Survey of the Old Testament - Lesson 23

Jeremiah - Miles Van Pelt

Jeremiah’s call was to tell the people of Judah why they were going into exile and also to give them hope for future restoration. The book contains oracles, accounts of visions and symbolic actions, prophetic laments and historical narratives.

Miles Van Pelt
Survey of the Old Testament
Lesson 23
Watching Now
Jeremiah - Miles Van Pelt

I. Introduction

A. Second Moses figure

B. Purpose of the book

C. Date and authorship

II. Structure

III. Major Themes

A. Prosecutor of the Mosaic Covenant

B. Herald of the New Covenant

C. Book of Consolation

D. Oracles in chapters 32 and 33

E. Repentance and redemption

  • Knowing the purpose, structure and theological center of the Old Testament, will help you understand more accurately the character of God, and his purpose in the world and in your life. The Old Testament teaches you about Christ and describes his ministry. Colossians 3:15-16 reads, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart, let the word of Christ dwell in you richly."

  • What you decide is the theological center of the Bible will determine how you understand the Bible and apply it to your life. You can see unity in biblical authorship by the number of times the phrase, “thus says Yahweh” is used in the Old Testament.  The person and work of Jesus is the theological center of the Old Testament. The living force of the canonical word must be the incarnate word. The proper nouns used in the Bible indicate the important characters and themes.

  • Jesus claims that the Old Testament finds its ultimate meaning in him. After his resurrection, Jesus meets two disciples on the road to Emmaus and gives them a lesson in biblical interpretation. The Father and the Scriptures testify about who Jesus is. In Romans 1:3, Paul refers to the Gospel being revealed through his prophets, in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son. Every book in the Bible teaches about Christ so every sermon should teach about Christ. Hebrews 11 refers to the great cloud of witnesses.

  • The Kingdom of God is the over-arching theme of the whole Bible. God governs his kingdom by his covenants. The covenant of grace is in effect throughout the Bible and has different administrations.

  • The form that our Bibles come to us in is meaningful for interpretation. The Hebrew Bible has a different order of the books than the English Bible.  

  • The order of books in the English Bible and the Hebrew Bible is different because the criteria for determining the order is different. The order of the books in the Hebrew Bible reflect an emphasis on covenant, and also teaching important concepts then giving a practical example to illustrate how to put it into practice.

  • The three divisions in the Old Testament are the Law, the Prophets and the Writings. Genesis and Revelation are the introduction and conclusion to the Bible and have parallel themes. Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy are the four covenant books that record the birth and death of the covenant mediator and contain his life and teachings. The former prophets record the history of Israel. The latter prophets call people to repent and return to God.

  • Your presuppositions about whether or not the authors who wrote the books of the Bible were inspired by God will influence your position the authorship of the Pentateuch. The traditional view is that Moses wrote the first five books of the Old Testament at about 1200 to 1400 B.C. The documentary hypothesis claims that there were four or more separate authors that wrote beginning in about 900 B.C.

  • Genesis is the covenant prologue and is both protological and eschatological. It is the most covenantal book in the Bible. One way to outline the book is into twelve parts, each beginning with the phrase, “these are the generations.” Creation is described using a theological order.

  • Chapter 2 is a detailed description of the sixth day of creation, culminating in the creation of woman. Chapter 3 describes the Fall and the consequences. Hebrew homonyms link the passages and intensify the descriptions.

  • Noah functions as a prophetic covenant mediator. God promises a remnant in his covenant with Noah and also renews the covenant of common grace. God continues his redemptive covenant with Abraham and his descendants. The book of Genesis ends with the narrative of Joseph.

  • This is the beginning of the formal documents of the covenant of God with the people of Israel. It begins with the birth of Moses and ends with the people of Israel coming out of Egypt.

  • Leviticus is primarily instructions to promote the holiness of God’s people. It provides a system that allows for a holy God to live among an unholy people. In the sacrificial system, there are 5 kinds of offerings. Jesus is the fulfillment of the observance of the Day of Atonement.

  • The book of Numbers is a record of the events of the forty years of wandering in the wilderness. The purpose is to contrast the faithfulness of God with the faithlessness of the Israelites. The time in the wilderness was a period of testing for the people of Israel.

  • This is a renewal of the Mosaic covenant in preparation for entering the Promised Land. It’s an encouragement to keep the Law and a reminder of blessings for obedience and cursings for disobedience. Deuteronomy points us to Jesus who ultimately fulfills the Law.

  • Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings describe the nature and purpose of the Sinai Covenant and the historical events of the occupation of the land. God know that the people of Israel would fail to obey the Mosaic Covenant, so he had planned from the beginning to establish the New Covenant when the time was right.

  • Joshua was the successor to Moses. The book of Joshua focuses on the Promised Land. The people of Israel enter the land, conquer the land, divide the land between the tribes and then renew their covenant with God. Holy war and covenant obedience are important themes.

  • Judges has two introductions, two conclusions, six major judges, six minor judges and one anti-judge. It can be described as the, “uncreation” of Israel. Their purpose was to judge the nations and to deliver the people of Israel from their oppressors.

  • The book of Samuel provides the answer to the crisis of kingship. Samuel, as the last judge and first prophet, anoints Saul as king. The people of Israel reject Yahweh as king. Saul is anointed by Samuel and serves as king but is later rejected because of disobedience. David is anointed king because God acts according to his own will. Solomon begins well and ends badly.

  • The book of Kings is the story of the monarchy in the nation of Israel. It begins with the united monarchy under Solomon, then after his death, is divided into the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. We can learn about God’s character and the importance of living in a covenant relationship with God.  

  • The Latter Prophets are covenant lawyers. They are executing the lawsuit of God against Israel for unfaithfulness to the covenant. Prophets use both oracular prophecies and sign acts to communicate their message.

  • Isaiah is sometimes described as the, “fifth gospel” because it is quoted so much in the New Testament. The themes in Isaiah are both timely for his generation and also point to their ultimate fulfillment in Jesus and the end of time.

  • Jeremiah’s call was to tell the people of Judah why they were going into exile and also to give them hope for future restoration. The book contains oracles, accounts of visions and symbolic actions, prophetic laments and historical narratives.

  • One key to understanding Ezekiel is the glory of God in the temple. The book begins with God appearing to Ezekiel, then God leaves the temple and, in the end, God returns. Ezekiel’s oracles and signs illustrate each of these.

  • In the Hebrew Bible, these 12 minor prophets are treated as one book. Each one is a covenant lawyer that is prosecuting God’s lawsuit against the unfaithful nation of Israel and also preaching a message of hope for restoration. The Day of the Lord is the day of the king’s victory over his enemy, either to crush an enemy or to save a people.

  • These books are about how you think and live in light of the covenant. The genres include narrative, poetry and prophecy. The Hebrew Bible order emphasizes teaching then example.

  • Covenant life is a life of worship. The book divisions in the manuscripts were purposefully arranged so the book as a whole has a meaningful narrative. It emphasized the kingship of Yahweh, the Davidic line and the temple. You can use specific patterns of construction for understanding lament, thanksgiving and hymns of praise psalms. You can also use the same patterns to help you respond to God and worship him.

  • Job deals with the issue of human tragedy and suffering. Job never knows what happened in heaven that resulted in his suffering. His three friends made correct theological arguments but they were misapplied. Job speaks about suffering and hope. God challenges Job at the end of the book, and also restores his possessions and children.

  • Solomon created a collection of practical wisdom sayings. Some were for instructing children, some for instructing kings, but they all are applicable to help everyone live in the light of the covenant of grace in the context of common grace.

  • Ruth follows Proverbs in the Hebrew Bible. Even though she is from Moab, she lives in Israel with her widowed Israelite mother-in-law to take care of her. She marries Boaz and is included in the genealogy of David and Jesus.

  • Marriage should be both rock solid in terms of covenant commitment and white hot in terms of sexual intimacy. If it is both, you can better resist temptation, endure hardship and promote wholeness.   

  • The message of Ecclesiastes is that true knowledge, wisdom and meaning in life begins with the fear of the Lord. The author of Ecclesiastes, likely Solomon, tests this conclusion and is unsuccessful in finding ultimate meaning in activities, “under the sun,” like wealth, relationships, power, projects, etc.

  • Lamentations is a collection of funeral dirges lamenting the fall and exile of Jerusalem. The elegant structure of the book is a contrast to the chaos and destruction of the events that are taking place. Each poem gives you a different perspective on God’s character and his covenant faithfulness.

  • Esther is a story of living a life of faith in exile. It Bringing “shalom” into a hostile environment sometimes even requires risking your life. The festival of Purim commemorates God saving his people and is still celebrated today.

  • Daniel and Esther are examples of living a life of faith while in exile. Daniel was different than the writing prophets because he is not primarily a covenant lawyer prosecuting God’s lawsuit against the people of Israel. The first six chapters are biographical stories highlighting God’s power to save and his sovereignty over the nations. The second six chapters are visions of the future.

  • The book of Ezra-Nehemiah records the last events, chronologically, in the Old Testament. Ezra returned from exile with authorization to teach the Law of the Jews and institute the sacrificial system. Nehemiah returned to rebuild Jerusalem. They fail in their human attempt to rebuild heaven on earth, which encourages you to look forward to the city built by God.

  • The return from exile is not the greater one prophesied by the prophets. We still look forward to the return from exile with them in the resurrection. Chronicles traces the seed that was promised and gives an account of the return from exile.

Take this opportunity to study with Dr. Miles Van Pelt as he shows you patterns and themes that will help you understand the Old Testament and the whole Bible. He will give you an overall view of the Old Testament then discuss specifics about each of the books. 

For instance, you might ask, "What kind of book is the Old Testament?" The OT is a single story told three times over: once in Genesis, once in Exodus through Nehemiah, and once again in Chronicles (just like day 6 in Genesis 1–2). The OT loves to repeat itself, repeat itself, repeat itself. This is how it teaches us. The Old Testament is about 2/3 of the Bible and is the basis for everything you read in the New Testament. The better you understand the Old Testament, the clearer you will understand the message of the Bible. 

What is the Message of the Old Testament? The Old Testament points to the New Covenant. The teachings, prophecies and examples of covenant life point to Jesus who makes the New Covenant possible and inaugurates it. There are also examples in the Old Testament of how human efforts to create heaven on earth fall short, so that we will anticipate and yearn for our ultimate deliverance from exile.

What is the Structure of the Old Testament? The structure of the Old Testament, and the Bible as a whole, is covenantal. God offers to live in the covenant of grace with him and compels them to make that choice. The administrations of the covenant with Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus demonstrate God's patience and perseverance to include as many as are willing.


Recommended Books

Survey of the Old Testament - Bible Study

Survey of the Old Testament - Bible Study

Take this opportunity to study with Dr. Miles Van Pelt as he shows you patterns and themes that will help you understand the Old Testament and the whole Bible. He will give...

Survey of the Old Testament - Bible Study

Dr. Miles Van Pelt

Survey of the Old Testament



I. Introduction (00:13):

We're going to cover Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the 12, and then introduction to the writings. The last part of the Hebrew Bible, and then after lunch, we'll kind of cover Psalms through hopefully Song of Songs. I'd really love to get the Song of Songs done here with a crowd like this, got to be in interested in the feedback. Today our first lecture's going to be on The Book of Jeremiah. The Book of Jeremiah is the second of the latter prophets after Isaiah. So it's Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the 12. The Book of Jeremiah is named after the prophet Jeremiah, son of Hilkiah. There are 52 chapters in this book with a chiastic arrangement to it and the center of that chiasm is The Book of Comfort.

A. Second Moses Figure  (01:01):

Jeremiah is a priest. He's one of the priests of Anathoth, tribe of Benjamin. Thus he is a Levi, living in Anathoth, in Benjamin. Now, while Isaiah was married to the prophetess, she's never named, she's just called the prophetess, she's got a title. Jeremiah was not allowed to get married as one of the things about his prophetic ministry. He was in some sense had to be more like Paul, I guess. But part of this is it's related to the fact that Jeremiah is going to see the mosaic covenant come to an end and it's going to be like the Lord is going to be single again, right? The Lord has experienced divorce in His life and now Jeremiah is going to epitomize that with his singleness. Among the writing prophets, Jeremiah is distinctly portrayed as a second Moses figure. That's one of the things the Bible likes to do, is it likes to have a paradigm and then it likes to repeat those personages over again.

Just like Eden is like the tabernacle, is like the temple, is like the new heavens and new earth, all those things relate. Moses is like the judges, like the prophets, it goes on. Of the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel the 12, Jeremiah is specifically kind of highlighted as a second Moses figure. I've got at least eight ways in which that's happening. Number one, they're both Levites, so they both come from that distinctive tribe that likes to defend the Lord's honor. Two, both Moses and Jeremiah have a very similar prophetic calling. Moses's occurs back in Exodus chapter three, and Jeremiah occurs in Jeremiah 1:4-19. Both Moses and Jeremiah did not want to be a prophet and it was based on their inability to speak.

Both of these prophets receive divine assurance that they can do the job because the Lord will be with them, the promise of the divine presence. Five, they both have a 40 year ministry with God's people and during that time, six they're hated by the leaders and other prophets. Sounds like Jesus' life a little bit too. Interestingly, number seven, both of them had a writing career. You know, Moses wrote the Pentateuch and Jeremiah wrote The Book of Jeremiah. We know that the first edition of both books were destroyed. The first edition of Moses's book was destroyed because the people were sending in the context of the golden calf. Moses came down and since they were breaking the covenant, he broke the tablets of the covenant to symbolize that brokenness.

Then we know that Jeremiah, his prophecy was read, ripped up and burned by the King, so he had to do another copy. Baruch had job security doing this kind of stuff. Finally, eighth, there's both the inclusion of an historical appendix after the original work of Jeremiah chapter 52, similar to the extra added on stuff in Deuteronomy 34 about Moses's death and looking for a prophet. They both have that kind of literary parallel as well. Now the question is why the parallels? First, at the most basic level, all prophets are second Moses figures because they bring to bear the word of God on the people of God. Either for blessing or for cursing. They're covenant officials, so anyone in the covenant official capacity can have those parallels. The judges, the priests, kings, the prophets, they're all covenant officials.

B. Purpose of the Book (04:34):

However, more significantly for Jeremiah's life, through Jeremiah, God reverses the work of Moses. Moses delivered the people from Egypt and mediated the covenant with them. I will be your God and you'll be my people. Through Jeremiah, God delivered the people back into Egypt and mediated God's covenant, lawsuit. We'll find out that when Jeremiah goes into exile, he goes into exile back to Egypt, representing the reversal of what Moses did. Now it's, I will not be your God and you will not be my people, which we get that significantly highlighted in Hosea. Moses is going to be the prophet of the Old Covenant and Jeremiah is going to tell us about the New Covenant in Jeremiah 31, in The Book of Consolation. What's the purpose of this book? The book of Jeremiah was intended to provide a theological explanation of the fall of Judah and the exile.

It also served as a point of encouragement to maintain hope for restoration to God's favor and to the land because of the new covenant that he prophesied. One of the things we've talked about in this particular class is that these prophets are covenant lawyers. They're prosecuting attorneys. The Lord has a law in the Pentateuch, the Torah, Exodus, and primarily Deuteronomy. The history of Israel is covered in Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings. It's a history of disobedience. The prophets show up in that history and say "you've been disobedient to the law, if you don't repent, God's going to bring curse on you and the ultimate curse is exile destruction". That's what these guys are doing. This is a formal record, a document, that proves that Yahweh has fairly executed His case.

C. Date and Authorship (06:24):

The Book of Jeremiah is prophetic literature. There's a lot of poetry in it, but there's also prose oracles like narrative oracles, specifically sign acts or enactment prophecies, where Jeremiah has to do something and it is symbolic of what the prophecy is. The date and authorship is right here in Jeremiah 1:2-3, “The word of the Lord came to him in the 13th year of the reign of Josiah, son of Amon, King of Judah and through the reign of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, the King of Judah, down to the fifth month of the 11th year of Zedekiah, son of Josiah, King of Judah. When the people of Jerusalem went into exile, Zedekiah is the bad dude to cut up to scroll. Jeremiah's prophecy, if you really want to know the dates, it's 627 BC to 586, just at 40 years.

Significantly 586 BC, that's when Jerusalem is destroyed in the temple and they go into exile. Many people go into exile to Babylon, a big group going exile back in Egypt. Those are the two spots. In terms of authorship, the prophet himself is seen as the one writing the book, actually he's dictating the book to Baruch, his scribe. We have that in there. In Old Testament scholarship, I don't know if you know, but this is the case, everyone's always debating authorship, it's how they get along in life. Naysayers and naysayers, they couldn't do it and if you want, you can read that in any introduction to the Old Testament. It's interesting, but it's really fundamentally a waste of time because you can't ever figure it out. But we do have internal evidence from Jeremiah, especially Jeremiah 36, that Jeremiah is the author.

Let me just give you a few of those so you can be assured of what's going on. In the fourth year of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah, the Lord said, "take a scroll and write on it all the words I have spoken to you concerning Israel, Judah, and all the other nations from the time I began speaking with you in the reign of Josiah until now". You see here, the Lord is commanding him to write everything down. In Jeremiah 36:4 it states, “Jeremiah called Baruch, son of Neriah and while Jeremiah dictated all the words that the Lord has spoken to him, Baruch wrote them on the scroll”. Then in Jeremiah 36:6 it says, “You go to the house of Lord on a day of fasting and read to the people from the scroll the words of the Lord that you wrote” and I dictated "read them to all the people of Judah who came in from their towns".

You've got to have a finished document to take it and read it and then there's more. There's verse six, there's verse 17 and here it says, even this at the very end in verse 27, after the King burned the scroll containing the words that Baruch had written at Jeremiah's dictation, the word Lord came to Jeremiah again, "take another scroll and write it all the words that were on the first scroll", which Jehoiakim, the King of Judah burned up. They took another one and it says at the end of this next verse, and many similar words were added to them. There's a first edition, a little bit longer second edition, which is interesting because the Greek translation of the Old Testament that was like 200 years before the time of Jesus, there's actually two versions that we have of Jeremiah, a short version and a long version.

II. Structure (09:30):

You can see how that would fit in right to this kind of context here, where you've got an older version and a longer version. That's very interesting. The structure. Here's an encouraging word of hope with regard to the structure of Jeremiah, John Bright, who is kind of a famous scholar from the mid 20th century writes, that “it's a hopeless hodgepodge thrown together without any discernible principle of arrangement at all”. I'm a little more optimistic. I'm going to go with something like this. It's a very simple and elegant arrangement here. You can see it's got five parts and a chiasm. A chiasm is this crisscross parallelism right there, where you begin. Go A, B, C, then you backtrack, C, B, A, something like that and that's what this is right here. The book where you've got A, Oracles against Judah, A' prime, Oracles against foreign nations.

The book is framed by Oracles against both Judah and the foreign nations because God is not just the God of Israel, but He's the God of the nations as well. I've said it before in this class, but I'll say it again, everyone in the world who's ever been born, is in covenant with God one way or another, either in Adam or in Christ. It says it in Romans five. Then we have these biographical sections here, which Jeremiah has a lot of trouble with false prophets because they're preaching happy days, butterflies, rainbows, and unicorns are coming back while Jeremiah is saying, no, it's going to be bad. It's a political catastrophe for him. Then we have the final days of the kingdom. It's kind of a big narrative section in Jeremiah. Jeremiah is the major prophet with the largest narrative chunks in it.

III. Major Themes (11:06):

We'll see that in a bit. He talks about the last days of the kingdom and how he deals with the Kings. This is where, for example, they're cutting up the scrolls and doing that kind of business. Right in the middle is The Book of Consolation, that's the heart of the prophet Jeremiah, or the book of Jeremiah. Let's just look at some major themes in the book of Jeremiah and then we'll take a look at The Book of Consolation. The first theme is that Jeremiah is the prosecutor of the mosaic covenant. A careful reading of Jeremiah, particularly Jeremiah 2:25, the Oracles against Judah, shows that one of Jeremiah's prophetic functions was to prosecute the covenant lawsuit of the Lord against His people.

A. Prosecutor of the Mosaic Covenant (11:57):

For example, in 2:9, "therefore I still contend with your declares Lord and with your children's children, I will contend". I want you to highlight those words contend. It's probably not the best translation. It's the Hebrew word reeve, you can spell it, R-E-E-B or R-E-E-V. That's what it sounds like reeve, but it means to prosecute a lawsuit. Reeve Oracles, we've talked about this earlier so if you're here right now or you're just joining us on Facebook, you can go back to some of the lectures where I actually went and showed the lawsuit form. We have a covenant and then we have a covenant lawsuit and those are basic forms. You can see the different forms and functions where you talk about who is the judge?

Who's the offending party? The judge's innocence, the offending party's guilt, the covenant curses that will come and the cry to repent. Basically, when you look at these Oracles, if you can put almost everything in that category. There is Yahweh's faithfulness, Israel's infidelity, what the Lord desires His sadness over it, His desire for His people to return, and then they won't return, and covenant curses are coming. In essence, you can think of all of the prophetic literature as Yahweh calling His unfaithful bride back to Him over and over again, and He's doing it through this prophetic lawsuit form. Then it just becomes time at some point where the Israel is not coming back and He closes the door. In light of that then, as a covenant lawyer, Jeremiah is to declare the covenant curse of destruction in exile to the bride who won't come back.

B. Herald of the New Covenant (13:36):

Nothing can prevent this from happening now, it is unavoidable. Judah may pray, fast, not for sacrifices and attempts to appease the Lord's anger, but it will be of no avail. So in 14:11-12, the Lord shuts the door. Not only will the Lord not listen to the prayers of the people, but He will also ignore the prayers of the prophet. He says, "even to you Jeremiah, I won't listen, the door is shut". That's in 7:16-20. That's the bad news in Jeremiah. What we also know from Deuteronomy 32, which serves as kind of the backbone for this, is once the bad news is laid down, then the prophet turns to the good news. The second major theme in the book is that Jeremiah is the Herald of a New Covenant.

C. Book of Consolation (14:21):

First, he's the prosecutor of the Old Covenant, but secondly, he's the Herald of the New Covenant. With the destruction of the temple, Jerusalem, and the monarchy, the mosaic covenant comes to an end. Upon repentance, the Lord would bring His people back, but the problem of the wicked uncircumcised heart remains for the vast majority of God's people, Israel. They will not be able to come back until the Lord circumcises their heart. We've got to look for that time when that happens. When will they get a circumcised heart and how will they get a circumcised heart? That's the question. The answer to this problem is the so-called New Covenant. The very thing that Jeremiah herald’s in The Book of Consolation in the middle of there, that we see right there, Jeremiah 30-31. This is the only way that the Lord can bring to past the promise of the Abrahamic Covenant in all of its fullness and for or all time, an unbreakable Covenant.

In this so-called Book of Consolation, we find the famous prophecy of a new covenant. This is the only place in the Old Testament where we find the designation new covenant. The reason we call the administrations of the covenant of grace, the New Testament, or the New Covenant is because of this text right here in Jeremiah 31. In the various administrations of the one covenant of grace, all of the other covenants are named after the prophetic covenant mediator. There's the Noahic Covenant, the Abrahamic Covenant, the Mosaic Covenant, and the Davidic covenant. This should have been the Jesus Covenant, but we didn't know His name yet. Or the Joshua Covenant, but it becomes a New Covenant because of this very text. It’s because of the central importance of The Book of Consolation, I want to spend some time here.

If Jeremiah is the prosecutor for the death of the old covenant and the Herald of the new covenant, what does that new covenant and Book of Consolation look like? The Book of Consolation beginning in chapter 30, if you want to you can follow, just listen. It begins with the Lord's command in 30:2 to write down these words so that they might serve as a witness for the people.

The main message of the Book of Consolation is summarized in 30:3. "For behold, days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will restore the fortunes of my people, Israel and Judah, says the Lord, and I will bring them back to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall take possession of it." The hope of restoration, but how? They will serve Yahweh and He will raise up a Davidic King, but they shall serve the Lord, their God and David, their King, whom I will raise up for them. So we've got to have a Davidic King for this restoration and know that they will serve the Lord and the Davidic King. A New Testament, this is not two different people, but the same one, the Lord is the Davidic King in the incarnation.

Don't miss that here. Chapter 30 closes with a strong statement on the certainty of the Lord's plan. It says in verse 24, "the fierce anger of the Lord will not turn back until He has executed and accomplished the intentions of His mind. In the latter days, you'll understand this" it says, meaning when the King shows up. Chapter 31 continues with a theme of restoration. It says, and again, "I shall build you and you shall be built Oh Virgin Israel."

Now, this is an amazing statement to lay down the word “virgin” on Israel because constantly she's being described as someone whoring after the other Gods. One of the major themes in the ways in which we think about idolatry is Israel's whoring after Gods because of the marriage covenant that we have is the same kind of covenant relationship that Yahweh and Israel has, or that we have with the Lord now, it's a marriage covenant. It's when non-family members become family members, that's a big thing. Again, it's significant because in Jeremiah to tear down, destroy forsake, but then to build and to plant. Right now we're having that building and planting stage. In 31:28 it states, "And I shall come to pass that as I have watched over them to pluck up and to break down to overthrow destroying harm so I'll watch over them to build into plant declares the Lord."

The prophetic announcement of the new covenant includes in 31-34, these items, the renewal of the people of God, both Israel and Judah, the writing of the law and the circumcision of the heart, the forgiveness of sins, and the unbreakable nature of the new covenant in opposition to the breakable nature of the old covenant mediated by Moses. Now the Oracles that follow are also kind of important too. The Oracles in chapters 32 and 33 come to Jeremiah while he was imprisoned by Zedekiah during the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar is going to become a pretty major figure as we move into the rest of the writings you can think of, especially with Daniel. These chapters do further the hope of restoration.

D. Oracles in Chapters 32 and 33 (19:14):

The new covenant is called in these passages, an everlasting covenant and a covenant of peace. I'll give you one spot in Jeremiah 32:37-42. I'm not going to read all of it, I'll just start at verse 40 where it says, "I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts. That they may not turn for me again." The whole importance of the heart, having a circumcised heart, and being able to love the Lord, your God, where it says at the end there, for thus says the Lord in verse 42, "just as I have brought all of this great disaster upon this people, so I'll bring upon them all the good that I promised them".

In chapter 33, the restoration includes the certain restoration of Davidic kingship and you can see that especially in verses 15, 16, and 17. I'll just read 17 there for you, "for thus says, Lord, David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel." Right in the midst of the fact that that whole kingdom is going to be cut off. You can imagine what a book like this would do for those people. In some sense, it's saying your judgment is sure and certain and many of them will perish, but it also says there's no room for despair because the Lord will fix it somehow. He's going to fix it with a new covenant. That's when we come to verses 31-33 and I'll read them. This is the new covenant text, it's a tremendously important text.

"Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah." The statement there with the house of Israel and the house of Judah is very important because the house of Israel's already been in exile since 722 BC. This is 586, and Judah's going to go into exile. But the restoration or the new covenant will reunite the house.

"It'll not be like the covenant I made with their fathers on the day I took them out by the hand to bring them out of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband declares the Lord". You see that relationship between covenant and husband, "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they will be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother saying, 'Know the Lord' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I remember their sins no more."

Then he poetically establishes this by saying, "Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar-the Lord of hosts is his name. If this fixed order departs from before me, declares the Lord, then shall the offspring of Israel's cease from being a nation before me forever more for, says the Lord."

"If the heavens can be measured, and the foundations of the earth below can be explored, then I will cast off the offspring of Israel for all they have done, declares the Lord”. Meaning this, the covenant is so sure that all you have to do is go look outside and see the sun, moon, and the stars. He said, are the sun, moon, and stars still there? As long as they're there, this covenant is intact. You can be reminded every morning when you wake up, this is the one thing I want you to get at, I said it before, these are the four things that you need to really focus on in this Oracle. The renewal of the people of God, both Israel and Judah, the writing of the law, and the circumcision of the heart that goes all the way back to Deuteronomy.

E. Repentance and Redemption (22:46):

Where they said, you've seen all these great signs and wonders, but I haven't given you eyes that see or ears that hear or minds to understand yet. The forgiveness of sins that comes with it, and the unbreakable nature of the new covenant. See one of the things that the old covenant couldn't do, it couldn't forgive sins, it could only cover them. This is a whole different system. Then the very last thing I want to talk about is the whole issue of repentance and redemption. In the first stage of Jeremiah's ministry, roughly 626 to 597, he executed the covenant lawsuit and called the people of Judah to repent. He's got three stages of his ministry. In the second stage of Jeremiah's ministry, which would run from 597 to 586, he proclaimed the inevitable coming of the covenant curses because Judah had failed to repent.

The third stage centers right at 586BC, the destruction of the temple in what is perhaps the worst possible event in Israel's long history in the land. In this context, Jeremiah boldly proclaims the message of redemption and hope. You can see there is covenant lawsuit, the closing of the lawsuit, hope. That's how that's going to work. Then we move into the nations. The reason we move into the nations, and I guess I'll have to say this for individual books, is because one, I've already said that the Lord is over all the nations, but the nations play a role in kingdom administration. Sometimes they're the instruments of God's wrath like Egypt, Babylon, and Syria. They are the ones who come and put Israel to death because they've broken the covenant curses, but they're also held responsible. Then they become the object of God's wrath because of how they treated His people.

But then with Israel, he says, but there's hope for the nations because in Genesis 12, the blessing to the patriarch was one of them, was that the patriarch will become, but he's going to have land to send us in blessing and through him, all the families of the earth will be blessed. As you kind of read these prophets and you encounter the nations, it's very much like you're going to see with Israel, are you going to judge them or bless them? The answer is yes, He's going to judge them and then bless them and it's the same thing. Are you mad at the nations or are you hiring the nations or are you restoring the nations? The answer is yes. You've got to hold all those things' intention, and know which one's going on at what time.

IV. Conclusion (25:15):

That's basically a summary of the prophecy of Jeremiah. He is the prophet of the new covenant, but you could also say he's the prophet of the destruction of Jerusalem. That's why we kind of, when we look at, or the former prophets, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings deal with life in the land, but Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the 12 deal with life in exile. That's how they're grouped. Any questions?

I was really curious about, you talked about the forgiveness of sins being different, then the Old Testament system of covering sin. I was wondering if you could elaborate on that.

Yeah. The blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sins and they can only cover over sins until the time when they would be removed. Does that make sense? So what it is, is a lot of things in the Old Testament are types and shadows of the things to come. The Abrahamic covenant is fulfilled in two stages, the old covenant and the new covenant. The old covenant is the one that Moses administered, the new covenant is one that Jesus does. The Lord always fulfills things in two stages. You can even think of the first and second coming of Jesus' life. We call it the MVP rule of two in here. The first one is temporary and typological. It's got built-in obsolescence and this one can never achieve the full accomplishment of this one, ever.

The mosaic covenant only promises life in the land. It never promises eternal life. That's a huge distinction. The new covenant promises eternal life in a new inheritance. Even if you go to Hebrews chapter 11, and you read the Abrahamic thing going on in there, it says Abraham could die in that land and be totally okay with it because he was looking for a land whose builder and architect was God. Even Abraham knew, when he was walking around caning all his life, a very long life in that land. Abraham lived 100 years in that land without having the promise fulfilled. He moved there at 75, kicked it at 175 and knew he would be fine because he knew that wasn't the land.

He knew that if he had to offer Isaac to the Lord, resurrect him, according to the book of Hebrews. He had resurrection theology. He knew that his ticket to the true land was a resurrection ticket. Does that help? What that means is that these sacrifices here were just symbols and types of the sacrifice coming here. These had to be offered all the time and even the priest had to offer a sacrifice for his own sin. Here you have a priest whose perfect and didn't have to offer a sacrifice for his own sin and his blood is way better and so it tones for our sin. He takes upon himself, the curses that we deserve, and he imputes to us. The righteousness that he earned, is that double amputation that saves your bacon.