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be devoured, and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee
shall be a spoil, and all that prey upon thee will I give 17 for a prey. For I will restore health unto thee, and I
will heal thee of thy wounds, faith the Lord; because they called thee an outcast, [saying,] This [is] Zion,
whom no man seeketh after. : 18 Thus faith the Lord; Behold, I will bring again the
captivity of Jacob's tents, alluding to their formerly dwelling in tents, and have mercy on his dwelling places ; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, or hill, and the palace shall remain after the manner there.
of, that is, the temple, God's palace, shall be re-established 19 upon its former plan. And out of them, the temple
and private houses, shall proceed thanksgiving and - the voice of them that make merry, that is, cheerful
ness and thankfulness: and I will multiply them, and
they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and 20 they shall not be small, or brought low. Their child.
ren also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me; their children hall inherit their fathers' honours and estates, the church and the com
monwealth mall be restored as before, and I will punish 21 all that oppress them. And their nobles, or, noble
One, that is, the Messiah, shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me; they shall have no foreign governor, but approach to God, consult him, and be judged by his law: for who [is] this that engaged his heart to approach unto
me ? faith the LORD? without God's favourable interpo22 sition who could do so? And ye shall be my people again, 23 , Behold, the whirlwind of the Lord goeth forth with
and adhere to my instituted worship, and I will be your God, to protect and bless you. Yet in the mean time, * Some understand it of their children being taken into cove. nant with God by baptism, on their conversion, as they formerly were by circumcifion.
e The word signifies, the mighty One, and seems rather to refer to Christ, who should draw near to God as a priest, as well as a king. Then follows a note of admiration, It is wonderful it should be fo! Who is so entirely devoted to my service, and can approach to me as mediator, but He?
fury, a continuing whirlwind : it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked who will not repent, and it
hall be a continual whirlwind, not like a common one, which 24 is violent but short. The fierce anger of the Lord shall
not return, until he have done fit,) and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days ye Thall consider it; when there shall be a general conversion of the jews, then they shall fully understand the meaning of such prophecies as these.
REFLECTION S. 1. TT is both our duty and happiness to serve the
I Lord. To acknowledge God as our creator, preserver, and happiness; and, by his appointment, to serve Jesus Christ, to whom he hath given the throne of David! We are to reverence and honour him as a king; to submit to his laws, and trust in his protection : and our deliverance from the power of spiritual enemies, is an un. answerable reason why we should serve him in holiness and righteousness all our days. .
2. See the unreasonableness of anxious fear in God's servants, even when their circumstances are most distressing, V. 10. Israel is rebuked for their fears, (tho' they were punished with severity, and their wound feemed incurable) because they had so many promises to trust in. Under pressing dangers, or long and heavy affliction, we are ready to defpair; but God hath promised support and relief: and he is able to grant them, when earthly helps fail, and when, to human appearance, there is no hope. Our afflictions will have an happy issue; let us then trust in the Lord for ever. .
3. Let us rejoice in the mediation of Jesus Christ, our great high priest: he is not only our governor, but our interceffor also: he draws near to God on our behalf; God' has appointed and caused him to do so, that we might have strong confolation : he engaged his own heart to do it; voluntarily and resolutely undertook this service. As we hope for the benefit of his mediation, let us engage our L 12
hearts likewise; and while in his name we come boldly to the throne of grace, let us approach it with seriousness, reverence, and godly fear.
*C H A P. XXXI. 1—26. In this chapter gracious promises to Israel are continued; but it
is hard to say, whether they refer to their return from captivity, or to gospel times : perhaps the former part of the chapter may refer to their return from Babylon, and the latter to their conversion in the last days. i A T the fame time, faith the Lord, will I be the
A God of all the families of Ifrael, and they shall 2 be my people. Thus faith the LORD, The people
Twhich were) left of the fword of Pharaoh, found grace in the wilderness; seven) Israel, when I went to cause him to rest; I led them thro' the wilderness, and conduet
ed them to their rest in Canaan, how therefore can they doubt 3 of my favour? The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, (saying,] Yea, I have loved thee Israel with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee; what I did for thy fathers was founded on
covenant love, therefore I will continue to be gracious to 4 thee. Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built,
O virgin of Israel, I will restore thee to thy former state, and thou shalt be reformed from idolatry, and become pure again like a virgin: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them
that make merry, thou Malt have all marks of civil and 5 religious joy. Thou shalt "yet plant vines upon the
mountains of Samaria: the planters shall plant, and
shall eat (them) as common things; their vines shall * yield such plenty of fruit that every one may eat of it with. . 6 out restri&tion. For there shall be a day, [that] the
watchmen f There was a law, that when a vine was planted the fruit should not be touched for three years, the produce of the fourth was consecrated to God, and in the fifth it might be eaten as a common thing.
watchmen upon the mount Ephraim, which was near
centinels or watchmen calling the people together on par7 ticular occasions, especially at festivals.. For thus faith, the
LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among
work, or rather, Thou hast saved them, and we praise thee 8 for thy faithfulness. Behold, I will bring them from
the north country, and gather them from the coasts of
clined and enabled to come : a great company shall return 9 thither. They shall come with weeping, and with
fupplications will I lead them; godly forrow for past fins
Ephraim (is) my first born, and I will restore them to 10 their former state. Hear the word of the Lord, O ye
nations, and declare [it] in the isles afar off, and say,
He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, '11 as a shepherd [doth] his flock. For the Lord hath
redeemed Jacob, and ranfomed him from the hand of 12 [him that was] stronger than he. Therefore they shall
come and fing in the height of Zion, and shall flow
joy; % This is customary still among the Turks, where the prieits proclaim from the cops of their churches, that the hour of prayer is come.
joy; and they shall not forrow any more at all; they
mall have no such trouble again for a long time, as they 13 have lately experienced. Then shall the virgin rejoice in
the dance, both young men and old together : for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort
them, and make them rejoice from their forrow; all 14 ages and ranks shall agree in signs of universal joy. And
I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, they Shall have plenty of sacrifices and offerings, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the LORD; both the priests and the people fall rejoice in the abundance
of divine blesings. 15 Thus faith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah,
lamentation, [and] bitter weeping; Rachel weeping
for her children refused to be comforted for her child16 ren, because they were] not. Thus faith the LORD;
Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work, thy tender concern for thy children,
shall be rewarded, faith the LORD; and they shall come 17 again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope
in thine end, or, to thy posterity, faith the LORD, that
[thy] children shall come again to their own border. 18 I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself
[thus;] Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, I received instruction, as a bullock unaccustomed (to the yoke;) or rather, tho? I was before as a bullock that would not bear it: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for
thou (art] the Lord my God; I need thy gracious influence 19 to bring me to a better temper. Surely after that I was
turned, and felt the influence of thy grace, I repented; and after that I was instructed, 1 smote upon [my] thigh, expressed great grief and humiliation : 1 was alhamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the
reproach ” At the time of the captivity there was an assembly of the enemy at Ramah, sh. xl. i. the captives were brought thither, and from thence carried to Babylon; and as Rachel was buried near that place, the prophet; by an elegant figure, represents her as looking out of her grave and bewailing the captivity of her descendants. This is applied and accommodated in the New Testament to the laughter of ihe infants in this neighbourhood. See Matt. ii, 17, 18.