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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 30:17

`For I will restore you to health And I will heal you of your wounds,' declares the LORD, `Because they have called you an outcast, saying: "It is Zion; no one cares for her."'


Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Restore health - Or, “apply a bandage” (Jeremiah 8:22 note). For they called read “they call.”


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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 30:17". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/jeremiah-30.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For I will restore health to thee,.... That is, bring thee into a comfortable and prosperous condition, both in church and state, with respect to things religions and civil: as the afflictions and distresses of the Jewish nation are expressed by sickness, wounds, and bruises; so their prosperity, both spiritual and temporal, is signified by health. The words may be rendered, "I will cause length to ascend unto thee"; or a long plasterF26אעלה ארכה לך "adducam tibi emplastrum longum", so some in Gataker; "faciam ut ad justam constitutionem assurgas", Junius & Tremellius; "ut assurgat sanitas tibi", Piscator; "nam faciam ut ascendat tibi proceritas", Cocceius. ; or rather, that which has been long looked for, and long in coming, prosperity; or else, that whereas they were before bowed down with afflictions and sorrows, now they should be as a man in an erect posture, that rises up in his full height and length, being in a robust and healthful state;

and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; pardon their sins, remove their afflictions, and bring them into a comfortable situation, into a Gospel church state, and into their own land:

because they called thee an outcast; as the Jews now are, cast out of their own land, rejected from being the people of God; so they are reckoned by the nations among whom they are:

saying, this is Zion, whom no man seeketh after: after their good, either temporal or spiritual; despised by most, pitied and prayed for by few; and fewer still they are that seek after, and are solicitous about, or take any methods, or make use of any means, for their conversion; but though man does not, God will, and his work will appear the more manifest.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 30:17". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jeremiah-30.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

(Jeremiah 8:22; Jeremiah 33:6).

Outcast — as a wife put away by her husband (Isaiah 62:4, contrasted with Jeremiah 30:12).

Zion — alluding to its Hebrew meaning, “dryness”; “sought after” by none, as would be the case with an arid region (Isaiah 62:12). The extremity of the people, so far from being an obstacle to, will be the chosen opportunity of, God‘s grace.


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 30:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/jeremiah-30.html. 1871-8.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

When God promised favor to the Jews, he referred to their enemies; for it would have been a grievous temptation, which would have otherwise not only disturbed and depressed their minds, but also extinguished all faith, to see their enemies enjoying all they could wish, and successful in everything they attempted, had not this consolation been granted them, — that their enemies would have at length to render an account for the wickedness in which they gloried. But now the main thing is here expressed, — that God, when reconciled to his people, would heal the wounds which he had inflicted; for he who inflicts wounds on us, can alone heal us. He exercises judgment in punishing, he afterwards undertakes the office of a Physician, to deliver us from our evils. It is, therefore, the same as though the Prophet had said, “When the right time shall pass away, which God has fixed as to his people, deliverance is to be hoped for with certainty; for the Lord has decreed to punish his people only for a time, and not wholly to destroy them.”

Iwill bring thee, he says, healing, and will heal thee of thy wounds And this admonition was very necessary, for the Jews had nearly rotted in their exile when God delivered them. They might have then been a hundred times overwhelmed with despair; but God bids them here to raise upwards their minds, so as to expect help from heaven, for there was none on earth. And he adds, because they called thee, Zion, an outcast whom no one seeketh; that is, of whom, or of whose welfare, no one is solicitous. He confirms what I have before said, — that the extreme evils of the people would be no hinderance when God came to deliver them, but, on the contrary, be the future occasion of favor and mercy. When, therefore, the people should become so sunk in misery as to make all to think their deliverance hopeless, God promises that he would then be their Redeemer. And this is what we ought carefully to notice: for we look around us here and there, whenever we hope for any help; but God shews that he will be then especially propitious to us, when we are in a hopeless state according to the common opinion of men. It follows, —


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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 30:17". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jeremiah-30.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Jeremiah 30:17 For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD because they called thee an Outcast, [saying], This [is] Zion, whom no man seeketh after.

Ver. 17. For I will restore health.] It goes best with the Church when worst with her enemies. It shall do so much more when all Christ’s foes shall be made his footstool.

Because they called thee an Outcast.] Concluding so from thine afflictions. The Jewish nation, saith Cicero, (a) show how well God regards them, that have been so oft subdued, by the Chaldees, Greeks, Romans, &c. This was but a slender argument, only God is moved by the enemy’s insolence and insults to look in mercy the rather upon his poor despised and despited people.

Saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after.] Illusio ex allusione, this was a jeer by playing upon her name, (b) as if Zion signified a dry or waste place, and therefore not much to be desired. Strabo indeed saith as much of Judea; and Mount Zion at this day, nihil habet eximium, nihil expetendum, hath no great desire in it. But certainly Judea was once a land flowing with milk and honey, and Mount Zion was in no small request. Howsoever, none ought by their bitter taunts to add affliction to the afflicted, but rather to weep with those that weep; "be pitiful, be courteous." [1 Peter 3:8]


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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 30:17". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jeremiah-30.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 30:17

If there is any character more especially marked in the Scripture accounts of Christ's advent among men, it is that of a Restorer. He comes to purify some presupposed corruption, to repair some antecedent ruin, to satisfy some preexisting wants. It is the feeling of these wants which in the minds of men perpetuates the corresponding feeling of the necessity of remedy which supports the character and claims of Christianity in the world; while, at the same time, it is the slowness of men to embrace with sincerity and practical earnestness the proffered remedy thus felt to be required, and felt to be real, which renders the faith in the crucified Saviour inoperative and unfruitful.

I. The faith in the Christian sacrifice and its attendant revelation of the Divine character alone answer the demands of the heart and reason of man for a higher state of moral perfection. Men do weary of the wickedness of the world as really, though not indeed so frequently, as of its disappointments. The pre-eminent character of our faith is to reveal before our eyes a kingdom wherein immortally dwelleth righteousness. Is not its great sacrifice the corner-stone of the equity of the whole moral universe, the sacrifice that enables God to be at once just and the Justifier of Him that believeth in Jesus?

II. Christianity offers to maintain a communication between this world and that eternal world of holiness and truth. Here is another want satisfied; the inspiration of weakness made not merely a privilege but a duty. We for ever seek a happiness beyond the reach of chance; Christian prayer beseeches. We seek repose from incessant troubles; Christian prayer is the stillest exercise of soul. We ask even by blind impulses of nature for pardon in the wretched consciousness of depravity. Christian prayer encourages our timidity into confidence.

III. Another particular in which this blessed faith commends itself to our wants, is in its confirmation and direction of that principle of hope which even in our daily and worldly life we are perpetually forced to substitute for happiness. It leaves the tendency, but it alters the object.

IV. But above all its recommendations to the wants and solicitudes of man, the Gospel commends itself by the adorable object which it presents to our affections. The devotion with which we are encouraged to regard the great God and Saviour of the New Testament, the affection with which He has contemplated us, create a new and holy and eternal bond of love, such as in its fulness indeed our fallen humanity could never have anticipated, yet such as becomes an answer to many of the profoundest wants of the soul.

W. Archer Butler, Sermons Doctrinal and Practical, 2nd series, p. 133.


Reference: Jeremiah 30:17.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxix., No. 1753.


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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Jeremiah 30:17". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/jeremiah-30.html.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

DISCOURSE: 1066

THE CONVERSION OF THE JEWS—OUR DUTY TO PROMOTE IT

Jeremiah 30:17. This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after.

CONSIDERING how much is spoken in the Holy Scriptures concerning the present and future state of the Jewish nation, it is surprising how little they occupy the attention of the Christian world. As living witnesses of the truth of our holy religion, they are indeed often mentioned; but, as having any interest in the promises of the Gospel, and as ordained to fill an exalted station in the Church of God, they are scarcely ever noticed, so that, to bring the subject before a Christian audience seems almost to require an apology; the very mention of them in that view being more calculated to excite a smile, than to call forth the more holy emotions of compassion and love. Whence this should proceed, I know not; unless from that prejudice against them, which from our earliest infancy we have imbibed, and from an idea that all efforts for their welfare are visionary and vain. But this indifference towards them is highly criminal. We are not to imagine, that, because they are under God’s displeasure, we are discharged from all those duties which we owe them as men; or that, whilst God is making use of men as instruments to inflict punishment on his offending people, they are not responsible to him for the dispositions which they exercise, and the acts which they perform. Respecting the Jews in former times, it is said, “All that have found them, have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not; because they have sinned against the Lord [Note: Jeremiah 50:7.].” But was his anger any reason for theirs? Was man justified in despising them, because they were under the chastisement of their offended God? Assuredly not: for God himself complains of this very conduct; “I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion, with a great jealousy: and I am sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased; and they helped forward the affliction:” (and then, as in the words before my text, he adds,) “Therefore I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies [Note: Zechariah 1:14-15.].” In all that he inflicts, he himself is just: but in executing his secret purposes, we are not just, any more than the Jews were in crucifying their Messiah: for though they did only what “God’s hand and God’s counsel had determined before to be done,” it was “with wicked hands that they crucified and slew him [Note: Acts 2:23; Acts 4:28.].” This distinction is very strongly marked in the passage before us. In the foregoing verses God vindicates his own honour, by shewing, that the Jews were themselves the authors of their own misery, in that they had brought it upon themselves by their great wickedness; yet he declares, at the same time, that the contempt poured upon them by their enemies was most offensive to him; and that when he should have fulfilled his will upon his own people, he would avenge their cause on those who, not from any zeal for his honour, but for the gratification of their own malignant passions, had been the willing, though unconscious, instruments of his vengeance [Note: See Isaiah 10:12.].

That we may enter fully into this view of our text, it will be proper for me to read to you the two verses immediately preceding it: “Why criest thou for thine affliction? Thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee. Therefore [the word ‘therefore’ should here, as in many other parts of the prophetic writings, have been translated ‘nevertheless’ [Note: The particle laken, translated therefore, sometimes signifies nevertheless, or yet surely. See the note on Isaiah 30:26; and so it is translated, chap. 5:2. of this prophecy; which sense agrees best with this place, and connects this verso with the words foregoing: “So it should be rendered likewise, chap. 30:16 and 32:36.” See Dr. Lowth on Jeremiah 16:14. Dr. Blaney thinks it should rather be translated “after this.” It is obvious, that it cannot be used as an illative particle in this place. Between the other two senses the author does not undertake to determine; any further than to say, that Dr. Lowth’s translation is the more agreeable to the context.]:] Nevertheless, all that devour thee shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil: and all that prey upon thee will I give for a prey: for I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after;” that is, ‘I will take occasion, from the contempt that is poured upon thee, to manifest the regard which, even in thy lowest state, I bear towards thee, and to restore thee to my favour: yea, the very complacency which thine enemies express in the view of thy degradation, shall call forth my indignation against them, and my compassion for thee.’

The words thus explained, will lead us to consider the treatment shewn to the Jewish people, and the light in which their conduct is viewed by Almighty God.

I. We shall notice the treatment that is almost universally shewn to the Jewish people.

We might enter here into an historical view of the conduct of different nations towards them, and especially since their dispersion by the Romans. We might state the cruelties inflicted on them by the different potentates of Europe, not excepting those of our own country. But this would be unnecessary; since it is well known to all, that they have been, and still are, a proverb of reproach amongst ourselves, as well as in foreign lands: and that, if we wished to stigmatize any one with a name comprising every thing that was odious and contemptible, the term “Jew” would afford us ample scope for the exercise of our malignity. Let it suffice to say, that even in this land, which, in respect of civil and religious liberty, stands unrivalled amongst the nations of the world, and where toleration is carried to its utmost extent, there has been, within the memory of many now living, as universal and disgraceful an opposition to the Jews, as could well be expected from any civilized community. When the government of this country had passed an act in their favour, such was the clamour excited throughout the whole land, not by the irreligious only, but, I am ashamed to say, the religious also, that the Parliament was constrained to repeal, in the following year, the law which had been enacted; when that law did nothing more than concede to them the common rights of humanity, the rights possessed by the meanest beggar in the land.

Nor is it in respect of civil rights only that they are so disregarded: their religious interests also are altogether overlooked. In behalf of the heathen there have been two venerable societies established in this land for above a hundred years: but who amongst us have united together for the benefit of the Jews? Within a few short months, also, has there been sent forth, from the highest authorities in the state, a circular letter [Note: In 1815.], to call forth the exertions of every member of the community in behalf of the heathen; but on behalf of the unhappy Jews, no such effort, yea, no effort at all, has ever been made: no: they may be left to perish! “They are the Zion, whom no man seeketh after,” or needs to seek after. What a striking illustration of our text is this! and how exactly corresponding with the judgment which God, by his prophet, foretold, as assuredly to come upon them in their dispersion: “I will cause them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth: and who shall have pity on thee, O Jerusalem? or who shall bemoan thee? or who shall go aside to ask how thou doest [Note: Jeremiah 15:4-5.]”

But there is a point noticed in our text, to which I wish to draw your more particular attention. The evil which called forth the animadversion of Jehovah was, that, whilst the enemies of Zion poured contempt upon her, they vindicated their conduct in that respect, and spoke of it as being precisely such as became them on the occasion: “I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord of Hosts, because they called thee an outcast; saying. This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after;” this is Zion, respecting whom no one needs to give himself any concern at all.

And is not this the very way in which we have conducted ourselves towards the Jewish people? We not only despise them, and disregard their welfare; but we justify this habit, and see no reason for altering it: we even feel a complacency in the thought of their degradation; and, instead of rejoicing, that now, at last, a society has arisen to seek their welfare, we regard their attempts as visionary; and are disposed rather to deride their efforts, than to afford them our active and zealous aid. Instead of praying fervently to God for this people in secret, and then going forth to exert ourselves for the conversion of their souls, we give them not so much as a place in our thoughts: and so far from being ashamed of, or even thinking it necessary to palliate, our neglect of them, I say again, we justify it; and account any frivolous excuse an ample vindication of our conduct.

On this part of our subject we shall enter more fully, in another discourse [Note: See on Zechariah 14:7.]: but we beg that it may be particularly kept in mind throughout this present discourse, because it is the main point on which the whole turns. Let it be remembered, that we speak not of persecuting the Jews; no, nor even of neglecting them; but we speak of that self-vindication which we cherish in the midst of this neglect; and of the willingness which we manifest to catch at any thing, which may, with the smallest semblance of propriety, appear to justify that neglect. Perhaps, in our whole lives, we have never once imagined that we were sinning against God by this conduct, or that he beheld it with any marked disapprobation; much less have we made it a ground for humiliation before God, and implored grace from Him to change and amend our ways.

Such, then, having been our conduct, let me proceed to set before you, as I proposed, under the second head of my discourse, the light in which it is viewed by Almighty God.

We can scarcely conceive a stronger expression of God’s indignation against such conduct, than that which is contained in the passage before us since it not only called forth his displeasure against those who were guilty of it, but induced him, in a way of recompence, to declare, that he would restore to his favour the people who were so contemned.

If, as is probable, we do not see any great evil in this conduct, let us proceed to investigate it in some different particulars.

First, murk the inhumanity of it. The Jews, no less than ourselves, have immortal souls, which must be partakers of happiness or misery for ever. I know, that to speak of that whole people as in a state of guilt and condemnation, is by many deemed uncharitable and severe; and I am far from censuring those whose feelings revolt from so terrible a thought. But, if we believe the Scriptures to be true, we shall find it impossible to maintain the sentiment which our charity would dictate. I presume not to say, that there may not be many individuals, both amongst Jews and Gentiles, to whom mercy may be accorded for Christ’s sake, notwithstanding they have not a distinct view of his salvation: but I would ask, What did St. Paul mean, when he appealed so solemnly to the heart-searching God respecting his own feelings on account of his nation: “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not; my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart for my brethren’s sake [Note: Romans 9:1-2.]”. Would he have felt all this, if he had believed that they were in a state of salvation? Whence could his “great heaviness and continual sorrow of heart” arise, but from the conviction of his mind, that, whilst they continued to reject the Saviour, they were under the wrath of God? And whence arose his unabated efforts in their behalf, “that by any means he might save some,” if he did not consider them all as in danger of perishing in their sins? Permit me, then, to ask, if they be indeed, nationally considered, in such a state, are we guilty of no inhumanity, whilst we use no efforts for their welfare? Were we to see a multitude of them shipwrecked, and to refuse to make exertions for their preservation, when the means of preserving them were in our hands, there would be but one sentiment in the whole world respecting our conduct; and we ourselves should be amongst the foremost to condemn those who should so violate all the feelings of humanity. Yet is not this the very conduct of which we have been guilty? We have seen that unhappy nation sinking into perdition, and have had at our command that which is sufficient to save the whole world; yet have we never tendered to them our assistance, nor used any means for their salvation. And in what light Almighty God views this conduct, we may judge from what he spoke respecting the Ammonites of old: “An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the Lord for ever; because they met you not with bread and with water in the way when ye came forth out of Egypt [Note: Deuteronomy 23:3-4.].” Now, if God expressed such indignation against them for not administering to his people temporal relief, what must he not feel against us, who, with the bread of life and the water of life in rich profusion in our hands, have never stirred one step to supply their wants, or to make them partakers of our benefits? The parable of the good Samaritan is familiar to us all: and there is but one sentiment amongst us respecting the conduct of the priest and the Levite towards the wounded Jew, when compared with that of the Samaritan. And are the Jews of this day less neighbours to us, than those in our Lord’s day were to the Samaritans? Yet have we seen the perishing condition of that whole nation, without any suitable emotions, or any efforts made by us in their behalf. We may extenuate our fault as we will; but, in the sight both of God and man, we have been guilty of most grievous inhumanity.

Consider, next, the injustice of our conduct. God has given to us the Scriptures, not for ourselves only, but for the whole world also: his command to all who possess them is, (for we must not limit it to his immediate disciples,) “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature:” and so far was he from excepting the Jews, that he required a preference to be shewn to them, and particularly enjoined, that the first offer of salvation should be made to them [Note: Luke 24:47.]. This preference his Apostles continued to shew, till the obstinacy of the Jews constrained them to manifest towards the Gentiles an indiscriminate regard. But, if we suppose the preference to the Jews to be no longer enjoined, can we imagine that they are to be altogether neglected? Very different will our judgment be, if we consult what St. Paul has written on this subject: “As ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief, even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy [Note: Romans 11:30-31.].” The meaning of which passage, I conceive, is this: God withdrew his mercy from his ancient people, that he might impart it to you Gentiles; but, in imparting it to you, he never designed that it should be finally withheld from them: on the contrary, he now makes you the depositaries of his word for their good, that, through the mercy vouchsafed to you, they may be led to a renewed enjoyment of the blessings which they in former ages exclusively possessed. Thus have they a claim upon us: we are actually “debtors to them [Note: Romans 15:26-27.]:” and, whilst we withhold from them the blessings which are entrusted to us for their use, we are guilty of the grossest injustice. Suppose, in a time of dearth, a person of opulence should commit to his steward a sum of money for the relief of persons who were specifically described; and that, on inquiry, he should find that his steward had altogether withheld relief from those for whose benefit the trust had been committed to him, and had spent the money on himself: would any one hesitate to call him an unjust steward? What then, if, instead of improving the Gospel for the ends for which it has been committed to us, namely, that “through our mercy the Jews might obtain mercy,” we have been altogether regardless of our trust, and suffered them all to “perish for lack of knowledge:” will God account us faithful? Will he not rather complain of us as unjust stewards? Will he not accuse us as having intercepted the flow of his benevolence towards the objects of his compassion, and as having robbed them of the benefits which he had ordained them to enjoy? Let us not then console ourselves with the thought, that we have never inflicted on them any positive injury; but let us rather tremble at that sentence which God has denounced against those who have hid their “talent in a napkin;” “Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness, where shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth.”

There is yet another view in which I would place this conduct. Consider the ingratitude of it. We were once in as deplorable a condition as the Jews, or rather in a state far worse: for they do worship the one true God; whereas we were bowing down to stocks and stones. And how did they act towards us? The Jewish nation at large, I grant, opposed, with all their might, the calling of the Gentiles: and some who were truly pious could not see the Divine purposes in relation to this matter. But they acted under a mistaken sense of duty to their God; (an excuse which none of us can offer:) and, as soon as they were fully instructed in their duty, they accounted nothing too much to do or suffer, if they might but be employed as instruments to “turn us from darkness unto light, and from the power of Satan unto God.” Most remarkable is that declaration of St. Paul, to this effect, to his Gentile converts at Philippi: “If I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy and rejoice with you all: for the same cause do ye also joy and rejoice with me [Note: Philippians 2:17-18.].” To understand this aright, we should bear in mind, that, when burnt-offerings were presented to God under the Law, meat-offerings of flour and oil were consumed with them, and drink offerings of wine were poured out upon them [Note: Numbers 15:3-11.]. “Now,” says the Apostle, “I regard your faith as a sacrifice and service to the Lord: and if my blood be poured out upon it as a libation,” (that is the meaning of the word which we translate ‘offered,’) “so far shall I be from complaining of my persecutors, or accounting it hard that I am called to suffer, that I shall congratulate myself, and expect to be congratulated by you, on the honour and happiness conferred upon me.” Such was his love towards the Gentiles. And should there not he some measure of the same spirit in us, towards the Jews? But what self-denial have we exercised for them? or what labour have we endured for their benefit? Instead of willingly pouring out our blood for them, (as all the Apostles, except John, did for us,) have we even shed a tear for them before God, or poured out a prayer for their deliverance? To us they have been the greatest benefactors: all that we know of God and his Christ, we have learned from them: and all on which our hopes of eternal happiness are founded, we derive from them. Do these things call for no return at our hands? If we have received so abundantly of their spiritual things, is it not our “duty” to impart to them of ours [Note: Romans 15:27.]; When they have manifested such enlargement of heart towards us, what can we think of ourselves, if we are so straitened towards them [Note: 2 Corinthians 6:11-13.]?

If any one object, that “the benefits conferred on us by pious Jews of former ages lay us under no obligation to those who are ungodly in the present day,”I would reply, that no one of us would argue thus in matters of mere temporal concern; but that, on the contrary, we should rather feel the claims of such persons augmented by their very necessities. Suppose, for instance, that a rich man had disinherited his own son for some offence, and conferred all his estates on us, who had no relation to him, and no claim upon him whatever; and that, in process of time, the descendants of his son were reduced to extreme want and misery; should we regard them with the same indifference as we might, perhaps, if no such circumstance had ever occurred? Should we not think they had some kind of claim upon our charity; and that, out of the wealth so undeservedly conferred on us, and in the full enjoyment of which we were living, we should do well to bestow on them at least the crumbs which fell from our table? and, if we refused them this boon, should we think, or would any person think, that gratitude “had its perfect work within us? Let us judge righteous judgment;” and let the verdict which conscience would give in that case be given in the other; only with this additional aggravation, that, whilst the charity which we refused them would in the one case have diminished our wealth, in the other it would have enlarged it, and have enriched us whilst it aided them.

There is yet one more point of view in which I will place the conduct of which I am speaking. Consider the impiety of it. What has not our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ done for us? He has left the bosom of his Father, and disrobed himself of all his glory, and assumed our nature (being “made like unto us in all things, sin only excepted”), and “borne our sins in his own body on the tree,” and “become a curse for us, that he might redeem us from the curse of the law,”and reconcile us to our offended God. And, in return for all this, what does lie require at our hands? What, but that we should henceforth “live not unto ourselves, but unto him who died for us, and rose again [Note: 2 Corinthians 5:15.]?”This, methinks, is the least that we can do. To love him, to serve him, to glorify him in every possible way, is surely no more than “our reasonable service.” Now, when he would instruct the Apostle Peter, how to evince his love, and how to render him the most acceptable service, what direction did he give him? “Simon, lovest thou me? Feed my sheep: feed my lambs.” If it be said, that this was done for the purpose of restoring Peter to his apostolic office, which he had disgraced and forfeited, I grant it was; but still it shews, that, to administer to the spiritual and eternal welfare of the Lord’s people, as far as our respective circumstances will admit of it, is a suitable expression of our love to him, and a service most acceptable in his sight. What then shall we say, if, when we have seen all his kindred according to the flesh scattered over the face of the whole earth, we have never endeavoured to bring one to his fold, or to feed them in the pastures prepared for them? May he not justly take up against us the complaint which he uttered against his shepherds of old, “My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them [Note: Ezekiel 34:6.]?” May not the reproach cast on the Christians at Rome be justly applied to us, “All men seek their own, and not the things which are Jesus Christ’s [Note: Philippians 2:21.]?” And may not the Jews themselves adopt, in reference to us, the lamentation of David, “I looked on my right hand, and beheld; but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; and no man cared for my soul [Note: Psalms 142:4.]?” I readily grant, that we are not all called to the pastoral office: but are we therefore freed from all obligation to use our efforts for the extension of the Redeemer’s kingdom, according to our ability? Do we not read of even females who “laboured in the Lord, yea, and laboured much in the Lord [Note: Romans 16:12.]?” There are many things which we all might have done towards the recovery of the lost sheep of the house of Israel. We might, at least, have felt towards them as the Apostle did, when he said, “My heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they may be saved [Note: Romans 10:1.]:” yea, like our blessed Saviour, we might have “wept” over their desolate condition [Note: Luke 19:41.]; and with the angel, of whom the Prophet Zechariah speaks, have pleaded for them: “O Lord God of Hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem [Note: Zechariah 1:12.]?” But if no measure of this love to Christ have burned in our hearts, we may well doubt whether we have ever loved him at all, or have ever experienced his power and grace upon our own souls. If St. John’s appeal respecting a backwardness to relieve the temporal necessities of our fellow-creatures be unanswerable, how much more will it be so, when applied to the subject before us: “Whoso hath this world’s goods, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him [Note: 1 John 3:17.]?” How indeed! We may make what profession of piety we will; but we shall prove to demonstration, that we have no love either to God or man in our hearts, if, after this warning, we neglect to seek the welfare of the Children of Israel.

Thus have I faithfully declared unto you what I verily believe to be the truth of God: and I appeal to yourselves, whether I have given an exaggerated statement, or whether I have declared more than you you will find to be true, if you will only seriously reflect upon it as before God. Only let it be remembered, that I have not spoken these things respecting the mere neglect of their welfare, but of the justification of that neglect, and of the reluctance which is shewn to make any effort for their salvation. The retrospective application of it bears upon persons only in proportion to the information they have possessed; but the prospective application comes with full weight upon the consciences of us all; so that I may say, as our Lord did to the Jews, “If we had never been addressed upon the subject, we might have had no sin: but now we shall have no cloak for our sin.”

If I should attempt to trace this neglect of our Jewish Brethren to what I conceive to be its true cause, I must impute it, in a very considerable degree, to that ignorance of the prophetic writings which so generally prevails amongst us. They are not studied amongst us as they ought to be. Because they are in some parts difficult to be understood, we altogether wave the consideration of them: or, if we consider them at all, we involve them in tenfold obscurity, by interpreting, as relating to the Gentiles, what God has spoken primarily, if not exclusively, of the Jews. The truth is, that if, in reading the prophecies, we kept the Jews steadily before our eyes, such a light would shine upon the Scriptures as we have never before seen; and all the purposes and perfections of God would be unfolded to us, in a new and most interesting view. But we keep that people out of sight, and never make the prophecies relating to them a subject of our ministrations. Forgive me, if I say, that to us ministers this guilt attaches in a very high degree. Our duty has been, to “declare to our people the whole counsel of God:” and yet we have passed over this subject, as unworthy of our own attention, or of theirs: and those mysteries which caused the holy Apostle to exclaim, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out [Note: Romans 11:33]!” have been treated by us with contemptuous silence; our whole conduct being, in this respect, one continued comment on our text; “This is Zion, an outcast, whom no man seeketh after.” I pray God, that the blood of that unhappy people may not be laid to our charge, or “be required at our hands [Note: Ezekiel 33:7-8,],”

I cannot, however, exempt from grievous criminality the Church at large, amongst whom exists a sad indifference even about their own souls. Too many amongst us have never truly sought salvation for themselves: how then could they seek the welfare of others? If they have never “looked on Him whom by their sins they have pierced,” and never mourned for their own iniquities, how should they weep over the Jewish people, or labour to restore them to the favour of their God? Here, it is to be feared, is the root of the evil with the great mass of nominal Christians: they have not laid to heart their own wickedness: they have not wept and prayed over their own perishing condition, nor fled to Christ for refuge from the curses of the broken law, It is no wonder, then, that they have left, without any remorse, their Jewish brethren to perish in their sins, But shall we continue thus to augment our guilt; and to “treasure up for ourselves, no less than for them, wrath against the day of wrath?” In vain shall we attempt to justify this conduct: for, beyond a doubt, our God would have us like-minded with himself, when he speaks of them as still “beloved of him for their fathers’ sake [Note: Romans 11:28.];” and with heart-felt joy contemplates their restoration to his favour. Hear how he speaks in the words following my text: “Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwelling-places: and the city shall be builded on her own heap; and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof: and out of them shall proceed thanksgiving, and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, that they shall not be few; and I will glorify them, that they shall not be small. and they shall be my people, and I will be their God [Note: ver. 18, 19, 22. with Jeremiah 24:7.].” Such is the delight with which God contemplates these great events: and shall we be indifferent to them? Shall we not endeavour to help forward this glorious day? Shall not their ignorance move us, and their obduracy call forth our compassion? Behold how the prophet bemoaned their situation in his day: “Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people: mine eye trickleth down, and ceaseth not, without any intermission, till the Lord look down upon them, and behold from heaven [Note: Lamentations 3:48-50.].” This is the frame of mind which becomes US: and sure I am, that, if any measure of it be found in us, we shall neglect them no longer. We shall consider what can be done in their behalf; and shall not suffer every foolish excuse that can be offered to warp our judgment, or to paralyze our exertions. We shall bear in mind, what arrears of love we owe to them, and what a fearful responsibility hangs over us before God: and we shall lend ourselves to every good work, whereby their minds may be enlightened, and their souls “subdued to the obedience of faith.” We shall not account it superfluous to exert ourselves, because we do not expect “the nation to be born in a day;” but shall gladly labour, in every possible way, for the promotion of their good, “if by any means we may save some.” If we may but gain “one of a city, and two of a tribe or family [Note: Jeremiah 3:14.];” yea, if after all our efforts, we may but glean a small remnant, four or five from the top of the outermost branches of the olive-tree [Note: Isaiah 17:6.], we shall account our exertions richly recompensed, and shall bless our God that we “have not laboured in vain, or run in vain.”


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Bibliography
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Jeremiah 30:17". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/jeremiah-30.html. 1832.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

As the miserable state of this people was by the prophet, Jeremiah 30:12,13, described under the similitude of a man wounded, and bruised, and sick; so their more prosperous state is described under the nation of health, and God’s action in restoring them expressed under the notion of healing, both here and in many other texts, Isaiah 6:10 19:22 Isaiah 57:18,19. The particle here translated because may so signify, here, for often the scorn and contempt of God’s people’s enemies causeth God to make haste to their salvation and deliverance; but many think that it were better translated although, as it is Joshua 17:18: though the heathens call thee one that I have cast off, as a man doth his wife; yet they shall see the contrary, for I will heal thee of thy wounds.

Saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after; though they deriding say, This Zion whom none cares for. Some think that in this they alluded to the original signification of the word Zion, which is, a dry or waste place.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Jeremiah 30:17". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/jeremiah-30.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

17. They called thee an Outcast — But by God’s blessing thou “shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah.” Isaiah 62:4.

Zion, whom no man seeketh after — Some have taken this phrase as explanatory of the preceding, in the sense that Zion, taken etymologically, means wasteness or aridity; but this etymology is disputed, and is not necessary to an intelligible understanding of the sentence. The meaning simply is, that Zion is so insignificant that no man will even take the trouble to inquire after her. As to the whole promise, it has been well observed, that the extremity of the people will be no obstacle to God’s grace, but rather its chosen opportunity.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Jeremiah 30:17". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/jeremiah-30.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

He would restore the Israelites to health and heal their wounds (cf. Isaiah 53:5). Part of the reason for His salvation would be the nations" charge that Yahweh had forsaken His people.


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Jeremiah 30:17". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/jeremiah-30.html. 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Close. Septuagint, "remove the healing plaster from thy painful wound." (Haydock)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Jeremiah 30:17". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/jeremiah-30.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after.

I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds - (Jeremiah 8:22; Jeremiah 33:6).

Because they called thee an Outcast - as a wife put away by her husband (Isaiah 62:4, "Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land anymore be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Heph-zibah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married," contrasted with Jeremiah 30:12, "Thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken").

Zion - alluding to its Hebrew meaning, dryness: "sought after" by none, as would be the case with an arid region (Isaiah 62:12). The extremity of the people, so far from being an obstacle to, will be the chosen opportunity of, God's grace.


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 30:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/jeremiah-30.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(17) I will restore health unto thee . . .—Literally, I will place a healing plaster on thee. The image of the plague-stricken sufferer is resumed from Jeremiah 30:13. Men had scorned her. The contemptuous term of outcast had been flung at her. She was like Tyre, as a “harlot that had been forgotten” (Isaiah 23:16). There were none who sought her company. No nation courted her alliance. It was as though that extremest misery had touched the heart of Jehovah with pity, even for the adulteress who had forsaken Him. The whole passage brings the history, or the parable, of Gomer very vividly to our memory (Hosea 1-3).


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 30:17". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/jeremiah-30.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after.
For I
13; 3:22; 33:6; Exodus 15:26; Psalms 23:3; 103:3; 107:20; Isaiah 30:26; Ezekiel 34:16; Hosea 6:1; Malachi 4:2; 1 Peter 2:24; Revelation 22:2
they
Nehemiah 4:1-4; Psalms 12:5; 44:13-16; 79:9-11; Isaiah 11:12; Lamentations 2:15; Ezekiel 35:12; Ezekiel 36:2,3,20

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 30:17". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jeremiah-30.html.

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Monday, November 30th, 2020
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