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your fathers as the first-ripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baal-peor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved.
Israel was no less pleasing to me, at the first, than ripe grapes would be to a thirsty traveller, in a dry wilderness: I esteemed your forefathers, those fruitful Patriarchs, as the most choice and first ripe figs; but their sinful progeny fell off and degenerated to idolatry, applying themselves to the worship of Baal-peor, and separating themselves to that shameful idol; and chose to themselves several abominable deities, according as they were affected to the parties that worshipped them.
IX. 11. As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird, from the birth, and from the womb, and from the conception.
As for Ephraim, their glory, which is in their strength and number, shall fly away like a bird; since their children shall be slain, even from their very birth, yea, even from their conception, by their cruel enemies.
IX. 12. Though they bring up their children, yet will I bereave them, that there shall not be a man left: yea, woe also to them when I depart from them!
And though they do live to be brought up to man's estate, yet will I then so bereave them, that there shall not be a man left amongst them: yea, they cannot but expect and feel all manner of miseries, when I remove my presence and protection from them.
IX. 13. Ephraim, as I saw Tyrus, is planted in a pleasant place: but Ephraim shall bring forth his children to the murderer.
Ephraim, or Israel, is like unto Tyrus, and next in glory thereunto it finds itself planted in a rich, and goodly, and no less fortified place, and is thereupon puffed up with a foolish self-confidence: but Ephraim shall find himself deceived: his hopes shall fail him; his children shall fall under the hand of a murdering enemy.
IX. 14. Give them, O LORD: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.
Give them, O Lord: what shall I intreat thee to give them? even that, which they would think to be a judgment, miscarrying wombs and dry breasts; that they may never bring forth or nourish up children, to idolatry or slaughter.
IX. 15. All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters.
Their old wickedness cleaves unto them still; even that, which they bewrayed in their ancient incircumcision, and in
their humorous desire of the change of their government and challenge of a king: even there, I began to take displeasure against them for their wickedness; which still so continues, that I am resolved to drive them out of that good land of mine: I will love them no more; for all their princes are revolters, both from their rightful king, and from my true religion.
X. 1. Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars; according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images.
Israel is a vine indeed, but a fruitless one; or, if he bear fruit, it is to himself, for the advancing of his own profit and pleasure as his wealth, and abundance, increaseth, so doth his idolatry: look how much he is pampered with his store, so much more doth he spend upon his goodly images.
X. 2. Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty: he shall break down their altars. ̧
Their heart is divided in the choice of their gods; now shall the jealous God find out their guiltiness: he shall, in his just indignation, break down their altars.
X. 3. For now shall they say, We have no king, because we feared not the LORD; what then should a king do to us?
For now they shall say, We are left destitute and helpless: we have no king to defend us; because we feared not the Lord, who was wont to be our King; therefore he hath given us up, and what then can a king do for us?
X. 4. They have spoken words, swearing falsely in making a covenant: thus judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field.
They have made no conscience of their oaths and covenants: but have broken them at pleasure: yea, even judgment itself, which should be sincere and sacred, is grown miserably depraved, and hateful to my people; yea, no less deadly, than the hemlock of the furrows is to the taste.
X. 5. The inhabitants of Samaria shall fear because of the calves of Beth-aven: for the people thereof shall mourn over
The inhabitants of Samaria shall justly fear, because those calves, which they worshipped in Beth-aven, are already destroyed; for the people thereof shall mourn, expecting, as they well may, the same measure.
X. 6. It shall be also carried unto Assyria for a present to king Jareb: Ephraim shall receive shame, and Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsel.
The nobles of Samaria shall be carried to Assyria, as a present to that great king: Ephraim shall receive shame by his
projects, and Israel shall too late be ashamed of his vain and
X. 7. As for Samaria, her king is cut off as the foam upon the water.
As for Hoshea, the king of Samaria, he shall be cut off, and blown away into captivity, and shall vanish and sink as a bubble or foam in the water.
X. 8. The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us.
The high places also of Beth-el (or Beth-aven rather), wherein Israel hath so palpably sinned, shall be utterly destroyed, and laid so waste, that the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their very altars; and the inhabitants shall be so terrified with the sword of the enemy, that they shall wish themselves under ground, and speak to the hills and mountains, to fall upon them, and shelter them from that fury.
X. 9. O Israel, thou hast sinned from the days of Gibeah: there they stood: the battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not overtake them.
O Israel, thou hast sinned, ever since that foul offence, that was done in Gibeah of Benjamin: thou hast continued, and aggravated their sin; yet thou hast not been taken down for. it: here was no war moved by the rest of the tribes, as was in Gibeah, against those children of iniquity, which did that shameful act upon the Levite's concubine:
X. 10. It is in my desire that I should chastise them; and the people shall be gathered against them, when they shall bind themselves in their two furrows.
But this shall be no advantage to them; for it is my purpose, to take their punishment into my own hands: I will cause the Assyrians to be gathered together against them, when I shall correct them for their two calves in Dan and Beth-el; betwixt the worship whereof and my service, they have halted, as an ox that passeth betwixt two furrows.
X. 11. And Ephraim is an heifer that is taught, and loveth to tread out the corn; but I passed over upon her fair neck: I will make Ephraim to ride; Judah shall plow, and Jacob shall break his clods.
Ephraim is as a delicate young heifer, that loves to tread out the corn, when it is in the floor, but cannot abide to draw the plough or harrow: he loves to enjoy blessings, but not to earn and work them out; but I did put my hand upon the fair neck of Ephraim, and find this heifer fit enough for the yoke: I will put all my people to those services they are fit for: if need be, I will put Ephraim to the saddle, Judah to the plough, Israel to the harrow.
X. 12. Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come, and rain righteousness upon you.
Give yourselves to all holy and conscionable endeavours: sow to yourselves in holiness and righteousness, and reap mercy and loving kindness from the Lord; break up the fallow grounds of your hearts, by a true and serious repentance: for it is time for you to turn to the Lord, and to seek to recover his favour; so far, as that he may rain upon you the showers of his grace and mercy, whereby ye may appear righteous in his sight.
X. 13. Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies.
But, alas! contrarily, ye have ploughed up deep furrows of wickedness, and have reaped a large crop of iniquity; ye have fed yourselves with the lying hopes of your vain self-confidence.
X. 14, 15. As Shalman spoiled Beth-arbel in the day of battle: the mother was dashed in pieces upon her children; So shall Beth-el do unto you because of your great wickedness: in a morning shall the king of Israel utterly be cut off.
As Shalmaneser spoiled Beth-arbel, amongst other the cities which he conquered, wherein he was so cruel, as to dash the mother and children one against another; So shall the idolatry, wrought in Beth-el, bring the like destruction upon you, because of your great wickedness: in one morning shall the king of Israel, be utterly cut off; there shall no long time need, for the accomplishment of this judgment.
XI. 1. When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
When Israel was but newly entered into league and covenant with me, then I loved him; and called that son of my love out of the bondage of Egypt, by the hands of Moses and Aaron.
XI. 2. As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim.
As those their holy leaders and their ensuing successors called them, so they perversely turned their backs upon them, and sacrificed to Baalim.
XI. 3. I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them.
I did with Ephraim, as mothers or nurses do by their little infants: I taught him to go; holding him by the arm, while he moved his feet; but they considered not the great favours that I did them, and did neither answer nor acknowledge my mercies.
XI. 4. I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love:
and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.
I drew them unto me, by the strong persuasions of reason, and with bonds of love: and I did to them, as a kind husbandman to his well-respected team; I took off the yoke from them, and I laid meat unto them; I withdrew their burdens, and refreshed them with mercies.
XI. 5. He shall not return into the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to return.
He shall not go any more into the land of Egypt, to seek aid; but the Assyrian shall surprise him, and be his king, because they refused to return to me.
XI. 7. And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the Most High, none at all would exalt him.
My people Israel are bent to backsliding from me: although my prophets called unto them, and persuaded them to turn unto the Most High; yet they would not obey, nor be won to exalt and glorify their God.
XI. 8. How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together.
O Ephraim, how shall I carry myself towards thee? If I should regard thee according to thy demerits, I should give thee up, O Israel, to my fearfullest judgments; but how can I endure to deal thus with thee? how can I make thee a sad spectacle of my wrath, like those five cities of Sodom, which were consumed with fire from heaven? Surely it goes against my heart, to think thus to proceed with thee: I cannot but revoke that dreadful sentence, which I was ready to pass against thee:
XI. 9. I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city.
For I am a gracious and immutable God; and not a man, subject either to passion or change: I, that am the Holy One of Israel, am yet still in the midst of thee, by my favour, and thy (howsoever impured) worship; and I will not turn to thee, in the extremity of my wrath, to consume thee.
XI. 10. They shall walk after the LORD: he shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west.
Those of my Church, whom I shall choose from both Jews and Gentiles, shall walk holily and obediently, in the ways of God: he shall send forth the strong and mighty voice of his Gospel, and shall call all his elect ones; and when he shall