And I will give them one heart
In opposition to a divided heart, ( Hosea 10:2 ) ; divided between the true God and idols, wavering and halting between two opinions, sometimes serving God, and sometimes Baal; a heart to pursue one way of worship, and to serve the Lord with one shoulder or consent, ( Jeremiah 32:40 ) ( Zephaniah 3:9 ) ; a heart sincere to God and man, in opposition to a double or hypocritical one, ( Psalms 12:2 ) ; a heart single to the honour and glory of God, and firmly attached to his word and worship: also concord, harmony, an unity of affections to one another, so as to be of one heart and one soul, as the first Christians were, who were Jews, ( Acts 4:32 ) ; and an unity of judgment, an oneness of principle and practice, as there ought to be, ( 1 Corinthians 1:10 ) ; and all this is the gift of God, and flows from his grace and favour. The Septuagint and Arabic versions render it, "another heart"; different from what they had before; and I will put a new spirit within you;
meaning either the Holy Spirit of God, the author of, regeneration and renovation: this is represented by the ancient Jews F16 as the same with the Spirit of the Messiah that moved upon the face of the waters, ( Genesis 1:2 ) ; or the spirit of man, the seat of this renewing work; or rather the work itself, called "a new man", "a new creature", ( Ephesians 4:24 ) ( 2 Corinthians 5:17 ) ; and this is a new frame and disposition of mind, in which are new principles of light and life, grace and holiness; a new understanding of themselves and state, of God and of Christ, of divine things and Gospel truths; new affections for God, and all that is good; new desires after grace and righteousness, after God and communion with him, after his word and ordinances, and conformity to Christ; new purposes and resolutions to serve the Lord, and glorify him; new delights and joys, and in short all things become new. Instead of "within you", the Septuagint, and all the Oriental versions, read, "in them"; and to this the Targum agrees; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh;
a heart hardened by sin, and confirmed in it; destitute of spiritual life, senseless and stupid as to spiritual things; stubborn and inflexible, on which no impressions are made by corrections, admonitions, and instructions of superiors; and so an impenitent one: this God only can remove; men cannot soften their own hearts; nor can ministers work upon them; nor will judgments themselves bring men to repentance: it is the work of God only; who does it by his word, with which he breaks the rock in pieces; by the discoveries of his love, with which he melts the heart that is harder than the nether millstone; by giving repentance to them, by working faith in them, to look to a crucified Christ and mourn, and all this by "his" Spirit: this is said to be taken "out of their flesh"; not their body, but their nature corrupted by sin, ( John 3:6 ) ; which shows that this hardness is natural to men, and rooted in them, and that it requires omnipotence to remove it; and will give them an heart of flesh;
a sensible and penitent one; a soft and tender one; a sanctified and spiritual one; one flexible and obsequious to the will of God; on which impressions are made; on which the laws of God are written; into which the doctrines of the Gospel are transcribed, Christ is formed, and the fear of God is implanted, with every other grace, all which are the gifts of God, and owing to his efficacious grace. The Targum of the whole is,
``and I will give them a fearing heart, and a spirit of fear I will put in their bowels (or in the midst of them); and I will break the heart of wickedness, which is as hard as a stone, out of their flesh, and I will give them a heart fearing before me to do my will.''
F16 Zokar in Gen. fol. 107. 3.