15. And it shall come to pass, after that I have plucked them out, I will return, and have compassion on them, and will bring them again, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land.
15. Et erit postquam extraxero illos, revertar et miserebor ipsorum, et redire ipsos faciam (vel, reducam) unumquenque ad haereditem suam, et unumquenque ad terram suam.
God does not only promise mercy here to the Jews, but also to heathen nations, of whom he would be the Judge, to punish them for the sake of his people. And that this passage is to be extended to aliens is evident from the context; for the Prophet immediately adds, "And it shall be, that when they shall learn the ways of my people, to swear in my name, Live does Jehovah, as they have taught my people to swear by Baal, then shall they be built in the midst of my people." We hence see that God would not only shew mercy to the remnant of his elect people, but also to their enemies.
If it be objected, -- that thus God's favor, manifested towards the children of Abraham, was obscured, the answer is, -- that this availed much to confirm the hope of the faithful; for they had not only to look for their own salvation, but also for that of their enemies, whom God would gather together with them. Thus God rendered double his favor to the Israelites. The Prophet also in this place confirms in a striking manner the confidence of the faithful; for he says that God would be merciful even to their enemies for their sake, as they would be saved in common with themselves. We now then understand the object of the Prophet, when he declares, that God, after having drawn out the Gentiles from their own countries, would again be merciful to them, so as to restore every one of them to their own inheritance and to their own place.
Grant, Almighty God, that as at this day such a dreadful scattering terrifies us on every side, we may learn to raise up our eyes above the world and to hope for that which is now hidden from us, even that in executing thy judgments on the Church as well as on aliens, thou wilt be so merciful to the whole world, as that we may be gathered into the unity of faith: and may we labor to devote ourselves wholly to thy service and cultivate brotherly concord among ourselves: until we shall at length enjoy that eternal inheritance, which has been obtained for us by the blood of thine only -- begotten Son. -- Amen.
We said in our last Lecture that God here promises pardon and salvation to alien nations, provided they repented, and that he did this, that he might more fully confirm his promises to his elect people. We indeed know that all nations were then excluded from the covenant of God: as, then, he would extend his mercy even to them, the Jews might with some confidence entertain hope, since they were already as it were near to God, he having adopted them as his peculiar people and heritage.
And this is what may be easily gathered from the context; for God declares that he would draw forth his own elect from these nations; and then he adds, that he would proceed still further, that he would even receive into favor those who had been previously his enemies. Hence he says,
1 Rather, "I will turn," i.e., from the course he had pursued. This is often the meaning of
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