Return, ye backsliding children
This is the call of the Jews to repentance in the latter day; (See Gill on Jeremiah 3:14). and I will heal your backslidings;
that is, I will forgive your sins. Sins are the diseases of the soul, and the wounds made in it; and pardoning them is healing them. So the Targum,
``I will forgive you when ye return;''see ( Psalms 103:3 ) , this is done by the application of the blood of Christ, the only physician, and whose blood is the balm that heals every wound; and this springs from the love of God, and his free favour to his people, even the riches of his grace and abounding mercy through Christ; and is the great motive and inducement, and what gives the greatest encouragement to return unto the Lord, ( Hosea 14:1-4 ) ( Isaiah 55:7 ) . Behold, we come unto thee;
the Targum represents this as what the Jews pretended always to say, and did say, in a hypocritical manner, with which they are upbraided,
``lo, at all times ye say, we return to thy worship, save us;''and Jarchi is of opinion that these are words the prophet put into their mouths, and taught them to say, and to confess in this manner: but they are rather their own words, arising from a true sense of sin, under the influence of divine grace, and encouraged with the hope and assurance of pardon; declaring that as they were called upon to return, so they did return, and now were come to God by repentance, with confession and acknowledgment of sin, and by prayer and supplication for pardon and by the exercise of faith upon him for it; and also were come into his house to wait upon him, and worship him in his ordinances: for thou art the Lord our God;
not merely as the God of nature and providence, or in a natural way, but in a way of special grace, of which they now will have an application by the Spirit of God.