This volume concludes John L. McKay’s commentary on Jeremiah. The prophecy and the narrative in this section covers judgment on the nations, false prophets, the fall of Jerusalem, and more.
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“What is emphasised is the contrast with the largely external presentation of the law to the people through the covenant mediator. Now rather than being put before them,66 God undertakes to make an inner copy of it. What is referred to here seems to be the greater measure of the Spirit which is to be present to engender spiritual life in the new age. The old covenant had been given a new lease of life in Jeremiah’s day by Josiah’s reformation, but the people’s allegiance to it had been only superficial, and so in this new arrangement genuine spiritual change is envisaged.” (Page 237)
“What is emphasised is the liberating experience of knowing that the root cause of their estrangement from their God has been dealt with, and will not be brought up again to haunt them. ‘Remembering’ is here not a case of divine forgetfulness, but rather of not calling to mind with a view to action.” (Page 238)
“The two words probably convey one thought, a hopeful future (31:17), or the future you hope for. It is not something that will merely be a projection of human desires, but something divinely determined.” (Page 166)
“The city is renamed because the character of the ruler who is provided for her by the Lord conveys a new status to the city as his capital.” (Page 278)
“The fulfilment of this prophecy may be seen in part in the rulers of the restored nation in post-exilic times, such as Zerubbabel, or Ezra and Nehemiah. But at best they were able to realise only to a very limited extent what the Lord intended for his people. They were precursors of the full provision the Lord would give, as the further prophecy in the following verses shows.” (Page 50)
Professor Mackay's commentary on Jeremiah is trebly welcome: first, from his earlier work on Exodus (in this series) we know that he will take the highest view of Scripture as the Word of God. Secondly, he argues cogently for Jeremiah as author of the whole, contending that the book as we have it represents written records contemporary with the prophet's preaching. Thirdly, from the start he is concerned to handle the book of Jeremiah, not as an anthology—but as unfolding a unified message. Lovers of Hebrew will find a kindred spirit in Professor Mackay. Those without Hebrew will find a patient teacher leaving no stone unturned to make the word of God plain.
—Alec Motyer, author of Isaiah in the Tyndale Commentaries
This eagerly awaited commentary on one of the longest and most taxing books of the Old Testament fulfils every expectation. . . . The message of Jeremiah's forty-year ministry is here firmly rooted in the Old Testament history as a message from the Lord to his ancient people, but its abiding relevance is also brought out in Professor Mackay's careful application of the material. This will quickly become an indispensable tool for anyone wishing to study and preach from the Book of Jeremiah.
—Iain D Campbell, Point Free Church of Scotland, Isle of Lewis