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Mercy still fathers? and commit ye whoredom after their abominations?
31 For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day and shall I be enquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, saith the Lord Gon, I will not be enquired of by you. 32 And that which cometh into your mind, shall not be at all, that ye say, We will be as the heathen, as the families of the countries, to serye wood and stone.
33 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you:
34 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 stretch ed out arm, and with fury poured out.
35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face.
36 Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD.
37 And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant:
38 And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: 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.
39 As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GoD ; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, 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.
40 For in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord God, there shall all the 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.
41 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.
42 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 your fathers.
43 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 have committed.
44 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have wrought with you for my name's sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.
45 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
46 Son of man, set thy face toward the south, and drop thy word toward
NOTES-Chap. XX. Con.
Ver. 32. Shall not be at all-Heb. " In being shall not be meaning, that they should not be wholly given up to idolatry, as were the heathen; but should be severely corrected, as in the following verses, in order to their reform and restoration, ver. 33, &c.
Ver. 35. Wilderness (or desert) of the people Michaelis says, this "refers to the desert in the neighbourhood of the Chaldeans," &c. where they were stationed in the captivity.
Ver. 35, 36. There will I plead with, or judge you, as I pleaded with, or judged, your fathers, &c. See Note on ver. 4.
Ver. 37. Cause you to pass under the rod.-An alInsion, probably, to the tithing of a flock. The tenth animal was devoted to the Lord, and may represent those who were brought into the bond (or discipline) of the covenant. See next verse, and compare Levit. xxvii. 32, and Note.
Ver. 38. I will bring them forth out of the country
where they sojourn, and (or but) they shall not enter into the land of Judah.-Newcome thinks this refers to the Jews who ded into Egypt. See Jer. xliv. 14.
Ver. 33. Go ye, &e. See Eccl. xi. 9.
Ver. 43. In mine holy mountains. Comp. Isaiah ii. 2, 3.
Ver. 46, 47. The south.-Three different words are used for the south in these verses. See next chapter, ver. 2. Ezekiel being in the north of Chaidea, the whole of Judea was in the south to him.
Ver. 47. The flaming flame Heb. "Flame of flaming.-From the south to the north — that is, the whole extent of Judea.
Ver. 49. Doth he not speak parables—that is, they pretended not to understand his figurative style.
The whole of this chapter, and all that follows, te ver. 12 of chap. xxviii. is considered prose,
the south, and prophesy against the forest of the south field;
47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord Gon; 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.
48 And all flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it; it shall not be quenched.
49 Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables? (X)
therefore shall my sword go. forth out of his sheath against all flesh from the south to the north;
5 That all flesh may know that I the LORD have drawn forth my sword out of his sheath: it shall not return any more.
6 Sigh therefore, thou son of man, with the breaking of thy loins; and with bitterness sigh before their eyes.
7 And it shall be, when they say unto thee, Wherefore sighest thou? That thou shalt answer, For the tidings; because it cometh and every heart shall melt, and all hands shall be feeble, and every spirit shall faint, and all knees shall be weak as water: behold it cometh, and shall be brought to pass, saith the Lord God.
8 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
9 Son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus saith the LORD; Say, A sword, a sword is sharpened, and also furbished:
10 It is sharpened to make a sore slaughter; it is furbished that it may glitter: should we then make mirth? it contemneth the rod of my son, as every tree.
11 And he hath given it to be furbished, that it may be handled: this
EXPOSITION-Chap. XX. Continued.
(X) 27-49. Farther threatenings to the house of Israel, followed with promises of restoration.-As the Lord by his judgments pleaded with their fathers in the wilderness of Sinai; so he promises to plead with their descendants in the wilderness of their captivity. And as Manasseh in his captivity was "greatly humbled, and besought the Lord his God, (2 Chron. xxxiii. 12.) so there Es good reason to hope did many others; For there are perhaps more who learn to ear God in the school of affliction than in any other school. Of those Jews, however, who fled to Egypt on the murder of Geda
liah, though many of them were afterwards carried into Chaldea, very few or none lived to go back to the land of Judah.
When the Jews are told, "Go ye, serve every one his idols," we have a happy exposition of the difficulty considered in the former part of this chapter, and we see how it is that persons may be corrected by their own wickedness, and reproved by their own backslidings. (Jer. li. 19.)
The last five verses of this chapter are evidently connected with the following, and according to Newcome and others should begin it.
CHAP. XXI. Ver. 2, 3. Toward Jerusalem.-This erse seems an exposition of ver. 46, 47, of the last hapter. Jerusalem, the holy places, the land of srael, Newcome thinks may correspond to the three Hebrew words used for south in ver. 46, 47, of the receding chapter. Judea may be compared to a rest, not so much for its buildings, as the rough haracter of its inhabitants-" the green tree and the ry; the righteous and the wicked. Comp. ver. 34
with ver. 47 of the preceding chapter. Ver. 7. All knees shall be weak as water-Heb. "Shall go into water." See chap. vii. 17, and Note.
Ver. 10. It contemneth the rod - Newcome, "sceptre" of my son; i. e. of Israel; as Exod. iv. 22, 23. Sceptres were originally staves of office; the meaning is, the sword of judgment should no more regard the sceptre of Israel, than a stick of every (or any common) tree.
sword is sharpened, and it is furbished, to give it into the hand of the slayer. 12 Cry and howl, son of man: for it shall be upon my people, it shall be upon all the princes of Israel: terrors by reason of the sword shall be upon my people: smite therefore upon thy thigh.
13 Because it is a trial, and what if the sword contemn even the rod? It shall be no more, saith the Lord GOD.
14 Thou therefore, son of man, prophesy, and smite thine hands to gether, and let the sword be doubled the third time, the sword of the slain : it is the sword of the great men that are slain, which entereth into their privy chambers.
15 I have set the point of the sword against all their gates, that their heart may faint, and their ruins be multiplied; ah! it is made bright, it is wrapped up for the slaughter.
16 Go thee one way or other, either on the right hand, or on the left, whithersoever thy face is set.
17 I will also smite mine hands together, and I will cause my fury to rest: I the LORD have said it.
18 The word of the LORD came unto me again, saying,
[the king of Babylon.
19 Also, thou son of man, appoint thee two ways, that the sword of the king of Babylon may come: both twain shall come forth out of one land: and choose thou a place, choose it at the head of the way to the city.
20 Appoint a way, that the sword may come to Rabbath of the Ammonites, and to Judah in Jerusalem the defenced.
21 For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he made his arrows bright, he consulted with images, he looked in the liver.
22 At his right hand was the divi nation for Jerusalem, to appoint captains, to open the mouth in the slaughter, to lift up the voice with shouting, to appoint buttering rains against the gates, to cast a mount, and to build a fort.
23 And it shall be unto them as a false divination in their sight, to them that have sworn oaths: but he will call to remembrance the iniquity, that they may be taken.
24 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have made your iniquity to be remembered, in that your transgressions are discovered, so that
NOTES-Chap. XXI. Con.
Ver. 13. Because it is a trial-Newcowe, "For it is tried."-The rod-that is, the sceptre, as ver. 10. It shall be no more-Newcome, " It shall not remain ;" i. e. the regal succession shall be cut off from the time of Zedekiah to the coming of Messiah. Ver. 14. Smite thine hands together.--Heb. "The palm of the hand to the palm of the hand.". Let the sword be doubled the third time - Heb. "Double the sword, yea treble it.The sword of the slain-Newcome, Of great slaughter."
Ver. 15. The point-Newcome, "The terror.". Their ruins-Newcome, "Their overthrown."Wrapped up-Newcome," Furbished."
Ver. 16 Get thee one way or the other-Newcome, "Different ways," on the right, &c.; either, and or, may be omitted. Whithersoever thy face-meaning, the face, or edge of the sword-is set.
Ver. 17. I will also smite "the palm," &c. See ver. 14. My fury to rest-that is, on thee.
Ver. 19. Choose thou a place-Heb. " A hand" It is clear from other passages that the Hebrews were wont to erect monuments in the form of a hand. See Notes on 1 Sam. xv. 12; 2 Sam. xviii. 18. And from this place it should appear, that these hands were sometimes used as directing posts, and pointed two ways; the way to Rabbah and to Jerusalem. Ver. 20. To Judah in Jerusalem Newcome, "Towards Judah, against Jerusalem." Ver. 21. At the parting of the way-Heb. "The mother of the way." Any point of a road from which
two ways parted, was considered as the mother of them both. To use divination-that is, by arrows, which St. Jerome thus explains: "They wrote on several arrows, the names of the cities they interded to make war against, and then putting them pro miscuously into a quiver, they had them drawn out in the manner of lots, and the city whose name was on the arrow first drawn, was the first assaulted." Orient. Cust, No. 314.
Ibid. He made his arrows bright - Pococke and Newcome, "Mixed his arrows." Dr. Pocorke says, the Arabs usually took three arrows, on one of which was written, "My Lord hath commanded,” and on the other, My Lord hath forbidden me.” and the third was blank. If the third happened to be first drawn, the arrows were again mingled, and a fresh drawing made, till one of the others gave a decisive answer. Consulted with images - Heb. Teraphim-that is, oracular images, in the human form. 1 Sam. xix. 13-16.-He looked in the liver
that is, of the sacrifices, to predict thereby. See Potter's Antiq. of Greece, vol. i. bk. 2. ch. 14 and 16. Ver. 22. To appoint captains--Heb. Rams; i, e. battering rams, as in the next clause, and in ch. iv. 2.
To open the mouth.-The ancients generally attacked with loud shouts and cries. Jer. i. 14.-7
cast (i. e. to cast up) amount.-See Jer. vi. 6, and N.
Ver. 23. To them that have sworn oaths - that is, to them that have taken the oath of allegiance to the king of Babylon.
in all your doings your sins do because, I say, that ye are come to remembrance, ye shall be taken with the hand.
25 And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when =iniquity shall have an end,
26 Thus saith the Lord GoD; ReI move the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high.
27 I will overturn, overturn, overturn it and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.
28 And thou, son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning the Ammonites, and concerning their reproach; even say thou, The sword, the sword is drawn for the slaughter it is furbished, to consume because of the glittering:
29 Whiles they see vanity unto thee, whiles they divine a lie unto thee, to bring thee upon the necks of them that are slain, of the wicked
whose day is come, when their iniquity shall have an end.
30 Shall I cause it to return into his sheath? I will judge thee in the place where thou wast created, in the land of thy nativity.
31 And I will pour out mine indig nation upon thee, I will blow against thee in the fire of my wrath, and deliver thee into the hand of brutish men, and skilful to destroy.
32 Thou shalt be for fuel to the fire; thy blood shall be in the midst of the land; thou shalt be no more remembered: for I the LORD have spoken it. (Y)
MOREOVER the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? yea, thou shalt shew her all her abominations.
3 Then say thou, Thus saith the Lord God; The city sheddeth blood in the midst of it, that her time may
(Y) The Prophet with a heavy heart confinues his denunciations against Jerusalem and Judea.-The sword of Justice is unsheathed, and, as often happens in national calamities, destroys the righteous with the wicked.-The king of Babylon, the great gent in this judgment, is represented as reparing for the expedition by consulting is diviners. He is described as standing at the parting of the roads leading to the espective capitals of the Jews and Ammoites; and, doubting which to attack first, e commits the decision to the art of diviation by arrows. This was performed by ingling arrows in a quiver, which were scribed with the names of the different ties intended to be attacked, and drawg them promiscuously; they marchagainst that city whose name was ritten on the arrow first drawn. In this se the name Jerusalem comes forward,
and therefore he first proceeds against that city. The perjured Zedekiah and his nobles are then declared to be given up of God, and his kingdom utterly destroyed, for his breach of faith and violation of allegiance to Nebuchadnezzar. The last five verses form a distinct prophecy relating to the destruction of the Amniotites, who like the Jews took part with Egypt against Babylon. This prophecy was fulfilled about five years after Jerusalem was destroyed. These, as well as the Jews, were deceived, as it should seem, by their false prophets and diviners.
The oracle concerning Judah concludes, as we conceive, with a most important prophecy concerning the Messiah. The kingdom of Judah was now overturned, and was from this time the subject of perpetual changes and revolutious till he came whose right it is, the Son of David and of God. See Acts ii. 30-36, compared with Gen. xlix. 10.
Ver.24. With the hand-that is, without difficulty. e Nam. xi. 32.
Ver. 25. Wicked prince—that is, Zedekiah. Ver. 26. This shall not be the same, &c.-Newme, “Hath not this (i. e. Babylon) abased the exed, and exalted the abased?""
Ver. 31. Skilful to destroy - Heb. "Artificers of destruction;" i. e. a well disciplined army.
CHAP. XXII. Ver. 2. Wilt thou judge. — See chap. xx. 4. ——— The bloody city - Heb." City of bloods."
come, and maketh idols against herself to defile herself.
4 Thou art become guilty in thy blood that thou hast shed; and hast defiled thyself in thine idols which thou hast made; and thou hast caused thy days to draw near, and art come even unto thy years: therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the heathen, and a mocking to all countries.
5 Those that be near, and those that be far from thee, shall mock thee, which art infamous and much vexed. 6 Behold the princes of Israel, every one were in thee to their power to shed blood.
7 In thee have they set light by father and mother: in the midst of thee have they dealt by oppression with the stranger: in thee have they vexed the fatherless and the widow.
8 Thou hast despised mine holy things, and hast profaned my sabbaths. 9 In thee are men that carry tales to shed blood and in thee they eat upon the mountains: in the midst of thee they commit lewdness.
10 In thee have they discovered their father's nakedness: in thee have they humbled her that was set apart for pollution.
11 And one hath committed abomination with his neighbour's wife; and another hath lewdly defiled his daughter in law; and another in thee hath humbled his sister, his father's daughter.
12 in thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord God. 13 Behold, therefore I have smitten
mine hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made, and at thy blood which hath been in the midst of thee.
14 Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with thee? I the LORD have spoken it, and will do it.
15 And I will scatter thee among the heathen, and disperse thee in the countries, and will consume thy filthi ness out of thee.
16 And thou shalt take thine inhe ritance in thyself in the sight of the heathen, and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.
17 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
18 Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver.
19 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem.
20 As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you.
21 Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof.
22 As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the LORD have poured out my fury upon you.
23 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Ver. 3. That her time may come that is, her idolatries will be sure to hasten her destruction, as in the next verse.
Ver. 5. Infamous, &c.-Newcome, "Whose name is defiled, and (who art) much troubled."
Ver. 6. To their power — that is, to the utmost of their power-Heb. "Arm."
Ver. 9. Men that carry tales- Heb. Men of slander."
Ver. 10. Uncovered, &c.—that is, "By defiling his wife." Newcome.
Ver. 13. I have smitten mine hand. See chap, xxi. 14, 17.
Ver. 16. And thou shalt take thine inheritance in thyself-Newcome, "I will be profaned of thee in the sight," &c. So Margin.
Ver. 18. Become dross, &c.-See Jer. vi. 28-9. Ver. 19. Jerusalem is here considered as the crucible.
Ver. 24. Unto her—that is, Jerusalem. Ver. 26. Her priests.-Compare Zeph. iii, 4. Ver. 28. Daubed them.-Comp. ch, xin. 10–12. Ver. 29. Wrongfully-Heb. Without right." Ver. 30. Make up the hedge. See Jer. v. 1. and chap. xiii. 5.