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13 opposition, and without feer. He shall break also the images of

Bethshemesh, that (is) in the land of Egypt ; and the houses of the gods of the Egyptians shall he burn with fire; though an idolater himself, he shall destroy their idols ; and though a worshipper of the sun, he shall break its images and burn its temfiles.

REFLECTIONS.

1. THE resolution expressed in v. 5. iş very proper for us to

1 make when we read or hear the word of God, viz. to do what he requires of us, whether agreeable or disagreeable, whether fashionable or unfashionable ; whatever pains, labour, or self denial it may cost us. This is the way to have things well with us. And in order to confirm this resolution, it will be proper to make it in the presence of God, and with an appeal to him, as a true and faithful witness.

2. We have here a deplorable instance of the gross hypocrisy which men are sometimes guilty of in their transactions with God and his ministers. The people came respectfully to the prophet to inquire the will of God ; resolving to do it, and appealing to God for their sincerity ; and yet they were determined not to obey if it was disagreeable to them. Thus many pretend respect to ministers, come and sit before them as God's own people, and profess obedience and submission ; till the word comes to cross their incli. nations and worldly interests ; then they will not obey ; but like these hypocrites, begin to find fault with the word itself, or the preachers of it. They will desire their prayers, but reject their exhortations. This is horrible prevarication both with God and man; and the portion of such hypocrites will be peculiarly dreadful.

3. God will bring upon sinners the evils which they think to escape by indirect means. These men wanted to go to Egypt that they might escape the sword and famine : and God threatens, v. 22. to destroy them in the land where they desire to sojourn, by sword, famine, and pestilence. It is impossible to outrun the judgments of God. Men now bring themselves into poverty and contempt by dishonest methods of increasing their substance ; or a fretful, impatient disposition, leads them to change their situation, their business, or their connections, to avoid something that disturbs them ; but wherever they go, crosses will attend them, because they carry with them their own irregular passions. The way to be happy, is to take pains to mend our bad tempers, and make God our friend. With a humble, patient, devout spirit, we may be comfortable any where ; without such a disposition we shall be comfortable no where.

4. Observe with what infinite ease God can transfer the possession of the greatest kingdoms. He calls Nebuchadrezzar his servant, because he was to execute his pleasure ; foretells that he should destroy Egypt, that ancient, rich, and populous kingdom ; describes the very spot of ground where he should pitch his tent; and the ease and security with which he should make the conquest. Let us reverence this glorious Being, who doth according to his will, and fear that Power, which no creature can resist.

CHAP. XLIV.

Jeremiah in this chapter reproves the Jews in Egypt for continuing in

idolatry, after the exemplary judgments inflicted on their nation for that sin ; and, upon their refusing 10 reform, denounces destruction 10 them, and to the kingdom wherein they sought protection.

THE word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the Jews . 1 which dwell in the land of Egypt, which dwell at Mig

dol, and at Tahpanhes, and at Noph, and in the country of 2 Pathros, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Is.

rael ; Ye have seen all the evil that I have brought upon Jeru.

salem, and upon all the cities of Judah ; and, behold, this day 3 they (are) a desolation, and no man dwelleth therein, Because

of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke me to anger, in that they went to burn incense, [and] to serve other gods, whom they knew not, (neither] they, ye, nor your 4 fathers. Howbeit I sent unto you all my servants the prophets,

rising early and sending (them,] saying, Oh, do not this abom5 inable thing that I hate. But they hearkened not, nor inclined

their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense unto 6 other gods. Wherefore my fury and mine anger was poured

forth, and was kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets

of Jerusalem ; and they are wasted [and] desolate, as at this 7 day. Therefore now thus saith the LORD, the God of hosts, the

God of Israel ; Wherefore commit ye [this] great evil against

your souls, to cut off from you man and woman, child and suck& ling, out of Judah, to leave you none to remain ; In that ye pro

voke me unto wrath with the works of your hands, burning incense unto other gods in the land of Egypt, whither ye be gone to dwell, that ye mightcut yourselves off, and that ye might be a curse and a reproach among all the nations of the earth ; having learned the idolatry of the Egyptians, and practised that, beside the idolatry you were used to practise in your own land ; 9 on which account God is determined to destroy you. Have ye

forgotten the wickedness of your fathers, and the wickedness of the kings of Judah, and the wickedness of their wives, and your own wickedness, and the wickedness of your wives, which they have committed in the land of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem ; perhaps referring to Solomon's wives in particular, espe.

cially his Egyptian wives, who had enticed him to idolatry ; though 10 1201 to them alone, (v. 15.) They are not humbled [even]

unto this day, neither have they feared, nor walked in my law, nor in my statutes, that I set before you and before your

fathers. il Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel;

Behold, I will set my face against you for evil, and to cut off all 12 Judah. And I will take the remnant of Judah, that have set

their faces to go into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, and they shall all be consumed, (and) fall in the land of Egypt; they shall [even] be consumed by the sword [and] by the famine : they shall die, from the least even unto the greatest, by

the sword and by the famine : and they shall be an execration, 13 (and) an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach. For I will

punish them that dwell in the land of Egypt, as I have punished

Jerusalem, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence : 14 So that none of the remnant of Judah, which are gone into the

land of Egypt to sojourn there, shall escape or remain, that they should return into the land of Judah, to the which they have a desire to return to dwell there, being uneasy in Egypt, and wishe ing to return : for, or, whereas none shall return but such as shall escape ; that is, only the pious few who were carried with the rest against their will, as Jeremiah and Baruch, &c. some of them

or their seed may return after the captivity. 15 Then all the men which knew that their wives had burned

incense unto other gods, and all the women that stood-by, a

great multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the land of 16 Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying, (As for] the

word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, 17 we will not hearken unto thee. But we will certainly do whats

soever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem :

for (then,] before the Chaldean invasion,* had we plenty of vict18 uals, and were well, and saw no evil. But since we left off to

burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink of. ferings unto her, that is, to the moon, ran idolatry chiefly practis.

ed by the women) we have wanted all [things,) and have been 19 consumed by the sword and by the famine. And when we

burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink of. ferings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men ? without

the knowledge and consent of our husbands? 20 Then Jeremiah said unto all the pecple, to the men, and to

the women, and to all the people which had given bim (that) 21 answer, saying, The incense that ye burned in the cities of Jua

dah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, ye, and your fathers, your kings, and your princes, and the people of the land, did not the

• This was a direct falsehood ; many of them having been descroyed, and winers catrice captive before that evea,

LORD remember them, and came it (not) into his mind, as very 22 offensive to him? So that the LORD could no longer bear, be

cause of the evil of your doings, [and] because of the abominations which ye have committed; therefore is your land a deso

lation and an astonishment, and a curse, without an inhabitant, 23 as at this day. Because ye have burned incense, and because ye

have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, nor walked in his law, nor in his statutes, nor in his

testimonies; therefore this evil is happened unto you, as at this 24 day. Moreover Jeremiah said unto all the people, and to all the

women, Hear the word of the LORD, all Judah that (are) in the land of Egypt: Thus saith the Lord of hosts the God of Israel, saying; Ye and your wives have both spoken with your mouths, and fulfilled with your hand, saying, We will surely perform our vows that we have vowed to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her : ye will surely accomplish your vows, and surely perform your vows. Therefore hear ye the word of the LORD, all Judah that dwell in the land of Egypt ; Behold, I have sworn by my great name, saith the LORD, that my name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, The Lord God liveth ; you say you will perform your vows, and think they are, though unlawful in themselves, an obligation upon you to do 80 ; therefore I will fulfil mine ; as I have vowed your

utter destruction, so it shall come to pass ; ye shall lose all your re27 ligion, and be given up to utter apostacy and ruin. Behold, I will

watch over them for evil, and not for good : and all the men of Judah that (are) in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by the famine, until there be an end of them. Yet a small number that escape the sword shall return out of the land of Egypt into the land of Judah, and all the remnant of Judah, that are gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, shall know

whose word shall stand, mine, or theirs. 29 And this (shall be) a sign unto you, saith the LORD, that I

will punish you in this place, that ye may know that my words 30 shall surely stand against you for evil : Thus saith the LORD;

Behold, I will give Pharaohhophra king of Egypt, or, Apries, from whom they hoped for protection, into the hand of his enemies, and into the hand of them that seek his life ; as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon his enemy, and that sought his life.*

• Accordingly soon after this he was conquered and slain in his own palace by Amasis his rival. Herudorus, b. ii. ch. 169.

REFLECTIONS.

1. T ET us seriously consider and reflect upon the view here

I given us of sin, v. 4. Every transgression of the law of God is odious and abominable in its own nature, and highly displeasing to God; he hates it, and will punish it. From a tender concern for the happiness of men he dissuades them from it ; say. ing, Oh, do it not. We should learn from hence how we ought to think and speak of sin ; what fools they are, and how unlike God, who make a jest of it. This should be a motive to us to hate it with a perfect hatred ; and also with great seriousness and earnestness to warn others against it.

2. God's judgments upon others are intended for our warning, zi. 2-6. He expostulates with this rebellious people ; Have you not seen what your brethren and country have suffered ? It was an ag. gravation of their guilt that they were not impressed and reformed thereby. The judgments of God upon other nations and persons, are intended to awaken us ; to engage us to a holy fear and caution ; lest partaking of their sins, we should also partake of their plagues.

3. See what a false judgment men often make of their prosperity. These people argued, that because all was well with them while they practised idolatry, therefore their idolatry was the cause of their prosperity. Thus sinners argue ; because they enjoy health, ease, and plenty, God is not displeased with their sins. This shows great ignorance of God, of his word, and of a future state ; and is a great abuse of his goodness ; which was designed to lead them to repentance. But their arguings are false in fact, as well as those of the Jews : for the uneasiness of their spirits, which they cannot always prevent, and the forebodings of future wrath, which they cannot always stifle, show that sin is not the way to happiness, and that God is angry with them.

4. See the sad progress and dreadful consequences of disobedience. These impudent sinners before they left Judea showed some respect to the prophet and to God's word, and promised to hearken to it ; but they grew worse and worse, and now tell the prophet, plainly and flatly, that they would not hear : God might say what he would, and they would do what they would. This is the language of every wilful sinner ; the genuine language of a carnal rebellious beart. But God has sworn by his great name that he will destroy such rebels. They say they shall have peace, and escape damna. tion ; God says they shall not; and a little time will show whose word shall stand, God's or theirs. May God deliver ys all from hardness of heart, and a contempt of his word and conimando ments. VOL. V.

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