38. And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel; and you shall know that I am the Lord.
38. Et purgabo1 e vobis rebelles et perfidos in me: e terra habitationum suarum educam impios, et ad terrain Israel non ingredientur: et cognoscetis quod ego Iehovah.
He continues the discourse which he had commenced, namely, that God would not suffer the exiles to withdraw themselves from him from the time he had adopted them. Then, since they were bound by the blessing of redemption, although they thought themselves far removed from the sight of God, after they were cast into exile, he says he would be present to gather them from the land of their dwellings; that is, wherever they were dispersed to bring them out. Some suppose the phrase to include a promise of favor, because it is said, I will purge you; but the word to choose, as I prefer to render it, or to discern, means, that God will drag to light those who think they have obtained hiding-places in which they can escape his eyes. Although, therefore, they promise themselves complete exemption from God's authority, he, on the other hand, pronounces them deceived, since he would collect them all together from the land of their habitations, although they were dispersed in different places. God's threatenings are sufficiently evident from the second clause of the verse, they shall not come, says he, into the land of Israel, and you shall know that I am Jehovah. He confirms what we saw before, that when liberty was granted them, they did not on that account become God's Church, since he had another reason for ruling over them, namely, to chastise them severely for their wickedness. They shall not come, therefore, into the land of Israel; that is, they shall remain, and grow corrupt in the desert, as we know that to be a most severe punishment, when God swore, that except two persons, Caleb and Joshua, no one should enter the land of Canaan. (Numbers 14:23, 24.) So also in this passage, I will free you, that is, when your return to your country shall be evident, a new light shall seem to have shone forth, but yet reflect on what happened to your fathers; for although redeemed, they perished in the desert, and never possessed the land of Canaan. The same thing shall happen to you also:, since your return is only a prelude to my favor: but you shall never return to the land of Israel. But this is extended to those who returned and dwelt in their native land. But we said that Judea was a place of exile since the course of God's favor was broken off, and God begun to plead with them afresh, even when he had led them from their captivity at Babylon. And you shall know that I am Jehovah: as we said yesterday, God is recognized by the reprobate, while they are compelled to acknowledged a judge whose fatherly clemency they had despised. It follows --
1 Or, "I will choose." -- Calvin.
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