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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

Jeremiah 30

 

 

Verse 1

1. The word, etc. — The heading of the entire prophecy to the end of chap. 31.


Verses 1-3

INTRODUCTORY — THE THEME, 1-3.

The section of this book upon which we now enter stands in pleasing contrast with the body of the volume. For the most part Jeremiah is occupied with the sins and sorrows of the people, the calamities in the midst of which he lived, and by which God was chastening them into a deeper spirituality and a higher purity. But in these four chapters he goes below the present adverse fortunes of God’s people, and dwells joyfully on the nation’s relation to a covenant-keeping God, by whom they will be made to triumph. And it is a most interesting fact, and one which illustrates impressively the victorious faith of this”man of sorrows,” that a portion of this passage was written in the tenth year of Zedekiah, when the despair and misery of the people were approaching their culmination. Just as the old Romans actually mapped out and sold the very ground on which their confident enemies were encamped, so Jeremiah calmly reckons on the possession of this land by his people in spite of their long captivity; and, as symbolical of their possession, buys the field at Anathoth.

These four chapters have been divided by Hengstenburg into three portions. 1) Chaps. 30 and 31, “a triumphal hymn of Israel’s salvation.” 2) Chap. 32 gives an account of the symbolical act of the buying a piece of hereditary property in Anathoth, and the message of God’s explanation thereof. 3) Chap. 33 dwells in prophetic language on the re-establishment of the Levitical priesthood and the Davidic throne. The whole passage is thus devoted to God’s changeless, invincible covenant with his people, assuring them of mercy and salvation.


Verse 2

2. Write… a book — Because these words were for the distant future, and for all God’s people, however widely scattered. He who speaks, addresses those who are present as to time and space: he who writes, takes a wider range in both respects. All the words, etc. — This phrase is limited to this prophecy, and is more fully defined in the next verse.


Verse 3

3. Israel and Judah — The prophet does not restrict himself to the kingdom of Judah, whose fate then hung in the balance, but includes Israel as being a component part of the theocracy. Though the kingdom of Israel had been extinct for generations, yet his faith staggers not at God’s covenant promise. From such allusions as that in Luke 2:36, we are led to infer that some of the tribal remnants of Israel returned with Judah to Palestine.


Verse 5

JUDGMENT ON THE NATIONS, Jeremiah 30:4-7.

5. A voice of trembling, etc. — This comforting prophecy has a most dramatic beginning. This verse seems to be located in the very darkest hour of their national night. The excitement and alarm consequent on the approach of the Medo-Persian army is here depicted. Though this coming was to work deliverance, yet at the first it produces only fear and apprehension.


Verse 6

6. Every man with his hands on his loins — As if in extreme pain, like unto a woman in the pangs of childbirth.


Verse 7

7. That day — Namely, of the captivity of Babylon. Comp. Joel 2:11; Amos 5:18.


Verse 8

ISRAEL’S DELIVERANCE, Jeremiah 30:8-11.

8. His yoke — Israel’s yoke, see on 1 Kings 12:4; Isaiah 9:3.

Strangers… no more serve themselves — Their captivity shall come to a perpetual end.


Verse 9

9. David their king — The divine David — the Messiah — the antetypal David.


Verse 10

10. From afar — The distance is not invincible to Jehovah’s power. The mention of seed, however, suggests that this glad hour of deliverance may be in the still distant future.


Verse 11

11. Yet… not make a full end of thee — See Jeremiah 4:27; Jeremiah 5:18. The calamities of God’s people are not for their destruction, but their correction. “Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.” So, in a broader sense, all physical evil is in the interest of the kingdom of God. Pain and sorrow, sickness and death, are all sent on an evangelical mission.


Verse 12

ISRAEL’S DIRE NECESSITY AND JEHOVAH’S MERCY, Jeremiah 30:12-17.

12. Incurable — That is, to human thought. But the things that seemed impossible to man were yet possible with God.


Verse 14

14. Lovers — Allied peoples; such, for instance, as Egypt and Syria. Comp. Jeremiah 22:20; Jeremiah 27:3.

Wound of an enemy — As it appeared; merciless and severe.


Verse 15

15. Why criest thou, etc. — It is too late for prayers and lamentations to avail.


Verse 16

16. Therefore — Looking back to Jeremiah 30:13. — They that spoil thee shall be a spoil. Retribution in kind is here threatened; and it is such retribution that under God’s economy is always inflicted. In the working of law in every realm there is always a tendency to exact satisfaction in the very matter, and indeed in the very form, of the offence. Only dimly is this seen in providence, so various and complicated are the workings of law here, but as we come into simpler and more easily comprehended realms, we are amazed and awe-stricken at the exactness with which the penalty is adjusted to the offence.


Verse 17

17. They called thee an Outcast — But by God’s blessing thou “shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah.” Isaiah 62:4.

Zion, whom no man seeketh after — Some have taken this phrase as explanatory of the preceding, in the sense that Zion, taken etymologically, means wasteness or aridity; but this etymology is disputed, and is not necessary to an intelligible understanding of the sentence. The meaning simply is, that Zion is so insignificant that no man will even take the trouble to inquire after her. As to the whole promise, it has been well observed, that the extremity of the people will be no obstacle to God’s grace, but rather its chosen opportunity.


Verse 18

THE BLESSEDNESS OF RESTORATION, Jeremiah 30:18-24.

18. The captivity of Jacob’s tents — The term “tents” suggests that the stay of the Judahites in Chaldea was to be but temporary. It may also suggest the poverty and wandering condition of the people in that land.

Heap — Not of ruins, but for defence and safety. The prime condition of strength in the position of a city was, that it should be on an elevation, either natural or artificial. The term here employed — Tel — is frequently a part of the names of cities. Compare Tel-Abib. Ezekiel 3:15. Palace shall remain, etc. — Rather, the palace shall be inhabited, etc.


Verse 20

20. Children… congregation — Unmistakable signs of established life and prosperity.


Verses 21-24

21-24. Their nobles, etc. — The real thought in this text is much obscured in the translation. Keil renders the passage thus: And his leader shall spring from himself; and his ruler shall go forth from his midst; and I will bring him near, so that he shall approach to me: for who is he that became surety for his life in drawing near to me? saith Jehovah. This text had but a partial fulfilment in the partial independency which the Jews enjoyed subsequent to the captivity; its complete fulfilment comes only in the Messianic reign. “Out of thee shall come a governor that shall rule my people Israel.” The language, I will cause him to draw near, etc., has a technical sense, involving the priestly idea. It implies that the King from among themselves will be also their Priest, thus uniting in himself all that is profoundly representative of the people’s life. The phrase performed (or pledged) the intents of his heart, looks primarily to the terrors which were made to surround the person of an oriental monarch, (see Esther 4:11,) but really to the necessity of entering into the holy of holies in behalf of sinners only by blood, by offering up the life of an acceptable victim. The full and ultimate reference, then, is to the vicarious death of the true Israel’s divine King.

 


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Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Jeremiah 30:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/jeremiah-30.html. 1874-1909.

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