Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel
Of all the tribes of Israel; of the ten tribes that had been carried captive long ago by the king of Assyria; and of the other two tribes, part of whom were in Babylon, and the other in Judea, who were not wholly cut off by the Lord; but he still had a regard for them; and therefore introduces what he was about to say in this manner: like those good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away
captive of Judah;
that they are good men, and like those good rigs, even those that were; and though they are carried captive: or, "I will know them" F4; take notice of them; show an affectionate love to them, and care of them; make himself known unto them, and own them for his, in the furnace of affliction: whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for
or "for good things", as the Septuagint and other versions; for their temporal good; some were raised to great honours, as Daniel, and his associates; others got and possessed estates in Babylon, and some returned with favours and riches: and this was also for their spiritual good; to bring them to a sense of their sins, to repentance for them, and acknowledgment of them; and particularly to cure them of idolatry, which it effectually did; so the Lord makes all "things to work together for good", to them that love him, ( Romans 8:28 ) ; and it may be observed, that though the Chaldeans carried the Jews captive out of their own land, and the city of Jerusalem, meant by "this place", into the land of Babylon, yet they were only instruments; it was the Lord's doing; he sent them thither. Jarchi connects the phrase "for good" with the word "acknowledge", supposing a transposition of the words, thus, "I will acknowledge them for good".
F4 (ryka) "cognoscam", V. L. Gataker.