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LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.

15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves :

16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.

18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.

19 From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.

20 For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.

21 For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth


[with mercy.

as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange


22 Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for Í have heard from the LORD GOD of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.

23 Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech.

24 Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open and break the clods of his ground?

25 When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat, and the appointed barley and the rie in their place?

26 For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him.

27 For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod.

28 Bread corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen.

29 This also cometh forth from the LORD of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working. (D)


(D) Judgments denounced, both against Israel and Judah-but intermixed with mercy. This chapter begins with a denunciation of the approaching ruin of the Israelites by Shalmanezer, whose power

is compared to a tempest or flood, and his keenness to the avidity with which one plucks and swallows the fruit that is first ripe, and which, according to Dr. Shaw, is a great delicacy in the east. Ver. 5. the Prophet turns to the king


Ver. 15. We have made a covenant with death and with hell, &c.-Lowth," The grave." The expression implies, that they felt themselves perfectly secure. See Job v. 23; Hos. ii. 18.

Ver. 16. A stone.-See Ps. exviii. 22 and Note. Ver. 19. Only to understand, &c.-Lowth, "Even the report alone shall cause terror."

Ver. 2. For the bed is shorter, &c. - Another proverbial saying, implying that all means would be ir adequate to their protection.

Ver. 21. ds in mount Perazim, &c, — See 2 Sam. v. 20-25; Josh. x. 12.

Ver. 22. Whole earth-Lowth, "Whole land."

Ver. 25. Made plain- that is, even, level.Fitches, or vetches; a species of tares.—Cummin is supposed to be an herb resembling fennel, still largely cultivated in Malta.

Ver. 27. Not threshed.-Four different methods of threshing, appropriated to different grain, &c. are here referred to; viz. 1. the staff, or flail; 2. the drag, somewhat resembling our harrows; 3 the eart-wain; and 4. the treading of cattle.

Ver. 28. Horsemen - Lowth, "The hoofs of his cattle." So Syriac, Symachus, Theod. and Vulgate : the original varying but one letter, samech for shin,

The invasion of Judah]




OE to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices. 2 Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow; and it shall be unto me as Ariel.

3 And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee.

4 And thou shalt be brought down and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust; and thy voice shall be, as of one that

[by Sennacherib announced.

hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.

5 Moreover the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away; yea it shall be at an instant suddenly.

6 Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.

7 And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her munition,


dom of Judah, to whom the Lord promises, ia opposition to the fading crowns of Ephraim, to be himself a crown of glory, which is thought to have reference to the reign of Hezekiah. But Judah also degenerated to intemperance and profaneness; for they are introduced as not only scornfully rejecting, but also mocking and ridiculing the instructions of the Prophet. "Whom shall he teach?" &c. To this God immediately retorts, in terms alluding to their own mocking, but differently applied. "Yes, my dealing with you shall be according to your own words; in a country whither you shall be carried captives, you must, like children, learn a strange language, with a stammering tongue; it shall then be command upon command for your punishment; it shall be line upon line to mark out your ruin (compare 2 Kings xxi. 13.); it shall come upon you at different times, and by different degrees, till all my threatenings against you be fulfilled. The Prophet then (ver. 14.) addresses these profane scoffers, who considered themselves

secure from every evil, and assures them that there was no method but one, by which they could be saved; namely, by faith in him, and in the means of his appointment. (Comp. ver. 16 with Ephes. ii. 20.) "The Prophet concludes with a beautiful parable in explanation and defence of God's dealings with his people.-"As the husbandman uses various methods in preparing his land, and adapting it to the several kinds of seeds to be sown, with a due observation of times and seasons; and when he bath gathered in the harvest, employs methods as various in separating the corn from the straw and chaff by different instruments, according to the nature of the different sorts of grain ;-so God, with unerring wisdom and impartial justice, instructs, admonishes, and corrects his people; chastises and punishes them in various ways, as the exigency of the case requires; always tempering justice with mercy; in order to reclaim the wicked, to improve the good; and, finally, to separate the one from the other." Bp. Lowth.


CHAP. XXIX. Ver. 1. Woe to Ariel.-Ariel, according to some, means," the lion of God;" accord ing to others, and to which Lowth inclines, "the fire of God," which interpretation seems countenanced by ver. 2.The city where David dwelt-i. e. Jernsalem.Add ye year to year-spoken ironically, according to Lowth: "Go on, year after year, keep your solemn feasts: yet know that God will punish you for your hypocritical worship, consisting of mere form, destitute of true piety."

Ver. 2. As Ariel-Either as "the lion of God," i. e. a strong lion, or "the fire of God," the sacred fire: but why so called, is still a question. The modern Persians say that their capital was called Shiraz, "a lion," for the great quantity of provisions it consumed. See Orient. Cust. No. 1074. So might Jerusalem be called "the lion of God," or a strong lion, for the vast quantity of flesh it consumed, the sacrifices included; or, "the fire of God," from its

being the residence of the sacred fire. As Ariel may therefore mean, either "fierce as a lion," as Boothroyd explains it; or, covered with flame, like the sacred altar, as Lowth seems to understand it. chap. xxxi. 9.


Ver. 4. Shult speak out of the ground.—It was a popular notion of the heathen, that ghosts uttered

hollow sepulchral sounds," which seems here alluded to. The Necromancers were, many of them, Ventriloquists, and whispered " as out of the dust." See Lowth.

Ver. 5. The multitude of thy strangers. Here, as elsewhere, (see Note on xxv. 2.) Bp. Lowth exchanges the term strangers for "the prond," as we conceive, without necessity. The multitude ci strangers" here, we consider as "the multitude of all nations;" ver. 7.

Ver. 7. A dream of a night vision.—See 2 Kings

xix. 35.

The invasion of Judah]

CHAP. XXIX. [by Sennacherib announced.

and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision.

8 It shall be even as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion.

9 Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.

10 For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.

11 And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed:

12 And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee; and he saith, I am not learned.

13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me; but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of

men :

14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this

people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.

15 Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD; and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?


16 Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay for shall the work of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?

17 Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?

18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book; and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.

19 The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

20 For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off:

21 That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.

22 Therefore thus saith the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not


Ver. 9. Cry ye out and cry-Marg. "Take your pleasure and riot." The cry is here, not perhaps either that of distress or revelry, but the noise of faction, quarrelling among themselves. It might therefore be rendered" Amuse yourselves with your own noise." But Gesenius renders it, "Be ye dazzled and blinded;" which agrees very well with the


Ver. 11. A book that is sealed that is, the Lord had given them up to the blindness of their own hearts, (see Ephes. iv. 18.) so that God's word had become to them utterly unintelligible.

Ver. 13. Their fear toward me, &c.-The Evangelist Matthew (chap. viii. 9.) quotes this from the Septuagint, "But in vain do they worship me, teaching (for) doctrines the commandments of men." Ver. 14. I will proceed-Heb. " Add."

Ver. 16. Surely your turning, &c.-This very obscure passage is thus rendered by Lowth," Perverse 309

as ye are shall the potter be esteemed as the clay ?" and Boothroyd to the same effect.

Ver. 17. Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field-Lowth, "Shall become like Carmel, and Carmel," &c. i. e. great changes must be expected; which some think may refer to the rejection of the Jews, and calling of the Gentiles. See Lowth.

Ver. 18. In that day that is, under the gospel dispensation. See chap. ii. 11, 17.—xii. 1.—xix. 21.

xxvi. 1, &c.

Ver. 21. That make a man an offender, &c.Lowth and Boothroyd continue the sentence;" Who made a man offender," &c. or, as Dr. B. turns it, "Who accounted a man guilty for a word, and laid snares," &c. Bp. Stock refers this to judicial proceedings, and renders the clause, "That cause the poor man to be cast in the process."

Ver. 24. Shall come to understanding-Heb." Shall know understanding. -Shall learn doctrineBoothroyd, "Shall attend to instruction."

The Jews threatened for]


now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale.

23 But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hauds, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.

24 They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. (E)


WOE to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:

2 That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!

3 Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion. 4 For his princes were at Zoan, and his ambassadors came to Hanes.


[their reliance on Egypt,

5 They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them, nor be an help nor profit, but a shame, and also a reproach.

6 The burden of the beasts of the south into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them.

For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still.

8 Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:

9 That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:

10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things; speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:


(E) The invasion of Judah by Sennacherib announced.-"The subject of this, and the four following chapters, is the invasion of Sennacherib: the great distress of the Jews while it continued; their sudden and unexpected deliverance by God's immediate interposition in their favour: the subsequent prosperous state of the kingdom under Hezekiah, interspersed with severe reproofs, and threats of punishment for their hypocrisy, stupidity, infidelity; their want of trust in God, and their vain reliance on the assistance of Egypt with promises of better times, both immediately to succeed, and to be expected in the future age (of the Messiah ;) the whole making, not one continued discourse, but rather a

collection of different discourses upon the same subject; which is treated with great elegance and variety." Bp. Lowth. The Chapters are not ill-divided, but it may be proper to mark the transitions from one topic to another as we proceed.

Ariel is here certainly Jerusalem; and the opening of the chapter represents the distress of the city on Seunacherib's invasion, with their recourse to Necromancers; then follows the defeat of the haughty monarch by divine Providence, without human aid, and the utter destruction of his army. Finally, the Prophet describes aud bewails the perverseness of the Jews, predicts their rejection and the calling of the Gentiles, and concludes with a farther reference to the progress of Messiah's kingdom.


CHAP. XXX. Ver. 1. That cover with a covering -Heb. "Who pour out a libation," to ratity their covenant with Egypt," but not of my spirit. The appointed libations had a reference to God's Spirit, (see Expos. of chap. xii.) but this alludes, probably, to some heathen rite.

Ver. 6. The burden of the beasts of the southLowth, Going southward;" i. e. with presents to Egypt, to secure their alliance. The land of trouble.-See Dent. xvii. 15.

Ver. 7. Their strength is to sit still. Applying this to Israel, it may mean, they had better sit still, and not go to seek help in Egypt. Or to Egypt, n means, that all they could do would be in vain, and amount to nothing. See Gataker. Ver. 15 inclines us to the former.

Ver. 8. In a table-or on a tablet.—That it may be for the time to come-Heb. “For the latter days even for ever and ever; referring to Messiah's kingdom.

And the destruction]


11 Get you out of the way, turn easide out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.

12,Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and per verseness, and stay thereon:

13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swell ing out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.

14 And he shall break it as the breaking of the potter's vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare:

so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit.

15 For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; in returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength and ye would not.

16 But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift.

17 One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill.

18 And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.

[of Assyria predicted.

19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.

20 And though the LORD give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers, be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers:

21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

22. Ye shall defile also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold thou shalt cast them away as a polluted garment; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence.

23 Then shall he give the rain of thy seed, that thou shalt sow the ground withal; and bread of the increase of the earth, and it shall be fat and plenteous: in that day shall thy cattle feed in large pastures.

24 The oxen likewise and the young asses that ear the ground shall eat clean provender, which hath been winnowed with the shovel and with the fan.

25 And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every high hill, rivers and streams of waters in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall.

26 Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold,


Ver. 11. Cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us Lowth. Remove from our sight the Holy One of Israel." See Job xxi. 14, 15. Ver. 12. In oppression-Marg. "Fraud." Ver. 13. As a breach that is, it shall produce sudden ruin. See Ps. Ixii. 4.

Ver. 14. He shall break-Lowth, "It shall be broken, as one breaketh a potter's vessel."

Ver. 15. In returning-that is, in returning to put their confidence in God.

Ver. 16. Ride upon the swift - Boothroyd, "Horses;" Lowth," Coursers."

Ver. 17. At the rebuke of five.—Something is evidently to be here understood; Gataker supplies the word all; ** Ye shall all flee," and the LXX, the word many; but Lowth, from a comparison of this text with Levit. xxvi. 8, and Deut. xxxii. 30, supplies 10,000," which, in the Heb is expressed nearly the same as 66 many. So Boothroyd.--As a bea

con-Marg. "A tree reft of branches, or a mast." Ver. 19. For the people-LXX, "A holy people;" which is followed by Lowth and Boothroyd.

Ver. 22. Ye shall defile- that is, treat it as an abomination.-Cast them away, as a polluted garment. This is the version of p. Lowth, which we have substituted for the exceptionable phrase, "a menstruous cloth," in the common version. Compare Deut. vii. 25.

Ver. 23. The rain of the thy seed."

seed-Lowth, "Rain for

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