By Dr. Ed Hindson
World Prophetic Ministry
Q. Could you explain Jeremiah 29:11? People often quote it today but it was given during the Babylonian Captivity.
A. Jeremiah was indeed one of the prophets of the Babylonian Captivity. Although he warned the people and their leaders of the captivity coming as a result of their sin, and was persecuted for doing so, his words, ultimately from the Lord, came to pass.
However, Jeremiah was also a prophet of comfort, and in the verse in question, its context must be examined with that in mind. In Jeremiah 29:10, the prophet said the Babylonian Captivity would be limited to 70 years, and then God would bring the Jews back into their land. We know from history, particularly from the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah, that this actually occurred. Then Jeremiah gives these comforting words on the basis of that prophecy:
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end,” (Jeremiah 29:11).Though God judged the Jews for their sin, He did so with the goal of bringing them back closer to Himself. This was the ultimate purpose of the Babylonian Captivity, and the “expected end” referred to here. Verse 12 goes on to say that when the people prayed, He would hear and answer. Verse 13 says when the people sought Him, they would find Him. For a while at least, following their return from the Babylonian Captivity, the Jews made an attempt to get right with God. Ultimately, however, they drifted away again, culminating in their rejection of their Messiah, Jesus Christ, at His First Coming. This resulted in the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. But still, God is not finished with Israel, as we see in the next verse:
“And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive,” (Jeremiah 29:14).This verse’s implications are for our own day. The Lord says through the prophet, “I will gather you from all the nations.” In Jeremiah’s day, they were captive in Babylon. Following the Roman dispersion after AD 70, they were scattered throughout the nations of the world. It is only since Israel’s reestablishment as an independent nation in 1948, that they have begun to gather back in that land again from all nations of the world. This will come to its full fruition at the Second Coming of Christ, when He reigns in His Millennial Kingdom from Jerusalem, and His Chosen People finally embrace Him as their Messiah.
Did Jesus Offer a Kingdom to Israel at His First Coming? - BPB (Tony Garland)
What was the Babylonian captivity/exile? - GotQuestions.org
Jeremiah to Today's Israel: No 2-State Solution! - BPB (Bill Salus)
Aliyah Jumps 20% in 5771 - Arutz Sheva
Israel Through The Eyes of Scripture: The Promised Regeneration of Israel - SpiritandTruth.org (Tony Garland)