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Chapter II.—The Church, Formerly Barren, is Now Fruitful.

“Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not; for she that is desolate hath many more children than she that hath an husband.”43374337    Isa. liv. 1; Gal. iv. 27.  In that He said, “Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not,” He referred to us, for our church was barren before that children were given to her.  But when He said, “Cry out, thou that travailest not,” He means this, that we should sincerely offer up our prayers to God, and should not, like women in travail, show signs of weakness.43384338    Some render, “should not cry out, like women in travail.”  The text is doubtful.  I. ἐκκακῶμεν (faint).  And in that He said, “For she that is desolate hath many more children than she that hath an husband,” [He means] that our people seemed to be outcast from God, but now, through believing, have become more numerous than those who are reckoned to possess God.43394339    It has been remarked that the writer here implies he was a Gentile.  And another Scripture saith, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”43404340    Matt. ix. 13; Luke v. 32.  This means that those who are perishing must be saved.  For it is indeed a great and admirable thing to establish not the things which are standing, but those that are falling.  Thus also did Christ43414341    I. Κύριος (Lord). desire to save the things which were perishing,43424342    Comp. Matt. xviii. 11. and has saved many by coming and calling us when hastening to destruction.43434343    Literally, “already perishing.”


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