Promise of Restoration. 1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the tenth year of the reign of King Zedekiah of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar. 2 At that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and the prophet Jeremiah had been imprisoned in the courtyard of the guard that was attached to the royal palace.
3 King Zedekiah had ordered Jeremiah to be confined there, saying, “Why do you continue to prophesy in this manner? According to you, this is what the Lord says, ‘I intend to hand over this city to the king of Babylon, and he will capture it. 4 Nor will King Zedekiah of Judah escape the clutches of the Chaldeans; rather, he will be handed over to the king of Babylon, and he will speak with him face to face and behold him with his own eyes. 5 Then Zedekiah will be taken to Babylon, where he will remain until I am ready to deal with him. If you fight against the Chaldeans, you will experience no success.’ ”
6 Jeremiah replied: This word of the Lord was delivered to me: 7 Hanamel, the son of your uncle Shallum, will come to you and say, “Purchase for yourself my field at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. As my closest relative, you have the first right of redemption.” 8 Then, just as the Lord had foretold, my cousin Hanamel came to me in the courtyard of the guard and said, “Buy my field at Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, for the right of redemption and possession is yours as next of kin. Therefore, purchase it for yourself.” I then knew that this was the word of the Lord.
9 Therefore, I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel and weighed out the money to him—seventeen shekels of silver. 10 I signed the deed, sealed it, had it witnessed, and weighed the money on the scales. 11 Then I took the deed of purchase,[a] both the sealed copy containing the terms and conditions and the unsealed one, 12 and handed them over to Baruch, the son of Neriah, son of Mahseiah, in the presence of my cousin Hanamel and of the witnesses who had signed the deed of purchase and of all the Judeans who then happened to be sitting in the courtyard of the guard.
13 In their presence I gave the following instructions to Baruch: 14 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Take the documents of the deed of purchase, both the sealed and the unsealed copies, and place them in an earthenware jar so that they may be preserved for a long period of time. 15 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Houses and fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land.
16 After I had given the deed of purchase to Baruch, the son of Neriah, I offered this prayer to the Lord, 17 “Ah, Lord God, you made the heavens and the earth by your great power and your outstretched arm. Nothing is impossible for you. 18 You show your steadfast love to thousands, but you permit children to be punished for the guilt of their parents, O great and mighty God whose name is the Lord of hosts. 19 Great in counsel and mighty in deed, your eyes observe closely all the ways of men, rewarding each one according to his conduct and as his deeds deserve.
20 “You performed marvelous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, and you have continued to do so in Israel and among all mankind, gaining renown that continues to this very day. 21 With a mighty hand and outstretched arm you led your people out of Egypt amid signs and wonders and great terror.
22 “You gave them this land which you had promised with an oath to their ancestors, a land flowing with milk and honey. 23 They entered and took possession of it, but they did not obey you or live in accordance with your law. And since they refused to do what you had commanded, you permitted all these disasters to befall them.
24 “Behold, the siege-works are already in position to force your people into submission, and the city, a victim of sword, famine, and pestilence, will be handed over to the Chaldeans who are attacking it. What you threatened has come to pass, as you yourself can see. 25 And yet, Lord God, you yourself told me, ‘Purchase the field with money and summon witnesses.’ However, the city has already succumbed to the power of the Chaldeans.”
26 Then this word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 27 I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything impossible for me to accomplish? 28 Therefore, thus says the Lord: I intend to hand over this city to the Chaldeans and to Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, and he will take it. 29 While attacking this city, the Chaldeans will enter it, set it on fire, and burn it to the ground, along with the houses on whose roofs the people provoked me to anger by burning incense to Baal and by pouring out libations to other gods.
30 From their youth the people of Israel and the people of Judah have done nothing but evil in my sight. Indeed the people of Israel have done nothing but provoke me with the works of their hands, says the Lord. 31 From the day this city was built until today, it has so aroused my anger and my wrath that I intend to remove it from my sight, 32 because of all the evil that the people of Israel and the people of Judah have perpetrated to provoke me. 33 They have turned their backs to me, not their faces, and although I continued to teach them, they would not listen or accept correction.
34 They defiled the house that bears my name by setting up within it their loathsome idols. 35 They built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben-hinnom to immolate their sons and daughters to Molech. I gave them no command to do so, nor did the thought ever enter my mind that they would do such an abominable deed and thereby cause Judah to sin.
36 Now, therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, in regard to this city about which you say, “It has been handed over into the power of the king of Babylon by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence:” 37 Behold, I am determined to gather them together from all the lands to which I banished them in my furious anger and intense wrath. I will bring them back to this place and allow them to live there in peace. 38 They will be my people, and I will be their God. 39 I will grant them unity of heart and unity of conduct so that they will fear me always, for their own good as well as for the good of their children after them.
40 I will make an everlasting covenant with them never to cease ensuring their welfare, and I will put the fear of me into their hearts so that they will never turn away from me. 41 I will delight in doing good to them, and I will plant them firmly in this land with all my heart and soul.
42 For thus says the Lord: Just as I afflicted this people with such great calamity, so I will grant them all the good things I have promised them. 43 Once again fields will be purchased in this land about which you are saying, “It is a desolate waste, without people or animals, for it has been handed over to the Chaldeans.” 44 Fields will be purchased with money; deeds will be signed, sealed, and witnessed in the land of Benjamin, in the districts around Jerusalem, and in the towns of Judah, of the hill country, of the foothills, and of the Negeb. For I will restore their fortunes, says the Lord.
- Jeremiah 32:11 The deed of purchase was written out twice on a single page; one copy was then rolled up and sealed, the other was left hanging open so that everyone could consult it.