Page images

B. C. cir. 730.

cir. annum 24.

cír. annun 24.

The wickedness

of Israel. A. M. cir. 3274.

8 Even of late my people is thee of wine and of strong drink; A M. eir. 2374. A.U. C.cir. 24. risen up as an enemy: ye pull he shall even be the prophet of A. U. C. cir. 24.

Romuli, R. Roman., off the robe u with the garment this people.

R. Roman., from them that pass by securely 12 a I will surely assemble, O as men averse from war.

Jacob, all of thee ; I will surely gather the . 9 The women of my people have ye cast remnant of Israel ; I will put them together out from their pleasant houses; from their as the sheep of Božrah, as the flock in the children have ye taken away my glory for midst of their fold: they shall make great

noise by reason of the multitude of men. 10 Arise ye, and depart ; for this is not your 13 The breaker is come up before them : rest : because it is polluted, it shall destroy they have broken up, and have passed through you, even with a sore destruction.

the gate, and are gone out by it : cand a their 11 If a man walking ? in the spirit and king shall pass before them, and the LORD falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy' unto on the head of them. 'Heb. yesterday.

Heb. over against a garment. - Or, y Or, walk with the wind, and lie falsely.- -2 Ezek. xii. 3. trives.-

-Deut. xii. 9.—Lev. xviii. 25, 28; Jeremiah a Chap. iv. 6, 7:— Jér. xxxi. *10.-- Ezek. xxxvi. 37.



[ocr errors]

d Hos, ini. 5.

Le Isa, lii. 12.

my words to such yield instruction and comfort ; Some think this is an exhortation to the godly, to never dismay. Were ye apright, ye would not com- leave a land that was to be destroyod so speedily. plain of the words of my prophets. The last clause Verse 11. If a man walking in the spirit and falsemay be translated, “Walking with him that is upright." | hood] The meaning is : If a man who professes to The upright man walks by the word; and the word be Divinely inspired do lie, by prophesying of plenty, walks with him who walks by it.

&c., then such a person shall be received as a true Verse 8. My people is risen up'as an enemy] Ye prophet by this people. It not unfrequently happens are not only opposed to me, but ye are enemies to each that the Christless worldling, who has got into the other. Ye rob and spoil each other. Ye plunder the priest's office for a maintenance, and who leaves the peaceable passenger ; depriving him both of his upper people undisturbed in their unregenerate state; is betand under garment; ye pull off the robe from those who, ter received than the faithful pastor, who proclaims far from being spoilers themselves, are averse from war. the justice of the Lord, and the necessity of repentance,

Verse 9. The women of my people] Ye are the and forsaking sin, in order to their being made partakers cause of the women and their children being carried of that holiness without which no man shall see into captivity-separated from their pleasant habita- God. tions, and from my temple and ordinances—and from Verse 12. I will surely assemble] This is a promise the blessings of the covenant, which it is my glory to of the restoration of Israel from captivity. He comgive, and theirs. to receive. These two verses may pares them to a flock of sheep rushing together to their probably relate to the war made on Ahaz by Rezin, fold, the hoofs of which make a wonderful noise or king of Syria, and Pekah, king of Israel. They fell clatter. So when one hundred sheep run, eight suddenly upon the Jews; killed in one day one hun hundred toes. or divisions of these bifid animals dred and twenty thousand, and took two hundred thou- make a clattering noise. This appears to be the sand captive ; and carried away much spoil. Thus, image. they rose up against them as enemies, when there was Verse 13. The-breaker is come up] He who is to peace between the two kingdoms'; spoiled them of their give them deliverance, and lead them out on the way goods, carried away men, women, and children, till, at of their return. He who takes down the hurdles, or the remonstrances of the prophet Oded, they were re- makes a gap in the wall or hedge, to permit them to leased. See 2 Chron. xxviii. 6, &c. Micah lived in pass through. This may apply to those human agents the days of Ahaz, and might have seen the barbarities that shall permit and order their return. And Jehovah which he here describes.

being at their head, may refer to their final restoration, Verse 10. Arise ye, and depart] Prepare for your when the Lord Jesus shall become their leader, they captivity; ye shall have no resting place here : the having returned unto him as the shepherd and bishop very land is polluled by your iniquities, and shall vomit of their souls; and they and the Gentiles forming one you out, and it shall be destroyed; and the destruction fold under one shepherd, to go no more out into captiof it shall be great and sore.

vity for ever. Lord, hasten the time!

CHAPTER III. In this chapter ihe prophet inveighs with great boldness and spirit against the princes and prophets of Judah ;

and forelells the destruction of Jerusalem as the consequence of their iniquity, 1-12. The last verse was fulfilled to a certain extent by Nebuchadnezzar ; but most fully and literally by the Romans under Titus. See Josephus.

A. U. C. cir. 44.

A. U. C, cir. 44.

R. Roman., cir. annum 6.

cir. annum. 6.

God will reject the


prayers of the wicked. B.Mc. cit . 3204 AND I said, Hear, I pray you, teth not into their mouths, they B. C. Cor. 3216.

O heads of Jacob, and ye even prepare war against him: Numa Pompilii,

Numa Pompilii, R. Roman., princes of the house of Israel ; t. 6 h Therefore night shall be

Is it not for you to know judg- unto you, i that ye shall not have ment?

a vision; and it shall be dark’unto you, k that 2 Who hate the good, and love the evil ; ye shall not divine; land the sun shall go who pluck off their skin from off them, and down over the prophets, and the day shall be their flesh from off their bones;

dark over them. 3 Who also beat the flesh of my people, 7. Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the and flay their skin from off them, and they diviners confounded : yea, they shall all cover break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as their m lips; ? for there is no answer of God. for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron. 8 But truly I am full of power by the Spirit

4 Then d shall they cry into the Lord, but of the LORD, and of judgment, and of miglit, he will not hear them; he will even hide his • to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and face from them at that time, as they have be- to Israel his sin. haved themselves ill in their doings.

9 Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house 5 Thus saith the LORD e concerning the pro- of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, phets that make my people err, that f bite with that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity. their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that put- 10 They build up Zion with 9 blood,

a Jer. v. 4,5.—Psa. xiv. 4.- Ezek. xi. 3, 7. - Psa. xiii. 23, 24; Zech. xiii, 4. - Heb. from e rision.

* Heb. xvii. 41; Prov. i. 28; Isa. i. 15; Ezek. viii. 18; Zech. vii. 13. from divining.- Amos vii. 9. Heb. upper lip. Psa. e Isa. Ivi. 10, IT; Ezek. xiii. 10; xxii. 25. - Chap: 11. 11; lxxiv. 9.; Amos viii. 11. - Isa. Ivui. 1. Sp Jer. xxi. 13. Matt. xii. 15.-—5 Ezek. xiii: 18, 19... Isa, viii. 20, 22 ; Ezek. Ezek, xxii. 27; Hab. ii. 12; Zeph.ii. 3.


no spiritual light, nor will God give you any rerelation Verse 1. Hear---O heads of Jacob] The metaphor of his will. of the flock is still carried on. The chiefs of Jacob, The sun shall go down over the prophets] . They and the princes of Israel, instead of taking care of the prospered for a while, causing the people to err; but flocks, defending them, and finding them pasture, op- they shall also be carried into captivity, and then the pressed them in various ways. They are like wolves, sun of their prosperity shall go down for ever, and the who tear the skin of the sheep, and the flesh off their very day that gives light and comfort to others, shall bones. This applies to all unjust and oppressive rulers. be darkness and calamity to them.

Suetonius tells us, in his life of Tiberius, that when Verse 7, Shall the seers be ashamed] For the false the governors of provinces wrote to the emperor, en- visions of comfort and prosperity which they pretended treating him to increase the tributes, he wrote back: to see, " It is the property of a good shepherd to shear his And the diviners confounded] Who pretended to sheep, not to skin them.” Præsidibus onerandas tri- foretell future prosperity ; for they themselves are now buto provincias suadentibus rescripsit : BONI PASTORIS thralled in that very captivity which the true prophets esse TONDERE pecus, non DEGLUBERE. "This is a maxim foretold, and which the false prophets said should not which many rulers of the earth do not seem to under- happen. stand.

Verse 8. "ButI am full of power] Here is the Verse 4. Then shall they cry] When calamity comes character of the true prophet. He is filled, all his soul upon these oppressors, they shall cry for deliveranee : is occupied with power, nd coach, with heavenly enbut they shall not be heard; because, in their unjust ergy; by the Spirit of the Lord, the fountain of all exactions upon the people, they went on ruthlessly, and truth and might; and of judgment, which enables him would not hear the cry of the oppressed.

to make a proper discernment between the precious Verse 5. That bite with their teeth]. That eat to and the vise ; and of might, 177131 geburah, prevalent the full; that are well provided for, and as long as they power, against which vice shall not be able to prevail, are so, prophesy smooth things, and cry, Peace ! i. è., and before which iniquity shall not be able to stand; Ye shall have nothing but peace and prosperity. but all shah fall together, and be confounded. Whereas the true prophet, “who putteth not into their Verse 9. Hear this] An appeal similar to that in mouths,” who makes no provision for their evil pró- ver. 1. pensities,

.” Verse 10. They build up Zion with blood] They non ho by kiddeshu alaiv milchamah, “ They sanc- might cry out loudly against that butchery practised tify a war against him.”' They call on all to help by Pekah, king of Israel, and Pul, coadjutor of Rezin, them to put down a man who is speaking evil of the against the Jews. See on chap. ii. 9. But these were Lord's people; and predicting the destruction of his by no means clear themselves ; for if they strengthened temple, and Israel his inheritance.

the city; or decorated the temple, it was by the produce Verse 6. Night shall be unto you] Ye shall have of their exactions and oppressions of the people.



upon us.

The' seers and diviners


shall be confounded. A. M. cir, 3294. I and Jerusalem with ini-/ us? none evil

A. M. cir. 2294. B. C. cir. 710.

B: C. cir. 710. A, U. C. cir. 44. quity.

A. U. C. cir. 44. Numa Pompilii,

Numæ Pompilii. R. Roman., 11 The heads thereof judge 12 Therefore shall Zion for R. Roman. cir, annum. 6.

for reward, and the priests your sake be w ploughed as a field; cir. annum. 6. thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and y the divine for money: " yet will they lean upon mountain of the house as the high places of the LORD, and say, Is not the Lord among the forest. - Heb. bloods. Isa. i. 23; Ezek. xxii. 12; Hos. iv 18; chap.

Heb. saying -w Jer. xxvi. 18; chap. i. 6. x*Psa. Ixxix. 1 vii. 3. — Jer. vi. 13. — Isa. xlviii. 2; Jer. vü. 4; Rom. 11. 17. y Chap. iv. 2.

I do not know a text more applicable than this to and then a plough shall be drawn along the site of the slave-dealers; or to any who have made their fortunes walls, to signify an irreparable and endless destruction. by such wrongs as affect the life of man ; especially Of this aneient custom Horace speaks, Odar. lib. i., the former, who by the gains of this diabolic traffic Od. 16, ver. 18. have built houses, &c.; for, following up the prophet's

Altis urbibus, ultimæ metaphor, the timbers, &c., are the bones of the hapless Africans; and the mortar, the blood of the defenceless

Stetere causæ cur perirent progeny of Ham. What an account must all those

Funditus, imprimeretque muris who have any hand in or profit from this detestable,

Hostile aratrum exercitus insolens degrading, and inhuman traffic, give to him who will

“From hence proud cities date their utter falls ; shortly judge the quick and dead!

When, insolent in ruin, o'er their walls Verse 11. The heads thereof judge for reward]

The wrathful soldier drags the hostile plough, This does not apply to the regular law officers, who

That haughty, mark of total overthrow." have their proper salaries for giving up their whole

FRANCIS. time and attention to the conscientious discharge of the duties of their office; but to those who take a reward, Thus did the Romans treat Jerusalem when it was who take Bribes, for the perversion of justice; who taken by Titus. Turnus Rufus, or as he is called by will decide in favour of those from whom they get the St. Jerome, Titus Arinius Rufus, or Terentius Rufus, greatest reward.

according to Josephus, caused a plough to be drawn The prophets-divine for money] These are evi- over all the courts of the temple to signify that it dently the false prophets; for none, professing to be should never be rebuilt, and the place only serve for sent by God, used any kind of divination.

agricultural purposes, See the note on Matt. xxiv. 2. Yet will they lean upon the Lord] They will pre- Thus Jerusalem became heaps, an indiscriminate mass scribe fasts and public thanksgivings, while not one of ruins and rubbish ; and the mountain of the house, sin is repented of or forsaken, and not one public Mount Moriah, on wbich the temple stood, became so grievance is redressed.

much neglected after the total destruction of the temIs nol the Lord among us?). Here is his temple, ple, that it soon resembled the high places of the forest. here are his ordinances, and here are his people. Will What is said here may apply also, as before hinted, to he leave these! Yes, he will abandon the whole, the ruin of the temple by Nebuchadnezzar in the last because all are polluted.

year of the reign of Zedekiah, the last king of the Jews. Verse 12. Therefore shall Zionbe ploughed as a As the Masoretes, in their division of the Bible, field] ,, It shall undergo a variety of reverses and reckon the twelve minor prophets but as one book, they sackages, till at last there shall not be one stone left mark this verse (twelfth of chap. iii.) the MIDDLE yerse on the top of another, that shall not be pulled down ; l of these prophets.


In the commencement of this chapter we have a glorious prophecy of the establishment and prosperity of the

Messiah's kingdom ; its peaceful character, increasing spiritual and political influence, ultimate universality, and everlasting duration, 1-4. Then breaks in a chorus of his people declaring their peculiar happiness in being members of his kingdom, 5. The prophet resumes the subject; predicts the restoration and future prosperity of Israel, 6–8; and exhorts them not to be discouraged at their approaching captivity, as they should in due time not only be delivered from it, but likewise be victorious over all their enemies, 9-13. These last verses, which evidently contain a prediction of the final triumph of Christianity over every adversary, have been applied to the conquests of the Maccabees; but the character and beneficial results of their military erploits, as far as we have any account of them, correspond but in a very faint degree to the beautiful and highly wrought terms of the prophecy. The first three verses of this chapter are very similar to the commencement of the second chapter of Isaiah ; and the fourth, for beauty of imagery and elegance of expression, is not unworthy of that prophet.

A. U. C. cir. 44.
Numæ Pompilii,

R. Roman., cir. annum 6.

R. Roman., cir. annum. 6,


The future establishment


of the Christian Church. AB.c.cir. 3284. BUT « in the last days it shall make them afraid : for the mouth A. M.CH. 3294. come to pass, that the moun- of the Lord of hosts hath spo- A.U.C. cis. 44

Numa Pompilii, tain of ihe house of the Lord ken it.

shall be established in the top of 5 For 6 all people will walk the mountains, and it shall be exalted above every one in the name of his god, and the hills ; and people shall flow unto it. ' will walk in the name of the Lord our God 2 And many nations shall come,


for ever and ever. Come, and let us go up to the b mountain of 6 In that day, saith the LORD, I will I assemthe LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; ble her that halteth, k and I will gather her that and he will teach us of his ways, and we will is driven out, and her that I have afflicted ; walk in his paths; for the law shall go forth of

7 And I will make her that halted la remZion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. nant, and her that was cast far off a strong

3 And he shall judge among many people, nation : and the Lord m shall reign over them and rebuke strong nations afar off ; and they in Mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever. shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and

8 And thou, O tower of the flock, the strongtheir spears into a pruninghooks : nation shall hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall not lift up a sword against nation, e neither it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall they learn war any more.

shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem. 4 f But they shall sit every man under his 9 Now why dost thou cry out aloud ? is there vine and under his fig tree; and none shall no king in thee? is thy counsellor perished ?


a Isa: . 2, &c; Ezek. xvii. 22, 23, Isa. xiv. 25. Isa. k Psa. cxlvii. 2; Ezek. xxxiv. 13; xxxvü. 21. Chap. ii. 11. 4; Joel ui. 10.-- Or, scythes. Psa. Ixxii. 7.1 Kings 12 ; v: 3, 7, 8; vii. 18.-m Isa. ix. 6 ; xxiv. 23; Dan. vii. 14, iv. 25; Zech. ii. 10.--- - Jer. ii. 11.- Zech. x. 12. —— Ezek. 27; Luke i. 33; Rev. xi. 15. — Or, Edar; Gen. XXIV. 21. xxxiv. 16; Zeph. ii. 19.

o Jer, viii. 19.


afflicted, because they would not return unto the Lord Verses 1-4. But in the last days it shall come to that bought them. pass] These four verses contain, says Bp. Newcome,

Verse 7. Her that halted a remnant] I will preserve a prophecy that was to be fulfilled by the coming of them as a distinct people after their return from eaptithe Messiah, when the Gentiles were to be admitted vity, for the farther purposes of my grace and mercy. into covenant with God, and the apostles were to preach And the Lord shall reign over them in Mount Zion) the Gospel, beginning at Jerusalem, Luke xxiv. 47.; The Chaldee is remarkable here, and positively applies Acts ii. 14, &c.; when Christ was to be the spiritual the words to the Messiah : “ But thou, O Messiah, of Judge and King of many people, was to convince many Israel, who art hidden because of the sins of the connations of their errors and vices, and was to found a gregation of Zion, the kingdom shall come unto thee." religion which had the strongest tendency to promote Verse 8. O tower of the flock] I think the temple peace. Bp. Lowth thinks that “Micah took this pa3- is meant, or Jerusalem ; the place where the flock, the sage from Isaiah ;" or the Spirit may have inspired whole congregation of the people assembled to worship both prophets with this prediction ; or both may have God. \ Newcome retains the Hebrew word 97eder, copied some common original, the words of a prophet a tower in or near Beth-lehem, Gen. xxxv. 21, or, as well known at that time. The variations (few and of some think, a tower near the sheep-gate in Jerusalem. little importance) may be seen in the notes on the I believe Jerusalem, or the temple, or both, are meant; parallel passages, Isa. ii. 2, &c.; to which the reader for these were considered the stronghold of the daughis requested to refer..

ter of Zion, the fortress of the Jewish people. Verse 4. Under his vine and under his fig tree) A Even the first dominion] What was this? The proverbial expression, indicative of perfect peace, secu- Divine theocracy under Jesus Christ ; this former, this rity, and rural comfort. See on Isa. ii. 1. This verse first dominion, was to be restored. Hence the angel is an addition to the prophecy as it stands in Isaiah. called him Immanuel, God with us, ruling among us.

Verse 5. Every one in the name of his god] This Verse 9. Is there no king in thee ?). None. And shall be the state of the Gentile world; but after the why? Because thou hast rejected Jehovah thy king. captivity, the Jews walked in the name of Jehovah Is thy counsellor perished?] No: bat thou hast alone ; and acknowledge no other object of religious rejected the words and advices of the prophets. worship to the present day.

Pangs have taken thee] He is speaking of the Verse 6. Will I assemble her that halleth-driven desolations that should take place when the Chaldeans out-afflicled] Under these epithets, the state of the should come against the city; and hence he says, Jews, who were to be gathered into the Christian “ Thou shalt go to Babylon ;” ye shall be cast out of Church, is pointed out. They halted between the true your own land, and sent slaves to a foreign country. God and idols; they were driven out into captivity, He represents the people under the notion of a woman because of this idolatry; and they were variously in travail.

R. Roman., cir. annum 6.

cir, annum 6.

Christ's conquest


over the wicked. A. M. cir: 3294. for p pangs have taken thee as a 12 But they know not the A. M. cir. 3294 A. U. C. cir. 44. woman in travail.

thoughts of the LORD, neither A. V. C. cir. 44 Numa Pompilii,

Numæ Pompilii, R. Roman.,

10 Be in pain, and labour to understand they his counsel : for

bring forth, O daughter of Zion, he shall gather them tas the like a woman in travail : for now shalt thou go sheaves into the floor. forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in 13 u Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion : the field, and thou shalt go even to Babylon; there for I will make thine horn iron, and I will shalt thou be delivered; there the Lord shall make thy hoofs brass : and thou shalt beat redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies. in pieces many people : w and I will con

11 . Now also many nations are gathered secrate their gain unto the LORD, and their against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and substance unto * the LORD of the whole let our eye' look upon Zion.


[ocr errors]

PIsa. xii. 8; xxi. 3; Jer. xxx. '6; 1. 43.- Lam. ii. 16.
Obad. 12; chap. vii. 10.- Isa. lv. 8; Rom. xi. 33.

" Isa. xxi. 10. - Isa. xli. 15, 16; Jer. li. 33. Dan. ii. 44. -w Isa. xviii. 7; xxiii. 18; 1x. 6,9.- Zech. iv. 14; vi. 5.

Verse 10. There shalt thou be delivered] There and Philistinès, which the Jews afterwards subGod shall meet thee ; and by redeeming thee from thy dued. captivity, bringing thee back to thine own land, and Verse 13. Arise and thresh, o daughter of Zion] finally converting thee unto himself, shall deliver thee This refers to the subject of the preceding verse. from the burden of grief and wo which thou now When God shall have gathered together all thy enemies, bearest, and under which thou dost groan.

as into the threshing-floor, he will give thee commisVerse 11. Many nations are gathered against thee)sion and power to get a complete victory over them, The Chaldeans, who were composed of many nations. and reduce them to servitude. And that thou mayest And, we may add, all the surrounding nations were be able to do this, he will be on thy side as a power. their enemies; and rejoiced when the Chaldean army ful helper; here signified by the metaphors, iron horns, had overthrown Jerusalem, destroyed the temple, and and bražen hoofs. Thou shalt have power, authority, led the people away captive.

and unconquerable strength; for thine enemies shall Let her be defiled) This was their cry and their be no more against thee than the corn against oxen wish : Let Jerusalem be laid as low as she can be, shod with brass, or a puny animal against the horn of like a thing defiled and cast away with abhorrence; a fierce bull tipped with iron. that their eyes might look upon Zion with scorn, con- I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord] What tempt, and exultation.

they have taken from thee in the way of spoil shall be Verse 12. But they know not the thoughts of the restored'; and again consecrated unto the service of Lord] These think that God has utterly rejected his him who will show himself to be the Lord, the Supeople, and they shall have a troublesome neighbour no preme Governor of the whole earth. Was not this more: but this is not his design; he will afflict them prediction fulfilled when Cyrus gave the Jews permisfor a time ; but these, the enemies of his people, he sion to return to their own land, and gave them back will gather as sheaves into the threshing-floor, there to the sacred vessels of the temple which Nebuchadnezzar be trodden, and the wheel to go over them. This is had carried away? The Maccabees and their succesthe counsel, the purpose of God, which these do not sors recovered much of the booty of which the neighunderstand. The persons here referred to are not only bouring nations had deprived the Jews; and the treathe Chaldeans which were threshed by the Persians sure taken was devoted to Jehovah. The first verse and Medes ; but the Idumeans, Ammonites, Moabites, of the next chapter should conclude this.

ans, 1.

CHAPTER V. This chapter begins, according to the opinion of some commentators, with a prophecy, concerning the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, and the great indignities which Zedekiah should suffer from the Babyloni

We have next a most famous prediction concerning the birthplace of the Messiah, " whose goings forth have been from of old, from EVERLASTING,” 2. See Matt. ii. 6. The Jews obstinately persisting in their opposition to the Messiah, God will therefore give them up into the hands of their enemies till the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled : 'and then all the posterity of Jacob, both Israel and Judah, shall verted to the faith of our Lord. Jesus Christ, and, along with the Gentiles, be brought into the large and peaceful pastures of this Great Shepherd of the sheep, 3, 4. After this illustrious prophecy, the prophet goes on to foretell the downfall of the Assyrians, by whom are meant the enemies of the Church in general, the type being probably put for the antitype; the miraculous discomfiture of the great Assyrian army in the reign of. Sennacherib strongly shadowing forth the glorious and no less miraculous triumphs of Christianity in the latter times, 5, 6. See Isa. xi. 16. Some understand this prophecy of Antiochus and the


« PreviousContinue »