Page images

mations shall, at all times, come to worship before me, saith the Lord.

LXVI. 14 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me : for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched ; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. And those, that have sincerely professed me, shall be made the witnesses of the heavy vengeance of God upon them, that have wilfully rebelled against me ; who shall be tormented with perpetual anguish of conscience, and lie unrecoverably under the sense of the fearful wrath of God, and be a woeful and abominable spectacle to angels and men.

JEREMIAH. I. 1 The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin. The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, that famous highpriest, who found the original book of the law; which Jeremy was one of the priests that dwelt in Anathoth, a town, within three miles of Jerusalem, which, in the tribe of Benjamin, was allotted peculiarly to the priests.

I. 2, 3. To whom the word of the Lord came in the days of Josiah &c., in the thirteenth year of his reign. It came also in the days of Jehoiakim, &c., unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, &c., unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month. To whom the word of the Lord came, in the thirteenth year of king Josiah ; and continued long with him; insomuch as he prophesied one and forty years, under the reigns of Josiah, Jehoiakin, and Zedekiah, besides those years, which he lived after the captivity:

1. 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee ; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Before ever thou wert conceived in the womb of thy mother, I foreordained thee, in mine eternal counsel, to be a worthy instrument of my glory; and, before thou wert born into the world, I set thee apart to this great service; and predetermined thee, to be a prophet to the nations,

I. 6 Then said 1, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak : for I am a child. Then said I, Alas, O Lord God! behold, I am unfit, and unable, and unworthy to carry thy great messages to the kings and princes of this world: I am a very child, both in years and abilities.

I. 1 But tse LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child : for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.

And the Lord said unto me, Never plead thine age or disability; for I will give thee a mouth and wisdom : I will send thee forth on my errand, and furnish thee sufficiently for the service thou goest about; go therefore to all that I send thee, and speak all that I command thee.

I. 10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throwo down, to build, and to plant. See, I have this day made thee a Prophet, not to the Jews only, but to the nations round about also; to several countries and kingdoms; with commission, to deliver my messages, concerning the destroying and rooting out, the planting and establishing, of their dominions and sovereignties.

I. 12 Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen : for I will hasten my word to perform it. It is true: thou seest indeed an almond tree, in a figure and representation of that haste, which I will make in the performance of my judginents; for, as that is the first tree which puts forth, so it well betokens the speed of my executions.

I. 13 And the face thereof was toward the north. And the forepart thereof to the fireward, was, by the situation of it, towards the north.

I. 14 Then the LORD said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land. Then the Lord said, This cauldron or boiling pot is Judea ; this fire is the affliction and vastation, which it shall undergo; and from out of the north, even from the Babylonians, shall this desolation come upon all the inbabitants of the land.

I. 15 For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, saith the LORD; &c. For, lo, I will call the neighbouring kingdoms of the north, in assistance to the Babylonians; and they shall come, &c.

I. 17 Therefore gird up thy loins.
Therefore, stir up thy courage, and rouze up thy spirits.

I. 18 For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brazen walls against the whole land. For, behold, I do this day confirm thee against all the opposition, which shall be made unto thee: thou shalt be more surely defenced from henceforth, than a strongly walled city ; more firm than a pillar of iron, or walls of brass, &c.

II. 2 Thus saith the Lord; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown. I remember well, how graciously I dealt with thee of old; and how well thou wert affected

me, in my first choice of thee for my people ; and how we were mutually engaged to each other, by covenants and professions of love; when I led three in the wil. derness, and carried thee, with miraculous sustenance and preservation, through an uncultured desert.

II. 3 Israel was holiness unto the LORD, and the firstfruits of his increase : all that devour him shall offend ; evil shall come upon them, saith the Lord. Israel was then consecrated to the Lord, and set apart for his service; as the firstfruits are wont to be sequestered and devoted to God; so as all that devour them bring evil upon themselves.

II. 8 The priests suid not, Where is the LORD ? and they that handle the law knew me not the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal. The very priests, which should be the lcaders of my people, do not inquire after the Lord, but after their own profits and occasions; and they, that handle the law, do not acknowledge me, and give me that observance, which they ought; and the prophets turn from God to Baal, and prophesy in his name.

II. 10 For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be

there be any such thing. Look about, where ye please; take view of any whatsoever foreign nation, Grecians, Arabians, or whom else soever; and see if you find the like inconstancy and impiety amongst them.

II. 11 Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? Is there any one of them, that hath been induced to change those deities, which they have professed to adore, and yet they are no gods at all ?

II. 14 Is Israel a servant ? is he a homeborn slave? why is he spoiled? What dost thou make of thyself, O Israel? Dost thou go for a son, or for a slave rather, that thou art thus spoiled ?

II. 15 The young lions roared upon him, and yelled, and they made his land waste, Thy enemies have come fiercely upon thee; and hare roared and ramped upon thee, like lions, &c.

II. 16 Also the children of Noph and Tahapanes have broken the crown of thy head. Yea, not only those lion-like Assyrians have come upon thee, but the weak effeminate Egyptians have risen up, and prevailed against thee.

II. 18 And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor ? or what hast thou to do in the Assyria, to drink the waters of the river ? And now, what hast thou to do with ambassages to Egypt; what vain confidence is this, that thou puttest in treaties of aid with them? Or, wherefore dost thou send other a:nbassadors to Assyria, and cravest their friendship and succour, as if the waters of Jordan were not for thee, but thou must drink of Nilus and Euphrates?

II. 21 Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed. I bestowed much care and cost upon thee, in my first choice of thee : then thou wert a peculiar and holy people unto me,

way of

II. 22 For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord God. And now, () Israel, thou art so foul, that, by no human means whatsoever, which thou canst reach unto, it is possible for thee to cleanse and wash off the filthy spots of thive iniquities before me.

II. 23 See thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done : thou art a swift dromedary traversing her ways i See what thou hast done in the valley of Benhinnon; and in those other dales, where thou hast sacrificed by the brooks: thou hast been eagerly set upon thine idolatries; and hast run to them with no less haste and speed, than the dromedary is wont to rid the way:

II. 24 A wild ass used to the wilderness, that snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure ; in her occasion who can turn her away? all they that seek her will not weary themselves ; in her month they shall find her, Yea, thou hast been utterly unreclaimable, like to a wild ass in the wilderness, which runs wild and loose, snuffing up the wind; scorning to be either bridled, or turned in her course: all they, that pursue after her, do but weary themselves in vain; until the time come, that, upon her impregnation, the burden of her womb shall force her to rest.

II. 25 Withhold thy foot from being unshod, and thy throat from thirst: but thou saidst, There is no hope : no; for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go. Refrain thyself, at last, from thine abominable prostitutions, wherein thou hast laid thyself naked to the fornications of thine idolatry; and quench this wicke! thirst of thy sinful lusts : but thou continuest obstinate, and sayest secretly, There is no hope of my reclaiming: no; I have taken a deep affection to the strange gods of the Gentiles, and I will go after them.

II. 30 In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction : your own sword hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion. In vain have I bestowed my chastisements upon you,


hare not made any good use of my corrections : you have been the murtherers of God's prophets amongst you; even as a fierce lion, have ye devoured them.

II. 31 Ogeneration, see ye the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? a land of darkness? wherefore say my people, We are lords ; we will come no more unto thee? Oye unthankful generation, attend to this word of the Lord : Have I been barren of my favours to you? have I yielded you no variety of comfortable fruits? have I not enlightened you with the knowledge of my name, and my laws ? and now, when I have brought thee into thy promised land, and settled thee there, thou art ready to say, in thy presumption, We are Lords, and have gotten to ourselves these dominions; we will regard thee no more!

II. 33 Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love ? therefore has! thou also taught the reacked ones thy ways. What profit canst thou expect, by seeking the friendship and aid

of the Egyptians, and trimming up thyself for their acceptation ? Thou art both infected by their wickedness, and hast corrupted others by the wickedness wherewith thou art infected.

II. 34 Also in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents: I have not found it by secret search, but upon all these. Thou art plainly found guilty of the blood of my prophets, which thou hast cruelly shed: there needs no secret search, for the finding out of this murther of thine; it is open, and apparent to the eyes of the world.

II. 36 Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way? thou also shalt be ashamed of Egypt as thou wast ashamed of Assyria. Why goest thou about to alter thy dependance; and, instead of Babylon, to rely upon Egypt? That trust shall fail thee : thou shalt be ashamed of this vain confidence of thine, as Ahaz was of his trust in the Assyrian.

II. 37 Yea, thou shalt go forth from him, and thine hands ироп thy head. Thou shalt go forth from him with extreme mourning and lamentation.

III. 1 They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go* from him, and become another man's, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted ? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD. O my people, thy wickednesses are many and great ; and yet, such is my mercy, I could be content, upon thy repentance, to pardon them. Thou art my wife, and hast committed whoredom; thou hast betaken thyself to another husband, and therefore hast made thyself uncapable of my reacceptance, by the law: yet, return again to me, and I am ready to receive thec, saith the Lord.

III. 2 Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou kast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness. Thou hast frequently committed spiritual fornication in thy high places: yea, thou hast tempted others to these idolatrous practices, and hast been ready to solicit and draw on this sin with them; waiting for these opportunities of thine idolatries, as the Arabian waits for a prey in the wilderness.

III. 3 Thou hast a whore's forehead.
Thou art grown impudent and shameless in thy sin.

HI. 4 Vilt thou not from this time cry unto me. Yet wilt thou not, after so many and grievous afflictions, begin to recollect thyself, and to acknowledge me, &c.

III. 11 And the Lord said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah. Israel and Judah are both shamefully wicked; and yet, of the two, Judab is worse than Israel : her treachery is so much more, as she had more favours from me.

HII, 12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel.

« PreviousContinue »