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CH A P. XIV. This chapter foretells a drought, which would greatly distress
Judea ; the prophet makes confefion and supplication for pardon; God declares his purpose to punish; and the prophet bewails their misery.
HE word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah
concerning the dearth, the scarcity occafioned by 2 want of rain. Judah mourneth, and the gates thereof
languish, that is, the cities and their inhabitants; they are black unto the ground; they look black and ghastly, and throw themselves on the ground in grief and despeir;
and the cry of Jerusalem is gone up, even the capital 3 city groans under it. And their nobles have sent their
little ones to the waters, being forced to part with their servants, they send their children for water : they came to the pits, [and] found no water ; they returned with
their vessels empty; they were ashamed and confound4 ed, and covered their heads. Because the ground is
chapt, for there was no rain in the earth, the plough. 5 men were ashamed, they covered their heads. Yea,
the hind also calved in the field, and forsook (it,) be
cause there was no grass for herself to eat, that she might 6 nourish her young. And the wild afses did stand in the
high places for air to cool them, they snuffed up the wind like dragons, or, like crocodiles, who frequently put up their heads above the water to breathe; their eyes
did fail, they looked till they were weary with looking, because
[there was) no grass. 7 O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us, do
thou [it] for thy name's sake, interpose for us: for, or
rather, tho' our backslidings are many; we have finned 8 against thee. O the hope of Israel, the saviour thereof
in time of trouble, why shouldst thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man, [that] turneth aside to tarry for a night? thou has promised to dwell with us : and dost thou regard, us no more than a traveller
doth a place in which he lodges for a night, and never ex9 peEts to see it any more? Why shouldst thou be as a man
astonied thro' fear and surprise, as a mighty man [that] cannot save, who hath lost his wisdom and strength ? yet thou, O LORD, (art) in the midst of us, and we are called by thy name; leave us not. To which God replies ;
Thus faith the Lord unto this people, Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet from evil ways, therefore the LORD doth not accept
them; he will now remember their 'iniquity, and visit 11 their fins. Then said the Lord unto me, Pray not
for this people for (their) good; do not expect that your 12 interceffions will prevail
. When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept them; tho” they offer whole burnt offerings, and bread offerings, (which were then pecu- . liarly valuable) yet I will not hear: but I will consumo them by the sword, and by the fämine, and by the pertilence; the peftilence and the sword fall be added to the famine already among them.
Then said I, as some excuse for them, Ah, Lord God, behold, the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not see
the sword, neither shall ye have famine ; but I will 14 give you assured peace in this place. Then the Lord
said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name:
vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the 15 deceit of their heart. Therefore thus faith the LORD
concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name,
selves prophets, they cannot see to be coming upon themselves. 16 And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast
out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine
for 1 will pour their wickedness upon them.
them not ceafe; God commands me to lament your calami.
ties : for the virgin daughter of my people is broken 18 with a great breach, with a very grievous blow." If I
go forth into the field, then behold the flain with the sword! and if I enter into the city, then behold them that are fick with famine ! yea, both the prophet and the priest go about into a land that they know not; the
false prophets and wicked priests shall be carried captive. 19 Haft thou utterly rejected Judah? hath thy soul loath
ed Zion? why haft thou smitten us, and (there is) no healing for us? we looked for peace, and (there is] no
good : and for the time of healing, and behold trou20 ble! We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness, [and]
the iniquity of our fathers : for we have finned against 21 thee; we plead guilty. Nevertheless Do not abhor (us,]
for thy name's sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory, thy temple : remember, break not thy cove
nant with us; do not annul or cut off our relation to thee. 22 Are there (any) among the vanities of the gentiles
that can cause rain ? or can the heavens give showers ? idols or second causes cannot relieve us; but [art] not thou he, o Lord our God ? therefore we will wait upon thee: for thou hast made all these [things.]
ANT of rain in its season, is a great judgW
ment, with which our hearts ought to be deeply affected. God commands the prophet to lament it. Let us own the hand of God whenever we see or feel any degree of it. It is he who maketh the heavens as iron, the earth as brass, and the rain of our land powder and dust; and it becomes us to humble ourselves before him under such visitations. More especially as, . 2. Sin is the cause of this and every other judgment. We should not rest in natural causes, but under publick calamity acknowledge, with the prophet here, that our fins
testify Jerusalem is called a virgin daughter, or city, because it had never been burned or, defroyed.
testify against us, that we have deserved it, and that the Lord is righteous in inflicting it: that we have wandered from God, and not refrained our feet from evil ways, tho' we have often been warned of the consequences. Let us then, as V. 20. acknowledge our wickedness with penitent hearts, and cherish godly sorrow for our fins.
3. In seasons of national distress let us earnestly apply to God for relief. The vanities of the gentiles cannot help us; it will be of no avail to pray to idol gods. Let us fly to him, as the hope of Israel and the saviour, and supplicate his mercy for his name's sake; that he may be glorified by our thankful improvement of the favour we seek: and let us to our prayers join our ardent praises, that our case is not so bad as that of Judah; that we do not see in our towns those who are fick with famine, and in our fields those who are slain with the sword. Thus let us wait upore God, for he hath made and ordered all these things.
4. How much more earnestly should we pray for a plentiful communication of his Spirit! Rain from heaven and fruitful seasons are very desirable; but it is more desirable that religion should flourish, and the fruits of righteousness abound: and this can only be expected from God's pouring out his Spirit. We very much need it; there is a spiritual dearth in our churches; the things that remain are ready to die; and the graces of professors languish. Let us daily pray that God would not reject and leave us; but send down showers of this blessing; that we may abound in all the fruits of righteousness, which are by: Jesus Christ to the praise and glory of God.
CH A P. XV. In reply to their request in the former chapter, God assures them in
this that nothing could divert him from his purpose of punish. ing so wicked å people. Accordingly their fate is again de
the prophet complains of being obliged to deliver such mejages; he is reproved for this; appeals to God for his fina cerity, and supplicates pardon ; upon which God promises to proteat him in the faithful discharge of his duty.
INHEN said the Lord unto me, Though Moses
and Samuel ftood before me, those successful interceffors for Israel, (yet) my mind (could) not [be]
toward this people: cast (them) out of my sight, and 2 let them go forth.
forth. And it shall come to pass, if they say unto thee, Whither shall we go forth? then thou shalt tell them, Thus faith the LORD, Such as [are] for death, to death, that is, to the pestilence; and such as (are) for the sword, to the sword; and such as (are]
for the famine, to the famine; and such as (are) for 3 the captivity, to the captivity. And I will appoint
over them four kinds, faith the LORD: the sword to flay, and the dogs to tear, and the fowls of the heaven,
and the beasts of the earth, to devour and destroy those 4 that are sain. And I will cause them to be removed
into all kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah king of Judah, for (that) which he did in Jerusalem, for complying with and perfifting
in his idolatries, for suppressing the worship of Jehovah, 5 and putting up idols even in the temple. For who shall
have pity upon thee, O Jerusalem? or who shall bemoan thee? or who shall go afide to ask how thou
doest? none shall think it worth his while to do so, every 6 one must own thy calamity to be juft. Thou hast forsaken
me, faith the LORD, thou art gone backward : therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy
thee; I am weary with repenting ; with suspending my 7 judgments and bearing so long with thee. And I will fan them with a fan in the gates of the land ; I will bereave
[them] of children, I will destroy my people, (fince] 8 they return not from their ways. Their widows are
increased to me above the sand of the feas: I have brought upon them, that is, Jerusalem, against the mother of the young men a fpoiler at noon day, or, against the mother city & young man, namcly, Nebuchadnezzar, who was a young man, in the firft year of his reign:
I have caused (him) to fall upon it suddenly, and terrors 9 upon the city. She that hath borne feven languisheth:
she hath given up the ghost; her fun is gone down while (it was] yet day: fhe hath been afhamed and