Jeremiah 33 Study Notes
33:1 The phrase a second time links vv. 1-13 with the previous chapter.
33:2-3 The things that God will reveal are incomprehensible, or “inaccessible.” The Hebrew word is betsuroth, used of “walled up” cities that were “fortified.”
33:4-5 The sense of these verses seems to be that all efforts to rescue Jerusalem will fail. These actions include tearing down houses for stones to plug up holes in the city wall and to set up barricades. The corpses will be citizens of Judah, not Babylonian soldiers.
33:6 The word for health is literally “new flesh” (8:22); thus, the exile will have a healing effect on Judah. The word abundance occurs only here. Related to the Hebrew word for “crown” or “diadem,” it means “treasures.”
33:8 This emphasis on forgiveness mirrors the theme of the new covenant (see note at 31:31-34). Three key Hebrew words for “sin” are used in this verse.
33:9 All the good the Lord will do for his people will be amazing.
33:10-11 A ruin will become a place of joy and worship.
33:12 Normal life will be renewed.
33:13 The Jewish Targum substitutes the word Messiah for the one who counts them, but this is not necessary. The word refers to a person who counted sheep as they came into the sheepfold at night to make sure that none were missing.
33:14-26 These verses are not in the LXX, but see note at vv. 17-18.
33:15 On the Righteous Branch, see notes at 23:5; 23:6.
33:16 The name The Lord Is Our Righteousness was formerly a name applied to the Messiah. In this verse it is applied to Jerusalem (see note at 23:6).
33:17-18 These verses do not literally promise the constant presence of a Davidic king and a Levitical priesthood (history shows this did not happen). Rather, it means that there will be no cessation of David’s dynasty or of the office of the priesthood (will never fail to have a man always before me). Jesus fulfills the offices of King and Priest (Ps 110:4). Christ’s priesthood does not follow Levi’s line, but the line of Melchizedek, the priest of Salem (Gn 14:17-20).
33:19-22 God compared the irrevocability of his promises to David (2Sm 7) and Levi’s lines (Nm 17) with his unbreakable covenant with day and night. God would break his covenant with David and the Levites no sooner than day and night would cease to come at their regular time. The promise given to the whole nation (Gn 15:5; 22:17)—that they would be innumerable—is extended to the descendants of my servant David and the Levites.
33:23-24 Some disbelieving Israelites were saying that the Lord had rejected the two families he had chosen. These families were not the royal and priestly families referred to in vv. 21-22, but the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel. The verb “to choose” is used uniquely here in Jeremiah. It is often used elsewhere of God’s election of Israel (Ex 19:5-6; Am 3:2).
33:25-26 Even after the nation of Israel ceases to exist, the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are guaranteed by God and are as sure as his covenant with the day and with the night. Count on the natural order collapsing and going out of existence before God’s promises to David, Levi, and the nation evaporate.