If Jeremiah 33 15 says that Messiah will sprout up in the days of Israel’s restoration, doesn’t this contradict the time of Christ’s appearance


The timing and meaning of a prophecy is determined by the context.  Besides, many of the restoration prophecies in both Jeremiah and Ezekiel are what I call “double prophecies.”  In other words, so many of the prophecies of the restoration apply equally (or nearly equally) to both the restoration of God’s people to Judea and the restoration of us as Christians to God in his kingdom through Christ.  That God can make a prophecy have two applications is evidence for his amazing power and providence, not of a contradiction.  The restoration of Judah to Judea is a foreshadow of our restoration to a relationship with God as Christians.  Examples of these double prophecies are many, but as examples I would use Jeremiah 33:15, but also Ezekiel 36:16-38, Ezekiel 37 the whole chapter.  If you read these passages the pattern is clear.  Much of the language is clearly about the physical restoration of Judah to the Promised Land, but some of the exact same prophecy is so clearly about the establishment of the Church and the coming of the Messiah.  These are kingdom prophecies and they have more than one application. Some say it cannot be both, but who gets to decide this? Apparently, it is both!

About Jeremiah 33:15, the context of the specific verse is more about the Messiah and the establishment of the Church, but if we broaden our perspective to include the entire passage (Jeremiah 33:1-26) the majority of the prophecy seems to point more toward the restoration of Israel to the Promised Land which happened under Cyrus.  This is the pattern and it is a consistent pattern, that kingdom/restoration prophecies have a double application.  

Having said that, again, if we look at Jeremiah 33:15, there are many passages in Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel and others besides that imply that the “Branch” that sprouts from David’s line is the Messiah.  This prophecy is clearly about Jesus.  Matthew confirms this in Matthew 2:23 when he tells us that it was prophesied that the Messiah would be called a Nazarene.  The Hebrew word nazer means branch.  This is great evidence for the inspiration of the Bible, that such prophecies can apply in more than one way with great faithfulness.  I hope this helps.

John Oakes

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