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hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will set his throne upon these stones that I have
hid ; and he shall spread his royal pavilion over them. 11 And when he cometh, he shall smite the land of Egypt
with pestilence, (and deliver) such (as are] for death to death; shutting them up in infected places; and such [as
are) for captivity to captivity ; and such (as are] for 12 the sword to the sword. And I will kindle a fire in
the houses of the gods of Egypt; and he shall burn them and carry them away captives : and he shall array himself with the land of Egypt, as a shepherd putteth on his garment'; beautifully alluding to the ease with which he should make the conquest; just as a fhepherd flips on his garment ; Soon, and without care or nicety; and
he shall go forth from thence in peace; without op13 position, and without fear. He shall break also the
images of Beth-shemesh, that [is] in the land of Egypt; and the houses of the gods of the Egyptians shall he burn with fire; tho' an idolater himself, he shall destroy their idols; and tho? a worshipper of the sun, he mall break its images and burn its temples.
HE resolution expressed in v. 5. is very proper
for us to make when we read or hear the word of God, viz. to do what he requires of us, whether agreeable or disagreeable, whether fashionable or unfashionable; whatever pains, labour, or self denial it may coft us. This is the way to have things well with us. And in order to confirm this resolution, it will be proper to make it in the presence of God, and with an appeal to him, ás a true and faithful witness.
2. We have here a deplorable instance of the gross hypocrify, which men are sometimes guilty of in their transactions with God and his ministers. The people came respectfully to the prophet to enquire the will of God; resolving to do it, and appealing to God for their fincerity; and yet they were determined not to obey if it
was disagreeable to them. Thus many pretend respect to ministers, come and fit before them as God's own people, and profefs obedience and submission ; till the word comes to cross their inclinations and worldly interests; then they will not obey ; but like these hypocrites, begin to find fault with the word itself, or the preachers of it. They will desire their prayers, but reject their exhortations. This is horrible prevarication both with God and man; and the portion of such hypocrites will be peculiarly dreadful.
3. God will bring upon finners the evils which they think to escape by indirect means. These men wanted to go to Egypt that they might escape the sword and famine: and God threatens, v. 22. to destroy them in the land where they desire to sojourn, by sword, famine, and pertilence. It is impossible to outrun the judgments of God. Men now bring themselves into poverty and contempt by dishonest methods of increasing their substance; or a fretful, impatient disposition, leads them to change their situation, their business, or their connections, to avoid something that disturbs them ; but wherever they go, crosses will attend them, because they carry with them their own irregular passions. The way to be happy, is to take pains to mend our bad tempers, and make God our friend. With a humble, patient, devout fpirit, we may be comfortable any where ; without such a disposition we shall be comfortable no where.
4. Observe with what infinite ease God can transfer the poffeffion of the greatest kingdoms. He calls Nebuchadrezzar his servant, because he was to execute his pleasure ; foretells that he should destroy Egypt, that antient, rich, and populous kingdom; describes the very spot of ground where he thould pitch his tent; and the ease and security with which he should make the conqueft. Let us reve. rence this glorious Being, who doth according to his will, and fear that power, which no creature can resist.
CHAP. XLIV. Feresniah in this chapter reproves the jews in Egypt for con
tinuing in idolatry, after the exemplary judgments inflisted on their nation for that fin; and, upon their refufing to reform, denounces destruction to them, and to the kingdom wherein they fought protection.
HE word that came to Jeremiah concerning all
the Jews which dwell in the land of Egypt, which dwell at Migdol, and at Tahpanhes, and at 2 Noph, and in the country of Pathros, saying, Thus
faith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel ; Ye have feen all the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, and upon all the cities of Judah ; and, behold, this
day they [are] a desolation, and no man dwelleth 3 therein, Because of their wickedness which they have
committed to provoke me to anger, in that they went
to burn incense, (and) to serve other gods, whom they 4 knew not, (neither] they, ye, nor your fathers. How.
beit I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising
early and sending [them,] saying, Oh, do not this 5 abominable thing that I hate. But they hearkened tiot, .
nor inclined their ear to turn from their wickedness, to 6 burn no incense unto other gods. Wherefore my fury
and mine anger was poured forth, and was kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem ;
and they are wasted (and] desolate, as at this day. z Therefore now thus faith the Lord, the God of hosts,
the God of Israel; Wherefore commit ye [this] great evil against your souls, to cut off from you man and woman, child and suckling, out of Judah, to leave 8 you none to remain ; In that ye provoke me unto wrath
with the works of your hands, burning incense unto other gods in the land of Egypt, whither ye be gone to dwell, that ye might cut yourselves off, and that ye might be a curse and a reproach among all the nations of the earth; having learned the idolatry of the Egyptians, and practised that, besides the idolatry you were used to praktise in your own land; on which account God is deter
9 mined to destroy you. Have ye forgotten the wickedness of
your fathers, and the wickedness of the kings of Judah, and the wickedness of their wives, and your own wickedness, and the wickedness of your wives, which they have committed in the land of Sudah, and in the streets of Jerusalem ; perhaps referring to Solomon's wives in particular, especially his Egyptian wives, who had
enticed him to idolatry ; tho' not to them alone. (v. 15.) 10 They are not humbled (even) unto this day, neither
have they feared, nor walked in my law, nor in my statutes that I set before you and before your fathers.
Therefore thus faith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will set my face against you for evil, 12 and to cut off all Judah. And I will take the remnant
of Judah, that have set their faces to go into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, and they shall all be consumed, [and] fall in the land of Egypt; they shall (even] be consumed by the sword [and] by the famine: they shall die, from the least even unto the greatest, by the sword and by the famine: and they
shall be an execration, [and] an astonishment, and 13 a curse, and a reproach. For I will punish them
that dwell in the land of Egypt, as I have punished
Jerusalem, by the sword, by the famine, and by the 14 pestilence:- So that none of the remnant of Judah,
which are gone into the land of Egypt to fojourn there, shall escape or remain, that they should return into the land of Judah, to the which they have a defire to return to dwell there, being uneasy in Egypt, and wishing to return : for, or, whereas none shall return but such as shall escape; that is, only the pious few who were carried "with the rest against their will, as Jeremiah and Baruch, &c. Some of them or their feed may return after the cap
Then all the men which knew that their wives had burned incense unto other gods, and all the women that stood by, a great multitude, even all the people that
dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jere16 miah, saying, (As for the word that thou hast spoken
unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken
17 unto thee. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing
goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem : for (then,] before the
Chaldean invasion,' had we plenty of victuals, and were 18 well, and saw no evil. But fince we left off to burn
incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, that is, to the moon, ( an idolatry chiefly practised by the women) we have wanted all
[things,) and have been consumed by the sword and by 19 the famine. And when we burned incense to the queen
of heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men? without the knowledge and consent of our husbands?
Then Jeremiah said unto all the people, to the men, and to the women, and to all the people which had 21. given him [that] answer, saying, The incense that
ye burned in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, ye, and your fathers, your kings, and your princes, and the people of the land, did not the LORD
remember them, and came it (not) into his mind, as 22 very offenhve to him ? So that the LORD could no longer
bear, because of the evil of your doings, [and] because of the abominations which ye have committed ; there
fore is your land a desolation, and an astonishment, and 23 a curse, without an inhabitant, as at this day. Because
ye have burned incense, and because ye have finned against the Lord, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, nor walked in his law, nor in his statutes, nor
in his testimonies; therefore this evil is happened unto 24 you, as at this day. Moreover Jeremiah said unto all
the people, and to all the women, Hear the word of
the Lord, all Judah that [are) in the land of Egypt: 25 Thus faith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, faying; Ye and your wives have both spoken with your
mouths, a direct falsehood ; many of them having been destroyed, and others carried captive before that event.
? This was