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Zephaniah 3:19

19. Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame.

19. Ecce ego conficiens omnes oppressores tuos (qui te humiliant, ad verbum) in tempore illo; et servabo claudicantem, et reducam expulsam ad faciendum eos in laudem et nomen in terra opprobrii ipsorum.

 

He confirms here what I have referred to in the last verse that God would overcome all obstacles, when his purpose was to restore his people. On this the Prophet, as we have said, dwells, that the Jews might in their exile sustain themselves with the hope of deliverance. As, then, they could not instantly conceive what was so incredible according to the perceptions of the flesh, he testifies that there is sufficient power in God to subdue all enemies.

At that time, he says, he repeats what had been stated before—that his people must wait as long as God pleases to exercise them under the cross; for if their option had been given to the Jews, they would have willingly continued at their ease; and we know how men are wont to exempt themselves from every trouble, fear, and sorrow. As therefore men naturally desire rest and immunity from all evil, the Prophet here exhorts the faithful to patience, and shows, that it cannot be that God will become their deliverer, except they submit to his chastisement; at that time then. It is ever to be observed, that the Prophet condemns that extreme haste which usually takes hold of men when God chastises them. However slowly then and gradually God proceeds in the work of delivering his own, the Prophet shows here, that there was no reason for them to despair, or to be broken down in their spirits. 124124     The first clause in this verse is amended by Newcome and some other in conformity with the Septuagint: but this is a very unsafe process. Henderson’s version is—Behold, I will deal with all thine oppressors at that time. “Deal,” [עשה]; “interficiam—I will slay,” Vulg.; “conficiam—I will make an end,” Drusius; but to “deal with,” or “act against,” is the literal rendering. More is implied than what is expressed, which is often the case with words used in every language.—Ed.

He then subjoins, that he would save the halting, and restore the driven away. By these words he means, that though the Church would be maimed and torn, there would yet be nothing that could hinder God to restore her: for by the halting and the driven away he understands none other than one so stripped of power as wholly to fail in himself. He therefore compares the Church of God to a person, who, with relaxed limbs, is nearly dead. Hence, when we are useless as to any work, what else is our life but a languor like to death? But the Prophet declares here, that the seasonable time would come when God would relieve his own people: though they were to become prostrate and fallen, though they were to be scattered here and there, like a torn body of man, an arm here and a leg there, every limb separated; yet he declares that nothing could possibly prevent God to gather his Church and restore it to its full vigor and strength. In short, he means that the restoration of the Church would be a kind of resurrection; for the Lord would humble his people until they became almost lifeless, so as not to be able to breathe: but he would at length gather them, and so gather them that they would not only breathe but be replenished with such new vigor as though they had received no loss. I cannot finish the whole today.


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