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A.C. 597.

2 Thus speaketh the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book.

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prophetic writings; the accomplishment of the former affording the Jews the
strongest possible evidence, that the latter, how remote soever its period, would
in like manner be effected at the appointed time, by the interposition of Divine
Providence. These chapters predict not only the restoration of the captivity of
Babylon, but the restoration of the captivity of Israel also ; those ten tribes that
were carried away by Shalmaneser, king of Assyria : and the whole tenor of the
prophecy gives us reason to expect a complete and universal deliverance; when
God will manifest himself, as formerly, the God and Patron of all the families of
Israel, and not of a few only. This great redemption remains to be accomplished
in the reign of the Messiah, when there can be no doubt, that this prophecy of
the final spiritual establishment of the Jews, will be as faithfully fulfilled, as that
which predicted their temporal return to the holy city.

The 30th chapter opens with a description of the distress and consternation
that should fall upon all nations preparatory to the deliverance of Jacob. Israel
(from ver. 10 to 18.) is promised restoration, after a severe chastisement for the
multitude of its offences. This is followed by an enumeration of the blessings
and privileges the Jews would enjoy on their admission to God's favour; and
ver. 23 and 24 declare, that the anger of Jehovah should not subside, till all his
enemies are destroyed; and then, and not till then, an entire reconciliation
should take place between the Lord, and all the families of Israel, (see xuri. 1.)
The second part of this prophecy, beginning at ver. 2, is marked by a sudden
transition to a more distant period of time, and represented in a vision, (ver. 26.)
God announces therein the renewal of his ancient love for Israel, and promises
them speedy restoration and happiness. He promises to conduct them to Zion,
and to “ turn their mourning into joy," that “they shall not sorrow any more
at all.”

Ramah was a city of Benjamin, near which, Rachel, the mother of Joseph and Benjamin, was buried. Rachel is represented (ver. 15 to 18.) as just risen from her grave, refusing to be comforted for her children, who are all either slain, or gone into exile. The Evangelist applies this prophecy to Herod's massacre of the infants at Bethlehem, (Matt. ii. 17, 18.); but this cruel destruction could not have been the primary signification of the prophecy, as the sequel consoles Rachel with the promise, that her children were not lost for ever, that they should still reward her care, and "come again from the land of the enemy." Ephraim is afterwards described as “bemoaning himself” for his past disobedience; and, on his penitence, God receives him once more as his darling child, and promises to “have mercy upon him." The "' virgin of Israel" is exhorted (ver. 21, 22.) to hasten her return; and, for her encouragement, she is told, that God would work a miracle in her favour, and would enable her, though apparently so weak, to overcome and prevail against all her powerful enemies. The vision closes with an allusion to the circumstances that attended the first introduction of the Jews to the land of Canaan, when each family had a separate portion assigned them for their own cultivation and subsistence; and each individual, in consequence, became a husbandman, and feeder of flocks. God promises his people, they shall again dwell in the "mountain of holiness," and cultivate it according to their ancient institutions, redeemed from every want

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fear and not

+ Heb. a male.


23. & Xxxvi. 24. Hos, iii. 5.


3 For, lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will A.C. 597. bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the LORD: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.

4. And these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah.

5 For thus saith the Lord; We have heard a voice of trembling, * of fear, and not of peace.

* Or, there is

6 Ask ye now, and see whether + a man doth travail with peace
child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his
loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into

7 'Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it Joel ii. 11. is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved Zeph. i. 14, out of it.

8 For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will break' his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him :

9 But they shall serve the Lord their God, and · David Ezek. xxxiv. their king, whom I will raise up unto them.

10 f Therefore * fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith is xli. 13,8
the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Ísrael : for, lo, I will 2. ch. xlvi. 27,
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.

11 For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee:
though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scat-
tered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will
correct thee u in measure, and will not leave thee altogether u Pf. vl

. l. ch. unpunished.

12 For thus saith the LORD, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous.

13 There is none to plead thy cause, # that thou mayest binden cup, or, be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines.

pressing. and infirmity. After Jeremiah awakes from his vision, or dream, God assures him, that he would be more anxious to restore Israel and Judah, than he had ever been to destroy them. The meaning of the proverbial expression, " the fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge,” seems to have been founded on what is often declared in Scripture, that "God visiteth the sins of the fathers upon the children." It is here promised, that no man hereafter should suffer for the sins of another; but that "every one shall die for his own iniquity,” only. God declares he will make with Israel and Judah a better covenant than he did with their forefathers ; that they shall continue his people as long as the sun and moon endure; and that Jerusalem shall be again built with enlarged boundaries, not to be "plucked up nor thrown down any more for ever."--Blayney in loc.

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X. 24. & xlvi. 28.

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x ch. xv. 18.

y Ex. xxiii. 22. Is. xli, 1l.

A.C. 597. 14 All thy lovers have forgetten thee; they seek thee

not; 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.

15 Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is
incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy
sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee.

16 Therefore all they that devour thee I shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all that prey upon thee will I give for a prey.

17 For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after.

18 | Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob's tents, and have mercy on his dwelling places; and the city shall be builded upon her own * heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof.

19. And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.

20 Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will

pu. nish all that


21 And the nobles shall be of themselves, and their go-
vernor shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will
cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me:
for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me?
saith the LORD.

22 And ye shall be ? my people, and I will be your God.
· 23 Behold, the & whirlwind of the LORD goeth forth with

fury, a t continuing whirlwind : it shall I fall with pain 1 Or, remain. upon the head of the wicked.

24 The fierce anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have done it, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days he shall consider it.

* Or, little hill.

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z ch. xxiv. 7.
& xxxi, 33. &
Xxxii. 38.
a ch, xxiii. 19,
Heb, cutting


I The restoration of Israel. 10 The publication thereof. 15 Rachacl mourning is

comforted. 18 Ephraim repenting is brought home again. 22 Christ is pro-
mised. 27 His care over the church. 31 His new covenant. 35 The stability,
38 and amplitude of the church.

1 At the same time, saith the LORD, will I be the God
of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.

2 Thus saith the LORD, The people which were left of the


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+ Or, have 1 extended

make merry:

Or, timbrels.

Heb. pro

fane them.

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sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I A.C. 597. went to cause him to rest.

3 The LORD hath appeared * of old unto me, saying, * Heb. from Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore + with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

4 Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, Olovingkindness virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy b# tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that b Ex. xv. 20.

5 Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria : the planters shall plant, and shall & eat them as common things.

6 For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the LORD our God.

7 For thus saith the LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations : publish ye, praise ye, and say, O LORD, save thy people, the remnant of Israel.

8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together : a great company shall return thither.

9 They shall come with weeping, and with || supplica- || Or, favours. tions will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.

10 Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar ofl, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.

11 For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.

12 Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd : and their soul shall be as a wa- d Is, lviii. II. tered garden ; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.

13 Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together : for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their SOITOW.

14 And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the

c Ex, iv. 22.

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e Matt. ii. 18.

Deut. xxx.2.

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A.C. 597. 15 9 Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ra

mah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for
her children refused to be comforted for her children, be-
cause they were not.

16 Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weep-
ing, and thine eyes from tears : for thy work shall be re-
warded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from
the land of the enemy.

17 And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again to their own border.

*18 f I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself
thus ; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a
bullock unaccustomed to the yoke : turn thou me, and I shall
be turned ; for thou art the LORD my

19 Surely fafter that I was turned, I repented ; and after
that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed,
yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of
my youth.

20 Is Ephraim my dear son ? is he a pleasant child ? for

since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: Hebsound, therefore


bowels * are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the LORD.

21 Set thee up waymarks, make thee high heaps : set thine heart toward the highway, even the way which thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy cities.

22 | How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter ? for the Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.

23 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; As yet they shall use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities thereof, when I shall bring again their captivity; The Lord bless thee, O habitation of justice, and mountain of holiness.

24 And there shall dwell in Judah itself, and in all the cities thereof together, husbandmen, and they that go forth with flocks.

25 For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.

26 Upon this I awaked, and beheld ; and my sleep was sweet unto me.

27 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast.

28 And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw

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