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What aileth thee now, that thou art wholly gone up to

the house tops, to observe the motion of the enemy, or look 2 out for help? Thou that art, that is, haft been, full of stirs,

a tumultuous city, a joyous city, full of trade; hurry,

and diversions : thy flain (men are] not slain with the 3 sword, nor dead in battle, but dead with fear. All thy

rulers are fled together, that is, the rulers of the fortified cities that Sennacherib had taken, they are bound by the archers: all that are found in thee are bound together, (which] have fled from far; they are taken prisoners by

the archers and bound like captives, tho they are fled far 4 away. Therefore faid I, Look away from me: I will

weep bitterly, labour not to comfort me, let me alone to

indulge my grief, because of the spoiling of the daugh5 ter of my people. For (it is] a day of trouble, and of

treading down, and of perplexity by the Lord God of hosts in the valley of vision; there are dangers without and troubles within, but all are from the Lord of bots ; breaking down the walls of the cities they had taken ; or rather, some of the walls or houses about Jerusalem, to fortify it the "better; and of crying to the mountains; calling to those who guarded the passes of the mountains to know what in

telligence they had of the enemy, or to exhort them to defend 6 their posts vigorously. And Elam bare the quiver with

chariots of men [and] horsemen," and Kir uncovered

the shield ; that is, the Persians and Medes, who were 7 subjeƐt to the king of Asyria, or allies in this war. " And

it shall come to pass;" [that] thy choicest valleys shall

be full of chariots, and the horsemen shall set them& felves in array at the gate. And he discovered the

covering of Judah, and thou didft look in that day to the armour of the house of the forest; referring to Sennacherib's taking ihe fenced cities, which were a covering to the country; and especially to his being furnished viih arms

out of the armoury that Solimon had built, and where he 9 put his shields, i Kings x. 17. 'Ye have seen also the

breaches of the city of David, that they are many; the fort and castle of the city, and repaired them; and ye ga. thered together the waters of the lower pool; probably conveyed them under ground to furniss. themselves with 10 water, and deprive the enemy of it. And ye have num.

water, with "Some suppose him to have been a foreigner, as his father is not mentioned; and the jews say, that he kept up a traiterous correspondence with the Assyrians.

bered the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses have ye broken down to fortify the wall; that is, numbered the

houses, either to lay a tax on them, or to see which might be II pulled down, in order the better to defend the walls. Ye

made also a ditch between the two walls, to strengthen the city, for the water of the old pool, and conveyed water thither for its security: bút ye have not looked unto the maker thereof, neither had respect unto him that

fashioned it long ago; in all this ye have forgotten Jeho12 vah, who appointed this place for your capital. And in that

day did the Lord God of hosts call, by the language of his providence, and the voice of his prophet, to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with

fackcloth; to fasting and all the marks of deep humiliation: 13 And behold joy and gladness, flaying oxen, and killing

sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine: let us eat and drink; for to-morrow we shall die ; instead of humiliation, there was nothing but mirth and feasting, and a stupid

despair, grounded upon licentious principles, a disbelief or a 14 contempt of a future state. And it was revealed in mine

ears by the LORD of hosts, that I might publish it, Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, faith the Lord God of hosts; that is, it shall never be purged, ye shall perish in these your iniquities. Then follows

a prophecy of some changes in Hezekiah's court. 15 Thus faith the Lord God of hosts, Go, get thee

unto this treasurer, [even) unto Shebna, which [is] 16 over the house,' (and say,] What hast thou here? and

whom hast thou here, what estate, family, or relations ? that thou hast hewed thee out a fepulchre here, [as] he that heweth him out a fepulchre on high, [and] that graveth an habitation for himself in a rock? à grand

Sepulchre, like a palace, to keep up thy memory to succeeding 17 times, as if sure of continuing in thy post? Behold, the

LORD will carry thee away with a mighty captivity, and will surely cover thee; or, the Lord, who covered thee

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with an excellent covering, and clothed thee gorgeously, Mall

surely cover thee with disgrace, as criminals, when led to exe18 cution, were covered, as if unworthy to see the light. He

will surely violently turn and toss thee (like) a ball into a large country :- there shalt thou die, in a far country, and obscurity, and there the chariots of thy glory, in which thou haft been used to ride in state, [shall be) the

shame of thy lord's house, that is, of Ahaz, who pro19 bably advanced him to this dignity. And I will drive thee

from thy station, and from thy state shall he pull thee 20 down, that is, God Mall do it. And it shall come to pass

in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son 21 of Hilkiah: And I will clothe him with thy robe, and

strengthen him with thy girdle, he shall have thy honour and power, and I will commit thy government into his hand : and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of

Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah; Mall take a 22 tender care of the city and country. And the key of the

house of David will I lay upon his shoulder, that is, he mall be lord steward of the household, bearing a key as the

badge of his office; so he shall open, and none shall shut; 23 and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will

fasten him [as] a nail in a sure place; and he shall be

for a glorious throne to his father's house; he Mall be 24 fixed in his station, and be an honour to his family. ; And

they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father's house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of Aagons, that is, large and small vessels; (the allusion to a nail being still carried on,) his relations and

dependants shall fare the better for him, and be advanced by 25 him, and he hall not be removed like his predecessors. In

that day, faith the Lord of hosts, shall the nail that is faftened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that was] upon it shall be cut off, that is, Shebna, and all his dependants: for the Lord hath spoken (it.]

REFLECT:

REFLECTION S.

I.

WE

2

E are again taught how vain all military prepara

tions are, without a dependence on God. The prophet mentions the particular methods that were taken to fortify and defend the city; these were wise and right, and they are not blamed for taking them, but for trusting to them, and forgetting God; for not looking to him, as the strength of his people; not having respect to him, who alone can give deliverance. There are too many wife counsellors and brave soldiers, that never look to their Maker; their measures may be prudent and vigorous, but, without God, they will all be in vain. It is peculiarly inexcusable for a people who live in a valley of vision, in a land of light and religious privileges, to trust to an arm of flesh. Let us guard against this error, have continual respect to the LORD JEHOVAH, and pray that all who have the direction of our publick concerns may do so too.

2. It is highly provoking to God for his professing people to follow diverfions, and be making merry, when he calls to humiliation and devotion. When his judgments are abroad in the earth, when we are engaged in war, when our expenses are great, and our burdens heavy, it is then a time for humiliation and prayer; his providence calls us to it; his word commands it. The intent of his judgments is to promote humiliation ; and that is a proper qualification for his mercy:

But alas! how little of this appears ! Luxury, mirth, and diversions, dissipation of thought, forgetfulness of God, and licentious principles prevail among us; and there is reason to fear that for these things (which are peculiarly unseasonable and mischievous amidit publick troubles and dangers) God should bring ruin upon

Let us, like the prophet, bewail such days of publick trouble and perplexity; and in the day of adversity consider; bumble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt us in due time.

3. See in what slippery places great men stand. Sheb. nah was the chief officer in Hezekiah's court, his prime minister ; he thought of no change, his dependants thought

of

us.

of none; he concluded he should live and die in honour at

Jerusalem, and be buried in his stately sepulchre. But he and his adherents were cast off, and he died in shame and obscurity. We see even in the present day such changes in courts, which should cool our ardor for wealth and greatness, and lead us to seek the favour of the King of kings, and the honour that comes from him ; for he will never cast off his faithful servants. Nor let us think ourselves secure in any private station, however comfortable; we may be tosted to diftant places, die, and be buried, we know not where. Let us then rejoice, as tho' we rejoiced not; and seek an inheritance above, that is incorruptible; undefiled, and that fadeth not away,

40 The hand of God should be owned in the change of placemen and courtiers. God made those changes in Hezekiah’s court, by disposing his mind to turn out Shebnah, and to put Eliakim into his place; and promotion still cometh from him. Tho' we imagine that it depends on the pleasure and fancy of princes, and those who influence them, it is He sets up and pulls down whom he pleaseth. Let us think of this when we hear of such changes in favour of fome whom we think are less favourable to the true interest of our country than we could wish. It should excite our earnest prayers, that God, who has the king's heart in his hand, would dispose him to make a wise choice of servants and officers, who shall be more intent on the publick welfare than on aggrandizing their families, or advancing their dependants; yea, who may be like Eliakim, fathers of their country, and take the tenderest care of the interest of the people. Many seek the ruler's favour, but every man's judgment proceedeth from the Lord.

5. The character of Eliakim naturally leads our thoughts to the Lord Jesus Christ, whom God hath exalted to the highest authority over his house and kingdom, Rev. iii. 7. He has the highest dignity in his heavenly court, and unlimited authority over his church below. He is a nail in a sure place, who shall never be removed, never lose his interest in his father's esteem. All true christians confide upon him; he is the support of their spiritual life, and their possessing eternal life depends on him; they derive

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