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the prophets, rifing up early and sending [them ;) hut
ye would not hear, saith the LORD, but rather gave ear
to false prophets.
Hear

ye

therefore the word of the LORD, all ye of the captivity, whom I have sent from Jerusalem to

Babylon: Whereas ye have said, the Lord hath raised us 21 up prophets in Babylon; Thus faith the Lord of hosts,

the God of Israel, of Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and of Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, which prophesy a lie unto you in my name, predi{ting your speedy return; Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebu

chadrezzar king of Babylon; and he shall slay them 22 before your eyes; And of them shall be taken up a

curse by all the captivity of Judah which (are) in Babylon, saying, The LORD make thee like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire ; a probably being incensed against them for persuad

ing the people not to settle according to his orders, or fowing 23 fedition; Because they have committed villany in Il

rael, and have committed adultery with their neighbours' wives, and have spoken lying words in my name, which I have not commanded them; even I know, and [am] a witness, faith the Lord, tho' men

cannot prove it against them. 24 (Thus) shalt thou also speak to Shemaiah the Nehe25 lamite, saying, Thus fpeaketh the Lord of hosts, the

God of Israel; saying, Because thou hast sent letters in thy name unto all the people that (are) át Jerusalem, and to Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, and to all the priests, in answer to the letter of Shemaiah,

which was brought to Jerusalem by those who carried Jere26 miah's letter to Babylon, saying, The Lord hath made

thee * In all probability they were treated in the same manner was intended for Shedrach, Melhach, and Abed-nego, Dan. iii.

One would think that it would impress them much to receive such a prophecy, and to see it fooremarkably accomplished.

• The jewith rabbins, as - Grotius observes, have a tradition that there were

he two elders who attempted the chastity of Susannah, the story of which they think to be true in part, tho' not altogether such as is represented in the Apocrypha.

as

20, 21.

thee priest in the stead of Jehoiadah the priest, the
high priest who was carried captive, that ye should be
officers in the house of the LORD, for every man,
or, in the case of any one, that is] mad, and maketh
himself a prophet, that thou shouldst put him in
prison, and in the stocks; telling him that he had

authority to punish every one pretending to be a prophet. 27 Now therefore why halt thou not reproved Jeremiah of

Anathoth, which maketh himself a prophet to you? 28 why hast thou not executed thy authority upon him? For

therefore, or rather, because he sent unto us [in] Baby-
lon, saying, This (captivity is] long: build ye houses,

and dwell (in them;) and plant gardens, and eat the 29 fruit of them. And Zephaniah the priest read this

letter in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet, tho, being

a friend to him, he would not show it publickly.
30 Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah,
31 saying, Send to all them of the captivity, saying, Thus

faith the Lord concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite;
Because that Shemaiah hath prophesied unto you, and

I sent him not, and he caused you to trust in a lie: 32 Therefore thus faith the LORD ; Behold, I will punish

Shemaiah the Nehelamite, and his feed : he shall not
have a man to dwell among this people; neither shall
he behold the good that I will do for my people, faith
the LORD; because he hath taught rebellion against the
LORD; none of his posterity Mall live to see the end of the
captivity, nor the favour God will show his people both in
and after their return.

R E F L E C TI ON S.
E may infer from hence the usefulness of let.

ters; and how much we may serve God, and instruct and comfort our friends, by writing to them, as well as converfing with them. The art of writing is an inestimable blessing to the world; friendly correspondence is very comfortable, and may be very useful, if our letters are seasoned with grace. This we should be careful of; fince, if idle words are to be accounted for, much more will idle letters, as so much more time is spent about them,

and

WE

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and the impresfion made by them, whether it be good or bad, may be more lasting.

2. It is our duty to bring our mind to our condition, whatever it is. The Israelites in Babylon are commanded to act as if they were at home; to build and plant, not fearing that their masters would deprive them of

their poffeffions; and to encourage themselves with an affurance that they or their children should see better days. This is an important lesson to us.

Our situations and circumstances in life are of God's ordering, v. 4.

We are not to overlook, or be unthankful for, the comforts we have, because some are loft. If we are removed to a distance from our relations and friends, and grafted into new families and settlements, let us accommodate ourselves to them; consult their peace and comfort; and by that means we shall promote our own.

3. How reasonable is it that we should pray for the land of our nativity, v. 7. If the Israelites were to consult and pray for the peace of an heathen, tyrannical, and oppressive king and people, among whom they were settled; it is much more our duty, by loyalty, subjection, and every other instance of good behaviour, to seek the peace of our native country, and the prosperity of the good government we live under; to pray for our king, and for all that are in authority, that we may lead peaceable and quiet lives, in all godliness and honesty.

4. How happy are the people of God in their commu. nion with him, and his thoughts of peace toward them! There was a way to the throne of grace in Babylon, as well as in Jerusalem. We have all access to God by prayer. Let us value this privilege, remembering the qualifications of acceptable devotion; that it is seeking God, and searching for him with our whole heart, that is, with fincerity and fervency. His thoughts toward his peo. ple are thoughts of peace, even when he sees it beft to correct them, and tho' they may imagine that they are thoughts of evil. There is an end which they expect, even their fettlement in the heavenly Canaan, and everlasting reft there ; and of this they shall not be disappointed. But those who, like Shemaiah, rebel against God, forfeit the privileges of his people. God will do his people much

good;

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good; more than they can ask or think: but those who are rebellious against his word and commandments shall never see it. The end of the righteous is peace; but there is no peace, faith my God, to the wicked.

2

CH A P. XXX. Contains gracious promises of God to Ifrael, and that he would

remember the covenant made with their fathers. I THE word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD,

saying, Thus speaketh the Lord God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book ; because they refer to distant events, viz. to the return of the jews from captivity, and even to Christ's time; they will be encouragements to them in the mean

while, and the events will be a proof of my foreknowledge 3 and providence. For, lo, the days come, faith the

Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers,

and they shall possess it. 4 And these [are] the words that the Lord fpake con5 cerning Israel and concerning Judah. For thus faith

the LORD: We have heard the voice of trembling, of

fear, and not of peace, as the false prophets foretold. 6 Ask ye now, and fee whether a man doth travail with

child'? Wherefore do I fee, not one or two, but every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness; they carry

concern in their looks, and uneasiness in their behaviour. 7 Alas! for that day, the day of the destruction of the city

and temple, and the captivity of the residue of the people, [is] great, so that none [is] like it: it [is] even the

time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of 8 it. For it shall come to pass in that day, that distant

period of signal and providential events, faith the Lord of hosts, [that], I will break his yoke, the king of Babylon's yoke, from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds,

and

10

and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him, 9 that is, of thy po lesions and labours: But they shall serve

the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them; they shall adhere faithfully to true religion, and serve the Mesiah, here called David, because he was his son according to the flesh, the heir to his throne, and in whom the prophecies relating to David were fulfilled.

Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, faith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Ifrael: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy feed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none fhall make [him]

afraid ; thou salt enjoy great quietness under the Persian 11 monarchy, and still more in the latter day. For I [am]

with thee, faith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations, of the Asyrians and Chaldeans, whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee:d but I will correct thee in

measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished; 12 tho' I chastife, I will not utterly destroy thee. For thus

faith the LORD, Thy bruise [is] incurable, [and] thy

wound [is] grievous; it seems to be so, and is fo, by human 13. power. [There is ) none to plead, or judge, thy cause,

that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing

medicines, but art like a distempered body, dying for want 14 of help. All thy lovers, or allies, have forgotten thee;

they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity ; [because]

thy sins were increased; I have treated thee with great 15 severity because thine iniquities are great. Why criest

thou for thine affliction? why dost thou lament and expostulate with me? thy sorrow [is] incurable for the

multitude of thine iniquity: (because] thy sins were 16 increased, I have done these things unto thee. There

fore, cr rather, yet surely, all they that devour thee shall
VOL. V.
LI

be & This was remarkably fulfilled in the jews being kept a diflinct people, when these nations, once so populous and mighty, were quite loit.

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