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Healing after Punishment

33

The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah a second time, while he was still confined in the court of the guard: 2Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it—the Lord is his name: 3Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. 4For 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 ramps and before the sword: 5The Chaldeans are coming in to fight and to fill them with the dead bodies of those whom I shall strike down in my anger and my wrath, for I have hidden my face from this city because of all their wickedness. 6I am going to bring it recovery and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security. 7I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first. 8I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me. 9And 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.

10 Thus says the Lord: In this place of which you say, “It is a waste without human beings or animals,” in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without inhabitants, human or animal, there shall once more be heard 11the 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.

12 Thus says the Lord of hosts: In this place that is waste, without human beings or animals, and in all its towns there shall again be pasture for shepherds resting their flocks. 13In the towns of the hill country, of the Shephelah, and of the Negeb, in the land of Benjamin, the places around Jerusalem, and in the towns of Judah, flocks shall again pass under the hands of the one who counts them, says the Lord.

The Righteous Branch and the Covenant with David

14 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15In 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. 16In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”

17 For thus says the Lord: David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel, 18and the levitical priests shall never lack a man in my presence to offer burnt offerings, to make grain offerings, and to make sacrifices for all time.

19 The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 20Thus says the Lord: If any of you could break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night would not come at their appointed time, 21only then could my covenant with my servant David be broken, so that he would not have a son to reign on his throne, and my covenant with my ministers the Levites. 22Just as the host of heaven cannot be numbered and the sands of the sea cannot be measured, so I will increase the offspring of my servant David, and the Levites who minister to me.

23 The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 24Have you not observed how these people say, “The two families that the Lord chose have been rejected by him,” and how they hold my people in such contempt that they no longer regard them as a nation? 25Thus says the Lord: Only if I had not established my covenant with day and night and the ordinances of heaven and earth, 26would I reject the offspring of Jacob and of my servant David and not choose any of his descendants as rulers over the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For I will restore their fortunes, and will have mercy upon them.

 


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Jer 33:1-26. Prophecy of the Restoration from Babylon, and of Messiah as King and Priest.

1. shut up—(Jer 32:2, 3; 2Ti 2:9). Though Jeremiah was shut up in bondage, the word of God was "not bound."

2. maker thereof—rather, "the doer of it," namely, that which Jeremiah is about to prophesy, the restoration of Israel, an act which is thought now impossible, but which the Almighty will effect.

formed it—namely, Jerusalem (Jer 32:44) [Calvin]. Rather, "that formed," that is, moulds His purpose into due shape for execution (Isa 37:26).

Lord … his name—(Ex 3:14, 15).

3. Call … I will answer—(Jer 29:12; Ps 91:15). Jeremiah, as the representative of the people of God, is urged by God to pray for that which God has determined to grant; namely, the restoration. God's promises are not to slacken, but to quicken the prayers of His people (Ps 132:13, 17; Isa 62:6, 7).

mighty thingsHebrew, "inaccessible things," that is, incredible, hard to man's understanding [Maurer], namely, the restoration of the Jews, an event despaired of. "Hidden," or "recondite" [Piscator].

thou knowest not—Yet God had revealed those things to Jeremiah, but the unbelief of the people in rejecting the grace of God had caused him to forget God's promise, as though the case of the people admitted of no remedy.

4. houses … thrown down by the mounts—namely, by the missiles cast from the besiegers' mounds (Jer 32:24); "and by the sword" follows properly, as, after missiles had prepared the way, the foe next advanced to close quarters "with the sword."

5. They—the Jews; the defenders of the "houses" (Jer 33:4), "come forward to fight with the Chaldeans," who burst into the city through the "thrown-down houses," but all the effect that they produce "is, to fill them (the houses) with" their own "dead bodies."

6. (Jer 30:17). The answer to Jeremiah's mournful question (Jer 8:22).

cure—literally, the long linen bandage employed in dressing wounds.

truth—that is, stability; I will bring forth for them abundant and permanent peace, that is, prosperity.

7. cause … to return—that is, reverse (Jer 33:11; Jer 32:44). The specification, both of "Judah" and "Israel," can only apply fully to the future restoration.

as at the first—(Isa 1:26).

8. cleanse—(Eze 36:25; Zec 13:1; Heb 9:13, 14). Alluding to the legal rites of purification.

all their iniquity … all their iniquities—both the principle of sin within, and its outward manifestations in acts. The repetition is in order that the Jews may consider how great is the grace of God in not merely pardoning (as to the punishment), but also cleansing them (as to the pollution of guilt); not merely one iniquity, but all (Mic 7:18).

9. it—the city.

a name … a praise—(Jer 13:11; Isa 62:7).

them—the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

they shall fear … for all the goodness—(Ps 130:4). 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 102:15; Isa 60:3).

10. ye say … desolate—(Jer 32:43).

11. (Jer 7:34; 16:9).

Praise the Lord, &c.—the words of Ps 136:1, which were actually used by the Jews at their restoration (Ezr 3:11).

sacrifice of praise—(Ps 107:22; 116:17). This shall continue when all other sacrifices shall be at an end.

12. habitation of shepherds … flocks—in contrast to Jer 33:10, "without man … inhabitant … without beast" (Jer 32:43; compare Jer 31:24; 50:19; Isa 65:10).

13. pass … under … hands of him that telleth them—Shepherds, in sending forth and bringing back their sheep to the folds, count them by striking each as it passes with a rod, implying the shepherd's provident care that not one should be lost (Le 27:32; Mic 7:14; compare Joh 10:28, 29; 17:12).

14. perform—"I will make to rise"; God's promise having for a time seemed to "lie" dead and abortive [Calvin].

15. Repeated from Jer 23:5.

the land—the Holy Land: Israel and Judah (Jer 23:6).

16. Jerusalem—In Jer 23:6, instead of this, it is "Israel." "The name" in the Hebrew has here to be supplied from that passage; and for "he" (Messiah, the antitypical "Israel"), the antecedent there (Isa 49:3), we have "she" here, that is, Jerusalem. She is called by the same name as Messiah, "The Lord Our Righteousness," by virtue of the mystical oneness between her (as the literal representative of the spiritual Church) and her Lord and Husband. Thus, whatever belongs to the Head belongs also to the members (Eph 5:30, 32). Hence, the Church is called "Christ" (Ro 16:7; 1Co 12:12). The Church hereby professes to draw all her righteousness from Christ (Isa 45:24, 25). It is for the sake of Jerusalem, literal and spiritual, that God the Father gives this name (Jehovah, Tsidkenu, "The Lord our Righteousness") to Christ.

17. The promises of perpetuity of the throne of David fulfilled in Messiah, the son of David (2Sa 7:16; 1Ki 2:4; Ps 89:4, 29, 36; compare Lu 1:32, 33).

18. Messiah's literal priesthood (Heb 7:17, 21, 24-28), and His followers' spiritual priesthood and sacrifices (Jer 33:11; Ro 12:1; 15:16; 1Pe 2:5, 9; Re 1:6), shall never cease, according to the covenant with Levi, broken by the priests, but fulfilled by Messiah (Nu 25:12, 13; Mal 2:4, 5, 8).

20. covenant of the day—that is, covenant with the day: answering to "covenant with David" (Jer 33:21, also Jer 33:25, "with day"; compare Jer 31:35, 36; Le 26:42; Ps 89:34, 37).

22. (Ge 15:5; 22:17). The blessing there promised belonged to all the tribes; here it is restricted to the family of David and the tribe of Levi, because it was on these that the welfare of the whole people rested. When the kingdom and priesthood flourish in the person of Messiah, the whole nation shall temporally and spiritually prosper.

24. this people—certain of the Jews, especially those who spoke with Jeremiah in the court of the prison (Jer 32:12; 38:1).

the two families—Judah and Israel.

before them—in their judgment. They suppose that I have utterly cast off Israel so as to he no more a nation. The expression, "My people," of itself, shows God has not cast off Israel for ever.

25. (Jer 31:35, 36; Ge 8:22; Ps 74:16, 17). I who have established the laws of nature am the same God who has made a covenant with the Church.

26. Isaac—(Ps 105:9; Am 7:9, 16).




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