Devotional Commentary on Jeremiah 32


Jeremiah got this message nearly one year before the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BCE (verse 1). Neb came and besieged Jerusalem and where is Jeremiah? In the prison that is in the courtyard of the king’s house (verse 2). Jeremiah stuck to his message from the Lord: the city is going to perish and Zedekiah could not take it (verse 3). Zedekiah was also targeted for his rejection of the Word from the Lord because he would be delivered in Neb’s hands (verse 4). He would go to Babylon and remember that the Lord said: to wage war with the Babylonians is futile (verse 5).


Then the Lord had a message to Jeremiah about his property. Hanamel, the son of Shallum, his uncle, came to him saying: “Buy for yourself my field that is in Anathoth, for the right of redemption is yours to buy it”.

Joachim Jeremias in his book comparing Moses and Hammurabi page 229 indicated that in the case of debt, when the debt is paid off or should be paid off, redemption can happen of that property.

Jeremias says in page 219: “Any one who found lost property was exhorted to return it, or, if he did not know its owner, to keep it by him until it was claimed. The owner might be expected to publish his loss, and the finder was urged not to keep the matter hid (Deut. 22 1-3 ; cp. Ex. 23 4).”

Code 37 of the Law of Hammurabi read: “If any one buy the field, garden, and house of a chieftain, man, or one subject to quit-rent, his contract tablet of sale shall be broken (declared invalid) and he loses his money. The field, garden, and house return to their owners.” Redemption can have many meanings but in Jeremiah’s case, it was Jeremiah’s right to inherit it because the uncle had no other kinsman (verse 8). His cousin came to bring him the message. Jeremiah knew it was a word from the Lord that came by his cousin Hanamel (verse 8).


Jeremiah bought the field from his cousin and weighed the money, seven shekels and ten pieces of silver (verse 9). He wrote a bill of sale, signed it and took witnesses and weighed the silver on the scale for them to see (verse 10). Jeremiah took the deed that was signed according to law and the conditions and that which was open (verse 11). The open ones he can keep for that is his. The closed one will be sealed for his uncle and not open, just as they have done with cuneiform contracts encased within an envelope and repeated on the outside and what is outside was supposed to be the same as what is inside otherwise there is corruption or theft.


The contract was then given to Baruch in the presence of Hanamel, his uncle and witnesses who signed the deed of purchase in the presence of Jews who sat in the prison yard (verse 12). Business is conducted from a prison, while the forces of Babylon were getting ready to approach Jerusalem. War-time business.


Jeremiah then asked Baruch to put the scrolls, the deed of purchase and the signed one and an open scroll and it should be put into a ceramic vessel “so that they remain many years” (verse 14). The Qumran scrolls were supposed to have been all in earthen vessels.


There is a message in all this business transaction under the umbrella of king Neb looming around: God said: “houses and fields and vineyards shall be purchased again in this land” (verse 15).


Jeremiah then prayed: Lord, nothing is hidden from You (verse 17). He is a kind God (verse 18). He is Great. God is observant and ready to mete judgment out to everyone’s actions (verse 19). He is a God that continue doing miracles from 1450 until 587 BCE (verse 20). From Egypt they were brought out by His strong hand in 1450 BCE (verse 21). In 1410 BCE with their arrival, God gave them the land flowing with milk and honey (verse 22). Although Israel came in they did not follow the Lord and evil came over them (verse 23). And more current, mounds are set up to take Jerusalem as Jeremiah is praying (verse 24). Despite this, the Lord said that Jeremiah should buy the field (verse 25). However, says Jeremiah to God, it will be given to Neb!


The Lord answered Jeremiah: Do you think I cannot see the future properly? (verse 27). Neb will take the city (verse 28). The Babylonians will put it to fire and burn the houses “on whose roofs they burnt incense to Baal and offered up libations to strange gods” (verse 29). For a long time [spiritual] Israel was doing evil, becoming weed instead of seed of the remnant and angered the Lord (verse 30). From the day Jerusalem was built until 586 BCE, God was angry with the backsliding of spiritual Israel (verse 31). It is not about culture, or keeping culture kosher. It is about the relationship with God that will keep the culture biblically kosher. All levels of society was involved (verse 32). They rebelled against the Lord (verse 33). In the temple they placed abominations and contaminate it (verse 34). In the valley of Hinnom they built the high places of Baal, pass their children to Molech (verse 35). So the city is given to Neb by sword and pestilence and famine (verse 36).


But…from all over the world they will be gathered (verse 37” “and I will cause them to dwell safely” (verse 37). Suddenly God is in the eschaton. There is no safety of Israel ever since. It must be in the eschaton He is talking about. “And they shall be my people and I shall be their God” (verse 39).

Unity by God: “And I will give them one accord and one way to fear Me all the time [eternity arrived!] so that it be good for them and for their children after them” (verse 39). When the Second Coming event takes place, then eternity takes over time and “I will form for them an everlasting covenant that I will not turn away from them to do them good, and My fear I will place in their heart not to turn away from Me”. Glorification in action (verse 40). One scholar was saying that he does not believe in freedom of man’s will ever because if we are in heaven, Satan can then again originate! Believe the Bible that it will never happen again. Even with free wills in heaven.


God will rejoice over the resurrected saints in heaven (verse 41). He will recreate the new heavens and earth as John saw in Revelation and also Isaiah, and “I will plant them in this land truly with all My heart and with all My soul” (verse 41). Current Israel or 1948 Israel? No. The newly created earth land.


As God brought the punishment, so He will bring good things in the eschaton (verse 42). Fields shall be possessed again although people are skeptical because of landgrabbings (verse 43). Everywhere people shall purchase lands of their dreams in what is now Benjamin but then the new earth, what is now the environment of Jerusalem but then New Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah now but then new earth cities, on new earth mountains, the new earth lowland and new earth southland “for I will restore their captivity” says the Lord.


Wait a minute, you may say. This is the Persian Period restoration here from verse 42 and especially verse 44. Especially verse 44, says Rabbi Abarbanel in 1509, “a reference to the Messianic Era”. He said that Benjamin is just mentioned because that is where Jeremiah’s newly purchased field was. Thank you for your Last Generation Theology in 1500 rabbi. Adventists can live with it.


Dear God

This field called earth was stolen by an Usurper from You and it took Your blood to get it back, says Charles Bradford in his sermon on this chapter. Thank You for rescuing us with such a costly price. In Jesus Name. Amen.