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rage to our commanders and foldiers, and continue our uranimity, that we may not feel these dreadful evils.
2. See what a happy change the gospel makes in the state of nations, when it is cordially received. God would show favour to Egypt; and this is described, not by replenishing their rivers, multiplying their filh, increasing their trade, and establishing their concord; but by the spread of true religion among them; banishing idolatry 'and fin; disposing men to receive the gospel; to give themselves to the Lord, and worship him according to his institution. We may learn from this passage, what improvement we are to make of the gospel; to be thankful for Christ, that Saviour and great one; publickly and boldly to profess our relation and regard to him, and cultivate that peace and love which he requires of his people. Let us, both in our social and private conduct, show that the gospel has this effect upon us; and we should earnestly pray that it may have the same effect upon others, even all mankind; and that by the more plentiful effusion of the spirit in the latter day, God may again say, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Asyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.
CHA P. XX, XXI. A type prefiguring the shameful captivity of Egypt and Ethiopia.
This happened between the time that the Asyrian army took the defenced cities of Judah, and when they besieged Jerusalem, which was about three years. N the year that Tartan, (mentioned with Rabshakeh,
2 Kings xviii. 17.) came unto Ashdod (when Sargon, that is, Sennacherib, the king of Assyria sent 2 him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it; At the
fame time spake the Lord by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the fackcloth from off thy loins, which thou hast worn as a mourning habit for the fins and calamities of Judah and Israel, and put off thy shoe from
thy foot. And he did so, walking naked, that is, with3 out an upper garment, and barefoot. And the LORD Vol. V.
said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years (for) a sign and wonder upon E. gypt and upon Ethiopia; not ihree years, but three days, to represent three years; or it may be rendered, for a three
years' sign, that is, for a type or example of three years; 4 So fhall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians
prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with (their) buttocks, or hind
parts, uncovered, to the shame of Egypt, who were a 5 very proud people. And they shall be afraid and ashamed
of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory; the nations that trusted in them, and who had great
expectations from the Ethiopians and Egyptians, particularly 6 Israel, shall be ashemed of their weak allies. And the
inhabitant of this isle, or country, shall say in that day, Behold, such [is] our expectation, whither we flee for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria : and how shall we escape? we have no way to escape, now the Alyrians have such success against these nations.
Chap. XXI. The burden of the desert, or plain, of the sea; that is, Babylon, which lay upon the rivers, and had large lakes like seas about it. As whirlwinds in the south pass through, come suddenly, irresistibly, and carry
all before them, [so] it. cometh from the desert, which 2 lay between Perfa and Babylon, from a terrible land. A
grievous vision is declared unto me; the treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously, or, is dealt treacherously with, and the spoiler spoileth, or, is "spoiled; Babylon is repaid in her own coin. Go up, O Elam: besiege, O Media; all the fighing thereof have I made to cease, ..
that is, the fighing of the captive Ifraelites and others. 3 Therefore are my loins filled with pain ; pangs have
taken hold upon me, as the pangs of a woman that
travaileth. I was bowed down at the hearing (of it;] I 4 was dismayed at the seeing (of it.] My heart panted,
fearfulness affrighted me: the night of my pleasure,
when I used to take my repose, hath he turned into fear 5 unto me.! Prepare the table, watch in the watch
tower, Some understand this of the prophet's concern for their calamities; I rather think it is a description of the terror of Babylon, especially of Belshazzar, when the city was taken.
tower, eat, drink; while you prepare your table, and are feasting in luxury, ye shall hear a sudden cry; arise, ye
princes, [and] anoint the shield, that they may be beau6 tiful and serviceable, and the darts may easily Nip off. For
thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, fet a watchman,
who may discern the approaching danger, and let him de7 clarę what he feeth. And he saw a chariot [with] a
couple of horsemen, or horses, that is, the commanders in chief, Cyrus and Darius, a chariot of asses, or mules, that is, the Perfians, [and] a chariot of camels, the Medes,
who made use of them; they were both joined in this expedi8 tion; and he hearkened diligently with much heed: And
he cried, A lion; or, the watchman cried as a lion, with a terrible voice, at the fight of the danger approaching, and said, My lord, I stand continually upon the watch
tower in the day time, and I am set in my ward whole 9 nights; I am very careful to observe what passes: And,
behold, here cometh a chariot of men, [with] a couple of horsemen. And he, that is, the commander in chief, answered and said, Babylon is fallen, Shall surely fall;
and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken 10 unto the ground. O my threshing, and the corn of my
floor ; referring to the Israelites, who are represented as God's corn, in opposition to chaff and straw ; they shall be oppressed yet preserved; that which I have heard of the Lord of hofts, the God of Israel, have I declared unto you for your comfort.
The burden of Dumah, that is, of Idumea, or Edon. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night? The Edomites
were alarmed with the approaching danger, and are here 12 represented as eagerly addressing the prophet. The watch
man said, The morning cometh, and also the night; ye fball have peace and respite for a while, but a dark and dreadful night will follow : if ye will enquire, enquire ye: return, come; if ye will enquire, enquire immediately, in good earnest; and come, return to God, join yourselves to his
people, and to escape the threatened destruction. 13 The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia Q2
Thall ye lodge, 6 ye travelling coinpanies of Dedanim. 14 The inhabitants of the land of Temah brought water
to him that was thirsty, they prevented with their bread 15 him that fled. For they filed from the swords, from
the drawn sword, and from the bent bow, and from the 16 grievousness of war. For thus hath the LORD faid
unto me, Within a year, according to the years of an hireling, and all the glory of Kedar, the son of Ishmael,
another clan' or tribe, shall fail; within a year all their 17 fucks and power shall fail: And the residue of the num
ber of archers, for which this tribe was famous, the mighty men of the children of Kedar, shall be dimi. nished : for the Lord God of Israel hath spoken [it.]
R E F L E C TI ON S.
E here see the vanity of creature dependencies :
the expectations of Ethiopia, and of Egypt, the glory of Israel
, were all disappointed. The skill of archers, the most numerous forces, and great wealth, are no security to a nation when God determines to punish. Let us learn wisdom by these repeated examples. If we trust in man, and neglect God, or do not make him our chief confidence, he will suffer us to be disappointed, and he is just and kind in it. Truly in vain is salvation looked for from the hills and the multitude of mountains ; our belp is only in the name of our God.
2. See how soon the carnal mirth of men may be turned into forrow. Another reasonable lesson for us. When the Babylonians were preparing the table, eating, drinking, and making merry, God was preparing flaughter and destruc. tion for them. How suddenly did confusion and misery come on this sensual, riotous people! Thus if we transgress the bounds of temperance and prudence, the night of our pleasure may be turned into fear. Tho' we escape every other
, enemy, death may come upon us unawareș, and the end of
k These were the descendants of Abraham by Keturah. The king of Assyria might attack this people; they used to pitch their tents in fruitful countries, but now they were glad to wan, der in forests, and to receive help from their neighbours.
our mirth may be heaviness. Let us therefore never be off our guard, but be peculiarly watchful in seasons of temptation, and remember, that for all these things God will bring us into judgment.
3. God's people are dear to him, and he intends their benefit, even when he corrects them. The church is his husbandry. His people are the corn of his floor, valuable in themselves, and dear to him. He may see good to thresh or bruise them by afflictions, but it is to purify them. Hypocrites are as chaff, worthless and contemptible; he takes no concern about them, suffers them to go on in ease and prosperity : but at length they shall be burned with unquenchable fire. Let us then be patient in tribulation, and wait upon
God to make all issue in our salvation. 4. In every time of danger it is our duty immediately to return to God. Ministers are appointed as watchmen, in the name of God to give men warning of the danger they are in, and the destruction that is before them; and it is their duty to attend to the warning, to enquire the will of God, and immediately comply with the intimations of it. They must return to him and their duty, if they desire to escape destruction; if they linger, it is at their peril ; for tho? every thing may now look bright and pleasing as the morning, yet the night cometh when no man can work, and they will sink into blackness of darkness for ever; therefore, to-day, while it is called to-day, let us bear his voice and not harden our hearts.
CHAP. XXII. The title of this chapter, as it stands in our Bible, is a mistake :
the former part relates to the invasion of Judea by Sennacherib, in Hezekiak's time; the latter to some changes in his court.
HE burden of the valley of vision, that is, of
Jerusalem, most of which was in a valley surrounded with mountains. It is called the valley of vision, because there God was known; it had the scriptures and the prophets, and other means of seeing, that is, knowing the will of God. Q3