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Verse 42

For the sake of frightening them, he threatened that he would be conspicuous to the reprobate, saying, you shall know that I am Jehovah, — meaning, that he would be their judge: hence he was known to the reprobate by proofs of his anger or wrath. But now another kind of knowledge is denoted, namely, that which brings a sweet taste of paternal love:you shall know, says he, that I am, Jehovah your God, when I shall have brought you in again. He here shows his full and complete benefit towards the faithful, which we saw before was withheld from the reprobate. For they were brought back, because, without exception, all were permitted to return to their country; for then the yoke of an imperious tyranny was broken when they were freed from the dominion of the Chaldees, and the king of the Medes had permitted them to build the temple, and to dwell in the land of Canaan. All were set at liberty, as I have said; but that was the only favor conferred upon the wicked, since they all perished in the desert of the Gentiles: but God’s elect were led by the hand to the land of Israel, and there they really possessed the promised inheritance, since they dwelt there as sons and lawful heirs. The hypocrites returned, as I have said, but they never possessed the land by right of inheritance, for they wandered hither and thither in the desert, and although they resided at home, were always wandering exiles. We see, then, that a singular privilege is intended when it is said, I will be known by you, when I shall have brought you back from the nations and the lands through which you were dispersed, into the land concerning which I swore that I would give it to your fathers. Here a mark is inscribed, that the faithful may know that this promise was not common to all: for the dwelling in the land of Canaan of itself was not a matter of much consequence, but here a value is expressed, that they should arrive at that land as God’s heirs, and succeed their sacred fathers, to whom the inheritance was promised. As God swore that he would give the land to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, this ought not to be restricted to them personally, as we very well know; and yet they were its true heirs and lords, as their sepulchers bear witness. They suffered vexation by constantly changing their settlements, and were never at rest in one residence. During life they were strangers, but their sepulcher was a proof of true and lawful dominion: and in this way they transmitted the hope of the promised inheritance to their posterity. Now, therefore, we see with what intention the Prophet here says that the land was promised to their fathers, that its value might raise the minds of the faithful to consider the magnitude of the benefit. It follows —

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