12. And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.
12. Et haereditario accipiet Iehova Iehudah partem suam in terra sancta; et eliget adhuc Ierusalem.
The Prophet confirms the former doctrine, but removes offenses, which might have occurred to the Jews and prevented them from believing this prophecy: for they had been for a time rejected, so that there was no difference between them and other nations. The land of Canaan had been given them as a pledge of their heirship; but they had been thence expelled, and there had been no temple, no public worship, no kingdom. The Jews then might have concluded from all these reasons, that they were rejected by God. Hence the Prophet here promises that they were to be restored again to their former state and to their own place. Jehovah, he says, will take Judah as his hereditary portion; that is, God will really show that he has not forgotten the election by which he had separated the Jews for himself; for he intended them to be to him a peculiar people. They were now mixed with the nations; their dispersion seemed an evidence of repudiation; but it was to be at length manifest that God was mindful of that adoption, by which he once purposed to gather the Jews to himself, that their condition might be different from that of other nations. When therefore he says, that Judah would be to God for an heritage or for an hereditary portion, he brings forward nothing new, but only reminds them that the covenant by which God chose Judah as his people would not be void, for it would be made evident in its time.
And the following clause is to the same purpose, And he will again choose Jerusalem; for it was not then for the first time that Jerusalem became the city of God when restoration took place, but the election, which existed before, was now in a manner renewed conspicuously in the sight of men. It is then the same as though the Prophet had said, |The course of God's favor has indeed been interrupted, yet he will again show that you have not been in vain chosen as his people, and that Jerusalem, which was his sanctuary, has not been chosen without purpose.| The renovation of the Church, then, is what the Prophet means by these words.
What we have said elsewhere ought at the same time to be noticed, that the word choose is not to be taken here in its strict sense; for God does not repeatedly choose those whom he regards as his Church. God's election is one single act, for it is eternal and immutable. But as Jerusalem had been apparently rejected, the word choose imports here that God would make it evident, that the first elections had ever been unchangeable, however hidden it may have been to the eyes of men. He then adds --