Jeremiah 44:28
Yet a small number that escape the sword shall return out of the land of Egypt into the land of Judah, and all the remnant of Judah, that are gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, shall know whose words shall stand, mine, or their's.
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44:20-30 Whatever evil comes upon us, it is because we have sinned against the Lord; we should therefore stand in awe, and sin not. Since they were determined to persist in their idolatry, God would go on to punish them. What little remains of religion were among them, would be lost. The creature-comforts and confidences from which we promise ourselves most, may fail as soon as those from which we promise ourselves least; and all are what God makes them, not what we fancy them to be. Well-grounded hopes of our having a part in the Divine mercy, are always united with repentance and obedience.Literally, "And fugitives from the sword (see Jeremiah 44:14) shall return from the land of Egypt to the land of Judah, mere of number, i. e., so few that they can be counted: and all the remnant of Jadah that are going etc." So unendurable shall be their sufferings in Egypt, that the men now abandoning Judaea in the hope of finding an asylum there shall be glad to return like runaways from a lost battle.

Whose words ... - Whose word shall stand, from Me or from them, i. e., the one prediction, that their descent into Egypt would be their ruin, which they denied.

28. small number—(see on [969]Jer 44:14; and Jer 42:17; Isa 27:13); compare "all-consumed" (Jer 44:27). A band easily counted, whereas they were expecting to return triumphantly in large numbers.

shall know—most of them experimentally, and to their cost.

whose words … mine, or theirs—Hebrew, "that from Me and them." Jehovah's words are His threats of destruction to the Jews; theirs, the assertion that they expected all goods from their gods (Jer 44:17), &c. "Mine"; by which I predict ruin to them. "Theirs"; by which they give themselves free scope in iniquity.

shall stand—(Ps 33:11).

This justifieth the restrained interpretation of none of the remnant, Jeremiah 44:14; for here it is plainly said that some should escape and return; but for the rest, they should there perish, and by that it would appear whether God’s word or theirs should stand, and have its accomplishment; they promising themselves security, God threatening them with utter ruin and destruction. Yet a small number that shall escape the sword,.... The sword of the king of Babylon, and the other judgments, and which would be but very few; "men of number" (k), as in the Hebrew text, which might easily be numbered; Jeremiah the prophet, and Baruch the son of Neriah, and some few righteous persons among them, as Kimchi and Abarbinel observe:

shall return out of the land of Egypt into the land of Judah; they shall make their escape out of the land of Egypt, whither they did not go willingly; and, by one providence or another, shall come back to their native country, the land of Judea, When the rest will not; which must be a distinguishing your to them:

and all the remnant of Judah, that are gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, shall know what words shall stand, mine or theirs; those that are left of the sword, famine, and pestilence, shall know experimentally, by facts laid down, whose words have their effect and accomplishment, stand firm and sure; whether theirs, that promised impunity and safety, peace and prosperity, in their idolatrous practices; or the Lord's, which threatened with ruin and destruction. The Lord is true, and every man a liar; whatever devices are in a man's heart, the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.

(k) "viri numeri", Montanus, &c.

Yet a small number that escape the sword {o} shall return from the land of Egypt into the land of Judah, and all the remnant of Judah, that have gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, shall know whose words shall stand, mine, or theirs.

(o) We see therefore that God has a perpetual care over his, wherever they are scattered: for though they are but two or three, yet he will deliver them when he destroys his enemies.

Verse 28. - Yet a small number, etc. Isaiah's doctrine of the remnant. In the midst of judgment, God remembers mercy, and his ancient covenant. A remnant is saved as the nucleus of a regenerate people. Refutation of these statements of the people. - Jeremiah 44:20. "And Jeremiah spake to all the people, to the men and women, and to all the people that had given him answer, saying, Jeremiah 44:21. Did not the incense-burning which he performed in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, ye and your fathers, your kings and your princes, and the people of the land-did not Jahveh remember them, and did it not arise in His mind? Jeremiah 44:22. And Jahveh could no longer endure it, because of the wickedness of your deeds, because of the abominations which ye committed; thus your land became a desolation, and a waste, and a curse, without an inhabitant, as at this day. Jeremiah 44:23. Because ye burned incense and sinned against Jahveh, and did not hearken to the voice of Jahveh, and in His law, in His statutes, and in His testimonies ye walked not; therefore this evil hath befallen you, as at this day." Jeremiah answers them that their idol-worship, by which they have provoked the Lord their God, is the very cause of the misfortune that has befallen them, because God could no longer endure this abomination which they would not forsake. הקּטּר is a noun, "the burning of incense," which includes, besides, all the other elements of idolatrous worship hence the word is resumed, at the close, under the plur. אותם, "these things." ותּעלה is 3rd pers. sing. neut., lit., "it has come into His mind," i.e., He has carefully considered it, and that in the way of punishment, for He could no longer endure such abomination. The imperf. יוּכל is used for the historic tense (imperf. with ו consec.), because the ו would necessarily be separated from the verb by the לא; and it is employed instead of the perfect, which we would be inclined to expect after the preceding זכר, since that which is treated of is something that endures for a considerable time; cf. Ewald, 346, b. On the expression "because of the evil," etc., cf. Jeremiah 21:12; Jeremiah 4:4, etc.; on the last clause in Jeremiah 44:22, cf. Jeremiah 44:6 and Jeremiah 44:12.
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