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But they shall serve the Lord their God,
And David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.
10—17. Israel shall not be as now forgotten and afflicted.
Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the Lord;
Neither be dismayed, O Israel:
For lo, I will save thee from afar,
And thy seed from the land of their captivity;
And Jacob shall return,
And shall be in rest, and be quiet,
And none shall make him afraid.
For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee:
Though I make a full end of all nations whither I have
9. the Lord their God, and David their king] For the whole expression as uniting the Lord and the Messiah compare Hos. iii. 5. and for the Messiah spoken of elsewhere also under the name David, Ezek. xxxiv. 23, 24, xxxvii. 24.
Bp Jer. Taylor (Epistle Dedicatory to his Ductor Dubitantium) applies verses 7 and 9 to the English Commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell and the Restoration of the House of Stuart. "We have been sorely smitten and for a long time; for (that I may use the words of the prophet) 'Alas, for that day was great, so that none was like it, it was even the time of Jacob's trouble....But since God hath left off to smite us with an iron rod, and hath once more said unto these nations, They shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I have raised up unto them;' now our duty stands on the sunny side," etc.
10—17. Israel Shall Not Be As Now Forgotten And Afflicted.
10. from afar] from thy distant land of exile.
11. Yet will I not make a full end of thee] See note on iv. 27. I will correct thee in measure] See note on ii. 19, and on x. 24.
12. Thy bruise is incurable] more literally, is ill with thy bruise, incurable] See note on xvii. 9.
The pronouns in the verse are fern, as referring to the nation, as in xxii. 20 and often elsewhere. For the whole verse compare Lam. ii. 13. 13 There is none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be
14 All thy lovers have forgotten thee;
For I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy,
with the chastisement of a cruel one, For the multitude of thine iniquity; Because thy sins were increased.
13. It has been already pointed out (Introd. chap. II. 8) that Jeremiah frequently mixes together an image or figure of speech and the thing which it represents. Here we have a case of the rapid interchange of two images or figures. In the same verse the people of God appears as defendant in a suit at law, and as one suffering from a wound which cannot be staunched.
There is none to plead thy cause] Thine enemies at present are having it all their own way, as they arraign thee for thy sins before the bar of God's Justice.
that thou mayest be bound up] This, which obviously has no connexion with the earlier metaphor, should be joined with the words that follow. For (the pressing together of) thy wound (there is no healing, no plaister). The Heb. thus rendered wound comes from a root signifying to press together (the sides of a wound). It occurs but seldom (Hos. v. 13 twice; Obad. 7) but in each other case the sense is clear.
medicines] plaister, literally, that which goes up (on the wound).
14. thy lovers] the nations which sought to ally themselves with thee. See xxvii. 3.
For the multitude...] This had best be rendered because of the multitude, or, the greatness, etc. Thus the whole verse will form three divisions, each subdivided into two parallel clauses: All thy lovers have forgotten thee,
They seek thee not;
With the chastisement of a cruel one;
15. Here again we get a parallelism of clauses, and we must further amend the punctuation of the Eng. Vers.
Why criest thou for thine affliction?
(Because) thy sorrow is incurable?
Because thy sins are increased,
Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured;
18—24. Jerusalem shall be prosperous and in favour with God.
Thus saith the Lord:
Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob's tents, And have mercy on his dwelling places;
Why criest thou, &c.] Why dost thou complain of that which is the natural consequence of thy sins?
sorrow] properly pain of body, or hurt.
incurable] See note on xvii. 9.
for the multitude] This we alter as in the previous verse.
16. Therefore] Because thou hast undergone thy portion of suffering and it is plain that none other than myself can deliver thee.
all they that devour thee] See chap. ii. 3 with note.
17. I will restore health unto thee] better, / will place a healing plaister upon thee. See viii. 22, also note on xxxiii. 6, where the word is translated cure in the Eng. Vers. Healing plaister is a preferable rendering to that which represents more closely the sense of the corresponding Arabic word, viz. the new skin which forms over a wound in healing. In this latter way however some would translate the Heb. here.
Zion] The Septuagint have "a spoil," shewing that they followed a reading in the original, not now found in any Heb. authorities, but differing only slightly from the other which is beyond doubt correct.
18—24. Jerusalem Shall Be Prosperous And In Favour With
18. the captivity of Jacotfs tents] For the word tents see note on chap. iv. 20. The sense here is in general, The Jews who have been taken captive shall dwell again in their land as aforetime.
And the city shall be builded upon her own heap,
voice of them that make merry:
For who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? saith the Lord.
upon her own heap] meaning, not heap of ruins, but the hill on which she had previously stood, on her old site. A' hill' was the usual position of the eastern cities (Matt. v. 14), as helping to protect them alike from sudden attack and from inundation. Hence the frequency with which the word Tel (which is the Heb. here translated heap) forms part of the name of a city; Telassar (Thelassar) (2 Kings xix. 12; Is. xxxvii. H); Tel-Haresha=Tel-Harsa and Tel-Melah (Ezra ii. 59; Neh. vii. 61); Tel-Abib (Ezek. iii. 15).
shall remain after the manner thereof] shall be inhabited after its fashion, i.e. it shall be occupied by a king and shall be kept up with all the appliances and state suitable for such a place.
19. And out of them] both city and palace. shall proceed thanksgiving] Compare xxxiii. 11.
20. Their children] The Heb. is His (Jacob's) children, and so for the other pronouns of the verse.
as aforetime] as in the times of David and Solomon, the golden age of the Jewish kingdom.
congregation] the people collectively.
21. A Messianic prophecy. As the Jews were now coming under foreign rule, so the promise is that in the end they shall again be placed under a Prince of their own. This Prince shall draw near to God without a go-between, in other words he shall be Priest as well as King. Thus he shall be greater than even David or Solomon.
their nobles] Both pronoun and substantive are singular, his (Jacob's) mighty one.
of themselves] This expression may mean something more than Jewish, opposed to foreign, as explained above. It may further imply that the new Ruler shall spring from a lowly family, one as yet unknown to fame. This sense however we cannot press.
that engaged, his heart to approach] that hath staked his life to And ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. « Behold, the whirlwind of the Lord goeth forth with 23 fury,
A continuing whirlwind:
It shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked .
And until he have performed the intents of his heart:
Chap. XXXI. 1—9. Peace, plenty and the blessing of God
approach. None but the priests were permitted to enter the Lord's presence, and the Holy of Holies was open but once a year to the highpriest himself. To all others this was a profanity to be punished with death. For Messiah as being God the Son the approach to the Father was open. This is the thought concealed in the verse till Christian times should bring it to light. Even to Jewish ears however the expressions betokened the Messiah.
23. This and the following verse are nearly identical with xxiii. 19, 10 (see notes there), where judgment is pronounced upon the false prophets. The Inference in this place is not quite clear, although there is every reason to believe that the verses are genuine. If they are connected with the foregoing section, the connexion will be, Although these blessings are in store for the nation, yet the wicked, those who continue impenitent, shall reap none of the benefit nor have their punishment in any wise abated. If on the other hand, as seems more probable, they should be joined with the following section, the sense will be, Babylon (and all other nations as well as individuals who oppose themselves to the Lord) shall suffer for it, while the repentant Israel shall be accepted and blessed.
A continuing whirlwind] The rendering of the participle has caused some difficulty. Probably sweepingor rushing is the meaning intended, as the senses in which the original word is found elsewhere, viz. sojourning (1 Kings xvii. 20) and assembling (Hos. vii. 14) are here unsuitable.
24. consider] understand^.
Chap. XXXI. 1—9. Peace, Plenty And The Blessing Of God
SHALL YET ABIDE WITH ISRAEL.
1. At the same time] In the latter days spoken of at the end of chap. xxx.
all the families of Israel] the twelve tribes. Afterwards the Northern kingdom is dealt with (2—22), then the Southern (23—26), and then again both together (27—40).