I was compelled yesterday to stop at the second clause of the fifth verse, where God declares that the Jews were slain by him, while they were exerting all their strength to resist. He then says that that slaughter happened to the city and to the people, because they had sinned against him. But he says, first, I have slain them, and then, I have hid my face from this city, and he also adds the reason, on accorent of all their wickedness Then he declares that he was the author of that slaughter, and he also shews that in just judgment he punished the wickedness of the people. For as they had never ceased for a long time to provoke his vengeance, he here shews that they deserved that reward, even of having their city forcibly taken by the Chaldeans, and also of being everywhere slain, and of having their houses filled with dead bodies.
He afterwards says, Behold, I will bring a renewal and a healing, and I will heal them This is the main point, as they say, in the passage. He had been hitherto shewing, that the Jews had deserved so heavy a punishment, because by their obstinacy they had not ceased to provoke God against themselves. But he promises here to be propitious to them after having moderately corrected them. For we have said, that the design of this prophecy was to sustain the Jews, so that they might not despond, but rely on the promise of favor, however bitter exile might be. Then he says, I will bring a renewal, or restoration, and a healing
And it is added, I will open to them abundance of peace and of truth Some render the last word, 'mt, amet, prayer; for the verb 'mn amen, means sometimes to pray and also to multiply. There may then be a twofold meaning; the first, that God would open to them an access to prayer; for things were so hopeless among the people, that no one dared to utter a word. Even Jeremiah himself was forbidden to pray, (Jeremiah 11:14) because God had resolved to destroy those miserable men respecting whom there was no hope of repentance. Some therefore understand that an access to prayer is here promised, so that the faithful and the servants of God might pray for the prosperity of the city. But this explanation seems to me to be too far-fetched. I take, therefore, a simpler interpretation, -- that God would give them abundance of peace, or rather the prolonging or continuance of peace. By peace is meant, as it is well known, a happy state. Then to Jerusalem, reduced to extreme miseries, God promises joyful things, so that she should afterwards live prosperously; and he adds the word truth, which is to be taken here for stability, as, indeed, everywhere in Scripture, as though he had said, that the prosperous state of the city would notbe for a month, or a short time, but continual and even perpetual, as he declares in the next verse.