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Howl, ye inhabitants of the hollow valley of Cedron; for all the merchants, which dwelt in those parts, are cut off; all those rich men, which had wont to drive a great trade with their silver, are now perished and gone.
I. 12 And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will make a curious search in Jerusalem, and will leave no corner thereof unsought, for the fetching out and punishing of those foul and secure offenders, which have hardened themselves with resolutions of wickedness; and have determinately settled themselves to live in their known sins; and say in their hearts, Tush, it is all one, whether we do good or evil, the Lord will not regard it, whethersoever we do.
I. 14 The great day of the LORD is near.
The great day of God's revenge upon Jerusalem is near at hand. So also verses 15 and 16.
II. 2 Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff.
Before the command of God bring forth all this heavy judgment upon you; before the day of your captivity come upon you, which is coming upon you with such speed and violence, as the chaff is driven with a strong wind.
II. 3 Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seck righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD's anger.
Pray to the Lord, O all ye, that are well disposed and conscionable upon earth; ye, which have endeavoured to do that, which is just and right before him: go ye on still to approve yourselves to him, in your holy carriage and good affections: it may be, that God will be pleased to deliver you from the common judg
II. 4 For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up.
For ye shall see the hand of God, by way of forewarning, upon all those cities, that belong to the Philistines; upon Gaza, and Ashkelon, and Ashdod, and Ekron: all these shall be destroyed and rooted up openly before your eyes.
II. 5 Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! the word of the LORD is against you, O Canaan, the land of the Philistines.
Woe to the inhabitants of the coast of the Mediterranean Sea; even to the Cherethites, that dwell there! the word of the Lord threatens speedy destruction against thee, O thou region of Canaan, which art possessed by the Philistines.
II. 6 And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks.
And those sea coasts shall be left desolate and unpeopled: only there shall be some solitary cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks, along those shores.
II. 7 And the coast shall be for the remnant of the houses of Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening: for the LORD their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity.
And, afterward, this whole tract shall be re-possessed by those of the house of Judah: they shall be settled in this country; and, after their captivity is past, as it were in the latter end of the day, they shall be the owners of the land and cities of the Philistines for the Lord their God shall in mercy remember them, and return them from their captivity.
II. 11 For he will famish all the gods of the earth. For he will destroy all the idols of the earth, and famish all those false deities, in withdrawing from them the offerings and gifts of their deluded followers.
II. 12 Ye Ethiopians also, ye shall be slain by my sword. And not only Moab and Ammon, but ye Ethiopians also, shall be slain, at my appointment, by the sword of Nebuchadnezzar.
II. 13, 14 And he will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness. And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds: for he shall uncover the cedar work.
Even Nineveh, that mighty city, shall be so desolated by the sword of the Babylonian, as that flocks shall lie down in the midst of those, which were her streets: all the beasts of the countries round about may either pass or feed there: all the birds of solitariness and desolation shall take up their lodgings, in the ruinous remainders of that goodly city; and the cedar ceilings thereof shall lie uncovered. So verse 15.
III. 1 Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city! Woe to Jerusalem, which is filthy and polluted with abominable wickedness! Woe to the cruel and oppressing city, Jerusalem!
III. 3 Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow. Her princes are fierce and cruel, like roaring lions: her judges are covetous and greedy, like the hungry wolves, which range forth in the evening; which, when they find a prey, devour it at once, and stay not to gnaw upon the bones, but swallow them down hastily.
III. 4 They have done violence to the law.
They have violently strained the law of God to their own senses, and to the favour of their wicked practices.
III. 5 The just LORD is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he fail eth not; but the unjust knoweth not shame.
The holy and just God is in the midst of her; both to observe her carriage, and to instruct her in the ways of his laws, and to punish her sinful failings; and doth and will proceed accordingly he will not be unjust in the forbearing her; but doth every day shew some judgment or other upon her wicked inhabitants: he faileth not, thus to correct and warn her; but the unjust are not sensible of any shame or danger that is towards them.
III. 6 I have cut off the nations.
I have given them sufficient warning by those judgments, which I have brought upon the nations about them.
III. 7. I said, Surely thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive instruction; so their dwelling should not be cut off, howsoever I punished them but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings. I said of thee, O Jerusalem, Surely thou wilt be premonished by my judgments, to fear me; thou wilt receive good counsel and instruction, that so I might turn away my threatened destruction from thee, howsoever I might afflict thee for a time; but they, contrarily, gave themselves to an eager and wilful pursuit of their sins, and have shamefully corrupted all their doings.
III. 8 Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger.
Therefore, since both the nations and ye are so unreclaimably sinful, make account of a heavy day, wherein I will rise up to execute my vengeance upon you and them; for my determination is, to gather the nations, and assemble the kingdoms, that I may enwrap them in one common destruction.
III. 9 For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD.
After which, I will restore peace to my people; and will so work with them, that, abandoning all false worship and idolatry, they shall, with pure hearts and lips, confess me their Lord Christ.
III. 10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering. From the remotest parts of the world shall suppliants be gathered into my Church: both Jews and Gentiles shall bring offerings unto me, and subject themselves to my Gospel.
III. 11 In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain.
In that day thou shalt have no cause to be ashamed of all thy former offences, wherein thou hast transgressed against me; since
both I have fully forgiven them, and reformed them also: for then I will take away from thee that vain pride and confidence, which too many of my people put in the holiness of mount Zion, and the temple there; as if that alone could secure them from all evils, and procure all blessings.
III. 12 I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD. Rather, in the stead of these proud boasters, I will leave in the midst of thee those meek and humble souls, which shall be vile in their own eyes, and shall place all their trust in Christ their Saviour.
III. 13 The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid. And those selected people, which shall give up their names to me in my Church, shall make due conscience of their ways; not daring, either to do wickedly, or speak deceitfully: for they shall be under the leading of a faithful shepherd; under whose power and mercy they shall feed safely and quietly, and none shall make
III. 14 Sing, O daughter of Zion.
Sing praises therefore unto the Lord, O thou Church of the faithful.
III. 15 The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.
The Lord hath removed away both thy sins and his judgments from thee: he hath subdued thy spiritual enemies under thee, &c. Thou shalt not have cause to fear any evil, that may befal thee. So also verses 16, 17.
III. 18 I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden. I will gather together and comfort them, that mourn after the solemn assemblies of Sion; grieving at their withholding therefrom, by their forced captivity: who are a feeling part of thee, my Church; to whom the reproach of their long restraint was a burden.
III. 19 I will save her that halteth.
I will save the remnant of Israel, that were maimed and halting under too much oppression.
I. 2 This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD's house should be built.
The people make excuses for their neglect, and say, The time is not yet come for the building up of the Temple: fain would we
be re-edifying it, but we see opposition made by our envious neighbours, so as it is not yet seasonable to go about it.
I. 4 Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste?
Is it time for you, O ye Jews, to build for yourselves fair houses, and to take your pleasure in enjoying of them, while ye suffer God's house to lie waste?
I. 5 Consider your ways.
Consider well the courses that ye take, and the success of your affairs.
I. 6 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.
God hath justly crossed you in all your hopes and endeavours: ye have sown much, expecting a goodly crop, but ye find little to reap, &c. and he, that earneth wages, is never the better, never the richer; his gains do not prosper in his hands.
I. 8 Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD. Go ye up to mount Libanus, cut down cedars, and bring them up to Sion, and build this Temple of mine; and, though it be not done with that state and magnificence, wherewith it was formerly, yet I will take pleasure in it, and account myself glorified in and by it, saith the Lord.
I. 9 I did blow upon it.
I crossed your hopes and designs in it.
II. 3 Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? Is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?
If there be any yet alive amongst you, that saw this Temple in her first glory, as it was built by Solomon, ere it was ruined by Nebuchadnezzar, and sees it now in the present homely estate, wherein it is; will he not think meanly of it, as a thing not worthy to be regarded?
II. 4 Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts:
Yet now, be of good courage, O Zerubbabel, &c. and be strong, and go forward cheerfully with the work, O ye people of the land; for I do both graciously accept, and will mercifully bless your endeavours herein:
II. 5 According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you fear ye not. According to the word of my covenant with you, when ye came out of Egypt, that ye should be my people, and I would be your God; so will I perform my protection, and the presence of my Spirit with you: fear ye not.