The following is an excerpt from "Amos 9 and the Order of the Return."
You can read the full article here.

Now consider. Jeremiah had predicted that Israel’s return from Babylon would not come until after the predicted seventy years of exile.[1] So when Jeremiah speaks of ‘the time of Jacob’s trouble’, what ‘day’ could he have in mind? It can only be the everywhere mentioned day of the Lord, because only then is the final oppressor destroyed and peace in the Land secure forever under the messianic king.[2]

This is our exegetical choice. Do we interpret “that day” of Jacob’s trouble as an event lying only in the past, only in the future, or with some, both past and future? To be sure, there have been visitations of divine judgment that presaged the day of the Lord, and some would argue for multiple ‘days’ of the Lord, but there is only one ‘day of the Lord’ that ends in the messianic kingdom that so clearly follows immediately after the time of Jacob’s trouble.[3] 

Even on the basis of Jeremiah’s limited perspective, the destruction of 587 B.C. must be ruled out as constituting ‘that day’, because this was not followed by the abiding peace and everlasting righteousness described in Jer 30, and reiterated all throughout the ‘book of consolation,’ but by seventy years of captivity in a foreign land. And by no stretch of the imagination can the term, ‘that day’ be made to stand for the entirety of the exile. Furthermore, Jeremiah would have been aware of Isaiah’s prophecy that associated the ‘day of the Lord’ with Babylon’s destruction at the hands of the Persians.[4]

It is noteworthy that the conditions that are described as following upon Babylon’s fall to the Persians in both Isaiah’s and Jeremiah’s prophecy[5] stand in marked contrast to the prophets’ vivid descriptions of the messianic era. Even before Daniel’s prophecy of a continuous succession of world empires, Isaiah and Jeremiah sees beyond Persia’s overthrow of Babylon, which proved only a type of a yet greater and more ultimate day of the Lord still to come. This is further evidence that Jeremiah sees this climactic, and ultimately transitional day somewhere quite beyond the liberation that Isaiah had associated with the destruction of Babylon at the hands of the Medes and Persians under Cyrus.[6]

The prophets show an implicit understanding of typology. Consider. As much as Isaiah knew that Babylon would be succeeded by Persia, and that Cyrus was only a figure of the liberation that could only come through the Messiah Redeemer from David’s line.[7] (Isa 9:6-7; 11:1-5). And as much as both Isaiah and Jeremiah knew that neither Assyria nor Babylon was the last of the great world empires to stand before the kingdom age, but that both stood as figures of a more ultimate oppressor to be destroyed by none other than the Messiah[8] it becomes evident that not only the Spirit who inspired them, but the prophets themselves were quite aware of a recurrent pattern of partial fulfillment that prefigured a more ultimate eschatological crisis that would usher in the rod iron rule of David’s greater son and Lord.[9]. This is something to ponder.





[1]  Jeremiah 29:10-14
[2]  Jeremiah 30:8-10; 16:22; 30-33
[3]  Jeremiah 30:8-10; 16:22;  30-33; Daniel 12:1-2; Ezekiel 39:8, 22, 28-29
[4]  Isaiah 13:1-19; 44:28; 45:1
[5]  Isaiah 13:17-19; Jeremiah 29:12-14; 50:9; 51:28-29
[6]  Isaiah 13:16-19; 48:28; 45:1-5; Jeremiah 25:12-14; 25; 51:11, 28
[7]  Isaiah 9:6-7; 11:1-5
[8]  Isaiah 9:4, 14; 10:5, 17, 20-27; 11:4-5, 24-27; 30:31; 31:8; Jeremiah 30:8, 14; see especially the Septuagint translation of Isaiah 11:4 as cited by Paul in II Thessalonians 2:8
[9]  Psalm 2; 110