Isra’el Will Never Cease Being a Nation
Before Me, declares the LORD

31: 35-40

DIG: In what way will it be a New Covenant? What seals or secures this Covenant from God’s side? The exiles rebuilt Jerusalem after seventy years. But the City did not prove to be invincible, but was leveled again by the Romans (see the commentary on The Life of Christ Mt – The Destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple on Tisha B’av 70 AD). What then does ADONAI's promise of eternal security for Yerushalayim really mean?

REFLECT: What does this tell us about YHVH’s character? What does this have to do with you today? If God would destroy Isra’el because of her sins, what will happen to you without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? Is Isra’el insecure about her relationship with ADONAI? Are you insecure about your relationship with Him (see the commentary on The Life of Christ Ms – The Eternal Security of the Believer)? What do you think the LORD is trying to do by inspiring Jeremiah to write these exact words? Warn Isra’el? Put their minds at ease?

595/594 BC during the eleven-year reign of Zedekiah

In his fourth year, in 594 BC, Zedekiah evidently made a trip to Babylon (51:59). It may have been to disguise his loyalty to Nebuchadnezzar because that same year plans for revolt were discussed among Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, Sidon and Judah. False prophets both in Y’hudah and in these small countries were encouraging revolt.

We now turn to the cluster of events in Jeremiah’s ministry that took place in 594 BC. The prelude to these events took place in Babylon in December 595 or January 594 BC. At the time there was an attempted uprising against Nebuchadnezzar by some of the Babylonian military units. Nebuchadnezzar got word of it and put it down brutally. He boasted that he executed the ringleader with his own hands. But in the next few months a report of the attempt must have gotten back to Jerusalem, raising the hope that if the little states there in the west could combine forces, they might be able to throw off the domination of Nebuchadnezzar. They may also have hope for help from Egypt because a new pharaoh, Psammetichus II, had just come to the throne.269

Jeremiah continued his dream (31:26). God’s faithfulness to Isra’el is as secure as the sun rising and falling. For six thousand years He has sent the sun, moon, and stars on their daily course. For the same time there has not been one day on which the waves of the sea have ceased their constant ebb and flow. And until the end of time the same LORD will fulfill His gracious promise that Isra’el will be His covenant people.270

The indestructibility of Isra’el: This is what ADONAI says: He who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea until its waves roar . . . ADONAI-Tzva’ot is His name. Only if these decrees vanish from My sight: declares the LORD, will the descendants of Isra’el ever cease to be a nation before Me. In other words, only if the sun stops shinning, only if the moon and the stars vanish, only if the waves of the sea disappear will Isra’el cease to exist (31:35-36). God’s love for Isra’el is indestructible.

The basis for the indestructibility of Isra’el is that YHVH is a covenant keeper. The New Covenant is with Yisra’el and not the Church (see Eo – The Days are Coming, declares the LORD, When I Will Make a New Covenant with the People of Yisra’el).The “partners” of this B’rit Chadashah are, in biblical terms, ADONAI and Isra’el. Although not a formal partner, Gentiles “participate” in the New Covenant when they make the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua, the Lord of their lives. They also “participate” as a recipient of the promised Abrahamic Covenant blessings that come through the seed of Abraham, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:11-16). So “participation” is a better term to describe this relationship. Even though the New Covenant is made with Isra’el, it doesn’t mean that it is only for Isra’el: For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in His own body on the cross, He broke down the wall of hostility that separated us (Ephesians 2:14 NLT). Hence, the New Covenant is one Covenant, with two participants, with Isra’el and the Church.

This is what ADONAI says: Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Isra’el because of all they have done (31:37). Then we are given more statements of impossibility. Can the heavens above be measured? No. Can the foundation of the earth be searched out? No! Only if these things can be done would God consider rejecting them. The final line of the oracle is not indifferent to Isra’el’s sins because of all they have done. It’s not that her wickedness did not give Ha’Shem cause to destroy her because her sin certainly warrants destruction. But God has made a commitment that He intends to keep for the sake of His own name. Isra’el is incapable of terminating the relationship. Only God had made the covenant, only He can nullify it . . . and He will not.

The New Jerusalem: Scripture deals with two New Jerusalem’s. First, there is the New Jerusalem, the millennial Jerusalem of the messianic Kingdom (see Gs - God Shows a Vision of the Millennial Temple and the commentary on Revelation Fj – My Chosen People Will Inherit My Mountains, also see Ezekiel Chapters 40 to 47); and secondly, there is the New Jerusalem of the Eternal State (see the commentary on Revelation Fs – The Eternal Jerusalem).

The days are coming, declares the LORD. When Jeremiah (under the direction of the Holy Spirit) uses the phrase in the days to come; the days are coming; in those days; in that day, at that time; or for the time will surely come, the context points either to the near historical future or the far eschatological future and which one should be used. This is the nineteenth of twenty-five times that Yirmeyahu uses one of these phrases.

The days are coming, in the far eschatological future, when this City will be rebuilt for Me, declares the LORD (31:38a). This describes the geography of the New Jerusalem. The Book of Comfort (see Ek – The Book of Comfort) ends on a tremendously positive note. The rebuilt Yerushalayim of the millennium will continue on into the Eternal State (see the commentary on Revelation Fq – The Eternal State). The measuring line will stretch from there straight to the hill of Gareb and then turn to Goah (31:39). The measuring line is a term used in the TaNaKh as a figure of symbolizing the rebuilding of Jerusalem in the messianic Kingdom (Zechariah 2:1-13). Gareb (the Hebrew root word for leprosy) and Goah were probably both cities. They are unknown to us today, but were probably to the west of the City.

From the Tower of Hananel in the northeast near a gate called the sheep gate (Nehemiah 3:1, 12:39; Zechariah 14:10), to the Corner Gate in the northwest (Second Kings 14:13; Second Chronicles 25:23, 26:9; Zechariah 14:10). Both are mentioned in Zechariah and describe the ends of the north wall from east to west (31:38b).

The whole valley of Hinnom in the southwest where dead bodies and ashes are thrown (31:40a). The Hebrew word for ashes is greasy ashes, the fat of human sacrifice. Even the Valley of Slaughter will be made holy to the LORD (Joel 3:17; Zechariah 14:20-21). Even this unclean place will be purified by God and included in millennial Jerusalem.

And all the terraces out to the Kidron Valley on the southeast as far as the corner of the Horse Gate near the Temple (2 Kings 11:16; 2 Chron 23:15; Neh 3:28), will be holy to ADONAI. The City will never again be uprooted or demolished (31:40b). The permanence of the nation requires the permanence of her capital. It is from Tziyon that YHVH will rule over the regathered Isra’el (Micah 4:6-8). Through His prophet, God described two characteristics of this New City.

First, it will be holy to ADONAI. When that day comes, this will be written on the bells worn by the horses, “Consecrated to ADONAI,” and the cooking pots in the house of ADONAI will be [as holy] as the sprinkling bowls before the altar. Yes, every cooking pot in Yerushalayim and Y’hudah will be consecrated to ADONAI-Tzva’ot. Everyone who offers sacrifices will come, take them and use them to stew the meat. When that Day comes, there will no longer be merchants in the house of ADONAI-Tzva’ot (Zechariah 14:20-21 CJB). The holy city of Yerushalayim and her inhabitants will set apart to the LORD who will dwell in her midst (see the commentary on Isaiah Db – The Nine Missing Articles in the Messiah’s Coming Temple).

Secondly, The City will never again be uprooted or demolished (31:40c). The ravages of war all throughout history and also during the Great Tribulation will never be experienced by Tziyon again. These verses were not fulfilled after the Babylonian Captivity ended. It is clear that holiness is not the primary characteristic of the people in Yerushalayim and Y’hudah (Malachi 1:6-14) because Zion would be destroyed again by the Romans (see the commentary on The Life of Christ Mt – The Destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple on Tisha B’Av in 70 AD). Consequently, these promises await their fulfillment in the far eschatological future. Then the prophet finished the second part of his dream that started in Jeremiah 31:27 (see Em – The LORD Bless You, O Righteous Dwelling, O Sacred Mountain). What a blessing it is to know that the New Jerusalem will never again be demolished, but will be the permanent place for God and His People. Forever.

 

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