|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:1-8 The sins of Zion were her worst enemies. God will take away her sins, and then no other enemies shall hurt her. Those who profess religion must adorn their profession by godliness and honesty. When become a city of truth and a mountain of holiness, Jerusalem is peaceable and prosperous. Verses 4,5, beautifully describe a state of great outward peace, attended with plenty, temperance, and contentment. The scattered Israelites shall be brought together from all parts. God will never leave nor forsake them in a way of mercy, for this he has promised them; and they shall never leave nor forsake him in a way of duty, as they have promised him. These promises were partly fulfilled in the Jewish church, betwixt the captivity and the time of Christ's coming; and they had fuller accomplishment in the gospel church; but the full import must be as to the future times of the Christian church, or the future restoration of the Jews. With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible; so far are God's thoughts and ways above ours. In the present low state of vital godliness, we can hardly conceive that so complete a change can be made; but a change thus extensive and glorious, can be brought to pass by the almighty power of the new-creating Spirit, in less time than he was pleased to employ in creating the world. Let the hands of all who labour in the cause of the gospel be strong, serving the Lord in true holiness, assured that their labour shall not be in vain.
Verse 7. - God promises to bring his dispersed people home again - a promise only yet partially fulfilled. My people. A title of honour (Hosea 2:23). From the east country, and from the west country. Two regions are named, symbols of the whole world (comp. Psalm 50:1; Malachi 1:11). The return of the captives from Babylon was a prelude of the future restoration of the dispersed, when all Israel shall be saved (Romans 11:26). (See a similar promise, Isaiah 43:5, 6; comp. John 11:52.)
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold,.... As being something wonderful, of great importance, and deserving attention:
I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; this can not be understood of bringing those Jews that remained in Babylon, and other places, to their own land, for Babylon lay north of Judea; see Zechariah 6:6, and as yet there were no Jews in the western part of the world; but now they are chiefly in the east and west, from whence they will be gathered at the time of their general conversion; though this may refer to the times of the apostles of Christ, and to their ministry in the several parts of the world, who went forth, east, west, north, and south, and were the means and instruments of saving the Lord's people, both Jews and Gentiles, wherever they came, from the rising of the sun, to the setting of the same; see Malachi 1:11.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. save my people from … east … west—that is, from every region (compare Ps 50:1; the "West" is literally, "the going down of the sun") to which they are scattered; they are now found especially in countries west of Jerusalem. The dispersion under Nebuchadnezzar was only to the east, namely, to Babylonia. The restoration, including a spiritual return to God (Zec 8:8), here foretold, must therefore be still future (Isa 11:11, 12; 43:5, 6; Eze 37:21; Am 9:14, 15; also Zec 13:9; Jer 30:22; 31:1, 33).
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