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27. Deliverance of Israel

In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea. 2In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine. 3I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day. 4Fury is not in me: who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together. 5Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me. 6He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.

7Hath he smitten him, as he smote those that smote him? or is he slain according to the slaughter of them that are slain by him? 8In measure, when it shooteth forth, thou wilt debate with it: he stayeth his rough wind in the day of the east wind. 9By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this is all the fruit to take away his sin; when he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in sunder, the groves and images shall not stand up. 10Yet the defenced city shall be desolate, and the habitation forsaken, and left like a wilderness: there shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down, and consume the branches thereof. 11When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off: the women come, and set them on fire: for it is a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will shew them no favour.

12And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel. 13And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem.

6. Afterwards 201201    {Bogus footnote} shall Jacob put forth roots. He now gives actual proof of that love of which he formerly spoke. In order to understand it better, we must consider the condition of that ancient people; for it was the heritage of God, not through its own merits, but by the blessing of adoption. The Lord might justly have been offended at that nation to such an extent as to destroy it utterly, and blot out its name; but he refrained from exercising such severity, because he had to deal with his vineyard and heritage. He aimed at nothing more than that the people should acknowledge their guilt and return to his favor; and therefore he followed up the former statement with this promise, lest the people, struck with excessive terror at that power which exhibits the judgments of God and his chastisements and stripes, should grow disheartened; for the contemplation of the judgment of God might throw us into despair, if we did not entertain some hope of being restored. Accordingly, he says —

Jacob shall again put forth roots. “Though I shall lessen my Church, and reduce it to a very small number, yet it shall be restored to its ancient and flourishing condition, so as to fill the whole world; for, after having once been reconciled, it will be more and more increased.” This metaphor borrowed from roots is highly elegant; for by the wrath of the Lord we are as it were cut off, so that we appear to be completely slain and dead; but to whatever extent the Lord afflicts his Church, he never allows the roots to die, but they are concealed for a time, and at length bring forth their fruit.

And the face of the world shall be filled with fruit. What he now says, that “the world shall be filled with the fruit” of those roots, was accomplished at the coming of Christ, who collected and multiplied the people of God by the gospel; and Israel was united with the Gentiles in one body, so that the distinction which formerly existed between them was removed. (Ephesians 2:14.) Now, we know that the gospel, and all the fruit that sprung from it, proceeded from the Jews. (Isaiah 2:3; John 4:22.)

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