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ing to this word, [it is] because there is) no light, no 21 understanding, no piety in them. And they shall pass >>
through it, hardly bestead and hungry; distressed and famised: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their god, and look upward; that is,
when unbelievers pass thro? the land, they fall curse their 22 king or rulers for hiring the Asyrians. And they shall
look on the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish, they shall look upward and down, ward, and see nothing but perplexity and sorrow ; and (they shall be] driven to darkness, to gloom and accumulated distress.
prophets took to prove their prophecies authentick. They did not merely speak them, and commit them to memory or tradition, but wrote them in a plain, legible manner; and did it before witnesses, who probably fubfcribed the fame, and were ready to declare upon oath that they saw the prophet write ör atteft it, that it might be read and appealed to in order to fupport the faith of the people, in what they foretold. This remark tends to con.
, some measure, is applicable to the whole scripture.
2. There is need of great resolution not to be led away by popular panicks or common errors. The prophet himself seems to have been in danger of catching the fears of the people, therefore it was that God warned him against it with a strong hand, with a confiderable force on his mind. We are ready to catch the groundless terrors of others, to imitate their example, and walk in the way of the people around us. We ought to watch against this, and labour after a sober singularity ; earnestly praying that. God would secure us against the infection of ill examples, and preserve us in the way of holiness and peace.mn
3. A holy fear of God is the best remedy against the fear of man. i Peter iii. 14. Sanctify the Lord of hosts in your
hearts; hearts; and make him your fear and your dread; give him the glory of his power, providence, and promises ; reverence his universal dominion ; fear his displeasure ; and acquiesce in his disposals. This will keep our minds in peace; preserve us from that fear which hath torment: and he will be our refuge and strength, and a very present help in time of trouble.
4. Let us be thankful for the law and the testimony, and keep close to them. What is sealed
What is sealed up from the blinded jews, is opened to us, the disciples of Christ, who have seen many of these prophecies fulfilled. Let us learn hence, to reverence and study the scriptures, to abhor the wicked practices of those who use spells and charms, who pretend to discover secrets and tell fortunes : this is heinous wickedness, and ought never to be encouraged by any that believe in the providence and word of God. It is our duty to seek direction from him by prayer, and consult his word; to conform to it in sentiments and practice ; otherwise we shall displease him, and wander in the paths of error, fin, and ruin. Let his testimonies be our delight and our counsellors ; they will guide us in a safe and pleasant way, and conduct us to a happy end.
CHA P. IX. C H A P. X. 1-4. The same prophecy is continued as in the former chapter. . It is
here foretold that the troubles of Judah should not be so great as those of the other ten tribes, because they should be but port, and then the promised Meffiah should come. JEVERTHELESS the dimness [shall] not [be]
such as (was) in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun, and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict [her;] or, as it may be better translated, as the first time made vile the land of Zebulun, (that is, by the Asyrians,) so the latter time shall make them glorious, [by] the way
of the fea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. 2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great
light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of
death, that is, the thickest and most perplexing darkness, 3 upon them hath the light shined. Thou hast multi
plied the nation, [and] not increased the joy; or rather, and hast increased the joy to "him, or to it, that is, to the jewish nation: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, [and] as [men) rejoice when they divide
the spoil, their joy Mall be exceeding great. For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian; as when Gideon overthrew the Midianites,
(Judges vii. 22.) by such unlikely and contemptible means, . 5- For every battle of the warrior [is] with confused noise,
with shouts, and groans, and sounding of arms, and garments rolled in blood; but [this] shall be with burning [and] fuel of fire ; referring to the deliverance of God's people by Christ, from the yoke of fin and satan. The preaching of the gospel might seem an unlikely means, but it should be successful, owing to the influences of the spirit, 6 which should be like fire, and spread like a flame.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a fon is given ; and
the government shall be upon his shoulder : this delilyi verance shall certainly be accomplished, for Christ shall be
born for our redemption, and his name shall be called, $ that is, he shall be the Wonderful, Counseller, acquaint- .
ed with the counsels of God, so as to reveal the most important truths to men, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, the great almighty governor, and the father of the ages, or the dispensation to come, and the Prince of Peace;'
he di It is called Galilee of the Gentiles, because it was peopled by many of the heathen, by reason of its nearness to Tyre and Sidon, and to distinguish it from the other Galilee ; and thus it agrees exactly with the quotation in the new testament.- Bp. Lowth translates the verse thus: But there thall not hereafter be darkness in the land which was distressed. In the former time he debased the land of Zebulon and the land of Naphtali; but in the latter time he hath made it glorious, even the way of the sea beyond Jordan, Galilee of the nations.'
k Bp. Lowth translates it, • The mighty God, the father of the everlasting age, the prince of peace.'
he shall be peaceful himself, and promote its peace of his 7 subjeéts. Of the increase of This government and
peace [there shall be] no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this, for his own honour and the happiness of mankind. - The following verses contain a prophecy of the
calamity and destruation of the ten tribes. 8 The LORD fent a word into Jacob, and it hath
lighted upon Ifrael; because they would not regard, it, therefore it fell upon them with
an in. Supportable burden. And the threatening hall be
be accom9 plished, for, all
the people shall know, and feel the truth of it, (even] Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, 10 that say in the pride and stoutness of heart, The bricks
are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones :
change (them into] cedars ; thus defying the judgments * 11 of God. Therefore the Lord shall set up the adver
faries of Rezin against him, that is, Ifrael; and join
by the Asyrians, Mall be forced to serve against 12 Ifrael. The Syrians before, and the Philistines be
hind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth, like a wild beaji. For all this his anger is not turned away?
but his hand [is] stretched out ftill; he will 13 continue to punish them. For the people turneth not
unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the 14
LORD of hosts. Therefore the LORD will cut off from
Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day ; 15 the rich and poor, the noble and the base. The antient
and honourable, the prince and the magistrate ; he [is]
the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he [is] 16 the tail, the most contemptible of all the people. For the leaders of this people, their governors and prophets
, cause [them] to err, and (they that are] led of them (are] 17 destroyed. Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in
their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows : for every one [is] an hypocrite, a profane person, and an evil doer, and every
mouth spea koth folly; they have na pily on those that used to be the sjetis of completenes, or of compofion. For all this, because all are elike 'corrupt, his anger is
not turned away, but his hand [is] stretched out ftill. 18 For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the
briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they fall mount up (like) the lifting up of
smoke; it produceth misery and causeth ruin, and the 19 high and low shall le devoured ly it. Through the wrath
I hosts is the land
the fire : 110 man shall spare his brother ; civil wars shall be among them, and 20 they firall destroy one another. And he shall fiatch on the
right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied; there shall be a grievous famine, so that they will be ready to eat their own flesh; they shall eat every man the flesh of his own
arm ; Mall prey upon those that might have defended them. 21 Manasseh, Ephraim ; and Ephraim, Manaffeh; even
they who have been leagued together against Judah, shall devour one another ; [and] they together (fhall be] against Judah. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand [is] stretched out still.
Chap. X. WOE unto them, to those Israelites, that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness (which] they have prescribed; who are guilty of
injustice and oppression, of passing unrighteous sentences, and 2 those who put them in execution. To turn aside the needy
from judgment, and to take away the right from the
poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, 3 and [that] they may rob the fatherless! And what will
ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation [which) shall come from far, from the Asyrians ? to whom will ye flee for help? what ally will ye seek to then?
and where will ye leave your glory? your wealth that 4 you gained by oppreßion, who shall secure it? Without
me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain ; hecause you have cast me off, and I have forsaken "you, ye shall be taken prisoners and fain. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand [is] stretched out still.