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great power, and by my out-stretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me.
And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him.
And all nations shall serve him and his son and his son's son, until the very time of his land come; and then
many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him.
And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the Lord, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand.
Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon. For they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you
far from your land, and that I should drive you out and ye shall perish.
But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let remain still in their own land, saith the Lord and they shall till it, and dwell therein.
And Jeremiah spake to Zedekiah according to the tenor of those words, saying, Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live.
Why will ye die, thou and thy people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the LORD hath spoken against the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon
Therefore hearken not unto the words of the prophets that speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon : for they prophesy a lie unto you.
For I have not sent them, saith the LORD, yet they prophesy a lie in my name, that I might drive you out, and that ye might perish, ye, and the prophets that prophesy unto you.
Also I spake to the priests, and to all this people saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hearken not to the words of your prophets, that prophesy unto you, saying, Behold, the vessels of the LORD's house shall now shortly be brought again from Babylon ; for they prophesy a
lie unto you.
Hearken not unto them, serve the king of Babylon, and live : wherefore should this city be laid waste ?
But if they be prophets, and if the word of the LORD be with them, let them now make intercession to the LORD of hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house of the LORD and in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, go not to Babylon.
For thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the pillars, and concerning the sea, and concerning the bases, and concerning the residue of the vessels that remain in this city, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took not when he carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem :
Yea thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessel that remain in the house of the LORD, and in the house of the king of Judah, and of Jerusalem, They shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they be until the day that I visit them, saith the LORD: then will I bring them up, and restore them to
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS We find that Zedekiah followed the bad example of his predecessors, yet the prophet was sent to admonish him and his subjects ; for though the Lord had determined the destruction of the city in case the people did not repent, He promised to have compassion on all who acknowledged their transgressions, and submitted to His Almighty Power.
It is supposed, that after the departure of Nebuchadnezzar out of Judea and Syria, Zedekiah, having settled himself upon the throne, the kings of the Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, Tyrians, and other nations, sent their ambassadors to congratulate him on his accession, and proposed a league with him against the king of Babylon ; but the Lord having ordained that Nebuchadnezzar, who was the chosen instrument of Di vine
vengeance, should on that account rule over the kings of the earth, commanded Jeremiah to put a yoke and bands on his neck, as a significant sign, calculated to give force to his predictions: and it is likely the prophet offered them successively to all the foreign ambassadors mentioned above, in order to prove whether they would give credit to the word of God, thus solemnly pronounced, or not ; but we have reason to suppose, that they rejected them with disdain.
A FALSE PROPHET CONTRADICTS JEREMIAH's
From Chap. xxviii. And it came to pass same year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year, and in the fifth month, that Hananiah the son of
Azur the prophet, which was of Gibeon, spake unto Jeremiah in the house of the Lord, in the presence of the priests, and of all the people, saying.
Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon
Within two full years I will bring again into this place all the vessels of the Lord's house that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place and carried them to Babylon :
And I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah that went into Babylon, saith the LORD, for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.
Then the prophet Jeremiah said unto the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests, and in the presence of all the people that stood in the house of the LORD even the prophet Jeremiah said, Amen: the LORD do so : the LORD perform thy words 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.
Nevertheless, hear thou now this word that I speak in thine ears, and in the ears of all the people ; 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.
The prophet which prophesied 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.
Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from off the prophet Jeremiah's neck, and brake it.
And Hananiah spake in the presence of all the people saying, Thus saith the LORD ; Even so will 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,
Then the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the prophet, after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke 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.
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 ; aud they shall serve him ; and I have given him the beasts of the field also.
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.
Therefore thus saith the LORD ; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth : this
thou shalt die because thou hast taught rebellion against the LORD.
So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. We find from this, and the preceding section, that there were at Jerusalem false prophets, who flattered the king with the hopes of deliverance from the power of Nebuchadnezzar. How Hananiah could have the presumption to utter such a false prediction is astonishing, as the reality of Jeremiah's mission had been fully proved by the accomplishment of may of his prophecies. It was likely that the king, as well as others inight have given credit to him who foretold what was most agreeable to their wishes : God therefore inspired his own prophets to foretell that he designed to punish the impostor with sudden death, that by this awful visitation the people might be admonished to pay due honour to him whom the LORD had sent.