In this chapter the prophet predicts a restoration of Israel and Judah to the favour of God, attended with such glorious circumstances as shall astonish all the world, 1-9. Their prosperity from that period is then described by a beautiful enumeration of circumstances, 10-13. Thus leads to the promise of the Messiah, the grand subject of the prophetical writings, and the happiness and stability which the children of Israel shall enjoy under his government; promises which, in so far as they respect the great body of the Jews, remain still to be fulfilled, 14-26.
Notes on Chapter 33
Moreover the word of the Lord
This was in the eleventh year of the reign of Zedekiah, Jeremiah being still shut up in prison: but he was now in the court of the prison, where the elders and the king's officers, greater ease; for they continued to inquire, foolishly thinking, that if he would but prophesy good things, that these must come, or that he had sufficient power with God to induce him to alter his mind,-destroy the Chaldeans, and deliver the city.
Thus saith the Lord the Maker thereof
osah, the doer of it. That is, he who is to perform that which he is now about to promise. Thus translated by Dahler.-Voici ce que dit l'Eternel, qui fait ce qu'il a dit.-"Thus saith the Lord, who doth that which he hath said." The word Jehovah, not Lord, should be used in all such places as this.
Call unto me, and I will answer thee
To me alone it belongs to reveal what is future; and the stupendous things which are now coming are known only to myself. These idolaters go to their gods to get information relative to the issue of the present commotions; but there is no light in them. Ask thou, O Jeremiah, and I will tell thee the great and mighty things which even thou knowest not.
Thus saith the Lord
This is a new confirmation of what has already been said, viz., The city shall fall, a number of the inhabitants shall perish, the rest shall be carried into captivity; but the nation shall be preserved, and the people return from their captivity.
Behold I will bring it health and cure
aruchah, an extensive plaister; or, as we phrase it, a plaister as large as the sore. I will repair the losses of families by numerous births, and bless the land with fertility.
The captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel
This must respect the latter times, for the ten tribes did not return with the Jews at the termination of the seventy years.
I will cleanse them
These promises of pardon and holiness must be referred to their state under the Gospel, when they shall have received Jesus as the promised Messiah.
They shall fear and tremble
The surrounding nations shall be persuaded that it is the hand of the Almighty that has wrought this change in your behalf; and shall fear to molest you, and tremble lest they should incur the displeasure of your God by doing you any kind of evil.
The voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts
That is, the voice of the Levites in the sacred service: intimating that the temple should be rebuilt, and the public service restored.
A habitation of shepherds
See on Jeremiah 31:12.
Behold the days come
See Jeremiah 52:5;; 31:31.
That good thing which I have promised
By my prophets: for those who have predicted the captivity have also foretold its conclusion, though not in such express terms as Jeremiah did. See Hosea 1:10, ; 2:15, ; 6:11, ; Amos 9:14, and Jeremiah 3:12, end of the captivity has been foretold by Micah, Micah 7:9, Zephaniah, Zephaniah 3:10, and by Jeremiah, Jeremiah 16:15;; 23:3;; 29:10;; 32:37. The Targum explains verses 14,15, and 16 of the Messiah.
And this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness.
See what has been said on Jeremiah 23:6, (See Clarke on Jeremiah 23:6.) which is generally supposed to be a strictly parallel passage: but they are very different, and I doubt whether they mean exactly the same thing. As to our translation here, it is ignorant, and almost impious; it says that Jerusalem, for that is the antecedent, shall be called The Lord our Righteousness. The pronoun lah, which is translated her, is the masculine affix, in the Chaldaic form, which frequently occurs; and Dr. Blayney translates, "And this is He whom Jehovah shall call our righteousness," or Justification. Perhaps there is a sense which these words will bear far more congenial to the scope of the place. I will give the original, as before: vezeh asher yikra lah, Yehovah tsidkenu, "And this one who shall call to her is the Lord our Justification;" that is, the salvation of the Jews shall take place when Jesus Christ is proclaimed to them as their Justifier, and they receive him as such.
Instead of lah, her or him, Chaldaice, the Vulgate, Chaldee, and Syriac have read lo, him, less ambiguously; and this reading is supported by one or two MSS. This emendation renders the passage here more conformable to that in Jeremiah 23:6; but if the translation above be admitted, all embarrassment is gone.
One of my own MSS. has loh, with the masculine points, and no mappik on the he; and for tsidkenu has tsidkeynu, the contracted plural form, our righteousness: but this may be a mistake. The passages in this and the twenty-third chapter were not, I am satisfied, intended to express the same thing. I suppose that above refers to the preaching or proclaiming Christ crucified to the Jews, when the time shall arrive in which they shall be incorporated with the Gentile Church. Dahler translates this as he did that in Jeremiah 23:6, which is a perfect oversight: but paraphrastic renderings are too often introduced by this learned foreigner.
Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man
This is a repetition of the promise made to Phinehas, Numbers 25:13.
If ye can break my covenant of the day
See Clarke on Jeremiah 31:36.
So will I multiply the seed of David
This must be understood of the spiritual David, Jesus Christ, and his progeny, genuine Christians. The two families which God chose for the priesthood, that of Aaron and Phinehas, or, on its being taken away from him, that of Ithamar, 1 Samuel 2:35, are both extinct. Nor has the office of high priest, or priest of any kind offering sacrifice, been exercised among the Jews for nearly eighteen hundred years; therefore what is said here of the priesthood must refer to the spiritual priesthood, at the head of which is Jesus Christ.
The two families which the Lord hath chosen
Some think these refer to the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah; but they never can be considered as two distinct families, being of one and the same race. Others think that the families of Jacob and David are intended; but neither were these distinct. If the two families which had the priesthood be not meant, then the regal family of David, and the sacerdotal family of Jacob through Levi, may be designed. See Jeremiah 33:26. Following the spiritual interpretation, neither the regal nor sacerdotal family has failed; for Jesus is a King and a Priest, and all true believers in him are kings and priests unto God and the Lamb. And the highest King that ever reigned is He who is the seed of David, King of kings and Lord of lords, who has all power in heaven and in earth.