6. And Jeremiah said, The word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
6. Et dixit Jeremias, Fuit sermo Jehovae ad me dicendo,
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.
7. Ecce Chanameel filius Sellum patrui tui yenit ad to (aut, venturus est ad to) qui dicet, Eme tibi agrum meum qui est in Anathoth; quia tibi jus affinitatis (vertunt, jus redemptionis, sed redemptio illa refertur ad affinitatem, vel cognationem, jus ignitur cognationis) ad emendum.
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.
8. Et venit ad me Chanameel filius patrui mei, sicut loquutus fuerat Jehova, ad atrium custodiae, et dixit mihi, Eme agedum agrum meum qui est in Anathoth, quod oppidum est in terra Benjamin, quia tibi jus haereditatis (vel, possessionis;
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.
9. Et emi agrum ab ChanameeI filio patrui mei qui erat in Anathoth, et appendi ei pecuniam, septem siclos et decem nunmxos argentcos.
10. And I subscribed the evidence, and sealed it, and took witnesses, and weighed him the money in the balances.
10. Et scripsi in libro et obsignavi, et contestatus sum testes, et appendi pecuniam in statem (vel, in lancibus; est in auribus, sed metaphorice trutinam in duali numero vocant aures)
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:
11. Et sumpsi librum emptionis obsignatum ex praescripto et ritu (vel, more, vel, statuto) et apertum.
12. And I gave the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Netlab, 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.
12. EL dedi librum emptionis Baruch filio Neriae filii Maassiae coram oculis Chanameel patruelis mei, et coram oculis testium qui scripti erant in libro emptionis, coram oculis omnium Judaeorum qui sedebant in atrio custodiae;
13. And I charged Baruch before them, saying,
13. Et praecepi Baruch coram oculis ipsorum, dicendo,
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:
14. Sic dicit Jehova exercituum, Deus Israel, Sume Flbros istos, librum emptionis hunc et obsignatum et librum apertum (hoc est, tam obsignatum quam apertum hunt librum) et pone cos in vase testacco, ut perstent ad multos dies, (nunc sequitur applicatio visionis:)
15. For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Houses, and fields, and vineyards, shall be possessed again in this land.
15. Quia sic elicit Jehova exercituum, Deus Israel, Adhuc ement domos et agros et vineas in terra hac.
The whole of this passage ought to be read together, for the Prophet at large explains how and by what symbol this prophecy had been confirmed. Now the purpose of the whole is to shew that after a long time the Jews would return to their own country, for God would restore them, and their captivity would have an end. God's design, then, was to give them a hope of deliverance, but yet they were admonished to wait patiently for the end of their exile.
Let us now come to the external symbol. The Prophet was commanded to buy a field of his uncle's son. Now this appeared strange, for the enemies had taken possession of that part of the country, and none of the Jews could then venture to go out to their own fields. As then they were deprived of the very sight of their own fields, the Prophet must have appeared to have been beside himself when he bought a field in the possession of enemies. But in this way God intended to shew, that after the Jews had for a time been deprived of the possession of the land, they would again return to it, so that every one would recover his own right, and thus everything would become completely their own, that is, after God had shewed them mercy.
But in the first place, let us see whether this was, as they say, a naked vision, or a real transaction. Some think that it was exhibited to Jeremiah by the prophetic Spirit; but it may be easily gathered from the context that the field was actually bought. It is first said, that the
Before Hanameel then came, the Prophet was instructed that nothing was done unadvisedly, but that God had arranged and ordered the whole. He was then commanded to buy the field, and as it were to cast away his money; for who would not have said that it was the same thing as to throw it away? And then we are to notice a circumstance as to the time; for the Prophet was then in danger of his life, to what purpose then was the field to him? We have also said that he could not have a free access to it, had he not been shut up in prison; for he could not have ventured to go out of the city. It was then a most strange and ridiculous purchase according to the judgment of the flesh; for Jeremiah squandered away his money, and the possession of the field was only imaginary. But yet as God would have him to buy it, he spared not his money, but purchased the field from his uncle's son.
He then says, that
He afterwards adds, that he
It may now be asked, how could Hanameel, who was of the Levitical order, sell a field, for we know that fields did not belong to the Levites, and that they had tithes for their inheritance. (Numbers 18:21) But this is to be taken for a suburban field, for they had the suburbs, and each had a meadow: they neither ploughed nor reaped, nor was it indeed lawful for them, according to the law, to labor in agriculture, but they fed cattle and sheep: and this is proved by the smallness of the sum given; for what was the field sold for? for seven shekels and ten pieces of silver.2 We hence see that it was not a large field, but only a meadow like a garden; for the price would have been larger, had it been some acres of land. Then the difficulty here is easily removed, for Hanameel sold to Jeremiah a small meadow, as every Levite had in the suburbs a meadow to feed his sheep or his cattle; at the same time none of them had large herds, but each had a cow or two. This, then, is what we are to understand by the field.
The Prophet adds, that he
This then was the reason why two writings of the purchase were made, the sealed and the open.4 The open had a present benefit, as it would make the faithful to go more willingly into exile, and calmly to submit to the chastisement allotted to them by God; and for this reason the Prophecy was to be open to all. It was also sealed, in order that after the lapse of seventy years it might animate the godly, and inspire them with the hope of their promised deliverance. This, therefore, is the reason, as I think, why the Prophet relates that he made a writing and sealed it, and then that he made another writing which remained open.
He afterwards adds, that he gave both to his scribe
Grant, Almighty God, that since we have at this day the evidence of eternal salvation sealed in earthen vessels, and thou invitest us to the hope of that blessed inheritance by the voice of men, -- O grant, that we may not judge of the permanence of thy faithfulness by the appearance of those whom thou hast made our ministers, but relying on thy perpetuity, may we never doubt but that that life will be kept safe for us, which now every moment seems to vanish away, until at last we shall come to the full fruition of it in Christ Jesus our Lord. -- Amen.
Lecture One Hundred and Twenty-Seventh
Though we sufficiently perceive the meaning of the preceding prophecy, it may, however, be proper to touch briefly on the last part, which is the application of the vision,
1 Gataker and Venema give another view of this clause. The Lord, as we find from verse 7 (Jeremiah 32:7), did not tell him to buy the field, but only informed him of the coming and offer of Hanameel. When Hanameel came, he knew that it was God's will that he should buy the field, and he instantly acted accordingly. He knew from the very circumstances that it was God's message, sent to him to buy the field. -- Ed.
2 We may render the words literally thus, "And I weighed for him the money, seven shekels and ten, the money." The word is "silver," but it is often taken for money. The seventeen shekels, according to Lowth, were about two pounds of our money. -- Ed.
3 There were no doubt two rolls or writings, as it appears clear from Jeremiah 32:14, where the two are distinctly mentioned, "Take these rolls, this roll of the purchase, even the sealed, and this open roll," etc. The word
There seems to be an incongruity in verse the 10th (Jeremiah 32:10), as rendered by most; the roll is represented as "sealed," before the "witnesses" are mentioned, and before the money was weighed. The rendering, I conceive, ought to be as follows, "So I wrote in a roll; and I sealed it, when I had made witnesses to witness it, and weighed the money in balances." The
11. And I took the writing of the purchase, -- it the sealed, the commandment and the conditions, -- and it the open; and I gave the writing of the purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah,
12 The son of Maaseiah, in the sight of Hanameel my uncle's son, and in the sight of the witnesses who wrote in the roll of the purchase, and in sight of all the Jews who
13. sat in the court of the prison; and I commanded Baruch in their sight,
14. saying, "Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, 'Take these rolls, -- this roll of the purchase, even it the sealed, and this open roll; and put them in au earthen vessel, that they may continue many days.'"
The two rolls are called "the writing of the purchase" in ver. 11, but distinguished, one being "sealed," and the other "open," or unsealed. The sealed contained "the commandment," that is, to purchase, and "the conditions," literally "ordinances;" which Blayney renders, "the assignment and the limitations," and the Vulg., "the stipulations and ratifications." But
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