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and who shall disannul [it?] and his hand [is] stretched out, and who shall turn it back?
R E F L E C TI ON S.
T should be the desire and care of God's people to
spread the knowledge of their religion, and their pleature, to see others embrace it. It is mentioned as an inftance of God's goodness to the jews, that many of their enemies should become profelytes to their religion, and return with them in order to worship their God. His appearances for them, and their good behaviour, gained upon their enemies, and induced them to return with them. Thus should it be our care to behave in fo holy, just, and friendly a manner, that others seeing our good works, may glorify our father who is in heaven. It should be our ambition to see the church enlarged ; pious strangers should cheerfully be received into it; and it should be our peculiar care that our servants should possess the best blessings, and learn wisdom and goodness from our admonition and example.
2. This sublime parable, concerning the king of Babylon, intimates to us, that there is a world of spirits, in which they know and converse with each other. These poetical flights are grounded on that truth, that there is an invisible world, into which human souls are removed, princes and kings as well as others, and that they have acquaintance and converse with each other. It may also intimate to us, that the inhabitants of hell have no re. verence for the former greatness, wealth, dignity, and authority of their fellow sufferers, nor any fear of their power ; that there is no distance kept, no distinction made, nor deference paid in that place of torments; that the cutting sneers and keen railleries of those whom they tyrannized over here, will be a considerable torment to the great and proud. Let this thought excite us to fly from the wrath to come, and secure a manfion among the blessed ; to do all the good we can to others, that they may receive us into the everlasting habitations, and we for ever enjoy
their thanks and friendship for the services we have done them.
3. Let God's great and just indignation against tyrants, as here particularly specified, caution us against every degree of cruelty and oppression. There are many petty tyrants among christians, who opprefs all under their power, and would be as bad as the king of Babylon had they equal authority and opportunity. They distress their servants, workmen, tenants, and dependants, to gratify their cruelty or spleen ; and will not do to others as they defire and expect to be done by. God will reckon with such men at last, and judge them as oppressors. They think by these means to increase the fortunes of their children, but are generally disappointed, for the seed of evil doers fall never be renowned. Let us fly from all these detestable practices, be strictly just to the rights of others, tender of their ease and comfort, and ready to give up some of our due for their relief and benefit. Let us be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate ; for with such facrifices God is well pleased.
CHAP. XIV. 28, to the end. CH A P. XV, XVI. The fifteenth chapter refers to the calamities brought upon Moab, soon after the destruētion of the Asyrian army, because during the distress of Judah, they did not give them any help, as is intimated in the next chapter. It was probably delivered in the first and executed in the fourth year of Hezekiah. When Shalmanefer invaded the kingdom of Israel
, he might march thro' Moab, and take their principal cities Ar and Kir. 28 N the year that king Ahaz died was this burden. 29 Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, or land of the
Philistines, because the rod of him that fmote thee is broken ; referring to their rejoicing on the death of Ahaz, whose father Uzziah had been a dreadful scourge to them: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, or adder, and his fruit [Thall be) a fiery flying serpent; the king who shall succeed him,
fall sting thein worse than his grandfather did, which. 30 history tells us that he did, 2 Kings xviii. 8. And the first
horn of the poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in fafety: and I will kill thy root with famine, and he shall flay thy remnant; Hezekiah shall be mild and just to his subjects, and they shall enjoy plenty in his reign;
while the Philistines shall have famine and war, by which 31 they shall be destroyed. Howl, O gate; cry, Ocity;
thou, whole Palestina, (art) diffolved : for there shall come from the north a smoke, that is, a fire from Judea to destroy thee, and none [shall be) alone in his appoint
ed times; the jews shall go willingly to attack thee, and 32 none small desert or be missing. What shall (one) then
answer the messengers of the nation, who shall come to congratulate Hezekiah's success? That the Lord hath founded Zion, and dwells there by his extraordinary prefence, and the poor of his people shall trust in it; those
that were despised fall betake themselves to it, and find security.
CHAP, XV. The burden of Moab. Because in the night Ar of Moab is laid waste, [and] brought to filence, or cut off ; because in the night Kir of Moab is
laid waste, [and] brought to filence, suddenly and unex2 peatedly; He, that is, Moab, is gone up to Bajith, and
to Dibon, the high places, to weep, and call upon his gods: Moab shall howl over Nebo, and over Medeba :
on all their heads [shall be] baldness, [and] every beard 3 cut off, in token of mourning. In their streets they shall
gird themselves with fackcloth: on the tops of their
houses, and in their streets, every one Thall howl, 4 weeping abundantly. And Hefhbon shall
cry, and Elealeh: their voice shall be heard [even) unto Jahaz; therefore the armed soldiers of Moab shall cry out; his life shall be grievous unto him; even the soldiers fall be
quite dispirited, perceiving the most dreadful calamities coming 5 upon them. My heart shall cry out for Moab; his
fugitives (shall flee) unto Zoar, an heifer of three years old; or rather, my heart shall cry unto Zoar, like a heifer lowing after her calf: for by the mounting up of Luhith with weeping Mall they go it up; for in the way of
Horonaim they shall raise up a cry of destruction; it 6 Mall be an universal lamentation. For the waters of
Nimrim shall be desolate: for the hay is withered away,
the grass faileth, there is no green thing; the country 7 shall be depopulated and ruined by the army. Therefore
the abundance they have gotten, and that which they have laid up, shall they carry away to the brook of the
willows, their enemies shall plunder and carry away all 8 their wealth. For the cry is gone round about the hor
ders of Moab; the howling thereof unto Eglaim, and 9 the howling thereof unto Beer-elim. For the waters
of Dimon shall be full of blood: for I will bring more upon Dimon than has been already mentioned, lions upon him that escapeth of Moab, and upon the remnant of the land; great multitudes shall be pain, and those who flee and those who are left in the land, shall be sain by lions and other savage beasts.
Chap. XVI. Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion; send the tribute due to the kings of
Judah, from all parts of your country, to Jerusalem, where 2 the king's palace is. For, or else, it shall be, [that,) as a
wandering bird cast out of the neft, [fo] the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon; her children all be turned out of their habitations, and shall not know 3 Where to fly. Take counsel, how the ruin may be prevented,
execute judgment, de justice to my people; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noon day; hide the outcasts; bewray not him that wandereth; helter them under their sufferings, and do not betray them to their
Let mine outcasts, those that flee from the Asyrian invasion, dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, that is, sall quickly be so, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land. This is probably ironical; as if he had said, Thus you Joould have done, but, thanks be to God, now we have no
occasion * David had conquered the Moabites, and made them tributaries, and the tribute was paid in sheep; but this they had neglected to send for fome time, 2 Kings iii. 4.
5 occasion for such an instance of your kindness. And in
mercy shall the throne of Hezekiah be established : and he shall fit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting to execute
righteousness. 6 We have heard of the pride of Moab;. all his neigh
bours know it; [he is) very proud: [even] of his haughtiness, and his pride, and his wrath : (but] his lies (shall] not [be] fo; his strength and power are not equal to his pride, he is deceived in them. Therefore shall Moab howl for Moab, every one shall howl: for the
foundations of Kir-hareseth shall ye mourn; surely 8 (they are] stricken. For the fields of Heshbon languish,
[and] the vine of Sibmah: the lords of the heathen, ihe Asyrian officers, have broken down the principal plants thereof, they are come [even) unto Jazer, they wandered [through] the wilderness: her branches are
stretched out, they are gone over the sea; their fruitful 9 country is wasted, so that they are obliged to flee. There
fore I will bewail thee with the weeping of Jazer, or, with peeping bewail Jazer ; the vine of Sibmah: I will water thee with my tears, O Heshbon, and Elealeh:
for the shouting for thy summer fruits and for thy har. 10 yest is fallen. And gladness is taken away, and joy out
of the plentiful field; and in the vineyards there shal! be no singing, neither shall there be fhouting: the treaders shall tread out no wine in (their) presses; I have made [their vintage) shouting to cease; there Mall
be no more Mouting and joy in harvest, or the vintage, 11 because all Mall be laid waste. Wherefore my bowels shall
sound like an harp for Moab, and mine inward parts
for Kir-haresh: the prophet himself was deeply impresed 12 with the profpext of their calamities
. And it shall come to pass, when it is seen that Moab is weary on the high place, that he shall come to his fanctuary to pray; he Jhall first try his high places, then come to the temple of
Chemosh, his god, to pray; þut he shall not prevail. 13 This [is] the word that the Lord hath spoken con14 cerning Moab since that time. But now the LORD hath spoken, saying, Within three years, as the years