Question: Jeremiah 23:5–6 says that the “righteous Branch” the Lord raises up to David is called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Doesn’t that prove this verse is referring to Jesus Christ?
Answer: First, a correct translation of Hebrew yhvh tzidqeinu in Jeremiah 23:6 is “Jehovah is our righteousness.” As the Hebrew language possesses no capital letters, by capitalizing this name the King James Version is offering an interpretation, not a pure translation. Secondly, it is the Lord Jehovah who is the speaker in this verse, which means he is referring to someone other than himself. As I have also shown from Isaiah’s literary structures and word links, Jesus Christ is that same Lord Jehovah who saves his people spiritually as Isaiah depicts in Isaiah 53:1–10.
Third, the context of Jeremiah’s prophecy is Israel’s end-time physical restoration, not the time of Jesus Christ. The person in question comes in response to shepherds who are abusing and scattering the Lord’s sheep. Hence, the Lord will raise up new shepherds who feed them, and he will gather the remnant of his flock out of all countries where he has driven them (Jeremiah 23:1–4). That is the time a new exodus occurs that will so surpass Israel’s ancient exodus out of Egypt under Moses that the old will no longer be celebrated, only the new (Jeremiah 23:7–8).
Lastly, there is no precedent for Jehovah’s adopting an appellative version of his own name. Kings such as Zedekiah (“Jehovah is my righteousness”) and priests such as Jehozadak (“Jehovah is righteous”) assumed similar names. In fact, Jerusalem receives the identical name: “At that time, I will cause a branch of righteousness to grow up to David, and he will execute justice and righteousness in the earth. In those days, Judah shall be saved and Jerusalem dwell safely; and this is the name by which she shall be called, Jehovah is our righteousness” (Jeremiah 33:15–16).
Once again we ask, How long will people labor under the wrongful assumptions of “precepts of men” when the truth is given them in plain terms but which they refuse to search? Even as they act self-sufficient in their opinion that they “know the gospel,” they “will not search knowledge, nor understand great knowledge, when it is given unto them in plainness, even as plain as word can be,” leaving Nephi, who is lamenting our day, “to mourn because of the unbelief, and the wickedness, and the ignorance, and the stiffneckedness of men” (2 Nephi 32:7).