He that followeth after righteousness and mercy
Is eager, diligent, and fervent in his pursuit of these things: "after righteousness"; not a legal righteousness, such as the Jews followed after, but did not attain to; because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law, ( Romans 9:31 Romans 9:32 ) ; by which there is no righteousness or justification before God; but an evangelical righteousness, the righteousness of Christ; see ( Isaiah 51:1 ) . To follow after it is to seek, desire, and thirst after it, ( Matthew 5:6 ) ( 6:33 ) ; which supposes a want of righteousness, a sense of that want; a view of a righteousness without them, even in Christ; a love and liking of it, and therefore follow after it; it being pure, perfect, agreeably to the law and justice of God, which justifies now, and will answer for them in a time to come. And such follow after "mercy" or "grace" F7; seeing themselves miserable by sin, and having no merit of their own, apply to God for pardoning grace and mercy; and seek for righteousness in a way of grace, as a free gift; and for the whole of salvation in the same way, as well as for all grace and fresh supplies of it: it may be understood, in consequence of the former, of a diligent and eager performance of works of righteousness and mercy, and an earnest desire after both. And such a man findeth life, righteousness, and honour;
which is more than he is said to follow after: "life" spiritual, which he has from Christ by his Spirit, and which is owing to the grace and mercy of God; and eternal life, through the righteousness of Christ, in whom it is only to be found, and from whom all the blessings of life come; who has it in his hands to give, and does give it to all his people: "righteousness" also he finds, not in himself, nor by the works of the law, but in Christ; being directed to him by the Spirit and word of God; and an excellent finding this is; a robe of righteousness, which he lays hold upon, puts on, and rejoices in: and likewise "honour", through relation to God and Christ; through grace received from them; by enjoying the presence of them, and being made a king and priest to God; and hereafter will be placed at Christ's right hand, inherit the kingdom of glory, sit on the same throne with Christ, and wear the crown of life and righteousness.