31:1 At the a same time, saith the LORD, I will be the God of
all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.
(a) When this noble governor will come, meaning Christ, not
only Judah and Israel, but the rest of the world will
31:2 Thus saith the LORD, The people [who were] b left by the
sword found grace in the wilderness; c [even] Israel,
when I went to cause him to rest.
(b) Who were delivered from the cruelty of Pharaoh.
(c) That is, God.
31:3 The LORD appeared d of old to me, [saying], e I have
loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with
lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
(d) The people thus reason as though he were not so
beneficial to them now as he had been of old.
(e) Thus the Lord answers that his love is not changeable.
31:4 Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin
of Israel: thou shalt again f be adorned with thy
tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make
(f) You will still have opportunity to rejoice which is
meant by tabrets and dancing as their custom was after
notable victories, (Ex 15:20, Jud 11:34).
31:5 Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of g
Samaria: the planters shall plant, and h shall eat [them]
as common things.
(g) Because the Israelites who were the ten tribes never
returned to Samaria, therefore this must be spiritually
understood under the kingdom of Christ, which was the
restoration of the true Israel.
(h) That is, will eat the fruit of it, as in
(Le 19:23-25, De 20:6).
31:6 For there shall be a day, [that] the i watchmen upon the
mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to k
Zion to the LORD our God.
(i) The ministers of the word.
(k) They will exhort all to the embracing of the gospel, as
in (Isa 2:3).
31:7l For thus saith the LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob,
and shout among the chief of the nations: proclaim ye,
praise ye, and say, O LORD, save thy people, the remnant of
(l) He shows what will be the concord and love of all under
the gospel when none will be refused for their
infirmities: and everyone will exhort one another to
31:9 They shall come with m weeping, and with supplications
will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers
of n waters in a straight way, in which they shall not
stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim [is] o
(m) That is, lamenting their sins which had not given ear
to the prophets and therefore it follows that God
received them to mercy, (Jer 50:4). Some take it
that they should weep for joy.
(n) Where they found no impediments, but abundance of all
(o) That is, my dearly beloved as the first child is to the
31:11 For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from
the hand p of [him that was] stronger than he.
(p) That is, from the Babylonians and other enemies.
31:12 Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion,
and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for
q grain, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of
the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a
watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.
(q) By these temporal benefits he means the spiritual
graces which are in the Church, and of which there
would ever be plenty, (Isa 58:11,12).
31:13 Then shall the virgin rejoice in the r dance, both young
men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into
joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from
(r) In the company of the faithful, who ever praise God
for his benefits.
31:14 And I will abundantly satisfy the soul of the priests with
s fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my
goodness, saith the LORD.
(s) Meaning, the spirit of wisdom, knowledge and zeal.
31:15 Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah,
lamentation, [and] bitter weeping; t Rachel weeping for
her children refused to be comforted for her children,
because they [were] not.
(t) To declare the greatness of God's mercy in delivering
the Jews, he shows them that they were like the
Benjamites of the Israelites, that is, utterly
destroyed and carried away, so much so that if Rachel
the mother of Benjamin could have risen again to seek
her children she would have found none remaining.
31:18 I have surely heard u Ephraim bemoaning himself [thus];
Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a x bull
unaccustomed [to the yoke]: y turn thou me, and I shall
be turned; for thou [art] the LORD my God.
(u) That is, the people who were led captive.
(x) Which was wanton and could not be subject to the yoke.
(y) He shows how the faithful used to pray, that is,
desire God to tame them as they cannot turn of
31:19 Surely after I was turned, I repented; and after I was
instructed, I smote upon [my] z thigh: I was ashamed,
and even confounded, because I bore the reproach of my
(z) In sign of repentance and detestation of my sin.
31:20 [Is] Ephraim a my dear son? [is he] a pleasant child?
for since I spoke against him, I do earnestly b remember
him still: therefore my heart is troubled for him; I will
surely have mercy upon him, saith the LORD.
(a) As though he would say no for by his iniquity he did
what lay in him to cast me off.
31:21 Set thee up c waymarks, make thee high heaps: set thy
heart toward the highway, [even] the way [which] thou
wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to
these thy cities.
(c) Mark by what way you went into captivity and you will
turn again by the same.
31:22 How long wilt thou wander about, O thou backsliding
daughter? for the LORD hath created d a new thing in
the earth, A woman shall encompass a man.
(d) Because their deliverance from Babylon was a figure of
their deliverance from sin, he shows how this would be
procured that is, by Jesus Christ, whom a woman would
conceive and bear in her womb. Which is a strange
thing in earth, because he would be born of a virgin
without man or he means that Jerusalem which was like
a barren woman in her captivity would be fruitful as
she that is joined in marriage and whom God blesses
31:26 Upon this I awoke, and beheld; and my sleep e was sweet
(e) Having understood this vision of the Messiah to come,
in whom the two houses of Israel and Judah would be
joined, I rejoiced.
31:27 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will sow the
house of Israel and the house of Judah f with the seed
of man, and with the seed of beast.
(f) I will multiply and enrich them with people and
31:29 In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have g
eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on
(g) The wicked used this proverb when they murmured
against God's judgments pronounced by the prophets,
saying that their fathers had committed the fault and
that the children were punished, (Eze 18:2,3).
31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a
h new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the
house of Judah:
(h) Though the covenant of redemption made to the fathers
and this which was given later seemed varied, yet they
are all one and grounded on Jesus Christ, save that
this is called new, because of the manifestation of
Christ and the abundant graces of the Holy Spirit
given to his Church under the gospel.
31:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their
fathers in the day [that] I took them by the hand to bring
them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they i
broke, although I was an husband to them, saith the LORD:
(i) And so were the opportunity of their own divorcement
through their infidelity, (Isa 50:1).
31:33 But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the
house of Israel; After k those days, saith the LORD, I
will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in
their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my
(k) In the time of Christ, my law will instead of tables
of stone be written in their hearts by my Holy Spirit,
31:34 And they shall l teach no more every man his neighbour,
and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they
shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest
of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their
iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
(l) Under the kingdom of Christ there will be no one
blinded with ignorance, but I will give them faith,
and acknowledge God for remission of their sins and
daily increase the same: so that it will not seem to
come so much by the preaching of my ministers as by
the instruction of my Holy Spirit, (Isa 54:13) but
the full accomplishing of it is referred to the
kingdom of Christ, when we will be joined with our
31:35 Thus saith the LORD, who giveth m the sun for a light by
day, [and] the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for
a light by night, who divideth the sea when its waves
roar; The LORD of hosts [is] his name:
(m) If the sun, moon and stars cannot but glue light
according to my ordinance, so long as this world
lasts, so shall my church never fail, neither shall
anything hinder it: and as sure as I will have a
people, so certain is it, that I will leave them my
word forever to govern them with.
31:37 Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, n
and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I
will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that
they have done, saith the LORD.
(n) The one and the other is impossible.
31:38 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the o city
shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel to
the gate of the corner.
(o) As it was performed, (Neh 3:1). By this
description he shows that the city would be as ample
and beautiful as it ever was: but he alludes to the
spiritual Jerusalem whose beauty would be