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side Justice lay, and declare in favour of it.
Ver. 18. Come nom and let us reason together, saith the
Lord; though your Sins be as Scarlet, they shall be as m'hite
as Snow, though they be red like Crimson, they shall be as
Wool.] Having accus’d them of a universal Degeneracy
or Corruption of Manners; God in this Verse invites
them to clear themselves, to alledge if they can any
thing which may serve to palliate their Crimes, or ex-
cept against any Branch of the Accusation; but knowing
they had nothing to say in their own Vindication, he
passes over in silence the weak Defence they made, and
only sets down upon what Terms the Debate concluded.
Though we have pleaded together, and I have fully con-
vinces you of the Sins I accus’d you of, yet if you re-
pent and forsake them, though your. Sins be never so
heinous, of the deepest dye, they shall be pardoned;
which is the meaning of being made white as Snow
and Wool.
Ver. 19, 20, 21. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat
the good of the Land. But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be
devoured mith the Sword; for the Mouth of the Lord hath
spoken it. How is the faithful City become an Harlot f It
was full of judgment, k ...? lodged in it; but now
Murderers.] How is jerusalem, that faithful City, fall’n
from her State of Innocence, into the wretched Condi-
tion of a vile Prostitute, having broken her Covenant
with God, by which she was, as it were, solemnly con-
traded to him. By this Metaphor the Prophet sets forth
the Wickedness of the Jews; their Idolatry particularly,
which in Scripture is represented as spiritual Adultery ;
and therefore the City here guilty of it, is said to be
Zonah, a Harlot: The word signifies also a Keeper of a
Tavern, or any Publick House, who having frequent op-
portunities of Cheating, had as different Meto, of
- - IT3 U12-

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Chapter fraudulent Praćtices, sometimes, giving counterfeit Coin - I. for current Money; at other times dashing their Wine --v--a with Water, to which probably the Prophet alludes in the following Verse. If we look into the History, to find out the time when jerusalem was thus remarkably degenerated, we shall find none so likely as the Reign of Ahaz, Who did not that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but made his Son to pass through the Fire, accord(a) a king, ing to the Abominations of the Heathens (a). This, I say, 16. 2, 3. * is the most probable Period to fix this Corruption of the Jewish State at; since Uzziah and jotham set their Subjećts good Examples, though the High-Places were not taken away in their Reigns; and Hezekiah not only set them a good Example, but quite destroy'd the High

Places and Groves. -
Ver. 22. Thy Silver is become Dross, thy Wine mixt with
Water.] By these Metaphors, the Prophet means that
* all those shining Vertues, which distinguish'd them from
their Pagan Neighbours, were chang'd into contrary
Vices; their Religion was turn’d into Hypocrisy, their
Justice into Oppression, their Sincerity and fair Dealing

- into Craft and Circumvention.
- Ver. 23. Thy Princes are rebellious, and Companions of
Thieves ; every one loveth Gifts, and followeth after Rewards;
they judge not the Fatherless, neither doth the Cause of the
Widow come unto them.] The word which we render Re-
bellious, signifies Head-strong, Contumacious, such as
no Laws can govern, and no Punishment keep in awe:
And such were the Princes of judah, Companions of
Thieves, so far from putting the Laws in Execution
against Robbers and other notorious Malefačtors; that
they conniv'd at their Insolence, shar'd the 'Spoils with
them, and were themselves the grand Oppressors of the
People.
Ver. 24. Therefore saith the Lord, the Lord of Hoffs, the
mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine Adversa-
ries, and avenge me of mine Enemies.] The Prophet speaks
of God after the manner of Men, who are pleas'd when
they find an opportunity of destroying their Enemies;
as if he hugg’d himself with the Thoughts of triumphing
over them, and were ravish'd at the hopeful coung
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of Revenge: But (a) others think the Particle Hoi shews a Chapter

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(b) generality of Interpreters refer this to the Times of (b) Hieron. Cyril. A44mus Jasbout.

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had in the Times of the Judges: This the Words will - C

bear,

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fies any thing, in quo fiducia collocatur (a), and stands here (4) Forerius

for the Idol, the strength, as it were, of its Worshippers, on which they intirely depended : The Idol, and

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C 2 The

45.

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