4. And I will set up shepherds over them, which shall feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord.
4. Et excitabo super eos pastores, et pascent eos (hoc est, qui pascant,) et non timebunt amplius, et non pavebunt, et non deficient, dicit Jehova.
He confirms the promise, for he would give them faithful and true pastors, who would perform their office as it behoved them; for it would not be enough that the sheep should be restored to their folds, except they were fed. We indeed know that a sheep is a silly animal, and therefore has need of a shepherd to rule and guide it. God then intimates by these words, that after he had collected his flock into the fold it would be the object of his constant care; for he would appoint pastors, who would discharge their office in a far different way from wolves and sacrilegious robbers. He then adds a promise as to their security, which we shall consider tomorrow.
Grant, Almighty God, that since thou didst formerly take such heavy vengeance on the impiety of thine ancient people, that thou didst not spare even kings, who were representatives of Christ, nor their counsellors, -- O grant, that we at this day may continue in obedience to thy word, and not so kindle thy vengeance against us by our ingratitude, as to provoke thee to punish us with that sad and dreadful desolation which thou formerly didst not in vain denounce on thy people; but may thy Church become more and more fruitful, so that we may know that thou art really gracious to us; and may we thus in quietness give thee thanks, and suffer ourselves to be ruled by thee, even by the hand of thine only-begotten Son, until we shall be gathered from our scattering in this world into that eternal rest which he has obtained for us by his own blood. -- Amen.
We said in our yesterday's Lecture, that when the Lord promised to give pastors, he pointed out by this mode of speaking the continuance of his favor; as though he had said, that he would not only be the Redeemer of his people, but would also take care of the safety of those whom he delivered from exile. The two things are indeed necessary, for it would have profited them nothing to have the hand of God stretched forth once in their behalf, except he continued his favors to them to the end. The sum of the whole, then, is this, that the Jews, after being restored to their own country, would be under God's protection, so that their safety would be secured, and be permanent and not momentary.
1 This verb is omitted by the Sept. and Arab., and rendered, "no one of their number shall be sought," by the Vulg.; "nor wander," by the Syr.; "nor be moved," by the Targ. Our version has followed that of Montanus, "neither shall they be lacking." Venema and Gataker render it, "nor shall they be missing;" and Blayney, "nor shall they be visited," that is, with judgment. But the verb is used in the sense of being wanting or missing, see Numbers 31:49; 1 Samuel 25:7; 15:21; and this is the meaning most suitable to this passage, --
And I will set over them pastors, And they will feed them; And they shall fear no more, nor be terrified, Nor be missing, saith Jehovah. -- Ed.
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