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of which thou didst make that vow; thou destroyest thy vow, and he will destroy thy work, Deut. xxviii. 15, &c. The third reason fol. lows.
7. For in the multitude of dreams, and many words, there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God. .
Or, in the multitude of dreams there are also vanities, and so in many words; or, as in the multitude of dreams, so also of words, there are divers vanities. Some consider ya not as a noun, but as the infinitive of the verb, and render it, quia sicut in multiplicare : or, quando multiplicantur somnia, etiam vanitates multiplicantur; sic se habent verba multa : as, when dreams are multiplied, vanities also are multiplied ; so it is in many words. Mercer, a. most learned interpreter, makes this to be the sense and connection: I have given thee these cautions, to be tender of thy behaviour in the presence of God, that thou mayest not, by dreams, fancies, vanities, or multitude of difficult businesses, be brought to utter any thing rashly before God, and not suffer thyself to be withdrawn from him by any temptations. But the words seem to prescribe the same remedy against rash vows, as before against
other hasty addresses to God, ver. 3. There is a noducirletov in the conjunction copulative, as elsewhere, Gen. xliii. 8. and xxv. 34. The plural, et vanitutes, is as forcible as plurima vanitas, great vanity, or many vanities : as Prov. i. 20. wisdoms, i. e. principal or excellent wisdom; Is. lxiv. 6. our righteousnesses, i. e. most righteous actions; Gen. xix. 11. blindnesses, i. e. thick and thorough blindness; Ps. xlv. 15. with gladnesses, i.e. with great gladness ; 2 Pet. iii. 11. what manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversations and godlinesses, i.e. in all manner of holy conversation and godliness ; Cant. v. 16. his mouth is sweetnesses, and he is altogether desires, i.e. most sweet and desirable; Dan. ix. 23. a man of desires, i. e. greatly desired or beloved; Is. liii. 3. a man of sorrows, i.e. full of sorrows. -" But fear thou God.” This is the remedy of all vanities in worship ; to serve God with inward reverence and fear, and not mock him with rash, hasty, verbose, formal, empty expressions. The inward fear of God is the foundation of all holy duties, ch. xii. 13; Is. xxix. 13; Deut. xxviii. 58; Mal. i. 6; Heb. xii. 28, 29.
. 8. If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter; for he that is higher than the highest regardeth, and there be higher than they.
The connection of these words with the former appears to be this : The fear of God often exposes men to injury and violence, and that every where, throughout a province or country; and not merely from ordinary persons, but from the great, without perhaps any prospect of remedy: so that, if they have recourse to a human tribunal for redress, they meet with wresting, perverting, and distorting of justice. On this account, a man's tranquillity in this life may seem to be but little improved by real religion, by which he is in danger of being reduced to poverty and distress. This is a stumbling block, which may produce offence at the ways of God, Mat. xi. 56, and xiii. 21; Gal. v. 11; and good men have stumbled at it, Ps. lxxiii. 12, 13. Now, against this temptation the inspired preacher subjoins a seasonalle antidote, that they should not be amazed at this perversion of equity, but rather comfort themselves, that there lies an appeal to a higher court, where they shall certainly receive impartial justice, and have their innocence completely established and vindicated. 6 If thou seest the oppression of the poor,"
and if it be such oppression as thou hast no remedy for it, but is sufficiently powerful to turn aside and pervert judgment; and, further, if there is no possibility of escaping it, but it meets thee throughout a nation or province; if a poor man that fears God, not only suffers under the meanness of his condition, but under fraud, calumny, and violence, wherever he goes, as Ezek. xviii. 12, 18; Job xx. 19; Mic. iii. 2; Job xxiv. 2–12. and xix. 7,8; Ps. lxxiv. 20; Jer. vi. 6, 7. and xx. 8; Ezek. viii. 17:4"marvel not at the matter :" be not amazed and astonished at it, so the word imports, Is. xiii. 8; Job xxvi. 11. Think it not a strange thing, 1 Pet. iv. 12 : do not think hardly of God, nor distrust his providence, nor become weary of his service. What wonder is it to see power crush poverty, or wickedness suppress piety? Ps. xxxvii. 8, 9.-_" At the matter,” or at the will and purpose of God, in suffering and ordering this event; for these things do not happen without his permission and providence, Hab. l. 12; Is. x. 5; Ps. xvii. 13.-"For he that is higher than the highest regardeth, and there be higher than they." Higher, i.e. God, who is higher : the relative without the antecedent, which is very common: or the High from above, the High regardeth it. It seems to be a vehement and emphatical repetition, The same word is used for from above, Gen. xxvii. 39. and xlix. 25. This kind of repetition is frequent in Scripture, Ps. xxii. 1; Jer. vii. 4. and xxii. 29; Ezek. xxi. 27; 2 Sam. xviii. 33; i Kings xviii. 39; Judges v. 30; Ps. xcviii. 4, 5, 6. and cxxiv. 1, 2; Hos. ii. 2; Dan. x. 19. And according to this sense, God is said, in a way of judginent, to look down from heaven upon the violence of great men, and from thence to speak in his wrath unto them, Ps. ii. 4, 5, and xi. 4, 5, 6; Exod. ii. 23, 24; 1 Sam. ix. 16; Ps. xciii. 4.-Or, “ He that is higher than the high ;" God, who is high above all the earth, the high and mighty one, above all the potentates of the earth, who are called high ones, Isai. xxiv. 21. and ii. 11, 12; 2 Sam. xxiii. 1. He that is King of kings, and Lord of lords, “ higher than the kings of the earth,” Ps. lxxxix. 27 " regardeth,” ob. serves the violence of proud men to avenge it, or keepeth the poor who are oppressed by them, Isai. iii. 14; Prov. xxii. 22, 23; Ps. x. 12–18; xi. 5; lxviii. 5; and lxxii. 4.-" And there be higher than they ;" namely, the holy angels, who are employed for the good of the church, Heb. i. 14; who pitch their tents around believers, and are their guardians, Ps. xxxiv. 7. and xci. 11 ; who behold the face of God, as ministers ready to execute his commands on