For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, will yet choose
While the Jews were in captivity, the Lord seemed to have no pity for them, or compassion on them, and it looked as if he had rejected them, and wholly cast them off; but by delivering them from thence, he showed that he had a merciful regard unto them, and made it to appear that they were his chosen people, and beloved by him: and this is a reason why Babylon should be destroyed, and her destruction be no longer deferred, because the Lord's heart of compassion yearned towards his own people, so that his mercy to them brought ruin upon others: a choice of persons to everlasting salvation, though it is not made in time, but before the foundation of the world, yet is made to appear by the effectual calling, which therefore is sometimes expressed by choosing, ( 1 Corinthians 1:26 1 Corinthians 1:27 ) and is the fruit and effect of sovereign grace and mercy, and may be intended here; the words may be rendered, "and will yet choose in Israel" F20, some from among them; that is, have mercy on them, and call them by his grace, and so show them to be a remnant, according to the election of grace; and such a chosen remnant there was among them in the times of Christ, and his apostles, by which it appeared that the Lord had not cast off the people whom he foreknew: and set them in their own land:
or "cause them to rest upon their own land" F21; for the word not only denotes settlement and continuance, but rest, which they had not in Babylon; but now should have, when brought into their own land; and no doubt but reference is had to the original character of the land of Canaan, as a land of rest; and hither shall the Jews be brought again, and be settled when mystical Babylon is destroyed: and the stranger shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave
to the house of Jacob;
by which is meant, that proselytes should be made to the Jewish religion, who should be admitted into their church state, as well as into their commonwealth, and should abide faithful to the profession they made; which doubtless was fulfilled in part at the time of the Jews' return from the Babylonish captivity, when many, who had embraced their religion, cleaved to them, and would not leave them, but went along with them into their land, that they might join with them in religious worship there; but had a greater accomplishment in Gospel times, when Gentiles were incorporated into the same Gospel church state with the believing Jews, and became fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of the same promises and privileges; and so Kimchi and Ben Melech apply this to the times of the Messiah; and Jarchi to time to come, when Israel should be redeemed with a perfect redemption: because from the word translated "cleave" is derived another, which signifies a scab; hence the Jews F23 have a saying,
``proselytes are grievous to Israel as a scab.''
F20 (larvyb dwe rxbw) "et eliget adhuc in Israele", Pagninus, Montanus.
F21 (Mxynhw) "et requiescere eos faciet", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus.
F23 T. Bab. Yebamot, fol. 47. 2. & Kiddushin, fol. 70. 2.