Jeremiah Chapter 33
Verses 1-3: The promises of future restoration must have seemed especially hard for Jeremiah to believe while he was imprisoned in the midst of the Babylonian crisis, and so the Lord encouraged him to pray with the promise that He would do “Great and mighty things, which thou knowest not”. The promises of God are certain, but He still calls on His people to actualize those promises through prayer. God wants to be involved in people’s lives, to be asked to help. People must call upon Him so He can answer them (Psalm 91:15; Isa. 55:6-7).
Jeremiah 33:1 “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,”
(See note on Jer. 32:2). Jeremiah being forced out of the temple, God follows him to the prison, and there reveals his mind to him again. The wickedness of the Jews in persecuting the prophet could not make God’s promises of no effect respecting mercy to be shown to the people after the captivity. Which promises, though made before, are here confirmed a second time.
Jeremiah is still in the court of the prison. It seems he had some freedom of movement because he took the documents to be recorded in the last lesson. This really is a continuation of chapter 32. The word “moreover” indicates it is connected. Notice that a prison could not shut Jeremiah away from God.
Jeremiah 33:2 “Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD [is] his name;”
That is, as many interpreters understand it, of the city of Jerusalem, a figure of that church spoken of before (see Jer. 32:36 32:44, compared with the 4th, 6th, and 9th verses of this chapter).
“The Lord is his name”: He is God and not man, and so is unchangeable and omnipotent. A similar expression is frequent in Isaiah (Isa. 47:4, 48:2; compare Jer. 10:16), in connection, as here, with Jehovah as Creator of all things.
Jehovah is spoken of here as the Maker, the One who formed it and established it. “LORD”, here, is Jehovah, “Jesus”, in its extended meaning is Jehovah Savior.
Jeremiah 33:3 “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”
“Call … I will answer”: God invited Jeremiah’s prayer, which appeals to Him to fulfill the aspects of His promises which He guarantees He will attend to (as 29:11-14; Dan. 9:4-19; compare John 15:7). His answer to the prayer was assured (in verses 4-26 here; compare verse 14).
(See the note on 11:11).
God is telling Jeremiah to pray and He will answer his prayer.
James 4:2 “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.”
God will hear Jeremiah because he is righteous in God’s sight.
James 5:16 “Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
Jeremiah certainly did not know all there was to know of God. The closer Jeremiah (or any of us) will draw to God in prayer, the more of Himself God will show. There is nothing impossible for God. God reveals Himself to those who obey and follow Him.
Jeremiah 33:4 “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;”
The destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, which was now fulfilling, is here mentioned as a pledge of the accomplishment of spiritual blessings spoken of. And to assure the prophet, that as he would with his own eyes see the fulfilment of the prophecies he had delivered out in the name of the Lord concerning that, so likewise, as certainly would the other be brought to pass.
“Concerning the houses of this city, and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah, which were thrown down by the mounts, and by the sword”: By “the mounts”, which the Chaldeans raised without the city. Or by the engines they placed there, by which they cast stones into the city, demolishing houses in it. Particularly the houses of the king and nobles, which they especially directed their shots at. And by “the sword”, hammers, axes, and mattocks, for which sometimes this word is used, when they entered into the city.
Jeremiah had been concerned about all of the destruction by the Chaldeans or the Babylonians. They were thrown down but God has a plan which He is about to reveal to Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 33:5 “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.”
Either the Jews out of the country, or foreign troops, their neighbors, to oblige them to break up the siege; but all to no purpose. Or rather the Jews within; who, from the mounts erected, fight with the Chaldeans; or by rushing out upon them.
“But it is to fill them with the dead bodies of men”: The mounts, made of their houses, or their houses themselves. It is only to make them graves, and fill them with these carcasses.
“Whom I have slain in mine anger, and in my fury”: That is, suffered to be slain, being wroth and angry with them, for their sins, as follows.
“And for all whose wickedness I have hid my face from the city”: Had no pity for it, showed no mercy to it, and gave it no help and assistance, or protection, having withdrawn his presence from it. So the Targum, “I have caused my Shekinah to depart from this city, because of their wickedness.”
They thought they were fighting the Chaldeans, but it was God who sent the Chaldeans to bring judgement on them for their wickedness. God had not looked at the city for a long time, because the people were so evil. He cannot look upon sin because He is Holy. When He does look upon sin, He must destroy it. When He looked, His fury rose up, and He destroyed them.
Jeremiah 33:6 “Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.”
That is, the church of God and the members of it, typified by Jerusalem. And it is to be understood of the healing of their spiritual maladies, the diseases of sin, through the blood of the Messiah, who should arise with healing in his wings. That is, with remission of sin, which is often meant by healing in Scripture. Christ is the physician. His blood, the balm in Gilead, being applied to those that are diseased with sin, to sin-sick souls, makes an effectual cure of them. So that they shall not say they are sick, because their iniquities are forgiven them (see Psalm 103:3).
“And will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth”. The same with “grace and truth”, which are come by Christ (John 1:17). Under the Old Testament, these were figured by types and shadows; but not revealed clearly, as under the New Testament, to which this prophecy belongs. “Peace” may intend peace made with God by the blood of Christ. Peace of conscience, which he gives, and arises from a sense of pardon and atonement by his blood, and justification by his righteousness. And all kind of spiritual welfare, prosperity, and happiness. Of which there will be an abundance, especially in the latter days of the Messiah (Psalm 72:8). “Truth” may design the faithfulness of God, in fulfilling all his promises and prophecies concerning the Messiah. And salvation by him, and may stand opposed to the types and shadows of the old law. And include the Gospel, the word of truth, and all the doctrines of it. Which are clearly and fully revealed by the spirit of truth, wisdom, and revelation, in the knowledge of Christ. Here begins the account of the great, mighty, and hidden things the Lord promised to show the prophet (Jer. 33:3). The Targum of this last clause is,
“And I will reveal the gate of repentance unto them, and I will show them, how they shall walk in the way of peace and truth;”
It is only God who can restore them. Man cannot save Himself; he needs a Savior. God will bring health and cure. Peace and Truth will be revealed to them, but the real Peace and Truth is in the person of Jesus Christ. Sin dominated the soul of man until Jesus defeated sin on the cross. Jesus said “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick”; He came to heal the sick.
Jeremiah 33:7 “And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first.”
Mention being made of the return of the captivity of Israel, or the ten tribes, as well as that of Judah, shows that this prophecy does not relate to the return of the Jews from their seventy years’ captivity in Babylon. But is to be understood spiritually, of a release of the mystical and spiritual Israel of God from the captivity of sin, Satan, and the law, by the Messiah.
“And will build them as at the first”: In the latter day, as at the beginning or first times of the Gospel. When the temple of the Lord was built by Christ, as the chief master builder, and by his apostles under him, upon himself, the foundation of the apostles and prophets. He being the corner stone of it, whereby it became a habitation for God through the Spirit. Since that time, by means of heretics and false teachers, and especially by the man of sin, the tabernacle of David, or church of Christ, is greatly fallen into ruin, and needs rebuilding and repairing. And this will be done; and then it will be a beautiful structure, as at the first, or as it was in the times of the apostles (see Acts 15:16).
In just 70 years after the captivity, Babylon will be overrun by Cyrus and the captives will go back to their homeland. Not only will Judah (which includes Benjamin), return, but the 10 tribes of Israel as well. This really is speaking also of those who come home to the Lord in the spirit.
Jeremiah 33:8 “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.”
Again, the Lord emphasized the individual spiritual salvation associated with the New Covenant restoration to the land.
The fact is, it is God who cleanses us from sin. To forgive, includes a cleansing of the heart. The major emphasis here is the cleansing that occurs when a person is washed in the blood of the Lamb (Jesus Christ).
Hebrews 8:12 “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”
Revelation 1:5 “And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,”
Jeremiah 33:9 “And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honor 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.”
That is, the church and people of God, being redeemed and rebuilt by Christ, and being cleansed from their sins in his blood. And all their iniquities forgiven for his sake, would be a cause of joy to themselves and others, and bring joy, praise, and honor unto God. So the church, in the latter day, will be an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations, and a praise in the earth (Isa. 60:15); and here they are said to be so.
“Before all the nations, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them”: In redeeming them by the Messiah; calling them by his Spirit and grace. Justifying them by the righteousness of Christ; pardoning their sins through his blood. Making them fit for, and giving them a title to, eternal glory and happiness. All which would be made known, as it has been to the Gentiles, through the preaching of the Gospel. And which has occasioned joy and gladness among them, and praise and thanksgiving unto God, and which has great effect to his honor and glory.
“And they shall fear and tremble, for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it”: That is, they shall fear the Lord, and tremble at his word. Not with a slavish, but respectful fear, which is consistent with joy and gladness. And which fear will be influenced not by the terrors of the law, but by the goodness of God. Being of the same nature with the fear of the converted Jews at the latter day, who will fear the Lord, and his goodness (Hosea 3:5). So the Gentiles, seeing and hearing of the goodness of God bestowed upon the believing Jews, will be mindful of the same, and be encouraged to seek after it. And finding it, shall be engaged to fear the Lord, and worship him.
The world has always stood in awe at the undeserved blessings God’s people have. The Jews were thought of as God’s people. When God was blessing them, the other nations feared them. They were not afraid of Israel, they were afraid of Israel’s God. The Christians bear the name of Christ. The world still does not understand the covenant relationship. The Jews were thought of as the people with the law of God. They were respected because of the power of their God. Christians are under the covenant of Grace. We are God’s representative here on the earth. The world still does not understand.
Jeremiah 33:10 “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,”
This is to be connected with the beginning of (Jer. 33:11). And what follows to be put in a parenthesis.
“Which ye say shall be desolate without man and without beast” (as in Jer. 32:43). The destruction of it being now certain and inevitable. And by which such desolation would be made throughout the country, that very few men or cattle would be left.
“Even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate”. As they were already, the country being in the hands of the enemy, and the city almost depopulated by the sword, famine, and pestilence. And just about to be delivered up: and so
“Without man, and without inhabitant, and without beast”: Neither inhabited by man or beast. Which is a hyperbolical exaggeration of the miserable condition of the city, and country. Expressing the unbelief and despair of the Jews, at least of some of them, ever seeing better times. Whereas, that this was or would be the case. Yet here should be heard again, in the times of the Messiah, when he should appear in Judea, and his Gospel preached there. From whence it should go into all the world, what follows in the next scripture.
Death is silent. There was no sound because of the massive destruction. When they are restored back into their land there will be the usual noises of a city.
Jeremiah 33:11 “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.”
“Praise the Lord of hosts” (these are the words of Psalm 136:1), actually used by the Jews at their return from Babylon (Ezra 3:11).
For Israel as the “bride” of the Lord (see 2:1 to 3:5 and the notes on that section).
When the restoration is complete, the things listed above will be heard in the city and in the countryside. The joy will be because of the blessings God has bestowed upon His people. This is describing a time of joy in the land. They recognize the worth of being home because they had lost it for a time. You do not appreciate something, or someone, until they are taken from you. The praise to the LORD is because they are totally aware of why they are home. They are forgiven, what better reason for praising the LORD? This would even be a joy for Jeremiah to prophesy.
Jeremiah 33:12 “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 a habitation of shepherds causing [their] flocks to lie down.”
That is, a great part of which is, and the other part shall soon be, desolate. In all these places, there shall be flocks and herds of sheep and goats, which the shepherd shall take care of as in former times.
“Again, in this place which is desolate”: Which was said to be so (Jer. 33:10). And indeed, was so. And was near utter destruction, as to be:
“Without man and without beast”: Both falling into the hands of the enemy. And that not in the city of Jerusalem only, but in all the cities. Of the land of Judea; and from thence in other countries, even in Gentile ones.
“Shall be a habitation of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down”: There will yet be pasture-ground for shepherds making their flocks lie down in (Jer. 33:13). In the cities of the hill-country, in the cities of the plain, and in the cities of the south, in the land of Benjamin, and in the environs of Jerusalem.
The mention of the pastoral scene is to show the great peace that has come. The shepherds and their flocks lying down shows perfect peace. This reminds me of the 23rd Psalm, which is speaking of the sheep as the followers of God. The great Shepherd is the Lord Jesus. The shepherds are like pastors of churches and the sheep are the congregation (flock).
Jeremiah 33:13 “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.”
And in the cities of the south. Into which three parts the land of Judea was divided (see note on Jer. 32:44).
“And in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah”: In the cities of the two tribes, of which Jerusalem was the metropolis. And which returned from the captivity, and settled here, and were in being when the Messiah came, here prophesied of, the great Shepherd of the sheep.
“Shall the flocks pass again under the hands of him that telleth them, saith the Lord”: Alluding to the custom of shepherds telling their flocks, when they led them out of the fold in the morning, and when they put them in at evening. Or to the tithing of them (Lev. 27:32), this is not to be understood literally, but mystically. So Jarchi, Kimchi, and Abarbinel interpret it of the Israelites going in and out under the hands of their king that goes at the head of them. And the Targum, of the King Messiah, and who is no doubt meant. The elect of God, who are intended by the “flocks”, were in eternal election considered as sheep, and by that act of grace were distinguished from others. And so, when an exact account was taken of them, their names were written in heaven, and in the Lamb’s book of life. And had this seal and mark put upon them, “the Lord knows them that are his” (2 Tim. 2:19). Also in the gift of them to Christ; in the covenant of grace, when they were brought into the bond of that covenant, they were likewise considered as sheep, distinct from others. And at the last day, when Christ shall deliver them up to the Father, he will say, lo, I and the children, or sheep, whom thou hast given me; and they will all be numbered, and not one will be wanting.
This is speaking of the care of the shepherd over his sheep. They pass under his hand for inspection and for counting to make sure there are none missing. This spiritually is speaking of the spread of Christianity to the mountains, the countryside, and to the cities. The sheep (believers in Christ), grow rapidly in number. In one day, thousands were saved when Peter preached. God is concerned if even one strays from the flock. He keeps constant watch.
Verses 14-17: The provisions in the Davidic covenant remain in force as they are incorporated into the new covenant (see the notes on 23:4-5; 31:31-34; 2 Sam. 7:12-16). For the title, “The Lord our righteousness (see the note on 23:6). For the relationship of the Abrahamic, the Davidic and the New covenants (see the notes on 31:31-34 and 2 Sam. 7:12-16).
Jeremiah 33:14 “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.”
Or, “are coming”; future times are respected. Yet such as would quickly come. Five or six hundred years more, and then would be fulfilled what has been promised. This is ushered in with a “behold”, as being a matter of importance, and deserving attention, and even as calling for admiration. This is the principal of the great and mighty things the Lord promised to show to the prophet (Jer. 33:3). Even the coming of the Messiah, and what concerns his person and office.
“That I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah”: Or, “that good word”; that gracious word concerning Christ and salvation by him. That mercy promised to the fathers; that good thing that came out of Nazareth. The good Shepherd that laid down his life for the sheep, preferable to the shepherds before spoken of. Or rather, “that best word”; the positive used for the superlative, as frequent in the Hebrew language. Many good words or promises are made before, concerning the spiritual welfare and prosperity of the church. But this is the best of all; this is the better thing provided for saints under the Gospel dispensation, and promised to them. Who are meant by the houses of Judah and Israel. For these phrases, as the Jews themselves allow, show that the words belong to the times of the Messiah. And which God, that is true and cannot lie, and who is faithful, that has promised, and is able to perform, will do.
Whatever God promises He does. It may not be in a day or two but He will do it.
Jeremiah 33:15 “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.”
“The Branch of righteousness”: This is the Messiah King in David’s lineage (as in 23:5-6). He is the King whose reign immediately follows the second coming when He appears in power (Dan. 2:35, 45; 7:13-14, 27; Matt. 16:27-28; 24:30; 26:64).
This means that God has a specified time picked out for this to happen. No man knows the day, or the hour. God knows. The Branch of Righteousness is Jesus Christ, our Lord. He will be descended from David in the flesh, but is David’s God in the Spirit. Jesus is that righteous Judge of all the earth. We will each stand before Him, and give an account.
Jeremiah 33:16 “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.”
“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.
“And Jerusalem shall dwell safely”: The inhabitants of it; such who are come to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. These being saved by Christ, are in the utmost safety. They have nothing to fear from the justice of God that is satisfied. Nor from the law, that is fulfilled. Nor from their enemies, they are conquered and destroyed.
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” (Rom. 16:7; 1 Cor. 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, meaning: “The Lord our Righteousness”), to Christ.
This is speaking of Judah and Jerusalem as all Israel. This is speaking of physical Israel and spiritual Israel. The LORD is the righteousness of the church. We Christians are clothed in His (Jesus’) righteousness. He took our sin on His body on the cross, and gave us His righteousness. Jerusalem shall be called the city of our great King. The church (she), takes on the name of Christ (Christian).
2 Timothy 4:8 “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
Verses 17-22: God promised to fulfill the Davidic (2 Sam. chapter 17), and Priestly/Levitical (Num. 25:10-13), Covenants without exception. The promise was as certain as the sure appearance of night and day and the incalculable number of stars or sand grains (compare 31:35-37; 33:25-26).
Jeremiah 33:17 “For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel;”
This is apparently a promise relating to Christ, for David’s line had failed long since, had it not been continued in Christ, whose kingdom is and shall be an everlasting kingdom. So long as Israel remained a kingdom, those of the line of David ruled over it. When that failed, Christ came in the flesh, who ruleth, and shall rule, over the Israel of God for ever.
Jesus Christ will reign for ever and ever as King. Jesus is King of the Jews but He is also King of all the believers as well. David, in the verse above is speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jeremiah 33:18 “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.”
The Lord restored the Levitical priesthood with Joshua in the postexilic period (Zech. Chapter 3). The role of priesthood is ultimately fulfilled in Jesus as the great High Priest, who offered a perfect sacrifice for sin and provides continual help and intercession for His people (Heb. 4:14-16; 10:10-14).
Jesus is the High Priest. The High Priest of the covenant represented the people to God and God to the people. Our High Priest, Jesus Christ, tore down the wall of partition and opened the way for everyone who believes, to have access to the Father. There would be no further need for sacrifice after the perfect sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. To sacrifice after the crucifixion of Jesus would be saying that Jesus was not the perfect sacrifice. I personally believe that God allowed the temple in Jerusalem to be destroyed to stop the sacrifices. If Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for all time for everyone it would be a sin to continue to sacrifice. He either did it all, or nothing at all. There were no more burnt offerings needed. There were no more meat offerings needed after Jesus. He did it all.
Jeremiah 33:19 “And the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah, saying,”
For the further explanation and confirmation of what is before said. And which came at the same time as the other; this being not a new prophecy, but an illustration of the former.
“Saying” (as follows).
Jeremiah 33:20 “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;”
The same with the ordinances of the sun, moon, and stars (Jer. 31:35). The original constitution and law of nature, settled from the beginning of the world, and observed ever since, in the constant revolution of day and night. And which was formed into a covenant and promise to Noah, after the deluge. That day and night should not cease, as long as the earth remained (Genesis 8:22); and which has never been, nor can be, broken and made void.
“So that there should not be day and night in their season”: Or turn; continually succeeding each other. This, as it would not be attempted, so could never be effected by any mortals.
We see from the next verse just how long there will be day and night on the earth.
Genesis 8:22 “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”
God spoke it. It will not be broken.
Jeremiah 33:21 “[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.”
A type of the Messiah, with whom the covenant of grace is made, stands fast, and will never be broken (see Psalm 89:3). For, as the other is impossible, the breaking of the covenant with day and night, or hindering the certain rotation of them. So likewise, as impossible as is the breaking of the covenant with David concerning the perpetuity of his kingdom in the Messiah.
“That he should not have a son to reign upon his throne”: Which he has in Christ, and ever will have; for he shall reign for ever and ever.
“And with the Levites my priests, my ministers”: Of the line of Phinehas, to whom an everlasting priesthood was promised, and which has been fulfilled in Christ. Who has an unchangeable priesthood. A priesthood that will never pass from him, and go to another (see Num. 25:13; Heb. 7:24).
“Son” in the verse above is speaking of descendant. Just as God will not break His covenant of night and day, He will not break His covenant with David. There will always be someone representing the Lord upon the earth as ministers as well.
Jeremiah 33:22 “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.”
As the stars of heaven are innumerable, and the sand of the sea immeasurable.
“So will I multiply the seed of David my servant”: The Messiah; the son and antitype of David; and who is often called by his name. And as the son of David is the servant of the Lord, his spiritual seed are meant, which shall endure forever. And in Gospel times, especially in the latter part of them, shall be very numerous (see Psalm 89:29).
“And the Levites that minister unto me”: Meaning the same as before. Not ministers of the Gospel, for they never were, or will be, so numerous as here expressed. But true believers in Christ, who are all priests unto God, and minister in holy things, offering up the spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise through Christ. These Levites are the same with the seed of David, or Christ, in whom the kingdom and the priesthood are united.
This is speaking of that great multitude that cannot be numbered who belong to God. Seed is singular, indicating this is the seed spoken of in the following Scripture.
Galatians 3:16 “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.”
Notice, in the following Scripture, who become so many they cannot be numbered.
Galatians 3:29 “And if ye [be] Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Jeremiah 33:23 “Moreover the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying,”
Upon the same subject, concerning the continuance of David’s seed. With refuting of false statements uttered against the Lord about the rejection of them.
Jeremiah 33:24 “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.”
“Two families”: Judah and Israel.
“He hath ever cast them off”: Many, even today, believe Israel as a nation has no future. In verses 25-26 God emphatically denies that notion (compare 31:35-36; Psalm 74:16-17; Rom. 11:1-2).
The people are speaking in the verse above so possibly they are speaking of the house of Israel and the house of Judah. The people thought God had forsaken them. Notice also, God still calls them “His people”. I really believe this is speaking of the physical and spiritual house of Israel.
Jeremiah 33:25 “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;”
In answer to the above calumny.
“If my covenant be not with day and night”: That is, if it should not stand; if it should be broken. Or there should be no longer a succession of day and night.
“And if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth”: Concerning the course of the sun, moon, and stars, and the influence of the heavenly bodies. And concerning the fruits of the earth, the seasons of the year, seedtime and harvest, summer and winter. If these are not settled and fixed, and do not appear according to appointment and promise.
In this God is saying: Do you believe my covenant with day and night? Do you believe God ordained all of the heavens for their special duties?
Jeremiah 33:26 “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.”
Then also will I reject the seed of Jacob and David my servant, so as not to take any of his seed as rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For I will turn their captivity, and take pity on them.”
“So that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob”: That is, any of the seed of David taken literally. From whom the Lord has taken one, or raised up one of his seed, even the Messiah, to be a ruler over all the spiritual seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Or of all that tread in their steps. But inasmuch as by the seed of Jacob and David may be meant the spiritual seed of Christ. By rulers taken from them may be intended spiritual rulers and governors of the church, or ministers of the Gospel.
“For I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them”: Not only their captivity from Babylon, and so the family of David restored and continued till the Messiah should spring out of it. But the spiritual captivity of the Israel of God, of which the other was a type, and would be brought about by the Messiah. Who in his love and pity should redeem them, as he has, from sin, Satan, law, hell, and death.
The seed of Jacob is speaking of the physical house of Israel. The seed of David (Jesus), is speaking of the spiritual house of Israel (Christians). Just as ridiculous as the sun not shining is the statement that God might throw away His children. He is our Father. He would never throw away any of His children.
1 John 3:1 “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”
Jeremiah Chapter 33 Questions
- Where was Jeremiah, when the Word of the Lord came to him?
- Who is the LORD in verse 2?
- Who does God reveal Himself to?
- Who were they really fighting, instead of the Chaldeans?
- Why had God not looked on the city for a long time?
- Man cannot save himself, he needs a ________.
- Where does the real Peace and Truth come from?
- Who cleanses from sin?
- Who washed us from our sins in His blood?
- Why does the earth stand in awe of God’s people?
- Why was there no sound in the city?
- When they are restored, what sounds will there be?
- What does the mention of the pastoral scene mean?
- In verse 13, the shepherds are the __________ and the sheep are the _______________ (flock).
- What is verse 13 speaking of?
- What does verse 15 mean when it says, “in that day”?
- Who is verse 16 speaking of?
- Who is David in verse 17?
- Who was the perfect sacrifice?
- To sacrifice animals, after the sacrifice of Jesus, would be a _____.
- What are some of the things that cannot be numbered?
- Who are the two families of verse 24?
- Who is the seed of Jacob?
- Who is the seed of David?
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