A very interesting statement is that God told Jeremiah to PRESERVE a copy of the purchase deed. He was to make one copy as a public notarized ownership, and the other to be put in a clay jar, sealed and then stored. One must wonder if God plans on this jar and deed being “discovered” by archeologists at, near to, or at the onset of the 7 year Tribulation. Such a discovery today would rock the world per the argument over Palestinian Arabs thinking it is they who own this land. Arabs now claim the Abraham birthright because God had the Israelites removed from the land via Assyrian and later, Babylonian armies.
Jeremiah 30, 31 can be summarized as a song of restoration in end time. Chapter 32 is the signet-seal on that promise of restoration. Keep in mind that chapters 30, 31, 32, & 33 are End Time passages; i.e. eschatology chapters.
The setting for chapter 32 is one year BEFORE Jerusalem fell, was burned, and became desolate. We know this timing as Jeremiah identifies it in the opening 2 verses. *Zedekiah is on the throne and will soon rebel as a serf-state owing allegiance to Babylon. Zedekiah was put on the throne by Nebuchadnezzar when he first conquered this territory by removing Jehoiakim. Israel was caught, at that time, between two dynamic Middle East powers; Egypt and Babylon.
Egypt had earlier conquered Judah; Babylon defeats the Assyrians; then Egypt falls to Babylonian armies. Pharaoh Necho had put Jehoiakim on the throne. In 605 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar defeated Egypt at the Battle Carchemish. Jehoiakim was removed from the Judean throne by the Babylonians putting his uncle Zedekiah on the throne.
*Zedekiah will be the last in the line of King David to sit on the throne.
Jehoahaz (or Shallum), was chosen king by the Judeans but the Egyptian conqueror Necho took Jehoahaz to Egypt captive and made Jehoiakim king. Jehoiakim reigned under the protection of Necho for some time and paid heavy tribute. When the new Chaldean (Babylonian) Empire under Nebuchadnezzar defeated Egypt at the Battle of Carchemish (605), Jehoiakim changed his allegiance from the Egyptian king to Nebuchadnezzar. He remained loyal for three years and then revolted against Nebuchadnezzar. After several battles and invasions, Nebuchadnezzar led the decisive invasion against Judah and besieged Jerusalem (598 B.C.). [Britannica encyclopedia].
Zedekiah was the last in history to be a Judean king in the DNA lineage of King David. It was also the end of the temporal Kingdom of Judah. Jeremiah, sitting in prison at this time, was still proclaiming God’s message of “don’t fight the Babylonians.” Surrender and prosper while in captivity or surrender to God once again and remain in charge of their lands. They chose poorly.
“Even though Zedekiah, previously known as Eliakim, witnessed the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s previous prophecies but he was angry enough to imprison him, as if this could alter what was happening. Such is the irrationality of unbelief” (Feinberg). In short, Zedekiah did not like Jeremiah’s prophecy and message from God so rather heed the warnings, he imprisoned the messenger. This is as dumb as hearing that the weather is going to rain on one’s parade so go and imprison the weather man.
While in prison, Jeremiah hears from his uncle’s son, Hanamel. He wants Jeremiah to purchase his land (31:6-12). This means they were cousins in the first degree. The land Jeremiah purchased was in his own hometown of Anathoth within the territory originally assigned by Joshua to the Tribe of Benjamin. Anathoth is located about 3 miles from Jerusalem. The interesting fact is that the Babylonians had already conquered and occupying this very same land in and around Anathoth. If this isn’t a step of faith, it will be difficult to grasp the meaning of faith. JIV: Hanamel was quite willing to sell land that was now occupied by enemy forces.
Jeremiah was following God’s instructions. It is very probable that Hanamel figured Jeremiah a fool. They both knew that “the spoils of war go to the conqueror.” There is a very bright side to this selling and buying of a land already dominated by Babylons. God is assuring that this land will be returned to Israeli’s in the End Time millennial reign of God/Jesus. It is a bit like selling a car that has already been stolen and both parties understand it that way. It is also speculated that Hanamel in a back-handed way, was challenging Jeremiah as to his real belief of a return to Judah/Israel by the 12 Tribes of Israel. In modern day terminology we call it, “putting one’s money where one’s mouth is.” We also have a saying that goes, “don’t tell me; show me.”
These two copies of the land deed were then given to Baruch, Jeremiah’s scribe. Jeremiah 32 is the first mention of Baruch the son of Neriah (Jeremiah 32:12). Baruch was a scribe and an assistant to Jeremiah. Jeremiah spoke to him so that others in the prison and courtyard would bear witness to this odd transaction.
Putting this deed in a clay pot then sealing it is precisely why the Dead Sea Scrolls were found so well preserved over 2600 years later. It is fairly obvious that God has future plans to point back at this transaction and someone’s claim to ownership. We still do not know where the deeds are geographically hidden but what a powerful testimony as to Jeremiah’s understanding and belief in God’s covenants with Israel. The real aha moment is not the transaction by itself. The documents were sealed and stored “so that they will last preserved (to exist) for many days.” The deeds are never brought up for discussion again. This odd selling, buying, witnessing and burying of the deed have something to do with God’s plans for a future Israel; return and once again occupy the Promised Land. Keep your eyes on the evening news.
JIV NOTE: This transaction is exclusive to Israel but does not include the Christian church.
32:17-25 is the prayer Jeremiah offered up to God as he handed the deeds over to Baruch. In a sense, this was the beginning of a kinship relationship between the Jeremiah and Baruch.
Once again Jeremiah makes note of God speaking to him. Once again God addresses his comments to both the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah; a once again a combined people preserved for End Time; the sons of Jacob.
Jeremiah 32:35 brings to the forefront God’s disgust with his chosen people. This passage also explains the evilness of Israel and their practice of worshiping foreign gods (Molech). However 32:37 is a reminder that God will deliver his people out of ALL BONDAGE and all countries and territories to which he scattered them; yâshab beṭach…”to dwell in a safe homeland that only God can insure and guarantee its existence.”
From 32:39 on, God explains to Jeremiah that at the time End Time, he will actually seal his words in the minds and heart of all Israelis. V41, “with my whole heart and my whole soul.” This is total commitment as goes a covenant. Israelis won’t be able to break this covenant as God is the one issuing it as a seal upon THEIR minds and heart. This is one of the very few places in the bible where a covenant is not an ”if you do _____, then I will do _____”´promise/covenant/contract. This is all in God’s hands at this time.
JIV: After over twenty years of Jeremiah prophesying the same message, it finally comes to fruition. It is possible that God intended this long time prophesying before their fall to the Chaldeans to parallel the long time between the dispersion of Israeli’s and their calling home during the millennial reign. I once heard a man state… You cannot pray by faith for God to fulfill His promises to you or to His church if you’re not obeying Him at whatever point obedience is difficult.