Dave Burnette's Commentary

Jeremiah Chapter 29

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Jeremiah
Date Penned: (627-586 BC)
Overview: To Urge God's People to Turn from Sin to God (c 1-52)
Theme: God's Judgement on Judah (c 1-45)
Message: Jeremiah Warns Against False Prophets (v 1-32)

Jeremiah 29 Commentary 

(29:4-7) Don't Quit - Jeremiah wrote to the captives in Babylon instructing them to move ahead with their lives and to pray for the pagan nation that enslaved them (29:4-23). During troubled times we have to go on living. In unpleasant or distressing situations, we must be resilient, adjust, and keep moving. You may find it difficult to pray for those in authority when they are evil, but that is when your prayers are most needed (1 Timothy 2:1-2). When you enter times of trouble or sudden change, pray diligently and move ahead, doing whatever you can rather than giving up. Don't let fear and uncertainty stop you. 

(29:10) A Long Captivity - God sent his people to Babylon for a long time; this was not the short captivity predicted by the false prophets. 

(29:11) God is with Us in the Valley - Everyone is encouraged by leaders who stir us to move ahead, who believe we can do the tasks they have given us, and who will be with us all the way. God was that kind of leader for these captives and is also that kind of leader for us. He knows the future, and his plans for us are good and full of hope. As long as God, who knows the future, directs our agendas and goes with us as we fulfill his mission, we can have boundless hope. This does not mean that we will be spared pain, suffering, or hardship. That is a guaranteed part of life in this sinful world. But it does mean that God will see us through to a glorious conclusion. 

(29:12-14) God Does Not Forget You - God did not forget his people, even though they were captives in Babylon. He planned to give them a new beginning with a new purpose--to turn them into new people. In times of deep trouble, you may feel as though God has forgotten you. But God may be preparing you, as he did the people of Judah, for a new beginning with him at the center. 

(29:13) God's Presence - According to God's wise plan, his people were to have hope and a future; consequently, they could call upon him in confidence. Although the exiles were in a difficult place and time, they did not need to despair because they had God's presence, God's powerful sovereignty, the privilege of prayer, and God's grace. God can always be sought and found by those who seek him wholeheartedly. Strange and hostile environments, sorrows, frustration, and physical problems cannot break our communion with God. 

(29:20-23) False Hope - Why would Nebuchadrezzar decide to execute these two false prophets? In contrast to Jeremiah's message from God that the people should settle in Babylon and wait faithfully for 70 years to pass, the false prophets were inciting false hopes for a quick return to Jerusalem. This would have sounded like rebellion to the Babylonian king, who would have had little hesitation over killing uncooperative refugees. 

(29:21) Ahab and Zedekiah - These false prophets, Ahab and Zedekiah, should not be confused with the kings who had the same names. Their family connections clearly distinguish them from those kings. 

(29:24-28) False Teachers - These verses describe the reaction of Shemaiah, a false prophet exiled in 597 BC who had protested about Jeremiah's letter. To discredit Jeremiah, Shemaiah accused him of false prophecy. Although Jeremiah's message was true and his words were from God, the people hated him because he told them to make the most of the Exile. But Jeremiah's truth from God offered temporary correction and long-range benefit, while the false teachers' lies offered only temporary comfort and long-range punishment.


Dave Burnette's Life Application

He Still Loves You

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the Book of Jeremiah 29. In our text today we see God's people in captivity due to their disobedience and sin. Even though they rejected the Lord and suffered the consequences of their actions the Lord never forgot them. In making application we see that the Lord never stops loving you or thinking of you. Yes, our sin separates us from God and lost people do die and go to a Godless Hell but that is not the will of our Lord. It is not His Will that any would perish but that all would come to repentance. How about you? Do you know that the Lord loves you? Let us learn from out text today and the life of Jeremiah to see that no matter how we have rejected the Lord in the past that He still loves us and wants us all to be saved.


Jeremiah 29

Jeremiah 29

 1Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem unto the residue of the elders which were carried away captives, and to the priests, and to the prophets, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon;

 2(After that Jeconiah the king, and the queen, and the eunuchs, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the carpenters, and the smiths, were departed from Jerusalem;)

 3By the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan, and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, (whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent unto Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon) saying,

 4Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon;

 5Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them;

 6Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.

 7And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.

 8For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed.

 9For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD.

 10For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.

 11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

 12Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

 13And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

 14And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.

 15Because ye have said, The LORD hath raised us up prophets in Babylon;

 16Know that thus saith the LORD of the king that sitteth upon the throne of David, and of all the people that dwelleth in this city, and of your brethren that are not gone forth with you into captivity;

 17Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will send upon them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like vile figs, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.

 18And I will persecute them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence, and will deliver them to be removed to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, and an astonishment, and an hissing, and a reproach, among all the nations whither I have driven them:

 19Because they have not hearkened to my words, saith the LORD, which I sent unto them by my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but ye would not hear, saith the LORD.

 20Hear ye therefore the word of the LORD, all ye of the captivity, whom I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon:

 21Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, of Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and of Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, which prophesy a lie unto you in my name; Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; and he shall slay them before your eyes;

 22And of them shall be taken up a curse by all the captivity of Judah which are in Babylon, saying, The LORD make thee like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire;

 23Because they have committed villany in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbours' wives, and have spoken lying words in my name, which I have not commanded them; even I know, and am a witness, saith the LORD.

 24Thus shalt thou also speak to Shemaiah the Nehelamite, saying,

 25Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, Because thou hast sent letters in thy name unto all the people that are at Jerusalem, and to Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, and to all the priests, saying,

 26The LORD hath made thee priest in the stead of Jehoiada the priest, that ye should be officers in the house of the LORD, for every man that is mad, and maketh himself a prophet, that thou shouldest put him in prison, and in the stocks.

 27Now therefore why hast thou not reproved Jeremiah of Anathoth, which maketh himself a prophet to you?

 28For therefore he sent unto us in Babylon, saying, This captivity is long: build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them.

 29And Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet.

 30Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying,

 31Send to all them of the captivity, saying, Thus saith the LORD concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite; Because that Shemaiah hath prophesied unto you, and I sent him not, and he caused you to trust in a lie:

 32Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite, and his seed: he shall not have a man to dwell among this people; neither shall he behold the good that I will do for my people, saith the LORD; because he hath taught rebellion against the LORD.