World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
33. Promise of Restoration
1Moreover the word of Jehovah came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the guard, saying, 2Thus saith Jehovah that doeth it, Jehovah that formeth it to establish it; Jehovah is his name: 3Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and will show thee great things, and difficult, which thou knowest not. 4For thus saith Jehovah, the 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 defence against the mounds and against the sword; 5while men come to fight with the Chaldeans, and to fill them with the dead bodies of men, whom I have slain in mine anger and in my wrath, and for all whose wickedness I have hid my face from this city: 6Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them; and I will reveal unto them abundance of peace and truth. 7And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first. 8And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned against me, and whereby they have transgressed against me. 9And this city shall be to me for a name of joy, for a praise and for a glory, before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them, and shall fear and tremble for all the good and for all the peace that I procure unto it. 10Thus saith Jehovah: Yet again there shall be heard in this place, whereof ye say, It is waste, 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, 11the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that say, Give thanks to Jehovah of hosts, for Jehovah is good, for his lovingkindness endureth for ever; and of them that bring sacrifices of thanksgiving into the house of Jehovah. For I will cause the captivity of the land to return as at the first, saith Jehovah. 12Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: Yet again shall there be in this place, which is waste, without man and without beast, and in all the cities thereof, a habitation of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down. 13In the cities of the hill-country, in the cities of the lowland, 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 again pass under the hands of him that numbereth them, saith Jehovah. 14Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will perform that good word which I have spoken concerning the house of Israel and concerning the house of Judah. 15In 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. 16In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely; and this is the name whereby she shall be called: Jehovah our righteousness. 17For thus saith Jehovah: David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel; 18neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt-offerings, and to burn meal-offerings, and to do sacrifice continually. 19And the word of Jehovah came unto Jeremiah, saying, 20Thus saith Jehovah: If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, so that there shall not be day and night in their season; 21then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he shall not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers. 22As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured; so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me. 23And the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah, saying, 24Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which Jehovah did choose, he hath cast them off? thus do they despise my people, that they should be no more a nation before them. 25Thus saith Jehovah: If my covenant of day and night stand not, if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth; 26then will I also cast away the seed of Jacob, and of David my servant, so that I will not take of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and will have mercy on them.
There is an omission at the beginning; the particle of comparison is left out, for אשר asher, cannot be taken for כאשר caasher: As the hosts of the heavens cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea, so God promises that he would multiply the seed of David, and also the Levites. This promise, as given to Abraham, referred to the whole body of the people; for when Abraham was bidden to go out, and to look on the heavens, God made this promise to him, “Number the stars, if thou canst, and the sands of the sea, so shall thy seed be.” We hence see that this blessing was extended to the whole seed of Abraham, and especially to the twelve tribes. And now it is confined to the family of David, and to the Levitical tribe.
But what we have already touched upon ought to be borne in mind, — that the safety of the people was grounded on the kingdom and the priesthood. As then kings ruled not for themselves, nor had the sacerdotal dignity been given to the Levites for their own private advantage, but for the sake of the people, so now the Prophet, stating a part for the whole, intimates that the whole people would be secure and safe, when the royal and sacerdotal dignity flourished. There is not, then, anything diminished from God’s promise, as though the other tribes were not to multiply; but what Jeremiah testifies respecting the family of David and the Levitical tribe, is to be extended, without any difference, to the whole Church. It is yet not without reason that an especial mention is made of David and Levi; for, as it has been said, the Church must have been in a miserable state, without a head, and without a Mediator. There is, however, no doubt but that Jeremiah alluded to that passage which we have already quoted, (Genesis 15:5; Romans 4:18) and thus he reproved the want of faith in the people; for they could not have doubted the restoration of the Church without impugning the truth of God, as though he had given only vain words to Abraham, when he said,
“Number the stars of heaven if thou canst, and the sands of the sea, so shall thy seed be.”
He therefore shews that God would be true and faithful in that promise, so as to multiply his Church like the stars of heaven, and the sands of the sea. It follows —