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be devoured, and all thine adversaries, every one

of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee

Thall be a spoil, and all that prey upon thee will I give 17 for a prey. For I will restore health unto thee, and I

will heal thee of thy wounds, faith the Lord; because
they called thee an outcast, [saying,] This [is] Zion,

whom no man seeketh after.
18 Thus faith the LORD; Behold, I will bring again the

captivity of Jacob's tents, alluding to their formerly dwell-
ing in tents, and have mercy on his dwelling places ;
and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, or
hill, and the palace shall remain after the manner there-

of, that is, the temple, God's palace, shall be re-established 19 upon its former plan. And out of them, the temple

and private houses, shall proceed thanksgiving and
the voice of them that make merry, that is, cheerful-
ness and thankfulness: and I will multiply them, and

they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and 20 they shall not be small, or brought low. Their child

ren also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation
shall be established before me; their children shall inherit
their fathers' honours and estates, the church and the com-

monwealth shall be restored as before, and I will punish 21 all that oppress them. And their nobles, or, noble

One, that is, the Mefiah, shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me; they shall have no foreign governor, but approach to God, consult him, and be judged by his law: for who [is] this that engaged his heart to approach unto

me? faith the LORD? without God's favourable interpo22 sition who could do so ? And ye shall be my people again,

and adhere to my instituted worship, and I will be your

God, to protect and bless you. Yet in the mean time, & Some understand it of their children being taken into cove. nant with God by baptism, on their conversion, as they formerly were by circumcifion.

e The word fignifies, the mighty One, and seems rather to refer to Christ, who should draw near to God as a priest, as well as a king. Then follows a note of admiration, It is wonderful it should be fo! Who is fo entirely devoted to my service, and can approach to me as mediator, but He?

23, Behold, the whirlwind of the LORD goeth forth with

fury, a continuing whirlwind : it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked who will not repent, and it

shall be a continual whirlwind, not like a common one, which 24 is violent but short. The fierce anger of the Lord shall

not return, until he have done [it] and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days ye Thall consider it; when there Mall be a general conversion of the jews, then they shall fully understand the meaning of such prophecies as these.

R E F L E C T I O N S.

I.

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II
T is both our duty and happiness to serve the

Lord. To acknowledge God as our creator, preserver, and happiness; and, by his appointment, to serve Jesus Christ, to whom he hath given the throne of David ! We are to reverence and honour him as a king; to submit to his laws, and trust in his protection : and our deliverance from the power of spiritual enemies, is an unanswerable reason why we should serve him in holiness and righteousness all our days.

2. See the unreasonableness of anxious fear in God's fervants, even when their circumstances are most distressing, V. 10. Israel is rebuked for their fears, (tho’ they were punished with severity, and their wound seemed incurable) because they had so many promises to trust in. Under pressing dangers, or long and heavy affliction, we are ready to despair ; but God hath promised support and relief: and he is able to grant them, when earthly helps fail, and when, to human appearance, there is no hope. Our afflictions will have an happy issue; let us then trust in the Lord for ever.

3. Let us rejoice in the mediation of Jesus Christ, our great high priest: he is not only our governor, but our interceffor also : he draws near to God on our behalf; God has appointed and caused him to do fo, that we might have strong confolation: he engaged his own heart to do it; voluntarily and resolutely undertook this service. As we hope for the benefit of his mediation, let us engage our L 1 2

hearts

hearts likewise; and while in his name we come boldly to the throne of grace, let us approach it with seriousness, reverence, and godly fear.

1

AT

"CH A P. XXXI. 1--26. In this chapter gracious promises to Israel are continued; but it

is hard to say, whether they refer to their return from captivity, or to gospel times : perhaps the former part of the chapter may refer to their return from Babylon, and the latter to their conversion in the last days.

T the fame time, faith the Lord, will I be the

God of all the families of Ifrael, and they shall 2 be my people. Thus faith the LORD, The people

[which were) left of the sword of Pharaoh, found grace in the wilderness; [even] Israel, when I went to cause him to reft; I led them thro' the wilderness, and conduet

ed them to their rest in Canaan, how therefore can they doubt 3 of my favour. The Lord hath appeared of old unto

me, [saying, ) Yea, I have loved thee Israel with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee; what I did for thy fathers was founded on

covenant love, therefore I will continue to be gracious to 4 thee. Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin

of Israel; I will restore thee to thy former state, and thou shalt be reformed from idolatry, and become pure again like a virgin: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them

that make merry; thou falt have all marks of civil and 5 religious joy. Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the

mountains of Samaria: the planters shall plant, and fhall eat (them) as common things; their vines Mall

yield such plenty of fruit that every one may eat of it with6 out restriction. For there shall be a day, [that] the

watchmen * There was a law, that when a vine was planted the fruit should not be touched for three years, the produce of the fourth was consecrated to God, and in the fifth it might be eaten as ? common thing.

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watchmen upon the mount Ephraim, which was near Samaria, where there used to be the greatest opposition to the worship at Jerusalem, shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the Lord our God; an allusion to

centinels or watchmen calling the people together on par7 ticular occasions, especially at festivals. For thus faith, the

Lord; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations, when ye see the beginning of deliverance: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O Lord, fave thy people, the remnant of Israel; complete this good

work, or rather, Thou hast saved them, and we praise thee 8 for thy faithfulness. Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from

the coasts of the earth, [and] with them the blind and the lame; the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together ; those that are least able to travel shall be in

clined and enabled to come : a great company shall return 9 thither. They shall come with weeping, and with

fupplications will I lead them; godly sorrow for past fins fall mingle itself with all their joy: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters, in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble; I will provide for them, and proteet them in their journey : for I am a father to Israel, and

Ephraim [is] my first born, and I will restore them to 10 their former state. Hear the word of the LORD, O ye

nations, and declare [it] in the isles afar off, and say,

He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, 11 as a shepherd [doth] his flock. For the Lord hath

redeemed Jacob, and ranfomed him from the hand of 12 [him that was] stronger than he. Therefore they shall

come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together in great multitudes, like the streams of a river, to the goodness of the Lord, to share in the good thing's of the Lord, in the common supplies of life, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd; and their foul shall be as a watered garden ; the influences of divine grace sball complete their

LI 3

joy;

% This is customary ftill among the Turks, where the prielts proclaim from the cops of their churches, that the hour of prayer is come.

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joy; and they shall not sorrow any more at all; they

jhall have no such trouble again for a long time, as they 13 have lately experienced. Then shall the virgin rejoice in

the dance, both young men and old together : for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort

them, and make them rejoice from their forrow; all 14 ages and ranks shall agree in figns of universal joy. And

I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, they Mall have plenty of sacrifices and offerings, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, faith the LORD; both the priests and the people shall rejoice in the abundance

of divine blessings. 15 Thus faith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah,

lamentation, [and] bitter weeping; Rachel weeping

for her children refused to be comforted for her child16 ren, because they (were] not. Thus faith the LORD;

Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work, thy tender concern for thy children,

shall be rewarded, faith the LORD; and they shall come 17 again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope

in thine end, or, to thy posterity, saith the LORD, that

[thy) children shall come again to their own border. 18 I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself

[thus;] Thou hast chastised' me, and I was chastised, ! received instruction, as a bullock unaccustomed (to the yoke; ) or rather, tho' I was before as a bullock that would not bear it: turn thou me, and I shall be turned ; for

thou [art] the Lord my God; I need thy gracious influence 19 to bring me to a better temper. Surely after that I was

turned, and felt the influence of thy grace, I repented; and after that I was instructed, 1 fmote upon (my] thigh, expressed great grief and humiliation : 1 was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the

reproach ” At the time of the captivity there was an assembly of the enemy at Ramah, sh. xl. i. the captives were brought thither, and from thence carried to Babylon; and as Rachel was buried near that place, the prophet; by an elegant figure, represents hur as looking out of her grave and bewailing the captivity of her descendants. This is applied and accommodated in ihe Nuw Testament to the flaughter of the infants in this neighbourhood. See Matt. ii, 17, 18.

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