Jeremiah 32:40
And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(40) I will make an everlasting covenant . . .—The “covenant” thus promised is, it must be remembered, identical with that of Jeremiah 31:31—the “new covenant,” which shall never wax old and decay, but shall abide for ever. “My fear” is identical with “the fear of the Lord,” which is “the beginning of wisdom.” The curse of Israel had been that they had been without that fear to restrain them from evil, and that the mere dread of punishment had proved powerless to supply its place.

Jeremiah 32:40-44. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them — The Jewish covenant, even with respect to the ceremonial ordinances contained in it, is sometimes called an everlasting covenant; see Genesis 17:13; Leviticus 24:8; Isaiah 24:5; because those ordinances were to continue for a long succession of ages; but when this expression is applied to the gospel covenant, there is a peculiar emphasis contained in it, implying that it should never be abolished, or give way to any other dispensation. That I will not turn away from them to do them good — This clause manifestly shows, that this promise relates to those Jews and Israelites that should embrace the gospel, and become Jews inwardly, and Israelites indeed; for, as to others, God did turn away from doing them good, when their city was taken by Titus, and so many myriads of them perished by the sword, famine, and pestilence. But I will put my fear into their hearts — My Spirit shall beget in them a true reverence for, and genuine, loving fear of me, producing obedience to my laws, subjection to my authority, and perseverance in my ways, so that they shall not depart from me. Some justly infer from this declaration, that when once the body of the Jews shall be converted, they shall never again apostatize from God. Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good — I will not only do them good, but will take pleasure therein. And I will plant them, &c., assuredly, with my whole heart — With a true and lasting affection. Like as I have brought all this great evil, &c. — They shall find me as true to my promises as to my threatenings. See Jeremiah 31:28. And fields shall be bought in this land, &c. — So that it was not without good reason that I sent Hanameel unto thee, Jeremiah 32:8. It was to assure thee that, though at present the Chaldeans shall prevail against Jerusalem, and the Jews shall be carried into captivity, and shall neither buy nor sell here, yet fields shall be bought here again. Men shall buy and sell, and seal evidences in all parts of this land, whereof you say, in despair, It is desolate without man or beast — Having no hope of the land being ever inhabited by your nation again. For I will cause their captivity to return, saith the Lord — The return of their captivity under Cyrus shall be an earnest of those greater blessings which I will bestow upon them at their general restoration. 32:26-44 God's answer discovers the purposes of his wrath against that generation of the Jews, and the purposes of his grace concerning future generations. It is sin, and nothing else, that ruins them. The restoration of Judah and Jerusalem is promised. This people were now at length brought to despair. But God gives hope of mercy which he had in store for them hereafter. Doubtless the promises are sure to all believers. God will own them for his, and he will prove himself theirs. He will give them a heart to fear him. All true Christians shall have a disposition to mutual love. Though they may have different views about lesser things, they shall all be one in the great things of God; in their views of the evil of sin, and the low estate of fallen man, the way of salvation through the Saviour, the nature of true holiness, the vanity of the world, and the importance of eternal things. Whom God loves, he loves to the end. We have no reason to distrust God's faithfulness and constancy, but only our own hearts. He will settle them again in Canaan. These promises shall surely be performed. Jeremiah's purchase was the pledge of many a purchase that should be made after the captivity; and those inheritances are but faint resemblances of the possessions in the heavenly Canaan, which are kept for all who have God's fear in their hearts, and do not depart from him. Let us then bear up under our trials, assured we shall obtain all the good he has promised us.God's new covenant Jeremiah 31:31 is on God's side, I will not turn away from them to do them good, i. e., I will never cease from doing them good. On their side, I will put My fear in their hearts that they depart not from Me. In these two conditions consists the certainty of the eternal duration of the covenant Matthew 28:20.40. (Jer 31:31, 33; Isa 55:3).

not depart from me—never yet fully realized as to the Israelites.

I will not turn away from them … good—(Isa 30:21). Jehovah compares Himself to a sedulous preceptor following his pupils everywhere to direct their words, gestures.

put my fear in … hearts … not depart from me—Both the conversion and perseverance of the saints are the work of God alone, by the operation of the Holy Spirit.

This promise manifestly relateth to those Jews that should receive the Lord Jesus Christ, or that were Israelites indeed; for as to others, God did turn away from doing them good, when their city was taken by Titus; unless it be to be understood of a national conversion of the Jews, not yet effected.

I will put my fear into their hearts, that they shall not depart from me; my Spirit, which shall beget in them a dread of me, so as they shall not depart from me. Hence some conclude well, that when once the body of the Jews shall be converted, they shall never again apostatize from God. It may well from hence be concluded, that both conversion unto God, and perseverance in the ways of God, are the gifts of God; we are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them,.... Which is made known and manifest at conversion; when the grace of it is applied; the blessings of it bestowed; and the promises of it made good; and therefore said to be made; for otherwise the covenant of grace here spoken of was made from all eternity with Christ, and his people in him; as appears from his being set up as the Mediator so early, and from the blessings and promises of it being of such a date. It is founded on the everlasting love of God, and is according to his eternal purpose; and is no other than an eternal transaction between the Father and the Son concerning the salvation of his elect; and which will last for ever, and never be antiquated, as the covenant under the former dispensation was; and which shows that this respects Gospel times:

that I will not turn away from them to do them good; he may withdraw his gracious presence for a while; but he never turns from his love and affections to his people; nor from his gracious purposes concerning them; nor from his promises to them; nor from his gifts bestowed on them; or so as to utterly leave them and forsake them, or cease to do them good: he has laid up goodness for them; he has bestowed much on them whom he has called by his grace; he has given himself to them as their God and portion; his Son as their Saviour and Redeemer, and all good things with him; his Spirit as their Sanctifier, with his gifts and graces; and he has wrought a good work in them; and he will continue to do them good, by fresh discoveries of his love; by granting his gracious presence; by carrying on his work of grace; by supplying their wants, and making all things work together for their good. The Targum is,

"my Word shall not turn away, &c.''

but I will put my fear in their hearts; which is not naturally in the hearts of then; and, where it is, it is put there by the grace of God, and as a blessing of the covenant; it appears in those who are brought to a true sight of sin, in their humble sense of themselves, and dependence on the Lord; and in a reverent affection for him: and in a true and spiritual worship of him; and which is a security from a final and total apostasy from him, as follows:

that they shall not depart from me; not but that they may and do sin against God; and there may be a partial departure from him in those that truly fear him; but not a wicked, final, and total one: the fear of God influences them to cleave close unto him; and the power of God keeps them from departing from him, from his doctrines, worship, and ordinances, from his people, and a profession of his name.

And I will make an everlasting {u} covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.

(u) Read Jer 31:1-33:26.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
40. that they shall not depart] better, that it turn not away.

Verse 40. - An everlasting covenant. It is the "new covenant" of Jeremiah 31:31, etc., which is meant (for the phrase, comp. Isaiah 55:3; Ezekiel 37:26). That I will not turn... to do them good. The comma in the Authorized Version impairs the sense. The prophet means, "That I will not cease to show them favour" (comp. Isaiah 54:10). The answer of the Lord. - Behold, I am Jahveh, the God of all flesh; is there anything impossible to me? Jeremiah 32:28. Therefore, thus saith Jahveh: Behold, I give this city into the hand of the Chaldeans, and into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar, the king of Babylon, that he may take it. Jeremiah 32:29. The Chaldeans that fight against this city shall come, and shall set fire to this city, and burn it and the houses on whose roofs you have burned incense to Baal and poured out libations to other gods, to provoke me. Jeremiah 32:30. For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have done only what is evil in mine eyes from their youth; for the children of Israel have only provoked me with the work of their hands, saith Jahveh. Jeremiah 32:31. For this city has been to me a burden upon mine anger and upon my wrath from the day that it was built till this day, that I might remove it from before my face;] Jeremiah 32:32. Because of all the wickedness of the children of Israel and the children of Judah, which they have done, to provoke me-they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Jeremiah 32:33. They turned to me the back and not the face; and though they were constantly being taught, they would not hear so as to receive instruction. Jeremiah 32:34. And they placed their abominations in the house which is called by my name, in order to defile it; Jeremiah 32:35. And built high places to Baal in the valley of Ben-hinnom, to devote their sons and their daughters of Moloch-which I did not command them, nor did it come into my mind that they would do such abomination-that they might lead Judah to sin. Jeremiah 32:36. And now, therefore, thus saith Jahveh, the God of Israel, concerning this city, of which ye say, 'It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, through the sword, famine, and pestilence:' Jeremiah 32:37. Behold, I shall gather them out of all lands whither I have driven them in my wrath, and in mine anger, and in great rage, and shall bring them back to this place, and make them dwell safely. Jeremiah 32:38. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. Jeremiah 32:39. And I will give them one heart and one way, to fear me always, for good to them and to their children after them. Jeremiah 32:40. And I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I shall not turn aside form doing them good; and I will put my fear in their heart, that they may not depart from me. Jeremiah 32:41. And I shall rejoice over them, to do them good, and shall plant them in this land, in truth, with my whole heart and my whole soul. Jeremiah 32:42. For thus saith Jahveh: 'Just as I have brought all this great evil on this people, so shall I bring on them all the good of which I speak regarding them.' Jeremiah 32:43. And fields shall be bought in this land, of which ye say, It is a desolation, without man or beast, and it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans. Jeremiah 32:44. They shall buy fields for money, and write it in the letter, and seal it up, and take witnesses, in the land of Benjamin, and in the places round Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, and in the cities of the hill-country, and in the cities of the plain, and in the cities of the south; for I shall turn again their captivity, saith Jahveh."

The Lord replies to the three points touched on in the prayer of the prophet. First, in Jeremiah 32:27, He emphatically confirms the acknowledgment that to Him, as Creator of heaven and earth, nothing is impossible (Jeremiah 32:17), and at the same time points out Himself as the God of all flesh, i.e., the God on whom depend the life and death of all men. This description of God is copied from Numbers 16:22; Numbers 27:16, where Jahveh is called "the God of the spirits of all flesh." "All flesh" is the name given to humanity, as being frail and perishing. - Then God reaffirms that Jerusalem will be given into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar, and be burned by the Chaldeans (Jeremiah 32:28.), because Israel and Judah have always roused His wrath by their idolatry and rebellion against His commands (Jeremiah 32:30-35). The substance of these verses has been often given before. On והצּיתוּ cf. Jeremiah 21:10; Jeremiah 37:8; on אשׁר cf. Jeremiah 19:13 with Jeremiah 7:9, Jeremiah 7:18. The mention of the children of Israel in connection with the children of Judah is not to be understood as if the destruction of Jerusalem was partly owing to the former; but it is here made, to signify that Judah can expect no better fate than the Israelites, whose kingdom has been destroyed long before, and who have for a long time now been driven into exile. היוּ, "they were only doing," i.e., doing nothing else than what is displeasing to the Lord. In Jeremiah 32:30 "the children of Israel" is a designation of the whole covenant people. The whole sentence has reference to Deuteronomy 31:29. "The work of their hands" is not the idols, but signifies the whole conduct and actions of the people. Jeremiah 32:31. The difficult construction היתה־לּי...על־אפּי is most easily explained from the employment of היה על with reference to the superincumbency of a duty or burden lying on one. "This city became to me a burden on my wrath," an object which lay upon my wrath, called it forth. No other explanation can be vindicated. The passages Jeremiah 52:3 and 2 Kings 24:3, 2 Kings 24:20, are of a different character, and the meaning juxta, secundum for על, after 2 Kings 6:14 (Hitzig), is quite unsuitable. The words, "from the day when it was built," are not to be referred to the earliest founding of Jerusalem, but to that time when the Israelites first built it; and even in reference to this, they are not to be pressed, but to be viewed as a rhetorically strong expression for, "from its earliest times." Even so early as David's time, opposition against Jahveh showed itself in the conspiracy of Absalom; and towards the end of Solomon's reign, idolatry had been introduced into Jerusalem, 1 Kings 11:5. After the words "to remove it from before my face," there follows once more, in Jeremiah 32:32, the reason of the rejection; cf. Jeremiah 7:12; Jeremiah 11:17, and for enumeration of the several classes of the population, Jeremiah 2:26; Jeremiah 17:25. The sins are once more specified, Jeremiah 32:33-35; in Jeremiah 32:33, as a stiff-necked departure from God, and in Jeremiah 32:34. the mention of the greatest abomination of idolatry, the setting up of idols in the temple, and of the worship of Moloch. With 33a cf. Jeremiah 2:27. The inf. abs. ולמּד stands with special emphasis instead of the finite tense: though they were taught from early morn, yet they were inattentive still. On this point cf. Jeremiah 2:13, Jeremiah 2:25; Jeremiah 25:3-4. On לקחת מוּסר cf. Jeremiah 17:23; Jeremiah 7:28. Jeremiah 32:34, Jeremiah 32:35 are almost identical with Jeremiah 7:30-31. לעשׂות וגו does not belong to the relative clause אשׁר לא וגו' (Nהgelsbach), but is parallel to להעביר וגו', continuing the main clause: "that they should commit these abominations, and thereby cause Judah to sin," i.e., bring them into sin and guilt. החטי with א dropped; see Jeremiah 19:15. - After setting forth the sin for which Judah had drawn on herself the judgment through the Chaldeans, the Lord proclaims, Jeremiah 32:36., the deliverance of the people from exile, and their restoration; thus He answers the question which had been put to Him, Jeremiah 32:25. ועתּה, "but now," marks what follows as the antithesis to what precedes. "Therefore, thus saith Jahveh," in Jeremiah 32:36, corresponds to the same words in Jeremiah 32:28. Because nothing is impossible to the Lord, He shall, as God of Israel, gather again those who have been scattered through every land, and bring them back into their own country. "To this city," - namely, of which ye speak. The suffix of מקבּצם refers to העיר, whose inhabitants are meant. Jerusalem, as the capital, represents the whole kingdom. "The dispersed" are thus, in general, the inhabitants of Judah. Hence, too, from the nature of the case, "this place" is the kingdom of Judah. On this point cf. Ezekiel 36:11, Ezekiel 36:33; Hosea 11:11.

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