Jeremiah 23:20 MEANING

Jeremiah 23:20
(20) Shall not return . . .--i.e., shall not turn back from its purpose. Men should look back on it in the "latter days"--literally, the end of the days (Genesis 49:1; Numbers 24:14; Deuteronomy 4:30; Deuteronomy 31:29), i.e., in the then distant future of the exile and the return--and should see that it had done its work both of chastisement and discipline. (Comp. Ezekiel 14:22-23.)

Verse 20. - The anger of the Lord. The prophet's interpretation of the image. It is the judicial anger of Jehovah, personified as Divine manifestations so often are (hence "shall not return"). The form of the verse reminds us of Isaiah 55:11. In the latter days; rather, in future days, as Dr. Henderson rightly renders. It seems better to restrict the term "latter days" to the Messianic period ("the coming age," Matthew 12:32), to which, in fact, it is often applied (e.g. Isaiah 2:2; Hosea 3:5). The phrase in itself simply means "in the sequel of the days," i.e. in the future; its Messianic reference, when this exists, is inferred solely from the context. In the passage before us, and in Deuteronomy 4:30, 30:29, there can be no intention of pointing to the Messianic age. Precisely the same phrase occurs in an Assyrian inscription, where its meaning is clear from the context (aria akhrat yumi irib, "For a sequel of days - i.e., for a future time - I deposited"). In the present case it is no distant period to which the prophet refers, for he continues, Ye shall consider it, etc., or rather, ye shall understand it clearly, viz. that the calamities which will have come upon you are the Divine judgment upon your sins.

23:9-22 The false prophets of Samaria had deluded the Israelites into idolatries; yet the Lord considered the false prophets of Jerusalem as guilty of more horrible wickedness, by which the people were made bold in sin. These false teachers would be compelled to suffer the most bitter part of the Lord's indignation. They made themselves believe that there was no harm in sin, and practised accordingly; then they made others believe so. Those who are resolved to go on in evil ways, will justly be given up to believe strong delusions. But which of them had received any revelation of God, or understood any thing of his word? There was a time coming when they would reflect on their folly and unbelief with remorse. The teaching and example of the true prophets led men to repentance, faith, and righteousness. The false prophets led men to rest in forms and notions, and to be quiet in their sins. Let us take heed that we do not follow unrighteousness.The anger of the Lord shall not return,.... Having a commission from him, and being sent forth on an errand to do business for him, it shall not return to him, without having done it; as a servant sent by his master does not return till he has finished what he was sent about:

until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart; all his counsels, purposes, and designs, respecting those his anger kindled against, the false prophets and wicked Jews:

in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly; when too late to avert it by repentance and reformation when all this shall be fulfilled, and the seventy years captivity take place; or, "in the end of days" (d); in the latter part off time, when the Jews shall be converted, and seek the Lord their God, Hosea 3:5; then "shall they understand it with an understanding" (e), as it may be rendered; when they shall have the veil removed from them, and turn to the Lord; then they shall have a true and thorough understanding of these things; of the cause and reason of them; and of the mind of God in them, and the ends to be answered by them. Kimchi says this will be in the times of the Messiah.

(d) "in extremo dierum", Cocceius; "in extremitate dierum", Calvin, Piscator, Schmidt. (e) "intelligetis hoc inteliigentia", Calvin, Gataker.

Courtesy of Open Bible