King James Bible Adam Clarke Bible Commentary Martin Luther's Writings Wesley's Sermons and Commentary Neurosemantics Audio / Video Bible Evolution Cruncher Creation Science Vincent New Testament Word Studies KJV Audio Bible Family videogames Christian author Godrules.NET Main Page Add to Favorites Godrules.NET Main Page




Bad Advertisement?

Are you a Christian?

Online Store:
  • Visit Our Store

  • JAMIESON-FAUSSET-BROWN - JEREMIAH 31
    PREVIOUS CHAPTER - NEXT CHAPTER - HELP - FACEBOOK     


    CHAPTER 31

    Jer 31:1-40. CONTINUATION OF THE PROPHECY IN THE THIRTIETH CHAPTER.

    As in that chapter the restoration of Judah, so in this the restoration of Israel's ten tribes is foretold.

    1. At the same time--"In the latter days" (Jer 30:24).
    - the God of--manifesting My grace to (Ge 17:7; Mt 22:32; Re 21:3).
    - all . . . Israel--not the exiles of the south kingdom of Judah only, but also the north kingdom of the ten tribes; and not merely Israel in general, but "all the families of Israel." Never yet fulfilled (Ro 11:26).

    2. Upon the grace manifested to Israel "in the wilderness" God grounds His argument for renewing His favors to them now in their exile; because His covenant is "everlasting" (Jer 31:3), and changes not. The same argument occurs in Ho 13:5, 9, 10; 14:4, 5, 8. Babylon is fitly compared to the "wilderness," as in both alike Israel was as a stranger far from his appointed "rest" or home, and Babylon is in Isa 40:3 called a "desert" (compare Jer 50:12).
    - I went to cause him to rest--namely, in the pillar of cloud and fire, the symbol of God's presence, which went before Israel to search a resting-place (Nu 10:33; Isa 63:14) for the people, both a temporary one at each halt in the wilderness, and a permanent one in Canaan (Ex 33:14; De 3:20; Jos 21:44; Ps 95:11; Heb 3:11).

    3. Israel gratefully acknowledges in reply God's past grace; but at the same time tacitly implies by the expression "of old," that God does not appear to her now. "God appeared to me of old, but now I am forsaken!" God replies, Nay, I love thee with the same love now as of old. My love was not a momentary impulse, but from "everlasting" in My counsels, and to "everlasting" in its continuance; hence originated the covenant whereby I gratuitously adopted thee (Mal 1:2; Ro 11:28, 29). Margin translates, "from afar," which does not answer so well as "of old," to "in the wilderness" (Jer 31:2), which refers to the olden times of Israel's history.
    - with loving kindness . . . drawn-- (Ho 11:4). Rather, "I have drawn out continually My loving kindness toward thee." So Ps 36:10, "Continue (Margin, 'Draw out at length') Thy loving kindness." By virtue of My everlasting love I will still extend My loving kindness to thee. So Isa 44:21, "O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of Me."

    4. I will build . . . thou shalt be built--The combination of the active and passive to express the same fact implies the infallible certainty of its accomplishment. "Build," that is, establish in prosperity (Jer 33:7).
    - adorned with . . . tabrets-- (1Sa 18:6). Or, "adorn thyself with thy timbrels"; used by damsels on occasions of public rejoicings (Ex 15:20; Jud 11:34). Israel had cast away all instruments of joy in her exile (Ps 137:4).
    - dances--holy joy, not carnal mirth.

    5. Samaria--the metropolis of the ten tribes; here equivalent to Israel. The mountainous nature of their country suited the growth of the vine.
    - eat . . . as common--literally, "shall profane," that is, shall put to common use. For the first three years after planting, the vine was "not to be eaten of"; on the fourth year the fruit was to be "holy to praise the Lord withal"; on the fifth year the fruit was to be eaten as common, no longer restricted to holy use (Le 19:23-25; compare De 20:6; 28:30, Margin). Thus the idea here is, "The same persons who plant shall reap the fruits"; it shall no longer be that one shall plant and another reap the fruit.

    6. The watchmen stationed on eminences (types of the preachers of the gospel), shall summon the ten tribes to go up to the annual feasts at Jerusalem ("Zion"), as they used to do before the revolt and the setting up of the idol calves at Dan and Beer-sheba (Eze 37:21, 22).
    - Mount Ephraim--not one single mountain, but the whole mountainous region of the ten tribes.
    - our God--from whom we formerly revolted, but who is now our God. An earnest of that good time to come is given in the partial success of the gospel in its first preaching in Samaria (Joh 4:1-42; Ac 8:5-25).

    7. The people are urged with praises and prayers to supplicate for their universal restoration. Jehovah is represented in the context (Jer 31:1, 8), as promising immediately to restore Israel. They therefore praise God for the restoration, being as certain of it as if it were actually accomplished; and at the same time pray for it, as prayer was a means to the desired end. Prayer does not move God to grant our wishes, but when God has determined to grant our wishes, He puts it into our hearts to pray for the thing desired. Compare Ps 102:13-17, as to the connection of Israel's restoration with the prayers of His people (Isa 62:1-6).
    - for Jacob--on account of Jacob; on account of his approaching deliverance by Jehovah.
    - among--"for," that is, on account of, would more exactly suit the parallelism to "for Jacob."
    - chief of the nations--Israel: as the parallelism to "Jacob" proves (compare Ex 19:5; Ps 135:4; Am 6:1). God estimates the greatness of nations not by man's standard of material resources, but by His electing favor.

    8. north--Assyria, Media, &c. (see on Jer 3:12; Jer 3:18; 23:8).
    - gather from . . . coasts of . . . earth-- (Eze 20:34, 41; 34:13).
    - blind . . . lame, &c.--Not even the most infirm and unfit persons for a journey shall be left behind, so universal shall be the restoration.
    - a great company--or, they shall return "in a great company" [MAURER].

    9. weeping--for their past sins which caused their exile (Ps 126:5, 6). Although they come with weeping, they shall return with joy (Jer 50:4, 5).
    - supplications--(Compare Jer 31:18, 19; Jer 3:21-25; Zec 12:10). Margin translates "favors," as in Jos 11:20; Ezr 9:8; thus God's favors or compassions are put in opposition to the people's weeping; their tears shall be turned into joy. But English Version suits the parellelism best.
    - I will cause . . . to walk by . . . waters . . . straight way-- (Isa 35:6-8; 43:19; 49:10, 11). God will give them waters to satisfy their thirst as in the wilderness journey from Egypt. So spiritually (Mt 5:6; Joh 7:37).
    - Ephraim--the ten tribes no longer severed from Judah, but forming one people with it.
    - my first-born-- (Ex 4:22; Ho 11:1; Ro 9:4). So the elect Church (2Co 6:18; Jas 1:18).

    10. The tidings of God's interposition in behalf of Israel will arrest the attention of even the uttermost Gentile nations.
    - He that scattered will gather--He who scattered knows where to find Israel; He who smote can also heal.
    - keep--not only will gather, but keep safely to the end (Joh 13:1; 17:11).
    - shepherd-- (Isa 40:11; Eze 34:12-14).

    11. ransomed . . . from . . . hand of . . . stronger--No strength of the foe can prevent the Lord from delivering Jacob (Isa 49:24, 25).

    12. height of Zion-- (Eze 17:23).
    - flow--There shall be a conflux of worshippers to the temple on Zion (Isa 2:2; Mic 4:1).
    - to the goodness of . . . Lord--(See Jer 31:14). Beneficence, that is, to the Lord as the source of all good things (Ho 3:5), to pray to Him and praise Him for these blessings of which He is the Fountainhead.
    - watered garden-- (Isa 58:11). Not merely for a time, but continually full of holy comfort.
    - not sorrow any more--referring to the Church triumphant, as well as to literal Israel (Isa 35:10; 65:19; Re 21:4).

    13. young . . . old-- (Zec 8:4, 5).

    14. my goodness-- (Jer 31:12).

    15. Ramah--In Benjamin, east of the great northern road, two hours' journey from Jerusalem. Rachel, who all her life had pined for children (Ge 30:1), and who died with "sorrow" in giving birth to Benjamin (Ge 35:18, 19, Margin; 1Sa 10:2), and was buried at Ramah, near Beth-lehem, is represented as raising her head from the tomb, and as breaking forth into "weeping" at seeing the whole land depopulated of her sons, the Ephraimites. Ramah was the place where Nebuzara-dan collected all the Jews in chains, previous to their removal to Babylon (Jer 40:1). God therefore consoles her with the promise of their restoration. Mt 2:17, 18 quotes this as fulfilled in the massacre of the innocents under Herod. "A lesser and a greater event, of different times, may answer to the single sense of one passage of Scripture, until the prophecy is exhausted" [BENGEL]. Besides the temporary reference to the exiles in Babylon, the Holy Spirit foreshadowed ultimately Messiah's exile in Egypt, and the desolation caused in the neighborhood of Rachel's tomb by Herod's massacre of the children, whose mothers had "sons of sorrow" (Ben-oni), just as Rachel had. The return of Messiah (the representative of Israel) from Egypt, and the future restoration of Israel, both the literal and the spiritual (including the innocents), at the Lord's second advent, are antitypical of the restoration of Israel from Babylon, which is the ground of consolation held out here by Jeremiah. The clause, "They were not," that is, were dead (Ge 42:13), does not apply so strictly to the exiles in Babylon as it does to the history of Messiah and His people--past, present, and future. So the words, "There is hope in thine end," are to be fulfilled ultimately, when Rachel shall meet her murdered children at the resurrection, at the same time that literal Israel is to be restored. "They were not," in Hebrew, is singular; each was not: each mother at the Beth-lehem massacre had but one child to lament, as the limitation of age in Herod's order, "two years and under," implies; this use of the singular distributively (the mothers weeping severally, each for her own child), is a coincidence between the prophecy of the Beth-lehem massacre and the event, the more remarkable as not being obvious: the singular, too, is appropriate as to Messiah in His Egyptian exile, who was to be a leading object of Rachel's lamentation.

    16. thy work--thy parental weeping for thy children [ROSENMULLER]. Thine affliction in the loss of thy children, murdered for Christ's sake, shall not be fruitless to thee, as was the case in thy giving birth to the "child of thy sorrow," Benjamin. Primarily, also, thy grief shall not be perpetual: the exiles shall return, and the land be inhabited again [CALVIN].
    - come again-- (Ho 1:11).

    17. hope in . . . end--All thy calamities shall have a prosperous issue.

    18. Ephraim--representing the ten tribes.
    - bemoaning himself--The spirit of penitent supplication shall at last be poured on Israel as the necessary forerunner of their restoration (Zec 12:10-14).
    - Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised--In the first clause the chastisement itself is meant; in the second the beneficial effect of it in teaching the penitent true wisdom.
    - bullock unaccustomed to . . . yoke--A similar image occurs in De 32:15. Compare "stiff-necked," Ac 7:51; Ex 32:9, an image from refractory oxen. Before my chastisement I needed the severe correction I received, as much as an untamed bullock needs the goad. Compare

    GOTO NEXT CHAPTER - D. J-F-B INDEX & SEARCH

    God Rules.NET
    Search 90+ volumes of books at one time. Nave's Topical Bible Search Engine. Easton's Bible Dictionary Search Engine. Systematic Theology Search Engine.