Jeremiah 28

1 That same year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year, in the fifth month, Hananiah the son of Azzur, the prophet, who was of Gibeon, spoke to me in the LORD’s house, in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying, 2 “Thus speaks the LORD of Armies, the God of Israel, saying, ‘I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. 3 Within two full years will I 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 to Babylon. 4 I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah, who went to Babylon,’ says the LORD; ‘for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.’” 5 Then the prophet Jeremiah said to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests, and in the presence of all the people who stood in the LORD’s house, 6 even the prophet Jeremiah said, “Amen! May the LORD do so. May the LORD perform your words which you have prophesied, to bring again the vessels of the LORD’s house, and all them of the captivity, from Babylon to this place. 7 Nevertheless listen now to this word that I speak in your ears, and in the ears of all the people: 8 The prophets who have been before me and before you of old prophesied against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence. 9 The prophet who prophesies of peace, when the word of the prophet shall happen, then shall the prophet be known, that the LORD has truly sent him.” 10 Then Hananiah the prophet took the bar from off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck, and broke it. 11 Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, “the LORD says: ‘Even so I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon within two full years from off the neck of all the nations.’” Then the prophet Jeremiah went his way. 12 Then the LORD’s word came to Jeremiah, after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the bar from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying, 13 “Go, and tell Hananiah, saying, ‘the LORD says, “You have broken the bars of wood, but you have made in their place bars of iron.” 14 For the LORD of Armies, the God of Israel says, “I have put a yoke of iron on the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they will serve him. I have also given him the animals of the field.”’” 15 Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, “Listen, Hananiah! the LORD has not sent you, but you make this people trust in a lie. 16 Therefore the LORD says, ‘Behold, I will send you away from off the surface of the earth. This year you will die, because you have spoken rebellion against the LORD.’” 17 So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-9

Hananiah spoke a false prophecy. Here is not a word of good counsel urging the Jews to repent and return to God. He promises temporal mercies, in God’s name, but makes no mention of the spiritual mercies which God always promised with earthly blessings. This was not the first time Jeremiah had prayed for the people, though he prophesied against them. He appeals to the event, to prove Hananiah’s falsehood. The prophet who spake only of peace and prosperity, without adding that they must not by wilful sin stop God’s favours, will be proved a false prophet. Those who do not declare the alarming as well as the encouraging parts of God’s word, and call men to repentance, and faith, and holiness, tread in the steps of the false prophets. The gospel of Christ encourages men to do works meet for repentance, but gives no encouragement to continue in sin.

Verses 10-17

Hananiah is sentenced to die, and Jeremiah, when he has received direction from God, boldly tells him so; but not before he received that commission. Those have much to answer for, who tell sinners that they shall have peace, though they harden their hearts in contempt of God’s word. The servant of God must be gentle to all men. He must give up even his right, and leave the Lord to plead his cause. Every attempt of ungodly men to make vain the purposes of God, will add to their miseries.

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