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Friday, June 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 33

Barnes' Notes on the Whole BibleBarnes' Notes


The promises of Jeremiah 32:0 are confirmed, but with a more directly spiritual meaning. The prophet foreshows in it the happiness of the returning exiles, of which the culminating glory is Messiah’s birth Jeremiah 33:15-16, in whom both the Levitical priesthood and the Davidic kingdom are combined Jeremiah 33:17-18, and God’s covenant with mankind made perpetual Jeremiah 33:19-26.

Verse 1

The prison - The guard.

Verse 2

Or, Thus saith Yahweh the doer of it, Yahweh who formeth it, that He may establish it, Yahweh is His name. The word “it” means whatsoever Yahweh wills.

Verse 3

Mighty things - Or, as in the margin. The words are probably a quotation from Isaiah 48:6.

Verse 4

By ... by - Rather, against ... against. As the works of the enemy approached the walls, houses were pulled down to build inner fortifications. Swords are mentioned in Ezekiel 26:9 (translated, axes), as used for breaking down the towers in the walls. See Jeremiah 5:17, note.

Verse 5

Render, They, i. e., the Jews come to fight with the Chaldaeans, and to fill them, i. e., the houses, with the dead bodies etc.

Verse 6

I will bring it health and cure - I will lay upon it a bandage and healing, i. e., a healing bandage, a plaster with healing medicines.

Verse 7

At the first - i. e., before their sins had provoked God to anger.

Verse 9

It - The city, Jerusalem.

They shall fear and tremble - With terror, because of the eternal opposition between right and wrong, truth and error. The nations of the earth as opposed to Israel represent the world as opposed to the Church.

Verse 10

Which ye say shall be desolate - Of which ye say, It is desolate ... The prophet first sees Judaea silent and desolate during the 70 years’ captivity: and then describes the two things, men and cattle, without which land is valueless.

Verse 11

Praise the Lord ... - The customary formula of thanksgiving in many of the later Psalms, and from its occurrence in 2 Chronicles 5:13; 2Ch 7:3, 2 Chronicles 7:6 ff probably a regular part of the liturgical service of the temple.

Shall say ... shall bring the sacrifice of praise - Or, say ... as they bring praise, i. e., a thank-offering (see the marginal reference) into the house of the Lord

At the first - Before the captivity, and when still unpolluted by the sins which have brought upon it so heavy a chastisement.

Verse 12

An habitation - “A shepherd’s encampment.” The words, “causing their flocks to lie down,” mean gathering them into the fold at night.

Verse 13

Telleth - i. e., counts the number of his sheep.

Verse 14

That good thing - Better, the good word Jeremiah 29:10, with reference to the promise already given Jeremiah 23:5-6.

Verses 15-16

Compare the marginal reference. When the good word was spoken, the name Yahweh our Righteousness was given to the righteous Sprout: here it is given to Jerusalem, i. e., to the Church, because it is her business mediately to work on earth that righteousness which Christ works absolutely. Compare Ephesians 1:23.

Verses 17-18

Read literally, these verses promise the permanent restoration of the Davidic throne and (of the Levitical priesthood. As a matter of fact Zedekiah was the last king of David’s line, and the Levitical priest-hood has long passed away. Both these changes Jeremiah himself foretold Jeremiah 22:30; Jeremiah 3:16. In what way then is this apparent contradiction (compare Isaiah 66:20-23; Ezek. 40–48) to be explained? The solution is probably as follows. It was necessary that the Bible should be intelligible to the people at the time when it was written, and in some degree to the writer. The Davidic kingship and the Levitical priest-hood were symbols, which represented to the Jew all that was most dear to his heart in the state of things under which he lived. Their restoration was the restoration of his national and spiritual life. Neither was so restored as to exist permanently. But that was given instead, of which both were types, the Church, whose Head is the true prophet, priest and King.

Verses 21-22

This promise also has been not literally, but spiritually fulfilled, for in this sense only have the seed of David and the Levites been multiplied.

Verse 24

Considerest thou not - literally, Hast thou not seen, i. e., noticed?

This people - i. e., the Jews.

Thus ... - Or, and “My people they have despised,” so that they are “no more a nation” in their sight. They say that God has rejected Judah as well as Israel: and thus they despise themselves in their relation to God as His covenant-people, by regarding their national existence as about immediately to cease forever.

Verse 25

The ordinances of heaven and earth - i. e., the whole order of nature Nature is not more firmly established than God’s purposes in grace.

Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 33". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnb/jeremiah-33.html. 1870.
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