Read Jeremiah 46-47 at Bible Gateway.
Jer 46 begins the word of the LORD which came to Jeremiah the prophet against the nations. This word continues through the end of Jer 51. But in the middle of this judgment, we find:
“But do not fear, O My servant Jacob,
And do not be dismayed, O Israel!
For behold, I will save you from afar,
And your offspring from the land of their captivity;
Jacob shall return, have rest and be at ease;
No one shall make him afraid.
Do not fear, O Jacob My servant,” says the LORD,
“For I am with you;
For I will make a complete end of all the nations
To which I have driven you,
But I will not make a complete end of you.
I will rightly correct you,
For I will not leave you wholly unpunished.” Jer 46:27-28
This is in fact the central axis of a chaistic structure which runs from Jer 46 through 51. The nations receiving a specific judgment, are Egypt, Philistia (Palestine), Moab, Ammon, Edom (these three territories east of the Jordan River comprise modern day Jordan), Damascus (Syria), Kedar and Hazor (nomadic Arabs or Saudi Arabia), and Elam and Babylon (Iraq). All nations today, which are allied in their hatred of and desire for the destruction of God’s people Israel.
In Jeremiah’s time, these nations were in fact conquered by Babylon (Babel), the head of gold of all the nations of the earth (Gen 11:1-9, Dan 2:36-38). Then at the end of seventy years, the Babylonian empire was itself conquered by the Medians and Persians. So portions of these prophecies have been fulfilled once in history, but there remains a future fulfillment. For the day of the LORD’s vengeance on His enemies has not yet come, and He has not yet made a complete end of all the nations where Jacob was driven.
I believe there will be a natural fulfillment and a spiritual fulfillment. Spiritually, it is the combined nations who rebelled against God at Babel. “The nations” is a euphemism for unbelievers, those who are not in covenant with the LORD God, Creator of heaven and earth. So spiritually, there are two races of people in the earth: Israel or the covenant people of YHVH, and Gentiles, or nations, or all who are not Israel.
Immediately following the Tower of Babel history in Torah, is the history of Abraham: the one man of whom the LORD made the one nation called out of the nations, who would worship and serve the One God, Creator of heaven and earth. Spiritually, “Israel” is the seed of Abraham, who is the father of all who believe (Rom 4). Jacob is the generation of those who seek the LORD’s face (Psa 24:6).
So spiritually, this long prophecy in Jeremiah against the nations, is prophesying an end to all who deny the LORD God, who are His enemies and the enemies of His people. From the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the baptism of the household of Cornelius (Act 10), the first Gentiles who entered into Israel’s covenant through the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s plan has been to make spiritual Israelites out of Gentiles. He is converting individuals from the nations from one end of the earth to the other, to believers, to the seed of Abraham.
The natural fulfillment is likewise coming. Many of Abraham’s spiritual children are also his natural children. In fact, one book recently out on the history of human genetics, claims that all people alive today are descendants of Abraham. As the political nations continue to align themselves against political Israel, the day of the LORD will come, when He will defeat these natural enemies, and there will be no nations left who will ever make Israel afraid again, as they have been doing since Nebuchadnezzar’s day. Messiah Yeshua will reign from Jerusalem, and all the nations will submit to and obey Him.
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