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AND thou son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say: Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord:

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.



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2 Thus saith the Lord God: Because the enemy hath said of you: Aha, the everlasting heights are given to us for an inheritance.

Ver. 2.  Heights.  Sept. "deserts."  The mountains are often styled eternal, as being the best symbols of durability.  Deut. xxxiii. 15.


3 Therefore prophesy, and say: Thus saith the Lord God: Because you have been desolate, and trodden under foot on every side, and made an inheritance to the rest of the nations, and are become the subject of the talk, and the reproach of the people:

Ver. 3.  Reproach.  This God had repeatedly threatened.  Deut. xxviii. 37.  C.  Jer. xxiv. 9.

 

--- People talked of their distress. W.


4 Therefore, ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God: Thus saith the Lord God to the mountains, and to the hills, to the brooks, and to the valleys, and to desolate places, and ruinous walls, and to the cities that are forsaken, that are spoiled, and derided by the rest of the nations round about. 5 Therefore thus saith the Lord God: In the fire of my zeal I have spoken of the rest of the nations, and of all Edom, who have taken my land to themselves, for an inheritance with joy, and with all the heart, and with the mind: and have cast it out to lay it waste.


6 Prophesy therefore concerning the land of Israel, and say to the mountains, and to the hills, to the ridges, and to the valleys: Thus saith the Lord God: Behold I have spoken in my zeal, and in my indignation, because you have borne the shame of the Gentiles. 7 Therefore thus saith the Lord God: I have lifted up my hand, that the Gentiles who are round about you, shall themselves bear their shame. 8 But as for you, O mountains of Israel, shoot ye forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel: for they are at hand to come.

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.


9 For lo I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be ploughed and sown. 10 And I will multiply men upon you, and all the house of Israel: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the ruinous places shall be repaired. 11 And I will make you abound with men and with beasts: and they shall be multiplied, and increased: and I will settle you as from the beginning, and will give you greater gifts, than you had from the beginning: and you shall know that I am the Lord.

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.


12 And I will bring men upon you, my people Israel, and they shall possess thee for their inheritance: and thou shalt be their inheritance, and shalt no more henceforth be without them.

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.


13 Thus saith the Lord God: Because they say of you: Thou art a devourer of men, and one that suffocatest thy nation:

Ver. 13.  Men.  This remark was very ancient.  Num. xiii. 33.  Wars had almost always raged in the country.  C.


14 Therefore thou shalt devour men no more, nor destroy thy nation any more, saith the Lord God: 15 Neither will I cause men to hear in thee the shame of the nations any more, nor shalt thou bear the reproach of the people, nor lose thy nation any more, saith the Lord God.

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.


16 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 17 Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it with their ways, and with their doings: their way was before me like the uncleanness of a menstruous woman. 18 And I poured out my indignation upon them for the blood which they had shed upon the land, and with their idols they defiled it.

Ver. 18.  Blood of their own children, and of the innocent.  C. xvi. 36. and xxii. 2. and xxxiii. 25.


19 And I scattered them among the nations, and they are dispersed through the countries: I have judged them according to their ways, and their devices. 20 And when they entered among the nations whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when it was said of them: This is the people of the Lord, and they are come forth out of his land.

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.



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21 And I have regarded my own holy name, which the house of Israel hath profaned among the nations to which they went in. 22 Therefore thou shalt say to the house of Israel: Thus saith the Lord God: It is not for your sake that I will do this, O house of Israel, but for my holy name's sake, which you have profaned among the nations whither you went.

Ver. 22.  Holy, that my attributes of justice and mercy may be confessed.  Is. xlviii. 2.  Dan. iii. 49.  Judith viii. 24.


23 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the Gentiles, which you have profaned in the midst of them: that the Gentiles may know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord of hosts, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.

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24 For I will take you from among the Gentiles, and will gather you together out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land.
25 And I will pour upon you clean water, and you shall be cleansed from all your filthiness, and I will cleanse you from all your idols.

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.


26 And I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give you a heart of flesh.

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.



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27 And I will put my spirit in the midst of you: and I will cause you to walk in my commandments, and to keep my judgments, and do them.

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.


28 And you shall dwell in the land which I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. 29 And I will save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for corn, and will multiply it, and will lay no famine upon you. 30 And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the held, that you bear no more the reproach of famine among the nations. 31 And you shall remember your wicked ways, and your doings that were not good: and your iniquities, and your wicked deeds shall displease you. 32 It is not for your sakes that I will do this, saith the Lord God, be it known to you: be confounded, and ashamed at your own ways, O house of Israel. 33 Thus saith the Lord God: In the day that I shall cleanse you from all your iniquities, and shall cause the cities to be inhabited, and shall repair the ruinous places, 34 And the desolate land shall be tilled, which before was waste in the sight of all that passed by, 35 They shall say: This land that was untilled is become as a garden of pleasure: and the cities that were abandoned, and desolate, and destroyed, are peopled and fenced. 36 And the nations, that shall be left round about you, shall know that I the Lord have built up what was destroyed, and planted what was desolate, that I the Lord have spoken and done it. 37 Thus saith the Lord God: Moreover in this shall the house of Israel find me, that I will do it for them: I will multiply them as a flock of men,

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.


38 As a holy dock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts: so shall the waste cities be full of flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the Lord.


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