I received the following question:

Regarding Jeremiah 30, is this chapter about the kingdom or tribulation?

A good question. I believe that most of this is talking about the kingdom and the tribulation. Let’s go through it quickly.

1. The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2 “Thus speaks the LORD God of Israel, saying: ‘Write in a book for yourself all the words that I have spoken to you. 3 For behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah,’ says the LORD. ‘And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.’”

While something somewhat like this happened in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, this return did not exhaust this prophecy, for the Lord did not bring ALL His people back at this time. I believe this refers to the kingdom of God, when all Israel as a whole will be restored to the land.

4. Now these are the words that the LORD spoke concerning Israel and Judah.
5. “For thus says the LORD:
      ‘We have heard a voice of trembling,
      Of fear, and not of peace.
      6. Ask now, and see,
      Whether a man is ever in labor with child?
      So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins
      Like a woman in labor,
      And all faces turned pale?
      7. Alas! For that day is great,
      So that none is like it;
      And it is the time of Jacob’s trouble,
      But he shall be saved out of it.

This speaks of the time of Jacob’s trouble, which I believe is a reference to the tribulation period. There will indeed be trouble for Israel at that time, particularly for those who show the Jacob character in Israel, but they will be delivered out of it, ultimately.

       8. ‘For it shall come to pass in that day,’
      Says the LORD of hosts,
      ‘ That I will break his yoke from your neck,
      And will burst your bonds;
      Foreigners shall no more enslave them.
       9. But they shall serve the LORD their God,
      And David their king,
      Whom I will raise up for them.
      10. ‘Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob,’ says the LORD,
      ‘ Nor be dismayed, O Israel;
      For behold, I will save you from afar,
      And your seed from the land of their captivity.
      Jacob shall return, have rest and be quiet,
      And no one shall make him afraid.
      11. For I am with you,’ says the LORD, ‘to save you;
      Though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you,
      Yet I will not make a complete end of you.
      But I will correct you in justice,
      And will not let you go altogether unpunished.’

This speaks of the kingdom of God. At that time, Israel will be set free from all bondage. They will serve the LORD their God and David, whom God will raise up for them. In view of this, the LORD comforts them. Even though He was about to punish them in the days of Jeremiah, He assures them that He will not destroy them completely, as He has done to other nations, even though He will punish them.

12. “For thus says the LORD:
      ‘Your affliction is incurable,
      Your wound is severe.
      13. There is no one to plead your cause,
      That you may be bound up;
      You have no healing medicines.
      14. All your lovers have forgotten you;
      They do not seek you;
      For I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy,
      With the chastisement of a cruel one,
      For the multitude of your iniquities,
      Because your sins have increased.
      15. Why do you cry about your affliction?
      Your sorrow is incurable.
      Because of the multitude of your iniquities,
      Because your sins have increased,
      I have done these things to you.

The LORD reveals to Israel why they are about to suffer under extreme punishment: this is because of their sins. This is again a reference to what the LORD was about to do in Jeremiah’s own day.

       16. ‘Therefore all those who devour you shall be devoured;
      And all your adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity;
      Those who plunder you shall become plunder,
      And all who prey upon you I will make a prey.
      17. For I will restore health to you
      And heal you of your wounds,’ says the LORD,
      ‘Because they called you an outcast saying:
      “This is Zion;
      No one seeks her.”’
18. “Thus says the LORD:
      ‘Behold, I will bring back the captivity of Jacob’s tents,
      And have mercy on his dwelling places;
      The city shall be built upon its own mound,
      And the palace shall remain according to its own plan.
      19, Then out of them shall proceed thanksgiving
      And the voice of those who make merry;
      I will multiply them, and they shall not diminish;
      I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.
      20. Their children also shall be as before,
      And their congregation shall be established before Me;
      And I will punish all who oppress them.

These prophecies of blessing and restoration all have to do with the kingdom of God, when all these things will come to pass. The LORD will yet do these things for His people Israel.

       21. Their nobles shall be from among them,
      And their governor shall come from their midst;
      Then I will cause him to draw near,
      And he shall approach Me;
      For who is this who pledged his heart to approach Me?’ says the LORD.

This is either a reference to David, as we had previously, or else to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, Who arose from their midst, Who approached near to God, and Who is called “Governor.”

      22. ‘You shall be My people,
      And I will be your God.’”

Again, this promise to Israel is fulfilled at the beginning of the kingdom of God in the future on earth.

      23. Behold, the whirlwind of the LORD
      Goes forth with fury,
      A continuing whirlwind;
      It will fall violently on the head of the wicked.
       24 The fierce anger of the LORD will not return until He has done it,
      And until He has performed the intents of His heart.
      In the latter days you will consider it.

The reference to the “latter days” may push this portion back to the tribulation period. However, there isn’t much here to help us distinguish this wrath from that poured out in the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon.

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