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Israel’s Redemption


On that day the L ord with his cruel and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will kill the dragon that is in the sea.



On that day:

A pleasant vineyard, sing about it!


I, the L ord, am its keeper;

every moment I water it.

I guard it night and day

so that no one can harm it;


I have no wrath.

If it gives me thorns and briers,

I will march to battle against it.

I will burn it up.


Or else let it cling to me for protection,

let it make peace with me,

let it make peace with me.



In days to come Jacob shall take root,

Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots,

and fill the whole world with fruit.



Has he struck them down as he struck down those who struck them?

Or have they been killed as their killers were killed?


By expulsion, by exile you struggled against them;

with his fierce blast he removed them in the day of the east wind.


Therefore by this the guilt of Jacob will be expiated,

and this will be the full fruit of the removal of his sin:

when he makes all the stones of the altars

like chalkstones crushed to pieces,

no sacred poles or incense altars will remain standing.


For the fortified city is solitary,

a habitation deserted and forsaken, like the wilderness;

the calves graze there,

there they lie down, and strip its branches.


When its boughs are dry, they are broken;

women come and make a fire of them.

For this is a people without understanding;

therefore he that made them will not have compassion on them,

he that formed them will show them no favor.


12 On that day the L ord will thresh from the channel of the Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt, and you will be gathered one by one, O people of Israel. 13And on that day a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship the L ord on the holy mountain at Jerusalem.


5. Will she take hold of my strength? או (ō,) is frequently a disjunctive conjunction, 196196    {Bogus footnote} and therefore this passage is explained as if the particle had been twice used, “Either let her take hold of my strength, or let her make peace with me;” that is, “If she do not enter into favor with me, she will feel my strength to her great loss.” Others explain it somewhat differently, “Who shall take hold of my strength?” that is, “Who shall restrain me?” But I pass by this interpretation, because I consider it to be too far-fetched. I return to that which is more generally received.

It is supposed that God threatens the Jews in order to try all the ways and methods by which they may be brought back to the right path; for God is laid under a necessity to urge us in various ways, because we are accustomed to abuse his forbearance and goodness. On this account he frequently threatens to punish us for our ingratitude, as Isaiah appears to do in this passage, “If they do not choose to avail themselves of my kindness, and repent, that they may return to favor with me, they shall feel my strength, 197197    {Bogus footnote} which I have hitherto restrained.” Yet another meaning equally appropriate might perhaps be drawn from it, as if God exhorted his people to acknowledge his power, which leads them to seek reconciliation; for whence comes that brutish indifference which makes us view without alarm the wrath of God, but because we do not think of his power with due reverence?

But I prefer to view it as a question, as in other passages also it frequently has this meaning. 198198    {Bogus footnote} “Will he take hold of my strength, so as to enter into peace with me?” As if a father, anxious and perplexed about his son, were to groan and complain, “Will not this scoundrel 199199    {Bogus footnote} allow himself to receive benefit? for I know not how I ought to treat him; he cannot endure severity, and he abuses my goodness. What shall I do? I will banish him till he repent, and then he will feel how great is that fatherly power by which I have hitherto preserved him. Since he does not permit me to exercise forbearance, he must be treated with the utmost rigour of the law. Will he not then perceive how great my power is, that he may come into a state of favor with me?” We shall understand this better, if we consider that the source of all our distresses is, that we are not affected with a sense of the divine goodness; for if we should take into consideration the greatness of the blessings which we have received from God, we should quickly be drawn aside from our iniquities and transgressions, and should desire to return into a state of favor with him.

Here we see what care about our salvation is manifested by our Heavenly Father, who wishes us to take hold of his power and goodness, that we may know how great it is, and may partake of it more and more abundantly; for he would wish to deal with us on the same familiar terms as with his children, if we did not prevent him by our wickedness. Since, therefore, we are incapable of enjoying his fatherly tenderness, he must display his strength and majesty, that, being awed by it, and affected by the anticipation of the judgment, we may humbly entreat him, and sincerely implore peace and pardon. Now, this is done when we are truly 200200    {Bogus footnote} converted to him; for, so long as we please ourselves, and flatter our vices, we cannot but displease him; and, on the other hand, if we enter into peace with him, we must make war against Satan and sin.

How earnestly God desires to be reconciled to us appears still more clearly from the repetition of the words. He might have said, in a single word, that he is merciful and ready to bestow pardon; and therefore, when he twice repeats the words, that he may make peace with me, he declares that willingly and most earnestly he hastens to blot out all our offenses.

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