The fulfilled promise (Jer 33:14-33:14)

“Says Yahweh.

‘The days

Are surely coming,

When I will fulfill

The promise

I made to

The house of Israel

As well as the house of Judah.”

Yahweh was going to fulfill his promise to the house of Israel and the house of Judah in some future time. This section seems like a later addition.

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The restoration of shepherds and flocks (Jer 33:12-33:13)

“Thus says Yahweh of hosts.

‘In this place

That is a waste,

Without human beings

Or animals,

In all of its towns,

There shall again

Be pastures

For shepherds

Resting their flocks.

In the towns of the hill country,

Of the Shephelah,

Of the Negeb,

In the land of Benjamin,

In the places around Jerusalem,

In the towns of Judah,

Flocks shall again pass

Under the hands

Of the one

Who counts them.’

Says Yahweh.”

Despite the wasteland that did not have humans or animals in any of its towns, there would be once again pastures for shepherds to bring their flocks. As in the preceding chapter, this restoration would take place in the hill country of Judah, in the towns of the Shephelah, the old Dan territory next to Benjamin, in the Negeb, the semi arid land southeast of Jerusalem near the Dead Sea, in the Benjamin territory, around the city of Jerusalem, and in the towns of Judah. Flocks and shepherds would once again pass by with a shepherd counting them. However, there was no mention of the northern territory from the old northern Israelite kingdom and its tribes.

The restoration of joy and worship (Jer 33:11-33:11)

“There shall once more

Be heard

The voice of mirth,

The voice of gladness,

The voice of the bridegroom,

The voice of the bride,

The voices of those who sing,

As they bring thank offerings

To the house of Yahweh.

‘Give thanks

To Yahweh of hosts!

Yahweh is good!

His steadfast love

Endures forever!’

I will restore the fortunes

Of the land

As at first.’

Says Yahweh.”

However, there would be a total reversal of fortune. One of the favorite remarks about the desolation, as found in chapters 7, 16, and 25 of this work, was about no more voices of rejoicing with mirth or gladness when the voice of the bride, the bridegroom, and those singing would not be heard. Here it is the restoration of these merry making activities. They will have weddings and singing as they bring their offerings to the Temple, the house of Yahweh. Because Yahweh is good, his steadfast love endures forever. Thus he will restore the fortunes of this land to the way that it was.

The desolation (Jer 33:10-33:10)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘In this place

Of which you say.

‘It is a waste

Without humans

Or animals.’

That is

In the towns of Judah,

In the streets of Jerusalem.

They are desolate,

Without inhabitants,

Human or animal.’”

Jeremiah returns to a familiar theme, the desolation of Israel. Yahweh said that there were no humans or animals in the towns of Judah or in the streets of Jerusalem. Thus Judah and Jerusalem were desolate without any inhabitants.

Future restoration (Jer 33:6-33:9)

“I going to bring

Recovery

With healing.

I will heal them.

I will reveal to them

Abundance of prosperity

With security.

I will restore

The fortunes of Judah,

The fortunes of Israel.

I will rebuild them

As they were at first.

I will cleanse them

From all the guilt

Of their sin

Against me.

I will forgive

All the guilt

Of their sin

With their rebellion

Against me.

This city shall be to me

A name of joy,

A praise,

As well as a glory

Before all the nations

Of the earth.

They shall hear

Of all the good

That I do for them.

They shall fear.

They shall tremble

Because of all the good,

As well as all the prosperity

I provide for it.”

Yahweh was going to heal Israel and Judah. He was going to help the city of Jerusalem to recover. They would have an abundance of prosperity and security in Jerusalem. Both the fortunes of the towns in Judah and among the northern Israelites would be rebuilt for them like it used to be. Yahweh was going to cleanse them from the guilt of all their sins against him. He was going to forgive their rebellion against him. Jerusalem would become a name of joy, praise, and glory for the whole world to see. Everyone would know about Jerusalem and the good that Yahweh had done for them. In fact, they would tremble and fear at all the good prosperity that he had provided for them. There were great days ahead.

The Chaldeans are coming (Jer 33:4-33:5)

“Thus says Yahweh!

The God of Israel!

Concerning the houses

Of this city.

This concerns

The houses

Of the kings of Judah.

They were torn down

To make a defense

Against the siege mounds,

Before the sword.

The Chaldeans

Are coming in

To fight.

They are coming

To fill them

With the dead bodies

Of those whom

I shall strike down,

In my anger,

In my wrath.

I have hidden my face

From this city

Because of all their wickedness.”

Yahweh explains, via Jeremiah, why they had to tear down the buildings in the city, including the houses of the kings of Judah. The military needed to protect themselves from the siege ramps that the Chaldeans had put up against the city walls. These Chaldeans or Babylonians were coming to fight. They would find the dead bodies that Yahweh had struck down inside the city walls. Yahweh had killed these Israelites because of his anger and wrath. He had hidden his face from this city because of their wickedness.

The power of God (Jer 33:2-33:3)

“Thus says Yahweh.

Who made the earth.

Yahweh formed it

To establish it.

Yahweh is his name.

‘Call to me!

I will answer you!

I will tell you great things.

I will tell you hidden things

That you have not known.’”

Yahweh has made the earth, as he formed it and established it. There is no doubt that Yahweh was his name. Because Yahweh is so powerful, he wants them to call to him, since he was going to answer them. He would tell them great and hidden things that they did not know about.