|11||11 Then was the word of Yăhwēh unto me saying, “What are you seeing Yirmeyahū?” Then I said, “The rod† of an almond tree I am seeing.” 12 Then Yăhwēh said unto me, “You have done well to see, because I am awakening† over my word to do it.”|
31 Behold, the days |
|33||33 Yea, this is the covenant which I cut† with the house of Yisra’ēl after those days, utters Yăhwēh. I will have put my law in the inward part of them, and upon their heart I will write it. And I will have been to them as Almĭghty, and they, they will be for me as a people. 34 And they will not teach again a man his neighbor, and a man his brother, saying “Know Yăhwēh,” because all of them will know me, from the least of them, and unto the greatest of them, utters Yăhwēh, because I will pardon their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.|
23 Then was the word of Yăhwēh unto Yirmeyahū, saying, 24 “Have you not seen what this people have made to be said, saying, ‘The two families which Yăhwēh had chosen, among them, then, he will reject them.’ And my people they will despise from being again† a nation before their faces. 25 Thus has said Yăhwēh, if my covenant is not by day and night, prescribed statutes of the heavens and earth,
1:11† ^The Hebrew here is שָׁקֵד shaqēd. It forms a play on words in the next verse. The almond tree was an early bloomer. The point is that Yăhwēh will hasten his word to happen like the early blooming of an almond tree.
1:12† ^The Hebrew here is שֹׁקֵד shōqēd. It forms a play on words with vs. 11. He will awaken, or watch over his word to do it like an almond tree is an early bloomer.
31:31† ^חֲדָשָׁה ḥadashah, from the verb לְחַדֵּשׁ leḥaddēsh, “to make to be anew,” “to make to be renewed.” This was not the first time a “renewed covenant” was made. Deut. 29:1 describes a renewal also, “These are the words of the covenant which Yăhwēh had made to be commanded Mōshēh to cut with the sons of Yisra’ēl in the land of Mō’av̱ besides the covenant which he had cut with them in Ḥōrēv̱, and it is plainly obvious that Deuteronomy is that covenant, and that it incorporates everything commanded in Ḥōrēv̱ before then.” Only it was made anew in the land of Mō’av̱.
When Yĕshūa̒ speaks of the “covenant” at the last supper, he omits the word “new” or “renewed” and just says “covenant” in Matthew and Mark. John does not mention it at all. The text of Luke is somewhat uncertain, but we may suppose that Mĕssiah repeated himself at some point during the meal, and really did say “renewed covenant.” Covenants made after Mt. Si̱nai̱ may only be renewals or expansions. There can be no abrogation because the promises in Leviticus 26:45 and Deut. 30, to remember the covenant and restore Yisra’ēl, are not dependent on the obedience of one generation, or the disobedience of another, but they are established as a certain outcome which the Almĭghty will acheive in the fullness of time.
31:32² ^אֲשֶׁר a̕sher = when. Gen. 6:4, “and also after so, when the sons of the Almĭghty would come unto the daughters of men”; 2Chron. 35:20, “After all this, when Yō’shi̱yahū had fixed the house;” Joshua 14:10, “when Yisra’ēl had walked in the wilderness.”
31:32³ ^or “I had mastered over them.” YLT, “I had ruled over”; בָּעַלתִּי ba‘alti̱. The sense connotes “I had husbanded against/over them.”
31:32‡ ^The covenant is substantially the same as the first, so much so, that it is a renewal. Many have taken the words “not according to” to mean that the renewed covenant is a totally “new covenant,” a completely different covenant. The words “not according to” refer not to the precepts of the covenant, but to the consequences for breaking it. The covenant spelled out two things, 1. obligations, and 2. penalties for transgression. The next verse makes clear that violations will not occur, since the Law is written on the heart, and therefore the renewed covenant will not be like the first when they broke it.
The mistake of making the renewed covenant into a totally different covenant without the Law lies partly in the mistranslation of the LXX, and those words being copied by the writer of Hebrews. The LXX writer mistook the relative pronoun אֲשֶׁר a̕sher, which is used in a temporal sense in the Hebrew, i.e. “when” as supplying a reason. The LXX therefore rendered ὅτι αὐτοὶ οὐκ ἐνέμειναν, “because they did not remain,” or “for they did not continue.” The Hebrew, says differently, “when they had broken.” Therefore, the Hebrew refers only to a particular time and instance when the terms of the covenant were applied to a disobedient Yisra’ēl. The effect of the correct translation of the relative pronoun may be seen by reading the text with and without the ( ) section which is there to define what time “when” refers to.
31:33† ^Young's Literal Translation has, “For this is the covenant that I make, with the house of Israel, after those days.” It should be noted that the imperfect in Hebrew covers the English simple present tense and also future tense. The present tense usage of the imperfect in Biblical Hebrew has been replaced by the use of the participle, beginning with Mishnaic Hebrew. So Young has correctly captured the sense.
It appears to me that the phrase “after those days” refers to after Mt. Si̱nai̱, which takes us to the covenant renewal in Deuteronomy mentioned above. In Deuteronomy 30:6, (“And Yăhwēh your Almĭghty will have circumcised your heart, and the heart of your seed to love Yăhwēh your Almĭghty with all your heart, and with all your soul, for the sake of your life,”) the promise exactly matches that here in Jer. 31:33. Circumcision of the heart, and writing the law on the heart are exactly the same promise. Therefore, I have to conclude that “after those days” points to the end of the 40 year wandering in the wilderness and to the covenant enacted in Deuteronomy.
33:25† ^עוֹד ō̒d. The sense is not “no longer” (ESV), or “no more” (JPS), but “again.” The northern kingdom had already ceased to be, and E̕phrai̱m had been broken from being a people, and Yehūdah was very nearly at this time ready to fall to Babylon. In fact, the whole country had fallen except Yerūshalayi̱m, which was then under seige. See 34:1. The charge was not that Yisra’ēl and Yehūdah would no longer be two nations, but that they would never again be a nation. The prophet assures us that the exilic conditions would be reversed, and both would be established as nations again.