Verse 1 – The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,
Verse 2 – “Thus speaks the Lord God of Israel, saying: ‘Write in a book for yourself all the words that I have spoken to you.
verse 3 – ‘For behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘that I will bring back from captivity My people of Israel and Judah,’ says the Lord. And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers and they shall possess it.’ ”
These verses speak both of the return after 70 years of captivity and the time of the Messiah’s reign. When the exiles returned they retook only a small portion of their ancestral land.
Verse 4 – Now these are the words that the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah.
Verse 5 – “For thus says the Lord: ‘We have heard a voice trembling of fear, and not of peace.
Verse 6 – Ask now, and see, whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins like a woman in labor, and all faces turned pale?
This trembling of voice may be when Cyrus’ armies were coming against Babylon. This is a war-cry of the advancing host. The exiles had built homes and lived in peace for 70 years among the Babylonians and now were being attacked.
Verse 7 – Alas! For this day is great, so that none is like it; and it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.
Verse 7, has two meanings – one being the day that Cyrus’ armies ascend on Babylon, but he is their deliverer; or this could be what scripture calls “The day of the Lord,” where God judges all nations, but yet His people are still saved.
Verse 8 – ‘For it shall come to pass in that day,’ says the Lord of host, ‘That I will break his yoke from your neck, and will burst your bonds; foreigners shall no more enslave them.
Verse 9 – But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.
Here again, Jeremiah speaks of a near future and a distant one. the yoke was the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, who took the Jews captive, God would break that yoke; and the distant future where the Messiah would reign over all the earth forever and ever.
verse 10 – ‘Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob,’ says the Lord, ‘Nor be dismayed, O Israel; for behold, I will save you from afar, and your seed from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return, have rest and be quiet, and no one shall make him afraid.
Judah and Israel are called My servant Jacob. God has promised to gather Israel from all the lands where He had scattered them, like sheep where no one will frighten them, they will rest.
Verse 11 – For I am with you,’ says the Lord, ‘to save you’ though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you, yet I will not make complete end of you. But I will correct you in justice, and will not let you go altogether unpunished.’
When God corrects, He does it justly. Israel had spent decades disobeying God’s laws and they were punished severely, and the nations’ God had used to punish Israel would not go unpunished either.
Verse 12 – “For thus says the Lord: Your affliction is incurable, your wound is severe.
Verse 13 – There is no one to plead your cause, that you may be bound up; you have no healing medicines.
God told Israel that their iniquities and sin they had committed was terminal. They could not cure their sin by being religious. No human could help Israel’s sin. They had put their trust in pagan idols and false prophets. God let them know that He is the only one who could cure their decease.
Verse 14 – All your lovers have forgotten you; they do not seek you; for I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy, with chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of your iniquities, because your sins have increased.
Verse 15 – Why do you cry about your affliction? Your sorrow is incurable. Because of the multitude of your iniquities, because your sins have increased, I have done these things to you.
Judah had protested their punishment by rejecting Jeremiah’s warnings. Their captivity was an opportunity for them to realize the consequences of the sins they had committed against God. Correction is never easy, but instead of lashing out, try to use it as a time for growth.
Verse 16 – ‘Therefore all those who devour you shall be devoured; and all your adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; those who plunder you shall become plunder and all who prey upon you I will make a prey.
Verse 17 – For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds,’ says the Lord, ‘Because they called you an outcast saying: ‘This is Zion; no one seeks her.” ‘
When God restores, He does it completely! Any time we come out of a hardship, it’s always for something better. Soon, the hurt and hardship are forgotten, because nothing compares to what only God can do. When you are a child, belonging to the Most High, nothing is impossible for Him to do on your behalf!
Verse 18 – “Thus say s the Lord: ‘Behold, I will bring back the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwelling places; the city shall be built upon its own mound, and the palace shall remain according to its own plan.
This prophesy that Jerusalem would be rebuilt was not competently fulfilled by the work of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Zerubbabel. It was rebuilt after their captivity, but the final restoration will be complete when all believers are gathered under Christ’s reign in the New Jerusalem.
Verse 19 – Then out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of those who make merry; I will multiply them, and they shall not diminish; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.
Verse 20 – Their children also shall be as before, and their congregation shall be established before Me; and I will punish all who oppress them.
Verse 21 – Their nobles shall be from among them, and their governor shall come from their midst; then I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach Me; for who is this who pledged his heart to approach Me?’ says the Lord.
Verse 21, refers to the restoration after the Babylonians captivity, as well as the final restoration under Christ.
Verse 22 – ‘You shall be My people, and I will be your God.’ ”
Jeremiah tells them of One coming, the Messiah will be from one of them – native; He will be their High Priest; He will declare: “You will be My people and I will be your God!”
Verse 23 – Behold, the whirlwind of the Lord goes forth with fury, a continuing wind; it will fall violently on the head of the wicked.
Verse 24 – The fierce anger of the Lord will not return until He has done it, and until He has performed the intents of His heart. In the latter days you will consider it.
After these things have come to pass, then the people will consider what I told them before hand. Some may wonder, “Why do we need to study any of this?” I don’t believe you can fully understand the New Testament without knowing what transpired in the Old Testament.
When we study the Old Testament, we learn so much about God’s character and this helps us to better understand why Jesus had to come. We learn of God’s chosen people because this is every believers inheritance. When we become believers, we are grafted – adopted into this family. We need to know who we are and the many, many, advantages and benefits of being a child of the Most High. If you are truly born-again, why would you not want to know everything you possible could about our loving Savior and the tremendous sacrifice He made so that you and I could have a life and an eternity with Him?