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have got their wealth by injustice, rapine, or murder. Let us remember, that God abhors robbery for burnt offerings ; and that the worst of torments are prepared for the hypocrites in Zion. · 3. We should be very thankful that Christ has not yet thrown up the pastoral care of us. He would have fed the flock of the slaughter, the obstinate Jews ; but they regarded him not.. He told them he was the shepherd of the sheep ; but when he came to his own, his own received him not ; they put no value on his offers, his labours, his tender concern for them ; yea, he was sold for thirty pieces of silver ; and those lions led him as a lamb to the slaughter, and tore him in pieces. But he still lives to exercise his pastoral care ; to feed his flock like a shepherd, 10 gather the lambs in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. He attends to the poor of the flock ; feeds and supports the meanest and the weakest of his servants. He leads them to green fastures, and still waters; and when they pass through the valley of the shadow of death, his rod and his staff will comfort them. And he will give unto his sheep eternal life ; and they shall never perish, nor shall any fluck them out of his hands.
4. We should not wonder if we are despised, and our endear. ours to do graod treated with contempt. Thus Zechariah was treated ; they offered him for his labours the price of a slave. Thus was Christ despised and rejected of men ; and thus many of his faithful ministers have complained, We have laboured in vain, we have spent our strength for nought ; we have stretched out our hand all the day to a gainsaying and disobedient people. But God will remember all their wor,ks of faith and labours of love. They that despise you, says Christ, despise me ; and they who despise mc, despise him that sent me. Gad considers all the contempt which is thrown on faithful ministers, and their labours, as an affront done to himself; and they shall finally be a sweet savour 10 God, in them that perish, as well as in them that are saved.
5. Let us fear and avoid the judgment of the foolish shepherd, mentioned in the three last verses. While the former reflection reads a lesson to the people, God here reads an awful lesson to ministers : to every one who only takes the instruments of a foolish shepherd, but does not provide food or defence for the fock; who will not do the duty of a shepherd, will not instruct the ignorant, seek those that are gone astray, nor heal those that are wounded, nor support those that are feeble.; who lives in luxury himself, and oppresses those under his care ; who is an idol shej. herd, the mere image of a pastor ; who has eyes, byt sees nol, and ears, but hears not ; who, like an idol, receives abundance of respect and homage from the people, and the chiefest of their offerings, but neither can nor will do them any good. Wo to such a one ! the sword of God shall be on his arm and on his eye ; he shall lose both one and the other, so that he shall neither be able to see his own dạnger, nor defend himself when it comes upon him. .
The first part of this chapter relates to an invasion that shall be made on the inhabitants of Judea in the latter ages of the world, and God's signal interposition in their favour ; the latter part relates to spiritual mercies, and describes their sorrow when they should be brought to a sense of their great sin in crucifying the Messiah,
THE burden, or, the prophecy, of the word of the LORD
1 for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth
the spirit of man within him; who is the author of all human 2 wisdom. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling
unto all the people round about, I will intoxicate all those who rise up against her, as if they had drank some poisonous draught, that shall disorder all their nerves, and throw them into trembling
and confusion, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah 3 (and) against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusa.. lem a burdensome stone for all people : all that burden them· selves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the
earth be gathered together against it ; they shall be as men
that would roll a great stone up a hill, which at last returns upon 4 them, and crushes them to pieces. In that day, saith the LORD,
I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness ; considerable forces of cavalry shall come up against thém, (probably referring to the Turks, see Ezek. xxxviii. 39.) but they shall be confounded, and lake wrong measures ; their horses shall madly rush on to great danger and sudden destruc. tion : and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah,
will look upon them with complacency and regard, and will 5 smite every horse of the people with blindness. And the
governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem (shall be] my strength in the LORD of hosts their God ; or, there is strength to me and to the inhabitants of Jerilsalem in the Lord of hosts their God ; that is, the greatest men shall own that their strength, and that of their capital, con, sists in the favour of God.: otsi;
In that day will I make the governors of Judah like a hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf ; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left ; I will spread destruction on
all who attempt to injure them, suddenly and irresistibly : and • Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, [even]
y in Jerusalem. The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah · first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of
the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify [themselves)
against Judah ; this deliverance shall be wrought, not by the strength of the walls of Jerusalem, or the valour of its inhabisants, but, when the enemy shall come in like a flood, and the peofle are driven into the country around them, God shall begin the
salvation in the open fields, and save the defenceless people : so 8 that human prowe 88 shall have no hand in this deliverance. In
that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem ; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David ; and the house of David (shall be) as God, as the angel of the Lord before them ; men shall act beyond their common force : and shall be so strengthened for the service to which they are called, that it shall be as if the common people, even the weakest among them, were raised to the strength, courage, and
piety of David, and those that are most distinguished shall be 9 improved to an angelic power and character. And it shall come
to pass in that day, [that] I will seek to destroy all the nations
that come against Jerusalem. 10 And, in order 10 introduce such a glorious scene, I will pour
upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications : and they shall look upon me, or rather, upon him, whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for [his] only (son,) and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for (his] first born. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, not only as a single parent mourning for an only son, but the whole nation shall be deeply afflicted, (2 Kings xxiii. 29.) as the mourning of Hadadrim
mon, a town in the valley of Megiddon, where Josiah was 12 slain, over whom great lamentation was made. And the land
shall mourn, the whole Jewish nation, and the greatest men, shall humble themselves on this account ; every family apart ; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart ;
the family of the house of Nathan, a considerable branch of the 13 house of David, apart, and their wives apart ; The family of
the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart ; the family of 14 Shimei, or Simeon, apart, and their wives apart ; All the
families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart ; in allusion to their funeral processions, or times of great mourning, when it was customary for the men of the several families to go together, and their wives to go together after shem, each by themselves ; to denote a deep, retired sorrow, which rendered the mourners for a season insensible to all the comforts and enjoyments of the most endearing society.
1. LROM the majestic description which is here given of God,
we should be led to adore him with the profoundest hu
mility, v. 1. He not only stretched out the heavens at first, but still stretcheth them out as a curtain ; and will continue to do so till the end come, when the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll. No bounds can be set to his power, who stretcheth out the heavens, nor can any thing be too hard for him, who layeth the foundations of the earth ; keeps it firm, and fixed on its own axis, and governs the elements and the seasons. He also formed the spirit of man within him ; gave us all our intellectual powers, and can influence them as he pleases. Let our souls, and all that is within us, magnify the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth, who is the former of our bodies and the father of our spirits, and the giver of all our enjoyments.
2. Let us draw encouragement from the favour which shall be finally shown to the christian cause. Whatever clouds and darkness may be round about us ; whatever enemies may arise to oppose the gospel ; how much soever infidelity may triumph, in. iquity abound, and the love of many wax cold ; there certainly will be brighter, better, happier days. The gospel shall be a cuf of consolation to all who embrace it ; but a cup of trembliug to those who oppose it. Though all people should unite together to destroy the kingdom of the Messian, and the church of Christ, it will be a vain attempt. This stone cut out of the mountains without hands, will not only keep its place, but fill the whole earth; and will finally break in pieces all those who burden themselves with it. God will open his eyes, that is, look favourably on his cause and interest, and strike with astonishment and madness all those who rise up against it. Let us then wish well to Zion from our hearts; pray for its peace and prosperity ; and rejoice that there is strength for us, and for all his people, in the Lord of hosts, their God.
3. We should long for that revival of the christian cause ; when he thai is feeble shall be as David, in a spiritual sense : when the happy time shall come, that princes and great men shall be good and holy men, and make their boast, not of their strength, their riches and honours, but of the Lord their God. In that day relig. ion shall raise its languishing head ; God will strengthen the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees of his servants ; they shall run, and not be weary ; they shall walk, and not faint ; they shall be strong to resist every enemy and temptation, brave and skillful, even as David himself ; yea, the weakest and feeblest shall be so. When God revives his church, he will make children, not only men in Christ, but champions ; and those who are in high sta. tions, and called out to greater services, he will make as angels of the Lord. He will increase the gifts and abilities of princes, magistrates, and all the people, in proportion to the respective services to which they are called. O blessed promise, and happy season when it shall be fulfilled! Hasten it in thy good time, Q Lord. And in order to this, let us,
4. Wrestle with God, that he would pour a spirit of evangel. ical repentance in a greater measure upon us, and also upon his ancient people the Jews. When God has great mercies to bestow, he will stir up the hearts of his servants earnestly to seek them. In order to this, he will pour out his spirit upon them, and make known his words unto them : he will awaken a just and deep sense of sin in their hearts ; give them a spirit of grace, to sanctify them, and subdue their iniquities ; and a spirit of supplication, inclining them to, and assisting them in, the duty of prayer. He will particularly teach them to look upon Christ as pierced, not by the Jews only, but by themselves ; and this, not with a transient glance, or unaffected eye; but they shall look, and mourn, and that bitterly, as for the loss of an only son. Thus genuine repentance and godly sorrow will express themselves. It is God's work to produce them in the heart ; and, blessed be his name, we have his promise that he will do it. Let us pray for such a tem. per ourselves ; it will be acceptable to God, honourable to Christ, and a sure token that God will revive us again. Let us supplicate it for the Jews, God's ancient people, to whom this promise peculiarly belongs ; that they may embrace their own Messiah, partake of all gospel blessings, and see all these glorious prophecies concerning them accomplished.
CHAP. XIII. XIV. 1, 2.
Contain promises of hardon, and a deliverance from idolatry and
false prophets ; foretell the death of Christ, and the persecution of his disciples ; the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, and the calamities consequuent on that event.
I IN that day, at the time of Christ's crucifixion, there shall be
1 a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness ; the means of fardon and sanctification shall be offered to the Jews by the deatła
of Christ, and upon the terms of the christian covenant. 2 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of
hosts, [that] I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered :* and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the
land; that is, a spirit of vice and wickedness, or, the prophet that 3 has an unclean spirit. And it shall come to pass, [that] when
any shall yet prophecy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live ; for thou
* This either signifies abolishing idolatry in all christian churches, or putting away the superstition and corrupeion that had crept into the Jewish; for idolatry had lon12 sinna Qensed.