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When thou shalt thus graciously visit thy people, howsoever the nation shall not be greater than now it is, yet the joy of it shall be more; as now, contrarily, the people are more, but the joy is not more: then shall our rejoicing be great and unspeakable, such as is wont to be of the husbandman, when he fetcheth in a rich and seasonable harvest, or of a soldier when he divideth the spoil.
IX. 4 For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian. For thou shalt have delivered thy people from the slavish yoke of their tyrannical oppressors, and from all their cruel impositions, as thou didst deliver them from the oppression of the Midianites, in the time of the Judges.
IX. 5 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
Commonly, every battle is with confused noise, and fearful effusion of blood, and wallowing therein; but here, the case was otherwise: God did fight from heaven for his people; and did, as it were, set a fire amongst his enemies, causing them to fall one upon another, and to consume themselves.
IX. 6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder.
Neither is it for God's people to rest in the temporal deliverance from their captivity, but to erect their thoughts unto higher hopes, even the happy assurances of salvation, by the true Messiah, who is to come into the world; For unto us that Child is born, and unto us that Son of God is given, who shall take upon his shoulders the perpetual government of his Church.
IX. 10 The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: &c.
Behold, we will gain by our ruins; for instead of the bricks which shall be beaten down, we will build more sumptuously with freestone, &c.
IX. 11 Therefore the LORD shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join his enemies together;
Because Israel doth so fondly rely upon Rezin, the king of Syria, God shall set up enemies against that king, on whose strength they have presumed, and shall conjoin their forces to his destruction.
IX. 12 The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
The Syrians from the east, and the Philistines from the west, shall set upon Israel, like to some ravenous beasts with open mouth; and yet God hath not utterly done with them, but hath still further judgments in store for them.
IX. 14 Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day.
Therefore the Lord will cut off from Israel, both the noblest and basest of the people; the strongest, and the weakest, and most contemptible, of that nation.
IX. 15 And the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.
The prophet, that teacheth lies, he is the most vile and despicable of all the people.
IX. 18 For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns.
Your wickedness is that, which the fire of God's wrath taketh hold of: that is it, which shall devour both your tall cedars, and your low shrubs; and shall not leave, till the very briers and thorns be consumed.
IX. 20 And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arms:
No Israelite shall spare his brother, but shall snatch on all hands, what he can get by extreme violence; and shall insatiably spoil and devour those, which are as his own flesh.
IX. 21 Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh: and they together shall be against Judah.
Those tribes, which are in the highest league of love conjoined together, shall fall into deadly hostility one against the other: Manasseh shall fall foul upon his brother Ephraim, and Ephraim upou Manasseh, and both shall join in the quarrel against Judah.
X. 1 Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed.
To begin with the governors: woe be to them, who make unjust and bloody decrees against their inferiors, and that enact and prescribe grievous things by way of oppression of the poor.
X. 3 To whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory?
What do you think shall become of this glorious estate, which you have scraped together by rapine and extortion?
X. 4 Without me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain.
Though I should not denounce or draw any judgment upon them, they shall, of themselves, run into such grievous calamity, as that they shall fall down amongst the prisoners, and amongst the slain.
X. 5 0 Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.
Come hither then, O thou Assyrian, come and execute my just wrath upon my people; for thou art the rod of mine anger; and the weapons, which are in thy hand, whereby thou fightest against Judah, are wielded by mine indignation.
X. 6 I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil. I will send this Assyrian against that dissembling nation of the Jews, which make a hypocritical profession of my name; and against those idolatrous Israelites, whom I hate.
X. 7 Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few.
But though I intend the Assyrian to be my scourge for Israel, and
to execute my will upon them, yet he hath no such meaning, as to fulfil my purpose herein: all his drift and intention is a cruel and bloody satisfying of his own merciless and ambitious mind; neither aims he at any thing else, but a malicious destruction and a conquest of many nations.
X. 9 Is not Calno as Carchemish? is not Hamath as Arpad ? is not Samaria as Damascus ?
Is not the strong city of Calno as unable to hold out against me and as sure mine, as Carchemish, which I have already won? Is not Hamath as sure to be subdued by me, as Arpad, which I have taken ? Is not Samaria as sure to be mine, as Damascus now is?
X. 10 As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them in Jerusalem and Samaria; As I have vanquished those kingdoms, which worshipped those idols, which were accounted, in the reputation of the world and outward glory, far to surpass the deities of Jerusalem and Samaria ; X. 11 Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols?
So, what should hinder me to subdue these also? The gods of Jerusalem are no other, no better than those of Samaria; why should I not therefore subdue them, as well as the other?
X. 14 And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.
As for all the riches of the nations about me, saith the proud Assyrian, are they not to me, as a bird's nest; the eggs whereof are left open, by the dam, to the hand of the passenger; which a man may take up quietly, and not have so much as a bird's wing moved against him, nor so much as a chirping noise of complaint?
X. 15 Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood.
Is not the Assyrian as my axe to hew down Judah, my saw to divide it, my rod to scourge it, my staff to beat it? and shall this axe, this saw, this rod, this staff magnify itself against the hand that useth and wieldeth it? as if the instrument could do ought, without or against the arm that moves it.
X. 17 And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day,
Since the Assyrian hath so despised Israel, Israel shall be well avenged of him: for, as commonly fire is not separated from light, that light of my countenance, which Israel shall have from me, shall be as a fire to burn up the Assyrians; and this my people, which I have singled for my own peculiar, shall be as a flame to those enemies, which shall consume them, even to the meanest of their host, in one day.
X, 18 And they shall be as when a standardbearer fainteth.
They shall be utterly disheartened; and give themselves up, to a weak and heartless despair, as a beaten troop, when their ensign yieldeth.
X. 19 And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them.
And the people of Assyria, which were a thick forest, shall now be brought to such a paucity of trees, that a child, which can scarce count his own fingers, may reckon their number.
X. 20 Shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. My people, thus instructed and reformed by their affliction, shall learn now to trust no more to the arm of flesh, which they see may be easily made against them; but shall depend wholly upon the Lord, for aid and protection.
X. 22 For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.
For though I have promised to thee, O Jacob, and to thy father Abraham, that thy seed shall be as the sand of the sea; yet, since they have thus provoked me and corrupted their ways, only a remnant of them shall return from their captivity; and the consumption of the rest shall declare my righteousness abundantly to the world.
X. 24 And shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt.
As the affliction, which thou hadst from the Egyptian bondage, was grievous indeed, but not deadly; no more shall this be, which thou shalt suffer from the Assyrian.
X. 26 And the LORD of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and as his rod was upon the sea, so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt.
The Assyrian is my rod to thee; but I will have a scourge for him, that shall plague him: as the Midianites were destroyed by Gideon, at the rock of Oreb; and as I plagued the Egyptians, whom I overthrew and destroyed in the Red Sea.
X. 27 And the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing. The yoke of servitude shall be taken from thy neck, because thou art a people consecrated to me; for the sake of that Messiah, mine Anointed, which shall descend from thee.
X. 28 He is come to Aiath, he is passed to Migron; at Michmash he hath laid up his carriages:
Behold, the Assyrian is in his expedition against thee already: he is come onwards his way to Aiath, and thence is he passed to Migron; and hath made Michmash the storehouse for his provision, munition, and carriages:
X. 29 They are gone over the passage: they have taken up their lodging at Geba; Ramah is afraid; Gibeah of Saul is fled They have gone over the passages of those rivers, which might seen to have hindered their way; they are passed Jordan itself,
and are come to lodge at Geba; and now the neighbouring cities, Ramah and the rest, quake for fear; the inhabitants of Gibeah are fled.
X. 30 Lift up thy voice, O daughter of Gallim: cause it to be heard unto Laish, Opoor Anathoth.
Ye cities, that lie near to the way of this mighty enemy, lift up your voices, and weep for your imminent desolation, and cause your cries to be heard unto the furthest parts of the land.
X. 32 As yet shall he remain at Nob that day: he shall shake his hand against the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.
Ere a day be at an end, he will be at the town of Nob, hard by Jerusalem; and then he shakes his hand at the temple, and the mount of Zion, whereon it stands,
X. 33 Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, the haughty shall be humbled.
But howsoever he do thus proudly exalt himself, and terribly bluster against Jerusalem, the Lord of Hosts shall take him down, and shall cut him off with terror: the insolent Assyrian shall be hewn down suddenly, and the haughty enemy shall be humbled.
X. 34 And he shall cut down the thickets of the forests with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one.
These great and tall cedars of Lebanon, that thus overtopt God's people, shall be cut down, and shall fall by the mighty hand of the destroying angel,
XI. 1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
At last, in the fulness of time, for the comfort of God's Church, there shall come forth a rod out of the seemingly-withered stock of Jesse, the father of David; and a flourishing branch, even the Messiah, shall grow out of his appearingly-sere and sapless root.
XI. 2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, &c.
He shall receive the Spirit, beyond all finite measure; forasmuch as in him the Godhead shall dwell bodily, replenishing his human nature with all wisdom and understanding, &c.
XI. 3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears.
And shall enable his humanity with a quick and piercing understanding, to the perfect judging and discerning of those, that do truly profess to fear and serve the Lord, from false-hearted hypocrites; and he shall not judge by the outward appearance, according to the evidence of the eye or the ear.
XI. 4 And he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. With the word of his mouth, which is the sceptre of his kingdom, shall he overrule the earth; and with the same word, which