But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the
house of Israel; after those days, saith the Lord
The several articles or branches of the covenant next follow, which show it to be different from the former: I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts;
not the ceremonial law, which was abolished when this covenant was made; but rather the moral law still in force, which is a transcript of the nature and will of God; was inscribed on Adam's heart in innocence; is greatly obliterated by sin; a contrary disposition to it is in man; this is reinscribed in regeneration; and hence a regard is had to it by regenerate persons, in which lies part of their conformity to Christ: or else, since the word here used signifies doctrine or instruction, the Gospel and the truths of it may be meant; see ( Isaiah 2:2 ) ( 42:4 ) ( Romans 3:27 ) ; which have a place and dwell in the hearts of renewed ones. The Septuagint version reads it in the plural number, "laws"; and so does the apostle, ( Hebrews 8:10 ) ; and may design the ordinances of the Gospel, and the commandments of Christ; which such, who are called by grace, have at heart to keep, and are made willing to be subject to; besides, the principle of grace in the soul is called "the law of the mind"; ( Romans 7:23 ) ; it has the force of a law; is a reigning, governing, principle; and which is implanted in the genre by the spirit and power of God; the tables on which this law or laws are written are not tables of stone, but the fleshly tables of the heart; the heart is the proper seat, both of the law of God and Gospel of Christ, as well as of the grace of God in all regenerate persons: and the "putting" of those things there denotes knowledge of them, as of the spirituality of the law, and its perfection; that there is no righteousness by it, and is only fulfilled by Christ; and that it is a rule of walk and conversation; and also of the doctrines of the Gospel, in the power and savour of them, and of the ordinances of it, so as to practise them, and walk in them; and an experience of the truth and reality of internal grace: and "writing" them here may denote affection for, and subjection to, the above things; and a clear work of grace upon the soul, so as to be legible, and appear to be the epistle of Christ, written not with the ink of nature's power, but by the Spirit of the living God; see ( 2 Corinthians 3:3 ) . This passage is applied to future times, the times of the Messiah, by the Jews F13: and will be their God, and they shall be my people;
God is the God of his covenant ones; not as the God of nature and providence only, but as the God of grace, and as their God and Father in Christ; which is preferable to everything else; all things are theirs; nor can they want any good thing; they need fear no enemy; they may depend upon the love of God, and be secure of his power; they may expect all blessings here and hereafter; for this covenant interest will always continue: and they are his people in such sense as others are not; a distinct, special, and peculiar people; a people near unto the Lord; high in his favour, and greatly blessed by him; all which is made to appear in their effectual calling; see ( 1 Peter 2:9 1 Peter 2:10 ) .
F13 Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 3. 2.