XXIX Jeremiah's letter to the captives in Babylon, to be quiet there, ver. 1-7. Not to believe false prophets; nor expect to return 'till after fifty years, ver. 8-14. The destruction of those who remained in Judah for their disobedience, ver. 15-19. The fearful end of two lying prophets, ver. 20-23. Shemaiah's letter against Jeremiah, ver. 24-29. Who reads his doom, ver. 30-32.
Verse 1. Captives - There were two carryings into Babylon, the latter about eleven or twelve years after the former, the first was in the time of Jehoiakim, When the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths were carried away.
Verse 3. By the hand - Zedekiah having some occasion to send two messengers to Babylon. Jeremiah knowing that as there were false prophets at Jerusalem, who fed people with hopes of a speedy return, so there were some with them in Babylon, writes the following letter, and sends it by these two messengers, to quiet the peoples minds.
Verse 10. After - From this text it appears that the seventy years captivity, were to be accounted from the first carrying into captivity in the time of Jehoiakim, so that eleven years of it were elapsed, before Zedekiah was carried away.
Verse 11. To give - This deliverance will not depend upon your merits, but upon my own mercy, and kind thoughts and purposes I have for the seed of Abraham my servant, and I am resolved in my own thoughts what to do, I intend not the blotting out of the name of Israel from the earth, but to give such an end to their trouble as themselves expect and desire.
Verse 15. Because - The prophet here turns his speech to some wicked Jews, that were in Babylon, or in Judea.
Verse 24. Nehelamite - It is probable there was such a place as Nehelam, from whence he was.
Verse 26. Priest - Zephaniah was the second priest. In the stead - In the stead signifies, that thou shouldest be like the good high priest Jehoiada. Mad - That thou mightest take care of persons, who being mad or frantick make themselves prophets.