« AnteriorContinuar »
eousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall nottar, ry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory i or, as it may be better rendered, I will give salvation to Sion, and my glory to Israel; I will prove the truth of my firomisei, and Sion, shall still be saved.
1 Chap. XLVII. Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground ;• she shall sit on the bare ground, be reduced to the most abject state: [there is] no throne,
0 daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called
2 tender and delicate. Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers ; you, that is, the Babylonians, shall be made slaves, shall labour at the most toilsome work, be forced tofly, and wade through rivers; all of which must be very mortifyitig to those who used to
Z ride in state, and ave delicately. Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and
1 will not meet [thee as] a man, whom thou maytst 'fly from, or
4 resist.^ [As for] our redeemer, the Lord of hosts [is] his name, the Holy One of Israel; he will sfieak comfort to Israel, and terror to the Chaldeans. A chorus of the Jews, in which they
5 break out in the midst of the firofihecy to firaise God. Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans : for thou shalt no more be called, The lady of kingdoms;
6 the largest and most powerful empire. I was wroth with my people, I have polluted mine inheritance, and given them into thine hand: thou didst show them no mercy ; upon the ancient,
7 or aged, hast thou very heavily laid thy yoke.} And thou saidst, I shall be a lady for ever: [so] that thou didst not lay these [tilings] to thy heart, that is, the injuries done to my people, neither didst remember the latter end of it ; the instability of human affairs, and the consequences of pride and selfconftdtnee.
Z Therefore hear now this, thou [that art] given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I [am.] and none else beside me ; I shall not sit [as] a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children ; / am sulireme in fiower and 9 dominion, and fear no danger: But these two [things] shall come to thee in a moment ii> one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, [and] for the great abundance of 10 thineenchantments.il For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said. None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hust said in thine heart, I [am]
• Babylon had never Ixen taken, aml therefore is called a virgin. t Or. 1 tui// iuffar a nun to intercede fur Due. LoAvth.
i 'Hits prediction is the more remarkable, a,, thtre was no difference at present between 'ulah Mi i Babylon ; they hail Sent compliments to llc».ckiah, whirli had the appearance of I ieiuiship. yet they arc here spoken of lis their most barbaious enemies.
ii When Babylon was besieged by Darius, they were so resolute in holding out. that they destroyed all their wives and child. un in one d.,}, to ct o.T all aui.tceisary mouths. PriX (ion. voL i. p. l£8.
and none else beside me; tficu thoughtest thy policy no dee/i that 11 it could not be defeated. Therefore shall evil come upon tliee; thou shall not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shall not be able to pul it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, [which] thou shall not know; which thou s/ialt neither be aware of, nor knots /int» to remedy ; and во it 4fai,for Cyrus took Babylon at midnight, in the 1 "2 midst oftlieir mirth and security. Stand now with thine en-r chantments, and with Ihe mullilude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth; if so be thou slialt be able to
13 profit, if so be thou mayest prevail, to divert tliy calumitie». Thou art wearied in ihe multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticates, who ¡¡retend. to foretell future events by the stars and as/iccts of heaven, stand up, and save thee from [these things] that shall come upon thee.
14 Behold, they shall be as stubble, the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of Ihe flame: [ihere shall] not [be] a coal lo warm at, [nor] fire to sil before it; they shall be utterly destroyed, like whole magazines of coal burnt at once., which must give a great heat, but destroy the winter stores.
15 Thus shall they be unto thee with whom thou hast laboured, [even] thy merchants from thy youth, thy negociaton> and astrologers, and all that contributed to thy wealth and grandeur: they shall wander every one to his quarter, turn to his очт busi. net»; none shall save thee.
1.ГТПНЕ promise to Israel, inf. 4. affords abundant comfort ta JL every aged Christian, that God will bç the same God to them as ever; will bear, and carry, and deliver them, amidst all their dangers and infirmities. He who made them, and has been the guide of their youth, will be the support of their old age! It becomes them therefore to thank, God, and take courage.
2. Men never act like rational creatures till they renounce their sins, and become the servants of God, t>. 8. Il is desirable that men should act as men ; use their rational powers aright, and employ them upon their proper objects. This would lead them to repentance and amendment of life ; and by acting as reasonable creatures, they would, soon become religious ones ; but while they arc giddy, thoughtless, and inconsiderate, there is no hope of them.
3. We see in the forty seventh chapter how soon God cnn humble and mortify the most delicate. What a melancholy change was it to the tender and delicate Babylonians, when led captive, and treated as slaves, with all the horrors of poverty and ciisprace! how mortifying to ihose who had lived in ease and pleasure ! May we be taught by it to guard against excessive tenderness and delicacy, as not knowing to what afflictions and hardships we may be appointed ; .which will be peculiarly heavy if we have unreasonably indulged the flesh.
4. The almighty power of God makes him a most formidable enemy. Those are awful words in v. 3. I ivill not meet thee as a man, from whom thou mightest flee, whose power thou mightest resist, or evade his justice, or move his compassion to spare thee. See mhut a fearful thing it is to fail into the hands of the living God. While the wicked tremble to meet him as their Judge, let his people rejoice in him as their Redeemer, whose perfections are all engaged for their happiness.
5. See how soon God can strip men of all their comforts, and learn not to be proud of them. So he did by Babylon. He can uncover their locks, strip persons of their jewels and ornaments; of the wealth in which they trust, and in consequence of which they think they shall see no sorrow. He can bereave them of their children, and bring upon them family distresses in their perfection. He can deprive them of the knowledge which they are proud of, andin which they boast. Let us lay this to heart; remember the uncertainty of all earthly possessions, and never be proud of them or fix our affections too strongly upon them. Let us employ our wealth and abilities for God; consider our comforts as his gifts, that we may adore and glorify the Giver. Let us never addict ourselves to pleasure, nor dwell carelessly, lest God take away our comforts; and for all these things bring us into judgment.
God having by the prophet reproved and threatened the Chaldeans in the former chapters, here proceeds to show his people their sins.
1 T TEAR ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by JL J- the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah) or, that flow from the fountain of Jutlah, his posterity, which swear by the name of the Lord, and make mention of
2 the God of Israel, [but] not in truth, nor in righteousness. For they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves upon the God of Israel ; rely on tluir external privileges, but are not sincere in their profession; the Lord of hosts [is] his name.
3 I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I showed them ; I did [them] suddenly, and they came to pass; / foretold future events, and brought them to pass unexpectedlu, or at the precise
4 time. Because I knew that thou [art] obstinate, and thy neck [is] an iron sinew, which will not bend, and thy brow brass, which
5 mill not blush; therefore, to leave thee without excuse, I have even from the beginning declared [it] to thee; before it came to pass I showed [it] thee: lest thou should say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten
6 image hath commanded them. Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare [it ?] ye have heard my predictions, and
tern their accomplishment, and will ye not openly acknowledge this? I have showed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them ; particularly your de
7 liverancc by Cyrus. They are created now, and not from the beginning; even before the day when thou heardest them not; lest thou shouldst say, Behold, I knew them ; I have given you new prophecies concerning your cafitivity and deliverance, lest
£ you should say, A/y own sagacity discovered these events. Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not i yea, from that time [that] thine ear was not opened; or rather, nor was thine ear ofiencd of old; that is, thou wast not taught these things formerly; fori knew that thou wouldst deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb; or that, apostate, was thy mime from thy birth ;• thou wast early given to idolatry, and hast
9 retained an affection to it ever since. For my name's sake will I defer, or suffiress, mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain
10 for thee, that I cut thee not off. Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; but thou art not as silver, there is yet too much dross left; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction;
11 by afflictions J have made thee more fit for my choice. For mine own sake, [even] for mine own sake, will I do [it;] lcst the gods of the heathens should be thought more wise and powerful than I; for how should [my name] be polluted, or blasphemed? and I will not give my glory unto another.
12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob afid Israel, my called; I [am]
13 he; I [am] the first, I also [am] the last. Mine hand »lso hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: [when] I call unto them, they stand up together; they are ready, like servants, to execute my orders,
14 therefore I can deliver thee. All ye Israelites assemble yourselves, and hear; which among them, which of their gods or oracles, hath declared these [things :] the Lord hath loved him, hath chosen Cyrus and fitted him for the work: he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm [shall be on] the Chaldeans;
J 5 his army, and God's hand with it, shall destroy them. I, [even] I, have spoken; yea, I have called him: I have brought him,
16 and he shall make his way prosperous. Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning ; from the time that it was, there [am] I ; or, before the time that this was, I am tie eternal God, and see every thing before me in its succession: and now the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath
17 sent me his prophet, to foretell these things. Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I [am] the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit by thy afflictions, which leadeth thee by the way [that] thou shouldst go; that is, lead
18 eth thee out of ihu troubles. O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peae'e been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea; thou shouldst not have
gant into captivity, but a succession of Meetings should havejlcwed ttfion thee one af'er another; thy peace andfirosfierity should have
19 been uninterrupted and abundant: Thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof; numerous as the sands, or like the Jishes of the sea; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me; whereas now they shall be greatly diminished by their calamities, and
few nf them shall return from Babylon.
20 Yet, notmihstanding this. Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, not laith silence and amazement, but with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it [even] to the end of the earth ; say ye, The Lord hath redeemed his servant Jacob.
21 And they thirsted not [when] he led them through the deserts; he caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them: he clave the rock also, and the waters gushed out; fie will sufifily them in their return, as he did their fathers in their journey through the
22 wlderness. [There is] no peace, saith the Lord unto the wickr ed ; though the wicked share in the blessings of their deliverance, and return naith them, yet they shall ha~ve no lasting peace; they то/// still have reason to look ufion God as their enemy, amidst a/( their firosfierity.
1. TT7" E are here taught the vanity and insufficiency of exVV ternal privileges, without real piety. The Jews boasted of their name, their relation to God apd Abraham, and the holy city, but not in truth nor in righteousness. Thus many among us think it sufficient to salvation that they are called Christians, enjoy many privileges above others, belong to the church, and enjoy gobpel ordinances; yea, they mention the name of God and Christ, and boast in them, without truth and righteousness. But this is gross hypocrisy, a high affront to God, and taking his name in Tain: for no religion is of any avail that is not founded on sincerity.
2. We see the nature and advantage of afflictions. They are designed to prove and refine the sufferers, to reform them from their vices, to purify their hearts, and increase their graces. Afflictions arc somttimes the means of beginning, and often of currying en a good work in the soul; and it should be the desire of those •who arc affiicted, to get ¡;ood thereby; and in order to that they shii:'rl earnestly pray that God would teach them to profit by hi* chast: v_ments; for he intends them Jur our profit, that we may be fiar takers of his holinrs».
3. We sec the advantage of hearkening to God's commands; that is, of being attentive to them, studying the nature and extent of them, and sinecr-Jv obeying them: this is the way lo enjoy unintcrrupietl tranquillity and happiness. God is desirous we shouki do this; О that tfiou hacist hearkened to my commandments! v. 18. a high expression of his kindness to hre creatures, and his willingness.