For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel
This is still repeated, though displeasing to the carnal Jews, who, notwithstanding their ill behaviour to the Lord, condescends to give them the best advice, as follows: in returning and rest shall ye be saved;
or "may be saved" F15; this is the right and the only way, namely, by "returning" from their evil ways, particularly their purpose of going to Egypt for help, and by returning to God by repentance and reformation, and to his worship and ordinances; and so the Targum,
``if ye return to my law;''and by "resting" quietly at home, and reposing their trust in the Lord: in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength;
in a quiet submission to the will of God, and in quietly waiting upon him for the issue and event of things, abiding in their own houses, and not in a hurrying tumultuous manner, running here and there for help; and in a holy and humble confidence in the Lord, and in the power of his might, where they should find such strength and security, as Pharaoh king of Egypt could not give them: and ye would not;
would not be persuaded to keep at home, and from going down to Egypt; would not take the advice given, but pursue their own measures and methods of salvation. This is the literal sense of the words; and if they can be accommodated to spiritual and eternal salvation, it may be done in this way: repentance may be meant by "returning", and faith by "rest"; or by "returning and rest" may be designed returning to rest, that is, to Christ, who is the only rest to weary souls: "quietness" may intend peace of conscience, arising from the blood and righteousness of Christ; and "confidence" faith, and an assurance of it, which make men strong Christians; though their strength does not barely lie in these graces, but in the object of them: now faith and repentance are blessings of the covenant of grace, gifts of God, and graces of the Spirit, which go together in the doctrine of salvation, and have a concern in it; though they are not meritorious procuring causes, nor conditions of it; yet in this way God brings his people to salvation, and they enter into, and are descriptive of, the character of such that are saved; there is so close a connection between these and salvation, that none are saved without them; and it may be observed, that this way of saving men through faith and repentance, and by going to Christ alone for rest, and by placing confidence in, and deriving all peace and comfort from him, is disagreeable to unregenerate men; which is a proof of the wretched depravity, and corruption, and perverseness of the will of man.
F15 (Nwevwt) "servaremini", Piscator, Gataker.