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Jeremiah Buys a Field

32 The Lord spoke to me in the tenth year that Zedekiah[a] was king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year that Nebuchadnezzar[b] was king of Babylonia. At that time, the Babylonian army had surrounded Jerusalem, and I was in the prison at the courtyard of the palace guards. Zedekiah had ordered me to be held there because I told everyone that the Lord had said:

I am the Lord, and I am about to let the king of Babylonia conquer Jerusalem.

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Footnotes

  1. 32.1 Zedekiah: See the note at 1.3.
  2. 32.1 Nebuchadnezzar: See the note at 21.2.

Later, when I was in prison, the Lord said:

Jeremiah, your cousin Hanamel, the son of your uncle Shallum, will visit you. He must sell his field near the town of Anathoth, and because you are his nearest relative, you have the right and the responsibility to buy it and keep it in the family.[a]

Hanamel came, just as the Lord had promised. And he said, “Please buy my field near Anathoth in the territory of the Benjamin tribe. You have the right to buy it, and if you do, it will stay in our family.”

The Lord had told me to buy it from Hanamel, and so I did. The price was seventeen pieces of silver, and I weighed out the full amount on a scale. 10-11 I had two copies of the bill of sale written out, each containing all the details of our agreement. Some witnesses and I signed the official copy, which was folded and tied, before being sealed shut with hot wax.[b] Then I gave Hanamel the silver. 12 And while he, the witnesses, and all the other Jews sitting in the courtyard were still watching, I gave both copies to Baruch son of Neriah.[c]

13-14 I told Baruch that the Lord had said:

Take both copies of this bill of sale, one sealed shut and the other open, and put them in a clay jar so they will last a long time. 15 I am the Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, and I promise you that people will once again buy and sell houses, farms, and vineyards in this country.

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Footnotes

  1. 32.7 you have the right. . . in the family: See Leviticus 25.25-32.
  2. 32.10,11 signed the official copy, which was folded and tied, before being sealed shut with hot wax: The signing was actually done by pressing a carved clay stamp (called a “seal”) into the hot wax, leaving the design in the wax.
  3. 32.12 Baruch son of Neriah: Hebrew “Baruch son of Neriah and grandson of Mahseiah.”

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