Jeremiah 52:31-34 – A Future for Israel
SummaryHope for Israelite exiles is expressed in the final verses of Jeremiah.
AnalysisThe final verses of Jeremiah can be dated in 560/561 B.C.E., some twenty-six years after the destruction of Jerusalem, which is the subject of the prior verses in this chapter. The interest focuses on the Davidic king Jehoiachin, who reigned in Jerusalem briefly before he was taken into exile (598-597 B.C.E.). The text reports that he was pardoned by the Babylonian king, perhaps as part of a general amnesty. He was released from prison, given a special standing, and treated with respect.
It is disputed whether the final verses of Jeremiah (virtually identical to the final verses of 2 Kings) hold out hope for Israel's future. A hopeful word is certainly not very explicit. Yet, positive promissory words are found earlier in Jeremiah with respect to the future of the Davidic dynasty (23:5-6; 30:8-9; 33:14-26; see 3:15). The Davidic dynasty was still alive in exile. When that reality is combined with other promises of God with respect to Israel's future, this conclusion seems to carry some elements of hope.