18. Then will the Lord be jealous for his land, and pity his people.
18. Et aemulatus est (aemulabitur, ad verbum) Jehova (hoc est, zelo ducetur Jehova) super terram suam, et propitius erit (et miserabitur, vel, parcet; nam chml est parcere) populo suo.
19. Yea, the Lord will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen.
19. Et respondit Jehova (vel, respondebit) et dicit (vel, dicet) populo suo, Ecce ego mitto vobis triticum et mustum et oleum, et saturabimini eo (vel illis potius, est mutatio numeri,) et non dabo vos amplius opprobium inter Gentes.
The Prophet here again repeats, that prayers would not be in vain, provided the Jews truly humbled themselves before God. Then God, he says, will be jealous for his land and spare his people. He confirms what I have already said that God would deal mercifully with his people, because they were his heritage, that is because he had chosen them for himself. For the title of heritage, whence does it proceed except from the gratuitous covenant of God? for the Jews were not more excellent than others, but election was the only fountain from which the Jews had to draw any hope. We now then see why these words, God will be jealous for his land, are added; as though he said |Though this land has been polluted by the wickedness of men, yet God has consecrated it to himself: He will, therefore, regard his own covenant, and thus turn away his face from looking on their sins.| He will spare, he says, his people, that is, his chosen people: for, as I have said, the Prophet no doubt ascribes here the safety of the people, and the hope of their safety, to the gratuitous election of God; for the jealousy of God is nothing else but the vehemence and ardor of his paternal love. God could not, indeed, express how ardently he loves those whom he has chosen without borrowing, as it were, what belongs to men. For we know that passions appertain not to him; but he is set forth as a father, who burns with jealousy when he sees his son ill-treated; he acknowledges his own blood, his bowels are excited, -- or, as a husband, who, on seeing dishonor done to his wife, is moved; and though he had been a hundred times offended, he yet forgets every offense; for he regards that sacred union between himself and his wife. Such a character, then, does God assume, that he might the better express how much and how intensely he loves his own elect. Hence he says, God will be jealous for his land. As he has hitherto been inflamed with just wrath, so now a contrary feeling will overcome the former; not that God is agitated by various passions, as I have already said, but this mode of speaking transferred from men, is adopted on account of our ignorance.
He afterwards says, God has answered and said to his people, Behold, I will send to you corn, wine, and oil. The Prophet does not here recite what had been done, but, on the contrary, declares, that God in future would be reconciled to them; as though he said, |I have hitherto been a herald of war, and bidden all to prepare themselves for the coming evil: but now I am a messenger to proclaim peace to you; if only you are resolved to turn to God, and to turn unfeignedly, I do now testify to you that God will be propitious to you; and as to your prayers know that they are already heard; that is, know that as soon as they were conceived, they were heard by the Lord.| Hence he says, He has answered; that is |If, moved by my exhortation, ye return with sincerity to God, he will meet you, nay, he has already met you; he waits not until ye have done all that ye ought to do; but when he bids you to come to his temple and to weep, he at the same time wipes off your tears, he removes every cause of sorrow and anxiety.| God, then, has answered; that is, |I am to you a certain and sufficient witness, that your prayers have been already accepted before God, though, as I have before reminded you, ye have not offered them.|
And, at the same time, he speaks of the effect, Behold, I will send to you corn, wine, and oil; and ye shall be satisfied. Here, by the effects, he proves that God would be propitious; for want of food was the first evidence of God's displeasure, to be followed by the destruction which the Prophet had threatened. What does he say now? God will restore to you abundance of corn, wine, and oil; and he says further, I will not give you to the Gentiles for a reproach that they may rule over you
We now then apprehend the meaning of the Prophet; for he not only promises that God would be placable but also declares that he was already placable; and this he confirms by external tokens; for God would immediately remove the sins of his wrath, and turn them into blessings. Hence he says, He will give you abundance of corn, wine, and oil, so as fully to satisfy you.' As they had perceived that God was angry with them by the sterility of the land, and also by its produce being consumed by chafers, by locusts, and other animals or insects; so now the Lord would testify his love to them by the abounding fruitfulness of every thing. And then he joins another sentence, I will not give you any more for a reproach to the Gentiles. When he says, |any more,| he intimates that they had been before exposed to reproach; and we indeed know that they were then suffering many evils; but there remained that destruction of which we have heard. God does then here promise, that they should no more be subject to the reproaches of the Gentiles provided they repented; for the Prophet ever speaks conditionally. It now follows --