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Jeremiah 50:20

20. In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.

20. In diebus illis et tempore illo, dicit Jehova, quaeretur iniquitas Israel, et nulla erit, scelus Jehudah, et non invenietur; quia propitius ero his quos fecero residuos.


As I have already said, the Prophet now shows the primary cause why God purposed to deal so kindly and mercifully with his people, even because he would remit their sins. And doubtless whatever is said of the remission of sins is cold and unmeaning, except we be first convinced that God is reconciled and propitious to us. The unbelieving indeed seek no other thing than to be relieved from their evils, as the sick who require nothing from their physician but that he should immediately remove pain. If the sick man thirsts, “Take away thirst,” he will say. In short, they regard only the symptom, of the disease they do not say a word. Such is the case with the ungodly, they neglect the chief thing, that God should pardon them and receive them into favor. Provided they are exempted from punishment, this is enough for them. But as to the faithful, they can never be satisfied until they feel assured that God is propitious to them. In order, then, to free from disquietude and all misgivings the minds of the godly, our Prophet says that God would be propitious, so that he would bury all the sins of Israel and Judah, so that they might no more be remembered or come to judgment.

This passage is remarkable, and from it we especially learn this valuable truth, that when God severely chastises us, we ought not to stop at the punishment and seek only a relief from our troubles, but on the contrary we ought to look to the very cause of all evils, even our sins. So David, in many places, when he seeks from God a relaxation of evil, does not only say, “Lord, deliver me from mine enemies; Lord, restore to me my health; Lord, deliver me from death;” — he does not simply speak thus, but he earnestly flees to God and implores his mercy. And on the other hand, when God promises deliverance from punishment, he does not simply say, “I will restore you from exile or captivity, I will restore you to your own country;” but he says, “I will forgive you your sins.” For when the disease is removed, the symptoms also which accompany the disease disappear. So also it happens in this case, for when God shows that he is propitious to us, we are then freed from punishment, that is, what we have for a time suffered, or what awaited us, had not God spared us according to his infinite mercy and goodness. 6262     The idea of this verse is rightly given in these words: the punishment for iniquity and sins would not be exacted, because God would pardon the remnant; hence they appeared not. The removal of punishment, the restoration from exile, would shew that iniquity and sins no longer existed, God having fully pardoned them, and thus obliterated them.
   The iniquity of Israel was false worship, the worship of the calves, and the sins of Judah were especially idolatry and the rejection of God’s messages by his prophets. For these evils more particularly they were banished, and their exile proved a remedy for them, as they never afterwards fell into these sins. — Ed.

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