Expansion of Jerusalem in Jer 31:38-40: Never, Already, or Not Yet

Dennis M. Swanson | May 19, 2010

Various viewpoints on the biblical teaching of the millennium deal differently with the prophecy of Jerusalem’s expansion in Jer 31:38-40. Wording of the prophecy points to a fulfillment in the distant future and sets seven boundary markers for the city: the Tower of Hananel, the Corner Gate, the Hill Gareb, Goah, the Valley of Dead Bodies and Ashes, the fields as far as the Brook Kidron, and the Horse Gate. Those markers indicate an expansion of the city beyond anything yet known. Proposals about the fulfillment of the prophecy include those that say the prophecy will never be fulfilled, those contending that the prophecy has already been fulfilled, and those holding to a yet future fulfillment of the prophecy. The first option sees a spiritual rather than geographical fulfillment of the passage and falters in light of specific geographical details given therein. The “already” option points to a fulfillment either in the time of Zerubbabel and Joshua or in the New Jerusalem of eternity future. Both “already” options fall short of compliance with details of the prophecy. The “not yet” option coincides well with conditions expressed in the prophecy by placing its fulfillment in the future millennial kingdom on earth.

Vol. 17, no. 1 (Spring 2006)

Read article

Read complete issue

Cite This Article

Swanson, Dennis M.. "Expansion of Jerusalem in Jer 31:38-40: Never, Already, or Not Yet." The Master's Seminary Journal 17, no. 1 (Spring 2006): 17-34.