The attack of the Chaldeans (Jer 32:24-32:25)

“See!

The siege ramps

Have been cast up

Against the city

To take it.

The city is faced

With sword,

With famine,

With pestilence.

The city has been

Given into the hands

Of the Chaldeans

Who are fighting against it.

What you spoke

Has happened.

As you yourself can see.

Yet you!

O Lord God!

You have said to me.

‘Buy the field

For money!

Get witnesses!’

Even though the city has been

Given into the hands

Of the Chaldeans.’”

The prayer of Jeremiah continued as he came to the present day situation of the attack by the Chaldeans, a Semitic people from the southeastern section of Babylon on the Euphrates River. The siege ramps were already in place against Jerusalem. The Chaldeans had come to take this city by sword, famine, or pestilence. What Yahweh had predicted, has happened. The Chaldeans have already taken over this city, as anyone can see with their own eyes. Yahweh had told Jeremiah to buy a field with money and witnesses, even though the city was in the hands of the Chaldeans. This purchase was a sign of hope for the future.

Buy the field in Anathoth (Jer 32:6-32:8)

“Jeremiah said.

‘The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

Hanamel,

Son of your uncle Shallum,

Is going to come to you.

He will say.

‘Buy my field

That is at Anathoth!

The right of redemption

By purchase is yours.’

Then my cousin Hanamel

Came to me

In the court of the guard,

In accordance

With the word of Yahweh.

He said to me.

‘Buy my field

That is at Anathoth

In the land of Benjamin!

The right of possession

Is yours.

The right of redemption

Is yours.

Buy it for yourself.’

Then I knew

That this was

The word of Yahweh.”

Clearly Jeremiah, while still in the royal prison, has an oracle of Yahweh come to him. His cousin Hanamel, the son of his uncle Shallum, was going to sell him some land in Anathoth, in the land of Benjamin. Jeremiah was from Anathoth, but it would have been now controlled by the invading Chaldeans and Babylonians. Shallum was the same name as King Jehoahaz who died in 609 BCE, 20 years earlier, but is probably not the same person. This land was probably Levite land that could not be sold to non- Levites. Since this was a family transaction, the right of redemption and purchase was allowed. Then Jeremiah’s cousin Hanamel showed up at the royal prison asking Jeremiah to buy his field at Anathoth. Then Jeremiah was sure that this was the word of God.