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4. We learn from the whole chapter, what high and venerable thoughts we should entertain of the great God. We should think seriously and reverently of him, as the eternal Jehovah; the first and the last; as an omniscient Being, to whom future contingencies are known. He by his prophet foretold that Jerusalem and the temple should be destroyed; and named Cyrus, as the man that should deliver his people, and rebuild his temple. We should also adore him as an almighty Being, who maketh what use of princes he pleaseth, and can remove every hindrance to the execution of his purposes. Idols cannot do this, but our God can; let us therefore ever fear, reverence, and trust him ; for whatever devices there are in the heart of man, his counsel shall stand, and the most powerful princes shall only execute his pleasure.
In this chafiter we have Cyrus's commission against Babylon, and to restore the Jews; an account of his success, with suitable admonitions to the Israelites,
JL right hand I have holden, to subdu- nations before him; or whom I hold fast by the right hand, that I may subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, weaken their fiower, to open before him the two leaved gates ; and the gates shall not be shut; that is, the gates of Babylon within the city, tiadingfiom the streets to the river, which were providentially left
2 open when he surprised the city; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight; remove all difficulties and <.bstruetions: I will break in pieces the gales of brass,• and cut in sun
3 der the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, the secret wealth of princes and people,] that thou may est know that I the Lord,
4 which call [thee] by thy name, [am] the God of Israel.\ For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name Cyrus: I have surnamed thee, v.ti
5 shepherd and anointed, though thou hast not known me. I [am] the Lord, and [there is] none else, [there is] no God beside me: I girded thee with authority and power, though thou hast
6 not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that [there is] none beside me. I [am] the Lord, and [there is] none else i intimating that the deliver
• Babylon had an hundred brazen gates.
+ Gyrus had subdued rich Cresus and other nations before he took Babylon; and that was a mott wealthy place; the treasuret which he found there ami in Siirdis, amounted to one hundred ami twenty six millinns two hundred and twrnty tour thousand |«oum!s sterling.
t Josrphus says that this prophrci was showed to Cyrus, an-1 rhat he was much affected with it; he therefore honestly acknowledges. Cxta k a. The Lotd God of heaven bath given me all the kingdoms ol' the eat th.
once of the Jew» Ay Cyru» would promote the knowledge of God
V through many nations. I form the liçht, and'create darkness:
I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these [things ;]
8 I am the sufireme governor of the natural and moral tvor/r/.* Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it: being determined to bring about their safvation, all nature shall seem to unite in /iromiting it. Iwillßrst shoiaer down righteousness, and then /iroduce salvation; Israel shallßrtt
9 be reformed, and then delivered. Wo unto him that striveth with his Maker; Too to the Babylonians that shall ofifiress Israel, end strive againat Gad; or to the Israelites that shall distrust his jioiver,andv>ill not believe his promises. [Let] the potsherd [strive] with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou ? or thy work, He hath no
10 hands? he hath no ability or skill, or acts as if he had none. Wo unto him that saith unto [his] father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth? much more to the
11 great Parent of the universe. Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me; you may humbly inquire concerning these things; or rather (as the Seventy} Will yon cuestión me, or give me a
12 Ian? I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, [even] my hands have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded, and therefore I am able to fulfil my
13 /iromises. I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the Lord of hosts.
14, Thus saith the Lord, The labour, or wealth, of Egypt, and merchandize of Ethiopia, and of the Sabcans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall f:ill down unto thee, they shall make supplication tinto thee, lite siit>mi*sive ca/itivrs, [saying,] Surely Cod [is] in thee;
15 and [there is] none else ; [there is] no other God.t Verily thou [art] a God that hiclest thyself, О God of Israel, the Saviour; though thy firwidtnce in afflicting and delivering is 'jftrn dark and mysterious, net t/i'-ti art the Gad of Israel and the fy
16 -vionr. They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them : they shall go to confusion together [that are] makers of idols, though thru unite their attenif>tn to su/i/tcrt the credit
17 ofthtir deities. [But] Israel shall be saved in the Lord with.
• Th's ii denigned to expose the notion! of the ancirnt Prrthiu, who held rh»t there were two md-pendinr principle« or bring*, the one p>od, und the other evil, by which all •hinge were тж1о, and who were repiesented by light :md darkness.
•г Сугич, having conquered Egypt and r«rt of Arabia, assisted the НгзеИггч to rt build «id br-4utifv the trinple out of the spoilt of those nation»; and nnny became prmelvtet, ши1 w-rr bro-isUt to »ckirjwlcdge Uk ouly true God, when they Saw ttbjit he appeared ю wonderfully for tliC Jew».
nn everlasting salvation : ye shall not be ashamed nor «ou
18 founded world without end, to the ages of eternity. For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited; much lcnt then willhe suffer Judea, his own inheritance to lie desolate i I [am]
19 the Lord; and [there is} none else. I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth ; another proof that Iarn Lord aione, I have revealed my will filainly by the law and the prophets; not lilte the heathen mysteries, that were car1fully concealed from the vulgar; nor like the oracles that were uttered toith a holl&eb, muttering voice from hales and caves: I said not Uhtd the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain; I answered the prayers of vry profile, which idols could not do: I the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right; my laws are just, my answers direct, and my promises are faithful, but theirs are not.
20 Assemble yourselves and come, ye recovered Jews ; draw near together, ye [that are] escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray
21 unto a god [that] cannot save. Tell ye, and bring [them] near; - yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this
from ancient time? [who] hath told it from that time? [have] not I the Lord? and [there is] no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; [there is} none beside me; let them consult together to produce an instance offoretelling such future
22 events, and maintain the cause of their idols. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; ye Jews, wherever die-; persed, and ye gentiles, when ye shall hear my gospel: for I [am]
23 God, and [there is] none else. 1 have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth [in] righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear, that is, profess allegiance : many nations shall become my worshippers and servants, and at length all the world, and at the day of the last judgment every creature shall be subjict ti mri
24 Rom. xiv. 11. Surely, shall [one] and another, that is, all those that shall be converted from idolatry, whether Jews or Gentiles, say, In the Lord have I righteousness and strength: [even] to him shall [men,] that is, Israel, the church and people of God, come, and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamer'v
35 In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel, all converted Jews and believing Gentiles, be justified, and shall glory, that is, be pardoned, and boast of their relation to him.
1. ~1 XT" E see the design of God in his various dispensations to V V the church and world; in his dealings with Israel and other nations. He can set up kingdoms, and pull them down ; raise up Cyrus, from a low beginning, to conquer great and mighty na- tions, and to deliver Israel. The design was, to bring Cyrus ;o know
him, and the nations round about to acknowledge his supremacy and to worship him; as well as to cure the Jews of their idolatry: and were we as well acquainted with the history of other nations, as •with that of Israel, we should see the same design carried on in the revolutions of states and kingdoms, and the great events of the world.
2. We see the danger of impatience and murmuring under the rebukes of Providence, and during the delay of mercies. What awful woes are denounced against those who strive with God! who impeach the wisdom and equity of his providence, and fret against him! And this is certainly very absurd and impious; for he is a Being of almighty power, whose counsel shall stand, and who тот'// do oil fue ftleaaure. It.is as absurd, as for the clay to quarrel with the potter ; and as indecent and wicked, as for a child to find fault with his parents, because he was not begotton an angel, or of such a particular complexion or stature. Let us guard against this disposition, especially in seasons of affliction; remembering, that God is infinitely above us; that he makes light and darkness, good and evil, and has set one over against the other. Though he may sometimes seem to hide himself, yetAe i* the God ofArael, and the Saviour. Let his Israel therefore hope in the Lord, from this time forth and for ever.
3. The hint that is given in т». 18, should raise our ideas of the grandeur of God's works, and of the number of his rational creatures. Jfe created not the earth in vain ; he formed it to be inhabited; intimating, that if it were not inhabited it would have been created in vain. And from hence we may fairly argue, that the other planets are iniiabited by rational creatures as well as ours; though we know nothing of their particular rank and nature. This appears to be a just, nnble, and delightful thought ; and gives us a high idea of the greatness, magnificence, and goodness of God. It may be part of the delightful employment of good men, when they leave this earth, to travel from world to world, .to learn more of God's works and creatures, that they may for ever love and adore him.
4. Let us rejoice that in the Lord we have righteoutncss and я'-rength, and look to him for them. In and through the Lord Christ we Christians have them ; we Britons, from the ends of the earth are invited to look unto Christ, and be saved ; to look with an eye of faith and love, and humble confidence. In him we have righteousness for the pardon of our sins, and the acceptance of our services; strength to overcome temptations and to bear afflictions. In him we may be justified; acquitted from guilt and condemnation ; and in him we ought to glory; to triumph in our relation to him. and our interest in him. To him therefore let our knees bow, and our souls submit; and let the life vie tive in the fleth be by the
faith of the Son of God who loved ив and ga~vc himself for u».
CHAP. XLVI, XLVII.
Lest the Israelites should be led to ivorshifi the idols of Babylon, or fear their power, Cod here shows their vanity, and foretells that they should be carried cafitives.
1 TJ E L bowcth down, Nebo stoopeth, the favourite gods of Jj Babylon,• their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle: vour carriages [were] heavy loaden; [they are]
2 a burden to the weary [beast.] They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but themselves are gone into captivity ; these gods shall be led away, and, so far from delivering their worshippers, shall be a grievous weight to the
3 weary beasts that carry them. Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne
4 [by me] from the belly, which are carried from the womb : And [even] to [your] old age I [am] he ; and [even] to hoar hairs will I carry [you :] I have made, and I will bear j even I will carry, and will deliver [you ;] I formed you into a state, brought you out of Egyfit, and protected you; and I will take the same care
5 of you still. To whom will ye liken me, and make [me] equal,
6 and compare me, that we may be like? They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, [and] hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they worship.
7 They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him, and set him in his place, and he standeth ; from his place shall he not remove: yea, [one] shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer
8 nor save him out of his trouble.t Remember this, and show yourselves men: bring [it] again to mind, O ye transgressors,
9 who have been guilty of idolatry. Remember the former things of old, what I have done for your nation formerly: for I [am] God, and [there is] none else; [lam] God, and [there is]
10 none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning,,/bre/,-/A"nJgthe most casual events, and from ancient times [the things] that are not [yet] done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure ; some have been accomplished, and others shall be
11 so, particularly your deliverantc by Cyrus: Calling a ravenous bird, or, as it should be translated, an eagle, from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country, that is, Cyrus ; who had an eagle for his ensign yea, I have spoken [it,] I will also bring it to pass ; I have purposed [it,] I will also do
12 it. Hearken unto me, ye stout hearted, that [are] far from righteousness, or deliverance; namely, the stubborn Jews, who
13 thought that God would not deliver them: I bring near my right
• Bel signifies tnrd, nnd Ncbo prpphet; they wrre deiiied men. and the names of their prinpes were formed out of them, Bslsuaz/ar, and NHiochadnctzit, See.
+ Godoi\en reminds them of thr inability of idoU, betiuse they were in great danger of idolatry.
t Cyrop. vii. mb. inic
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