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at home; to build and plant, not fearing that their masters would deprive them of their possessions; and to encourage themselves -with an assurance that they or their children should see better days. This is an important lesson to us. Our situations and circumstances in life are of God's ordering, v. 4. We arc not to overlook, or be unthankful for, the comforts we have, because some are lost. If we are removed to a distance from our relations and friends, and grafted into new families and settlements, let us accommodate ourselves to them ; consult their peace and comfort; and by that means we shall promote our own.
3. How reasonable is it that we should pray for the land of our nativity, v. 7. If the Israelites were to consult and pray for the peace of an heathen, tyrannical, and oppressive king and people, among whom they were settled; it is much more our duty, by loyalty, subjection, and every other instance of good behaviour, to seek the peace of our native country, and the prosperity of the good government we live under; to pray far our king, and for all that are in authority, that we may lead peaceable and quiet lives, in all godtinees and honesty.
4. How happy are the people of God in their communion with him, and his thoughts of peace toward them! There was a way to the throne of grace in Babylon, as well as in Jerusalem. We have all access to God by prayer. Let us value this privilege, remembertng the qualifications of acceptable devotion; that it is seeking God, and searching for him with our whole heart, that is, with sincerity and fervency. His thoughts toward his people are thoughts of peace, even when he sees it best to correct them, and though they may imagine that they are thoughts of evil. There is an end which they expect, even their settlement in the heavenly Canaan, and everlasting rest there; and of this they shall not be disappointed. But those who, like Shemaiah, rebel against God, forfeit the privileges of his people. God will do his people much good; more than they -can ask or think: but those who are rebellious against his word and commandments shall never see it. The end of the righteous is peace; but there is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.
Contains gracious promises of God to Israel, and that he would remember the covenant made rvith their fathers.
1 r I ''H E word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,
2 JL Thus speaketh the Lord Gon of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book; because they refer to distant events, viz. to the return of the Jens from captivity, and even to Christ's time; they will be encouragements to them in the mean while, and the events will be a proof of
3 my foreknowledge and providence. For, lo, Ibe days cone, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord : and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.
4 And these [are] the words that the Lord spake concerning
5 Israel and concerning Judah. For thus saith the Lots: We have heard the voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace, at
6 the false prophets foretold. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child ? Wherefore do I see, not one or loo, but every man with his hands on his lqjns, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness; they carry concern m
7 their looks, and uneasiness in their behaviour, Alas ! for that day, the day of the destruction of the city and temfile, and the captivity of the residue of the ficofile, [is] great, so that none [is] like it: it [is] even the time of Jacob's trouble ; but he shall
8 be saved out of it. For it shall come to pass in that day, that distant fieriod of signal and firovidenlial events, sakh the Lord of hosts, [that] I will braak his yoke, the king of Babylon'» yo«V, from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him, that is, of thy possessions an I
9 labours: But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them; they shall adhere faithfully to true religion, and serve the Messiah, here called David, because he was his son according lo the flesh, the heir la his throne, and in whom the prophecies relating to David were fulfilled.
10 - Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the Lcrd; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity ; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make [him] afraid : thou shalt enjoy great quietness under the
11 Persian monarchy, and still more in the latter day. For I [am] with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations, of the Assyrians and Chaldeans, whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not mal^e a full end of thee :• but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished ; though I chastise, I will not utterly destroy thee.
12 For thus saith the Lcrd, Thy bruise '[is] incurable, [and] thy wound [is] grievous ; it seems to be so, and is so, by human /lotr
13 er. [There is] none to plead, or judge, thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines, but art
14 like a distempered body, dying for want of help. All thy lovers, or allies, have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity ; [because] thy sins were increased; / have treated thee with great
• This was remarkably fulfilled in the Jews being kept a distinct people, when thcs* nations, «ice so populous and mighty, were quite lott
15 severity because tliine iniquities are great. Why criest them for thine affliction ? why dost thou lament and expostulate with me 7 thy sorrow [is] incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: [because] thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto
16 thee» Therefore, or ra'her, yet surely, all they that devour thee shall be devoured ; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity ; and they that spoil thee shall be a
17 spoil, and all that prey upon thee will I give for a prey. For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord ; because they called thee an outcast, [saying,] This [is] Zion, whom no man seeketh after.
18 Thus saith the Lord ; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob's tents, alluding to their formerly dwelling in tents, and have mercy on his dwelling places; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, or hill, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof, that is, the temple, God's palace, shall
19 be reestablished upon i:s former plan. And out of them, the tempie and private houses, shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry, that is, cheerfulness acd thankfulness: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also
20 glorify them, and they shall not be small, or brought low. T heir children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me; their children shall inherit their fathers' honours and estates, the church and the commonwealth shall be restored as brftre,• and I will punish all that oppress them.
31 And their nobles, or, noble One, that is, the Messiah,t shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them ; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shalLapp roach unto me; they shall have no foreign governor, but approach to God,«msult him, and be judged by his law: for who [is] this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? saith the Lord ; without God's favourable interposition who could do so?
92 And ye shall be my people again, and adhere to my instituted worship, and I will be your God, to protect and bless you. Yet in the mean time,
23 Behold, the whirlwind of the Lord goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind : -it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked who will not repent, and it shall be a continual whirl
24 wind, not like a common one, which is violent but short. The fierce anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have done [it,] and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it ; when there shall be a general conversion of the Jews, then they shall fully understand the meaning of such prophecies as these.
• Some understand it of rh.rir ch'Uren being taken into coven mt u ilh Go J ly baptism. 0*1 their conversinn, Hs they formerly were by circumcision.
t The word siirnirurs, the miirhrv One, and seems lather to refrr to Citrine. * ho skftd'd draw near to God us a priest, as well as a kin*- Then follows a note of admiration, Tc it wonderful it should be so! Who is so entirely devoted to my service, and cm nppioach to me tts mediator, but He t
1. TT is both our duty and happiness to serve the Lord. To acJL knowledge God as our creator, preserver, and happiness; and, by his appointment, to serve Jesus Christ, to whom he hath given the throne of David! We are to reverence and honour him as a king ; to submit to his laws, and trust in his protection: and our deliverance from the power of spiritual enemies, is an unanswerable reason why we should serve him in holiness and righteousness all our days.
2. See the unreasonableness of anxious fear in God's servants, even when their circumstances are most distressing, т. 10. Israel is rebuked for their fears, (though they were punished with severity, and their wound seemed incurable) because they had so many promises to trust in. Under pressing dangers, or long and heavy affliction, we are ready to despair; but God hath promised support and relief: and he is able to grant them, when earthly helps fail, and when, to human appearance, there is no hope. Our afflictions will have an happy issue ; let us then trust in the Lord far ever.
3. Let us rejoice in the mediation of Jesus Christ, our great high priest: he is not only our governor, but our intercessor also: he draws near to God on our behalf; God has appointed and caused him to do so, that we might have strong consolation: he engaged his own heart to do it; voluntarily and resolutely undertook this service. As we hope for the benefit of his mediation, let us engage our hearts likewise ; and while in his name we come boldly to the throne of grace, let us approach it with seriousness, reverence, and godly fear.
CHAP. XXXI. 1—26.
In thi» chafiter gracious firomises to Israel are continued; but it га hard to say, whether they refer to their return from ca/itivi/y, or te gotfiel times : fierhafis the former part of the chafiter may refer to their return from Babyhn, aid the latter to their conversion in the last days.
\ /\ Т the same time, saith the Lord, will I be the God of JL\. alt the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.
~ Thus saith the Lord, The people [which were] left of the sword of Pharaoh, found grace in the wilderness; [even] Israel, when I went to cavise him to rest ; / led them through the K'itderness, and conducted them te their reit in Canaan, /low
3 therefore can they doubt of my favour? The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, [saying,] Yea, I have loved thec Israel with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn the*; what I did for thy fathers was founded on covenant /ore,
4 therefore I will continue to be gracious to thee. Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel; / will restore thee to thy fonner state, and thou sJialt be reformed from idolatry, and become pure again like a virgin: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry ; thou shalt have all marks of civil and
5 religious joy. Thou shalt yet'plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria: the planters shall plant, and shall eat [them] as common things; their vines shall yield such plenty of fruit that
6 every one may eat of it without restriction.• For there shall be a day, [that] the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim, which was mar Samaria, where there used to be the greatest opposition
he worship at Jerusalem, shall cry, Aiise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the Lord our God ; an allusion to centinels or watchmen calling the people together on particular occasions, especially at
7 festivals.\ For thus saith the Lord ; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations, when ye see the beginning of deliverance: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O Lord, save thy people, the remnant of Israel ; complete this good work; or rather, Thou hast saved them, and we praise thee for
8 thy faithfulness. Behold, I will bring them from-the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, [and] with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together; those that are least able to travel shall be inclined and enabled to come: a great company
9 shall return thither. They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them ; godly sorrow for past sins shall mingle itself with all their joy: 1 will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters, in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble ; I will provide for them, and protect them in their journey: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim [is] my firstborn, and
10 I will restore them to their former state. Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare [it] in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as
11 a shepherd [doth] his flock. For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of [him that was] stronger
12 than he. Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together in great multitudes, like the streams of a river, to the goodness of the Lord, to share in the good things of the Lord, in the common sufiplies of life, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd; and their soul shall be as a watered garden ; the influences of divine grace shall complete their joy; and they shall not sorrow any more at all ; they shall have no such trouble again for
13 a long time, as they have lately experienced. Then shall the vir
• There was a law, that when a vine was planted the fruit shou'd not he tonched for throe years, the produce of the fourth was consecrated to God, and in thctmh it uii^hl be eaten as a co.umon thing.
t This is customary still among-the Turks, where the priests proclaim fioni the ions of their churches that the hour of prayer is come.