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he was to foretell the destruction of the people and city as then begun, and the event would confirm the truth of his mission! 3 And utter a parable unto the rebellious house, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Set on a pot, set [it] on, and also pour water into it; a reference to Jeremiah's seeing a caldron, and the people's saying, This city, the caldron, is as 4 safe as if surrounded with brazen walls: Gather the pieces thereof into it, [even] every good piece, the thigh, and the shoulder; fill [it] with the choice bones, the chief of the people. 5 Take the choice of the flock, and burn also the bones under

it, [and] make it boil well, and let them seethe the bones of it' therein; let it boil till the water is evaporated, the flesh torn to 6 pieces, and even the bones softened. Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Wo to the bloody city, to the pot whose scum [is] therein, and whose scum is not gone out of it! bring it out piece by piece; the principal men shall be brought out and slain let no lot fall upon it; there shall be no lot cast which to take and which to save, for all, one way or other, shall be destroy7 ed. For her blood, that is, the blood shed by her, is in the midst of her; she set it upon the top of a rock; she poured it not upon the ground, to cover it with dust; she committed 8 her cruelties openly, she took no pains to conceal them; That it might cause fury to come up to take vengeance: I have set her blood upon the top of a rock, that it should not be covered; 9 her punishment shall be as notorious as her sins. Therefore thus saith the Lord GoD; Wo to the bloody city! I will 10 even make the pile for fire great. Heap on wood, kindle the fire, consume the flesh, and spice it well, and let the bones be burned; I will bring upon them utter destruction: and it shall be as agreeable to the Chaldean soldiers to destroy and plun11 der them, as well seasoned meat is to the palate. Then set it empty upon the coals thereof, that the brass of it may be hot, and may be burned, and [that] the filthiness of it may be molten in it, [that] the scum of it may be consumed; which intimates, that the city itself should be destroyed, since the scum 12 or filth that cleaved to the pot would not be separated. She hath wearied [herself] with lies, with idolatry, and vain confidence in allies, and her great scum, that is, her wickedness, went not forth out of her; all the admonitions of the prophets were in vain: her scum [shall be] in the fire; her wickedness shall be 13 punished in the fire that burns the city. In thy filthiness [is] lewdness; great corruption and impudence: because I have purged thee, that is, have attempted to purge thee, and thou wast not purged, thou shalt not be purged from thy filthiness any more, till I have caused my fury to rest upon thee; till I 14 have brought upon thee the destruction Iintended. I the LORD have spoken [it] it shall come to pass, and I will do [it ;] I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent;

according to thy ways, and according to thy doings, shall they judge thee, saith the Lord God; I will be absolutely inexorable, and fulfil my threatenings to the utmost.

15 16 Also the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes, thy wife, the object of thy love and affection, with a stroke; yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run 17 down. Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire, or turban, of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, thou shalt not go bareheaded and barefoot, as is usual in mourning, and cover not [thy] lips, by putting a veil over the head, and eat not the bread of men, the provisions which their relations used to send in upon such occasions, as supposing the mourners not inclined to dress any for themselves ; in 18 a word, use none of the customary forms of mourning. So I spake unto the people in the morning: and at even my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded; I went abroad without mourning.

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And the people said unto me, Wilt thou not tell us what these [things are] to us, that thou doest [so?] They were surprized that Ezekiel, whose temper was so affectionate, was not concerned for the loss of a good wife, and imagined there was something extraordinary in the case, perhaps they fancied it sig20 nified something favourable to them. Then I answered them, 21 The word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Speak unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the temple which you are so fond of, shall be delivered to the heathen, the excellency of your strength, the desire of your eyes, and that which your soul pitieth, or affecteth, and whereon you rely for security; and your sons and your daughters whom ye have left, and who were as dear to you, as my wife was to me, shall fall by the 22 sword. And ye shall do as I have done ye shall not cover 23 [your] lips, nor eat the bread of men. And your tires [shall

be] upon your heads, and your shoes upon your feet: ye shall not mourn nor weep: but ye shall pine away for your iniquities, and mourn one toward another; ye shall have no heart to mourn for your nearest relations; ye shall be quite amazed and stupid; ye shall look on one another with dismal 24 countenances, and yet have no true repentance. Thus Ezekiel is unto you a sign, to show you what shall be your condition: according to all that he hath done shall ye do: and when this cometh, ye shall know that I [am] the Lord God; that your idols are vain, and that my hand is in all these judgments.

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Also, thou son of man, [shall it] not [be] in the day when I take from them their strength, the joy of their glory, the desire of their eyes, and that whereupon they set their minds, their sons and their daughters; when I take away their temple,

26 their city, their relations, and comforts; [That] he that escapeth in that day shall come unto thee, to cause [thee] to hear [it] with [thine] ears? some one shall come and tell thee the news. 27 In that day shall thy mouth be opened to him which is es

caped, and thou shalt speak, and be no more dumb and thou shalt be a sign unto them; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD for a year and a half no message from God was sent to them; for Ezekiel prophesied only concerning other nations; and there was an expressive language in his silence, if they had been wise enough to attend to it.

REFLECTIONS.

WE

may reflect upon the dreadful case of those, on whom ordinances and providences have no good effect; to whom messengers, predictions, instructions, threatenings, and lesser judgments have been sent, but all in vain. God would have purged the Jews, but they would not be purged. They never considered his intentions, nor put away those sins for which he contended with them, but were made worse, rather than better, by them. This is the desperate case of many sinners still; and It is an awful consideration that it should be so. But God will be true to his threatenings, v. 14. God grant that we may never know by our own experience what such denunciationsmean.

1.

2. The prophet's being commanded not to mourn for his wife suggests some important instructions to us. We may have agreeable relations, especially yoke fellows, the desire of the eyes; most pleasing objects, and delightful relatives. But they are mortal; may be removed by a stroke, suddenly and unexpectedly. Let us consider them in this light. Those who have wives, or other beloved friends, should be as though they had none; should not depend too much upon them for happiness here, but by mutual piety and kindness, lay a foundation for eternal friend. ship. Let us remember it is the stroke of God that removes them. Behold, I take away. This is a reason for humble submission. We may weep, but it should be under the restraints of reason and religion. Let us guard against excess of grief; and be careful to improve such afflictive events; that we be not slothful, but followers of them, who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

3. See how foolish it is to set our minds on earthly things; fine houses, substance, or even relations, v. 23. The heart follows the eye; we forget their fading nature; our affection for them lessens our concern about unseen things. But they are all fading; and if we set our minds upon them, it may provoke God to take them away. Let us then be concerned to walk by faith; to set our minds on better objects; to look not on things that are seen and temporal, but on those that are unseen and eternal.

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CHAP. XXV.

This chapter contains threatenings of the heavy judgments of God against the Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, and Philistines, on account of their hatred to his people, and their insulting them in the time of their distress.

HE word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,

2

8 prophesy against them; And say unto the Ammonites, Hear
the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD;
Because thou saidst, Aha, against my sanctuary, when it
was profaned; and against the land of Israel, when it was
desolate; and against the house of Judah, when they went
into captivity; because thou didst this through jealousy of Israel
▲ as a rival, and hatred to their religion; Behold, therefore, I
will deliver thee to the men of the east for a possession, that
is, to the Chaldeans, who lay north east, (and who came and de-
stroyed this country about five years after this prophecy; upon
which the Arabians came and took possession of it,) and they
shall set their palaces in thee, and make their dwellings in
thee; that is, the Arabians shall erect their tents, and take up
their dwellings, as in a conquered country: they shall eat thy
fruit, and they shall drink thy milk. And I will make Rab-
bah, the royal city, a stable for camels, and the country of the
Ammonites a couching place for flocks: and ye shall know
that I [am] the LORD, the God of Israel, and the Lord of the
whole earth. For thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou
hast clapped [thine] hands, and stamped with the feet, and re-
joiced in heart, with all thy despite against the land of Israel;
that is, hast showed prodigious spite and malice; which was the
anore shameful, as they knew that Nebuchadnezzar intended to
come against them, and that he was in debate with himself
7 whether he should come against them or Jerusalem first: Be-
hold, therefore, I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and will
deliver thee for a spoil to the heathen; and I will cut thee off
from the people, and I will cause thee to perish out of the
countries: I will destroy thee; and thou shall know that I
[am] the LORD.

Thus saith the Lord God; Because that Moab and Seir, the posterity of Lot and Esau, do say, Behold, the house of Judah [is] like unto all the heathen in apostacy and calamity, 9 and is not distinguished by the visible protection of God; Therefore, behold, I will open the side of Moab from the cities, from his cities [which are] on his frontiers, the glory of the ❤ountry, Bethjeshimoth, Baalmeon, and Kiriathaim; the ene

my shall enter in at the frontiers, destroy the principal cities and 10 the whole country, and thus I will give the Mobites also Unto the men of the east with the Ammonites, and will give them in possession, that the Ammonites may not be 11 remembered among the nations. And I will execute judgments upon Moab; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD.

12 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because that Edom, the descendants of Esau, hath dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and hath greatly offended, and revenged himself upon them; not only in encouraging the Chaldeans, saying, raze it, raze it, but they themselves making inroads upon 13 it; Therefore thus saith the Lord God; I will also stretch out mine hand upon Edom, and will cut off man and beast from it; and I will make it desolate from Teman, on the south; and they of Dedan, on the north, shall fall by the sword; 14 all the inhabitants of the country shall be destroyed. And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel; and they shall do in Edom according to mine anger and according to my fury; and they shall know my vengeance, saith the Lord GOD; referring to the conquest of the Edomites by the Maccabees, and especially to Hircanus, an high priest of that family, about four hundred and fifty years after this.

15 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because the Philistines have dealt by revenge, and have taken vengeance with a despiteful heart, to destroy [it,] that is, the land of Judea, for the old hatred, on account of the old enmity between them and Israel; 16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will stretch

out mine hand upon the Philistines, and I will cut off the 17 Cherethims, and destroy the remnant of the sea coasts. And

I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them; this was fulfilled when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the Philistines a few years after.*

REFLECTIONS.

HOW

OW weak is all the glory of man, when God sets himself against it! The strongest and most populous cities, the glory of a country, are easily taken and destroyed, when God opens the sides of them, and gives their enemies liberty to enter. Whoever are the instruments of destroying the glory of king

1.

There might probably be some method of sending these prophecies by letter to the princes and leading men of those nations, to reprove their vices, and to give them warning of the judgments coming upon them; at least they confirmed the prophet's mission, and answered very important purposes to the Israelites.

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