Go, and cry in the ears of Jerusalem
Of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the metropolis of Judea. The prophet seems now to have been at Anathoth, and therefore is bid to go from thence to Jerusalem, and there prophesy before the people in it, as the Targum paraphrases it: saying, thus saith the Lord, I remember thee;
the Lord never forgets his people, though they sometimes think he does; it cannot be for they are engraven on the palms of his hands, yea, are set as a seal on his heart; nor does he forget his covenant with them, nor favours and blessings promised them: or, "I remember for thee"; or, "to thee" F23: things in thy favour, and which will be to thy advantage: the kindness of thy youth;
either the lovingkindness of the Lord, which he had shown unto them; and the benefits, as the fruits thereof, which he had bestowed upon them in former times, when they were brought out of Egypt, and into the wilderness, which was the infancy both of their civil and church state; see ( Hosea 11:1 ) and when they received many favours from the Lord, ( Jeremiah 31:2 ) or the kindness of the people of Israel to the Lord, which was influenced and drawn forth by his love to them; though this can only be understood of some few of them, since the greater part tempted him, grieved, and provoked him: the love of thine espousals;
for the covenant God made with that people, when he brought them out of Egypt, was in the form of a marriage contract; he became their husband, and they became his spouse and bride; and which is an aggravation of their violation of it, ( Jeremiah 31:32 ) and this love, as before, may be understood either of the love of God to them, or of their love to him. The Targum interprets the former clause of the divine goodness to them, and this of their love to him, paraphrasing the whole thus,
``I remember unto you the blessings of ancient days, and the love of your fathers, who believed in my word:''when thou wentest after me;
the Lord going before them in a pillar of cloud by day, and in a pillar of fire by night; even the angel of God's presence, who was their leader, guide, and preserver: in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown;
where they passed through many difficulties, and lived upon the providence of God, which, in a wonderful manner, supported them with the necessaries of life, which otherwise they could not have had. The Targum is,
``and they walked after my two messengers, after Moses and Aaron, in the wilderness forty years without food, in a land that was not sown.''The whole of this may be applied to the case of God's people at first conversion, when they are as newly born babes, and become young men in Christ; at which time they are openly espoused to him, having been secretly betrothed in covenant before; but now, through the efficacy of the Spirit attending the word, they are made willing to give up themselves to the Lord, and are espoused to one husband, Christ, ( 2 Corinthians 11:2 ) at which time also great kindness and love is expressed both by the Lord to them, by quickening them who before were dead; by bringing them out of a most miserable condition; by speaking comfortably to them; by manifesting and applying his pardoning grace; and by openly taking them into his family: and also by them to him again; for the grace of love is then implanted, which, as it is hearty and sincere, is very ardent and fervent; which shows itself by parting with and bearing all for Christ; and by a concern for his company and presence; and by a regard to his people, Gospel, ways, and worship; particularly by following him in his ordinances with great zeal, fervency, and constancy, even though attended with many difficulties and discouragements; and though the way may seem to flesh and blood very unpleasant and unpromising; all which is remembered by the Lord when forgotten by them; and when their love is become cold to him, he not only remembers them, and his love to them, which is always the same, but also their love to him.
F23 (Kl ytrkz) "recordor tibi", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; so Schmidt, and some in Vatablus; which is preferred by Gussetius, Ebr. Comment. p. 228.