Jeremiah 51:10

10. The Lord hath brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the Lord our God.

10. Eduxit (vel, protulit; egredi fecit, ad verbum) Jehova justitias nostras: venite et narremus in Sion opus Jehovae, Dei nostri.


The Prophet here addresses the faithful, and especially shows, that the ruin of Babylon would be a sure evidence of God's paternal favor towards his Church. And it was no common consolation to the faithful, in their extreme miseries, to know, that so dear and precious to God was their salvation, that he would by no means spare the Babylonians, whom the whole world regarded as half gods; for, as I have said, the power of that monarchy filled the minds of men with astonishment. When the faithful, then, knew that the Babylonians were to perish, because they had oppressed and cruelly treated them, an invaluable consolation, as I have said, must hence have been conveyed to them. The Prophet then reminds us here, that it would be a singular testimony as to God's favor to his Church, when he subverted Babylon, and he also exhorts the faithful to gratitude: for it is the design of all God's benefits, that his name may be celebrated by us, according to what David says:

"What shall I render to the Lord for all the benefits which he has bestowed on me? The cup of salvation will I take and call on the name of the Lord." (Psalm 116:12, 13.)

He then says, first, Brought forth hath Jehovah our righteousness. Here, some anxiously toil to untie a knot, where there is none; for fearing lest the word, righteousness, should be laid hold on for the purpose of setting up merits, they say that righteousness is the remission of sins. Then they thus explain the words of the Prophet," God has at length unfolded his mercy towards us, and it is our righteousness when all our iniquities are buried." But this is forced. When the Prophet speaks here of righteousnesses, he does not mean the merits by which the Jews were to obtain what had been promised to them; but righteousnesses he calls their good cause with regard to the Babylonians. For righteousness has various meanings; and when a comparison is made between men, God is said to bring forth our righteousness, when he vindicates our integrity from the calumnies of the wicked. So Jacob said,

"The Lord will bring forth my righteousness as the dawn."
(Genesis 30:33)

But in this sense our righteousness has a reference to our adversaries. So whenever David asked of God to regard his righteousness, he no doubt compared himself with his enemies. And righteousness here is to be taken simply with reference to the Babylonians. For though God had punished the Jews as they deserved, yet as to the Babylonians they were cruel tyrants and wicked robbers. The cause, then, of the chosen people was just, with regard to them. This is the reason why he says, that God brought forth their righteousnesses The rest to-morrow.


Grant, Almighty God, that since thou didst formerly put forth thy wonderful power, to help thy miserably afflicted people, -- O grant, that at this day the same power may be put forth in our behalf, and that the same evidence of thy grace and paternal favor may be shown to us, by raising up thy terrible hand to destroy all the ungodly who cruelly oppress thine innocent people, that being delivered by thine hand, we may learn ever to give thanks to thee, in the name of thine only-begotten Son. -- Amen.


WE began yesterday to explain the words of the Prophet, when he says, that the righteousnesses of the people had been brought to light; and we said, that the word righteousnesses does not refer to God, as though the Jews had deserved a reward, but is, on the contrary, to be understood of a just cause as to the Chaldeans, who, being impelled by avarice and pride alone, had made war against the Church, and without any right, had tyrannically oppressed the people. As far, then, as it was God's will to defend his people, it was a just cause. Nor is there any need of having here, a long dispute respecting this, -- how could the people be just, who had, by so many iniquities, provoked the wrath of God; for, as we have already said, he does not treat now of their merits, but. of a right which depended on the faithfulness and protection of God.

The Prophet now exhorts the faithful to gratitude; he would have them at the same time to rise up to the hope of deliverance, and to cherish the promises which he had given them, when he says, Come, as though he would set before their eyes the gift of redemption. He also shows the end, even that the people were to celebrate the grace of God, as though he had said, that the people, after having obtained mercy, ought to have this in view, to worship God again in his Temple; as though he had said, that when God restored his Church, his pure and true worship should, at the same time, be restored; for the design of his grace is religion, and not the honor or dignity of the people. This is the reason why he says, Come and let us declare in Sion the work of Jehovah our God. Now, when Peter treats of a better redemption, he says, that those who are delivered from the kingdom of darkness ought to set forth the unspeakable praises of God. (1 Peter 2:9.) We must then understand, that God has appeared to us as a Redeemer, in the person of his only-begotten Son, in order that we may celebrate his mercy, which we have experienced, according also to what is said in the song of Zacharias,

"He delivered us from the hand of our enemies, that we may all our life worship him in holiness." (Luke 1:74, 75)

It now follows, --


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