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What is the meaning of Jeremiah 30:3?

March 12, 2008

Hello Rabbi I was recently discussing with Zionist Christians who alleged to me that the 1948 Zionist state was allegedly "prophecized" in Jeremiah 30:3- For, lo, the days come, saith HaShem, that I will turn the captivity of My people Israel and Judah, saith HaShem; and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.' (Tanakh)
I know that this has nothing to do with the 1948 Zionist "state". However what is the correct view of this verse did it already occur during an old exile like in Babylon or Assyria? Or do Jews believe this will happen during the Messianic era? Thanks again friend.

Dear Larry,

The commentaries (Metzudas David) explain that Jeremiah 30:3 and the rest of the chapter will be fulfilled in the Messianic era. Evidence to this is the mention of bringing back the exiles of Israel (i.e. the Ten Tribes) and Judah - at the end of the Babylonian exile only the tribe of Judah returned. Also it says (v. 9) that they will serve their king David, meaning the messiah, who will be a descendant of David. Also v. 11 mentions "all the nations to which I have scattered you" whereas in the Babylonian exile the Jews were all in one place, in Babylonia.