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B. C. 594.

Anno

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False prophets

CHAP. XIII.

compared to foxes. A. M. 3410.

8 Therefore, thus saith the

A. M. 3410. AND the word of the Lord B. C. 594. OL. XLVI. 3. came unto me, saying, Lord God; Because ye have Ol. XLVI. 3. Tarquinii Prisci, 2 Son of man, prophesy against spoken vanity, and seen lies, Tarquinii Prisci,

R Roman., 23. the prophets of Israel that pro- therefore, behold, I am against R. Roman., 23. phesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy you, saith the Lord God. out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word 9 And mine hand shall be upon the prophets of the LORD;

that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall 3 Thus saith the Lord God; Wo unto the not be in the lassembly of my people, peither foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, shall they be written in the writing of the e and have seen nothing !

house of Israel, neither shall they enter into 4 O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes the land of Israel ; and ye shall know that I in the deserts.

am the Lord God. 5 Ye s have not gone up into the ḥ gaps, 10 Because, even because they have seduced neither i made up the hedge for the house of my people, saying, Peace; and there was Israel, to stand in the battle in the day of the no peace; and one built up ? a wall, and, lo, LORD.

others ? daubed it with untempered mortar : 6 They have seen vanity and lying divina- 11 Say unto them which daub it with untion, saying, The LORD saith : and the LORD tempered mortar, that it shall fall: s there hath not sent them : and they have made shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O others to hope that they would confirm the great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind word.

shall rend it. 7 Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have 12 Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye be said unto you, Where is the daubing wheresay, The LORD saith it; albeit I have not with ye have daubed it? spoken?

13 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; I • Ver. 17.-Heb. them that are prophets out of their own * Ver. 23 ; chap. xii. 24; xxii. 28.-- Or, secret, or council. hearts. Jer. xiv. 14 ; xxiii. 16, 26. - d Heb. walk after. Ezra ii. 59, 62 ; Neh. vii. 5; Psa. lxix. 28.- · Chap. xx. 38. Or, and things which they have not seen. —

Chap. xi. 10, 12. -P Jer. vi, 14; viii. ll.-- Or, a slight $Psa. cvi. 23, 30; chap. xxii. 30.- Or, breaches. Heb. wall. - Chap. xxii. 28. -Chap. xxxviii. 22; Ecclus. hedged the hedge. NOTES ON CHAP. XIII.

of true Israelites that return from captivity; and they Verse 2. That prophesy out of their own hearts] shall never have a possession in the land ; they shall Who are neither inspired nor sent by ME. They are be exhereditated and expatriated. They shall all peprophets out of their own hearts. They have their rish in the siege, by the sword, the famine, and the mission from their own assumption, and proceed in it pestilence. from their own presumption. Such either go of them- Verse 10. One built up a wall] A true prophet is selves, or are sent by man. Such prophets, ministers, as a wall of defence to the people. These false propreachers, and clergy have been a curse to the Church phets pretend to be a wall of defence; but their wall and to the world for some thousands of years. is bad, and their mortar is worse. One gives a lying

Verse 4. Thy prophets are like the fores in the de- vision, another pledges himself that it is true ; and the serts.) The cunning of the fox in obtaining his prey people believe what they say, and trust not in God, has been long proverbial. These false prophets are nor turn froi their sins. The city is about to be berepresented as the foxes who, having got their prey by sieged; it needs stronger fortifications than what it great subtlety, run to the desert to hide both themselves possesses. The prophet should be as a brazen wall and it. So the false prophets, when the event did not for its defence; and such my prophets would have been answer to their prediction, got out of the way, that had the people received the word from my mouth. But they might not be overwhelmed with the reproaches ye have prevented this by your lying vanities; and and indignation of the people.

when you have perverted the people, you pretend to Verse 5. Ye have not gone up into the gaps) Far raise up a rampart of specious prophecy, full of fine from opposing sinners, who are bringing down the promises, for their defence. What one false prophet wrath of God upon the place, you prevent their re- says, another confirms ; and this is like daubing over pentance by your flattering promises and false predic- a bad wall with bad mortar, which prevents its bletions. Ye have neither by prayers, example, nor ad- mishes and weaknesses being discovered, though it has rice, contributed any thing for the preservation of the no tendency to strengthen the building, place, or the salvation of the people's souls.

Verse 11. There shall be an overflowing shower) Verse 9. They shall not be in the assembly of my That shall wash off this bad mortar; sweep away the people] They shall not be reputed members of my ground on which the wall stands, and level it with the Church, They shall not be reckoned in the genealogy earth. In the eastern countries, where the walls are

I Cant. ii. 15.

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xlix. 9.

A. M. 3410.
B. C. 594.

B. C. 594. Ol. XLVI. 3.

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The judgments of God

EZEKIEL.

against false prophetesses. A. M. 3410.

will even rend it with a stormy prophesy out of their own heart;

wind in my fury; and there shall and prophesy thou against them, 01. XLVI. 3. Tarquinii Prisci, be an overflowing shower in 18 And say, Thus, saith the 'Tarquinii Prisci, R. Roman, 23. mine anger, and great hailstones Lord God; wo to the women R. Roman., 23. in my fury to consume it.

that sew pillows to all - arm holes, and make 14 So will I break down the wall that ye kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to have daubed with untempered mortar, and hunt souls ! Will ye y hunt the souls of my bring it down to the ground, so that the foun- people, and will ye save the souls alive that dation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall come unto you? fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst 19 And will ye pollute me among my people thereof: and ye shall know that I am the 2 for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, Lord.

to slay the souls that should not die, and to 15 Thus will I accomplish my wrath upon save the souls alive that should not live, by the wall, and upon them that have daubed it your lying to my people that hear your lies? with untempered mortar, and will say unto 20 Wherefore thus saith the Lord God; you, The wall is no more, neither they that Behold, I am against your pillows, wheredaubed it;

with ye there hunt the souls a to make them 16 To wit, the prophets of Israel which pro- fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and phesy concerning Jerusalem, and which usee will let the souls go, even the souls that ye visions of peace for her, and there is no peace, hunt to make them fly. saith the Lord God.

21 Your kerchiefs also will I tear, and de17 Likewise, thou son of man, set thy face liver 'my people out of your hand, and they against the daughters of thy people, which shall be no more in your hand to be hunted;

Ver. 9, 21, 23 ; chap. xiv. 8. — Jer. vi. 14 ; xxviii. 9. Ch. v2 Pet. ii. 14.- See Prov. xxviii. 21 ; Micah iii. 5.
XX. 46; xxi. 2. w Ver. 2.- - Or, elbows.

into gardens.

Or,

built with unbaked bricks, desolations of this kind are seems to point out that state of softness and effemioften occasioned by tempestuous rains. Of this sort nacy to which the predictions of those false prophetof materials were the walls of ancient cities made, and esses allured the inhabitants of Jerusalem. A careless hence the reason why no vestige of them remains. voluptuous life is that which is here particularly repreWitness Babylon, which was thus built. See the note hended. ' on chap. iv. 1.

And make kerchiefs] The word kerchief is French, Verse 17. Set thy face against the daughters of thy couvre chef, that which covers the head; hence handpeople, which prophesy] From this it appears that kerchief and neck handkerchief, and pocket handkerthere were prophetesses in the land of Israel, that were chief, are pitifully improper; because none of them is really inspired by the Lord : for as a false religion used to cover the head, from which alone that article necessarily implies a true one, of which it is the ape ; of dress has its name. But what are we to under. so false prophetesses necessarily imply true ones, whom stand by kerchiefs here? Probably some kind of ornathey endeavoured to imitate.

mental dress which rendered women more enticing, so That there were true prophetesses among the Jews that they could the more successfully hunt or inveigle is evident enough from such being mentioned in the souls (men) into the worship of their false gods. sacred writings. Miriam, the sister of Moses, Exod. These they put on heads of every staturewomen of xv. 20; Num. xii

. 2 ; Deborah, Judg. iv. 4; Huldah, all ages, inip komah, of every woman that rose up to 2 Kings xxii. 14; Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, inveigle men' to idolatry. Luke ii. 36; the four daughters of Philip the deacon, The word nindos mispachoth, translated here kerActs xxi. 9.

chiefs, and by the Vulgate cervicalia, bolsters, Calmet Calmet observes that there was scarcely a heresy contends, means a sort of nets used in hunting, and in in the primitive Church that was not supported and every place where it occurs it will bear this meaning; fomented by seducing women.

and hence the use to which it is here said to be apVerse 18. That sew pillows to all arm holes] I be- plied, to hunt souls. lieve this refers to those cushions which are so copi- Verse 20. The souls that ye hunt to make them fly.) ously provided in the eastern countries for the apart- ninnas lephorechoth, into the flower gardens, says ments of women ; on which they sit, lean, rest their Parkhurst. These false prophetesses decoyed men into heads, and prop up their arms. I have several draw- these gardens, where probably some impure rites of ings of eastern ladies, who are represented on sofas; worship were performed, as in that of 1770x Asherah and often with their arm thrown over a pillow, which or Venus. See Parkhurst under nag. is thereby pressed close to their side, and against Verse 21. Your kerchiefs) Nets, or amulels, as which they thus recline. The prophet's discourse some think.

ye

Hypocrites threatened

CHAP. XIV.

with punishment. A. M. 3410. b and shall know that I am he should not return from his wickB. C. 594. OL. XLVI. 3. the LORD.

ed way, by promising him life: Anno Tarquinii Prisci,

22 Because with lies ye have 23 Therefore fye shall see no Tarquinii Prisci, R. Roman., 23. made the heart of the righteous more vanity, nor divine divina- R. Roman., 23. sad, whom I have not- made sad; and tions : for I will deliver my people out of your strengthened the hands of the wicked, that hand : 8 and ye shall know that I am the Lord.

A. M. 3410. - B. C. 594. Oi, XLVL 3.

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• Ver. 9.

- Jer. xxiii. 14.- Or, that I should save his "Ver. 6, &c.; chap. xii. 24; Mic. iii. 6.
life. - Heb. by quickening him.

8, xv. 7.

Ver. 9; chap. xiv.

Verse 22. With lies ye have made the heart of the Verse 23. Ye shall see no more vanity) They prerighteous sad] Here is the ministry of these false tended visions ; but they were empty of reality. prophetesses, and its effects. They told lies: they Nor divine divinations] As God would not speak would speak, and they had no truth to tell ; and to them, they employed demons. Where God is not, therefore spoke falsities. They “saddened the because of the iniquity of the people, the devil is, to souls of the righteous, and strengthened the hands strengthen and support that iniquity. And if he canof the wicked.” They promised them life, and not have his priests, he will have his priestesses ; and prevented them from repenting and turning from these will have a Church like themselves, full of lying their sins.

doctrines, and bad works.

CHAPTER XIV.

B. C. 594.

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Anno

Here God threatens those hypocrites who pretended to worship him, while they loved and practised idolatry,

1-11. He declares his irreversible purpose of punishing so guilty a nation, in behalf of which no ntercession of the people of God shall be of any avail.' The gross idolaters of Jerusalem and Judah shall be visited with God's four sore judgments, famine, 12-14; wild beasts, 15, 16; the sword, 17, 18; and pestilence, 19-21. A remnant shall be delivered from the wrath coming upon the whole land, 22, 23. A. M. 3410.

A. M. 3410. B. C. 394. THEN

* came certain of the the prophet; I the LORD will Ol. XLVI. 3. elders of Israel unto me, and answer him that cometh'accord- Ol. XLVI. 3. Tarquinii Prisci; sat before me.

ing to the multitude of his Tarquinii Prisci, R. Roman., 23. 2 And the word of the LORD idols :

R. Roman., 23. came unto me, saying,

5 That I may take the house of Israel in 3 Son of man, these men have set up their their own heart, because they are all estranged idols in their heart, and put bthe stumbling- from me through their idols. block of their iniquity before their face: should 6 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, I be inquired of at all by them?

Thus saith the Lord God; Repent, and turn 4 Therefore speak unto them, and say unto yourselves from your idols; and turn away them, Thus saith the Lord God; Every man your faces from all your abominations. of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols 7 For every one of the house of Israel, or of in his heart, and putteth the stumbling-block the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to separateth himself from me, and setteth up his •Chap. viii. 1 ; xx. 1; xxxiii. 31.- - Chap. vii. 19; ver. 4, 7.

€ 2 Kings iii. 13. d Or, others. NOTES ON CHAP. XIV.

Verse 7. And cometh to a prophet] Generally supVerse 1. Then came certain of the elders of Israel posed to mean a false prophet. unto me) These probably came to tempt him, or get I the Lord will answer him by myself] I shall him to say something that would embroil him with the discover to him, by my own true prophet, what shall government. They were bad men, as we shall see in be the fruit of his ways. So, while their false prothe third verse.

phets were assuring them of peace and prosperity, Verse 3. These men have set up their idols in their God's prophets 'were predicting the calamities that heart] Not only in their houses in the streets ; but afterwards fell upon them. Yet they believed the false they had them in their hearts. These were stumbling- prophets in preference to the true. Ahab, about to blocks of iniquity; they fell over them, and broke the engage with the Syrians, who had possession of Raneck of their souls. And should God be inquired of moth-Gilead, asked Micaiah, the prophet of the Lord, by such miscreants as these ?

concerning the event; who told him he should lose the Verse 4. According to the multitude of his idols] I battle. He then inquired of Zedekiah, a false prowill treat him as an idolater, as a flagrant idolater. phet, who promised him a glorious victory. Ahab be

A. M. 3410.

B. C. 594. OI. XLVI. 3.

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A. M. 3410.

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R. Roman., 23.

The intercession of Noah, Daniel, EZEKIEL and Job, shall not save this people.

idols in his heart, and putteth | break the 1 staff of the bread

the stumbling block of his ini- thereof, and will send famine upon Tarquinii Prisci, quity before his face, and com- it, and will cut off man and beast Tarquinii Prisci, R. Roman., 23. eth to a prophet to inquire of from it: him concerning me; I the LORD will answer 14 m Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, him by myself :

and Job, were in it, they should deliver but 8 And I will set my face against that man, their own souls by their righteousness, saith and will make him a sign and a proverb, the Lord God. and I will cut him off from the midst of my 15 If I cause o noisome beasts to pass people ; & and ye shall know that I am the through the land, and they P spoil it, so that Lord.

it be desolate, that no man may pass through 9 And if the prophet be deceived when he because of the beasts : hath spoken a thing, I the LORD " have de- 16 4 Though these three men were rin it, as ceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver hand, upon him, and will destroy him from neither sons nor daughters ; they only shall the midst of my people Israel.

be delivered, but the land shall be desolate. 10 And they shall bear the punishment of 17 Or if : I bring a sword upon that land, their iniquity : the punishment of the prophet and say, Sword, go through the land ; so that shall be even as the punishment of him that I * cut off man and beast from it: seeketh unto him ;

18 " Though these three men were in it, as 11 That the house of Israel may igo no I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver more astray from me, neither be polluted any neither sons nor daughters, but they only more with all their transgressions ; k but that shall be delivered themselves. they may be my people, and I may be their 19 Or if I send a pestilence into that land, God, saith the Lord God.

and " pour out my fury upon it in blood, to 12. The word of the LORD came again to cut off from it man and beast : me, saying,

20 - Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were 13 Son of man, when the land sinneth in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall against me by trespassing grievously, then deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will deliver their own souls by their righteousness.

e Lev. xvii. 10; xx. 3, 5, 6; Jer. xliv. 11; chap. xv. 7. SNum. see Jer. vii. 16; xi. 14 ; xiv. 11.- n Prov. xi. 4.-o Lev. xxvi. xxvi. 10 ; Deut. xxviii. 37; chap. v. 15.- % Chap. vi. 7. 22 ; chap. v. 17. P Or, bereave. -9 Ver. 14, 18, 20. - Heb. la 1 Kings xxii. 23; Job xii. 16; Jer. iv. 10; 2 Thess. ii. 11. in the midst of it.- Lev. xxvi. 25; chap. v. 12 ; xxi. 3, 4 ; xxix. i 2 Pet. ii. 15. Chap. xi. 20; xxxvii. 27.-Lev. xxvi. 26; 8; xxxviii. 21. Chap. xxv. 13; Zeph. i. 3. a Ver. 14. Isa. iii. 1'; chap. iv. 16; v. 16. - Jer. xv. l; ver. 16, 18, 20;v2 Sam. xxiv. 15; chap. xxxviii. 22.- - Ch. vii. 8.- * Ver. 14.

lieved the latter, marched against the enemy, was intercession even of the holiest of men shall not avert routed, and slain in the battle, 1 Kings xxii. 10, &c. my judgments. Noah, though a righteous man, could

Verse 9. I the Lord have deceived that prophet) not by his intercession preserve the old world from That is, he ran before he was sent ; he willingly be- being drowned. Job, though a righteous man, could came the servant of Satan's illusions; and I suffered not preserve his children from being killed by the fall this to take place, because he and his followers re- of their house. Daniel, though a righteous man, could fused to consult and serve me. I have often had oc- not prevent the captivity of his country. Daniel must casion to remark that it is common in the Hebrew have been contemporary with Ezekiel. He was taken language to state a thing as done by the Lord which captive in the third year of Jehoiakim, Dan. i. 1. he only suffers or permils to be done ; for so absolute After this Jehoiakim reigned eight years, 2 Kings and universal is the government of God, that the xxiii. 36. And this prophecy, as appears from chap. smallest occurrence cannot take place without his will viii. 1, was uttered in the sixth year of Jehoiachin's or permission.

captivity, who succeeded Jehoiakim, and reigned only Verse 10. The punishment of the prophet] They three months, 2 Kings xxiv. 6, 8., Therefore at this are both equally guilty ; both have left the Lord, and time Daniel had been fourteen years in captivity. See both shall be equally punished.

Newcome. Even at this time he had gained much Verse 13. By trespassing grievously] Having public celebrity. From this account we may infer that been frequently warned, and having refused to Job was as real a person as Noah or Daniel ; and of leave their sin, and so filled up the measure of their their identity no man has pretended to doubt. When iniquity.

God, as above, has determined to punish a nation, no Verse 14. Though, Noah, Daniel, and Job) The intercession shall avail. Personal holiness alone can

B. C. 594. Ol. XLVI. 3.

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ye see

The wicked compared

CHAP. XV.

to a fruitless vine. A. M. 3410. 21 For thus saith the Lord | unto you, and ye shall see their

A. M. 3410. B. C. 594. Ol. XLVI. 3. God; y How much more when way and their doings : and ye Tarquinii Prisci, ? I send my four sore judgments shall be comforted concerning the Tarquinii Prisci, R. Roman., 23.

upon Jerusalem, the sword, and evil that I have brought upon Je- R. Roman., 23. the famine, and the noisome beast, and the rusalem, even concerning all that I have brought pestilence, to cut off from it man and upon it. beast?

23 And they shall comfort you,

when 22 · Yet, behold, therein shall be left a their ways and their doings: and ye shall remnant that shall be brought forth, both sons know that I have not done without cause all and daughters : behold, they shall come forth that I have done in it, saith the Lord God. y Or, Also when. Chap. v. 17; xxxiii. 27.

a Chap. vi. 8.- -b Chap. xx. 43. e Jer. xxii. 8, 9. prevent these evils ; but the holiness of any man can priety I have acted in abandoning them to such general only avail for himself.

destruction. This speech is addressed to those who Verse 21. My four sore judgments] SWORD, war. were already in captivity ; i. e., those who had been Famine, occasioned by drought. PESTILENCE, epide- led to Babylon with their king Jeconiah. mic diseases which sweep off a great part of the inha- Verse 23. Ye shall know that I have not done withbitants of a land. The NOISOME BEAST, the multipli- out cause] There is no part of the conduct of God cation of wild beasts in consequence of the general towards man that is not dictated by the purest prindestruction of the inhabitants.

ciples of justice, equity, and truth. He does nothing Verse 22. Behold, they shall come forth unto you] but what is right; and whatever is right to be done, Though there shall be great desolations in the land that ought to be done. In God's justice there is no of Judea, yet a remnant shall be left that shall come severity ; in God's mercy there is no caprice. He here also as captives ; and their account of the abomi- alone doth all things well; for he is the Fountain of nations of the people shall prove to you with what pro- | justice and mercy.

CHAPTER XV.

A. M. 3410.
B. C. 594.

B. C. 594.

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The Jewish nation, about to be destroyed by the Chaldeans, compared to a barren vine which is fit for nothing

but to be cast into the fire, 1-8. A. M. 3410.

AND

ND the word of the LORD the fire devoureth both the ends Ol. XLVI. 3. came unto me, saying, of it, and the midst of it is Ol. XLVI.3. Tarquinii Prisci, 2 Son of man, What is the vine burned. b Is it meet for any Tarquinii Prisci, R. Roman., 23.

R. Roman., 23. tree more than any tree, or than work? a branch which is among the trees of the 5 Behold, when it was whole, it was meet forest?

for no work : how much less shall it be meet 3 Shall wood be taken thereof to do any yet for any work, when the fire hath devoured work ? or will men take a pin of it to hang it, and it is burned ? any vessel thereon ?

6 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; As 4 Behold, . it is cast into the fire for fuel; the vine tree among the trees of the forest, a John xv. 6. - b Heb. Will it prosper ?

c Heb. made fit. NOTES ON CHAP. XV.

thing, but as God influenced them to bring forth fruit Verse 2. What is the vine tree more than any tree) | to his glory. But now that they have ceased to be It is certain that the vine is esteemed only on account | fruitful, they are good for nothing, but, like a withered of its fruit. In some countries, it is true, it grows to branch of the vine, to be burnt. a considerable size and thickness : but, even then, it Verse 4. The fire devoureth both the ends of it, and is not of a sufficient density to work into furniture. the midst of it is burned.] Judea is like a vine branch But whatever may be said of the stock of the vine, it thrown into the fire, which seizes on both the ends, is the branch that the prophet speaks of here ; and I and scorches the middle : so both the extremities of the scarcely know the branch of any tree in the forest land is wasted; and the middle, Jerusalem, is now threamore useless than is the branch of the vine. Out oftened with a siege, and by and by will be totally destroyed. it who can even make a pin to drive into a mad wall, Verse 6. Therefore thus saith the Lord] As surely or hang any vessel on? A vine would never be cul- as I have allotted such a vine branch, or vine branches, tivated for the sake of its wood; it is really worthless for fuel ; so surely have I appointed the inhabitants but as it bears fruit. What is Israel ? Good for no- of Jerusalem to be consumed.

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