Jer. 33:1 ¶ Moreover the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the second
time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison, saying,
Jer. 33:2 Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to
establish it; the LORD is his name;
Jer. 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty
things, which thou knowest not.
This chapter begins with a second revelation from the LORD to Jeremiah while
he was confined to prison. Point is made that this message is from the Creator,
One in authority over His creation.
I liked the observation of Matthew Henry regarding these verses: “No
confinement can deprive God's people of His presence; no locks nor bars can
shut out His gracious visits; nay, oftentimes as their afflictions abound their
consolations much more abound, and they have the most reviving communications
of His favour when the world frowns upon them. Paul's sweetest epistles were
those that bore date out of a prison.”
The LORD encourages Jeremiah to feel free to question Him further about the
prophecies being revealed to him. The LORD is ready to share more with
Jeremiah than He already has; all Jeremiah has to do is ask.
Verse 3 is one that I learned early in my youth as a prayer promise. Does it have
a valid application to the believer today? Again, I think it is predicated on the
unchanging nature of God and His desire to bless those who serve Him in faith
and obedience. So often we want to make application of a promise to ourselves
without recognition of our accountability before God in connection with that
promise. Am I serving God in faith and obedience to the best of my ability as
was Jeremiah? Am I seeking wisdom so as to more effectively serve Him and
bring honor to His name? Is my motive to share His truth with others? If we can
examine our heart and motives and identify them as selfless rather than selfish, I
think we can apply this promise to our own lives as well. I think the words of
Jesus and His brother James confirm this conclusion.
John 14:13 “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father
may be glorified in the Son.”
John 15:7 “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it
shall be done unto you.”
James 4:3 “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon
Jer. 33:4 For thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of
this city, and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah, which are thrown
down by the mounts, and by the sword;
Jer. 33:5 They come to fight with the Chaldeans, but it is to fill them with the
dead bodies of men, whom I have slain in mine anger and in my fury, and for
all whose wickedness I have hid my face from this city.
After reading through several translations, I think the NLT provides the clearest
translation and is self-explanatory: “For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel,
says: Though you have torn down the houses of this city and even the king’s palace to get
materials to strengthen the walls against the siege weapons of the enemy, the Babylonians
will still enter. The men of this city are already as good as dead, for I have determined to
destroy them in my terrible anger. I have abandoned them because of all their
Again, it is important to note that God is accomplishing His will through the
actions of the Babylonians. This is a principle that is discounted throughout
much of Christendom in light of world events today. It is frankly one of most
amazing testimonies to the power and sovereignty of Almighty God to me. He
looked down through the ages and implemented a plan utilizing the actions of
men, both good and evil, whom He sovereignly chose to give free will. Many
deny this truth, but I strongly believe it is foundational to the concept of love.
Love is not true if not freely given. God is defined as love, and man was uniquely
made in the image of God. The LORD desires our faith in Him through love and
John 14:21 “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me:
and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest
myself to him.”
John 14:23 “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words:
and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
Jer. 33:6 Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will
reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.
Jer. 33:7 And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to
return, and will build them, as at the first.
Jer. 33:8 And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have
sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have
sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.
Jer. 33:9 And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all
the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and
they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I
procure unto it.
The LORD is affirming once again to Jeremiah that He is going to restore Israel as
a healthy, prosperous nation again. He is going to bring ALL of His people
home from both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms from the lands where
they have been taken captive. At this time of restoration He reiterates that He
will forgive all their sins and establish them in a position of praise and honor
before the nations. When the nations are made aware of all that God has done
for His people, it will cause them to tremble before Him. I think this is because it
will be obvious miraculous evidence of His power and authority as LORD.
This prophecy will be fulfilled when the Lord Jesus returns to earth to establish
Jer. 33:10 ¶ Thus saith the LORD; Again there shall be heard in this place,
which ye say shall be desolate without man and without beast, even in the
cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man,
and without inhabitant, and without beast,
Jer. 33:11 The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the
bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise
the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and
of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For
I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.
The LORD goes on with His message of comfort and hope by declaring that the
people of Israel will be full of joy and gladness and praise for the LORD. Whe
the LORD restores His people as a nation in complete fellowship with Him, they
will recognize that He is their Deliverer, their Savior, their Redeemer—the
covenant-keeping God of Israel.
This is describing the time spoken of by Jeremiah in chapter 3.
Jeremiah 3:17 “At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the
nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall
they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.”
(1/11) I was reading through this section again and realized that I had overlooked an important point in this section. Jeremiah identifies our praise to the LORD as a sacrifice. As I thought about this further, I realized that anything we do or say in honor or worship of the LORD would be considered a sacrifice because it is an act that shows discipline over the flesh in recognition of the authority of God.
Jer. 33:12 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Again in this place, which is desolate
without man and without beast, and in all the cities thereof, shall be an
habitation of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down.
Jer. 33:13 In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the vale, and in the
cities of the south, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about
Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shall the flocks pass again under the
hands of him that telleth them, saith the LORD.
In this coming time of peace and prosperity throughout Israel, shepherds will
find plenty of pasture for their flocks. Point is made that it will transform from a
place of desolation to a land flourishing with both man and beast. The prophet
Isaiah also talked about this time in Israel’s future.
Isaiah 49:18–20 “Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves
together, and come to thee. As I live, saith the LORD, thou shalt surely clothe thee with
them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, as a bride doeth. For thy waste and
thy desolate places, and the land of thy destruction, shall even now be too narrow by
reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away. The children
which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other, shall say again in thine ears, The
place is too strait for me: give place to me that I may dwell.”
Jer. 33:14 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good
thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of
Jer. 33:15 In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of
righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and
righteousness in the land.
Jer. 33:16 In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely:
and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our
In this section of verses the future day of restoration is connected to a ruler called
the “Branch of righteousness” that is a descendant of David. Verse 16 goes on to
add that Jerusalem will be identified with this ruler, now more explicitly
identified as “The LORD our righteousness.” This makes a direction connection
to the prophecy of Isaiah.
Isaiah 11:1–9 “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a
Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of
knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in
the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove
after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove
with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his
mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall
be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also
shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the
young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and
the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw
like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child
shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy
mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover
Jer. 33:17 ¶ For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon
the throne of the house of Israel;
Jer. 33:18 Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer
burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually.
These verses were confusing to me in the past since I knew that there had been
no functioning throne of David for over 2,000 years. Somewhere along the way
in my studies I remember learning that even though the throne of David has
been vacant for so long a time, it is still a valid position before the LORD; it will
once again be occupied in Israel’s future. Until the Temple was destroyed in 70
AD, those qualified to be King in Israel could still be determined from the
genealogical records that were stored there. Since the coming of Jesus, there is
no further need for those records. Jesus is the qualified final, eternal King of
Israel. When He returns to establish His kingdom, He will assume the throne of
David as King over all the earth. This prophecy was affirmed by the Angel
Gabriel when he announced to Mary that she would give birth to the Messiah.
Luke 1:30–33 “And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour
with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt
call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the
Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the
house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
Interestingly enough, it seems that DNA technology can once again determine
those who are legitimate descendants of the tribe of Levi. Jesus would, however,
be able to make that determination without such technology. Also, much to the
surprise of many, Ezekiel affirms that there will be a functioning temple in the
Messiah’s Kingdom; sacrifices and offerings will be carried out by the Levites,
with the sons of Zadok serving in the positions of honor before the LORD.
Ezekiel 44:10–16 “And the Levites that are gone away far from me, when Israel went
astray, which went astray away from me after their idols; they shall even bear their
iniquity. Yet they shall be ministers in my sanctuary, having charge at the gates of the
house, and ministering to the house: they shall slay the burnt offering and the sacrifice for
the people, and they shall stand before them to minister unto them. Because they
ministered unto them before their idols, and caused the house of Israel to fall into
iniquity; therefore have I lifted up mine hand against them, saith the Lord GOD, and
they shall bear their iniquity. And they shall not come near unto me, to do the office of a
priest unto me, nor to come near to any of my holy things, in the most holy place: but
they shall bear their shame, and their abominations which they have committed. But I
will make them keepers of the charge of the house, for all the service thereof, and for all
that shall be done therein. But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept
the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they
shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto
me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord GOD: They shall enter into my sanctuary, and
they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge.”
I remember how it struck me in my study of Ezekiel that these future
descendants of Zadok would be reaping the benefits of the faithfulness of their
ancient ancestors. Something of which every Christian parent and grandparent
should be mindful.
Jer. 33:19 And the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah, saying,
Jer. 33:20 Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and
my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their
Jer. 33:21 Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that
he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the
priests, my ministers.
The LORD now gives Jeremiah a sign that guarantees that God will fulfill His
covenant with David and the Levites. He is basically saying that only if man can
stop the cycle of day and night could those covenants be broken. The implication
is obvious—it can’t be done.
This is true of any and every promise uttered from the mouth of God. His word
will always accomplish His purposes.
Isaiah 55:10–11 “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth
not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give
seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my
mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it
shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
Jer. 33:22 As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the
sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites
that minister unto me.
Not only will the LORD fulfill His covenant with David and the Levites, He will
multiply their descendants beyond number. This is emphasized with a word
picture of not being able to count the hosts of heaven or the grains of sand of the
Jer. 33:23 Moreover the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying,
Jer. 33:24 Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two
families which the LORD hath chosen, he hath even cast them off? thus they
have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them.
Jer. 33:25 Thus saith the LORD; If my covenant be not with day and night, and
if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth;
Jer. 33:26 Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob, and David my servant, so
that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them.
Again, I think the NLT gives a clearer understanding of what is being said in
these verses: “Have you heard what people are saying? —‘The LORD chose Judah and
Israel and then abandoned them!’ They are sneering and saying that Israel is not worthy
to be counted as a nation. But this is the LORD’s reply: I would no more reject my people
than I would change my laws of night and day, of earth and sky. I will never abandon the
descendants of Jacob or David, my servant, or change the plan that David’s descendants
will rule the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Instead, I will restore them to
their land and have mercy on them.”
These are very plain words of promise concerning God’s plans for the nation of
Israel. So many in Christendom today have written the Jewish people off as
relevant at all to God’s plan for the future. I just don’t see how any person can
read the scripture and come to such a conclusion. Scripture is full of promises
concerning the restoration of the believing remnant of Israel—the true sons of
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Yes, believers are blessed to be allowed to participate
in the blessings of the New Covenant; but they have never replaced the
descendants of Abraham through Jacob regarding the promises particular to His
covenant with them. These promises are directly connected to dwelling in
prosperity, peace and abundance in the land that He gave them. The promises to
the Levites and David are directly connected to the fulfillment of His covenant
2Samuel 7:5 & 13-16 “Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD…. He shall
build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will
be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the
rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart
away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and
thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for
1 Chronicles 15:2 “Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites:
for them hath the LORD chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for