Jeremiah prophesied in the last days of the kingdom of Judah. He laid the judgment of the nation at the feet of the priests, kings, and prophets: “The priests did not say, ‘Where is the Lord?’ Those who handle the law did not know me; the shepherds [kings] transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal and went after things that do not profit” (Jer 2:8; cf. Jer 2:26; 4:9; 8:1; 13:13; 50:6).
It is striking that the prophet who recounts the fall of Judah, highlights the failure of all three offices. The failure of these three offices led to exile. Lamentations, traditionally ascribed to Jeremiah, recounts the judgment of God on priest, king, and prophet (Lam. 1:4, 19; 2:6f., 22; 4:1-2, 20; 5:18).
Jeremiah 23 is a diatribe against the false priests, kings, and prophets (The focus of the first four verses is on the kings, and the focus of Jer 23:9-40 is on the prophets. The priests are mentioned in passing; Jer 23:11.).
In the midst of this oracle of judgment, God reminded the people of the promised Davidic king who would rule the people righteously. The name of this king is “Yaheweh is our righteousness” (Jer 23:5-6; cf. 30:9). There is no doubt that this Davidic king will rule. The Lord declared in the strongest terms that the Davidic covenant will be fulfilled (33:14-26).
Psalm 89 reveals the necessity of the prophetic assurances that the Davidic Covenant would be fulfilled. This Psalm recounts the Davidic covenant with an emphasis on God’s faithfulness (Ps 89:1-37). But from the perspective of the exile (see Steveson, 345; Goldingay, 2:665f.), it seems that God had cast his people off (Ps 89:38-51).
The Psalmist does not think that God has entirely repudiated his covenant (on נָאַר see Kidner, 324; with the NASB; contra ESV, NRSV, HCSB, T/NIV). He asks, “How long?” (Ps 89:46), which looks forward to a time of restoration. He calls on God to remember (Ps 89:50), which is a prayer that presumes a covenant (see Myers, 206ff.). Nevertheless the closing verses of this Psalm reveal the full sense of God’s abandonment felt by those in exile.
- Steveson, Peter A. Psalms. Greenville: BJU Press, 2007.
- Goldingay, John. Psalms 42-89. Baker Commentary on Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms. Edited by Tremper Longman III. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2007.
- Kidner, Derek. Psalms 73-150. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries. Edited by D. J. Wiseman. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1973.
- Myers, Vernon Edward “The Forgotten Doctrine of Divine Remembering: A Biblical Theology of God’s Remembering.” Ph.D. dissertation: Bob Jones University, 2007.