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Ezekiel 20:34

34. And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out.

34. Et educam vos e populis, et colligam vose terris per quas fuistis dispersi, in manu valida, (vel robusta,) et brachio extento, et excandescentia effusa.

 

He confirms the same sentiment, and at the same time marks out the manner of his dominion. For when the Jews were dispersed in captivity, they were like strangers to God’s jurisdiction: they were mingled with the Gentiles, and their condition seemed very like an exemption from God’s power. Now God signifies when he wishes to recover his right, that he had a place at hand, since he will bring them out from the Gentiles, and gather them from the lands through which they were dispersed. We are aware, as we have often said before, that it was a kind of abdication, when God expelled the ten tribes from the land of Canaan and a part also of that of Judea. Since then they were disinherited, they thought themselves free on their part, and they no longer regarded the authority of God, since they ceased to be his peculiar heritage when they were deprived of the promised land. Here God reminds them that although he had emancipated them for the time, yet they were in some sense under his hand, since he would collect them again, and so subdue them, that they should not escape his authority. I will draw you back, says he, and gather you with an outstretched arm and with a strong hand. But what he adds concerning the fury of his wrath does not seem consistent with this. For it was a sign of favor to collect them again, although hard and sorrowful slavery awaited them; yet they might perceive some taste of the divine goodness in gathering them from exile. For we know the bitterness of their captivity; especially under the Chaldaeans, by whom they were subdued. But the phrase wrath may relate as much to the Gentiles as to the Israelites themselves: yet I explain it more willingly of the Israelites, because although God in reality shows that he did not altogether neglect them, yet he asserts his right as a master grievously offended. Just as a person who had lost his slave may afterwards receive him into his house, and yet that house may be like a sepulcher, because he is either thrust into a deep dungeon, or three or four times as much is exacted of him as he can bear. So therefore God pronounces, although he may gather the Israelites again under his hand, yet they shall feel him to be displeased with them, since he nevertheless will require the punishment of their impiety; and this will be better understood from the context.

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