JEREMIAH CHAPTER 30.
The Redemption of Israel.
THE PROMISE OF DELIVERANCE. — V. 1. The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, being given him by special and direct inspiration, saying, v. 2. Thus speaketh the Lord God of Israel, His very words being recorded, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book, the prophecy thus inscribed on a roll becoming a part of the sacred record of the Bible. V. 3. For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of My people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord, the restoration of all the members of His Church being included here, and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it. This introduction serves as a heading and summary of this entire section of Jeremiah's prophecy, and must be understood in the light of all that follows. V. 4. And these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah, His message transporting us with dramatic vividness into the very midst of the future, a future, moreover, which includes more than the history of the two nations as such. V. 5. For thus saith the Lord, We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace, or, "A cry of terror have we heard: fear and no deliverance." V. 6. Ask ye now and see whether a man doth travail with child, which, of course, is contrary to nature. Wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? It must be an extraordinary terror which could produce such a condition. V. 7. Alas! for that day, the Messianic period with its sifting process among the nations, is great, Luke 2, 34. 35, so that none is like it; it is even the time of Jacob's trouble, a testing of hearts and minds. But he shall be saved out of it, all the true children of Jacob, the members of the spiritual Israel, being delivered from the wrath to come. V. 8. For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, deliver His people from the oppression of all its enemies, and will burst thy bonds, those with which the oppressors were trying to keep His children in subjection, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him, keeping Israel in bondage; v. 9. but they shall serve the Lord, their God, and David, their King, the great Ruler Messiah, who was of the house and lineage of David, whom I will raise up unto them, for it was to Christ that the entire Messianic prophecy of the Old Testament pointed. V. 10. Therefore fear not thou, O my servant Jacob, saith the Lord, neither be dismayed, be filled with terror, O Israel, the cheering admonition being addressed to all believers; for, lo, I will save thee from afar and thy seed from the land of their captivity, the redemption of the world being spoken of under the picture of the deliverance from the Babylonian bondage; and Jacob shall return and shall be in rest and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid, the security of the children of God thus being emphasized. Cp. Ps. 46, 5. V. 11. For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee, taking the part of those that are His own; though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, the overthrow of the world empire being a type of the overthrow of all enemies of Jehovah and His Church, yet will I not make a full end of thee, the deliverance of His people being always assured in the Gospel-message; but I will correct thee in measure, literally, "with judgment," in such moderation as will bring about a change of heart for the better in them, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished, for a chastisement of His children such as He exercises is intended to keep them in His ways, for the Lord's thoughts toward them are thoughts of love and of peace. Thus is the culmination of the Messianic period portrayed.
THE TURN OF AFFAIRS AND THE CONSUMMATION OF SALVATION. — V. 12. For thus saith the Lord, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous, the stroke delivered to the Jews as a nation is mortal, the hopes which they entertained of having their exile end soon were vain. V. 13. There is none to plead thy cause, intercession could no longer be expected by them, that thou mayest be bound up, the wounds of their body politic being bandaged; thou hast no healing medicines, no remedies of bandages and plasters. Cp. chap. 8, 22. V. 14. All thy lovers, the former allied nations that had professed friendship for Judah, have forgotten thee, they seek thee not, not being at all concerned about Judah's welfare; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with a sharp smiting, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity, or “with cruel chastisement for the greatness of thy guilt," cp. chap. 5, 6; 13,22, because thy sins were increased. Although the Lord in Himself is incapable of enmity and cruelty, yet the grievous sins of the Jews challenged His avenging justice, so that He was obliged to act as though He were indeed cruel. V. 15. Why criest thou for thine affliction? Thy sorrow is incurable, or, "that thy pain is malignant?" For the multitude of thine iniquity, because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee. Whatever evil was descending upon Judah, its people had no one but themselves to blame; their punishment was strictly according to justice. But just when Israel was submerged in the evils descending upon it, the mercy of the Lord turned to His people, to vindicate His honor over against all the enemies. V. 16. Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured, and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity, the fate of the oppressed Jews striking them in full measure; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all that prey upon thee will I give for a prey, so that they would be plundered in turn. The enemies were, indeed, the instruments for carrying out the punishment of God upon His people, but at the same time they were guilty before Him and were bound to suffer accordingly. V. 17. For I will restore health unto thee, by means of healing plasters, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an outcast, a wife put away by her husband, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after, because the Lord had, for the purposes of His mercy, forsaken His people for the time being. V. 18. Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob's tents, so that the time of oppression and exile would be a thing of the past, and have mercy on his dwelling-places, on the places where His holy congregation was wont to assemble; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, to arise anew from its heap of' ruins, to be established on the hill of the Lord, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof, to be inhabited as of old. V. 19. And out of them, the palaces, the congregations of the Lord, shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry, their voices raised in psalms of rejoicing; and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few, the number of God’s children being increased under His blessing; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small, they will be honored and not despised in His sight. V. 20. Their children also shall be as aforetime, at the time when the Lord's Church was in its most nourishing condition, and their congregation shall be established before Me, founded upon the Rock of Ages, and I will punish all that oppress them. V. 21. And their nobles shall be of themselves, their most Glorious One being a member of their own nation, and their Governor shall proceed from the midst of them, namely, in the person of the Messiah, under whom the kingdom of David was restored in the best sense of the term; and I will cause Him to draw near, and He shall approach unto Me, consecrated to the Lord's service, as the great High Priest, entering in once into the most holy place of heaven, Heb. 9, 12; for who is this that engaged His heart to approach unto Me? saith the Lord. No mere man could take his life into his hands in approaching the holy God in the capacity of Redeemer and Mediator, because all ordinary men, being sinful creatures, would be destroyed by His holiness. Only in and through the Messiah is this approach possible. V. 22. And ye shall be My people, in and through the Messiah, and I will be your God. Cp. 2 Cor. 6, 18. V. 23. Behold, the whirlwind of the Lord, a tempest of Jehovah, goeth forth with fury, or, "fury goes forth," a continuing whirlwind, a rolling and swishing tornado; it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked, bowling them over like leaves driven before a strong wind. V. 24. The fierce anger of the Lord shall not return, not be abated or withdrawn, until He have done it, and until He have performed the intents of His heart, so that all His plans are executed, down to the smallest detail; in the latter days ye shall consider it, for then they would realize the object of the lesson which the Lord wanted them to learn, at the time when the Messianic period would reach its culmination, the supreme test coming with the Last Judgment.