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29:1 Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem unto the residue of the elders which were carried away captives, and to the priests, and to the prophets, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon; 29:2 (After that Jeconiah the king, and the queen, and the eunuchs, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the carpenters, and the smiths, were departed from Jerusalem;) 29:3 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) saying, 29:4 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; 29:5 Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; 29:6 Take ye 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.
29:7 And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.
29:8 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, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed.
29:9 For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD.
29:10 For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.
29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
29:12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
29:14 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 I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.
29:15 Because ye have said, The LORD hath raised us up prophets in Babylon; 29:16 Know that thus saith the LORD of the king that sitteth upon the throne of David, and of all the people that dwelleth in this city, and of your brethren that are not gone forth with you into captivity; 29:17 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.
29:18 And I will persecute them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence, and will deliver them to be removed to all the 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: 29:19 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.
29:20 Hear ye therefore the word of the LORD, all ye of the captivity, whom I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon: 29:21 Thus saith 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; Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; and he shall slay them before your eyes; 29:22 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; 29:23 Because they have committed villany in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbours' wives, and have spoken lying words in my name, which I have not commanded them; even I know, and am a witness, saith the LORD.
29:24 Thus shalt thou also speak to Shemaiah the Nehelamite, saying, 29:25 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, saying, 29:26 The LORD hath made thee priest in the stead of Jehoiada the priest, that ye should be officers in the house of the LORD, for every man that is mad, and maketh himself a prophet, that thou shouldest put him in prison, and in the stocks.
29:27 Now therefore why hast thou not reproved Jeremiah of Anathoth, which maketh himself a prophet to you? 29:28 For therefore he sent unto us in Babylon, saying, This captivity is long: build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
29:29 And Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet.
29:30 Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying, 29:31 Send to all them of the captivity, saying, Thus saith the LORD concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite; Because that Shemaiah hath prophesied unto you, and I sent him not, and he caused you to trust in a lie: 29:32 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite, and his seed: he shall not have a man to dwell among this people; neither shall he behold the good that I will do for my people, saith the LORD; because he hath taught rebellion against the LORD.

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Everything King James Bible:Jeremiah
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Jeremiah
Book: Jeremiah
Chapter: 29

Two letters to the captives in Babylon; In the first, they are
recommended to be patient and composed. (1-19) In the second,
judgments are denounced against the false prophets who deceived
them. (20-32)

1-7 The written Word of God is as truly given By Inspiration of
God as his spoken Word. The zealous servant of the Lord will use
every means to profit those who are far off, as Well as those
who are near him. The art of Writing is very profitable for this
End; and By the art of printing it is rendered most beneficial
for circulating the knowledge of the Word of God. God's sending
to the captives By this Letter would show that he had not
forsaken them, though he was displeased, and corrected them. If
they live in the fear of God, they may live comfortably in
Babylon. In all conditions of Life, it is our Wisdom and duty
not to throw away the comfort of what we may have, because we
have not all we would have. They are directed to seek the good
of the country where they were captives. While the King of
Babylon protected them, they must live quiet and peaceable lives
under him, in all Godliness and honesty; patiently leaving it to
God to work deliverance for them in due time.

8-19 Let men beware how they Call those prophets whom they
choose after their own fancies, and how they consider their
fancies and dreams to be revelations from God. False prophets
flatter people in their sins, because they Love to be flattered;
and they speak smoothly to their prophets, that their prophets
may speak smoothly to them. God promises that they should return
after seventy years were accomplished. By this it appears, that
the seventy years of the Captivity are not to be reckoned from
the last Captivity, but the first. It will be the bringing to
pass of God's good Word to them. This shall form God's purposes.
We often do not know our own minds, but the Lord is never at an
uncertainty. We are sometimes ready to fear that God's designs
are all against us; but as to his own people, even that which
seems evil, is for good. He will give them, not the expectations
of their fears, or the expectations of their fancies, but the
expectations of their Faith; the End he has promised, which will
be the best for them. When the Lord pours out an especial Spirit
of Prayer, it is a good sign that he is coming toward us in
Mercy. Promises are given to quicken and encourage Prayer. He
never said, Seek ye me in vain. Those who remained at Jerusalem
would be utterly destroyed, notwithstanding what the false
prophets said to the contrary. The reason has often been given,
and it justifies the eternal ruin of impenitent sinners; Because
they have not hearkened to my words; I called, but they refused.

20-32 Jeremiah foretells judgments upon the false prophets, who
deceived the Jews in Babylon. Lying was bad; lying to the people
of the Lord, to delude them into a false Hope, was worse; but
pretending to Rest their own lies upon the God of Truth, was
worst of all. They flattered others in their sins, because they
could not reprove them without condemning themselves. The most
secret sins are known to God; and there is a Day coming when he
will bring to Light all the hidden Works of Darkness. Shemaiah
urges the priests to persecute Jeremiah. Their hearts are
wretchedly hardened who justify doing mischief By having power
to do it. They were in a miserable thraldom for mocking the
messengers of the Lord, and misusing his prophets; yet in their
distress they trespass still more against the Lord. Afflictions
will not of themselves cure men of their sins, unless the Grace
of God Works with them. Those who slight the blessings, deserve
to lose the benefit of God's Word, like Shemaiah. The
accusations against many active Christians in all ages, amount
to No more than this, that they earnestly counsel men to attend
to their true interest and duties, and to wait for the
performance of God's promises in his appointed way.

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