For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith
The purposes and resolutions of his heart concerning their welfare, particularly the restoration of them to their own land; these were within him, and known to him, and him only; they were remembered by him, and continued with him, as the "thoughts of his heart are to all generations"; and so would not fail of being performed; men think and forget what they have thought of, and so it comes to nothing; but thus it is not with God; he has taken up many thoughts in a way of love, grace, and mercy, concerning sinful men; about their election in Christ; a provision of all spiritual blessings for them; redemption and salvation by Christ; their effectual calling, adoption, and eternal life: thoughts of peace, and not of evil:
or "for evil" F20; these thoughts were concerning the temporal peace and prosperity of the Jews in Babylon, and not of anything to their hurt; yea, even their captivity was for their good, ( Jeremiah 24:5 ) ; and thoughts concerning his spiritual Israel, their peace and reconciliation with God, and the manner of bringing it about, by the blood, sufferings, and death of his Son in human nature, with whom he consulted and agreed about this matter; and concerning their inward spiritual peace of mind and conscience now, and their eternal peace hereafter: nor does he ever think of evil for them; whatever evil he thinks towards others, angels or men, he thinks none towards them; and whatever evil befalls them, he means it for good, and it does work for good unto them; he cannot think otherwise concerning them, consistent with his everlasting and unchangeable love to them; since he has designed so much good for them, does so much to them, and has so much to bestow upon them. The issue of all which is, to give you an expected end;
a very desirable one; such as they wished and hoped to have, and expected; such as would put an end to all their troubles, and put them into the enjoyment of all good things promised and waited for. This, in the mystical sense, may have reference to the Messiah, in whom all God's thoughts of peace, concerning his special people, issue; he is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, of all things, ( Revelation 1:8 ) ; of all things in creation; of the Scriptures, promises and prophecies of it: "the end of the law for righteousness", ( Romans 10:4 ) : the fulfilling end of it, by his obedience, and sufferings, and death; and who was to come, and did come, at the end of the Jewish world, at the end of their civil and ecclesiastical state: he was long promised and prophesied of and was much waited for and expected, by the saints before the flood; from thence to Moses; from Moses to David; from David to the Babylonian captivity; from thence to the times of his coming, when there was a general expectation of him; and expected end was then given, as an instance of grace and good will to men. It may also be applied to salvation by Christ; the end of all God's gracious purposes and designs; the end of the covenant of grace, the provisions, blessings, and promises of it; the end of Christ's coming into the world, and of his obedience and death; the end of his prayers and preparations now in heaven; and the end of the faith of the saints on earth: this is an end hoped, waited for, and expected by faith; and for which there is good reason; since it is wrought out, prepared, and promised; saints are heirs of it; and now it is nearer than when they believed; and will be bestowed as a free grace gift, through Jesus Christ our Lord; and will be enjoyed as the issue and result of God's eternal thoughts of peace concerning them. Some render it, "an expected reward" F21; which is given at the end of the work: others, "posterity and hope" F23; a numerous posterity, and hope and expectation of good things from the Lord, promised in the days of the Messiah.
F20 (herl alw) "et non in malum", Montanus, Cocceius, Schmidt.
F21 (hwqtw tyrxa) "mercedem et quidem expectatam", Piscator; so Ben Melech.
F23 "Posteritatem et spem", Schmidt.