Their leader will be one of them,
and their ruler will proceed from their midst;
and I will cause him to draw near,
and he will approach to me;
for who is he who would dare to risk his life to approach me?’
says Yahweh. Bible

“leader will be one of them.” This leader is never stated to be the Messiah. However, this section of Jeremiah is about the re-establishment of the kingdom of Israel, which other sections of Scripture make clear ultimately occurs under the reign of the Messiah. C. F. Keil writes, “The meaning is, that the people will no longer be ruled or subdued by foreign masters, but be ruled by glorious princes, i.e., leaders endowed with princely glory, and these out of the midst of themselves. Herein is contained the truth, that the sovereignty of Israel, as restored, culminates in the kingdom of the Messiah” (Commentary on the Old Testament: Jeremiah). The Barnes’ Notes commentary on the Bible correctly states, that the “Messiah shall be revealed to them out of their own midst.” Ancient Jews applied Jeremiah 30:21 to the Messiah. Alfred Edersheim wrote in his book, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, in the appendix titled “List of Old Testament Passages Messianically Applied in Ancient Rabbinic Writings,” that, “Jeremiah 30:21 is applied to the Messiah in the Targum, and also in the Midrash on Psalm 21:7” (Edersheim, Life and Times, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, MI, republished, 1971. p. 731).

That this verse points to the Messiah and Messianic Kingdom become clear from a study of the history of Israel. During Jeremiah’s time, Israel was conquered by the Babylonians. Then they were conquered by the Persians. Then Israel was conquered by the Greeks. Then there was a short time of rule by Israelites themselves, when the Hasmoneans defeated the Greeks, but that was very short lived and was not the glorious time that the prophecies called for. Then Israel was conquered by the Romans, and so on down through history. The glorious kingdom of Israel portrayed in Old Testament prophecy has never been since Jeremiah’s time, but will be restored by the Messiah, who will conquer the earth, re-establish Israel, build the Temple, rule from Jerusalem, and make the earth into a “paradise.” [For more about the coming kingdom of Christ on earth, see Appendix 3, “Christ’s Future Kingdom on Earth”].

“for who is he who would dare to risk his life to approach me.” The Hebrew is difficult and idiomatic, but the REV catches the sense of it (cp. NASB). The rulers were not normally priests, so they could not approach God without risking their life. But this ruler, the Messiah, will be a king and priest.

Commentary for: Jeremiah 30:21