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Jeremiah 32:7-8

Context
32:7 ‘Hanamel, the son of your uncle Shallum, will come to you soon. He will say to you, “Buy my field at Anathoth because you are entitled 1  as my closest relative to buy it.”’ 2  32:8 Now it happened just as the Lord had said! My cousin Hanamel 3  came to me in the courtyard of the guardhouse. He said to me, ‘Buy my field which is at Anathoth in the territory of the tribe of Benjamin. Buy it for yourself since you are entitled as my closest relative to take possession of it for yourself.’ When this happened, I recognized that the Lord had indeed spoken to me.

1 tn Heb “your right.” The term מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat) here and in v. 8 refers to legal entitlement for the option to purchase a property (BDB 1049 s.v. מִשְׁפָּט 5; cf. Deut 21:17).

2 sn Underlying this request are the laws of redemption of property spelled out in Lev 25:25-34 and illustrated in Ruth 4:3-4. Under these laws, if a property owner became impoverished and had to sell his land, the nearest male relative had the right and duty to buy it so that it would not pass out of the use of the extended family. The land, however, would not actually belong to Jeremiah because in the year of Jubilee it reverted to its original owner. All Jeremiah was actually buying was the right to use it (Lev 25:13-17). Buying the field, thus, did not make any sense (thus Jeremiah’s complaint in v. 25) other than the fact that the Lord intended to use Jeremiah’s act as a symbol of a restored future in the land.

3 tn Heb “And according to the word of the Lord my cousin Hanamel came to me to the courtyard of the guardhouse and said, ‘…’” The sentence has been broken down to conform better with contemporary English style.



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