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Wednesday, July 24th, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 30

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verse 1

The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 2

Thus speaketh the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book.

Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book. After the destruction of Jerusalem he is not ordered, as heretofore, to speak, but to write the succeeding prophecy (Jeremiah 30:4, etc.), so as thereby it might be read by his countrymen wheresoever they might be in their dispersion.

Verse 3

For, lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the LORD: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.

I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah - the restoration not merely of the Jews (treated of in this Jeremiah 30:1-24), but also of the ten tribes ("Israel," treated of in Jeremiah 31:1-40), together forming the whole nation (Jeremiah 30:18; Jeremiah 32:44; Ezekiel 39:25; Amos 9:14-15). "Israel" is mentioned first, because its exile was longer than that of Judah. Some captives of the Israelite ten tribes returned with those of Judah (Luke 2:36, "Aser" is mentioned). But these are only a pledge of the full restoration hereafter (Romans 11:26, "All Israel"). Compare Jeremiah 16:15. This 3rd verse is a brief statement of the subject before the prophecy itself is given.

Verse 4

And these are the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 5

For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.

We have heard a voice of trembling. God introduces the Jews speaking that which they will be reduced to at last, in spite of their stubbornness. Threat and promise are combined: the former briefly-namely, the misery of the Jews in the Babylonian captivity down to their "trembling" and "fear" arising from the approach of the Medo-Persian army of Cyrus against Babylon: the promise is more fully dwelt on-namely, their "trembling" will issue in a deliverance as speedy as is the transition from a woman's labour-pangs to her joy at giving birth to a child (Jeremiah 30:6).

Verse 6

Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?

Ask ... whether a man doth travail with child - consult all the authorities, men or books, you can, you will not find an instance. Yet in that coming day "men" will be seen "with their hands" pressed "on their loins," as women do to repress their pangs. God will drive men, through pain, to gestures more fitting a woman than a man (Jeremiah 4:31; Jeremiah 6:24). The metaphor is often used to express the previous pain followed by the sudden deliverance of Israel, as in the case of a woman in child-birth (Isaiah 66:7-9).

All faces are turned into paleness - properly the colour of herbs blasted and fading: the green paleness of one in jaundice, the sickly paleness of terror.

Verse 7

Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.

That day is great - marked by great calamities (Joel 2:11; Joel 2:31; Amos 5:18; Zephaniah 1:14).

None like it. ... But he shall be saved - (Daniel 12:1). The partial deliverance at Babylon's downfall prefigures

the final complete deliverance of Israel, literal and spiritual, at the downfall of the mystical Babylon (Revelation 18:1-24;


Verse 8

For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:

I will break his yoke from off thy neck - his, i:e., Jacob's (Jeremiah 30:7), the yoke imposed on him. The transition to the second person is frequent, God speaking of Jacob or Israel, at the same time addressing him directly. So "him" rightly follows.

Strangers shall no more serve themselves of him - "foreigners shall no more make him their servant" (Jeremiah 25:14). After the deliverance by Cyrus, Persia, Alexander, Antiochus, and Rome made Judea their servant. The full deliverance meant must therefore be still future.

Verse 9

But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.

But they shall serve the Lord - instead of serving strangers (Jeremiah 30:8), they shall serve the Lord, their rightful King in the theocracy (Ezekiel 21:27).

David their king - no king of David's seed has held the sceptre since the captivity; because Zerubbabel, though of David's line, never claimed the title of "king." The Son of David, Messiah, must therefore be meant; so the Targum (cf. Isaiah 55:3-4; Ezekiel 34:23-24; Ezekiel 37:24; Hosea 3:5; Romans 11:25-32). He was appointed to the throne of David (Isaiah 9:9; Luke 1:32). He is here joined with Yahweh as claiming equal allegiance. God is our "King" only when we are subject to Christ; God rules us not immediately, but through His Son (John 5:22-23; John 5:27).

Whom I will raise up - applied to the judges whom God raised up as deliverers of Israel out of the hand of its oppressors (Judges 2:16; Judges 3:9). So Christ was raised up as the antitypical Deliverer (Psalms 2:6; Luke 1:69; Acts 2:30; Acts 13:23).

Verse 10

Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.

I will save thee from afar. Be not afraid, as if the distance of the places where ye are to be dispersed precludes the possibility of return.

Thy seed. Though through the many years of captivity intervening yourselves may not see the restoration, the promise shall be fulfilled to your seed, primarily at the return from Babylon, fully at the final restoration.

Jacob shall ... be quiet ... none shall make him afraid - (Jeremiah 23:6; Zechariah 14:11). Contrasted with the past ceaseless troubles, fears, and insecurity of God's ancient people.

Verse 11

For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.

Though I make a full end of all nations ... yet ... not ... of thee - (Amos 9:8). The punishment of reprobates is final and fatal; that of God's people temporary and corrective. Babylon was utterly destroyed; Israel after chastisement was delivered.

I will correct thee in measure - literally, with judgment, i:e., moderation, not in the full rigour of justice (Jeremiah 10:24; Jeremiah 46:28; Psalms 6:1; Isaiah 27:8).

I will not leave thee altogether unpunished - (Exodus 34:7).

Verse 12

For thus saith the LORD, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous. Thy bruise is incurable. The desperate circumstances of the Jews are here represented as an incurable wound. Their sin is so grievous that their hope of the punishment (their exile) soon coming to an end is vain (Jeremiah 8:22; Jeremiah 15:18; 2 Chronicles 36:16).

Verse 13

There is none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines.

There is none to plead thy cause - a new image from a court of justice.

That thou mayest be bound up - namely, with the bandages applied to tie up a wound.

Thou hast no healing medicines - literally, medicines of healing, or else applications (literally, ascensions) of medicaments.

Verse 14

All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased.

All thy lovers - the people formerly allied to thee, Assyria and Egypt (cf. Lamentations 1:2).

Seek thee not - have cast away all concern for thee in thy distress.

I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy - a wound such as an enemy would inflict. God condescends to employ language adapted to human conceptions. He is incapable of "enmity" or "cruelty;" it was their grievous sin which righteously demanded a grievous punishment, as though he were an "enemy" (Jeremiah 5:6; Job 13:24; Job 30:21); whereas He is really the unchangeable friend of His elect people.

Verse 15

Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee. Why criest thou - as if God's severity was excessive. Thou hast no reason to complain, for thine affliction is just. Thy cry is too late, because the time of repentance and mercy is past (Calvin).

Verse 16

Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all that prey upon thee will I give for a prey.

Therefore - connected with Jeremiah 30:13, because "there is none to plead thy cause," etc., "therefore" I will plead thy cause, and heal thy wound, by overwhelming thy foes. Jeremiah 30:15 is inserted to amplify what was said at the close of Jeremiah 30:14. When the false ways of peace, suggested by the so-called prophets, had only ended in the people's irremediable ruin, the true prophet comes forward to announce the grace of God as bestowing repentance and healing.

All they that devour thee shall be devoured; ... they that spoil thee shall be a spoil ... all that prey upon thee will I give for a prey - retribution in kind (cf. note, Jeremiah 2:3, "devour;" Exodus 23:22; Isaiah 33:1, "When thou (the Assyrian spoiler) shalt cease to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled; and when thou shalt make an end to deal treacherously, they shall deal treacherously with thee").

Verse 17

For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after.

I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds - (Jeremiah 8:22; Jeremiah 33:6).

Because they called thee an Outcast - as a wife put away by her husband (Isaiah 62:4, "Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land anymore be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Heph-zibah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married," contrasted with Jeremiah 30:12, "Thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken").

Zion - alluding to its Hebrew meaning, dryness: "sought after" by none, as would be the case with an arid region (Isaiah 62:12). The extremity of the people, so far from being an obstacle to, will be the chosen opportunity of, God's grace.

Verse 18

Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob's tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof.

I will bring again the captivity - (Jeremiah 33:7; Jeremiah 33:11).

Tents - used to intimate that their present dwellings in Chaldea were but temporary as tents.

Have mercy on his dwelling places - (Psalms 102:13).

The city shall be builded upon her own heap - on the same hill, i:e., site, a hill being the usual site chosen for a city, (cf. Joshua 11:13, margin.) This better answers the parallel clause, "after the manner thereof" (i:e., in the same becoming way as formerly), than the rendering, "its own heap of ruins," as in Jeremiah 49:2,

The palace - the king's, on mount Zion.

Shall remain - rather, shall be inhabited (note, Jeremiah 17:6; Jeremiah 17:25). This confirms the English version, "palace," not as others translate, 'the temple' (see 1 Kings 16:18; 2 Kings 15:25).

Verse 19

And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.

Thanksgivings - the Hebrew word [ towdaah (H8426)] includes confession as well as praise; for in the case of God the highest praises we can bestow are only confessing what God really is (Bengel) (Jeremiah 17:26; Jeremiah 31:12-13; Jeremiah 33:11; Isaiah 35:10; Isaiah 51:11).

I will multiply them - (Zechariah 10:8).

Verse 20

Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them.

Their children ... shall be as aforetime - as flourishing as in the time of David.

Verse 21

And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me: for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? saith the LORD.

Their nobles -- rather, 'their Glorious One' [ 'adiyrow (H117)], or 'Leader' (cf. Acts 3:15, "The Prince (Greek, archeegos (G747), Prince-leader) of life;" Hebrews 2:10), answering to "their governor" in the parallel clause.

Of themselves - of their own nation, a Jew, not a foreigner; applicable to Zerubbabel, or John Hyrcanus (hereditary high priest and governor), only as types of Christ (Genesis 49:10; Micah 5:2, "Out of thee (Bethlehem-Ephratah, in Judah) shall He come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel;" Romans 9:5), the antitypical "David" (Jeremiah 30:9).

I will cause him to draw near - as the great Priest. "To draw near," or "approach unto the Lord," is the technical phrase for ministering as a priest (Exodus 19:22, "The priests which come near to the Lord;" Leviticus 21:17). Through Him (Messiah) believers also have access to God (Hebrews 10:19-22). His priestly and kingly characters are similarly combined (Psalms 110:4; Zechariah 6:13, "He shall sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a priest upon His throne," where, see my note).

Who ... engaged his heart to approach - literally, pledged his heart, i:e., his life; a thing unique: Messiah alone hath made His life responsible as the surety (Hebrews 7:22; Hebrews 9:11-15), in order to gain access not only for Himself, but for us to God. Heart is here used for life, to express the courage which it needed to undertake such a tremendous suretiship. The question implies admiration at one being found competent by His two-fold nature, as God and man, for the task. Compare the interrogation (Isaiah 63:1-3).

Verse 22

And ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

Ye shall be my people ... - the covenant shall be renewed between God and His people through Messiah's mediation (Jeremiah 30:21; Jeremiah 31:1; Jeremiah 31:33; Jeremiah 32:38; Ezekiel 11:20; Ezekiel 36:28).

Verses 23-24

Behold, the whirlwind of the LORD goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked.

(Jeremiah 23:19). Vengeance upon God's foes always accompanies manifestations of His grace to His people.

A continuing, [ guwr (H1481)] - literally, taking up its abode, dwelling (Psalms 5:4), "a whirlwind" abiding constantly; appropriately here, in the case of Babylon, which was to be permanently destroyed, substituted for 'whirling itself about' ("grievous" in the English version) (Jeremiah 23:19-20, see notes there), where the temporary downfall of Judea is spoken of. Others translate it 'congregating itself,' as in Hosea 7:14, "they assemble themselves." I prefer the English version.


(1) Though the Jews can claim no favour from God for their merits, yet God of His own grace promises to both Israel and Judah a complete deliverance and restoration (Jeremiah 30:3). But there shall come (Jeremiah 30:5-6), immediately before Messiah's final interposition in their behalf, a "time of trouble" to the people of Jacob, such that "none is like" it (Jeremiah 30:7). A promise is at the same time given that "he shall be saved out of it."

(2) Similarly, in the case of spiritual Israel, the Church, often the dawn of deliverance is preceded by the darkest hour of night. Just as the appearance of Moses as Israel's deliverer was not until their Egyptian bondage had reached its culmination of cruelty and oppression. In the first rescue of the sinner from the power of Satan in conversion, often the greatest gloom of fears and of despairing self-condemnation precedes the joy of assured faith and personally-known salvation. And so, in the after-experience of the believer, God suffers His people to be at times most sorely tried just before He purposes giving them the most delightful revelations of Himself. Finally, when their souls are about to pass to blessedness in His presence, then especially Satan tries them in their season of greatest bodily weakness. But let the believer fear nothing, because he has God's comforting assurance that, great though his trouble be, "he shall be saved out of it;" and even the joys of Paradise, which immediately await him, shall be enhanced by the remembrance of the great tribulation out of which he has come.

(3) There is a wide difference between the "end" of the enemies of God and that of the people of God (Jeremiah 30:11). The former are given over to utter destruction; whereas the latter, when they have for a time backslidden, are "not left altogether unpunished," but are "chastised in measure;" and then, when chastising has worked its designed effect, by leading them to return to their God, they are restored to God's favour, and shall abide in His presence forever. Babylon, the once mighty city, has lon g since ceased to exist; the Jewish people, once subject to Babylon, still remain, and await the coming glory of their nation, when "Jacob shall be in rest and quiet, and none shall make him afraid" (Jeremiah 30:10).

(4) The wound, political and spiritual, of Israel, was and is "incurable" by man (Jeremiah 30:12; Jeremiah 30:15). But when "none can plead her cause" (Jeremiah 30:13), and she herself "has no healing medicines," the Lord will espouse her part, and "restore health unto her" (Jeremiah 30:17), and "heal her wounds" (Jeremiah 30:17). Our case spiritually is then in the most favourable state when we have learned our own helplessness and inability to work the cure of our souls; because then we are constrained to cast ourselves unreservedly on our heavenly Advocate, to plead our cause, to heal our spiritual malady, and to impart His sanctifying Spirit.

(5) Zion, heretofore an "Outcast, whom no man sought after" (Jeremiah 30:17), shall be, according to the sure word of prophecy in the end, the object of the Lord's delight, and sought out by all men (Isaiah 62:4; Isaiah 62:12). Then shall her former oppressors be paid in kind (Jeremiah 30:16); her spoilers shall be spoiled, and her devourers shall be devoured; while out of her rebuilt habitation shall proceed joyful thanksgivings (Jeremiah 30:19); and sacrifices of praise shall be presented continually with acceptance before God, through her Divine King-Priest, the Son of David, sitting on the throne of David (Jeremiah 30:21).

(6) The Father himself asks, in order to call forth the adoring admiration of all His creatures, "Who is this that engaged His heart to approach unto me?" (Jeremiah 30:21;) and we, the redeemed, may echo the question. What an overwhelming responsibility to be surety and penally liable for the sins of the whole world! Who but the God-man, Christ Jesus, was competent to undertake such a task, to approach an infinitely holy God, after having become answerable for the sins of the whole human race, and to find acceptance not only for Himself but also for His people? Through Him all believers have access by one Spirit to the Father (Ephesians 2:18). Through Him "the fierce anger of the Lord, which shall fall upon the head of the wicked" (Jeremiah 30:23-24), is turned aside from us, and "we become His people, and He is our God" (Jeremiah 30:22).

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 30". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/jeremiah-30.html. 1871-8.
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