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Bible Commentaries

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments
Jeremiah 30

 

 

Verse 1

Jeremiah 30:1. The word that came to Jeremiah, &c. — “There is no particular date annexed to this prophecy, whereby to ascertain the precise time of its delivery, but it may not unreasonably be presumed to have followed immediately after the preceding one, in which the restoration of the people from their Babylonish captivity is in direct terms foretold. From hence the transition was natural and easy to the more glorious and general restoration that was to take place in a more distant period, and was designed for the ultimate object of the national hopes and expectations. Both events are frequently thus connected together in the prophetic writings, and perhaps with this design, that when that which was nearest at hand should be accomplished, it might afford the strongest and most satisfactory evidence that the latter, how remote soever its period, would in like manner, be brought about by the interposition of Providence, in its due season.” — Blaney.


Verse 2-3

Jeremiah 30:2-3. Thus speaketh the Lord, Write thee all the words that I have spoken, &c. — The following words contain a promise of the restoration of God’s people. These God commands to be committed to writing for the use of posterity, to be a support to the Jews, an encouragement to them to trust in God, and a proof of his prescience and overruling providence when the event foretold should be brought about. I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah — The people that returned from Babylon were only, or at least chiefly, the people of Judah, who had been carried away captive by Nebuchadnezzar; but here it is foretold, that not the captivity of Judah only should be restored, but that of Israel also, or of those ten tribes that were carried away before by Shalmaneser, king of Assyria; and who still remain in their several dispersions, having never returned, at least in a national capacity; but the terms of this prophecy entitle us to expect, not an obscure and partial, but a complete and universal, restoration, when God will manifest himself, as formerly, the God and patron of all the families of Israel, not of a few only. The reunion also of Judah and Israel, after their restoration, seems to be here clearly foretold.


Verses 4-7

Jeremiah 30:4-7. And these are the words that the Lord spake — And which God ordered to be written: and those promises, which were written by his order, are as truly his word as the ten commandments, which were written with his finger. We have heard a voice of trembling — Such a one as discovers great fears and apprehensions of impending evils. Ask ye now and see, &c. — Make diligent inquiry, and ask every one, whether they ever knew or heard of any such thing as a man’s travailing with child? Wherefore then do I see every man with his hands on his loins — As if he were going to bring forth, and felt all the pains of a woman in travail? Alas! for that day is great — The word day in Scripture often comprehends a succession of time, in which a whole series of events is transacted: so it here contains the whole time of the siege and taking of Jerusalem, the destruction of the city and temple, and the carrying away of the people captive. This is described as a time of great tribulation, in which it was an earnest of the day of judgment, the great and terrible day of the Lord.


Verse 8-9

Jeremiah 30:8-9. It shall come to pass in that day — In the day when Jacob shall be saved out of all his troubles, Jeremiah 30:7. The phrase that day often denotes an extraordinary or remarkable time for some signal events of Providence: see Isaiah 4:2. That I will break his yoke from off thy neck — This promise was in part fulfilled when Cyrus set the Jews free from the Babylonish yoke, and gave them liberty to return to their own country. And strangers shall no more serve themselves of him — In this latter part of the sentence the Jewish state, or rather that of Israel and Judah, is spoken of in the third person, him; in the foregoing part in the second person, thy neck. But they shall serve the Lord their God — They shall live in subjection and obedience to the one living and true God, and to David their king — That is, the Messiah, who is often called by the name of David in the prophets, as the person in whom all the promises made to David were to be fulfilled. See the margin. Here it is promised that, after this restoration, the Jews and Israelites “should no more fall under the dominion of foreigners, but be governed by princes and magistrates of their own nation, independent of any but God and David their king. But this was not the case with the Jews that returned from Babylon. They then indeed had a leader, Zerubbabel, one of their own nation, and also of the family of David. But both the nation and their leader continued still in a state of vassalage and the most servile dependance upon the Persian monarchy. And when the Grecian monarchy succeeded, they changed their masters only, but not their condition; till, at length, under the Asmonæan princes, they had, for a while, an independent government of their own, but without any title to the name of David. At last they fell under the Roman yoke, since which time their situation has been such as not to afford the least ground to pretend that the promised restoration has yet taken place. It remains, therefore, to be brought about, in future, under the reign of the Messiah, emphatically distinguished by the name of David; when every particular circumstance predicted concerning it will, no doubt, be verified by a distinct and unequivocal accomplishment.” — Blaney. Whom I will raise up unto them — An expression elsewhere used by the holy writers when they speak of the coming of Christ. See the margin. Hence this prophecy must be considered as implying the conversion of the Jews to the Christian faith, God, according to his promises, having constituted Christ the Prince and the Saviour to whom every knee must bow, and whom every tongue must confess.


Verse 10-11

Jeremiah 30:10-11. Fear thou not, O my servant Jacob — As if God had utterly forsaken thee or cast thee off. See the margin. For, lo, I will save thee from afar — I will restore you from your captivity, though you should be dispersed into the most distant countries. And though this be not accomplished in the Jews of the present age, it shall be made good to their posterity, who are beloved for their fathers’ sake, as St. Paul speaks, Romans 11:28. And Jacob shall be in rest and quiet, &c. — Shall enjoy peace and safety. Though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee — Such as the Assyrians, Chaldeans, Egyptians; yet will I not make a full end of thee — The Jews to this day continue a remarkable monument of the truth and immutability of God’s promises. Where now are all the nations which carried them into captivity, and trod them under foot? All, all are perished; their kingdoms overturned, their laws and languages abolished, their very names, as nations, extinct; not the least footsteps remaining of their having ever been a people: for God had determined to make a full end of them. But the people of the Jews, though carried into captivity, slain by the sword, destroyed by pestilence and famine, and every other method of destruction, do yet remain a people: under all the revolutions and changes of kingdoms, languages, and people, they still exist unmixed; and, though for their heinous sins they are scattered abroad among all nations, they still preserve their name, language, and most of their ancient ceremonies and customs, for God has promised not to make a full end of them. But I will correct thee in measure — Or, according to judgment, as למשׁפשׂsignifies, that is, with discretion, not more than thou deservest, nay, not more than thou canst well bear. God’s afflicting his people is in a way of correction, and that correction is always moderated, and always proceeds from love. And will not leave thee altogether unpunished — As thou art ready to think I should do because of thy relation to me. Observe, reader, a profession of religion, though never so plausible, will be far from securing to us impunity in sin. God is no respecter of persons, but will show his hatred of sin wherever he finds it, and he always hates it most in those that are nearest to him.


Verses 12-15

Jeremiah 30:12-15. Thy bruise is incurable — In all human appearance. The state that the Jews should be in would be so miserable that it would be incurable from any hand except that of God. There is none to plead thy cause — There is none that, by the reformation of their lives, or their intercessions with God, endeavour to avert his displeasure. Or, as the words may be rendered, There is none to judge thy cause, none that knows the true nature of thy malady, or what medicines are proper to be applied to it. Their calamitous state is compared to a distempered body; (see Jeremiah 30:17, and Jeremiah 8:22; Isaiah 1:5-6;) and the false prophets, instead of applying proper remedies, have healed thy wound slightly. Or the words may mean, There is none to intercede for thee with thy victors and oppressors. All thy lovers have forgotten thee — All the nations whose alliance they had solicited, and whose idolatries they had imitated, and who had professed much friendship for them, had neglected and forgotten them, and desired no farther connection with them. They seek thee not — Seek not thy welfare, but abandon thee to ruin. For I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, &c. — Thy iniquities have provoked me to punish thee with that severity which appears like cruelty, and as if I had declared myself an utter enemy to thee. Why criest thou for thine affliction?

Why shouldest thou expostulate with me, as if I had dealt unjustly with thee, whereas, if thy condition seem desperate, it is owing to thine own iniquities, which have still been increased with new aggravations of guilt.


Verse 16-17

Jeremiah 30:16-17. Therefore — Or rather, yet surely, as לכןshould be rendered; (see note on Jeremiah 16:14;) all they that devour thee shall be devoured — The Egyptians, Philistines, Midianites, Ammonites, Edomites, Syrians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, and others, who have afflicted and oppressed you, shall be extirpated, while you shall be restored and re- established. See note on Jeremiah 30:11. Though God chastises his own people with severity, according to the nature and quality of their faults, yet he does it so as never utterly to destroy them. The Assyrians, who afflicted Israel and Judah, were so destroyed by the Babylonians, Medes, and Persians, that mention is no more made of their empire. The monarchy of the Chaldeans, who destroyed Jerusalem, and carried the Jews into captivity, was overthrown by the Persians, and never recovered itself. The empires of the Persians and Egyptians were destroyed by Alexander. The Grecian. or Syro-Macedonian kingdom, which, especially under Antiochus Epiphanes, cruelly persecuted them, was destroyed by the Romans. And the Roman empire, powerful as it was, after being made the instrument of bringing greater calamities on the Jewish nation than they had ever suffered from any other power, was broken to pieces by the incursions of the northern nations on the one hand, and by the Saracens and Turks on the other. But the Jewish people, who have repeatedly appeared to be almost destroyed and annihilated in their dispersions, have reappeared, and sprung up again, as it were, from their ashes, and become as numerous and powerful as before.


Verses 18-22

Jeremiah 30:18-22. Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents — The expression alludes to the ancient custom of dwelling in tents. This promise was, in some degree, fulfilled under Zerubbabel. And the city shall be builded upon her own heap — Upon her ruins, which were cleared away, that new houses might be built. And the palace shall remain — Rather, the palace shall be inhabited; after the manner thereof — By

ארמון, here rendered palace, Dr. Waterland and some others understand the temple, and render the clause, The temple shall stand, or, abide after the manner thereof. Their children also, and their congregation, &c. — Their church and commonwealth shall be restored to their former state. Or rather, His children and his congregation, as Blaney translates it; that is, Jacob’s children and congregation, the pronouns both in this and the following verse being in the singular number. And their nobles shall be of themselves — Hebrew, אדירו ממנו, literally, his prince, or, his mighty one, shall be of him. And his governor shall proceed from the midst of him — Some understand this of Zerubbabel, who, by the permission of Cyrus, had the government over the Jews whom he led into Judea to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. Others interpret it of the Messiah, who, they think, is plainly marked out by the two names of Prince, or Mighty One, and Governor, in this verse. Thus the Targum understands it. I will cause him to draw near, &c. — Says the Lord; that is, “he shall have a near attendance upon me; for I will make him a priest as well as a king,” according to the prophecy in Psalms 110:4. For who is this that engaged his heart, &c. — Who is there so entirely devoted to my service as the Messiah? The words in the original, כי מי הוא זה, who is this, &c., have the emphasis which cannot be expressed in another language, and are spoken by way of admiration. See Lowth. Blaney translates the verse, “And his prince shall be of his own race, and his governor shall go forth out of the midst of him; and I will draw him that he may come near unto me; for who is he that hath set his heart to draw near unto me? saith Jehovah.” Ye shall be my people, &c. — You shall continually adhere to my religion and worship, and I will take you into my favour, and under my protection.


Verse 23-24

Jeremiah 30:23-24. Behold, the whirlwind of the Lord goeth forth with fury — Rather, with anger, the word fury being manifestly improper when applied to God. These two verses occur with some slight variations, Jeremiah 23:19-20, where see the notes. In the latter days ye shall consider it — The latter days here may signify the time to come; but they commonly imply the times of the gospel, that being the last dispensation, and what should continue till the end of the world. Thus understood, the words import, “When all these evils are come upon you, which God has threatened for your disobedience, and particularly for your heinous crime of rejecting the Messiah, and you have found the denunciations verified in the several captivities you have undergone, then you will understand the import of this and several other prophecies, and the event will perfectly instruct you in their meaning.” — Lowth.

 


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Bibliography Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Jeremiah 30:4". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/jeremiah-30.html. 1857.

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