Calvin, Commentary on Zephaniah, Part 11 (... continued from part 10) Lecture One Hundred and Twenty-eighth. We stopped yesterday at the latter clause of the last verse but one of the Prophet Zephaniah, where God promises that the Jews, who had been before not only obscure, but also exposed to all kinds of reproaches, would again become illustrious; for to give them for a name and for a praise, is no other thing than to render them celebrated, that they might be, as they say, in the mouth of every one. And he says, "in the land of their shame," or reproach; for they had been a mockery everywhere; as the unbelieving thought that they deluded themselves with a vain hope, because they boasted that God, under whose protection they lived, would be their perpetual guardian, though they were driven away into exile. Hence an occasion for taunt and ridicule was given. But a change for the better is here promised; for all in Assyria and Chaldea would have to see that this was a people chosen by God; so that there would be a remarkable testimony among all nations, that all who trust in God are by no means disappointed, for they find that he is faithful in his promises. The last verse follows - Zephaniah 3:20 At that time will I bring you [again], even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD. He repeats the same things, with some change in the words; and not without reason, because no one of then thought that the Jews, who were cast as it were into the grave, would ever come forth again, and especially, that they would be raised unto such dignity and unto so elevated an honour., As ten this was not probable, that Prophet confirms his prediction - "I will restore you", says God, "I will gather you, even because I have given you a name"; that is, it is my resolved and fixed purpose to render you celebrated: but here again are laid down the words we have already noticed. He afterwards adds - "When I shall restore your captivities". The plural number is to be noticed; and not rightly nor prudently is what has been done by many interpreters, who have rendered the word in the singular number; for the Prophet mentions "captivities" designedly, as the Jews had not only been driven into exile, but had also been scattered through various countries, so that they were not one captive people, but many troops of captives. Hence his purpose was to obviate a doubt; for it would not have been enough that one captivity should be restored, except all who had been dispersed were collected into one body by the wonderful power of God. And hence he adds "before your eyes", that the Jews might be convinced that they should be eye-witnesses of this miracle, which yet they could hardly conceive, without raising up their thoughts above the world. End of the Commentaries of Zephaniah. Calvin's Commentary on Zephaniah, Part (... conclusion, Calvin's Commentary on Zephaniah) ---------------------------------------------------- file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-06: cvzep-11.txt .