|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:18-21 There shall be abundant Divine influences, and the gospel will spread speedily into the remotest corners of the earth. These events are predicted under significant emblems; there is a day coming, when every thing amiss shall be amended. The fountain of this plenty is in the house of God, whence the streams take rise. Christ is this Fountain; his sufferings, merit, and grace, cleanse, refresh, and make fruitful. Gospel grace, flowing from Christ, shall reach to the Gentile world, to the most remote regions, and make them abound in fruits of righteousness; and from the house of the Lord above, from his heavenly temple, flows all the good we daily taste, and hope to enjoy eternally.
Verses 20, 21. - The contrast which these verses present to what precedes is very striking. While Egypt and Edom are devoted to desolation and destruction, Judah, personified, shall dwell (margin, abide), and Jerusalem, or rather, as we think, Judah shall be dwelt in, as also its capital, from generation to generation. In the concluding verse a reason is assigned. For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed. The blood shed by the Egyptians and Edomites is proved by Jehovah to be innocent blood, because he promises to avenge it in the end, though for wise and good reasons he had delayed to do so. This closing thought is well explained by Keil in the words, "The eternal desolation of the world-kingdoms mentioned here will wipe out all the wrong which they have done to the people of God, and which has hitherto remained un-punished." When Jehovah thus wipes out the bloodguiltiness of the enemies of Judah by punishing them with destruction for their cruelties, while he exalts gloriously, finally, and for ever his people, he proves his sovereignty over them and his dwelling-place in Zion. The Hebrew interpreters, with the exception of Abarbanel, understand this passage
(1) literally; thus Kimchi: "At that time (the day of the Lord), after making an end of the nations there, great goodness shall accrue to Israel;" the same is seen in the exposition of the last verse of the chapter. Rashi says, "Even if I shall cleanse them of the remaining transgression which is in their hands, and the evil-doing which they have done to me, the blood of the children of Judah I will not cleanse from them;" also in commenting on the same, Kimchi says, "For their silver and their gold which they took I will cleanse the nations, for Israel also shall take from them in the future, and they shall become their spoil; but for their blood which they have shed I will not cleanse them, but life shall be for life - the life of those that shed it, or of their children after them; for for all the silver and the gold that is in the world which they shall give as a ransom of their souls they shall not be cleansed of the blood which they have shed;" also, "For the ages of eternity shall his dwelling-place be in Zion, after that it shall return there in the days of the Messiah."
(2) Some refer the passage to millennial times.
(3) Others to the time of the consummation of all things. Thus Keil, comparing Ezekiel 47, Zechariah 14, Revelation 21. and 22, says, "This passage does not teach the earthly glorification of Palestine, and desolation of Egypt and Idumaea, but that Judah and Jerusalem are types of the kingdom of God, whilst Egypt and Edom are types of the world-powers that are at enmity against God; in other words, that this description is not to be understood literally, but spiritually;" he had previously intimated that spiritual sense, "For Zion or Jerusalem is, of course, not the Jerusalem of the earthly Palestine, but the sanctified and glorified city of the living God, in which the Lord will be eternally united with his redeemed, sanctified, and glorified Church."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But Judah shall dwell for ever,.... The converted Jews shall dwell in their own land for ever, to the end of the, world and never more be carried captive, Ezekiel 37:25; and the true professing people of God, as Judah signifies, shall continue in a church state, evermore, and never more be disturbed by any enemies, they shall dwell safely and peaceably to the end of time:
and Jerusalem from generation to generation; shall dwell so in like manner, age after age; that is, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, or the members of the true church of Christ, who shall see and enjoy peace and prosperity, both temporal and spiritual, as Jerusalem signifies.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. dwell for ever—(Am 9:15), that is, be established as a flourishing state.
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