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priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, who was to det in.
case of the sickness or incapacity of the high priest, and the 25 three keepers of the door : He took also out of the
city an eunuch, which had the charge of the men of war; and seven men of them that were near the king's person, which were found in the city; and the principal scribe of the host, who mustered the people of the land; and threescore men of the people of the land, that were
found in the midst of the city, and who were the princi1 pal persons employed in preventing Zedekiah's surrender, and 26 in prosecuting Jeremiah. So Nebuzar-adan the captain
of the guard took them, and brought them to the king 27 of Babylon to Rihlah. And the king of Babylon smote
them, and put them to death in Riblah in the land of Hamath. Thus Judah was carried away captive. out
of his own land. . 28 This [is] the people whom Nebuchadrezzar carried
away captive : in the seventh year, three thousand Jews
and three and twenty of the tribe of Judah, (for there 29 were in all ten thousand, 2 Kings xxiv. 14.) In the . eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar he carried away cap.
tive from Jerusalem eight hundred thirty and two per 30 fons : In the three and twentieth year of Nebuchad.
rezzar Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the Jews seven hundred forty and five persons; a third captivity, not mentioned elsewhere, (probably the persons concerned in the murder of Gedaliah ;) all
the persons were four thousand and fix hundred. 31 And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of
the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, in the five and twentieth [day] of the month," [that] Evil-merodach king of Babylon in the (first]
year of his reign lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king of 32 Judah, and brought him forth out, of prison, And
fpake kindly unto him, and set his throne above the
33 And y In the book of Kings it is said the twenty seventh; perhaps the orders were given the twenty fifth, and executed the twenty seventh.
33 And changed his prison garments: and he did continu34 ally eat bread before him all the days of his life. And
[for] his diet, there was a continual diet given him of the king of Babylon, every day a portion until the day of his death, all the days of his life; that is, he gave him an allowance for the support of his family; which was an encouragement to the pious jews, and an omen of their approaching deliverance.
1. A S a general lesson from this chapter and the whole
A book, we may observe the sad consequences of rebellion against God, and of refusing to hearken to his word. Zedekiah would not take warning, tho' it was fo plainly and affectionately given by Jeremiah ; and there. fore he was involved in all this misery ; his sons were slain, his eyes were put out, and he was made a prisoner for life, The lsraelites would not hearken, and therefore were they carried captive; their principal persons flain; and their city and temple destroyed. A terrible description of their misery will be seen in the next book. See how wretchedly God's own people may degenerate ; and that when they do fo, their relation to him will not save them from ruin, but expose them to greater. See also how righteous and faithful, how exact and punctual, how awful and terrible, God is, in executing his threatenings. No word of his falls to the ground. May we, may all the inhabitants of Britain, take warning by this dreadful story! All thefe things happened to them for en samples, and they are written for our admonition.
2. From the captivity of Jehoiachin we may observe, what surprizing scenes of providence sometimes open upon men; and what a changing world this is. First he was a monarch; then seven and thirty years a prisoner ; then released, and honourably supported. God knows how to bring about such changes; he can debase the highest down to the dust; can take the poor from the dunghill, to set them among princes; and give men favour in the eyes of their enemies. Those who are now prosperous should remember the days of
darkness, which may be many, that they may be humble and cautious. Those who have been long in deep affliction, should be patient and contented; not knowing what profperous scenes may be before them. It is at least certain, that all good men shall experience a more wonderful change than this monarch did, when Christ shall call them from the prison of the grave, give them the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness, and advance them to sit down on his throne, to be happy with him for ever.
The Lamentations of Jeremiah.
the destruction of Jerusalem and the captivity of Judah. They are divided into five' distinɛt chapters, which are so many beautiful elegies, bewailing those sad events.
CHAPTER I. In which Jerusalem's misery for her fins is related, with her
complaint, and confeffion of God's righteousness. YOW doth the city sit solitary, [that was] full
of people ! [how) is she become as a widow!
1 she [that was great among the nations, [and] princess among the provinces, show is she become 2 tributary! She weepeth fore in the night, and her
tears [are] on her cheeks, like a fincere mourner when alone : among all her lovers, or allies, she hath none to
comfort (her :) all her friends have dealt treacherously 3 with her, they are become her enemies. Judah is gone
into captivity because of affliction, and because of great servitude; because they had afflicted and oppressed their brethren : she dwelleth among the heathen, she findeth .no rest : all her persecutors overtook her between the 4 straits, or, in the narrow passages. The ways of Zion do
mourn, because none come to the solemn feasts; the ways that lead to Zion, which used to be crouded on those occasions : all her gates are desolate : her priests sigh,
her virgins are afflicted, and she [is] in bitterness; all 5 her mirth and gaiety are gone. Her adversaries are the
chief, her enemies prosper, for the LORD hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions : her
children are gone into captivity before the enemy. 6 And from the daughter of Zion all her beauty is departed: her princes are become like harts [that] find no
pasture, and they are gone without strength before the pursuer ; not like a hunted deer, wearied out in the chase; but like one ready to die with hunger before the chase began,
which therefore only' makes a feeble, fkort effort, and then 7 drops down: a most expressive fimile. Jerusalem remem
bered in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant things that she had in the days of old, God's presence, his temple, his ordinances, and prophets, when her people fell into the hand of the enemy, and none did help her: the adversaries faw her, sand] did
mock at her sabbaths; or, laughed at her discontinuing 8 them, as if Me had only kept them out of Roth. Jerusalem
hath grievously finned ; therefore she is removed :"all that honoured her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness : yea, she figheth, and turneth backward. Her filthiness [is] in her skirts, it is visible on her garment's ; she remembereth not her last end; therefore she came down wonderfully; all is the effe Et of her lin:
she had no comforter. O LORD, behold my affliction: 10 for the enemy hath magnified shimself.] The adver
sary hath spread out his hand upon all her pleasant things, upon her rich fürniture, jewels, and plate : for she hath seen (that) the heathen entered into her fanc
tuary, whom thou didst command [that] they should II not enter into thy congregation. All her people figh,
they feek bread; they have given their pleasant things for meat to relieve the soul: see, O Lord, and con
fider; for I am become vile... 12 [Is it] nothing to you, all ye that pass, by ? behold,
and see if there be any forrow like unto my sorrow,
which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath 13 afflicted (me) in the day of his fierce anger.a From above hath he sent fire into my bones, and it prevaileth Rr 3
against a A beautiful apostrophe, much admired by the critics. The plaintiff, having no friend or companion to open his grief to, is forced to implore the pity of strangers and passengers. It intia mates, that no words were necessary to raise compaflion, it was fufficient to look on his case, to see that his forrow was uns qualled : it intimates also, that he had met with licile compation from fome that had passed by ; and that therefore he expoilulated with others.