How did Jeremiah affirm that the Jews will return from captivity?

Author: BibleAsk Team

The Babylonian Siege

The Lord gave the prophet Jeremiah a message of hope to Israel that they will return from captivity, in the midst of the final siege of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 52:4). This message came in the 10th year of Zedekiah and the 18th of Nebuchadnezzar (588/87 B.C.).

Zedekiah’s policy of treachery and intrigue caused Nebuchadnezzar to besiege Jerusalem. And the king was provoked to anger by Jeremiah’s determined predictions of defeat (Jeremiah 32: 3–5; 34:2, 3; 38:20–23). Nebuchadnezzar began to surround Jerusalem in the 9th year of Zedekiah’s reign (Jer. 39:1). But he briefly abandoned the siege because of the coming Egyptian army (Jeremiah 37:5, 11).

Jeremiah’s Acted Parable

Jeremiah wrote, “The word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Behold, Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle will come to you, saying, “Buy my field which is in Anathoth, for the right of redemption is yours to buy it” (Jer. 32:6,7). “So I bought the field from Hanamel, the son of my uncle who was in Anathoth, and weighed out to him the money—seventeen shekels of silver” (verse 9). Through Jeremiah’s purchase of land in Anathoth, he gave an undeniable evidence of his belief in God’s message. Even though the Israelites were to be taken captive, they would return to their home land according to God’s Word (verse 44).

Hanameel’s field was perhaps already under Babylonian siege (verse 2). This alone was enough to move Hanameel to sell his field. In addition, it may be that Hanameel felt that, because of Jeremiah’s urging to submit to Nebuchadnezzar, there would be a probability that the Chaldeans would guard the prophet’s property. Jeremiah payed Seventeen shekels of silver for the land. This amount, in its Babylonian equivalent, would equal the buying of one bull or about nine sheep. And the deed was “sealed” so that no one can change it.

A Message of Hope

The news of this acted parable was spread throughout the city. By this seemingly foolish act, the prophet illustrated the guarantee of his prediction.  Though the people would be taken captive by the Babylonians, they would return to their land (Jer. 32: 15). The prophet himself didn’t hope to receive personal benefit from his purchase. For he was an old man, and he himself had foretold that the time of captivity would last for 70 years. However, the prophet testified before the inhabitants of Judah in parable to the great hope of a return from Babylon to Israel.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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