29:3 He sent it with Elasah son of Shaphan 1 and Gemariah son of Hilkiah. 2 King Zedekiah of Judah had sent these men to Babylon to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. 3 The letter said:
1 sn Elasah son of Shaphan may have been the brother of Ahikam, who supported Jeremiah when the priests and the prophets in Jerusalem sought to kill Jeremiah for preaching that the temple and the city would be destroyed (cf. 26:24).
2 sn This individual is not the same as the Gemariah mentioned in 36:10, 11, 12, 25 who was one of the officials who sought to have the first scroll of Jeremiah’s prophecies preserved. He may, however, have been a son or grandson of the High Priest who discovered the book of the law during the reign of Josiah (cf., e.g., 2 Kgs 22:8, 10) which was so instrumental in Josiah’s reforms.
3 sn It is unclear whether this incident preceded or followed those in the preceding chapter. It is known from 52:59 that Zedekiah himself had made a trip to Babylon in the same year mentioned in 28:1 and that Jeremiah had used that occasion to address a prophecy of disaster to Babylon. It is not impossible that Jeremiah sent two such disparate messages at the same time (see Jer 25:8-11, 12-14, 17-18, 26).
4 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.”
sn See study notes on 2:19 and 7:3 for the explanation of this title.
5 tn Heb “I sent.” This sentence exhibits a rapid switch in person, here from the third person to the first. Such switches are common to Hebrew poetry and prophecy (cf. GKC 462 §144.p). Contemporary English, however, does not exhibit such rapid switches and it creates confusion for the careful reader. Such switches have regularly been avoided in the translation.
sn Elsewhere Nebuchadnezzar is seen as the one who carried them into exile (cf. 27:20; 29:1). Here and in v. 14 the