New International Version
How long will you wander, unfaithful Daughter Israel? The LORD will create a new thing on earth-- the woman will return to the man."
New Living Translation
How long will you wander, my wayward daughter? For the LORD will cause something new to happen--Israel will embrace her God."
English Standard Version
How long will you waver, O faithless daughter? For the LORD has created a new thing on the earth: a woman encircles a man.”
New American Standard Bible
"How long will you go here and there, O faithless daughter? For the LORD has created a new thing in the earth-- A woman will encompass a man."
King James Bible
How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.
Holman Christian Standard Bible
How long will you turn here and there, faithless daughter? For the LORD creates something new in the land-- a female will shelter a man.
International Standard Version
How long will you go this way and that, rebellious daughter? Indeed, the LORD will create a new thing on the earth; a woman will protect a man.
How long will you vacillate, you who were once like an unfaithful daughter? For I, the LORD, promise to bring about something new on the earth, something as unique as a woman protecting a man!'"
GOD'S WORD® Translation
How long will you wander around, you unfaithful people? The LORD will create something new on earth: A woman will protect a man.
JPS Tanakh 1917
How long wilt thou turn away coyly, O thou backsliding daughter? For the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth: A woman shall court a man.
New American Standard 1977
“How long will you go here and there,
O faithless daughter?
For the LORD has created a new thing in the earth—
A woman will encompass a man.”
Jubilee Bible 2000
How long wilt thou wander, O thou backsliding daughter? for the LORD will bring forth a new thing upon the earth, A woman shall compass the man.
King James 2000 Bible
How long will you go about, O you backsliding daughter? for the LORD has created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall protect a man.
American King James Version
How long will you go about, O you backsliding daughter? for the LORD has created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.
American Standard Version
How long wilt thou go hither and thither, O thou backsliding daughter? for Jehovah hath created a new thing in the earth: a woman shall encompass a man.
How long wilt thou be dissolute in deliciousness, O wandering daughter? for the Lord hath created a new thing upon the earth: A WOMAN SHALL COMPASS A MAN.
Darby Bible Translation
How long wilt thou wander about, thou backsliding daughter? For Jehovah hath created a new thing on the earth, a woman shall encompass a man.
English Revised Version
How long wilt thou go hither and thither, O thou backsliding daughter? for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall encompass a man.
Webster's Bible Translation
How long wilt thou wander about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.
World English Bible
How long will you go here and there, you backsliding daughter? for Yahweh has created a new thing in the earth: a woman shall encompass a man.
Young's Literal Translation
Till when dost thou withdraw thyself, O backsliding daughter? For Jehovah hath prepared a new thing in the land, Woman doth compass man.
Parallel CommentariesMatthew Henry's Concise Commentary
31:21-26 The way from the bondage of sin to the liberty of God's children, is a high-way. It is plain, it is safe; yet none are likely to walk in it, unless they set their hearts towards it. They are encouraged by the promise of a new, unheard-of, extraordinary thing; a creation, a work of Almighty power; the human nature of Christ, formed and prepared by the power of the Holy Ghost: and this is here mentioned as an encouragement to the Jews to return to their own land. And a comfortable prospect is given them of a happy settlement there. Godliness and honesty God has joined: let no man think to put them asunder, or to make the one atone for the want of the other. In the love and favour of God the weary soul shall find rest, and the sorrowful shall find joy. And what can we see with more satisfaction than the good of Jerusalem, and peace upon Israel?
Verse 22. - How long wilt thou go about? We must suppose the Israelites to be hesitating whether to set out on their journey or not. They are now admonished to put away their rebellious reluctance, and a special reason for this is added. The Lord hath created - i.e. hath decreed to create - a new thing in the earth (or, in the land); comp. Isaiah 43:19 which suggests that a complete reversal of ordinary experience is indicated, as indeed the word create of itself prepares us to expect. And what is this promise granted as a sign to reluctant Israel? A woman shall compass a man; i.e. instead of shyly keeping aloof, or worse (as hitherto), Israel, Jehovah's bride, shall, with eager affection, press around her Divine husband. The phrase, however, is extremely difficult. Of other explanations, the most plausible philologically is that of Schnurrer and Gesenius, "a woman shall protect a man" (comp. Deuteronomy 32:10). The part of a sentinel, pacing round and round his charge, seems most unfitted for a woman. When enemies are abroad, it is the men's natural duty to perform this part for the women. But in the coming age, the country shall be so free from danger that the places of men and women may safely be reversed. But would a paradox of this kind be likely to be uttered in this connection? Surely a clearer statement would be necessary to remove the reluctance of the Israelites. Vers. 19, 20 suggest that Ephraim needed reassurance as to the attitude of Jehovah towards him. The promise of ver. 22, as explained above, would give precisely the needed strength and comfort. The exposition of St. Jerome and other Fathers, that the birth of Christ from a virgin is referred to, is altogether inadmissible,
(1) because the nouns which form the subject and the predicate respectively indicate sex, not age, and the first in particular cannot be tortured so as to mean "virgin;" and
(2) there is no article to confine the reference to any particular persons.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter?.... From place to, place, from country to country, from one kingdom to another, as the Jews do to this day; and not return unto the Lord, and David their king, and to their own country? Or, "how long wilt thou be foolish" (a)? in backsliding from the Lord; in slighting the written word; neglecting the promises and prophecies, the exhortations, cautions, and instructions therein given; in adhering to and extolling the traditions of the elders, even above the Scriptures; in pertinaciously rejecting the Messiah, next prophesied of; all which folly the Jews are still guilty of, and continue in. So the word signifies in the Arabic language (b);
for the Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, a woman shall compass a man; a mighty one, a mighty man, the man Jehovah's fellow; conceived, contained, and encompassed, in the womb of the virgin, the woman, whose seed he was to be of, and of whom he was: this was a "new", unheard of, extraordinary thing, a "creation", a work of almighty power! the human nature of Christ was formed and prepared by the power of the Holy Ghost, without the help of man; and this now is mentioned as an argument and an encouragement to the Jews to return to their own land, since the Messiah is born there of a virgin, as it was foretold he should. This seems to be the true and genuine sense of the words, and other senses weak and impertinent; as when they are made to refer to the heroic spirit in some women superior to men; to the unusual practice of women suing to men for marriage; and to the people of Israel returning to the Lord from their apostasy. So the Targum,
"for, behold, the Lord hath created a new thing in the earth and the people of the house of Israel have given themselves up to the law.''
And very foreign are the senses which some Christian interpreters give of this passage; as when they interpret it of the Jews conquering and oppressing their enemies; or of the Jewish church seeking after God, her husband, when separated from him; or of the Christian church, though weak, resisting her mighty persecutors by her confession of faith, and overcoming them; or of the church under the New Testament embracing Christ; which indeed is preferable to the other, and especially to that Popish one of the eucharist containing the body of Christ (c); but the true sense is what is before given: and even some of the Jewish doctors themselves have acknowledged, that the Messiah is here intended. In an ancient (d) book of theirs, on mention of these words, it is added,
"this shall be in the time of the Messiah, which will be on the sixth day;''
that is, the sixth millennium And elsewhere (e) "a woman shall compass a man"; says R. Hona, in the name of R. Ame, this is the King Messiah. So says R. Joshua ben Levi (f),
"he, that is, God, heals with the same he wounds; so will you find in Israel, they sinned by a virgin, and were punished in virgins, Ezekiel 23:1; so he comforts them by a virgin, according to Jeremiah 31:21; "turn again, O virgin of Israel", &c. "a woman shall compass a man". R Huna, in the name of R. Idi and R. Joshua, said, that this man is the King Messiah, of whom it is said, Psalm 2:7, "this day have I begotten thee" (g).''
(a) "quamdiu fatua eris?" Majus apud Stockium, p. 358. (b) "mente laboravit, stultus fuit", Golius, col. 653. "et dementer, more fatui egit", Camus & Giggeius apud Castel. col. 1289. Arab. "fatuatus, nugatus fuit, ineptiit", Schindler, col. 603. (c) Vid. Erlmanni, "novum omnium novorum", &c. ad Jeremiah 31.22. in Thesaur. Dissert. Theolog. Philolog. tom 1. p. 851. (d) Zohar in Gen. tom. 13. 4. (e) In Abarbinel. Mashmiah Jeshuah, fol. 37. 4. (f) Apud Moses Hadarsan in Gen. c. 41. Vid. Galatin. de Arcanis Cath. Ver. l. 7. c. 14. p. 52, 526. (g) See my book of the "Prophecies of the Messiah", &c. p. 100, 101.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22. go about—namely, after human helps (Jer 2:18, 23, 36). Why not return immediately to me? Maurer translates, as in So 5:6, "How long wilt thou withdraw thyself?" Let thy past backslidings suffice thee now that a new era approaches. What God finds fault with in them is, that they looked hither and thither, leaning on contingencies, instead of at once trusting the word of God, which promised their restoration. To assure them of this, God promises to create a new thing in their land, A woman shall compass a man. Calvin explains this: Israel, who is feeble as a woman, shall be superior to the warlike Chaldeans; the captives shall reduce their captors to captivity. Hengstenberg makes the "woman" the Jewish Church, and the "man" Jehovah, her husband, whose love she will again seek (Ho 2:6, 7). Maurer, A woman shall protect (De 32:10, Margin; Ps 32:10) a man, that is, You need fear no foes in returning, for all things shall be so peaceful that a woman would be able to take man's part, and act as his protector. But the Christian fathers (Augustine, etc.) almost unanimously interpreted it of the Virgin Mary compassing Christ in her womb. This view is favored:—(1) By the connection; it gives a reason why the exiles should desire a return to their country, namely, because Christ was conceived there. (2) The word "created" implies a divine power put forth in the creation of a body in the Virgin's womb by the Holy Ghost for the second Adam, such as was exerted in creating the first Adam (Lu 1:35; Heb 10:5). (3) The phrase, "a new thing," something unprecedented; a man whose like had never existed before, at once God and man; a mother out of the ordinary course of nature, at once mother and virgin. An extraordinary mode of generation; one conceived by the Holy Ghost without man. (4) The specification "in the land" (not "earth," as English Version), namely, of Judah, where probably Christ was conceived, in Hebron (compare Lu 1:39, 42, 44, with Jos 21:11) or else in Nazareth, "in the territory" of Israel, to whom Jer 31:5, 6, 15, 18, 21 refer; His birth was at Beth-lehem (Mic 5:2; Mt 2:5, 6). As the place of His nativity, and of His being reared (Mt 2:23), and of His preaching (Hag 2:7; Mal 3:1), are specified, so it is likely the Holy Spirit designated the place of His being conceived. (5) The Hebrew for "woman" implies an individual, as the Virgin Mary, rather than a collection of persons. (6) The restoration of Israel is grounded on God's covenant in Christ, to whom, therefore, allusion is naturally made as the foundation of Israel's hope (compare Isa 7:14). The Virgin Mary's conception of Messiah in the womb answers to the "Virgin of Israel" (therefore so called, Jer 31:21), that is, Israel and her sons at their final restoration, receiving Jesus as Messiah (Zec 12:10). (7) The reference to the conception of the child Messiah accords with the mention of the massacre of "children" referred to in Jer 31:15 (compare Mt 2:17). (8) The Hebrew for "man" is properly "mighty man," a term applied to God (De 10:17); and to Christ (Zec 13:7; compare Ps 45:3; Isa 9:6) [Calovius].
Jeremiah 31:22 Additional Commentaries
Mourning Turned to Joy
…21"Set up for yourself roadmarks, Place for yourself guideposts; Direct your mind to the highway, The way by which you went. Return, O virgin of Israel, Return to these your cities. 22"How long will you go here and there, O faithless daughter? For the LORD has created a new thing in the earth-- A woman will encompass a man." 23Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, "Once again they will speak this word in the land of Judah and in its cities when I restore their fortunes, 'The LORD bless you, O abode of righteousness, O holy hill!'…
"How can you say, 'I am not defiled; I have not run after the Baals'? See how you behaved in the valley; consider what you have done. You are a swift she-camel running here and there,
Why do you go about so much, changing your ways? You will be disappointed by Egypt as you were by Assyria.
During the reign of King Josiah, the LORD said to me, "Have you seen what faithless Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree and has committed adultery there.
Why do you boast of your valleys, boast of your valleys so fruitful? Unfaithful Daughter Ammon, you trust in your riches and say, 'Who will attack me?'
Treasury of Scripture
How long will you go about, O you backsliding daughter? for the LORD has created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.
a woman. A female ('one who is only a woman, not a wife, namely a virgin,') shall encompass a man, or a male child: which together with the addition of a new creation, may well be understood to denote the miraculous conception. Hence the Jews have applied it determinately to the Messiah. In Berashith Rabba it is said, that as God punished Israel in a virgin, so would he also heal; and in Midrash Tillim, on
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