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Jeremiah 33:20-22 - Exposition

The constant, regular succession of day and night is an emblem of the equally regular supply of royal descendants of David and of Levitical priests, and the countless grains of sand are symbolic of the wonderful increase of their numbers. At first sight the latter part of the promise seems a little unlike a blessing. But we have seen already (on Jeremiah 19:3 ) that the members of the various branches of the royal family probably occupied the principal offices of the state, and the prophet imagines the future in forms borrowed from the present. A numerous sacerdotal class seemed equally necessary for the due magnificence of the ritual; and we must remember that preternatural fertility of the soil was a standing element of Messianic descriptions. The expressions used are, no doubt, hyperbolical, but the meaning seems clear enough. (Hengstenberg's notion, that the prophet rather indicates the abolition of the royal and sacerdotal distinctions (comp. Exodus 19:6 ), is surely very far fetched.)

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