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  • ADAM CLARKE'S BIBLE COMMENTARY -
    JEREMIAH 33

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    CHAPTER XXXIII

    In this chapter the prophet predicts a restoration of Israel and Judah to the favour of God, attended with such glorious circumstances as shall astonish all the world, 1-9. Their prosperity from that period is then described by a beautiful enumeration of circumstances, 10-13. Thus leads to the promise of the Messiah, the grand subject of the prophetical writings, and the happiness and stability which the children of Israel shall enjoy under his government; promises which, in so far as they respect the great body of the Jews, remain still to be fulfilled, 14-26.

    NOTES ON CHAP. XXXIII

    Verse 1. "Moreover the word of the Lord" - This was in the eleventh year of the reign of Zedekiah, Jeremiah being still shut up in prison: but he was now in the court of the prison, where the elders and the king's officers, &c., might consult him with the greater ease; for they continued to inquire, foolishly thinking, that if he would but prophesy good things, that these must come, or that he had sufficient power with God to induce him to alter his mind, - destroy the Chaldeans, and deliver the city.

    Verse 2. "Thus saith the Lord the Maker thereof" - h[ osah, the doer of it. That is, he who is to perform that which he is now about to promise.

    Thus translated by Dahler. - Voici ce que dit l'Eternel, qui fait ce qu'il a dit. - "Thus saith the Lord, who doth that which he hath said." The word Jehovah, not Lord, should be used in all such places as this.

    Verse 3. "Call unto eve, and I will answer thee" - To me alone it belongs to reveal what is future; and the stupendous things which are now coming are known only to myself. These idolaters go to their gods to get information relative to the issue of the present commotions; but there is no light in them. Ask thou, O Jeremiah, and I will tell thee the great and mighty things which even thou knowest not.

    Verse 4. "Thus saith the Lord" - This is a new confirmation of what has already been said, viz., The city shall fall, a number of the inhabitants shall perish, the rest shall be carried into captivity; but the nation shall be preserved, and the people return from their captivity.

    Verse 6. "Behold I will bring it health and, cure" - hkra aruchah, an extensive plaister; or, as we phrase it, a plafster as large as the sore. I will repair the losses of families by numerous births, and bless the land with fertility.

    Verse 7. "The captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel" - This must respect the latter times, for the ten tribes did not return with the Jews at the termination of the seventy years.

    Verse 8. "I will cleanse them" - These promises of pardon and holiness must be referred to their state under the Gospel, when they shall have received Jesus as the promised Messiah.

    Verse 9. "They shall fear and tremble" - The surrounding nations shall be persuaded that it is the hand of the Almighty that has wrought this change in your behalf; and shall fear to molest you, and tremble lest they should incur the displeasure of your God by doing you any kind of evil.

    Verse 11. "The voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts" - That is, the voice of the Levites in the sacred service: intimating that the temple should be rebuilt, and the public service restored.

    Verse 12. "A habitation of shepherds" - See on chap. xxxi. 12.

    Verse 14. Behold the days comet See chap. xxiii. 5, and xxxi. 31.

    "That good thing which I have promised" - By my prophets: for those who have predicted the captivity have also foretold its conclusion, though not in such express terms as Jeremiah did. See Hos. i. 10, &c.; ii. 15, &c.; vi. 11, &c.; Amos ix. 14, &c., and chap. iii. 12, &c. The end of the captivity has been foretold by Micah, chap. vii. 9, &c.; Zephaniah, iii. 10, &c.; and by Jeremiah, chap. xvi. 15; xxiii. 3; xxix. 10; xxxii. 37. The Targum explains verses 14, 15, and 16 of the Messiah.

    Verse 16. "And this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness." - See what has been said on chap. xxiii. 6, which is generally supposed to be a strictly parallel passage: but they are very different, and I doubt whether they mean exactly the same thing. As to our translation here, it is ignorant, and almost impious; it says that Jerusalem, for that is the antecedent, shall be called The Lord our Righteousness. The pronoun hl lah, which is translated her, is the masculine affix, in the Chaldaic form, which frequently occurs; and Dr. Blayney translates, "And this is He whom Jehovah shall call our righteousness," or Justification.

    Perhaps there is a sense which these words will bear far more congenial to the scope of the place. I will give the original, as before: wnqdx hwhy hl arqy ra hzw vezeh asher yikra lah, Yehovah tsidkenu, "And this one who shall call to her is the Lord our Justification;" that is, the salvation of the Jews shall take place when Jesus Christ is proclaimed to them as their Justifier, and they receive him as such.

    Instead of hl lah, her or him, Chaldaice, the Vulgate, Chaldee, and Syriac have read wl lo, him, less ambiguously; and this reading is supported by one or two MSS. This emendation renders the passage here more conformable to that in chap. xxiii. 6; but if the translation above be admitted, all embarrassment is gone.

    One of my own MSS. has hl loh, with the masculine points, and no mappik on the h he; and for tsidkenu has wnyqdx tsidkeynu, the contracted plural form, our righteousness: but this may be a mistake. The passages in this and the twenty-third chapter were not, I am satisfied, intended to express the same thing. I suppose that above refers to the preaching or proclaiming Christ crucified to the Jews, when the time shall arrive in which they shall be incorporated with the Gentile Church. Dahler translates this as he did that in chap. xxiii., which is a perfect oversight: but paraphrastic renderings are too often introduced by this learned foreigner.

    Verse 18. "Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man" - This is a repetition of the promise made to Phinehas, Numbers xxv. 13.

    Verse 20. "If ye can break my covenant of the day" - See the note on chap. xxxi. 36.

    Verse 22. "So will I multiply the seed of David" - This must be understood of the spiritual David, Jesus Christ, and his progeny, genuine Christians. The two families which God chose for the priesthood, that of Aaron and Phinehas, or, on its being taken away from him, that of Ithamar, 1 Sam. ii. 35, are both extinct. Nor has the office of high priest, or priest of any kind offering sacrifice, been exercised among the Jews for nearly eighteen hundred years; therefore what is said here of the priesthood must refer to the spiritual priesthood, at the head of which is Jesus Christ.

    Verse 24. "The two families which the Lord hath chosen" - Some think these refer to the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah; but they never can be considered as two distinct families, being of one and the same race. Others think that the families of Jacob and David are intended; but neither were these distinct. If the two families which had the priesthood be not meant, then the regal family of David, and the sacerdotal family of Jacob through Levi, may be designed. See ver. 26. Following the spiritual interpretation, neither the regal nor sacerdotal family has failed; for Jesus is a King and a Priest, and all true believers in him are kings and priests unto God and the Lamb. And the highest King that ever reigned is He who is the seed of David, King of kings and Lord of lords, who has all power in heaven and in earth.

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