Jeremiah Buys Hanamel’s Field
1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar. 2 At that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and Jeremiah the prophet was imprisoned in the courtyard of the guard, which was in the palace of the king of Judah.
3 For Zedekiah king of Judah had imprisoned him, saying: “Why are you prophesying like this? You claim that the LORD says, ‘Behold, I am about to deliver this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will capture it. 4 Zedekiah king of Judah will not escape from the hands of the Chaldeans, a but he will surely be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, and will speak with him face to face and see him eye to eye. 5 He will take Zedekiah to Babylon, where he will stay until I attend to him, declares the LORD. If you fight against the Chaldeans, you will not succeed.’ ”
6 Jeremiah replied, “The word of the LORD came to me, saying: 7 Behold! Hanamel, the son of your uncle Shallum, is coming to you to say, ‘Buy for yourself my field in Anathoth, for you have the right of redemption to buy it.’ 8 Then, as the LORD had said, my cousin Hanamel came to me in the courtyard of the guard and urged me, ‘Please buy my field in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, for you own the right of inheritance and redemption. Buy it for yourself.’ ”
Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD.
9 So I bought the field in Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel, and I weighed out seventeen shekels of silver. b 10 I signed and sealed the deed, called in witnesses, and weighed out the silver on the scales. 11 Then I took the deed of purchase—the sealed copy with its terms and conditions, as well as the open copy— 12 and I gave this deed to Baruch son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, in the sight of my cousin Hanamel and the witnesses who were signing the purchase agreement and all the Jews sitting in the courtyard of the guard.
13 In their sight I instructed Baruch, 14 “This is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: Take these deeds—both the sealed copy and the open copy of the deed of purchase—and put them in a clay jar to preserve them for a long time. 15 For this is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: Houses, fields, and vineyards will again be bought in this land.”
Jeremiah Prays for Understanding
16 After I had given the deed of purchase to Baruch son of Neriah, I prayed to the LORD: 17 “Oh, Lord GOD! You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too difficult for You!
18 You show loving devotion to thousands but lay the iniquity of the fathers into the laps c of their children after them, O great and mighty God whose name is the LORD of Hosts, 19 the One great in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are on all the ways of the sons of men, to reward each one according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds.
20 You performed signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, and You do so to this very day, both in Israel and among all mankind. And You have made a name for Yourself, as is the case to this day.
21 You brought Your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs and wonders, with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, and with great terror. 22 You gave them this land that You had sworn to give their fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey.
23 They came in and possessed it, but they did not obey Your voice or walk in Your law. They failed to perform all that You commanded them to do, and so You have brought upon them all this disaster. 24 See how the siege ramps are mounted against the city to capture it. And by sword and famine and plague, the city has been given into the hands of the Chaldeans who are fighting against it. What You have spoken has happened, as You now see!
25 Yet You, O Lord GOD, have said to me, ‘Buy for yourself the field with silver and call in witnesses, even though the city has been delivered into the hands of the Chaldeans!’ ”
The LORD Answers Jeremiah
28 Therefore this is what the LORD says: Behold, I am about to deliver this city into the hands of the Chaldeans and of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, who will capture it. 29 And the Chaldeans who are fighting against this city will come in, set it on fire, and burn it, along with the houses of those who provoked Me to anger by burning incense to Baal on their rooftops and by pouring out drink offerings to other gods.
30 For the children of Israel and of Judah have done nothing but evil in My sight from their youth; indeed, they have done nothing but provoke Me to anger by the work of their hands, declares the LORD.
31 For this city has aroused My wrath and fury from the day it was built until now. Therefore I will remove it from My presence 32 because of all the evil the children of Israel and of Judah have done to provoke Me to anger—they, their kings, their officials, their priests and prophets, the men of Judah, and the residents of Jerusalem. 33 They have turned their backs to Me and not their faces. Though I taught them again and again, d they would not listen or respond to discipline.
34 They have placed their abominations in the house that bears My Name, and so have defiled it. 35 They have built the high places of Baal in the Valley of Hinnom to make their sons and daughters pass through the fire to Molech—something I never commanded them, nor had it ever entered My mind, that they should commit such an abomination and cause Judah to sin.
A Promise of Restoration
36 Now therefore, about this city of which you say, ‘It will be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by sword and famine and plague,’ this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 37 I will surely gather My people from all the lands to which I have banished them in My furious anger and great wrath, and I will return them to this place and make them dwell in safety. 38 They will be My people, and I will be their God. e 39 I will give them one heart and one way, so that they will always fear Me for their own good and for the good of their children after them.
40 I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never turn away from doing good to them, and I will put My fear in their hearts, so that they will never turn away from Me. 41 Yes, I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul.
42 For this is what the LORD says: Just as I have brought all this great disaster on this people, so I will bring on them all the good I have promised them. 43 And fields will be bought in this land about which you are saying, ‘It is a desolation, without man or beast; it has been delivered into the hands of the Chaldeans.’ 44 Fields will be purchased with silver, and deeds will be signed, sealed, and witnessed in the land of Benjamin, in the areas surrounding Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah—the cities of the hill country, the foothills, f and the Negev—because I will restore them from captivity, g declares the LORD.”
4 a That is, the Babylonians; also in verses 5, 24, 25, 28, 29, and 43
9 b 17 shekels is approximately 6.8 ounces or 193.8 grams of silver.
18 c Hebrew into the bosom
33 d Literally I taught them, rising up early and teaching,
38 e Cited in 2 Corinthians 6:16
44 f Hebrew Shephelah or lowlands ; that is, the western foothills of Judea
44 g Or restore their fortunes