Jeremiah 32 Commentary

Jeremiah buys a field (32:1-15)

At the time of Babylon’s final siege of Jerusalem, just before the city fell, Jeremiah was imprisoned (32:1-2). The king, Zedekiah, considered Jeremiah a traitor because he forecast the defeat of the city and the captivity of the king (3-5).

However, Jeremiah also forecast that the land of Judah would not be lost for ever, and that one day the people would repossess it. An opportunity now arose for Jeremiah to give practical demonstration of his faith in this future restoration. A relative of Jeremiah owned a piece of land that was occupied by the enemy armies. In these circumstances he saw no benefit in retaining ownership of the land, so gave Jeremiah the offer to buy it from him (6-8; cf. v. 24-25).


Jeremiah, having confidence in God’s promises concerning Judah’s future, bought the land (9). In carrying out the transaction he made sure that everything was done according to the legal requirements and that there were public witnesses (10-12). He then put the title deeds in an earthenware pot for safe- keeping. He had faith to believe that some relative of a later generation would receive the right to inherit the land when the people returned from captivity (13-15).

God reassures Jeremiah (32:16-44)

After buying the field, Jeremiah began to have doubts. It seemed to him almost too much to expect that God could allow such a worthless people ever to return to their land. He therefore prayed to God (16), seeking to reassure himself that nothing is too hard for a God who is so loving and powerful (17-19). He reminds God of his steadfast faithfulness and miraculous power, which had saved his people in the past (20-22). But the people have been disobedient and have now brought this justly deserved punishment upon themselves (23). With the enemy siege machines battering the city walls, Jeremiah fears that Jerusalem’s end has come. He wonders whether, in buying the field, he has correctly understood God’s will (24-25).

God replies that nothing is too hard for him. Certainly he will destroy Jerusalem (26-29), for this is a judgment on the nation because of its idolatry (30-31). Kings, administrators, priests, prophets and common people alike have turned from God and followed pagan religions (32-35). However, after God has disciplined his people in foreign lands, he will bring them back to their land (36-37). He will do a work within them so that they will know him in a more spiritual relationship than they have previously experienced. They will have a renewed devotion to God and a fresh experience of God’s blessing (38-41).

Jeremiah need have no doubts about the wisdom of buying the piece of land from his relative. The day will certainly come when this piece of land will be returned to Jeremiah’s family. In fact, throughout the country people will buy and sell land as they did before (42-44).

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