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Jeremiah 30

PARAGRAPH DIVISIONS OF MODERN TRANSLATIONS

(The parentheses represent poetic literary units)

NASB NKJV NRSV TEV NJB
Deliverance From Captivity Promised Restoration of Israel and Judah The Book of Consolation
(30:1-31:40)
The LORD's Promises to His People Promise of Recovery for Israel
30:1-3 30:1-3 30:1-3 30:1-3 30:1-3
30:4 30:4-9 30:4-7 30:4 30:4
30:5-7
(5-7)
(5-7) (5-7) 30:5-7
(5-7)
30:5-7
(5-7)
30:8-11 (8-9) 30:8-9 30:8-9 30:8-9
(parenthesis)
(10-11) 30:10-11
(10-11)
30:10-11
(10-11)
30:10-11
(10-11)
30:10-11
(10-11)
30:12-17
(12-17)
30:12-17
(12-15)
(16-17)
30:12-17
(12-17)
30:12-22
(12-22)
30:12-17
(12-17)
Restoration of Jacob        
30:18-22
(18-22)
30:18-22
(18-22)
30:18-22
(18-22)
  30:18-21
(18-21)
        30:22-24
(22-24)
30:23-24
(23-24)
30:23-23
(23-24)
30:23-24
(23-24)
30:23-24  

READING CYCLE THREE (see introductory section)

FOLLOWING THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR'S INTENT AT PARAGRAPH LEVEL

This is a study guide commentary,which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects (reading cycle #3). Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Third paragraph

4. Etc.

 

CONTEXTUAL INSIGHTS

A. The concept of "covenant" is discussed in the Special Topic at 3:7. Basically in this theological context it is an agreement between two unequal partners. Both have obligations and privileges. YHWH sets the conditions and makes the initiative.

 

B. God made a covenant with Israel to represent Him before the world (see Special Topic at 1:5). They failed to uphold their obligations and God terminated the covenant. However, He established an even more significant agreement with mankind (i.e., "new covenant," 31:31-24).

 

C. Israel's covenant was meant to help the world see YHWH's love and justice. The Old Testament, Old Covenant, laid the foundation for the understanding and implementation of the New Covenant in Christ.

 

D. Chapters 30-33 form a literary unit of hope and promised restoration which scholars call the "Book of Consolation." When Jerusalem was about to fall, Jeremiah gave his most encouraging revelations! The city and temple would be destroyed but YHWH restore them and His people!

 

E. Jeremiah 31:22 refers to the northern ten tribes, while vv. 23-26 refer to the southern tribes and vv. 27-40 refer to the reunited, restored nation.

 

WORD AND PHRASE STUDY

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 30:1-3
1The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 2"Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, 'Write all the words which I have spoken to you in a book. 3For behold, days are coming,' declares the Lord, 'when I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel and Judah.' The Lord says, 'I will also bring them back to the land that I gave to their forefathers and they shall possess it.'"

30:2 "Write all the words I have spoken to you in a book" Verses 1-3 form an introduction to the entire literary unit of chapters 30-33. They deal with hope amidst judgment.

▣ "in a book" This refers to a scroll (BDB 706, #3). Obviously Jeremiah was involved in writing down YHWH's words, as well as speaking them. However, does this refer to

1. the book of Jeremiah as we know it today

2. the book that the king burned

3. the book that Jeremiah dictated to Baruch after the destruction of the first scroll

These are the kinds of modern questions that cannot be answered. We do not know

1. when the OT was compiled

2. how/by what criteria

3. by whom

4. when

The main truth "God has revealed Himself!" By faith we believe the Spirit authored and preserved the essential message! See the Special Topics at 23:21-22.

30:3 "days are coming" This could refer to

1. the end of the 70 year Babylon exile (i.e., Ezra, Nehemiah, cf. Jer. 16:14; 29:10)

2. an eschatological setting (cf. 3:16; 23:5; 31:27,31-34; Zech. 12:10-13:1)

The question arises, "How do these promises to national Israel relate to the NT?" Please look carefully at the Special Topic below.

SPECIAL TOPIC: WHY ARE THE END-TIME EVENTS SO CONTROVERSIAL?

▣ "Israel and Judah" Israel was taken captive by Assyria in 722 b.c. Judah was taken captive by Babylon in 605, 597, 586, 582 b.c. This speaks of their reunification that is based on their repentance and God's restoration of the covenant. The normal verb used of repentance (BDB 996, KB 1427, see Special Topic at 2:22) is used in two senses in this verse.

1. I will restore (i.e., turn back, Qal perfect), v. 18

2. I will bring them back (Hiphil perfect), v. 10

When His people turn back to Him, He will restore them.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 30:4
4Now these are the words which the Lord spoke concerning Israel and concerning Judah:

30:4 Verse 4 is an introductory literary phrase.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 30:5-7
5"For thus says the Lord,
'I have heard a sound of terror,
Of dread, and there is no peace.
6'Ask now, and see
If a male can give birth.
Why do I see every man
With his hands on his loins, as a woman in childbirth?
And why have all faces turned pale?
7'Alas! for that day is great,
There is none like it;
And it is the time of Jacob's distress,
But he will be saved from it.

30:5 "I have heard" The MT has the plural. This may reflect the "Us" of Gen. 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Isa. 6:8. This could reflect

1. YHWH and His angelic council (cf. I Kgs. 22:19-23; Job 2:1-6)

2. a rare and late Hebrew grammatical form for emphasis called "the plural of majesty"

3. a precursor of the concept of a Triune God (i.e., Trinity, see Special Topic below)

The UBS Text Project gives "we" (MT) a "B" rating.

SPECIAL TOPIC: THE TRINITY

30:6 "if a male can give birth" Ancient women gave birth by kneeling at a birthing stone. The men of Judah were so frightened they looked as if they were giving birth (cf. 6:24; 22:23). This metaphor of birthing is used in the NT to describe the birth pain of the New Age (cf. Rom. 8:22).

30:7-8 "that day is day" Notice that to one group (Israel and Judah) it is a day of restoration, and to the other (i.e., Babylon) it is a day of judgment. See Special Topic at 4:9.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 30:8-11
8'It shall come about on that day,' declares the Lord of hosts, 'that I will break his yoke from off their neck and will tear off their bonds; and strangers will no longer make them their slaves. 9But they shall serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.
10'Fear not, O Jacob My servant,' declares the Lord,
'And do not be dismayed, O Israel;
For behold, I will save you from afar
And your offspring from the land of their captivity.
And Jacob will return and will be quiet and at ease,
And no one will make him afraid.
11'For I am with you,' declares the Lord, 'to save you;
For I will destroy completely all the nations where I have scattered you,
Only I will not destroy you completely.
But I will chasten you justly
And will by no means leave you unpunished.'

30:8 "I will break his yoke" This picks up on the metaphor of a "yoke" (cf. Lev. 20:13) used by Jeremiah in 2:20 and chapters 27 and 28.

▣ "and strangers shall no longer make them their slaves" Why does this not accurately describe restored Judah's experience (i.e., Persia, Seleucids, Rome)? Either the covenant people broke the covenant again and are punished again or the reference is to an end-time period.

30:9 "David" This relates to the Davidic promises given in II Sam. 7:12-16. We know that there was not a restoration of a king immediately after the return from Babylon (Sheshbazzar and Zerubbabel were "princes of Judah"), therefore, many believe it refers to an eschatological setting (i.e., Jesus, cf. Ezek. 34:23-24; 37:24-25; Hosea 3:5).

30:10 "fear not. . .do not be dismayed" These are both Qal imperfects used in a jussive sense.

▣ "O Jacob. . .O Israel" This refers to all Jewish people (Israel and Judah are reunited). Remember that Jacob's name was changed to Israel at the brook Jabbok after he wrestled with an angel (cf. Gen. 32:22-32).

▣ "I will save you" This refers to the covenant people's restoration to the Promised Land. YHWH sent them into exile; He will restore them.

▣ "shall be quiet and at ease" These two descriptions of restoration and peace are used several times in Jeremiah.

1. quiet (BDB 1052), cf. 46:27; 47:6,7; 48:11; 49:23

2. ease (BDB 983), cf. 46:27; 48:11

This had always been YHWH's will for His covenant people (as was "joy" of v. 19).

30:10-11 Notice what YHWH promises to do for them (vv. 10-11, this is repeated in 46:27-28).

1. save them - BDB 446, KB 448, Hiphil participle

2. they will be quiet - BDB 1052, KB 1641, Qal perfect

3. they will be at ease - BDB 983, KB 1374, Palel perfect

4. no one shall make them afraid - BDB 353, KB 350, Hiphil participle

5. I am with you to save you (first spoken to Jeremiah, cf. 1:8,19; 15:20; 20:11, but now to all of Abraham's seed)

But also notice that covenant disobedience has consequences as well as benefits.

1. I will not destroy you completely

2. I will chasten you justly

3. I will by no means leave you unpunished (this is an infinitive absolute and an imperfect verb from the same root [BDB 667, KB 729] which denotes intensity, cf. 25:29; 49:12)

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 30:12-17
12"For thus says the Lord,
'Your wound is incurable
And your injury is serious.
 13There is no one to plead your cause;
No healing for your sore,
No recovery for you.
14All your lovers have forgotten you,
They do not seek you;
For I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy,
With the punishment of a cruel one,
Because your iniquity is great
And your sins are numerous.
15Why do you cry out over your injury?
Your pain is incurable.
Because your iniquity is great
And your sins are numerous,
I have done these things to you.
16Therefore all who devour you will be devoured;
And all your adversaries, every one of them, will go into captivity;
And those who plunder you will be for plunder,
And all who prey upon you I will give for prey.
17For I will restore you to health
And I will heal you of your wounds,' declares the Lord,
'Because they have called you an outcast, saying:
"It is Zion; no one cares for her."'

30:12-17 YHWH used foreign pagan nations to discipline His people. His people surely deserved it (cf. vv. 12,14e,f, 15c,d). His people were

1. worshiping the fertility gods

2. making foreign alliances involving other gods

However, YHWH will act on their behalf after He judges them.

1. those who God used to judge Judah/Israel will also be judged in the same manner (see note at 17:10)

2. He will restore their health (sickness was a metaphor for sin, cf. Isa. 1:5-6)

3. He will heal their wounds

4. by implication from v. 13, He will also be their advocate (BDB 192, #3, cf. 5:28; 22:16)

 

30:12 "Your wound is incurable" This word, "curable" (BDB 60 I) is from the same consonants as "enosh" (BDB 60), which speaks of man's frailty, weakaness, and fallenness. The paradox of this incurable wound (idolatry of which they will not repent, cf. 15:18; 30:15; Micah 1:9) is found in v. 17, where God freely heals His people. The horror of 8:18-22 is now reversed!

30:17 "Zion" The city of Jerusalem was built on seven hills. Mt. Zion was the site of the old Jebusite fortress. David built his palace there. It came to be an idiom for the entire city of Jerusalem (i.e., 3:14).

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 30:18-22
18"Thus says the Lord,
'Behold, I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob
And have compassion on his dwelling places;
And the city will be rebuilt on its ruin,
And the palace will stand on its rightful place.
19From them will proceed thanksgiving
And the voice of those who celebrate;
And I will multiply them and they will not be diminished;
I will also honor them and they will not be insignificant.
20Their children also will be as formerly,
And their congregation shall be established before Me;
And I will punish all their oppressors.
21And their leader shall be one of them,
And their ruler shall come forth from their midst;
And I will bring him near and he shall approach Me;
For who would dare to risk his life to approach Me?' declares the Lord.
22You shall be My people,
And I will be your God.'"

30:18-22 In a sense this reflects the "new covenant" described in Ezek. 36:27-38. YHWH will act on behalf of His people. Notice the covenant language of v. 22. This poem is functioning as the blessing section, similar to Deuteronomy 27-28. YHWH acts for His name sake, for His purposes (see Special Topic at 1:5).

1. I will restore the fortunes, v. 18b

2. I will have compassion

a. dwelling places, v. 18c

b. the city, v. 18d

c. the palace, v. 18e

3. I will multiply them (i.e., one of the promises to Abraham, cf. Gen. 15:2-5), v. 19c

4. I will honor them, v. 19d

5. I will punish all their oppressors (cf. vv. 12-17)

6. I will bring their leader near (priestly language), v. 21

7. covenant language, v. 22 (cf. 31:1)

A new day has come! The benefits of the covenant are reestablished based on YHWH's mercy, not His people's covenant obedience (cf. 31:31-34; esp. Ezek. 36:22-38).

30:18 "the tents of Jacob" This is a Hebrew idiom for family units.

▣ "shall be rebuilt on its ruin" This is the Hebrew term tel (BDB 1068, cf. Josh. 11:18), which is used by modern archaeology for the destroyed mound of an ancient city. This implies that Jerusalem (i.e., the city and the temple) will be rebuilt on the same site.

30:19 "the voice of those who make merry" God wants His people to rejoice in creation and in Himself (cf. 7:34; 31:12-13; 33:11).

30:20 "their (lit. "His") congregation shall be established before Me" This terminology is priestly (i.e., approach YHWH in the temple). The covenant people (OT, Exod. 19:5-6; NT, I Pet. 2:5,9; Rev. 1:6; 20:6) were meant to be "a kingdom of priests," as the Messiah is

1. an ideal Israelite in Isaiah 53

2. also an ideal priest in v. 21; Ps. 110:1-3; Zech. 3:8; 4:11-14; 6:13

This section may be a "multi-fulfillment" prophecy to Zerubbabel (prince of Judah) and Joshua (descendant of the last High Priest). Jesus is both priest and king (cf. NT book of Hebrews)!

30:21

NASB"leader"
NKJV"governor"
NRSV, TEV,
NJB"prince"
JPSOA"chieftain"
REB"a ruler"

This is the term (BDB 12, KB 13) used to describe the leader of the congregation in the new day of restoration. It is parallel to "ruler" (BDB 605).

This term appears two other times in Jeremiah denoting leaders.

1. 14:3 - nobles

2. 25:34-36 - shepherds/lords

The fact that this context has a priestly orientation may denote the Messianic aspect of the Messiah as

1. Davidic - Genesis 49

2. priestly - Psalm 110:1-3; Zech. 3:8; 4:11-14; 6:13

The Dead Sea Scroll community expected two Messiahs, one from the line of Judah and one from the line of Levi. Jesus fulfills both (cf. Heb. 1:3; 2:17; 3:1; 4:14-15; 5:5,10; 6:20; 7:26,28; 8:1,3; 9:11; 10:21). He is the High Priest and the ultimate sacrifice!

▣ "I will bring him near and he shall approach Me" These are priestly phrases used in the sense of approaching God at the altar. Because of the next phrase this seems to refer to the vicarious atonement of Jesus Christ (Messiah is Priest and King, cf. Ps. 110:1-3; Zech. 3:8; 4:11-14; 6:13; Heb. 1:2-3).

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 30:23-24
23Behold, the tempest of the Lord!
Wrath has gone forth,
A sweeping tempest;
It will burst on the head of the wicked.
24The fierce anger of the Lord will not turn back
Until He has performed and until He has accomplished
The intent of His heart;
In the latter days you will understand this.

30:23-24 These verses are almost exactly like 23:19-20. Remember Jeremiah's poems were recorded and edited/compiled later. He used the same phrases in several poems.

▣ "the tempest of the Lord. . .wrath. . .fierce anger of the Lord" These anthropomorphic phrases (see Special Topic at 1:9) are in parallel. The judgment of God has a larger redemptive purpose (cf. v. 24, see Special Topic at 1:5).