was sealed according to the law and custom, and that which was open:

12 And I gave the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, in the sight of Hanameel mine uncle’s son, and in the presence of the witnesses that subscribed the book of the purchase, before all the Jews that sat in the court of the prison.

13 And I charged Baruch before them, saying,

14 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences, this evidence of the purchase, both which is sealed, and this evidence which is open; and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days.

15 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land.

The prophet’s prayer

16 Now when I had delivered the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed unto the LORD, saying,

17 Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:

18 Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name,

19 Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings:

20 Which hast set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even unto this day, and in Israel, and among other men; and hast made thee a name, as at this day;

21 And hast brought forth thy people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs, and with wonders, and with a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with great terror;

22 And hast given them this land, which thou didst swear to their fathers to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey;

23 And they came in, and possessed it; but they obeyed not thy voice, neither walked in thy law; they have done nothing of all that thou commandedst them to do: therefore thou hast caused all this evil to come upon them:

24 Behold the mounts, they are come unto the city to take it; and the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans, that fight against it, because of the sword, and of the famine, and of the pestilence: and what thou hast spoken is come to pass; and, behold, thou seest it.

25 And thou hast said unto me, O Lord GOD, Buy thee the field for money, and take witnesses; for the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.

God declares that he will give up his people, but promises to restore them

26 Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying,

27 Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

28 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the Chaldeans, and into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and he shall take it:

29 And the Chaldeans, that fight against this city, shall come and set fire on this city, and burn it with the houses, upon whose roofs they have offered incense unto Baal, and poured out drink offerings unto other gods, to provoke me to anger.

30 For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have only done evil before me from their youth: for the children of Israel have only provoked me to anger with the work of their hands, saith the LORD.

31 For this city hath been to me as a provocation of mine anger and of my fury from the day that they built it even unto this day; that I should remove it from before my face,

32 Because of all the evil of the children of Israel and of the children of Judah, which they have done to provoke me to anger, they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

33 And they have turned unto me the back, and not the face: though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction.

34 But they set their abominations in the house, which is called by my name, to defile it.

35 And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

36 And now therefore thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city, whereof ye say, It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence;

37 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely:

38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God:

39 And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them:

40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.

41 Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.

42 For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them.

43 And fields shall be bought in this land, whereof ye say, It is desolate without man or beast; it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.

44 Men shall buy fields for money, and subscribe evidences, and seal them, and take witnesses in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, and in the cities of the mountains, and in the cities of the valley, and in the cities of the south: for I will cause their captivity to return, saith the LORD.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Tenth. The city had been besieged about a year, (C. xxxix. 1.) and the prophet continued to admonish the king and people of their fate. C. xxxiv. C. — He bought land, to shew that they should one day return. W.

Ver. 2. Court, at large, so that people might come to him freely. He was not chained or in prison, as C. xxxvii. 15. and xxxviii. 6. 13. C.

Ver. 4. Eyes. They were afterwards put out at Reblatha, (H.) so that he could not see Babylon. Ezec. xii. 13. W. — Sedecias was imprisoned, and buried there by the Jews. C. xxxiv. 5. and 12.

Ver. 7. Next. Priests could sell only to their fellow priests. Lev. xxv. 34. S. Jer. — Others might dispose of their landed property to any, until the year of jubilee. The nearest relation had the first offer, but he was not obliged to purchase. Jeremias now consented, to shew that the people should return to possess the land, though it was now in the enemy’s hands. C. — Thus a Roman purchased the land on which Hannibal was encamped, despising his power and threats. V. Max. iii. 8. Livy xxvi. H.

Ver. 8. Came into the city clandestinely; or rather he entered before the siege. C.

Ver. 9. Silver. Heb. “seventeen sicles of silver.” H. — Coin was not yet used. C.

Ver. 11. Outside. “There was another copy left open for inspection, (v. 14.) which custom still prevails,” says S. Jerom. H.

Ver. 14. Days, safe from dampness, &c. Thus Origen found a version of the Bible preserved at Jericho. C. — After the captivity, the owners shall claim their land.

Ver. 17. Alas. Heb. ahah, ah! only once. Sept. “O, thou Being, Lord God.” H. — Hard. Heb. also, “hidden, wonderful,” &c. C. — “When the gods perform, nothing appears incredible.” Pindar, Pyt. x. See v. 27. Lu. i. 37. H.

Ver. 18. After them, to the third and fourth generation. Ex. xxxiv. 7. His mercy is more exalted. C.

Ver. 20. Day. We remember thy ancient miracles, and witness others.

Ver. 23. Any of. Lit. “all those,” which seems better, as he who offends in one, becomes guilty of all; and the Jews certainly had observed some precepts, though they did not persevere unto the end. H.

Ver. 24. By. Lit. “at the presence of the sword,” or by its force. Ps. lix. 6. W.

Ver. 25. Is given, in the eternal decrees. v. 28. H.

Ver. 29. Baal, the sun, &c. C. xix. 13. Soph. i. 5. and 4 K. xxiii. 12. C.

Ver. 30. Continually, (Sym.) “moreover,” (Aq.) or “alone.” Sept. and Theodot. v. 23. H.

Ver. 31. Built it. The Jebusites polluted it. David himself offended, as well as Solomon, and under all the kings many crimes were committed, (C.) which is always the case in large cities. These general terms only denote a great corruption, tough some would be virtuous. H.

Ver. 34. It, under Achaz, Manasses, and perhaps the last kings of Juda. Ezec. viii. 9.

Ver. 35. Consecrate. Heb. “make them pass” through or into the fire, to be consumed in honour of Moloc. 4 K. xxi. 6. — Heart. They perhaps meant to imitate Abraham. C. vii. 31.

Ver. 37. Lands. What is here said must be understood of the captives, yet in such a manner that Christians are more particularly designated, for the Jews never enjoyed such perfect security, nor followed one way, nor enjoyed the eternal covenant, (v. 39. 40. C. xxxi. 31. C.) except those who embraced the true faith of Christ. At all times one religion alone can be pleasing to God, (v. 39.) and those who were saved under the old law, must have believed in a Redeemer to come, as we must do in one already past. H. — God would not suffer true believers to become extinct under the old law; much less will he since Christ’s coming. W.

Ver. 41. Truth, like a tree which shall not be eradicated.

Ver. 44. Juda, and in. A farther description of these cities is given, situated about the capital, Hebron, Sephala, (the plain) near Gaza, (C.) and the Negeb or south country, (H.) towards Arabia. Here the excellent commentary of S. Jerom ends, to our great loss. C. — It was perhaps his last work, undertaken after the twelve minor and the other three great prophets. He never wrote on Baruch, on the epistle of Jeremias, the Gr. parts of Daniel, &c. as the Jews did not allow them to be canonical, and the point was not then decided. The Church styles S. Jerom “the greatest doctor in expounding the sacred Scriptures,” as he translated and illustrated the greatest part of them; (H.) and indeed he seems to have been the best qualified for the undertaking, of all the fathers. Du Pin. — Hence we may lament the more that we have not all his works in their genuine purity and perfection, as even the latest editions are very faulty, and proceed upon a plan which the learned do not approve. See A. Butler, Kennicott, &c. H.