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THIS short chapter is exceeding useful, as it gives us a ker to some of the most mysterious dispensations of Providence. We learn,
1. That one event in this respect happens to all. The good and the bad alikt ave carried captive; there in no knowing good or evil by any thing that hafifiens under the sun. Therefore we must not censure or judge our brethren, when they meet with great calamities, nor reckon their sufferings to be divine judgments.
2. We see how differently the same afflictions work upon the good and bad. These first captives seemed to be in very deplorable circumstances; they were driven from their country ; lost their estates, their substance, and liberty; and were carried into a heathen land, among strangers, enemies, and oppressors; far from their friends, and the house and ordinances of God. Yet this was all for their good ; to cure them of idolatry, and bring them to know and serve the God of Israel : while their countrymen, though spared for a time, were at length carried away for their hurt and ruin. Thus afflictions are still different in their effects on the righteous and on the wicked. God's intentions to his people are most kind •when his judgments seem most severe: but to his enemies they are not the correction of a father, but the sword of an executioner.
3. We are here taught the design of afflictions, т. 7. viz. to Аписus to know God, to return to him with our whole heart, and so become /¡is fieofile. Though afflictions are adapted to answer this end, yet they will not do it without divine agency ; therefore God promises, Ivrill give them an heart to biota me, that I am the Lord. This therefore should be the subject of our prayers, especially in seasons of distress, that God would give us such an heart: and then will he fulfil that glorious promise, that all things shall work together for our good.
This chapter contains a firo'ihecy of the destruction of Judca and the neighbouring countrie» by Nebuchadnezzar.
1 T I "4IE word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the peo
_L pie of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, when he reigned ivilh his /other, that [was] the first year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and then the
2 seventy years of ca/itivity began ; The which Jeremiah the prophet spake unto all the people of Judah, and to al! the inhabi
3 tants of Jerusalem, saying, From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Araoa king of Judah, even unto this day, that [is] the three and twentieth year, the word of the Loud hath come unto me, and I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking ; but
4 ye have not hearkened. And the Lord hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending [them ;] but
5 ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear. They said, Turn ye ag.tin now every one from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land thai the Lord hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever and ever:
6 And go not after other gods to serve them; and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your
7 hands; and I will do you no hurt. Yet ye have not hearkened unto me, saitli the Loud ; that ye might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt.
8 Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Because yc have not
9 heard my words, Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the Lord, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, чойып I will make use of as a scourge upon the nalioin, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an aston
10 ishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations. Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the milstones, and the light of the candle ; they
11 »hall have neither trade nor pleasure. And this whole land shall be a desolation, [and] an astonishment; and these nations shall
12 serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it shall cometo pass, when seventy years are accomplished, [that] I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the Lord, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it
13 perpetual desolations. And I will bring upon that land all my words which I have pronounced against it, [even] all that is written^ this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all
14 the nations. For many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of them also ; or, for of ¡Лет, even of these., shall many nations and great kings ex-act service; that is, Cyrus and Darius, the Medes and Persians, and their allies: and I will recompense them according to their deeds, and according to the works of their own hands.
15 For thus saith the Lord God of Israel untóme ; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it, that is, firofihesy against than.
16 And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, they xhaU be intoxicated^ lose their understanding, and act like madmen, be
17 cause of the sword that I will send among them. Then took I the cup at the Lord's hand, and made all the nations to drink, to whom the Lord had sent me ; an alluxion to the custom of drinking round in comf^any ; and the jiro/ihet.s are said to do
J8 ¡hat which they foretold G'jd would do: [To wit,] Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and the kings thereof, and the princes there
of, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, an hissing, and a curse ; as [it is] this day; the judgment is already begun in
19 Judea, and some art carried ca/itive; Pharaoh king of Egypt, and
20 his servants, and his princes, and all his people; And all the mingled people, and all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines, and Ashkelon, and Azzah, or Gaza, and Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod, a mingled people near the Rea sea, governors of tittle states, and heads of clans,
21 41 Edom, and Moab, and the children of Ammon, And all the kings of Tynis, and all the kings of Zielen, and the kings of the isles which [arc] beyond the sea, 01; regions by the. sea side,
S3 which lay on the midland sea, ivhat ive call the Levant, Dedan, and Tema, and Buz, and all [that are] in the utmost corners, that have their coast insulated, or /heir hair fiolled, that is, the ЛгаЫап
24 clans, And all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the ming
25 led people that dwell in the desert, And all the kings of Zimri,
26 and all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of the Medes, And all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world, which [are] upon the face of the earth; tlie whole emfiire of Nebuchadnezzar, who had conquered
, almost all the earth: and the king of Sheshach. that is, Babylon,
СГ shall drink after them. Therefore thou shall say unto them,
Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel ; Drink ye, and
be drunken, and spew, and fall, and rise no more, because of the
sword which I will send among you; that is, ye shall do so, and
be so confounded, that ye shall not be able to do any thing, either by
23 skill or ftjTce. And it shall be. if they refuse to take the cup at
thine hand to drink, then shall thou say unto them, Thus vaith
29 the Lord of hosts, Ye shall certainly drink. For, Io, I begin to bring'evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call fora sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the LoiiD of hosts, for learning your idolatry, and therefore certainly
30 11/inn you who taught them. Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The Lord shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation ; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread [the grapes.] against all the inhabitants of the earth ; that is, he shall make himxelf known by denouncing and ex
31 ecurmg dreadful judgment», A noise shall come [even] to the ends of the earth; for the Loud hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he mill judge ihem and set himself against them; he will give them [that are] wirkedto the
32 sword, saith the Loud. Thus saith the Loiid of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great
33 whirlwind shnllbe raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from [one] end of the earth even unto the [other] cm! oï the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried ; they sliaii be dung upon the. ground.
34 Howl, ye shepherds, ye princes and magistrate», and cry; and wallow yourselves [in the ashes,] ye principal of the flock, ye great men: for the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished; and ye shall fall like a pleasant vessel
35 that is broken, and no longer valued or regarded. And the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to
36 escape. A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and an howling of the principal of the flock, [shall be heard :] for the Lord hath
37 spoiled their pasture. And the peaceable habitations, or, the habitations of Salem, or Jerusalem, its fialaces and houses, are cut
38 down because of the fierce anger of the Lord. He hath forsaken his covert, as the lion? who is come abroad to range for
jftrey: for their land is desolate because of the fierceness of the oppressor, and because of his fierce anger.
1. /^1 OD keeps an exact account what religious advantages we VJT have been favoured with, and how long we have enjoyed them, v. 3, 4. He reminds the Jews of this, to shame their ignorance and disobedience. An awful thought: which it becomes us to enter into, that we may consider what improvement w.e have made of our advantages, and what account we shall give of them, when ,/lr all these tilings God shall bring us into judgment.
2. See what use God makes of the princes of the earth ; to execute his purposes, v. 9. Nebuchadnezzar was pursuing his ambitious, covetous ends; but God was fulfilling his own designs by him. Those who are most troublesome to God's people, are but his rod: the tyrant* and conquerors of the earth are but fulfilling his pleasure: and at length their time shall come to fall, their ambition and cruelty shall be punished. It is not what men do, but the temper and principle from which they do it, that renders them acceptable to God: let us therefore judge nothing before the time.
3. See what it is that provokes God to punish, viz. disobedience, v. 6. Let sinners take warning, and return to God and their duty; then they will escape final hurt. Let God's people be careful to behave in an holy, regular manner; then, though he may chasten them for the trial and improvement of their graces, it will be all for their good.
4. If God afflicts his own people, what have not his enemies to fear ? f. 29. If Judah, that had some good people among them, suffered so much, surely the idolatrous nations about tlu m would suffer more. If good men are afflicted, what must the wicked expect? for the time is come that judgment must begin at the haute of God: and ifitjirst btgin at va, what shall' the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be tavcd) •where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear ? ,
5. Let us observe and lament the miseries and desolations of war^. The nations are here described as all drunken and iniuuiutict; which, by the way, shows us what a beastly, detestable vice drunkeoness is. God makes use of this emblem to show how lUey should stagger in their counsels; be all in perplexity and confusion, and totally incapable of defending themselves; the strongest and greatest men should be thrown into hurry and consternation; the peaceable habitations destroyed ; and the quiet in the land suffer, as well as others. This is a case much to be lamented; and the continuance of the divine displeasure on the nations deprecated. But whatever the times are, let the wicked remember, that in die hand of the Lord there is а си/г, and the -wine in red; it is full of mixture, and the dregs thereof all the wicked of the earth ahull wring them outt and drink them.
This cha/iter gives an account of the danger which Jeremiah vas
brought into for delivering hi» message from the Lord faithfully.
\ TN the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah JL king of Judah came this word from the Lord, saying,
2 Thus saith the Lord; Stand in the court of the Lord's house, firobably at one of the solemn feasts, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the Lord's house, all the •words that I command thee to speak unto them ; diminish not a word, as you may be lemfiled to do, the message being so likely
3 to firovoke them: If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings.
4 And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord ; If ye will not hearken to me to walk in my law, which I have set be
5 fore you: To hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending
6 [them,] but ye have not hearkened; Then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth ; when a curse is denounced u/ion a city, it
7 »hall be, ' God make it like Jerusalem.' So the priests and the false prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the Lord, that is, in one of the court», which were all called the house, or temfile.
8 Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the Lord had commanded [him] to speak unto all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die, became thou hast disturbed the government, and discouraged the fieofilefrom defend
9 ing their country. Why hast thou prophesied in the name of the Lord, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this i ¡ty shall be desolate without an inhabitant? And ail the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the Lord, and laid an information against him before the jirinces, in thf cuufis of
10 justicf. When the princes of Judah heard these things, then they came up from the king's house'unto the house of the