Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

14 frauds the workmen of their wages ; That saith, I will build me

a wide house and large chambers, and cutteth him out windows; 15 and (it is) ceiled with cedar, and painted with vermilion. Shalt

thou reign, because thou closest (thyself) in cedar ? will ihy fine house be a fortress and a defence to thee? did not thy father eat and drink, and do judgment and justice, [and] then [it was]

well with him ? thy father lived in an honourable and comfortable 16 manner, suitably to his rank and character. Ile judged the cause

of the poor and needy ; then it was) well (with him : was) not this to know me? saith the LORD ; this was the effect of his piety,

and an evidence of his good understanding, though he had not so 17 fine a palace. But thine eyes and thine heart (are] not but for

thy covetousness, and for to shed innocent blood, and for op18 pression, and for violence to do it.] Therefore thu's saith the

LORD concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, They shall not lament for hiin, (saying,] Al my brother ! or, Ah sister! they shall not lament for him, [saying,] Ah lord ! or, Ah his glory! they shall not lament for him as a near relation, nor

as a people do for a good prince ; all his glory is vanished and de19 parted. He shall be buried with the burial of an ass, drawn and

cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem.* A message is the ne sent to Jehoiakim, or Jeconiah his son, here called, by way of con

tempt, Coniah, and to the people. 20 Go up to Lebanon, and cry ; and lift up thy voice in Bashan,

and cry from the passages : for all thy lovers are destroyed ; 21 thy allies, especially ihe Egyptians, have failed thee. I spake un

to thee in thy prosperity ; [but] thou saidst, I will not hear.

This Chath been] thy manner from thy youth, that thou obey22 edst not my voice. The wind shall eat up all thy pastors, and

thy lovers shall go into captivity ; thy civil and ecclesiastical governors shall be destroyed as fruit is by a blasting Trind : surely

then shalt thou be ashamed and confounded for all thy wicked23 ness. ( inhabitant of Lebanon, that makest thy nest in the

cedars, how gracious shalt thou be, how humble and submissive,

when pangs come upon thee, the pain as of a woman in travail !t 24 [As I live, saith the LORD, though Coniah the son of Jehoia

kim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, (apiro

verbial expression for a thing that is very dear and valuable,) yet 25 would I pluck thee thence ; And I will give thee into the hand

of them that seek thy life, and into the hand [of them] whose

face thou fearest, even into the hand of Nebuchadi ezzar king of 26 Babylon, and into the hand of the Chaldeans. And I will cast

thee out, and thy mother that bare thee, into another country, 27 where ye were not born ; and there ye shall die. But to the land whereunto they desire to return, thither shall they not re28 turn. [Is] this man Coniah a despised broken idol? is he) a

• Accordingly Joseplus tells us that he was stain in a sally, when the Chaldeans came against Jerusalem; and that his dead body being found, was manner,

+ The Jewish nation is here compared to a woman living in loxury, in a splendid palace, wainscoated with cedar; but, as the finest house would not prevent her pain when travail came upon her. so God would bring such paits upon them, that all their grandeur, magnifi. cence, and pride should not support their hearts under it.

1 As his mother was probably concerned in hardening him against the messages of Cod. so they should be a griet of heart to cach other.

vessel wherein [is] no pleasure ? though once he was worshipped like an idol, he shall be broken down, stripped of his royalty, trodden under foot, and despised as a broken fitcher : wherefore are they. cast out, who would have thought he should come to such a condition, he and his seed, that is, the royal family, or the children born

to him in Babylon, (for he had none before the captivity) and are 29 cast into a land which they know not ? O earth, earth, earth, O 90 land of Judah, hear the word of the LORD, Thus saith the

LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man [that] shall not prosper in his day : for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah ; that is, he shall have no child to be his successor in the kingdom.*

REFLECTIONS.

1. V I EN good men die, and Icave wicked children behind

VV them, there is more reason to weep for the children than for the fathers, v. 10. Josiah was much lamented; yet there is little reason to lament the death of such men ; for they are gone to rest, are taken from the evil to come, and received to glory, beyond the reach of sin and sorrow ; but let us weep over their degenerate children, whose guilt is aggravated by the instructions and examples of their pious parents. They bring more dishonour on religion, and do more mischief to others, than those who have not such advantages ; they are seldom reclaimed, but generally go on to treasure up to themselves wrath against the day of wrath, and the revelation of the righicous judgment of God. Thcir case is indeed truly pitiable.

2. See the wickedness of injustice and oppression. The sources of it are pride and covetousness. Jehoiakim could not be content with his father's palace, but must have a better. Yet he loved his money too well to part with it, and therefore never paid his workmen, or not so much as was their due. Thus many are fond of making a figure in life, who yet have not wherewith to support it: they get rich by the gains of oppression, and by screwing their workmen and servants, in order to increase their wealth, or support their extravagance. But we here see that God takes notice of and will punish the wrong which is done by rich and great men to their poor workmen and labourers ; for their cry cometh into the cars of Ilie Lord God of h0818.

3. It would be more for the honour and happiness of children to imitate their fathers' virtues, than to exceed them in wealth and grandeur. Jehoiakim is reminded of his father's picty and integrity, and of the prosperity and honour which attended him. There are many persons who, when they inherit their fathers' substance, de

Zedekih, his successor, being his uncle, none of his posterity (ver sat on the throne: though his grandson Zerubabel was 3 governor, yet the roval power was gone : and he could Dot be said to sit upon the throne of David, as he was appointed by the king of resid.

spise their old notions, and fashions, and way of living ; while they are deştitute of their excellencies. They make those inroads on justice and charity, which their fathers durst not have done : they are neither so just in their dealings, so charitable to the poor, nor so generous for the support of religion, as their ancestors were. Yet they think it is enough that they are richer than they. A sad exchange ! Let us consider what was truly excellent in our predecessors, and imitate that ; and if our circumstances are better than theirs, let us be more generous and charitable than they were. All the comfort they had in religion, should recommend it to us ; and we should be followers of them, that it may be well with us now and for ever, as it undoubtedly is with those who lived and died under its influence.

4. We are taught the danger of prosperity. These unhappy princes are melancholy instances how sadly wealth and power may be abused ; but the worst effect of prosperity is, that it puffs up men's minds, v. 21. They think themselves too wise to need adrice; despise the word of God, and its preachers ; and take fire at the most distant hint of reproof. It is a wretched thing when prosperity hardens the mind against religious impressions ; when men's hearts rise with their fortunes, and they proceed to contemn God, as well as man. The case may soon be altered with them ; and they will then be as abject and mean, as they were before inso. lent, v. 23. It is well if adversity makes them truly humble and penitent. Let us take heed, brethren, lest we forget God and our duty in prosperous seasons; and therefore, not be high minded, but fear.

CHAP. XXIII.

The prophecy goes on to threaten the rulers and guides of the people ; but concludes with promises of deliverances from captivity, of better times under the Messiah, and of a future restoration of the Jews to their own land, v. 1-8: the ninth verse begins another subject; Jeremiah exhorts the people not to listen to false prophets, and threatens the pretenders to inspiration and the scoffers at true hrophecy.

IN O be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the

V sheep of my pasture ! saith the LORD ; that is, to the 2 ecclesiastical and civil governors. Therefore thus saith the Lord

God of Israel against the pastors that feed, or should have fed, my people ; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away by your ill exampile and want of care, and have not visited them :

behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the 3 Lord. And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all

countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again 4 to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I

will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them, that is, governors after the captivity, or rather, in the latter days : and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord.

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a king shall reign and prosper,

and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth; he shall 6 impartially reward the righteous and the wicked. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely : and this [is] his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS ; or, this is the name by which Jehovah

shall call him, OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, that is, the means of 7 our justification and salvation.* Therefore, behold, the days

come, saith the Lord, that is, the latter days, that they shall no more say, The Lord liveth, which brought up the children of 8 Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The Lord liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them : and they shall dwell in their own land'; this last deliver

ance shall eclipse the former, and be as life from the dead. 9 Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets ; all my bones shake ; I am like a drunken man ; and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness, which they have profaned; I am

deeply affected with their horrible sin, and tremble to deliver my 10 message. For the land is full of adulterers; for because of

swearing, or perjury, the land mourneth ; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their

force (is) not right; their zeal is not to promote religion, but 11 wickedness. For both prophet and priest are profane ; yea, in

my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD ; I have 12 found their idolatries there. Wherefore their way shall be unto

them as slippery (way's) in the darkness : they shall be driven on, and fall therein ; they promise others peace and light, but they shall miss of both themselves, and fall and miscarry in their designs :

for I will bring evil upon them, (even) the year of their visita13 tion, saith the LORD. And I have seen folly in the prophets of

Samaria ; they have prophesied in Baal, and caused my people

Israel to err; I have seen this comparatively as a small matter. 14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing:

they commit adultery, and walk in lies : they strengthen also the hands of evil doers, that none doth return from his wicked. ness; calling their own fancies divine oracles, and promising im.

punity : they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhab. 15 itants thereof as Gomorrah. Therefore thus saith the Lord of

hosts concerning the prophets ; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall : for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land; they have made others vile by their counsels and examples.

• See Dr. Blayney's nose on this passage.

16 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of

the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain, that

is, deceive you : they speak a vision of their own heart, [and] not 17 out of the mouth of the LORD. They say still unto them that

despise me, The Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace : and they

say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own 18 heart, No evil shall come upon you. For who hath stood in the

counsel of the LORD, and who hath perceived and heard his word ? who hath marked his word, and heard [it ;] they never took pains to distinguish my suggestions from their own foolish

reasonings, else, instead of peace, they would have foretold judg19 ments. Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord is gone forth in fury,

even a grievous whirlwind : it shall fall grievously upon the 20 head of the wicked. The anger of the LORD shall not return,

shall not turn back, or rest, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart : in the latter days ye

shall consider it perfectly ; in your captivity and distress ye shall 21 understand and consider the meaning of these prophecies. I have

not sent these prophets, yet they ran : I have not spoken to 22 them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my coun

sel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they

should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil 23 of their doings, they would have had some success. [Am] I a

God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? in heaven,

and not in earth ? cannot I discern what is doing at the greatest 24 distance ? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not

see him ? saith the LORD : can they think lo deceive and impose 25 upon me? Do not I fill heaven and earth ? saith the Lord. I

have heard what the prophets said, though they thought I did not,

that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have 26 dreamed; I have a divine admonision to deliver. How long shall

[this] be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, 27 (they are) prophets of the deceit of their own heart; Which

think, or contrive, to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their

fathers have forgotten my name for Baal ; their design is 10 lead 38 them to idolatry, and to forget me and my laws. The prophet

that hath a dream, let him tell a dream ; tell it as a dream that deserves no regard ; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully : What [is] the chaff to the wheat ? saith the

LORD; there is as much difference between true and false prophets, 29 and their way of preaching, as between chaff and wheat. [IS] not

my word like as a fire ? saith the LORD ; and like a hammer [that] breaketh the rock in pieces ? that breaks through all opposition, and subdues the most obiturate hearts ; and the worils of the

true prophets had often this effect, which wucts a firoof that they 30 were not counterfeit. Therefore, behold, I sam] against the

proplets, saith the Lord, that steal my words every one from

his neighbour, that is, some of their good sayings, an i apply them 31 to their own purposes; imitating their mannur of adiress. Be.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »