Jeremiah 33

 

וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהוָה אֶל־יִרְמְיָהוּ שֵׁנִית וְהוּא עֹודֶנּוּ עָצוּר בַּחֲצַר הַמַּטָּרָה לֵאמֹר׃   33:1

Jere. 33:1   And the word of the Lord occurred to Jeremiah again while he was still restrained in the enclosure of the guard saying,

כֹּה־אָמַר יְהוָה עֹשָׂהּ יְהוָה יֹוצֵר אֹותָהּ לַהֲכִינָהּ יְהוָה שְׁמֹו׃   33:2

Jere. 33:2   “Thus says the Lord,”

                                the Maker of it

                      -- the Lord is pre-ordaining it

                                for it to be established

                       -- the Lord is His name:

קְרָא אֵלַי וְאֶעֱנֶךָּ וְאַגִּידָה לְּךָ גְּדֹלֹות וּבְצֻרֹות לֹא יְדַעְתָּם׃   33:3

Jere. 33:3   ”Call to Me and I will answer you,

                                and I will make known to you

                      great and inaccessible things

                                you have not perceived.”

In this verse there are three first-person pronouns.  The first two, at the end of lines 1 and 2 of the English, are singular.  The third one is in the fourth line, and it is plural.  What do you think that means?  Here’s what I believe.  The first two yous are addressing Jeremiah, but the last one is talking to those of Judah and us.  We will all perceive something new.  I believe what is revealed in v. 33:8 below are the unperceived facts.

כִּי כֹה אָמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל עַל־בָּתֵּי הָעִיר הַזֹּאת וְעַל־בָּתֵּי מַלְכֵי יְהוּדָה הַנְּתֻצִים אֶל־הַסֹּלְלֹות   33:4 וְאֶל־הֶחָרֶב׃

Jere. 33:4   Indeed, thus says the Lord, God of Israel, about the houses of this city and about the houses of the kings of Judah they are tearing down to be mounds and to be weapon,

בָּאִים לְהִלָּחֵם אֶת־הַכַּשְׂדִּים וּלְמַלְאָם אֶת־פִּגְרֵי הָאָדָם אֲשֶׁר־הִכֵּיתִי בְאַפִּי וּבַחֲמָתִי וַאֲשֶׁר   33:5                 הִסְתַּרְתִּי פָנַי מֵהָעִיר הַזֹּאת עַל כָּל־רָעָתָם׃

Jere. 33:5   entering to make war with the Chaldeans:  “Instead of filling them with the corpses of men whom I have caused to be slain in My ‘anger’ and in My ‘fury’ so that I hid My presence from this city because of all their evil,

הִנְנִי מַעֲלֶה־לָּהּ אֲרֻכָה וּמַרְפֵּא וּרְפָאתִים וְגִלֵּיתִי לָהֶם עֲתֶרֶת שָׁלֹום וֶאֱמֶת׃   33:6

Jere. 33:6   behold, I am bringing up restoration and healing to it, and I will cure them and reveal to them an abundance of peace and truth.”

At the risk of repeating myself, here is what I believe about these two verses, 33:5 and 6:  The Lord is not angry or raging, and He does not abandon Israel.  These are human traits that Jeremiah -- and most of the other scribes or authors of the Hebrew Scriptures -- imagine are those of their Creator, and using them as attributes of the Lord is an  unintentional insult, being a diminution of God.

וַהֲשִׁבֹתִי אֶת־שְׁבוּת יְהוּדָה וְאֵת שְׁבוּת יִשְׂרָאֵל וּבְנִתִים כְּבָרִאשֹׁנָה׃   33:7

Jere. 33:7   “And I will reverse the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel and rebuild them as before,

וְטִהַרְתִּים מִכָּל־עֲוֹנָם אֲשֶׁר חָטְאוּ־לִי וְסָלַחְתִּי (לְכֹול) [לְכָל]־עֲוֹנֹותֵיהֶם אֲשֶׁר חָטְאוּ־לִי וַאֲשֶׁר   33:8      פָּשְׁעוּ בִי׃

Jere. 33:8   and I will purify them from all their iniquity that they had committed toward Me and I will pardon for all their iniquities that they committed toward Me and by which they have transgressed against Me.”

The error in the parentheses, consisting of an extra vav, is corrected in the brackets.

וְהָיְתָה לִּי לְשֵׁם שָׂשֹׂון לִתְהִלָּה וּלְתִפְאֶרֶת לְכֹל גֹּויֵי הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁמְעוּ אֶת־כָּל־הַטֹּובָה אֲשֶׁר   33:9       אָנֹכִי עֹשֶׂה אֹתָם וּפָחֲדוּ וְרָגְזוּ עַל כָּל־הַטֹּובָה וְעַל כָּל־הַשָּׁלֹום אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי עֹשֶׂה לָּהּ׃

Jere. 33:9   And it shall be for a joyous reputation for Me, for renown, and for glory, to all the nations of the earth, when they hear all the good that I will be doing them, and they shall wonder and become excited by all the good and by all the prosperity that I will be producing for it.”

כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה עֹוד יִשָּׁמַע בַּמָּקֹום־הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם אֹמְרִים חָרֵב הוּא מֵאֵין אָדָם וּמֵאֵין בְּהֵמָה   33:10     בְּעָרֵי יְהוּדָה וּבְחֻצֹות יְרוּשָׁלִַם הַנְשַׁמֹּות מֵאֵין אָדָם וּמֵאֵין יֹושֵׁב וּמֵאֵין בְּהֵמָה׃

Jere. 33:10   Thus says the Lord:  “Again shall be heard, in this place of which you are saying, ‘It will remain a wasteland, without human and without beast in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, laying desolate without human and without inhabitant and without beast,

קֹול שָׂשֹׂון וְקֹול שִׂמְחָה קֹול חָתָן וְקֹול כַּלָּה קֹול אֹמְרִים הֹודוּ אֶת־יְהוָה צְבָאֹות כִּי־טֹוב יְהוָה   33:11          כִּי־לְעֹולָם חַסְדֹּו מְבִאִים תֹּודָה בֵּית יְהוָה כִּי־אָשִׁיב אֶת־שְׁבוּת־הָאָרֶץ כְּבָרִאשֹׁנָה אָמַר יְהוָה׃

Jere. 33:11   sound of joy and sound of gladness, frivolity of bridegroom and frivolity of bride, voices saying, ‘Praise the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good, His faithfulness is forever,’ bringing thanksgiving offerings to the house of the Lord.  For I shall reverse the captivity of the region as before,” says the Lord.

כֹּה־אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאֹות עֹוד יִהְיֶה בַּמָּקֹום הַזֶּה הֶחָרֵב מֵאֵין־אָדָם וְעַד־בְּהֵמָה וּבְכָל־עָרָיו נְוֵה רֹעִים   33:12 מַרְבִּצִים צֹאן׃

Jere. 33:12   Thus says the Lord of hosts:  “Again there shall be in this place -- the wasteland without human or even beast, and all its cities -- habitations of shepherds causing sheep to lie down.”

בְּעָרֵי הָהָר בְּעָרֵי הַשְּׁפֵלָה וּבְעָרֵי הַנֶּגֶב וּבְאֶרֶץ בִּנְיָמִן וּבִסְבִיבֵי יְרוּשָׁלִַם וּבְעָרֵי יְהוּדָה עֹד   33:13          תַּעֲבֹרְנָה הַצֹּאן עַל־יְדֵי מֹונֶה אָמַר יְהוָה׃

Jere. 33:13   “In the cities of the high country, in the cites of the lowland, and in the cities of the Negev, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the surroundings of Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, the sheep shall again pass by the hands of a counter,” says the Lord.

הִנֵּה יָמִים בָּאִים נְאֻם־יְהוָה וַהֲקִמֹתִי אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַטֹּוב אֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְתִּי אֶל־בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל וְעַל־בֵּית   33:14   יְהוּדָה׃

Jere. 33:14   “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will establish the good thing that I promise about the house of Israel and about the house of Judah.

בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם וּבָעֵת הַהִיא אַצְמִיחַ לְדָוִד צֶמַח צְדָקָה וְעָשָׂה מִשְׁפָּט וּצְדָקָה בָּאָרֶץ׃   33:15

Jere. 33:15   In those days and at that time

                               I will cause to spring up

                       a righteous shoot of David's,

                               and he shall institute

                        justice and righteousness

                               throughout the land.”

בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם תִּוָּשַׁע יְהוּדָה וִירוּשָׁלִַם תִּשְׁכֹּון לָבֶטַח וְזֶה אֲשֶׁר־יִקְרָא־לָהּ יְהוָה צִדְקֵנוּ׃   33:16

Jere. 33:16   “In those days Judah shall be saved

                                and Jerusalem shall dwell safely,

                        and this is what she shall be called:

                                The Lord is our Righteous One.”

כִּי־כֹה אָמַר יְהוָה לֹא־יִכָּרֵת לְדָוִד אִישׁ יֹשֵׁב עַל־כִּסֵּא בֵית־יִשְׂרָאֵל׃   33:17

Jere. 33:17   For thus says the Lord:  “He shall not cut off anyone of David's sitting on the throne of the house of Israel,

וְלַכֹּהֲנִים הַלְוִיִּם לֹא־יִכָּרֵת אִישׁ מִלְּפָנָי מַעֲלֶה עֹולָה וּמַקְטִיר מִנְחָה וְעֹשֶׂה־זֶּבַח כָּל־הַיָּמִים׃   33:18

Jere. 33:18   and he shall not cut off one of the priests' of the Levites before Me from offering burnt offerings or from making smoke meal offerings, that he can make sacrifices all the time.”

The one to whom God is referring in these two verses must be the righteous shoot of David’s described in v. 33:15 above.  In my opinion, these two verses preclude this “shoot” from being Jesus.  Jesus’ appearance on the earth did quickly cut off David’s sitting on his throne and did cut off the sacrifices.

וַיְהִי דְּבַר־יְהוָה אֶל־יִרְמְיָהוּ לֵאמֹור׃   33:19

Jere. 33:19   And the word of the Lord occurred to Jeremiah saying,

כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה אִם־תָּפֵרוּ אֶת־בְּרִיתִי הַיֹּום וְאֶת־בְּרִיתִי הַלָּיְלָה וּלְבִלְתִּי הֱיֹות יֹוםָם־וָלַיְלָה בְּעִתָּם׃   33:20

Jere. 33:20   “Thus says the Lord:

                                 If you could break My covenant by day

                        and My covenant by night

                                 so as not to have

                        daytime and night in their order,

גַּם־בְּרִיתִי תֻפַר אֶת־דָּוִד עַבְדִּי מִהְיֹות־לֹו בֵן מֹלֵךְ עַל־כִּסְאֹו וְאֶת־הַלְוִיִּם הַכֹּהֲנִים מְשָׁרְתָי׃   33:21

Jere. 33:21   then My covenant could be broken

                                 with David, My servant,

                        to have a son of his

                                  reigning upon his throne,

                        and with the Levites,

                                  the priests, My ministers.”

אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יִסָּפֵר צְבָא הַשָּׁמַיִם וְלֹא יִמַּד חֹול הַיָּם כֵּן אַרְבֶּה אֶת־זֶרַע דָּוִד עַבְדִּי וְאֶת־הַלְוִיִּם   33:22         מְשָׁרְתֵי אֹתִי׃

Jere. 33:22   “As the host of heaven

                                  cannot be counted

                        and the sand of the sea

                                  cannot be measured,

                        so shall I multiply the seed

                                  of David, My servant,

                        and the Levites serving Me.”

וַיְהִי דְּבַר־יְהוָה אֶל־יִרְמְיָהוּ לֵאמֹר׃   33:23

Jere. 33:23   And the word of the Lord occurred to Jeremiah saying,

הֲלֹוא רָאִיתָ מָה־הָעָם הַזֶּה דִּבְּרוּ לֵאמֹר שְׁתֵּי הַמִּשְׁפָּחֹות אֲשֶׁר בָּחַר יְהוָה בָּהֶם וַיִּמְאָסֵם   33:24              וְאֶת־עַמִּי יִנְאָצוּן מִהְיֹות עֹוד גֹּוי לִפְנֵיהֶם׃

Jere. 33:24   “Have you not considered what this people speak saying, ‘Both of the families that the Lord chose among them, He also has rejected them,’ so they can still spurn My people’s being a nation before them?”

כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה אִם־לֹא בְרִיתִי יֹוםָם וָלָיְלָה חֻקֹּות שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ לֹא־שָׂמְתִּי׃   33:25

Jere. 33:25   “Thus says the Lord:  If My covenant is not of heaven and earth, ordinances of day and night I have not appointed,

גַּם־זֶרַע יַעֲקֹוב וְדָוִד עַבְדִּי אֶמְאַס מִקַּחַת מִזַּרְעֹו מֹשְׁלִים אֶל־זֶרַע אַבְרָהָם יִשְׂחָק וְיַעֲקֹב   33:26                     כִּי־אָשִׁיב אֶת־שְׁבוּתָם וְרִחַמְתִּים׃

Jere. 33:26   then, the seed of Jacob, and David, My servant, I will refuse to take rulers from his seed for the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, when I will reverse their captivity and show them compassion.”

In my humble opinion, I claim once more that the events of which the Lord speaks in this chapter have not yet transpired.  When the Lord tells Jeremiah or any other of His prophets that the days are coming, it doesn’t mean the prophesied events are imminent unless a time frame is actually specified (as in the last chapter when Jeremiah is told that the exile will end in seventy years).  The righteous shoot of David’s described above has not yet appeared.  Why do I say that?  Because the surrounding events have not yet occurred.  The Jews have not yet been blessed in the way the Lord promises here.

To raise another point -- perhaps more trivial than the above, the name of Isaac is spelled in a peculiar way.  The tsaddi, which should be the second letter, is replaced by a sin.  Why the word wasn’t marked as an error, I don’t know.  But I can hazard a guess as to why the name is misspelled:  Isaac might have been considered by the Jews of the day as a lesser figure than his father or son, and Jeremiah didn’t bother to check the spelling.

 

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