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The Contrast Between Destruction and Restoration
v. 1. Moreover, the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison, during the shameful imprisonment inflicted upon him by Zedekiah, saying,
v. 2. Thus saith the Lord, the Maker thereof, literally, "the Doer," He who performs what He promises and threatens, the Lord that formed it, to establish it, or, "He who prepares it to complete it," carrying out His plans without fail; the Lord is His name, Jehovah, the God of the covenant:
v. 3. Call unto Me, namely, in making a plea for the restoration of Judah, and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things, proclaiming or announcing great and inaccessible things, which thou knowest not, which are beyond human understanding and comprehension, which human knowledge would never expect.
v. 4. For thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah, the various buildings making up the royal palace, which are thrown down by the mounts and by the sword, literally, "against the ramparts and against the sword," for the buildings of Jerusalem were wrecked in order to get a sufficient amount of stones to strengthen the walls against the advancing army of the invaders;
v. 5. they come to fight with the Chaldeans, the people of Judah being determined to resist the hostile army, but it is to fill them, namely, the houses of the city, with the dead bodies of men, whom I have slain in Mine anger and in My fury, and for all whose wickedness I have hid My face from this city, this last verse being inserted by way of parenthesis:
v. 6. Behold, I will bring it, the city of Jerusalem, health and cure, by binding up the wounds of the war, and I will cure them, healing the wounds inflicted by the enemies, and will reveal unto them, His people, the abundance of peace and truth, that is, genuine, lasting prosperity.
v. 7. And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel, of all those who are his children in truth, to return, and will build them, as at the first, when He first made them His people, at the time of the exodus from Egypt.
v. 8. And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity whereby they have sinned against Me, their guilt being removed by His forgiveness; and I will pardon all their iniquities whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against Me. This is the basis of the lasting covenant of salvation, the Lord's pardoning grace over against all poor sinners.
v. 9. And it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise, and an honor before all the nations of the earth, Jerusalem itself, with its congregation of believers, becoming a city the very mention of whose name would cause Jehovah to rejoice, while nations in every part of the world would praise her, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them; and they shall fear and tremble, with the fear of repentant sinners, for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it, on account of the miraculous power of God displayed in behalf of the Jews. Even thus men everywhere, in coming to the knowledge of the true God, serve Him with fear and rejoice with trembling, walking before Him and increasing daily in holiness.
The Glory of the Future
v. 10. Thus saith the Lord, Again there shall be heard in this place, which, ye say, shall be desolate without man and without beast, 32:43, even in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man and without inhabitant and without beast, the invaders having already spread ruin along their entire line of march,
v. 11. the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, expressions setting forth the happiness of a people living in peace and security, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good, for His mercy endureth forever, the words of Psalms 136:1, which were actually used by the Jews at the time of the restoration, Ezra 3:11; and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, reversing it, so that it no longer exists, as at the first, saith the Lord, so that the people of Judah would again be His free people, as He had intended it from the beginning.
v. 12. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Again in this place, which is desolate without man and without beast, and in all the cities thereof, many of which were, or were to be, heaps of ruins, shall be an habitation of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down, as under conditions of the utmost peace and security.
v. 13. In the cities of the mountains, the mountainous region of Judah, toward the north and northeast, in the cities of the vale, the plains or lowlands toward the Mediterranean Sea, and in the cities of the south, the semiarid region bordering on Arabia and the Sinaitic Peninsula, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, the very detailed enumeration serving to lay stress on the completeness of the fulfillment, shall the flocks pass again under the hands of him that telleth them, saith the Lord, for faithful shepherds kept a very careful count of the sheep entrusted to them. The words thus imply that a most watchful and provident care would again be exercised with regard to the believers.
v. 14. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, this being the standing formula for introducing statements pertaining to Messianic conditions, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah, to those who were members of His people in truth, for His Church in the Old Testament is continued in the congregation or communion of saints in the New.
v. 15. In those days and at that time, in the Messianic era, will I cause the Branch of Righteousness, the name applied to the Messiah also by Isaiah and Zechariah, to grow up unto David, for Christ was born of the seed of David, and it was He who earned, and is the representative of, the true righteousness, that which is valid in the sight of God; and He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land, as the true King of His people.
v. 16. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely, the name in either case designating the Church of the Lord, His chosen people in the true sense of the term; and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness, the city, as representing the congregation of the Lord, being united with Him by virtue of the mystical union, so that, whatsoever belongs to the Head, belongs also to the members. The Church draws all her righteousness from Christ and is a representative of His righteousness, hence His attributes may be transferred to her.
v. 17. For thus saith the Lord, David shall never want a man, his family would never lack a representative, to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel. In other words, the kingdom of Christ was to be an eternal kingdom.
v. 18. Neither shall the priests, the Levites, the members of the tribe of Levi, want a man before Me, there would never be a time when there would be no priest, namely, in the highest sense, spoken of the person of the Messiah, to offer burnt offering's and to kindle meat-offerings and to do sacrifice continually. Christ's one sacrifice has an eternal effect, and all external forms of worship are but types of His perfect offering.
v. 19. And the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah, saying,
v. 20. Thus saith the Lord, If ye can break My covenant of the day and My covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season, that the order of nature, as established by Him, would be overthrown,
v. 21. then may also My covenant be broken with David, My servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne, 2 Samuel 7:12-Joel :, and with the Levites the priests, My ministers. The Lord would break His promise, neither to David nor to His servants in the office of the ministry. He would give them all the blessings of the Messianic era in full.
v. 22. As 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, in either case their spiritual children, the believers of all times, for of them it is rightly said that Christ has made them to be kings and priests before God and His Father.
v. 23. Moreover, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying,
v. 24. Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the Lord hath chosen, namely, Israel and Judah, as representing His Church of all times, He hath even cast them off? This was the statement made by some of the reprobate Jews in order to ridicule the true believers. Thus they have despised My people that they should be no more a nation before them, that is, before their eyes, according to their opinion. The Lord reproves this notion with great sternness.
v. 25. Thus saith the Lord, If My covenant be not with day and night, Genesis 8:22, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth, if He has not established the laws of nature,
v. 26. then will I cast away the seed of Jacob, His spiritual children, and David, My servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, namely, those who are their children and descendants in spirit; for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them. All this was fulfilled and is being fulfilled in the kingdom of Christ, where those who have been redeemed from the bondage of Satan rejoice in the fullness of the grace given them by virtue of the Messiah's vicarious sacrifice.
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Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Jeremiah 33". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28