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will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them, that is, governors after the captivity, or rather, in the latter days : and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be

lacking, saith the LORD. 5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto

David a righteous Branch, and a king shall reign and prosper,

and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth; he shail 6 impartially reward the righteous and the wicked. In his days Ju

dah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely : and this [is] his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS ; or, this is the name by which Jehovah

shall call him, OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, that is, the means of 7 our justification and salvation. Therefore, behold, the days

come, saith the LORD, that is, the latter days, that they shall no more say, The Lord liveth, which brought up the children of 8 Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The Lord liveth, which

brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them : and they shall dwell in their own land ; this last delivere

ance shall eclipse the former, and be as life from the dead. 9 Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets ; ali

my bones shake; I am like a drunken man ; and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the Lord, and because of the words of his holiness, which they have profaned; I a!

deeply affected with their horrible sin, and tremble 10 deliver 10 message. For the land is full of adulterers; for because of

swearing, or perjury, the land mourneth ; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their

force [is] not right; their zeal is not to promote religion, 62.2 Il wickedness. For both prophet and priest are profane ; yea, in

my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD ; I hate 12 found their idolatries there. Wherefore their way shall be unta

them as slippery (ways) in the darkness : they shall be driv.:? on, and fall therein; they promise others peace and light, but they shall miss of both themselves, and fall and miscarry in their design:s:

for I will bring evil upon them, [even] the year of their visite13 tion, saith the Lord. And I have seen folly in the prophets or

Samaria ; they have prophesied in Baal, and caused my people

Israel to err; I have seen this comparatively as a small marier. 14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing :

they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evil doers, that none doth return from his wicker's ness; calling their own fancies divine oracles, and promising

punity : they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inab15 itants thereof as Gomorrah. Therefore thus saith the Lort of

hosts concerning the prophets ; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land; they have made others vile by their counsels and e.ransfer.

• Sue Dr. Bl-yney's note on this passage.

16 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of

the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain, that

is, deceive you : they speak a vision of their own heart, [and] not 17 out of the mouth of the Lord. They say still unto them that

despise me, The Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace : and they

say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own 18 heart, No evil shall come upon you. For who hath stood in the

counsel of the Lord, and who hath perceived and heard his word ? who hath marked his word, and heard [it ;] they never took pains lo distinguish my suggestions from their own foolish

reasonings, else, instead of peace, they would have foretold judg19 ments. Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord is gone forth in fury,

even a grievous whirlwind : it shall fall grievously upon the 20 head of the wicked. The anger of the Lord shall not return,

shall not turn back, or rest, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart : in the latter days ye

shall consider it perfectly ; in your captivity and distress ye shall 21 understand and consider the meaning of these prophecies. I have

not sent these prophets, yet they ran : I have not spoken to 22 them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my coun

sel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they

should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil 23 of their doings, they would have had some success. [Am] I a

God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? in heaven,

and not in earth ? cannot I discern what is doing at the greatest 24 distance ? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not

see him ? saith the LORD : can they think lo deceive and impose 25 upon me? Do not I fill heaven and earth ? saith the LORD. I

have heard what the prophets said, though they thought I did not,

that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have 26 dreamed; I have a divine admonition to deliver. How long shall

[this] be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, 27 [they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; Which

think, or contrive, to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their

fathers have forgotten my name for Baal ; their design is to lead 28 them to idolatry, and to forget me and my laws. The prophet

that hath a dream, let him tell a dream ; tell it as a dream that deserves no regard ; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully : What [is] the chaff to the wheat ? saith the

LORD; there is as much difference between true and false prophets, 29 and their way of fireaching, as belween chaf and wheat. (Is) not

my word like as a fire ? saith the LORD ; and like a hammer [that] breaketh the rock in pieces ? that breaks through all opposition, and subdues the most obdurate hearts ; and the words of the

true prophels had often this effect, which was a proof that they 30 were not counterfeis. Therefore, behold, I (am) against the

prophets, saith the Lord, that steal my words every one froin

his neighbour, that is, some of their good sayings, and apply them 31 to their own purposes ; imitating their manner of address. Behold, I (am) against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use, or

smooth, their tongues, and say, He saith ; pretending a divine 32 authority for what they deliver. Behold, I (am) against them

that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies and by their lightness; their unsteady and inconsistent conduct ; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them : therefore they shall not profit this people at

all, saith the Lord. 83 And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask

thee, saying, What [is] the burden of the LORD ? when they meet thee, and ask in a taunting and scornful way, what the burden of the Lord now is ; (as prophecies are often called, because they contained very weighty and important matters ;) thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the

LORD; or rather, Ye are the burden, and I will cast you off, saith 34 the Lord. And (as for] the prophet, and the priest, and the

people, that shall say, The burden of the LORD, I will even pun35 ish that man and his house. Thus shall ye say every one to

his neighbour, and every one to his brother, instead of that pro

fane jesting language, you should say, What hath the LORD anS6 swered ? and, What hath the Lord spoken ? And the burden

of the LORD shall ye mention no more : for every man's word shall be his burden ; he that makes a jest of it shall feel it ; for

ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of 37 hosts our God, who is able to accomplish his threatenings. Thus

shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the LORD answered 38 thee? and, What hath the LORD spoken ? But since ye say, or,

if ye will say, The burden of the Lord; therefore thus saith the LORD ; Because ye say this word, The burden of the LORD, and

I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of 39 the LORD: Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you,

and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your 40 fathers, (and cast you) out of my presence : And I will bring

an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.

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REFLECTIONS.

1. I ET us regard Jesus Christ in the view in which he is here

I foretold : as a Branch of David, in whom the prophecies are fulfilled ; and as our Righteousness, as one who is perfectly righteous himself, and who wrought out righteousness for his people. The dignity of his person, the excellency of his character, and his divine appointment, all join to render him a complete Sav. iour. May we then look to him, and be saved. He will take care of his church and provide for his flock, when those who should feed. it, neglect it ; and those who should defend it, devour it.

2. Let us reverence the omniscience of God. These prophets would not have been so wicked ; nor the people so easily imposed upon, had they not forgotten this, and said, The Lord doch not see.

VOL. V.

But there is no concealing any thing from him ; no imposing upon him : darkness and distance are no obstruction to his view. Let us reflect seriously on this; be afraid of secret sins ; and approve ourselves to him.

3. Let us admire the power of the word of God. It is as fire, and as a hammer; dissolving the stubborn spirit ; breaking the most rocky heart. It has a wonderful efficacy for these purposes; and it is a proof of its divine authority when such effects attend it. Let us pray that it may have this effect upon our souls; and instead of being a savour of death may be a savour of life to them.

4. Here is an awful lesson to ministers to preach God's word faithfully, and to deal plainly with immortal souls. What a number of expressions have we here of God's displeasure against false prophets and deceivers ! May ministers lake warning, and not smooth their tongues, but show men their transgressions. May they never strengthen the hands of the wicked, by promising them peace; by lowering the terms of salvation, or weakening the threatenings of God's word. May they never lead people to substitute any thing for real holiness. To say nothing but what is pleasing and plausible ; to be more fearful of offending man than God, are proofs that they never stood in his counsel, nor understood his words. This is doing men the greatest mischief imaginable. May they therefore watch for souls as those that must give an account.

5. See the evil and danger of making a jest of scripture truths, or scripture language. This was the sin of the Jews ; we see how highly God resented it ; and how awfully he forbids it, on pain of his highest displeasure. It is common for men to turn sacrcd things into ridicule, and to make a jest of the language of ministers, though it be the language of scripture, and the language of the Spirit of God. Sometimes those who profess godliness will use scripture phrases and expressions in a light, trilling manner, and make it their jest, when perhaps they have no evil intention. But let them beware of this, lest their own tongues fall upon them, v. 36. They who allow themselves in this indecent, irreverent, profane language, will hereafter persectly understand what it is to trifle with sacred things, and what a fearful thing it is to fall into the hands of the live ing God. God and his word jest with no man, and therefore they are not to be jested with.

CHAP. XXIV.

In the former chapter the ruin of Jerusalem and the Jewish s'ate was

foretold ; here, for the encouragement of the prophet and the pious people in the land, it is declared, that though all should suffer, Gud

would make a distinction between the precious and the vile. I TIE LOrd showed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs

1 (were] set before the temple of the LORD), these were offcrci, according to the law, as part of their first fruiis, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon; because they wanted these most, or to 2 prevent the Jews fortifying their city and making weapons. One

basket (had) very good figs, [even) like the figs (that are] first

ripe : and the other basket (had) very naughty figs, which could 3 not be eaten, they were so bad. Then said the LORD unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah ? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good ; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil. 5 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Thus saith the LORD, the Gon of Israel ; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge, or distinguish, them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for [their] good, or, in a favourable manner;

that is, I will show them favour, and make their captivity work for 6 their good.* For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and

I will bring them again to this land : and I will build them, and not pull (them) down ; and I will plant them, and not pluck [them) up; I will give them favour in the land of their captivity,

and bring them or their poslerity back, and fix them in a state 7 of prosperity. And I will give them an heart to know me, that

I sam] the LORD : and they shall be my people, and I will be their God : for they shall return unto me with their whole heart ; they shall know 'God practically, renounce their idolatry, return to their duty, and live in the fear of God, and in obedience

to his commands.f 8 And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil ;

surely thus saith the Lord, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt, that 9 went to settle in Egypt for security : And I will deliver them to

be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for (their) hurt, (to be] a reproach and a proverb, a taunt, and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them ; they shall be signal instances of God's displeasure, and become so contemptible and miserable,

that the common form of cursing shall be,' God make you like 10 them.' And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pesti

lence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that . I gave unto them and to their fathers ; I will send one calamity after another upon them, so that neither they nor their posterity shall ever return to their own land.

• Probably most of these were pious men: God might influence the hearts of the con. querors to take such, while those who staved behind thought themselves better beinved of God than their brethren who were carried captive ; but God would show tht m the contrary

4. Their former calamities had no such effect, hot seemed rather to hire themthis therefore could not be a conjecture of Jeremiah's, for it was a most unlikely thing i but the spirit of propliccy plainly appears in it.

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