17. Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD, I will even gather you from among the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.
17. Propterea dices, Sic dicit Dominator Iehovah, congregabo vos e populis, et colligam vos et terris, ad quas expulsi estis, et dabo vobis terrain Israel.
Now God expresses the effect of his grace. In the last verse he had said that he would be a sanctuary. I have reminded you that these words ought not to be understood of a visible place in which God was worshipped, but of that hidden influence by which he cherishes his people. But if the exile had been perpetual, that promise might seem vain. Why then did God protect his people in exile, if he wished them to be consumed there? because otherwise his covenant would have been in vain. Therefore lest any one should object that God deceives his faithful ones, when he pronounces that he would be their sanctuary, he now points out its result, viz., that he would restore them to their country. Therefore, says he, I will collect you from the people, and gather you from the nations to which ye have been, driven, and I will give you the land of Israel Since therefore a return to their country was a certain pledge of God's love, hence he announces that they should at length return On the whole the restitution of the Church is promised, which should confirm God's covenant. In it had been said to Abraham, I will give this land to thee and to thy seed for ever. (Genesis 13:15; and Genesis 17:8.) God, therefore, to show his covenant still remaining entire and secure, which he had interrupted for a short time, here speaks concerning this restoration. And as to the Prophet so often inculcating the name of God, and relating his orders in God's name, and directing his discourse to the captives, this tends to confirm his message, because in such a desperate state of things it was difficult to wait patiently for what the Prophet taught, viz., that a time would come when God would collect them again, and recall them home. Hence the faithful were admonished that they must consider God's power, and put their trust in this prophecy. It follows --