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we escape the evil which shall come upon the obstinate, and stand before the Son of man.
CH A P. XX.
name, and a fearful doom; Jeremiah complains on account of
(was] also chief governor in the house of the Lord, that is, head of the course of Immer, which was now in waiting, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these
things; or rather, heard him prophesy these things himjelf. 2 Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put.
him in the stocks that [were) in the high gate of Benjamin, which (was] by the house of the Lord, where
he continued all night, publickly exposed to the ridicule of the 3 people, in order to punish and filence him. And it came to
pass on the morrow, that Pashur brought forth Jeremiah out of the stocks. Then said Jeremiah unto him,
The Lord hath not called thy name Pashur, but 4 Magor-misfabib, that is, fear round about. For thus
faith the Lord, Behold, I will make thee a terror to thyself, and to all thy friends : and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and thine eyes shall behold (it;] thou thyself shalt be an example of all the dreadful calamities which are coming upon thy friends and country, even such miseries as shall terrify both thee and them: and I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and
he shall carry them captive into Babylon, and thall say 5 many of them with the sword. Moreover I will deliver
all the strength of this city, and all the labours thereof, and all the precious things thereof, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah, all their magazines and riches, will I give into the hand of their enemies, which shall
spoil them, and take them, and carry them to Babylon, 6 And thou, Pashur, and all that dwell in thine house
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go into captivity: and thou shalt come to Babylon, and there thou shalt die, and thalt be buried there, thou, and all thy friends, to whom thou hast prophesied lies; to whom thou hast promised peace and deliverance in the Lord's name. — The prophet then proceeds to describe the workings of his own mind, which were not
very regular. 7 O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was de
ceived:d thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed ; I was content with my former state, and would gladly have declined the prophetic office; but thy command and inspira
tion overpowered me: I am in derision daily, every one 8 mocketh me.
For fince I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; I spake earnestly, I complained of their violence and Spoil, and threatened them with worse things; because the word of the LORD. was made a reproach
unto me, and a derision, daily, therefore they insulted 9 me, and derided my message. Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his
But [his word] was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not [stay ;] I had such an impulse on my spirit that I could not reft; it broke out like a fire
that was pent up. 10 For I heard the defaming of many, the reproach of
many Magor-missabibs like Pashur, fear on every side, that is, many persecuting enemies, whose doom shall be like Pabur's. Report, (fay they,) and we will report it; set a lie a going, and we will push it forwards: All my fa. miliars watched for my halting, (saying,] Peradventure he will be enticed and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him; they represented me as a traitor to any country, and as corrupted by the king of Babylon ; they endeavoured to provoke me to say something,
for which they might accuse me. Thus was Christ ferved. 11 But the LORD [is] with me as a mighty terrible one:
therefore • He misunderstood the divine promise; he expected he should have no oppression ; but God had only promised that his life hould be spared. Or it may be rendered, hou hast persuaded me, and I was allured; and this tense is favoured by the next words.
therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail : they shall be greatly ashamed; for they
shall not prosper : [their) everlasting confusion shall 12 never be forgotten. But, O LORD of hosts, that triest
the faith and patience of the righteous, by affliétions, [and] seest the reins and the heart, discoverest their conspiracies, while they wear a mask of friendship, let me see thy ven.. geance on them: for unto thee have I opened my cause ;
I leave it to thee to vindicate me ; and in confidence that 13 thou wilt do so, I add, Sing unto the LORD, praise ye the LORD: for he hath delivered the soul of the
poor from the hand of evil doers. It would have been happy if the prophet could have maintained this temper ; but human
infirmity and corruption prevailed when he added, 14 Cursed [be] the day wherein I was born : let not
the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed ; let 15 there be no congratulations, as usual. Cursed [be] the
man who brought tidings to my father, saying, A man
child is born unto thee; making him very glad, being 16 probably the first born, and a priest. And let that man be
as the cities which the LORD overthrew, and repented not; he did not lighten their misery: and let him hear the
cry, the alarm of the enemy, in the morning, and the 17 shouting at noontide; Because he flew me not from the
womb, or, because I was not sain ; or that my mother
might have been my grave, and her womb [to be] 18 always great (with me.] Wherefore came I forth out
of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?
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• This language ihowed very much impatience and ungoverned paffion. This was not setting his face like a fint; and no 'man could be permitted by the fpirit of God to speak such language. It is a maxim of great importance, to diftinguish between those things which the prophets delivered in the name of the Lord, and the workings of their own minds; which were sometimes irregular, and no doubt were recorded for our warning.
Ow dreadful is the case of that man who is a terror to himself! Nothing
Nothing more dreadful on this fide hell could be threatened against Pashur, than to be, not only in distress, but in despair; his spirit in continual alarm and terror; his own imagination always tormenting him; and his inward terror such as he could not conceal, but which appeared in so horrible a light, as even to terrify his friends. This is the case of some finners now; and those have reason to fear this, who set themselves against the word of God and his faithful ministers; that is, who reproach it, and deride them. If they will not hear the reproofs of God's prophets, they will hear them from their own consciences. Let it be our care to fear God, to reverence his word, and keep his commandments; then God will not be our terror, but our hope and our joy.
2. The case of the prophet was a very pitiable one; and so is the case of those ministers who meet with the like treatment now. What cruel usage did he experience! what wicked, base contrivances were formed to injure his reputation, hinder his usefulness, and destroy his life! and all this because he was faithful, serious, and affectionate in delivering the word of the Lord. Good ministers in the present day often meet with ill treatment.
If they are faithful reprovers, and deliver their messages in a lively, affectionate manner, careless hearers, and those who hate to be serious, will deride and banter them, and perhaps be glad to raise and spread evil reports of them. This is a strong temptation to them to decline their work and to preach no more; but yet they dare not do it, Let hearers be careful not to bring their ministers under this difficulty, and lead them into fuch a temptation ; but suffer them, out of regard to God, to themselves, and to their charge, to reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all plainness and fervency of spirit ; and pray that the Lord may be with them to support and encourage them.
3. See how weakly and wickedly even good men will talk, when they suffer their passions to govern them. Who would have thought that Jeremiah should have uttered such words as these? What folly and nonsense was it to curse his birth day! to curse a messenger, for the sake of a kindly intended message! How brutish and barbarous to wish his mother had died in childbed with him! This would not have been recorded by him, had he not fincerely repented of it, and intended it (as the Spirit of God no doubt did) for our caution. Thus absurdly and wickedly do men of strong passions and hasty spirits talk, when they meet with injuries and affronts. We see in the prophet how much need we all have to keep a constant, resolute guard upon our spirits ; especially those whose tempers are naturally hot and hasty. Let us stifle the first risings of paffion and resentment; and earnestly implore the divine help, when we are entering into temptation, because for fuch sinful words and disorderly workings of mind, God will bring us into judgment. Let us take the great prophet for an example, even Jesus Christ; and learn of him, who was meek and lowly in heart ; and we shall find rest to our fouls.
CHA P. XXI. XXII. I-9. This chapter is transposed, as are many of the following. They
relate to events which happened in some former reign ; whereas this relates to the reign of Zedekiah, when Jerusalem was besieged by the Chaldeans, the Egyptians came to help the Jews, the Chaldeans drew off their forces and raised the fiege: in this interval the chapter before us was written.'
I THE • It is an obfervable' circumstance, that in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, and in that by the Romans, the besieging armies raised the siege for a while, and thereby gave God's faithful servants an opportunity to go out of it; as the prophet before the first, and Christ before the laft, ordered them to do. This gave others an opportunity to come into the city, trusting to its strength; so that more people were destroyed by the famine, the peftilence occafioned by it, and the sword of the enemy, than otherwise would have been; thus the prophecies were remarkably accomplished.