28:1 In the fifth month of that same year [594/3 BC], the fourth year, early in the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, the prophet [LXX has “false prophet”] Hananiah [a common name in ancient Israel; name means “the Lord has been gracious”] son of Azzur, who was from Gibeon [village located six miles northwest of Jerusalem in territory of Benjamin (as was Anathoth, Jeremiah’s hometown)], said [Hananiah’s words a response to Jeremiah’s enacted prophecy (wearing a yoke) in Jer. 27:2 and a contradiction of what God had said to Jeremiah] to me [Jeremiah] in the house of the LORD in the presence of [Hananiah boldly and authoritatively addressed Jeremiah in a public setting] the priests and all the people:
28:2 “This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says [the Lord had in fact not given such a message to Hananiah]: ‘I will break [Hananiah used the prophetic perfect (the perfect of certainty) which could be translated “I have broken…”] the yoke [symbolized submission] of the king of Babylon [cf. Jer. 27:14-15].
28:3 [cf. Jer. 27:16] Within two years [Hananiah boldly used definite dates] I will bring back to this place all the articles of the LORD’S house [this was a contradiction of Jeremiah’s statement (cf. Jer. 27:21-22); read Ezra 1:7-11 re: decree of Cyrus that allowed the return of these items] that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon removed from here and took to Babylon.
28:4 I will also bring back to this place Jehoiachin [Hananiah boldly used a specific name; this was a contradiction of Jeremiah’s prophecy that Jehoiachin (or Jeconiah) would die in Babylon (cf. Jer. 22:26-27); Hananiah’s prediction indicates that the exiled king still considered legitimate ruler of Judah] son of Jehoiakim king of Judah and all the other exiles from Judah who went to Babylon,’ declares the LORD, ‘for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.’”
28:5 Then the prophet Jeremiah replied to the prophet Hananiah before the priests and all the people who were standing in the house of the LORD.
28:6 He said [Jeremiah was polite and sincerely hoped Hananiah was correct], “Amen [means “I hope so” or “may it be so”]! May the LORD do so! May the LORD fulfill the words you have prophesied by bringing the articles of the LORD’S house and all the exiles back to this place from Babylon.
28:7 Nevertheless, listen to what I have to say in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people:
28:8 From early times the prophets who preceded you and me have [note that Hananiah’s prophecy was not consistent with the messages of the great prophets who preceded him…] prophesied war, disaster and plague against many countries and great kingdoms.
28:9 But the prophet who prophesies peace will be recognized as one truly sent by the LORD only if his prediction comes true [cf. Deut. 18:21-22 re: the mark of a true prophet].”
28:10 Then the prophet Hananiah took the yoke off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah and broke it [Hananiah counteracted Jeremiah’s symbolic act by performing his own],
28:11 and he said before all the people, “This is what the LORD says: ‘In the same way will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon off the neck of all the nations within two years.’” At this, the prophet Jeremiah went on his way [he did not offer a rebuttal to Hananiah at this time].
28:12 Shortly after [we are not told how much time elapsed] the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah [note: text never says the word of the Lord came to Hananiah]:
28:13 “Go and tell Hananiah, ‘This is what the LORD says: You have broken a wooden yoke, but in its place you will get a yoke of iron [indicated Judah would not escape Babylonian’s yoke].
28:14 This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I will put an iron yoke on the necks of all these nations to make them serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and they will serve him. I will even give him control over the wild animals [a way of emphasizing the extent of Babylon’s sovereignty].’”
28:15 Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, “Listen, Hananiah! The LORD has not sent you [Hananiah was an unauthorized spokesman for God], yet you have persuaded this nation to trust in lies [falsehood].
28:16 Therefore, this is what the LORD says: ‘I am about to remove you from the face of the earth. This very year you are going to die [the penalty for false prophets (cf. Deut. 13:5; 18:20); read Matt. 12:36 re: accountability for our careless words], because you have preached rebellion [rejection of God’s word (as spoken through Jeremiah) was an act of rebellion] against the LORD.’”
28:17 In the seventh month of that same year [two months later (cf. Jer. 28:1)], Hananiah [who had predicted deliverance in two years (cf. Jer. 28:3)] the prophet died [Hananiah’s death authenticated Jeremiah’s position as a true prophet].
Note: Read about other similar deaths in the Bible:
• Pelatiah (Ezek. 11:13)
• Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11)