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some of them had done in order to recommend themselves to 8 their masters :) I [am] the LORD your God. But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me: they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against 9 them in the midst of the land of Egypt. But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they [were,] in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt; I delivered them to fulfil my promise,” and lest it should turn to my dishonour among the heathen if they were 10 not brought out. Wherefore I caused them to go forth out 11 of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness. And I
gave them my statutes, and showed them my judgments, which [if] a man do, he shall even live in them; they would have tended to preserve their lives, and promote their happi12 ness. Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I [am] the LORD that sanctify them; though sabbaths were disused in Egypt, as their task masters allowed them no rest, the command to observe them was then renewed.
But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which [if] a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted; treating them as common days, or practising idolatry in secret: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume 14 them. But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not
be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them 15 out. Yet also I lifted up my hand unto them in the wilderness, I sware unto them, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given [them,] flowing with milk and honey, which [is] the glory of all lands; that I would not bring them to Canaan, but that their carcasses should fall in the wilderness ; 16 Because they despised my judgments, and walked not in my statutes, but polluted my sabbaths: for their heart went after 17 their idols. Nevertheless, mine eye spared them from destroying them all at once, it was done by degrees, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness, but spared their young 18 people and their seed. But I said unto their children in the wilderness, Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, nei ther observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their 19 idols: I [am] the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and 20 keep my judgments, and do them; And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that is, of your relation to me, and of my favour to you, that ye may know 21 that I [am] the LORD your God. Notwithstanding the chil
dren rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which [if] a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness; their several rebel22 lions were attended with several judgments. Nevertheless, I withdrew mine hand from a full execution, and wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted in the sight of 23 the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth. I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries; I swore to them in a most solemn manner, that if they sinned after I had brought them to Canaan, I would scatter 24 them: Because they had not executed my judgments, but had
despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their 25 eyes were after their fathers' idols. Wherefore I gave them also statutes [that were] not good, and judgments whereby they should not live; that is, I permitted these things; I gave them up to their own lusts, to idolatry, and súperstition; and, as it follows, suffered them to destroy their own families, while 26 they dishonoured me. And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through [the fire] all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I [am] the LORD.
Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed me, in that they have committed a trespass against me; this great and heinous sin of idola28 try. [For] when I had brought them into the land, [for] the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to them, then they saw every high hill, and all the thick trees, and they offered there their sacrifices, and there they presented the provocation of their offering there also they made their sweet savour, and poured out there their drink offerings, which I had reserved 29 for my own altar. Then I said unto them, What [is] the high place whereunto ye go? And the name thereof is called Bamah unto this day: I expostulated with them for worshipping in the high places; I ordered that they should destroy and not name them; yet they were not ashamed to call them Bamah, that is, the high place; which showed their love of idolatry, and their impudence in practising it.
Wherefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Are ye not polluted after the manner of your fathers? and commit ye not whoredom after their abomina 31 tions? For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your
This may be illustrated by God's giving up the heathen to vile affections, and the papists to strong delusions.
idols, even unto this day O house of Israel? [As] I $2 not be inquired of by you.
and shall I be inquired of by you, live, saith the Lord Gop, I will And that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all, that ye say, We will be as the beathen, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone; the end you propose to answer by conformity shall be defeated, you shall not live quietly with the heathen, nor enjoy the privileges of natives.
[As] I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will 34 I rule over you; not gently as before: And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a 35 stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face, as I did with your fathers in the wilderness, when they came out of Egypt; I will show you your 36 crimes, and bring you to repentance. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD; I will gather you from your dispersion at last, and make a sep37 aration between the good and the bad. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, I will survey you, as a shepherd doth his flock, counting their numbers, and marking such as shall be separated, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant, the 38 new or christian covenant: And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me, as I de stroyed the rebels in the wilderness: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD; many of the Jews being converted to christianity, and receiving favours from christian states, some who are still infidels, will, for carnal reasons, join themselves to them to share in their temporal prosperity; but I will, by some extraordinary providence, separate the infidels (who shall be destroyed or dispersed) from the believers, who shall return to their own land. 39 As for you, O house of Israel, you of the present generation, thus saith the Lord Gon; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, (probably this is spoken ironically,) and hereafter [also,] if ye will not hearken unto me but pollute ye my holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols; or, as it should be rendered, yet hereafter ye shall surely hearken to me, and ye shall not pollute my holy name any more with your gifts and, 40 with your idols. For in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, there shall all the
This and the following verses are generally interpreted of God's bringing them from among the Moabites and Ammonites into Babylon, and not to Canaan again. Bot. I think," it refers to their conversion in the latter day, and cannot understand it in any other sqnife
house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the first fruits of your oblations, with all your holy things; refer ring to the christian church, the worship of which is described, in 41 allusion to their ancient worship. I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen, by my 42 justice and mercy toward you. And ye shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country [for] the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to 43 your fathers. And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye 44 have committed. And ye shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I have wrought with you for my name's sake, when I have exerted my power for your deliverance, and displayed my faithfulness to my covenant with your fathers; not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.
EE how much God is displeased with an hypocritical at
quire of Jehovah, while they retained an affection for idols, and were determined to worship them. No attendance upon God will be beneficial to ourselves and pleasing to him, except we be sincere and hearty in it. God is a spirit; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
2. We may hence learn what a privilege and blessing the sabbath is. Notice is taken of the institution of this, as one of the greatest favours to Israel, v. 12. It is a sign between God and his people; a sign of his favour to them, and a concern for their happiness; and their observance of it is a sign, of their relation to him, a sense of his authority, and a concern for his glory; and it is the way to be sanctified and made holy. To pollute his sabbaths, by putting them to a common use and pursuing common business and pleasure, is an affront to him; it is the source of many impieties; and brings his fury upon a nation.
3. To be steadily religious, is both our interest and happiness. God's statutes are to be observed: he that doeth them shall live in them the design of them is to make us happy. But the Jews would serve God and idols too; they wanted to join them together; as men would now serve God and mammon. But such self deceiving sinners shall not prosper, and are only the more enslaved by sin; whereas if we have no fellowship with the works
of darkness, but fully cleave to the Lord, we shall live; not by our obedience to the law of God, considered in itself; for the apostle quotes this passage, Gal. iii. 12. to prove that the law is not of faith; but we shall be saved and live eternally, by the grace of God in Christ Jesus.
4. We are taught that God's faithfulness to his covenant is the security of the church, and of every true christian. It is often mentioned, I wrought it for my own sake, that my name might not be polluted; his reason for defending his church, and preserving his people through faith unto salvation, are taken from his own glory; that he may show his faithfulness and mercy, and be honoured by all the world. Let this engage all his servants to honour him, and walk humbly before him.
CHAP. XX. 45, to the end, and CHAP. XXI.
The latter part of the twentieth chapter belongs to the twenty first, and should not have been separated, as it is a figurative description explained in the following verses.
MOREOVER the word of the LORD came unto me, say
ing, Son of man, set thy face toward the south, and drop [thy word] toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the south field; he was to look toward Judea, which lay south of Babylon, and to prophesy against Jerusalem, which lay in the south of Canaan, and was full of inhabitants, like trees 47 in a forest, and of high and stately buildings; And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree : the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein; desolation shall be made by the Chaldeans on rich and poor from one end of 48 the land to the other. And all flesh shall see that I the LORD 49 have kindled it; it shall not be quenched. Then said I, Ah
Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables? They pretended that what the prophet said was dark and unintelligible, he is therefore commanded to prophesy plainly in chap. xxi.
CHAP. XXI. And the word of the LORD came unto me, 2 saying, Son of man, set thy face toward Jerusalem, and drop [thy word] toward the holy places, like the dew and the rain, and prophesy against the land of Israel, against Canaan and 3 Jerusalem, the temple and the courts, And say to the land of Israel, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I [am] against thee, and will draw forth my sword, that is, the king of Babylon, out of VOL. VI. K