New Defender's Study Bible Notes
23:1 pastors. Pastors (i.e., “shepherds”) of God’s spiritual flock, whether in ancient Israel or modern churches, are given great responsibility and can, therefore, earn great rewards if they faithfully feed their flocks on the milk and meat of God’s Word (note I Timothy 5:17); but they will be subject to great judgment if they feed them false doctrine or meaningless platitudes (Jeremiah 23:11-19; 30-32).
23:5 Branch. On “the Branch” as a special title of the promised Messiah, see also Isaiah 4:2; 11:1; 53:2; Jeremiah 33:15; Zechariah 3:8; 6:12.
23:5 King. There is a remarkable connection between the respective emphases on the nature of Christ as presented in the four gospels and four of the prophetic applications of His title as the Branch. In this verse, for example, the Branch is “a King,” which is the theme of the gospel of Matthew. Mark emphasizes Christ as the Lord’s Servant, and Zechariah 3:8 speaks of “my servant the BRANCH.” Zechariah 6:12 refers to “the man whose name is The BRANCH,” and the gospel of Luke presents Him especially as the perfect Man. Finally, Isaiah sees Him as “the branch of the LORD” (Isaiah 4:2), while John’s gospel has as its glorious theme the deity of Christ.
23:6 GOD. Not only is this an appropriate name (Jehovah Tsidkenu) for the Lord in that day when Judah and Israel will be saved and reunited, but also a beautiful name for Christ in relation to His redeemed Bride. This beautiful name assigned to God’s only begotten Son stresses that the righteousness, which entitles us to enter the presence of God, is entirely from Him. Our own “righteousnesses are as filthy rags” in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6), but Christ “is made unto us …righteousness” (I Corinthians 1:30). He was made “to be sin for us,…that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Corinthians 5:21).
23:24 fill heaven and earth. On the omnipresence of God, note especially Psalm 139:7-12. None but the Creator of heaven and earth could fill heaven and earth, and He must do so.
23:29 my word. Compare Jeremiah 20:9. The revealed Word of God is a very prominent theme in Jeremiah, with great power to convict of sin and shatter pride and complacency.
23:36 perverted the words of the living God. Note II Peter 3:16. It is a serious matter to “pervert” or “wrest” the revealed words of God, making them say something other than their plain meaning, in order to accommodate some human opinion. This particular sin is surely as common today as in the days of the false prophets rebuked by Jeremiah.