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Jeremiah 31:11

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

11. Quia redimet Jehova Jacob et redimet e manu (est quidem aliud verbum, sed idem significat, פדה נאל redemit e manu) potentis (vel, robusti) prae ipso.

 

He goes on with the same subject. He had said before that it would not be a difficult or an arduous work for God to deliver his people; he now says, Jehovah will redeem his people, and will redeem them from the hand of one more powerful than themselves Jeremiah again obviates the doubt which might have dejected the minds of the godly; for this thought ever recurred to them, “How can God redeem us? he might indeed have cheeked the Chaldeans, but now they rule over the whole East; this monarchy is like a gulf in which the whole world is swallowed up: since then God has thus exalted the Chaldean power, we are wholly without hope.” They might then have despaired when they compared this evil with all the remedies that might occur to them. But the Prophet here confirms what he had just stated, that God would be more powerful than the Chaldeans and all other enemies; as though he had said,

“Though your enemies are strong, and ye are like sheep in the jaws of wolves, yet nothing can hinder God from redeeming you.” 2828     The difference between the two verbs seems to be this:, פדה is to rescue, to free, to deliver, either by force or by a ransom; but גאל is to recover what one has a right to, and this also either by force or by a ransom. So that the latter implies a claim or right which is not intimated by the former, —
   For Jehovah will deliver Jacob,
And recover him from a hand stronger than his own.

   Forcible deliverance is no doubt meant here; and the latter verb is very striking, as it implies that God was vindicating his own right in extricating Jacob from the grasp of a hand stronger than his own. — Ed.

To the same purpose is what God says often by his Prophets,

“Ye have been sold for nothing, and redeemed shall
ye be without price,” (Isaiah 52:3)

as though he had said, “I am not bound to pay anything to the Chaldeans, for I did not sell you to them as by a contract, but I sold you on account of your sins; as to them, they have given me no price: let nothing, therefore, terrify you as though they could oppose your deliverance against my will.” How so? “Because they have no right to detain you; therefore, if ye only accept my favor, the strength of your enemies, which appears so formidable, shall not hinder your redemption.” This is the reason why he says that the Chaldeans were stronger or more powerful than the Israelites.

This truth is also of no little use to us at this day; for when we consider how great is the strength of our enemies, despair must overwhelm our minds; but this promise comes to our aid — God testifies that he will in such a way be the Deliverer of his people, that the power of men shall not prevent nor delay his work. It follows, —


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