But Jeremiah 30 contains Jehovah's prophecy of the final restoration of His people at the end. "The word that came to Jeremiah from Jehovah, saying, Thus speaketh Jehovah God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book. For, lo, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will bring again the captivity of My people Israel and Judah, saith Jehovah; and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it. And these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah. For thus saith Jehovah, We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? Wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it" (Jer. 30:1-7).
It is impossible to say that this promised restoration of both Israel and Judah has been accomplished. The peculiarity of this unparalleled time of suffering is that although it is the worst time of sorrow that Israel will have ever known, out of that time they shall have salvation. "It is even the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it" (verse 7). Such trouble with accompanying deliverance for Israel and Jacob has never been the case from Jeremiah's day to this. The Maccabean successes over their enemies were as nothing when compared with this prophecy. We also have a prediction of them in Daniel 11. There is a history of them in Josephus and in the Apocrypha, but Scripture does not deign to give any account of the Maccabean successes.
When the Roman power came into the ascendant, Israel and Judah were not saved. Pompey captured Jerusalem; and afterwards Titus not only captured but destroyed the city, and the Jews were scattered again.
So that while there have been many times of trouble for the Jews, there has never yet been an unparalleled trouble, after which they were saved. All the times of trouble that they have gone through on any large scale so far have only ended in further troubles. Things have always gone against the Jew, with the single exception, as I have said, of the Maccabean risings, the results of which were very small indeed, when compared with the terms of this prophecy.
"For it shall come to pass in that day, saith Jehovah of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him (Jacob)." Why, strangers have been serving themselves of Jacob up to this hour! The Jews have never yet obtained their national independence - never.
"But they shall serve Jehovah their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them" (verse 9). This will be the days of the Messiah: "Jehovah their God, and David their king." It is certain the prophecy applies to the Jewish people as a whole undivided nation. The prophecy, therefore, is unfulfilled.
In the rest of Jeremiah 30 there are moral appeals to the captives in Babylon. They were to take courage from Jehovah's comforting word, and not to be dismayed. "For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith Jehovah; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after. Thus saith Jehovah; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob's tents, and have mercy on his dwelling-places; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap"; that is, after her destruction Jerusalem will be builded again; "and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof. And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small. Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before Me, and I will punish all that oppress them. And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them" (verses 17-21); whereas generally the case was usually the very contrary; the governor himself proceeded from the conquering power. And Jehovah added, "Ye shall be My people and I will be your God," showing the restoration would be not merely revival as a nation, but also communion with God in worship and service.