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The prophet complains of the prosperity of the wicked: by faith sees
their ruin, ver. 1 - 4.
God admonishes him of his brethren's treachery against him, and laments
his heritage, ver. 5 - 13.
A return from captivity promised to the penitent, ver. 14 - 17.
1: Talk with thee - Not by way of accusing thee, but for my own
satisfaction concerning thy judicial dispensations in the government of
the world. Wherefore - I know thy ways are just and righteous, but they
are dark; I cannot understand why thou doest this.
2: Far - Thou art far from their inward parts, they neither fear
thee, nor love thee.
4: He - They were bold to say, neither the prophet nor any other
should see their last end.
5: If - If thou art not able to encounter lesser dangers, how wilt
thou be able to overcome greater? I have greater dangers for thee to
encounter than those at Anathoth; if thou art so disturbed with them,
how wilt thou be able to grapple with those at Jerusalem.
Jordan - Anathoth seems to be understood by the land of thy peace,
that is, the land of thy friends wherein thou hadst a confidence: if thy
enemies there tire thee, what wilt thou do in the swellings of Jordan?
In a place in which thou art like to meet with greater troubles, like
the swelling of Jordan (which in harvest used to overflow its banks).
6: For even - The men of Anathoth, thine own town and country,
and those of thy own family have conspired evil against thee secretly.
A multitude - They have exposed thee to the rage of a multitude.
Though - Tho' therefore they give thee fair words, yet repose no
confidence in them.
7: My house - God by his house here understands the temple.
Heritage - The whole body of the Israelites, whom God threatens
to leave with respect to his special providence.
8: As a lion - Those that were my sheep, are become like lions.
9: The birds round about - It is usual for other birds to flock about
a strange coloured bird, such as they have not been used to see.
10: A wilderness - They have caused God to turn the country which he
had chosen for his portion, into a wilderness.
11: They - Heb. He hath made it desolate: but it cannot be meant
of God, for it is God that speaketh, and God is he mentioned in the
next words; it must therefore either be understood of Nebuchadnezzar,
the instrumental cause; or (one number being put for another) of the
people or the rulers as the meritorious cause, and in that rueful state
into which their sins had brought it, it cried onto God. Because - And
one great cause of this sore judgment was, the peoples not seriously
considering what God had done or was doing against it.
12: Are come - The prophet, as usual, speaks of a thing as already
done, which was very shortly to be done. No flesh - No rank or order
13: Shall not profit - All the works of their hands, all their
counsels and deliberations should be of no profit unto them.
Because - The fierce anger of God shall be so shewed, that the returns
of their labours or estates, the profits of their trades, shall be so
small, that they shall be ashamed of them.
14: Behold - I will bring the sword upon them also, and they shall be
led into captivity; and tho' they may have made inroads upon my people,
and carried away some of them, yet I will fetch them out of their captivity.
16: If - If they will leave their idolatries, and learn to worship
me, and swear by my name the Lord liveth, that is, pay that homage which
they owe to the Divine being to me, the living and true God. Then - They
shall have a portion among my people, which was eminently fulfilled in
the conversion of the Gentiles.