Jeremiah 33 Commentary

The nation restored (33:1-26)

After this reassurance, God encourages Jeremiah to ask for further revelations of his plans for his people (3:1-3). Because of his imprisonment, Jeremiah may not know what is happening in and around the city. God shows him that the people of Jerusalem are desperate. They are demolishing houses and palaces in order to obtain materials to strengthen the city walls against the enemy’s battering rams. But they are wasting their time, as the city is going to be destroyed (4-5).

Nevertheless, God will not forsake his people. After he has cleansed them from their sin, he will bring them back and they will rebuild the city to God’s glory (6-9). In the cities of Judah there will be joy, in the pastures there will be peace, and in the temple there will be the sound of praise to God (10-13).

Once more a king of the dynasty of David will rule over Israel, and Jerusalem will be the city of God’s salvation. Both the king and the city will be true expressions of God’s righteousness (14-16; cf. 23:5-6). The Davidic dynasty and the Levitical priesthood will work together in perfect harmony, and worship will ascend to God perpetually (17-18). As certainly as night follows day and day follows night, God will fulfil his covenant promises to the dynasty of David and the tribe of Levi. Civil and religious power will work together for the good of his people as God intended (19-22).

When God punishes Israel and Judah, some people claim that he has rejected them. God tells Jeremiah that he has not. Despite their sin, they are still the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and they are still his people (23-26).

Note: After the time of exile, Zerubbabel, a descendant of David in the kingly line, became governor of Jerusalem (Hag 2:20-23; Matt 1:12,17), and Joshua, a descendant of Aaron, became high priest (Hag 1:1). There was peaceful cooperation between them and together they helped to reestablish Israel (Zech 6:13). But Israel did not maintain its loyalty to God. The nation never experienced fully all the blessings that Jeremiah pictures in this chapter. These blessings come in their fulness only through Jesus Christ, the messianic Son of David, the Great High Priest (Matt 22:42-44; Acts 13:33-34; Heb 4:14; 10:11-18).

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