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PROPHECY XXI. 1. The restoration and conversion of the Jews. ,
Ezekiel xi. 13.
I HEN fell I down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice and said, Ah - Lord God, wilt thou 'make a full end of the remnant of Israel? 14. And
the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 15. Son of man, thy brethren, the men of thy kindred, even all the house of Israel wholly, are they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get ye far from the Lord *: unto us is this land given in possession. 16. Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; Although I have cast them far off among the nations, and although I have scattered them from among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come. 17. Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord
* Unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get ye far from the Lord.] “ The Jews, who were left in their own coun- , “ try, thought themselves more in God's favour, than those
who were carried away captive.” Mr. Lowth in loc. See also his note on Jer, xxiv. 5. B 2
God; I will even gather you from the people *, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. 18. And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof, and all the abominations thereof from thence. 19. And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you t; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: 20. That they may walk in my statutes, and keep my ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my, people, and I will be their God. 21. But, as for them whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, sạith the Lord God,
COMMENTARY. When part of the Jews were carried away cap, tive with Jechoniah, those, that remained still in their own country with Zedekịah, thought them
* I will even gather you from the people.] “ This may be «« in some degree fulfilled in those that returned from captivity, " but the utmost completion of this and the following verses
must be expected at the general restoration of the Jewish “ nation.” Mr. Lowth in loc,
+ I will put a new spirit within you.] “ These promises chiefly “ relate to the general conversion of the Jews, when God shall “ pour out upon them the spirit of grace, in order to their " conversion, Zech. xii. 10." Mş. Lowth in loc,
selves, selves better beloved of God than their brethren of the dispersion, whom they looked upon as outcasts, and as having no right either to the privileges of Jews or to the land of Judèa. This vain confidence is reproved, and a restoration is promised. The prediction relates primarily to the return from Babylon ; but the whole tenor of the latter part of it shews plainly, that it will not receive its full and ultimate accomplishment till the days of the final and general restoration of the Jews. Then, and not till then, can it with propriety be said, that God hath given them a new spirit, and a heart of flesh; that they are faithfully walking in his statutes, and keeping his ordinances:
PROPHECY XXII. The restoration and conversion of Judah and
Israel-The conversion of the Gentiles-Jerusalem the head of all churches, though not by the Mosaical covenant.
Ezekiel xvi. 46. Thine elder sister is Samaria, she and her daughters, that dwell at thy left hand : and thy younger sister that dwelleth at thy right hand, is Sodom and her daughters_53. When I shall bring again their captivity, the captivity of
Sodom and her daughters *, and the captivity or Samaria and her daughters, then will I bring again the captivity of thy captives in the midst of them --55. When thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters t shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate-59. For thus saith the Lord God; I will even deal with thee as thou hast done, which hast despised the oath in breaking the covenant. 60. Nevertheless, I will remember my co. venant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant. 61. Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger: and I will give them unto
* Sodom and her daughters.) “ When the fulness of the 6 Gentiles shall come into the Church, some of whom may be « compared with Sodom for wickedness (see Isaiah i. 9.), then “ will I also remember you, who were my ancient people. “ The contersion of the Gentiles is expressed in Jeremiah by “ returning of the captivity of Mvab, Ammon, und Elam; and by " the Egyptians, Assyrians, Ethiopians, and Syrians, bringing pre" sents to God, and acknowledging themselves his servants, in the “ prophecy of Isaiah. And by the same analogy we are to " understand the returning of the captivity of Sodom here, of the “ Gentiles coming into the Church.” Mr. Lowth in loc.
* Samaria and her daughters.] “ When the prophets foretell 5 the general conversion and restoration of the Jewish nation, they " always join Judah and Israel together, as equal sharers in " that blessing." Mr. Lowth in loc.
thee for daughters, but not by thy covenant *. 62. And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know, that I am the Lord: 63. That thou mayest remember and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy. shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord God.
COMMENTARY. Under the name of Sodom and her daughters, the whole body of the Gentiles is mystically designated. Their conversion to the faith of Christ is here foretold ; and this conversion, agreeably to various other prophecies, is immediately connected with the conversion and restoration both of Israel and Judah. Notwithstanding the many heinous offences of God's ancient people, he will still not forget his covenant with them; and, when at length in the latter ages they shall remember their ways and be ashamed, he will give to the church of Jerusalem her two sisters, the church of the Israelites and the church of the Gentiles, for daughters, not indeed by the Mosaical covenant, but by a new and better covenant, that of the Gospel. Then shall mount Zion be 'the glory of the whole earth, and
,* Not by thy covenant.] “ Not by virtue of that covenant “ mentioned ver, 60, you having forfeited all your title to its " privileges (ver. 89.), ,but by virtue of that new covenant « which I will make with you through the Messiah.” Mr. Lowth in loc.