The Messiah would appear sometime after the Babylonian Captivity

Bible passage: Jeremiah 23:3-6
Prophet: Jeremiah
Written: Sometime between 626-586 BC

This article is contributed by Ray Konig, the author of Jesus the Messiah, Jesus the Prophet, Jesus the Miracle Worker, and 100 Fulfilled Bible Prophecies.

By Ray Konig
Published: Feb. 23, 2001
Updated: May 1, 2024

The prophet Jeremiah lived about 2,600 years ago, during a time when the Babylonians were building the Neo-Babylonian Empire, which would subjugate the nations within its reach for 70 years.

Jeremiah forewarned the Kingdom of Judah, which included Jerusalem and much of southern Israel, that the Babylonians would conquer their land, which they later did, destroying Jerusalem and the Temple, and bringing an end to the succession of kings who were descendants of King David.

David, who was ancient Israel’s greatest king, was the first of his line, about 3,000 years ago. For 20 or so generations, and for about 400 years, David’s descendants ruled as kings from Jerusalem.

But all of that was coming to an end, as Jeremiah foretold in various prophecies, with the rise of the empire-building Babylonians.

But, despite the destruction, exile and captivity that would be caused by the Babylonians, Jeremiah also foretold that the Jews would one day be regathered to their homeland, and that the Messiah was still to come:

3 “I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they will be fruitful and multiply.

4 I will set up shepherds over them, who will feed them. They will no longer be afraid or dismayed, neither will any be lacking,” says Yahweh.

5 “Behold, the days come,” says Yahweh, “that I will raise to David a righteous Branch, and he will reign as king and deal wisely, and will execute justice and righteousness in the land.

6 In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely. This is his name by which he will be called: Yahweh our righteousness. (Jeremiah 23:3-6, WEB)

In this prophecy, Jeremiah uses a Hebrew word for branch, as in descendant of David, as a way of referring to the promised Messiah. Isaiah does something similar in Isaiah 11:1, although he uses a different Hebrew word for branch.

As explained further in the book Jesus the Messiah, by Ray Konig, Jeremiah 23:5-6 can be classified as a son of David prophecy. There are at least 10 in the Old Testament, starting with 2 Samuel 7:12-16, which was given about 3,000 years ago.

These son of David prophecies speak of the promised Messiah as being an extraordinary descendant of King David. Jeremiah refers to the descendancy from David when he uses the word branch, and then refers to the extraordinary nature when he speaks of this predicted descendant as having the divine title of Yahweh our righteousness.

In other words, with this prophecy in Jeremiah 23:3-6, Jeremiah is telling his people that all is not lost, that none of the devastation to be caused by the Babylonians will prevent the Messiah from arriving, and that the Messiah will arrive sometime after the exiles have been regathered to their homeland.

Jesus fulfills this prophecy about 600 years after the time of Jeremiah. He is born in Bethlehem, which is the birthplace of King David, and is recorded as being a descendant of David, as explained in the first two chapters of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.

In fact, Jesus is the final person to be recorded in sacred writings as being a descendant of David, and he is the only person in history to have ever achieved or sustained a widespread following as being the Messiah that Jeremiah and other prophets had predicted.

© Ray Konig.

Ray Konig is the author of Jesus the Messiah, Jesus the Prophet, Jesus the Miracle Worker, and 100 Fulfilled Bible Prophecies.