If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me…
The curses of this chapter have proved prophetic. So, may we infer, will the blessings prove. We may therefore hope to see the conversion of the Hebrews to Christ, their restoration to their ancient inheritance, and the sun of prosperity shining brightly upon them.
I. THEY WILL CONFESS THEIR SIN.
1. Their personal iniquity.
(1) They will have many things to confess, as all sinners have. They will "humble their uncircumcised heart" (see Jeremiah 9:26; Romans 2:29).
(2) In particular they will confess their capital sin in rejecting Christ. This crime filled up the measure of their fathers.
2. The iniquity of their fathers.
(1) This was the same as their own. They will acknowledge themselves, not in pride, but in penitence, to be the children of their fathers.
(2) Instead of attempting to extenuate their sin because of the example of their fathers, they will repent for the sin of their fathers as well as for their own. This is in accordance with the principle of the visitation of the iniquities of the fathers upon the children.
3. The justice of God in their punishment.
(1) They acknowledge that they walked contrary to God (see Ezra 9; Nehemiah 1:4; Nehemiah 9:1, 2, 29; Daniel 9:3, 4).
(2) That he has therefore walked contrary to them. Afflictions do not spring out of the dust.
II. THEN GOD WILL REMEMBER HIS COVENANT. Therefore:
1. He will not destroy them utterly.
(1) His providence will be over them. What else could have preserved them now for nineteen centuries amidst untoward circumstances? They are, notwithstanding their sufferings, as numerous today as they were in the zenith of their prosperity in the days of Solomon.
(2) The remnant of them shall be saved.
(3) How tender is the compassion of God! (Hosea 11:8, 9).
2. He will reinstate them in their land.
(1) He will remember his land. For in the covenant they are promised the land "forever."
(2) Remembering the land also implies that it will recover its ancient fruitfulness (see promises, verses 4, 5, 10).
(3) In that condition it will be the appropriate type and pledge of the heavenly country (see Isaiah 62:4).
3. He will make them a blessing in the earth.
(1) They will grow into a multitude.
(2) They will rejoice in spiritual blessings.
(3) The miracles of the Exodus from Egypt will be repeated.
(4) The heathen will be startled into thoughtfulness (verse 45).
(5) The heathen will once more learn the way of salvation from the lips of Hebrews.
4. In all this they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.
(1) This is distinctly stated (verse 42; comp. Romans 11:28).
(2) The patriarchs of the covenant are referred to in the order of ascent, viz. Jacob, Isaac, Abraham. Note: when the Jews in humility confess themselves the children of their more recent sinful fathers, God will acknowledge them as the children of their earlier faithful ancestors.
(3) It is an encouragement to faith that the memory of Divine mercy is far-reaching - everlasting. - J.A.M.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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;