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Jeremiah 30:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying- Previously in Jeremiah there has been the implication that right up to the last minute, the fall of Jerusalem and exile was avoidable by repentance. Now in Jer. 30-34 we have the tacit assumption that this will indeed happen, but the focus is upon the future restoration from that calamity, and the way it was designed to elicit repentance. 

Jeremiah 30:2 Thus speaks Yahweh, the God of Israel saying, Write all the words that I have spoken to you in a book-
This may refer specifically to Jer. 30-34, the prophecies of the restoration which were to be the spiritual handbook for the exiles, in that their experiences were to be understood in this context as leading them to repentance.


Jeremiah 30:3 For, behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that I will turn again the captivity of My people Israel and Judah, says Yahweh; and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it-
Time and again, Jeremiah had prophesied how Yahweh would bring again His people and the vessels of the temple back to the land (Jer. 30:3,18; 31:23); and this all had a fulfillment in the return from captivity under Ezra and Nehemiah. It was then that in some sense Yahweh ‘brought again Zion’ (Is. 52:8). The very same word used by Joel [translated “bring again”] is to be found in the references to Judah’s return at the restoration (Ezra 2:1; 6:21; Neh. 7:6; 8:17). The same word is to be found in Ezekiel 38:8 and 39:27, where again, the invasion is to happen once Judah had been ‘brought again’ from captivity. Judah returned, and yet they didn’t rebuild the temple as they were commanded. Therefore the invasion didn’t come, and therefore the Kingdom wasn’t then established. Their return from exile at what is called 'the restoration' wasn't associated with a return to God in repentance; and so these prophecies have been reapplied and rescheduled, to the repentance of a new, spiritual Israel under the new covenant in Jesus Christ; and to the final repentance and return of God's natural people.


Jeremiah 30:4 These are the words that Yahweh spoke concerning Israel and concerning Judah-
It was God's intention that the experience of repentance and receipt of grace would lead to both Judah and the ten tribe Israel being united, and returning as united to Zion. This didn't happen, but the unity of the new Israel is predicated upon these experiences (and not simply upon a common theology).


Jeremiah 30:5 For thus says Yahweh: We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace-
It was God's intention to bring peace at that time, peace with Him through repentance (see on Jer. 29:11), but instead their lack of repentance left them in chronic fear and trembling at the prospect of destruction by Babylon. They should have trembled (s.w.) at God's word in repentance (Ezra 9:4; 10:3; Is. 66:2,5); but they now trembled at the prospect of condemnation. Whichever way, man comes to trembling before his God. And we are to tremble and repent, rather than trembling in the condemnation of the last day.


Jeremiah 30:6 Ask now, and see whether a man does travail with child: why do I see every man with his hands on his waist, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?-
The psychological collapse of the condemned is a major theme of the prophecies of judgment. But even in the figure of men becoming like travailing women, there is within the metaphor the hope of new birth. GNB "Can a man give birth to a child?" suggests that what might seem impossible would in fact be brought about by God's grace. "Waist" is GNB "stomach".


Jeremiah 30:7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it-
The Divine intention was that the Babylonian invasion and destruction of Jerusalem was to be unprecedented. But Dan. 12:1 reapplies this language to the last days, when Jacob's final time of trouble will be ended by the resurrection from the dead at the coming of "Michael", representing the Lord Jesus. The planned potential didn't happen at the time of Babylon, but these words will come to their final term in the last days. Jacob's previous 'times of trouble' had all been at the hands of their neighbouring enemies (Jud. 10:14; Neh. 9:27; Jer. 14:8) and Esau, and so it shall be in the final time of trouble for Jacob. The salvation of Jacob from the time of trouble is however defined in Jer. 15:11 as being through the salvation of a remnant of them.

 

Jeremiah 30:8 It shall come to pass in that day, says Yahweh of Armies, that I will break his yoke from off your neck, and will burst your bonds; and strangers shall no more make him their bond servant- The pure grace of God’s dealings with Jacob is brought out in how Jer. 30:7,8 prophecies that in the time of Jacob’s trouble, “I will break his [the invader’s] yoke from off thy neck. This was the promise given to Esau- and one could say that Jacob having got all he did, at least Esau should be allowed to have the little promise given to him. But now even this is given to Jacob- at the time of his ‘trouble, his final down treading for centuries of disobedience. Judah had "broken the yoke and burst the bonds" of their covenant relationship with God (Jer. 5:5), but He by grace had broken the yoke and bonds of those who enslaved them (Jer. 2:20; 30:8).


Jeremiah 30:9 But they shall serve Yahweh their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up to them-
The yoke of servitude to Babylon was to be replaced by the lighter yoke of servitude to Yahweh and "David", a Messianic ruler in the line of David. This could have been Zerubbabel, but he failed; and so clearly the prophecy has final fulfillment in the Lord Jesus, who was "raised up" from the dead by Yahweh.


Jeremiah 30:10 Therefore don’t you be afraid, O Jacob my servant, says Yahweh; neither be dismayed, Israel-
Isaiah’s restoration prophecies contained not only many clear commands to not fear at the time of the restoration (Is. 41:10,13,14; 43:1,5; 44:2,8; 51:7; 54:4), but also a clear statement that if they were truly the re-established Kingdom, they would not fear: “Thou afflicted, tossed with tempest [s.w. Zechariah 7:14 re. how Judah was ‘tossed around’ by the 70 years captivity] I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires... and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children. In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee... and all thy children shall be taught of the LORD” (Is. 54:11-14). The adversaries to the rebuilding did make the returned exiles afraid: “For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands” (Neh. 6:9).  Likewise Ezra 3:3: “And they set the altar upon his bases; for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries”. Nehemiah exhorted the people not to be afraid perhaps on the basis of Jeremiah’s words (Neh. 4:14). Their fear and problem-oriented view of life stopped the Kingdom bursting forth into their experience. That fear was rooted in an obsessive self-interest that eclipsed a true faith in that which is greater and larger than us as individuals. And so it can be with us.

For, behold, I will save you from afar, and your seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be quiet and at ease, and none shall make him afraid- This salvation from far off must be understood in the context of how God says that He was potentially near to Judah, but they had chosen to keep Him "far off" (s.w.) in their hearts; see on Jer. 12:2;23:23. Even from that situation, God's grace could work on their hearts. They were taken "far [off]" to captivity because they had Him far from their hearts.


Jeremiah 30:11 For I am with you, says Yahweh, to save you-
This alludes to Isaiah's "Emmanuel" prophecy of the Messiah who would be "God with us". 'Yah's salvation' is Yehoshua, Jesus.

For I will make a full end of all the nations where I have scattered you, but I will not make a full end of you- Earlier God had threatened to make a full end, the same phrase is found in Is. 10:23 and Zeph. 1:18. But now God promises that He will not make a full end (Jer. 5:10,18; 4:27; 30:11; 46:28). God is not capricious; but His love and pity is such that He is unafraid to not do according to His wrath. In wrath God remembered mercy; or perhaps responded to some degree of repentance or intercession from a minority. And this God is our God. This change by God was in response to Jeremiah's prayer of Jer. 10:24, where the same words are used; Jeremiah as representative of the people asked not to be corrected to the point of destruction, but to be corrected "in measure". See on :19.

But I will correct you in measure, and will in no way leave you unpunished- The frequent appeals for Judah to be "instructed" use the same word translated "punish" (Lev. 26:18). The idea was that the punishments were to be instruction; they were not the lashing out of an offended Deity. It was God's hope, even 'fantasy' would not be too strong a word, that His people would realize this, and come to say "You punished / instructed me, and I was instructed" (Jer. 31:18 s.w.). That correction / punishment was to be "in measure", the same phrase is used by Jeremiah as Judah's representative when he asked to be corrected "with justice / judgment" (Jer. 10:18). His personal reformation was to be that of Judah; see on :13. The paradox is that Judah deserved total destruction, as Jeremiah and other prophets do state at times; and yet the "just" judgment was that which resulted in reformation and not total destruction. That justice involved them not being left "unpunished"; the guilty cannot be "cleared" (s.w. "unpunished"; Ex. 34:7; Nah. 1:3). That is a fundamental part of God's character. The problem was that the Jews of Jeremiah's time considered themselves "innocent" (Jer. 2:35 s.w. "unpunished"). They had to be convicted both of their sin and of God's grace, in punishing / correcting them less than their sins deserved (Ezra 9:13).


Jeremiah 30:12 For thus says Yahweh, Your hurt is incurable, and your wound grievous-
But Yahweh healed the incurable (Jer. 30:17). This is the Bible paradox of God's love of Israel and desire for their redemption. As noted on :11, they deserved total destruction, but God's wonderful way with Israel was to punish them less than their sins deserved and yet do so with justice.

Jeremiah 30:13 There is none to plead your cause, that you may be bound up: you have no healing medicines-
The false prophets had failed to heal them by offering them "peace" without repentance (s.w. Jer. 6:14; 8:11). As noted on :11, Jeremiah was Judah's representative, and he too had been healed when there was no healing possible apart from the Divine (Jer. 17:14 s.w.). Jeremiah in depression seems to have lost faith in the healing promised in Jer. 30:13, for he laments amongst the ruins of Jerusalem that Zion is without a healer (Lam. 2:13).


Jeremiah 30:14 All your lovers have forgotten you; they don’t seek you-
The lovers were the surrounding nations whom she had trusted in; they were destroyed by Babylon or sided with Babylon.

For I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the greatness of your iniquity, because your sins were increased- God was the healer of the wound as well as the wounder (:15). Let us not forget His hurt and experience of having been wounded. In Jer. 6:7, God laments that the continual bubbling forth of their wickedness, as from a perpetual fountain, was matched in His continual woundedness. That God can be wounded by our behaviour... is a stunning concept. This reveals the extent to which God has sensitized Himself toward man, when we are but ants before Him, the King of the cosmos. Yet the same word is used here of the deep wounding of God's people by the invaders (Jer. 14:17; 30:14); but God felt that Himself even before they did.


Jeremiah 30:15 Why do you cry for your hurt? Your pain is incurable: for the greatness of your iniquity, because your sins were increased, I have done these things to you-
The wounder was God, who was Himself wounded in their hurt, and yet He was also their healer. See on :14. Their wound was incurable by any apart from Him.


Jeremiah 30:16 Therefore all those who devour you shall be devoured; and all your adversaries, each one of them, shall go into captivity; and those who despoil you shall be a spoil, and all who prey on you will I give for a prey-
God's love for Israel is such that even in their guilt He still avenges them. The structure of the book of Revelation reflects the principles of this verse; the seals speak of the judgments on Israel in the last days, but they are very similar to the later series of judgments, which are upon her latter day desolators. "Devour" means to consume to destruction; the paradox is that Israel were devoured but survived by grace, just as they were cured of an incurable wound. The adversaries of Judah didn't all go into exile at the time of Jeremiah; this is another indication that these prophecies of the restoration are to be reapplied and rescheduled to the last days.


Jeremiah 30:17 For I will restore health to you, and I will heal you of your wounds, says Yahweh-
To be cured of an incurable wound was to be achieved only by God's grace. Likewise the broken earthen bottle which was smashed couldn't be made whole again- apparently (Jer. 19:11). But the miracle of grace was that like the useless burnt vine branch of Ez. 15 and the marred linen girdle buried by the Euphrates, the smashed bottle, like Ezekiel's dry bones vision, could be made whole again. The stripes upon the suffering servant could 'heal' Israel (s.w. "made whole", Is. 53:5). Jeremiah had preached as much, that being made whole again was possible (Jer. 3:22; 30:17; 33:6 s.w.). The rhetorical question of Lam. 2:13 "Zion... who can heal you / make you whole again?" (s.w.) had its answer in Yahweh.

Because they have called you an outcast, saying, It is Zion, whom no man seeks after- God is very sensitive to the words said about His people, even when they are suffering for their sins. His patience and hurt with all the countless words of anti-Jewish mockery over the centuries... is the more amazing. None of Zion's one time lovers sought her (:14). But God did. And His desperate hope was that they would seek Him, and He would as it were meet them in joy. God is in search of man, of Israel in particular; our 'search for the truth' or 'for God' is not made in limbo, beneath the apparent silence of the steely skies. God is in search of man too. "And going out to find Him, I met Him coming toward me", in the words of a Yiddish poem. They were indeed outcasts, thrust away ones, because the false prophets had thrust them away from Yahweh (Dt. 13:10 s.w.), and God had confirmed this by 'casting them out' as outcast from Him (s.w. Jer. 8:3; 29:18). But still God was and is so deeply sensitive to that being negatively commented upon.

Jeremiah 30:18 Thus says Yahweh: Behold, I will turn again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have compassion on his dwelling places-
Although Judah were encouraged to build houses in Babylon (Jer. 29:5), they were to perceive them as mere "tents" compared to their permanent dwelling place, which was back in the cities of Israel. And this is how we ought to perceive our homes, even if we lived in the house we were born in all our days. They are but tents compared to the ultimate permanence of our place in God's Kingdom.

And the city shall be built again on its own hill, and the palace shall be inhabited in its own former way- Jer. 30:18 RSV prophesies: “the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall be where it used to be”. And passages as varied as Zech. 1, Ps. 68 and Micah 4 all insist that the temple of the restored Kingdom was to built within the city of Jerusalem. This would all point towards the temple commanded in Ez. 40-48 being smaller than the huge edifice envisioned by Henry Sulley. See on Ez. 45:1.


Jeremiah 30:19 Out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of those who make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small-
See on :11. "Few" is literally "brought to nothing". Judah were not literally 'brought to nothing'. This was in response to Jeremiah's prayer in Jer. 10:24- to correct / punish [s.w.] Judah, but not bring them to nothing. The promise of multiplication obviously alludes to the promises to Abraham; these were to be the basis of the new covenant which Judah were to enter, seeing that they had broken the old covenant.


Jeremiah 30:20 Their children also shall be as before, and their congregation shall be established before Me; and I will punish all who oppress them-
The emphasis is upon restoration, "as before". The future kingdom of God will be a reestablishment of the Kingdom of God as it was in the form of Israel. The congregation "established before Me" uses the language of the promises to David in 2 Sam. 7:16,26. The seed of David would be "before Me" for ever; the promises to David could have been fulfilled at Jeremiah's time, but they were not. And so the restoration will come to its final term in the last days through the Lord Jesus, the great seed of David.


Jeremiah 30:21 Their prince shall be of themselves, and their ruler shall proceed from their midst; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach to Me-
When Judah returned, they could have entered into the new covenant, featuring “nobles [an intensive plural, meaning ‘the great noble’]… and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them” (Jer. 30:21). He would be a Jew, not a Gentile, fulfilling the promises to David (see on :20). Zerubabbel the Governor could have fulfilled this; but he flunked out. Yet God lifted up his spirit a second time (Hag. 1:14 cp. (Hag. 1:14 cp. Ezra 1:5); he was given a second chance, such was God’s enthusiasm that he should achieve what was potentially possible for him. But again, he failed. He saw the glory of Babylon as more attractive than the hard work required to bring about Yahweh’s eternal glory in Zion. It is noteworthy how God worked through this man’s failures, and desired to give him (and all Israel) further opportunities.  See on Jer. 23:5.

This leader who would come close to God in mediation would be willing to give his life to enable this. This must be connected with how Is. 53, describing Messiah’s death, is actually in a restoration context (beginning in Is. 52). Could it not be that a Messiah figure could have arisen and died a sacrificial death to bring his people to God? Daniel 9 likewise associates the rebuilding of Zion with the death of “Messiah the prince” to reconcile Israel to God- perhaps potentially possible within a literal 70 week period from Cyrus’ decree?

For who is he who has had boldness to approach to Me? says Yahweh- AV "who is this that engaged his heart to approach...". The Hebrew is literally 'who has braided / intermixed his heart'. David was a man after God's own heart, and his greater son was likewise to have a heart braided with that of God. It was the Lord Jesus, the man with the heart of God, who alone is able to fully approach unto God.


Jeremiah 30:22 You shall be My people, and I will be your God-
Again this refers to the promises to Abraham; Judah would truly be the promised seed. The new covenant they would accept would be based upon the promises to Abraham.


Jeremiah 30:23 Behold, the storm of Yahweh, His wrath, has gone forth, a sweeping storm: it shall burst on the head of the wicked-
This threat of terrible judgment is juxtaposed purposefully next to the language of the restoration. The wrath of God is indeed the prelude to the love of God. This is the same idea as the cherubim storm being used by Ezekiel to represent how the armies of Babylon had already "gone forth" and were about to burst over the wicked in Jerusalem.


Jeremiah 30:24 The fierce anger of Yahweh will not return, until He has executed, and until He has performed the intentions of His heart. In the latter days you will understand it
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There is a gap between God's statements and their execution, and in that gap there can be human repentance which means that the initial intentions or statements of God do not come about. But there had been no take up of that opportunity, and so the intents of God's heart concerning judgment were to come true. In repentance, "in the latter days", this would be completely, clearly understood. But the intents of God's heart were and are the salvation of His people; see on Jer. 29:11. In this case, the wrath of God works towards this situation, whereby His saving, restoring purpose is made real.

The repentance of Israel must be associated with an opening of their eyes to God's word. There is no other way men can come to repentance. Jer. 30:24 prophecies Jacob's final homecoming, and then comments: "In the latter days (not now) ye shall consider (understand) it". Then Israel will consider and understand the words of their prophets. "The Lord hath poured out upon (Israel) the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes (quoted in Rom. 11:8 concerning Israel's blindness to Christ)... the vision of all (God's word) is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed... (but) in that day  shall the (spiritually) deaf hear the words of the book" (Is. 29:10,11,17,18). This will be when the book is unsealed at "the time of the end" (Dan. 12:4). We have shown elsewhere that Israel's minority repentance must occur prior to the Lord's return. Therefore there must be an upsurge in Biblical activity amongst those who will become the faithful remnant in latter day Israel. This will be brought about by the Elijah prophet- remembering that the Elijah prophet is framed in Malachi as a teacher of God's word, not just an imparter of it. Likewise John, in the spirit of Elijah, taught the people about the Lord's advent.