Lecture One Hundred and Eighteenth
6. For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the Lord our God.
6. Quia erit dies, quo clamabunt (sed subaudiendum est relativum) custodes in monte Ephraim, Surgite et ascendamus Sion ad Jehovam Deum nostrum.
The Prophet here amplifies the kindness of God, because he would not only restore the tribe of Judah, but also the ten tribes, who had previously been led into exile. He then promises here a full and complete restoration of the Church. The Prophets do not always speak in the same manner of the liberation of the people; sometimes they confine what they say to the tribe of Judah, as though the rest were in a hopeless state, but often they extend their prophecies to the whole body of the people. So in this place Jeremiah includes, together with the tribe of Judah, the ten tribes, and the half tribe of Benjamin, for some of the tribe of Benjamin had remained and had never revolted from the family of David. But they usually call the kingdom of Israel the ten tribes, and denote the kingdom of Judah by the name of that one tribe: thus the tribe of Benjamin, divided into two parts, is not mentioned.
The meaning, then, of the Prophet is, that when God redeemed his people, not only Judah would return, but also the Israelites, of whom there was hardly a hope, because they had been in exile for a long time; and as they had rejected the pure and legitimate worship of God, they might have been thought to have been excluded from the Church, for by their own perfidy they had shut out themselves, so that they were unworthy of so honorable a distinction. So the Prophet here declares that God's favor would surpass the wickedness and perverseness of the people of Israel.
Hence he says that
"Yet cry shall watchmen on Mount Ephraim, Arise, let us ascend to Zion to our God."
For though in appearance they forsook only the posterity of David, they yet at the same time renounced the true and pure worship of God; and the religion which they followed under Jeroboam was spurious; for they ought to have offered sacrifices to God only in one place, for it is often found in the Law,
"Thou shalt come to the place which the Lord thy God shall choose." (Deuteronomy 12:26)
But they having despised the place which God had appointed for himself, built altars elsewhere. Then their worship was nothing but superstition; and though they multiplied sacrifices, they did nothing but provoke God's wrath; for it is not lawful for us to devise anything beyond what is prescribed in the Law.
The Prophet therefore says,
Now this passage is especially useful; for we may hence learn what is the right state of the Church; it is when all agree in one faith. But we must, at the same time, see what is the foundation of this faith. The Papists indeed boast of this union, but yet they pass by what ought to hold the first place, that is, that all must have regard to the only true God, according to what they are taught by his word. Hence the Prophet here mentions Mount Sion, which had been chosen by God, that he might shew that no unity pleases God, unless men obey his word from the least to the greatest, and not follow their own imaginations, but embrace what he teaches and prescribes in his Law. This is the import of this passage. The Israelites shall then call him their God, from whom they had before wickedly departed. It follows --
1 The verb for "cry" is either in the past tense or in the imperative mood. As there are so many imperatives in this passage, it seems that this is an imperative too. It appears that the latter part of the last verse, this verse, and that which follows, contain what would be addressed to the people after their return. In no other way can the verbs be grammatically rendered. The whole address is as follows, --
"Plant, O ye planters, and eat the fruit;
6. For come is the day: Call ye, O watchmen, on mount Ephraim, 'Arise, and let us go into Sion, to Jehovah our God;'
7. For thus has Jehovah said, Shout ye, 'To Jacob there is joy,' And cry it aloud amont the chief of the nations; Publish, exultingly proclaim, and say, 'Saved hath Jehovah thy people, The remnant of Israel.'"
The passage is a sort of an episode. What follows seems well connected with the former part of the 5th verse (Jeremiah 31:5).
"Eat the fruit," is the meaning, and not the literal version, which can hardly be given: it is so rendered by Blayney. "Call ye," or, proclaim, or, give the invitation. The news was to be made known "among the chief of the nations," as it is evident from the 10th verse (Jeremiah 31:10). "Saved," etc., so the Sept. and the Targum, and more consistent with the context than "save;" but both have "his," i.e., God's, instead of "thy people," i.e., Jacob's. The verb
It is worthy of notice, that in this episode the particulars, mentioned in the 4th verse (Jeremiah 31:4-5), and the beginning of the 5th, are referred to in their reversed order. -- Ed.
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