Jeremiah 30 Commentary

Disease, suffering and healing (30:1-24)

Although he has been prophesying the captivity of Judah, Jeremiah knows also that after seventy years the people will return to their homeland. A theme of hope and encouragement runs through the next few chapters (30:1-3).

The suffering of God’s people will almost be more than they can bear, but God assures them that it will not last indefinitely (4-7). He will release them from bondage and give them independence and peace under the rule of the Davidic dynasty again (8-9). Nations who have oppressed Judah will be destroyed, but God will not destroy Judah. He will discipline Judah because of its sins, but when the people repent he will re-establish them as a nation (10-11).

Nothing can save Judah from either the present distress or the greater distress to follow. The nation is like a person who has an incurable disease (12-13). As an immoral woman tries to win the favour of lovers, so Judah has tried to gain the help of other nations. But those she thought were allies will prove useless to her (14-15). The covenant God, Yahweh, is the only one who can restore his people. By his own power he will destroy Judah’s oppressors and heal her incurable disease (16-17).

Jerusalem will be rebuilt and its former power and prosperity will be restored. The population will increase to compensate for those slaughtered in the Babylonian destruction, and the streets of the city will be full of rejoicing again (18-20). The people will have their own kings to rule over them and they will worship God sincerely, as befitting those who belong to God (21-22). But before these glorious days come, God must punish the nation Judah for its wickedness (23-24).

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