Jeremiah 33



Promise of Restoration (33:1–26)

1–5 This is the last of the four chapters that make up Jeremiah’s “book of consolation.” Jeremiah is still under arrest in Jerusalem; it is only a year before the city’s fall (Jeremiah 32:2). The Lord comes to Jeremiah a second time (the first visit is described in the previous chapter) and says: “Call to me and I will answer” (verse 3). He invites Jeremiah to ask Him about great and unsearchable things concerning the future restoration of Judah and Israel.

God’s invitation to Jeremiah is offered to all believers:God invites all of us to call to Him. Our call is always followed by God’s answer (Matthew 7:7–8); we may not get the answer we were hoping for, but we will get the right answer—the answer that God knows we need.

In verses 4–5, God begins by describing the judgment that is soon to fall on Jerusalem. The citizens will tear down the royal palaces and their own houses to get stones to use for repairing the city walls. Those same houses will end up being filled with the dead bodies of the city’s defenders.

6–9 Here again the Lord assures Jeremiah that the surviving people of Judah and Israel will be healed, both physically and spiritually (verses 6–7). The Lord will cleanse them and forgive them (verse 8); this cleansing and forgiveness will be the basis of the new covenant (Jeremiah 31:34; 1 John 1:9). And the Lord Himself will be praised when the nations see what He has done for His people (verse 9).

10–13 Here the Lord further describes the restoration of the land. He says: “I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before” (verse 11).

14–18 In these verses, the Lord looks forward to the more distant future, beyond the post–exilic restoration of Judah and Israel; He looks ahead to the Messianic age. In verses 15–16, the Lord repeats His earlier words about the restoration of David’s line102 (see Jeremiah 23:5–6 and comment). It is only through the heir to David’s throne, Jesus Christ, that Judah and Israel will be fully restored.

In verse 17, the Lord repeats a promise He made earlier to King David: namely, that David would never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of Israel (see 2 Samuel 7:12–17 and comment). Though Israel’s monarchy was interrupted for nearly six hundred years, this promise was fulfilled when Christ came to sit on David’s throne (see Luke 1:30–33).

In verse 18, the Lord says that the priesthood will never end. This promise also was fulfilled by Christ, who is both King and Priest; just as Christ’s reign will never end, so His priesthood will never end103 (see Hebrews 7:23–28).

19–22 Here the Lord says that His promises about the permanence of Israel’s monarchy and priesthood are as certain as the permanence of day and night (verse 20), as certain as the permanence of the natural order (see Jeremiah 31:35–37 and comment). In other words, the Lord’s covenant with David (see 2 Samuel 7:12–16) and His covenant with the Levites104 (see Numbers 25:10–13) cannot be broken (verses 20–21). The Lord promises that the descendants of David and the Levites will be countless (verse 22), just as He promised that Abraham’s descendants would be countless (Genesis 15:5; 22:17). These descendants include the countless believers who have been brought into the family of God through faith in Jesus Christ. Just as the descendants of David and the Levites were rulers and priests, so believers in Christ are a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9), rulers with Him—if they stand firm in faith (2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 3:21).

23–26 The Lord again states that He has not rejected the two kingdoms—Judah and Israel105 (verse 24)—and that His covenants are as fixed as the natural laws of heaven and earth (verse 25).