|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:14-20 When God is about to deliver his people, he stirs up their friends to pray for them. Apply spiritually the prophet's prayer to Christ, to take care of his church, as the great Shepherd of the sheep, and to go before them, while they are here in this world as in a wood, in this world but not of it. God promises in answer to this prayer, he will do that for them which shall be repeating the miracles of former ages. As their sin brought them into bondage, so God's pardoning their sin brought them out. All who find pardoning mercy, cannot but wonder at that mercy; we have reason to stand amazed, if we know what it is. When the Lord takes away the guilt of sin, that it may not condemn us, he will break the power of sin, that it may not have dominion over us. If left to ourselves, our sins will be too hard for us; but God's grace shall be sufficient to subdue them, so that they shall not rule us, and then they shall not ruin us. When God forgives sin, he takes care that it never shall be remembered any more against the sinner. He casts their sins into the sea; not near the shore-side, where they may appear again, but into the depth of the sea, never to rise again. All their sins shall be cast there, for when God forgives sin, he forgives all. He will perfect that which concerns us, and with this good work will do all for us which our case requires, and which he has promised. These engagements relate to Christ, and the success of the gospel to the end of time, the future restoration of Israel, and the final prevailing of true religion in all lands. The Lord will perform his truth and mercy, not one jot or tittle of it shall fall to the ground: faithful is He that has promised, who also will do it. Let us remember that the Lord has given the security of his covenant, for strong consolation to all who flee for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before them in Christ Jesus.
Verse 20. - Thou wilt perform (literally, give) the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham. Jacob and Abraham are mentioned as the chiefs and representatives of the chosen family; and "the truth" (i.e. God's faithfulness to his promises) and "mercy" are equally given to both, separately assigned only for the sake of the parallelism. Knabenbaner compares such passages as Psalm 114:1, "When Israel went forth out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language" (Psalm or. 6; Isaiah 41:8; Isaiah 63:16, etc.). The general meaning, therefore, is that God will perform the promises made to the forefathers, as Luke 1:72, etc. Hast sworn, as in Genesis 22:16. etc.; Genesis 28:13, etc.; Deuteronomy 7:12. With the close of the ode Hengstenberg compares Romans 11:33-36. Thus the checkered prophecy ends with the glow of faith and happy hope.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob,.... That is, the promise made to Jacob, the Lord would faithfully perform and make good to his posterity, natural and spiritual, especially to those who are Israelites indeed;
and the mercy to Abraham; the gracious promises made to him, which sprung from mere grace and mercy; all respecting his natural and spiritual seed; and especially the promise of the coming of the Messiah, that seed of his in which all nations of the earth were to be blessed; and which is the eminent instance of the mercy and grace of God to Jews and Gentiles, that walk in the steps of Abraham; see Luke 1:68;
which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old; or the promises both of multiplying the seed of Abraham, and of giving them the land of Canaan, and of the Messiah springing from them, were confirmed by an oath, Genesis 22:16. The Targum is,
"thou wilt give the truth of Jacob to his sons, as thou hast sworn to him in Bethel; the goodness of Abraham to his seed after him, as thou hast sworn to him between the pieces; thou wilt remember to us the binding of Isaac, who was bound upon the altar before thee; thou wilt do with us the good things which thou hast sworn to our fathers, from the days of old;''
which Kimchi interprets of the three fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. perform the truth—the faithful promise.
to Jacob … Abraham—Thou shalt make good to their posterity the promise made to the patriarchs. God's promises are called "mercy," because they flow slowly from grace; "truth," because they will be surely performed (Lu 1:72, 73; 1Th 5:24).
sworn unto our fathers—(Ps 105:9, 10). The promise to Abraham is in Ge 12:2; to Isaac, in Ge 26:24; to Jacob, in Ge 28:13. This unchangeable promise implied an engagement that the seed of the patriarchs should never perish, and should be restored to their inheritance as often as they turned wholly to God (De 30:1, 2).
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