Jeremiah 31:1
At the same time, saith the LORD, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
XXXI.

(1) The God of all the families of Israel.—The union of the ten tribes of Israel and the two of Judah is again prominent in the prophet’s mind. He cannot bear to think of that division, with its deep lines of cleavage in the religious and social life of the people, being perpetuated. Israel should be Israel. This is the crown and consummation of the promise of Jeremiah 30:24.

Jeremiah 31:1. At the same time, saith the Lord — Namely, in the latter days, mentioned Jeremiah 30:24. I will be the God of all the families of Israel — Not of the two tribes only, but of all the tribes; not of the house of Aaron only and the families of Levi, but of all the families. And they shall be my people — I will favour them, and do them good, and they shall be subject to, and shall worship and obey me. “This second part of the prophecy,” says Calmet, “principally respects the return of the ten tribes. And I have shown, in a particular dissertation, that not only Judah, Benjamin, and Levi, but also the twelve tribes returned into their own country.” Doubtless, many individuals of the ten tribes returned with the Jews from Babylon, having been incorporated among them in the several places where they were settled; yet this seems to have been only a very partial accomplishment of this prophecy, which, as Blaney observes, “points out circumstances that certainly were not fulfilled at the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, nor have hitherto had their completion.” But, in the latter days, when the fulness of the Gentiles are brought in, all Israel shall be saved; for, as Isaiah and St. Paul testify, there shall come out of Zion the deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. Isaiah 59:19; Romans 11:26-29. See note on Jeremiah 30:10.

31:1-9 God assures his people that he will again take them into covenant relation to himself. When brought very low, and difficulties appear, it is good to remember that it has been so with the church formerly. But it is hard under present frowns to take comfort from former smiles; yet it is the happiness of those who, through grace, are interested in the love of God, that it is an everlasting love, from everlasting in the counsels, to everlasting in the continuance. Those whom God loves with this love, he will draw to himself, by the influences of his Spirit upon their souls. When praising God for what he has done, we must call upon him for the favours his church needs and expects. When the Lord calls, we must not plead that we cannot come; for he that calls us, will help us, will strengthen us. The goodness of God shall lead them to repentance. And they shall weep for sin with more bitterness, and more tenderness, when delivered out of their captivity, than when groaning under it. If we take God for our Father, and join the church of the first-born, we shall want nothing that is good for us. These predictions doubtless refer also to a future gathering of the Israelites from all quarters of the globe. And they figuratively describe the conversion of sinners to Christ, and the plain and safe way in which they are led.At the same time - literally, At that time, i. e., "the latter day." mentioned in Jeremiah 30:24. CHAPTER 31

Jer 31:1-40. Continuation of the Prophecy in the Thirtieth Chapter.

As in that chapter the restoration of Judah, so in this the restoration of Israel's ten tribes is foretold.

1. At the same time—"In the latter days" (Jer 30:24).

the God of—manifesting My grace to (Ge 17:7; Mt 22:32; Re 21:3).

all … Israel—not the exiles of the south kingdom of Judah only, but also the north kingdom of the ten tribes; and not merely Israel in general, but "all the families of Israel." Never yet fulfilled (Ro 11:26).The restoration of Israel published, Jeremiah 31:1-14. Rachel mourning is comforted, Jeremiah 31:15-17. Ephraim repenting is brought home, Jeremiah 31:18-21. Christ promised, Jeremiah 31:22-26. His care over the church, Jeremiah 31:27-30. His new covenant, Jeremiah 31:31-34. The stability and enlargement of the church, Jeremiah 31:35-40.

When the Lord’s anger shall turn, he having performed all the thoughts of his heart upon the wicked Israelites, he will declare himself not unmindful of the covenant which he made with Abraham and his seed, but will be their God, and they shall be the people of his favour, whom he will protect and bless. It is uncertain whether Israel here is to be taken in a more large sense, as it signifieth the whole twelve tribes, or only Judah, being that part of Israel which was before spoken of.

At the same time, saith the Lord,.... The time of the Messiah, the Gospel dispensation, the latter days; when the Jews shall consider the prophecies of the Old Testament, and observe how they have been fulfilled in Jesus; and shall reflect upon their disbelief and rejection of him; and shall turn unto him, and serve the Lord their God, and David their king; see Jeremiah 30:9;

will I be the God of all the families of Israel; not of some few persons only, or of one of a city, and two of a family, but of every family; and this will be when "all Israel" shall be converted and saved, and a nation shall be born at once; then will God show himself to them as their covenant God, manifest his love to them, and bestow the blessings of his grace upon them:

and they shall be my people; behave as such to him; own him to be their God, and serve and worship him.

At the {a} same time, saith the LORD, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.

(a) When this noble governor will come, meaning Christ, not only Judah and Israel, but the rest of the world will be called.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1. all the families of Israel] the twelve tribes. Afterwards the Northern kingdom is dealt with (2–22), then the Southern (23–26), and then again both together (27–40).

Jeremiah 31:1-9. See introd. summary to the section. Jeremiah 31:1, virtually a repetition of Jeremiah 30:22, should be joined to the previous ch.

Verses 1-6. - The promise of Jeremiah 30:22 is expressly declared to apply to both sections of the nation. Jehovah thus solemnly declares his purpose of mercy, and dwells with special Madness on the happy future of Ephraim. Jeremiah 31:1The deliverance for all Israel, and the readmission of the ten tribes. - Jeremiah 31:1. "At that time, saith Jahveh, will I be a God to all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people. Jeremiah 31:2. Thus saith Jahveh: A people escaped from the sword found grace in the wilderness. Let me go to give him rest, even Israel. Jeremiah 31:3. From afar hath Jahve appeared unto me, and with everlasting love have I loved thee; therefore have I continued my favour towards thee. Jeremiah 31:4. Once more will I build thee up, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel; once more shalt thou adorn [thyself] with thy tabrets, and go forth in the dance of those that make merry. Jeremiah 31:5. Once more shalt thou plant vineyards on the ills of Samaria; planters will plant them, and apply them to common use. Jeremiah 31:6. For there is a day [when] watchmen will cry on Mount Ephraim: Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion, to Jahveh our God!"

The expression "At that time" refers to Jeremiah 30:24, "in the end of the days," which means the Messianic future. The announcement of deliverance itself is continued by resumption of the promise made in Jeremiah 30:22; the transposition of the two portions of the promise is to be remarked. Here, "I will be a God to them" stands first, because the restoration and perfection of Israel have their only foundation in the love of God and in the faithfulness with which He keeps His covenant, and it is only through this gracious act that Israel again becomes the people of God. "All the families of Israel" are the families of the whole twelve tribes - of the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah, separated since the death of Solomon. After this announcement of deliverance for the whole of Israel, the address turns first to Israel of the ten tribes, and continues to treat longest of them, "because, judging from appearances, they seem irrecoverably lost - for ever rejected by the Lord" (Hengstenberg). Jeremiah 31:2 is variously explained. Ewald, following Raschi and others, refers the words 'מצא חן וגו to the leading of Israel out of Egypt: once on a time, in the Arabian desert, the people that had just barely escaped the sword of the Egyptians nevertheless found grace, when Jahveh, as it were, went to make a quiet dwelling-place for them. The love which He displayed towards them at that time He has since continued, and thus He will now once more bring back His people out of the midst of strangers. This view of the passage is supported by the use of the perfects in Jeremiah 31:2 and Jeremiah 31:3, in contrast with the imperfect, "again will I build thee," Jeremiah 31:4, and the employment of the expression "in the desert;" cf. Jeremiah 2:2; Hosea 13:4-5. But "the people of those who have escaped the sword" is an expression that cannot be reconciled with it. Rashi, indeed, understands this as referring to the sword of the Egyptians and Amalekites; but the thought that Israel, led out of Egypt through the Arabian desert, was a people that had survived or escaped the sword, is one met with nowhere else in the Old Testament, and is quite inapplicable to the condition of the people of Israel when they were led out of Egypt. Although Pharaoh wished to exterminate the people of Israel through hard servile labour, and through such measures as the order to kill all male children when they were born, yet he did not make an exhibition of his wrath against Israel by the sword, neither did he show his anger thus at the Red Sea, where he sought to bring Israel back to Egypt by force. There God shielded His people from the attack of Pharaoh, as He did in the battle against the Amalekites, so that Israel was led through the desert as a whole people, not as a remnant. The designation, "a people escaped from the sword," unconditionally requires us to refer the words to the deliverance of the Israelites from exile; these were only a remnant of what they had formerly been, since the greater portion of them perished, partly at the downfall of the kingdom, and partly in exile, by the sword of the enemy. Hence the perfects in Jeremiah 31:2 and Jeremiah 31:3 are prophetic, and used of the divine counsel, which precedes its execution in time. By using the expression "in the desert," Jeremiah makes an allusion to Israel's being led through the Arabian desert. The restoration of Israel to Canaan, from their exile among the nations, is viewed under the figure of their exodus from Egypt into the land promised to their fathers, as in Hosea 2:16.; and the exodus from the place of banishment is, at the same time, represented as having already occurred, so that Israel is again on the march to his native land, and is being safely conducted through the desert by his God. There is as little ground for thinking that there is reference here made to the desert lying between Assyria or Babylon and Palestine, as there is for Hitzig's referring שׂרידי חרב to the sword of the Medes and Persians. - The inf. abs. הלוך is used instead of the first person of the imperative (cf. 1 Kings 22:30), to express a summons addressed by God to Himself: "I will go." See Gesenius, 131, 4, b, γ. ] The suffix in הרגּיעו points out the object (Israel) by anticipation: "to bring him to rest." רגע in the Hiphil usually means to be at rest, to rest (Deuteronomy 28:65); here, to give rest, bring to rest.

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