For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved
That has lost her husband by death, is solitary upon it, is like one forsaken, and mourns for the loss of him; or is forsaken by a living husband, rejected by him, having a bill of divorce from him, and so she grieves at his unkindness to her, and the reproach cast upon her; as such an one was the church when it was first constituted, when the members of which it consisted were called out of the world by the grace of God, and formed into a church state; almost as soon as ever they were thus embodied together, Christ was taken from them by death, and they were left alone, and filled with grief and trouble: the apostles and first preachers of the Gospel were persecuted from place to place, and all of them lost their lives for the cause in which they were engaged; and the church endured grievous persecutions during the three first centuries, when she seemed to be forsaken of God, and was greatly oppressed and grieved in spirit. Some understand this of the Gentiles, and of their state and condition when called, as described in ( Ephesians 2:10 ) , but rather it may be interpreted of the Jews, now cut off and forsaken; and who, when they come to be sensible of their case, will be grieved and mourn, even when they shall be called and converted in the latter day; but I think the first sense is best:
and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God;
or, "and as a wife of youth F13"; whom a man marries in his youth, and she a young woman herself, which makes it the more grievous to be despised, refused, and forsaken, or to seem to be so. The words may be rendered thus, "and", or "but, a wife of youth thou art, though thou wast despised" F14, or "refused, saith thy God"; that is, though thou hast been seemingly despised and cast off, my providential dispensations towards thee may be so interpreted by thyself and others; yet I am thy God, thy Maker, Redeemer, and Husband, and thou art as dear to me as the wife of a man's youth, for whom he has the most passionate love; and which agrees with what follows.
F13 (tvaw) , (wv gunaika) , Sept.; sic Arab. & Targum; "et velut foeminam", Tigurine version, Castalio; "et ut uxorem", Vitringa.
F14 (oamt yk) "quamvis spreta sis", Junius & Tremellius; "fueris", Piscator.