Jeremiah Chapter 33
33:5 — Chaldeans, In Hebrew, here and elsewhere, this is Kasedim (כַּשְׂדִּים). These are the Babylonians. The word Chaldean in English translations actually derives from the Greek translations of scripture, where Khaldaía (Χαλδαία) is used. Both Kasedim and Khaldaía may be tied to the Akkadian terms used for the southern areas of Mesopotamia (Kashdu and Kaldu). The Aramic translations have Kaldo.
33:5 —“…in my anger and my wrath…” (ESV), In Hebrew this phrase is “…in my nose and in my heat…” (בְאַפִּ֖י וּבַחֲמָתִ֑י). The translation of “anger…wrath” is correct in terms of meaning, and translators have a difficult time knowing how to deal with idioms in the original languages. Do they leave them, and possibly confuse the reader(s)? Or do they (as here) give them the meaning that is intended by the author? The meaning of anger and wrath/rage is most often indicated in Hebrew with these terms, where the idea is that the anger is visible in the red and hot face of someone who is angry.
33:7 — “I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first. I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me.” (ESV), YHWH through Jeremiah consistently speaks words of future hope to the people suffering and about to be exiled. Notably, this hope is not for their own generation, but for those who come after them. It is hope for Judah and Israel as a people.
33:11 — “Give thanks to YHWH…He is good, forever is his faithful-love”, This praise occurs 42 times in the Hebrew Bible: 1 Chr 16:34, 41; 2 Chr 5:13; 7:3, 6; 20:21; Ezra 3:11; Ps 100:5; 106:1; 107:1; 118:1–4, 29; 136:1–26. According to 2 Chronicles 7:6 it originated with David. It was part of the Temple worship liturgy, with a call and response.
33:15 — “righteous branch”, Jeremiah had already mentioned this “branch” (Hebrew tsemaḥ, צמח) in 23:5:
“Behold, the days are coming,” declares YHWH, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.” (Jeremiah 23:5 ESV, emphasis added)
“Righteous branch” can refer to a branch who is right or just, or it can also mean something like “the right branch”, “the valid branch.” Tsemaḥ comes from a root meaning “spring up”, and perhaps a better translation would be “sprout” rather than “branch”. It is used in that verbal form in many places in scripture, from the “sprouting/springing up of plants” in passages like Genesis 2:5:
“When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprouted [yitsmaḥ, יִצְמָ֑ח]—for YHWH God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground…” (Genesis 2:5)
to poetic and prophetic references (which may also be tied to the idea of the restoration and the Davidic ruler) in passages such as Isaiah 42:9:
“Behold, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they sprout-forth [titsmaḥnâ, תִּצְמַ֖חְנָה]
I tell you of them.” (Isaiah 42:9)
Earlier in Isaiah 49, Isaiah also prophesied about a “sprout” who would be a ruler:
“In that day the sprout of YHWH shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and honor of the survivors of Israel.” (Isaiah 49:2 )
The “branch”/”sprout” is also referred to in the book of Zechariah:
“Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men who are a sign: behold, I will bring my servant, ‘Sprout [tsemaḥ]’.” (Zechariah 3:8)
And say to him, ‘Thus says YHWH of armies, “Behold, a man, ‘Sprout [tsemaḥ]’ is his name and from his place he will sprout [yitsmāḥ], and he shall build the temple of the LORD. (Zechariah 6:12)
In Zechariah, the original audience may have understood this as referring to Zerubbabel, who is to be the one who is to complete the temple as a sign, according to Zechariah 4:9:
The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also complete it. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. (Zechariah 4:9 ESV)