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is the author of those offensive high places of Judah? Is not Jerusalem, and those her kings that have set them up and countenanced them?
I. 6. Therefore I will make Samaria as an heap of the field, and as plantings of a vineyard: and I will pour down the stones thereof into the valley, &c.
Therefore I will raze and pull down Samaria, by the hands of the Assyrians; and make that high built city as a heap of stones laid together carelessly in the field, or as those hillocks of earth which are cast up for the planting of a vineyard: and I will cause the goodly stones of their stately palaces, to be tumbled down into the valley, &c.
I. 7. And all the hires thereof shall be burned with the fire, and all the idols thereof will I lay desolate: for she gathered it of the hire of an harlot, and they shall return to the hire of an harlot.
And all those costly offerings and presents, that were brought to their idols, as the hire of their spiritual fornication, shall be burnt with fire &c. as they have imagined foolishly, that they have received their wealth, as the reward of their idol-service, which they have borrowed of the heathen; so shall they know, that it shall go back again the same way: for the Assyrians, who shall carry it away, shall impute it to their gods, as a reward of their idolatry.
I. 8. Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls.
Therefore, since these great evils are coming upon my nation, I, for my part, will spend my time in mourning and bitter lamentation: I will lay down my prophet's weed and go up and down heavily and forlornly.
I. 9. For her wound is incurable; for it is come unto Judah; he is come unto the gate of my people, even to Jerusalem.
This destruction, by the hand of the Assyrians, is uncurable; for it is passed from Samaria, and is come forward to Judah, and is now drawing on towards the very gates of Jerusalem.
I. 10. Declare ye it not at Gath, weep ye not at all: in the house of Aphrah roll thyself in the dust.
Let no man tell the news of this calamity at Gath, the city of the Philistines, lest they rejoice and triumph in our misery: oh, let no man there bemoan our sorrows; and, ye inhabitants of Aphrah, (a city of Benjamin,) roll yourselves in the dust, for the miserable desolation that is coming upon you.
I. 11. Pass ye away, thou inhabitant of Saphir, having thy shame naked: the inhabitant of Zaanan came not forth in the mourning of Beth-ezel; he shall receive of you his standing.
Pass ye away into a woeful captivity, Ŏ ye inhabitants of
the beautiful city of Saphir, pass along in your shame and nakedness: the inhabitants of Zaanan stood upon their guard, and came not forth as yielding to the enemy, upon the sad taking in of Beth-ezel; the enemy shall therefore receive of you, O Zaanites, the full recompence of that long siege, to which ye have put him.
I. 12. For the inhabitant of Maroth waited carefully for good: but evil came down from the LORD unto the gate of Jerusalem.
The inhabitants of Maroth shall be much grieved, for the failing and disappointment of their hopes: they made account to have escaped this misery, but evil came down upon them from the Lord; and shall not stay there, but shall proceed on, till it come to the very gates of Jerusalem.
I. 13. O thou inhabitant of Lachish, bind the chariot to the swift beast: she is the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion: for the transgressions of Israel were found in thee.
As for you, O ye inhabitants of Lachish, make all possible speed to escape by flight: put your swiftest beasts into your chariots, and drive away hastily; taking the advantage of remoteness: try if you can thus avoid the judgment, who were the authors of sin to the rest of Judah, next after the revolt of the Ten Tribes to their molten calves. Lachish was the first of the tribe of Judah, that both received and diffused the infection to the daughter of Zion: the idolatries of Israel were first found in thee, O Lachish.
I. 14. Therefore shalt thou give presents to Moresheth-gath; the houses of Achzib shall be a lie to the kings of Israel.
Therefore shalt thou be fain to give vain presents unto the Philistines, to help thee: thou shalt have recourse to those false and lying succours, which have been ever deceitful to the kings of Judah, and so shall be still unto thee.
I. 15. Yet will I bring an heir unto thee, O inhabitant of Mareshah: he shall come unto Adullam the glory of Israel.
As for thee, O Mareshah, which hast thy name from inheritance, I will bring such an heir to thee, for thy land, as thou shalt never be able to dispossess; even the enemy which shall seize thee for ever: and he, that is the Glory and God of Israel, shall execute his justice upon Judah, even as far as Adullam, the utmost coast thereof.
I. 16. Make thee bald, and poll thee for thy delicate children; enlarge thy baldness as the eagle; for they are gone into captivity from thee.
Make thee bald, O land of Israel, in token of extreme mourning; and cut off thy hair, in sorrow for thy delicate children, which are slain and captived; yea, enlarge thy baldness, the sign of thy grief, as the eagle, which moults with age, being left without feathers till her renovation: so do thou
leave thyself without hair, or comfort for thy children, for they are gone into captivity from thee.
II. 3. An evil from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for this time is evil.
An evil, which shall press you so heavily, that you shall neither be able to remove your necks from under it, nor lift them up in a haughty carriage: for it is a time of exceeding great affliction.
II. 4. We be utterly spoiled: he hath changed the portion of my people: how hath he removed it from me! turning away he hath divided our fields.
We be utterly spoiled: he hath altered the property of the land, and the condition of the people; for he hath put Assyrians into the possessions of Israel, and hath removed Israel into Assyria; yea, rather, instead of returning to us in mercy and restoring our land, he hath divided our fields to our enemies.
II. 5. Therefore thou shalt have none that shall cast a cord by lot in the congregation of the LORD.
Therefore, when this judgment shall be effected, there shall none remain of you, who shall have any lot or inheritance in
the land of Israel.
II. 6. Prophesy ye not, say they to them that prophesy: they shall not prophecy to them, that they shall not take shame.
Yet they are ready to say unto my prophets, who foretell these judgments, Prophesy not; neither will they allow my prophets to say, that this shameful foil shall happen unto them.
II. 7. O thou, that art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the LORD straitened? are these his doings? do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly?
O thou, that wouldst be named the house and seed of Jacob, is it for thee to hinder the Spirit of Prophecy? Is it not God's doing, to put these words into their mouths? And, if ye were so affected to God as ye ought, and so well disposed as ye pretend, surely my predictions of these judgments would be greatly for your good.
II. 8. Even of late my people is risen up as an enemy: ye pull off the robe with the garment from them that pass by securely as men averse from war.
Now of late, my people, as if they needed no enemy, are turned enemies to each other: ye strip the garments from the backs of travellers, that pass by securely, without any thought of such cruel and hostile measure,
II. 9. The women of my people have ye cast out from their pleasant houses; from their children have ye taken away my glory for ever.
And, as not content with this cruelty towards men, ye offer violence to the women also; whom ye have forcibly taken from their own houses, where they lived contentedly with their husbands; and to their children also, from whom ye have taken those privileges and liberties of freeborn Israelites, which was the glory of that nation, and for which I had wont to receive glory from them.
II. 10. Arise ye, and depart; for this is, not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore de
Away, therefore, arise, and get you into captivity; for this land is no place for you: since ye have thus defiled it by your sins, it shall cast you out, and deliver you up to be destroyed by your enemies.
II. 11. If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.
I know well enough how I might please you: if a man would walk in a vain light fashion, and yield to prophesy nothing but lies unto you, and sooth you up in gluttony and drunkenness, and tell you of that free scope ye shall have to wine and strong drink; he should be a welcome prophet to this people.
II. 12. I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men.
But for me, I am not of that strain: I have other tidings to deliver to you, from the Lord; which is this; I will, saith God, gather up all my people of Israel together, as a shepherd gathers his whole flock together into a fold; and, as it uses to be in such concourse, there shall be a great noise and murmur in that thronged multitude.
II. 13. The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the LORD on the head of them.
But this assembly shall not be for their ease or comfort, but rather for their more full destruction: the Assyrian shall come in upon them, and break into this fold, and spoil and ravine as he pleaseth; and my people shall be carried away through those breaches, into a miserable captivity; and their king shall be led manacled before them; and the Lord of Hosts, who hath justly contrived this desolation of his unworthy people, shall lead the way to the accomplishing thereof.
III. 1. And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; Is it not for you to know judgment?
O ye rulers and governors of Israel, to you I speak, is it not your part, both to know how to do justice to the oppressed, and to perform it accordingly?
III. 2. Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones.
How is it then, that you do contrarily? ye hate the good, and love the evil, and offer all cruelty and violence to them; as some unfaithful shepherd, who, instead of feeding his flock, fleas off their skins, and devoureth their flesh. So also verse 3. III. 5. That bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him:
Who, so as they may be fed up with the largesses of the people, cry peace and happiness; but, if they have not their mouths filled with gifts, are ready to load their niggardly hearers with threats of judgments:
III. 6. Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them.
I will therefore utterly withdraw from you all vision; and ye shall no more see ought from me, than a man can see ought before him in the darkest night: my Spirit, which is as the sun, shall be fully set and gone down upon your prophets, and there shall be nothing but darkness of ignorance before them. So also verse 7.
III. 8. But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression.
But as for me, I am none of your soothing prophets: no; I am, by the Spirit of the Lord, filled with courage and undaunted zeal; with true judgment, and bold resolution to declare unto Jacob his transgression.
III. 10. They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity.
They build them stately houses in Zion and in Jerusalem, with those sums, which they have extorted from the very bowels of the oppressed innocents.
III. 12. Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.
Therefore, for your sakes shall mount Zion be so razed and levelled by the Chaldees, that it may be plowed as a field; and Jerusalem shall become heaps of rubbish; and mount Moriah shall lie like the rocky and wild hills of the desert.
IV. 1. But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain, &c. See Isaiah ii. 2.