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because of them that dwell in a far country: Is not the LORD in Zion? is not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities?
For, behold, methinks I hear already the shrieks and cries of the Jews, because of the Babylonians, that are come in upon them, from Chaldea; and yet they are still ready to presume upon their title and interest in God; and say, Is not the Lord worshipped by us, in Zion? Do not we profess him? Doth not he profess himself the King and God of Jerusalem? Alas; to what purpose is this idle formality? They profess me indeed, saith God, but they provoke me, the while, to anger, with their idolatries.
VIII. 20 The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.
The harvest is past, and the summer is ended; which might have given us hopes and opportunities of succours, yet we hear of none from Egypt, or any other our associates; so as we are now out of all hopes of deliverance.
VIII. 21 For the hurt of the daughter of my people, am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me.
Alas, how am I afflicted with this miserable condition of my people! How do I mourn for them! How am I astonished to think of the mischief that is towards them!
VIII. 22 Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered. Oh that there were any possible means of redress of this calamity! Oh that there were any medicine for this sore, or any physician to apply it, for cure! But, alas, it will not, it cannot be: there is no remedy to be hoped for, so as this people are affected: there is no way but destruction.
IX. 1 Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!
Oh that I could sufficiently bewail, since I cannot redress, this woeful desolation of Jerusalem and my people! Oh that I were all dissolved into tears, for this lamentable slaughter, which is coming upon them!
IX. 3 And they bend their tongue like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth.
They bend their tongue for lies, and slacken it for the truth; having no courage to defend it, and too much to oppose it.
IX. 7 Behold, I will melt them, and try them; for how shall I do for the daughter of my people?
They pretend to be pure metal; behold, I will melt them, saith the Lord, and try them in the fire of affliction; for how can I do otherwise with them, since they are utterly unreformable?
IX. 10 For the mountains will I take up a weeping and wailing, and for the habitations of the wilderness a lamentation, because they are burned up, so that none can pass through them; neither can men hear the voice of the cattle; &c.
And if, in the subversion of Jerusalem, my people shall hope to find succour in the mountains and waste deserts, I cannot but weep and wail, to think how they will be miserably disappointed there; for the rage of the enemy shall reach so far, as to burn up and destroy their most retired places, and to make them unfit for the use either of man or beast,
IX. 11 A den of dragons.
A place of horror and desolation.
IX. 12 Who is the wise man, that may understand this? and who is he to whom the mouth of the LORD hath spoken, that he may declare it, &c.
How lamentable it is, that, amongst all this people, there should be so few, if any at all, that understand and will faithfully declare, what it is, that brings this destruction upon the land, &c.
IX. 15 Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.
Behold, instead of comfort, I will give this people the bitterest anguish and sorrow; and will bring upon them the most grievous calamity, that can be conceived.
IX. 17 Call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for cunning women, that they may come.
Call for those mourning women, that are wont to be hired for the public lamentations at funerals; and let them be set on work, to practise the saddest expressions of their wailings and sorrow.
IX. 21 For death is come up into our windows, and is entered into our palaces, to cut off the children from without, and the young men from the streets.
For the Chaldeans have scaled our walls, and entered into our cities; and are now breaking upon us, in our houses, to inflict a sudden and cruel death upon us, wherein they will spare no age or sex, but put all mercilessly to the sword.
IX. 25 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will pu nish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised; Behold, the day is come, saith the Lord, wherein I will punish all together, both Jews which are circumcised, and their uncircumcised abettors: no difference shall be made in this slaughter;
IX. 26 Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners, that dwell in the wilderness: for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.
Yea, I will punish the circumcised, in their inward and spiritual uncircumcision: the Gentiles, that are in the remote corners of the world, are indeed outwardly uncircumcised; but my people, the Jews, are uncircumcised in their hearts: and this uncircumcision is so much more odious than the other, by how much the filthiness of the soul is worse than that of the body.
X. 2 And be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
Be not foolishly superstitious, in observing those good or evil days,
and fortunes, as they are called, which the vain heathen think to be notified in the stars, the signs of heaven: it is for those pagans, to be dismayed with the predictions of those dismal events.
X 3 For the customs of the people are vain.
For, howsoever those nations, the Chaldees and Egyptians, carry a reputation of wisdom; yet sure their practices shew them to be vain and sottish.
X. 5 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not.
They must be, such as they are carved, upright, as the palm tree; for they cannot bow themselves to alter their posture.
X. 14 Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.
Every workman is brutish, while he so employs his skill, as to make a god to himself, by his own art: every founder, if he had but reason to consider it, must needs be confounded in himself at the sight of his own folly, in making that image which he will adore: wherein, mean while, there is nothing but falsehood and deceit; for, though it counterfeit a kind of life, yet there is no
breath in it.
X. 16 The portion of Jacob is not like them; for he is the former of all things.
But the true God, who is the portion and happy inheritance of Jacob, is not like to these dunghill deities: he is the maker of all things.
X. 17 Gather up thy wares out of the land, O inhabitant of the fortress.
Truss and pack up all thy precious commodities, O thou, that inhabitest not the villages only, but the strongest fortresses; and address thyself for thy flight or captivity.
X. 18 Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land at this
Behold, I will suddenly and violently cast out the inhabitants of the land, as a stone out of a sling.
X. 19 Woe is me for my hurt! my wound is grievous: but I said, Truly this is a grief, and I must bear it.
Woe is me, for that grievous case, wherein I am! my affliction is exceeding sore and unspeakable; but, recollecting myself, at last I resolved, Surely, this is the mischief, that I have brought upon myself, and which is justly allotted unto me: I will therefore bear it, as I may, since I cannot avoid the undergoing of it.
X. 20 My tabernacle is spoiled, and all my cords are broken: my children are gone forth of me, and they are not: there is none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains. My tent is spoiled; and those cords, wherewith it should be stretched forth, are broken in pieces; so as mine habitation is wasted and my children, which should aid me, are carried away into captivity; and there is none, that may afford me any help to. the settling of me again.
X. 21 For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD.
The spiritual leaders of my people are become brutish; being indeed, the chief cause of this great desolation; and have not sought the Lord,
X. 22 Behold, the noise &c. See chap. i. 15, and v, 15.
X. 23 O Lord, I know &c. See Prov. xvi. 1, and xx. 24. X. 24 O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.
O Lord, correct me, but in a gracious moderation; not in the extreme rigour of thy justice; not, as we have deserved, in thy wrath and displeasure,
XI. 9 And the LORD said unto me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And the Lord said unto me, The men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem have banded together and conspired wilfully in evil, and have resolved to hearten each other in wickedness; yea, they have made an agreement with idolatrous Israel, that they will go on in their provocations of me.
XI. 13 For according to the number of thy cities were thy gods, Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars to burn incense unto Baal.
Every of thy cities, O Judah, hath had a several god; and every of thy streets, O Jerusalem, hath a several altar consecrated to a shameful and abominable idol; even altars to burn incense unto Baal.
XI. 15 What hath my beloved to do in mine house, seeing she hath wrought lewdness with many, and the holy flesh is passed from thee? when thou doest evil, then thou rejoicest.
What have the Jews, once my beloved people, to do in my house, saith God, seeing they have committed spiritual fornication with many idols; and those sacrifices, which now they pretend to offer, are not holy oblations, but prophane and common flesh? Yea, O my people, thou art come to that height of impiety, as that thou rejoicest in evil.
XI. 16 The LORD called thy name, A green olive tree, fair, and of goodly fruit: with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it, and the branches of it are broken.
Thou seemedst, and accordingly hadst the name of a fair green olive tree, and madest shew of goodly fruit; but when thou turnedst wild, God hath set fire on thy boughs, and hath broken down thy branches.
XI. 19 Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living.
Let us not only burn his prophecies, but kill the man let us dispatch him from off the earth.
XI. 20 Let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I revealed my cause.
O God, I do not desire it, in any malice to them, or thirst of revenge, but in a holy zeal of thy glory; being by thee so directed, I, committing my cause to thee, pray for a sight of thy just retri
bution to them.
XII. 5 If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?
If, striving with thine own townsmen at Anathoth, thou hast not prevailed, how shouldst thou think to do good upon them of Je rusalem? since there is no less difference betwixt them, in the heady course of their sins, than betwixt foot and horse: and, if in thine own quiet country they have wearied thee, how much more must thou expect this success from the proud inhabitants of Jerusalem?
XII. 7 I have forsaken mine house, I have left mine heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies. I, the Lord, therefore have, for these wickednesses, forsaken my temple: I have left that, which was my professed heritage; and that people, which was the dearly beloved of my soul, being now degenerated, I have given up into the hands of the enemy.
XII. 8 Mine heritage is unto me as a lion in the forest; &c. That, which was my dear people, doth now rebel against me; and roar out against me and my prophets, like a lion in the forest;
XII. 9 Mine heritage is unto me as a speckled bird, the birds round about are against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour.
Hereupon, the enemies of my people come up against them, by my just instigation; and all nations come up round about, as birds are wont to come wondering about some strange fowl; and invite each other to the spoil. See chap. vi. verse 3.
XII. 10 Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, &c.
I was once your pastor, saith God; but, since ye would not be guided by me, now ye shall have store of other manner of pastors; that shall lead you in your kind; that shall destroy my vineyard, &c.
XII. 16 And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, The LORD liveth; as they taught my people to swear by Baal; then shall they be built in the midst of my people.
I will make one Church of Jews and Gentiles; and if those nations shall frame themselves to the true worship of my name, and to the profession of the religion of my people, then will I establish them in my Church, as true and lively members thereof.
XIII. 1 Thus saith the LORD unto me, Go and get thee a linen girdle, and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water. Get thee a girdle, the emblem of thy people whom I have hereto