And I will plant them on their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, said the LORD your God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Restoration to their own land was the outward symbol of restoration to God's favor, of which it was the fruit. it was a condition of the fulfillment of those other promises, the coming of Him in whom the promises were laid up, the Christ. He was not simply to be of David's seed, according to the flesh. Prophecy, as time went on, declared His birth at Bethlehem, His revelation in Galilee, His coming to His Temple, His sending forth His law from Jerusalem. Without some restoration to their own land, these things could not be. Israel was restored in the flesh, that, after the flesh, the Christ might be born of them, where God foretold that He should be born. But the temporal fulfillment ended with that event in time in which they were to issue, for whose sake they were; His coming. They were but the vestibule to the spiritual. As shadows, they ceased when the Sun arose. As means, they ended, when the end, whereto they served, came.
There was no need of a temporal Zion, when He who was to send forth His law thence, had come and sent it forth. No need of a temple when He who was to be its glory, had come, illumined it, and was gone. No need of one of royal birth in Bethlehem, when "the Virgin" had "conceived and borne a Son," and "God" had been "with us." And so as to other prophecies. All which were bound to the land of Judah, were accomplished. As the true Israel expanded and embraced all nations, the whole earth became "the land" of God's people. Palestine had had its prerogatives, because God manifested Himself there, was worshiped there. When God's people was enlarged, so as "to inherit the pagan," and God was worshiped everywhere, His land too was everywhere. His promises accompanied His people, and these were in all lands. His words then, "I will plant them upon their own land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them," expanded with their expansion. It is a promise of perpetuity, like that of our Lord; "Lo! I am with you alway, even to the end of the world. The gates of hell shall not prevail against" the Church, the people of God. The world may gnash its teeth; kings may oppress; persecutors may harass; popular rage may trample on her; philosophy may scoff at her; unbelief may deny the promises made to her; the powers of darkness may rage around her; her own children may turn against her. In vain! Jerome: "She may be shaken by persecutions, she cannot be uprooted; she may be tempted, she cannot be overcome. For the Lord God Almighty, the Lord her God, hath promised that He will do it, whose promise is the law to nature."
Saith the Lord thy God - Rib.: "O Israel of God, O Catholic Church, to be gathered out of Jews and Gentiles, doubt not, he would say, thy promised happiness. For thy God who loveth thee and who from eternity hath chosen thee, hath commanded me to say this to thee in His Name." Rup.: "He turneth too to the ear of each of us, giving us joy, in His word, 'saith the Lord thy God.'" "They too who are plants which God hath planted, and who have so profited, that through them many daily profit, "shall be planted upon their own ground," that is, each, in his order and in that kind of life which he has chosen, shall strike deep roots in true piety, and they shall be so preserved by God, that by no force of temptations shall they be uprooted, but each shall say with the holy prophet, "I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever" Psalm 52:9. Not that every tree, planted in the ground of the Church militant, is so firm that it cannot be plucked up, but many there are, which are not plucked up, being protected by the Hand of Almighty God. O blessed that land, where no tree is plucked up, none is injured by any worm, or decays through any age. How many great, fruit-bearing, trees do we see plucked up in this land of calamity and misery! Blessed day, when we shall be there, where we need fear no storm!" Yet this too abideth true; "none shall be plucked up." Without our own will, neither passions within, nor temptations without, nor the malice or wiles of Satan, can "pluck" us "up." None can "be plucked up," who doth not himself loose his hold, whose root is twisted round the Rock, which is Thou, O Blessed Jesus. For Thou hast said, "they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of My Hand" John 10:28.
thy God—Israel's; this is the ground of their restoration, God's original choice of them as His.I will plant, or settle them, as trees that are well rooted,
upon their land, by ancient gift, and by late restitution to it by the Lord.
They shall no more be pulled up by the violence of their enemies which promise is an implicit condition that they seek, and not forsake the Lord, and was on God’s part with admirable constancy and patience to that sinful nation performed through six hundred years, perhaps the longest time of freedom from captivity they ever knew.
Which I have given, of free gift, without their merit.
Saith the Lord thy God; God, thy God and thy Lord, will do it for his covenant’s sake, therefore surely and fully will he do it.
and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God; by which it appears that this is a prophecy of things yet to come; since the Jews, upon their return to their own land after the Babylonish captivity, were pulled up again, and rooted out of it by the Romans, and remain so to this day; but, when they shall return again, they will never more be removed from it; and of this they may he assured; because it is the land the Lord has, "given" them, and it shall not be taken away from them any more; and, because he will now appear to be the "Lord their God", the "loammi", Hosea 1:9, will he taken off from them; they will be owned to be the Lords people, and he will be known by them to be their covenant God; which will ensure all the above blessings to them, of whatsoever kind; for this is either said to the prophet, "the Lord thy God", or to Israel; and either way it serves to confirm the same thing.And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)15. Israel will moreover remain permanently settled in its own land.
And I will plant them … and they shall no more be pulled up, &c.] Cf. Jeremiah 24:6 (“I will plant them and not pull them up”); Jeremiah 42:10. For similar promises, see Jeremiah 32:41; Ezekiel 34:28; Isaiah 60:21; Joel 3:20; and elsewhere. On the question of the non-fulfilment of such promises, see Riehm, Messianic Prophecy (ed. 2, 1891), pp. 238–268. It is to be remembered (1) that they are conditional upon Israel’s worthiness; (2) that the question forms part of a larger one, viz. the nature and extent of the ideal element in the prophets’ pictures of the future, and the degree to which those pictures were coloured by the national and local limitations peculiar to their religion. Cf. p. 32 f., above, with the passages referred to in the footnotes; and comp. also F.H. Woods, The Hope of Israel (1896), chaps. 4 5 10.
thy God] the title, expressive of consolation and affection, as Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 52:7; Isaiah 54:6; Isaiah 66:9. The restored nation is pictured naturally by the prophet as penitent and reformed (cf. pp. 31 f., 121); hence Jehovah is no longer its foe (Amos 9:4; Amos 9:8), but can acknowledge it again as His own.Verse 15. - The blessing shall last forever. They shall no more be pulled up. This was not true of the literal Israel; it must be taken of the spiritual seed, planted in God's land, the Church of Christ, against which the gates of hell shall not prevail. "Lo," says Christ, "I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world" (Matthew 28:20)
Joel 3:18. "And it comes to pass in that day, the mountains will trickle down with new wine, and the hills flow with milk, and all the brooks of Judah flow with water; and a fountain will issue from the house of Jehovah, and water the Acacia valley. Joel 3:19. Egypt will become a desolation, and Edom a barren waste, for the sin upon the sons of Judah, that they have shed innocent blood in their land. Joel 3:20. But Judah, it will dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. Joel 3:21. And I shall expiate their blood that I have not expiated: and Jehovah dwelleth upon Zion." The end of the ways of the Lord is eternal blessing for His people, whilst the enemies of His kingdom fall victims to the curse. This thought is expressed in figures taken from the state of the covenant land of the Old Testament, and those of the bordering kingdoms of Egypt and Edom which were hostile to Israel. If we bear this in mind, we shall not fall into Volck's error, of seeking in this description for a clear statement as to the transfiguration of the land of Israel during the thousand years' reign, whilst the rest of the earth is not yet glorified; for it is evident from Joel 3:18, as compared with the parallel passages, viz., Zechariah 14:6. and Ezekiel 47:1-12, that 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. "In that day," viz., the period following the final judgment upon the heathen, the mountains and hills of Judah, i.e., the least fruitful portions of the Old Testament kingdom of God in the time of the prophet, will overflow with new wine and milk, and all the brooks of water be filled, i.e., no more dry up in the hot season of the year (Joel 1:20). Thus will the fruitfulness of Canaan, the land of the Lord, flowing with milk and honey, come forth in all its potency. Even the unfruitful acacia valley will be watered by a spring issuing from the house of Jehovah, and turned into a fruitful land. The valley of Shittim is the barren valley of the Jordan, above the Dead Sea. The name Shittim, acacia, is taken from the last encampment of the Israelites in the steppes of Moab, before their entrance into Canaan (Numbers 25:1; Joshua 3:1), and was chosen by the prophet to denote a very dry valley, as the acacia grows in a dry soil (cf. Celsii, Hierob. i. p. 500ff.). The spring which waters this valley, and proceeds from the house of Jehovah, and the living water that flows from Jerusalem, according to Zechariah 14:8, are of course not earthly streams that are constantly flowing, as distinguished from the streams caused by rain and snow, which very soon dry up again, but spiritual waters of life (John 4:10, John 4:14; John 7:38); and, in fact, as a comparison of Ezekiel 47:7-12 with Revelation 22:1-2 clearly shows, the "river of the water of life, clear as a crystal," which in the New Jerusalem coming down from God upon the earth (Revelation 21:10) proceeds out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, and on both sides of which there grows the tree of life, that bears its fruit twelve times a-year, or every month, and the leaves of which are for the healing of the nations. The partially verbal agreement between the description of this river of water in Revelation 22:2, and that in Ezekiel 47:12, overthrows the millenarian view, that the glorification of Judah and Jerusalem, predicted by Joel, Zechariah, and Ezekiel, will be a partial glorification of the earth, viz., of the Holy Land, which takes place before the creation of the new heaven and the new earth.
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