“and I will bring them again.” There are many verses like Jeremiah 32:37 that prophesy Israel’s return to the land of Israel (cp. Isa. 11:11-12; 27:13; 56:8; 66:20; Jer. 12:15; 15:15-17; 23:3-8; 29:14; 30:3-10; 31:8; 32:37-38, 42-44; 33:10-13; 46:27; Ezek. 11:17, 28:25; 34:11-13; 36:24; 37:21; 39:28; Hos. 1:11; Amos 9:14-15; Micah 2:12; Zeph. 3:18-20; Zech. 8:7-8; 10:6; John 11:52). God uses a number of different words and phrases to make his point; for example, some verses used both the word “gather” and the word “assemble” to emphasize and reinforce that this return to the land of Israel will be a great move of God, not something people do (cp. Isa. 11:12; Ezek. 11:17; Micah 2:12; 4:6).
Jeremiah 32:37 is one of many verses that foretells Israel and Judah returning to the Promised Land, which was part of the promise of the New Covenant (Jer. 31:8-33). The return to the land of Israel will be in large part due to the first resurrection, the Resurrection of the Righteous (cp. Ezek. 37:12-28). It is likely that there will be many thousands of righteous Israelites, perhaps even millions of righteous Israelites, who will get up from the dead and return to Israel. And also there will be righteous Israelites who will survive the Great Tribulation and battle of Armageddon who will be allowed to enter the Millennial Kingdom at the Sheep and Goat Judgment (Matt. 25:31-46).
Although most of the prophecies about Israel being gathered from the nations and returning to the land of Israel occur after the captivities, especially the Babylonian captivity, the prophecies of the return to the land are not fully fulfilled by the return from Babylon. For one thing, from the time of the Babylonian captivity even until today there have always been more Jews in the diaspora, the Jews who live outside of Israel, than in the land of Israel. The prophecy of Israel’s return to the land of Israel in Ezekiel 39:28 specifically says no one will be left behind in the nations.
Furthermore, there are a few verses that acknowledge that Israel was scattered among the nations long before the Babylonian captivity. God had said if Israel sinned they would be scattered among the nations (Lev. 26:33; Deut. 4:27), and Israel started sinning very early and people left Israel or were taken captive and deported. The Psalmist (likely David) prays that God will bring Israel back from the nations to which they had been scattered (Ps. 106:47). Isaiah 11:11-12, which was written more than 100 years before the deportations of the Babylonian captivity started, says that the Israelites had already been scattered to Assyria, Egypt, Ethiopia (Cush), Elam, Shinar, Hamath (in northern Syria) and the coasts (or islands) of the Mediterranean Sea.
Jesus will come from heaven and fight the Battle of Armageddon and conquer the earth (Rev. 19:11-21). After that, God will reunite the countries of Judah and Israel and the land of Israel will again be given to the 12 tribes of Israel and divided up among them (Ezek. 47, 48), and Jesus will reign over the earth as king for 1,000 years, and people will be safe and joyful. That 1,000-year reign is known as Jesus’ Millennial Kingdom.
[For more on Jesus’ Millennial Kingdom, see Appendix 3, “Christ’s Future Kingdom on Earth.” For more on the two future resurrections, the Resurrection of the Righteous and the Resurrection of the Unrighteous, see commentary on Acts 24:15. For more on the Sheep and Goat Judgment and the “big picture” chronology of the end times, see commentary on Matthew 25:32].