If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary to me;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)If they shall confess their iniquity.—Better, And they shall confess, that is, when their sufferings have reached this terrible point, the Israelites will realise and confess their iniquities and those of their fathers who have perished in these terrible punishments, on account of their sins, and who are no longer alive to confess their sins themselves. The whole description is present to the Lawgiver’s mind; hence the different degrees of the sins, the various stages of the sufferings, and the ultimate penitence of the people are described as passing before our eyes, as if exhibited in a kaleidoscope.
With their trespass which they trespassed against me.—Better, because of their trespass that they have, &c., as this phrase is rendered in the Authorised Version in Daniel 9:7.If they shall confess, Heb. And they shall confess, where our translation and many others understand the particle if, which is also wanting and understood, Exodus 4:23 Malachi 1:2 3:8. So here, And if they shall confess, &c.
But there seems no necessity of any such supplement, but these and the following words may be taken as they lie in their plain and proper signification, to this purpose, Leviticus 26:40, And through the heaviness and extraordinariness of their affliction, their consciences will force them to confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they have trespassed against me, i.e. with their prevarication with me and defection from me to idolatry, which by way of eminency he calls their trespass;
and that also they have walked contrary to me, Leviticus 26:41, and that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; i.e. that they are not come into these calamities by chance, nor by the misfortune of war, but by my just judgment upon them. All which confession is no more than Pharaoh made in his distresses, and than hypocrites in their affliction use to make. And therefore he adds, if then their uncircumcised, i.e. impure, carnal, profane, and impenitent hearts be humbled, i.e. subdued, purged, reformed; if to this confession they add sincere humiliation and reformation, I will do what follows. Daniel 9:4; and the words may as well be rendered absolute as conditional, or better, and as a prediction of what would be done by them when in captivity and distress, "and they shall confess their iniquity" (c); with shame and sorrow, with repentance for it, and abhorrence of it; or otherwise, if the confession was only verbal and hypocritical, it would not be acceptable:
with their trespass which they trespassed against me; along with their own iniquities, and those of their fathers, they should confess, their trespass against the Lord would be acknowledged by them; which seems to design some particular and grievous sin committed by them, by which perhaps is meant their idolatry, a capital sin, directly against God, and what those people were prone unto:
and that also they have walked contrary unto me; to his mind and will, to his laws, commands, statutes, and ordinances, disregarding him and them, as if enemies to him; or "by chance"; See Gill on Leviticus 26:21.If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Repentance shall bring restoration
Verses 40-45. - God's pardon will, even yet, as always, follow upon confession of sin and genuine repentance. They must recognize not only that they have sinned, but that their sufferings have been a punishment for those sins at God's hand. This will work in them humble acquiescence in God's doings, and then he will remember his covenant with Jacob, and also his covenant with Isaac, and also his covenant with Abraham, and for the sake of the covenant of their ancestors, he will not east them away, neither will he abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break his covenant with them. Whether Jewish repentance has been or ever will be so full as to obtain this blessing, cannot be decided now. Perhaps it may be the case that all the blessings promised by Moses and by future prophets to repentant and restored Israel are to find their accomplishment in the spiritual Israel, the children of Abraham who is "the father of all them that believe" (Romans 4:11), seeing that "God is able of stones to raise up children unto Abraham" (Matthew 3:9). Leviticus 26:34 and Leviticus 26:35. The land would then enjoy and keep its Sabbaths, so long as it was desolate, and Israel was in the land of its foes. השּׁמּה ימי כּל, during the whole period of its devastation. השּׁמּה inf. Hophal with the suffix, in which the mappik is wanting, as in Exodus 2:3 (cf. Ewald, 131e). רצה to have satisfaction: with בּ and an accusative it signifies to take delight, take pleasure, in anything, e.g., in rest after the day's work is done (Job 14:6); here also to enjoy rest (not "to pay its debt:" Ges., Kn.). The keeping of the Sabbath was not a performance binding upon the land, nor had the land been in fault because the Sabbath was not kept. As the earth groans under the pressure of the sin of men, so does it rejoice in deliverance from this pressure, and participation in the blessed rest of the whole creation. וגו אשׁר את תּשׁבּת: the land "will rest (keep) what it has not rested on your Sabbaths and whilst you dwelt in it;" i.e., it will make up the rest which you did not give it on your Sabbaths (daily and yearly). It is evident from this, that the keeping of the Sabbaths and sabbatical years was suspended when the apostasy of the nation increased, - a result which could be clearly foreseen in consequence of the inward dislike of a sinner to the commandments of the holy God, and which is described in 2 Chronicles 26:21 as having actually occurred.
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