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And the caskets of perfume, and the amulets; 21. The rings, and the jewels for the face:
The cloaks, and the mufflers;
The sashes, and the fine tunics,
24. And instead of perfume, shall there be dust;
And instead of the curious head-dress, baldness;
25. Thy friends shall fall by the sword,
26. Her gates shall lament and mourn,
1. And seven women shall take hold of one man,*
We will eat our own bread,
Only let us be called by thy name,
1 This display of female finery, phecy would be seen to havo its
and luxurious dress, among the fulfilment; but, as we shall learn
prosperous oppressorsof the church, hereafter, there is " a time of
is very remarkable; and the sad trouble" yet to come upon the na
reverse that follows, in the day of tions, " such as was not since
their calamity, is 'most strikingly there was a nation upon the earth." described. No doubt, in every re- 'A prophetic picture of the
volution which greatly affected the great decay of the male population
Higher orders of society, this pro- by destructive wars.
* Chap. iv.
In whatever parts of the professing church these dreadful scenes are to be disclosed, it evidently appears to be at the eve of Messiah's appearance; for now our subject bursts upon us with great splendour: —
2. In that day,
Shall there be a shoot of Jehovah,
Even a sucicer from the earth,
'3. And there shall be that which reinaineth in Zion,
Holy shall it be called,
Every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:
4. When Jehovah hath washed away fhis filth of the daughter of Zion;
And ' when' this blood of Jerusalem
Shall be removed from the midst of her,
By the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.
That this branch, or rather shoot of Jehovah, means the Messiah, has been generally allowed. He was " a sucker from the earth," indeed, at his first advent; but the metaphor of the spreading tree, under which Israel takes shelter, relates, I conceive, to the second advent This glorious event takes not place, we remark, till the guilt of some particular blood is removed from Jerusalem. This is, doubtless, the blood of their crucified Messiah, which the inhabitants of Jerusalem imprecated upon themselves and their children. * When this blood is purged away,
by the spirit of judgment, and of burning — when all their national sufferings shall be ended, especially those most calamitous ones of the last days; then, it should seem, Jerusalem or Zion will be in some wonderful manner the chosen spot for the visible display of the Divine Majesty:
5. And Jehovah shall create over all the station of Mount Zion, And over the places of her solemn assemblies,
A cloud by day, and a smoke,
And the brightness of a blazing fire by night.
Surely over all shall be the glory.'
6. A protection and a cover shall there be,
And for a refuge, and for a shelter,
These lines clearly allude to " the pillar of fire that gave light" to the camp of Jsrael in the desert "by night," and to "the pillar of cloud, in which the Lord went before them by day." Such a visible token of the Divine Presence, the prophecy seems to say, shall, at the time predicted, become stationary over the holy mountain of Zion. The effect will be, to dispel the darkness of night from that sacred spot; and to cause, that neither the burning heat of the sun, nor inconvenience from the conflicting elements, should any more be felt by its happy inhabitants. Compare Psalm Ixviii. 15, 16, 17.
1 The Shekinah. Compare Deut. xxxiii. 2, &c.
The fifth chapter opens with " the song of the vineyard," parallel to that part of the song of remembrance, "The Creator, his work is perfect," &c. The vineyard is to be desolated —" I will remove its hedge," &c. ver. 5. We have the suffrage of many commentators, * to Understand this of the desolation by the Romans, which we now behold. This Scripture is, therefore, written for our admonition, who succeed to Israel's forfeited privileges, "lest we should fall after the same example of unbelief." What follows regards, I conceive, the churches of the Gentiles, as contemplated at the eve of Messiah's second coming. The original of the eighth verse has led me to this conclusion: —
8. Alas! for them that join house to house,
And ye are dwelling alone by yourselves,
According to the text, a people distinct from those who join house to house, &c. seem to be addressed as those that " dwell alone." This, therefore, is, perhaps, a description of the flourishing state of those nations who
* Tertullian, Theodore, Cyril, Jerome, Luther, Brentius, CEcolampadius, Cocccjus, Schmidius.—See Vitrinoa.
inherit Israel's forfeited privileges; while they are living as strangers and solitary beings in the midst of them, "and find no rest for the sole of their feet." The joining of house to house, and laying, or more correctly, " the making of-field to approach to field," I understand to mean, not the engrossing of houses and lands by individuals, so much as the general extension of building and cultivation. I guess the lengthening streets of modern cities, and the forced cultivation extending itself to every nook of the surrounding country, are the scenes in the view of the prophetic Spirit. But may not the improvements of agriculture, and of the subordinate arts, bid defiance to the want and famine foreboded in the following verses? Alas! who can promise this? —
9. In mine car hath Jehovah Sabaoth spoken:
Truly many houses shall become desolate,
10. For ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath,
We know who can make a fruitful land barren, for the iniquity of them that dwell therein: and the deterioration of seasons, at certain intervals, has been already very alarming to the crowded population of Europe.
A picture of habitual and continual drunkenness, with the luxurious banquetings of a careless people, that have forgotten God, follows: —
11. Alas! for them that rising early in the morning follow liquor, And sitting late at even, wine inflames them:
1 A bath is a measure of eight which we render acre, is properly gallons, and an ephah is the tenth the quantity uflaud ploughed by a part of a homer, or chomer. in*, yoke of oxen.