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Lord, and sat down in the entry of the new gate of the Lord's

1I [house,] at which fete the court eat, usual. Then spake the priests and the prophets unto the princes and to all the people, saying, This man [is] worthy to die ; for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard with your ears.

12 Then spake Jeremiah unto all the princes and to all the people, saying.. The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that ye have heard ; / have

13 »aid nothing but vihat God commanded me. Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God ; and the Lord will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you ; repeating hia message -very

14 courageously, and adding, As for me, behold, I [am] in your hand: do with me as seemeth good and meet unto you ; if God see ßt to permit you to fiut me to death, I am satined I canla not die in a better cause. But know ye for certain, that if ye

put me to death, ye shall surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, and upon this city, and upon the inhabitants thereof: for of a truth the Lord hath sent me unto you to speak all these words in your ears.

16 Then said the princes and all the people unto the priests and • to the prophets; This man [is] not worthy to die: for he hatli

spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God; the {¡rinces and

17 people hearing hia apology were for sparing him. Then rose up certain of the elders of the land, and spake to all the assembly

ÄKof the people, saying, Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spake to all the people of Juduh, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Zion shall be ploughed [like] a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house, the hill on which the temple stands, as the high places of a forest, overgrown with thorns and briars. people; being probably descended from some good family, ke •mould not suffer him to be buried with his ancestors, but interred 24 him with common people, or malefactors. Nevertheless the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, a person of great influence, and a minister in Josiah's court, (2 Kings xxii. 12.) was with Jeremiah, that they should not give him into the hand of the people to put him to death ; he interposed, and rescued him.

19 Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him at all to death? did he not fear the Lord, and besought the Lord, and the Lord repented him of the evil which he had pronounced against them? Thus might we procure great evil against our

20 souls by destroying Jeremiah. And there was also a man that prophesied in the name of the Lord, Urijah the son of Sheniaiah of Kirjathjearim, who prophesied against this city and against

21 this land according to all the words of Jercniuib: And when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men, and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death: but when Urijah heard it, he was afraid, and fled, and went into

22 Egypt. And Jehoiakim the king sent men into Egypt, [namely,] Elnathan the son of Achbor, and [certain] men with him

23 into Egypt. And they fetched forth Urijah out of Egypt, and brought him unto Jehoiakim the king; who slew him with the sword,* and cast his dead !>ody into the graves of the common

* This <tory It no where fl'e rrciTclfd. M.my prophetl werr injurtd and dc4troyM, rk« we read nothing r>t in thr icriplnre history. This Snwv was alleged by Jcmauh'« ene. mivs. ля я precedent for putting euch a nrrinn to draih : fhotigh чоте tMpk it wi« r Ы himself, or the hhioriau, I« ihow t¡ie goodnts« of Cod ¡u ptcirrvirig him.

Vot. V. Y y

REFLECTIONS.

1. T TOW fit is it for the Lord's ministers to be faithful and -n- courageous in delivering their messages! Jeremiah was commanded not to diminish a word; not to put his message into fess offensive expressions, than those in which he received it; and God defended him, while Urijah's cowardice cost him his life. Thus must christian ministers act; faithfully and boldly reprove the vices which are found among those whom they address, and declare the whole counsel of God; never diminishing a word, either through fear, favour, or flattery. If they keep close to their instructions, the God whom they serve will bear them out, however men may be offended at them. And their being offended is indeed not much to be regarded, since none will be so, but those who know in their own consciences that they are guilty of the vices reproved.

2. See the influence which God has over the spirits of men, and how easily he can turn them. The people were at first fja£ having Jeremiah put to death ; then, when they heard his defenrt, they were for having him spared. Upon the precedent being quoted for putting him to death (even the case of Urijah) it seems that they altered their sentiments again, but Ahikam saved him. How little dependence is to be had upon popular cries, whether for or against a man! God raised up a friend for Jeremiah. This should engage us to be firm and resolute in the cause of God arid religion, since he knows how to deliver the godly out of their tribulations. The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him; but the Lord will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when fte is judged. Psalm xxxvii. 32, 33.

CHAP. XXVII.

Under the tyfie of bonds and yokes, Jeremiah prophesieth the tubduing of the. neighbouring kings by Nebuchadnezzar.

1 TN the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim• the son of Josiah JL king of Judah, came this word unto Jeremiah from the Lord,

2 saying, Thus saith the Lord to me; Make thee bonds and

• Some careless transcriber h-.s put, by mistake, Jehoiakim for Zeoekiah, as appears from tevrral verses in this chapter, ;md the beginning of the nt xt. Mistakes of names an.-t rbTrs must often happen in transcribing ancient book* j but thftf no way aflict their general Cioua. bUity, and but seldom their lenae.

S yokes, and put them upon thy neck,* And send them to the king of Edora, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the Ammonites, and to the king of Tyrus, and to the king ofZidon, by the hand of the messengers which come to Jerusalem unto Zedekiah king of Judah, that is, ambassadors, v>ho came to сояgratúlate Zedekiah on his accession; or rather, to concert measure»

4 to throw off the yoke of the king of Babylon; And command them to say unto their, masters, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the

5 God of Israel; Thus shall ye say unto your masters; I have made the earth, the man and the beast that [are] upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have

6 given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me, And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field, their cattle, in iv/iich much of their substance consisted, have I given him also

7 to serve him. And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son's son, that is, Belshazzar, Nebuchadnezzar'» grandson, until the very time of his land come, the time oj Ida -visiting and reckoning luith them : and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him, that is, shall exact service oj"Л/m.t

8 And it shall come to pass, [that] the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the Lord, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have

JH consumed them by his hand.| Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you,

10 saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon: For they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land, and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish ; if therefore you

\ 1 suffer •yourselves to be deceived by them, ye shall be removed. But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let remain slill in their own land, saith the Loud ; and they shall till it, and dwell there- j in; they shall become his tributaries, and probably live better than they did before.

12 I spake also to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of

13 Babylon, and serve him, and his people, and live.|| Why will ye die, thou and thy people, by the sword, by the famine, and by

* The prophets used to prophesy by signs and actions, as well as by words The yoke consisted of two boards, with holes cut in the middle to fit the neck, ami were ti^d tu¿[ ther •wl'hbimh; so that it w:is somewhat like our pillories, only these lay on tliur sho-îkib; and they put them on mjlet'tctors, as we do fetters.

t This is я remarkable prophesy, as tile empireoFB:ihylon was now in it» greatest power and gl"ry: but it nevtr m.ule any figure after the Гсгкыпь conque! ed it.

t This threatening wis extent«! by- some p.irts of his army harassing their country, during the thirteen ycjrs that lie besieged Tyre.

( Zedekiah «ns made Vine by thr kinp; of Babylon, ind had sworn fidility to hlnv. jni it. reprov.-d, und aflet ward punbhealbr bis j*rjury.

the pestilence, as the Lob D hath spoken against the nation that

^H will not serve the king of Babylon ? Therefore hearken not unta

the words of the prophets that speak unto you, saying, Ye shall

not serve the king of Babylon: for they prophesy a lie unto

15 you. For I have not sent them, saith the Lord, yet they prophesy a lie in my name ; that I may drive you out, and that ye might perish, ye, and the prophets that prophesy unto you.

16 Also I spake to the priests and to all this people; though they tuere my inveterate enemies, who had endeavoured to take aiaay thy life, yet 1 faithfully warned them, and thus endeavoured to preserve theirs, saying, Thus saith the Lord ; Hearken not to the words of your prophets that prophesy unto you, saying, Behald, the vessels of the Lord's house, which have been taken away in the two former reigns, shall now shortly be brought again from

17 Babylon: for. they prophesy a lie unto you. Hearken not unto them; serve the king of Babylon, and live : wherefore

.18 should this city be laid waste ? But if they [be] prophets, and if the word of the Lord be with them, let them now make intercession to the Lord of hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house of the Lord, and [in] the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, go not to Babylon.

19 For thus saith the Lord of hosts concerning the pillars, and concerning the sea, and concerning the bases, and concerning

20 the residue of the vessels that remain in this city, Which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took not, when he carried away captive Jeconiali the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem;

21 Yea, thus saith the Lord of hosts, the Cod of Israel, concerning the vessels that remain [in] the house of the Lorit, and [in] the house of the king of Judah and of Jerusalem;

-2 They shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they be until the day that I visit them, saith the Lord, t fiat is, till /visit the vessels; as if he had said, I -will come and survey the catalogue nf them, and call it over to see that none are wanting; then will I bring them up, and restore them to this place; though tfiry are so targe, -weighty and valuable, they shall all be sent by Cijrbf, and at hia own expense; all which -was remarkably fulfilled.

REFLECTIONS.

1. l^TR O M l»ence we learn to reverence the supreme power and _T universal dominion of God, v. 5. Being the Creator, he is the supreme proprietor and disposer of all countries and persons; lie gives the earth to the children of men, and to each his share; changes times and seasons ; sets up kings, and removeth them. Though Nebuchadnezzar was a wicked and tyrannical prince, yet (iocl for wise reasons gave him these countries. Large estâtes, dominions, and possessions, are not the best things ; for God sometimes gives them to the worst of men. Let the thought of his univcr

sal government compose our minds in the most troublesome times; and engage us to be content with that lot which his Providence hath assigned us.

2. We may infer the reasonableness of submitting to the yoke of Christ. God hath exalted him to beafirince, given him the earth for his possession, and requires U6 to be subject to him. God's appointment is a sufficient reason for our subjection; especially when we consider the character of Christ ; that his yoke is easy, that if -we serve him, we shall live, and that if we do not submit, God will punish us. False notions of liberty are mischievous; the restraint* of religion are reasonable and useful. Kiss the son, therefore, lest he he angry, and ye perish from the ivay when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that trust in him.

3. God's prophets should be praying men, and use all their interest in heaven for the safety and good of the church, v. 18. Which intimates, that true prophets should be men of eminent devotion, and that God would pay a great regard to their intercession. Way all God's ministers be devout and holy men J enter tenderly into the concerns of the church, and be fervent in their intercessions before God for its. prosperity! and may they be successful in such friendly endeavours to serve it I

CHAP. XXVIII.

Hananiah, by a fu ofihetic action, contradicts Jeremiah's firofihecy f who gives a terrible answer, which was soon fulfilled.

1 \ ND it came to pass the same year, in the beginning ii. of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year, [and] in the fifth month,• [that] Hananiah the son of Aze* the prophet, which [was] of Gibcon, spake unto me in the house of the Lord, in the presence of the priests and of all the people,

3 saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon, that it, his tyrannical fiower, of which Jeremiah's yoke was an emblem.

3 Within two full years will I bring again into this place all the vessels'of the Lord's house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place, and carried them to Babylon:

4 And I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah, that went into Babylon, saith the Lord : for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.f

• As Zedekiah reigned but eleven years, the fourth could hardly he said to he the begisw nmgof his reign; and therefore some critics would render the words, when it had bern u. that is, when Jeremiah had b,en prophesying with this yoke from the banning cf the reign of Zedekiah to the fourth year, (in which year he went to Babylon, see chap, li. y)) having put it on when he delivered his prophetic messages.

t This was pleasing enough to the people, became they considered Teeeninh as their lawful king, and Zedekiah, his uncle, as only the lieutenant or viceroy of Nebuchadnezzar: jut this prophecy appears at the first view very suspicious, as oothing is said about their repentance and reformation.

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