|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
20:33-44 The wicked Israelites, notwithstanding they follow the sinful ways of other nations, shall not mingle with them in their prosperity, but shall be separated from them for destruction. There is no shaking off God's dominion; and those who will not yield to the power of his grace, shall sink under the power of his wrath. But not one of God's jewels shall be lost in the lumber of this world. He will bring the jews to the land of Israel again; and will give them true repentance. They will be overcome with his kindness: the more we know of God's holiness, the more we see the hateful nature of sin. Those who remain unaffected amidst means of grace, and would live without Christ, like the world around them, may be sure it is the way to destruction.
Verse 37. - I will cause you to pass under the rod. The "rod" (same word as in Psalm 23:4) is primarily that of chastisement, but it is also that of the shepherd who gathers in his flock (Ezekiel 34:11; Leviticus 27:32; Micah 7:14). Into the bond of the covenant. The word for "bond" (only found here in the Old Testament) is probably cognate with that for "fetter" or "bond" (Isaiah 52:2; Jeremiah 5:5; Jeremiah 27:2). The chastisement was, for those who accepted it, to do its work by restoring the blessings of the covenant which apostasy had forfeited.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And I will cause you to pass under the rod,.... That is, such whom God will not take vengeance on, and shall not die in the wilderness of the people; but whom he will have mercy on, and show favour to, and bring at length into their own land; these he indeed will bring under the rod of correction and chastisement, by which they shall be brought to a sense of sin, a confession of it, humiliation for it, and to seek to Christ for salvation from it; or under the rod of his word, the rod of his strength, he sends out of Zion the Gospel, the power of God unto salvation; by which they shall be brought to agree unto and comply with the way of salvation by Christ; to submit to his righteousness; to embrace the doctrines of the Gospel, and be subject to the ordinances of it: or the allusion is to shepherds, in taking an account of their flocks, or at the tithing of them, who strike and mark them with their rod, Leviticus 27:32, and thus, as the Lord has in election distinguished his sheep from others, taken an exact account of them, and set his seal or mark of foreknowledge on them; so in effectual calling he separates them from others, takes special knowledge of them, and sets his mark of sanctification on them. This will be the case of the converted Jews in the latter day:
and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: or, "the discipline of the covenant", as the Syriac Version; the same with the rod of correction, being what is provided in covenant for the good of the covenant ones. This covenant is the covenant of grace; the bond of which are not faith, repentance, and new obedience; for these are parts and blessings of the covenant; nor any outward ordinance; not circumcision formerly, nor baptism and the Lord's supper now; which persons may submit to, and yet not be in the covenant: but it designs that which makes the covenant firm, sure, and lasting; which are the everlasting love of God, from whence it springs; his unchangeable counsel, according to which it proceeds; his solemn oath, that it shall never be removed; his faithfulness, which will not suffer it to be made void; and his power, which will accomplish every article of it; and the blood of Christ, which ratifies and confirms it. So Kimchi interprets it, "I will bind you in a covenant, that ye shall not go out of it for ever": or it is that which binds persons, or lays them under obligation to love, fear, and serve the Lord; and that is the love of God and Christ, and the exceeding great and precious promises of the covenant; and now into this sure, firm, and obliging covenant the Lord has brought all his chosen ones in eternity, when it was first made with Christ; and into which he may be said to bring them in time; as he will the converted Jews, when he manifests it to them, and applies the blessings and promises of it; shows them it, and their interest in it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
37. pass under the rod—metaphor from a shepherd who makes his sheep pass under his rod in counting them (Le 27:32; Jer 33:13). Whether you will or not, ye shall be counted as Mine, and so shall be subjected to My chastening discipline (Mic 7:14), with a view to My ultimate saving of the chosen remnant (compare Joh 10:27-29).
bond of … covenant—I will constrain you by sore chastisements to submit yourselves to the covenant to which ye are lastingly bound, though now you have cast away God's bond from you. Fulfilled in part, Ne 9:8, 26, 32-38; 10:1-39; fully hereafter (Isa 54:10-13; 52:1, 2).
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