« FöregåendeFortsätt »
among all the wise (men) of the nations, and in all their king
doms, (there is) none like unto thee ; none of their wise men or 8 kings, whom they have deified. But they are altogether brutish
and foolish : the stock [is] a doctrine of vanities ; or, the very wood itself being a rebuker of vanities, (that is, idolaters ) and re
proaching the stupidity of those who imagined that some divine 9 power was lodged in it. Silver spread into plates is brought
ivom Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the work1 en, or silversmiths, and of the hands of the founder : blue and
pi "ple (is) their clothing : they (are] all the work of cunning 10 (nen.)* But the LORD [is] the true God, he [is] the living
God, and an everlasting king, the author of life and being : at his
wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able il to abide his indignation. Thus shall ye say unto them, The
gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, [even] they
shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens; their 12 idols shall perish, as the ancient idolatry has done.t He hath
made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discre
tion; consequently, his wisdom and power infinitely exceed theirs. 13 When he uttereth his voice, [there is) a multitude of waters in
the heavens, clouds and rain, and he causeth the vapours to as• cend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with
rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures, as if it was 14 laid up in some secret storehouses till he had occasion for it. Every
man is brutish in (his] knowledge, or, for want of knowledge : every founder is confounded by the graven image : for his mol
ten image [is] falsehood, and [there is) no breath in them. 15 They (are) vanity, [and] the work of errors, men make them
and worsiip them, because they have wrong notions of God, in the
time of their visitation they shall perish, their idols are not able 10 16 help them ; they and their gods shall perish together. The por
tion of Jacob, that is, Jehovah, who hath chosen Jacob for his por. tion, sis) not like them: for he [is] the former of all (things :) and Israel [is] the rod of his inheritance ; he divided their in
heritance by a line or rod : the Lord of hosts [is] his name. 17 Gather up they wares, or effects, out of the land, O inhabita
ant of the fortress, ye who dwell in Jerusalem and Sion, or in other
strong places, and think yourselves secure ; for thus saith the 18 LORD, Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land at
this once, and will distress them, that they may find [it so ;] behold, I will send the king of Babylon against you, and ye shall be all destroyed or carried away at once ; ye shall surely find it as I
• They dressed their images often in costly robes and different snits, as the lady of Lo. retta, who had one for every day in the year.
+ This verse was not written in the Hebrew, but the Chaldec language, that the captives might tell the Chaldeaus in their own langure, of their faith in Tehos ah, and remonstrate against the folly of idolatry. Dr. Blayney thinks this veise interrupts the courer of the arguvient, and that probably soine public teacher, during the captivity.de incisit by direct inference from the prophet's words, had it inserted in the margin, for the 10450!$ mentioned love.
have threatened. The people are then introduced as lamenting
their calamit11. 19 Wo is me for my hurt! my wound is grievous : but I said,
Truly this [is] a grief, and I must bear it ; this dcnotes a sullen, 20 not a submissive silence. My tabernacle is spoiled, and all my
cords are broken ; an allusion 10 their dwelling in tents : my children are gone forth of me, and they (are) not; they are slain, dispersed, or carried captive, to return no more : (there is) none
to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains. 21 For the pastors, the princes, governors, and firiests, who should
have guided the flock, are become brutish, and have not sought
the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks 22 shall be scattered. Behold, the noise of the brute* is come, and
a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities
of Judah desolate, [and] a den of dragons. 23 O LOAD, I know that the way of man [is] not in himself : [it
is not in man that walketh to direct his steps ; as if he had said,
It is neither in our enemy's power to oppress us, nor in our own to 24 deliver ourselves without thy firovidence. O LORD, correct me,
but with judgment, with mercy and moderation ; not in thine an25 ger, lest thou bring me to nothing. Thou wilt Pour out thy
fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name, but ascribe their success to their idols : for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate.
1. TILE people of God have need of great caution that they do
I not learn the ways of sinners, when they live among them. The Israelites are exhorted not to learn the ways of the heathen. To consult astrologers, stargazers, and conjurers, is learning the ways of the heathen, and very wicked in those who profess to be. lieve the providence of Ciod. To be dismayed at lights in the sky, comets, eclipses, or any extraordinary appearances in the heavens, is very unbecoming those who profess to know God, and. who enjoy his gospel. Let us reverence him and his providence, and guard against all superstitious observances and fears ; for they are displeasing to God, as well as mischievous to ourselves.
2. Let us observe how infinitely superior the name, wisdom, and power of the Lord are to idols, which are all vanity and a lie. We ought to entertain the highest and most honourable thoughts of him. Let us reflect upon his infinite goouness and glory, his power over all nature, his command over all the elements, and his goodness to the whole creation. The variety of storms and changes of the weather, prove his being and providence. All the wisdom and skill of men are derived from him. Who then would not fear him, and seek his friendship. Let the people of God rejoice in liim, be
• An old English word, which signifies clamour, or aları.
fully satisfied, and think themselves happy in having him for their portion ; for happy indeed is the people who have this great and glorious Being for their God.
3. We may learn what our behaviour should be under afiction, v. 19. It is very common to say, I cannot help it, and must do ás well as I can ;' without any regard to God and his providence. Let us own his hand in distress ; resolve to bear it patiently and chcerfully, because God does it, and will overrule all for our good. But it is perfectly consistent with this patience, to pray that God would moderate his stroke, correct us with judgment, and in mercy ; not in angry severity, for who then could stand before him ? and especially to pray, that he would not deal with us after our sins.
4. We have here the character of the heathen. They are spoken of as nations ; and families are represented as constituent parts of them. The heathen know not God; take no pains to trace and reflect upon his being and perfections. How lamentable is it, thai so many who are called by the christian name, with all their advantages, are willingly ignorant of him. They say to God, Depart from U8. There are many families in this land that call not on his name, do nct use family prayer, have no appearance of religion in their houses, and therefore are as bad or worse than heathens. Upoilsuch, whatever wealth and finery be in their houses, God's fury will be poured out ; and well may the heads of prayerless families Iremble to think of it! To avoid this dreadful fury, and secure the divine blessing, let them resolve with Joshua, that whatever others do, they and their houses will serve the Lord.
covenant made with their fathers. I TAE word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2 1 Hear ye the words of this covenant, and speak unto the 3 men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem ; And say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel ; Cursed
[be] the man that obeyeth not the words of this covenant, 4. Which I commanded your fathers in the day (that) I brought
them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, out of their heavy afflictions, saying, Obey my voice, and do them,
according to all which I command you : so shall ye be my peo5 ple, and I will be your God : That I may perform the oath
which I have sworn unto your fathers, to give them a land flow ing with milk and honey, as (it is) this day. Then answered I, and said, So be it, O LORD, I, for my part, consent ; as if he had said, Whatever they do, I will be obedient ; or rather, it may express the readiness with which the people consented to the core. nant at first; all that the Lord hath spoken we will do, Exodule xix. 8. Then the LORD said unto me, Proclaim all these words
in the citics of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, 7 Hear ye the words of this covenant, and do them. For I earn
estly protested unto your fathers in the day (that) I brought
them up out of the land of Egypt, [even) untothis day,rising early 8 and protesting, saying, Obey my voice. Yet they obeyed not, nor
inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart : therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this
covenant, all the threatenings denounced in it, which I commanded 9 [them) to do ; but they did (them) not. And the Lord said unto me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to introduce idolatry and banish true
religion ; some steps toward a reformation were taken in Josiah's 10 time, but they are now relapsed into their former idolatry: They
are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words ; and they went after other gods to serve them ; the house of Israel and the house of Judah have
broken my covenant which I made with their fathers. 11 Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil
upon them, which they shall not be able to escape ; and though 12 they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them. Then
shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go, and
cry unto the gods unto whoin they offer incense : but they shall 13 not save them at all in the time of their trouble. For (accord.
ing to] the number of thy cities were thy gods, ( Judalı, and (according to) the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set
up altars to (that) shameful thing, (even) altars to burn incense 14 unto Baal. Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither list
up a cry or prayer for them : for I will not hear (them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble ; I am determined
not to hear ; I see they are incorrigible, therefore I would not have 15 thy prayers be lost. What hath my beloved to do in mine house,
(seeing] she hath wrouglit lewdness with many, and the holy flesh is passed from thee? thy sacrifices shall not be acceptable ; or rather, Shail vows and holy fiesh be allowed to come from
thee 2* when thou doest evil, then thou rejoicest ; when thou 16 art malignant, shalt thou then rejoice? The LORD called thy
name, A green olive tree, fair, [and] of goodly fruit ; he expected fruit from thee, but as thou art unfruitful, therefore with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it, and the
branches of it are broken ; thou shalt be utterly ruined by the 17 Chaldeans. For the LORD of hosts, that planted thee, hath pro
nounced evil against thee, for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke me to anger in offering incense unto Baal. The two
following verses contain an account of the prophet's own casc. 18 And the Lord hath given me knowledge (of it,) and I know [it :)
then thou showedst me their doings ; the men of nathoth ra priest's city) had carried on a design against my life, so secretly,
that I knew nothing of it till God was pleased to discover it to me 19 by revelation. But I (was] like a lamb (or] an ox [that] is
brought to the slaughter, insensible of my danger ; and I knew not that they had devised devices against me, (saying,] Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remem
bered; let us utterly destroy the prophet and his prophecy together. 20 But O Lord of hosts, that judgest righteously, that triest the
reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them : for
unto thee have I revealed my cause ; I appeal to the righteous 21 God, who will punish them as the king of Israel.* Therefore
thus saith the Lord of the men of Anathoth, that seek thy life,
saying, Prophesy not in the name of the Lord, that thou die not 22 by our hand :f Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold,
I will punish them : the young men shall die by the sword; 23 their sons and their daughters shall die by famine : And there
shall be no remnant of them : for I will bring evil upon the men of Anathoth, (even) the year of their visitation.
1. L'ROM hence observe the necessity there is of a due atten
T tion to the words of God's covenant. In order to correct the errors and irregularities of the Jews, the prophet attempts to bring them back to the original constitution of their church and government. The great command of the covenant with them was, to obey God's voice, and the promise, that he would be their God. The same is required of us under the covenant of grace, with which God hath favoured us. It is the business of ministers often to remind their hearers of this, and to be examples of obedience ; and those especially who have solemnly engaged themselves to God in covenant, and have been often warned and encouraged to continue obedient, will be notoriously guilty and ungrateful if they break it. Let us then be ever mindful of our covenant transactions ; otherwise all the threatenings of the covenant will be executed upon us.
2. See the vanity of external privileges, while obedience is wanting. How just is that expostulation of God with the Jews, v. 15. What hath my beloved to do in mine house, seeing she hath wrought lewdness with many ? and so he may address us ; what have you to do to call Christ your saviour, or to boast of your relation to God and his church? What will your prayers and sacraments avail, while you defile yourselves and dishonour religion ? Such sacrifices will be unacceptable ; your relation to God will stand you in no stead. May we be convinced of the necessity of real purity of heart, and of obedience as its fruit, in order to render our religious services and our common actions pleasing in his sight.
• This the Jews had a right to do by their constitution, if subordinate governors did not protect them.
+ They first threarend the prophet, if he continued to prophesv: but perceiving that he was not terrified by that, they form.d a secret conspiracy ot' which they give lim 10 warning; but God revealed it to him.