But judgment shall return unto righteousness
Which may be understood either of the judgment and righteousness of God, which seemed to be parted, and stand at a distance from each other; his conduct and government of the world from his justice; the righteous being persecuted and afflicted, and wicked men suffered to prosper; which sometimes makes it difficult to reconcile the judgment of God, or his government of the world, to his justice; see ( Jeremiah 12:1 ) , but as this has been made manifest in the destruction of the Jews, and in the downfall of Rome Pagan, the first persecutors of the Christians; so it will be seen in Rome Papal, when the judgments of God will be manifest, and appear to be just and true; and these two, judgment and justice, will openly come together, in the sight of all; as they also will at the last judgment; see ( Revelation 15:4 ) ( 2 Thessalonians 2:6 2 Thessalonians 2:7 ) or else of the righteousness of men, which, in times of general corruption, seems to be fled from them, and to stand at a distance, from their conduct and behaviour; as in the old world before the flood, and in the times Isaiah beautifully describes, ( Isaiah 59:14 Isaiah 59:15 ) , and in the times of Christ and his apostles; and in the persecuting times of Rome Pagan and Papal; and as it will be at the time of the slaying of the witnesses; but upon the rising of them, which will not be long after, there will be a great pouring down of the Spirit, and a general reformation will follow throughout the world; all the Lord's people will be righteous, not only nominally, but really; every pot in Jerusalem shall be holy; and holiness shall be so common as that it is said it shall be upon the bells of the horses; and in the new heavens and new earth will dwell none but righteous persons; and then judgment and righteousness will come together indeed:
and all the upright in heart shall follow it;
either judgment, as Jarchi; or righteousness, as Kimchi; not the righteousness of the law, but the righteousness of faith; or rather practical righteousness, works of righteousness, which both the grace wrought in them, and the doctrine of grace received by them, will teach, influence, and engage to pursue after with eagerness: or else the meaning is, that such who are "upright in heart"; who have new hearts and right spirits formed in them; who have the truth of grace, and the root of the matter, in them; whose hearts, words, and actions, agree; who are sincere souls, Israelites indeed, in whom is no guile; these will approve and applaud the righteous judgments of God upon antichrist; they shall follow the justice of God with their commendations and praises; see ( Revelation 15:3 Revelation 15:4 ) ( Revelation 16:6 Revelation 16:7 ) ( Revelation 19:1 Revelation 19:2 ) . The words may be rendered, "and all the upright in heart shall be after him" F4, the Lord; they shall follow him whithersoever he goes, as sheep follow the shepherd, servants their masters, and soldiers their general; they shall follow him in his own ways, observe his commands, and obey his orders; see the description of such that will be with Christ, and follow him, before and at the time of antichrist's ruin, ( Revelation 14:4 ) ( 17:14 ) ( 19:14 ) . The Targum is,
``after him shall be redeemed all the upright in heart.''