« AnteriorContinuar »
I delight, saith the LORD; I delight in exercising these myself,
and in those who practise them, 25 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will punish all
[them which are] circumcised with the uncircumcised, because 26 they are as sinful and impure as they; Egypt, and Judah, and
Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all (that are) in the utmost corners, that dwell in the wilderness; or, those that poll the corners of their hair, (referring to the Arabia ans, who cut off their hair before, and lefi it long behind, to make them look formidable) for all (these] nations (are] uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel (are) uncircumcised in the heart; therefore I will reckon with thein all together, and they shal fare alike.
1. IT becomes us to be tenderly affected with the calamities of
I our fellow creatures. The prophet here expresses himself in the most pathetic terms, in the view of those desolations which were coming upon his people. Thus should we be affected when we hear of the desolations of war ; of multitudes slain in battle ; though they should not be our own people, yea, though they are our enemies, for they are men. So many precious lives are lost! and so many immortal souls are gone into eternity!
2. Prevailing falsehood is a proof of national degeneracy, and a symptom of national ruin. This seems to have been the reigning vice of Israel in Jeremiah's time. He represents them as almost all treacherous and deceitful, studying falsehood, and every method to overreach and undermine one another. It is very sad with a nation when there is falsehood in judicial proceedings, in trade and commerce, and in common conversation. Too much of this character may be observed in our nation ; the many shameful bankruptcies among us show it. But let us be valiant for the truth. It requires courage to defend an honest cause, when it is much run down; or to speak for a worthy character, when it is generally as persed ; and more especially when speaking truth would expose us to sufferings and reproach. Nevertheless, let truth be ever sacred with us ; for God sees and abhors all deceit. When once men violate the truth, they generally proceed from evil to evil, till at length they have their portion in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone for ever.
3. We learn what should be the subject of our glory and confi. dence. Not our wisdom, might, or riches ; for they are of uncer, tain continuance, nor can they defend us in time of calamity, much less in the time of death. Let us glory in the knowledge of Coil, and trust in his perfections. He is righteous, just, and kind. He makes himself known by these attributes ; he delights in tlie ezer. cise of them, and in those who endeavour to resemble him. To have an acquaintance with this God, and an interest in him, will be a support and comfort to us in every evil day; and in him we may safely confide. Let us therefore be followers of God as drar children.
4. Wicked christians are no better than heathen. It is really melancholy to see that Judah is put upon a level with Egypt and Edom, Ammon and Moab, as being as bad as they, and sharing in their fate. What signifies it to us to be baptized, without purity of heart and complying with the terms of the covenant ? to have the sign, without the thing signified ? to be christians in name, and heathens in heart and life? None will fare the better for these external advantages ; nay, if they do not improve them, their punishment will be heavier than theirs who never enjoyed them. He is not a christian who is one outwardly, and baptism is not that which is oui. ward in the flesh ; but he is a christian who is one inwardly, who is baptized of the spirit and walketh in truih.
Some suppose that this chapler was written afier the first captivity
in Jehoiakim's time, when Daniel and others were carried captive, and is an address to those captives concerning the heathen among whom they were sellied, v. 1-17. and that the rest of the chap'er concerns those who remained in the land, and might think themselves safe.
ITTEAR ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, 2 IT O house of Israel : Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven : for the heathen are dismaved at them ; the Chaldeans are noted astrologers, they pretend by eclipses, the conjunc?ion of the plun. els, and other signs in the heavens, 10 forelell future events, to de
termine lucky and unlucky dans, and the like ; learn not these 3 things of them, nor be dismayed at them; For the customs of the
people are vain : for (one) cutteth a tree out of the forest, the 4 work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They deck it
with silver and with gold ; they fasten it with nails and with 5 hammers, that it move pot. They are] upright as the palm
tree, but speak not : they must needs be borne, or carried, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them ; for they cannot do evil, neither also [is it) in them to do good. The prophel, being struck with a sense of God's infinite greatness and glory,
compared with idols, turns to him, and saus, in a noble apostrophe, 6 Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD ; thou
(art] great, and thy name [is] great in might. Who would not fear thee, O King of nations ? for to thee doth it appertuin ; or rather, when he shall affiroach unto thee:* forasmuch as among all the wise (men) of the nations, and in all their king
* Dr. Biayney.
doms, (there is) none like unto thee ; none of their wise men or 8 kings, whom they have deified. But they are altogether brutish
and foolish : the stock [is] a doctrine of vanities ; or, the very wood itself being a rebuker of vanities, (that is, idolaters) and re
proaching the stupidity of those who imagined that some divine 9 power was lodged in it. Silver spread into plates is brought
from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workmen, or silversmiths, and of the hands of the founder : blue and
purple [is] their clothing : they (are] all the work of cunning 10 (men.]* But the LORD [is] the true God, he [is] the living
God, and an everlasting king, the author of life and being : at his
wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able il to abide his indignation. Thus shall ye say unto them, The
gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, [even] they
shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens ; their 12 idols shall perish, as the ancient idolatry has done.t He hath
made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discre.
tion; consequently, his wisdom and power infinitely exceed theirs. 13 When he uttereth his voice, (there is) a multitude of waters in
the heavens, clouds and rain, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with
rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures, as if it was 14 laid up in some secret storehouses till he had occasion for it. Every
man is brutish in [his) knowledge, or, for want of knowledge : every founder is confounded by the graven image : for his mol
ten image (is) falsehood, and (there is] no breath in them. 15 They (are) vanity, [and] the work of errors, men make them
and worship them, because they have wrong notions of God, in the
time of their visitation they shall perish, their idols are not able to 16 help them ; they and their gods shall perish together. The por.
tion of Jacob, that is, Jehovah, who hath chosen Jacob for his por. tion, (is) not like them : for he [is] the former of all [things ;] and Israel [is] the rod of his inheritance ; he divided their ini
heritance by a line or rod : the Lord of hosts [is] his name. 17 Gather up they wares, or effects, out of the land, O inhabit.
ant of the fortress, ye who dwell in Jerusalem and Sion, or in other
strong places, and think yourselves secure ; for thus saith the 18 LORD, Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land at
this once, and will distress them, that they may find [it so ;] behold, I will send the king of Babylon against you, and ye shall be all destroyed or carried away at once ; ye skall surely find it as I
They dressed their images often in costly robes and different suits, as the lady of Lo. retta, who had one for every day in the year.
+ This verse was not written in the Hebrew, but the Chaldee language, that the captives might tell the Chaldeans in their own language, of their faith in Jehovah, and remonstrate against the folly of idolatry. Dr. Blayney thinks this verse interrupts the course of the argument, and thar probably some public teacher, luring the captivity. deducink it by direct inference from the prophet's words, had it inserted in the margin, for the reasonis mentioned above. VOL. V.
have threatened. The people are then introduced as lamenting
their calamity. 19 Wo is me for my hurt! my wound is grievous : but I said,
Truly this [is] a grief, and I must bear it ; this denotes a sullen, 20 not a submissive silence. My tabernacle is spoiled, and all my
cords are broken ; an allusion to their dwelling in tents : my children are gone forth of me, and they [are] not; they are slain, dispersed, or carried captive, to return no more : (there is none
to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains. 21 For the pastors, the princes, governors, and priests, who should
have guided the flock, are become brutish, and have not sought
the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks 22 shall be scattered. Behold, the noise of the brute* is come, and
a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities
of Judah desolate, [and] a den of dragons. ! 23 O LORD, I know that the way of man [is] not in himself : (it
is) not in man that walketh to direct his steps ; as if he had said,
It is neither in our enemy's power to oppress us, nor in our own 10 24 deliver ourselves without thy providence, O LORD, correct me,
but with judgment, with mercy and moderation ; not in thine an25 ger, lest thou bring me to nothing. Thou wilt Pour out thy
fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name, but ascribe their success 10 their idols : for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate.
1. T HE people of God have need of great caution that they do
I not learn the ways of sinners, when they live among them. The Israelites are exhorted not to learn the ways of the heathen. To consult astrologers, stargazers, and conjurers, is learning the ways of the heathen, and very wicked in those who profess to believe the providence of God. To be dismayed at lights in the sky, comets, eclipses, or any extraordinary appearances in the hearens, is very unbecoming those who profess to know God, and who enjoy his gospel. Let us reverence him and his providence, and guard
pleasing to God, as well as mischievous to ourselves.
2. Let us observe how infinitely superior the name, wisdom, and power of the Lord are to idols, which are all vanity and a lie. We ought to entertain the highest and most honourable thoughts of him. Let us reflect upon his infinite goodness and glory, his power over all nature, his command over all the elements, and his goodness to the whole creation. The variety of storms and changes of the weather, prove his being and providence. All the wisdom and skill of men are derived from him. Who then would not fear him, and seek his friendship. Let the people of God rejoice in him, be
* An old English word, which signifies clamour, ar aların.
fully satisfied, and think themselves happy in having him for their portion ; for happy indeed is the people who have this great and glorious Being for their God.
3. We may learn what our behaviour should be under affliction, v. 19. It is very common to say, 'I cannot help it, and must do as well as I can ;' without any regard to God and his providence. Let us own his hand in distress ; resolve to bear it patiently and chcerfully, because God does it, and will overrule all for our good. But it is perfectly consistent with this patience, to pray that God would moderate his stroke, correct us with judgment, and in mercy ; not in angry severity, for who then could stand before him ? and especial. ly to pray, that he would not deal with us after our sins.
4. We have here the character of the heathen. They are spoken of as nations ; and families are represented as constituent parts of them. The heathen know not God ; take no pains to trace and reflect upon his being and perfections. How lamentable is it, that so many who are called by the christian name, with all their advantages, are willingly ignorant of him. They say to God, Depart from us. There are many families in this land that call not‘on his name, do not use family prayer, have no appearance of religion in their houses, and therefore are as bad or worse than heathens. Upon such, whatever wealth and finery be in their houses, God's fury will be poured out ; and well may the heads of prayerless families tremble to think of it! To avoid this dreadful fury, and secure the divine blessing, let them resolve with Joshua, that whatever others do, they and their houses will serve the Lord.
CHAP. XI, In order to reclaim the people, their attention is here called to the
covenant made with their fathers. THE word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2 1 Hear ye the words of this covenant, and speak unto the 3 men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem ; And say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel ; Cursed
[be] the man that obeyeth not the words of this covenant, 4 Which I commanded your fathers in the day (that) I brought
them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, out of their heavy afflictions, saying, Obey my voice, and do them, according to all which I command you : so shall ye be my people, and I will be your God : That I may perform the oath which I have sworn unto your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as (it is) this day. Then answered I, and said, So be it, O LORD, I, for my part, consent ; as if he had said, Whatever they do, I will be obedient ; or rather, it may express the readiness with which the people consented to the cove. nant at first ; all that the Lord hath spoken we will do, Exodus xix. 8. Then the LORD said unto me, Proclaim all these words