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20 Go up to Lebanon, and cry; and lift up thy voice
in Bashan, and cry from the passages : for all thy
lovers are destroyed; thy allies, especially the Egyptians, 21 have failed thee. I spake unto thee in thy prosperity ;
[but) thou saidít, I will not hear. This (hath been]
thy manner from thy youth, that thou obeyedst not 22 my voice. The wind shall eat up all thy, pastors, and
thy lovers shall go into captivity; thy civil and ecclesiastical governors shall be destroyed os fruit is by a blasting
wind : surely then shalt thou be ashamed and con23 founded for all thy wickedness. . O inhabitant of
) ebanon, that makest thy nest in the cedars, how gracious shalt thou be, how humble and submissive, when
pangs come upon thee, the pain as of a woman in 24 travail ! i [As] I live, faith the LORD, though Coniah
the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, (a proverbial expression for a thing
that is very dear and valuable,) yet would I pluck thee 25 thence; And I will give thee into the hand of them
that seek thy life, and into the hand (of them] whose face thou fearest, even into the hand of Nebuchadrez
zar king of Babylon, and into the hand of the Chal26 deans. . And I will cast thee out, and thy mother that
bare thee, into another country, where ye were not 27 born; and there ye Mall die.k But to the land
whereunto they desire to return, thither shall they not. 28 return. [ls] this man Coniah a despised broken idol?
is he) a vessel wherein [is] no pleasure? tho' once he was worshipped like an idol, he shall be broken down, Siripped of his royalty, trodden under foot, and despised as c bruken pitcher : wherefore are they cast out, who would have thought he should come to such a condition, he and his feed, that is, the royal family, or the children born to him in
Babylon, i The jewish nation is here compared to a woman living in luxury, in a splendid palace, wainscoted with cedar; but, as the finest house would not prevent her pain when travail came upon her, so God would bring such pains upon them, that all their grandear, magnificence, and pride should not support their hearts under it.
* As his mother was probably concerned in hardening him against the messages of God, fo they should be a grief of heart to each other.
JEREMIAH. XXII. Babylon, (for he had none before the captivity) and are cast 29 into a land which they know not? O earth, earth,
earth, O land of Judah, hear the word of the Lord. 30 Thus faith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a
man (that) shall not prosper in his day: for no man of
HEN good men die, and leave wicked child.
ren behind them, there is more reason to weep for the children than for the fathers, v. 1o. Josiah was much lamented; yet there is little reason to lament the death of such men ; for they are gone to rest, are taken from the evil to come, and received to glory, beyond the reach of fin and forrow; but let us weep over their degenerate children, whose guilt is aggravated by the instructions and examples of their pious parents. They bring more difhonour on religion, and do more mischief to others, than thofe who have not such advantages; they are seldom reclaimed, but generally go on to treasure up to themselves wrath against the day of wrath, and the revelation of the righteous judgment of God. Their case is indeed truly pitiable.
2. See the wickednefs of injustice and oppression. The sources of it are pride and covetousness. Jehoiakim could not be content with his father's palace, but must have a better. Yet he loved his money too well to part with it, and therefore never paid his workmen, or not so much as was their due. Thus many are fond of making a figure in life, who yet have not wherewith to support it: they get rich by the gains of oppreflion, and by screwing their workmen and servants, in order to increase their wealth, or support their extravagance. But we here see that God takes notice of and will punish the wrong which is done by rich
and Zedekiah, his successor, being his uncle, none of his pofterity ever sat upon the throne: tho' his grandfon Zerubbabel was a governor, yet the royal power was gone ; and he could not be Taid to sit upon the throne of David, as he was appointed by the king of Persia.
and great men to their poor workmen and labourers; for their cry cometh into the ears of the Lord God of hosts.
3. It would be more for the honour and happiness of children to imitate their father's virtues, than to exceed them in wealth and grandeur. Jehoiakim is reminded of his father's piety and integrity, and of the prosperity and honour which attended him. There are many persons who, when they inherit their fathers' substance, despise their old notions, and fashions, and way of living; while they are destitute of their excellencies. They make those inroads on justice and charity, which their fathers durst not have done: they are neither fo just in their dealings, so cha. ritable to the poor, nor lo generous for the support of religion, as their ancestors were. Yet they think it is enough that they are richer than they. A sad exchange! Let us consider what was truly excellent in our predecessors, and imitate that; and if our circumstances are better than theirs, let us be more generous and charitable than they were. All the comfort they had in religion, fhould recommend it to us; and we should be followers of them, that it may be well with us now and for ever, as it undoubtedly is with those who lived and died under its influence.
4. We are taught the danger of prosperity. These unhappy princes are melancholy instances how fadly wealth and power may be abused; but the worst effect of prospe. rity is, that it puffs up men's minds, v. 21. They think themselves too wise to need advice; despise the word of God, and its preachers; and take fire at the most diftant hint of reproof. It is a wretched thing when prosperity hardens the mind against religious impressions ; when men's hearts rise with their fortunes, and they proceed to contemn God, as well as man. The case may soon be altered with them ; and they will then be as abject and mean, as they were before insolent, V. 23. It is well if adversity makes them truly humble and penitent. Let us take heed, brethren, left we forget God and our duty in prosperous seasons; and therefore, not be high minded, but fear.
CHAP. XXIII. The prophecy goes on to threaten the rulers and guides of the
people; but concludes with promises of deliverances from captivity, of better times under the Mesah, and of a future restoration of the jews to their own land, v. 1–8: the ninth verse begins another subje£t; Jeremiah exhorts the people not to listen to false prophets, and threatens the pretenders to inspiration and the scoffers at true prophecy.
O E be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter
the sheep of my pasture! faith the LORD; that 2 is, to the ecclesiastical and civil governors. Therefore
thus faith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed, or should have fed, my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away by your ill example and want of care, and have not visited them: behold,
I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, faith the 3 Lorn. And I will gather the remnant of my flock
out of all countries whither I have driven them, and
will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be 4 fruitful and increase. And I will set up shepherds over
them which shall feed them, that is, governors after the captivity, or rather, in the latter days : and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lack
ing, faith the Lord. 5 Behold, the days come, faith the Lord, that I will
raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and
justice in the earth; he shall impartially reward the 6 righteous and the wicked. In his days Judah shall be
saved, and Israel shall dwell safely : and this [is] his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS; or, this is the name by which
Jehovah shall call him, OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, that 7 is, the means of our justification and salvation." There
fore, behold, the days come, faith the LORD, that is, the latter days, that they shall no more say, The Lord liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of
the * See Dr. BLAYNBY's note on this passage.
8 the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, which
brought up and which led the seed of the house of Ifrael out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them: and they shall dwell in their own land; this last deliverance shall eclipse the
former, and be as life from the dead. 9 Mine heart within me is broken because of the
prophets ; all
bones shake; am like a drunken man; and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the Lord, and because of the words of his holiness,
which they have profaned; I am deeply affeeted with their 10 horrible sin, and tremble to deliver my message. For the
land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing, or perjury, the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and
their force [is] not right; their zeal is not to promote reII ligion, but wickedness. For both prophet and prieit are
profane; yea, in my house have I found their wicked
ness, faith the LORD; I have found their idolatries there. 12 Wherefore their way shall be unto them as flippery
(ways] in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein ; they promise others peace and light, but they fall miss of both themselves, and fall and miscarry in their
designs: for I will bring evil upon them, [even] the 13 year of their visitation, saith the LORD. And I have
seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they have pro
phesied in Baal, and caused my people Ifrael to err; I 14 have seen this comparatively as a small matter. I have
feen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evil doers, that none doth return from his wickedness; calling their own fancies divine oracles, and promising impunity: they are all of
them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof 15 as Gomorrah. Therefore thus faith the Lord of hosts
concerning the prophets ; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall : for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness
gone forth into all the land ; they have made others vile 1 by their counsels and examples. Thus faith the Lord of I i 2