THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Jeremiah: Prophet Of Judgment Followed By Blessing
Part LIX: God's Restoration Of Israel And Judah Illustrated, Jeremiah 32:1-44
A. God's Restoration Of Israel And Judah Illustrated In Jeremiah's Purchase Of A Field
A. When God's people face hard times, be they trials due to punishment for sin or persecution for the sake of righteousness, the Lord knows they need to be encouraged, so He provides it.
B. After predicting the Babylonian Captivity, God had Jeremiah illustrate their restoration in Jeremiah's remarkable purchase of a field in his own hometown.
C. We view that passage for our insight and edification (as follows):
II. God's Restoration Of Israel And Judah Illustrated In Jeremiah's Purchase Of A Field, Jer. 32:1-15.
A. The events recorded in Jeremiah 32 occurred when "Babylon was besieging Jerusalem . . . and Jeremiah was under arrest and confined in the palace courtyard of the guard," Jeremiah 32:1-2; B. K. C., O. T., p. 1173.
B. The circumstances of Jeremiah's imprisonment were persecution for the sake of righteousness, Jer. 32:3-5:
1. Jeremiah had been imprisoned by Judah's king Zedekiah for prophesying that Zedekiah would be captured by the Babylonians and taken to Babylon, Jeremiah 32:3b-4.
2. He had added that any attempt by Zedekiah to oppose the Babylon invasion would fail, Jeremiah 32:5.
3. Therefore, Zedekiah had imprisoned Jeremiah for predicting such a "treasonous" message, Jer. 32:3a; Ibid.
C. At this bleak time in Jeremiah's ministry, the Lord informed him in the prison that his cousin, Hanamel, was going to come to him to request that Jeremiah buy his field that was located at their mutual hometown of Anathoth, Jer. 32:6-7a with 1:1. Hanamel would claim that the right and duty of redemption belonged to Jeremiah according to Leviticus 25:25-28 of the Law (cf. Ruth 4:1-6), that Jeremiah was thus obliged by the Lord to purchase that field, Jeremiah 32:7b. (H. A. W., Theol. Wrdbk. of the O. T., 1980, v. I, p. 144-145)
D. This request at that time seemed humanly ridiculous: with the Babylonians besieging Jerusalem, Anathoth had already fallen to Babylon's control, so any Hebrew's purchase of the field seemed futile, Ibid., B. K. C., O. T.
E. However, Hanamel may have tried to sell the land to obtain money for food because of the siege, so he was desperate, and since God told Jeremiah ahead of time that Hanamel was coming to him with this request, and since the Law prescribed that he act as kinsman-redeemer to be righteous before God (Ibid.), Jeremiah was prepared by the Lord to be willing to purchase the field in spite of the hardships of his own imprisonment and therefore his inability to go out to work his field or to do so free of the Babylonian forces that occupied it!
F. Accordingly, when Hanamel arrived in fulfillment of God's previous message to Jeremiah and made his request that Jeremiah act as his kinsman-redeemer, Jeremiah knew the field purchase was God's will (Jer. 32:8a,b), for he bought it for about 7 ounces of silver, Jer. 32:9; Ibid. This was a small price for a field at the time, but the hardship involved had likely deflated the field's price, Ibid.
G. Jeremiah then followed the legal customs of his era to sign and seal the deed, having these steps witnessed by others before paying Hanamel, Jer. 32:10-12, Ibid.. Two copies of the deed of purchase were made, one being sealed by being bound by a string or cord and then having Jeremiah's official seal stamped to a lump of clay placed over the string and the other copy remaining unsealed for later examination, Ibid. Both copies were given to Baruch, Jeremiah's scribe and friend, Jeremiah 32:12; Ibid.
H. God then gave Jeremiah an instructional prophecy regarding this event, that it illustrated that after a long time period, houses, fields and vineyards would be possessed by the people of Israel in that land, Jer. 32:13-15:
1. Jeremiah had Baruch put both documents in a clay jar to be preserved for a long time, Jer. 32:13-14.
2. This indicated that it would be many years before the people of Judah would be able to return from their national captivity to reclaim their land.
3. Nevertheless, houses, fields and vineyards would again be purchased by the people in the land .Jer. 32:15!
I. [Jeremiah will get to possess his field in the Messianic Kingdom after his resurrection! (Daniel 12:13)]
Lesson: When it seemed humanly futile to do so, God had Jeremiah honor the biblical request of cousin Hanamel that Jeremiah act as kinsman-redeemer to buy his field in Anathoth that was under Babylonian control in faith that Judah would again possess the land, and that Jeremiah himself in the resurrection would possess the field!
Application: May we like Jeremiah live for the life that is to come instead of living for this world! (1 John 2:17)