33:1 The Lord spoke 1 to Jeremiah a second time while he was still confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse. 2 33:2 “I, the Lord, do these things. I, the Lord, form the plan to bring them about. 3 I am known as the Lord. I say to you, 33:3 ‘Call on me in prayer and I will answer you. I will show you great and mysterious 4 things which you still do not know about.’ 33:4 For I, the Lord God of Israel, have something more to say about the houses in this city and the royal buildings which have been torn down for defenses against the siege ramps and military incursions of the Babylonians: 5 33:5 ‘The defenders of the city will go out and fight with the Babylonians. 6 But they will only fill those houses and buildings with the dead bodies of the people that I will kill in my anger and my wrath. 7 That will happen because I have decided to turn my back on 8 this city on account of the wicked things they have done. 9 33:6 But I will most surely 10 heal the wounds of this city and restore it and its people to health. 11 I will show them abundant 12 peace and security. 33:7 I will restore Judah and Israel 13 and will rebuild them as they were in days of old. 14 33:8 I will purify them from all the sin that they committed against me. I will forgive all their sins which they committed in rebelling against me. 15 33:9 All the nations will hear about all the good things which I will do to them. This city will bring me fame, honor, and praise before them for the joy that I bring it. The nations will tremble in awe at all the peace and prosperity that I will provide for it.’ 16
33:10 “I, the Lord, say: 17 ‘You and your people are saying 18 about this place, “It lies in ruins. There are no people or animals in it.” That is true. The towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem 19 will soon be desolate, uninhabited either by people or by animals. But happy sounds will again be heard in these places. 33:11 Once again there will be sounds 20 of joy and gladness and the glad celebrations of brides and grooms. 21 Once again people will bring their thank offerings to the temple of the Lord and will say, “Give thanks to the Lord who rules over all. For the Lord is good and his unfailing love lasts forever.” 22 For I, the Lord, affirm 23 that I will restore the land to what it was 24 in days of old.’ 25
33:12 “I, the Lord who rules over all, say: 26 ‘This place will indeed lie in ruins. There will be no people or animals in it. But there will again be in it and in its towns sheepfolds where shepherds can rest their sheep. 33:13 I, the Lord, say that shepherds will once again count their sheep as they pass into the fold. 27 They will do this in all the towns in the southern hill country, the western foothills, the southern hill country, the territory of Benjamin, the villages surrounding Jerusalem, and the towns of Judah.’ 28
33:14 “I, the Lord, affirm: 29 ‘The time will certainly come when I will fulfill my gracious promise concerning the nations of Israel and Judah. 30 33:15 In those days and at that time I will raise up for them a righteous descendant 31 of David.
“‘He will do what is just and right in the land. 33:16 Under his rule Judah will enjoy safety 32 and Jerusalem 33 will live in security. At that time Jerusalem will be called “The Lord has provided us with justice.” 34 33:17 For I, the Lord, promise: “David will never lack a successor to occupy 35 the throne over the nation of Israel. 36 33:18 Nor will the Levitical priests ever lack someone to stand before me and continually offer up burnt offerings, sacrifice cereal offerings, and offer the other sacrifices.”’” 37
33:19 The Lord spoke further to Jeremiah. 38 33:20 “I, Lord, make the following promise: 39 ‘I have made a covenant with the day 40 and with the night that they will always come at their proper times. Only if you people 41 could break that covenant 33:21 could my covenant with my servant David and my covenant with the Levites ever be broken. So David will by all means always have a descendant to occupy his throne as king and the Levites will by all means always have priests who will minister before me. 42 33:22 I will make the children who follow one another in the line of my servant David very numerous. I will also make the Levites who minister before me very numerous. I will make them all as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sands which are on the seashore.’” 43
33:23 The Lord spoke still further to Jeremiah. 44 33:24 “You have surely noticed what these people are saying, haven’t you? They are saying, 45 ‘The Lord has rejected the two families of Israel and Judah 46 that he chose.’ So they have little regard that my people will ever again be a nation. 47 33:25 But I, the Lord, make the following promise: 48 I have made a covenant governing the coming of day and night. I have established the fixed laws governing heaven and earth. 33:26 Just as surely as I have done this, so surely will I never reject the descendants of Jacob. Nor will I ever refuse to choose one of my servant David’s descendants to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Indeed, 49 I will restore them 50 and show mercy to them.”
1 sn The introductory statement here ties this incident in with the preceding chapter which was the first time that the
2 tn Heb “And the word of the
3 tn Or “I, the
4 tn This passive participle or adjective is normally used to describe cities or walls as “fortified” or “inaccessible.” All the lexicons, however, agree in seeing it used here metaphorically of “secret” or “mysterious” things, things that Jeremiah could not know apart from the
5 tn Heb “the sword.” The figure has been interpreted for the sake of clarity.
7 sn This refers to the tearing down of buildings within the city to strengthen the wall or to fill gaps in it which had been broken down by the Babylonian battering rams. For a parallel to this during the siege of Sennacherib in the time of Hezekiah see Isa 22:10; 2 Chr 32:5. These torn-down buildings were also used as burial mounds for those who died in the fighting or through starvation and disease during the siege. The siege prohibited them from taking the bodies outside the city for burial and leaving them in their houses or in the streets would have defiled them.
8 tn Heb “Because I have hidden my face from.” The modern equivalent for this gesture of rejection is “to turn the back on.” See Ps 13:1 for comparable usage. The perfect is to be interpreted as a perfect of resolve (cf. IBHS 488-89 §30.5.1d and compare the usage in Ruth 4:3).
9 tn The translation and meaning of vv. 4-5 are somewhat uncertain. The translation and precise meaning of vv. 4-5 are uncertain at a number of points due to some difficult syntactical constructions and some debate about the text and meaning of several words. The text reads more literally, “33:4 For thus says the
10 tn Heb “Behold I am healing.” For the usage of the particle “behold” indicating certainty see the translator’s note on 1:6. These are the great and hidden things that the
12 tn The meaning and text of this word is questioned by KBL 749 s.v. עֲתֶרֶת. However, KBL also emends both occurrences of the verb from which BDB 801 s.v. עֲתֶרֶת derives this noun. BDB is more likely correct in seeing this and the usage of the verb in Prov 27:6; Ezek 35:13 as Aramaic loan words from a root meaning to be rich (equivalent to the Hebrew עָשַׁר, ’ashar).
16 tn Heb “And it [the city] will be to me for a name for joy and for praise and for honor before all the nations of the earth which will hear of all the good things which I will do for them and which will be in awe and tremble for all the good things and all the peace [or prosperity] which I will do for them.” The long complex Hebrew sentence has been broken down to better conform with contemporary English style.
20 tn Heb “33:10 Thus says the
22 sn This is a common hymnic introduction to both individual songs of thanksgiving (e.g., Ps 118:1) and communal songs of thanksgiving (e.g., Ps 136 where it is a liturgical refrain accompanying a recital of Israel’s early history and of the
23 tn Heb “Oracle of the
24 tn Or “I will restore the fortunes of the land.”
26 tn Heb “Thus says Yahweh of armies.” For the explanation for the first person introduction see the translator’s notes on 33:2, 10. Verses 4, 10, 12 introduce three oracles, all under the answer to the
27 sn Heb “Sheep will again pass under the hands of the counter.” This appears to be a reference to counting the sheep to make sure that none was missing as they returned to the fold. See the same idiom in Lev 27:52 and in the metaphor in Ezek 20:37.
30 sn This refers at the very least to the promises of Jer 23:5-6, 7-8; 30:3; 31:27, 31 where the same formula “The time will certainly come (Heb “Behold the days are coming”)” occurs. Reference may also be to the promises through the earlier prophets of what is alluded to here, i.e., the restoration of Israel and Judah under a Davidic ruler and the revival of the offerings (cf. Hos 1:10-11; 3:4-5; Amos 9:11-12; Isa 11:1-5, 10-16; Jer 30:9, 21 for the former and Jer 31:14; 33:11 for the latter).
31 tn Heb “sprig” or “shoot.”
sn For the meaning of this term and its significance in biblical prophecy see the study note on 23:5.
34 tn Heb “And this is what will be called to it: ‘The
sn For the significance of this title see the study note on the parallel text in 23:6. Other titles by which Jerusalem is to be known are found in Isa 62:2-4; Jer 3:17; Ezek 48:35; Zech 8:3 emphasizing that the
35 tn Heb “a man shall not be cut off to David [i.e., belonging to the Davidic line] sitting on the throne of the house of Israel.”
37 tn Heb “And to the Levites, the priests [= the Levitical priests, the apposition in place of the adjective] there shall not be cut off a man from before me who offers up burnt offering, sacrifices a cereal offering, or makes a sacrifice all the days.”
39 tn Heb “Thus says the
42 tn The very complex and elliptical syntax of the original Hebrew of vv. 20-21 has been broken down to better conform with contemporary English style. The text reads somewhat literally (after the addition of a couple of phrases which have been left out by ellipsis): “Thus says the
43 tn Heb “Just as the stars in the sky cannot be numbered or the sand on the seashore cannot be measured, so I will greatly increase [or multiply] the seed of my servant David and the Levites who minister before me.” The word “seed of” does not carry over to the “the Levites” as a noun governing two genitives because “the Levites” has the accusative marker in front of it. The sentence has been broken down in conformity with contemporary English style.
sn Context makes it clear that what is in view is an innumerable line of descendants from the righteous ruler that the
45 tn Heb “Have you not seen what this people have said, saying.” The question is rhetorical and expects a positive answer. The sentence has been broken in two to better conform with contemporary English style.
46 tn Heb “The two families which the
47 tn Heb “and my people [i.e., Israel and Judah] they disdain [or look down on] from being again a nation before them.” The phrase “before them” refers to their estimation, their mental view (cf. BDB s.v. פָּנֶה II.4.a[g]). Hence it means they look with disdain on the people being a nation again (cf. BDB s.v. עוֹד 1.a[b] for the usage of עוֹד [’od] here).
48 tn Heb “Thus says the
49 tn The Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) is probably intensive here as it has been on a number of occasions in the book of Jeremiah (see BDB 472 s.v. כִּי 1.e for the category).
50 tn Or “I will make them prosperous once again,” or “I will bring them back from captivity.”
sn For the meaning of this idiom see the translator’s note on Jer 29:14 and compare the usage in 29:14; 30:3, 18; 31:23; 32:44; 33:7, 11. This has been the emphasis on this section which is called by some commentators “The Book of Consolation.” Jeremiah’s emphasis up until chapters 30-33 had been on judgment but he was also called to be the prophet of restoration (cf. Jer 1:10). Promises of restoration though rare up to this point have, however, occurred on occasion (see, e.g., Jer 3:18; 23:5-7; 24:6-7; 29:10-14).