Jeremiah had predicted that the Ark of the Covenant would lose its significance. It would not even be remembered. It was the “box” in which Judah had attempted to keep its God. In Jeremiah 3:17, he explains that God will break out of the box. The passage says, “At that 18 outa boxtime Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the LORD, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the LORD in Jerusalem, and they shall no more stubbornly follow their own evil heart.” Martens explains, “For all the reverence given to the ark in the past, Jeremiah announces, it will not even receive mention in the future because the presence of God will be so much greater and more overpowering. His throne in Jerusalem will be like a magnet to which nations will come. The presence of God will not be symbolized by the ark, hidden in the holy of holies, access to which is by the high priest alone. No, God’s presence will now be symbolized by the entire city, openly accessible to all.”[1]

Constance says, “Jeremiah predicted that Jerusalem would be the throne of God and that all nations shall be gathered unto it. The two long-divided parts of the nation, Judah and Israel, would finally be reunited to dwell in the Promised Land.” I think it’s a little more significant than just the two nations of Judah and Israel. The phrase that “all nations shall gather” makes for interesting reflection when we compare it to what happened in Acts 2. The gathering of God’s people during that Passover season brought pilgrims from every nation to Jerusalem. After Jesus ascension, the Holy Spirit fell upon the Apostles who began to speak to all the people present, and they all heard it in their own language. I would suggest that there was an elimination of religious distinctions, God exploded from the many boxes people put Him in, and all people will be gathered together. Constance goes on to say, “The elements of the promise include godly leaders, the absence of outward elements of worship, the dwelling of God’s presence with them, a godly life, a successful witness to the world, and a unified nation.”[2]

People will then be changed. Their stubbornness will be dissolved and their hearts open to the one true God and to one another. Speaking about the Hebrew term for stubbornness, Mackay explains, “The term describes those who are certain they have the capacity to make decisions for themselves, and once they have made them, there is no deflecting them from their resolution…”[3] There will be no more radical religious hatreds and animosities. The stubbornness of man in keeping God in their personal boxes will be over. God will have broken free and revealed Himself in person to the world, and “every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the Glory of God the Father” and peace and harmony will reign in the Kingdom of God.

[1] E. A. Martens, Jeremiah, Believers Church Bible Commentary (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1986), 55.

[2] Mrs. T. M. Constance, Jeremiah, vol. 1 (Dickson, TN: Explorer’s Bible Study, 1978), 21.

[3] John L. Mackay, Jeremiah: An Introduction and Commentary: Chapters 1–20, vol. 1, Mentor Commentaries (Fearn, Ross-shire, Scotland: Mentor, 2004), 194.