Does the NLT get it right in Jeremiah 31.35-37? Even Rodney agrees…

While doing the work up on this for my OT class, I noticed something which again reminds me of why I enjoy the NLT:

35 Thus said the LORD, Who established the sun for light by day, The laws of moon and stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea into roaring waves, Whose name is LORD of Hosts:

36 If these laws should ever be annulled by Me — declares the LORD — Only then would the offspring of Israel cease To be a nation before Me for all time.

37 Thus said the LORD: If the heavens above could be measured, and the foundations of the earth below could be fathomed, only then would I reject all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done — declares the LORD.

35 It is the LORD who provides the sun to light the day and the moon and stars to light the night, and who stirs the sea into roaring waves. His name is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, and this is what he says:

36 “I am as likely to reject my people Israel as I am to abolish the laws of nature!”

37 This is what the LORD says: “Just as the heavens cannot be measured and the foundations of the earth cannot be explored, so I will not consider casting them away for the evil they have done. I, the LORD, have spoken!

35 Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for light by day And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The LORD of hosts is His name:

36 “If this fixed order departs From before Me,” declares the LORD, “Then the offspring of Israel also will cease From being a nation before Me forever.”

37 Thus says the LORD, “If the heavens above can be measured, And the foundations of the earth searched out below, Then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel For all that they have done,” declares the LORD.

The affirmation in v36 and 37 is a positive one, and yet, the more literal readings has it almost as a threat. There is absolutely no possibility that the natural laws will disappear from the Cosmos and neither will the measuring of the heavens above be accomplished because as science tells us, the Universe is constantly expanding.

Frankly, the NLT’s translation shines through here and relates to us God’s unending love for His people.

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15 Replies to “Does the NLT get it right in Jeremiah 31.35-37? Even Rodney agrees…”

  1. I don’t see these as different readings at all…the situation posed is impossible, which underscores God’s commitment to his covenant. The NLT reading is the most plain, I completely agree, but there’s no substantive difference as if the literal translation misses something.

      1. There are plenty of prophetic statements proclaimed as conditional statements that are interpreted/read as unconditional ones…as is the case here. I think it’s more a matter of being aware of the literary style/devices/genre used than anything.

        In terms of getting the point across w/o the possibility of misunderstanding, the NLT is spot on, as usual.

  2. The NLT is decidedly the best here!

    (off topic)

    What of the passages of Jeremiah 31: 35,36 and God’s own laws of nature? Many await a literal physical ending of the present world/cosmos – to be replaced by a new Heavens and new Earth. A city where there is no sea – no need of the sun and there is no night (moon).

    Joel, even in a supposed earthly eternal state – would God in the literal physical sense,change his own laws? (Rev 21:1,23-25)

    I do not pretend NOT to have my own view concerning the ‘ fixed ‘ order. I would know YOURS, in light of what is forever written in Jeremiah 31:35,36 as pertaining to the seas, the sun, and the moon.


    1. Seroled,

      I was just thinking the exact same thing, or have been this after noon, as the question your propose.

      I think that that in re-examining my own understanding of the New Creation, I don’t see God destroying the universe, earth, etc… but instead renewing them.

          1. Indeed, no late great planet Earth stuff… The New Creation – have you considered the WHOLE body of New Covenant church?

  3. End of what Joel 😉

    What of Ephesians 3:21? Will there ever be an end of generations of people to worship praise and glorify God, an end to the New Covenant age ‘ and ‘ or the Cosmos?

    Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

    Okay, i will chat with you about this at another time on the discussion page.

    Have a great night Joel.

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