Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Moreover the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison, saying,
Jer 33:1-26. Prophecy of the Restoration from Babylon, and of Messiah as King and Priest.
1. shut up—(Jer 32:2, 3; 2Ti 2:9). Though Jeremiah was shut up in bondage, the word of God was "not bound."
Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name;
2. maker thereof—rather, "the doer of it," namely, that which Jeremiah is about to prophesy, the restoration of Israel, an act which is thought now impossible, but which the Almighty will effect.
formed it—namely, Jerusalem (Jer 32:44) [Calvin]. Rather, "that formed," that is, moulds His purpose into due shape for execution (Isa 37:26).
Lord … his name—(Ex 3:14, 15).
Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
3. Call … I will answer—(Jer 29:12; Ps 91:15). Jeremiah, as the representative of the people of God, is urged by God to pray for that which God has determined to grant; namely, the restoration. God's promises are not to slacken, but to quicken the prayers of His people (Ps 132:13, 17; Isa 62:6, 7).
mighty things—Hebrew, "inaccessible things," that is, incredible, hard to man's understanding [Maurer], namely, the restoration of the Jews, an event despaired of. "Hidden," or "recondite" [Piscator].
thou knowest not—Yet God had revealed those things to Jeremiah, but the unbelief of the people in rejecting the grace of God had caused him to forget God's promise, as though the case of the people admitted of no remedy.
For thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city, and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah, which are thrown down by the mounts, and by the sword;
4. houses … thrown down by the mounts—namely, by the missiles cast from the besiegers' mounds (Jer 32:24); "and by the sword" follows properly, as, after missiles had prepared the way, the foe next advanced to close quarters "with the sword."
They come to fight with the Chaldeans, but it is to fill them 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.
5. They—the Jews; the defenders of the "houses" (Jer 33:4), "come forward to fight with the Chaldeans," who burst into the city through the "thrown-down houses," but all the effect that they produce "is, to fill them (the houses) with" their own "dead bodies."
Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.
6. (Jer 30:17). The answer to Jeremiah's mournful question (Jer 8:22).
cure—literally, the long linen bandage employed in dressing wounds.
truth—that is, stability; I will bring forth for them abundant and permanent peace, that is, prosperity.
And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first.
7. cause … to return—that is, reverse (Jer 33:11; Jer 32:44). The specification, both of "Judah" and "Israel," can only apply fully to the future restoration.
as at the first—(Isa 1:26).
And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.
8. cleanse—(Eze 36:25; Zec 13:1; Heb 9:13, 14). Alluding to the legal rites of purification.
all their iniquity … all their iniquities—both the principle of sin within, and its outward manifestations in acts. The repetition is in order that the Jews may consider how great is the grace of God in not merely pardoning (as to the punishment), but also cleansing them (as to the pollution of guilt); not merely one iniquity, but all (Mic 7:18).
And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.
9. it—the city.
a name … a praise—(Jer 13:11; Isa 62:7).
them—the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
they shall fear … for all the goodness—(Ps 130:4). The Gentiles shall be led to "fear" God by the proofs of His power displayed in behalf of the Jews; the ungodly among them shall "tremble" for fear of God's judgments on them; the penitent shall reverentially fear and be converted to Him (Ps 102:15; Isa 60:3).
Thus saith the LORD; Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say shall be desolate without man and without beast, even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man, and without inhabitant, and without beast,
10. ye say … desolate—(Jer 32:43).
The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: 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, as at the first, saith the LORD.
11. (Jer 7:34; 16:9).
Praise the Lord, &c.—the words of Ps 136:1, which were actually used by the Jews at their restoration (Ezr 3:11).
sacrifice of praise—(Ps 107:22; 116:17). This shall continue when all other sacrifices shall be at an end.
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Again in this place, which is desolate without man and without beast, and in all the cities thereof, shall be an habitation of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down.
12. habitation of shepherds … flocks—in contrast to Jer 33:10, "without man … inhabitant … without beast" (Jer 32:43; compare Jer 31:24; 50:19; Isa 65:10).
In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the vale, and in the cities of the south, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shall the flocks pass again under the hands of him that telleth them, saith the LORD.
13. pass … under … hands of him that telleth them—Shepherds, in sending forth and bringing back their sheep to the folds, count them by striking each as it passes with a rod, implying the shepherd's provident care that not one should be lost (Le 27:32; Mic 7:14; compare Joh 10:28, 29; 17:12).
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.
14. perform—"I will make to rise"; God's promise having for a time seemed to "lie" dead and abortive [Calvin].
In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.
15. Repeated from Jer 23:5.
the land—the Holy Land: Israel and Judah (Jer 23:6).
In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.
16. Jerusalem—In Jer 23:6, instead of this, it is "Israel." "The name" in the Hebrew has here to be supplied from that passage; and for "he" (Messiah, the antitypical "Israel"), the antecedent there (Isa 49:3), we have "she" here, that is, Jerusalem. She is called by the same name as Messiah, "The Lord Our Righteousness," by virtue of the mystical oneness between her (as the literal representative of the spiritual Church) and her Lord and Husband. Thus, whatever belongs to the Head belongs also to the members (Eph 5:30, 32). Hence, the Church is called "Christ" (Ro 16:7; 1Co 12:12). The Church hereby professes to draw all her righteousness from Christ (Isa 45:24, 25). It is for the sake of Jerusalem, literal and spiritual, that God the Father gives this name (Jehovah, Tsidkenu, "The Lord our Righteousness") to Christ.
For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel;
17. The promises of perpetuity of the throne of David fulfilled in Messiah, the son of David (2Sa 7:16; 1Ki 2:4; Ps 89:4, 29, 36; compare Lu 1:32, 33).
Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually.
18. Messiah's literal priesthood (Heb 7:17, 21, 24-28), and His followers' spiritual priesthood and sacrifices (Jer 33:11; Ro 12:1; 15:16; 1Pe 2:5, 9; Re 1:6), shall never cease, according to the covenant with Levi, broken by the priests, but fulfilled by Messiah (Nu 25:12, 13; Mal 2:4, 5, 8).
And the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah, saying,
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;
20. covenant of the day—that is, covenant with the day: answering to "covenant with David" (Jer 33:21, also Jer 33:25, "with day"; compare Jer 31:35, 36; Le 26:42; Ps 89:34, 37).
Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers.
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.
22. (Ge 15:5; 22:17). The blessing there promised belonged to all the tribes; here it is restricted to the family of David and the tribe of Levi, because it was on these that the welfare of the whole people rested. When the kingdom and priesthood flourish in the person of Messiah, the whole nation shall temporally and spiritually prosper.
Moreover the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying,
Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the LORD hath chosen, he hath even cast them off? thus they have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them.
24. this people—certain of the Jews, especially those who spoke with Jeremiah in the court of the prison (Jer 32:12; 38:1).
the two families—Judah and Israel.
before them—in their judgment. They suppose that I have utterly cast off Israel so as to he no more a nation. The expression, "My people," of itself, shows God has not cast off Israel for ever.
Thus saith the LORD; If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth;
25. (Jer 31:35, 36; Ge 8:22; Ps 74:16, 17). I who have established the laws of nature am the same God who has made a covenant with the Church.
Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob, 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: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them.
26. Isaac—(Ps 105:9; Am 7:9, 16).