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14 we will be solely thine. [They are] dead, they shall not live ;
(they are] deceased, they shall not rise, that is, the other lords and oppressors : therefore hast thou visited, or rather, because
thou hast visited, and destroyed them, and made all their memory 15 to perish. Thou hast increased the nation, O Lord, thou hast
increased the nation : thou art glorified : thou hadst removed
[it] far [unto] all the ends of the earth by former captivities ; or 16 it may rather refer to the spread of the church of Christ. LORD,
in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer 17 [when] thy chastening (was) upon them. Like as a woman
with child, [that] draweth near the time of her delivery, is in
pain, [and] crieth out in her pangs ; so have we been in thy 18 sight, O LORD. We have been with child, we have been in
pain, we have as it were brought forth wind ; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth ; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen : we have been big with expectations of deliverance, and uneasy till it was accomplished; but have been
sadly disappointed. What follows is God's answer to the church's 19 complaint. Thy dead [men] shall live, (together with) my
dead body, that is, my church, shall they arise. Therefore awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust : for thy dew [is as) the dew of herbs ; my favour shall revive thee again, as the dew revives the grase, and the earth shall cast out the dead; all countries where you are dispersed, shall restore you again, *
Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee ; fly to God as thy defence : as men retire to their most secret apartments to shelter themselves in storms and dangers, thus do thou when the destroying angel is passing through the land : hicle thyself as it were for a little moment,
the shortest space of time, until the indignation be overpast. 21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the
inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity : the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain, that is, the blood that she had drank: those that shed it though it was for ever covered, but their guilt shall appear. Some understand it, that the number of their enemies who were slain should be so great, that they should lie unburied.
1. TTT E here see the reasonableness and advantage of an
V humble, cheerful trust in God. This the prophet in the name of the church expresses, and in the name of God, exhorts to. It is our duty to trust in him, to depend upon him, and wait for him in every circumstance of life; to believe in his providence and hope in his promises. This is highly reasonable, for in him is everlasting strength ; it will secure our peace with him and our own conscience;
This is applied in Ezekiel's vision, chap. xxxvii. 11, 12, to the Gentiles, or rasher, to the Jews in the latter day.
it will free us from anxiety and tormenting fears ; and we shall be safe in the chambers of divine protection. He shall not be afraid of evil tidings whose mind is fixed, trusting in God.
2. We see what our duty is in seasons of affiction, whether private or public, and what use we should make of them. When God lifts up his hand be expects us to see it ; to observe the operations of his providence, to consider the design of them, and learn righteousness by them. We should wait on him in the way of his judgmenis ; entertain good thoughts of him, strong desires aster him, and seek to him for relief. His jugments are adapted to warn and alarm the unthinking, to rouse the secure and quicken all. His great design is, that we may learn righteousne88 ; otherwise we shall suffer in vain. Blessed is the man whom thou chasteneat and teachest out of thy law; that thou mayest give him rest from the day of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked.
To what particular circumstance of the Jewish church and nation this
chapter has an immediate reference, it is hard to say ; it is applicable to the church in general when under the oppression of any cruel tyrant : such are ofien described as serpents and dragons ; thus was Pharaoh, and so are the p.pish powers.
Į TN that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong
sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpe:lt ; and he shall slay the dragon that
[is] in the sea ; who by violence and subtile aris endeavours to 2 destroy his people. In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard
of red wine ; that is, the church, called a vineyard of red wine, as 3 that was reckoned the choicest and best wine. I the LORD do
keep it ; I will water it every moment : lest (any) hurt it, I will
keep it night and day ; I will defend it from its enemies, and sup. 4 ply it with provisions. Fury [is] not in me : who would set the
briars [and] thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together ; I am slow to anger, not wrathful and implacable ; but those that oppose my gracious de.
signs shall be as suddenly and easily destroyed, as fire destroys bri5 ars and thorns. Or let him take hold of my strength, [that] he
may make peace with me ; [and] he shall make peace with ire; let him by repentance and humiliation seek reconciliation with me,
and to stay the arm of my justice,then my mercy and strength shall be 6 engaged in his favour. He shall cause them that come of Jacob
to take root : Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of
the world with fruit ; that is, they shall revive again after their 7 oppressions. Hath he smitten him, as he smote those that
smote him ? (or] is he slain according to the slaughter of them that are slain by him ? He shall leave a remnant of his people
when he utterly destroys those enemies that were his instruments in 8 correcting them. In measure, when it shooteth forth, thou 'wilt
debate with it ; the allusion 10 a vine is still carried on ; he will frrune it with love and moderation, 80 as not to destroy it : he stay
eth his rough wind in the day of the east wind ; he moderates 9 the storm lest it should destroy the vine. By this therefore shall
the iniquity of Jacob be purged ; and this [is] all the fruit to take away his sin ; when he maketh'all the stones of the altar as chalk stones that are beaten in sunder, the groves and images shall not stand up ; the end of his chastisement is to reform him from sin, especially idolatry, and lead him to destroy his allars and images, and abolish the memory of them.
Nevertheless, Jerusalem shall suffer for its sins ; for Yet the defenced city (shall be] desolate, [and] the habitation forsaken, and left like a wilderness : there shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down, and consume the branches thereof; it shall lie
for a while in desolation, like a vineyard whose fence is gone, 80 11 that the catile come to feed therein. When the boughs thereof
are withered, they shall be broken off : the women come, 10 gather the remains of the trees for fuel, [and] set them on fire : for it [is] a people of no understanding; they are quite stupid and sattish : therefore he that made them will not have mercy
on them, and he that formed them will show them no favour. 12 Yet they shall not alivays continue in this state. And it shall
come to pass in that day, [that] the LORD shall beat off from the channel of the river Euphrates unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, ( ye children of Israel ; the Jews shall be recovered and restored ; they shall be beat off, like corn separated from the chal"; they shall not be brought again
in a body, but one by one, through God's influence on their minds. 13 And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the great trumpet
shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem ; referring to Cyrus's proclamation for liberty ; or the general alarm and summons to the congregations of Israel, who were gathered together by trumpets, and has a reference to their conversion in the latter day.
1. W E have reason to rejoice in God's care of the church,
V amidst all its dangers and distresses. It is valuable in itself and dear to him. Many attempts have been made to hurt and destroy his vineyard, or to prevent its fruitfulness ; but he guards it with a watchful eye, and waters it by his ordinances, his word and spirit, without which it would wither. If its enemies combine against it, he has a great and strong sword with which to punish them. We should therefore triumph in the security of the church, and encourage ourselves in the Lord its God, when it seems to be in the greatest danger ; and earnestly pray, that that part of the vineyard with which we are connected may be daily kept and watered by him.
2. We see what encouragement there is for sinners to return to God. They are enemies to him, and he is angry with them : but peace may be made ; and it is of the utmost importance that it be made in time. It becomes them to humble themselves before God, that the stroke of his mighty hand may be averted, and his strength employed for their defence and happiness. Fury is not in hiin, or who could stand ? He is willing to be reconciled; so that if sinners continue enemies to him, it is their own fault, and he will destroy them as easily and entirely as fire does briars and thorns. Agree then with thine adversary quickly, and be at peace, and thereby good shall come unto thee.
3. We are again taught the nature and design of affliction. The end of God in his corrections is to take away sin, to lead men to put away their iniquities with shame and detestation, and never - return to them any more. Then our afflictions do us good when they purge away our iniquity : and therefore when we are af. flicted we should search and try our ways, and turn again wto the Lord. To good men God moderates afflictions, prunes them in measure and mercy, and tempers the fury of the storm. Afflica tions are quite different in their effects upon good and bad men ; they are not smitten alike, though it may seem so to us. God's intentions to his children are friendly ; all shall issue well, and work together for their good.
4. How vain are all those hopes of sinners which are only grounded on the mercy of God and his being their creator. It is very common for men to express a hope of being saved because God is their creator, and because he is merciful ; while they go on in their trespasses, and are destitute of repentance and faith. But if that mercy be not earnestly sought, and those sins put away which disqualify them from being the objects of it, they will not find it : and though God formed them, yet as they do not answer the end for which they were made, but daily affront their Maker, he will show them no favour. Let us then not deceive ourselves, but labour to be wise, understanding what the will of the Lord is, and be steadfast and immortable in our obedience to il.
The prophecies in this and the following chapters, to the thirticth, relate principally to the invasion of Judea by Sennacherib ; but are not arranged in the order they were delivered. W o to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim,
V whose glorious beauty [is] a fading flower, which (are] on the head of the fat vallies of them that are overcome with
wine ! that is, wo to the proud kingdom of the ten trïbes, among whom drunkenness much prevailed ; Samaria, so beautifully situa
ted on a hill, with a fine vale below it, shall be destroyed by the 2 Assyrians. Behold, the LORD hath a mighty and strong one,
(which] as a tempest of hail (and) a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with
the hand ; as easily as an earthen vessel is dashed to the ground. 3 The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trod4 den under feet : And the glorious beauty, which [is] on the
head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, [and] as the hasty fruit before the summer ; it shall be as easily and quickly destroyed as early fruit ; or it may be rendered, the glorious beauty on their head, that is, the garland, shall be a fading flower, and the fat valley shall be as hasty fruit, that is soon ripe and soon destroyed : which (when) he that looketh upon it seeth, while
it is yet in his hand he eateth it up. 5 In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory,
and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people, Judah 6 shall enjoy his favour and protection. And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate ; Hezekiah and his counsellors, shall be wise, shall repel the invaders, and carry the war into the
country of their enemies. 7 But they also have erred through wine, and through strong
drink are out of the way; Judah also is guilty of this detestable crime of drunkenness; the priest and the prophet hare erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink ; they err in vision, they
stumble (in] judgment; they neither teach nor judge aright. 8 For all tables are full of vomit [and] filthiness, (so that there is) 9 no place (clean.] Whom shall he, that is, any man, teach
knowledge ? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine ? [them that are) weaned from the milk, [and] drawn from the
breast; notwithstanding their advantages, they are but like children 10 learning their first rudiments. For precept (must be] upon pre
cept, precept upon precept ; line upon line, line upon line'; here a little, [and] there a little ; the same things must be often
inculcated upon them, in the plainest manner, and yet all in vain : 11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to
this people ; he will send foreign enemies among them, whose lan12 guage they shall not understand.* To whom he said, This [is]
the rest (wherewith) ye may cause the weary to rest ; and this [is] the refreshing ; though he had told them their duly often and
plainly, had given them great encouragement, and had promised 13 them rest and refreshment, yet they would not hear. But the
word of the LORD was unto thein precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line ; here a little,
* The apostle applies this to the abuse of the gift of torges, whick male that a vuise which was intended for a blessing.