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Restoration Promised for Israel and Judah


The word that came to Jeremiah from the L ord: 2Thus says the L ord, the God of Israel: Write in a book all the words that I have spoken to you. 3For the days are surely coming, says the L ord, when I will restore the fortunes of my people, Israel and Judah, says the L ord, and I will bring them back to the land that I gave to their ancestors and they shall take possession of it.

4 These are the words that the L ord spoke concerning Israel and Judah:


Thus says the L ord:

We have heard a cry of panic,

of terror, and no peace.


Ask now, and see,

can a man bear a child?

Why then do I see every man

with his hands on his loins like a woman in labor?

Why has every face turned pale?


Alas! that day is so great

there is none like it;

it is a time of distress for Jacob;

yet he shall be rescued from it.

8 On that day, says the L ord of hosts, I will break the yoke from off his neck, and I will burst his bonds, and strangers shall no more make a servant of him. 9But they shall serve the L ord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.



But as for you, have no fear, my servant Jacob, says the L ord,

and do not be dismayed, O Israel;

for I am going to save you from far away,

and your offspring from the land of their captivity.

Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease,

and no one shall make him afraid.


For I am with you, says the L ord, to save you;

I will make an end of all the nations

among which I scattered you,

but of you I will not make an end.

I will chastise you in just measure,

and I will by no means leave you unpunished.



For thus says the L ord:

Your hurt is incurable,

your wound is grievous.


There is no one to uphold your cause,

no medicine for your wound,

no healing for you.


All your lovers have forgotten you;

they care nothing for you;

for I have dealt you the blow of an enemy,

the punishment of a merciless foe,

because your guilt is great,

because your sins are so numerous.


Why do you cry out over your hurt?

Your pain is incurable.

Because your guilt is great,

because your sins are so numerous,

I have done these things to you.


Therefore all who devour you shall be devoured,

and all your foes, every one of them, shall go into captivity;

those who plunder you shall be plundered,

and all who prey on you I will make a prey.


For I will restore health to you,

and your wounds I will heal,

says the L ord,

because they have called you an outcast:

“It is Zion; no one cares for her!”



Thus says the L ord:

I am going to restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob,

and have compassion on his dwellings;

the city shall be rebuilt upon its mound,

and the citadel set on its rightful site.


Out of them shall come thanksgiving,

and the sound of merrymakers.

I will make them many, and they shall not be few;

I will make them honored, and they shall not be disdained.


Their children shall be as of old,

their congregation shall be established before me;

and I will punish all who oppress them.


Their prince shall be one of their own,

their ruler shall come from their midst;

I will bring him near, and he shall approach me,

for who would otherwise dare to approach me?

says the L ord.


And you shall be my people,

and I will be your God.



Look, the storm of the L ord!

Wrath has gone forth,

a whirling tempest;

it will burst upon the head of the wicked.


The fierce anger of the L ord will not turn back

until he has executed and accomplished

the intents of his mind.

In the latter days you will understand this.

Here, again, the Prophet promises that God would be gracious to his people, but after a long time, when that perverseness would be subdued, which could not be soon cured. We ought, then, ever to bear in mind the difference between the promise of favors, of which Jeremiah was a witness and a herald, and those vain boastings, by which the false prophets deceived the people, when they encouraged them to expect a return in a short time, and said that the term of deliverance was at hand.

And this difference ought to be noticed on this account, because a most useful doctrine may hence be gathered: the unprincipled men who basely pretend God’s name, have this in common with his true and faithful servants, — that they both hold forth the favor of God: but those who falsely use God’s name bury the doctrine of repentance; for they seek only to soothe people with flatteries: and as they hunt for favor, they wholly omit the doctrine that may offend, and is in no way sweet and pleasant to the flesh. Jeremiah did not, indeed, deal so severely with the people, but that he gave them some hope of pardon, and always mitigated whatever severity there was in the doctrine of repentance: but at the same time he did not, by indulgence, cherish the vices of the people, as was wont to be done by the false prophets. But what did these do? they boasted that God was merciful, slow to wrath, and ready to be reconciled to sinners: hence they concluded that exile would not be long; and at the same time, as we have said, they perfidiously flattered the people. So then, it ought to be borne in mind, that we are not fit to receive the favor of God, nor are capable of it, so to speak, until all the pride of the flesh be really subdued, and also all self-security be corrected and removed.

We now see why the Prophet subjoined the promise of favor, after having spoken of the dreadful judgment of God. But the illative, לכן laken, does not seem suitable; for how can this verse be connected with the threatenings which we have noticed? Therefore they who devour thee shall be devoured But therefore refers to what he had before said. 1313     What seems to be his meaning is, that as God had punished his people, therefore he would punish the nations. The versions and the Targ. render it “therefore;” but Lowth gives “yet surely;” and Blayney, “afterwards.” But we may render it “therefore,” or for this reason, as anticipative of what is contained at the end of the next verse, “Because an outcast have they called thee. Sion, whom no one seeks.” Venema, apprehending this to be the sense of the passage, supposed that the two verses have been transposed: but this kind of construction is not unfrequent in Scripture. — Ed. It is not then strange, that he draws the inference, — that God having taken vengeance on the wickedness of the people, would also execute vengeance on their enemies. Then the illative is not unsuitable, because the time of mercy had arrived when the Jews became subdued, so as to humble themselves before God and to repent of their sins.

But there is here a common doctrine which we meet with everywhere in the Prophets, even that God, after having made a beginning with his Church, becomes then a judge of all nations; for if he by no means spares his elect, his own family, how can he leave aliens unpunished? And it is the perpetual consolation of the Church, that though God employs the wicked as scourges to chastise his people, vet their condition is not better, for when they have triumphed for a moment, God will soon bring them to judgment. There is, therefore, no reason why the faithful should envy their enemies when they are chastened by God’s hand, and when their enemies exult in their pleasures; for their prosperity will soon come to an end, and with the same measure will God mete unto them the reward of the wrong done to his people.

Whosoever, then, devours thee shall be devoured, and all thine enemies, yea, all, shall go into captivity; and, lastly, they who plunder thee, etc., which is rendered by some, “they who tread thee shall be for treading.” But as the verb means plundering, to avoid repetition, I prefer the former meaning: “They, then, who spoil thee shall become a spoil, and they who plunder thee shall be for plunder.” The reason follows, —

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