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18 to Babylon. The caldrons also, and the shovels, and the snuf.
fers, and the bowls, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass 19 wherewith they ministered, took they away. And the basons,
and the fire pans, and the bowls, and the caldrons, and the candlesticks, and the spoons, and the cups ; [that] which swas) of
gold [in] gold, and [that] which was) of silver [in] silver, 20 took the captain of the guard away. The two pillars, one sea,
and twelve brazen bulls that [were] under the bases, which king
Solomon had made in the house of the LORD : the brass of all 21 these vessels was without weight. And [concerning] the pile
lars, the height of one pillar (was] eighteen cubits ; and a fillet
of twelve cubits did compass it; and the thickness thereof 22 [was] four fingers : [it was] hollow. And a chapiter of brass
[was] upon it ; and the height of one chapiter [was] five cubits, with network and pomegranates upon the chapiters round
about, all [of] brass. The second pillar also and the pomegran23 ates [were] like unto these. And there were ninety and six
pomegranates on a side ; [and] all the pomegranates upon the network (were] an hundred round about.
And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, who was to act in case of the
sickness or incapacity of the high priest, and the three keepers of 25 the door : He took also out of the city an eunuch, which had the
charge of the men of war; and seven men of them that were near the king's person, which were found in the city ; and the principal scribe of the host, who mustered the people of the land ; and threescore men of the people of the land, that were found in the midst of the city, and who were the principal persons
employed in preventing Zedekiah's surrender, and in prosecuting 26 Jeremiah. So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them, 27 and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah. And the
king of Babylon smote them, and put them to death in Riblah in the land of Hamath. Thus Judah was carried away captive out
of his own land. ... 28 This [is] the people whom Nebuchadrezzar carried away
captive : in the seventh year, three thousand Jews and three
and twenty of the tribe of Judah, (for there were in all ten thou29 sand, 2 Kings xxiv. 14.) In the eighteenth year of Nebuchad
rezzar, he carried away captive from Jerusalem eight hundred 30 thirty and two persons : In the three and twentieth year of Neb
uchadrezzar, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the Jews seven hundred forty and five persons; a third captivity, not mentioned elsewhere, (probably the persons concerned in «he murder of Gedaliah ;) all the persons (were] four thou
sand and six hundred. 31. And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the
captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, in the five and twentieth (day) of the month,* (that? Eviimero
• In the look of Kinge it is said the eventy seventh ; perhaps the orders were given the twenty fifth, and executed the twenty seventh.
dach king of Babylon, in the (first] year of his reign lifted up
the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah, and brought him forth 32 out of prison, And spake kindly unto him, and set his throne
above the throne of the kings that (were) with him in Babylon, 33 And changed his prison garments : and he did continually eat 34 bread before him all the days of his life. And (for) his diet,
there was a continual diet given him of the king of Babylos, every day a portion until the day of his death, all the days of his life ; that is, he gave him an allowance for the support of his family ; which was an encouragement to the pious Jewe, and es omen of their approaching deliverance.
1. A Sa general lesson from this chapter and the whole book, w
11 may observe the sad consequences of rebellion against God, and of refusing to hearken to his word. Zedekiah would not take warning, though it was so plainly and affectionately given by Jeremiah ; and therefore he was involved in all this misery ; his sons were slain, his eyes were put out, and he was made a prisoner for life. The Israelites would not hearken, and therefore were they carried captive ; their principal persons slain ; and their city and temple destroyed. A terrible description of their misery will be seen in the next book. See how wretchedly God's own people may degenerate ; and that when they do so, their relation to him will not save them from ruin, but expose them to greater. See also how righteous and faithful, how exact and punctual, how awful and terrible, God is, in executing his threatenings. No word of his falls to the ground. May we, may all the inhabitants of Britain, take warning by this dreadful story! All these things happened to them for ca. samples, and they are written for our admonition.
2. From the captivity of Jehoiachin we may observe, what surprizing scenes of Providence sometimes open upon men ; and what a changing world this is. First he was a monarch ; then seven and thirty years a prisoner ; then released, and honourably supported. God knows how to bring about such changes; he can debase the highest down to the dust ; can take the poor from the dunghill, to set them among princes ; and give men favour in the eyes of their enemies. Those who are now prosperous should ri. member the days of darkness, which may be many, that they may be humble and cautious. Those who have been long in deep affliction, should be patient and contented ; not knowing what prosperous scenes may be before them. It is at least certain, that all good men shall experience a more wonderful change than this monarch did, when Christ shall call them from the prison of the grave, give them the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness, and · advance them to sit down on his throne, to be happy with him for ever.
THE Lamentations of Jeremiah were composed soon after the de
struction of Jerusalem and the captivity of Judah. They are divided into five distinct chapters, which are so many beautiful elegies, bewailing those sad events.
In which Jerusalem's misery for her sins is related, with her complaint,
• and confession of God's righteousness.
I L O W doth the city sit solitary, (that was] full of people !
11 (how] is she become as a widow ! she (that was] great
among the nations, (and) princess among the provinces, [how] 2 is she become tributary! She weepeth sore in the night, and
her tears (are] on her cheeks, like a sincere morirner when alone: among all her lovers, or allies, she hath none to comfort [her :)
all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are beS come her enemies. Judah is gone into captivity because of
affliction, and because of great servitude ; because they had afflic!. ed and oppressed their brethren : she dwelleth among the hea
then, she findeth no rest : all her persecutors overtook her 4 between the straits, or, in the narrow passages. The ways of
Zion do mourn, because none come to the solemn feasts ; the ways that lead to Zion, which used to be crouded on those occasions : all her gates are desolate : her priests sigh, her virgins
are afflicted, and she [is] in bitterness ; all her mirth and gaiety 5 are gone. Her adversaries are the chief, her enemies prosper ;
for the Lord hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions : her children are gone into captivity before the enemy. And from the daughter of Zion all her beauty is departed : her princes are become like harts [that] find no pasture, and they are gone without strength before the pursuer ; not like a hunted deer, wearied out in the chase ; but like one ready to die with hunger before the chase began, which therefore only makes
a feeble, short effort, and then drops down : a most expressive 7 simile. Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction and
of her miseries all her pleasant things that she had in the days of old, God's presence, his temple, his ordinances, and prophets, when her people fell into the hand of the enemy, and none did help her : the adversaries saw her, [and] did mock at her sab.
baths ; or, laughed at her discontinuing them, as if she had only 8 kept them out of sloth, Jerusalem hath grievausly sinned; there,
fore she is removed : all that honoured her despise her, because
they have seen her nakedness : yea, she sigheth, and turneth 9 backward. Her filthiness (is) in her skirts, it is visible on her
garments ; she remembereth not her last end ; therefore she came down wonderfully ; all is the effect of her sin: she had no comforter. O LORD, behold my affliction : for the enemy hath magnified [himself.] The adversary hath spread out his hand upon all her pleasant things, upon her rich furniture, jetels, and plate : for she hath seen (that) the heathen entered into
her sanctuary, whom thou didst command (that) they should 1l not enter into thy congregation. All her people sigh, they seek
bread; they have given their pleasant things for meat to relieve the soul : see, O LORD, and consider ; for I am become
vile, 12 [Is it] nothing to you, all ye that pass by ? behold and see if
there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto
me, wherewith the Lord hath afficted (me) in the day of his 13 fierce anger.* From above hath he sent fire into my bones, and
it prevaileth against them ; I am like a person struck with lghi. ning, which has broken my bones and pierced my vitals : he hath
spread a net for my feet, he hath turned me back: he hath made 14 me desolate [and] faint all the day. The yoke of my transgres
sions, the burden of my iniquities, is bound by his hand : they are wreathed, [and] come up upon my neck : he hath made my
strength to fall, the LORD hath delivered me into their hands, 15 [from whom] I am not able to rise up. The Lord hath trod
den under foot all my mighty [men] in the midst of me: he hath called an assembly against me to crush my young men : the LORD hath trodden the virgin, the daughter of Judah, fair
and delicate as she was, (as) in a winepress ; she was crushed 10 16 pieces by the Chaldeans, as grapes in a press. For these things)
I weep ; mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because
the comforter that should relieve my soul, is far from me : my 17 children are desolate, because the enemy prevailed. Zion
spreadeth forth her hands in supplication, (and there is) none to comfort her : the LORD hath commanded concerning Jacob, [that] his adversaries (should be] round about himn : Jerusa
• A beautiful apostrophe, much admired by the critics. The plaintiff, having no friend or companion to open his grief to, is forced to implore the pity of strangers and passengers. It intimates that no words were necessary to raise compassion, it was sufficient to look on his case, to see that his sorrow was unequalled: it intimates also, that he had met with little compassion froin soine that had passed by; and that therefore be expostulated with others
lem is as a menstruous woman among them, one set apart as
unclean. 18 The LORD is righteous ; for I have rebelled against his com
mandment: hear, I pray you, all people, and behold my sor
row : my virgins and my young men are gone into captivity. 19 I called for my lovers, [but] they deceived me : my priests
and mine elders gave up the ghost in the city, while they sought 20 their meat to relieve their souls. Behold, O Lord; for I [ami]
in distress : my bowels are troubled ; mine heart is turned within me ; for I have grievously rebelled : abroad the sword
bercaveth, at home (there is) as death, or certain death by fan21 ine. They have heard that I sigh: [there is) none to comfort
me : all mine enemies have heard of my trouble ; they are glad that thou hast done [it :] thou wilt bring the day (that)
thou hast called, and they shall be like unto me; thou wilt exe22 cule like judgments upon them, as thou hast foretold. Let all their
wickedness come before thee, that is, it shall come ; and do unto them, or, thou wilt do unto them, as thou hast done unto me for all my transgressions : for my sighs (are) many, and my heart [is] faint.
1. THE distress of nations ought to afflict every human heart.
1 See what calamities war makes ; and what great reason we have to be thankful that we have not been witnesses of, or sharers in, such terrible desolations. We have reason to pity and pray for those who have ; and to bless God for peace and plenty. But O, think of those who are now returning to their houses and possessions, and find them all waste and desolate ; and offer up earnest prayers that God would support and provide for them.
2. The distresses of the church will particularly affect every pious heart. These the prophet tenderly laments. It is great joy to good men to see the church prosperous, and the ways to Zion crouded ; and grievous to see her assemblies broken up by persecution ; or her ways neglected by those who have no good reason for such neglect ; to see their places empty, though they can pursue their business or pleasure ; and thus throw contempt upon sacred things. It is grievous to hear the wicked mocking at their sabbaths. But pious men will not look upon them as less honourable, delightful, and advantageous on that account.
3. Let us acknowledge the hand and righteousness of God in all our affiictions. This is often mentioned, righteous art thou, O Lord. It becomes us to acknowledge this before him, and before men. It is a great comfort that we can apply to him and expect relief from him. Too many when afficted are apt to adopt the passionate complaints of the prophet; but it would be better for them to observe and adopt his expressions of humiliation, and his prayers for support.