« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
increase of the earth, and it shall be fat and plenteous; the fruits of the earth shall be brought forth in great abun.
dance: in that day fhall thy cattle feed in large pastures. 24 The oxen likewise and the young asses that ear, or till
the ground, shall eat clean provender, which hath been winnowed with the shovel and with the fan; there Mall
be fuch plenty that the cattle shall eat dressed corn, not corn in 25 the straw. And there shall be upon every high moun
tain, and upon every high hill, rivers (and) streams of waters in the day of the great slaughter, when the
towers fall, which the Asyrians had raised against Jerusa26 lem. Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the
light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth
up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound; every thing shall put on a more cheerful face than before, when God pardons' their fins and removes the punishment of them.-Then follows a prophecy
of the destruētion of the Asyrians. 27 Behold, the name of the LORD, which the Assyrians have
blafphemed by representing him like the gods of the heathen, cometh from far, burning (with) anger, and the burden
[thereof is) heavy! his lips are full of indignation, and 28 his tongue as a devouring fire : And his breath as an
overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, like a great flood which fall destroy the whole army, and reach even to the king, he alone shall escape, to sift the nations with the fieve of vanity: and (there shall be] a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing (them) to
err; their allies shall be dispersed, they shall run upon their 29 own destruction, and all their designs be disappointed. Ye
shall have a song, as in the night (when) a holy folemnity is kept ; like that in the evening when the solemn feasts begin: and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the mighty One of Israel; referring to the hymns after the pallover when they went up to the house of the Lord, and
particularly when they brought the first fruits ; so Mall you 3o rejoice in the destruction of the Asyrians. And the LORD Thall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall show
the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of [his) anger, and [with] the flame of a devouring fire, [with] scattering, and tempest
, and hailstones; it shall be done immediately by the hand of God, and probably was 31 done in the manner here described. For through the voice
of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down, (which] 32 fmote with a rod. And [in] every place where the
grounded staff, or terrible siroke, shall pass, which the Lord shall lay upon him, [it] shall be with tabrets and harps: and in battles of shaking will he fight with it; they have been a rod to Ifrael, but they shall be destroyed
with a strong conquering staff, and every place where they 33 fall shall be full of joy and gladness.” For Tophet (aval
ley near Jerusalem, where they used to offer their children to Molech, and which Hezekiah had, lately cleansed) [is] ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared ; that is, for the glory and strength of the
king of Asyria; he hath made (it) deep [and] large : the pile thereof (is) fire and much wood, the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it. REFLECTIONS.
dance, and the necessity of trusting in God in times of danger. What pains and expense were the Israelites at to engage the assistance of Egypt! but it ended in their shame and disappointment. Thus men try one creature after another, in which they hope to find satisfaction and happiness; but they only add sin to fin, and trouble to -trouble. Let us take a wiser course, and make God our refuge ; return to him in the way of duty; labour to compose every tumultuous passion and anxious fear; avoiding every finful method to help ourselves, and seeking direction and help from the Lord of hosts. Thus will our strength be
increased, Probably they made a procession with musical instruments and fongs of praise to the Assyrian camp, as seeing it would enhance the joy and wonder of the people for their deliverance.
• Thereabouts the Assyrians were probably destroyed and their carcases burned in that valley.
increased, our peace rendered secure, and we shall never be ashamed of our hope.
2. God's holiness is the great terror of finners. The thought is too weighty, and the expression too serious, for men that choose to go on in their sin; for, if he be a holy Being, he must hate and punish those that are unholy, Hence they love those ministers that prophefy smooth things, that deal in generals, and give their consciences no alarm. But those that show them the evil of fin, preach searching sermons, and reprove their vices, they dislike. Yet faith ful ministers must and will tell finners, whether they like it or not, that God is an holy Being, of purer eyes than to behold iniquity; and that without holiness no man shall see the Lord. It is better that they should be roused and displeased, than that they should be condemned for impenitence, and their ministers for unfaithfulnefs.
3. See what a blessing the means of grace are, and how highly they should be valued. God promises his people that tho' they should be afflicted, reduced to famine and straits, yet they should have their tecchers continued ; and those who know the value of the word, its instructions, warnings, and counsels, will look upon this as a great favour, sufficient to sweeten the bread of adversity ; tho' it is to be feared that many had rather be without teachers and means of grace, than lose their substance, or be in straits. It is a blessing to have faithful friends, to admonish us, a tender conscience, that will check us when doing evil, and the spirit of God, to impress the warnings of the word and the convictions of conscience. We are all in danger of mistak, ing our way; of turning to the right hand or to the left; of going into one error or another; let us therefore reverence the word of God, esteem his faithful ministers in love, and attend to that friendly admonition, from whomsoever it comes, This is the way, walk ye in it.
4. With what joy should we celebrate our spiritual de. liverances ! The Israelites went with gladness and songs to celebrate their rescue, from the Assyrians; and have we not much greater reason, with gladness of heart, to celebrate in the house of the Lord our deliverance from fatan, fin, and death; those enemies of our souls and their eternal welfare?
Let us rejoice in it, and give God the glory of it; but rejoice with trembling, left our enemies should gain the dominion over us, and drive us down to hell'; of which Tophet was but a faint image, tho' our Lord chooses by it to describe the horrors of the infernal world, even that lake, which burneth with fire and brimstone ; where the worm dieth. not, and the fire is not quenched.
CHA P. XXXI, XXXII. This prophecy is a continuance of the former. The first part
of the thirty second chapter seems to refer to the beginning of Hezekiah's reigns from the ninth to the fifteenth verse, to the troubles in the middle of it; and the conclufion, to the pros, perity of the latter end.
OE to them that go down to Egypt for help;
and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because [they are] many; and in horsemen, because they
are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One 2 of Israel, neither seek the LORD! Yet he also [is] wise,
and will bring evil, and will not call back his words : but will arise against the house of the evil doers, and against the help of them that work iniquity: a severe irony; as if be bad faid, You boast of the wisdom of your politicks, but God has some wisdom, and is as able to help as they, therefore to show your folly be will punish you for your evil doings, 3 and the Egyptians your belpers for their iniquity. Now the
Egyptians (are) men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit; they bave no more strength and swiftness than common creatures, and are liable to be frig ed, wounded, and destroyed : when the Lord hall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall fall,
and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall 4 fail together ; but God is a surer defence. For thus hath
the LORD spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of Thepherds is called forth against him, [he] will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of
them : so fhall the Lord of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof; all the noise of the Asyrian army is no more to him than a parcel of shepberds shouting against a lion, whom they dare not go near,
be minds it not, neither looses his prey, nor carries it off with 5 greater speed. As birds flying speedily to their nests to se.
cure their young, or to drive away an enemy, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem ; defending also he will deliver [it; and) pafling over he will preserve [it.] It is the same word as is used for pafling over the Israelites' houses in Egypt, and has reference to their former deliver
ance ; Jerusalem fball first be reformed, and then saved. 6 Turn ye unto [him from ) whom the children of Il. 7 rael have deeply revolted. For in that day every man
shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you (for) a sin; tho' they were the work of your own bands, the materials valuable, and you had worshipped them, yet being the occafion of fin you shall cast them away.
Then Thall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man, who smites openly; and the sword, not of a mean man, who smites secretly, shall devour him: but
he shall flee from the fword of the angel, and his young 9 men, or choice ones, shall be discomfited. And he, that
is, the king, shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, which the angel hall wave over them as a mark of God's care of Jerusalem, or rather of any party of the jews, however in. considerable, faith the Lord, whose fire, or altar, [is] in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem; where God is daily worshipped, and from whence fire shall come forth to destroy bis enemies.
CHAP. XXXII. Behold, a king shall reign in righ2 teousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. And a
man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land; referring to the protection, repose, and happiness they should
enjoy in Hezekiab's reign, after the troubles in the reign of 3 bis predecessors. And the eyes of them that see shall not