The purchase of the field (Jer 32:9-32:11)

“I bought the field

At Anathoth

From my cousin Hanamel.

I weighed out

The money to him,

Seventeen shekels of silver.

I signed the deed.

I sealed it.

I got witnesses.

I weighed the money on scales.

Then I took

The sealed deed of purchase,

That contained the terms

With the conditions,

As well as the open copy.”

This is a very unusual section that contains explicit first person details of this property field sale. However, there is no indication of the exact size of this field. Nowhere else in the biblical works is there such a specific indication of how financial transactions took place. First, Jeremiah bought the land. Most times, there would be no more details other than that. However, here Jeremiah next weighs out the money, 17 silver shekels, which was not a lot of money, about a couple of hundred USA dollars. Where he got the money is not indicated here. Then he signed the deed, probably on papyrus, sealed it, and had witnesses also sign it. There must have been some kind of official seal used here, but we do not know what kind. Finally there seems to be 2 copies of this transaction. The sealed deed contained all the terms and conditions of the sale, while the open copy or city file copy might just have the statement that the sale was made, much like current open records in USA, which generally adds the dollar amount of the sale. Thus these transactions were stored or kept in jars of some kind.

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The decree is put on bronze tablets (1 Macc 14:48-14:49)

“They gave orders to inscribe this decree upon bronze tablets. It was to be put in a conspicuous place in the precincts of the sanctuary. They had to deposit copies of them in the treasury, so that Simon and his sons might have them.”

This decree of the authority of Simon was put on bronze tablets in a conspicuous place in the sanctuary. Copies of it were put into the treasury or the archive of the Temple so that it would be there forever. Thus there could be no complaint against the authority of Simon and his sons.

The posting of the decree (Esth 3:14-3:15)

“Copies of the document were posted in every province. All the peoples were ordered to be prepared for that day. The couriers went in haste by order of the king. The matter was expedited also in Susa the capital. While the king and Haman caroused together, the city of Susa was thrown into confusion.”

Now we are back to the mixed Hebrew and Greek text. Obviously, the couriers brought the decree out to all the provinces. Everyone was to get ready for this massacre day. They also spread this news in the capital city of Susa. King Artaxerxes and Haman sat down to drink, thinking that their mission was accomplished. However, the city of Susa was confused by this decree.