Ver. 1. Israel. The restoration of the Jews and the redemption of Christ, constitute this fourth division. W.
--- Edom has seized parts of the country, as if I had abandoned my people for ever.
Ver. 2. Heights. Sept. "deserts." The mountains are often styled eternal, as being the best symbols of durability. Deut. xxxiii. 15.
Ver. 3. Reproach. This God had repeatedly threatened. Deut. xxviii. 37. C. Jer. xxiv. 9.
--- People talked of their distress. W.
Ver. 8. Israel. Some apply what follows to the captives returning; others, perceiving that the expressions were not then literally verified, have recourse to the reign of 1000 years. Others again explain the whole of Christ's Church. But some expressions refer to it, and others to the captives; which, though mixed together, induce no confusion, as what belongs to the Jews was a figure of what regarded Christ; and the predictions of the Messias might be applied to the Jews in a hyperbolical sense. S. Aug. Doct. iii. 34. S. Jer. M. T. C.
Ver. 11. Greater. Sept. "similar." H.
--- It would be difficult to shew that the Jews arrived at greater eminence after the captivity than before, (C.) though they were less addicted to idolatry. Their kingdom was not independent: they had no prophets, &c. But the superior numbers and excellence of the Christian Church is manifest.
Ver. 12. Them. Antiochus and the Romans laid waste the country; (C.) and Adrian would not allow the Jews to come near Jerusalem. S. Jer. Eus. iv. 6.
--- The people were not indeed removed together, as they had been. But all this is verified only in the Church, which in the midst of persecutions always subsists. Theodoret thinks these promises were conditional with respect to the Jews.
Ver. 13. Men. This remark was very ancient. Num. xiii. 33. Wars had almost always raged in the country. C.
Ver. 15. More. This whole promise principally relates to the Church of Christ, and God's perpetual protection of her; for to the carnal Jews, they have been removed out of their land these sixteen hundred years. Ch.
Ver. 18. Blood of their own children, and of the innocent. C. xvi. 36. and xxii. 2. and xxxiii. 25.
Ver. 20. Land. Yet their conduct was no better than that of infidels. Thus they throw the blame on the law, and upon God himself. Jer. xlviii. 9. &c. C.
--- The Jews had provoked God to punish them with captivity; and hence the nations took occasion to blaspheme, that he could not protect them. W.
Ver. 22. Holy, that my attributes of justice and mercy may be confessed. Is. xlviii. 2. Dan. iii. 49. Judith viii. 24.
Ver. 25. Water. R. David and the Chal. explain this of the remission of sin; and all Christians understand it of baptism in water, remitting all offences. Eph. v. 26. Tit. iii. 5. W.
--- He alludes to the purification of the Jews, which prefigured baptism and penance, in which the blood of Christ is applied to our souls. This of course was only fulfilled in his church.
Ver. 26. Flesh. The Jews at their return fell not so often into the sins of idolatry, &c. of which the prophets complained. But yet they were far from answering this character. Great irregularities prevailed under Nehemias, and in the days of the Machabees the priests publicly worshipped idols. 1 Esd. ix. and 2 Esd. v. and viii. and 2 Mac. iv. and v. Christ enables his servants to act with purity unto the end, by the influence of his all-powerful grace. C.
Ver. 27. Do them. Hence the efficacy of grace appears, (S. Aug. H.) and hereby some keep the commandments. W.
--- God assists our free-will. Theod. A.Lap. C.
Ver. 37. Find. Heb. "seek." I will cause great multitudes to come to the solemn feast. This was seen still more after the conversion of the Gentiles. C.