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Jeremiah 33:7-26

Context
33:7 I will restore Judah and Israel 1  and will rebuild them as they were in days of old. 2  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. 3  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.’ 4 

33:10 “I, the Lord, say: 5  ‘You and your people are saying 6  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 7  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 8  of joy and gladness and the glad celebrations of brides and grooms. 9  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.” 10  For I, the Lord, affirm 11  that I will restore the land to what it was 12  in days of old.’ 13 

33:12 “I, the Lord who rules over all, say: 14  ‘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. 15  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.’ 16 

The Lord Reaffirms His Covenant with David, Israel, and Levi

33:14 “I, the Lord, affirm: 17  ‘The time will certainly come when I will fulfill my gracious promise concerning the nations of Israel and Judah. 18  33:15 In those days and at that time I will raise up for them a righteous descendant 19  of David.

“‘He will do what is just and right in the land. 33:16 Under his rule Judah will enjoy safety 20  and Jerusalem 21  will live in security. At that time Jerusalem will be called “The Lord has provided us with justice.” 22  33:17 For I, the Lord, promise: “David will never lack a successor to occupy 23  the throne over the nation of Israel. 24  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.”’” 25 

33:19 The Lord spoke further to Jeremiah. 26  33:20 “I, Lord, make the following promise: 27  ‘I have made a covenant with the day 28  and with the night that they will always come at their proper times. Only if you people 29  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. 30  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.’” 31 

33:23 The Lord spoke still further to Jeremiah. 32  33:24 “You have surely noticed what these people are saying, haven’t you? They are saying, 33  ‘The Lord has rejected the two families of Israel and Judah 34  that he chose.’ So they have little regard that my people will ever again be a nation. 35  33:25 But I, the Lord, make the following promise: 36  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, 37  I will restore them 38  and show mercy to them.”

1 tn Heb “I will reverse [or restore] the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel.” For this idiom see the translator’s note on Jer 29:14 and see the usage in 30:3, 18; 31:23; 32:44.

2 tn This phrase simply means “as formerly” (BDB 911 s.v. רִאשׁוֹן 3.a). The reference to the “as formerly” must be established from the context. See the usage in Judg 20:32; 1 Kgs 13:6; Isa 1:26.

sn Reference is to the reunification of Israel and Judah to the state that they were before the division after Solomon. Compare Jer 3:18; 30:3; 31:27 and see the study note on 30:3.

3 sn Compare Jer 31:34; Ezek 36:25, 33.

4 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.

5 tn Heb “Thus says the Lord.” For the first person rendering see the translator’s note at the end of v. 2.

sn The phrase here is parallel to that in v. 4 and introduces a further amplification of the “great and mysterious things” of v. 3.

6 tn Heb “You.” However, the pronoun is plural as in 32:36, 43. See the translator’s note on 32:36.

7 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

8 tn Heb33:10 Thus says the Lord, ‘There will again be heard in this place of which you are saying [masc. pl.], “It is a ruin without people and without animals,” [that is] in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem which are desolate without people and without inhabitants and without animals 33:11 the sound of….” The long run-on sentence in Hebrew has been broken down to better conform with contemporary English style.

9 sn What is predicted here is a reversal of the decimation caused by the Babylonian conquest that had been threatened in 7:34; 16:9; 25:10.

10 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 Lord’s continuing providence).

11 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

12 tn Or “I will restore the fortunes of the land.”

sn See the study note on Jer 29:18 and compare 29:14; 30:3, 18; 31:23; 32:44; 33:7 for the meaning and usage of this idiom. The promise here repeats that in 33:7.

13 tn This phrase simply means “as formerly” (BDB 911 s.v. רִאשׁוֹן 3.a). The reference to the “as formerly” must be established from the context. See the usage in Judg 20:32; 1 Kgs 13:6; Isa 1:26.

sn This refers to the reunification of Israel and Judah to the state that they were before the division after Solomon. Compare Jer 3:18; 30:3; 31:27 and see the study note on 30:3.

14 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 Lord’s promise to Jeremiah to show him “great and mysterious things which you still do not know about.”

15 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.

16 sn Compare Jer 32:44.

17 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.” For the first person form of address see the translator’s notes on vv. 2, 10, 12.

18 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).

19 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.

20 tn For the translation of this term in this context see the parallel context in 23:6 and consult the translator’s note there.

21 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

22 tn Heb “And this is what will be called to it: ‘The Lord our righteousness.’”

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 Lord takes up his relation with it once again, dwells in it, delights in it, and finds it faithful once more (cf. Isa 1:26). In 23:6 the title is applied to the Davidic ruler that the Lord will raise up over them who will do what is just and right. God’s vindication of the city by its restoration after exile and his provision of this just ruler over it is the probable source for the title.

23 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.”

24 sn It should be noted once again that the reference is to all Israel, not just to Judah (cf. Jer 23:5-6; 30:9).

25 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.”

26 tn Heb “And the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying.” See v. 1. This is a continuation of “the second time.”

27 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.

28 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).

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

30 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).

31 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 Lord raises up over Israel and Judah after their regathering and restoration to the land. What is in view, then, is a reinstitution or reinstatement of the Davidic covenant of grant, the perpetual right of the Davidic dynasty to rule over the nation of Israel for all time (see also v. 26). This is guaranteed by the creation order which is the object of both God’s creative decree (Gen 1:14-19) and his covenant with Noah after the flood (Gen 8:22). (For further discussion on the nature of a covenant of grant see the study note on 32:40.) The rejection of the lines of Jehoiakim (36:30) and Jeconiah (22:30) and the certain captivity and death of Zedekiah (32:4) may have called into question the continuance of the Davidic promise which always had a certain conditional nature to it (cf. 1 Kgs 2:4; 8:25; 9:5). This promise and this guarantee show that the covenant of grant still stands and will ultimately find its fulfillment. Because this promise never found its fulfillment after the return from exile, it is left to the NT to show how it is fulfilled (cf., e.g., Matt 1:1-17 where it is emphasized that Jesus is the son (and heir) of both Abraham and David).

32 tn Heb “And the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying.” See v. 1. This is a continuation of “the second time.”

33 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.

34 tn Heb “The two families which the Lord chose, he has rejected them.” This is an example of an object prepositioned before the verb and resumed by a redundant pronoun to throw emphasis of focus on it (called casus pendens in the grammars; cf. GKC 458 §143.d). Some commentators identify the “two families” as those of David and Levi mentioned in the previous verses, and some identify them as the families of the Israelites and of David mentioned in the next verse. However, the next clause in this verse and the emphasis on the restoration and regathering of Israel and Judah in this section (cf. 33:7, 14) show that the reference is to Israel and Judah (see also 30:3, 4; 31:27, 31 and 3:18).

35 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).

36 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.

37 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).

38 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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