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Jeremiah 33:20-21

Context
33:20 “I, Lord, make the following promise: 1  ‘I have made a covenant with the day 2  and with the night that they will always come at their proper times. Only if you people 3  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. 4 

Jeremiah 33:25-26

Context
33:25 But I, the Lord, make the following promise: 5  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, 6  I will restore them 7  and show mercy to them.”

1 tn Heb “Thus says the Lord.” However, the Lord is speaking so the first person introduction has again been adopted. The content of the verse shows that it is a promise to David (vv. 21-22) and the Levites based on a contrary to fact condition (v. 20). See further the translator’s note at the end of the next verse for explanation of the English structure adopted here.

2 tn The word יוֹמָם (yomam) is normally an adverb meaning “daytime, by day, daily.” However, here and in v. 25 and in Jer 15:9 it means “day, daytime” (cf. BDB 401 s.v. יוֹמָם 1).

3 tn Heb “you.” The pronoun is plural as in 32:36, 43; 33:10.

4 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 Lord, ‘If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night so that there is not to be daytime and night in their proper time then also my covenant can be broken with my servant David so that there is not to him a son reigning upon his throne [and also my covenant can be broken] with the Levites [so there are not] priests who minister to me.” The two phrases in brackets are elliptical, the first serving double duty for the prepositional phrase “with the Levites” as well as “with David” and the second serving double duty with the noun “priests” which parallels “a son.” The noun “priests” is not serving here as appositional because that phrase is always “the priests, the Levites,” never “the Levites, the priests.”

sn This refers to a reaffirmation of the Davidic covenant (cf., e.g., 2 Sam 7:11-16, 25-29; Ps 89:3-4, 19-29) and God’s covenant with the Levites (cf. Num 25:10-13; Mal 2:4-6; Deut 32:8-11).

5 tn Heb “Thus says the Lord.” See the translator’s note at the beginning of v. 20 for the style adopted here. Here the promise is in v. 26 following the contrary to fact condition in v. 25. The Hebrew text of vv. 25-26 reads: “Thus says the Lord, “If I have not established my covenant with day and night [and] the laws/statutes of heaven and earth, also I could reject the seed of Jacob and David my servant from taking from his seed as rulers over the seed of Abraham…” The syntax of the original is a little awkward because it involves the verbs “establish” and “reject” governing two objects, the first governing two similar objects “my covenant” and “the regulations” and the second governing two dissimilar objects “the seed of Jacob” and “my servant David from taking [so as not to take].” The translation has sought to remove these awkward syntactical constructions and also break down the long complex original sentence in such a way as to retain its original intent, i.e., the guarantee of the continuance of the seed of Jacob and of the rule of a line of David’s descendants over them based on the fixed order of God’s creation decrees.

6 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).

7 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).



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