Leviticus 26:40
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;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(40) 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.

26:40-46 Among the Israelites, persons were not always prosperous or afflicted according to their obedience or disobedience. But national prosperity was the effect of national obedience, and national judgments were brought on by national wickedness. Israel was under a peculiar covenant. National wickedness will end in the ruin of any people, especially where the word of God and the light of the gospel are enjoyed. Sooner or later, sin will be the ruin, as well as the reproach, of every people. Oh that, being humbled for our sins, we might avert the rising storm before it bursts upon us! God grant that we may, in this our day, consider the things which belong to our eternal peace.trespass - The Hebrew word signifies an injury inflicted on the rights of a person, as distinguished from a sin or iniquity regarded as an outrage of the divine law. Every wrong act is of course both a sin and a trespass against God. In this place Yahweh takes the breach of the covenant as a personal trespass.40-45. If they shall confess their iniquity, &c.—This passage holds out the gracious promise of divine forgiveness and favor on their repentance, and their happy restoration to their land, in memory of the covenant made with their fathers (Ro 2:1-29). 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.

If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers,.... The Targum of Jonathan adds,"in the time of their distress;''which might serve to bring their sins to remembrance, and them to a confession of them, not only of their own sins, but of their fathers' also; acknowledging thereby that they had been guilty of sinning against God for a long course of years past; and that God had been long suffering towards them, and bore much with them before he brought his judgments on them, which were just, and what they righteously deserved; and such a confession Daniel made, 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.

(c) "et confitebuntur", Pagninus, Montanus.

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)
40–45. 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 26:40In this state of pining away under their enemies, they would confess to themselves their own and their fathers' sins, i.e., would make the discovery that their sufferings were a punishment from God for their sins, and acknowledge that they were suffering what they had deserved, through their unfaithfulness to their God and rebellion against Him, for which He had been obliged to set Himself in hostility to them, and bring them into the land of their enemies; or rather their uncircumcised hearts would then humble themselves, and they would look with satisfaction upon this fruit of their sin. The construction is the following: וזכרתּי (Leviticus 26:42) corresponds to התודּוּ (Leviticus 26:40) as the apodosis; so that, according to the more strictly logical connection, which is customary in our language, we may unite Leviticus 26:40, Leviticus 26:41 in one period with Leviticus 26:42. "If they shall confess their iniquity...or rather their uncircumcised heart shall humble itself...I will remember My covenant." With בּמעלם a parenthetical clause is introduced into the main sentence explanatory of the iniquity, and reaches as far as "into the land of their enemies." With יכּנע או־אז, "or if, etc.," the main sentence is resumed. או, "or rather" (as in 1 Samuel 29:3), bringing out the humiliation of the heart as the most important result to which the confession of sin ought to deepen itself. The heart is called "uncircumcised" as being unsanctified, and not susceptible to the manifestations of divine grace. את־עונם ירצוּ וץ̓הןךח́ףןץףי פב̀ע ב̓לבספי́בע בץ̓פש͂ם (lxx), they will take pleasure, rejoice in their misdeeds, i.e., in the consequences and results of them-that their misdeed have so deeply humbled them, and brought them to the knowledge of the corruption into which they have fallen: a bold and, so to speak, paradoxical expression for their complete change of heart, which we may render thus: "they will enjoy their misdeeds," as רצה may be rendered in the same way in Leviticus 26:43 also.

(Note: Luther has translated עון in this sense, "punishment of iniquity," and observes in the marginal notes, - "(Pleasure), i.e., just as they had pleasure in their sins and felt disgust at My laws, so they would now take pleasure in their punishment and say, 'We have just what we deserve. This is what we have to thank our cursed sin for. It is just, O God, quite just.' And these are thoughts and words of earnest repentance, hating itself from the bottom of the heart, and crying out, Shame upon me, what have I done? This pleases God, so that He becomes gracious once more.")

But where punishment bears such fruit, God looks upon the sinner with favour again. When Israel had gone so far, He would remember His covenant with the fathers ("My covenant with Jacob," יעקב בּריתי: the suffix is attached to the governing noun, as in Leviticus 6:3, because the noun governed, being a proper name, could not take the suffix), and remember the land (including its inhabitants), which, as is repeated again in Leviticus 26:43, would be left by them (become desolate) and enjoy its Sabbaths whilst it was waste (depopulated) from (i.e., away from, without) them; and they would enjoy their iniquity, because they had despised the judgments of the Lord, and their soul had rejected His statues.

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