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Jeremiah 31:13

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 sorrow.

13. Tunc laetabitur virgo (aut puella) in choro et adolescentes (vel, electi; sed significat proprie adolescentes) et senes pariter; et convertam luctum eorum in gaudium, et consolabor eos et exhilarabo a suo dolore.

 

This is a confirmation of the former verse; for he says that joy would be in common to young women and young men, and also to the old. He had spoken of the perpetuity of joy; but he now extends this joy to both sexes, women and men, and to all ages. Of the dance we have spoken elsewhere, — that wantonness in which the world indulges in its hilarity, was not permitted; as to profane men, there is no moderation in their joy. The Prophets followed the common mode of speaking; and, indeed, the Israelites had their dances while celebrating the praises of God; but it was a chaste and modest joy, yea, and a sacred joy, for it was a mode of worshipping God. Yet the Prophet speaks according to the common practices of the people, as in many other places, when he says that young women and young men would rejoice in the dance

He then adds, I will turn their mourning to joy, I will console them and exhilarate them from their grief 3131     This clause may be rendered thus, —
   For I will turn their mourning into rejoicing,
And I will comfort them and cheer them above their sorrow.

   That is, “I will give them comfort and joy more than the sorrow which they have had.” The preposition מ, has often the meaning of above or more than. See Deuteronomy 14:2. Their sorrow had been great, but the promise here is, to give them in proportion a comfort and a joy still greater. — Ed.
Here the Prophet averts the thoughts of the Israelites from the evils they then had, lest their grief should so darken their minds as to prevent them to taste of God’s goodness promised them. That the feeling, then, of present evils might not hinder them to come to God and receive his favor, he speaks of their grief and mourning, and intimates that the change would be easily made by God’s hand, when it pleased him to deliver his people and restore them to their former state, so that their complete happiness would take place under the reign of Christ.


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