Behold, Hanameel the son of Shallum thine uncle shall come
Hilkiah, the father of Jeremiah, and this Shallum, were own brothers; so that Jeremiah and Hanameel were brothers' sons, or own cousins: this coming of Hanameel to Jeremiah being a contingent event, with respect to second causes, and yet foretold as what would certainly be, shows that such events are foreknown by the Lord, and are sure to him: saying, buy thee my field that [is] in Anathoth;
the place from whence Jeremiah came, and was but about two or three miles from Jerusalem, and therefore must be now in the possession of the Chaldean army; wherefore it may seem very strange in Hanameel to propose it to sale, and stranger still in Jeremiah to buy it: though something of this kind was done at Rome, while Hannibal was besieging it; the field where Hannibal pitched his camp was offered to sale at Rome, and found a buyer F20; but then he that bought it was in high spirits, and in a strong belief that the city would not be taken, and that the enemy would be obliged to quit the siege; but Jeremiah knew, and firmly believed, on the other hand, that the city of Jerusalem, and all the country round it, would fall into the hands of the king of Babylon. Moreover, Anathoth was a city of the priests, and the fields adjoining to it belonged to them; as some of them did to Abiathar the priest in his time, ( 1 Kings 2:26 ) ; and such fields as belonged to the priests and Levites were not to be sold, according to the law in ( Leviticus 25:34 ) ; to which it is answered, that this was not arable land, which the Levites might not possess; but some meadow, orchard, or garden, in the suburbs of the city, which though it might not be sold to strangers, yet might be sold among themselves; though it is more probable that this was a field that came fro, in some of his ancestors by his mother's or grandmother's side, and so might be disposed of; as it seems certain to be lawfully done, not only as it was the will of God, who could indeed dispense with his own law, was that in the way, but since it was a matter of right, and incumbent on him, as follows: for the right of redemption [is] thine to buy [it];
that is, had it been sold to another, it would have lain upon him to have redeemed it, as being next of kin, that so it might not pass to another tribe and family.
F20 Florus, l. 2. c. 6.