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Go and proclaim these words, even to those Israelites, which are now captived amongst the Medians in the north; and, since Judah will not hear, say to them, Return thou backsliding Israel.
III. 14 For I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion. For I had made a holy covenant with you; and will, upon your repentance, call some of you back again to your land, and to my temple.
III. 16 They shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD : neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it ; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more. They shall no more trust to the outward formalities of God's worship, and to the fashionable profession of religion, as if the very name and presence of the Ark were enough to save them; neither shall their thoughts be upon these outward helps, as allsufficient and acceptable.
III. 17 At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it. At that day, they shall acknowledge the true Church of God, as holy, and as the seat of God's spiritual government; and the Gentiles shall, together with them, Hock unto it.
III. 18 And they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers. They shall both come together out of their spiritual captivity, into the bosom of my Evangelical Church,
III. 19 But I said, How shall I put thee among the children, and give thee a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hosts of na• tions ? and I said, Thou shalt call me, My father; and shalt not turn away from me. But I said, How shall it come about, that thou, which deservedst not the name of a servant, shalt becoine a dear son unto me; and shalt have a pleasant and happy inheritance bequeathed unto thee, even a blessed room in my Church? And I answered myself again, It is by the means of thy faithful invocation of me, and of thy true repentance and holy obedience, that this shall be effected.
III. 21 A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the LORD their God. Even in those high places, where the offence was committed, a voice was heard of weeping and supplication of the children of Israel ; lamenting their former wickedness; and calling for mercy, to that God, whom they had forgotten.
III. 23 Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains. In vain is deliverance and salvation hoped for from those idols, which we have worshipped on the hills and high places.
III. 24 For shame hath devoured the labour of our fathers from our youth.
This shameful idolatry is that, which hath undone both our late forefathers and us.
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IV. 3 Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns. Hitherto, O my people, your hearts have been like to a rough, thorny, uncultured ground; but now, break up this fallow ground of yours, by an unfeigned repentance, and root up these thorns of your corruptions.
IV. 4. Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart As ye are outwardly circumcised, so also do ye cut off the foreskin of those inward corruptions, which your heart is defled with.
IV, 5 Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem ; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land : cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defenced cities. Make proclamation in Judah and Jerusalem, and muster your forces together: assemble yourselves, and, for fear and expectation of the enemy, agree to go up into the defenced cities.
IV. 6 Set up the standards toward Zion : retire, stay not : for I will bring evil from the north. - Draw your troops toward Jerusalem, and make baste; for I will bring evil upon you from the Babylonians,
IV. 7 The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way." The Challean is conie forth, like a fierce lion out of his thicket or den, even Nebuchadnezzar, the great conqueror of the Gentiles, is upon his way.
IV. 10 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace ; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul. Then said I, Ah, Lord God, surely this people and Jerusalem will be ready to cast upon thee the imputation of deceiving them; in that those, which have pretended to prophesy in thy name, have said, Ye shall have peace, whereas there is nothing but slaughter and vastation..
IV. 11 A dry wind of the high places in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, not to fan, nor to cleanse. Nebuchadnezzar came, like a boisterous wind upon the bleak hills, up against Jerusalem; not to fan or winnow my people, but to blow them quite away.
IV. 13 Behold, he shall come up as clouds and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind. Behold, he shall come up, as some black cloud that threatens a tempest ; and his chariots shall come rattling swiftly, as a whirlwind.
IV. 15 For a voice declareth from Dan, and publisheth affliction from mount Ephraim. I do already hear a voice from the remotest parts of the land, which runs along towards Jerusalem, proclaiming, with much horror and astonishment, the coming in of the enemy. .
IV. 16 Make ye niention to the nations ; behold, publish against Jelusalem, that watchers come from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah. VOL. III.
Yea, the very nations round about take notice of that miserable desolation, which is coming upon Jerusalem ; and give intelligence to each other of the fearful mischief, which is now towards them. .
IV. 17 As keepers of a field, are they against her round about ; because she hath been rebellious against me, saith the LORD. T'he besiegers of Jerusalem shall keep so strict a watch over the city, as the keepers of the field are wont to do of those cattle which are committed to their charge; so as not one man shall be allowed to stir out of the walls : and all this, because of their rebellions.
IV. 19 My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart ; my heart 'maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. Oh the unspeakable sorrow and affliction, that I feel for the misery of my people! my bowels yearn, and my heart'aches within me, to think of this woeful destruction, which is approaching to Jerusalem : I cannot contain myself, but I must break forth into lamentation ; because I do, as it were, hear, beforehand, the sound of the trumpet of Nebuchadnezzar, and his alarm to this miserable war. So also verse 20, 21.
IV. 23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. Alas, what a fearful confusion do I foresee every where! The earth shall be so laid waste, as if it had never had any form : the face of heaven shall yield no light of comfort to the earth. So verse 24.
IV. 25 I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were red. I looked, and saw all turned to a woeful solitude: there was not so much as one man to be seen in a country; nay, the very birds of the air had forsaken this desolate place, as not yielding them any means of repast.
IV. 30 And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornuments of gold, though thou rentest thy face with painting, in vain shalt thou make thyself fair: thy lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life. Thou, which now art richly clad in crimson and scarlet, and decked with precious ornaments of gold, and which stainest thy skin with artificial paintings, and all this to procure and draw on thy wanton lovers, what wilt thou do? for those Egyptians, whom thou wouldst allure, will despise thee and seek thy ruin.
IV. 31 For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail. For I have heard a shrieking, and lamentation in Jerusalem, as the outcries of a woman in the very pangs of her travail.
V. 2 And though they say, The LORD liveth ; surely they safat falsely:
And though they make an outward and fashionable profession of the name of the Lord, in worshipping him, in swearing by him, yet it is but in falsehood and hypocrisy.
V. 4 Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the LORD, nor the judgment of their God. Therefore I said, by way of excuse, Alas, these are poor and silly men, ignorant of their duties, taken up wholly with servile trades; and have neither means nor leisure to know the ways of the Lord, and the laws and statutes of their God.
V. 5 I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have krown the way of the LORD, and the judgment of their God: but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds. I will get me to the nobler and learneder sort, their princes and priests &c.; and, behold, I found these worse than the other; they have rebelliously broken the yoke, of their obedience, and cast away the cords of God's law.
V. 6 Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evening shall spoil them. Wherefore, I will give them into the hands of their cruel enemies, the Babylonians; which, like ravenous beasts, shall fall upon them and devour them,
V. 7 How shall I pardon thee for this ? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods : when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled them. selves by troops in the harlots' houses. Horr canst thou expect pardon and favour, at my hands, ( Jerusalem ? thy children have forsaken me, and betaken themselves to the worship of false gods; and, when I pampered them with my blessings, they made an ill use of my merciés, and riotously ran forth into both bodily and spiritual adultery, and impudently trooped together to work filthiness.
V. 10 Go ye up upon her walls, and destroy; but make not a full end: take away her battlements; for they are not the LORD's. Go, ye Babylonians, go upon the walls of Jerusalem, and destroy them; but yet make not an utter waste and perfect havock of that sinful city : demolish the battlements, and turrets thereof; for now I, the Lord, do not challenge an interest in them.
V. 14 Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them. Because they have disparaged my word in the mouths of my pro. phets, and have said, it is but wind; they shall find it otherwise ; behold, I will make thy word to be as fire, and this people as wood; so as this thy despised word shall be to the utter destruction of this nation.
V. 15 Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O' house of Israel. Behold, I will bring a nation upon you from out of Chaldea, &c.
V. 16 Their quiver is an open sepulchre, they are all mighty men.
Their quiver shall be full of deadly arrows, that shall send many to their graves, &c.
V. 24 That giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season : he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest. That giveth seasonable rain, in the autumn and spring; and reserveth a dry season, for the gathering in of the harvest.
V. 25 Your iniquities have turned away these things. If ye have been abridged of these comfortable and meet seasons, ye may thank your iniquities, which have justly procured it.
VI. 1 0 ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpets in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Beth-haccerem: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction. ( ye children of Benjamin, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, gather you together, and agree to flee out of that your city ; and give warning to Tekoa, to do the like; and set your beacons on fire in Beth-haccerem ; that all may understand, that the enemy is coming down against you, out of Chaldea, with great fury and violence.
VI. 3 The shepherds with their flocks shall come unto her. The great leaders of those northern people, with their troops, shall come before Jerusalen).
VI., 4 Prepare ye war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe unto us! for the day goeth away, for the shadows of · the evening are'stretched out.
Then shall the eager and furious commanders say, Hasten your preparations against her: arise, let us take the day before us: the time flees away; the evening hastens on; let no minutes be lost for our assault.
VI. 8 Be thou instructed, 0 Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee. At last yet, be thou warned, () Jerusalem; lest, if thou continuest obstinate, I do utterly cast thee off and abhor thee.
VI. 9 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall throughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine : turn back thine hand as a grape gatherer into the baskets. They shall make an exquisite dispatch of the inhabitants; as the vine-gatherer, when he hath pulled off the most remarkable clus. ters, goes over the tree again, and gleans those bunches that remained; so shall the Chaldean enemies search for the remainders of the Jews, escaped in the first destruction,
VI. 11 Therefore I am full of the fury of the LORD; I am weary with holding in: I will pour it out upon the children abroad. Therefore, I neither may nor can contain myself from breaking forth into the expressions of the fury of the Lord; I am weary with holding it in: I will freely declare and denounce it amongst you, &c. * VI. 14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Instead of seasonable and conscionable reproofs, they have gone about to salve up the spiritual sores of my people, with flattering