Jeremiah 16:15
But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
16:14-21 The restoration from the Babylonish captivity would be remembered in place of the deliverance from Egypt; it also typified spiritual redemption, and the future deliverance of the church from antichristian oppression. But none of the sins of sinners can be hidden from God, or shall be overlooked by him. He will find out and raise up instruments of his wrath, that shall destroy the Jews, by fraud like fishers, by force like hunters. The prophet, rejoicing at the hope of mercy to come, addressed the Lord as his strength and refuge. The deliverance out of captivity shall be a figure of the great salvation to be wrought by the Messiah. The nations have often known the power of Jehovah in his wrath; but they shall know him as the strength of his people, and their refuge in time of trouble.These two verses, by promising a deliverance greater than that from Egypt, implied also a chastisement more terrible than the bondage in the iron furnace there. Instead of their being placed in one land, there was to be a scattering into the north and many other countries, followed finally by a restoration. 15. the north—Chaldea. But while the return from Babylon is primarily meant, the return hereafter is the full and final accomplishment contemplated, as "from all the lands" proves. "Israel" was not, save in a very limited sense, "gathered from all the lands" at the return from Babylon (see on [912]Jer 24:6; [913]Jer 30:3; [914]Jer 32:15). Which he saith should be so grateful a mercy to them, that either in regard of the newness of this deliverance, or in regard of the great misery they should be in during the captivity of Babylon, when they should be delivered from it, they should not so much remember their deliverance front the house of bondage in Egypt, and magnify God for that salvation, as this new deliverance of them out of this captivity; for he would certainly bring them again into the land of Canaan, a land which he had given unto their fathers.

But the Lord liveth,.... Or they shall swear by the living Lord; or declare his power, as the Targum: "that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north"; that is, from Babylon, which lay north of Judea. The Jews (d) gather from hence, that the land of Israel was higher than all other lands, because it is said, that "brought up", or "caused to ascend"; as out of the land of Egypt as before, so out of all other lands. The meaning is, that the deliverance from the Babylonish captivity was a greater blessing and mercy than the deliverance out of Egypt; the hardships they endured in Babylon being in some respects greater than those they endured in Egypt; and especially the favour being recent, and fresh upon their mind, it would swallow up the remembrance of the former mercy; that would be comparatively forgotten, and not be so frequent and common in the mouths of men; so great would be the sense of this deliverance; wherefore this prophecy both expresses the grievousness of their captivity in Babylon, as exceeding their bondage in Egypt, and the greatness of their salvation from it; when they should be not only brought out of Babylon, but also

from all the lands whither he had driven them; from Egypt, Media, and Persia, and other places: or, "whither they were driven": by the kings of the earth, as Kimchi interprets it; though it is certain the Lord's hand was in it; it was according to his will, and by his providence, that they were scattered about among the nations:

and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers; which had its accomplishment at their return from the Babylonish captivity; and will be more fully accomplished in the latter day, when the Jews shalt be converted, and return to their own land. Kimchi says this refers to the days of the Messiah, and the gathering of the captives; and some following passages manifestly belong to Gospel times. So Jarchi and Abarbinel understand this and the following of the days of the Messiah.

(d) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 87. 1.

But, The LORD liveth, that brought the children of Israel from the land of the north, and {f} from all the lands where he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave to their fathers.

(f) Signifying that the blessing of their deliverance out of Babylon would be so great that it would abolish the remembrance of their deliverance from Egypt: but he has here chiefly respect to the spiritual deliverance under Christ.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Jeremiah 16:15"And when thou showest this people all these things, and they say unto thee, Wherefore hath Jahveh pronounced all this great evil against us, and what is our transgression, and what our sin that we have committed against Jahveh our God? Jeremiah 16:11. Then say thou to them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, saith Jahveh, and have walked after other gods, and served them, and worshipped them, and have forsaken me, and not kept my law; Jeremiah 16:12. And ye did yet worse than your fathers; and behold, ye walk each after the stubbornness of his evil heart, hearkening not unto me. Jeremiah 16:13. Therefore I cast you out of this land into the land which he know not, neither ye nor your fathers, and there may ye serve other gods day and night, because I will show you no favour. Jeremiah 16:14. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith Jahveh, that it shall no more be said, By the life of Jahveh, that brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt, Jeremiah 16:15. But, By the life of Jahveh, that brought the sons of Israel out of the land of the north, and out of all the lands whither I had driven them, and I bring them again into their land that I gave to their fathers."

The turn of the discourse in Jeremiah 16:10 and Jeremiah 16:11 is like that in Jeremiah 5:19. With Jeremiah 16:11 cf. Jeremiah 11:8, Jeremiah 11:10; Jeremiah 7:24; with "ye did yet worse," etc., cf. 1 Kings 14:9; and on "after the stubbornness," cf. on 1 Kings 3:17. The apodosis begins with "therefore I cast you out." On this head cf. Jeremiah 7:15; Jeremiah 9:15, and Jeremiah 22:26. The article in על־הארץ, Graf quite unnecessarily insists on having cancelled, as out of place. It is explained sufficiently by the fact, that the land, of which mention has so often been made, is looked on as a specific one, and is characterized by the following relative clause, as one unknown to the people. Besides, the "ye know not" is not meant of geographical ignorance, but, as is often the case with ידע, the knowledge is that obtained by direct experience. They know not the land, because they have never been there. "There ye may serve them," Ros. justly characterizes as concessio cum ironia: there ye may serve, as long as ye will, the gods whom ye have so longed after. The irony is especially marked in the "day and night." Here Jeremiah has in mind Deuteronomy 4:28; Deuteronomy 28:36, Deuteronomy 28:63. אשׁר is causal, giving the grounds of the threat, "I cast you out." The form חנינה is hap leg . - In Jeremiah 16:14 and Jeremiah 16:15 the prophet opens to the people a view of ultimate redemption from the affliction amidst the heathen, into which, for their sin, they will be cast. By and by men will swear no more by Jahveh who redeemed them out of Egypt, but by Jahveh who has brought them again from the land of the north and the other lands into which they have been thrust forth. In this is implied that this second deliverance will be a blessing which shall outshine the former blessing of redemption from Egypt. But just as this deliverance will excel the earlier one, so much the greater will the affliction of Israel in the northern land be than the Egyptian bondage had been. On this point Ros. throws especial weight, remarking that the aim of these verses is not so much to give promise of coming salvation, as to announce instare illis atrocius malum, quam illud Aegyptiacum, eamque quam mox sint subituri servitutem multo fore duriorem, quam olim Aegyptiaca fuerit. But though this idea does lie implicite in the words, yet we must not fail to be sure that the prospect held out of a future deliverance of Israel from the lands into which it is soon to be scattered, and of its restoration again to the land of its fathers, has, in the first and foremost place, a comforting import, and that it is intended to preserve the godly from despair under the catastrophe which is now awaiting them.

(Note: Calvin has excellently brought out both moments, and has thus expounded the thought of the passage: "Scitis unde patres vestri exierint, nempe e fornace aenea, quemadmodum alibi loquitur (xi. 4) et quasi ex profunda morte; itaque redemptio illa debuit esse memorabilis usque ad finem mundi. Sed jam Deus conjiciet vos in abyssum, quae longe profundior erit illa Aegypti tyrannide, e qua erepti sunt patres vestri; nam si inde vos redimat, erit miraculum longe excellentius ad posteros, ut fere exstinguat vel saltem obscuret memoriam prioris illius redemptionis.")

לכן is not nevertheless, but, as universally, therefore; and the train of thought is as follows: Because the Lord will, for their idolatry, cast forth His people into the lands of the heathen, just for that very reason will their redemption from exile not fail to follow, and this deliverance surpass in gloriousness the greatest of all former deeds of blessing, the rescue of Israel from Egypt. The prospect of future redemption given amidst announcements of judgment cannot be surprising in Jeremiah, who elsewhere also interweaves the like happy forecastings with his most solemn threatenings; cf. Jeremiah 4:27; Jeremiah 5:10, Jeremiah 5:18, with Jeremiah 3:14., Jeremiah 23:3., etc. "This ray of light, falling suddenly into the darkness, does not take us more by surprise than 'I will not make a full end,' Jeremiah 4:27. There is therefore no reason for regarding these two verses as interpolations from Jeremiah 23:7-8" (Graf).

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