Return - O God of hosts - Thou hast abandoned us, and therefore our enemies have us in captivity. Come back to us, and we shall again be restored.
Behold, and visit this vine - Consider the state of thy own people, thy own worship, thy own temple. Look down! Let thine eye affect thy heart.
Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts - Again come and visit thy people; come back again to thy forsaken land. This is language founded on the idea that God had withdrawn from the land, or had forsaken it; that he had left his people without a protector, and had left them exposed to the ravages of fierce foreign enemies. It is language which will describe what seems often to occur when the church is apparently forsaken; when there are no cheering tokens of the divine presence; and when the people of God, discouraged, seem themselves to be forsaken by him. Compare Jeremiah 14:8.
Look down from heaven - The habitation of God. As if he did not now see his desolate vineyard, or regard it. The idea is, that if he would look upon it, he would pity it, and would come to its relief.
And behold, and visit this vine - It is a visitation of mercy and not of wrath that is asked; the coming of one who is able to save, and without whose coming there could be no deliverance.
“Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
Thou that leadest Joseph like a flock;
Thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth.
Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up Thy
And come and save us.
Turn us again, O God,
And cause Thy face to shine; and we shall be saved. PK 356.1
“O Lord God of hosts,
How long wilt Thou be angry against the prayer of Thy
Thou feedest them with the bread of tears;
And givest them tears to drink in great measure.
Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbors:
And our enemies laugh among themselves.
Turn us again, O God of hosts,
And cause Thy face to shine; and we shall be saved. PK 356.2
“Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt:
Thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it.
Thou preparedst room before it,
And didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land.
The hills were covered with the shadow of it,
And the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars.
She sent out her boughs unto the sea,
And her branches unto the river. PK 356.3