Jeremiah 51 and Jeremiah 33 are His choices this evening.

As the title suggests, Jeremiah 51 is about the Lord rescuing His people from the cruelty of the Babylonians. The irony is He sent them to take His people into another land for they were rebelling in increasingly corrupt ways. They had ruined the land He had given them with numerous alters to their false gods, the even defiled its soil with the burial of their infants remains after they burned them.

Their corruption was complete, they were cheating one another in business, in marriage, in politics and in the courts of justice. All who ruled were taking bribes, justice was no longer available to the innocent. So He brought the Chaldeans against them to remove them from their land from the site of their corruption, so they would return to Him. The Lord mentions some of the specific reasons the Babylonians are being judged:

Jeremiah 51 (NKJV)

The Utter Destruction of Babylon

For His plan is against Babylon to destroy it, Because it is the vengeance of the Lord, The vengeance for His temple. 12 Set up the standard on the walls of Babylon; Make the guard strong, Set up the watchmen, Prepare the ambushes. For the Lord has both devised and done What He spoke against the inhabitants of Babylon. 13 O you who dwell by many waters, Abundant in treasures, Your end has come, The measure of your covetousness.

Babylon’s king, Nebuchadnezzar’s army raided the temple of all of its treasures used in the worship of the Lord. They plundered His land, targeting the homes of the wealthy, and if that was not enough they defiled His temple. Later Nebuchadnezzar’s son Belshazzar used the temple vessels to toast to the gods of silver and gold at a feast.

Everyone is dull-hearted, without knowledge; Every metal smith is put to shame by the carved image; For his molded image is falsehood, And there is no breath in them. 18 They are futile, a work of errors; In the time of their punishment they shall perish.

The main reason is He did it for His people:

25 “Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, Who destroys all the earth,” says the Lord. “And I will stretch out My hand against you, Roll you down from the rocks, And make you a burnt mountain. 26 They shall not take from you a stone for a corner Nor a stone for a foundation, But you shall be desolate forever,” says the Lord.

 

For Israel is not forsaken, nor Judah, By his God, the Lord of hosts, Though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.”

His people were still loved though they might not have thought so at the time, the Lord wanted them to know He had not forsaken them, “Though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.”

Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;[a]
    his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

Psalm 103:17 (ASV)

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him, and His righteousness unto children’s children,

But the loving kindness of Jehovah is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, And his righteousness unto children’s children.

He would demonstrate that despite their rebellion He had not abandoned then, “For this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance; He shall recompense her.” He would save His people from the cruelty of their captors, and by that they would know they were not forsaken.

19 The Portion of Jacob is not like them, For He is the Maker of all things; And Israel is the tribe of His inheritance. The Lord of hosts is His name.

He loves us, when we are despondent He is there, when some berate, He is there, when the world is cruel, He shows up.

24 “And I will repay Babylon And all the inhabitants of Chaldea For all the evil they have done In Zion in your sight,” says the Lord.

And He warns His people He’s coming.

Flee from the midst of Babylon, And every one save his life! Do not be cut off in her iniquity, For this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance; He shall recompense her. Babylon was a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, That made all the earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; Therefore the nations are deranged. Babylon has suddenly fallen and been destroyed. Wail for her! Take balm for her pain; Perhaps she may be healed.

We would have healed Babylon, But she is not healed. Forsake her, and let us go everyone to his own country; For her judgment reaches to heaven and is lifted up to the skies.

We are all His, the Israelites, the Babylonians, and the Medes, all are His. All on this earth are His, man and beast. He offered as He always does, forgiveness, healing which they refused. He has no choice, not if He loves all of His children:

 Thus says the Lord:

“Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, Against those who dwell in [a]Leb Kamai, A destroying wind. And I will send winnowers to Babylon, Who shall winnow her and empty her land. For in the day of doom They shall be against her all around. Against her let the archer bend his bow, And lift himself up against her in his armor. Do not spare her young men; Utterly destroy all her army. Thus the slain shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans, And those thrust through in her streets. 10 The Lord has revealed our righteousness. Come and let us declare in Zion the work of the Lord our God.

For all the evil they have done In Zion in your sight,” says the Lord.

They were plowing through various lands consuming everything in their sight, leaving them desolate:

25 “Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, Who destroys all the earth,” says the Lord. “And I will stretch out My hand against you, Roll you down from the rocks, And make you a burnt mountain. 26 They shall not take from you a stone for a corner Nor a stone for a foundation, But you shall be desolate forever,” says the Lord.

15 He has made the earth by His power; He has established the world by His wisdom, And stretched out the heaven by His understanding. 16 When He utters His voice— There is a multitude of waters in the heavens: “He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightnings for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasuries.”

He tells them who He is bringing against their oppressors:

28 Prepare against her the nations, With the kings of the Medes, Its governors and all its rulers, All the land of his dominion. 29 And the land will tremble and sorrow; For every purpose of the Lord shall be performed against Babylon, To make the land of Babylon a desolation without inhabitant. 30 The mighty men of Babylon have ceased fighting, They have remained in their strongholds; Their might has failed, They became like women; They have burned her dwelling places, The bars of her gate are broken. 31 One runner will run to meet another, And one messenger to meet another, To show the king of Babylon that his city is taken on all sides; 32 The passages are blocked, The reeds they have burned with fire, And the men of war are terrified.

33 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel:

“The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor When it is time to thresh her; Yet a little while And the time of her harvest will come.”

And He spells out why-He has heard their cry:

34 “Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon Has devoured me, he has crushed me; He has made me an empty vessel, He has swallowed me up like a monster; He has filled his stomach with my delicacies, He has spit me out. 35 Let the violence done to me and my flesh be upon Babylon,” The inhabitant of Zion will say; “And my blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea!” Jerusalem will say.

He shows up:

36 Therefore thus says the Lord:

“Behold, I will plead your case and take vengeance for you. I will dry up her sea and make her springs dry. 37 Babylon shall become a heap, A dwelling place for jackals, An astonishment and a hissing, Without an inhabitant. 38 They shall roar together like lions, They shall growl like lions’ whelps. 39 In their excitement I will prepare their feasts; I will make them drunk, That they may rejoice, And sleep a perpetual sleep And not awake,” says the Lord. 40 “I will bring them down Like lambs to the slaughter, Like rams with male goats.

He warns them to leave:

45 “My people, go out of the midst of her! And let everyone deliver [e]himself from the fierce anger of the Lord. 46 And lest your heart faint, And you fear for the rumor that will be heard in the land (A rumor will come one year, And after that, in another year A rumor will come, And violence in the land, Ruler against ruler), 48 Then the heavens and the earth and all that is in them Shall sing joyously over Babylon; For the plunderers shall come to her from the north,” says the Lord.

Once again we have the Lord reasons for judgment and how He will carry it out and it is His method of recompense:

49 As Babylon has caused the slain of Israel to fall, So at Babylon the slain of all the earth shall fall. 50 You who have escaped the sword, Get away! Do not stand still! Remember the Lord afar off, And let Jerusalem come to your mind.

51 We are ashamed because we have heard reproach. Shame has covered our faces, For strangers have come into the [f]sanctuaries of the Lord’s house.

52 “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will bring judgment on her carved images, And throughout all her land the wounded shall groan. 53 Though Babylon were to [g]mount up to heaven, And though she were to fortify the height of her strength, Yet from Me plunderers would come to her,” says the Lord.

54 The sound of a cry comes from Babylon, And great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans, 55 Because the Lord is plundering Babylon And silencing her loud voice, Though her waves roar like great waters, And the noise of their voice is uttered, 56 Because the plunderer comes against her, against Babylon, And her mighty men are taken. Every one of their bows is broken; For the Lord is the God of recompense, He will surely repay.

57 “And I will make drunk Her princes and wise men, Her governors, her deputies, and her mighty men. And they shall sleep a perpetual sleep And not awake,” says the King, Whose name is the Lord of hosts.

58 Thus says the Lord of hosts:

“The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken,[h] And her high gates shall be burned with fire; The people will labor in vain, And the nations, because of the fire; And they shall be weary.”

First the perspective of His people when they are in Babylon and are being comforted by the Lord who is promising to rescue them from their oppressors, and in the next selection chapter 33 we read of the Lord’s judgment of Israel and His promise once again to restore them. He lets them that before this takes place their efforts to forestall or prevent their destruction are futile.

Jeremiah 33 (NKJV)

Excellence of the Restored Nation

“For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city and the houses of the kings of Judah, which have been pulled down to fortify against the siege mounds and the sword: ‘They come to fight with the Chaldeans, but only to fill their places with the dead bodies of men whom I will slay in My anger and My fury, all for whose wickedness I have hidden My face from this city. 

What follows is the promises of chapter 51:

Behold, I will bring it health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth. And I will cause the captives of Judah and the captives of Israel to return, and will rebuild those places as at the first. I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me. Then it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise, and an honor before all nations of the earth, who shall hear all the good that I do to them; they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and all the prosperity that I provide for it.’

10 “Thus says the Lord: ‘Again there shall be heard in this place—of which you say, “It is desolate, without man and without beast”—in the cities of Judah, in the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man and without inhabitant and without beast, 11 the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who will say:

“Praise the Lord of hosts, For the Lord is good, For His mercy endures forever”—

and of those who will bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. For I will cause the captives of the land to return as at the first,’ says the Lord.

He promises that His land will no longer be desolate.

12 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘In this place which is desolate, without man and without beast, and in all its cities, there shall again be a dwelling place of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down. 13 In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the lowland, in the cities of the South, in the land of Benjamin, in the places around Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, the flocks shall again pass under the hands of him who counts them,’ says the Lord.

14 ‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah:

15 ‘In those days and at that time I will cause to grow up to David A Branch of righteousness; He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. 16 In those days Judah will be saved, And Jerusalem will dwell safely. And this is the name by which she will be called:

[c]THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.’

17 “For thus says the Lord: ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel; 18 nor shall the priests, the Levites, lack a man to offer burnt offerings before Me, to [d]kindle grain offerings, and to sacrifice continually.’ ”

The Permanence of God’s Covenant

19 And the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, 20 “Thus says the Lord: ‘If you can break My covenant with the day and My covenant with the night, so that there will not be day and night in their season, 21 then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant, so that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne, and with the Levites, the priests, My ministers. 22 As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured, so will I multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.’ ”

When we are offended He is offended:

23 Moreover the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, 24 “Have you not considered what these people have spoken, saying, ‘The two families which the Lord has chosen, He has also cast them off’? Thus they have despised My people, as if they should no more be a nation before them.

25 “Thus says the Lord: ‘If My covenant is not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth, 26 then I will cast away the descendants of Jacob and David My servant, so that I will not take any of his descendants to be rulers over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For I will cause their captives to return, and will have mercy on them.’ ”

Jeremiah 51 (NKJV)

The Utter Destruction of Babylon

51 Thus says the Lord:

“Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, Against those who dwell in [a]Leb Kamai, A destroying wind. And I will send winnowers to Babylon, Who shall winnow her and empty her land. For in the day of doom They shall be against her all around. Against her let the archer bend his bow, And lift himself up against her in his armor. Do not spare her young men; Utterly destroy all her army. Thus the slain shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans, And those thrust through in her streets. For Israel is not forsaken, nor Judah, By his God, the Lord of hosts, Though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.”

Flee from the midst of Babylon, And every one save his life! Do not be cut off in her iniquity, For this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance; He shall recompense her. Babylon was a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, That made all the earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; Therefore the nations are deranged. Babylon has suddenly fallen and been destroyed. Wail for her! Take balm for her pain; Perhaps she may be healed.

We would have healed Babylon, But she is not healed. Forsake her, and let us go everyone to his own country; For her judgment reaches to heaven and is lifted up to the skies. 10 The Lord has revealed our righteousness. Come and let us declare in Zion the work of the Lord our God.

11 Make[b] the arrows bright! Gather the shields! The Lord has raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes. For His plan is against Babylon to destroy it, Because it is the vengeance of the Lord, The vengeance for His temple. 12 Set up the standard on the walls of Babylon; Make the guard strong, Set up the watchmen, Prepare the ambushes. For the Lord has both devised and done What He spoke against the inhabitants of Babylon. 13 O you who dwell by many waters, Abundant in treasures, Your end has come, The measure of your covetousness. 14 The Lord of hosts has sworn by Himself: “Surely I will fill you with men, as with locusts, And they shall lift up a shout against you.”

15 He has made the earth by His power; He has established the world by His wisdom, And stretched out the heaven by His understanding. 16 When He utters His voice— There is a multitude of waters in the heavens: “He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightnings for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasuries.”

17 Everyone is dull-hearted, without knowledge; Every metalsmith is put to shame by the carved image; For his molded image is falsehood, And there is no breath in them. 18 They are futile, a work of errors; In the time of their punishment they shall perish. 19 The Portion of Jacob is not like them, For He is the Maker of all things; And Israel is the tribe of His inheritance. The Lord of hosts is His name.

20 “You are My battle-ax and weapons of war: For with you I will break the nation in pieces; With you I will destroy kingdoms; 21 With you I will break in pieces the horse and its rider; With you I will break in pieces the chariot and its rider; 22 With you also I will break in pieces man and woman; With you I will break in pieces old and young; With you I will break in pieces the young man and the maiden; 23 With you also I will break in pieces the shepherd and his flock; With you I will break in pieces the farmer and his yoke of oxen; And with you I will break in pieces governors and rulers.

24 “And I will repay Babylon And all the inhabitants of Chaldea For all the evil they have done In Zion in your sight,” says the Lord.

25 “Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, Who destroys all the earth,” says the Lord. “And I will stretch out My hand against you, Roll you down from the rocks, And make you a burnt mountain. 26 They shall not take from you a stone for a corner Nor a stone for a foundation, But you shall be desolate forever,” says the Lord.

27 Set up a banner in the land, Blow the trumpet among the nations! Prepare the nations against her, Call the kingdoms together against her: Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz. Appoint a general against her; Cause the horses to come up like the bristling locusts. 28 Prepare against her the nations, With the kings of the Medes, Its governors and all its rulers, All the land of his dominion. 29 And the land will tremble and sorrow; For every purpose of the Lord shall be performed against Babylon, To make the land of Babylon a desolation without inhabitant. 30 The mighty men of Babylon have ceased fighting, They have remained in their strongholds; Their might has failed, They became like women; They have burned her dwelling places, The bars of her gate are broken. 31 One runner will run to meet another, And one messenger to meet another, To show the king of Babylon that his city is taken on all sides; 32 The passages are blocked, The reeds they have burned with fire, And the men of war are terrified.

33 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel:

“The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor When it is time to thresh her; Yet a little while And the time of her harvest will come.”

34 “Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon Has devoured me, he has crushed me; He has made me an empty vessel, He has swallowed me up like a monster; He has filled his stomach with my delicacies, He has spit me out. 35 Let the violence done to me and my flesh be upon Babylon,” The inhabitant of Zion will say; “And my blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea!” Jerusalem will say.

36 Therefore thus says the Lord:

“Behold, I will plead your case and take vengeance for you. I will dry up her sea and make her springs dry. 37 Babylon shall become a heap, A dwelling place for jackals, An astonishment and a hissing, Without an inhabitant. 38 They shall roar together like lions, They shall growl like lions’ whelps. 39 In their excitement I will prepare their feasts; I will make them drunk, That they may rejoice, And sleep a perpetual sleep And not awake,” says the Lord. 40 “I will bring them down Like lambs to the slaughter, Like rams with male goats.

41 “Oh, how Sheshach[c] is taken! Oh, how the praise of the whole earth is seized! How Babylon has become desolate among the nations! 42 The sea has come up over Babylon; She is covered with the multitude of its waves. 43 Her cities are a desolation, A dry land and a wilderness, A land where no one dwells, Through which no son of man passes. 44 I will punish Bel[d] in Babylon, And I will bring out of his mouth what he has swallowed; And the nations shall not stream to him anymore. Yes, the wall of Babylon shall fall.

45 “My people, go out of the midst of her! And let everyone deliver [e]himself from the fierce anger of the Lord. 46 And lest your heart faint, And you fear for the rumor that will be heard in the land (A rumor will come one year, And after that, in another year A rumor will come, And violence in the land, Ruler against ruler), 47 Therefore behold, the days are coming That I will bring judgment on the carved images of Babylon; Her whole land shall be ashamed, And all her slain shall fall in her midst. 48 Then the heavens and the earth and all that is in them Shall sing joyously over Babylon; For the plunderers shall come to her from the north,” says the Lord.

49 As Babylon has caused the slain of Israel to fall, So at Babylon the slain of all the earth shall fall. 50 You who have escaped the sword, Get away! Do not stand still! Remember the Lord afar off, And let Jerusalem come to your mind.

51 We are ashamed because we have heard reproach. Shame has covered our faces, For strangers have come into the [f]sanctuaries of the Lord’s house.

52 “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will bring judgment on her carved images, And throughout all her land the wounded shall groan. 53 Though Babylon were to [g]mount up to heaven, And though she were to fortify the height of her strength, Yet from Me plunderers would come to her,” says the Lord.

54 The sound of a cry comes from Babylon, And great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans, 55 Because the Lord is plundering Babylon And silencing her loud voice, Though her waves roar like great waters, And the noise of their voice is uttered, 56 Because the plunderer comes against her, against Babylon, And her mighty men are taken. Every one of their bows is broken; For the Lord is the God of recompense, He will surely repay.

57 “And I will make drunk Her princes and wise men, Her governors, her deputies, and her mighty men. And they shall sleep a perpetual sleep And not awake,” says the King, Whose name is the Lord of hosts.

58 Thus says the Lord of hosts:

“The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken,[h] And her high gates shall be burned with fire; The people will labor in vain, And the nations, because of the fire; And they shall be weary.”

Jeremiah’s Command to Seraiah

59 The word which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, when he went with Zedekiah the king of Judah to Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. And Seraiah was the quartermaster. 60 So Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that would come upon Babylon, all these words that are written against Babylon. 61 And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, “When you arrive in Babylon and see it, and read all these words, 62 then you shall say, ‘O Lord, You have spoken against this place to cut it off, so that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but it shall be desolate forever.’ 63 Now it shall be, when you have finished reading this book, that you shall tie a stone to it and throw it out into the Euphrates. 64 Then you shall say, ‘Thus Babylon shall sink and not rise from the catastrophe that I will bring upon her. And they shall be weary.’ ”

Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 33 (NKJV)

Excellence of the Restored Nation

33 Moreover the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah a second time, while he was still shut up in the court of the prison, saying, “Thus says the Lord who made it, the Lord who formed it to establish it (the[a] Lord is His name): ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and [b]mighty things, which you do not know.’

“For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city and the houses of the kings of Judah, which have been pulled down to fortify against the siege mounds and the sword: ‘They come to fight with the Chaldeans, but only to fill their places with the dead bodies of men whom I will slay in My anger and My fury, all for whose wickedness I have hidden My face from this city. Behold, I will bring it health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth. And I will cause the captives of Judah and the captives of Israel to return, and will rebuild those places as at the first. I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me. Then it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise, and an honor before all nations of the earth, who shall hear all the good that I do to them; they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and all the prosperity that I provide for it.’

10 “Thus says the Lord: ‘Again there shall be heard in this place—of which you say, “It is desolate, without man and without beast”—in the cities of Judah, in the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man and without inhabitant and without beast, 11 the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who will say:

“Praise the Lord of hosts, For the Lord is good, For His mercy endures forever”—

and of those who will bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. For I will cause the captives of the land to return as at the first,’ says the Lord.

12 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘In this place which is desolate, without man and without beast, and in all its cities, there shall again be a dwelling place of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down. 13 In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the lowland, in the cities of the South, in the land of Benjamin, in the places around Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, the flocks shall again pass under the hands of him who counts them,’ says the Lord.

14 ‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah:

15 ‘In those days and at that time I will cause to grow up to David A Branch of righteousness; He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. 16 In those days Judah will be saved, And Jerusalem will dwell safely. And this is the name by which she will be called:

[c]THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.’

17 “For thus says the Lord: ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel; 18 nor shall the priests, the Levites, lack a man to offer burnt offerings before Me, to [d]kindle grain offerings, and to sacrifice continually.’ ”

The Permanence of God’s Covenant

19 And the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, 20 “Thus says the Lord: ‘If you can break My covenant with the day and My covenant with the night, so that there will not be day and night in their season, 21 then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant, so that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne, and with the Levites, the priests, My ministers. 22 As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured, so will I multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.’ ”

23 Moreover the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, 24 “Have you not considered what these people have spoken, saying, ‘The two families which the Lord has chosen, He has also cast them off’? Thus they have despised My people, as if they should no more be a nation before them.

25 “Thus says the Lord: ‘If My covenant is not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth, 26 then I will cast away the descendants of Jacob and David My servant, so that I will not take any of his descendants to be rulers over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For I will cause their captives to return, and will have mercy on them.’ ”