Explaining the Book

Bible Study Guide

Jeremiah

Jeremiah 32 Summary

Please enjoy this free digital Jeremiah 32 summary from ExplainingTheBook.com!

For our study on the first 15 verses of chapter 32, read our Jeremiah 32 Commentary.

Jeremiah 32 Summary | Jeremiah Prays to God

And the shock of God having a future for Israel isn’t lost on Jeremiah. This message from God prompts the prophet to pray. And I think what we’re going to see in verses 16-25 is the prophet working through accepting this shocking promise from God by means of speaking with the one who made this amazing promise.

16 ¶ Now when I had delivered the [evidence/deed] of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed unto the LORD, saying,

By the way, since there’s no mention of Jeremiah removing himself to some private place – as if there were any such places in his prison – he is likely praying in front of all the witnesses that were there in the prison.

Jeremiah 32 Summary | You Created the World and Are Omnipotent

Now, Jeremiah begins his struggle with God’s promise in prayer by recognizing that God is the omnipotent Creator of everything. And therefore, even this promise would be possible for him to carry out.

17 Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:

So, that’s what God has done that would allow him to carry out his amazing promise of restoring Israel to their land.

Jeremiah 32 Summary | God’s Holy Character

Next, Jeremiah focuses on God’s good and holy character. And this character is what at one time causes him to judge the Jews in Jeremiah’s day and at the same time allows him to promise undeserved blessing on future generations.

18 Thou shewest [lovingkindness/steadfast love/unfailing love] unto thousands, [and/but] [recompensest/repay] the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name,

19 Great in counsel, and mighty in [work/deed]: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings:

Jeremiah 32 Summary | Exodus from Egypt

And as so often happens in prayers in the Old Testament, Jeremiah’s prayer includes a reminder to himself and to the Lord of God’s past deliverance of Israel from bondage in Egypt.

20 Which hast [set/shown] signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, [even unto this day/which have had lasting effects], and in Israel, and among other [men/mankind]; and hast made thee a name, as at this day;

In other words, God earned himself a lasting reputation through his delivering his people from Egypt.

21 And hast brought forth thy people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs, and with wonders, and with a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with great terror;

And of course, after God brought Israel out of Egypt, he brought them into the land he promised them. The land from which they would soon be ejected because of their sin.

22 And hast given them this land, which thou didst swear to their fathers to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey;

Jeremiah 32 Summary | The People’s Abuse of God

And verse 23 gets at the reason for their being ejected from the land.

23 And they came in, and possessed it; but they obeyed not thy voice, neither walked in thy law; they have done nothing of all that thou commandedst them to do: therefore thou hast caused all this [evil/disaster] to come upon them:

Jeremiah 32 Summary | God’s Punishment Evident

And the evidence of God’s imminent sending of them out of their land was all around them according to verse 24.

24 Behold the [mounts/siege mounds/siege ramps], they are come unto the city to take it; and the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans, that fight against it, because of [the sword/war], and of [the famine/starvation], and of [the pestilence/disease]: and what thou hast spoken is come to pass; and, behold, thou seest it.

Jeremiah 32 Summary | God’s Promise of Restoration

All of this was past or present for Judah and for Jeremiah. God’s creating the world. God’s bringing Israel out of Egypt. God’s bringing Israel into the land. And then of course presently for Jeremiah, God had brought the Babylonians to destroy and exile his people.

And so, that brings Jeremiah to his concluding comment in his prayer. In contrast to the troubling realities he was facing, this is the truth that had just come to him and he was still trying to digest it.

25 [And/Yet] thou hast said unto me, O Lord GOD,

Buy thee the field for money, and take witnesses;

[for/though] the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.

And there Jeremiah ends his prayer. He laid the whole situation out before the Lord. And again this is more implicit than explicit. But I think the idea is that the prophet is struggling to put it all together in his mind.

He needed convincing at the beginning of this chapter that the message that God had given him about his cousin coming was indeed God’s message. And based on God’s response to Jeremiah’s prayer in the rest of this chapter, I again sense that the prophet needed some reassurance. This promise seemed so amazing. So contrary to what they were currently experiencing. It’s not that Jeremiah doubted. But he seems to be reaching out for some assurance that this indeed was what God was going to bring to pass in the future.

Jeremiah 32 Summary | God Responds

So, God does respond to the prophet with the assurance he was looking for. And God does so by affirming two truths that seem at first to perhaps contradict or work against each other. First, in verses 26-35 the Lord confirms that he must punish the rebellious Judeans. But second, in verses 36-44 the Lord affirms that he will indeed restore the descendants of these sinful Judeans to this very land from which he must eject them.

Jeremiah 32 Summary | God Must Punish

So, let’s look at verses 26-35 where God states the current reality for the people of Judah – punishment for their sins.

26 ¶ Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying,

27 Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too [hard/difficult] for me?

So, the Lord begins by repeating what Jeremiah had already acknowledged in verse 17. Nothing is too hard for the Lord.

28 Therefore thus saith the LORD;

Behold, I [will give/am giving] this city into the hand of the Chaldeans, and into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and he shall take it:

29 And the Chaldeans, that fight against this city, shall come and set fire [on/to] this city, and burn it with the houses, upon whose roofs they have offered incense unto Baal, and poured out drink offerings unto other gods, to provoke me to anger.

So, yet again the reason for God’s destroying Judah was no secret. They were worshipping other gods. And so he draws attention to the very places where that false worship is happening and targets them for destruction – their homes in this case.

And God continues justifying his destruction of Judah.

30 For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have only done evil before me from their [youth/earliest history]: for the children of Israel have only provoked me to anger with the work of their hands, saith the LORD.

31 For [the people of…] this city hath been to me as a provocation of mine anger and of my [fury/wrath] from the day that they built it even unto this day; [so…] that I [should/will] remove it from before my face,

32 Because of all the evil of the children of Israel and of the children of Judah, which they have done to provoke me to anger, they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

33 And they have turned [unto me the back/away from me], and not [the face/to me]: though I taught them, [rising up early and teaching them/persistently/over and over again], yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction.

34 But they set their [abominations/disgusting idols] in the house, which is called by my name, to defile it.

35 And they built the high places of [worship for…] Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

So, in light of their disgusting idolatry which included sacrificing their own children, God had to punish.

Jeremiah 32 Summary | God Will Restore

But that’s not the whole story. Yes, God had to punish. But now in verses 36-44 the Lord will promise to restore the descendants of these people to their land someday.

36 ¶ And now therefore thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city, whereof ye [rightly] say,

It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence;

OK, what they see and what they’re saying are accurate. But here’s what’s going to happen that’s a total reversal of what was presently the case for Jeremiah and his contemporaries.

37 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely:

38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God:

By the way, this hasn’t happened yet. It’s coming in the Millennium as we saw from chapter 31. This is the same language that’s used in that chapter of the effects of the New Covenant which will be fully in force with Israel and Judah in the Millennium.

39 And I will give them [one heart, and one way/a single-minded purpose], that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them:

Again, this hasn’t happened yet. Neither has the following.

40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; [but/and] I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.

41 Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land [assuredly/faithfully] with my whole heart and with my whole soul.

And so, the rest of these promises are yet future. What about verse 41? Is God’s planting the people in the land necessarily only going to happen in the Millennium? Because, we have some Jews back there right now as we speak. And actually, they have a nation called Israel.

That’s a little bit trickier. If they weren’t in their land, then I’d be tempted to think this would happen in the Millennium. But since they’re there now, I’m left with two possibilities.

First and in my mind unlikely is that they’ll be sent out of their land again before the Millennium. I really hope that’s not the case. And yet, if it happens I’m not going to lose faith in God’s word.

The second possibility is that God is starting to bring about Millennial blessings right now and will bring them fully to pass in the Millennium. And he can do that. Just because he tells us that he will do certain things in the Millennium doesn’t mean he can’t do them in any way before the Millennium. Right? Like the New Covenant. It’s not fully in effect like Jeremiah 31 tells us will happen. But it is certainly in effect for us Gentiles right now in a sense.

So, much of Israel is back in its land right now. I hope they stay that way. But whether they do or not, there will be a final gathering-in of Israel to their land under the New Covenant in the Millennium.

Alright, now the Lord brings his reassuring the prophet to a conclusion in verses 42-44 by summarizing what he’s just said.

42 ¶ For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I [have promised/am promising] them.

43 And fields shall be bought in this land, whereof ye [correctly] say,

It is desolate without man or beast; it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.

44 Men shall buy fields for money, and [subscribe/sign] [evidences/deeds], and seal them, and take witnesses in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, and in the cities of the [mountains/hill country], and in the cities of the valley, and in the cities of the south: for I will [cause their captivity to return/restore their fortunes/restore them to their land], saith the LORD.

All that the Lord has promised he will certainly bring to pass in his own timing.

What has God promised you that hasn’t been fully realized yet? Here are a few things promised to Christians that we don’t have yet:

  1. The resurrection and redemption of your body.
  2. Reigning with Christ.
  3. Judging angels.
  4. No more pain or tears or sickness or dying.
  5. Jesus Christ’s constant literal physical presence with you.
  6. Your being reunited to loved ones who have fallen asleep in Christ.
  7. No more flesh – no more sinful nature.

You and I don’t see these things yet. You and I might need assurance that these promises will happen.

Take comfort from Jeremiah 32. What God promises he is able also to perform. And he will perform it.

God has convinced his prophet, Jeremiah. Let him convince you.

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Comments

  1. First I would like to thank you for explaining the book. Its been a perfect tool to get me back in the bible.
    Something that caught my attention was verse 41 “Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land [assuredly/faithfully] with my whole heart and with my whole soul.” for some reason I never ever thought about God having a heart and soul. Your thoughts.

    1. Ron,

      I’m so glad to hear of how the Lord is using this site to help you get back into his word.

      I would say that the Lord is using an anthropomorphism in the passage you referenced. I was just reading in Ezekiel this morning where God said that he was going to use his strong arm to accomplish his will. Of course, God the Father doesn’t have physical arms, though God the Son Jesus Christ does. But he wants us to picture him as if he’s this being with massive powerful arms and just like any man with strong muscular arms, he can accomplish things with those arms.

      So, when God speaks of his heart and soul he’s referencing the fact that he has inner emotions just like we do and those parts of him will rejoice over his people Israel again some day. Humans have hearts and souls. We have a seat of our emotions – an inner being. We are made in God’s image and so we bear some resemblance to how God works, though not in all the particulars. So, God has emotions like we do. We would say that we feel something with all our heart and soul; and so God in order to communicate in ways that we understand speaks of himself in similar terms even though the mechanisms of how all of that works must be quite different from how it works in his human creatures.

      Paul

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