Jeremiah 33 Commentary

JEREMIAH OVERVIEW
Sin - "I Will Punish" (Jer 9:25)
Hope - "I Will Restore" (Jer 30:17)

Prophet
Called

Jer 1:1-1:19

Prophecies
to Judah

Jer 2:1-45:5
Prophecies
to the Gentiles

Jer 46:1-51:64
Prophet's
Appendix

Jer 52:1-52:34
Prophet's
Commission

Jer 1:1-19
Judah
Condemned

Jer 2:1-25:38
Jeremiah's
Conflicts

Jer 26:1-29:32
Jerusalem's
Future

Jer 30:1-33:26
Jerusalem's
Fall

Jer 34:1-45:5
Nations
Condemned

Jer 46:1-51:64
Historic
Conclusion

Jer 52:1-52:34
Before The Fall Of Jerusalem
Jer 1:1-38:28
The Fall
Jer 39:1-18
After
The Fall
Call Ministry Retrospect
Nation
of Judah
Surrounding
Nations
Future of
Babylon
627-582BC
Ministered 40+ Years!

SUGGESTED RESOURCES RELATED TO
JEREMIAH 30-33

Supplement you reading with the following conservative sources use a literal approach in interpretation of the Scriptures:

Commentaries - not free but take a literal approach to interpretation:

Journal Articles or other discussions related to Jeremiah 30-33:

Sermons on Jeremiah 30-33

Jeremiah 33:1 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the second time, while he was still confined in the court of the guard, saying,

Jeremiah 33 concludes the “The Book of Consolation" (Jeremiah 30-33)

Date: Circa 587-588 BC

Then - The idea is that something occurs after something else or next in sequence.

Shepherd's Notes - God had made wonderful long-term promises to Israel. They could look forward to a future brighter than their present. Throughout their history, though, Israel had failed to trust the Lord's word, for they had refused to believe that God is trustworthy. Therefore, this chapter focuses on God's character. It emphasizes that the God who promises is the God who keeps His promises. God's nature guarantees the truthfulness of His statements. (see Hebrews 6:17-18)

Adam Clarke gives us a good summary of Jeremiah 33 as it predicts the glorious future of the literal nation of Israel - In this chapter the prophet predicts a restoration of Israel and Judah to the favor of God, attended with such glorious circumstances as shall astonish all the world, Jeremiah 33:1-9. Their prosperity from that period is then described by a beautiful enumeration of circumstances, Jeremiah 33:10-13. This leads to the promise of the Messiah, the grand subject of the prophetical writings, and the happiness and stability which the children of Israel shall enjoy under his government; promises which, in so far as they respect the great body of the Jews, remain still to be fulfilled, Jeremiah 33:14-26. (Jeremiah 33 Commentary)

Sadly some respected older writers like Matthew Henry see these literal promises to Israel in Jeremiah 33 as "a reference as far forward as to the gospel church." The point is that you need to be very discerning in reading commentaries (old and new) on prophetic passages that were given directly to Israel as there is a definite tendency of many commentaries to interpret these literal promises to Israel as being fulfilled in the Church! In short, be a Berean (Acts 17:11-note).

The word of the LORD came - This phrase is found 102x in the Bible all in the Old Testament with 21 of those passages in Jeremiah (NAS) -

Ge 15:1, 4; 1Sa 15:10; 2Sa 7:4; 24:11; 1Ki 6:11; 13:20; 16:1; 17:2, 8; 18:1; 19:9; 21:17, 28; 2Ki 20:4; 1Chr 22:8; 2Chr 11:2; 12:7; Isa 38:4; Jer 1:2, 4, 11, 13; 2:1; 13:3, 8; 18:5; 24:4; 28:12; 32:6, 26; 33:1, 19, 23; 34:12; 35:12; 36:27; 37:6; 42:7; 43:8; Ezek 1:3; 3:16; 6:1; 7:1; 11:14; 12:1, 8, 17, 21, 26; 13:1; 14:2, 12; 15:1; 16:1; 17:1, 11; 18:1; 20:2, 45; 21:1, 8, 18; 22:1, 17, 23; 23:1; 24:1, 15, 20; 25:1; 26:1; 27:1; 28:1, 11, 20; 29:1, 17; 30:1, 20; 31:1; 32:1, 17; 33:1, 23; 34:1; 35:1; 36:16; 37:15; 38:1; Jonah 1:1; 3:1; Hag 1:1, 3; 2:1, 10, 20; Zech 1:1, 7; 4:8; 7:1, 8.

The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah - This phrase is found 11x in 11v (NAS) - Jer 28:12; 32:26; 33:1, 19, 23; 34:12; 35:12; 36:27; 37:6; 42:7; 43:8. Jer 33. The related phrase "the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD" is found in Jeremiah 7:1 and Jeremiah 32:1. Paul though imprisoned affirmed that the God's Word is not bound calling for Timothy to "Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my Gospel, for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned. " (2Ti 2:8-9)

Don't miss the principle beloved - You may be in a prison, literal or figurative, but no "bars" can bar the Almighty from speaking words to you and in this chapter while they begin with judgment the emphasis is on restoration and reassurance which is what the Father wants to speak to you.

2 Chronicles 36:12 describes "Jeremiah the prophet who spoke for the LORD." For a prophet to speak for the LORD, he must receive a word from the LORD as described in this passage (and Jer 32:1). Peter affirms that we "know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." (2Peter 1:20-21) So what we are reading in Jeremiah 33 is the result of God's Spirit moving the prophet to record these words from God. Recall that a prophet in the Bible had two basic functions - (1) To speak forth and (2) to speak before. In other words the prophet was to speak God's message to His people usually in the form of an exhortation but at times he would also foretell future events. The content of Jeremiah 30-33 is predominantly foretelling of future events.

As we study this great section, we do well to recall that Jeremiah was a Jew speaking to literal Jewish people foretelling then what would transpire to their literal Jewish city of Jerusalem and literal nation of Israel. And unless the context suggest otherwise, we are on safest interpretative grounds by taking the text at face value and letting it say what it says to the Jewish audience who would have read it in Jeremiah's day. One alternative is to interpret the text allegorically. Bernard Ramm writes "In allegorical interpretation the interpreter finds alongside the literal sense of the text a different and deeper meaning which may even completely exclude the literal meaning." Notice especially that last clause "may even completely exclude the literal meaning!" Ramm goes on to describe the word "spiritual" noting that "with reference to prophecy it means that a given prediction is not to be fulfilled in a literal way but in a different way, in a different key. The descriptions of the great prosperity of Israel is “spiritualized” into meaning the great successes of the Christian Church." We give this background only to emphasize that this commentary assiduously avoids either allegorizing or spiritualizing any text that can be interpreted literally. In other words, if the plain sense makes good sense in context, we will seek to make no other sense out of it, lest it potentially be construed as nonsense! And even worse such an approach could arrive at an interpretation which is inaccurate and not at all what Jehovah originally intended which He spoke these words to Jeremiah!

Recall that in the first 29 chapters Jeremiah's predominant message was of divine judgment. In Jer 29:10-11 Jehovah gave a preview of better things to come for the Jews declaring "When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place, for I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope." And then the next four chapters describe Israel's future and her hope, some of these prophecies to be fulfilled in the return from Babylon, but many of the prophecies speaking of a time that correlates best with the last days just preceding and including the Second Coming of the Messiah. And as discussed many writers have titled Jeremiah 30-33 as the "Book of Consolation."

The second time - The first time was in Jeremiah 32 (see especially note on Jer 32:1-2) and this phrase links Jeremiah 33:1-13 with Jeremiah 32:1-44. We cannot determine with certainty how long the lapse was between Jehovah speaking to Jeremiah the first time and now a second time. It does appear that enough time has passed that the siege is beginning to have an impact on Jerusalem (see Jer 33:4). Recall that King Zedekiah had put Jeremiah in the royal prison for preaching in the name of the Lord that that Babylonians would be victorious over Judah and Jerusalem (Jeremiah 32:1-5).

Analytical Bible Expositor Outline

1. Jeremiah 33:1-5 The Retribution Upon Israel

2. Jeremiah 33:6-18 The Restoration of Israel

3. Jeremiah 33:19-26 The Reassurance for Israel

Outline of Jeremiah 33 - A C Gaebelein (Ref)

1. The call to pray and Jerusalem’s overthrow (Jeremiah 33:1-5)

2. Future blessing and glory (Jeremiah 33:6-14)

3. The Branch of Righteousness; Jerusalem’s new name (Jeremiah 33:15-18)

4. Jehovah’s faithfulness (Jeremiah 33:19-26)

 

Jeremiah 33:2 "Thus says the LORD who made the earth, the LORD who formed it to establish it, the LORD is His name,

JEHOVAH
MAKER OF THE EARTH

KJV Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name;

NET "I, the LORD, do these things. I, the LORD, form the plan to bring them about. I am known as the LORD. I say to you,

ESV "Thus says the LORD who made the earth, the LORD who formed it to establish it--the LORD is his name:

NIV "This is what the LORD says, he who made the earth, the LORD who formed it and established it-- the LORD is his name:

NLT "This is what the LORD says-- the LORD who made the earth, who formed and established it, whose name is the LORD:

YLT Thus said Jehovah its maker, Jehovah its former, at establishing it, Jehovah is His name:

ASV Thus saith Jehovah that doeth it, Jehovah that formeth it to establish it; Jehovah is his name:

Who made the earth - Why would Jehovah reiterate a truth similar to earlier descriptions of His creative and sustaining power in the "Book of Consolation" (see Jer 31:36-37, Jer 32:17)? Clearly, this is a reminder of God's omnipotence. He is able to do whatever is necessary to make His promises come true! This is especially significant in light of the many prophetic promises He makes in the rest of this chapter. The point is when He makes a promise, He has the power and authority to fulfill the promise, and the incredible promises to Israel in this chapter as seemingly impossible as they seen to the human mind, are no exception for they are possible with Him! One other point since Jehovah is the Maker of all things, He is also the Maker of time, which means He is able to predict these future events! What promises has He made to you that you feel He is not powerful enough to fulfill? Ask the Spirit to show you His great power and grow your faith as you read Jeremiah 33.

Shepherd's Notes reminds us that "The fidelity of God's Word is grounded in the completeness of God's person. As Creator, Healer, Ruler, and Covenant Keeper, the Lord deserves to be trusted. God can do all good things, but He cannot lie."

The LORD is His Name - Compare similar passages in the prophecy of Amos describing God as Creator and ending with the LORD is His Name (or LORD of hosts) - Amos 4:13, 5:8-9, 9:5-6. the Name of Jehovah is a key word in Jeremiah 33 for it is the Name associated with His faithfulness to keep covenant which is exactly what He will affirm to Israel in this chapter.

Butler makes an interesting observation on Jeremiah 33:2 - The fact that creation gives the Creator authority helps explain why men cling tenaciously to evolution, for evolution takes away authority from the Creator and gives it to the creation. (Analytical Bible Expositor)

Imagine yourself in prison like Jeremiah and you hear the LORD describe His great power in creation. Beloved, be encouraged, for He Who made the earth is able to release you from "the prison" you are in and He will do so in His perfect timing (Memorize and Meditate on 1Peter 1:6-7-note, 2Cor 4:16-18-note, Hebrews 12:11-note, Psalm 119:67, 71)

 

Jeremiah 33:3 ' Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know. '

INVITATION TO CALL ON JEHOVAH
AND BE TOLD UNSEARCHABLE THINGS

KJV Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

NET 'Call on me in prayer and I will answer you. I will show you great and mysterious things which you still do not know about.'

ESV Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.

NIV 'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.'

NLT Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.

YLT Call unto Me, and I do answer thee, yea, I declare to thee great and fenced things -- thou hast not known them.

ASV Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and will show thee great things, and difficult, which thou knowest not.

BBE Let your cry come to me, and I will give you an answer, and let you see great things and secret things of which you had no knowledge.

RSV Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things which you have not known.

A C Gaebelein - What an offer and what an assurance! Then the Lord speaks of the great and mighty things, announcing first the overthrow of Jerusalem....The next great and mighty things revealed are the future blessings and glory. (in Jeremiah 33:6-14) (Ref)

In the prophecy of Isaiah Jehovah makes a similar declaration "You have heard; look at all this. And you, will you not declare it? I proclaim to you new things from this time, even hidden things which you have not known." (Isa 48:6)

The phrase great and mighty things reminds us of Jeremiah's declaration that "Nothing is too difficult for You." (Jer 32:17).

As Butler says " This is a great prayer promise for everybody. It is an appeal to seek God for help for at least two good reasons. • The response of God. “I will answer thee.” Praying is not in vain. God will answer. You may be an obscure nobody but prayer gets God’s attention. • The results from God. “I will show thee great and mighty things.” Prayer gets great results, too. “Great and mighty” are not seen much because we do not really pray in the way this text urges us to pray. (Ibid)

Call - This is not a suggestion but a command to Jeremiah. By way of application it is a command to all believers. Cry out to Him in your time of need, which is ALL the time! And you can do so confident that He will answer for John writes "And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him." (1John 5:14-15)

F B Meyer puts it this way - "He cries to us, Call unto Me, call unto me. Little prayer, little blessing; more prayer, more blessings; much prayer, much blessing."

Guzik - God invited Jeremiah and all who heard to come to Him in faith-filled prayer, confident of His answer. This promise is especially remarkable considering the circumstances: enduring the terror of a siege (Ed: Not to mention Jeremiah's imprisonment!) and the soon fulfillment of promised judgment. As the judgment was even at the door, God spoke of word of hope and invitation and faith to Jeremiah and Jerusalem. (Jeremiah 33 Commentary)

Mighty things (inaccessible things see below) - There is an ironic twist because the Hebrew word means "fortified" and we see Jehovah giving the one who calls on Him access to His divine plan (opening the fortified walls so to speak) at a time when Jerusalem's fortified walls were about to be overrun! Jehovah will tell him (us) things which are inaccessible, supernormal so to speak, beyond the grasp of normal human knowledge! The things He will tell are not natural known but supernaturally revealed.

Warren Wiersbe comments on Jer 33:3NIV - The word translated “unsearchable” pictures an impregnable city protected by high walls—an apt image during the siege of Jerusalem. The idea is that God’s people don’t learn the hidden things of the Lord by “storming the gates” through their own strength but by seeking Him through believing prayer. Because Jeremiah asked the Lord to teach him, God showed him “hidden things” that related to the future of his people. The prophet knew that the city was destined for judgment (Jer 33:4–5), but the Lord gave him further words of assurance and encouragement—promises that relate to the end times. (Be Decisive - Jeremiah- Taking a Stand for the Truth)

NET Note on "mighty" (NET = "mysterious") - This passive participle or adjective is normally used to describe cities or walls as “fortified” or “inaccessible.” All the lexicons, however, agree in seeing it used here metaphorically of “secret” or “mysterious” things, things that Jeremiah could not know apart from the LORD’s revelation. G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, and T. G. Smothers (Jeremiah 26–52 [WBC], 170) make the interesting observation that the word is used here in a context in which the fortifications of Jerusalem are about to fall to the Babylonians; the fortified things in God’s secret counsel fall through answer to prayer.

Mighty (01219)(batsar) means to gather, restrain, fence, fortify, make inaccessible, enclose (see 4 separate meanings by Baker discussed below). In the (Qal) it means to cut off, to be fortified, made inaccessible (pass participle) and also speaks of secrets, mysteries, inaccessible things. Batsar refers to that which is inaccessible, and in Jer 33:3 it refers to that which is beyond the normal reach of human knowledge. In the Niphal it means to be withheld and in the Piel to fortify.

The first use of batsar in Ge 11:6 speaks of those building the tower of Babel, Jehovah declaring "now nothing...will be impossible for them." Compare a similar use in reference to Babylon (Jer 51:53).

In Lev 25:5,11 (Dt 24:21, Jdg 9:27. Jer 6:9, 49:9) batsar means to gather referring to farming. In many passages batsar described cities as when the 10 skeptical Jewish spies described the cities as "fortified and very large" because they were looking at the visible obstacle and not their invisible omnipotent God! (Nu 13:28, cp Dt 1:28, 3:5, Note especially God's promise in Dt 9:1, Josh 14:12, 2Sa 20:6, 2Ki 18:13, 19:25, 2Chr 17:2; 19:5; 32:1; 33:14, Neh 9:25). All the uses in Isaiah refer either to fortified walls or cities.

Job after being tested came to a clear revelation of Who God is declaring "I know that You can do all things and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted." (Job 42:2) Sometimes God has to take us through the crucible of affliction for us to come to know Him more intimately.

Earlier Jehovah had assured Jeremiah "Then I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; and though they fight against you, They will not prevail over you; for I am with you to save you and deliver you," declares the LORD." (Jeremiah 15:20)

Baker mentions 4 separate meanings for batsar (basar) -

I. A verb denoting to harvest, to gather. It refers to the process of harvesting grapes (Lev. 25:5, 11; Deut. 24:21). In its participial form, it indicates a grape harvester (Jer. 6:9; 49:9; Obad. 1:5) whose activity illustrates the extent of God’s judgments on Israel or her enemies.

II. A verb meaning to humble, to cut off. It describes the power and sovereignty of God over the princes or rulers of the earth (Ps. 76:12[13]).

III. A verb indicating to be inaccessible or make inaccessible, to be thwarted. It describes the possibility of something being done or accomplished or found out (Gen. 11:6). In its passive sense, it describes the impossibility of something being thwarted or frustrated, such as God’s counsel or purpose (Job 42:2). Used as a noun, it refers to unattainable knowledge or things, great and mighty things (NASB, Jer. 33:3). It means to strengthen or fortify in the sense of making a city or wall inaccessible (Isa. 22:10; Jer. 51:53).

IV. A verb meaning to test, assay. It is used in an emphatic form of the verb to indicate a tester (Jer. 6:27). In context it depicts someone who will test (KJV, try) God’s people using them as the ore. (The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament)

Batsar - 38x in 38v - cut off(1), fortified(24), fortify(2), gather(3), gathered(1), gatherer(1), gatherers(2), impenetrable(1), impossible(1), mighty things(1), thwarted(1).

Gen 11:6; Lev 25:5, 11; Num 13:28; Deut 1:28; 3:5; 9:1; 24:21; 28:52; Josh 14:12; Judg 9:27; 2 Sam 20:6; 2 Kgs 18:13; 19:25; 2Chr 17:2; 19:5; 32:1; 33:14; Neh 9:25; Job 42:2; Ps 76:12; Isa 2:15; 22:10; 25:2; 27:10; 36:1; 37:26; Jer 6:9; 15:20; 33:3; 49:9; 51:53; Ezek 21:20; 36:35; Hos 8:14; Obad 1:5; Zeph 1:16; Zech 11:2

It is interesting that there is no record of a prayer by Jeremiah in response to this invitation. Of course he could have prayed and it simply not be recorded.

Adam Clarke - To me alone it belongs to reveal what is future; and the stupendous things which are now coming are known only to myself. These idolaters go to their gods to get information relative to the issue of the present commotions; but there is no light in them. Ask thou, O Jeremiah, and I will tell thee the great and mighty things which even thou knowest not. (Ref)

ILLUSTRATION from Rob Morgan - In 1932, Charles and Grace Fuller were overwhelmed with pressure. Their young son was near death, suffering pneumonia. The Great Depression had wiped out their financial support, and Charles desperately sought ways to remain solvent. He was forced to sell off his valuable orange groves and to exhaust his wife’s inheritance in order to meet his bills. Grace faced major surgery, and Charles was forced from his pastorate. A severe earthquake struck their home in Southern California, and their financial woes multiplied. Grace felt she could stand the strain no longer, and she cried out to God for help. Entering her husband’s study, she opened a book of Charles Spurgeon’s sermons, and found a message he had preached seventy years before from Jeremiah 33:3. She later said that God lifted her burden so remarkably that when Charles returned from another hard day with the lawyers, trying to find a way to ward off bankruptcy, she was able to tell him, "Never mind how black things look now. God has assured me that He has great and mighty things in store for us in the future—things which we can’t even imagine now." As time passed, Charles and Grace Fuller traced in that moment the faint beginnings of their work to come, an incredible ministry of radio, evangelism, and education. Ever after, Charles would pen this verse under his signature, and it became their life-verse.

Adrian Rogers sermon on Jeremiah 33:3 - I want you to notice with me the command that God gives. I didn't say the request or even the invitation, but the command that God gave. God commanded Jeremiah to pray. He said to Jeremiah, "Call unto Me." Jesus said, "Man ought always to pray." Paul said, "Pray without ceasing." Now this is a command from Almighty God and it is God that takes the initiative. God says to Jeremiah, "Call Me." You ever have anybody give you a card with their unlisted number on it? I mean, an important person, and say, "Call me?" On one occasion, a president of the United States did that for me. He said, "Well, if you can do this, let me know. Here's a card; call me." And he put a number on it. I don't even know what I did with that card. I misplaced it. I've just thought about that. I don't know what happened to it. But you know if somebody who is very important gives you his unlisted number and says, "Call me," that is a great privilege....The great, the mighty God, the Lord of Hosts is His Name! Folks, that's the One who says, "Call on Me!" That's the One who has given us His private number. Jeremiah 33:3, there it is. Here's my number and I want you to call me. It is my invitation to you. Now most of us can't pick up the phone and call a lot of the big shots in government and business and entertainment, but there's not a one of us that cannot contact heaven. Don't ever say there is nothing you can do because you can pray. And prayer not only is something you can do, it's something all can do and because God has asked us to pray. Because God has invited us to pray. Because God has commanded us to pray. Failure to pray is a sin. But this is also an invitation and failure to pray is an insult. It's also a privilege, so failure to pray is folly. It's also an opportunity, so failure to pray is a tragedy. And when we don't pray, we sin against God, we insult God, we deny ourselves a privilege and we enter into a colossal tragedy and yet, sometimes we fail to pray.

I want to tell you ten things that help me to pray. Ten little lessons that I've learned about prayer. And you can jot them down. I'm not going to stretch any of them out, but I just want to share with you, and I share them as a learner, not as a person who is a scholar or a graduate of the school of prayer.

Number one, make prayer a habit. Habits are made by starting over when you fail day by day by day until prayer becomes a habit.

Number two, designate a time and a place for your prayer. Now don't fail to pray if you're not at that time or at that place, but have a time and a place where you pray.

Number three, make that time and that place the most optimum for you. Don't read some biography about somebody who prayed at a particular hour or the morning or night or something and try to emulate that person. Find that time when your mind is the keenest, when your attention is the strongest. For some of you, that may be right after you awaken. For some it may be after that first cup of coffee. For some, it may be after the children have gone off to school. But find that best time.

Next, when you go pray, take some equipment with you. Take your Bible. Take your notebook. Take your pen. Take your devotional materials. It would be almost unthinkable for me to try to have a quiet time without a Bible and a notebook. I expect God to say something. When God says something, I want to write it down. I've told you before that the weakest ink is better than the best memory.

Now begin your quiet time by reading God's Word. Don't pray and then read the Bible. Read the Bible and then pray. What God says to you is more important than what you say to God. And your prayer will be engendered and enlivened and enthused and instructed and guided when you get into the Word of God.

Next, not only should you have that special time and place, an optimum time, but also, learn to pray about things all through the day. The Bible says, "pray without ceasing." One of the things that has blessed me about reading the lift of Dwight L. Moody who was the Billy Graham of his day, is this. His biographer said this, "He never made long prayers but he was never long without prayer." Isn't that beautiful? He was never long without prayer. Prayer was to him a way of life. And whenever a matter came up, he prayed about it. I have a habit of praying for churches when I drive past the church. Praying for individuals when I write them a letter. Answering my correspondence is also for me just a time of prayer. Opportunities—I pray over the newspaper many times.

If I see where there's a crime that's been committed, I lay my hand on that newspaper, lift another hand to heaven and I say, God get that man. I tell Jesus on him. That's right, I do! And just pray through the newspaper. Pray through the magazines. As you read the Bible, you say, "Lord, what does that mean? Explain it to me." And talk to God. I find myself in the automobile just telling the Lord I love Him. Or just saying, "That's beautiful Lord, isn't it?" Talk to God constantly, but have a quiet time when you go into your closet and pray.

Now, keep a record of your prayer requests and your answered prayers. I don't do this as well as some people, but I do it. I have a book and in that book I enter prayer needs and requests. Things that I prayed about. I got it down the other day and I began to go backward in it. And I looked back about ten years—a little more than ten years. Fifteen years, I suppose. I was incredibly blessed to see how many prayers God had answered, some of them I might have forgotten to thank Him for or perhaps thanked Him for then, but failed to continually be thankful for answered prayer. It will increase your faith if you keep a prayer journal. Record your request, record your answers.

Another thing that will help you when you call upon the Lord is put on the whole armor of God as you pray because prayer is warfare. You know all of the artillery will come against you when you pray, isn't that true? I mean, the dog will bark, the beans will burn, the baby will cry, the doorbell will ring, you will get sleepy, your mind will go wandering, so you have to put on the whole armor of God when you pray. If you are by yourself, pray out loud. There's something about praying out loud, vocalizing your prayer, that keeps your mind from wandering. Pray out loud when you pray, if you're in private. I don't think it's a good subject to pray out loud if you're in a crowd. Somebody will think you're talking to yourself and lost your mind.

Now, speaking of your mind, here's the tenth thing. If your mind is like my mind, your mind wants to run away when you pray. Sometimes it's hard to stay focused until you really break through—is that not true? And thoughts come to you and you will begin to pray, and when you begin to pray, you begin to think, "Well I need to do thus and such a thing." Well, here's a secret I read somewhere and I put it into practice and it works wonderfully.

If the thing that draws your attention away from your prayer is that important, evidentially that is what is really on your mind, so pray about it. You see what I'm talking about? If, for example, I get down to pray and the Lord says, "You've got a sermon to prepare." Well, and I've been praying for the sick. Well, I'll just say, I'll pray for that sermon right now. And I pray about that. And get that down. And that thing that's gnawing at my mind and pulling my mind away becomes the very focal point of my prayer and evidentially, that's the thing that's in my subconscious and that's the thing that I really desire, and "what then whatsoever ye desire when ye pray, believe that you receive them and ye shall have them."

So those are some things that will help you as you pray, I hope, very practically things to pray as you pray. And now, here's a second thing I want you to see. I've talked to you about the command to pray. God says in verse 3, "Call upon Me." Now with the command I want you to notice the confidence that comes with that command. Here's God's promise. Listen to it, "Call upon Me and I will answer thee."

Now either that is true or it is not true. Which is it? It is true. God, Almighty God has said "I will answer thee." Not what's confidence, whether you understand it or not, it is true. God does answer. And He doesn't send someone else. He says, "I will answer thee." Suppose you send a request to Washington complain about something. Your doorbell rings and there was the president on your doorstep and said, "I came to answer your request." I mean, the president came. God Himself says, "I'm the one who's going to answer you. I personally am going to answer you." Now when God answers, He may it in one of four ways.

That answer maybe specifically delivered. I like you, have asked God for things, and I have received the answer so instantaneously, so miraculously, so factually and real, that no one can convince me that it was mere happenstance or coincidence. I think all of us have prayed. Those of us who have been on the trail very long, we have prayed and the answer has been specifically delivered. But sometimes the answer maybe strategically delayed. God does not always answer immediately, that doesn't mean He's not going to answer. "Therefore will the Lord wait that He may be gracious unto you." And with God, timing is more important that time. So maybe strategically delayed.

Sometimes the answer may be significantly different. You may ask God for one thing and He gives you something better. The Apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians Chapter 12 had a thorn in the flesh that he asked God to remove and God didn't remove it. But God answered his prayer not by giving Paul what he asked for, but for giving Paul something better than he asked for. What was better than the removal of the thorn? The added grace. And so sometimes we ask and we don't know what to ask for as we ought, but the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered and sometimes the answer maybe sovereignly denied.

You ask God and He says, "No. Not going to answer that prayer." Not because your heart is wrong, you just asked for something wrong. And God loves you too much to give you something that will hurt you. Now I think all of us have thanked God for answered prayer. I tell you what I have done, I have really done this. I have thanked God for unanswered prayer. Have you? You ought to. Mrs. Billy Graham said, "I thank God for unanswered prayer. If God had answered my prayer every time I asked, I would have married the wrong man five times." You know, we're praying for things, we say, "Lord, this is what I want, do this..." or "do that," and God says, "You don't know what you're asking. You don't know what You're asking." I can think of some prophets in the Bible who asked God to kill them. Moses asked God to kill him. Elijah asked God to kill him. Jonah asked God to kill him. We'd be in the soup if God always answered our prayers. I mean, answered "Yes." The answer maybe "No," but God says, "Call upon Me, and I will answer thee."

Now here's the third and final thing. The command, the confidence, the conquest. Listen to it, "Call upon Me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not." You see, God has revealed Himself as a God Who is able to do anything that He wishes. Look again in 32:17, "Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:"

Look again in verse 27. God gives His credentials. "Behold," This is 32:27, "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?" "I am the Lord! I can do whatever I want." We have people today who have difficulty with miracles. How can you have difficulty with miracles if you believe in creation. If you can get past Genesis 1:1, you're home free. People talk about the laws of nature. There are no laws of nature. They're God's laws that nature obeys. God doesn't obey nature's laws; nature obeys God's laws. It's God who made those laws. It's God who made the whole thing. And God Who made it can do with it as He wishes. Don't let anybody tell you that the age of miracles has passed. Genesis 18:14, asks the question—Is there anything too hard for the Lord?

The problem is not with God and His ability. You might put in your margin, Matthew 17:19-21. "Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?" Here was a demon-possessed boy. And the disciples had gone through their incantations and their contortions, and their pleadings and their cries and their shoutings. And the demon didn't budge. "And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Nothing. "Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." Now Jesus said, "The reason for my Father's failure to answer is not because of His inability but because of your unbelief." Jesus said if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to a mountain, "skip away." The least amount of faith is greater than the greatest amount of difficulty.

Well, God says to Jeremiah, "Call upon Me. I'll show you great and mighty things that you don't even know about." I think the idea is this is something you've never seen and something you cannot conceive. When I read that, the verse that came to me is a verse that I think would be a favorite of many of us. Ephesians 3:20-21. Paul thinking of the greatness of our Lord gives this pen of phrase when he says, "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."

There's no prayer too hard for God to answer. There is no problem too big for God to solve. There is no person too lost for God to save. There is no promise too difficult for God to keep. "Call upon Me and I will show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not." Well you say, "If I ask God something outside of His will, will He hear me?" Of course not. "This is the confidence we have in Him, if we ask Him anything according to His will He heareth us."

It's wisely been said, "Nothing lies outside the reach of prayer except that which lies outside the will of God." You don't want anything that's not God's will for you, do you? You see, God's will is not something you have to do. It's something you get to do. God's will is what you'd want for yourself if you had enough sense to want it. God loves you. The only thing that lies outside the reach of prayer is that which lies outside the will of God. But there is no problem too big, no promise too difficult, no person too lost.

There's nothing that God cannot do. And actually, when you look at this passage of Scripture where God says, "Call upon Me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things," it's really in the context of national problems. Don't you have kind of an uneasy feeling about everything that's happening in the world today. Well, God had been telling Jeremiah, "Hey, Jeremiah, everything's in control." Now, there's Babylon.

There's the captivity. All of these things are going to happen, and in Chapter 32, beginning in verse 36 and going on through verse 40, He begins to talk about His plan for Israel. He talks about the Babylonian captivity. Then He talks about their coming back to the land. Then He talks about the coming Kingdom of Christ. And then He tells Jeremiah to pray.

In prayer, we unite with God in regulating the nations and operating the universe. I don't understand it all. God prophesies what He's going to do and nothing that we do can stop it. And yet we're told to pray for His Kingdom to come. We know it will come. Yet we're told to pray. We know there's going to be a captivity and a return and the coming Kingdom of Christ, and yet we're told to pray.

I was thinking about prayer and I was thinking what a weapon prayer is in a time of national calamity. Or in any kind of calamity. I thought about our missile, prayer. The one we have can be fired from any spot. It travels undetected. It travels at the speed of thought. It hits the target every time. And it can have a delayed detonation. Jesus prayed in John Chapter 17 for me. He said, "Not only do I pray for these that believe on Me now that You give me, but I pray for them that will believe on Me through their word." He'd might as well put my name in there. You can begin to pray now if you've got little babies in your home, for the people they're going to marry. Pray a pray for delayed detonation. And it hits the target. And you can pray with delayed detonation. And here's the best thing, Satan has no defense against your missile. There is no anti-prayer missile.

"Call upon Me." In time of trouble, in time of calamity. And I will hear you. Folks, I didn't make that promise. God said it. Jeremiah 33:3, "Call unto Me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things." Things that you don't even know about. Things that are exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can even ask or think. Would you pray, Lord, teach me to pray. Not Lord, teach me how to pray but teach me to pray. To pray. We need to pray. These are desperate days and God's people need to pray.

Jeremiah 33:4 "For thus says the LORD God of Israel concerning the houses of this city, and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah which are broken down to make a defense against the siege ramps and against the sword,

THE SIEGE OF
JERUSALEM TIGHTENS

KJV For thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city, and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah, which are thrown down by the mounts, and by the sword;

NET For I, the LORD God of Israel, have something more to say about the houses in this city and the royal buildings which have been torn down for defenses against the siege ramps and military incursions of the Babylonians:

ESV For thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city and the houses of the kings of Judah that were torn down to make a defense against the siege mounds and against the sword:

NIV For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says about the houses in this city and the royal palaces of Judah that have been torn down to be used against the siege ramps and the sword

NLT For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: You have torn down the houses of this city and even the king's palace to get materials to strengthen the walls against the siege ramps and swords of the enemy.

YLT For thus said Jehovah, God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city, and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah, that are broken down for the mounts, and for the tool;

Technical note - Jer 33:4-5 have many textual difficulties which are not discussed in this commentary. For more technical discussion see NET Note on Jer 33:4-5.

The essence of this passage is that the inhabitants of Jerusalem will resort to using material from the houses in the city to help defend against the tightening noose of the Babylonian siege. But it will all be futile, for the LORD has decreed Jerusalem will fall and His Word and Will can never be thwarted by the machinations of men (cp Job 42:2, Jer 32:17-note)!

Butler - Judgment is presented before the blessings of the restoration are given. This will help one appreciate much more the blessings of the restoration. (Ibid)

NET Note on houses...which are broken down - This refers to the tearing down of buildings within the city to strengthen the wall or to fill gaps in it which had been broken down by the Babylonian battering rams. For a parallel to this during the siege of Sennacherib in the time of Hezekiah see Isa 22:10; 2Chr 32:5. These torn-down buildings were also used as burial mounds for those who died in the fighting or through starvation and disease during the siege. (NET Note relating the Jer 33:5 =) The siege prohibited them from taking the bodies outside the city for burial and leaving them in their houses or in the streets would have defiled them.

 

Jeremiah 33:5 'While they are coming to fight with the Chaldeans and to fill them with the corpses of men whom I have slain in My anger and in My wrath, and I have hidden My face from this city because of all their wickedness:

JEHOVAH HIDES HIS FACE
FROM JERUSALEM

KJV They come to fight with the Chaldeans, but it is to fill them with the dead bodies of men, whom I have slain in mine anger and in my fury, and for all whose wickedness I have hid my face from this city.

NET 'The defenders of the city will go out and fight with the Babylonians. But they will only fill those houses and buildings with the dead bodies of the people that I will kill in my anger and my wrath. That will happen because I have decided to turn my back on this city on account of the wicked things they have done.

ESV They are coming in to fight against the Chaldeans and to fill them with the dead bodies of men whom I shall strike down in my anger and my wrath, for I have hidden my face from this city because of all their evil.

NIV in the fight with the Babylonians: 'They will be filled with the dead bodies of the men I will slay in my anger and wrath. I will hide my face from this city because of all its wickedness.

NLT You expect to fight the Babylonians, but the men of this city are already as good as dead, for I have determined to destroy them in my terrible anger. I have abandoned them (Ed: Not an accurate rendering - should be "the city") because of all their wickedness.

YLT they are coming in to fight with the Chaldeans, and to fill them with the carcasses of men, whom I have smitten in Mine anger, and in My fury, and for whom I have hidden My face from this city, because of all their evil:

Fill (Hebrew = male; Lxx = pleroo) them with corpses - Fill means means to fill or to be full, to complete, to fulfill, to finish, to satisfy. It depicts a large cache of corpses! It is a picture of the great slaughter of Jews at the hands of the Babylonians.

I have slain in My anger and in My wrath (NET - "I will kill in my anger and my wrath") - Jehovah says He will slay or kill these men. Apparently the deaths are either the result of either (Babylonian) swords or pestilence, but both are sent by God. God is not capricious. He is just in giving the sinful city what they have sown. The immutable principle that the wages of sin is death (Ro 6:23-note) undergirds His actions.

I have hidden my face - "The modern equivalent for this gesture of rejection is “to turn the back on.”" (NET Note) In this context the phrase means Jehovah has withdrawn His hand of protection because of all their wickedness. Sin always has a pay day beloved. When we sin (and we will), we need to quick to confess and repent of our sins. Judah's deceived state and the consequences remind us of John's teaching "If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin." (1John 1:6-7). Judah was in the darkness and not practicing truth, and were like those John described who "that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us." (1Jn 1:8)

Below are passages of Jehovah hiding His face...

Isaiah 54:8 "In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment; But with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you," Says the LORD your Redeemer.

Isaiah 57:17 "Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry and struck him; I hid My face and was angry, And he went on turning away, in the way of his heart.

Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear.

Jer 17:17 "For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity concealed from My eyes.

Deception of sin causes one to say "He says to himself, "God has forgotten; He has hidden His face; He will never see it." (Ps 10:9)

Ps 13:1 (For the choir director. A Psalm of David.) How long, O LORD? Wilt Thou forget me forever? How long wilt Thou hide Thy face from me?

Ps 22:24 For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Neither has He hidden His face from him; But when he cried to Him for help, He heard.

Ps 27:9 Do not hide Thy face from me, Do not turn Thy servant away in anger; Thou hast been my help; Do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation!

Ps 30:7 O LORD, by Thy favor Thou hast made my mountain to stand strong; Thou didst hide Thy face, I was dismayed.

Ps 44:24 Why dost Thou hide Thy face, And forget our affliction and our oppression?

Ps 51:9 Hide Thy face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities.

Ps 69:17 And do not hide Thy face from Thy servant, For I am in distress; answer me quickly.

Ps 88:14 O LORD, why dost Thou reject my soul? Why dost Thou hide Thy face from me?

Ps 102:2 Do not hide Thy face from me in the day of my distress; Incline Thine ear to me; In the day when I call answer me quickly.

Ps 104:29 Thou dost hide Thy face, they are dismayed; Thou dost take away their spirit, they expire, And return to their dust.

Ps 143:7 Answer me quickly, O LORD, my spirit fails; Do not hide Thy face from me, Lest I become like those who go down to the pit.

Isa 53:3 He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Not only has Jehovah hidden His face, but He has turned His back on them and set His face against them for harm...

Jer 18:17 'Like an east wind I will scatter them Before the enemy; I will show them My back and not My face In the day of their calamity.'"

Jer 21:10 "For I have set My face against this city for harm and not for good," declares the LORD. "It will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will burn it with fire."'

This judgment on Jerusalem and Judah should have come as no surprise, for Moses had clearly warned them in a prophecy he received from Jehovah

"Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers; and this people will arise and play the harlot with the strange gods of the land, into the midst of which they are going, and will forsake Me and break My covenant (Mosaic Covenant) which I have made with them. Then (When? Ultimately when they break the Mosaic covenant into which they had entered by an oath!) My anger will be kindled against them in that day (metaphorically pictures a fiery destruction), and I will forsake them and hide My face from them, and they shall be consumed, and many evils and troubles shall come upon them; so that (terms of purpose) they will say in that day, 'Is it not because our God is not among us that these evils have come upon us?' (Rhetorical question calling for an affirmative reply) "But I will surely hide My face in that day because (term of explanation) of all the evil which they will do, for (term of explanation- explains the nature of the evil) they will turn to other gods." (Dt 31:16-18)

Dt 32:15 "But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked-- You are grown fat, thick, and sleek-- Then he forsook God who made him, And scorned the Rock of his salvation. 16 "They made Him jealous with strange gods; With abominations they provoked Him to anger. 17 "They sacrificed to demons who were not God, To gods whom they have not known, New gods who came lately, Whom your fathers did not dread. 18 "You neglected the Rock who begot you, And forgot the God who gave you birth. 19 "And the LORD saw this, and spurned them Because of the provocation of His sons and daughters. 20 "Then He said, 'I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end shall be; For they are a perverse generation, Sons in whom is no faithfulness. 21 'They have made Me jealous with what is not God; They have provoked Me to anger with their idols. So I will make them jealous with those who are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation, 22 For a fire is kindled in My anger, And burns to the lowest part of Sheol, And consumes the earth with its yield, And sets on fire the foundations of the mountains. 23 'I will heap misfortunes on them; I will use My arrows on them. 24 'They shall be wasted by famine, and consumed by plague And bitter destruction; And the teeth of beasts I will send upon them, With the venom of crawling things of the dust. 25 'Outside the sword shall bereave, And inside terror-- Both young man and virgin, The nursling with the man of gray hair. 26 'I would have said, "I will cut them to pieces, I will remove the memory of them from men," 27 Had I not feared the provocation by the enemy, Lest their adversaries should misjudge, Lest they should say, "Our hand is triumphant, And the LORD has not done all this."' 28 "For they are a nation lacking in counsel, And there is no understanding in them.

Isaiah 1:15 "So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you, Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood. 16 "Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil,

Isa 8:17 And I will wait for the LORD who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob; I will even look eagerly for Him.

Isa 64:7 And there is no one who calls on Thy name, Who arouses himself to take hold of Thee; For Thou hast hidden Thy face from us, And hast delivered us into the power of our iniquities.

Ezek 39:23 "And the nations will know that the house of Israel went into exile for their iniquity because they acted treacherously against Me, and I hid My face from them; so I gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and all of them fell by the sword. 24 "According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I dealt with them, and I hid My face from them."'" 25 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, "Now I shall restore the fortunes of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I shall be jealous for My holy name. 29 "And I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel," declares the Lord GOD.

Micah 3:4 Then they will cry out to the LORD, But He will not answer them. Instead, He will hide His face from them at that time, Because they have practiced evil deeds.

 

Jeremiah 33:6 'Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them; and I will reveal to them an abundance of peace and truth.

A FUTURE PROMISE TO JERUSALEM AND THE JEWS...
HEALTH, HEALING, PEACE AND TRUTH

KJV Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.

NET But I will most surely heal the wounds of this city and restore it and its people to health. I will show them abundant peace and security.

ESV Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security.

NIV "'Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.

NLT "Nevertheless, the time will come when I will heal Jerusalem's wounds and give it prosperity and true peace.

YLT Lo, I am increasing to it health and cure, And have healed them, and revealed to them The abundance of peace and truth.

ASV Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them; and I will reveal unto them abundance of peace and truth.

Recall the context of Jeremiah 33:3 - The great and unsearchable things that Jehovah will bring about are now revealed in this and subsequent passages! And that is one reason Jehovah begins the verse with "BEHOLD!"

Charles Simeon preached the following message in the 1800's (so he was not a dispensationalist) and clearly did not espouse the false teaching of replacement theology as the following introductory words demonstrate...

THE more fully the subject of the restoration and conversion of the Jews is considered, the more important it will appear. The prophetic writings are full of it; and the obscurity of those writings arises in a great measure from the gross perversion of them, of which even pious ministers have been guilty, through a long succession of ages. Those whose office has been to interpret them, have almost universally applied them spiritually to the Gentiles; overlooking the plain literal meaning of them, as addressed to the Jewish people: and by this means, not only has the attention of the Christian world been drawn from the Jews, but it has been drawn also even from the prophecies themselves, because of the impenetrable veil that has been cast over them. That the passage before us relates to that subject, no one can entertain a doubt. And that it has never yet been fulfilled, is equally clear; not only because the ten tribes of Israel are (not) combined with Judah, but because the effects which are here announced as to be produced by the event, were never, in any degree, produced by the return of the Jews to Babylon. The different nations of the earth were never led to fear and tremble by reason of the goodness and prosperity which were then procured unto the Jewish nation. We must therefore, of necessity, look forward to a future period for the full accomplishment of this prophecy. (Jeremiah 33:6-9 Conversion of the Jews - A Matter of Importance to God and Man)

Feinberg - Past trials will yet be turned into blessings. So Jeremiah sets forth promises of prosperity.

Behold - Listen up! Pay attention! Why? Because instead of terrible words of judgment in Jeremiah 33:4-5 we abruptly encounter incomparable promises from Jehovah, the covenant keeping God, to His Chosen People Israel - health, healing, peace, truth. It really does not get much better than that beloved! In the midst of wrath God remembers mercy! What follows is a description of the great and hidden things (Jer 33:3) which Jehovah promised to reveal. And this is a truth all believers can apply - remember that our Great and Mighty God is able to bring bountiful blessings even out of the deepest despair! See Related Resource - GOD IS ABLE

Behold (02009)(hinneh) is an interjection meaning behold, look, now; if. "It is used often and expresses strong feelings, surprise, hope, expectation, certainty, thus giving vividness depending on its surrounding context." (Baker) Hinneh directs one's mind to the text, imploring the reader to give it special attention. In short, the Spirit is trying to arrest our attention! As Spurgeon says "Behold is a word of wonder; it is intended to excite admiration. Wherever you see it hung out in Scripture, it is like an ancient sign-board, signifying that there are rich wares within, or like the hands which solid readers have observed in the margin of the older Puritanic books, drawing attention to something particularly worthy of observation." I would add, behold is like a divine highlighter, a divine underlining of an especially striking or important text. It says in effect "Listen up, all ye who would be wise in the ways of Jehovah!"

I will - Seven "I will" statements in Jeremiah 33:6-8. The omnipotence of God guarantees that every one of Jehovah's promises will be fulfilled! As Joshua in his dying words reminded Israel - "Now behold, today I am going the way of all the earth, and you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one word of all the good words which the LORD your God spoke concerning you has failed; all have been fulfilled for you, not one of them has failed." (Joshua 23:14)

It - This refers to Jerusalem ("the city" Jer 33:5) which is personified as Jehovah speaks of her political and spiritual well being in this passage and those that follow. NET Note adds "Compare Jer 30:17-note. Jerusalem is again being personified and her political and spiritual well-being are again in view."

Them - Notice the subtle shift from "it" to "them." Who is them? In context (Jer 33:5 = "their") this is clearly God's Chosen People. The NIV paraphrases "them" in this verse as "My people." Jehovah is addressing the Jewish people who are still (even today, February 29, 2016) His Chosen (albeit still largely unregenerate) People! He has not forsaken them (see Jer 33:20-22).

Health and healing - Considering that this promise is directed to the city, a city of the verge of destruction and death, the promise is that Jehovah would bring physical health and healing. The destroyed city would one day be repaired. The NET Bible translation has "I will most surely heal the wounds of this city and restore it."

Guzik - The promises are stated in ways that include the nearer restoration under Nehemiah and Ezra, but are only truly fulfilled in the new covenant (Ed: Fully fulfilled to the house of Israel and the house of Judah [Jer 31:31-note] when the Messenger of the Covenant [Mal 3:1-note] Himself returns!).

Feinberg - The word “health” ('arukah) in v.6 is literally “new flesh” (cf. Jer 8:22). In other words, the Exile will have a healing effect. The wounds of the nation will be bound up in peace and security. God will repair the losses and rebuild the land that had been destroyed. The restoration of Judah and Israel (Jer 30:7) must refer to the latter days because the captivity of Israel did not end after seventy years. Judah and Israel will be restored as the one kingdom they were before the division of the kingdom under Rehoboam.

Health (0724)('arukah from arak = to be long but conveys the sense of restoring to soundness; wholeness) feminine noun meaning the healing of a wound, restoration, repair. The first use refers to a literal repair of the Temple (2Chr 24:13) and on the walls of Jerusalem (Neh 4:7). Here in Jeremiah 33:6 it refers to the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls that had been torn down.

In Jeremiah 33:6 'arukah is translated in the Septuagint with the rare Greek noun sunoulosis (used only in Jer 33:6) which describes the healing of a wound or complete scar formation.

'Arukah is translated in NAS as health(3), recovery(1), repair(2).

2 Chronicles 24:13 So the workmen labored, and the repair work progressed in their hands, and they restored the house of God according to its specifications and strengthened it.

Nehemiah 4:7 Now when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repair of the walls of Jerusalem went on, and that the breaches began to be closed, they were very angry.

Isaiah 58:8 "Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

Jeremiah 8:22 Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has not the health of the daughter of my people been restored?

Jeremiah 30:17-see commentary 'For I will restore you to health (Lxx = iama = healing, remedy, means of healing - contrast use of iama in 2Chr 36:16!) And I will heal (rapha) you of your wounds,' declares the LORD, 'Because they have called you an outcast, saying: "It is Zion; no one cares for her."'

Jeremiah 33:6 'Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them; and I will reveal to them an abundance of peace and truth.

Healing (remedy) (04832)(marpe from rapha/rophe = to heal) means health, healing, a cure, a remedy. It can speak of restoration, cure or renewal. 2Chr 36:16 speaks figuratively of Judah's spiritual healing, which was no longer possible (same idea of spiritual healing in Jer 8:15, Jer 14:19, 33:6). God's Word brings health to one's body (Pr 4:22, cp Ps 107:20 where "healed" = rapha/rophe). Human words (pleasant, wise, faithful/trustworthy) bring healing (Pr 12:18, 16:24, 13:17).

JFB - literally, the long linen bandage employed in dressing wounds.

Here in Jer 33:6 marpe speaks of a future healing for the land of Israel when the LORD returns. The Septuagint translates marpe with the noun iama which means remedy or a means of healing. The irony is that marpe and iama were the exact words used in the condemnation of Judah in 2Chr 36:16 which describes Judah's hard heart that "continually mocked the messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, until there was no remedy (Heb = marpe; Greek = iama)." Judah rejected God's remedy for their sin sickness, but in His great lovingkindness and compassion (Jer 31:3-note), He will one day in the future bring supernatural healing to the reunited nation of Israel (cp "Judah...Israel" in Jer 33:7)

I will heal them - This promise of healthcare from Jehovah Rapha, the Lord Who heals, is far superior to any governmental universal medical coverage! Contrast the healing given by the false prophets in Jer 6:14 (cp Jer 8:11) - “And they (Jer 6:13) have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace."

In Jeremiah 8:15 (cp Jer 14:19, 8:22, 15:18, 30:13) the people lamented "We waited for peace, but no good came; For a time of healing (marpe), but behold, terror!" In a similar lament they cry "Have You completely rejected Judah? Or have You loathed Zion? Why have You stricken us so that we are beyond healing (marpe)? We waited for peace, but nothing good came; And for a time of healing (marpe), but behold, terror!" (Jeremiah 14:19)

Heal (07495)(rapha/rophe) means to heal (both figuratively and literally), to make whole, to restore to normal (restore health), to cure, to repair. In 1Ki. 18:30 it refers to “repairing” the altar of the Jerusalem temple. Rapha in its participial form, rophe (meaning “one who heals”) is the Hebrew word used of physicians in Jeremiah 8:22 (cp Ge 50:2; 2Chr 16:12; Job 13:4).

Butler - This restoration is yet to occur in many aspects, for it is the time when Christ will come back to earth to lead in the great restoration and its consequences.

I will reveal to them an abundance of peace and truth - To them means to Israel. When? The ultimate fulfillment will be when the Messiah returns, the Prince of peace (Isaiah 9:6-note), He Who is filled with grace and truth (Jn 1:14-note, Jn 1:16-17-note).

 

Jeremiah 33:7 'I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel and will rebuild them as they were at first.

RESTORATION OF THE FORTUNES
OF JUDAH AND ISRAEL

KJV And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first.

NET I will restore Judah and Israel and will rebuild them as they were in days of old.

ESV I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first.

NIV I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity {Or will restore the fortunes of Judah and Israel} and will rebuild them as they were before.

NLT I will restore the fortunes of Judah and Israel and rebuild their towns.

YLT And I have turned back the captivity of Judah, And the captivity of Israel, And I have built them as at the first,

ASV And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first.

Restore the fortunes - See similar but more expanded discussion of this great OT theme here. This is a key phrase in Jeremiah 33! Jehovah the promise keeping God will restore the fortunes of Israel! A literal reading of this passage could not be much clearer beloved! God is NOT finished with Israel and you need to cast out any commentary (no matter how credentialed or erudite) that says the Promise Keeping God has cast off Israel!

I will restore the fortunes (“turning back the captivity” or “turning back the turning”) is clearly a key phrase in Jeremiah 33 occurring 4x in 3 verses - Jer 33:7 (twice), Jer 33:11, Jer 33:26. This phrase is "previewed" in Jeremiah 29:14 and then is found at least once in ever chapter of the so-called "Book of Consolation" (Jeremiah 30-33) = Jer 30:3, Jer 30:18, Jer 31:23, Jer 32:44

The NET Note comments that restoration of fortunes of the nation of Israel "has been the emphasis on this section which is called by some commentators “The Book of Consolation.” Jeremiah’s emphasis up until Jeremiah 30–33 had been on judgment but he was also called to be the prophet of restoration (cf. Jer 1:10). Promises of restoration though rare up to this point have, however, occurred on occasion (see, e.g., Jer 3:18; Jer 23:5–7; Jer 24:6–7; Jer 29:10–14). (Bolding added)

Judah and...Israel (cp Jer 30:3-note) - The united nation is depicted and specifically both are recipients of restoration of their fortunes. This has not definitely yet occurred in Israel's past history but will transpire when Messiah returns to rule (unless you hold the false notion that Jehovah is finished with Israel and these promises allegorically apply to the church!)

Jamieson one of the more literal older commentaries remarks that "The specification both of "Judah" and "Israel" can only apply fully to the future restoration." (Ref)

Clarke correctly interprets the timing of this restoration - This must respect the latter times, for the ten tribes did not return with the Jews at the termination of the seventy years. (Ref)

David Guzik on restore the fortunes - This is a promise stated many times before and after in Jeremiah. Yet as this prophecy develops it seems clear that this return from captivity is later and greater than the relatively soon return from the Babylonian exile. This is especially indicated by the last words of this chapter, which tell us that in the latter days you will consider it (Jeremiah 30:24-note). Jeremiah here looked beyond his present day and near future to see the latter days. (Ref)

Restore (turn back) (07725)(shub/sub) describes movement back to a point of departure. In Jer 30:3 shub is translated in the Septuagint (Lxx) with epistrepho which means to cause to return and in context ultimately a return to the original blessings Jehovah desired to pour on Israel if she had only been willing to love Him and keep the (Mosaic) covenant they had sworn they would keep.

The phrase "restore your fortunes" is a Hebrew idiom (2 Hebrew words = shub shebuth) found over 20 times in the OT. In every usage Jehovah is the Subject, the One doing or carrying out the restoration. The recipient of the restoration is most often Israel (and Judah), but other recipients of restoration include Job, Moab, Ammon, Elam and Egypt.

Deuteronomy 30:3 then the LORD your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you.

Job 42:10 And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the LORD increased all that Job had twofold.

Psalm 14:7 Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When the LORD restores His captive people, Jacob will rejoice, Israel will be glad.

Psalm 53:6 Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When God restores His captive people, Let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.

Psalm 85:1 For the choir director. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. O Lord, Thou didst show favor to Thy land; Thou didst restore the captivity of Jacob.

Psalm 126:1 A Song of Ascents. When the LORD brought back the captive ones of Zion, We were like those who dream.

Psalm 126:4 Restore our captivity, O LORD, As the streams in the South.

Jeremiah 29:14 (Read the preceding context Jer 29:11-13) ‘And I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’

MacArthur - The Lord would answer their prayer, by returning the Jews to their land, cf. Daniel’s example and God’s response (Da 9:4–27). Fulfillment would occur in the era of Ezra and Nehemiah, and beyond this in even fuller measure after the Second Advent of their Messiah (cf. Da 2:35, 45; 7:13, 14, 27; 12:1–3, 13).

Jeremiah 30:3-note ‘For, behold, days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel and Judah.’ The LORD says, ‘I will also bring them back to the land that I gave to their forefathers, and they shall possess it.’”

Jeremiah 30:18-note “Thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob And have compassion on his dwelling places; And the city shall be rebuilt on its ruin, And the palace shall stand on its rightful place.

Jeremiah 31:23-note Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “Once again they will speak this word in the land of Judah and in its cities, when I restore their fortunes, ‘The LORD bless you, O abode of righteousness, O holy hill!’

Jeremiah 32:44-note 'Men will buy fields for money, sign and seal deeds, and call in witnesses in the land of Benjamin, in the environs of Jerusalem, in the cities of Judah, in the cities of the hill country, in the cities of the lowland and in the cities of the Negev; for I will restore their fortunes,' declares the LORD."

Jeremiah 33:7-note 'I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel and will rebuild them as they were at first.

Jeremiah 33:11-note the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who say, “Give thanks to the LORD of hosts, For the LORD is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting”; and of those who bring a thank offering into the house of the LORD. For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were at first,’ says the LORD.

Jeremiah 33:26-note then I would reject the descendants of Jacob and David My servant, not taking from his descendants rulers over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But I will restore their fortunes and will have mercy on them.'"

Jeremiah 48:47 “Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab In the latter days,” declares the LORD. Thus far the judgment on Moab.

Jeremiah 49:6 “But afterward I will restore The fortunes of the sons of Ammon,” Declares the LORD.

Jeremiah 49:39 ‘But it will come about in the last days That I shall restore the fortunes of Elam,’” Declares the LORD.

Lamentations 2:14 Your prophets have seen for you False and foolish visions; And they have not exposed your iniquity So as to restore you from captivity, But they have seen for you false and misleading oracles.

Ezekiel 16:53-note “Nevertheless, I will restore their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, and along with them your own captivity,

Ezekiel 29:14 “And I shall turn the fortunes of Egypt and shall make them return to the land of Pathros, to the land of their origin; and there they will be a lowly kingdom.

Ezekiel 39:25-note Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Now I shall restore the fortunes of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I shall be jealous for My holy name.

Hosea 6:11 Also, O Judah, there is a harvest appointed for you, When I restore the fortunes of My people.

Joel 3:1-note “For behold, in those days and at that time, When I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,

Amos 9:14 “Also I will restore the captivity of My people Israel, And they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them, They will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, And make gardens and eat their fruit.

Zephaniah 2:7 And the coast will be For the remnant of the house of Judah, They will pasture on it. In the houses of Ashkelon they will lie down at evening; For the LORD their God will care for them And restore their fortune.

Zephaniah 3:20-note “At that time I will bring you in, Even at the time when I gather you together; Indeed, I will give you renown and praise Among all the peoples of the earth, When I restore your fortunes before your eyes,” Says the LORD.

Fortunes (07622) (shebuth from shabah = to take captive but some think it originates from shub = to return, restore) is a feminine noun which has two main meanings in the OT, (1) captivity, captives (esp Nu 21:29 referring to Moab), implying control and oppression and (2) fortunes, assets (primarily possessions, materials, and property though not exclusively so which will make life easier and more secure). One could see how both senses are meant in some passages because to restore someone from captivity is tantamount to bringing them into a place of good fortune.

Rebuild them - Similar promises to rebuild Israel are found in Jer 30:18-note and Jer 31:4-note which echo the last section of the promise in Jer 1:10.

NET Note on at first - This phrase simply means “as formerly” (BDB 911 s.v. רִאשׁוֹן 3.a). The reference to the “as formerly” must be established from the context. See the usage in Jdg 20:32; 1Ki 13:6; Isa 1:26. Reference is to the reunification of Israel and Judah to the state that they were before the division after Solomon. Compare Jer 3:18; 30:3; 31:27 and see the study note on Jer 30:3 (Here is the Study Note on Jer 30:3 = As the nations of Israel and Judah were united in their sin and suffered the same fate – that of exile and dispersion – (cf. Jer 3:8; 5:11; 11:10, 17) so they will ultimately be regathered from the nations and rejoined under one king, a descendant of David, and regain possession of their ancestral lands. The prophets of both the eighth and seventh century looked forward to this ideal (see, e.g., Hos 1:11 (2:2 HT); Isa 11:11–13; Jer 23:5–6; 30:3; 33:7; Ezek 37:15–22). This has already been anticipated in Jer 3:18.)

Jeremiah 33:8 'I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned against Me and by which they have transgressed against Me.

CLEANSING AND PARDON
IN THE NEW COVENANT

While this Scripture does not specifically mention the New Covenant, clearly cleansing of Israel's heart and pardon of all (not some but all) her iniquities is only accomplished by the New Covenant as it is entered by grace through faith. Cleansing and pardon are the fruit of salvation and salvation is only by grace through faith in the New Covenant in Messiah's blood. When He returns all of the believing remnant of Israel will be saved (Ro 11:26-note)!

G Campbell Morgan says that "Cleansing removes guilt, pollution, defilement, morally. Pardon brings the offender back into relationship of favour and fellowship. God never pardons polluted souls; He first cleanses them. Pardon, apart from the communication of purity, would perpetuate pollution, and so violate the moral order beyond remedy."

As A C Gaebelein says some of the great and mighty things (cp Jer 33:3) Jehovah promised included "Health and cure, abundance of peace and truth, a complete return from the captivity of both Judah and Israel, cleansing from all their iniquity, complete forgiveness, all are promised; and let it be remembered none of these promises has been realized." (Ref) (Bolding added)

Iniquity ('avon)...sinned (chata')...transgressed (pasha' cp verb pesha') - 'Avon is a twisting of the standard or deviation from it. Chata' means to miss the mark or to fall short of the divine standard. Pesha' (pasha') is indicates revolt against the standard.

Cleanse...all...pardon...all - ALL not a portion but all which reminds us of John's words "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness." (1Jn 1:9-note)

Against Me - This phrase appears three times. It serves as a good reminder to all of us that when we sin thinking that our sin is a light thing ("O, I will just confess it tomorrow."), we forget that we sin against Jehovah, against His perfect holiness and righteousness and in so doing we deserve His righteous wrath! Father by Thy Holy Spirit and for the glory of Thy Lamb convict and convince our wayward hearts of the truth that our sin is not something with which to trifle but is always serious because it is against You. Amen

They have sinned...they have sinned...they have transgressed - When we ponder this repetition, it reminds us how glorious and great was Your cleansing and pardon in light of the darkness and depth of Israel's depravity! And remember, beloved, that Israel in the OT is a good picture of our bad flesh (cp 1Cor 10:6, 11).

As Calvin said

"The favor of God, then, would never have been appreciated by the Jews had not the atrocity of their guilt been clearly made known to them....These (repetitive) words confirm....that the Jews were severely reproved by the Prophet, in order that they might first consider and reflect on what they deserved; and secondly, that they might extol the favor of God according to its value."

I will cleanse them from all their iniquity - This is a metaphorical way to describe God forgiving their sins when they by grace through faith enter into the New Covenant (see Jer 31:31-34). In Ezekiel Jehovah declares

"Then (When is "then?" see Ezek 36:24 = has not been fulfilled!) I will sprinkle clean (tahor) water on you, and you will be clean (); I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 "And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances." (Ezek 36:25-27)

Zechariah (quoting the LORD of hosts) alludes to Jehovah's future cleansing of Israel writing

"In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity." (Zechariah 13:1-commentary)

Paul uses the same metaphor in reminding the saints at Corinth

"And such were some of you (To what does Paul refer? See 1Cor 6:9-10!); but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified (declared righteous, in right standing before the Holy God, by grace through faith - cp Jude 1:24-note) in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God." (1Cor 6:11)

And the writer of Hebrews explains how "deep" this cleansing will be -

"how much more (More that what? See Heb 9:13) will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Heb 9:14-note)

He adds

"let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water." (Heb 10:22-note)

John writes

"from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us, and released us (or washed us in Rev 1:5KJV) from our sins by His blood." (Rev 1:5-note)

John describes saints saved out of the great tribulation -

And I said to him, "My lord, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." (Rev 7:14-note)

So thorough will be Jehovah's "cleansing" that

"'In those days and at that time,' declares the LORD, 'search will be made for the iniquity of Israel, but there will be none; and for the sins of Judah, but they will not be found; for I shall pardon those whom I leave as a remnant.'" (Jer 50:20)

The phrase "cleanse them" reminds us of God's call "Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil." (Isa 1:16) As David cried "Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin....7 Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." (Ps 51:2, 7)

Cleanse (purify) (02891)(taher) commonly refers to ritual purity or cleanness in the OT. In fact except for Job 37:21 and Mal 3:3, taher almost exclusively of ritual or moral purity. To be cleansed is to be be made pure and innocent. Taher is the antonym of the Hebrew word " tame" (unclean) and those who contracted impurity (tame) were not permitted to participate in the rituals until they were purified (Lv 22:4-7). The only other use of taher in Jeremiah is found in chapter 13 - "wilt thou not be made clean?" (Jer 13:27KJV)

The Septuagint (Lxx) translates taher in Jeremiah 33:8 with the verb katharizo which describes cleansing from ritual contamination or impurity (Acts 10:15). Katharizo was used of cleansing lepers from ceremonial uncleanness (Mt 8:2-3, et al)

Pardon (Forgive) (05545)(salach) means to free from or release from something and so to pardon, to forgive, to spare. God's offer of pardon and forgiveness to sinners. Salach is never used of people forgiving each other but used of God forgiving. Jehovah Himself announces, in response to Moses' prayers for Israel, that He has forgiven Israel at two of their darkest moments, the golden calf incident and the murmuring at Kadesh Barnea (Ex 34:9; Nu 14:19-20).

Salach occurs 6x in Jeremiah - Jer 5:1, 7, Jer 33:8, 36:3, 50:20 with the most famous use in Jer 31:34-note which gives details of the New Covenant cut with Israel and to be fulfilled with the Messenger of the Covenant, the Messiah, returns and declares "I will forgive (salach) their iniquity and their sin I will remember no more." Jehovah alludes to this great and glorious promised future day again in chapter 50 writing....

‘In those days and at that time (cp Jer 50:19 - those days cannot refer solely to the return from exile because of what the rest of this passage teaches),’ declares the LORD, ‘search will be made for the iniquity ('avon) of Israel, but there will be none; and for the sins of Judah (Note - mention of Israel and Judah speaks of the reunited nation as will occur in the last days), but they will not be found; for I shall pardon those whom I leave as a remnant (cp Zech 13:8-note, Da 12:10-note).’

The Septuagint has an interesting way to translate the Hebrew verb salach in Jeremiah 33:8 = "And I will cleanse them from all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned against me, and will not remember their sins, whereby they have sinned against me, and revolted from me." Jehovah will not remember their sins throughout eternity! That calls for a chorus of Hallelujah's! (Sing it out brothers and sisters - join in Handel's great Hallelujah Chorus)

Jeremiah 33:9 'It will be to Me a name of joy, praise and glory before all the nations of the earth which will hear of all the good that I do for them, and they will fear and tremble because of all the good and all the peace that I make for it.'

KJV And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.

NET All the nations will hear about all the good things which I will do to them. This city will bring me fame, honor, and praise before them for the joy that I bring it. The nations will tremble in awe at all the peace and prosperity that I will provide for it.'

ESV And this city shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and a glory before all the nations of the earth who shall hear of all the good that I do for them. They shall fear and tremble because of all the good and all the prosperity I provide for it.

NIV Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.'

NLT Then this city will bring me joy, glory, and honor before all the nations of the earth! The people of the world will see all the good I do for my people, and they will tremble with awe at the peace and prosperity I provide for them.

YLT And it hath been to Me for a name of joy, For praise, and for beauty, to all nations of the earth, Who hear of all the good that I am doing them, And they have feared, And they have trembled for all the good, And for all the peace, that I am doing to it.

BBE And this town will be to me for a name of joy, for a praise and a glory before all the nations of the earth, who, hearing of all the good which I am doing for them, will be shaking with fear because of all the good and the peace which I am doing for it.

It - He is referring to the city of Jerusalem. Isaiah writes "And give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth." (Isaiah 62:7)

A name of joy, praise and glory before all the nations of the earth - The name of the city, Jerusalem, will elicit these God glorifying emotions from the Gentiles, because they will see what great and might things (Jer 33:3) Jehovah has accomplished in that city and will clearly recognize that this all came to pass only as a result of God's power! God's plan for His Chosen People had always been that they might be "a name of joy, praise and glory." This is the global reaction that God had desired declaring...

"For as the waistband clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole household of Israel and the whole household of Judah cling to Me,’ declares the LORD, ‘that they might be for Me a people, for renown, for praise, and for glory; but they did not listen.’ (Jer 13:11)

In Deuteronomy Moses had explained to Israel

"that He (Jehovah) shall set you high above all nations which He has made, for praise, fame, and honor; and that you shall be a consecrated people to the LORD your God, as He has spoken.” (Dt 26:19)

What a dramatic contrast with the description of the nations' reaction who "called you an outcast, saying: “It is Zion; no one cares for her.”’ (Jer 30:17)

Ultimately since the city of Jerusalem bears the LORD's name (Jer 25:29, cp Jer 33:16 with Jer 23:5), when it is restored in the Messianic Age, it is Jehovah who will receive the joy, praise and glory!

They (Gentiles) will fear - While a few commentators feel this as a reference to Israel's fear and trembling, the context makes it much more likely a description of the reaction of the Gentiles who witness this miraculous transformation of Jerusalem. Bible translations that paraphrase the text agree with this interpretation (see above - NET, NLT, BBE). Fear was certainly the reaction of the nations when the nation was first born and they witnessed Jehovah's military victories (Ex 15:14-16, 2Chr 20:29). What a contrast - the Jews were in fear because of the siege of the Gentiles (Babylonians) but one day it would be Gentiles would would fear the God of the Jews!

Charles Feinberg - The future for the Jews will be so glorious that the nations will stand in awe of them and tremble at their greatness

Jamieson comments that "The Gentiles shall be led to "fear" God by the proofs of His power displayed in behalf of the Jews; the ungodly among them shall "tremble" for fear of God's judgments on them; the penitent shall reverentially fear and be converted to Him (Ps 102:13; Ps 102:15; Isaiah 60:3)."(Ref)

Micah records a similar prophecy of a coming day of "shame" on the nations...

Nations will see and be ashamed Of all their might. They will put their hand on their mouth, Their ears will be deaf. They will lick the dust like a serpent, Like reptiles of the earth. They will come trembling out of their fortresses; To the LORD our God they will come in dread And they will be afraid before You. (Micah 7:16-17-note)

Through Ezekiel Jehovah describes this future day declaring

When I bring them (Israel) back from the peoples (Gentiles) and gather them from the lands of their enemies, then I shall be sanctified through them in the sight of the many nations. (Ezekiel 39:27-note)

Jeremiah 33:10 "Thus says the LORD, 'Yet again there will be heard in this place, of which you say, "It is a waste, without man and without beast," that is, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man and without inhabitant and without beast,

HAPPY SOUNDS WILL
AGAIN RESOUND IN ISRAEL

KJV Thus saith the LORD; Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say shall be desolate without man and without beast, even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man, and without inhabitant, and without beast,

NET "I, the LORD, say: 'You and your people are saying about this place, "It lies in ruins. There are no people or animals in it." That is true. The towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem will soon be desolate, uninhabited either by people or by animals. But happy sounds will again be heard in these places.

ESV "Thus says the LORD: In this place of which you say, 'It is a waste without man or beast,' in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man or inhabitant or beast, there shall be heard again

NIV "This is what the LORD says: 'You say about this place, "It is a desolate waste, without men or animals." Yet in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are deserted, inhabited by neither men nor animals, there will be heard once more

NLT "This is what the LORD says: You have said, 'This is a desolate land where people and animals have all disappeared.' Yet in the empty streets of Jerusalem and Judah's other towns, there will be heard once more

YLT Thus said Jehovah: Again heard in this place of which ye are saying, Waste it is, without man and without beast, In cities of Judah, and in streets of Jerusalem, That are desolated, without man, And without inhabitant, and without beast,

NET Note on thus says the LORD - The phrase here is parallel to that in Jer 33:4 and introduces a further amplification of the “great and mysterious things” of Jer 33:3.

This place - Jerusalem and Judah.

Yet again ("once again") there will be heard in this place - The Hebrew word for again ('od) usually has a sense of repetition and/or permanence (continuance). This depicts the coming time which will contrast with the present (in Jeremiah's day) sounds of cries, screams, moans and laments in the city as the siege wore on and the populace began to starve to death (the sword, the famine, and the pestilence - Jer 32:24-note)!

Yet again (05750)('od form verb 'ud = to repeat or do again) is an adverb (and can also function as a substantive) meaning again, still, more, longer, also, yet, a going around, beside. 'Od as noted above indicates repetition and/or continuance of something ("Adam had relations with his wife again" = Ge 4:25, "Take again some of them" Ezek 5:4; "I shall again praise Him" - Ps 43:5, 42:5, cp Ps 42:11). Most frequently 'od has a temporal sense to indicate the continuance of a past or present event (Ge 18:22), of a custom (1Ki 22:44), of an attribute (Josh 14:11). 'Od expresses constancy (Ps 84:4, 104:33, 146:2; "God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day" = Ge 48:15).

'Od means addition or repetition "another seven days" (Ge 8:10), "another seven years" (Ge 29:30).

When 'od is used with the Hebrew negative (lo') it means "not yet" ("the people had not yet directed their hearts to the God of their fathers" = 2Chr 20:33, " Jeremiah was still not going back" = Jer 40:5) or "no more" ("no longer shall your name be..." = Ge 17:5, "when she could hide him no longer" = Ex 2:3, "there was no spirit in them any longer, because of the sons of Israel." = Josh 5:1, "sons of Israel no longer had manna" = Josh 5:12).

'Od can mean still (indicates continuance of an action or condition) (Ge 29:9, "my life still lingers in me" = 2Sa 1:9; 1Ki 1:22, 42, 2Ki 6:33, Esther 6:14). Caleb says "I am still ('od) strong." (Josh 14:11). David says "when I awake, I am still ('od) with You." (Ps 139:18) 'Od can refer to doing something more than once and thus doing it again as in (Ge 4:25, 9:11, 18:29).

'Od is used frequently in Isaiah to signify there is no "other" God beside Jehovah (Isa 45:5, 6, 45:14, 18, 45:21, 22, 46:9, Dt 4:35, 39, Joel 2:27-note). Clearly God wants His people Israel and His children in the NT to know that He alone is God, lest we be prone to wander and be seduced by the false "gods" of this fallen world.

'Od can indicate the period of time in which something will happen = "Within 3 more days" (Ge 40:13, 19), "within 3 days" (Josh 1:11), "within another 65 years" (Isa 7:8).

ESCHATOLOGICAL USES OF 'OD

In Jeremiah 23:4 the Hebrew word 'od is used in an eschatological (prophetic) sense to describe a future promise given to Israel- "I will also raise up shepherds over them and they will tend them; and they will not be afraid any longer ('od) nor be terrified, nor will any be missing," declares the LORD." See multiple uses in Jeremiah of 'od in descriptions of future prophecies related to Israel = Jer 23:7, Jer 30:8-note, Jer 31:4-5-note, Jer 31:12-note, Jer 31:23-note, Jer 31:29-note, Jer 31:34-note, Jer 31:40-note, Jer 32:15-note, Jer 33:12,13-note, Jer 33:24-note

Other uses of 'od in the context of future prophecy -

And never again will they learn war. Isaiah 2:4 

“Yet there will be a tenth portion in it, And it will again be subject to burning, Like a terebinth or an oak Isaiah 6:13

Ephraim will be shattered, so that it is no longer a people Isa 7:8

"again choose Israel" = Isa 14:1; Ezek 36:15, 30, 37,

"they will no longer be two nations and no longer be divided into two kingdoms" = Ezek 37:22,

"They will no longer defile themselves with their idols" = Ezek 37:23; "I will not let My holy name be profaned anymore" = Ezek 39:7, 28;

"I will not hide My face from them any longer for I will have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel," = Ezek 39:29; Ezek 43:7, 45:8, Hos 2:16-17,

And I will never again make you a reproach among the nations.  Joel 2:19-note, 27,

“Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel, And that I am the LORD your God, And there is no other; Joel 2:27-note

Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, Dwelling in Zion, My holy mountain. So Jerusalem will be holy, And strangers will pass through it no more. Joel 3:17-note

"I will also plant them on their land, And they will not again be rooted out from their land" = Amos 9:15, Micah 4:3, Zeph 3:15,

"The LORD will possess Judah as His portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem." = Zech 2:12;

"Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'Old men and old women will again sit in the streets of Jerusalem" = Zech 8:4,

while the inhabitants of Jerusalem again dwell on their own sites in Jerusalem. Zech 12:6-note

It will come about in that day,” declares the LORD of hosts, “that I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they will no longer be remembered; and I will also remove the prophets and the unclean spirit from the land. Zech 13:2-note

“And if anyone still prophesies, Zech 13:3-note

"People will live in it, and there will no longer be a curse, for Jerusalem will dwell in security" = Zech 14:11-note

And there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts in that day. - Zech 14:21-note

'Od is translated in NAS as - added(1), again(92), again*(9), again...more(1), all the more(1), all*(2), also(3), another(2), another*(1), any longer(15), any more(1), anymore(21), anymore*(1), back(1), besides(4), continue(1), continued(1), else(5), even(2), ever(1), farther(1), further(6), furthermore(3), life(2), long(1), long time(1), long*(2), longer(76), longer any(1), longer*(7), more(39), more*(5), moreover(2), never*(9), once more*(3), once*(1), other(8), since that time(1), soon(1), still(84), still more(1), while(6), while i was still(1), while the remains(1), within(3), yet(43), yet again(1), yet more(1).

'Od - 444 verses -

Gen 4:25; 7:4; 8:10, 12, 21f; 9:11, 15; 17:5; 18:22, 29; 19:12; 24:20; 25:6; 29:7, 9, 33ff; 30:7, 19; 31:14; 32:28; 35:9f, 16; 37:5, 8f; 38:4f, 26; 40:13, 19; 43:6f, 27f; 44:14; 45:3, 6, 11, 26, 28; 46:29f; 48:7, 15; Exod 2:3; 3:15; 4:6, 18; 9:2, 17, 29; 11:1; 14:13; 17:4; 36:3, 6; Lev 13:57; 17:7; 25:51; 27:20; Num 8:25; 11:33; 18:5, 22; 19:13; 22:15, 30; 32:14f; Deut 3:26; 4:35, 39; 5:25; 10:16; 17:13; 18:16; 19:9, 20; 31:2, 27; 34:10; Josh 1:11; 2:11; 5:1, 12; 14:11; Judg 2:14; 6:24; 7:4; 8:20; 9:37; 11:14; 13:8f, 21; 18:24; 20:25, 28; Ruth 1:11, 14; 1 Sam 1:18; 3:6; 7:13; 10:22; 13:7; 16:11; 18:8, 29; 20:3, 14; 23:4, 22; 26:21; 27:1, 4; 28:15; 2 Sam 1:9; 2:22, 28; 3:11, 35; 5:13, 22; 6:1, 22; 7:10, 19f; 9:1, 3; 10:19; 12:23; 14:10, 29, 32; 18:14, 22; 19:28f, 35; 21:15, 17ff; 1 Kgs 1:14, 22, 42; 8:60; 10:5, 10; 12:2; 20:32; 22:7f, 43; 2 Kgs 2:12, 21; 4:6; 5:17; 6:23, 33; 12:3; 14:4; 15:4, 35; 24:7; 1 Chr 12:1; 14:3, 13f; 17:9, 18; 19:19; 20:5f; 29:3; 2 Chr 10:5; 13:20; 14:7; 17:6; 18:6f; 20:33; 27:2; 28:17; 32:16; 33:17; 34:3, 16; Neh 2:17; Esth 2:14; 6:14; 9:12; Job 1:16f; 2:3, 9; 6:10, 29; 7:10; 8:12; 14:7; 20:9; 24:20; 27:3; 29:5; 32:15f; 34:23; 36:2; Ps 10:18; 37:10; 39:1; 42:5, 11; 43:5; 74:9; 78:17, 30, 32; 83:4; 84:4; 88:5; 92:14; 103:16; 104:33, 35; 139:18; 141:5; 146:2; Prov 9:9; 11:24; 23:35; 31:7, 15; Eccl 3:16; 4:13; 7:28; 9:5f; 12:9; Isa 1:5; 2:4; 5:4, 25; 6:13; 7:8; 8:5; 9:12, 17, 21; 10:4, 25, 32; 14:1; 23:10, 12; 26:21; 28:4; 29:17; 30:20; 32:5; 38:11; 45:5f, 14, 18, 21f; 46:9; 47:8, 10; 49:20; 52:1; 54:4, 9; 56:8; 60:18ff; 62:4, 8; 65:19f, 24; Jer 2:9, 31; 3:1, 16f; 7:32; 10:20; 11:19; 13:27; 15:9; 16:14; 19:6, 11; 20:9; 22:10ff, 30; 23:4, 7, 36; 28:3, 11; 30:8; 31:4f, 12, 23, 29, 34, 39f; 32:15; 33:1, 10, 12f, 24; 34:10; 38:9; 40:5; 42:18; 44:22, 26; 48:2; 49:7; 50:39; 51:33, 44; Lam 4:17; Ezek 5:4, 9; 7:13; 8:6, 13, 15; 12:23ff, 28; 13:21, 23; 14:11; 15:5; 16:41f, 63; 18:3; 19:9; 20:27, 39; 21:5; 23:27, 38; 24:13, 27; 26:13f, 21; 28:24; 29:15f; 30:13; 32:13; 33:22; 34:10, 22, 28f; 36:12, 14f, 30, 37; 37:22f; 39:7, 28f; 43:7; 45:8; Dan 9:20f; 10:14; 11:2, 27, 35; Hos 1:4, 6; 2:16f; 3:1; 11:12; 12:9; 14:3, 8; Joel 2:19, 27; 3:17; Amos 4:7; 6:10; 7:8, 13; 8:2, 14; 9:15; Jonah 3:4; Mic 1:15; 4:3; 5:13; 6:10; Nah 1:12, 14f; 2:13; Hab 2:3; Zeph 2:15; 3:11, 15; Hag 2:6, 19; Zech 1:17; 2:12; 8:4, 20; 9:8; 11:6, 15; 12:6; 13:2f; 14:11, 21; Mal 2:13

The streets of Jerusalem that are desolate - The sound of anguish would soon be turned to silence as the city was devastated by the Babylonians. And yet that was not to be the end of the city.

In Jer 33:10-11 Jehovah foretells of a future day when Jerusalem will no longer be desolate but will be filled with better sounds of joyful voices. Such a great and might thing (Jer 33:3) could only have been wrought by a God for Whom absolutely nothing is too difficult (Jer 32:17-note, Jer 32:27-note).

Desolate (08074)(shamen/samen) describes a desolation caused by some great disaster, usually a result of divine judgment and stresses the horror caused by the desolation of judgment.

NET Note on Jer 33:10-11 - What is predicted here is a reversal of the decimation caused by the Babylonian conquest that had been threatened in Jer 7:34; 16:9; 25:10.

Jeremiah 33:11 the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who say, "Give thanks to the LORD of hosts, for the LORD is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting"; and of those who bring a thank offering into the house of the LORD. For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were at first,' says the LORD.

THE VOICE OF JOY AND PRAISE IN RESTORED JERUSALEM:
THE LORD IS GOOD AND HIS LOVINGKINDNESS IS EVERLASTING

KJV The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.

NET Once again there will be sounds of joy and gladness and the glad celebrations of brides and grooms. Once again people will bring their thank offerings to the temple of the LORD and will say, "Give thanks to the LORD who rules over all. For the LORD is good and his unfailing love lasts forever." For I, the LORD, affirm that I will restore the land to what it was in days of old.'

ESV the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who sing, as they bring thank offerings to the house of the LORD: "'Give thanks to the LORD of hosts, for the LORD is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!' For I will restore the fortunes of the land as at first, says the LORD.

NIV the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the LORD, saying, "Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for the LORD is good; his love endures forever." For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before,' says the LORD.

NLT the sounds of joy and laughter. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will be heard again, along with the joyous songs of people bringing thanksgiving offerings to the LORD. They will sing, 'Give thanks to the LORD of Heaven's Armies, for the LORD is good. His faithful love endures forever!' For I will restore the prosperity of this land to what it was in the past, says the LORD.

YLT Is a voice of joy and a voice of gladness, Voice of bridegroom, and voice of bride, The voice of those saying, Thank Jehovah of Hosts, for Jehovah is good, For His kindness is to the age, Who are bringing in thanksgiving to the house of Jehovah, For I turn back the captivity of the land, As at the first, said Jehovah.

For (in the phrase "for the LORD is good...") - Term of explanation. What is Jehovah explaining? Clearly He is explaining why Judah and Jerusalem will experience such a glorious time of blessing (Jer 33:10-11a). He is good and His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Feinberg - This verse is the closing part of the benediction in the Jewish marriage ceremony today.

The voice...the voice...the voice...the voice...the voice - Because Jehovah loves Israel "with an everlasting love" (Jer 31:3-note) He will bring about this dramatic reversal of fortunes in contrast to His earlier judgments

Jeremiah 7:34 “Then I will make to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the land will become a ruin.

Jeremiah 16:9 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I am going to eliminate from this place, before your eyes and in your time, the voice of rejoicing and the voice of gladness, the voice of the groom and the voice of the bride.

Jeremiah 25:10 ‘Moreover, I will take from them the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp.

Give thanks to the LORD of hosts, for the LORD is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting - In place of anguish would be adoration for Jehovah's goodness and mercy which one day in the future will be clearly manifest for the entire world to see when the Messiah returns to set up His kingdom based in Jerusalem!

The LORD is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting - These words are a repeated refrain in Old Testament worship and frequently uttered by the priests - See 1Chr 16:34, 2Chr 5:13, 2Chr 7:3, Ps 106:1, Ps 107:1, Ps 118:1, Ps 118:29, Ps 136:1.

THE ARK BROUGHT TO JERUSALEM - When "they brought in the ark of God and placed it inside the tent which David had pitched for it, and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God." (1Chr 16:1). "Then on that day David first assigned Asaph and his relatives to give thanks to the LORD." (1Chr 16:7) And in 1Chr 16:8-36 is one of the most beautiful praise and worship services in Scripture. In part of this service they proclaimed "O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting." (1Chr 16:34)

THE TEMPLE OF GOD DEDICATED - Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD’s house. And all the sons of Israel, seeing the fire come down and the glory of the LORD upon the house, bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave praise to the LORD, saying, "Truly He is good, truly His lovingkindness is everlasting." (2Chr 7:1-3)

THE SECOND TEMPLE REBUILDING BEGINS - And they sang (When? When the builders laid the foundation for the second temple - Ezra 3:10), praising and giving thanks to the LORD, saying, "For He is good, for His lovingkindness is upon Israel forever." And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the LORD because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.

For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, And His faithfulness to all generations. (Ps 100:5)

Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (Ps 106:1)

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.(Ps 107:1)

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Oh let Israel say, "His lovingkindness is everlasting." (Ps 118:1)

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (Ps 118:29)

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Give thanks to the God of gods, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (Ps 136:1-2)

The NET Note explains that these words represent "a common hymnic introduction to both individual songs of thanksgiving (e.g., Ps 118:1) and communal songs of thanksgiving (e.g., Ps 136:1-26 where it is a liturgical refrain accompanying a recital of Israel’s early history and of the LORD’s continuing providence)."

Charles Feinberg adds that "Joy and gladness will not only mark the relationships of God’s people but will also mark their worship in his temple. The liturgical words were those used by the Levitical singers in the temple service (Ps 106:1) and showed that the temple would be rebuilt and the ministry restored as in pre-exilic days. Joy will be accompanied by security."

I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were at first (Click main discussion of restore the fortunes) - What land? The Eretz, the Land of Israel the Land of Israel promised to the patriarchs, a promise that was never fully realized. The only way to ignore that this clearly foretells of the coming Messianic Age is to spiritualize or allegorize the passage and give it some hidden meaning which obscures or replaces the literal meaning! The Reformation Study Bible note skirts the issue of having to explain the land by saying "These circumstances will be brought about by the new covenant." When yes, that is true, but the question is when will the New Covenant be fully fulfilled to the house of Israel and with the house of Judah? It will come about when they are once again united at the return of the Messiah. Yes, Messiah inaugurated the New Covenant at His first coming, but He will not fulfill it (to the literal nation of Israel, the ) until He returns as Paul clearly explained in Ro 11:26-27 declaring "thus all Israel will be saved (the "all" of those who believe in the Messiah and these are believing Jewish remnant); just as it is written, “THE DELIVERER (Messiah) WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB. AND THIS IS MY COVENANT (What covenant? The New Covenant promised in Jer 31:31-34) WITH THEM (Who is "them?" From the context this is clearly not the Church! In fact it is the reunited house of Israel and house of Judah, the very ones to whom Jehovah originally made the promise in Jer 31:31!), WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS.”

NET Note on as they were at first - This phrase simply means “as formerly” (BDB 911 s.v. רִאשׁוֹן 3.a). The reference to the “as formerly” must be established from the context. See the usage in Jdg 20:32; 1Ki 13:6; Isa 1:26. Reference is to the reunification of Israel and Judah to the state that they were before the division after Solomon. Compare Jer 3:18; 30:3; 31:27 and see the study note on Jer 30:3 (Here is the Study Note on Jer 30:3 = As the nations of Israel and Judah were united in their sin and suffered the same fate – that of exile and dispersion – (cf. Jer 3:8; 5:11; 11:10, 17) so they will ultimately be regathered from the nations and rejoined under one king, a descendant of David, and regain possession of their ancestral lands. The prophets of both the eighth and seventh century looked forward to this ideal (see, e.g., Hos 1:11 (2:2 HT); Isa 11:11–13; Jer 23:5–6; 30:3; 33:7; Ezek 37:15–22). This has already been anticipated in Jer 3:18.)

Jeremiah 33:12 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'There will again be in this place which is waste, without man or beast, and in all its cities, a habitation of shepherds who rest their flocks.

ISRAEL'S FUTURE PROPHESIED:
PEACE, TRANQUILITY & PROSPERITY

KJV Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Again in this place, which is desolate without man and without beast, and in all the cities thereof, shall be an habitation of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down.

NET "I, the LORD who rules over all, say: 'This place will indeed lie in ruins. There will be no people or animals in it. But there will again be in it and in its towns sheepfolds where shepherds can rest their sheep.

ESV "Thus says the LORD of hosts: In this place that is waste, without man or beast, and in all of its cities, there shall again be habitations of shepherds resting their flocks.

NIV "This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'In this place, desolate and without men or animals-- in all its towns there will again be pastures for shepherds to rest their flocks.

NLT "This is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies says: This land-- though it is now desolate and has no people and animals-- will once more have pastures where shepherds can lead their flocks.

YLT Thus said Jehovah of Hosts: Again there is in this place -- that is waste, Without man and beast, And in all its cities -- a habitation of shepherds, Causing the flock to lie down.

NET Note on thus says the LORD of hosts - Jer 33:4, 10, 12 introduce three oracles, all under the answer to the LORD’s promise to Jeremiah to show him “great and mysterious things which you still do not know about.”

There will again - This phrase "will again" is found in Jer 33:10, 12, 13.

A place which is waste - At the time of this chapter, Jerusalem has been besieged but not yet sacked and laid waste. Nevertheless Jehovah speaks of it's destruction in the past tense, so certain is His divine wrath and righteous judgment to fall upon the city. And beloved, just as Jehovah has fulfilled these prophecies of past judgment on Jerusalem and Judah, rest assured He will fulfill the prophecies of future restoration of Jerusalem and Judah!

A habitation of shepherds who rest their flocks - A dramatic contrast of pastoral peace in place of desolation and depopulation after the defeat by Babylon.

Jeremiah 33:13 'In the cities of the hill country, in the cities of the lowland, in the cities of the Negev, in the land of Benjamin, in the environs of Jerusalem and in the cities of Judah, the flocks will again pass under the hands of the one who numbers them,' says the LORD.

THE ENTIRE LAND
TO BE RESTORED

KJV In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the vale, and in the cities of the south, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shall the flocks pass again under the hands of him that telleth them, saith the LORD.

NET I, the LORD, say that shepherds will once again count their sheep as they pass into the fold. They will do this in all the towns in the southern hill country, the western foothills, the southern hill country, the territory of Benjamin, the villages surrounding Jerusalem, and the towns of Judah.'

ESV In the cities of the hill country, in the cities of the Shephelah, and in the cities of the Negeb, in the land of Benjamin, the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, flocks shall again pass under the hands of the one who counts them, says the LORD.

NIV In the towns of the hill country, of the western foothills and of the Negev, in the territory of Benjamin, in the villages around Jerusalem and in the towns of Judah, flocks will again pass under the hand of the one who counts them,' says the LORD.

NLT Once again shepherds will count their flocks in the towns of the hill country, the foothills of Judah, )the Negev, the land of Benjamin, the vicinity of Jerusalem, and all the towns of Judah. I, the LORD, have spoken!

YLT In the cities of the hill-country, In the cities of the low country, And in the cities of the south, And in the land of Benjamin, And in the suburbs of Jerusalem, And in the cities of Judah, Again doth the flock pass by under the hands of the numberer, said Jehovah.

These six specific geographic locations are mentioned for the third time in this book (Jer 17:26, Jer 32:44). It is as if God wants to make sure that the reader understands He is speaking of a literal land in the Messianic Age and that this is not describing the New Heavens and the New Earth!

Jamieson on the one who numbers them - Shepherds, in sending forth and in bringing back their sheep to the folds, count them by striking each as passes with a rod, implying the shepherd's provident care that not one should be lost (Leviticus 27:32; Micah 7:14 : cf. John 10:28-29; John 17:12).

Charles Feinberg - There may be an allusion here to Leviticus 27:32. Strangely, the Targum has a messianic interpretation here and substitutes the word “Messiah” (cp mashiach) for “the one who counts them.” (Ed: Compare Jesus' description in John 10:1-17).

NET Note on flocks will again pass under the hands of the one who numbers them - Heb “Sheep will again pass under the hands of the counter.” This appears to be a reference to counting the sheep to make sure that none was missing as they returned to the fold. See the same idiom in Lev 27:32 and in the metaphor in Ezek 20:37.

Warren Wiersbe astutely observes that "Since these blessings (Ed: Enumerated in Jer 33:6-13) didn’t come during the post-exilic period, we have to believe they’ll be realized when the Lord returns and restores His people and their land." (Be Decisive - Jeremiah- Taking a Stand for the Truth)

Jeremiah 33:14 'Behold, days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when I will fulfill the good word which I have spoken concerning the house of Israel and the house of Judah.

JEHOVAH WILL FULFILL
HIS GOOD WORD TO ISRAEL

Behold (02009)(hinneh) - see comments on Jer 33:6. This interjection is used to call attention to the phrase days are coming. God will fulfill His promises to His Chosen People, restoring them to the promised land and reuniting the kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

A C Gaebelein on days are coming notes that "The delay may be long and still deferred according to His eternal purposes; but at the appointed time these days will surely come." (Ref)

Feinberg points on that "This beautiful passage (Jeremiah 32:14–26) is not in the Septuagint (Lxx) and has therefore been suspect to many commentators....But this passage is perfectly compatible with the revelation in Jeremiah 23 and with Jeremiah 30–33. As a whole, Jeremiah is declaring that monarchy and priesthood, interrupted by the Exile, will coexist permanently. He proclaims the perpetuity of the Davidic dynasty and the Levitical priesthood without equivocation. The predicted restoration (“the days are coming”) is not, however, to be looked for in the immediate time of the return from the Captivity. Only in a limited and preliminary way were these promises fulfilled in Zerubbabel and Sheshbazzar after the Captivity (cf. Ezra 1:8; 2:2; also Ezra 2:40–54; 8:15–20). Ultimately, they are combined in the highest sense in Christ (cf. Ps 110:4) and are yet to be fulfilled in the reign of Messiah on earth.

Scalise agrees that "This passage is absent from LXX, but it is well integrated into MT. Like the rest of chap. 33, these verses restate and extend promises found elsewhere in the book." (Word Biblical Commentary)

Days are coming - This exact phrase occurs 23x in 23 verses, and is clearly an important phrase in Jeremiah where it is found most often in the Bible (15 times). In fact every occurrence of this phrase in Jeremiah is preceded by a behold, so clearly God wants us to pay very special attention to this phrase! - 1Sa 2:31; 2Ki 20:17; Isa 39:6; Jer 7:32; Jer 9:25; Jer 16:14; Jer 19:6; Jer 23:5, 7; Jer 30:3; Jer 31:27, 31, 38; Jer 33:14; Jer 48:12; Jer 49:2; Jer 51:47, 52; Amos 4:2; 8:11; 9:13; Luke 23:29; Heb 8:8.

Declares the LORD - Jehovah said it. That settles it, whether I believe it or not! This phrase occurs 170 times in 165 verses in Jeremiah out of a total of 334 verses (almost 50% of all uses in Scripture in one book!). It follows that "declares the LORD" is clearly a key phrase in the prophecy of Jeremiah! Add to that 158 uses in 157 verses (out of a total of 503 uses) the phrase "says the LORD" in Jeremiah .

Declares the LORD -

Jer 1:8, 15, 19; 2:3, 9, 12, 19, 22, 29; 3:1, 10, 12ff, 16, 20; 4:1, 9, 17; 5:9, 11, 15, 18, 22, 29; 6:12; 7:11, 13, 19, 30, 32; 8:1, 3, 13, 17; 9:3, 6, 9, 24f; 12:17; 13:11, 14, 25; 15:3, 6, 9, 20; 16:5, 11, 14, 16; 17:24; 18:6; 19:6, 12; 21:7, 10, 13f; 22:5, 16, 24; 23:1f, 4f, 7, 11f, 23f, 28ff; 25:7, 9, 12, 29, 31; 27:8, 11, 15, 22; 28:4; 29:9, 11, 14, 19, 23, 32; 30:3, 8, 10f, 17, 21; 31:1, 14, 16f, 20, 27f, 31ff, 36ff; 32:5, 30, 44; 33:14; 34:5, 17, 22; 35:13; 39:17f; 42:11; 44:29; 45:5; 46:5, 23, 26, 28; 48:12, 25, 30, 35, 38, 43f, 47; 49:2, 5f, 13, 16, 26, 30ff, 37ff; 50:4, 10, 20f, 30f, 35, 40; 51:24ff, 39, 48, 52f

I will fulfill the good word - This promise echoes Jeremiah 29:10 "For thus says the LORD, 'When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place." Beloved, did He fulfill Jeremiah 29:10? Indeed He did and just as surely will He fulfill Jeremiah 33:14-16 (days...in those days...in those days)!

Dyer comments on good word - The “good word,” a phrase that captures the entire breadth of the glorious promises made to both parts of the nation (Jer 16:14-15; 23:3-6; 29:10-14; 31:1-14, 27-40; 32:37-44; Hosea 1:10-11; 2:14-23; Am 9:11-15; Micah 7:18-20; Zeph 3:10, 14-17; Zech 8:3-8, 10:6, 14:9-20) will be fulfilled in the Messianic Age." (Moody Bible Commentary)

NET Note on I will fulfill... - This refers at the very least to the promises of Jer 23:5–6, 7–8; 30:3; 31:27, 31 where the same formula “The time will certainly come (Heb “Behold the days are coming”)” occurs. Reference may also be to the promises through the earlier prophets of what is alluded to here, i.e., the restoration of Israel and Judah under a Davidic ruler and the revival of the offerings (cf. Hos 1:10–11; 3:4–5; Amos 9:11–12; Isa 11:1–5, 10–16; Jer 30:9, 21 for the former and Jer 31:14; 33:11 for the latter).

House of Israel...house of Judah - The united nation is clearly depicted. The rebirth of the nation is not the fulfillment of this prophecy as is clear from the context describing circumstances in Israel that simply do not exist at present. This has not yet occurred but will transpire when Messiah returns to rule as described in the following passage (Jer 33:15). Even if one believed that the Church had replaced Israel in God's program, this genre of false teaching would have great difficult explaining how the Church also replaces the "house of Judah." Replacement theology is simply nonsense as there are too many passages that must be spiritualized or interpreted allegorically to make the square peg of supersessionism into the round hole of literal Biblical truth! And before you accuse me of being a dispensationalist, pause, because I am not a dispensationalist (I don't really even understand what if means and refuse to look it up lest I become biased!) but a "literalist."

Jeremiah 33:15 'In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth.

THE RIGHTEOUS BRANCH
SPRINGS FORTH

KJV In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.

NET In those days and at that time I will raise up for them a righteous descendant of David. "'He will do what is just and right in the land.

ESV In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.

NIV "'In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David's line; he will do what is just and right in the land.

NLT "In those days and at that time I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David's line. He will do what is just and right throughout the land.

YLT In those days, and at that time, I cause to shoot up to David a shoot of righteousness, And he hath done judgment and righteousness in the earth.

ASV In those days, and at that time, will I cause a Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.

BBE In those days and at that time, I will let a Branch of righteousness come up for David; and he will be a judge in righteousness in the land.

While the promises in Jeremiah 33:6-13 are wonderful, Jehovah now reveals the greatest blessing of all, the personal presence of the Messiah, the Righteous Branch of David. Earlier Jeremiah had recorded a similar prophecy directed to His Chosen People, a prophecy that has not yet been fulfilled.

Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “When I shall raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land. 6 “In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell securely; And this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The LORD our righteousness.’ 7 “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when they will no longer say, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ 8 but, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up and led back the descendants of the household of Israel from the north land and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ Then they will live on their own soil.” (Jeremiah 23:5-8)

Comment: Mention of Judah (2 southern tribes taken into Babylonian exile in 605, 597 and 586BC) and Israel (10 northern tribes taken into Assyrian exile in 722BC) together indicates this is a reference to the united nation of Israel, which awaits a future fulfillment in His days (when Messiah returns). This cannot refer to the reborn (May, 1948) nation of Israel for it clearly does not dwell securely. I love the Name for it speaks of what He will accomplish in the believing remnant of Israel when He returns -- they will become righteous by grace through faith and recognize that it is not their works based righteousness that makes them acceptable to the Father, but it is as they will proclaim the "LORD our righteousness." Not their righteousness but His. They are safe forever in Christ and His perfect righteousness as is every believer whether Jew or Gentile.

NET Note on Jer 23:5 - This passage and the parallel in Jer 33:15 are part of a growing number of prayers and prophecies regarding an ideal Ruler to come forth from the Davidic line Who will bring the justice, security, and well-being that the continuing line of Davidic rulers did not. Though there were periodic kings like Josiah who did fulfill the ideals set forth in Jer 22:3 (see Jer 22:15), by and large they were more like Jehoiakim who did not (see Jer 22:13). Hence the LORD brought to an end the Davidic rule. The potential for the ideal, however, remained because of God’s promise to David (2Sa 7:16). The Davidic line became like a tree which was cut down, leaving only a stump. But from that stump God would bring forth a “shoot,” a “sprig” which would fulfill the ideals of kingship. See Isa 11:1–6 and Zech 3:8, 6:12 for this metaphor and compare Da 4:14–15, 23, 26 for a different but related use of the metaphor.

The epithet “Branch” (צֶמַח, tsemakh) derives from the verb used in Zech 6:12 (יִצְמָח, yitsmakh, “will sprout up” ["will branch out"]) to describe the rise of the Messiah, already referred to in this manner in Zech 3:8 (cf. Isa 11:1; 53:2; Jer 33:15). In the immediate context (of Zech 6:12) this refers to Zerubbabel, but the ultimate referent is Jesus (cf. Jn 19:5).

In those days and at that time - These are important time phrases. To what time do they refer? To answer this question, one needs to carefully observe the context. What has Jehovah just promised in the previous passages (Jer 33:6-14)? And notice that in Jer 33:16 the promise is that Jerusalem will dwell in safety. Was Jerusalem secure when the Jews returned from Babylon after their 70 year exile? Clearly not. Was Jerusalem secure in Jesus' day? Clearly not as the Romans ruled and eventually destroyed the city in 70AD! So has this happened in the re-birth of the nation of Israel in May, 1948? All we have to do is watch the news from the Middle East to see Jerusalem is not dwelling in safety. And so in those days and at that time must speak of a future time. And this passage says this time will coincide with a righteous Branch of David to spring forth. This can be no one other than the Messiah, who will "spring forth" at His Second Coming to set up His Kingdom on earth!

I will cause ( I will raise up = NET, NLT; I will make = NIV) - Jehovah is clearly in charge of the timing of this event! He will one day in the future give the world the Ideal King. This will come about in those days and at that time. Glory! Hallelujah!

The Apostle John describes the springing forth of the Righteous Branch...

And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 And His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems; and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. (Who are the armies? Some say angels and there might be some angels, but in truth the saints will follows as confirmed by comparing the parallel description in Rev 17:14-see commentary which clearly does not describe angels) 15 And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Rev 19:11-16-see commentary)

A Righteous Branch...to spring forth ("germinate") - The Messiah, the greater son of David, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah will return.

Isaiah expounds on Messiah's Name the Branch...

In that day (What day? Checking the context [always the key to accurate interpretation] this expression of time is clearly the Messianic Age or Millennium and the Messiah's Reign) the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel. (Isaiah 4:2-see note)

Then (When is then?) a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. (Isaiah 11:1-2-see note)

Zechariah adds...

Then say to him ("Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest" Zech 6:11), 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the LORD. "Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the LORD, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices."' (Zechariah 6:12-13)

John MacArthur - Though the crown was placed on the head of Joshua, the High-Priest (Zech 6:11), the act was a symbol of that future crowning of Messiah, the Branch (cf. Zech 3:8). In Messiah, the offices of king and priest will be united....The building of the restoration Temple was promised to Zerubbabel (cf. Zech 4:9, 10). The building of this Temple, promised to Messiah, points to the construction of the Millennial Temple (cf. Isa 2:2-4-note; Eze 40:1–43:27; Hag 2:6–9). (Ed: See A C Gaebelein's summary notes on the Millennial Temple in Ezekiel )

ESV Study Bible - Joshua is to be crowned as a symbol of the reality to come, the Branch, a reference to Jer 33:15. Zechariah reiterates Jeremiah’s promise of a coming King Who will flourish and branch out and build the temple of the LORD and will bear royal honor, reflecting the authority and legitimacy of the king’s rule....The coming King will sit on His throne, with a priest also seated on a throne (perhaps next to Him). As in Jeremiah 33, the continuance of the Davidic monarchy and the Levitical priesthood are intertwined. The King is necessary to rebuild the temple, while the Levitical priests stand before the Lord in that renewed Temple, offering sacrifices (Jer 33:18).

Of David - To what does this refer? It refers to the fact that the Messiah would come from the lineage of David. In fact Matthew begins his Gospel declaring "the book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." (Mt 1:1)

The description "son of David" links Jesus to Messianic line and fulfills the promise made to David that his offspring "shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever (Ed: This prophecy cannot refer to Solomon who died but can only refer to the eternal Messiah)...And your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.” (Ed: These two uses of "forever" mark this as a prophecy of the Messiah, the greater Son of David) (2Sa 7:13,16, cp 1Kings 2:4)

In Jeremiah 22:30 we read what seems like a promise which is the very opposite of that given to David - “Thus says the LORD, ‘Write this man down childless, A man who will not prosper in his days; For no man of his descendants will prosper Sitting on the throne of David Or ruling again in Judah.’” MacArthur explains that "Jeconiah did have offspring (1Ch 3:17, 18), but he was reckoned childless in the sense that he had no sons who would reign (“Sitting on the throne"). The curse continued in his descendants down to Joseph, the husband of Mary. How could Jesus then be the Messiah when His father was under this curse? It was because Joseph was not involved in the blood line of Jesus since He was virgin born (Mt 1:12). Jesus’ blood right to the throne of David came through Mary from Nathan, Solomon’s brother, not Solomon (Jeconiah’s line) thus bypassing this curse (Lk 3:31, 32). Cf. Jer 36:30."

In Jeremiah 23:5 Jehovah promised "Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “When I shall raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land.

Luke records the angelic messenger's words to Mary declaring “behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. (Lk 1:31, 32)

In Mary's famous "Magnificat" she proclaims "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David His servant as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old." (Lk 1:68-70)

OUR MESSIAH
THE RIGHTEOUS BRAND

Branch (06780)(tsemach from tsamach) is a noun which means a sprout, a branch or a growth and is used literally (Ge 19:25; Ps 65:10) but most significantly is used five times figuratively as a Name of the Messiah (Jer 33:15, Jer 23:5, Isa 4:2, Zechariah 3:8, Zechariah 6:12). See Walter Kaiser's excellent note below.

Tsemach - Branch (5), growth (1), heads(1), plants(1), sprouting(1), sprouts(1), what grew(1), where it grew(1).

Tsemach - 12x in 12v - Ge 19:25; Ps 65:10; Isa 4:2; 61:11; Jer 23:5; 33:15; Ezek 16:7; 17:9f; Hos 8:7; Zech 3:8; 6:12

Spring forth (06779) (tsamach) is a verb which means to sprout, spring up, grow up. The majority of the first uses of tsamach in the Pentateuch are literal and refer to growth of plants - In Ge 2:5 = "No plant had yet sprouted". In Ge 2:9 = "Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food." (cp Ps 104:14, 147:8, Eccl 2:6) In Ge 3:18 God describes the earth's curse because of Adam's sin = "Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you." In Joseph's dream "seven ears, thin and scorched by the east wind, sprouted up after them." (Ge 41:6, 23). In Ex 10:5 Moses told Pharaoh that the locusts were to "eat every tree which sprouts for you out of the field." Jdg 16:22 refers to the Samson's hair which "began to grow again after it was shaved off." (cp growth of beards = 2Sa 10:5, 1Chr 19:5)

2 Sa 23:5 are some of the last words of David = "Truly is not my house so with God? For He has made an everlasting covenant with me [Davidic Covenant], Ordered in all things, and secured; For all my salvation and all my desire, Will He not indeed make it grow

Tsamach refers to a plant as it breaks forth out of the ground (Ge. 2:5, 9); or to trees as they grow from the ground (Ex. 10:5). Both God and the ground cause plants, trees, etc. to sprout (Ge. 3:18). Tsamach describe Samson's hair beginning to grow (Jdg 16:22-note; cf 2 Sa 10:5).

Figurative uses of tsamach -

  • "trouble sprout from the ground" = Job 5:6;
  • "out of the dust others will spring" (man’s offspring) = Job 8:19;
  • "Truth springs from the earth = Ps. 85:11;
  • "I will cause the horn of David to spring forth" (referring to springing up of kings from David) = Ps. 132:17; Jer 33:15; Ezek 29:21; Zech. 6:12;
  • "Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you" (referring to springing forth of new things ordained by God = Isa. 42:9; 43:19)
  • Isaiah 55:10 (cp Isa 61:1) says let "righteousness spring up (Lxx = anatello - cause to spring up, Mt 5:45) with it" (with salvation which itself bears fruit).
  • Ezek 17:6 pictures Israel as a vine which "sprouted."

Tsamach has Messianic overtones (some but not all are in the verses that follow)

Ps 132:17, Is 42:9, Isa 43:19, Isa 44:4, Isa 45:8, Isa 55:10, Isa 58:8, Isa 61:11, Jer 33:15, Ezek 29:21 Zec 6:12

Here are some other interesting uses of tsamach...

Psalm 132:17 "There I will cause the horn of David to spring forth; I have prepared a lamp for Mine anointed (mashiach)."

Comment - Some (e.g., NET Bible and Notes) think this refers to power (military strength) of David's kingdom, but in context it seems much more likely to refers to the Messiah God's Anointed One!

Isaiah 44:4 And they will spring up among the grass Like poplars by streams of water.'

Comment - Who is they? Isa 44:1 "Jacob, My servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen." In context this is a prophecy directed to literal Israel and it will be fully fulfilled when Messiah returns, for Isa 44:3 says " I will pour out My Spirit on your (Who in context? the nation of Israel's) offspring, and My blessing on your descendants." While some Jews have been saved and had the Spirit "poured" out on them, this prophecy has not be completely fulfilled, for this has not happened to the nation as it will in the end times.

Bible Knowledge Commentary - This outpouring of the Spirit will occur when the people have returned in belief to the land (cf. Ezek. 36:24, 27; Joel 2:25–29) just after the Messiah’s second coming to establish the Millennium.

Isaiah 58:8 "Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

John MacArthur - When Israel learned the proper way to fast, she would enjoy the blessings of salvation and the Messiah’s kingdom (Isa 52:12) (Ed: In the Millennium).

Isaiah 61:11 For as the earth brings forth its sprouts (noun form tsemach - -6780), And as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up (literal), So the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring up (figurative) before all the nations.

Comment - This passage also describes an end times scenario. How can we be sure? Note the phrase "praise to spring up before all the nations" something that has not yet occurred nor it will until the Desire of the Nations Messiah returns to reign and rule.

Ezekiel 29:21 "On that day I will make a horn sprout for the house of Israel, and I will open your mouth in their midst. Then they will know that I am the LORD."

Comment - What day? This is not clear from the context, and there are a number of commentaries who feel this describes the restoration of Israel in the end times. The NLT reads "And the day will come when I will cause the ancient glory of Israel to revive, and then, Ezekiel, your words will be respected. Then they will know that I am the LORD." The phrase "they will know that I am the LORD" is found 26x in the OT all in Ezekiel and some refer to the time of Ezekiel (Ezek 33:29) but others are in the context of end times (Ezek 34:27 where "secure in the their [Israel's] land" = not been fulfilled! cp Ezek 36:38, 38:23, 39:6, 28). The point is that this phrase in Ezek 29:21 could support an end times fulfillment. However it is best to not be dogmatic.

Zechariah 6:12 "Then say to him, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out (tsamach) from where He is; and He will build the temple of the LORD.

Comment - This passage clearly uses tsamach to describe the Messiah Who will rebuild the Millennial Temple (Ezekiel 40:1-48:35)

Walter Kaiser comments on the noun tsemach and the verb - The first writer to take up the thought of 2Sa 23:5 and use the root smh as a noun to designate the Messiah is Isaiah (Isa 4:2). Many deny that Isaiah is referring to the Messiah when he speaks of “the Branch or Shoot of Yahweh” because it is paralleled by the expression “the fruit of the earth.” Therefore, Isa 4:2 is simply a reference to the agricultural prosperity of the land. But this view fails to notice that both of these expressions are elsewhere messianic. It also neglects to account for the unusual limitation of this fruitfulness “in that day”; the fruitfulness is for the survivors of Israel. Furthermore, they overlook the progressive nature of revelation, for certainly 2Sa 23:5 and perhaps Ps 132:17 are controlling ideas when we come to the eighth century B.C. Thus the “Sprout of Yahweh” (or as clarified by the cognate studies, “the son of Yahweh”) is an obvious reference to the divine nature of the tsemach. Yet his human nature is also in view, for he is “the Offspring or Fruit of the Earth.” In Jer 23:5–6 and Jer 33:15–16, He is “the Righteous Branch [or Sprout)” raised up for David to reign as King. While focusing on His human, but regal nature, this passage also stresses His deity by calling Him “the Lord our Righteousness.” Note that the context of both passages is the promise that Israel will return to the land. Even more pointedly, Jer 33:19–26 sets the tsemach promise in line with God’s previous promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the Levite priests, and David! Zechariah 3:8 pictures the Branch (tsemach) as the Lord’s Servant. No doubt the allusion is to Isaiah’s archetypal statements concerning Yah-weh’s Servant, Jesus Christ. In Zech 6:12 the prophet proclaims, “Behold the Man” who is “a priest on his throne,” a ruler, a counselor of peace, whose name is Branch. Zechariah sees the high priest Joshua as a type of the promise, but only a pledge of God’s future fulfillment in Jesus Christ. The Dead Sea Scrolls use the phrase tsemah dāwîd as a Messianic term in explanation of the Davidic covenant of 2Sa 7:14 (JBL 77:353). The NT makes at least two references to this messianic title “Branch” using the LXX translation of the root smh: anatolē and anatellō. Hebrews 7:14 is to be translated “our Lord sprang forth (or sprouted - anatello in perfect tense) from Judah.” But in Luke 1:78KJV with its anatolē ex hypsous ("the Dayspring from on high hath visited us") the equation of tsemach YHWH is complete. Therefore we translate the verse, “Because of the tender mercy of our God by which the Branch from on High shall visit us.” The only change needed is to convert the term “height” into the divine name and the OT expression appears again. Additional evidence for this Messianic concept may be found in netser/neser “branch” and hōter “shoot” (Isa 11:1) and yônēq “young plant” and šōresh “root” (Isa 53:2). (TWOT)

Tsamach in NAS is translated as - branch(1), grow(8), growing(1), grown(2), spring(5), spring forth(5), springs(1), sprout(4), sprouted(4), sprouts(1), unproductive*(1).

Tsamach - 32v - Ge 2:5, 9; 3:18; 41:6, 23; Ex 10:5; Lev 13:37; Deut 29:23; Jdg 16:22; 2 Sam 10:5; 23:5; 1Chr 19:5; Job 5:6; 8:19; 38:27; Ps 85:11; 104:14; 132:17; 147:8; Eccl 2:6; Isa 42:9; 43:19; 44:4; 45:8; 55:10; 58:8; 61:11; Jer 33:15; Ezek 16:7; 17:6; 29:21; Zech 6:12

Gilbrant on the verb tsamach - meaning "to sprout" or "to grow." 

The Qal stem occurs fifteen times, usually referring to the sprouting or growing of various kinds of plants. Thus, plants and herbs sprout (Gen. 2:5); trees sprout (Exo. 10:5; Ezek. 17:6), as well as whole forests (Ecc. 2:6); ears of grain sprout (Gen. 41:6, 23); and even hair sprouts (Lev. 13:37). Figuratively, tsāmach refers to a hypocrite sprouting up (Job 8:19), to trouble sprouting from the ground (Job 5:6) and to truth springing up from the ground (Ps. 85:11).

Theologically, tsāmach refers to foretold events that spring forth (Isa. 42:9; 43:19). In the eschatological kingdom, the righteous will spring forth like willows by the water courses (Isa. 44:4); their healing will spring forth speedily (Isa. 58:8) and the messianic Branch will sprout or branch out (Zech. 6:12). Righteousness will spring up (Isa. 45:8).

The Piel stem occurs four times, always referring to the growing of hair. Tsāmach refers to the growth of the hair of the head (Judg. 16:22; Ezek. 16:7) and the growth of a beard (2 Sam. 10:5; 1 Chr. 19:5).

The Hiphil stem occurs fourteen times, usually meaning "to cause something to sprout or grow." Thus, God caused trees to grow (Gen. 2:9), as well as grass (Job 38:27; Pss. 104:14; 147:8). In a secondary sense, the earth causes seeds or plants to grow: the cursed ground caused thorns and thistles to grow (Gen. 3:18); a garden causes seed to spring up (Isa. 61:11); after God rained fire and brimstone, the land of Sodom and Gomorrah could not cause grass to grow (Deut. 29:23). In a similar sense, the rain makes the earth grow herbage (Isa. 55:10).

Figuratively, God will cause David's house to increase (2 Sam. 23:5); He will cause the horn of David to grow (Ps. 132:17) and the horn of the house of Israel to spring forth (Ezek. 29:21); and He will cause the righteous branch of David to spring forth (Jer. 33:15) (Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary)

He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth (the land) - Who is He? The Messiah, the King of kings! This passage could not be much clearer! Messiah the King of kings will rule in justice and righteousness. And where does the text say He will rule? On the earth (the land), not the New Heavens and New Earth. Beloved, the plain reading of the text clearly teaches that Messiah will return and He will set up His righteous Kingdom on this literal earth. Any attempts to spiritualize this passage in an attempt to glean hidden meaning are foolish, intellectually dishonest and even smacking of a hint of anti-Semitism!

John Calvin commenting on "He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth" gives us an example of not interpreting the text literally but instead interpreting it spiritually (i.e., Calvin spiritualizes the text)...

"It is, at the same time, necessary to bear in mind the character of Christ’s kingdom. It is, we know, spiritual (Ed: Understand that Calvin is choosing to interpret this by "spiritualizing" the passage, a passage that can and should be read and interpreted literally! And sadly because of the great esteem which which people hold Calvin [and rightly so] this genre of "hermeneutical leaven" has infiltrated the church and much of modern day evangelicalism, especially those of the reformed persuasion.); but it is set forth under the image or form of an earthly and civil government; for whenever the Prophets speak of Christ’s kingdom, they set before us an earthly form, because spiritual truth, without any metaphor, could not have been sufficiently understood by a rude people in their childhood. There is no wonder, then, that the Prophets, wishing to accommodate their words to the capacity of the Jews, should so speak of Christ’s kingdom as to portray it before them as an earthly and civil government." (Ref)

Jamieson also a pre-1900 commentator does not spiritualize the text like Calvin, but instead interprets the prophecy literally and thus comments that on the earth (in the land) refers to "the Holy Land; Israel and Judah (Jeremiah 23:6)."

Can you see what John Calvin has done with the text? He reads the text and acknowledges in some way that it does describe a government on the earth, but he then chooses to interpret this plain statement metaphorically although the context gives us no reason to do so! Beloved, if the text makes good sense in its literal rendering (see discussion of Read Literally), there is no warrant to look for a hidden spiritual meaning. When one interprets a text like Jeremiah 33:15, spiritually (even though it could easily be interpreted literally), he totally loses the original sense of Jehovah's promise. Why do I say that? Because of the context -- the preceding context clearly identifies the recipients of these promises as the house of Israel and the house of Judah. Calvin essentially ignores this critical piece of information, which one would have to do unless they would also propose both Israel and Judah were to be interpreted metaphorically! Secondly, note the next passage (immediate context) -- Has Judah been saved? Does Jerusalem yet dwell in safety? Of course not. The point is that these prophecies have not yet come to pass! John Calvin is a giant in the Christian faith and highly respected by this writer. So the point of this excursus is not to denigrate him, but to point out that this great commentator choose to spiritualize the passage rather than to interpret it in the normal (literal) sense. To spiritualize the text opens one up to completely missing the meaning originally intended by God when He spoke these prophecies to the Jewish prophet Jeremiah regarding the Jewish nation of Israel and Judah. Given the high regard of Calvin, it is not all surprising to see that many in the modern evangelical church have also chosen to spiritualize texts that were spoken by Jehovah directly to Israel, and see them as fulfilled in the church!

Charles Feinberg a Messianic Jewish commentator writes that "The good word (Jer 33:14) the prophets announced is found in many other passages (cf. Jer 16:15; 23:3; 29:10; 32:37; Hos 1:10; 2:15; 6:11; Amos 9:14; Mic 7:9; Zeph 3:10). It comprises the entire panorama of glorious promises made to both parts of the nation. “Those days” (Jer 33:15) are the Messianic times (cf. Jer 23:5–6). The passage undeniably parallels the great prophecy of Messiah in Jer 23:1–8. The wording is not identical, but the parity of ideas is unmistakable. It is through the Lord Messiah, the righteous One, that the restoration and attendant blessings will be realized. Jeremiah’s picture of the coming Messiah, though not so replete as Isaiah’s, is nonetheless varied and unique. Jeremiah pictures the coming Messiah as (1) the spring of living waters (Jer 2:13); (2) the good Shepherd (Jer 23:4; 31:10); (3) the righteous Branch (here and Jer 23:5); (4) the Redeemer (Jer 50:34); (5) The LORD Our Righteousness (Jer 23:6); (6) David the king (Jer 30:9); and (7) the Agent of the new covenant (Jer 31:31–34; Ed comment: Compare "Messenger of the Covenant" in Malachi 3:1-note) (so Harrison). (Expositor's Bible Commentary - 1986 Edition) (Bolding added)

Jeremiah 33:16 'In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell in safety; and this is the name by which she will be called: the LORD is our righteousness.'

JUDAH SAVED
JERUSALEM SAFE!

In those days - What days? Well, this is the third mention of a specific time period (Jer 33:14, 15, 16) which are very clearly the days when Messiah rules and reigns on the earth (Jer 33:15b). And what will transpire in Messiah's days? Judah will be saved and the holy city of Jerusalem will dwell in safety. After the exile to Babylon, Israel has not dwelt in safety at any time in history and therefore this clearly marks this prophecy as yet future when Messiah returns.

As alluded to in the previous note this promise is very similar to Jeremiah 23:6 = "In His [Messiah's] days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The LORD our righteousness." In Jer 23:6 the Messiah is called the LORD our righteousness and here in Jer 33:16 the same description refers to the city of Jerusalem. In Jer 25:29 Jehovah explains that Jerusalem is the "city which is called by My Name" in this case the LORD our righteousness. The linking of the Lord's name to the city does not seem unusual for there not parallel uses of the His name linked to Jerusalem in Ezek 48:35 (" the name of the city from that day shall be, Jehovah Shammah - The LORD is There.) and also given to an altar by Gideon - "Then Gideon built an altar there to the LORD and named it The LORD is Peace."

Dyer - It is significant that Jeremiah singled out the royal (Jer 33:15) and religious (v. 16) aspects of God’s restoration. Both were vital to Israel’s existence as God’s covenant community. With the certain destruction by Babylon, the people would be carried into exile and the promised land reduced to rubble, and all God’s covenants with His people seemed to be at the point of annulment. The series of message to Jeremiah (Jer 33:17-26) confirms that the ancient covenant is secure, based on the character God. (Moody Bible Commentary)

Jerusalem will dwell in safety - The contrast between Jerusalem's present reality and Jehovah's promised future could hardly be more striking! At the time of this declaration by Jehovah Jerusalem was surrounded by the Babylonians and would soon be devastated. And yet Jehovah promises the city would one day dwell in safety! This day has yet to come. This attribute of safety or security is crucial to understand, as it clearly bespeaks of a future glorious day for the Jews and Jerusalem. And because this promise of safety and security can be so clearly assessed, it allows one to be very dogmatic regarding the timing of its fulfillment. The history of Jerusalem is one of virtually continuous conflict and absence of safety and security for the Jews who have dwelt there! And so it not surprising that prophetic passages (see below) repeatedly emphasize this attribute. So if you have been taught by someone or some commentary that Jehovah is finished with Israel, that He has cast off the Jewish people, that they will never inherit their land, then you might take a moment to prayerfully read over these passages (you might need to check the context for completeness) asking God's Spirit to open your eyes to truth and to whether or not Jehovah is finished with the literal nation of Israel. Ask yourself if any of these prophecies had been literally fulfilled in history.

Isa 32:18 Then (When? see context - Isa 32:15-17) my people will live in a peaceful habitation, And in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places;

Jer 23:6 "In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell securely; And this is His name by which He will be called, 'The LORD our righteousness.'

Jer 32:37 "Behold, I will gather them (Jews) out of all the lands to which I have driven them in My anger, in My wrath, and in great indignation; and I will bring them back to this place and make them dwell in safety.

Jer 46:27 "But as for you, O Jacob My servant, do not fear, Nor be dismayed, O Israel! For, see, I am going to save you from afar, And your descendants from the land of their captivity; And Jacob shall return and be undisturbed And secure, with no one making him tremble.

Ezek 28:26 "And (context - Ezek 28:25) they will live in it securely; and they will build houses, plant vineyards, and live securely, when I execute judgments upon all who scorn them round about them. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God."'

Ezek 34:25 "And I will make a covenant of peace with them and eliminate harmful beasts from the land, so that they may live securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.

Ezek 34:27 "Also the tree of the field will yield its fruit, and the earth will yield its increase, and they will be secure on their land (Where? The land of Israel!). Then they (Who? The Jews) will know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bars of their yoke and have delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them.

Ezek 34:28 "And they (Jews) will no longer be a prey to the nations (Gentiles), and the beasts of the earth will not devour them; but they will live securely, and no one will make them afraid.

Ezek 39:26 "And they (Jews) shall forget their disgrace and all their treachery which they perpetrated against Me, when they live securely on their own land with no one to make them afraid.

Hosea 2:18 "In that day (When? see Hos 2:16-17, cp 2:19-23 ) I will also make a covenant for them With the beasts of the field, The birds of the sky, And the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, And will make them lie down in safety.

Zechariah 14:11-note And people (Jews) will live in it, and there will be no more curse, for Jerusalem will dwell in security.

Charles Feinberg on Jerusalem...she will be called - Most scholars agree that the name The LORD Our Righteousness refers to Jerusalem. She can have the same name as the Messiah because she reflects that righteousness the Messiah bestows on her (so KD). Jerusalem will then be the embodiment of the nation’s ideal in the Messiah (so Bewer). The city will be marked by righteousness (cf. 2 Cor 5:21). There is, however, no need to allegorize the name of the city as though it were the NT church. On what grounds could the impartation of such a concept be justified here? Jerusalem will be called by His name because she will partake of His nature, which has been graciously imparted to her. She has the same name as Messiah because of the mystical oneness between them (so JFB; cf. Rom 16:7; 1 Cor 12:12, where the church is identified with “Christ”).

Thompson on Jerusalem...she will be called - The inference is that Jerusalem would so manifest the qualities of justice and righteousness (in contrast to her past bad record) that she would be worthy of such a name and exemplify the divine order for all the cities and all the people in Israel. (NICOT-Jeremiah)

Here are some examples on the widespread practice of misinterpreting the prophetic passages in Jeremiah in this case ascribing the name "The LORD our Righteousness" to the Church rather than the city of Jerusalem! -- Albert Barnes in his commentary notes is an example of this genre of allegorization writing that the name of the LORD our righteousness "is given to Jerusalem, i.e., to the Church." He simply pulls this interpretation out of thin air! It is not at all what a normal reading of the text says! Kretzmann offers a similar strained, incorrect interpretation "The Church draws all her righteousness from Christ and is a representative of His righteousness, hence His attributes may be transferred to her. (Ed: He makes not mention of a literal city of Jerusalem!)" John Trapp writes "This is that he shall call her, Jehovah our righteousness; called the Church shall be by Christ’s own name, which is a very high honour, as being his spouse, and making up one mystical body with him.

On the other hand here is an excellent comment by an older commentary (1800's) - "This is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness.—It will be noticed that, while this reproduces the language of Jeremiah 23:6, it does so with a remarkable difference. There the title, “The Lord our Righteousness,” is given to the future King, and the passage has accordingly been used as a proof of the full divinity of the Christ, who is that King. Here it is given to the city, and, so given, can only mean that that name will be, as it were, the motto and watchword of her being. She will be a city marked by a righteousness which will be the gift of Jehovah; He will inscribe that name on her banners, and. grave it on her portals. It is obvious that this throws light on the meaning of the title as applied to the King." (Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers)

The Apostle Paul elaborates on those days writing

"For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in; and thus all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, "THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB." "AND THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS." From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your (Gentile's) sake, but from the standpoint of God's choice they (Jews) are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable (Read that dogmatic statement again, especially if you have been given the false teaching that God is finished with the nation of Israel! Irrevocable means not able to be changed, reversed. It is FINAL!). For (term of explanation) just as you (Gentiles) once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their (the Jews') disobedience, so these also now have been disobedient, in order that because of the mercy shown to you (Gentiles) they (the Jews) also may now be shown mercy." (Romans 11:25-note, Romans 11:26-31-note)

Note - If God is finished with the nation of Israel then we need to clip these passages out of our Bibles much like Thomas Jefferson did to those supernatural passages he refused to accept as truth!

Here is the ESV Study Note on this passage. I include it because the ESV notes often interpret passages related to prophecy using a non-literal approach (sometimes even ascribing the promises given literally to Israel to the New Testament Church), but in this passage they are "spot on" as the English would say...

"Various interpreters have claimed that Paul is speaking of:

(1) the salvation of the church of Jesus Christ, both Jews and Gentiles, throughout history; or

(2) the saving of a remnant of Jews throughout history; or

(3) the salvation of the end-time generation of the Jewish people in the future. The first view is unlikely since throughout chs. 9–11 Israel and Gentiles are distinct ethnic entities. Furthermore, in Ro 11:25 Israel refers to ethnic Israel, and it is difficult to see how the referent could suddenly change in v. 26.

Finally, Ro 11:28 indicates that ethnic Israel is still distinguished from Gentiles, for “they” in Ro 11:28 clearly refers to ethnic Israel. The third view, that Paul refers to the salvation of Israel at the end of history, seems most likely because:

(1) it fits with the promises of God’s future work in Ro 11:12-note and Ro 11:15-note;

(2) it is difficult to see how the salvation of a remnant of Jews all through history would qualify as a mystery;

(3) the future salvation of ethnic Israel at the end of history (Ed: I would be more specific here and say that at "the end of the age." Read the question of the disciples in Mt 24:3) accords with the climactic character of this passage; and

(4) it demonstrates finally and fully how God is faithful to fulfill his saving promises to His people (Ed: "His Chosen People Israel") (Ro 9:6-note).

All Israel” does not necessarily refer to every single Jewish person but to a very large number, at least the majority of Jews (Ed comment: I disagree. One needs to look at Zech 13:8-note where the "all" would be "one third" of the "remnant" that by grace through faith believe in their Messiah). The Deliverer coming from Zion probably refers to Christ (cf. 1Th. 1:10-note), suggesting that the Jews will be saved near or at the second coming. (Ed comment: There is no "Probably" to it - The context clarifies this for no other "deliverer" other than Messiah could remove ungodliness!) (Note - the "note" added after several of the passages is a note from my commentary on that passage, not the ESV original note).

Daniel describes in those days in explaining Nebuchadnezzar's dream and a "Stone" spring forth as it were!

“You continued looking until a STONE (Messiah - cp Ps 118:22, Isa 28:7, 1Pe 2:7-note) was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay, and crushed them. 35 “Then (When? At the time the STONE strikes the statue = ) the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the STONE that struck the statue became a great mountain (Figurative description of the King's worldwide Kingdom) and filled the whole earth. (Da 2:34-35-note)

“And in the days of those kings (Which kings? The "toe stage" [~ten toes] = Da 2:41-43 correlating with the 10 horns of Da 7:7-note, "ten horns" = "ten kings" - Da 7:24-note) the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. 45“Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true, and its interpretation is trustworthy.” (Da 2:44-45-note)

Jeremiah 33:17 "For thus says the LORD, 'David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel;

PROMISE OF A PERPETUAL
DAVIDIC ROYAL LINE

For - Always be alert to this strategic term of explanation, asking what it is explaining?

Thus says the LORD (Jehovah) - "Although the monarchy and the priesthood were suspended during the exile, Jeremiah proclaimed there would be both an eternal Davidic kingship and an eternal Levitical priesthood (Jer 33:17-18) in the coming days. However, the fulfillment was not realized at the return from Babylon (Ezek 1:8; 2:2, 40-54; 8:15-20)." (Dyer)

For Jehovah's covenant with David read 2Samuel 7:8-16 and 1Chronicles 17:4-14.

David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne - He is not referring to a constant presence of Davidic rulers (and in Jer 33:18 Levitical priests) but only that David's royal line will never cease. It has been more than 2000 years since David had a descendant on the throne of the house of Israel, but that does not negate this prophecy. Ultimately it will be fulfilled in the King-Priest Christ Jesus as foretold in the prophecy of Psalm 110:4 = "The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, “Thou art a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.” This prophecy is fulfilled in Christ as discussed by the writer of Hebrews in Hebrews 5:1-10 and Hebrews 7:17-28.

Dyer observes that "Some have felt that this promise failed because the monarchy ended in 586 BC when Jerusalem fell. However, God did not promise an unbroken monarchy but an unbroken line of descendants from David who would be qualified to sit on that throne when it was reestablished. David’s line would not fail before the righteous Branch of David came to claim His throne (cf. Lk 1:31-33). The genealogies of Matthew and Luke show that this promise was fulfilled, as Messiah Jesus was able to trace both His legal line through Joseph and His physical line through Mary back to David (Mt 1:1-16; Lk 3:23-31)." (Ibid)

Jamieson - David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne. The promises of the perpetuity of the throne of David shall be fulfilled in Messiah, the son of David (2Samuel 7:16; 1Kings 2:4; Ps 89:4; Ps 89:29; Psalms 89:36; cf. Luke 1:32-33).

The normally amillennialist Reformation Study Bible surprisingly writes "This promise is not finally to restore the monarchy, but to inaugurate the messianic kingdom (Jer 23:5; 30:9; 2Sa 7:12–16; cf. 1 Ki 2:4)." However the study notes don't say when the Messianic Kingdom will be inaugurated, which of course will be at the beginning of the Millennium.

Jeremiah 33:18 and the Levitical priests shall never lack a man before Me to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to prepare sacrifices continually.'"

PROMISE OF A PERPETUAL
LEVITICAL PRIESTLY LINE

The priests had an indispensable role in the Mosaic covenant (Ex. 28–29), and indeed they had a covenant of their own with the Lord...

“Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned away My wrath from the sons of Israel, in that he was jealous with My jealousy among them, so that I did not destroy the sons of Israel in My jealousy. Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give him My covenant of peace; and it shall be for him and his descendants after him, a covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God, and made atonement for the sons of Israel. (Nu. 25:11-13)

The Levitical priests shall never lack a man before Me - This is the only reference in Jeremiah to the restoration of the Levitical priesthood. Weinberg writes that "The Levitical priesthood is assured a permanent ministry (cf. the promise to Phinehas in Num 25:13). As legitimate priests, they will serve the Lord."

Christ's priesthood does not follow Levi's line, but the line of Melchizedek, the priest of Salem (Ge 14:17-20). It follows that the prophetic promise of Jeremiah 33:18 is not fulfilled in priesthood of Messiah, for He was not of the tribe of Levi (Heb 7:14-16).

Priests...to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to prepare sacrifices continually - These sacrifices in no way are for the purpose of atonement of sins, for when Jesus died on the Cross, He cried "Tetelestai" which means "It is Finished" and "Paid in Full." There is nothing to add to the full payment for sins wrought by the shedding of His precious blood!

Thomas Constable has an excellent explanation noting that "the Levitical priests would resume functioning and would continue to do so forever. They would offer sacrifices of worship continually (in the millennial kingdom). The burnt and grain (or meal) offerings were specifically for worship rather than to remove the defilement of sin (cf. Lev. 1–2). In Jeremiah’s day, the priesthood was corrupt, and it may even have included non-Levitical priests (cf. Jer 6:13; 19:1; 26:10–11). The lack of legitimate priests was a problem in the early years of the restoration community (cf. Ezra 8:15). In the Millennium there will be a restoration of Levitical priests, though instead of looking forward to the coming of the ultimate Sacrifice the worship will look back to it. (The Lord Jesus gave the church the Lord’s Supper only until He would return. Amillennialists believe that this promise of the restoration of Levitical worship finds fulfillment in the present spiritual worship of the church [{Ed: which they interpret as} the symbolic meaning of Jerusalem here {Ed: Jer 33:16]} and/or that it anticipates heavenly worship.)

Dyer explains that "the promise was not that the sacrifices would continue unabated, because they did cease in 586 BC and were not resumed till 537 BC (cf. Ezra 3:1-6). The promise here was that the Levitical priesthood would not be extinguished. God was referring back to the promise He made to Phinehas (Nu 25:12-13). Although the Messiah Jesus, our Redeemer King Priest Who ever lives to make intercession, is our High Priest, this prophecy is not about Him (Heb 7:24-25). Certainly, neither the monarchy nor the priesthood would ever be abolished. Messiah Jesus will reign as King from the line of David (2Sa 7:16; Ps 89:34-37; Jer 33:17, 20-22; Lk 1:32-33) and as High Priest. However, He is fulfilling the office of High Priest, not from the Levitical priesthood, but as a priest in the line of Melchizedek; a change in law, from the Sinai covenant to the new covenant, leads to a change in high priesthood (Ge 14:18-20; Ps 110:4; Heb 5:5-6; 6:20; 7:1-28). However, in the Messianic Kingdom, there will be a Messianic temple with offerings and sacrifices, and at that time, Levitical priests will continue to minister there under the High Priesthood of the Lord Jesus (see Ezek 43:19; 44:15-19 and comments there). (Ibid)

ESV Study Bible - The Messiah’s Second Coming will also mean that the covenant with Levi (Mal. 2:1-9) will be kept. The Messiah will be both King (2Sa 7:16) and Priest (Ps 110:4).

It is interesting that F B Huey (New American Commentary-Jeremiah) who usually interprets the text literally, fails to do so in this passage on the Levitical priests because he feels like there can be no future sacrifices in light of Christ's ultimate sacrifice which put an end to the OT system of worship. However in saying this he (1) is forced to spiritualize Jehovah's promise about the Levitical priests and (2) he ignores the clear teaching of sacrifices in the Millennium as described in Ezekiel 40:1-48:35, where the sacrifices clearly are not in any way related to propitiation or atonement. Michael Brown makes an excellent point that 'If the literal meaning of this promise can so readily be abandoned (Ed: Even by a "literalist" like Huey), perhaps the literal meaning of other promises—indeed, of any promise—can be abandoned. It is this fatal hermeneutical flaw that underlies supersessionism as a whole."

Jeremiah 33:19 The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying,

The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah - 11x in 11v - Jer 28:12; 32:26; 33:1, 19, 23; 34:12; 35:12; 36:27; 37:6; 42:7; 43:8

This is an additional word from Jehovah to "cement" the absolute certainty that the previous prophetic promises will come to pass.

Weinberg summarizes Jeremiah 33:19-22 - What has been stated in 31:35–37 as a guarantee of the new covenant is now used to illustrate the certainty of the continuance of the monarchy and priesthood. The greater the promises, the stronger the assurances that they will be fulfilled. The certainty of the prophecies is riveted in God’s order in nature, and the prophecies themselves are linked with the unfailing regularity of the natural order (Jer 33:20–21). A nullification of the covenant is an impossibility. Just as the covenant with Noah (cf. Ge 8:22) is kept, so the covenant with David (cf. 2 Sam 7:1-16) and that with Levi (Num 17:1-13) will also be kept. Moreover, the Lord adds a promise of a great increase in the descendants of David and the Levites (Jer 33:22); what was originally stated of the entire nation is here specifically applied to them (cf. Ge 15:5; 22:17).

Jeremiah 33:20 "Thus says the LORD, 'If you can break My covenant for the day and My covenant for the night, so that day and night will not be at their appointed time,

THE RELIABILITY OF JEHOVAH'S COVENANTS
WITH DAVID AND THE LEVITICAL PRIESTS

If you can break My covenant for the day and My covenant for the night - Jehovah's "logic" is that you cannot break these covenants! (Cf Jeremiah 31:35-36; Leviticus 26:42; Ps 89:34; Ps 89:37).

Dyer points out that "God gave two assurances that He would keep His covenant promises. Each assurance began with the same introductory phrase, “The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah” (Jer 33:19, 23), and each used God’s “covenant for day and … night” to illustrate the permanence of these institutions (Jer 33:20, 25; cf. Jer 31:35-37).

Compare the following similar assurances attesting to Jehovah's faithfulness to His covenant promises. Beloved, we can trust Him implicitly and eternally! Amen!

Thus says the LORD, 'If My covenant for day and night stand not, and the fixed patterns of heaven and earth I have not established, then I would reject the descendants of Jacob and David My servant, not taking from his descendants rulers over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But I will restore their fortunes and will have mercy on them.'" (Jeremiah 31:25-26)

Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for light by day, And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The LORD of hosts is His name: "If this fixed order departs From before Me," declares the LORD, "Then the offspring of Israel also shall cease From being a nation before Me forever." (Jeremiah 31:35-36)

While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, And cold and heat, And summer and winter, And day and night Shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22)

Jeremiah 33:21 then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant so that he will not have a son to reign on his throne, and with the Levitical priests, My ministers.

A son reign on his throne - Who is David's son? Matthew tells us recording "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." (Mt 1:1)

Jehovah to Solomon

then I will establish your royal throne as I covenanted with your father David, saying, 'You shall not lack a man to be ruler in Israel.' (2Chr 7:18)

Compare...

Yet the LORD was not willing to destroy the house of David because of the covenant which He had made with David, and since He had promised to give a lamp to him and his sons forever. (2Chr 21:7)

David himself attests to the continuation of the covenant ...

Truly is not my house so with God? For He has made an everlasting covenant with me, Ordered in all things, and secured; For all my salvation and all my desire, Will He not indeed make it grow? (2Sa 23:5)

The psalmist attests to the continuation of the covenant with David...

Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. "His descendants shall endure forever, And his throne as the sun before Me. "It shall be established forever like the moon, And the witness in the sky is faithful." Selah. (Ps 89:35-37)

The LORD has sworn to David, A truth from which He will not turn back; "Of the fruit of your body I will set upon your throne. "If your sons will keep My covenant, And My testimony which I will teach them, Their sons also shall sit upon your throne forever." (Ps 132:11-12)

Luke records an allusion to this OT truth...

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of David His servant. (Luke 1:68-69-note)

Albert Barnes gives another unfounded interpretation of Jeremiah 33:21-11 writing "This promise also has been not literally, but spiritually fulfilled." He is categorically wrong. While Barnes Notes sometimes have good comments, one needs to be very cautious in reading his notes on clearly prophetic passages."

I would add that not only will Messiah reign and the Levitical priest minister, the saints will also reign in the Millennial Kingdom (Rev 20:4-note, overcomers [Who is this?] will reign = Rev 3:21-note).

See Millennial Reign of the Saints

Jeremiah 33:22 'As the host of heaven cannot be counted and the sand of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.'"

As the host of heaven cannot be counted and the sand of the sea cannot be measured - This is self-evident and needs no elaboration. This truth serves as rock solid foundation for Jehovah keeping every jot and tittle of His covenant promises.

Feinberg - “Just as the covenant with Noah (cf. Gen 8:22) is kept, so the covenant with David (cf. 2Sa 7) and that with Levi (Nu 17) will also be kept.”

Jeremiah 33:23 And the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying,

The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah - 11x in 11v - Jer 28:12; 32:26; 33:1, 19, 23; 34:12; 35:12; 36:27; 37:6; 42:7; 43:8

Jeremiah 33:24 "Have you not observed what this people have spoken, saying, 'The two families which the LORD chose, He has rejected them'? Thus they despise My people, no longer are they as a nation in their sight.

REJECTION OF ISRAEL
AS A NATION...NOT!

KJV Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the LORD hath chosen, he hath even cast them off? thus they have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them.

NET "You have surely noticed what these people are saying, haven't you? They are saying, 'The LORD has rejected the two families of Israel and Judah that he chose.' So they have little regard that my people will ever again be a nation.

ESV "Have you not observed that these people are saying, 'The LORD has rejected the two clans that he chose'? Thus they have despised my people so that they are no longer a nation in their sight.

NIV "Have you not noticed that these people are saying, 'The LORD has rejected the two kingdoms he chose'? So they despise my people and no longer regard them as a nation.

NLT "Have you noticed what people are saying?-- 'The LORD chose Judah and Israel and then abandoned them!' They are sneering and saying that Israel is not worthy to be counted as a nation.

YLT 'Hast thou not considered what this people have spoken, saying: The two families on which Jehovah fixed, He doth reject them, And my people they despise -- So that they are no more a people before them!

Have you not observed what this people have spoken - This rhetorical question expects a positive answer. But who are "this people?" Some say these are the people chosen by God, Jews in Judah who had become discouraged and disgruntled and lost hope that Jehovah would come to their rescue. Certainly the phrase "this people" has somewhat of a derogatory ring to it and is found 30 times in this book - Jer 4:10-11; 5:14, 23; 6:19, 21; 7:16, 33; 8:5; 9:15; 11:14; 14:10f; 15:1, 20; 16:5, 10; 19:11; 21:8; 23:32f; 27:16; 28:15; 29:32; 32:42; 33:24; 35:16; 36:7; 37:18; 38:4. See for example Jer 5:23 = "this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart." Jer 6:19 = " I am bringing disaster on this people." Jer 6:21 = "Behold, I am laying stumbling blocks before this people." Jer 7:16 (cp Jer 11:14, 14:11) = "As for you, do not pray for this people." Jer 8:5 = "Why then has this people, Jerusalem, Turned away in continual apostasy?" Jer 9:15 = "I will feed them, this people, with wormwood." Jer 15:20 = "I will make you to this people A fortified wall of bronze."

On the other hand the next clause has "they despise My people" - While the "they" could be Jews, the fact that they are despising "My (God's) people" does at least raise the possibility that these are Gentiles who are observing the effects of the LORD's judgment on Judah.

While this people probably is disenchanted Jews, this same sense of rejection of Israel as a nation is sadly a commonly held position in much of evangelical Christendom in America. As John MacArthur says "Many, even today, believe Israel as a nation has no future." Stated another many evangelicals speak with contempt about Israel, concluding that God has rejected Israel as a nation and then go on to conclude that the Church receives the promises given to Israel. Beloved, "Replacement theology or supersessionism" borders on (if not being overtly) Anti-Semitism. Some who hold this unbiblical view may simply be ignorant of the many Old Testament promises that Jehovah has made to Israel and do not realize that if interpreted literally the Church could not possibly be the recipient of this veritable plethora of divine promises! Unfortunately, as stated elsewhere in my comments, the most "highly ranked" commentaries on Jeremiah (for the most part) hold to a non-literal interpretation of the prophecies given by Jehovah to the literal nation of Israel! While sadly there are not many published commentaries to recommend (ones that hold to a literal interpretation of Scripture), I would recommend the following for your consideration:

  • Jeremiah - New American Commentary - F B Huey
  • Expositor's Bible Commentary - Jeremiah - Charles Feinberg (1986 edition)
  • Expositor's Bible Commentary - Jeremiah - Michael Brown (2010 edition)
  • Moody Bible Commentary - Charles Dyer
  • Bible Knowledge Commentary - Charles Dyer
  • Thomas Constable's Expository Notes
  • John MacArthur Study Bible
  • Holman Christian Standard Bible - Study Bible
  • NET Notes in the NET Bible

Other sources that interpret Jeremiah's prophecies literally can be found in Jeremiah Commentaries, with the caveat that not every one of the commentaries in this listing interprets the text literally (e.g., John Calvin, Matthew Henry, et al), but most of these have some sort of "warning sign" like "amillennial" or "non-literal."

God answer this false belief that He has rejected them in Jeremiah 33:26! As you might imagine, this is a difficult passage for replacement theologians to explain!

My people - Don't miss the significance of this possessive pronoun "My" for even in this short phrase it is clear that Jehovah has not cast off the literal nation of Israel forever, contrary to what some modern evangelical theologians teach!

People have spoken...the two families...He has rejected them - "The Judahites had concluded that Yahweh had rejected the two families of the Israelites: the Northern and Southern Kingdoms (cf. Jer 30:3). They were saying that there was no future for them as nations." (Constable)

God answer this false belief that He has rejected them in Jeremiah 33:26!

No longer are they as a nation in their sight (NET = "they have little regard that my people will ever again be a nation") NLT paraphrases it " They are sneering and saying that Israel is not worthy to be counted as a nation."

Guzik - God said of those who thought that Israel was cast off from His love or plan that they despised His people and therefore sinned. They denied that Israel continued as a nation, a collective people with whom God had a special plan and purpose, and a nation before them - not only before God, but also before the world. In the new covenant the purpose of God extends far beyond Israel but never forsakes Israel. Those who say God has cast them off and that He is finished with them as a nation commit the great sin of despising His people.

Butler - The skeptics conclude that Israel will never revive. We have many of those today who believe Israel will be annihilated and pushed into the sea, but God’s word is firm and though present circumstances seem to favor the skeptics, God will accomplish His plan as He said!!!

Jeremiah 33:25 "Thus says the LORD, 'If My covenant for day and night stand not, and the fixed patterns of heaven and earth I have not established

JEHOVAH'S CLEAR REBUTTAL
REGARDING ISRAEL'S REJECTION!

KJV Thus saith the LORD; If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth;

NET But I, the LORD, make the following promise: I have made a covenant governing the coming of day and night. I have established the fixed laws governing heaven and earth.

ESV Thus says the LORD: If I have not established my covenant with day and night and the fixed order of heaven and earth,

NIV This is what the LORD says: 'If I have not established my covenant with day and night and the fixed laws of heaven and earth,

NLT But this is what the LORD says: I would no more reject my people than I would change my laws that govern night and day, earth and sky.

YLT Thus said Jehovah: If My covenant is not daily and nightly, The statutes of heaven and earth I have not appointed --

If - Introduces two conditions that must be fulfilled in order for Jehovah's word to Jacob and David.

My covenant for day and night stand not (Jer 31:35-36; Ge 8:22; Ps 74:16-17) - The order of day and night continues without change.

Guzik - For emphasis, God repeated the same figure used in Jeremiah 33:19-21 to communicate the permanence of the covenant. (Ref)

The fixed patterns of heaven and earth I have not established - The heavenly bodies and earth continue in their orbits.

Wiersbe - Once again, the Lord used the faithfulness of His “creation covenant” (Gen. 8:22) to undergird the dependability of His promises and the perpetuity of His people (Jer. 33:19–26; see 31:35–37). But He adds something else: He will multiply the people as the stars of the heaven, which was one of the promises He had made to Abraham (Gen. 15:1–5). Good and godly Bible students disagree as to whether these “kingdom promises” are to be taken literally or interpreted in a “spiritual sense.” If these promises are to be applied to the church today, it’s difficult to understand what they mean and how they apply. I have therefore taken the approach that these promises will have their real fulfillment in the future kingdom. For further study, see There Really Is a Difference by Renald E. Showers (Friends of Israel); Millennialism: The Two Major Views by Charles L. Feinberg (Moody Press); There Really Is a Difference by John F. Walvoord (Dunham); and Continuity and Discontinuity, edited by John S. Feinberg (Crossway Books). “For I will restore their fortunes and have compassion on them” (Jer. 33:26, NIV). The nation of Israel has a bright and blessed future, and Jeremiah invested in that future. As God’s people, are we putting our money where our mouth is?

Jeremiah 33:26 then I would reject the descendants of Jacob and David My servant, not taking from his descendants rulers over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But I will restore their fortunes and will have mercy on them.'"

JEHOVAH'S CLEAR REITERATION:
"I WILL RESTORE THEIR FORTUNES!"

KJV Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob, and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them.

NET Just as surely as I have done this, so surely will I never reject the descendants of Jacob. Nor will I ever refuse to choose one of my servant David's descendants to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Indeed, I will restore them and show mercy to them."

ESV then I will reject the offspring of Jacob and David my servant and will not choose one of his offspring to rule over the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes and will have mercy on them."

NIV then I will reject the descendants of Jacob and David my servant and will not choose one of his sons to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes and have compassion on them.'"

NLT I will never abandon the descendants of Jacob or David, my servant, or change the plan that David's descendants will rule the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Instead, I will restore them to their land and have mercy on them."

YLT Also the seed of Jacob, and David My servant, I reject, Against taking from his seed rulers For the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, For I turn back to their captivity, and have pitied them.'

Then - Continues the conditional statement from Jer 33:25.

A C Gaebelein - This is similar to Jeremiah 31:35, etc. His gifts and calling are without repentance. The Davidic covenant stands. He does not cast away His people. (Ref)

Dyer - The greatest argument for the future restoration of Israel as a nation is the character of God. He made a series of covenants with the patriarchs, David, and the Levites; His character demands that He will ultimately fulfill these promises to their nation.

I would reject - The point is that He won't reject the seed of Jacob and David because the conditions in Jer 33:25 have not been fulfilled.

Charles Feinberg - Of what use would the greatest national promises be if the nation were not in existence to enjoy them? The Lord guarantees his people that, despite all thoughts to the contrary, he will make good every promise (v.25). They will certainly return from exile. They are undeniably the eternal nation. The Lord will allow no one to impugn his covenant promises to Israel. The threefold mention of the patriarchs (v.26) points to the whole chain of promises repeatedly given them. Nature will utterly collapse before God will go back on the slightest promise to his people.

But - This is a strategic term of contrast. What is Jehovah contrasting?

I will restore their fortunes (Click main discussion above on restore their fortunes) - Jehovah, for Whom nothing is too difficult (Jer 32:17-note, Jer 32:27-note) will in the last days clearly show His rebellious, but repentant Chosen People "great and mighty things" (Jer 33:3)!

I...will have mercy on them - Who? Israel!

Scalise makes the point that "The salvation announcements in Jeremiah 33 answer at least two questions left from Jeremiah 32 (and 30–31): (1) How can people who persistently rebelled and even offered their children to Molech, become covenant partners with God? The LORD will heal, cleanse, and forgive them (Jer 33:6–8) out of mercy for them (Jer 33:26). (2) What will life be like for the people whom God will plant in the land? Families will grow again (Jer 33:11), worship will resume at the temple (Jer 33:11, 18), and God will always provide a legitimate and righteous ruler (Jer 33:14–26), so that people can live in safety (Jer 33:16). All this will be accomplished by the Creator, for Whom nothing is too difficult (Jer 32:17, 26) and Whose willingness and power to do good inspires awe among the nations (Jer 33:9).” (Word Biblical Commentary)

Be careful in reading Matthew Henry who for example in this passage writes the following regarding the descendants of Jacob "This cannot refer to the seed of Jacob according to the flesh, for they are cast away, but to the Christian church...To whom this promise (I will restore their fortunes) refers appears Gal. 6:16." (See another discussion of Galatians 6:16) This is an example of Replacement theology which Henry espoused. Caveat emptor!

In stark contrast to the allegorical comment by Matthew Henry the pre-1900 comment by Jamieson interprets the Scripture literally - "However unlikely the restoration of Israel, nationally and spiritually, seemed at a time when God was about to overthrow and disperse the people on account of their sins, yet what God has promised He is sure to perform. Though the wound of Jerusalem was and is incurable to man (Jeremiah 8:22), yet God has engaged, "I will bring it health and cure" (Jeremiah 33:6). So as to the malady of the soul; man's efforts and labours are vain; but God of His gratuitous love brings life and health to the spiritually incurable, "cleansing His people from all their iniquity" By the blood of Jesus, and "revealing unto them the abundance of peace and truth" (Jeremiah 33:6), by the sanctifying and enlightening Spirit. Not only does the believer escape the punishment, but is also delivered from the defilement and dominion of iniquity (Jeremiah 33:8)." It should be noted that while Jamieson believes in a literal Israel in the future, he does use the term "spiritual Israel" and the "Israel of God" when speaking of the Church, a designation with which I strongly disagree as it suggests God is finished with the literal Israel. However even though Jamieson uses this misnomer (in my opinion), thankfully he does not go so far as to state that the "spiritual Israel" has replaced literal Israel. In fact Jamieson goes on to describe a literal earthly kingdom writing that "The kingdom and the priesthood combined in the person of Messiah, about to be manifested on earth in the coming days, shall be the perpetual guarantee for the security and sanctity of Israel (Jeremiah 33:21-22)."

Feinberg writing on the phrase over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob comments that "This passage has been a crux interpretum for expositors. It is especially difficult for those who hold an amillennial position in eschatology. The only resort for them is in allegorization of the text or the use of a dual hermeneutic." (Note on the meaning of "crux interpretum" = "a point in a text that is impossible to interpret," in which the literal sense is something like a "crossroads of interpreters.")

Michael Brown comments that "Appropriately, these chapters, representing the most uplifting, hope-filled, and encouraging section in the book, end with one more promise that their fortunes will be restored (see Jer 29:14) for, God says, “I will … have compassion on them” (rhm; cf. Jer 12:15; 30:18; 31:20; 42:12; contrast Jer 13:14; 21:7). In the words of James 2:13b, “Mercy triumphs over judgment!”"

I agree with H A Ironside's closing comment on Jeremiah 33 - "Soon, perhaps in the lifetime of many now upon earth, will He cause these promises to be fulfilled." I would only add Maranatha!

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