Jer. 28:1 ¦ And it came to pass the same year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year, and in the fifth month, that Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet, which was of Gibeon, spake unto me in the house of the LORD, in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying,
Jer. 28:2 Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon.
Jer. 28:3 Within two full years will I bring again into this place all the vessels of the LORDŐS house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place, and carried them to Babylon:
Jer. 28:4 And I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah, that went into Babylon, saith the LORD: for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.
This chapter is actually a continuation from the previous one. We are told that one of the false prophets, Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet of Gibeon spoke out in defiance of God and His true prophet Jeremiah. He completely contradicted the words of Jeremiah before the priests and people that were gathered at the temple. He boldly declared that within two years the LORD would restore to them all the temple vessels that had been taken to Babylon. Not only would the temple vessels be restored, King Jeconiah and all the other captives would be returned. He boldly declares that the LORD will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.
The audacity of those who serve the father of lies is astounding to me, and he has servants aplenty today operating within the professing church.
Jer. 28:5 Then the prophet Jeremiah said unto the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests, and in the presence of all the people that stood in the house of the LORD,
Jer. 28:6 Even the prophet Jeremiah said, Amen: the LORD do so: the LORD perform thy words which thou hast prophesied, to bring again the vessels of the LORDŐS house, and all that is carried away captive, from Babylon into this place.
Jeremiah does not back down. In fact, he declares that he too wishes the LORD would restore the temple vessels and all the captives.
Jer. 28:7 Nevertheless hear thou now this word that I speak in thine ears, and in the ears of all the people;
Jer. 28:8 The prophets that have been before me and before thee of old prophesied both against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence.
Jer. 28:9 The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the LORD hath truly sent him.
ŇNeverthelessÓ – To be understood—It doesnŐt really matter what I want.
Jeremiah urges the people to pay attention to what he has to say. Many prophets before him had prophesied judgments against many countries and great kingdoms. They too had prophesied of GodŐs judgments of war, evil and disease. Implied—Very few had prophesied of peace.
He goes on to emphasize that the true prophet of God will be proven by the fulfillment of his prophecies.
The following quote from Matthew Henry is as applicable to us as it was to Jeremiah.
ŇIf what we have spoken be the truth of God, we must not unsay it because men gainsay it; for great is the truth and will prevail. It will stand, therefore let us stand to it, and not fear that men's unbelief or blasphemy will make it of no effect.Ó
Jer. 28:10 ¦ Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from off the prophet JeremiahŐs neck, and brake it.
Jer. 28:11 And Hananiah spake in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years. And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.
Hananiah then dramatically broked the yoke from off of JeremiahŐs neck. He declared that just as surely as he had broken the yoke off of Jeremiah, the LORD would break the yoke of the nationsŐ bondage to Babylon within two full years.
Jeremiah has nothing more to say. He has declared GodŐs truth, and he now chooses to walk away.
Jer. 28:12 Then the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the prophet, after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying,
Jer. 28:13 Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Thou hast broken the yokes of wood; but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron.
Jer. 28:14 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also.
After this incident, the word of the LORD again came to Jeremiah. He instructs Jeremiah to go to Hananiah and declare that by getting the people to ignore the truth declared by Jeremiah he has in essence ensured that the people would endure an iron yoke of control under Nebuchadnezzar. The LORD has declared that the nations will serve Neb—and they will!
Jer. 28:15 Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie.
Jer. 28:16 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the LORD.
Jer. 28:17 So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.
Obedient as always, Jeremiah goes to deliver GodŐs message to Hananiah. He confronts the false prophet with the fact that he is causing the people to put their faith in a lie. He then tells him that because he has encouraged rebellion against the LORD, the LORD has determined that he will die within the year.
Hananiah died the 7th month of that year—two months later according to the time marker of verse one.