And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me…
I. THE CHURCH'S PRESENT DUTY.
1. The knowledge of God is essential to the well-being and happiness of man for time and for eternity — in other words, that it is essential to his salvation. It matters not in what region they may dwell, it matters not under what other circumstances favourable to their advancement in civilisation or commerce or the arts they may or may not be placed; such must be the lamentable result in every case where men live and die without the knowledge of God, while the guilt of such ignorance and the misery which it entails are only heightened and aggravated by the circumstance, when the ease occurs in a Christian land where the fight of the Gospel is wisely diffused.
2. A destitution of this knowledge is the natural condition of mankind.
3. The knowledge of God is that kind of knowledge which above all others we should be anxious to diffuse.
4. The way in which this knowledge is to be communicated is suggested in the text and adopted by this institution. We are to "teach." We must exhort men to the attainment of this knowledge, as to an imperative duty. We must admonish them of the melancholy consequence of remaining in ignorance. We must warn them of their danger, whilst they continue thus ignorant of God and alienated from Him. We must reason with them, and remonstrate with all possible earnestness and affection, "if peradventure God may grant them repentance to the belief of the truth."
II. THE GLORIOUS PROSPECT UNFOLDED TO THE CHURCH IN CONNECTION WITH THIS DUTY, AS A REWARD FOR ITS PERFORMANCE — AND WHICH, WHEN FULLY REALISED, WILL RENDER THE PERFORMANCE OF THIS DUTY NO LONGER NECESSARY; for then "they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord," for there shall be no more necessity, the work shall have been done, and "they shall know the Lord" each and every one, "from the least of them" through all the grades of society "unto the greatest of them," from the meanest to the most exalted.
1. The nature of the blessing which is thus assured. It is the possession and enjoyment of the knowledge of God.
2. The extent to which this blessing shall be diffused. It shall be universal. Riot and disorder, debauchery and drunkenness, robbery and fraud, assassination and murder, shall no more be known; for all those vile lusts and furious passions in the human breast, whence these enormities proceed, shall be eradicated and subdued, and men shall be bound together in one common bond of brotherhood and love. Then uprightness and integrity shall be the prevailing principles of commerce and of trade. Then the office of the judge shall become a sinecure, and the prison a solitude, and the criminal and the felon a name and a character belonging to a former state of things. Then "Holiness to the Lord shall be written upon the bells of the horses"; and men shall learn to combine diligence in business and honourable industry in their lawful callings, with the fervour of an ardent piety and supreme devotedness to God, while none shall undermine or overreach, none shall tyrannise or oppress, none shall slander or traduce, "none shall hurt or destroy in all God's holy mountain."
(T. Raffles, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
WEB: and they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know Yahweh; for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says Yahweh: for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more.