In the last two issues of the News, we have seen that Jeremiah 31:31-34 is fulfilled in the NT catholic church of Christ. This sheds light on the interpretation of the surrounding chapters, Jeremiah 30-33, which are widely recognized as Messianic.
First, the days of Jeremiah 31:31-34 ("the days come" ; "those days" ) are the "last/latter days" which began with the coming of God’s Son in the flesh (Heb. 1:2) and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:17-18), as we have seen from the last two issues. This suggests that other verses—and their contexts—in Jeremiah 30-33 which refer to the "latter days" (30:24) or "those days" (31:29; 33:15, 16) or which state that "the days come" (30:3; 31:27, 38; 33:14) must be so interpreted. Second, the NT passages we have considered in this connection (Matt. 26:28; I Cor. 11:25; II Cor. 3:6; Heb. 8:8-12; 10:16-17) all teach that the new covenant of 31:31-34 is established in the blood of Christ. Thus when Jeremiah predicts the coming Davidic king (30:9; 33:15-18, 19-22), these sections refer to the NT age. Third, Jeremiah 31:15, Matthew tells us, is a prophecy of the slaughter of the innocents in the days after Christ’s birth (2:16-18). Fourth, Jeremiah 31:31-34 is not the only passage in Jeremiah 30-33 which speaks of God’s faithfulness to His covenant. The word "covenant" (31:31-33; 32:40; 33:20-21, 25) or the covenant formula—"ye shall be my people, and I will be your God" (30:22) or variations of it (31:33; 32:38)—occur in all four chapters of Jeremiah 30-33. Fifth, two of the great blessings of the new covenant are mentioned not only in Jeremiah 31:31-34, but elsewhere in Jeremiah 30-33. I am thinking here of "heart-religion" (31:33; 32:39-40) and the forgiveness of sins (31:34; 33:8).
Thus Jeremiah 30-33 speaks of the repentance (31:9, 18-19), joy (30:19; 31:4, 7) and spiritual unity of the one true Israel of God in all ages (32:39). The prophecies of the return to the land (30:3), the rebuilding of Jerusalem (31:38-40), the multiplication of man and beast (31:27), and agricultural plenty (31:12; 33:12-13) are fulfilled in the return of God’s people from Babylon which is a picture of the Good Shepherd’s gathering His redeemed from the four corners of the earth (31:10-11; John 10:14-16).
God’s promise of the continuous reign of the Davidic house (33:17, 21) and the continuous labors of the Levites (33:18, 21) is false if taken literally, since for many centuries there have been no earthly throne of David (33:17) and no literal Levitical offerings (33:18). It will not do to say that these verses speak of their restoration in a future millennial age. The text does not say that these things will be restored in the days ahead; it says that they will always continue from Jeremiah’s day to the end of time (33:17-18, 21-22). The Holy Spirit tells us that the ascended Christ sits (present tense) on the throne of David (Acts 2:29-30) and that the Christian church is the new priesthood (I Peter 2:9) which offers "the sacrifice of praise" (Heb. 13:15). Only the Reformed principle of Scripture interprets Scripture—and not dispensationalist "literalism"—fits the Biblical facts.
- Volume: 9
- Issue: 9
Rev. Angust Stewart (Wife: Mary)
Ordained - 2001
Pastorates: Covenant Protestant Reformed Church of Ballymena, Northern Ireland - 2001Website: www.cprf.co.uk/
Address7 Lislunnan Road
State or ProvinceCo.Antrim
Zip CodeBT42 3NR
Telephone(01144) 28 25 891851