Jeremiah 33:13
In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the vale, and in the cities of the south, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shall the flocks pass again under the hands of him that tells them, said the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
33:1-13 Those who expect to receive comforts from God, must call upon him. Promises are given, not to do away, but to quicken and encourage prayer. These promises lead us to the gospel of Christ; and in that God has revealed truth to direct us, and peace to make us easy. All who by sanctifying grace are cleansed from the filth of sin, by pardoning mercy are freed from the guilt. When sinners are thus justified, washed, and sanctified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Holy Spirit, they are enabled to walk before God in peace and purity. Many are led to perceive the real difference between the people of God and the world around them, and to fear the Divine wrath. It is promised that the people who were long in sorrow, shall again be filled with joy. Where the Lord gives righteousness and peace, he will give all needful supplies for temporal wants; and all we have will be comforts, as sanctified by the word and by prayer.Telleth - i. e., counts the number of his sheep. 13. pass … under … hands of him that telleth them—Shepherds, in sending forth and bringing back their sheep to the folds, count them by striking each as it passes with a rod, implying the shepherd's provident care that not one should be lost (Le 27:32; Mic 7:14; compare Joh 10:28, 29; 17:12). So as to keep tale of them, as it is said they were wont to do both morning and evening in those countries. In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the vale,

and in the cities of the south,.... Into which three parts the land of Judea was divided; See Gill on Jeremiah 32:44;

and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah; in the cities of the two tribes, of which Jerusalem was the metropolis; and which returned from the captivity, and settled here, and were in being when the Messiah came, here prophesied of, the great Shepherd of the sheep:

shall the flocks pass again under the hands of him that telleth them, saith the Lord; alluding to the custom of shepherds telling their flocks, when they led them out of the fold in the morning, and when they put them in at evening (s); or to the tithing of them, Leviticus 27:32; this is not to be understood literally, but mystically. So Jarchi, Kimchi, and Abarbinel interpret it of the Israelites going in and out under the hands of their king, that goes at the head of them; and the Targum, of the King Messiah, and who is no doubt meant. The elect of God, who are intended by the "flocks", were in eternal election considered as sheep, and by that act of grace were distinguished from others; and so when an exact account was taken of them, their names were written in heaven, and in the Lamb's book of life; and had this seal and mark put upon them, "the Lord knows them that are his", 2 Timothy 2:19; also in the gift of them to Christ; in the covenant of grace, when they were brought into the bond of that covenant, they were likewise considered as sheep, distinct from others; and were told into the hands of Christ, where they are kept, and who has a most perfect knowledge of them; and in the effectual calling they will again pass under his hands; they are then as sheep that had gone astray, returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls; and when they are separated from others, and special knowledge is taken of them, and Christ's mark, the sanctification of the Spirit, is put upon them; and at the last day, when Christ shall deliver them up to the Father, he will say, lo, I and the children, or sheep, whom thou hast given me; and they will all be numbered, and not one will be wanting.

(s) "Bisque die numerant, alter pecus, alter et haedos". Virgil.

In the cities of the {k} mountains, in the cities of the vale, and in the cities of the south, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shall the flocks pass again under the hands of him that counteth them, saith the LORD.

(k) Meaning that all the country of Judah will be inhabited again.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. him that telleth] For “tell” in the sense (now archaic) of count cp. Genesis 15:5; Psalm 22:17; Psalm 48:12.

“While one with moderate haste might tell a hundred.”

Hamlet, Jeremiah 1:2.

The cognate substantive is preserved to us in the title of the “tellers” who report the result of a division in the House of Commons. For tale in the Bible in the sense of number see Exodus 5:8; Exodus 5:18; 1 Samuel 18:27; 1 Chronicles 9:28.—Bible Word Book.Verse 13. - In the cities, etc. A parallel description to Jeremiah 17:26; Jeremiah 32:44. The vale; rather, the lowland (about the Mediterranean, on the south). The south. It is the Negeb, or south country, which is meant. Under the hands; rather, at the beck. Of him that telleth them. Comp. Milton, 'L'Allegro' -

"And every shepherd tolls his tale
Under the hawthorn in the dale."
Virgil, 'Eel.,' 3:34 -
Bisque die numerant ambo pecus, alter et haedos. The attainment of this prosperity consists in the change of the wretchedness and misery of Judah and Israel (the whole covenant people) into permanent happiness, and their being built up - i.e., the firm establishment of their civil prosperity through the secure possession and enjoyment of the good things of the land - as in the beginning, i.e., the time previous to the rending of the state through the falling away of the people into idolatry; cf. Isaiah 1:26; 1 Kings 13:6. For השׁיב את see Jeremiah 32:44.
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