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of, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, an hissing, and
a curse ; as it is this day ; the judgment is already begun in 19 Judra, and some are carried captive ; Pharaoh king of Egypt, and 20 his servants, and his princes, and all his people; And all the
mingled people, and all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines, and Ashkelon, and Azzah, or Gaza, and Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod, a mingled neo
ple near the Rea sea, governors of little states, and heads of clans, 21 22 Edom, and Moab, and the children of Ammon, And all the
kings of Tyrus, and all the kings of Zidon, and the kings of the
isles which (are) beyond the sea, or, regions by the sea side, 25 which lay on the midland sea, what we call the Levant, Dedan, and
Tema, and Buz, and all (that are in the utmost corners, that
have their coast insulated, or their hair polled, that is, the Arabian 24 clans, And all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the ming25 led people that dwell in the desert, And all the kings of Zimri, 26 and all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of the Medes, And
all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world, which sare) upon the face of the earth ; the whole empire of Nebuchadnezzar, who had conquered
almost all the earth : and the king of Sheshach, that is, Babylon, 27 shall drink after them. Therefore thou shalt say unto them,
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel ; Drink ye, and be drunken, and spew, and fall, and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send anong you ; that is, ye shall do so, and
be 80 confounded, that ye shall not be able to do any thing, either by 28 skill or force. And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at
thine hand to drink, then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith 29 the Lord of hosts, Ye shall certainly drink. For, lo, I begin to
bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished : for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the
Lord of hosts, for learning your idolatry, and therefore certainly 30 upon you who laught them. There fore prophesy thou against
them all these words, and say unto them, The LORD shall roar froin on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation ; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation ; he shall give a shout, as they that tread (the grapes.] against all the inhabitants of the
earth ; that is, he shall make himself known by denouncing and er31 ecuring dreadful judgments. A noise shall come [even] to the
ends of the earth ; for the Lord hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will julle ihem and set
himself against them; he will give them (that are] wicked to the 32 sword, saith the Lord. Thus saith the LORD of bosts, Be
hold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great 33 whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And
the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from [one] end of the earth even unto the other] end of the earth : they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried ; they shall be dung upon the ground.
34 Howl, ye shepherds, ye princes and magistratie, and cry ;
and wallow yourselves (in the ashes,) ye principal of the flock, ye great men: for the days of your slaughter and of your disper
sions are accomplished ; and ye shall fall like a pleasant vessel 35 that is broken, and no longer valued or regarded. And the shep
herds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the Rock to 36 escape. A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and an howling of
the principal of the flock, [shall be heard :) for the Lord hatla 37 spoiled their pasture. And the peaceable habitations, or, the
habitations of Salem, or Jerusalem, it8 palaces and houses, are cut 38 down because of the fierce anger of the Lord. He hath forsak
en his covert, as the lion, who is come abroad to range for frey : for their land is desolate because of the fierceness of the oppressor, and because of his fierce anger.
1. M OD keeps an exact account what religious advantages we
U have been favoured with, and how long we have enjoyed them, v. 3, 4. He reminds the Jews of this, to shame their ignorance and disobedience. An awful thought : which it becomes us to enter into, that we may consider what improvement we have made of our advantages, and what account we shall give of them, when for all these things God shall bring us into judgmerit.
2. See what use God makes of the princes of the earth ; to execute his purposes, v.9. Nebuchadnezzar was pursuing his ambitious, covetous ends; but God was fulfilling his own designs by him. Those who are most troubleso ne to God's people, are but his rod : the tyrants and conquerors of the earth are but fulfilling his pleasure : and at length their time shall come to fall, their ambition and cruelty shall be punished. - It is not what men do, but the temper and principle from which they do it, that renders them accepiable to God : let us therefore judge nothing before the lime.
3. See what it is that provokes God to punislı, viz. disobedience, v. 6. Let sinners take warning, and return to God and their duty; then they will escape final hurt. Let God's people be careful to behave in an holy, regular manner; then, though he may chasten them for the trial and improvement of their graces, it will be all for their good.
4. If God afflicts his own people, what have not his enemies to fear ? v. 29. If Judah, that had some good people among them, suffered so much, surely the idolatrol's nations about them woulo! suffer more. If good men are afficted, what must the wicked erpect? For the time is come that judgment must brgin at the house God : and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them ther's obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear ?
5. Let us observe and lainent the miseries and siesolations i war. The nations are here described as all drunken and infaluated; which, by the way, shows us what a beastly, detestable vice drunkenness is. God makes use of this emblem to show how they should
stagger in their counsels ; be all in perplexity and confusion, and totally incapable of defending themselves ; the strongest and greatest men should be thrown into hurry and consternation ; the peaceable habitations destroyed ; and the quiet in the land suffer, as well as others. This is a case much to be lamented ; and the continua ance of the divine displeasure on the nations deprecated. But whatever the times are, let the wicked remember, that in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is red ; it is full of mirture, and the dregs thereof all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.
This chapter gives an account of the danger which Jeremiah was brought into for delivering his message from the Lord faithfully.
ITN the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah
I king of Judah came this word from the LORD, saying, 2 Thus saith the Lord ; Stand in the court of the Lord's house,
probably at one of the solemn feasts, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the Lord's house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them ; diminish
not a word, as you may be tempted to do, the message being so likely 3 to provoke them : If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil, which
I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings. 4 And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD ; If ye
will not hearken to me to walk in my law, which I have set be5 fore you : To hearken to the words of my servants the pro
phets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending 6 (them,] but ye have not hearkened; Then will I make this
house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth ; when a curse is denounced upon a city, it 7 shall be, • God make it like Jerusalem.' So the priests and the
false prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD, that is, in one of the courts,
which were all called the house, or temple. 8 Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of
speaking all that the Lord had commanded (him) to speak unto all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die, because thou hast
disturbed the government, and discouraged the people from defend9 ing their country. Why hast thou prophesied in the name of
the Lord, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate without an inhabitant ? And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the LORD, and
laid an information against him before the princes, in the courts of 10 justice. When the princes of Judah heard these things, then
they came up from the king's house unto the house of the Lord, and sat down in the entry of the new gate of the LORD'S 1l (house,] at which gate the court sat, as usual. Then spake the
priests and the prophets unto the princes and to all the people, saying, This man [is] worthy to die ; for he hath prophesied
against this city, as ye have heard with your ears. 12 Then spake Jeremiah unto all the princes and to all the peo
ple, saying, The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house
and against this city all the words that ye have heard ; I have 13 said nothing but what God commanded me. Therefore now
amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the Lord will repent him of the evil that
he hath pronounced against you ; repeating his message very 14 courageously, and adding, As for me, behold, I [am] in your
hand : do with me as seemeth good and meet unto you ; if
God see fit to permit you to put me to death, I am satisfied I can. 15 not die in a better cause. But know ye for certain, that if ye
put me to death, ye shall surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, and upon this city, and upon the inhabitants thereof: for of a truth the Lord hath sent me unto you to speak all
these words in your ears. 16 Then said the princes and all the people unto the priests and
to the prophets ; This man (is) not worthy to die : for he hath
spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God; the princes and 17 people hearing his apology were for sparing him. Then rose up
certain of the elders of the land, and spake to all the assembly 18 of the people, saying, Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the
days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spake to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts ; Zion shall be ploughed (like) a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house, the hill on which the temfile stands,
as the high places of a forest, overgrown with horns and briars. 19 Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him at all to
death ? did he not fear the LORD, and besought the Lord, and the Lord repented him of the evil which he had pronounced
against them? Thus might we procure great evil against our 20 souls by destroying Jeremiah. And there was also a man that
prophesied in the name of the LORD, Urijah the son of Shema
iah of Kirjathjearim, who prophesied against this city and against 21 this land according to all the words of Jeremiah : And when
Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men, and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death : but
when Urijah heard it, he was afraid, and fled, and went into 22 Egypt. And Jehoiakim the king sent men into Egypt, [name
ly,] Elnathan the son of Achbor, and [certain) men with him 23 into Egypt. And they fetched forth Urijah out of Egypt, and
brought him unto Jehoiakim the king; who slew him with the sword,* and cast his dead body into the graves of the common
• This story is no where else recorded. Many prophets were injured and destroved, that we reall nothing of in the scripture history. This story was alleged by Teremiah's ere. mics, as a precedent for putting such a person to death ; though some think it was recorded by himself, or the historian, to show the goodness of God ita preserving hiin. Vol. V.
people ; being probably descended from some good family, he
would not suffer him to be buried with his ancestors, but interred 24 him with common peopir, or malefactors. Nevertheless the hand
of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, a person of great influence, and a minister in Josiah's court, (2 Kings xxii. 12.) was with Jeremi. ah, that they should not give him into the hand of the people to put him to death ; he interposed, and rescued him.
LTOW fit is it for the Lord's ministers to be faithful and
11 courageous in delivering their messages ! Jeremiah was commanded not to diminish a word ; not to put bis message into less offensive expressions, than those in which he received it; and God defended him, while Urijah's cowardice cost him his life. Thus must christian ministers act ; faithfully and boldly reprove the vices which are found among those whom they address, and declare the whole counsel of God; never diminishing a word, either through fear, favour, or flattery. If they keep close to their instructions, the God whom they serve will bear them out, however men may be offended at them. And their being offended is indeed not much to be regarded, since none will be so, but those who know in their own consciences that they are guilty of the vices reproved.
2. See the influence which God has over the spirits of men, and how easily he can turn them. The people were at first for having Jeremiah put to death ; then, when they heard his defence, they were for having him spared. Upon the precedent being quoted for pulling him to death (even the case of Urijah) it seems that they altered their sentiments again, but Ahikam saved him. How little dependence is to be had upon popular cries, whether for or against a man ! God raised up a friend for Jeremiah. This should engage us to be firm and resolute in the cause of God and religion, since he knows how to deliver the godly out of their tribulations. The quicked watcheth the rightcous, and seeketh to slay him ; but the Lord will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged. Psalm xxxvii. 32, 33.
Under the type of bonds and yokes, Jeremiah prophesicth the subduing
of the neighbouring kings by Nebuchadnezzar. i TN the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim* the son of Josiah
I king of Judah, came this word unto Jeremiah from the LORD, 2 saying, Thus saith the LORD to me ; Make thee bonds and
• Some careless transcriber has put, by mistake, Tehoiakim for Zedekiah, as appears from several verses in this chapter, and the beginning of the next. Mistakes of names and dates must often happen in transcribing ancient books ; but they no way affect their general credi. bility, and but seldom their sense.