Background:When the Babylonian army laid siege to Jerusalem. God instructed Jeremiah to buy land currently occupied by the Babylonian army as a sign that God would redeem Israel to the land.
Jeremiah 32:8-15I commanded Baruch before them, saying, Thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel: Take these deeds, this deed of the purchase which is sealed, and this deed which is open, and put them in an earthen vessel; that they may continue many days. For thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel: Houses and fields and vineyards shall yet again be bought in this land.
So Hanamel my uncle’s son came to me in the court of the guard according to the word of Yahweh, and said to me, Please buy my field that is in Anathoth, which is in the land of Benjamin; for the right of inheritance is yours, and the redemption is yours; buy it for yourself.
Then I knew that this was the word of Yahweh. I bought the field that was in Anathoth of Hanamel my uncle’s son, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver. I subscribed the deed, and sealed it, and called witnesses, and weighed him the money in the balances. So I took the deed of the purchase, both that which was sealed, containing the terms and conditions, and that which was open; and I delivered the deed of the purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, in the presence of Hanamel my uncle’s son, and in the presence of the witnesses who subscribed the deed of the purchase, before all the Jews who sat in the court of the guard.
When Jeremiah redeemed the land, there were two copies of the deed: one open and one sealed. The sealed copy was to be opened if there was any dispute regarding the open one. The sealed copy was marked by an official seal in clay.