« FöregåendeFortsätt »
shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb; that is, the Jews shall recover their ancient strength and beauty ; accord ing to St. Paul, it shall be as life from the dead : and the hand of the Lord shall be known toward his servants, and (his) indigna
tion toward his enemies. 15 For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chari
ols like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his 16 rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will
the LORD plead with all flesh : and the slain of the LORD shall 17 be many.* They that sanctify themselves, and purify them.
selves in the gardens behind one (tree) in the midst, according to the rites of Achad, or an image of the sun in the garden of Achad, called, One, or the one great being, (a name given him by the ancient Persians, who used 10 sacrifice seven bats and seven mice to the sun,) eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the
mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD. 18 For I (know) their works and their thoughts : it shall come,
that I will gather all nations and tongues ; and they shall come
and see my glory, which shall be displayed in converting the 19 Jews, and in destroying their enemies. And I will set a sign, or
standard, among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, (to] Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, (to] Tubal, and Javan, (to) the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory and they shall declare my glory among the gentiles ; I will send some of the believing Jews to convert the Gentiles that yel remain in a state of ignorance
and idolatry ; or to their own brethren that are not gathered with 20 them. And they shall bring all your brethren (for) an offering
unto the Lord, (as St. Paul calls the conversion of the Gentiles, Rom. xy. 16.) out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holymountain Jerusalem, saith the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD ; I will bring them in a swift, ensiy; ond commodious manner, and .
take care that they be conveniently accommodated in their journey. 21 And I will also take of them for priests (and) for Levites, saith
the LORD ; the Jews shall again become a kingdom of priests, and 22 tuke pains to spread the gospel. For as the new heavens and the
new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain ; this new state
of things shall continue, and the Jews, when once converted, shall 23 remain to the end a fuithful people. And it shall come to pass,
[that] from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD : gospel worship is described by these figures ; as if he had saill, The stated seasons of worship shall be regularly attended upon; yea, they shall keep one continued festival, and be habitually!
• This rifers to the destruction of those enemies that shall come to attack the Jews after their settlement, supposed to do the Tartars and other barbarous nations frona the north, who arc idoliters.
24 devout and holy. And they shall go forth from Jerusalem and
look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me ; they shall see their enemies slain, as in v. 16, for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched ; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh; men shall abhor them as they do the stench of a dead carcas8 ; they shall appear a lively emblem of the torments of hell, and God's failhfuil servants shall look upon them to excite their joy and thankfulness.*
1. I ET us learn from hence a proper temper for dirine wor.
I ship and acceptance. We should think of that glorious Being whose throne is heaven, and earth his footstool, as a spiritual omniscient Being ; whom no temple can contain, or be equal to his grandeur ; who yet makes every humble heart his temple, and delights in the contrite, reverent worshipper. Let us approach hima with a holy awe of his majesty, and an habitual sense of his purity. Vain are the most costly, sacrifices, without a pious and deyout. heart, and delighting ourselves in his commandments.
2. It is no new thing to see the best of God's servants persecuted under a pretence of religion. The same bigotted spirit which prevailed among the Jews, which led them to persecute the apostles and first christians, hath too often shown itself in the world since ; and even to this day they are cast out and eril entreated, because they adhere to God's pure worship and institutions. While zeal for God and the purity of religion is pretended, their end is to gratify their own pride, covetousness, and revenge. Let us not wonder at such scenes, but have no hand in such practices.
3. We see bow easily God can multiply and increase his church ; and how much reason we have to expect that he will perfect his own work. He expresses this in terms taken from the strongest and tenderest of human affections. However glorious and extensive his promises may be, they shall all be accomplished ; and not one of his good words shall fall to the ground. This is a great encouragement to labour and pray for the increase of the church.
4. Let us do our endeavour to bring our brethren as an offering 10 the Lord. Have we devoted ourselves to him ? Let us oxhort and encourage others to join themselves to the church ; even all that we can influence. Let us persuade them to present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. This will be an act of the greatest kindness to them, and a labour of love highly pleasing to the Lord.
As this is a prophecy of events vet to happen, no wonder that there is much dark se opon it ; the general meaning of these figurative expressions seems to be this: that God wilt by an extraordinary entry of his Spirit, awaken the Jews to search their geriprures, and speed Christ to be their vessiah, and believe in him. This remarkable change in the shall imtinis Mahometins, heathens, and deists, (who may probably be more numerous liere after ind try shall be disposed to embric the gospel. And they will have so great a respect for the lys. as honourably to convey then to their own lanıl, shich they will easils conguer S tifter their settlement there, vindent attack shall be made upon them. probably by the earth rations, wlo shall be suddo y letroved by the power of God.
5. Wherever God has a church, the solemn exercises of worship are to be maintained. We see this required under every dispensation, Abrahamic, Jewish, and Christian. And it is foretold, that in the latter day all flesh shall come and worship before God. There are to be stated times of worship to the end of the world. All flesh are to come, men, women, and children ; neither the greatest nor the poorest will be excused. Therefore let us nol forsake the assembling ourselves together, since God commands it, and promises his blessing with it.
6. As a proper conclusion of this book, we may learn to pity the case of the poor Jews, and firmly to expect, and earnestly to pray for, their conversion. It is very wrong to persecute, or even to despise them ; for a blessing is in them. Our duty is, as it is expressed in v, 10. to mourn for them. They are standing, incontestable evidences of the truth of the gospel, and of the prophecies of the Old and New Testaments; being kept a distinct people, notwithstanding the cruel manner in which they have been persecuted and reproached. They are not cast off for ever ; God intends great things for them; and at length, as a nation they shall be restored, and all that mourn for them shall rejoice with them. Let our hearts' desire and prayer to God for Israel be, that they may be saved.
Corrlains the prophet's general commission, and the promises of divine
assistance. I T HE words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests
1 that were] in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, about 2 three miles from Jerusalem : To whom the word of the LORD
came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in
* As Mr. Orton has said nothing of Jeremiah, nor of the time in which he lived, I have taken the liberty to prefix Dr. Smith's introduction to this prophet. It seems to be a judi. cious abstract from Dr. Blayney's notes on Jeremiah.
Jeremiah was a priest of the tribe of Benjamin, and called to the prophetic office when very young. He entered upon it about seventy years after the death of Isaiah, and exercised it for about forty two years, with great faithfulness and zeal, and in very unfavourable circumstances. At the time that he began to prophesy, the sins of the Jews were come to their full measure. After a reformation had been in vain attempted by Josiah, to punish a nation, unworthy of such a sovereign, God called him early away. His two sons, who successively mounted the throne after him, were as remarkable for vice, as the father was for virtue. The first, (Shallum, or Jeho haz) after a reign of three months, was carried captive to Egypt, where he died : his brother Jehoiakim, on condition of paying a large sum of money to the king of Egypt, was allowed to succeed him ; but the Babylonians, about three years after, having made a descent on Judea, and taken Jerusalem, he was obliged to swear fealty to the king of Babylon, who carried him with a number of captives, among whom were many of the childrer of the first families, together with a great part of the sacred vessels of the temple. Jehoiakim however was left in possession of the throne, on condition of his paying a yearly tribute ; but refusing to fulfil his promise after the first three years, the king of Babylon sent some forces. joined by the Syrians and Ammonites, to commit depredations on his country. This they did for several years, always carrying off spoils and captives. Jehoiakim, in at. tempting to repel one of their invasions, was slain without the gates of the city, and his body, after having been treated with much ignominy, was cast into the fields without the honours of a burial. His son Jeconiah, though very young, succeeded him; and in rebellion and vice followed his example. After a reign of only three months, Nebuchadnezzar, who had come to Judea in person, carried him, and almost all the people of any note in the country, captive to Babylon. The golden vessels, that had remained in the temple, were likewise carried off at this tine. Zedekiah, uncle to seconiah, was permitted to succeed him, on swearing allegiance and becoming tributary to the king of Babylon : but, relying on the assistance of Egypt, he revolted soon after, and drew on himself and on his country the full vengeance of the Babylonian monarch, as related in the fifty second chapter. The subsequent transactions of the murder of Gedaliab (who was left governor in the country) and the retreat of the remaining Jews into Egypt, (whither they were accompanied by Jeremiah, who is said to have been there put to death) inay be seen from chapter foriy to forty four inclusively. Soon after the taking of Jerusalem, and the carrying of Judah into captivity, Nebuchadnezzar brought on the Tyrians, Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Philistines, and other neighbouring nations, that d-struction which the prophets of God foretold and threatened; he likewise ravaged Exypt, and either killed or enslaved all the Jews who had fled thither for refuge. Thus mat. ters stood, till, at the precise period foretold by Isaiah and the other prophets, the Babylonian monarchy was overturned, and the Jews restored to their liberty and their country by Cyrus.
This short view of the history of Jeremiah's times, may in some measure help us to under. stand his prophecies, of which the general subjects are, the idolatry and other sins the Jews ; the judginents that were impending on that account. together with their future rectie ration and deliverance, interspersed with several intiinations of the Messiah. From this account, however, we must except the forty fifth chapter, which relates to his disciple Baruch, and the six following, which respect the fate of other nations.
The style of Jeremiah is beautiful and tender to a high degree ; especially when he has occasion to excite the sofrer passions of grief and pity, which is not selitom the case in the first parts of the prophecy. It is likewise on many occasions vers elegant and sublime, especially toward the end. (ch. xlv. li.) where this prophet approaches even to the mjesty of Isaiah. The historical narratives which are occasionally introduced, are written in a plain prosaic style, which is the fitrest for narratives,
The chapters are not now arranged according to the order of time in which they were delivered : but of this notice will be taken in the course of the exposition.
3 the thirteenth year of his reign. It came also in the days of Je
hoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month, when the city and temple were destroyed ; 80 that he prophesied about
forty two years, and lived to see most of his prophecies fulfilled. 4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me in a vision, saying, 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee, I had thee in my view, and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified
thee, set thee apart for this office, [and] I ordained thee a prophet 6 unto the nations, to other nations as well as to the Jews.* Then
said I, Ah, Lord God ! behold, I cannot speak : for I (am) a
child ; I cannot speak with due gravity and authority before great 7 personages. But the LORD said unto me, Say not ( [am) a
child : for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces when they look big and angry : for I (am) with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. A necessary encouragement, as I was to reprove the princes and priests for their faults, as well as the
preofile : and, to confirm me against my fears, he gave me a sign ; 9 Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth.
And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in
thy mouth ; I have given thee the gift of utterance, and instructent 10 Thee in my tuill. See, I have this day set thee over the nations
and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant ; I have commissioned thee to foretell the destruction of some kingdoms, and the
freservation and restoration of others.f il Morcover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Jere
miah, what seest thou ? And I said, I see a rod of an almond 12 tree. Then said the LORD unto me, Thon bast well seen, or
judged right : for I will hasten my word to perform it ; as an almond is one of the first trees that blossoms in the spring, and
hastens as it were to seize the first opportunity to blossom, so I will 13 hasten the accomplishment of thy predictions. And the word of
the LORD caire unto me the second time, saying, What seest thou? And I said, I see a seething pot, a boiling pol, or furnace ; and the face thereof [is] toward the north"; the mouth of the furnace, into which the fire was put, opened to the north ; or rather,
(as in the margin of our bibles) from the face of the north, from 14 whence the evil was to come. Then the LORD said unto ine, Out
of the north, that is, from the Babylonians and Chaldeans, an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land ; they shall
throw the city and country into all the agitation and confusion of a us boiling furnace. For, lo, I will call all the families of the king
• This was designed for his encouragement, and is exactly agreeable to the account S!. Paul gives of hiinsell, Gal. i. 15. 16.
† The prophets are said to do what they declared Good would do ; and as it was customaa ty with Gnd to impress the minds of the prophets and people by cartun signs or enablcu, 60 he does here.