12. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.
12. Et beatos dicent vos cunctae gentes, quia eritis vos terra desiderii (desiderabilis) dicit Iehova exercituum.
This verse is taken from the law, in which among other things God promises so happy a state to his chosen people, that the nations themselves would acknowledge in them the blessing of God. There is yet a contrast to be understood, -- that having fallen into such misery, they were become as it were detestable to all nations, according to what the law also declares concerning them,
"If thou shalt keep my precepts, all nations shall call thee blessed; but if thou wilt despise me, thou shalt be a sport to all nations, all shall shake the head and move the lips; yea, they shall be astonished at the sight of thy misery, and whosoever shall hear his ears will tingle." (Deuteronomy 28:1, 15.)
As then the Jews were consumed as it were in their miseries, the Prophet says, "If you turn to God, that happiness which he has promised you shall not be withheld; he has it as it were ready in his hand, like a treasure that is hidden, according to what is said in Psalm 31:19, 'How great is the abundance of thy goodness! but it is laid up for them who fear thee.'" God then means, that he will not prostitute his blessing to dogs and swine, but that it is always in reserve for his children, who are teachable and obedient.
This promise also is taken from the law, in which God says, that he had not in vain separated that land from the rest, because it was to be an example or a representation of his kindness through the whole world. We indeed know that God has ever been bountiful even to all nations, so as to satisfy them abundantly with provisions; but the land of Israel is called the land of desire, or a desirable land, because it was the special scene of God's bounty, not only as to meat and drink, but also as to other more excellent blessings. He now adds --
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