But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)But and or yet
Judah the chosen peculiar redeemed of the Lord, his church.
shall dwell for ever; no more be captivated and driven from home, but in their own land and houses abide safely and perpetually. This typifieth the eternal peace and rest to which God’s people are redeemed.
Jerusalem; city of God. From generation to generation; through many generations on earth, through eternity in heaven. Some shadow of this possibly we may find in the days of the Maccabees, but the fulness of this we expect when that day, great, dreadful, and finally decisive day, to which interpreters refer this chapter, shall destroy all the wicked and put the godly into possession of eternal mansions of glory. Ezekiel 37:25; and the true professing people of God, as Judah signifies, shall continue in a church state, evermore, and never more be disturbed by any enemies, they shall dwell safely and peaceably to the end of time:
and Jerusalem from generation to generation; shall dwell so in like manner, age after age; that is, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, or the members of the true church of Christ, who shall see and enjoy peace and prosperity, both temporal and spiritual, as Jerusalem signifies.But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)20. The prophet, continuing the thought of Joel 3:18, reverts again to the future lot of Judah.
shall sit for ever] i.e. remain inhabited. A city, or country, when it continues to flourish and be inhabited, is said in Heb., by a personification, to sit: so Isaiah 13:20 (A.V. be inhabited; in the parallel clause, lit. dwell [not be dwelt in]); Jeremiah 17:6; Jeremiah 17:25; Zechariah 9:5; Zechariah 12:6.Verses 20, 21. - The contrast which these verses present to what precedes is very striking. While Egypt and Edom are devoted to desolation and destruction, Judah, personified, shall dwell (margin, abide), and Jerusalem, or rather, as we think, Judah shall be dwelt in, as also its capital, from generation to generation. In the concluding verse a reason is assigned. For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed. The blood shed by the Egyptians and Edomites is proved by Jehovah to be innocent blood, because he promises to avenge it in the end, though for wise and good reasons he had delayed to do so. This closing thought is well explained by Keil in the words, "The eternal desolation of the world-kingdoms mentioned here will wipe out all the wrong which they have done to the people of God, and which has hitherto remained un-punished." When Jehovah thus wipes out the bloodguiltiness of the enemies of Judah by punishing them with destruction for their cruelties, while he exalts gloriously, finally, and for ever his people, he proves his sovereignty over them and his dwelling-place in Zion. The Hebrew interpreters, with the exception of Abarbanel, understand this passage
(1) literally; thus Kimchi: "At that time (the day of the Lord), after making an end of the nations there, great goodness shall accrue to Israel;" the same is seen in the exposition of the last verse of the chapter. Rashi says, "Even if I shall cleanse them of the remaining transgression which is in their hands, and the evil-doing which they have done to me, the blood of the children of Judah I will not cleanse from them;" also in commenting on the same, Kimchi says, "For their silver and their gold which they took I will cleanse the nations, for Israel also shall take from them in the future, and they shall become their spoil; but for their blood which they have shed I will not cleanse them, but life shall be for life - the life of those that shed it, or of their children after them; for for all the silver and the gold that is in the world which they shall give as a ransom of their souls they shall not be cleansed of the blood which they have shed;" also, "For the ages of eternity shall his dwelling-place be in Zion, after that it shall return there in the days of the Messiah."
(2) Some refer the passage to millennial times.
(3) Others to the time of the consummation of all things. Thus Keil, comparing Ezekiel 47, Zechariah 14, Revelation 21. and 22, says, "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;" he had previously intimated that spiritual sense, "For Zion or Jerusalem is, of course, not the Jerusalem of the earthly Palestine, but the sanctified and glorified city of the living God, in which the Lord will be eternally united with his redeemed, sanctified, and glorified Church."
Hosea 9:5. "What will ye do on the day of the festival, and on the day of the feast of Jehovah? Hosea 9:6. For behold they have gone away because of the desolation: Egypt will gather them together, Memphis bury them: their valuables in silver, thistles will receive them; thorns in their tents." As the temple and ritual will both be wanting in their exile, they will be unable to observe any of the feasts of the Lord. No such difference can be shown to exist between yōm mō‛ēd and yōm chag Yehōvâh, as would permit of our referring mō‛ēd to feasts of a different kind from chag. In Leviticus 23, all the feasts recurring at a fixed period, on which holy meetings were held, including the Sabbath, are called מועדי יהוהּ; and even though the three feasts at which Israel was to appear before the Lord, viz., the passover, pentecost, and the feast of tabernacles, are described as chaggı̄m in Exodus 34:18., every other joyous festival is also called a chag (Exodus 32:5; Judges 21:19). It is therefore just as arbitrary on the part of Grotius and Rosenmller to understand by mō‛ēd the three yearly pilgrim-festivals, and by chag Yehōvâh all the rest of the feasts, including the new moon, as it is on the part of Simson to restrict the last expression to the great harvest-feast, i.e., the feast of tabernacles (Leviticus 23:39, Leviticus 23:41). The two words are synonymous, but they are so arranged that by chag the idea of joy is brought into greater prominence, and the feast-day is thereby designated as a day of holy joy before Jehovah; whereas mō‛ēd simply expresses the idea of a feast established by the Lord, and sanctified to Him (see at Leviticus 23:2). By the addition of the chag Yehōvâh, therefore, greater emphasis is given to the thought, viz., that along with the feasts themselves all festal joy will also vanish. The perfect הלכוּ (Exodus 34:6) may be explained from the fact, that the prophet saw in spirit the people already banished from the land of the Lord. הלך, to go away out of the land. Egypt is mentioned as the place of banishment, in the same sense as in Hosea 9:3. There will they all find their graves. קבּץ in combination with קבּר is the gathering together of the dead for a common burial, like אסף in Ezekiel 29:5; Jeremiah 8:2; Jeremiah 25:33. מף, or נף, as in Isaiah 19:13; Jeremiah 2:16; Jeremiah 44:1; Ezekiel 30:13, Ezekiel 30:16, probably contracted from מנף, answers rather to the Coptic Membe, Memphe, than to the old Egyptian Men-nefr, i.e., mansio bona, the profane name of the city of Memphis, the ancient capital of Lower Egypt, the ruins of which are to be seen on the western bank of the Nile, to the south of Old Cairo. The sacred name of this city was Ha-ka-ptah, i.e., house of the worship of Phtah (see Brugsch, Geogr. Inschriften, i. pp. 234-5). In their own land thorns and thistles would take the place of silver valuables. The suffix attached to יירשׁם refers, ad sensum, to the collective מחמד לכספּם, the valuables in silver. These are not "silver idols," as Hitzig imagines, but houses ornamented and filled with the precious metal, as בּאהליהם in the parallel clause clearly shows. The growth of thorns and thistles presupposes the utter desolation of the abodes of men (Isaiah 34:13).
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