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The Restoration and Conversion of Israel - Part VII
THINGS TO COME - A Journal of Biblical Literature | July, 1915 | Geo. A. B. Chamberlain

Posted on 03/11/2011 8:45:13 PM PST by John Leland 1789

No. 253, July, 1915, Vol. XXI., No. 7., pp. 74-76

V. THE TESTIMONY OF JEREMIAH (continued).

Let us now turn to some passages in chapters 30-33, taking chapter 33 first, as this has something in common with chapter 23, which we examined in the preceding article. Again we have "the Branch" and "the LORD our RIGHTEOUSNESS" referred to.

"In those days, and at that time (i.e., the time at which Jehovah will perform the good things promised unto the house of Israel and under the house of Judah, the whole twelve tribes (v. 14), will I cause the BRANCH (Tsemach) of righteousness to grow up unto David, and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land" (v. 15). An almost similar passage to 23.5, but where we read "in the earth" instead of "in the land"; which expression we ventured to translate "in the land" as here, both being the equivalent of "ba-aretz" of the original.

"In those days Judah shall be saved, And Jerusalem shall dwell safely."

Here we find Jerusalem once again the holy city, substituted for "Israel" of 23.6; and instead of the ending in 23.6, which attaches the title "the LORD our Righteousness" to the BRANCH of Jehovah, it is said of Jerusalem, "and this is the name by which she shall be for called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." Though the authorized version, upon which Lowth remarks, "Nor is there any greater impropriety in giving the name of Jehovah to a city than to an altar, Jehovah-nissi (Ex. 17.15), and Jehovah-shalom (Judges 6.24), in token that the Lord was author of those mercies of which the said altars were designed to be monuments. So the servants of God are described in Revelation as having His name written on their forehead (Rev. 3.12; 14.1-11)."

In this connection, also, we refer to a similar prophecy in Eze. 48.35. "And the name of the city from that day shall be 'The Lord is there.'" Just in passing we would direct attention to Rotherham's translation, "And this is that which shall be proclaimed to her, Yahweh our righteousness," which has a great deal to be said in its favor.

But now looking carefully at this 33rd chapter it is remarkable with what progressive minuteness and emphasis Jeremiah declares the restoration of Israel.

1. "I will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth" (v. 6). 2. "I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them as at the first" (v. 7). 3. "For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD" (v. 11). 4. "Behold the days come, saith the LORD that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel, and to the house of Judah" (v. 14). 5. "For thus saith the LORD, David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel" (v. 17). 6. "The two families which the LORD hath chosen" (v. 24). 7. . . . "The seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them" (v. 26).

From which seven passages we gleaned the following facts: 1. That the captivity of Judah and Israel, which must include the twelve tribes, will return, for this is the good thing promised to both houses. 2. That the land shall revert to its former and lawful owners. 3. That a true descendent and representative of the Royal house of David shall sit upon the throne of Israel (cp. Luke 1.32, 33). 4. That both families, though it was tauntingly asserted that the Lord had cast them off, should certainly return from captivity; and this based on that sure and absolutely unconditional covenant which God made with day and night (vv. 20, 25), referring us to the assured promise of God to Noah, "While the earth remained, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and the summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease" (Gen. 8.22). 5. That the natural seed, the descendents of those three great progenitors of the Israelitish race, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, should return, a passage surely which precludes even the remotest idea that the spiritual seed are intended. 6. And finally that the Lord will reveal unto all the tribes the abundance of peace and truth, in other words Messiah shall be to them the Prince of Peace, and the manifestation of Truth in their conversion.

We will now look at chaps. 30 and 31. And we may observe upon these, as upon chap. 33 that the various ways in which Jeremiah notifies the persons to whom his prophecy is addressed leave no room to doubt to what people they must be specifically applied. Chap. 30: "I will bring again the captivity of My people Israel and Judah" (v. 3). "These are the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah" (v. 4). "Therefore fear not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD, neither be dismayed, O Israel" (v. 10). "I will bring again the captivity of Jacob's tents" (v. 18). "This is Zion whom no man seeketh after" (v. 17).

And in chap. 31. "All the families of Israel" (v. 1). "Behold the days come, saith the LORD, but I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beasts" (v. 27). "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah" (v. 31). All which passages most definitely assure us that God will in the future, for there has been no such fulfillment in the past, restore all the twelve tribes included in the two separate houses of Israel and Judah to their own land and will there deal very graciously with them.

And the prophet is very exact as to when certain events predicted in these chaps. 30 and 31 shall take place. "The days come" (30.3; 31.27; 31.38). "It shall come to pass in that day" (30.8). "At the same time" (31.1). "In those days" (31.29). All which marks of time are bound together by the time-expression of "the latter days," which we have already seen refer particularly and exclusively to the Christian dispensation, especially in its closing portion.

Beside the reiterated promise of restoration given in these chapters we have also the following important details mentioned.

1. JERUSALEM IS TO BE REBUILT, and that upon her ancient foundations.

"For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob's tents, and have mercy upon his dwelling places; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof" (30.18). To the word "heap" the a A.V. gives a marginal note of alternate reading "little hill," and the R.V. "mound," and immediately our thoughts turn to that part of Jerusalem called Mount Zion. "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, Mount Zion, in the sides of the North, the city of the great King." (Ps. 48.2). But why limit our thoughts to only one part of the city? Why not refer it to the whole city, all Jerusalem. And further, though tel certainly means a hill or mound, it also means, as one lexicon has it, "a heap, peculiar of ruins," and another lexicon, "commonly a heap of rubbish," both giving as reference Deut. 13.17; Josh. 8.28. So, then, shall we not be safe in taking this verse to mean that in the future as regards the time of the prophecy the city Jerusalem shall be rebuilt, even upon the site of her ruins, all of it, including Mount Zion and the palace thereof? And this view is particularly supported by the words of chapter 31.38, "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the city shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner, and the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath."

Nor is this, at the present time, a mere empty dream of the future, for already quite a new city of Jerusalem has arisen on the heap of ruins of the old, a modern city in the fullest sense of the word; building has for some time past been going on extensively, and everything points to the fact that ere long the city shall become a most important metropolis. But a terrible time of stress awaits the true and lawful inhabitants of the city and land. It is

2. THE TIME OF JACOB'S TROUBLE. We hope, God willing, in the next article, bring forth the testimony of Daniel which deals in great measure with the time of Antichrist, and particularly of "Jacob's trouble," and therefore here will only put forward what is told us in the 30th chapter, and also mention the fact that by the expression "time of Jacob's trouble" is meant that fearful test of Israel spoken of by Daniel the prophet as "a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to the same time" (12.1); referred to by our Lord as "the great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Matt. 24.21); and described by John in Revelation chaps. 13 and 17. And so the prophet Jeremiah here when speaking of it says, "Alas! For the day is great, so that none is like it, it is even the time of Jacob's trouble" (v. 7).

But awful and terrible as that day is, Jacob shall be brought through.

3. "BUT HE SHALL BE SAVED OUT OF IT, for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst by bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him" (v. 8).

And again in verses 23 and 24.

"Behold the whirlwind of the Lord goeth forth with furry, a continuing (or cutting) whirlwind; it shall fall upon the head of the wicked. And the fierce anger of the LORD shall not return, until He have done it, and until He have performed the intents His heart: and in the latter days ye shall consider it."

All over-ruled by God in His loving mercy. Even the awful time of "Jacob's trouble." "I will correct them in measure and I will not leave thee altogether unpunished" (v. 11). "I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity, because thy sins were increased" (v. 14). "Because thy sins were increased I have done these things unto thee" (v. 15). And the punishment of their enemies. "I will punish all that oppress them" (v. 20).

And after the Tribulation of that time, and the mighty deliverance by Messiah, a day of brightness dawns growing more and more brilliant with the glorious things which Jehovah will do for them.

Space will not allow us to quoted at length. We would call attention to the twenty-six "I wills" of gracious promise contained in these two chapters. Particularly read 30.8-14, with its grand refrain of joy and rejoicing. "Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord" . . . It all points to the true conversion of Israel to God, summed up in the words, so emphasized in Hosea, "And ye shall be My people and I will be your God" (30.22).

4. THE NEW COVENANT. This is the climax of God's dealings with Israel. All leads up to this, the ingathering, the fatherly correction, the chastisement of enemies, the rescue of the chosen people from their oppressors, all culminates in, and leads to this.

"Behold the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make A NEW COVENANT with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah" (v. 31).

And this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel. After those days saith the LORD, I will put My law in their inward parts, And righted in their hearts, And I will be their God, And they shall be My people (v. 33).

Such is the New Covenant which God shall make with His people Israel. It will be absolutely unconditional, as unconditional as the covenant He made with Noah concerning the earth (Gen. 8.20), and with Abram concerning the land (Gen. 15), and with David concerning the throne (2 Sam. 7.16). Man is not a partner in it as He was at Sinai (Jer. 31.31). It is all on God's part, God's side, "I WILL." It is ratified in the Blood of God's dear Son. "And He took the cup and gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, Drink ye all from it: for this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matt. 26.27, 28).

We have another reference to this covenant in Jeremiah 32.40, where the word olam translated "everlasting" in this and the eleven other places in the Old Testament should be "age-lasting" or age-abiding. That it is the same Covenant as the one referred to as New in chap. 31.31 is undeniable, for the context (vv. 37-44) assures us that God promises the same things to Israel as He does in relation to the New Covenant; to gather them out of all countries, to be their God, to give them one heart and one way, to put His fear into their hearts that they shall not depart from Him. One verse we must quote for it is so pertinent to our subject, "Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land ASSUREDLY WITH MY WHOLE HEART AND WITH MY WHOLE SOUL" (v. 41)

Summarizing, therefore, what we find in the prophecy of Jeremiah just considered, we learn:

1. That the prophecy can not be referred to the Babylonian restoration. 2. Its times are the times of the BRANCH. 3. That they are termed "the latter days." 4. That Jerusalem shall be rebuilt. 5. That there shall be a great tribulation----the time of Jacob's trouble. 6. That he shall be delivered by the mercy of God. 7. That Jehovah shall make a New Covenant with His people. (See also Heb. 8.8-13, 13.20).

(To be continued)


TOPICS: Apologetics; Evangelical Christian; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: conversion; israel; restoration
Part VI

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2687431/posts

Part V

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2686444/posts

Part IV

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2684359/posts

Part III

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2684276/posts

Part II

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2683800/posts

Part I

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2683781/posts

1 posted on 03/11/2011 8:45:15 PM PST by John Leland 1789
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To: John Leland 1789

Convert to what? Its the Jewish Homeland. They aren’t converting to anything else anytime soon.


2 posted on 03/11/2011 9:15:49 PM PST by rahbert
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To: rahbert
The articles are speaking about Israel's (as a people) future conversion to Jesus Christ.
3 posted on 03/12/2011 1:01:18 AM PST by John Leland 1789 (Grateful.)
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