Leviticus 26:41
And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity:
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(41) And that I also have walked contrary unto them.—That is, and they shall also confess that through their walking contrary unto God, He also walked contrary unto them, and brought them into the land of their enemies.

If then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled.—Better, or rather, their uncircumcised hearts shall be humbled. This is a resumption of the statement made at the beginning of Leviticus 26:40, viz., “And they shall confess their iniquity . . . ;” or rather, their uncircumcised hearts shall be humbled. That is, perverse and stubborn hearts; too proud to make an humble confession. (See Leviticus 19:23, with Jeremiah 9:26.) The same metaphor is used by the Apostle: “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost” (Acts 7:51).

Accept of the punishment of their iniquity.—Rather, accept willingly, that is, they will acknowledge the justice of their punishment, and be in that frame of mind when they will freely own that the punishment is not commensurate with their guilt, and willingly accept the Divine retribution. The exact shade of meaning covered by this phrase in the original cannot adequately be given in a translation, since the verb here translated “accept,” or “accept willingly,” is the same which is translated “enjoy” in Leviticus 26:34. The whole phrase denotes literally, they shall rejoice in their iniquity, or in the punishment of their iniquity; they will take it joyfully, as the best and most appropriate means to bring them to repentance. The nearest approach to it is the passage, “I will bear the indignation of the Lord, for I have sinned against him” (Micah 7:9).

Leviticus 26:41. If they accept of — The meaning is, if they sincerely acknowledge the righteousness of God and their own wickedness, and patiently submit to his correcting hand; if, with David, they are ready to say, It is good for us that we are afflicted, that we may learn God’s statutes — And yield obedience to them for the future, which is a good evidence of true repentance.

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.Uncircumcised hearts - The outward sign of the covenant might be preserved, but the answering grace in the heart would be wanting (Acts 7:51; Romans 2:28-29; Jeremiah 6:10; Jeremiah 9:26; compare Colossians 2:11).

Accept of the punishment of their iniquity - literally, enjoy their iniquity. The word here and in Leviticus 26:43 rendered "accept" in this phrase, is the same as is rendered "enjoy" in the expression "the land shall enjoy her sabbaths" Leviticus 26:34. The antithesis in Leviticus 26:43 is this: The land shall enjoy her sabbaths - and they shall enjoy the punishment of their iniquity. The meaning is, that the land being desolate shall have the blessing of rest, and they having repented shall have the blessing of chastisement. The feelings of a devout captive Israelite are beautifully expressed in Tobit 13:1-18.

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). The Hebrew word avou commonly signifies iniquity, but it is oft used for

the punishment of iniquity, as here and 1 Samuel 28:10 Psalm 31:10 Isaiah 53:6,11. The meaning is, if they sincerely acknowledge the righteousness of God, and their own wickedness, and patiently submit to his correcting hand, and would rather be in their present suffering condition than in their former sinful, though prosperous estate; if with David they are ready to say, it is good for them that they are afflicted, that they may learn God’s statutes, and obedience to them for the future, which is a good evidence of true repentance.

And that I also have walked contrary unto them,.... Showed no regard unto them, as if he took no care of them, or in a providential way concerned himself for them, but let what would befall them; yea, came out in the way of his judgments against them, as if he was an enemy to them; see Gill on Leviticus 26:24,

and have brought them into the land of their enemies; should acknowledge the hand of God in it, that he himself brought them out of their own country into an enemy's land, as Assyria, Babylon, and other nations: and that this was not the chance of war, or owing to the superior power or skill of their enemies, but to the just judgment of God upon them for their sins, who on that account delivered them up into the hands of their enemies:

if then their uncircumcised heart be humbled; their foolish proud heart, as the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan; it signifies a sinful, wicked, hard, and impenitent heart, brought to a sense of sin, to repentance and humiliation for it. Jarchi interprets it, "or if their uncircumcised heart", &c. as in Exodus 2:23; and observes another sense of the word, "perhaps their uncircumcised heart", &c. not only would in words confess their sins, but be truly humbled at heart for them:

and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity; take it well at the hand of God, bear it patiently without murmuring, or thinking themselves hardly dealt by, but freely owning it is less than their iniquities deserve; or complete and finish the punishment of their sins, as Aben Ezra, which upon their humiliation should be put an end to, and cease. Jarchi takes the word in the sense of atonement and pacification, as if by their chastisement their sins were expiated (d), and God was pacified toward them: but rather it denotes the free and full pardon of their sins, manifested to them upon their repentance and humiliation for sin.

(d) Siphri apud Yalkut, ut supra. (par. 1. fol. 197. 2.)

And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity:
41. accept of] acknowledge that the punishment was deserved and has had its remedial effect.

Leviticus 26:41In 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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