Book of Consolation: Nature and timing of God’s restoration for Israel.
Jeremiah 30-33 is called “The Book of Consolation” and this is written to give the Jews a clear hope of restoration (30:1-3). It is probably written at the start of the Babylonian’s siege when Jeremiah is under house arrest (32:2) and the nation seems lost and hopeless.
Summaries of information from related passages.
A message for return and restoration is already found in Jer. 29:10-14 but it is stated as 70 years after the exile. This is already fulfilled by the return of the Babylon exiles and also there is no mention that it is eternal.
Explaining the Passage – Jeremiah 30-33
Chapter 30: The chapter seeks to affirm to Israel a clear hope of restoration, as stated in v3. First a vision is presented in v4-9. In v4-7 is a dire picture of everyman as if in birth pangs and the use of the word Jacob’s distress shows that it is during the Tribulation (Dan. 12:1). It also fits with what comes next in v8 when God destroys their enemies and in v9 David is resurrected to rule, which can only be in the Millennium. Second v10-17 shows how God will restore them. He in v10 will save them from afar and they will return to Israel, which is in process now. But their sins will not be left unpunished and they will suffer for their wounds which is incurable (11-15). Indeed they really suffered through their years of history, as in the Holocaust. But in v16-17, all their enemies will be destroyed as assured in v11 and they will be restored to full health which is now possible by Christ’s blood. Third, a final picture of restoration is in v18-24. The city is rebuilt (18) and the leader in v21 is Christ for only He can qualify. It must be in the Millennium, after a great event when He pours out his fierce anger in v23-24, obviously Armageddon.
Chapter 31: This chapter shows that this restoration is to be made possible only through Christ’s redemption. It starts in v1-22 on the Northern Kingdom as evident in v9, 18, & 20). The Kingdom is already fallen but some have survived the sword (2) and they also repented (19-20). They will return and be restored but when is this referring to? The clue is in v15 which is quoted in Matt. 2:18 and v22 for a woman encompassing a man refers to Christ’s birth. Then v23-26 goes on to Judah and it seems to be the same time frame. They are awaiting Christ’s first coming and indeed it is when there are farmers and flocks (24), such as the shepherds during His birth. Still full restoration is in the future with the New Covenant (27-40) when God’s law is in everyone’s heart (31-33). The Messianic Jews are in such a state but it must extend to all (34) and so it is to be realized in the Millennium. In the meantime, v35-37 affirms that God will never forsake the Jews.
Chapter 32: After clarifying the mechanism of redemption, God in v1-25 calls Jeremiah to buy land as a symbolic act to confirm the restoration for Judah is destined to fall (26-35). Their return is then re-predicted in v36-44 and it is in the Millennium. This is not the first return after the exile, as now in v40, the everlasting New Covenant will be made.
Chapter 33: In v6-9 are the four key elements to be integrated with the restoration, viz.: healing (6), restoration of fortune (7), complete cleansing (8) and exaltation among the nations (9). Then v10-13 depicts the restoration but strangely it speaks of many shepherds (12-13). Today a visit to Israel will show that shepherds are rarely seen but are prominent in the days of Christ who is born in a manger. Next v14-18 states that Christ the righteous branch is intended to rule but why has it not occur? The chapter in fact hints that the Jews will reject Christ and thus all the above statements of intent cannot be fulfilled until in the Millennium. So v19-26 affirms again that God will still never forsake or reject the Jews.
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