In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely.—The true King shall reign over a re-united people. The Ten Tribes of the Northern Kingdom, as well as the two of the Southern, should find in Him deliverance and peace.
Whereby he shall be called.—Literally, whereby one shall call him, the indefinite, almost impersonal active having the force of the English passive.
The Lord our Righteousness.—It is significant that in Jeremiah 33:16 the same name is given to Jerusalem. There it is clearly not, in logical language, the predicate of the city, but that which she takes as her watchword, and blazons, as it were, on her banner; and we cannot consistently press more than that meaning here. So in Ezekiel 48:35 the new name of Jerusalem is “Jehovah-shammah” (= the Lord is there). So in Exodus 17:15 Moses calls the altar which he builds “Jehovah-nissi” (= the Lord is my banner). The interpretation which sees in the words (1) the identification of the Messianic King with Jehovah, the Eternal, and (2) the doctrine of imputed righteousness, must accordingly be regarded as one of the applications of the words rather than their direct meaning. That meaning would seem to be that the King, the righteous Branch, will look to Jehovah as giving and working righteousness. Some commentators, indeed, refer the pronoun “he” to Israel, and not to the righteous Branch. We cannot forget that, at the very time when Jeremiah uttered this prophecy, a king was on the throne whose name (Zedekiah = righteous is Jehovah) implied the same thought. His reign had been a miserable failure, and the prophet looks forward to a time when the ideal, which was then far off, should at last be realised. If with many critics we refer the prediction to the reign of Jehoiakim (see Note on Jeremiah 23:1), we might almost see in Mattaniah’s adoption of the new name a boast that he was about to fulfil it. The Christ, we may say, answered to the name, not as being Himself one with Jehovah, though He was that, but as doing the Father’s will, and so fulfilling all righteousness (comp. Matthew 3:15).
the Lord OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS - Messiah is here called:
(1) Yahweh, and
(2) our righteousness, because He justifies us by His merits.
shall be called, the Lord—that is, shall be (Isa 9:6) "Jehovah," God's incommunicable name. Though when applied to created things, it expresses only some peculiar connection they have with Jehovah (Ge 22:14; Ex 17:15), yet when applied to Messiah it must express His Godhead manifested in justifying power towards us (1Ti 3:16).
our—marks His manhood, which is also implied in His being a Branch raised unto David, whence His human title, "Son of David" (compare Mt 22:42-45).
Righteousness—marks His Godhead, for God alone can justify the ungodly (compare Ro 4:5; Isa 45:17, 24, 25).shall be saved with a spiritual salvation; for he was therefore called Jesus, because he was to save his people from their sins, Matthew 1:21, and God will be a special protection to them. The name wherewith this Branch shall be called shall be,
The Lord our Righteousness. Some have applied this to the people, as if the people should be so called, or should say, The Lord hath dealt graciously with us; or, In the Lord we have righteousness. But this will appear but the new invention of some who either cannot or will not understand how Christ should be his people’s righteousness, those who consider not that it is the Branch which was before spoken of, and that the word people is not to be found going before; there is indeed a mention of Judah and Israel, but surely they were not to be other men’s righteousness, and if that had been the prophet’s meaning, he would not have said, The Lord our, but the Lord their righteousness. Nor is the only place where Christ is called our righteouness, 1 Corinthians 1:30. This place is an eminent proof of the Godhead of Christ, he is here called Jehovah; and what is proper to God alone, viz. to justify, is here applied to Christ. The prophet saith Christ shall be so called, that is, by his people, who should believe in him and trust in him alone for that righteousness wherein they should at the last day stand before God: thus he was to bring in everlasting righteousness, Daniel 9:24. He, who knew no sin, was made sin (that is, a sacrifice for sin) for us, that we might be-made the righteousness of God in him. Romans 11:26;
and Israel shall dwell safely; without any fear of enemies, being saved from them; being in that city, the church, which has salvation for walls and bulwarks; angels encamping about them; the Lord as a wall of fire around them; the Spirit lifting up a standard against their enemies, when they come in like a flood; and the Messiah their rock and refuge, and strong tower, their strength and righteousness; as follows: for all the salvation and safety of the Lord's people are owing to the righteousness of Christ; the effect of which is peace, quietness, and assurance for ever:
and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS; because he is the author of righteousness to his people, and is only so; no creature could be the author of it; unrighteous man cannot be the author of righteousness; and the righteousness of an angel is of no advantage to man; and indeed neither of the other divine Persons is the Lord our righteousness; for though they are both Jehovah, the Father and the Spirit, yet not our righteousness: the Father appointed and sent Christ to work it out; he approved and accepted of it, when wrought out; and imputes it to his people; but is not the author of it: so the Spirit convinces of the need of it; reveals it, and brings it near; works faith to receive it; and applies it, and pronounces a person justified by it; but is not the author of it; that the Son of God only is; who is become so by his obedience to the law, and by bearing the penalty of it; and who, having been delivered for our offences, rose again for our justification: and this righteousness, which he has wrought out to the satisfaction of law and justice, becomes "ours"; it being signed for us, and wrought out for us, by a free gift of it is given to us; ours through the imputation of it to us by the Father, and in virtue of our union to Christ, and interest in him; and through the application of it to us by the Spirit of God; who puts it upon us, and clothes us with it, and enables us to lay hold upon it, and claim interest in it; and which may be meant by Christ being "called our righteousness"; for the meaning is, not that he should commonly go by this name; but only that he should be that unto us which it signifies; and that we should by faith, even every true Israelite, every believer, call him our righteousness; say that we have righteousness in him make mention of that continually, and express our desires to be found atone in it; for so the words may be rendered, "and this is the name whereby he shall call him (g), THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS"; and a sweet name to a sensible sinner it is; to one that has felt the guilt of sin in his conscience; seen his need of a righteousness, and the worth of it. That the Messiah is here meant is acknowledged by the Jews, ancient and modern (h).
(g) "hoc nomen ejus est quo vocabit eum Israel", Junius & Tremellius; "quo vocabit eum unusquique", Piscator. (h) T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 75. 2. Echa Rabbati, fol. 50. 1. R. Saadiah Gaon in Daniel 7.13. R. Albo, Sepher Ikkarim, l. 2. c. 28. Abarbinel, Mashmiah Jeshuah. fol. 35. 2. Caphtor fol. 87. 1. Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 75. 2. Kimchi in loc. & in Ezekiel 48.35. & Ben Melech in loc.In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)6. Israel shall dwell safely] Cp. Deuteronomy 33:28. The Northern Tribes as well as Judah shall be restored, and form one kingdom.
he shall be called] The Messiah’s work shall be indicated by the name that He is to bear.
The Lord is our righteousness] as indicating the ideal righteousness which is then to characterize the nation. Cp. Isaiah 1:26; Isaiah 60:21; Isaiah 61:3. Of that righteousness Jehovah is to be the source. Cp. Ezekiel 48:35 “The Lord is there,” mg. Jehovah-shammah. Cp. also Jeremiah 33:16, where the same name is given to Jerusalem. The A.V. (“The Lord our righteousness”) survives in R.V. mg. but, as we see must be the case from the passage last referred to, the prophet is not identifying the Messiah with Jehovah.Verse 6. - Israel shall dwell safely. In the parallel passage (Jeremiah 33:16) we read "Jerusalem," and there can hardly be a doubt that "Jerusalem" ought to be restored here. This is not the-only instance in which, by mistake, the scribe has written "Israel" instead of "Jerusalem" (see Jeremiah 32:30, 32; Jeremiah 51:49; Zephaniah 3:14; Zechariah 12:1). In Zechariah 1:19 the scribe discovered his mistake, and wrote the right word, "Jerusalem," after the wrong one, "Israel," but without canceling the latter (Gratz, 'Monatsschrift,' 1880, pp. 97-101). And this is his name whereby he shall be called. There is a various reading, which may be rendered either, whereby they shall call (him, or her), or, which they shall proclaim, supported by the Peshito, Targum, Vulgate, and a few manuscripts (St. Jerome, too, mentions this reading). There is also a more important difference among the commentators as to the person who was to bear the name. The older Christian interpreters contended with all their might for the view that the name belonged to the Messiah, partly on real philological grounds, partly with the illegitimate theological object of obtaining a proof-text for the orthodox doctrine of the person of the Messiah and (in the case of Protestant writers) of justification. It is much to the credit of Hengstenberg that he sets this object aside, and while maintaining the Messianic reference of the pronoun interprets the name with a single eye to the requirements of the context, "He by whom and under whom Jehovah will be our righteousness." The objection is that in the parallel passage (Jeremiah 33:16) Jeremiah assigns the name "Jehovah-Tsidkenu," not to the Messiah, but to Jerusalem. The prophet must be allowed to be his best interpreter, so that we must, it would seem, at any rate, reject the Messianic reference. But then how are we to explain the pronoun? It is right to refer the parallel pronoun in Jeremiah 33:16 to "Jerusalem," because the pronoun there is feminine, and evidently refers to a city, but it is not natural in our passage to explain "his name" of "Israel," seeing that the subject of the noun in the parallel line is, not Israel, but the Messiah. is the text here correct? A comparison of the parallel psalms Psalms 14 and Psalms 53, and of the corresponding chapters in Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, will show how easily errors made their way into duplicate copies of the same passage. Granting that we have such duplicate copies of this prophecy in Jeremiah, there can be no doubt which is the more original; the form of Jeremiah 23:6 has a difficulty from which Jeremiah 33:16 is free - a difficulty of interpretation and a difficulty also of grammar. For, as Ewald has already pointed out ('Hebrew Grammar,' § 249 b), the contracted suffix is very rarely attached to the simple imperfect, and the clear style in which this section is written justifies us in regarding any unusual form with suspicion. "Israel" thus was probably written by mistake for "Jerusalem," and this error soon led to others - first, the omission of "her," and then the prefixing of "his name" for clearness, and (on the part of the authors of the points) the mispointing of the verb (so as to include in the form the pronoun "him"). It is some confirmation of this view that there are several other passages in which the words "Israel" and "Jerusalem" appear to have been confounded (see preceding note). Read, therefore, as in Jeremiah 33:16, And this is the name wherewith she shall be called. THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS; Hebrew, Yahveh (Jehovah) Tsidkenu. The name is formed on the analogy of other symbolic names, such as El-elohe-Israel (Genesis 33:20), Jehovah-Nisei (Exodus 17:15 ), and especially Jehovah-Shammah (Ezekiel 48:35), also a name of Jerusalem. These names are, in fact, sentences; Jehovah-Shammah, for instance, means "The Lord (is) there;" and the name in the present verse, "The Lord (is) our Righteousness" (Hengstenberg's view mentioned above seems less natural). It is singular that Zedekiah's name should come so near to that announced by the prophet. But there is still a difference between them. Zedekiah must mean "The Lord (is) righteousness," i.e. is ever faithful to his revealed principles of action. But Jehovah-Tsidkenu may be correctly paraphrased, "The Lord is the author of our prosperity," or, more strictly, "of the justification of our claims in the sight of our enemies" (comp. Isaiah 45:24; Isaiah 50:8; Isaiah 54:17; Isaiah 58:8; Isaiah 62:1, 2). Similar applications of forensic language are familiar, e.g. "When they speak with their enemies in the gate" (Psalm 127:5). Jeremiah 7:4; Ezekiel 21:32; Isaiah 6:3. Write him down, record him in the family registers, as childless, i.e., as a man with whom his race becomes extinct. This is more definitely intimated in the parallel member, namely, that he will not have the fortune to have any of his posterity sit on the throne of David. This does not exclude the possibility of his having sons; it merely implies that none of them should obtain the throne. ערירי sig. lit., solitary, forsaken. Thus a man might well be called who has lost his children by death. Acc. to 1 Chronicles 3:16., Jechoniah had two sons, Zedekiah and Assir, of whom the former died childless, the second had but one daughter; and from her and her husband, of the line of Nathan, was born Shealtiel, who also died childless; see the expos. of 1 Chronicles 3:16. Jechoniah was followed on the throne by his uncle Mattaniah, whom Nebuchadnezzar installed under the name of Zedekiah. He it was that rose in insurrection against the king of Babylon, and after the capture of Jerusalem was taken prisoner while in flight; and being carried before Nebuchadnezzar at Riblah, saw his sons put to death before his eyes, was then made blind, thrown in chains, and carried a prisoner to Babylon, 2 Kings 25:4.
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