16. Therefore thus saith the Lord; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the Lord of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.
16. Propterea sic dicit Iehovah, Reversus sum ad Ierusalem in miserationibus; domus mea aedificabitur in ea, dicit Iehovah exercituum; et linea extendetur super Ierusalem.
This is a confirmation of the last prophecy, -- that God purposed to put an end to his chastisement, as it is said by Isaiah, "They have received at Jehovah's hand double for all their sins." For in these words God reminds us that he was satisfied with the punishment he had inflicted on his people, like a father, who thinks that he had been sufficiently severe and rigid in punishing his son. So now,
But in the meantime he exhorts them to humility: for the people could not from this prophecy entertain any hope, except they duly considered that they had suffered justly, because they had provoked God's wrath. Hence the Prophet reminds them that what they had hitherto endured was to be imputed to their sins; but that God yet intended to treat them in a paternal manner; for, as I have already stated, he had promised that his mercy towards his elect and faithful would be perpetual. Hence he says, that he had
He then adds,
This doctrine ought also to be extended to the state of the Church at all times: for whence comes it that the Church remains safe in the world? Nay, how is it that it sometimes increases, except that God indulges us according to his infinite goodness? For we cease not daily to provoke him, and deserve to be wholly exterminated from the world. There would then be no Church, were not God to preserve it in a wonderful manner through his goodness and mercies, and also to restore it when it seems to have wholly fallen. He at length adds --
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