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Jeremiah's message vindicated

Jeremiah 28.5-9

Good News Translation (GNT)


 5 Then in the presence of the priests
   and of all the people who were standing in the Temple,
   I said to Hananiah, 6    "Wonderful! I hope the Lord will do this!
   I certainly hope he will make your prophecy come true
   and will bring back from Babylonia all the Temple treasures
   and all the people who were taken away as prisoners.
7 But listen to what I say to you and to the people.
8 The prophets who spoke long ago,
   before my time and yours, predicted that war,
   starvation, and disease would come to many nations and powerful kingdoms.
9 But a prophet who predicts peace can only be recognized as a prophet
   whom the Lord has truly sent when that prophet's predictions come true."


Taken from 'New Bible Commentary 21st Century Edition IVP'


Jeremiah's message vindicated

Jeremiah's general denunciations of false prophets now come to a head.
While Jeremiah is still wearing the yoke with which he had warned of coming servitude to Babylon,
Hananiah deliberately opposes him and challenges his sign.
Hananiah then utters just the kind of oracle which Jeremiah has been opposing,
promising that Babylonian pressure will very soon be lifted.

This was tantamount to denying that God was judging his people.
The issue, is how to know the true prophet from the false.
Hananiah is called a prophet, claiming to speak in the name of the Lord
Jeremiah can only say that he wishes Hananiah were right

However, he stands by the word
which he knows God has given him and delivers his own challenge;
namely whether his words come to pass.

Hananiah, undeterred, breaks the yoke from Jeremiah's neck,
thus claiming by the most potent kind of symbolism
that he is the one who knows the will of God.
With this he seems to have won the day, and Jeremiah retreats.

The Lord now gives Jeremiah his most dramatic vindication.
Jeremiah, declares again his message
that Judah must bow beneath the yoke of Babylon.
And the message is reinforced by a prophecy that Hananiah will die that same year.
Hananiah dies because he is a false prophet
who has helped prevent the people from seeing their true danger.
His death serves also to vindicate Jeremiah.

There is now no excuse, if ever there had been one,
for failing to heed his words.
The solemn story is a perpetual warning against
lightly claiming that one has a special word from the Lord,
and it calls all who would be teachers, to be humble learners first, and always.




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