33. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; the children of Israel and the children of Judah were oppressed together: and all that took them captives held them fast; they refused to let them go.
33. Sic dicit Jehova exercituum, Oppressi fuerunt filii Israel et filii Jehudah pariter; et omnes qui captivos ceperunt praevaluerunt contra ipsos, et renuerunt ipsos dimittere.
34. Their Redeemer is strong; the Lord of hosts is his name: he shall thoroughly plead their cause, that he may give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon.
34. Redemptor (inquit) eorum fortis, Jehova exercituum nomen ejus; litem litigando litigabit, (hoc est, disceptando disceptabit causam ipsorum,) ut terram ipsam reddat tranquillam, (ut alii vetrunt, sed ego potius ita interpretor, ut terram scindat,) et contremiscere faciat habitatores Babylonis.
Our Prophet returns again to his former subject -- that God, in destroying the Babylonian monarchy, would have a regard to his chosen people. But the comparison made here is very important; for in the first place, the Prophet refers to an occasion of diffidence and even of despair, which might have closed up the way against all his prophecies. For this objection might have always been made, "We are driven into exile, we are in a far country, and in places distant from one another; it is the same as though we were in another world, and we can hardly move a foot without our conquerors being enraged against us." Thus the Jews, according to the aspect of things at that time, could not otherwise than despair of returning to their own country. This, then, is the reason why the Prophet says here, by way of concession, "It is, indeed, true that the children of Judah and the children of Israel are oppressed with cruel tyranny:" as when we wish to secure faith, we state what seems to be opposed to us, and then dissipate it; so now the Prophet does in this place, as though he had said, "I see what his own mind may dictate to every one, even that the children of Judah, as well as the children of Israel, are held captive, and shut up by such fastnesses that no way of escape is open to them."
When he speaks of the children of Israel and of the children of Judah, we must remember that the ten tribes had been led into exile, and also that the whole kingdom had been destroyed; and at length, after a considerable time, the Chaldeans took possession also of the kingdom of Judah. Hence then it was, that both the Israelites and the Jews became subject to a cruel oppression. He therefore adds,
But he immediately after removes this ground of despair, and says,
He afterwards adds what is of the same import,
Grant, Almighty God, that, as thou hast deigned once to take us under thy protection, we may always raise up our eyes to thine infinite power, and that when we see all things not only confounded, but also trodden under foot by the world, we may not yet doubt but that thy power is sufficient to deliver us, so that we may perpetually call on thy name, and with firm constancy so fight against all temptations, that we may at length enjoy in thy celestial kingdom the fruit of our victory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. -- Amen.
1 The versions, except the Syr. and the Targ., give a similar meaning to this verb: but there is no instance of the verb in Hiphil having this meaning, though it would be the most suitable to this place. At the same time we may consider the land of Chaldea to be meant, if we regard the stillness or quietness as referring to the check produced by God's restraining power, --
So as to render the land still,
And to terrify the inhabitants of Babylon.
The promise is to make the land quiet so as not to oppose the return of the Jews, and for the same purpose, to terrify Babylon. -- Ed.
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