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Jeremiah 28


(The parentheses represent poetic literary units)

Hananiah's False Prophecy Hananiah's Falsehood and Doom The Yoke of the King of Babylon
Jeremiah and the Prophet Hananiah The Dispute with Hananiah
28:1-4 28:1-4 28:1-4 28:1-4 28:1-4
28:5-9 28:5-9 28:5-9 28:5-9 28:5-9
28:10-11 28:10-11 28:10-11 28:10-11 28:10-11
28:12-16 29:12-17 28:12-16 28:12-14 28:12-14
      28:15-16 28:15-16
28:17   28:17 28:17 28:17

READING CYCLE THREE (see introductory section)


This is a study guide commentary,which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects (reading cycle #3). Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Third paragraph

4. Etc.



A. This chapter is the dialog between two priests who both claim to be prophets. The word "say" (BDB 55, KB 65) is used sixteen times.


B. Only an accurate prediction can prove which is the true prophet (cf. Deut. 13:1-3; 18:15-22). This will be verified within one year.


C. Hananiah predicts (cf. vv. 1-4) a defeat of Babylon and a return of

1. Jeconiah and the exiles

2. temple vessels

Jeremiah predicts the fall of Judah, her destruction, and total exile for seventy years! Who is speaking for God? Time will clearly tell!


1Now in the same year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year, in the fifth month, Hananiah the son of Azzur, the prophet, who was from Gibeon, spoke to me in the house of the Lord in the presence of the priests and all the people, saying, 2"Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, 'I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. 3Within two years I am going to bring back to this place all the vessels of the Lord's house, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place and carried to Babylon. 4I am also going to bring back to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all the exiles of Judah who went to Babylon,' declares the Lord, 'for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.'"

28:1 "the prophet" The LXX has "false prophet."

▣ "Gibeon" This was a Levite city (Josh. 21:17). Both of these "prophets" have the same credentials. Jeremiah was from a city of priests and both are called "the prophet" (cf. v. 5). Both use the same introductory formula, "Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel" (v. 2; 27:4,21). How does the hearer know which to believe?

▣ "in the presence of the priests and all the people, saying" Hananiah publically confronted Jeremiah, possibly at a yearly or monthly feast.

28:2 "I have broken the yoke" The tense in Hebrew (Qal perfect) speaks of the act as already accomplished.

There is a sound play between

1. "break," שׁבר - BDB 990, KB 1402

2. "bring back," שׁרב - BDB 996, KB 1427

Both of these are used together two times (vv. 2,4).

28:3-4 "vessels. . .Jeconiah. . .exiles of Judah. . .in two years" This prophecy was very specific and detailed. It spoke to the nationalistic prejudice of the Judean people. It was a repudiation of Jeremiah's sermon in chapter 27.

5Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and in the presence of all the people who were standing in the house of the Lord, 6and the prophet Jeremiah said, "Amen! May the Lord do so; may the Lord confirm your words which you have prophesied to bring back the vessels of the Lord's house and all the exiles, from Babylon to this place. 7Yet hear now this word which I am about to speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people! 8The prophets who were before me and before you from ancient times prophesied against many lands and against great kingdoms, of war and of calamity and of pestilence. 9The prophet who prophesies of peace, when the word of the prophet comes to pass, then that prophet will be known as one whom the Lord has truly sent."

28:6 "Amen" Jeremiah wished Hananiah's message was true, but it was not! For "amen" see special Topic at 3:12.

28:8 This shows that the prophets read/knew the prophets before them. Previous revelation is a great blessing. Much of the biblical imagery and idioms is used again and again. The theological message of vv. 8-9 is that the context of the message (i.e., war or peace) cannot be used to determine if the message is from a true prophet. Only accurate fulfillment (or repentance and God changing His mind) can do that!

10Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from the neck of Jeremiah the prophet and broke it. 11Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, "Thus says the Lord, 'Even so will I break within two full years the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all the nations.'" Then the prophet Jeremiah went his way.

28:10 "took the yoke. . .broke it" This was possibly a violent act!

28:11 "Jeremiah went his way" Why we don't know, but possibly because he had to wait for YHWH's reply.

12The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah after Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying, 13"Go and speak to Hananiah, saying, 'Thus says the Lord, "You have broken the yokes of wood, but you have made instead of them yokes of iron." 14For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, "I have put a yoke of iron on the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they will serve him. And I have also given him the beasts of the field."'" 15Then Jeremiah the prophet said to Hananiah the prophet, "Listen now, Hananiah, the Lord has not sent you, and you have made this people trust in a lie. 16Therefore thus says the Lord, 'Behold, I am about to remove you from the face of the earth. This year you are going to die, because you have counseled rebellion against the Lord.'"

28:12 "Jeremiah. . .Jeremiah" This seems to confirm that this section of chapters was penned by Baruch.


NASB, NKJV"you have made"
TEV"he will replace"
LXX"I will"
NEB"I will make"

The MT has "you" and the UBS Text Project gives it a "B" rating. The LXX seems to catch the meaning better, but usually the more difficult reading is original (see Appendix on Textual Criticism).

28:14 YHWH will replace the wooden symbol with an iron symbol! Jeremiah's prophecy, not Hananiah's, will come to pass (cf. v. 15).

Verses 15-17 are YHWH's response through Jeremiah to Hananiah. He will die in the same year. His prophecy was considered "rebellion against the Lord!"

17So Hananiah the prophet died in the same year in the seventh month.


This is a study guide commentary, whichmeans that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought provoking, not definitive.

1. Why was Jeremiah so disliked?

2. Is all history really controlled by God? If so, think of the implications.

3. Why is man so obsessed with knowing and altering the future? Is this prevalent today?

4. Why is it that God's spokesmen are always rejected by their contemporaries?

5. How do you know the false from the true prophets?

6. Did Hananiah really believe he was a prophet?


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