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it, they (are] the flesh, and this [city is] the caldron : but I will bring you forth out of the midst of it ; the dead shall be all

that are left in the city, you shall neither be secure, nor shall you 8 die there, but be reserved for another punishment. Ye have

feared the sword, and pretended that as a reason why you did not surrender ; and I will bring a sword upon you, saith the Lord God. And I will bring you out of the midst thereof, where you think yourselves most secure, and deliver you into the hands of strangers, and will execute judgments among you;

the strangers whom you feared, and to whom you would not sub10 mit, shall overcome you. Ye shall fall by the Sword ; I will

judge you in the border of Israel ; and ye shall know that I (am) the LORD. This (city) shall not be your caldron, nei. ther shall ye be the flesh in the midst thereof; [but] I will judge you in the border of Israel ; the city (the caldron) as well as you shall be destroyed ; which was fulfilled when Nebua

chadnezzar condemned and executed the princes and nobles of 12 Izrael in Riblah, on the borders of Israel, Jer. lii. 9, 10. And

ye shall know that I (am) the LORD : for ye have not walked in my statutes, neither executed my judgments, but have done after the manners of the heathen that [are] round about you ; have practised their abominable idolatrics, and therefore you cannot wonder that I should forsake you.

And it came to pass, when I prophesied, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died ; he seemed to me in vision to be struck dead ; a certain sign that his death would quickly follow. Then fell I down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice, and said, Ah Lord God! wilt thou make a full end of the rema nant of Israel ? wilt thou take them all away by the stroke of

thy vengeance ? 14 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 15 Son of man, thy brethren, (even thy brethren,] the men of thy

kindred, or, thy fellow captives, and all the house of Israel wholly, even all of them, sare] they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get you far from the LORD : unto us is this land given in possession; they looked upon the captives as apostates, because they had surrendered to the Chaldeans ; they thought that God had disowned them, because they were in

a strange land, and that themselves were the only people of God, 16 because they were left at Jerusalem. Therefore say, Thus

saith the Lord God ; Although I have cast them far off a. mong the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary, suited to their number and circumstances, in the countries where they shall come ; they shall enjoy my presence, have opportunities

of converse with me in Babylon, though far from the Jewish sano17 fuery. Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God ; I will even

gather you, as a precious commodity, from the people, and as

semble you, as an honourable, body, out of the countries wherd

Ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel 18 you shall have the grant and promise of it. And they shall

come thither, their posterity shall possess it, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof, and all the abominations

thereof from thence ; their captivity shall be the means of cur. 19 ing them of idolatry, which it actually did. And I will give

them one heart, entirely for God, and not divided, and I will put a new spirit within you, new dispositions, or, an excellent spirit ; and I will take the piony heart out of their flesh, and

will give them an heart of hesh, a serious, humble, tender, and 20 obedient heart : That they may walk in my statutes, or moral

law, and keep mine ordinances, the ordinances of religious worship, and do them : and they shall be my people, and I will

be their God ; I will renew my covenant with them, though they 21 now seem to be cast off. But [as for them] whose heart walk

eth after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, who love idolatry as well as they formerly did, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord God; I will show my justịce upon such, and there needs nothing

more to make them miserable., 22 Then did the cherubims lift up their wings, and the wheels

beside them ; and the glory of the God of Israel (was) over them above. And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which [is] on the east side of the city'; the Shekinah came first out of the most holy place into the holy, then to the threshold, then to the court, then to the gate of the house, and then to the mount of OIives ; thus it gradually departed, and showed that their glory

would soon be gone. 24 Afterwards the spirit took me up, and brought me in a vi

sion by the Spirit of God into Chaldea, to them of the cap25 tivity. So the vision that I had seen went up from me. Theri I

spake unto them of the captivity all the things that the LORD had showed me; I faithfully related what God had shown to

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I. n NE source of the obstinacy and ruin of sinners is, their

supposing that the judgments of God are at a distance. It is not near us, &c. Thus men now believe that though death

• This would be an encouragement to those captives who might repent of their surrendering and going to Babylon, while Jerusalem held out ; it would teach them not to be troubled at the insults and sneers of their brethren ; nor to expect redemption till the seve enty years were completed. It is very likely that an account of this vision was sent to je. rusalem, as they had a correspondence with it ; and it would have been happy for the Jews dere if they had taken the warning,

and judgment will come, they are not near. They put afar off the evil day, and therefore say, Let us build houses, follow the world, enjoy our pleasures, and defer religion ; we shall have time enough to repent, reform, and be wise hereafter. By this means the arguments taken from the solemnity and awful consequences of death and judgment lose much of their force. But the folly of their conduct is most apparent, for they may be near, even at the door ; and it is the duty of ministers to prophesya. gainst such triflers, and in the plainest and most rousing terms to give them warning.

2. Let us impress this thought upon our hearts, that God knowe the things that come into our minds, every one of them : not only actions and words, but thoughts ; even the most transient ; what men think and intend, what impressions are upon their imagina. tions, what pains are taken to cherish good thoughits, and to ban. jsh bad ones. And as he knows, so he remembers and will judge them. May we then keep our hearts with all diligence : les no vain imaginations lodge within us : but let us approve all our thoughts to the heartsearching God.

3. God's promises to the captive Jews, speak encouragement to those who are necessarily hindered from his house and worship. I say necessarily, for those who forsake the assembling of themselves together without necessity, have no claim to it. He engages to be to such a little sanctuary ; to visit, instruct, comfort, and accept them in their private meetings, as much as if they were at the temple in Jerusalem. And God will be a little church to his people when confined by sickness, in the care of young children, or other necessary avocations. If their spirits be serious and des vout, he will grant them the tokens of his presence, the teachings of his Spirit, and communicate strength and comfort to them, though their brethren may censure or despise them. Persons in such circumstances should guard their spirits ; improve their solitude well, and employ their secret hours, even at home, as much as possible in sacred and sabbath work.

4. Tbe greatest of God's favours is a pious, tender heart; when its natural hardness is subdued ; corrupt dispositions rooted out; and the whole heart is for God and religion, tenderly affected with divine things, and fearful of sin. The best proof of possess. ing such a heart is walking in God's statutes, and keeping his ordinances. It is happy when afflictions produce such a temper ; when a change of condition is attended with a suitable change of heart. Without this, there can be no well grounded hope of possessing the better country : and this must be sought of God; for he alone can create in us a clean heari, and renew a righe spirit within us. /

Von, VI.


As some of the captives in Babylon regretled leaving Judea, and

thought that by Zedekiah's continued reign, or the king of Babylon's being overcome, they might return to their own land; this chapter is designed to show them that those who were left at Jerusalem should soon be in a worse condition than they.

THE word of the Lord also came unto me, saying, Son 2 1 of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house,

which have eyes to see, and see not ; they have ears to hear, and hear not : for they [are) a rebellious house ; they do not use their understanding, are many of them rebelliour, and en.

courage the Jews at Jerusalem to hold out, contrary 10 God's 3 command. Therefore, thou son of man, prepare thee stuff for

removing, and remove by day in their sight ; and thou shalt remove from thy place to another place in their sight : it may be they will consider, though they [be] a rebellious house ;

pack up thy goods, as if going to remove, and do it by day, that 4 all may see thee and consider it. Then shalt thou bring forth

thy stuff by day in their sight, as stuff for removing : and

thou shalt go forth at even in their sight as they that go 5 forth into captivity. Dig thou through the wall in their

sight, and carry out thereby. In their sight shalt thou bear [it] upon (thy) shoulders, (and) carry [it] forth in the twi. light: thou shalt cover thy face, that thou see not the ground: for I have set thee (for) a sign unto the house of Israel ; thou shalt steal away quietly, as if afraid to be seen, and through the wall, because the enemy surrounds the gale : and this shall be a

sign that the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be glad to escape any 7 how. And I did so as I was commanded : I brought forth

my stuff by day, as stuff for captivity, and in the even I dig. ged through the wall with mine hand ; I brought [it] forth

in the twilight, [and] I bare [it] upon (my) shoulder in their 8 sight. And in the morning came the word of the Lord unto 9 me, saying, Son of man, hath not the house of Israel, the re

bellious house, said unto thee, What doest thou ? It was nat

ural for them to make the inquiry, and a strange instance of stu10 pidity if they did not. Say thou unto them, Thus saith the

Lord God; This burden [concerneth] the prince in Jerusa

lem, from whom the capiives have such high expectations, and Il all the house of Israel that (are) among them. Say, I (am)

your sign : like as I have done, so shall it be done unto them : 12 they shall remove [and] go into captivity. And the prince

that [is] among them shall bear upon (his) shoulder in the twilight his valuable things or necessary firovisions, and shall go forth : they shall dig through the wall to carry out there

by: he shall cover his face, that he see not the ground with

(his eyes, and that he be not discovered; which was exactly 13 the case with Zedekiah. My net also will I spread upon him,

and he shall be taken in my snare : and I will bring him to

Babylon, (to) the land of the Chaldeans; yet shall he not see 14 it, though he shall die there. * And I will scatter toward

every wind all that [are] about him to help him, and all his bands, or guards, 80 that they shall not be able to rally their forces

for his deliverance, and I will draw out the sword after them. 15 And they shall know that I sam] the LORD, when I shall scat

ter them among the nations, and disperse them in the coun16 tries. But I will leave a few men of them from the sword,

from the famine, and from the pestilence ; that they may declare all their abominations among the heathen whither they come ; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD ; some, though but few, shall remain ; they shall be humbled, make an ingenuous confession of their sin, justify my proceedings against

them, and thus give glory to the Lord. 17 18 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Son

of man, eat thy bread with quaking, and drink thy water with trembling and with carefulness; look with an air of anxiety

and terror, as if expecting that some one would come and take it, 19 away, or that it would be thy last ; And say unto the people of

the land, Thus saith the Lord God of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, (and) of the land of Israel; They shall eat their bread with carefulness, and drink their water with astonishment, that her land may be desolate from all that is therein, or rather, so that the land shall be desolate, there shall be no ful.

ness thereof, because of the violence of all them that dwell there20 in. And the cities that are inhabited shall be laid waste, and

the land shall be desolate ; and ye shall know that I (am) the

LORD. 21 22 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of

man, what [is] that proverb [that] ye have in the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth? are prolonged beyond what the prophets foretold, and

therefore there is no dependence to be placed ufron any vision, 23 Tell them therefore, Thus saith the Lord God; I will make

this proverb to cease, and they shall no more use it as a proverb

in Israel ; but say unto them, The days are at hand, and the 34 effect of every vision ; every vision shall take effect. For there

shall be no more any vain vision nor flattering divination with

This is a remarkable prediction ; he was taken and brought to the king of Babylon at Riblah; there sentence was given against hiin as a rebel, and his eyes were put out ; he was then carried to Babylon, and died there, but he did not see it, 2 Kings xxv. 5-7. Josephus tells us that Zedekiah thought this prophecy of Ezekiel inconsistent with that of Jeremiah, xxxiv. 3. and resolved to believe neither. Both however were literally ful. filled, and the event convinced him that they were not irreconcileable. Thus, blinded by infidelity, sinners rush on to that destruction against which they have been sufficiently warned.

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