Therefore thus saith the Lord, if thou return
From thine unbelief, diffidence, and impenitence, and repent of them; expressed in the preceding verses: then will I bring thee again;
or, "restore thee F19"; pardon his sin, and return him to his post and place, to his office and ministry in it, and confirm and establish him therein: and thou shalt stand before me;
not only as a petitioner for the people; see ( Jeremiah 15:1 ) , but as a servant of the Lord, attending to his word, and waiting his orders, and ready to execute them. It denotes his stability in his office: and if thou wilt take forth the precious from the vile;
take precious truths, comparable to gold, silver, and precious stones; truths more valuable and desirable than thousands of gold and silver, from those doctrines which are worthless and contemptible, comparable to wood, hay, and stubble, and everything that is mean and vile; these faithful ministers should separate one from the other, and not mix and blend them together: or precious souls, truly gracious ones, who are precious in the sight of God, are redeemed by Christ, by his precious blood, and are adorned with the graces of the Spirit; these are to be distinguished from the vile, from sinners impenitent and unbelieving, that live in sin, in defiance of the law, and in contempt of the Gospel; a difference is to be made between them; delivering out comfortable words to the one, and denouncing severe threatenings to the other; doing the reverse of the false prophets, ( Ezekiel 13:22 ) : thou shalt be as my mouth;
to the people; speak what I command thee, and whatsoever thou sayest shall be as if I had spoken it myself: let them return unto thee, but return not thou unto them;
this is said of the people of the Jews, to whom the prophet was sent; and the sense is, that he should not at all comply with them, or conform to their humours, or flatter and sooth them in their sins, as the false prophets did; but if they returned to him, attended on his ministry, received his words and messages, and agreed and conformed to him, and followed his directions and example, it would be very well; but otherwise he was not in the least to give way to them, or go into any sinful compliance with them, either with respect to doctrine or practice,
F19 (Kbyva) "restituam te", Tigurine version.