|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
23:1-8 Woe be to those who are set to feed God's people, but take no concern to do them good! Here is a word of comfort to the neglected sheep. Though only a remnant of God's flock is left, he will find them out, and they shall be brought to their former habitations. Christ is spoken of as a branch from David's family. He is righteous himself, and through him all his people are made righteous. Christ shall break the usurped power of Satan. All the spiritual seed of believing Abraham and praying Jacob shall be protected, and shall be saved from the guilt and dominion of sin. In the days of Christ's government in the soul, the soul dwells at ease. He is here spoken of as the Lord our Righteousness. He is so our Righteousness as no creature could be. His obedience unto death is the justifying righteousness of believers, and their title to heavenly happiness. And their sanctification, as the source of all their personal obedience is the effect of their union with him, and of the supply of this Spirit. By this name every true believer shall call him, and call upon him. We have nothing to plead but this, Christ has died, yea, rather is risen again; and we have taken him for our Lord. This righteousness which he has wrought out to the satisfaction of law and justice, becomes ours; being a free gift given to us, through the Spirit of God, who puts it upon us, clothes us with it, enables us to lay hold upon it, and claim an interest in it. The Lord our Righteousness is a sweet name to a convinced sinner; to one that has felt the guilt of sin in his conscience; seen his need of that righteousness, and the worth of it. This great salvation is far more glorious than all former deliverances of his church. May our souls be gathered to Him, and be found in him.
Verse 3. - Parallel passage, Ezekiel 34:12-15. I will gather the remnant;. For the ill usage of foreign oppressors has supplemented that of home tyrants, so that only a "remnant" is left. And they shall be fruitful and increase. The fertility of the Jewish race in modern times has been a frequent subject of observation, and supplies the best comment upon Jeremiah s prophecy.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And I will gather the remnant of my flock, out of all countries,.... Such of them as did not perish by the sword, famine, and pestilence, or died not in captivity, and chose not to remain in the kingdom where they were; for all did not return upon the edict of Cyrus: though some think this is to be understood of the gathering of God's elect, the remnant according to the election of grace, the children of God that were scattered abroad, by the sufferings and death of Christ, the Shiloh, to whom the gathering of the people should be, hereafter prophesied of:
whither I have driven them; this, which is before charged upon the pastors, is taken by the Lord to himself; because this was not only permitted by him, namely, the dispersion and captivity of the Jews, but was inflicted by him as a punishment upon them for their sins, and the sins of their governors; but yet such was the mercy and goodness of God, as to return a remnant of them:
and will bring them again to their folds; to the city of Jerusalem, and their dwelling houses there, and in other places; an emblem of the Lord's bringing his chosen remnant, whether Jews or Gentiles, into a good fold and good pastures, to a Gospel church state, and the ordinances of it, John 10:16;
and they shall be fruitful and increase; the remnant of the flock returned to their own land and dwellings, and there grow numerous, and increase in wealth and riches; as Christ's spiritual sheep, gathered into his fold, become fruitful in grace and good works, and increase with the increase of God.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3, 4. Restoration of Judah from Babylon foretold in language which in its fulness can only apply to the final restoration of both "Judah" and "Israel" (compare Jer 23:6); also "out of all countries," in this verse and Jer 23:8; also, "neither shall they be lacking," that is, none shall be missing or detached from the rest: a prophecy never yet fully accomplished. It holds good also of the spiritual Israel, the elect of both Jews and Gentiles (Mal 3:16, 17; Joh 10:28; 17:12). As to the literal Israel also, see Jer 32:37; Isa 54:13; 60:21; Eze 34:11-16.
shepherds … shall feed them—(Jer 3:15; Eze 34:23-31). Zerubbabel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and the Maccabees were but typical of the consummating fulfilment of these prophecies under Messiah.
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