Jeremiah 28:12-13

12. Then the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah the prophet (after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah,) saying,

12. Et fuit sermo Jehovae ad Jeremiam, postquam confregit Chananiah propheta jugum (aut, vinculum) e collo Jeremiae prophetae, dicendo,

13. Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Thou hast broken the yokes of wood; but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron.

13. Vade et loquere cum Chanania, dicendo, (alloquere Chananiam, dicendo,) Sic dicit jehova, Vincula lignea fregisti; fac autem tibi loco illorum vincula ferrea.


It hence appears that Jeremiah had regard only to the common benefit of the people, and that he wisely kept silence for a time, that he might not throw pearls before swine, and thus expose in a manner the holy name of God to the insolence of the ungodly. He therefore waited until he might again go forth with new messages, and thus secure more credit to himself. For had he contended longer with Hananiah, contentions would have been kindled on every side, there would have been no hearing in a tumult, and the Jews would have wholly disregarded anything he might have then spoken. But as he had withdrawn from the crowd, and was afterwards sent by God, the Jews could not have so presumptuously despised him or his doctrine. This, then, was the reason why he was for a short time silent.

If he feared and trembled in the midst of these commotions, God in due time confirmed him by giving him new commands: The word of Jehovah, he says, came to Jeremiah, after Hananiah broke the band from his neck. By these words he intimates, that the ungodly, however insolently they may rise up against God, ever depart with shame and reproach. For Hananiah had not only opposed Jeremiah by his words and tongue, but had also broken the cords or bands from his neck. This, then, the Prophet now repeats, in order that he might shew, as it were by his finger, that Hananiah by his audacity gained nothing, except that he rendered his vanity more notorious.

Now it is an abrupt sentence when he says, Go and speak to Hananiah, saying, Thus saith Jehovah, Thou hast broken the wooden bands; but make to thee iron bands; Jeremiah does not keep to the same point; for in the first clause he relates what he had been commanded to say to Hananiah; and in the second he relates what God had commanded him to do, even iron bands. But there is no obscurity as to the meaning; for doubtless the Prophet might have arranged his words thus, "Thou hast broken the bands from my neck; but God has commanded me to make new ones from iron."1 Though Jeremiah, then, only tells us here that God commanded him to make iron bands, it may yet be easily concluded that when he spoke of wooden bands he at the same time added what he relates of iron bands, but in a different connection., Now follows the explanation, --

1 It appears that the true reading has been retained here only by the Sept. when the verb "make" is given in the first person; the difference is only the addition of y; then the sentence would be, --

The yokes of wood thou hast broken, But I have made for them yokes of iron.

Or if the vau be considered conversive, the line would be, --

But I will make for them yokes of iron.

The exigency of a passage is one of our best guides. -- Ed.