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earth, or the land, mourneth [and] languisheth: Lebanon is afhamed [and] hewn down: Sharon is like a wilderness; and Bashan and Carmel shake off [their

fruits;} the fruitful parts will be laid waste, and her sub10 stance plundered. Now will I rise, faith the LORD; now

will I be exalted; now, when things are at the worst, and 11 the cafe shall seem desperate, will I lift up myself

. Ye Asyrians shall conceive chaff, ye shall bring forth stub

ble: your breath, or anger against Israel, [as] fire, shall 12 devour you. And the people, the Asyrians, notwith

standing their great expectations, shall be (as) the burnings of lime: [as] thorns cut up shall they be burned

in the fire; they fall meet with entire destru£tion, like

stones burned to lime, or thorns that are utterly consumed. 13 Hear, ye [that are] far off, what I have done ; and 14 ye [that are] near, acknowledge my might. The fin

ners in Zion are afraid ; fearfulness hath surprized the hypocrites, who fearn the law of God and the threatenings of the prophet; tho they keep up the appearance of religion, when they think the Asyrians will destroy Jerusalem, they fəall be terribly afraid. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? they will own how awful God is,

and how dreadful when he comes to punish. On the other 15 hand, good men shall be calm and fecure : He that walk

eth righteously, and speaketh uprightly, he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, who thinks it beneath him, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, when put into his band secretly, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, will not hear any scheme tending to shed blood, or to gratify revenge, and thutteth his eyes from

seeing evil, will not willingly see evil committed, but has a 16 great aversion to it; He shall dwell on high: his place

of defence [shall be] the munitions of rocks; bread shall be given him; his waters [shall be] sure; he mall

be defended and supplied during the extremity of the fiege. 17 Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty, that is,

Hezekiah, having put off his fackcloth and appearing in his royal robes with a pleasant aspect: they shall behold the land that is very far off; the people who had been shut up


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during the fiege Mall travel abroad, which after their confine18 ment would be peculiarly pleasant. Thine heart shall medi

tate terror ; review its former fears and its triumph over the

Asyrians. Where [is] the scribe? where' [is] the re-
ceiver? where [is] he that counted the towers ? where

is the secretary of war, the paymaster, the chief engineer?' 19 Thou shalt not see a fierce people, a people of deeper

speech than thou canst perceive; of a stammering
tongue, [that thou canst not understand ; that is, the

Asyrians, who had a deep, harsh language, carrying terror 20 with it. Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities:

thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a
tabernacle [that] shall not be taken down; not one of
the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall

any of the cords thereof be broken; an allufion to a 21 tent, no part of which should be damaged by the enemy. But

there the glorious LORD [will be) unto us a place of
broad rivers [and] streams; wherein shall go no galley
with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby; tho
there is no river about Jerusalem, only a little brook, God

will be as a broad siver to it, over which no ship Mall pass 22 to hurt or destroy it. For the LORD [is] our judge, the

LORD [is] our lawgiver, the LORD [is] our king; he

will save us; God's relation to Israel will engage him to 23 proteet it. Thy tacklings are loosed ; they could not

well strengthen their mast, they could not spread the
fail; the Asyrian force, when attempting to pass the broad
river, mentioned v. 21, shall be shipwrecked : then is the
prey of a great spoil divided; the lame take the prey;

it shall be so abundant, that those who can neither fight nor 24 pursue fall have a part. And the inhabitant shall not

say, I am fick : the people that dwell therein [shall be]
forgiven (their) iniquity; they fall forget their fickness,
for joy of this great deliverance, which will be a comforta-
ble token that their fins are forgiven them.

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The apostle Paul applies this to the success of the gospel over heathen powers and philosophy: i Cor. i, 20.

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E are here shown the most effectual way to se

cure national deliverance and happiness, namely, to continue instant in prayer, v. 2. Let us intreat that all our actions and affairs may be governed by justice; that we may be faithful to our treaties; and that particular persons may act uprightly, support religion, and cherish the fear of the Lord. This is our best treasure, and will do more to defend us than all our forces.

2. We are taught not to despair when in the deepest distress. Jerusalem never was in so much danger. Its inhabitants were never so much terrified as at this time, v.7, 9. Behold, their valiant ones shall cry without : the ambasadors of peace shall weep bitterly. The highways lie waste, the wayfering man ceaseth: he hath broken the covenant, he hath despised the cities, he regardeth no man. Now will I arise, faith the Lord; now will I be exalted. He seemed before to have been an unconcerned spectator ; but then it was time to arise, and act vigorously for them. God thus sometimes suffers his people to be brought into the lowest distress, that he may make his appearance more conspicuous, their deliverance more valued, and better improved. Let us therefore truft him in the greatest danger, and in the mount of dificulty the Lord will be seen,

3. The difference between bad and good men in times of affliction and calamity, is seen, v. 14, 15. There were hypocrites in Zion, and those of the worst fort. When they expected the city to be taken, plundered, and burned; tho they made a jest of the threatening before, and were secure and careless, yet now they were struck with fear, and funk into despair. Thus cowardly and uneasy does guilt make men. And no wonder if it affects the hypocrites under the gospel in this manner, when they think of those devouring fames and everlasting burnings, which are threatened against all the workers of iniquity. On the other hand, the good man, who fears God, gives all their due, and abhors every unjust, dishonourable, and 'mean action, is safe, courageous, and happy : God will protect



him, and provide for him; and he will have a cheerful hope in the deepest distress. He will have no cause to complain of lesser evils when the greatest is removed, nor fink, under the burden of sickness, when the burden of guilt ist taken away. Such shall walk in the light of God's countenance here, and at length see the King of Kings in all the beauties of the heavenly land.

4. Let us rejoice in God's care of the church amidit all its dangers and alarms. It is indeed desirable to have the city of our folemnities a quiet habitation, and God can make it

It needs no river to keep off invading foes, no force to repel them; his almighty power is sufficient. Let us think what he did for Israel, what he has done for his church, yea, for our own land. Let us review our fears, V. 18. and give glory to God for our national prosperity, success, and peace; and be careful to behave toward him, as those who know that the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king : he will save us. commit our cause to him, and observe his law; then we may cheerfully trust in his protection, and be assured that he will bless us.


Let us



Some refer this chapter to the destru&tion brought upon the nations

which bordered upon Israel, by the Asyrians and Babylonians :
but I rather think it has a general reference to the destruction
of all that opposed the kingdom and interest of God among men.

OME near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken,

ye people : let the earth hear, and all that is therein ; the world, and all things that come forth of it. 2 For the indignation of the LORD [is] upon all nations,

and (his] fury upon all their armies : he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaugh

Their Nain also shall be cast out, they shall find no burial, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains about Jerusalem shall be melted with their blood; it shall be shed in such quantities that it

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4 Mall run down like springs from the mountains. And all the

host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heaven's Mall be rolled together as a scroll : and all their hoft shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a

falling [fig] from the fig tree; hyperbolical expreffionis, 5 denoting great desolation and confufion. For my Tword

shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down

upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to 6 judgment. The sword of the Lord is filled with

blood, it is made fat with fatness, (and) with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams:

for the LORD hath a facrifice in Bozrah, and a great 7 flaughter in the land of Idumea. And the unicorns

shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls, and their land shall be foaked with blood, and

their duft made fat with fatness; both the greatest and the 8 meanest fall be alike destroyed. For [it is] the day of the

Lord's vengeance, [and] the year of recompenses for the 9 controversy of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be

turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone,

and the land thereof shall become burning pitch; an 10 allusion to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall

not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof, a black, sulphureous vapour, shall go up for ever : from

generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall Il pass through it for ever and ever. But the cormorant

and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it

the line of confusion, and the stones, or plummet, of 12 emptiness; he will deal with them in friet justice. They

shall call the nobles thereof to af in managing the affairs of the kingdom, but none [shall be] there, and all her

princes shall be nothing; they Mall have no heart or fpirit 13 left. And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortreffes thereof: and it shall be an T4

habitation Probably the antients used to bathe their swords in some preparation which made them hard enough to take a sharp edge; thus God's sword is represented as bathed in heaven, in celestial fire, that it might strike like lightning. Idumea, or the Edomites, here, as in many other places, is put for all the enemies of God's church and people in general.


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