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The prophet reproves oppressing princes, ver. 1 - 4.
And false prophets, ver. 5 - 7.
And threatens both, ver. 8 - 12.
1: Is it not for you - Ought not you to understand, and conform to,
the just laws of your God. You princes, magistrates, and ruling officers,
ought of all men to know and do right.
2: The good - Ye who hate not only to do good, but the good which
is done, and those that do it. The evil - Chuse, and delight in, both
evil works and evil workers. Who pluck it off - Ye who use the flock
as cruelly as the shepherd, who instead of shearing the fleece, would
pluck off the skin and flesh.
3: The flesh - Ye who devour the goods, and livelihood of your
brethren. Break their bones - An allusion to wolves, bears, or lions,
which devour the flesh, and break the bones of the defenceless lambs.
4: Then - When these miseries come upon them.
5: That bite - When they are furnished with gifts, and well fed.
Prepare war - They do them all the mischief they can.
6: Night - Heavy calamities. A vision - You shall no more pretend
to have a vision, or dare to foretell any thing.
And the sun - The hand of God shall be against them, making their
sorrows the more dreadful, as darkness by the sun going down at noon.
7: The seers - So called by the deceived people.
Cover their lips - Mourners did thus, (Eze 24:17,22).
So these shall mourn and pine in their shame.
No answer - Because the answer they had formerly, pretended
to be from God, now appears not to have been from him.
8: Power - Courage, and vivacity. Of judgment - To discern times
and seasons, right from wrong. Might - Resolution.
10: They - The heads and great ones enlarge, beautify, and fortify,
the house in Zion, particularly the temple and the royal palace.
Blood - With wealth, which they made themselves masters of by violence,
taking away the life of the owners.
11: Lean - Pretend to trust in him.
Among us - As our God and our shield.
12: For your sake - Because of your sins.
The mountain - The mountain, on which the temple stood.
This is that passage, which is quoted, (Jer 26:18),
which Hezekiah and his princes took well: yea, they repented
and so the execution of it did not come in their days.