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This destruction, by the hand of the Assyrians, is uncurable; for it is passed from Samaria, and is come forward to Julah, and is now drawing on towards the verv gates of Jerusalem.
1. 10 Declare ye it not at Gath, weep ye not at all : in the house of Aphrah roll thyself in the dust. Let no man tell the news of this calamity at Gath, the citv of the Philistines, lest they rejoice and triumph in our misery: oh, let no man there bemoan our sorrows; and, ye inhabitants of Aphrah, (a city of Benjamin,) roll yourselves in the dust, for the miserable desolation that is coming upon you.
I. 11 Pass ye away, thou inhabitant of Saphir, having thy shame naked: the inhabitant of Zaanan came not forth in the mourning of Beth-ezel; he shall receive of you his standing. Pass ye away into a woeful captivity, () ye inhabitants of the beautiful city of Saphir, pass along in your shame and nakedness: the inhabitants of Zaanan stood upon their guard, and came not forth as yielding to the enemy, upon the sad taking in of Bethezel; the enemy shall therefore receive of you, o Zaanite, the full recompence of that long siege, to which ve have put him.
I. 12 For the inhabitant of Maroth waited curefully for good : but evil came down from the LORD unto the gate of Jerusalem. The inhabitants of Maroth shall be much grieved, for the failing and disappointment of their hopes: they made account to have escaped this misery, but evil came down upon them from the Lord; and shall not stav there, but shall proceed on, till come to the very gates of Jerusalem,
I. 13 O thou inhabitant of Lachish, bind the chariot to the swift bcast : she is the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion: for the transgressions of Israel were found in thee. As for you, () ye inhabitants of Lachish, make all possible speed to escape by fight : put your swiftest beasts into your chariots, and drive away hastily; taking the advantage of your remoteness : try if you can thus avoid the judgment, who were the authors of sin to the rest of Judah, next after the revolt of the Ten Tribes to their molten c:lves, Lachish was the first of the tribe of Judah, that both received and diilused the infection to the daughter of Zion: the idolatries of Israel were first found in thee, Lachish.
I. 14 Therefore shalt thou give presents to Moresheth-gath : the houses of Achzib shall be a lie to the kings of Israel. Therefore shalt thou be fain to give vain presents unto the Philistines, to help theo: thou shalt have recourse to those false and lying succours, which have been ever deceitful to the kings of Judah, and so shall be still unto thee,
I. 15 Yet will I bring an heir unto thee, o inhabitant of Mareshah : he shall come unto ddullam the glory of Israel. As for thee, O Mareshah, which hast thy name from inheritance, I will bring such an heir to thee, for thy land, as thou shalt never be able to dispossess; even the enemy which shall seize thee for ever: and he, that is the Glory and God of Israel, shall execute bis justice upon Judah, even as far as Adullam, the utmost coast thereof.
I. 16 Make thee bald, and poll thee for thy delicate children; enlarge thy baldness as the eagle ; for they are gone into captivity from thee. Make thee bald, O land of Israel, in token of extreine mourning; and cut off thy hair, in sorrow for thy delicate children, which are slain and captived; yea, enlarge thy baldness, the sign of thy grief, as the eagle, which moults with age, being left without fea, thers till her renovation : so do thou leave thyself without hair, or comfort for tly children, for they are gone into captivity from thee.
II. 3 An evil from which ye shall not remove your necks ; neither shall ye go haughtily : for this time is evil. An evil, which shall press you so heavily, that you shall neither be able to remove your necks from under it, nor lift them up in a haughty carriage: for it is a time of exceeding great affliction.
II. 4 We be utterly spoiled : he hath changed the portion of my people : how hath he removed it from me! turning away he hath divided our fields. We be utterly spoiled : he hath altered the property of the land, and the condition of the people; for he hath put Assyrians into the possessions of Israel, and bath removed Israel into Assyria ; yea, rather, instead of returning to us in mercy and restoring our land, he hath divided our fields to our enemies.
II. 5 Therefore thou shalt have none that shall cast a cord by lot in the congregation of the LORD. Therefore, when this judgment shall be effected, there shall none remain of you, who shall have any lot or inheritance in the land of Israel.
II. 6 Prophesy ye not, say they to them that prophesy : they shall not prophesy to them, that they shall not take shame. Yet they are ready to say unto my prophets, who foretell these judgments, Prophesy not ; neither will they allow my prophets to say, that this shameful foil shall happen unto them.
II. 7 O thou, that art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the Lord straitened ? are these his doings ? do not my words do. good to him thut walketh uprightly? O thou, that wouldst be named the house and seed of Jacob, is it for thee to hinder the Spirit of Prophecy? Is it not God's doing, to put these words into their mouths? And, if ye were so affected to God as ye ought, and so well disposed as ye pretend, surely my predictions of these judgments would be greatly for your good.
II. 8 Even of late my people is risen up as an enemy : ye pull off the robe with the garment from them that pass by securely as men averse from war. Now of late, my people, as if they needed no enemy, are turned enemies to each other: ye strip the garments from the backs of travellers, that pass by securely, without any thought of such cruel and hostile measure.
- II. 9 The women of my people have ye cast out from their pleasant houses ; from their children have ye taken away my glory for And, as not content with this cruelty towards men, ye offer violence to the women also; whom ye have forcibly taken from their own houses, where they lived contentedly with their husbands; and to their children also, from whom ye have taken those privileges and liberties of freeborn Israelites, which was the glory of tiat nation, and for which I had wont to receive glory from them.
I. 10 Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest : because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction. Away, therefore, arise, and get you into captivity ; for this land is no place for you : since ye have thus defiled it by your sins, it shall cast you out, and deliver you up to be destroyed by your enemies.
II. 11 If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink ; he shall even be the prophet of this people. I know well enough how I might please you: if a man would walk in a vain light fashion, and yield to prophesy nothing but lies unto you, and sooth you up in gluttony and drunkenness, and tell you of that free scope ye shall have to wine and strong drink; he should be a welcome prophet to this people.
II. 12 I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee ; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold : they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men. But for me, I am not of that strain : I have other tidings to deliver to you, from the Lord; which is this; I will, saith God, gather np all my people of Israel together, as a shepherd gathers his whole Hock together into a fold; and, as it uses to be in such concourse, there shall be a great noise and murmur in that thronged multitude.
II. 13 The breaker is come up before them : they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it : and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them. But this assembly shall not be for their ease or comfort, but rather for their more full destruction: the Assyrian shall come in upon them, and break into this fold, and spoil and ravine as he pleaseth; and my people shall be carried away through those breaches, into a miserable captivity; and their king shall be led manacled before thein; and the Lord of Hosts, who hath justly contrived this desolation of his unworthy people, sball lead the way to the accomplishing thereof.
III. 1 And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel ; Is it not for you to know judgment ? O ye rulers and governors of Israel, to you I speak, is it not your part, both to know how to do justice to the oppressed, and to perform it accordingly?
III. 2 Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off' them, and their flesh from off their bones. How is it then, that you do contrarily ? ye hate the good, and love the evil, and offer all cruelty and violence to them; as some untaithful shepherd, who, instead of feeding his flock, Heas off their skins, and devoureth their flesh. So also verse 3.
III. 5 That bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him: Who, so as they may be fed up with the largesses of the people, cry peace and happiness; but, if they have not their mouths filled with gifts, are ready to load their niggardly bearers with threats of judgments :
III. 6 Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a on; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine ; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them. I will therefore utterly withdraw from you all vision; and ye shall no more see ought from me, than a man can see ought before bim in the darkest night : my Spirit, which is as the sun, shall be fully set and gone down upon your prophets, and there shall be nothing but darkness of ignorance before them. So also verse 7.
III. 8 But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression. But as for me, I am none of your soothing prophets : no; I am, by the Spirit of the Lord, filled with courage and undaunted zeal; with true judgment, and bold resolution to declare unto Jacob his transgression.
III. 10 They build up Zion with blood, andJerusalem with iniquity. They build them stately houses in Zion and in Jerusalem, with those sums, which they have extorted from the very bowels of the oppressed innocents.
III. 12 Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest. Therefore, for your sa kes shall mount Zion be so razed and levelled by the Chaldees, that it may be plowed as a field; and Jerusalem shall become heaps of rubbish; and mount Moriah shall lie like the rocky and wild bills of the desert.
IV. 1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain, &c. See Isaiah ii. 2.
IV. 3 He shall judge among the people, &c. and they shall beat their swords into plowshures. See Isaiah ii. 4.
IV. 5 For ull people will walk every one in the name of his God, and we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and
While those, that are without the pale of the Church, walk after the false religion of their idol-Gods, we will walk in the profession of the holy truth of God for ever.
IV. 6, 7 In that day, saith the Lord, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted ; And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation, and the Lord shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth even for ever. In those days of the Gospel, will I call home to my Church the synagogues of the Jews; even those despised people, which are justly driven out of their land, and deservedly afflicted by me: and I will reduce those rebellious and outcast people to the profession of my truth, and will make them true members of my Church ; and the Lord Christ shall reign over that Evangelical Church of mine, consisting of Jews and Gentiles, in his heavenly Zion, from henceforth, even for ever.
IV. 8 And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion ; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem. And to thee, O thou famous bill of earthly Zion, shall this blessing first come: there shall be the first beginning of this glorious and powerful Gospel and Kingdom of Christ, and from thee shall
go forth to the whole Church of God.
IV. 9 Now why dost thou cry out aloud ? is there no king in thee? is thy counseller perished? for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail. Now, therefore, why art thou dejected, as if thou wert utterly cast off; as if there were no king to uphold and defend thee, no counseller to take care for thee? Why art thou in these pangs of distress, as a woman in travail?
IV. 10 Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail : for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go even to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there the LORD shull redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies. And indeed, O my Church of Judea, I give thee leave to be grieved and pained for a time; for thou shalt be driven forth of thy cities, and carried away into the captivity of Babylon, but thou shalt not long lie under this affliction : the Lord thy God shall fetch thee thence in his appointed time, and shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies; and all this shall be, in a type of the state and deliverance of my Church, from the hands of their spiritual enemies,
IV. 11 Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion. Even at this time, many nations of the Assyrians and their assistants are conspiring together against thee; that say, Let us defile her streets with blood, and let our eye see Zion razed and ruined.
ĮV. 12 But they know not the thoughts of the LORD, neither