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O ve inhabitants of the earth, take diligent heed to this, which I shall now deliver unto you.
XXII. 30 Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his duys : for no man of his seed shall prosper, &c. Take notice, that it is enacted in heaven, that this Jechoniah shall never have issue, that shall sit upon the temporal throne of David: no man of his seed, in succeeding times shall so prosper, as to be king of Judah.
XXIII. 3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds ; and they shall be fruitful and increase. In that happy time of restoration, I will gather the remnant of mine elect people, out of all countries, both them of Judah and of Israel, into the bosom of my Church; where they shall be fruitful of all good works. · XXIII. 4 And I will set shepherds over them which shall feed them, I will set over them, holy, conscionable, able pastors, which shall feed them with the food of life.
XXIII. 5 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, &c. See Isaiah iv. verse 2.
XXIII. 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. In his days, those, that belong to his true Church, shall be saved and delivered from their spiritual enemies: and he shall be endued with infinite wisdom, righteousness, and holiness; insomuch, as we shall be made the righteousness of God in him.
XXIII. 7, 8 They shall no more say, The Lord liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, di. See chap. xvi. verse 14, and 15.
XXIII. 9 Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets ; all
bones shake ; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the Lord, and because of the words of his holiness, My heart within me is extremely grieved and vexed, because of the false prophets, which mislead the people : I am in a great agony and distress for them: I am not myself for extremity of passion, to think of those heavy judgments, which the Lord hath intended and threatened, in his holy and just vengeance, to bring upon this people.
XXIII. 10 For because of swearing the land mourneth ; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right. The land groaneth and mourneth, under that fearful and ordinary profanation of the name of God, by false and rash oaths : the pleasant pastures of those plains, where their flocks had wont to feed, are now dried and parched; because the men of Judah take wicked courses, and employ their power to violence and oppression.
XXIII. 12 Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness : they shall be driven on, and fall therein. They shall fall and perish, in the just punishment of their sins : as those, that, in the night time, walk in slippery places; so shall they be driven hastily forward, and fall, and miscarry under the vengeance.
XXIII. 13 And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria ; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err. If we shall make comparison betwixt the late prophets of Israel or the ten tribes, with those of Judah and Jerusalem ; surely the prophets of Israel, or Samaria, were foolish and superstitious: they prophesied in the name of Baal, and caused my people to err through their false doctrine and idolatrous practices.
XXIII. 14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an hor. rible thing : they commit adultery, and walk in lies : they strengthen also the hands of evil doers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah. But I have noted the prophets of Judah and Jerusalem to be ex. tremely vicious in life, and abominably filthy : they do not only commit shameful adulieries and make a trade of lies, but they hearten and encourage wicked men in their lewdness; so as no man can be reclaimed: in regard, therefore, both of their sin and punishment, they are in no better case to me, than the inhabitants of Sodoni and Gomorrah.
XXIII. 15 Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, &c. See chap. ix. verse 15.
XXIII. 18 For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word and heard it? Fear not the sad predictions of this man, say these false prophets, for he speaks at random, howsoever he pretends. Who hath been of counsel with God? What man hath been so familiar with the Almighty, as to take messages from him?
XXIII. 19 Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind : it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. Behold, God shall rush suddenly and violently upon these men ; and shall carry them away, like some furious whirlwind, which cannot be either avoided or resisted. · XXIII. 20 In the latter days ye shall consider. At last, ye shall, by woeful experience, find all this verified, and shall then be deeply affected with it.
XXIII. 21. I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran : &c. I gave no commission to these prophets, yet they run, as of their own heads : &c.
XXIII. 22 But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, &c. If they had received directions and errands from me, and had de
livered them accordingly to my people, they should have laboured to have turned them from their lewd courses.
XXIII. 23 Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off ? What do
ye make of me, saith the Lord ? Do ye think me a God that may
be eluded or Aed from? Do ye think that I take notice only of that, which is done near hand, and not of that, which is done afar off ?
XXIII. 26 Yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart. They are their own prophets; they are not mine : they bave broached the deceivable imaginations of their own hearts.
XXIII. 28 The prophet that hath a dream, let hiin tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak' my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat ? saith the LORD. Away with all fraud in this holy service : that prophet, which hath but dreamed, let him confess it is but a dream, and he, that hath indeed a vision and word from me, let him deliver it as my mes. sage, faithfully : for what hath this chaff of idle dreams to do with the pure grain of my visions and revelations?
XXIII. 29 Is not my word like as a fire ? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? Is not my word a powerful word? Is it not as a fire, to burn up all the chaff and stubble? Is it not as an iron hammer, to break the hardest and most rocky hearts in pieces?
XXIII. 30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steul my word every one from his neighbour. I am against those prophets, saith the Lord, that fraudulently and cunningly keep back the word of the Lord from the people, and that take from each other, by compact and agreement, those prophecies, which themselves have falsely devised, and unjustly ascribed unto God.
XXIII. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. I am against those prophets, which, by their smooth tongues, persuade the people it is the word of the Lord, which they deliver, when it is nothing but their own fancy.
XXIII. 33 And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shell ask thce, saying, What is the burden of the Lord ? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I wil even forsake you, saith the LORD. When they shall ask thee, in scorn, Now, prophet, what is the burden from the Lord ? thou shalt answer them, What is the burden, do ye ask? Lo, this is the burden ; I will utterly cast you off, saith the Lord.
XXII. 34 And as for the prophets, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of the LORD, I will even punish that man and his house. And that man, whether priest, or prophet, or whosoever, that shall scornfully ask thee this question, 'I will plague both him and his house.
XXIII. 35 Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, What hath the Lord answered ? and, What hath the LORD spoken? Neither would I have, indeed, any mention amongst men, of any burden in my messages; as if there were nothing bút heavy tidings sent by me to my people : instead thereof, let them rather say, What hath the Lord spoken?
XXIII. 36 For every man's word shall be his burden. Though there were no prophet to denounce judgment against men, yet every man would be a prophet to himself: his
very conscience would sufficiently lay before him the just judgment of the Almighty.
XXIV. i The LORD shewed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the LORD, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Je. hoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the car. penters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon, And now all these threatened judgments, being accordingly executed, upon Judah and Jerusalem, insomuch as the king of Babylon had now carried away Jeconiah king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, and their artificers, unto Babylon; yet so as that some of the people remained still in the land, under Zedekiah king of Judah, who exalted himself against Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon; God, willing to shew the estate of both those sorts of people, those which yielded to go into the captivity, and those that resolved to stand out and stay at home, shewed me two baskets of figs, as the emblem and figure of them both.
XXIV. 5 Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place, &c. Thus saith the Lord; That basket of good figs represents those Jews, which are carried away into the captivity of Babylon; who, as they are humbled and bettered by their affliction, so shall be dealt with by me accordingly.
XXIV, 6 For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land. For I will take special care of them, both to preserve them there, and to bring them back again.
XXIV. 8 And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil ; surely thus saith the LORD, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt: &c. The other basket of ill figs, which cannot be eaten, represents those Jews, that stay still stubbornly behind, and will needs follow Zedekiah, to rebel against the king of Babylon, and those that seek harbour in Egypt; and these shall speed'accordingly, for I will give them up into the hand of the Chaldees : &c.
XXV. 9 Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the Lord, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant. Behold, I will bring against thee the Chaldeans and those other their northern associates, with Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, whom I shall employ for my executioner in this service.
XXV. 10 And the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle. I will take from you all mirth and gladness; yea, all commodities for the use and convenience of living ; so as your life shall be doleful and miserable.
XXV. 14 For many nations and great kings shall serve then selves of them also. For those proud and imperious Chaldees, which held my people in servitude for seventy years, will I give to be a prey to other great kings and nations, and they shall share their dominions amongst them.
XXV. 15 Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I have sent thee, to drink it. See Isa. li. 17. And do thou denounce all these judgments unto all those several nations, to which I send thee; and assure them, that they shall all drink of this bitter cup, in their due seasons.
XXV. 16 And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them. They shall not be able to avoid those fearful judgments, which thou threatenest from me; but shall so undergo them, as that they shall be astonished therewith, and grow madly impatient, because of the destruction that I will send amongst them.
XXV. 17 Then took I the cup at the LORD's hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the Lord had sent me. Then I took the cup at the Lord's hand, and gave it to be pledged of all those nations, to whom the Lord had sent me,
XXV. 20 And all the mingled people, and all the kings of the land of Ux, &c. To all those mingled people of several nations, which are hereafter mentioned.
XXV. 22 And the kings of the isles which are beyond the sea. And the kings of those countries which are beyond the sea, whether isles or continent.
XXV. 27 Drink ye, and be drunken, and spue, and fall, and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send among you. Take ye deep of this cup of fury and vengeance: do not think that a taste or small draught will serve the turn; no, an easy revenge will not content me, saith God: ye shall be so punished and plagued by my just hand, as that ye shall not be yourselves; but, in an amazed distractedness, ye shall fall and perish.
XXV. 28 Ye shall certainly drink. See verse 16.
XXV. 30 The Lord shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation ; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.