Jeremiah the Liar

Jeremiah 28:27-28 :

Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Let no one know of these words, and you shall not die.  But if the princes hear that I have talked with you, and they come to you and say to you, ‘Declare to us now what you have said to the king, and also what the king said to you; do not hide it from us, and we will not put you to death,’  then you shall say to them, ‘I presented my request before the king, that he would not make me return to Jonathan’s house to die there.’”

Then all the princes came to Jeremiah and asked him. And he told them according to all these words that the king had commanded. So they stopped speaking with him, for the conversation had not been heard.

So the king fed Jeremiah a lie to say, if anybody asked him about their conversation.  And the people asked Jeremiah, and Jeremiah repeated the king’s lie.

I think we’ve only got two options here.  Either it was a sin for Jeremiah to lie in this situation, or it wasn’t.  The text doesn’t pass any judgment at all, but presumably the book is written either by Jeremiah himself, or someone close to him, like Baruch his scribe, and the lack of judgment has every appearance of tacit approval.  In fact, it would be pretty hard, taking this text into account, to argue that scripture teaches that every form of inaccurate reporting counts as “false witness.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s