Jeremiah 50:20
In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.
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(20) In those days, and in that time . . .—The formula is that which in prophetic language points to the far-off times of the Christ. Their restoration to their earthly homes was but a small thing. That which was to the prophet the great blessing of the future was that it would bring with it the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31:31, pardon and peace, iniquity and sin remembered no more.

I will pardon them whom I reserve.—The latter verb contains the root of the “remnant” which is so prominent in Isaiah (Isaiah 1:9; Isaiah 7:3), and expresses the same thought. “The remnant,” the reserved ones, shall be pardoned.

50:8-20 The desolation that shall be brought upon Babylon is set forth in a variety of expressions. The cause of this destruction is the wrath of the Lord. Babylon shall be wholly desolated; for she hath sinned against the Lord. Sin makes men a mark for the arrows of God's judgments. The mercy promised to the Israel of God, shall not only accompany, but arise from the destruction of Babylon. These sheep shall be gathered from the deserts, and put again into good pasture. All who return to God and their duty, shall find satisfaction of soul in so doing. Deliverances out of trouble are comforts indeed, when fruits of the forgiveness of sin.Those days - The days of the Messiah.

Reserve - Or, permit to remain: hence, the remnant, a word pregnant with meaning in the language of the prophets. See Isaiah 8:18 note (2).

20. The specification of "Israel," as well as Judah, shows the reference is to times yet to come.

iniquity … none—not merely idolatry, which ceased among the Jews ever since the Babylonian captivity, but chiefly their rejection of Messiah. As in a cancelled debt, it shall be as if it had never been; God, for Christ's sake, shall treat them as innocent (Jer 31:34). Without cleansing away of sin, remission of punishment would be neither to the honor of God nor to the highest interests of the elect.

whom I reserve—the elect "remnant" (Isa 1:9). The "residue" (Zec 14:2; 13:8, 9).

Some here restrain the term

iniquity to the idolatry of the Jews, which indeed was their great sin, which God did more especially punish them for; and after the captivity of Babylon we do not read of their offending in that kind, which was according to the prophecy of Isaiah 27:9, that when God should make the stones of the altar as chalk-stones that are beaten asunder, the groves and the images should not stand up. But the last words seem to guide us to a larger sense of the term

iniquity, and to point us to another sense of the whole former phrase, viz. that God would no longer punish the sins of the Jews; they should be sought for as to punishment, and not found. And those words and none must be understood as if none, they shall be punished no, more than if they had none.

For I will pardon them whom I reserve; for as to those whom I save from the captivity of Babylon,

I will pardon them: not that they were all excused from the obligation their sins laid them under as, to eternal death, but that their temporal punishment was remitted to the whole body of the Jews, and those that were truly penitent also should be discharged from their obligation to eternal death. The obligation that sin layeth the sinner under to eternal death may be remitted, and yet the temporal punishment due to them may remain, 2 Samuel 12:13,14, &c. And, on the other side, the punishment in this life may be suspended or remitted, and the obligation sin layeth the sinner under to eternal death may remain.

In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord,.... When mystical Babylon shall be destroyed, and the Jews will be converted and brought into their land, and be in possession of every temporal and spiritual mercy; it will then most clearly appear that they are the favourites of heaven, and all their sins are forgiven them, as follows:

the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none;

and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found; not that they will be wholly free from sin; or there will be none in them; or none committed by them; or that their sins are no sins; or that God has no sight or knowledge of them; but that they will not be found upon them, so as to be charged on them in a judicial way; having been removed from them to Christ, and satisfaction made for them by him; who has finished them, and made an end of them, so as that no condemnation or punishment can be inflicted on them for them; wherefore, should they be sought for by Satan, or by the law and justice of God, they will never be found, so as to be brought against them to their condemnation. The reason is,

for I will pardon them whom I reserve; the remnant, according to the election of grace, whom God has chosen in Christ, preserved in him, and reserved for himself, for his own glory, and for eternal happiness; these are pardoned freely for Christ's sake; and being pardoned, no sin is imputed to them; all is removed from them, as far as the east is from the west; covered out of the sight of God; hid from the eye of avenging justice; blotted out as a debt book, which is not legible, or as a cloud which is no more; cast by the Lord behind his back, and into the depths of the sea, and entirely forgotten; never remembered or seen more, but buried in everlasting oblivion and obscurity; see Romans 11:27.

In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.
20. In those days, and in that time, etc.] See on ch. Jeremiah 23:5 and cp. Jeremiah 31:34; Micah 7:18.

whom I leave] those who come forth at the end out of the long tribulation.

Verse 20. - In those days, etc. An evangelical promise, reminding us of Jeremiah 31:34 and Jeremiah 33:8, and of the combination of spiritual with temporal blessings in the latter part of Isaiah. Jeremiah 50:20The Assyrian has already received his punishment for that-the Assyrian kingdom has been destroyed; Babylon will meet with the same punishment, and then (Jeremiah 50:19) Israel will be led back to his pasture-ground. נוה, pasture-ground, grass-plot, where sheep feed, is the land of Israel. Israel, led back thither, will feed on Carmel and Bashan, the most fertile tracts of the country, and the mountains of Ephraim and Gilead, which also furnish fodder in abundance for sheep. As to Gilead, see Numbers 32:1; Micah 7:14; and in regard to the mountains of Ephraim, Exodus 34:13., where the feeding on the mountains of Israel and in the valleys is depicted as fat pasture. The mountains of Israel here signify the northern portion of the land generally, including the large and fertile plain of Jezreel, and the different valleys between the several ranges of mountains, which here and there show traces of luxuriant vegetation even yet; cf. Robinson's Physical Geography, p. 120. Then also the guilt of the sins of Israel and Judah shall be blotted out, because the Lord grants pardon to the remnant of His people. This promise points to the time of the New Covenant; cf. Jeremiah 31:34 and Jeremiah 33:8. The deliverance of Israel from Babylon coincides with the view given of the regeneration of the people by the Messiah, just as we find throughout the second portion of Isaiah. On the construction 'יבקּשׁ את־עון ישׂ, cf. 35:14, and Gesenius, 143, 1. On the form תּמּצאינה, with y after the manner of verbs ה''ל, cf. Ewald, 198, b.
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