Therefore, behold, I will allure her
Since these rough ways will not do, I will take another, a more mild and gentle way; instead of threatening, terrifying, and punishing, I will allure, persuade, and entice, giving loving words and winning language: or "nevertheless", or "notwithstanding" F13: so Noldius and others render the particle; though they have thus behaved themselves, and such methods have been taken with them to no purpose, yet I will do as follows: the words may be understood of the call and conversion of the people of God, the spiritual Israel of God, both Jews and Gentiles, in the first times of the Gospel, as ( Hosea 2:23 ) is quoted and applied by the Apostle Paul, ( Romans 9:24 Romans 9:25 ) and be understood also of the call of the believing Jews out of Jerusalem, before the destruction of it, ( Luke 21:21 ) , from whence they removed to Pella, as Eusebius F14 relates: and of the apostles out of the land of Judea into the wilderness of the people, the Gentile world, to preach the Gospel there; where vineyards or churches were planted; the door of faith and hope, were opened to the Gentiles, that had been without hope; and the conversions now made, both among Jews and Gentiles, opened a door of hope, or were a pledge of the conversion of the Jew, and the bringing in of the fulness of the Gentiles in the latter day; to which times also these words may be applied, when the Jews shall be allured and persuaded to seek the Lord their God, and David their King, and join Gospel churches in the wilderness of the people, and shall have abundance of spiritual consolation and joy; and they may also be applied to the conversion of sinners in common, and set forth the methods of God's grace in dealing with them: there is throughout an allusion to Israel's coming out of Egypt, from whence the Lord allured and persuaded them by Moses and Aaron; and then brought them into the wilderness, where he fed and supplied them, and spoke comfort to them, and gave them the lively oracles; and whence, from the borders of it, they had and entered into the vineyards in the land of Canaan; and in the valley of Achor ate of the grain of the land, which was a door of hope to them they should enjoy the whole land; and when they rejoiced exceedingly, particularly at the Red sea, at their first coming out. The word rendered "allure" signifies to persuade F15, as in ( Genesis 9:27 ) and in conversion the Lord persuades men, not merely by moral persuasion, or the outward ministry of the word, but by powerful and efficacious grace; opening the heart to attend to things spoken, and the eyes of the understanding to behold wondrous things in the word of God; working upon the heart, and removing the hardness and impenitence of it; quickening the soul, drawing it with the cords of love, and sweetly operating upon the will: and on a sudden and unawares making the soul like the chariots of Amminadib, or a willing people; persuading it to true repentance for sin, to part with sins and sinful companions, and with its own righteousness, and to come to Christ, and to look to him, and lay hold on him as the Saviour, and to submit to his ordinances: moreover, the Lord persuades men at conversion of his love to them, and of their interest in Christ, and all the blessings of grace in him. Kimchi's note is,
``I will put into her heart to return by repentance;''and compares with it ( Ezekiel 36:26 ) . The Targum is,
``I will subject her to the law.''And bring her into the wilderness:
so in conversion the Lord calls and separates his people from the world, as the Israelites were from the Egyptians, when brought into the wilderness; and when they are solitary and alone, as they were, and so in a fit circumstance to be spoken unto, and to hear comfortable words, as follows; and when the Lord feeds them with the grain of heaven, with hidden manna, the food of the wilderness; and when they come into trouble and affliction for the sake of Christ and his Gospel. Some understand this of the church into which they are brought, because separate from the world, and attended with trouble; but this is rather a garden than a wilderness. Some, as Noldius and others, render it, "when" or "after I have brought her into the wilderness" F16; so after the Lord has shown men their sin and danger, their wilderness, desolate, state and condition, and stripped them of all help elsewhere; or has brought them under afflictive dispensations of Providence; then he does what he said before, and follows after. And speak comfortably unto her;
or, "speak to her heart" F17, as in ( Isaiah 40:2 ) as he does when he tells them their sins are forgiven; that he has loved them with an everlasting love; what exceeding great and precious promises he has made unto them; and when he speaks to them by the Spirit and Comforter, who takes his and the things of Christ, and shows them unto them; and in his word, written for their consolation; and by his ministers, who are "Barnabases", sons of comfort; and in the ordinances, those breasts of consolation. The Targum is,
``and I will do for her wonders and great things, as I did for her in the wilderness; and by the hand of my servants the prophets I will speak comforts to her heart.''The Jewish writers F18 interpret this of the Messiah's leading people into a wilderness in a literal sense; they ask where will he (the Messiah) lead them? the answer of some is, to the wilderness of Judea, ( Matthew 3:1 Matthew 3:13 ) ; and of others is, to the wilderness of Sihon and Og (the wilderness the Israelites passed through when they came out of Egypt): they, who are on the side of the first answer, urge in favour of it ( Hosea 12:9 ) and they who are for the latter produce this passage.
F13 (Nkl) "atqui, [vel] attamen", Glassius.
F14 Hist. Eccles. l. 3. c. 5.
F15 (hytpm) "persuadendo inducam eam", Munster; "persuadebo illi", Calvin; "persuadens, [vel] persuadebo illi", Schmidt.
F16 (rbdmh hytklhw) "postquam duxero eam in desertum", Calvin, Drusius, "quum deduxero", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
F17 (hbl le) "ad cor ejus", Pagniaus, Cocceius; "super cor ejus", Munster, Montanus, Schmidt.
F18 Shirhashhirim Rabba, fol. 11. 2. Midrash Ruth, fol. 33. 2.