Israel’s Restoration Jeremiah 33

In Jeremiah 33, the Lord gave Jeremiah a message that all of Judah’s efforts to fight against Babylon will fail miserably (33:1–5); but God will work to bring the nation back to its land, rebuild it, and forgive it (vv. 6–8). Jerusalem, the city of desolation, will be transformed into a place where the voice of joy is heard and the people will prosper (vv. 9–13).

However, the pinnacle of Jeremiah’s message in this chapter is the Messiah and the Davidic Covenant. Three specific elements appear in the flow of Jeremiah’s prophecy.

First, the Lord tells Israel and Judah, “In those days and at that time I will cause to grow up to David a Branch of righteousness; He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth” (v. 15). The “Branch” is the Messianic King, alluded to in Jeremiah 23:5, who will rule and prosper. This same term is also used of the Messiah in Isaiah 11:1 and Zechariah 3:8; 6:12. This Messiah is called “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jer. 33:16).

This personage is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. However, the context does not point to the First Advent but, rather, the Second Advent. The prophecy highlights the fact that God’s ultimate plan for Israel’s restoration is something far greater than the nation’s return from exile in Babylon.

The second element of this prophecy is God’s promise, “David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel” (v. 17). While somewhat comforting to the people of Israel, this statement causes a certain amount of theological consternation. Clearly, no Davidic king has ruled after Zedekiah was taken to Babylon. What does God’s statement mean?

The question is compounded by the promise that the Levitical priesthood also would be as permanent as the Davidic kingship (v. 18). Some commentators say such a statement forces Christ’s First Coming to be in view rather than His Second Coming1 because the book of Hebrews teaches Christ’s sacrifice has dealt with payment for sin once for all (Heb. 9).

However, even under Mosaic Law, Levitical and sacrificial functions were not solely salvific provisions. For example, some Levitical sacrifices in the Old Testament were thanksgiving offerings (Lev. 2), while others included memorials of special events (23:33–44). Such approaches in the future Kingdom would not be inconsistent with the sacrifice of Christ for sin.

As to David’s throne, the later context of the chapter points to the ongoing multiplication of Davidic sons (Jer. 33:21). No doubt those who heard Jeremiah remembered Moses had warned the Israelites of the curse of being cast out of the land due to sin (Dt. 28), followed later by restoration (chaps. 29—32). Nonetheless, the Davidic line would not be broken. There are probably descendants of David alive today. Furthermore, Jesus—a descendant of David—is alive and waiting to take His place on David’s throne.

Third, Jeremiah invoked the permanence of the Davidic Covenant to assure Israel that God will never cast His people away forever:

Thus says the Lᴏʀᴅ: “If you can break My covenant with the day and My covenant with the night, so that there will not be day and night in their season, then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant, so that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne” (Jer. 33:20–21).

God reasons from the impossible, telling people that, if they could stop the orderly succession of day and night, then it would be possible for the line of David to be broken. In this way, He acknowledges the ongoing, permanent nature of the Davidic Covenant, which He initiated in 2 Samuel 7.

Such a promise would give the Jewish people hope for the near future, when they returned from exile. However, it would also cause their minds to walk down the corridor of time to see the end-times glory of the Messiah reigning over Israel forever. Israel is a nation that God will never cast away for good;  it will remain the apple of His eye.

ENDNOTE
  1. F. B. Huey, Jr., “Jeremiah,” “ Lamentations,” The New American Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1993), 16:301–302.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Features

Life From the Inside Out

As I sat in the pew at church a few Sundays ago, the speaker read a verse from 1 Samuel that struck me as the explanation for why we in America find ourselves in the condition...

Introduction to Jeremiah

The prophet Jeremiah ministered from 627 to about 585 B.C., more than 100 years after the trauma of Assyria’s destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C. Yet the consequences...

God’s Everlasting Love Jeremiah 30—31

Parenting is not easy. Over the years we may excuse some infractions, but we must punish our children’s blatant disobedience. So it was in the days of the prophet Jeremiah. The Israelites...

Israel’s Great Assurances Jeremiah 32

The prophet Jeremiah served the Lord prior to and during the Babylonian Captivity, warning the Israelites to avoid idolatry or expect judgment. Chapters 32—33 follow the specific...

Judah’s Fatal Decision Jeremiah 40—43

In 586 B.C. the Babylonians captured Judah, destroyed Jerusalem, and deported the Jewish people to Babylon. Only a remnant of poor Judeans were left in the land to...

Subscription Options

1 Year Digital Subscription

  • *Free PDF Book Download - What on Earth is God Doing? by Renald Showers
  • *Free Full-Issue PDF Downloads

$9.99 every year

1 Year Digital with Archive Access

  • *Free PDF Book Download - What on Earth is God Doing? by Renald Showers
  • *Complete Access to Our Growing Archive—Eventually Back Through Our Inaugural Issue In 1942
  • *Free Full-Issue PDF Downloads of Current Issues and Select Archives

$19.99 every year

2 Year Digital Subscription

  • *Free PDF Book Download - What on Earth is God Doing? by Renald Showers
  • *Free Full-Issue PDF Downloads

$19.99 every 2 years

2 Year Digital with Archive Access

  • *Free PDF Book Download - What on Earth is God Doing? by Renald Showers
  • *Complete Access to Our Growing Archive—Eventually Back Through Our Inaugural Issue In 1942
  • *Free Full-Issue PDF Downloads of Current Issues and Select Archives

$39.99 every 2 years

3 Year Digital Subscription

  • *Free PDF Book Download - What on Earth is God Doing? by Renald Showers
  • *Free Full-Issue PDF Downloads

$29.99 every 3 years

3 Year Digital with Archive Access

  • *Free PDF Book Download - What on Earth is God Doing? by Renald Showers
  • *Complete Access to Our Growing Archive—Eventually Back Through Our Inaugural Issue In 1942
  • *Free Full-Issue PDF Downloads of Current Issues and Select Archives

$59.99 every 3 years

Free 1 Year Digital Subscription

Unlimited Articles

Unlimited Posts

Free