|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:1-8 Whatever methods are used, it is vain to contend with God's judgments. The more we indulge in the pleasures of this life, the more we unfit ourselves for the troubles of this life. The Chaldean army shall break in upon the land of Judah, and in a little time devour all. The day is coming, when those careless and secure in sinful ways will be visited. It is folly to trifle when we have eternal salvation to work out, and the enemies of that salvation to fight against. But they were thus eager, not that they might fulfil God's counsels, but that they might fill their own treasures; yet God thereby served his own purposes. The corrupt heart of man, in its natural state, casts out evil thoughts, just as a fountain casts out her waters. It is always flowing, yet always full. The God of mercy is loth to depart even from a provoking people, and is earnest with them, that by repentance and reformation, they may prevent things from coming to extremity.
Verse 8. - Be thou instructed; rather, Let thyself be corrected (Authorized Version misses the sense, a very important one, of the conjugation, which is Nifal tolerativum (comp. Psalm 2:10; Isaiah 53:12). The phrase equivalent to "receive correction" (Jeremiah 2:30; Jeremiah 5:3), and means to accept the warning conveyed in the Divine chastisement. Lest my soul, etc.; rather, lest my soul be rent from thee (Authorized Version renders the same verb in Ezekiel 23:17, "be alienated").
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And be thou instructed, O Jerusalem,.... Or "corrected" (s); receive discipline or instructions by chastisements and corrections, return by repentance, that the evils threatened may not come: this shows the affection of the Lord to his people, notwithstanding all their sins; that their amendment, and not their destruction, were pleasing to him; that it was with reluctance he was about to visit them in the manner threatened; and that even now it was not too late, provided they were instructed and reformed; but, if not, they must expect what follows:
lest my soul depart from thee; his Shechinah, or divine Presence, and all the tokens of his love, favour, and good will. The Targum interprets it of the Word of the Lord,
"lest my Word cast thee off;''
see Romans 11:1, or, "lest my soul pluck itself from thee"; or "be plucked" (t), and separated from thee: the phrase denotes an utter separation, a forcible one, joined with the utmost abhorrence and detestation. In Ezekiel 23:18, it is rendered, "my mind was alienated"; it denotes disunion and disaffection.
Lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited; the Targum adds, by way of illustration,
"as the land of Sodom;''
so that not a man should dwell in it; see Jeremiah 4:25.
(s) "cape disciplinam", Vatablus; "admitte disciplinam", Cocceius; "castigationem", Schmidt. (t) "ut non luxetur, vel avellatur anima mea a te", Vatablus, Junius & Tremellius, Schmidt.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. Tender appeal in the midst of threats.
depart—Hebrew, "be torn away"; Jehovah's affection making Him unwilling to depart; His attachment to Jerusalem was such that an effort was needed to tear Himself from it (Eze 23:18; Ho 9:12; 11:8).
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