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I. 15. Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it
Alas, wretched men that we are, we do already endure much misery from the afflicting hand of God! but yet more is coming: Oh, woe to us! how shall we be able to abide the extremity of those his plagues, which are at hand?
I. 19. O LORD, to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field.
O Lord, to thee will I cry, who only art able to redress this woeful estate of ours: for the scorching drought hath devoured all the herbage of the wilderness, and the fiery beams have burnt up all the trees of the field. So also verse 20.
II. 1. Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain : let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;
O ye Priests and Levites of the Lord, call ye the people together in Zion: give warning to all the inhabitants of Judea, of that sad and fearful day of revenge, which the Lord denounceth against them; for it is nigh at hand;
II. 2. A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spreadeth upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath been never the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.
A day of heaviness and sorrow, a day of utter discomfort, such a one, as is quite overspread with horror and darkness, like a gloomy morning which hides the light of the sun from all beholders: for a world of noisome creatures, in strong and mighty bands, is come upon your land to devour it ; such as the like hath never been, never shall be in succeeding generations.
II. 3. A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
In the forepart of their troops, they devour all before them, like a fire; and, behind them, all looks as if the flames had burnt it up: where they have not yet been, the land looks richly, and plentifully, and pleasantly, like to the garden of Eden; but where they have passed, it looks like a desolate wilderness, all is consumed, nothing can escape them.
II. 4. The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen so shall they run.
Their appearance shall be terrible to the people, like to the appearance of horses, armed for the wars; and they shall
hastily overrun the land, as if they were horsemen that ran in their full speed.
II. 5. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap.
The noise, which they shall make in their swarms and motions, shall be like to the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains.
II. 7. They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks.
There shall be no place free from their assault and annoyance: they shall creep up the walls of the cities, as valiant men are wont to scale them in a siege; they shall march on in those ways, which God hath appointed them, as if they were men trained to the wars. So also verse 9.
II. 8. And when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.
They shall be such enemies, as the sword cannot be able to destroy; and such, as if they do fall upon the sword, yet their lightness shall deliver them from hurt.
II. 10. The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:
They shall come upon you in such number, as shall amaze and affright the world; and shall, by their infinite and thick swarms, obscure the very light of the sun, and moon, and
II. 11. And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?
And the Lord shall, as the great General of these his forces, encourage and stir them up to this their execution; whereto they shall be enabled by him, both in their number, and power to perform it.
II. 13. And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God.
Do not rest in an outward ceremony of sorrow, viz. in the rending of your garments, but see that ye humble your hearts and souls before God.
II. 14. Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?
Who knoweth whether your humiliation may not yet prevail with him, and cause him to retract and take off his judgments, and, instead, thereof, to bestow a blessing of plenty upon us; so as there may be both matter and occasion of the sacrifices of our thanksgiving unto the Lord?
II. 16. Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.
Let all sorts and degrees and ages be assembled together, for a solemn humiliation; both the ancient, and the children, and sucklings: let all be afflicted with a general abstinence; and let the bridegroom and the bride forbear the pleasures of their new-made marriage, and shut up their wedding with mourning.
II. 17. Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD weep between the porch and the altar.
Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep and mourn, even in that place where all sorrow and lamentation was wont to be interdicted, between the porch and the altar.
II. 18. Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people.
Then will the Lord be graciously affected towards his people; and, in a merciful compassion of them, will call off those evils, which they groan under.
II. 20. But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive them into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things.
But I will remove far off from you this mighty army of noisome creatures, which came upon you, from the northern coasts; and will drive them into the dry and barren wilderness, which lies towards the south: yea, I will disperse them into the four winds, so as the forepart, or vanguard, of them shall fly to the east sea; and the hinder part, or the rear, shall be carried to the west sea: and the stink of this vermin, where it shall fall, shall be exceeding offensive and contagious.
II. 22. Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring.
Be comforted again, O ye beasts of the field; for, now that this plague is removed, the grass of your pastures begins to spring again.
II. 23. And he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
And he will cause the rain to descend upon the earth, in all fit seasons: both the former rain, which is in autumn after your seed is cast into the earth; and the latter rain, which is in the spring in March or April, for the filling of the ear.
II. 28. And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.
Neither will I content myself with the abundance of my temporal blessings conferred upon you, but I will pour upon you my spiritual gifts also; and will, in the days of the Gospel, give you plentiful revelations; filling your sons and daughters, your young men and old, with a large measure of the true saving knowledge of me and my Name; as also enriching them with miraculous graces and abilities, by the descending of my Spirit upon them; enduing them with power of tongues, and with the gifts of prophecy. So also verse 29.
II. 30. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
And after those times, both before the destruction of Jerusalem, and before the Last Judgment, I will shew wonders and fearful signs, both in heaven and in earth: the heavens shall seem red, and fiery, and vaporous.
II. 31. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
The sun shall lose his light, and shall seem utterly darkened; the moon shall be turned into the colour of blood; before that great and terrible day of the Lord come.
II. 32. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
Neither is there any way or means to escape the terribleness of this judgment, but by believing in the Lord Christ, and calling upon his name; for in the Church of God shall only Salvation be had, and deliverance from the wrath to come; which salvation shall lie open, both to the believers of the Gentiles, and to the remnant of those Jews, whom the Lord shall call.
III. 1, 2. For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down unto the valley of Jehoshaphat and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.
For, behold, in those days of my Gospel, wherein I shall restore my Church, and deliver it from the spiritual captivity wherein it hath lain distressed, I will gather all nations, and will bring them into the face of my Church; and argue there with them, for the wrongs they have offered to my chosen servants, whom they have persecuted in their several nations; and made havock of mine inheritance.
III. 3. And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for a harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink.
And they have scornfully and proudly tyrannized over my people, and have cast lots upon them, as some slight commodities for sale or exchange; and have given a boy for the price of their lust, to a harlot; and sold a girl only for a cup of wine, to drink.
III. 4. Yea, and what have you to do with me, O Tyre and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render me a recompence? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompence upon your own head.
And for you, O ye neighbour nations of Tyre and Zidon, and all the coast of Palestine, what can ye have to plead for yourselves with me? Are ye able to make me amends for the wrongs ye have done me? or do ye think thus to recompense unto me the hard measure, which you may pretend to have received from me? Surely if you think thus to recompense me with injuries to my servants, I shall speedily return unto you the due recompence of your sins, upon your own heads.
III. 10. Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.
Turn the instruments of your husbandry into weapons of wars; and let those, that are weak and fearful, pull up their spirits, and rouse up their courage.
III. 11. Thy mighty ones.
Thy saints and angels.
III. 12. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.
Let the heathen be stirred up, by my summons, and come together into the valley of judgment, which is in the face of my Church: there will I shew myself a just and unpartial retributor, of all the wrongs of the heathen, round about.
III. 13. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.
Put ye in execution those judgments, which I have awarded to the enemies of my Church; for the time of my vengeance is now fully come: their wickedness is come to the height.
III. 14. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
Oh, what multitudes, what infinite multitudes of wicked sinners shall then and there be adjudged to torments, in that place of the Great and Last Judgment! for that great day of the Lord is near at hand; the terror whereof shall be unspeakable in that dreadful place of judicature.
III. 15. The sun and th emoon shall be darkened, &c. See chapter ii. 31.
III. 16. The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall