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THE word which came unto Jeremiah from the

· Lord, when king Zedekiah fent unto him Pashur the son of Melchiah, and Zephaniah the son of 2 Maaseiah the priest, saying, Enquire, I pray thee, of

the Lord for us; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon maketh war against us; if fo be that the Lord will deal with us according to all his wondrous works which

he did for our fathers, that he may go up from us. 3 Then said Jeremiah unto them, Thus shall ye say to 4 Zedekiah : Thus faith the LORD God of Israel; Be

hold, I will turn back the weapons of war that [are] in

your hands, wherewith ye fight against the king of Babylon, and (against] the Chaldeans, which besiege you without the walls, and I will assemble them into the midst of this city; your weapons of war instead of

wounding the enemy Mall hurt yourselves, as if a Atrong 5. wind should blow back your arrows into your faces. And

I myself will fight against you with an out-stretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in

fury, and in great wrath; it shall plainly appear that I 6 am on your enemies' side. And I will smite the inhabit.

ants of this city, both man and beast: they, that is, 7 many of them, shall die of a great peftilence. And

afterward, faith the Lord, I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, and such as are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life : and he shall smite them with the edge of the sword; he shall not spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy; Zedekiah's life shall be preserved, but his fons

and great officers shall be sain.
8 And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus faith the
LORD; Behold, I fet before

you
the

way of life, and the

way of death, how you may escape with your lives, or otherwise you sball be fain; therefore choose the least of two 9 evils. He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword,

and by the famine, and by the peftilence : but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege

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he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey; he Mall think himself happy if he escapes with his 10 life. For I have set my face against this city for evil,

and not for good, saith the Lord: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.

And touching the house of the king of Judah, [say,] 12 Hear ye the word of the LORD; O house of David,

thus faith the LORD: Execute judgment in the morning, referring to their fitting early in the morning in their courts, and deliver [him that is] spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor, left my fury go out like fire, and

burn that none can quench (it,] because of the evil of 13 your doings. Behold, I [am] against thee, O inha.

bitant of the valley, [and] rock of the plain, faith the

LORD;f which say, Who Thall come down against us? 14 or who shall enter into our habitations ? But I will

punish you according to the fruit of your doings, faith the Lord: and I will kindle a fire in the forest there. of, and it shall devour all things round about it; your numerous stately buildings, which are like a forest, shall all

be destroyed. I CHAP. XXII. Thus faith the LORD; Go down to

the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this 2 word, And say, Hear the word of the Lord, O king

of Judah, that fittest upon the throne of David, thou,

and thy servants, and thy people that enter in by these 3 gates : Thus faith the LORD; Execute ye judgment

and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppreffor: and do no wrong, do no vio.

lence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, 4 neither shed innocent blood in this place. For if ye

do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David,

riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, 5 and his people. But if ye will not hear these words, Í

swear f The people were proud of their fortifications ; part of Jeru. falem lay in a valley, but mount Zion, which was their fortress, stood upon a rock; and they confided in its strength, as ito antienţ inhabitants the Jebufites had done.

swear by myself, faith the Lord, that this house shall 6 become a defolation. For thus faith the Lord unto

the king's house of Judah ; Thou (art] Gilead unto me, for wealth and plenty, [and] the head of Lebanon, for stateliness and magnificence : [yet] surely I will make

thee a wilderness, [and] cities (which] are not inhabit7 ed. And I will prepare destroyers against thee, every

one with his weapons, that is, hewers with axes in their

hands: and they shall cut down thy choice cedars, and 8 caft (them) into the fire. And many nations shall pass

by this city, and they shall say every man to his neigh-
bour, Wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto this

great city ? he once delighted in it, but now it is burned 9 and destroyed. Then they shall answer, Because they

have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God, and worshipped other gods, and served them.

REFLECTION S.

I.

W

E must not complain when things are bad with

us, because they may mend. Jeremiah was in a very fretful, uneasy situation at the conclusion of the last chapter. Here we find him applied to by the king; an honourable message was sent him, and great refpect shown him. Let us therefore not despair when our troubles are great and heavy, but hope for better days; continue to honour God, and then he will honour us.

2. Those who despise God's word and ministers in their prosperity, will be glad of their help in the day of affliction. This was the case with Zedekiah and his people. Jeremiah had preached to them in vain, and they had not humbled themselves at the word of the Lord; but now they desire the prophet to enquire of God for them, and to pray for them; but the answer is a prediction of vengeance. Those who affront or forget God, when all goes well and smooth, will be glad of his help and fly to him in the day of trouble: especially those who put the evil day far from them. Because he hath done wondrous works for others, they hope he will do the like for them: but yet they will not imitate their good example; and therefore they have no

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reason to expect it. Let us be ambitious to secure the divine friendship, by obeying his word and hearkening to his ministers; then will he make our prosperity fafe and comfortable, and be our fupport when trouble cometh upon us.

3. See how vain all opposition to God is, and how necessary it is that we submit to him. This people trusted in the itrength of their city, and infolently faid, “Who shall enter our habitations?' but God threatens to fet his face against them, and to be their enemy; and then no fortification nor power could save them. Thus confident are the hopes of finners. But if men will rebel against the Most High, he will fight against them, v. 5. and who can tell the power of his anger? Let us therefore take hold of his strength, and be at peace with him. He fets before us the way of life and the way of death very plainly: let us then submit to him, obey his word, and live.

4. The great design of all these dispensations of providence, was to promote righteousness. In all the messages of Jeremiah and the other prophets to the people, this is infifted on, that they put away their iniquities; the reigning vices of the times ; that they execute judgment and righteousness; do no wrong, but behave in an upright, conscientious manner. The intention of all God's precepts and threatenings is to promote righteousness. This shows of how much importance it is in his fight; how necessary to secure his favour, and the prosperity of the nation. Let us therefore follow after righteousness; for the righteous Lord loves it, and it shall be well with those who praťtise it.

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CHA P. XXII. 10, to the end.
The judgment of Shallum, of Jehoiakim, and of Coniah.

EE P ye not for the dead, for king Josiah, who

was sain in battle, neither bemoan him: [but] weep fore for him that goeth away: for he shall return 11 no more, nor see his native country. For thus faith the LORD touching Shallum, or Jehoahaz, the son of

Josiah

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Josiah king of Judah, which reigned instead of Josiah

his father, which went forth out of this place; He 12 shall not return thither any more : But he shall die in

the place whither they have led him captive, and shall

see this land no more. 13 Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrigh

teousness, and his chambers by wrong; [that] useth his neighbour's service without wages, and giveth him not

for his work, but defrauds the workmen of their wages; 14 That saith, I will build me a wide house and large

chambers, and cutteth him out windows; and (it is] 15 cieled with cedar, and painted with vermilion. Shalt

thou reign, because thou closest [thyself ] in cedar? will thy fine house be a fortress and a defence to thee? did not thy father eat and drink, and do judgment and justice, [and] then [it was) well with him ? thy father

lived in an honourable and comfortable manner, suitably to 16 his rank and character. He judged the cause of the poor

and needy; then it was) well (with him : was) not this to know me? faith the LORD; this was the effect of his

piety, and an evidence of his good understanding, tho' he had 17 not so fine a palace. But thine eyes and thine heart [are]

not but for thy covetousness, and for to shed innocent

blood, and for oppression, and for violence to do [it.] 18 Therefore thus faith the Lord concerning Jehoiakim

the son of Josiah king of Judah; They shall not lament for him, [saying, ] Ah my brother ! or, Ah fifter! they shall not lament for him, [saying,] Ah lord ! or Ah his glory! they fall not lament for him as a

near relation, nor as a people do for a good prince; all his 19 glory is vanished and departed. He shall be buried with

the burial of an ass, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem."- A message is then sent to Jehoiakim, or Jeconiah his son, here called, by way of contempt, Coniah, and to the people.

20 Go

& Pharaoh had carried him captive into Egypt, and made Jo hoiakim his brother king in his flead; to whom the next words belong.

Accordingly, Josephus tells us that he was slain in a sally, when the Chaldeans came against Jerufalem; and that his dead body being found, was created in this contemptuous manner.

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