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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 30

Dr. Constable's Expository NotesConstable's Expository Notes


C. The Book of Consolation chs. 30-33

This section of the Book of Jeremiah is a collection of prophecies that focus on the hope that lay before the Israelites. To this point in the book, the emphasis has been mainly on judgment to come, though we have seen occasional promises of restoration (Jeremiah 23:1-8; Jeremiah 24; Jeremiah 29). Here the emphasis changes from negative warnings to repent, to positive promises of a glorious future. This section of the book, then, is similar to Isaiah 40-66 and Hosea 1-3, which also contain comforting promises of future blessing.

"At this point in the book of Jeremiah, over half has been the recording of the prophet’s message of ’pluck up and . . . break down’ (Jeremiah 1:10). It is not surprising, therefore, that such an intense, though relatively unlengthy, concentration of the bright message of ’build and . . . plant’ (Jeremiah 1:10) should appear." [Note: Jensen, p. 85.]

"The content of the Book of Consolation repeatedly deals with the relationship between present suffering, further danger, and future salvation." [Note: Scalise, p. 83. See also Keil, 2:1.]

1. The restoration of all Israel chs. 30-31

Two things distinguish these first two chapters of the Book of Consolation: one having to do with content, and the other with style. Most of the dozen or so salvation oracles in this section deal with the Northern Kingdom, as is clear from the names of people and places in the text. Many scholars believe that Jeremiah wrote most of these prophecies, though not all of them, earlier in his ministry, probably during the reign of King Josiah (627-609 B.C.), when the Babylonian invasion was not so threatening. Others believe Jeremiah wrote them shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem (cf. Jeremiah 32:1; Jeremiah 33:1). [Note: Liberal interpreters usually date this material after the exile.]

Stylistically, most of the prophecies in this section are poetical. By contrast, all of them in the next section (chs. 32-33) are in prose. The form of composition, as well as the content, evidently guided the writer and or editor(s) as they put the book in its final form.

Verses 1-2

The Lord instructed Jeremiah to write all the messages that He had given the prophet in a book.

Verses 1-3

The superscription 30:1-3

Verse 3

There needed to be a permanent record of these predictions since the people rejected the Lord’s words. When He restored the fortunes of Israel and returned the people to their land, the book would vindicate His faithfulness and His predictions of judgment to come.

Verse 4

This oracle concerns all the Israelites, those of both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms.

Verses 4-11

Jacob’s distress and deliverance 30:4-11

Verses 5-6

A time of great terror, dread, and unrest was coming. Men would behave as though they were in labor; they would hold themselves in pain as women do when they are about to give birth. This is a picture of powerlessness and panic.

Verse 7

A coming period of time would be the worst "Jacob" (Israel) had ever experienced, or would ever experience. This anticipates the Tribulation, in which Israelites will suffer more greatly than they ever have or ever will (cf. Jeremiah 46:10; Isaiah 2:12-21; Isaiah 13:6; Isaiah 34:1-8; Ezekiel 30:3; Daniel 9:27; Daniel 12:1; Joel 1:15; Joel 2:1-2; Joel 2:11; Amos 5:18-20; Micah 1:2-5; Zephaniah 1:2 to Zephaniah 3:8; Zechariah 14:1-8; Zechariah 14:12-15; Matthew 24-25; Revelation 6-18). Perhaps the Lord referred to His people here as Jacob because the patriarch Jacob experienced many extreme distresses. However, the Israelites would not perish in this distress because the Lord promised them deliverance, both physical and spiritual (cf. Zechariah 12:10 to Zechariah 13:1).

Verses 8-9

At that time, Yahweh would set His people free from all those who restrained and enslaved them (cf. Exodus 7:16). The Israelites were not slaves in Assyria or Babylon. This points to a future deliverance (cf. Ezekiel 34:23; Hosea 3:5).

". . . the judgment described in these verses cannot possibly be restricted to the downfall of the Babylonian monarchy, but is the judgment that is to fall upon all nations (Jeremiah 30:11)." [Note: Ibid., 2:6.]

Instead of suffering captivity, the Israelites would serve their God and David their king, whom the Lord would raise up for them. This probably refers to a successor to David rather than King David himself (cf. Jeremiah 23:5; Isaiah 55:3-5; Ezekiel 34:23-25; Ezekiel 37:24-25; Hosea 3:5). [Note: Dyer, "Jeremiah," p. 1168, viewed this as referring to David himself (cf. Ezekiel 34:23-24). He later wrote, in The Old . . ., p. 618, that it could refer to David or to Christ.]

"The Targum, though interpretative, is correct in identifying this ideal King as ’Messiah, the son of David.’ Among the Jews the name David came to be used of royalty, much as Pharaoh, Caesar, or Czar, but only in the highest and final sense." [Note: Feinberg, p. 561.]

"They [Jeremiah 30:8-9] deal with the whole people of Yahweh in messianic times." [Note: Thompson, p. 556.]

In view of later revelation, we know that this successor to David is Jesus Christ (Luke 1:69; Acts 2:30; Acts 13:23; Acts 13:34; Acts 13:38).

Verse 10

The Lord promised to save His people from afar and their descendants from the land of their captivity. Therefore they should not fear or be dismayed. The Israelites would return to their land, where they would enjoy lasting peace and security. This will happen in the Millennium. Amillennial interpreters view these predictions as describing spiritual conditions that believers enjoy presently, and or eternal blessings that we will enjoy in heaven. [Note: See Kidner. pp. 103, 105.]

Verse 11

The Lord would chasten His people with punishment for their sins, but He would not destroy them completely. He would, however, completely destroy the nations that had oppressed them in their captivity (cf. Jeremiah 46:27-28; Isaiah 41:8-10; Isaiah 43:1-6; Isaiah 44:2-5).

"These passages cannot refer to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, for the Davidic monarchy was not restored after that date and the Jews were not saved out of it, but were killed by the thousands and many were carried away." [Note: Kaiser, p. 112.]

Verses 12-15

Yahweh had inflicted His people with a wound from which they could not recover because they had sinned greatly. No one could intercede effectively for them because the Lord had determined to punish them. Israel’s political allies had forsaken her and would not help her. Even crying out would not help them.

Verses 12-17

The healing of Zion’s incurable wounds 30:12-17

"This strophe is only a fuller expression of the idea set forth in Jeremiah 30:11, that the Lord certainly chastises Israel, but will not make an end of him." [Note: Keil, 2:8.]

Verse 16

Nevertheless, the Lord would turn the hostility of Israel’s enemies back on themselves, and punish them with the punishment they had inflicted on His people.

Verse 17

He would restore the Israelites to health and heal their wounds (cf. Isaiah 53:5). Part of the reason for His salvation would be the nations’ charge that Yahweh had forsaken His people.

Verse 18

Yahweh promised to restore Israel’s tribal fortunes (cf. Numbers 24:5-6), to have compassion on His peoples’ towns and homes, and to rebuild Jerusalem and the royal palace there. If the palace in view here refers to the king’s palace, and not the temple, this was never rebuilt by the returned exiles from Babylon as far as Scripture records.

Verses 18-22

The restoration of Jacob 30:18-22

Verse 19

Thanksgiving and merrymaking would mark the people. The Lord would increase their numbers and honor them.

Verse 20

Their children would be secure and happy, as they were before God judged the people. The people as a whole would again be stable, and the Lord would punish their oppressors.

Verse 21

Their leader would be one of the Israelites, not a foreign ruler who imposed his rule on them. The Lord would bring this leader to Himself, i.e., would call Him to His place of service. Approaching Yahweh was a priestly prerogative, so this verse may hint at the future ruler’s priestly as well as His kingly function (cf. Psalms 110:4; Zechariah 6:13).

"The ruler will need no mediator. Thus he will be greater than even David and Solomon. Like Melchizedek he will have a dual role. No man can take to himself the office of priesthood (cf. Hebrews 5:4). In fact, it was dangerous for even a king to do so (cf. Jeroboam in 1 Kings 12:26-33; 1 Kings 13:1-6; and Uzziah in 2 Chronicles 26:16-20). . . . Here is a reiteration of the promise to restore the Davidic line (cf. Jeremiah 30:9). . . . The Targum, though interpretative, is correct in its rendering ’Messiah shall be revealed to them out of their own midst.’" [Note: Feinberg, p. 564.]

"Herein is contained the truth, that the sovereignty of Israel, as restored, culminates in the kingdom of the Messiah." [Note: Keil, 2:11.]

Verse 22

Israel and Yahweh would again be in a covenant relationship as people and God (cf. Jeremiah 7:23; Jeremiah 11:4; Jeremiah 31:33; Genesis 17:7; Exodus 6:7; Leviticus 26:12; Deuteronomy 7:2-6; Isaiah 35; Ezekiel 36:28).

The divine judgment 30:23-31:1

Verses 23-24

The Lord’s wrath would break forth on the wicked like a severe storm. It would not slacken until the Lord accomplished all His purpose (cf. Jeremiah 23:19-20). Therefore, the carelessly sinful should feel no false sense of security from these promises of future pardon.

The people did not understand this prophecy fully when the prophet first gave it, but they would in the far distant future. Similarly, God told Daniel to seal up his prophecy because it was not time for His people to understand it yet (Daniel 12:4; Daniel 12:9).

Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Jeremiah 30". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/jeremiah-30.html. 2012.
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