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LORD of hosts, that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee, for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke me to anger in offering incense
unto Baal.-The two following verses contain an account of 18 the prophet's own cafe. And the Lord hath given me
knowledge (of it,) and I know [it:) then thou showedst me their doings; the men of Anathoth (a priest's city) had carried on a design against my life; fo secretly, that I knew
nothing' of it till God was pleased to discover it to me by re19 velation. But I (was] like a lamb (or) an ox [that] is
brought to the slaughter, insensible of my danger ; and I knew not that they had devised devices against me, [faying,] Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living,
that his name may be no more remembered ; let us ut. 20 terly destroy the prophet and his prophecy together. But O
Lord of hosts, that judgest righteously, that triest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I revealed my cause; I appeal to the
righteous God, who will punish them as the king of Israel.' 21 Therefore thus faith the LORD of the men of Anathoth,
that seek thy life, saying, Prophefy not in the name of 22 the LORD, that thou die not by our hand : " There
fore thus faith the Lord of hosts, Behold, I will punish
them : the young men shall die by the sword; their 23 fons and their daughters shall die by famine: And
there shall be no remnant of them : for I will bring evil upon the men of Anathoth, [even] the year of their visitation.
This the jews had a right to do by their conftitution, if fubordinate governors did not protect them. su They first threatened the prophet, if he continued to prophe. fy; but perceiving that he was not terrified by that, they form. ed a secret conspiracy of which they gave him no warning ; but God revealed it to him.
ROM hence of
due attention to the words of God's covenant. In order to correct the errors and irregularities of the jews, the prophet attempts to bring them back to the original conftitution of their church and government, command of the covenant with them was, to obey God's voice, and the promise, that he would be their God. The fame is required of us under the covenant of
grace, with which God hath favoured us, It is the business of ministers often to remind their hearers of this, and to be examples of obedience; and those especially who have solemnly, engaged themselves to God in covenant, and have been often warned and encouraged to continue obedient, will be notoriously guilty and ungrateful if they break it. Let us then be ever mindful of our covenant transactions; other. wise all the threatenings of the covenant will be executed upon us.
2. See the vanity of external privileges, while obedience is wanting. How just is that expoftulation of God with the jews, v. 15. What hath my beloved to do in mine house, seeing she hath wrought lewdness with many? and so he may address us; what have you to do to call Christ your faviour, or to boast of your relation to God and his church? What will your prayers and facraments avail, while you defile yourselves and dishonour religion? Such facrifices will be unacceptable; your relation to God will stand you in no stead. May we be convinced of the necessity of real purity of heart, and of obedience as its fruit, in order to render our religious services and our common actions pleasing in his fight.
3. Observe how easily. God can disappoint the designs which are formed against his people. Jeremiah had been threatened by the men of Anathoth; but when that had no effect to filence him, they confederated against his life. Of this God informed him, and so the mischief was prevented. Had they succeeded, they would have triumphed over him as a false prophet; because, while he foretold the ruin of his country, he could not foresee his own danFf 2
ger. God knows every design the wicked have to destroy or injure his people; and he can reveal it to them, that they may guard against it, or by his providence he can disappoint them. Let us therefore be bold and resolute in the way of our duty; leaving our lives and comforts in his hands. The way of duty is the way of safety, and none that trust in the Lord shall be defolate.
CHA P. XII. The fix first verfes of this chapter refer to the close of the fore
going, concerning Jeremiah's danger from the men of Anathoth; the remainder relates to God's intentions of mercy toward his people, notwithstanding their desolations. THE delay of the judgments God had threatened against
his perfecutors led Jeremiah to say, Righteous (art] thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of [thy] judgments : Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? [wherefore] are all they happy that deal very treacherously? that is,
seemingly happy, as happy, as earthly things can make them : 2 Thou hast planted themi, yea, they have taken root:
they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit; they make forme profesion of religion : thou (art) near in their mouth,
that is, of the priests, and far from their reins; they are 3. hypocrites. But thou, O Lord, knowest me: thou haft
seen me, seen that I am fincere, and tried mine heart toward thee: pull them out like sheep for the flaugh
ter, as victims of divine justice, and prepare them, set 4 them apart, for the day of laughter, or execution. How
long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein ? the beasts are consumed, and the birds ; because they faid, He shall not fee our last end ; referring to the famine in the latter end of Jofiah's time, when they derided God's threatening, and said that Jeremiah should never live to see his prophecies fulfilled. The prophet is then reproved, for being discouraged and unwilling to prophesy, on account of what he had already suffered.
5 If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have
wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and [if] in the land of
peace, (wherein) thou trustedst, [they wearied thee,] then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan, when it overflows its banks suddenly, overtakes thee unawares, driving out lions and wild beasts from its banks or thickets? If thou canst not bear the opposition of thy townsmen and neighbours, how wilt thou bear to
stand before the king and the great men at Jerusalem, to be 6 put into the dungeon, and otherwise ill treated? For even
thy brethren, and the house of thy father, even they have dealt treacherously with thee; yea, they have called a multitude, that is, the mob, after thee: believe
them not, though they speak fair words unto thee. 7 I have forsaken mine house, I have left mine herit
age; I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the 8 hands of her enemies. Mine heritage is unto me as a lion
in the forest; it crieth out against me; it is very fierce in opposing me, and treating my prophets with cruelty and
rage, 9 therefore have I hated it. Mine heritage [is] unto me
[as] a speckled bird, I have given it to be fallen upon as a prey, the birds round about [are) against her ; come ye, affemble all the beasts of the field,
come to devour; because they have been full of cruelty I will bring rapacious enemies against them, that all tear them in pieces as they have torn the servants and worshippers of God; their cafe shall be like that of a ravenous bird, which when wounded and disabled
by fighting in the air with other birds, falls to the ground, 10 and is devoured by wild beasts.
wild beasts. Many pastors, the princes and governors of the Chaldeans, have destroyed my vine
yard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have 11 made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. They
have made it desolate, (and being] desolate it mourneth unto me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth [it] to heart; it seems to complain of its ruin
ed condition, because its inhabitants were not humbled under 12 God's hand. The spoilers are come upon all high places
through the wilderness: for the sword of the LORD shall devour from the cone] end of the land even to the (other) end of the land: no flesh fhall have peace.
13 They have fown wheat, but shall reap thorns: they
have put themselves to pain, (but] shall not profit ; and they shall be ashamed of your revenues because of the fierce anger of the LORD ; they have laboured in vain, their foreign alliances
and idolatrous confidences shall disap14 point them. Thus faith the Lord against all mine evil
neighbours, that touch the inheritance which I have caused my people Israel to inherit, against the Moabites, Ammonites, and Edomites, that took posesion of the land ; Behold, I will pluck them out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah from among them, that
is, the jews who were carried captive, or fled into these 15 countries, before the general captivity. And it shall come
to pass, after that I have plucked them out I will return, and have compassion on them, and will bring them again, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land; their captivity shall be terminated by
Cyrus after seventy years, as the jewish captivity was, 16 And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn
the ways of my people, to swear by my name, The LORD liveth; as they taught my people to swear by Baal, if they will become profelytes to the jewish religion, then shall they be built in the midst of my people; tho'
they have defiled and corrupted them, yet they shall partake 17. of their privileges. But if they will not obey, I will
utterly pluck up, and destroy that nation, saith the LORD, tho' they return, they shall soon be destroyed. Some understand it of the conversion of the heathen enemies of the jews to christianity in the latter day.
REFLECTIONS. 1. THE prosperity of the wicked has been a stumbling TH
block to good men in former ages; to David and Asaph; and particularly to Jeremiah. He reasons the case with God: but very juftly and piously lays it down as a first principle, that God is righteous. It is no uncommơn thing to see the wicked prosperous, easy, and happy ; even those who, with the appearance of piety, are guilty of injustice and cruelty. When we observe this, let it'not