Jeremiah Chapter 30: End Time Prophecy

May 14th, 2009 | By | Category: Jeremiah, Psalm 83 and Gog & Magog, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Jeremiah Chapter 30

Jer 30:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,

Jer 30:2  Thus speaketh the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book.

Jer 30:3  For, lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the LORD: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.

Jeremiah was told to write in a book “all the words” God had spoken to him so that they would be preserved for posterity. Here emphasis was placed on the encouraging promises and prophecies—the good news—that would follow in succeeding verses. Much had already been said about the punishments to come on the nation of Israel with only a verse or two occasionally being inserted on the promises of blessings to come. The previous 29 chapters consisted mostly of warnings and admonitions of dire things that would happen through lack of obedience. Now would come a more substantive succession of blessings that would be fulfilled beyond both the immediate 70-year desolation and Jacob’s Trouble at the end of the Gospel Age.

Since the time setting was now during the reign of Zedekiah, the trouble prophesied up to this point would be past history in a few more years, and an unknown future lay beyond the captivity of the 70 years of desolation. Therefore, encouraging promises were given so that future generations would have hope. When this chapter was read later by the returnees from Babylonian captivity after Cyrus’ decree, the Jews gave it a more current application. However, by hindsight more than 2,000 years later, we see that the real thrust, or import, is still future—at the end of the present age and on into the Kingdom.

We feel that when Jeremiah got this instruction, he started to write down “all the words” right away. Baruch was probably his amanuensis, doing the actual recording of the prophecies and the Lord’s statements through Jeremiah. Of course the writing was done on a scroll. The word “book” is used to accommodate our thinking, for the people had only parchments back there.

The oldest extant Hebrew manuscript dates back to around AD 900, which is relatively recent. The next oldest manuscript was done by Jerome, who translated from the Hebrew into Latin about 500 years earlier, but we learn through him what the Hebrew manuscript is. It is remarkable that when we study this chapter in the Vulgate, translating the Latin into English, we find that it is substantively the same. The next oldest is the Septuagint, which was done about three centuries before Christ, translating from the Hebrew into Greek. Hence we can get information indirectly from the Septuagint, but the problem is that the Greeks who translated the Old Testament in Alexandria, Egypt, were more like modern scholars; that is, they did not take the statements strictly verbatim in the literalized sense but, as with the NIV, took liberties of expressing in current language, in a fluent, easy-to-understand way, what they thought. That is not the same as the literalization of the Word, so something was sacrificed. Thus the Latin Vulgate is almost word for word in this chapter of Jeremiah, whereas the Septuagint contains changes. If Jeremiah’s deed is preserved, then perhaps somewhere and sometime his original writing will be found. The location of these, which would prove their veracity, may have to await the Kingdom Age.

“For, lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the LORD.” IN the Old English of the King James, the word “captivity” can be misunderstood. However, it has a good connotation in this context, meaning the fortunes of Israel and Judah would ultimately change back  to be on course again so that they would have favor with God. The days would come when Israel and Judah would be brought back to their land. Verse 3 is a reference to the return (1) from Babylon in 536 BC and (2) primarily at the end of the age, in our day.

“And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.” After the Babylonian captivity, the Levites and Jews mostly from Judah came back, with only a small number of Jews returning from the ten tribes. The total number of returnees was approximately 50,000. The very fact that God would bring again the captivity of His people “Israel and Judah” put the primary fulfillment in our day, for the Jews of the ten tribes, who went into captivity 150 years earlier than the two tribes, were dispersed into the surrounding nations of Europe. Therefore, verse 3 is an end-time prophecy.

Comment: The “fathers” refer back to the Abrahamic Covenant.

For the returnees from Babylon in 536 BC to apply this prophecy to themselves was sufficient for the rewarding of their faith. Being back in the land after the 70 years, then needed this encouragement.

Jer 30:4  And these are the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah.

Jer 30:5  For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.

Jer 30:6  Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?

To get the correct slant in verses 5 and 6, we need to understand the pronouns, for there is an anomaly, a contradiction, between “we” and “I.” For instance, to whom does the pronoun “we” refer in verse 5? “For thus saith the LORD; we have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.” Some translations insert the word “correction” and change the “we” to “I,” while other translations make the change without any explanation at all. But actually the pronoun “we” is in the Hebrew of the tenth-century manuscripts, the earliest that exist. In studying this chapter, we have to seriously address the issue. It is our belief that the correction is warranted. The translators of the Septuagint felt the “we” should be “ye.” Now we have three options—we, I and ye—but which is correct?

As we wrestle with the issue, wanting to be sure, we can come to a definitive understanding based on the contextual writing. Notice the use of “I” in verse 6: “Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins…?” Based on verse 6, we can go back and change the pronouns in verse 5: “For thus saith the LORD; I have heard [or ‘I hear’] a voice of trembling, of fear [in the future], and not of peace.” The past, the present, and the future are all one in God’s sight. Because of His omniscience and knowing the end from the beginning, He can speak of the future as present or even past tense.

God was dramatizing the situation yet future. “I [God] have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.” He communicated a prophecy to Jeremiah, posing as a seer of the trouble coming on Israel and Judah in the near future. In the sounds of fear, trembling, and anxiety that are heard, it is as if we are brought down the stream of time to Jacob’s Trouble. Notice the emphasis on sounds. Moreover, an additional component to these verses is a double application, but we have to finish chapter 30 in order to see it, so we will delay an explanation until then.

Verse 6 reads, “Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?” Next we see a number of men in the strange posture of being about to bring forth a child, that is, in great pain with pale faces and hands on their sides. A woman normally has such experiences during labor and childbirth, so this is a very vivid picture of men being doubled over with fear. Notice the emphasis on sights.

Incidentally, in time of great fear, the knees get watery so that a person can hardly stand. The knees weaken and the loins have no strength, whereas the muscle from the hip to the knee is usually one of the strongest muscles in the body. Hence this fear is so outstanding that the limbs of grown men are affected. A sister once testified that when she was on an airplane, the passengers were instructed to prepare for a crash landing. Right away her knees and loins became weak. And so verse 6 tells of the fear that will come upon hearing news of the invading force entering the land. When the king of Babylon was actually coming down from the north with a tremendous army, the Jews knew that the trouble was real, as Jeremiah had been prophesying all along. In regard to the statement “all faces are turned into paleness,” fear affects the circulation of the face.

In dramatizing this picture, God was giving an audiovisual preview of what would happen at this yet future time. Even full-grown, mature men would be affected in a startling fashion, becoming like women in a negative physical sense.

Jer 30:7  Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.

“Alas! For that day [the day the Lord is speaking of] is great, so that none is like it.” The sounds and sights are identified as “Jacob’s trouble.” “But he [the Holy Remnant of Israel] shall be saved out of it.” Verse 7 is a reference to Jacob’s experience at the climax of the great Time of Trouble. It refers to the taking of Jerusalem, the houses being rifled, and the enemy triumphing temporarily (Zech. 14:2). There will be a time interval between the taking of Jerusalem and the deliverance wrought by God, which will purge out the unclean element of the Jews.

If we were living at the time Jeremiah declared this prophecy, we would immediately associate it with the Babylonian threat coming down. We would think, “This is the trouble, the foreboding day, that the prophet is talking about.” But what makes this future trouble different from that of any past experience—different from the Babylonian captivity and different from the destructions of AD 70 and 135—is that Jacob “shall be saved out of it.’ The few who went out and surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar had plenty of trouble, for after their deliverance, they went into bondage. Yes, they escaped death by giving themselves over to the Babylonian army, but they were humiliated and went into slavery. Of course as time went on, there was an easement of their sufferings, but that is not the picture here. In contrast, the saving of the Holy Remnant out of Jacob’s Trouble will be real and whole. That salvation from death will not be followed by pain, misery, and servitude, so the fulfillment of verse 7 is future. Some apply this verse to the Holocaust, but as we consider the context in our private studies, we will see that such an application does not fit.

Comment: Realizing that Jacob’s name was changed to Israel makes the following text more meaningful. Romans 11:26 reads, “And so all Israel [the Holy Remnant] shall be saved [out of Jacob’s Trouble]: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.”

Jacob’s Trouble is the climax of the great Time of Trouble, the “day” that is so great “that none is like it.” “At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, everyone that shall be found written in the book” (Dan. 12:1).

Jer 30:8  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 thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:

In that day, God will break the “yoke” off Israel’s neck and burst the bonds asunder. Back there the Jews thought of Nebuchadnezzar’s yoke, but verse 8 refers to the yoke of Gog from the land of Magog. The former Soviet Union was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, that is, Russia proper and satellite powers comprising the empire. Thus Gog (call the Assyrian in the Book of Isaiah) will be the enemy. Also, Haman was an Agagite (Esther 3:1). Since the vowels were supplied, “Agag” is really “Gog”; hence Agag is a type of the future Gog (1 Sam. 15:8-33; Num. 24:7) Verse 8, then, will be an end-time experience. Ezekiel 38 and 39 go into greater detail in regard to Gog, showing that a multitude of miracles will thoroughly break this yoke.

“Strangers shall no more serve themselves of him [Gog].” In many past experiences, strangers visited humiliation on the Jewish nation, but Israel will no longer be placed in servitude and taken advantage of after Jacob’s Trouble. Gog will have associates, for he is pictures as a leader of other powers that will come down from the north into the Promised Land.

Jer 30:9  But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.

Israel will serve God and “David their king [Jesus],” not others. The name David means “beloved.” In the final picture, Israel will serve The Christ, but the emphasis here is on Jesus.

Comment: Verse 9 is another proof that the context is speaking of Jacob’s Trouble. God will raise up David, the beloved, unto Israel, and that did not happen in Jeremiah’s day.

The term “raise up” reminds us of Moses’ words: “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of they brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;…I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him” (Deut. 18:15, 18).

Comment: Ezekiel 34:23, 24 states, “And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David;…and he shall be their shepherd. And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.”

Reply: Yes. In the picture with Pharaoh, Joseph represents Jesus primarily, but his feet being in chains suggests that he is a prototype of The Christ (Psa. 105:17-19). However, to bring in the Church as the main theme would be inappropriate, just as in regard to the Memorial, Jesus said, “This do in remembrance of me” (1 Cor. 11:23-25). Elsewhere Paul said that the other lessons from the Memorial pertain to us, our death, and our being broken together. The Church is in the picture, but the chief personality is mentioned first, for anything else would detract from Jesus’ uniqueness. Therefore, we think the first lesson Israel will have to see is that Jesus is their true Messiah. The “corporate” aspect, the details, will come later with education.

David, a type of Christ, may be the first Ancient Worthy to occupy the position, or chief office, of “prince” in the future Third Temple, even though Moses is probably a better character. It is interesting that the Israeli flag has the Star of David. Also, the everlasting covenant mentions the “sure mercies of David” (Isa. 55:3).

Jer 30:10  Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.

God called natural Israel “my servant Jacob.” We do not spiritualize this whole account because the thrust is the land of Jacob. Generally speaking, the term “Jacob” refers to the material, the earthly, the natural Israel of God.

“I will save thee from afar.” Verse 10 refers to the second exodus, or yet future homecoming, when Jews will be regathered to Israel after Jacob’s Trouble. They will be saved “from afar”; that is, Jews in other countries will share in that salvation if they are part of the Holy Remnant. This verse is a proof text that all Jews who survive in other nations will be handpicked. Gentiles will ship them back posthaste and with gifts (Isa. 60:1-7)

The Scriptures use a play on words. “Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.” Ezekiel 38 shows the enemy coming down from the north against a people who are resting securely within unwalled villages and are unafraid. The arrival of Gog will cause great fear, but after God’s deliverance of Israel out of Jacob’s Trouble, the Jews will truly be at rest and unafraid. The Holy Remnant, whether in Israel or in other countries, will experience this rest when back in their homeland after Jacob’s Trouble.

“Peace, be still” (Mark 4:39). Peace will come first to Israel. Very shortly thereafter a calm will come to the rest of the world. In other words, “World, be still.” Caution: The “rest” and “quiet” of verse 10 are not to be confused with the false rest, or sense of security, that will occur before Jacob’s Trouble. Some will mistake the false rest for the true rest.

Verse 10 does not refer to Jews who went back to Israel after the Holocaust because the time sequence is different. In the final analysis, those who returned to Israel at that time were agnostics and atheists as well as Zionists. In other words, they went back through sheer necessity, so there was nothing meritorious in their return. In the future, at the time of Jacob’s Trouble, the salvation will be what God does. Whether a Jew is in Israel or in a Gentile country, God will save those who comprise the Holy Remnant, and “they shall serve the LORD their God” and Jesus (verse 9). We need to chew, ruminate, and meditate on truths before we assimilate them into our framework of understanding God’s Word.

Confederate armies under Gog will come with a definite objective in mind: to take a spoil (Ezek. 38:10-12). Of course Satan will want to exterminate Israel by this method. At that time, Israel will be calm and relatively prosperous, but the world will be in anarchy. Then Gog will invade Israel and capture Jerusalem. This concentrated host will temporarily be victorious. To continue the sequence: God will deliver Israel, peace will result, and then peace will come to the rest of the world. Note: Gog will be a more organized host than the sporadic anarchistic mobs that will wreak havoc in all the Gentile nations.

Jer 30:11  For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.

The Time of Trouble on the Gentile nations will precede Jacob’s Trouble, as indicated by the statement “Though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee.” The political polity of all Gentile nations will cease in anarchy (meaning “no government’). These nations will be fully prostrate. Geographic names such as the United States of America, France, England, etc., will probably also be changed but not a first. In the beginning of the Kingdom, the names will be retained for the sake of identity, for when people are resuscitated form the grave, a lot of explaining will have to be done along multiple lines: geography, history, morals, etc. In time, the current names will probably just evaporate and be replaced with different designations.

Question: When Satan is loosed in the “little season” at the end of the Kingdom Age, he will “go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth,” so won’t the various nations be recognized in some fashion (Rev. 20:8)?

Answer: The Greek word ethnos, translated “nations,” means “peoples.”

Comment: As the Kingdom progresses, the current geographic names will probably be such an anathema that a person might say, for instance, “I was a resident of the former United States.” After understanding the reason for the Time of Trouble, shame will be attached to a sinful nation that was previously called a “God-fearing country.” The people will want to cast off their former association.

Question: Will there be an identity with the 12 tribes of Israel?

Answer: Yes, but in a mixed sense. Just as God has His plan and the Ancient Worthies will be princes in all the earth, with one here and another there, so the territories will be given some type of name or identity.

Since God will not make a “full end” of Israel, that nation will retain its name. But there is also a secondary thought of trouble and punishment. “I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee [Israel] altogether unpunished” suggests that the other nations will be punished. Punitive judgment will come upon them to bring them to their senses.

Hatred of the Jew is Satanic. Satan will get the nations to fight Israel in an attempt to exterminate the Jews utterly! He wants to destroy all Jews. The implication is that a great percentage of Jews will die in Jacob’s Trouble. God will correct Israel in measure—with a heavy chastening rod—but there will be survivors. All Jews who survive the great trouble, both worldwide and in Israel, will be purged of dross and purified and will thus be of the Holy Remnant. When they are saved “from afar” (verse 10),  “ten men…out of all…nations…shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you” (Zech. 8:23).

In the literal Hebrew translation, “in measure” is “with judgment,” that is, with discrimination. For instance, Amos 9:10 says, “All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.” Isaiah 4:2-4 reads, “In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. Daniel 12:1 also shows the Holy Remnant will comprise a select few: “At that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” The Jews who are rescued out of Jacob’s Trouble will all be saved, but not all Jews will be saved regardless of conduct and faith. Those who “pass under the rod” will be chosen to be the Lord’s to be identified with the Kingdom on an earthly plane, to be the nucleus of the Kingdom under the Ancient Worthies and the spiritual elect (Ezek. 20:37). “In that day there shall be no more the Canaanite [no false worshipper] in the house of the LORD of hosts” (Zech. 14:21)

With the Scripture “they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn,” the general consensus seems to be that when the Jews see these judgments—whether or not they are sinners—they will be converted (Zech. 12:10) We do not get that impression, for other Scriptures go into detail about the class that will be purged out.

In review, Chapter 30 speaks of the good things concerning the future of Israel. The previous chapters were a condemnation of the conduct of the nation in the past, and while God punished the Jews with captivity and ultimately with dispersion throughout Gentile nations because of their disobedience, He also prophesied that in the end time of the present age, He would turn with favor to His people, natural Israel.

We will read verse 11 again: “For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a fill end of thee; but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.”

Comment: The principle is stated in Hebrews 12:6, “For whom the Lord loveth he chaseteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” God has a keen interest in natural Israel. Punishment for their iniquities is part of the process of bringing the nation back into a better relationship with Him.

Comment: Jeremiah 10:24 shows the proper heart attitude: “O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.”

Comment: The end of verse 11 is more emphatic in the Masoretic: “and will not utterly destroy thee,” rather than “and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.”

There are several reasons why God favors Israel. One reason is its location. Jerusalem will eventually be the capital of the world, and it is geographically the land bridge of three continents. A second reason is that Abraham and other faithful ones of the past showed extreme loyalty to God. Therefore, He favors that people and their posterity. However, at the end of the age when many fatalities occur, the rescue will involve Gentiles as well. The mandatory requirement will be to recognize not only that the “law” goes forth from spiritual Zion but also that the “word of the LORD” goes forth from Jerusalem (Isa. 2:3). Those Gentiles who respond properly will correspondingly receive the same blessings that Israel has. There will no longer be different governments in the various countries of earth, for the nations will lose their polity, and there will be just one government under Christ. Therefore, God’s making a “full end of all nations” indicates a radical change in Messiah’s Kingdom. And Israel, too, needs to be punished, for God will correct the nation “in measure.”

In Jewry, there are agnostics, atheists, those who believe in God, and those who are not interested. The same is true of Gentiles. However, God has a book in which are written the names of Jews who will survive at the end of the age (Dan. 12:1; Isa. 4:3). That means a purging will occur because He wants a holy Kingdom to start in Israel, and the government must be without blame and converted to believe in God and also in His Son, Jesus. However, even those who die in the future trouble will come forth from the grave later.

Jer 30:12  For thus saith the LORD, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous.

Jer 30:13  There is none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines.

Jer 30:14  All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for 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.

Verses 12-14 describe the nature of Israel’s wound. Her “bruise is incurable,” and her “wound is grievous.” From a human standpoint, the situation will be hopeless at the time of Jacob’s Trouble. No other nation (none of her “lovers”) will be able to provide aid. Even now most nations are allies only for selfish reasons: political purposes, commercial gain, and/or war benefits. The nations do not love Israel, and any who have sided with her have done so out of selfish motives. Only God will be able to sure (help) her.

“There is none to plead thy cause,… thou has no healing medicines. All thy lovers have forgotten thee.” The United States and England are two of Israel’s “lovers” in trying to push the peace process and plead her cause with the Palestinians and in supplying money and munitions. However, the history of Israel has been one of anti-Semitism for a couple of thousand years, and it will be strongly anti-Semitic again in the near future.

But God said, “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.” Back in Jeremiah’s day, when Israel went into captivity following the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, it was as though God turned from being the God of Israel to the enemy of Israel. It was like a father spanking a child with the severity proportionate to the misdeed. But the real thrust of these verses is a future aspect with regard to Jacob’s Trouble, when God will wound Israel with the “wound of an enemy” and the “chastisement of a cruel one.” He will use (or permit) Gog, a cruel element, to inflict damage so that the dross will be consumed. These Jews who are spared will be a favored class. To a lesser extent, this will also be true of these of the Gentile onlookers and enemies who are spared, for generally speaking, the trouble will be on the heads of the wicked. (see verse 23)

Comment: The principle of God toward Israel is like that with the Prodigal Son in the parable (Luke 15:11-32).  When true repentance comes, there will be deep affection in spite of the past.

Reply: Forgiveness was extended when the father saw the Prodigal Son coming home. In other words, the act of, which signified repentance, led to the father’s embracing this son. Stated another way, the father did not embrace his son as a sinner but as a repentant soul coming back and longing for the former relationship.

Comment: With regard to Israel’s “lovers” in the past and at the present, the nation has made alliances with Gentile nations instead of trusting in God for help from enemies. This is a good lesson for us as Christians. Our heart returning alliance should be with God and Jesus, not with people and things of the world.

Reply: At one time, England was favorable to Israel. For instance, the Balfour declaration in 1917 allowed Jews to go back to the homeland, but some years later, the government of England printed a white paper that favored the Arabs. When England left Palestine, the Jews were unprotected and greatly outnumbered by the Arabs.

Jer 30:15  Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee.

The right-hearted will mourn ultimately, but historically, the Jews have complained that all that happens to them is unfair. Instead of seeing the need for repentance, they think that they are victims of injustice and that punishments from Gentiles were unmerited, but that is not the case from God’s standpoint. However, as their numbers decrease during the coming trouble, the holy element will realize that the experience is a judgment on Jews and that the dross is being removed. The repentant, contrite, mourning conditions of the Holy Remnant will be manifest. The prayer of “dross” Jews will not be answered—they will die—whereas the prayer of the repentant Holy Remnant will be answered.

Jer 30:16  Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all that prey upon thee will I give for a prey.

Comment: God has permitted affliction because of Israel’s disobedience and iniquity. However, the enemies that come against Israel in Jacob’s Trouble will themselves be destroyed.

Reply: Yes, Gog will be punished after spoiling Israel. Those of Gog who are spared will see the tables turn and themselves become a spoil. The enemy will experience not only disease but also violent hail, earthquake, thunder, heavy rain, etc.—all supernatural occurrences miraculously timed for Israel’s deliverance. They will realize that the God of nature has turned on them. Surviving Gentiles will then ask the Jews, “What can we do to help you?” Seeing the resurrected Ancient Worthies, the one-sixth Gentile survivors will feel especially indebted to the Jew (Ezek. 39:2). Spared Jews and Gentiles will both react emotionally.

Comment: With regard to the spoiler, Isaiah 33:1 reads, “Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou wast not spoiled; and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee! When thou shalt cease to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled; and when thou shalt make an end to deal treacherously, they shall deal treacherously with thee.”

The juxtaposition of verses 15 and 16 shows a radical change in the right-hearted Jews. The question “Why criest thou for thine affliction? Thy sorrow is incurable” refers to true sorrow, to repentance. Following Jacob’s Trouble, they will mourn for Jesus as for an only son who has died (Zech. 12:10). They will feel to the core their responsibility in not seeing Jesus as their Messiah. In that mourning, the depth of their sorrow will be very keen. Jehovah is talking in these verses, not Jesus, and the Holy Remnant will realize that they, as a people, put to death Jehovah’s Son.

But the radical change with Israel will occur not only because of the depth of their sorrow but also because the Father will be acting paternally toward them. He will comfort them like a father who talks to a crying child. He will be saying in effect, “With regard to all that has happened, ye, I did it. Because of the multitude of your sins, because your sins were increased, it was necessary for you, as a people, to have this judgment experience to make you humble for the Kingdom. Always keep that fact in mind.” When God delivered Israel from Egypt, He said, “Do not forget all of your sufferings and afflictions and then your miraculous deliverance. You should be merciful to the foreigners and the strangers in your midst because I was merciful to you in bringing you out from the house of bondage.”

God was saying to Israel, “Your sorrow is incurable, but it will be different in the future.” When the tables are turned, instead of being anti-Semitic, the Gentiles will be pro-Israel. It will be like us, as Christians, when we see a sinner undergo a thorough repentance and change of conduct. No matter how we felt about him previously, our whole attitude toward him changes upon seeing that his sorrow and repentance are real. That is what will happen to the Gentiles who live through the Time of Trouble. Being convinced that those of Israel are not what they were before, they will take hold of the skirt of the Jew and say, “We have heard that God is with you” (Zech 8:23).

Comment: Favor is being shown to Israel because of the faithfulness of Abraham. In Genesis 12:2,3, God said, “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curseth thee: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” Generally speaking, favor has been extended to nations that have cooperated with Israel in spite of selfish motives.

Comment: Jesus needed to be crucified, but nevertheless, he said, “The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born” (Matt. 26:24). The same principle has applied to Israel. The Jews needed to be brought to their knees and punished for their sins, but woe unto those who did the punishing.

Jer 30:17  For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after.

The wounds are incurable from Israel’s perspective, but God will heal the Holy Remnant because of their preceding sorrow and repentance. Another reason for the healing is that the adversaries who spoil Israel will themselves be spoiled for their wrong attitude. There will be a lesson for everyone, Jew and Gentile.

Israel has been a curse and a minority people regarded with disdain down through the ages, but when the change comes of their future deliverance, the abundance of the Gentiles will be given to them (Isa. 60:5-7). When God manifests returning favor to Israel by His miraculous deliverance of the Holy Remnant out of Jacob’s Trouble, the Gentiles will all want to contribute temporally to their welfare. Moreover, everything will be done to send surviving Jews in other countries back to Israel. When the nations see that there is a God and that Israel’s God is the true God, they will want to do all they can to help. The same principle was manifested by the Egyptians when, after the tenth plague, the death of the firstborn, they said to Pharaoh, “Let the Israelites leave lest we all die,” and sent them out of Egypt with gifts.

Question: To whom does the pronoun “they” refer: “They called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after”?

Answer: The reference is to Gentiles and the former lovers. Earlier Jeremiah prophesied that after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, the Israelites would be a byword, a curse, and a reproach (Jer. 25:18; 29:17, 18). “He is a Jew” has been said unfavorably. The Jews have wrongly been called an “Outcast.” Incidentally, here is a case where the term “Zion” is to be given a natural application, that is, fleshly Israel.

Jer 30:18  Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof.

Verses 18-20 imply a resurrection. Down through history, those who unjustly criticized and treated the Jew will have to make amends. The word “captivity” in verse 18 means former estate, and the term “palace” means Temple, that is, the Third Temple. Both Jerusalem and the Temple will be literally rebuilt (see Volume 3, page 259). Today the Jews in Jerusalem live mostly in the New City, but this is a reference to the Old City and even Ophel, which is not inhabited because of archaeological digs.

“Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces.”

What is the thought of “Jacob’s tents”? Since Jacob was the father of all 12 tribes, that name usually refers to natural Israel.

“The city [of Jerusalem] shall be builded upon her own heap.” This statement suggests that the city will become a ruin at the time of Jacob’s Trouble. An earthquake will lift up the land as a plain from Geba to Rimmon, an area of at least 30 square miles (Zech. 14:4, 5,10; see also Ezek. 38:19,20). Not only will the Al-Aksa mosque and Dome of the Rock (Muslim sites) on the Temple Mount be leveled but also Jerusalem. The city will be rebuilt but according to God’s plan. The measurements, the gates, etc.—how Jerusalem is to be designed—are recorded in the Book of Ezekiel, let alone the measurements for the Third Temple.

“And the palace [the Third Temple] shall remain after the manner thereof.” When the Third Temple is constructed at the beginning of the Kingdom, it will not be destroyed henceforth.

Many Christians say, “Why would a literal temple structure be needed in the Kingdom? The Apostle Paul said we are the temple of God.” Yes, 1 Corinthians 3:16 does refer to spiritual Israelites, to the “temple’ in heaven, for God has a plan for these who are to be kings and priests with Jesus Christ. They will see the Father’s face and be honored in heaven. But in harmony with the Lord’s Prayer, God will have people down here too: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).

Question: For the word “heap,’ the King James margin has “little hill,” and Young’s Analytical Concordance has “hillock.” Is the thought that Jerusalem will be on a hill?

Answer: Yes, the city will be on a hill, and the Temple Mount will be higher than the surrounding hills. When the Temple is built as a “house of prayer” in the future, it will be glorious, elevated, and holy (Isa. 56:7; Matt. 21:13). No one will be allowed to serve in the Temple in a ministerial sense unless he has first been tried and proven worthy.

Jer 30:19  And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.

After the initial grief and shock over realizing that Jesus, a Jew, is Israel’s Messiah, there will be great rejoicing in the land.

“I will multiply them, and they shall not be few.” At present, about 6 million Jews are in the small nation of Israel, which is about the size of New Jersey. However, Transjordan, Lebanon, etc., will be added in the Kingdom to make room for the multiplication of that people, especially when Jews come forth from the grave. Moreover, Jews who survive the Time of Trouble in Gentile nations will be shipped back by boat, airplane, and whatever means is convenient. This second regathering back to the homeland will take place after the Kingdom is established.

Comment: In harmony with other Scriptures such as Ezekiel 47:22 and Jeremiah 32:39, part of their “multiplication” will come from children who are born in the Kingdom Age.

Jer 30:20  Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them.

“Their children also shall be as aforetime.” To understand the word “aforetime,” we will read Isaiah 1:24-26, which tells us that in the Kingdom, Israel’s judges and counselors will be restored. “Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies: And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy sin: And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counselors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city.” In other words, God’s dealings at the beginning and throughout much of the Kingdom Age will be similar to the method He used in guiding His people in Old Testament times, when judges and counselors were raised up. In principle, that is true with us also. In auspicious moments when instruction and guidance become necessary, the Lord furnishes that information, but the responsibility lies with us to be hungry, desirous, yearning, or mourning enough to be looking for His providence in this direction. And He promises to supply that need. Here in verse 20, the promise is to supply the need to His natural people, and the same principle of operation applies to His spiritual children in the present age.

“Their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them.” The Old Testament contains a multitude of promises along this line. That principle will operate in the Kingdom, and it operates even now, particularly in this end time, although the swiftness of the judgment promised in Malachi 4:5, 6 will become apparent with the introduction of the Kingdom arrangement. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: and He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” We also think of Romans 12:19, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord,” and 1 Timothy 5:24. “Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after [in the Kingdom Age].”

If the judges, counselors, and congregation are to be restored, it is natural to think that the Temple will also be restored. Moreover, the New Covenant will be very similar to the old Law Covenant in principles of operation.

Jer 30:21  And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me: for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? saith the LORD.

“Their nobles [their judges, the Ancient Worthies] shall be of themselves” in the Kingdom Age. The titles “governor,” “judge,” and “noble” are more or less synonymous terms, generally speaking. As Isaiah 1:26 states, Israel’s “judges” and “counselors” (the Ancient Worthies plural) will be restored. However, “Their governor [singular] shall proceed from the midst of them.” In other words, the Ancient Worthies will be “princes in all the earth” (Psa. 45:16), but only one Ancient Worthy at a time will fill the office of “governor” in Israel. Thus there is no contradiction based on geographic location.

We are speaking now more from the human standpoint. In the books of Jeremiah and Isaiah, “Zion” is natural Israel. Of course Jesus will be “The [one] Prince of Peace,” reigning spiritually throughout the Kingdom Age (Isa. 9:6). But the suggestion is that the Church class, who will reign with Christ, will be distributed spiritually in the atmosphere around the earth much as the Ancient Worthies will be distributed naturally down here has princes in all the earth.

The Ancient Worthy who presides in Jerusalem, the future capital of the world, will be a rotating office. In contrast, even though the Church will be with Jesus, he will always have the preeminence above them. Similarly in the Old Testament, Moses was the chief speaker.

The “prince” will sit in the east gate in Ezekiel’s Temple (Ezek. 44:1-3). The high priest for the Temple will be of the Zadok priesthood—Zadok means “priest” (Ezek. 40:46; 43:19; 44:15; 48:11). Because of Zadok’s faithfulness in David’s day, the additional requirement, or qualification, for the priests in the Kingdom Age, who will serve in the literal Temple, is that they be not merely a Levite and a son of Aaron but also a son of Zadok. The suggestion is that the high priest may also be a rotating office which is filled with different members of the natural Zadok priesthood.

In the type with the Tabernacle in the wilderness, both Aaron and Moses represented Jesus. Moses represented the princely aspect of Christ in the Kingdom reign, and Aaron represented the ecclesiastical aspect. For the spiritual priesthood in glory, the name changes from the Aaronic priesthood to the Melchisedec priesthood, for at that time, the office of prince (Moses) and priest (Aaron) will be combined. However, down here the office of prince will be rotational, for to give inordinate honor to one individual throughout the Kingdom Age would detract from the singularity of Christ as the Ruler in truth. We have used the same type of reasoning to show there will not be one last individual of the body of Christ—the feet members will die as a group—so that Jesus will be left with the singularity of being the first, the Head of the Church.

Verse 21 emphasizes the civil element. The Jews will have a “governor,” a rotational office occupied by one Ancient Worthy at a time. Jews who wish to communicate with God when they come forth from the grave will have to go through the “governor,” the Ancient Worthy occupying that office at a given time. The Zadok priesthood will perform that religious services, picturing The Christ, but the people will deal with the prince, the governor (the civil aspect). Jacob’s dream of “angels” ascending and descending on a ladder shows that the Ancient Worthies will be the head of the earthly phase of the Kingdom with messengers (the Great Company) going between them and the glorified Church. (Gen. 28:12)

“I will cause him [the presiding Ancient Worthy] to draw near,” David may be the first Ancient Worthy to fill the office of “prince” in Israel.

The purity, the sanctity, of God’s institutions has been so sullied that individuals, whether prophet or priest, thought nothing of dishonoring the office because they lacked reverential fear. One occupying the office of priest was even a well-known adulterer. Hence God raised up true prophets to give strong judgment messages.

Jer 30:22  And ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

Jeremiah was privileged to deliver this very favorable message. We do not know the details of his death, but his counsel was not heeded by the vast majority. Even after the destruction Jerusalem and the Temple, when vinedressers were left in the land, the people did not listen to him but slew Gedaliah and fled to Egypt. Jeremiah prophesied that Nebuchadnezzar would pursue them to Egypt and punish them.

Jeremiah’s official tenure as a prophet seems to have been 40 years long. The duration of the ministries of those who were relatively contemporaneous varied. Isaiah’s ministry lasted more than 60 years, and Daniel’s ministry covered at least 90 years. Therefore, Jeremiah’s ministry of 40 years was the shortest. Of the three prophets, Isaiah uttered the greatest number of Kingdom prophecies and blessing to come, both spiritually and naturally, yet he was sawn asunder according to tradition. Evidently, this experience occurred in the last year of the reign of Hezekiah. This suggests that when the Israelites saw the invading force entering the land, they dispatched Isaiah, the one who has prophesied of the Assyrian host coming down.

We will consider the circumstance by reading Isaiah 39:5-8. “Then said Isaiah to Hezekiah, Hear the word of the LORD of hosts: Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD. And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon. Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good is the word of the LORD which thou hast spoken. He said moreover, for there shall be peace and truth in my days.” This Isaiah quote gives us a little insight into Hezekiah’s character. Notice his response when Isaiah said his sons would be taken into captivity and made eunuchs. Hezekiah had just heard bad news, but he thought of himself: “I will die in peace.” He has been promised 15 additional years of life, and now his response was selfish. Instead he should have thought of his children and his office. In saying, “Good is the word of the LORD,” he sounded like Eli, the high priest, who spoke similarly when told by young Samuel of coming judgment for his sons’ iniquity. “It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good” (1 Sam. 3:18). In the final analysis, Eli was a reprehensible character because of his extreme weakness in failing to take a stand and discipline his sons.

Jer 30:23  Behold, the whirlwind of the LORD goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked.

“Behold, the whirlwind of the LORD goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind.” Other Scriptures are needed to realize the “continuing” aspect of the trouble. That which will be happening in Israel—the dross being purged and the destruction of Gog—will have a counterpart in other nations. The Prophet Joel speaks of Israel in the trouble and also of other nations. Generally speaking, the ringleaders of the wicked will be destroyed worldwide.

Jeremiah 23:19, 20 is a parallel text, providing two witnesses. “Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.” Again the thought is emphasized that the trouble will be primarily on the heads of the wicked.

Jer 30:24  The fierce anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have done it, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it.

Notice the end of this verse: “in the latter days [plural] ye [natural Israel, specifically the Holy Remnant] shall consider it.” In the end-time period of the Gospel Age, Israel will be made aware of this message. Parts of this message are given in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah, etc. the point being that the Jews will be informed as a people. But to be informed is one thing, and to heed the information is another. All down through history, only a minority has really heeded the Lord’s instruction. The only exceptions we hear of are temporary. For instance, when Joshua commanded the Israelites to march around Jericho for seven days and not talk, their obedience was astounding. But that experience lasted for seven days, not seven years; it was not continuing. More recently in the Sixth-Day War, the Jews, lacking ammunitions, rolled barrels filled with stones down hills toward the Arabs at night. Hearing the noise, the Arabs fled in fright, thinking they were being attacked by machine guns. For about a week, the Jews themselves, as well as news commentators, attributed the victory to God. A month later the Israeli Air Force was given the credit. And so the majority will not hearken to the message of truth at the end of the age. However, when informed, the Holy Remnant will take the message to heart by considering and obeying the instruction.

“The fierce anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have done it, and until he have performed the intents of his heart. “ Ezekiel 38:16 shows that God’s purpose is to be sanctified in Gog. God’s “fierce anger” will perform “the intents of his heart.” His Word will accomplish its purpose.

Question: Will Elisha, picturing the Great Company, give a message to Israel?

Answer: That is true, but the feet members will start the message. The Great Company will pick up and expand the message subsequently, directing it to the Holy Remnant.

Question; Does the term “latter days [plural]” refer to a time period of a year or more?

Answer: Yes, certain events will happen in a year, two years, three years—a short period of time. The majority in Israel will experience a false peace, whereas the Holy Remnant will understand that Jacob’s Trouble is coming.

Now we will return to two earlier verses, which contain the pronouns “we’ and “I.” “For thus saith the LORD; we have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? Wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?” (verses 5 and 6). The Jerusalem Bible has an interesting comment, although we believe the wrong conclusion is drawn. It was like saying that in the future, at the time that the king of Babylon would come down to lay waste the city and the Temple, there would be a “we” class, and this class is the Holy Remnant in the antitype. In considering verse 5 and 6 earlier, we said there was a double application but gave only one application. We will consider the second application in more detail at this time.

In the end-time period of the Gospel Age, a believing Jewish remnant will feel that the peace after the Psalm 83 scenario is not the real peace. They will be sufficiently informed to not forget the still-to-come prophecies of Gog from the land of Magog. The Arabs, the immediate neighbors surrounding Israel, will be dispensed with when the prayer of Psalm 83 is answered. We understand this element to be an enlightened class, namely, the Holy Remnant.

Now we come to the end of verse 24 and read, “In the latter days ye shall consider it.” That statement can be interpreted two ways, but to “consider” means to give serious thought to a matter, rather than turning a deaf ear. Jeremiah characteristically predicted doom while the false prophets predicted peace, saying that not only would the king of Babylon be taken care of in two years but also the people in captivity would return to the homeland. Despite what they claimed with emphasis, the false prophets did not speak according to a “thus saith the LORD.”

From this perspective, we quote verse 5 and leave the pronoun “we” intact, as follows. “We [the Holy Remnant] have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.” The Holy Remnant will not be deceived by the false peace at the end of the Gospel Age, for they will “consider.”

In the wilderness wanderings, one of the chief reasons the Israelites sinned is that they forgot God’s mighty works. They forgot that He opened the sea before them, yet nothing more dramatic could have happened! Moreover, the Israelites saw the destruction of Pharaoh and his host when the waters closed over them. Also, they were fed with miraculous manna, etc., but because the lessons did not abide, the entire older generation—the ones who should have remembered God’s miracles—died except for Joshua and Caleb. The younger generation went into the Promised Land, so 2 million people left Egypt, and 2 million entered.

Question: In this case of the “latter days,” can Jeremiah represent the Great Company, who will deliver a strong message to the Holy Remnant?

Answer: No, we do not think Jeremiah is a type of the Great Company here. In fact, the Scriptures seem to indicate that the true Church, the feet members, will give the subject matter; that is, they will inform the Holy Remnant, but the Great Company will have the privilege of speaking later, at the time of the occurrence.

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  1. […] Jer_30:7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. (see verse by verse study on Jeremiah 30) […]

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