The Book of JEREMIAH
James J. Barker
PROPHECY OF THE DAVIDIC KINGDOM
- King David had the godly ambition to build a temple for the LORD in Jerusalem.
- In II Samuel 7:2, David said to Nathan the prophet, "See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains."
- John Walvoord said, "The incongruity of allowing the ark of God to remain in a temporary tent-like tabernacle while he himself lived in the luxury of a house of cedar seemed to call for the erection of a suitable permanent building to be the center of worship" ("The Fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant").
- God intended for David to build something far more enduring and far more important than any material edifice. David’s “house” was to be his posterity and through them his throne and his kingdom were to continue forever.
- The Messiah was to come from the house of David (cf. II Sam. 7:12-16).
- The provisions of the Davidic covenant included a son, yet to be born, who would succeed him and establish his kingdom. That son was Solomon, and it was King Solomon, not King David, who was given the honor of building the temple.
- The throne of David's kingdom would be established forever. God had to judge King Solomon for his polygamy and idolatry, but He still preserved the Davidic line (cf. I Kings 11:9-13).
- The LORD promised that David’s house, throne, and kingdom would be established forever (cf. Luke 1:30-33).
- Jeremiah 33 deals with the Davidic covenant. The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the second time while he was shut up in the court of the prison (33:1; cf. 32:1-3).
- The details surrounding Jeremiah's imprisonment are given in chapters 37 and 38.
- The prophet Jeremiah was urged to pray (33:3). The context is God promising to restore Israel and Judah, and fulfill the Davidic covenant (cf. 33:4 -- "For..."). However, this verse has been a great encouragement to all believers down through the years.
THE DAVIDIC COVENANT WILL BE FULFILLED WHEN ISRAEL IS RESTORED (33:1-11).
- The great theme in the book of Jeremiah is that Judah would be invaded by the Babylonians, Jerusalem (and the temple) would be destroyed, the people would be taken into captivity for seventy years, but God will restore them.
- Over and over again, the LORD reminds them that the Babylonian captivity was the judgment of God (33:4, 5).
- Their houses were filling up with dead bodies, and it was the LORD who was behind it (33:5).
- But after the judgment would come restoration (33:6).
- Verses 7 and 11 both state that Israel will return from the Babylonian captivity. But these promises look beyond the return under Nehemiah.
- Jeremiah 33:7 says, "And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first." This prophecy predicts that Judah and Israel will be reunited (cf. 30:3, 4; 31:31-34).
- The "new covenant" (31:31), like the Davidic Covenant is unconditional. God has promised to put His law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and He said He will be their God, and they shall be His people (31:33; cf. 33:8).
- "And it (Jerusalem) shall be to me a name of joy..." (33:9). This refers to the future restoration of Israel during the millennial kingdom. Then Jerusalem will become the capital of the earth (cf. Isa. 2:2, 3; Zech. 14:16-21).
- These prophecies look beyond the return under Nehemiah to Israel's future restoration, a time of great joy and gladness (Jer. 33:9-11).
THE DAVIDIC COVENANT WILL BE FULFILLED WHEN THE LORD JESUS RETURNS (33:12-18).
- The situation looked bad in Jeremiah's day. Jerusalem was utterly "desolate" (33:12). But things will be glorious when the Lord returns. He is referred to in Jeremiah 33:15 as "the Branch of righteousness."
- Isaiah 4:2 says, "In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious..."
- Isaiah 11:1 says, "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots."
- Jeremiah 23:5 and 6 says, "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS."
- Zechariah 3:8 says, "Behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH."
- Zechariah 6:12 and 13 says, "Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both."
- Jeremiah 33:15 and 16 says, "He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely..."
- In the prophecy of Jeremiah 33:16, during the millennium, Jerusalem will be identified with the Messiah. "And this is the name wherewith she (Jerusalem) shall be called, The LORD our righteousness."
- Isaiah 1:26 and 27 says that during the millennium, Jerusalem will be known as, "The city of righteousness, the faithful city. Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness."
- Merrill Unger says during the millennium, Jerusalem will take "on the character of its King, and its inhabitants will have received the righteousness of God by faith in Christ's atonement" (Unger's Commentary on the Old Testament).
- These prophecies describe "that good thing" which the LORD promised the house of Israel and the house of Judah (33:14). "That good thing" is the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant -- "For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel" (33:17).
- Neither will the Levitical priesthood lack for a man "to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually" (33:18).
- These sacrifices will be commemorative, and will look back to the cross (like the Lord's Supper).
THE DAVIDIC COVENANT IS AS CERTAIN AS NIGHT AND DAY (33:19-26).
- In Genesis 8:22, after the flood, the LORD promised, "Day and night shall not cease." That covenant will never be broken.
- What the LORD is saying in Jeremiah 33:20 is that if His covenant of the day and of the night could be broken, then may His covenant with David be annulled. But God's unconditional covenants will never be annulled!
- Just as truly as the stars of heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured, so will the LORD multiply the seed of David and of the Levites the priests that minister unto Him (33:19-22).
- As night follows day, and day follows night, God promises a future restoration of Israel, including the Lord Jesus Christ, the son of David, to reign upon his throne (33:19-22, 25, 26).
- The final verses of Jeremiah 33 are similar to Jeremiah 31:35-37.
- "Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the LORD hath chosen, he hath even cast them off?" (33:24). People (including some Jews and Christians) are saying the same thing today.
J. Vernon McGee said, "There is no one around to claim the throne of the king of Babylon. There is no one to take Alexander the Great's place. There is no Pharaoh in Egypt today. But there is One in David's line who can claim His throne" (Thru the Bible).