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Idelight, saith the Lord; I delight in exercising these myself, and in those mho firaotise them.
25 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will punish all [them which are] circumcised with the uncircumciscd, because
36 they are as sinful and im/iure as they; Egypt, and Judnh, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all [that are] in the utmost corners, that dwell in the wilderness; or, those that fioll the cornera oj their hair, (referring to the Arabians, mho cut off their hair before, and ¿ffi it long behind, to mate them look formidable ) for all [these] nations [are] uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel [are] uncircumcised in the heart; therefore I -will reckon with them all together, and they shatt fare alike.
1. T T becomes us to be tenderly affected with the calamities of JL our fellow creatures. The prophet here expresses himself in the most pathetic terms, in the view of those desolations which were coming upon his people. Thus should we be affected when we hear of the desolations of war; of multitudes slain in battle; though they should not be our own people, yea, though they are our enemies, for they are men. So many precious lives are lost! and so many immortal souls are gone into eternity!
2. Prevailing falsehood is a proof of national degeneracy, and a symptom of national ruin. This seems to have been the reigning vice of Israel in Jeremiah's time. He represents them as almost all treacherous and deceitful, studying falsehood, and every method to overreach and undermine one another. It is very sad with a nation when there is falsehood in judicial proceedings, in trade and commerce, and in common conversation. Too much of this character may be observed in our nation; the many shameful bankruptcies among us show it. But let us be valiant for the truth. It requires courage to defend an honest cause, when it is much run down; or to speak for a worthy character, when it is generally a; persed ; and more especially when speaking truth would expose us to sufferings and reproach. Nevertheless, let truth be ever sacred with us; for God sees and abhors all deceit. When once men violate the truth, they generally proceed from evil to evil, till at length they have their /tortionin the lake that burncth itiiihßre and brimsttme for ever.
3. We learn what should be the subject of our glory and confidence. Not our wisdom, might, or riches; for they are of uncur» tain continuance, nor can they defend us in time of calamity, much less in the time of death. Let us glory in the knowledge of Cod, and trust in his perfections. He is righteous, just, und kind. He makes himself known by these attributes; he delights in the exercise of them, and in those who endeavour to resemble him. To have an acquaintance with this God, and an interest in him, will be a support and comfort to us in every evil day; and in him we
may safely confide. Let us therefore be followers of God at drar children.
4. Wicked christians are no better than heathen. It is really melancholy to see that Judah is put upon a level with Egypt and Edom, Ammon and Moab, as being as bad as they, and sharing in their fate. What signifies it to us to be baptized, without purity of heart and complying with the terms of the covenant? to have the sign, without the thing signified? to be christians in name, and heathens in heart and life I None will fare the better for these external advantages; nay, if they do not improve them, their punishment will be heavier than theirs who never enjoyed them. Me isi not a christian who is one outwardly, and bafuism is not that which is outward in the flesh; hut he is a christian who is one inwardly, isho is bafitized of the sfiirit and walketh in truth.
Some suppose that this chapter was written after the first captivity in Jrhoiakim's lime, when Daniel and others were carried eafitrve, and is an address to those cafitives concerning the heathen among whom they were settled, v. 1—17. and that the rest of the chafi er concerns those who remained in the land, and might think themselves safe.
1 TT E A R ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto youj
2 X J- O house of Israel: Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven: for the heathen are dismayed at them ; the Chaldeans arc noted astrologers, they pretend by ecli/ttes, the conjunction of the plunets, and other signs in the heavens, to foretell future events, to determine lucky and unlucky dans, and the like; learn not these
3 things of them, nor be dismayed at them; For the customs of the people are vain: for [one] etitteth a tree out of the forest, the
4 work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They deck it with silver and with gold; thtfy fasten it with nails and with
5 hammers, that it move not. They [are] upnght as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, or carried, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also [is it] in them to do good. The firofihet, bring struck with a sense of God's infinite greatness and glory, compared with idols, turns to him, and says, in a noble apostrophe,
6 Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O Lord; thou
7 [art] great, and thy name [is] great in might. Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain; tr rather, when he shall approach unto thee:• forasmuch as
among all the wise [men] of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, [there is] none like unto thee ; none of their wine men or
8 kings, whom they have drifted. But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock [is] a doctrine of vanities; or, the very wood itself being a rebuker of vanities, (that is, idolaters ) and reproaching the stupidity of those who imagined that some divine
9 fiower was lodged in it. Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workmen, or silversmiths, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple [is] their clothing: they [are] all the work of cunning
10 [men.]• But the Lord [is] the true Cod, he [is] the living God, and an everlasting king, the author of life and bring: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able
11 to abide his indignation. Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, [even] they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens ; their
12 idols shall perish, as the ancient idolatry has done.\ He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion; consequently, his wisdom and power infinitely exceed theirs.
13 When he uttereth his voice, [there is] a multitude of waters in the heavens, clouds and rain, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures, as if it was
14 laid up in some secret storehouses till he had occasion for it. Every man is brutish in [his] knowledge, or, for want of knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image [is] falsehood, and [there is] no breath in them.
15 They [are] vanity, [and] the work of errors, men make them and worshi/i them, because they have wrong notions of God, in the time of their visitation they shall perish, their idols are not able to
16 help them; they and their gods shall perish together. The portion of Jacob, that is, Jehovah, who hath chosen Jacob for hi& portion, [is] not like them: for he [is] the former of all [things ;] and Israel [is] the rod of his inheritance; he divided their inheritance by a line or rod: the Lord of hosts [is] his name.
17 Gather up they wares, or effects, out of the land, O inhabitant of the fortress, ye who dwell in Jerusalem and Sion, or in other strong places, and think yourselves secure; for thus saith the
18 Lord, Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land at this once, and will distress them, that they may find [it so ;] behold, I will send the king of Babylon against you, and ye shall be
all destroyed or carried away at once; ye shall surely find it as I
• They dressed theirlmages often In costly robes and different suits, as the lady of Loretta, who had one for every day in the year.
t This verse was not wrirten in the Hebrew, bnr the Chalder language, th-it the captives aiig.httell the Chaldeans in their own languagp, of their fiith in Jehovah, and remonstrate agamst the folly of idolatry. Dr. Blayney think, thi, veise interrupts the course of the argument, and that probably some public teacher, during the captivity, deducing it by d'rrct inference from the prophet's words, had it inserted in the margin, fur the reasons mentioned abnve.
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have threatened. The fifo/ile are then introduced as lamenting their calamity.
19 Wo is me for my hurt! my wound is grievous: but I said, Truly this [is] a grief, and I must bear it; this denotes a sullen,
20 not a submissive tilencr. My tabernacle is spoiled, and all my cords are broken; an allusion to their dwelling in tents: my children are gone forth of me, and they [are] not; they arc slain, diffiersed, or carried cafilive, to return no more: [there is] none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains.
2 I For the pastors, ¡he flrinces, governors, and finests, тоАо should have guided theß'jck, are become brutish, and have not sought the Lord: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks
22 shall be scattered. Behold, the noise of the brute* is come, and a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of .1 >i'!i!i desolate, [and] a den of dragons. /
23 О Lord, I know that the way of man [is] not in himself: [it is] not in man that walketh to direct his steps; as if he had said, It in neither in our enemy's /tower to o/i/iress ия, nor in our own to
24 deliver ourselves without thy jirovideace. О Lord, correct me, but with judgment, with mercy and moderation ; not in thine an
25 ger, lest thou bring me to nothing. Thou wilr Pour out thy fury upon the htathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not ou thy name, but ascribe 'heir success to their idols: for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate.
1. ГТГ' H E people of Cod have need of great caution that they do JL not learn the ways of sinners, when they live among them. The Israelites are exhorted not to learn the ways of the heathen. To consult astrologers, stargaztrs, and conjurers, is learning the ways of the heathen, and very wicked in thos>e who profess to believe the providence of Cod. To be dismayed at lights in the sky, comets, eclipses, or any extraordinary appearances in the heavens, is very unbecoming those who profess to know Cod, and who enjoy his gospel. Let us reverence him and his providence, and guard against all superstitions observances nnd fears; for they are displeasing to God, as well as mischievous to ourselves.
2. Let us observe how infinitely superior the name, wisdom, and power of the Lord are to idols, че/iicfi are all vanity and a lie. We ought to entertain the highest and most honourable thoughts of htm. Let us reflect upon his infinite goodness and glory, his power over all nature, his command over all the elements, and his goodness to the whole creation. The variety of storms and changes of the weather, prove his being and providence. AH the wisdom and skill of men are derived from him. Who then would not fiar him, mid seek his friendship. Let the people of Cod rejoice in him, be
• Лл olvl English wui d, which lignifie« clamour, or alar».
fully satisfied, and think themselves happy in having him for their portion; for happy indeed is the people who have this great and glorious Being for their God.
3. We may learn what our behaviour should be under affliction, •p. 19. It is very common to say, ' I cannot help it, and must do as well as I can ;' without any regard to God and his providence. Let us o\vn his hand in distress; resolve to bear it patiently and cheerfully, because God d'jfx il, and will overrule all for our good. But it is perfectly consistent with this patience, to pray that God would moderate his stroke, correct us with judgment, and in mercy ; not in angry severity,./or ivlio then could maud before him? and especial» ]y to pray, that lie •would not deal wilh us after our sini.
4. We have here the character of the heathen. They are spoken of as nations; and families are represented as constituent parts of them. The hea'hcn know not God; take no pains to trace and reflect upon his being and perfections. How lamentable is it, thai so many who are called by the Christian name, with all their advantages, are willingly ignorant of him. They чау to God, Depart from •ш. There are many families in this land that call noi'cn his name, do net use family prayer, have no appearance of religion in their houses, and therefore are as bad or worse than heathens. Upon such, whatever wealth and finery be in their houses, God's fury will be poured out ; and well may the heads of prayerless families tremble to think of it! To avoid tin's dreadful fury, and secure the divine blessing, let them resolve with Joshua, that whatever others do, they and their houses taill serve the Lard.
In order to reclaim the people, their attention it here called to the covenant made with their fathers.
THE word that came to Jeremiah from the Lore, saying,
3 men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem ; And say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel; Cursed [be] the man that obeyeth not the words of this covenant,
4 Which I commanded your fathers in the day [that] I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, cut of their heavy afflictions, saying, Obey my voice, and do them, according to all which I command you: so shall ye be my people, and I will be your God : That I may perform the oalh which I have sworn unto your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as [it is] this day. Then answered I, and said, So be it, О Lord, /, for nn/ part, consent ; a» if hr had said, M'hatever they do, I ii-ill be obedient; or rather, it may exprès» the readiness with which the people consented to thr cw. fiant at first ; all that the Lord hath spoken ne will do, Rxodu» xix. 8. Then the Lord said unto me, Proclaim alj these words