- A promise of the restoration of Israel, from their present deplorable condition, verse 1-15.
- They are reminded of their former sins, and God's judgments, verse 16-20.
- A promise of pardon, ver, 21-24. And sanctification, 25-38
The mountains - The inhabitants being in captivity, speak to the mountains, that is, the land of Judah, and Israel, which was a country full of mountains.
Because the enemy - Many were the enemies of God's people; but they so conspired in one design, that the prophet speaks of them as one, and particularly of Edom.
Swallowed - Devoured you, as hungry beasts devour their prey. Ye are taken up - You are the subject of all their discourse. An infamy - Ever branding you as infamous.
Lifted up mine hand - Sworn in my wrath. The heathen - The Moabites, Ammonites, and Idumeans.
At hand - The time is near, when my people shall come out of Babylon to settle in their own land.
And thou - O land of Canaan. Bereave - Consume thine inhabitants.
They - The heathen round about.
Therefore - I will so bless thee, O land, that thou shalt bring forth and breed up many sons and daughters, and this reproach shall cease for ever.
By their doings - By their carriage, and whole conversation. As the uncleanness - Or as one cut off from the congregation, because of some great sin.
Entered - When they were come into Babylon. Profaned - They sinned. They - Their heathen neighbours. Them - The profane Jews. These - These profane slaves, call themselves the people of the Lord and say, he gave them the land out of which they are driven.
But I had pity - For these sins I had just cause to cut them off; but I had pity, for the glory of my name: had I destroyed them, the heathen would have concluded against my omnipotence, and my truth.
I will sanctify my great name - They gave the heathen occasion to think meanly of me, but I will shew I am as great as good. When God performs what he hath sworn by his holiness, then he sanctifies his name.
Sprinkle - "This signifies both the blood of Christ sprinkled upon their conscience, to take away their guilt, as the water of purification was sprinkled, to take away their ceremonial uncleanness and the grace of the spirit sprinkled on the whole soul, to purify it from all corrupt inclinations and dispositions."
A new heart - A new frame of soul, a mind changed, from sinful to holy, from carnal to spiritual. A heart in which the law of God is written, Jeremiah 31:33. A sanctified heart, in which the almighty grace of God is victorious, and turns it from all sin to God. A new spirit - A new, holy frame in the spirit of man; which is given to him, not wrought by his own power. The stony - The senseless unfeeling. Out of your flesh - Out of you. Of flesh - That is, quite of another temper, hearkening to God's law, trembling at his threats, moulded into a compliance with his whole will; to forbear, do, be, or suffer what God will, receiving the impress of God, as soft wax receives the impress of the seal.
My spirit - The holy spirit of God, which is given to, and dwelleth in all true believers. And cause you - Sweetly, powerfully, yet without compulsion; for our spirits, framed by God's spirit to a disposition suitable to his holiness, readily concurs. Ye shall keep - Be willing; and able to keep the judgments, and to walk in the statutes of God, which is, to live in all holiness.
Ye shall dwell - Observe: then, and not before, are these promises to be fulfilled to the house of Israel. And I will be your God - This is the foundation of the top-stone of a believer's happiness.
I will also save you - I will continue to save you. From all your uncleannesses - Salvation from all uncleannessess, includes justification, entire sanctification, and meetness for glory. The corn - All necessaries comprised in one.
And they - Strangers, or foreigners.
Enquired of - Though I have repeated so often my promise to do this, yet it is their duty to intreat it, to wait on me, and then I will do it.
As the holy flock - Flocks designed to holy uses. In her solemn feasts - These flocks were for quality, the best of all; and for numbers, very great, on the solemn feasts. Thus shall men multiply, and fill the cities of replanted Judea. And the increase of the numbers of men is then honourable, when they are all dedicated to God as a holy flock, to be presented to him for living sacrifices. Crowds are a lovely sight in God's temple.