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Yet I had deserved better things of them; for I destroyed the Amorites before them, which were tall and mighty giants, above the ordinary proportion of strength or stature; yet I utterly rooted them out, for the sake of my people, and left no remnant of that race for their annoyance.
II. 12. But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophecy not.
But ye, contrary to my law, gave the Nazarites wine to drink, that ye might corrupt them; and enjoined silence to my prophets, whom I sent to tell you of your sins, and my judgments. II. 13. Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves.
Behold I am even overlaid with your wickedness: it is with me, as with a cart that is overpressed with a load of sheaves, which goes heavily, and is ready to break under the burden.
III. 2. You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.
You only have I chosen out from all other nations for my peculiar people, and have bestowed much cost and care upon you: therefore, since you have abused my mercies and rebelled against me, ye shall be sure to be punished.
III. 3. Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
Ye did walk holily with me, and then I walked graciously with you; but now, since we are fallen out by reason of your great iniquities, it is not to be expected we should hold together any longer, in those fair correspondences which were between us.
III. 4. Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey? will a young lion cry out of his den, if he hath taken nothing?
Will the lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey? or the young lion in his den, when he hath taken nothing? No more will the Lord denounce or inflict his fearful judgments upon a people, but where there is just matter of their sins, to be avenged.
III. 5. Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him? shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all?
Ye are as the bird; God's judgments are as the gin or snare: ye cannot fall into the snare or gin of my judgments, if your sins had not cast you thereinto: the snare is not wont to be taken up, if it have caught nothing; neither shall the judgments be removed, till they have effected that which they were sent for.
III. 6. Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?
Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, to summon the inhabi
tants to the walls, when as the people find no cause of the fear of an enemy? no more would God by his prophets denounce these imminent judgments, if there were not just cause to expect and fear their speedy execution; and who shall or can execute them, but the just and powerful hand of God? can there be any evil of punishment in the city, yea in the world, which is not of his sending, his inflicting?
III. 8. The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?
The Lord, like a dreadful and strong lion, hath roared out these menaces of judgments; who can choose but fear? The Lord hath committed his word of reproof and threatening to his prophets, who can then hold his peace, and forbear to publish it?
III. 9. Publish in the palaces at Ashdod, and in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say, Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria, and behold the great tumults in the midst thereof, and the oppressed in the midst thereof.
Ye, O my prophets, publish this in the very palaces of the Philistines and of the Egyptians; and call to those heathenish nations, to be witnesses and judges of the heinous sins of my people wish them to assemble themselves into the midst of Israel, and to take view of the great oppressions and tumultuous disorders that are amongst them.
III. 10. Who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.
Who store up in their houses those treasures, which they have gotten together by rapine and violence.
III. 11. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; An adversary there shall be even round about the land; &c.
Therefore thus saith the Lord; A mighty adversary, even the Assyrian, shall come and invade thy land, and shall spoil and waste it round about.
III. 12. Thus saith the LORD; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corners of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch.
As the shepherd, when a lion hath been devouring amongst his flock, finds left some mangled remnants of a leg or an ear, which he carries home, to shew the spoil that hath been done by that fierce beast; so shall it be with Israel: of all the body of Samaria, there shall be some one or two left undevoured, for proof of that general slaughter and captivity; and those two perhaps sick and feeble persons which were not able to stir out of their beds or couches: and thus shall it be both with Samaria and Damascus.
III. 14. That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him I will also visit the altars of Beth-el: and
the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground.
In the day that I shall punish Israel, and call him to account for his many sins, I will reckon with him for his idolatries in Dan and Beth-el; and for those altars, which he hath erected there; and will cause those miserected altars to be beaten down to the ground.
III. 15. And I will smite the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall have an end, saith the LORD.
And the stately houses of their kings, both their warm winter houses, and their pleasant summer houses, and their curious and beautiful houses of ivory, shall be utterly demolished and perish.
IV. 1. Hear this word, ye kine of Bashan, that are in the mountain of Samaria, which oppress the poor, which crush the needy, which say to your masters, Bring, and let us drink.
Hear this, O ye great and rich men of Samaria, that feed full and carelessly, like the kine in the fat pastures of Bashan: ye, who oppress the poor, and crush the needy; and say to your princes and judges, Set deep fines, and condemn freely, that we may feast upon the offences of the people.
IV. 2. That he will take you away with hooks, and your posterity with fishhooks.
That he will, by the power of the Assyrian, snatch you away out of your country, as the fish is caught up out of the water, by the hook of the angler.
IV. 3. And ye shall go out at the breaches, every cow at that which is before her; and ye shall cast them into the palace, saith the LORD.
And ye shall go forth of your cities, as a herd of cattle out of a close, every cow through that gap of the hedge which lies before her; so shall ye pass through the next breaches which are made in your walls, and shall cast away whatsoever is dear and precious to you in your forsaken palaces.
IV. 4. Come to Beth-el, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years.
Go ye up now, O ye foolish Israelites, to your Beth-el, if you please, and sin your fill: go up to Gilgal, and glut yourselves with the full scope of your iniquities: bring those your morning sacrifices, which are due unto God, bring and offer them to your idols; and, that, which the law of God requires of you, for the maintenance of his Levites, viz. to lay aside the tithes every third year for sacred use, do ye that to the priests of your idols. So also verse 5.
IV. 6. And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all
your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have not returned unto me, saith the LORD.
Also, I have desired to reclaim you by afflictions, and therefore have sent want and scarcity amongst you, in all your cities, &c.
IV. 10. I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt.
I have sent unto you a very noisome and deadly pestilence, such a one as I sent upon the land of Egypt.
IV. 11. I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.
I have overthrown some of your cities by the fire of the Assyrians, as Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed with fire from heaven; and ye of Samaria were left out of the common destruction, as a brand taken out of the fire: yet all this hath not moved you to return unto me, saith the Lord.
IV. 12. Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.
Therefore, since thou hast slighted all these judgments and mercies, I am resolved to execute upon thee the severest of all my vengeances; and, since thou hearest I have taken up this determination to proceed against thee, therefore prepare thyself, O Israel, to meet thy God with unfeigned humiliation and repentance.
IV. 13. For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his
For well thou knowest, it is no hoping to resist the power of the Almighty: it is He, that formeth the mountains, and infuseth the spirit into man, and knoweth and declareth the thoughts of man's hearts before he conceives them: it is He, that can cloud the brightest day at pleasure, and can bring down the highest and strongest fortifications upon earth: he is the Lord of Hosts; all things are at his command.
V. 2. The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up.
That Israelitish commonwealth, which was as a virgin untouched, is now fallen under the yoke of bondage; and so fallen, as that she shall no more rise: so is she forsaken, as that there is none to raise her up again.
V. 3. The city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred, &c.
For so few shall be left alive, after the hard and long sieges of the Assyrians, that, in those cities of Israel, whereout a thousand able men had wont to go forth to war, there now shall be left but a hundred, &c.
V. 5. But seek not Beth-el, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beer-sheba: for &c.
But go not up to the calves of Beth-el, nor to the high places and idolatrous altars of Gilgal and Beer-sheba: for
V. 6. Lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph.
Lest he send the enemy upon you, which, like a consuming fire, shall devour the royal tribe of Ephraim, the posterity of Joseph.
V. 7. Ye who turn judgment to wormwood.
Ye, who corrupt judgment, and make it grievous and hateful to my people.
V. 8. Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name.
Seek ye him, who maketh the great frame of the heaven, and all the glorious stars therein; who turneth the blackest night into a clear morning, and causeth the brightest day to end in a dark night; who causeth the waters of the sea to overswell their banks, and to drown the face of the earth: the Lord is his name.
V. 10. They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.
They hate him, that judgeth uprightly, and that doth freely and unpartially rebuke the wicked man upon the bench of justice; and they abhor him, that speaketh justly.
V. 11. Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat; ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them.
Forasmuch therefore as ye do grievously oppress the poor, and extort from him costly gifts; howsoever ye have, by your bribes and exactions, built unto yourselves houses of hewn stone, yet ye shall not dwell in them.
V. 13. Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time.
Therefore, those, that are prudent, when they shall see these foretold calamities to fall upon Israel, shall lay their hands upon their mouths, in an humble silence, and acknowledge the justice of God in these events; for the times shall be very grievous and miserable.
V. 14. Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live. Wherefore, that ye may avoid these plagues, frame your