New English Translation
15 In those days and at that time I will raise up for them a righteous descendant[a] of David.
“‘He will do what is just and right in the land. 16 Under his rule Judah will enjoy safety[b] and Jerusalem will live in security. At that time Jerusalem will be called “The Lord has provided us with justice.”[c] 17 For I, the Lord, promise: “David will never lack a successor to occupy[d] the throne over the nation of Israel.[e] 18 Nor will the Levitical priests ever lack someone to stand before me and continually offer up burnt offerings, sacrifice cereal offerings, and offer the other sacrifices.”’”[f]
19 The Lord’s message came to Jeremiah another time:[g] 20 “I, the Lord, make the following promise:[h] ‘I have made a covenant with the day[i] and with the night that they will always come at their proper times. Only if you people[j] could break that covenant 21 could my covenant with my servant David and my covenant with the Levites ever be broken. So David will by all means always have a descendant to occupy his throne as king and the Levites will by all means always have priests who will minister before me.[k] 22 I will make the children who follow one another in the line of my servant David very numerous. I will also make the Levites who minister before me very numerous. I will make them all as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sands that are on the seashore.’”[l]Read full chapter
- Jeremiah 33:15 tn Heb “sprig” or “shoot.”sn For the meaning of this term and its significance in biblical prophecy, see the study note on 23:5.
- Jeremiah 33:16 tn For the translation of this term in this context see the parallel context in 23:6 and consult the translator’s note there.
- Jeremiah 33:16 tn Heb “And this is what will be called to it: ‘The Lord our righteousness.’”sn For the significance of this title see the study note on the parallel text in 23:6. Other titles by which Jerusalem is to be known are found in Isa 62:2-4; Jer 3:17; Ezek 48:35; Zech 8:3, emphasizing that the Lord takes up his relation with it once again, dwells in it, delights in it, and finds it faithful once more (cf. Isa 1:26). In 23:6 the title is applied to the Davidic ruler that the Lord will raise up over them, who will do what is just and right. God’s vindication of the city by its restoration after exile and his provision of this just ruler over it are the probable source for the title.
- Jeremiah 33:17 tn Heb “a man shall not be cut off to David [i.e., belonging to the Davidic line] sitting on the throne of the house of Israel.”
- Jeremiah 33:17 sn It should be noted once again that the reference is to all Israel, not just to Judah (cf. Jer 23:5-6; 30:9).
- Jeremiah 33:18 tn Heb “And to the Levites, the priests [= the Levitical priests, the apposition in place of the adjective], there will not be cut off a man from before me who offers up burnt offering, sacrifices a cereal offering, or makes a sacrifice, all the days.”
- Jeremiah 33:19 tn Or perhaps “further.” This may be a continuation of “the second time” (see v. 1).
- Jeremiah 33:20 tn Heb “Thus says the Lord.” However, the Lord is speaking, so the first person introduction has again been adopted. The content of the verse shows that it is a promise to David (vv. 21-22) and the Levites based on a contrary-to-fact condition (v. 20). See, further, the translator’s note at the end of the next verse for explanation of the English structure adopted here.
- Jeremiah 33:20 tn The word יוֹמָם (yomam) is normally an adverb meaning “daytime, by day, daily.” However, here, in v. 25, and in Jer 15:9 it means “day, daytime” (cf. BDB 401 s.v. יוֹמָם 1).
- Jeremiah 33:20 tn Heb “you.” The pronoun is plural as in 32:36, 43 and 33:10.
- Jeremiah 33:21 tn The very complex and elliptical syntax of the original Hebrew of vv. 20-21 has been broken down to better conform with contemporary English style. The text reads somewhat literally (after the addition of a couple of phrases which have been left out by ellipsis): “Thus says the Lord, ‘If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night so that there is not to be daytime and night in their proper time, then also my covenant can be broken with my servant David so that there is not to him a son reigning upon his throne, and also [my covenant can be broken] with the Levites [so there are not] priests who minister to me.” The two phrases in brackets are elliptical, the first serving double duty for the prepositional phrase “with the Levites” as well as “with David” and the second serving double duty with the noun “priests,” which parallels “a son.” The noun “priests” is not serving here as appositional because that phrase is always “the priests, the Levites,” never “the Levites, the priests.”sn This refers to a reaffirmation of the Davidic covenant (cf., e.g., 2 Sam 7:11-16, 25-29; Ps 89:3-4, 19-29) and God’s covenant with the Levites (cf. Num 25:10-13; Mal 2:4-6; Deut 32:8-11).
- Jeremiah 33:22 tn Heb “Just as the stars in the sky cannot be numbered and the sand on the seashore cannot be measured, so I will greatly increase [or multiply] the seed of my servant David and the Levites who minister before me.” The word “seed of” does not carry over to the “the Levites” as a noun governing two genitives because “the Levites” has the accusative marker in front of it. The sentence has been broken down in conformity with contemporary English style.sn Context makes it clear that what is in view is an innumerable line of descendants from the righteous ruler that the Lord raises up over Israel and Judah after their regathering and restoration to the land. What is in view, then, is a reinstitution or reinstatement of the Davidic covenant of grant, the perpetual right of the Davidic dynasty to rule over the nation of Israel for all time (see also v. 26). This is guaranteed by the creation order, which is the object of both God’s creative decree (Gen 1:14-19) and his covenant with Noah after the flood (Gen 8:22). (For further discussion on the nature of a covenant of grant see the study note on 32:40.) The rejection of the lines of Jehoiakim (36:30) and Jeconiah (22:30) and the certain captivity and death of Zedekiah (32:4) may have called into question the continuance of the Davidic promise, which always had a certain conditional nature to it (cf. 1 Kgs 2:4; 8:25; 9:5). This promise and this guarantee show that the covenant of grant still stands and will ultimately find its fulfillment. Because this promise never found its fulfillment after the return from exile, it is left to the NT to show how it is fulfilled (cf., e.g., Matt 1:1-17, where it is emphasized that Jesus is the son [and heir] of both Abraham and David).