31:1 At the a same time, saith the LORD, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.
(a) When this noble governor will come, meaning
Christ, not only Judah and Israel, but the rest of the world will be called.
31:2 Thus saith the LORD, The people [who were] b
left by the sword found grace in the wilderness; c
[even] Israel, when I went to cause him to rest.
(b) Who were delivered from the cruelty of
(c) That is, God.
31:3 The LORD appeared d
of old to me, [saying], e I have loved
thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
(d) The people thus reason as though he were not
so beneficial to them now as he had been of old.
(e) Thus the Lord answers that his love is not
31:4 Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be
built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again f
be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make
(f) You will still have opportunity to rejoice
which is meant by tabrets and dancing as their custom was after notable
31:5 Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains
of g Samaria: the planters shall plant,
and h shall eat [them] as common things.
(g) Because the Israelites who were the ten
tribes never returned to Samaria, therefore this must be spiritually
understood under the kingdom of Christ, which was the restoration of the true
(h) That is, will eat the fruit of it, as in (Leviticus
31:6 For there shall be a day, [that] the i
watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to k
Zion to the LORD our God.
(i) The ministers of the word.
(k) They will exhort all to the embracing of the
gospel, as in (Isaiah
31:7 l For
thus saith the LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of
the nations: proclaim ye, praise ye, and say, O LORD, save thy people, the
remnant of Israel.
(l) He shows what will be the concord and love of
all under the gospel when none will be refused for their infirmities: and
everyone will exhort one another to embrace it.
31:9 They shall come with m
weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by
the rivers of n waters in a straight
way, in which they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim
[is] o my firstborn.
(m) That is, lamenting their sins which had not
given ear to the prophets and therefore it follows that God received them to
50:4). Some take it that they should weep for joy.
(n) Where they found no impediments, but
abundance of all things.
(o) That is, my dearly beloved as the first child
is to the father.
31:11 For the LORD hath
redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand p
of [him that was] stronger than he.
(p) That is, from the Babylonians and other
31:12 Therefore they shall come and sing in the
height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for q
grain, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the
herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any
more at all.
(q) By these temporal benefits he means the
spiritual graces which are in the Church, and of which there would ever be
31:13 Then shall the virgin rejoice in the r
dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy,
and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.
(r) In the company of the faithful, who ever
praise God for his benefits.
31:14 And I will abundantly satisfy the soul of
the priests with s fatness, and my
people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the LORD.
(s) Meaning, the spirit of wisdom, knowledge and
31:15 Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in
Ramah, lamentation, [and] bitter weeping; t
Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children,
because they [were] not.
(t) To declare the greatness of God's mercy in
delivering the Jews, he shows them that they were like the Benjamites of the
Israelites, that is, utterly destroyed and carried away, so much so that if
Rachel the mother of Benjamin could have risen again to seek her children she
would have found none remaining.
I have surely heard u Ephraim bemoaning
himself [thus]; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a x
bull unaccustomed [to the yoke]: y turn
thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou [art] the LORD my God.
(u) That is, the people who were led captive.
(x) Which was wanton and could not be subject to
(y) He shows how the faithful used to pray, that
is, desire God to tame them as they cannot turn of themselves.
31:19 Surely after I was turned, I repented; and
after I was instructed, I smote upon [my] z
thigh: I was ashamed, and even confounded, because I bore the reproach of my
(z) In sign of repentance and detestation of my
31:20 [Is] Ephraim a
my dear son? [is he] a pleasant child? for since I spoke against him, I do
earnestly b remember him still:
therefore my heart is troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith
(a) As though he would say no for by his iniquity
he did what lay in him to cast me off.
31:21 Set thee up c
waymarks, make thee high heaps: set thy heart toward the highway, [even] the way
[which] thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy
(c) Mark by what way you went into captivity and
you will turn again by the same.
31:22 How long wilt thou wander about, O thou
backsliding daughter? for the LORD hath created d
a new thing in the earth, A woman shall encompass a man.
(d) Because their deliverance from Babylon was a
figure of their deliverance from sin, he shows how this would be procured that
is, by Jesus Christ, whom a woman would conceive and bear in her womb. Which
is a strange thing in earth, because he would be born of a virgin without man
or he means that Jerusalem which was like a barren woman in her captivity
would be fruitful as she that is joined in marriage and whom God blesses with
Upon this I awoke, and beheld; and my sleep e
was sweet to me.
(e) Having understood this vision of the Messiah
to come, in whom the two houses of Israel and Judah would be joined, I
31:27 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that
I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah f
with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast.
(f) I will multiply and enrich them with people
31:29 In those days they
shall say no more, The fathers have g
eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge.
(g) The wicked used this proverb when they
murmured against God's judgments pronounced by the prophets, saying that
their fathers had committed the fault and that the children were punished, (Ezekiel
31:31 Behold, the days
come, saith the LORD, that I will make a h
new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
(h) Though the covenant of redemption made to the
fathers and this which was given later seemed varied, yet they are all one and
grounded on Jesus Christ, save that this is called new, because of the
manifestation of Christ and the abundant graces of the Holy Spirit given to
his Church under the gospel.
31:32 Not according to the covenant that I made
with their fathers in the day [that] I took them by the hand to bring them out
of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they i
broke, although I was an husband to them, saith the LORD:
(i) And so were the opportunity of their own
divorcement through their infidelity, (Isaiah
31:33 But this [shall be] the covenant that I will
make with the house of Israel; After k
those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write
it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
(k) In the time of Christ, my law will instead of
tables of stone be written in their hearts by my Holy Spirit, (Hebrews
31:34 And they shall l
teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know
the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of
them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember
their sin no more.
(l) Under the kingdom of Christ there will be no
one blinded with ignorance, but I will give them faith, and acknowledge God
for remission of their sins and daily increase the same: so that it will not
seem to come so much by the preaching of my ministers as by the instruction of
my Holy Spirit, (Isaiah
54:13) but the full accomplishing of it is referred to the kingdom of
Christ, when we will be joined with our head.
31:35 Thus saith the LORD, who giveth m
the sun for a light by day, [and] the ordinances of the moon and of the stars
for a light by night, who divideth the sea when its waves roar; The LORD of
hosts [is] his name:
(m) If the sun, moon and stars cannot but glue
light according to my ordinance, so long as this world lasts, so shall my
church never fail, neither shall anything hinder it: and as sure as I will
have a people, so certain is it, that I will leave them my word forever to
govern them with.
31:37 Thus saith the LORD;
If heaven above can be measured, n and
the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the
seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.
(n) The one and the other is impossible.
31:38 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that
the o city shall be built to the LORD
from the tower of Hananeel to the gate of the corner.
(o) As it was performed, (Nehemiah
3:1). By this description he shows that the city would be as ample and
beautiful as it ever was: but he alludes to the spiritual Jerusalem whose
beauty would be incomparable.