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God's numerous and continued mercies render the Jews in their
idolatry inexcusable, and unparalleled in any nation; and themselves
the causes if their calamities, ver. 1 - 19.
Their gross idolatry, ver. 20 - 28.
Incorrigibleness, bloodshedding, and hypocrisy, ver. 29 - 37.
2: Go - From Anathoth to Jerusalem. Remember - I remind
thee of the kindness that was between us. The love - When I entered
into covenant with thee at the giving of the law. Wilderness - I took
such care of thee, in the howling wilderness, a land that was not sown.
3: Holiness - A people dedicated to God. As - As the first fruits
were holy to God, so was Israel. Devour - All that were injurious to
him. Offend - Were liable to punishment. Evil - Evil was inflicted on
them from the Lord, as upon the Egyptians, Amalekites, Midianites,
5: Vanity - Idols. Vain - Fools; senseless as the stocks and
stones that they made their idols of.
6: Neither - They never concerned themselves about what God had
done for them, which should have engaged them to cleave to him.
Of drought - Where they had no water but by miracle. Death - Bringing
forth nothing that might support life, therefore nothing but death
could be expected; and besides, yielding so many venomous creatures,
as many enemies that they went in continual danger of. No man dwelt - As
having in it no accommodation for travellers, much less for habitation.
7: My land - Consecrated to my name; by your idols and many other
8: They - They that should have taught others, knew as little as
they, or regarded as little, who are said here to handle the law, the
priests and Levites, who were the ordinary teachers of the law.
Pastors - Either teachers, or kings and princes. Prophets - They that
should have taught the people the true worship of God, were themselves
worshippers of Baal.
9: Plead - By his judgments, and by his prophets, as he did with
their fathers, that they may be left without excuse. Children - God often
visits the iniquities of the parents upon the children, when they imitate
10: Of Chittim - All the isles in the Mediterranean sea, with the
neighbouring coasts; for the Hebrews call all people, that separated
from them by the sea, islanders, because they came to them by shipping.
Kedar - Arabia that lay east - south - east of Judea, as Chittim
did more north or north - west; go from north to south, east to west,
and make the experiment; look to Chittim the most civilized, or Kedar
the most barbarous, yet neither have changed their gods.
11: Their glory - The true God, who was their glory; and who always
did them good, giving them cause to glory in him.
12: O ye heavens - A pathetical expression, intimating that it is
such a thing, that the very inanimate creatures, could they be sensible
of it, would be astonished. Be desolate - Lose your brightness, as the
sun seemed to do when Christ suffered.
13: Of living waters - A metaphor taken from springs, called
living, because they never cease, or intermit; such had God's care
and kindness been over them. Cisterns - Either their idols, which are
empty vain things, that never answer expectation, or the Assyrians,
and Egyptians. Indeed all other supports, that are trusted to besides
God, are but broken vessels.
14: A slave - Slave is here added to home - born to express the
baseness of his service, because the master had power to make those
slaves who were born of slaves in his house. Why - Why is he thus
tyrannized over, as if strangers had the same right over him as
owners over their slaves?
15: Lions - Understand the Assyrians, Babylonians, and
Egyptians, called lions from their fierceness, and young from
their strength. Yelled - Noting the terrible voice that the lion
puts forth, either in seizing the prey, or devouring it.
16: Noph, &c. - Two of the kings of Egypt's principal seats.
Noph was sometimes called Memphis, now Cairo.
Tahapanes probably took its name from Taphanes queen of Egypt,(1Ki 11:19),
called also Hanes: (Isa 30:4). The inhabitants of these cities
are called here their children.
17: When - By the conduct of providence in the wilderness, keeping
thee from all dangers.
18: And now - What business hast thou there? Sihor - The Nile:
it signifies black, called Melas by the Greeks, either from the
blackness of the land it passed through, or of the soil it casts up.
The waters - Here and by the same words before is meant, to seek help from
either place. River - Euphrates, often called so by way of eminency.
19: Thy wickedness - Thy own wickedness is the cause of thy
correction. Know - Consider well, and thou canst not but be convinced.
20: Broken - The bondage and tyranny that thou wert under in old
time in Egypt, as also divers times besides. Tree - Under these shades
idolaters thought there lay some hidden deity. Wanderest - The word
properly signifies, making hast from one tree to another, or from one idol
to another. Playing - Committing idolatry, which is a spiritual harlotry,(Jer 3:1,2).
21: A right seed - A right seed of true believers.
22: Nitre - Though interpreters do greatly vary in describing what is
particularly meant here by Nitre and Soap, and would be superfluous
to mention here; yet all agree, they are some materials that artists
make use of for cleansing away spots from the skin. The blot of this
people is by no art to be taken out; nor expiated by sacrifices; it is
beyond the power of all natural and artificial ways of cleansing.
Marked - Thy filthiness is so foul that it leaves a brand behind which
cannot be hid or washed out, but will abide, (Jer 17:1).
23: Baalim - The word is plural, as comprehensive of all their idols.
Thy way - The filthiness thou hast left behind thee, whereby thou mayst
be traced. Valley - Whether of Hinnom where they burnt their children
in sacrifice, or in any valleys where thou hast been frequent in thy
idolatries. Traversing - A metaphor taken from creatures that are hunted,
that keep no direct path.
24: A wild ass - Another similitude for the more lively description
of the same thing. The wind - This creature, by the wind, smells afar off
which way her male is. In her occasion - That is, when she has an occasion
to run impetuously to her male, she bears down all opposition.
In her month - Perhaps the sense is, though Jerusalem be now madly bent
upon going after her idols, that there is no stopping her, yet the time
may come, in their afflictions, that they may grow more tame, and willing
to receive counsel.
25: Withhold - Take not those courses that will reduce thee to
poverty, to go bare foot, and to want wherewith to quench thy thirst.
No hope - We care not since there is no remedy. Strangers - Idols.
26: Found - Not ashamed of his sin of theft, but that he is at last
27: Brought me forth - Or begotten me; so is the word used,(Ge 4:18). This denotes the sottish stupidity of this people,
to take a lifeless stock or stone to be their maker, and to give
the honour of God unto them, (Isa 44:17).
Turned - They turn their faces towards their idols.
28: For - Thou hast enough of them, imitating the Heathens, who
had, according to Varro, above thirty thousand deities. Make trial
if any, or all of them together, can help thee.
30: Children - Your inhabitants in every city, they being frequently
called the children of such a city. Correction - Instruction: though
they were corrected, yet they would not be instructed. Your sword - You
have been so far from receiving instruction, that you have, by the sword,
and other ways of destruction, murdered those that I have sent to reprove
31: O generation - O ye men of this generation. See - You shall
see the thing with your eyes, because your ears are shut against it.
A wilderness - Have I been like the wilderness of Arabia, have not I
accommodated you with all necessaries? A land of darkness - As it were
a land uninhabitable, because of the total want of light. Have I been
a God of no use or comfort to them, that they thus leave me? Have they
had nothing from me but misery and affliction? We - Words of pride and
32: A maid - How unlikely is it, that a maid should forget her
ornaments? A bride - Those jewels which the bridegroom was wont to
present his bride with. Forgotten - In the neglect of my worship;
me, who was not only their defence, but their glory.
33: Trimmest - Or, deckest, (Eze 23:40), thinking thereby to
entice others to thy help. Taught - Nations that have been vile
enough of themselves, by thy example are become more vile.
34: Skirts - Of thy garments: the tokens of cruelty may be seen
openly there. Innocents - In thee is found the murder expressed here
by blood of innocent persons, murdering souls as well as bodies.
Search - Heb. by digging; as if the earth had covered the blood, or
as if they had committed their wickedness in some obscure places.
These - Upon thy garments, exposed openly to publick view.
35: Behold - I will proceed in my judgment against thee.
Because - Because thou justifiest thyself.
36: Why - Why dost thou seek auxiliaries anywhere, rather than
cleave to me? Ashamed - Egypt shall stand thee in no more stead than
Assyria hath done.
37: Yea - All the help thou canst procure shall not prevent thy
captivity, but from hence thou shalt go. Thy hands - An usual posture