|New International Version (©2011)|
The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
New Living Translation (©2007)
Long ago the LORD said to Israel: "I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.
English Standard Version (©2001)
the LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
The LORD appeared to him from afar, saying, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
the LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued to extend faithful love to you.
International Standard Version (©2012)
The LORD appeared to Israel from far away and said, "I've loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I've drawn you with gracious love.
NET Bible (©2006)
In a far-off land the LORD will manifest himself to them. He will say to them, 'I have loved you with an everlasting love. That is why I have continued to be faithful to you.
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
The LORD appeared to me in a faraway place and said, "I love you with an everlasting love. So I will continue to show you my kindness.
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
The LORD has appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn you.
American King James Version
The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying, Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn you.
American Standard Version
Jehovah appeared of old unto me,'saying , Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
The Lord hath appeared from afar to me. Yea I have loved thee with everlasting love, therefore have I drawn thee, taking pity on thee.
Darby Bible Translation
Jehovah hath appeared from afar unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.
English Revised Version
The LORD appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
Webster's Bible Translation
The LORD appeared of old to me, saying, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.
World English Bible
Yahweh appeared of old to me, [saying], Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn you.
Young's Literal Translation
From afar Jehovah hath appeared to me, With love age-during I have loved thee, Therefore I have drawn thee with kindness.
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
31:1-9 God assures his people that he will again take them into covenant relation to himself. When brought very low, and difficulties appear, it is good to remember that it has been so with the church formerly. But it is hard under present frowns to take comfort from former smiles; yet it is the happiness of those who, through grace, are interested in the love of God, that it is an everlasting love, from everlasting in the counsels, to everlasting in the continuance. Those whom God loves with this love, he will draw to himself, by the influences of his Spirit upon their souls. When praising God for what he has done, we must call upon him for the favours his church needs and expects. When the Lord calls, we must not plead that we cannot come; for he that calls us, will help us, will strengthen us. The goodness of God shall lead them to repentance. And they shall weep for sin with more bitterness, and more tenderness, when delivered out of their captivity, than when groaning under it. If we take God for our Father, and join the church of the first-born, we shall want nothing that is good for us. These predictions doubtless refer also to a future gathering of the Israelites from all quarters of the globe. And they figuratively describe the conversion of sinners to Christ, and the plain and safe way in which they are led.
Verse 3. - The Lord hath appeared of old unto me. The Church of the faithful Israel is the speaker. "From afar" (so we ought to render, rather than "of old") she sees Jehovah, with the eye of faith, approaching to redeem her; comp. Isaiah 40:10 and Isaiah 59:20 (only that in these passages it is to Jerusalem, and not to Babylon, that Jehovah "comes" as the Redeemer); also the promise in Jeremiah 30:10, "I will save thee from afar," and Jeremiah 51:50, quoted above. (Septuagint reads "unto him;" but an abrupt change of person is not uncommon in Hebrew.) Saying, Yea, I have loved thee, etc. "Saying" is inserted to make the connection plainer. The genius of Hebrew does not require such a distinct indication of a change of speakers as our Western languages. For other instances of this, see Genesis 4:25; Genesis 26:7; Genesis 32:31; 1 Kings 20:34. With loving kindness have I drawn thee; rather, do I continue loving kindness unto thee. "To continue" is literally, to draw out at length. The idea is the same as that in the great prophecy which follows that of the suffering Saviour, "With everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee" (Isaiah 54:8; comp. ver. 10).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying,.... Either to the prophet, bidding him say to the church what follows, so Jarchi: or to Christ, who was from eternity with the Father; lay in his bosom; between whom the council of peace was; with whom the covenant was made; and whom God loved before the foundation of the world; and which is observed by him, for the comfort of his people, John 17:24; so Cocceius; but rather they are the words of Israel, or the church, owning the above instances of God's grace and goodness; and that he had greatly appeared to them, and for them, in former times; but then this was a great while ago; and besides, now he hid his face from them, and they were under the tokens of his displeasure, and not of his love; to which the Lord replies, for the word "saying" is not in the text, which makes the following a continuation of the church's speech, though wrongly; since they are the words of the Lord, taking up the church for speaking too slightly and improperly of his love, and in a complaining way:
yea I have loved thee with an everlasting love; not only of old, or a good while ago, but from all eternity, and with a love which will always last, and does, notwithstanding dark and afflictive providences; for this love is like himself, sovereign, unchangeable, and everlasting: "I have loved thee": I, who am the great God, the Creator of the ends of the earth, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; a God of infinite purity and holiness; do whatever I please in heaven and in earth; and am the Lord that changes not: "have loved"; not love only now, and shall hereafter; but have loved, not for some time past only, but from all eternity, with the same love I now do: "thee" personally, "Jacob, have I loved", Romans 9:13; thee nakedly, and not thine, or for anything done by thee; thee separately and distinctly, and not others; thee a creature, vile and sinful, a transgressor from the womb, and known to be so beforehand; "thee" now openly, and in an applicatory way, through the evidence of the spirit: "with an everlasting love": a love from everlasting, which does not commence in time with faith, repentance, and new obedience; these being the fruits and effects of it; but was from all eternity, as appears from the eternal choice of the persons loved in Christ; from the everlasting covenant made with them in him; from the constitution and setting up of Christ as their Mediator from everlasting; and from the security of their persons and grace in him, before the world began: and this love will endure to everlasting, without any variation or change; nothing can separate from it. The evidence of it follows:
therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee; out of a state of nature; out of Satan's hands; out of the pit wherein is no water, the horrible pit, the mire and clay; unto Christ, his person, blood, righteousness, and fulness, by faith to lay hold upon them; unto his church, and to a participation of the ordinances and privileges of it; to nearer communion with God, and at last will draw to eternal glory. This is the Father's act, and to him it is usually ascribed: it chiefly regards the work of conversion, and the influence of divine grace on that; though it also includes after acts of drawing: it supposes weakness in men; is the effect of powerful and efficacious grace; and is done without offering any violence or force to the will of man, who is drawn with, and not against, his will. This is an instance of the love of God; a fruit and effect of it: it is love that draws a soul to Christ, and is the cause of its coming to him; it is love that reveals him to it, and causes it to come to him; love is then manifested and shed abroad in the heart; a cord of it is let down into it, and with it the Lord draws; it is not by the threats of the law, but by the declarations of grace in the Gospel; the cause of drawing is love, and the manner of it is with it. The Targum of the whole verse is,
"Jerusalem said, of old the Lord appeared to our fathers; prophet, say unto them, lo, I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore have led you with goodness.''
It may be rendered, "I have drawn out", or "extended, lovingkindness to thee" (i); see Psalm 36:10.
(i) "protraxi tibi misericordiam", Vatablus; "protraxi, vel extendi ad te clementiam", Calvin; "extendo erga te benignitatem", Junius & Tremellius; "meam", Piscator.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. Israel gratefully acknowledges in reply God's past grace; but at the same time tacitly implies by the expression "of old," that God does not appear to her now. "God appeared to me of old, but now I am forsaken!" God replies, Nay, I love thee with the same love now as of old. My love was not a momentary impulse, but from "everlasting" in My counsels, and to "everlasting" in its continuance; hence originated the covenant whereby I gratuitously adopted thee (Mal 1:2; Ro 11:28, 29). Margin translates, "from afar," which does not answer so well as "of old," to "in the wilderness" (Jer 31:2), which refers to the olden times of Israel's history.
with loving kindness … drawn—(Ho 11:4). Rather, "I have drawn out continually My loving kindness toward thee." So Ps 36:10, "Continue (Margin, 'Draw out at length') Thy loving kindness." By virtue of My everlasting love I will still extend My loving kindness to thee. So Isa 44:21, "O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of Me."
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