The restoration of the Jews. (1-13) The Messiah promised; happiness of his times. (14-26)
Verses 1-13 Those who expect to receive comforts from God, must call upon him. Promises are given, not to do away, but to quicken and encourage prayer. These promises lead us to the gospel of Christ; and in that God has revealed truth to direct us, and peace to make us easy. All who by sanctifying grace are cleansed from the filth of sin, by pardoning mercy are freed from the guilt. When sinners are thus justified, washed, and sanctified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Holy Spirit, they are enabled to walk before God in peace and purity. Many are led to perceive the real difference between the people of God and the world around them, and to fear the Divine wrath. It is promised that the people who were long in sorrow, shall again be filled with joy. Where the Lord gives righteousness and peace, he will give all needful supplies for temporal wants; and all we have will be comforts, as sanctified by the word and by prayer.
Verses 14-26 To crown the blessings God has in store, here is a promise of the Messiah. He imparts righteousness to his church, for he is made of God to us righteousness; and believers are made the righteousness of God in him. Christ is our Lord God, our righteousness, our sanctification, and our redemption. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. But in this world prosperity and adversity succeed each other, as light and darkness, day and night. The covenant of priesthood shall be secured. And all true believers are a holy priesthood, a royal priesthood, they offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God; themselves, in the first place, as living sacrifices. The promises of that covenant shall have full accomplishment in the gospel Israel. In Ga. 6:16 , all that walk according to the gospel rule, are made to be the Israel of God, on whom shall be peace and mercy. Let us not despise the families which were of old the chosen people of God, though for a time they seem to be cast off.
Jeremiah 33:1-26 . PROPHECY OF THE RESTORATION FROM BABYLON, AND OF MESSIAH AS KING AND PRIEST.
1. shut up--( Jeremiah 32:2 Jeremiah 32:3 , 2 Timothy 2:9 ). Though Jeremiah was shut up in bondage, the word of God was "not bound."
2. maker thereof--rather, "the doer of it," namely, that which Jeremiah is about to prophesy, the restoration of Israel, an act which is thought now impossible, but which the Almighty will effect.
formed it--namely, Jerusalem ( Jeremiah 32:44 ) [CALVIN]. Rather, "that formed," that is, moulds His purpose into due shape for execution ( Isaiah 37:26 ).
Lord . . . his name--( Exodus 3:14 Exodus 3:15 ).
3. Call . . . I will answer--( Jeremiah 29:12 , Psalms 91:15 ). Jeremiah, as the representative of the people of God, is urged by God to pray for that which God has determined to grant; namely, the restoration. God's promises are not to slacken, but to quicken the prayers of His people ( Psalms 132:13 Psalms 132:17 , Isaiah 62:6 Isaiah 62:7 ).
mighty things--Hebrew, "inaccessible things," that is, incredible, hard to man's understanding [MAURER], namely, the restoration of the Jews, an event despaired of. "Hidden," or "recondite" [PISCATOR].
thou knowest not--Yet God had revealed those things to Jeremiah, but the unbelief of the people in rejecting the grace of God had caused him to forget God's promise, as though the case of the people admitted of no remedy.
4. houses . . . thrown down by the mounts--namely, by the missiles cast from the besiegers' mounds ( Jeremiah 32:24 ); "and by the sword" follows properly, as, after missiles had prepared the way, the foe next advanced to close quarters "with the sword."
5. They--the Jews; the defenders of the "houses" ( Jeremiah 33:4 ), "come forward to fight with the Chaldeans," who burst into the city through the "thrown-down houses," but all the effect that they produce "is, to fill them (the houses) with their own "dead bodies."
6. ( Jeremiah 30:17 ). The answer to Jeremiah's mournful question ( Jeremiah 8:22 ).
cure--literally, the long linen bandage employed in dressing wounds.
truth--that is, stability; I will bring forth for them abundant and permanent peace, that is, prosperity.
7. cause . . . to return--that is, reverse ( Jeremiah 33:11 , Jeremiah 32:44 ). The specification, both of "Judah" and "Israel," can only apply fully to the future restoration.
as at the first--( Isaiah 1:26 ).
8. cleanse--( Ezekiel 36:25 , Zechariah 13:1 , Hebrews 9:13 Hebrews 9:14 ). Alluding to the legal rites of purification.
all their iniquity . . . all their iniquities--both the principle of sin within, and its outward manifestations in acts. The repetition is in order that the Jews may consider how great is the grace of God in not merely pardoning (as to the punishment), but also cleansing them (as to the pollution of guilt); not merely one iniquity, but all ( Micah 7:18 ).
9. it--the city.
a name . . . a praise--( Jeremiah 13:11 , Isaiah 62:7 ).
them--the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
they shall fear . . . for all the goodness--( Psalms 130:4 ). The Gentiles shall be led to "fear" God by the proofs of His power displayed in behalf of the Jews; the ungodly among them shall "tremble" for fear of God's judgments on them; the penitent shall reverentially fear and be converted to Him ( Psalms 102:15 , Isaiah 60:3 ).
10. ye say . . . desolate--( Jeremiah 32:43 ).
11. ( Jeremiah 7:34 , 16:9 ).
Praise the Lord, &c.--the words of Psalms 136:1 , which were actually used by the Jews at their restoration ( Ezra 3:11 ).
sacrifice of praise--( Psalms 107:22 , 116:17 ). This shall continue when all other sacrifices shall be at an end.
12. habitation of shepherds . . . flocks--in contrast to Jeremiah 33:10 , "without man . . . inhabitant . . . without beast" ( Jeremiah 32:43 ; compare Jeremiah 31:24 , 50:19 , Isaiah 65:10 ).
13. pass . . . under . . . hands of him that telleth them--Shepherds, in sending forth and bringing back their sheep to the folds, count them by striking each as it passes with a rod, implying the shepherd's provident care that not one should be lost ( Leviticus 27:32 , Micah 7:14 ; compare John 10:28 John 10:29 , 17:12 ).
14. perform--"I will make to rise"; God's promise having for a time seemed to "lie" dead and abortive [CALVIN].
15. Repeated from Jeremiah 23:5 .
the land--the Holy Land: Israel and Judah ( Jeremiah 23:6 ).
16. Jerusalem--In Jeremiah 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 ( Isaiah 49:3 ), we have "she" here, that is, Jerusalem. 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 ( Ephesians 5:30 Ephesians 5:32 ). Hence, the Church is called "Christ" ( Romans 16:7 , 1 Corinthians 12:12 ). The Church hereby professes to draw all her righteousness from Christ ( Isaiah 45:24 Isaiah 45:25 ). It is for the sake of Jerusalem, literal and spiritual, that God the Father gives this name (Jehovah, Tsidkenu, "The Lord our Righteousness") to Christ.
17. The promises of perpetuity of the throne of David fulfilled in Messiah, the son of David ( 2 Samuel 7:16 , 1 Kings 2:4 , Psalms 89:4 Psalms 89:29 Psalms 89:36 ; compare Luke 1:32 Luke 1:33 ).
18. Messiah's literal priesthood ( Hebrews 7:17 Hebrews 7:21 Hebrews 7:24-28 ), and His followers' spiritual priesthood and sacrifices ( Jeremiah 33:11 , Romans 12:1 , 15:16 , 1 Peter 2:5 1 Peter 2:9 , Revelation 1:6 ), shall never cease, according to the covenant with Levi, broken by the priests, but fulfilled by Messiah ( Numbers 25:12 Numbers 25:13 , Malachi 2:4 Malachi 2:5 Malachi 2:8 ).
20. covenant of the day--that is, covenant with the day: answering to "covenant with David" ( Jeremiah 33:21 , also Jeremiah 33:25 , "with day"; compare Jeremiah 31:35 Jeremiah 31:36 , Leviticus 26:42 , Psalms 89:34 Psalms 89:37 ).
22. ( Genesis 15:5 , 22:17 ). The blessing there promised belonged to all the tribes; here it is restricted to the family of David and the tribe of Levi, because it was on these that the welfare of the whole people rested. When the kingdom and priesthood flourish in the person of Messiah, the whole nation shall temporally and spiritually prosper.
24. this people--certain of the Jews, especially those who spoke with Jeremiah in the court of the prison ( Jeremiah 32:12 , 38:1 ).
the two families--Judah and Israel.
before them--in their judgment. They suppose that I have utterly cast off Israel so as to he no more a nation. The expression, "My people," of itself, shows God has not cast off Israel for ever.
25. ( Jeremiah 31:35 Jeremiah 31:36 , Genesis 8:22 , Psalms 74:16 Psalms 74:17 ). I who have established the laws of nature am the same God who has made a covenant with the Church.
26. Isaac--( Psalms 105:9 , Amos 7:9 Amos 7:16 ).