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nace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ve shall know that I the LORD have poured out my fury upon

you. 23 24 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of

man, say unto her, Thou art the land [that] is not cleansed, nor rained upon in the day of indignation ; not cleansed

by judgments, nor improved by the warnings of prophets. 25 [There is) a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof,

like a roaring lion, ravening the prey ; they have devoured souls ; they have taken the treasure and precious things ; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof; bea

reaving women of their husbands, that is, putting them to death 26 by false accusations, and then plundering their treasures. Her

priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things : they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they showed [difference] between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabe baths, and I am profaned among them : they have made no difference themselves between clean and unclean food, between holy and common times and places, nor have they taught the peo

ple to do it ; they have put contempt on my sabbaths, and neg37 lected public worship. Her princes in the midst thereof (are?

like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, [and] to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain. And her prophets have daubed them with untempered (mortar,] seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord God, when the LORD hath not spoken ; the false prophets have encouraged and countenanced this wickedness, in princes and people, and are bea

come the tools of an oppressive and tyrannical government, 29 The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised

robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy ; yea, they have 30 oppressed the stranger wrongfully. And I sought for a man

among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it : who should interpose to prevent the judgmenis which are entering in at the breach their sins have made : but I found none ; therefore their ruin is inevitable. Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath : their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord Gop.

REFLECTIONS.

1. VORGETFULNESS of God is the source of all wicked

T ness. After the black catalogue of Israel's sins, it is added, v. 12. and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord God. Men forget that he is their creator and preserver ; they forget their dependence upon him, and obligations to him ; the value of his favours, and the terrors of his wrath. It is strange that they should thus forget, surrounded as they are with proofs of these things. But alas ! it is the general character. This not only brings men to despise sabbaths, and neglect ordinances ; but it makes them oppressors, talebearers, despisers of parents ; it leads them to falsehood, perfidy, and murder. Let us beware then that we forget not the Lord our God; but let the desire of our souls be to him, and to the remembrance of his name:

2. How awful a thing is it to fall into the hands of the living God ! v. 14. God will deal with men as a judge. Ignorant and brutish people fear it not ; they think they can bear up under the weight of his anger, and therefore make light of his judgments ; but they are dreadfully mistaken. No heart can endure it. Who knows the power of his anger ? Flee then from the wrath to come ; flee to Christ, who delivers from it, that God may deal with you in mercy, and not in judgment.

3. See what is our duty with regard to our nation. The thir. tieth verse gives an instructive view of this. Sin makes gaps, at which judgments come in. There is a way of making them up; by repentance and reformation of ourselves ; admonitions to others, and fervent prayer. God expects that all serious persons should attempt this ; he is pleased when they do so, their attempts shall not be in vain. And every one may thus be a friend and benefactor to his country. But when there are few such, and those few are despised by the multitude, it is a sad symptom of approaching ruin. Let us exert all our influence to prevent this; that we may have the honour to be called, repairers of breaches, and restorers of paths to dwell in.

CHAP. XXIII.

The idolatries of Samaria and Jerusalem are represented in this chapter by the lewd practices of two common harlots ; for chich God denounces severe judgments against them.*

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THE word of the Lord came again unto me, saying,

1 Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of 3 one mother. And they committed whoredoms in Egypt ;

they committed whor_doms in their youth : there were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their vir• A ginity. And the names of them [were] Aholah the elder,

* Mr. Orton did not read this chapter in public, and therefore passed it over without any notes or reflections. Bp. Newcome says, 'The style of this chapter, like that of the sixteenth, is adapted to men among whom at that time no refinement subsisted.' Large allowance must be made for language addressed to an ancient Eastern people, in the worst period of their history; all whose ideas were sensual, and whose grand inducement to idela arty seems to have been the brutal impurities which it cncouraged.

and Aholibah her sister: and they were mine, and they bare

sons and daughters. Thus (were] their names ; Samaria 5 [is] Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah. And Aholah played

the harlot when she was mine ; and she doted on her lovers, 6 on the Assyrians [her] neighbours, [Which were] clothed

with blue, captains and rulers, all of them desirable young 7 men, horsemen riding upon horses. Thus she committed

her whoredoms with them, with all them (that were) the

chosen men of Assyria, and with all on whom she doted : with 8 all their idols she defiled herself. Neither left she her whore.

doms [brought] from Egypt : for in her youth they lay with her, and they bruised the breasts of her virginity, and poured 9 their whoredom upon her. Wherefore I have delivered her

into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians up10 on whom she doted. These discovered her nakedness: they

took her sons and her daughters, and slew her with the

sword : and she became famous among women ; for they 11 had executed judgment upon her. And when her sister A.

holibah saw (this,] she was more corrupt in her inordinate

love than she, and in her whoredoms more than her sister in 12 [her] whoredoms. She doted upon the Assyrians [her]

neighbours, captains and rulers clothed most gorgeously,

horsemen riding upon horses, all of them desirable young 13 men. Then I saw that she was defiled, [that] they (took] 14 both one way, And [that] she increased her whoredoms : for

when she saw men pourtrayed upon the wall, the images of 15 the Chaldeans pourtrayed with vermilion, Girded with girdles

upon their loins, exceeding in dyed attire upon their heads, all

of them princes to look to, after the manner of the Babyloni. 16 ans of Chaldea, the land of their nativity : And as soon as

she saw them with her eyes, she doted upon them, and sent. 17 messengers unto them into Chaldea. And the Babylonians

came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with

their whoredom, and she was polluted with them, and her 18 mind was alienated from them. So she discovered her whore

doms, and discovered her nakedness : then my mind was ali

enated from her, like as my mind was alienated from 19 her sister. Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, in cal

ling to remembrance the days of her youth, wherein she 20 had played the harlot in the land of Egypt. For she dot

ed upon their paramours, whose flesh sis as the flesh of asses, 21 and whose issue [is like) the issue of horses. Thus thou call

edst to remembrance the lewdness of thy youth, in bruising

thy teats by the Egyptians for the paps of thy youth. 22 Therefore, O A holibah, thus saith the Lord God; Behold,

I will raise up thy lovers against thee, from whom thy mind

is alienated, and I will bring them against thee on every side ; 23 The Babylonians, and all the Chaldeans, Pekod, and Shoa, and

VOL. VI.

H

Koa, (and) all the Assyrians with them : all of them desita.

ble young men, captains and rulers, great lords and renown34 ed, all of them riding upon horses. And they shall come a

gainst thee with chariots, waggons, and wheels, and with an assembly of people, (which) shall set against thee buckler and shield and helmet round about : and I will set judgment be

fore them, and they shall judge thee according to their judg35 ments. And I will set my jealousy against thee, and they

shall deal furiously with thee : they shall take away thy nose, and thine ears; and thy remnant shall fall by the sword:

they shall take thy sons and thy daughters ; and thy residue 26 shall be devoured by the fire. They shall also strip thee out 27 of thy clothes, and take away thy fair jewels. Thus will I

make thy lewdness to cease from thee, and thy whoredom
[brought] from the land of Egypt: so that thou shalt not lift

up thine eyes unto them, nor remember Egypt any more. 28 For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will deliver thee in

to the hand (of them) whom thou hatest, into the hand of 29 them) from whom thy mind is alienated : And they shall deal

with thee hatefully, and shall take away all thy labour, and shall leave thee naked and bare : and the nakedness of thy

whoredoms shall be discovered, both thy lewdness and whore30 doms. I will do these [things) unto thee, because thou hast

gone a whoring after the heathen, [and] because thou art pol. 31 luted with their idols. Thou hast walked in the way of thy 32 sister ; therefore will I give her cup into thine hand. Thus

saith the Lord God; Thou shalt drink of thy sister's cup

deep and large : thou shalt be laughed to scorn and had in 33 derision ; it containeth much. Thou shalt be filled with

drunkenness and sorrow, with the cup of astonishment and 34 desolation, with the cup of thy sister Samaria. Thou shalt:

cven drink it and suck [it] out, and thou shalt break the

sherds thereof, and pluck off thine own breasts : for I have 35 spoken (it) saith the Lord God. Therefore thus saith the

Lord God; Because thou hast forgotten me, and cast me behind thy back, therefore bear thou also thy lewdness and thy

whoredoms. 36 The LORD said moreover unto me ; Son of man, wilt thou

judge Aholah and Aholibah ? yea, declare unto them their 37 abominations ; That they have committed adultery, and blood

[is] in their hands, and with their idols have they committed adultery, and have also caused their sons, whom they bare un

to me, to pass for them through (the fire,] to devour [them.] 38 Moreover this they have done unto me : they have defiled my

sanctuary in the same day, and have profaned my sabbaths. 39 For when they had slain their children to their idols, then they

came the same day into my sanctuary to profane it ; and, lo, 40 thus have they done in the midst of mine house. And fur-. thermore, that ye have sent for men to come from far, unto whom a messenger (was] sent; and, lo, they came : for whom thou didst wash thyself, paintedst thy eyes, and deck. edst thyself with ornaments, And satest upon a stately bed, and a table prepared before it, whereupon thou hast set mine incense and mine oil. And a voice of a multitude being at ease (was) with her : and with the men of the common sort [were] brought Sabeans from the wilderness, which put brace

lets upon their hands, and beautiful crowns upon their heads. 43 Then said I unto (her that was) old in adulteries, Will they 14 now commit whoredoms with her, and she (with them?] Yet

they went in unto her, as they go in unto a woman that play. eth the harlot : so went they in unto Aholah and unto Aholi.

bah, the lewd women. 45 And the righteous men, they shall judge them after the

manner of adulteresses, and after the manner of women

that shed blood ; because they (are] adulteresses, and blood 46 [is] in their hands. For thus saith the Lord God; I will

bring up a company upon them, and will give them to be re47 moved and spoiled. And the company shall stone them with

stones, and dispatch them with their swords; they shall slay

their sons and daughters, and burn up their houses with fire. 48 Thus will I cause lewdness to cease out of the land, that all

women may be taught not to do after your lewdness. And they shall recompense your lewdness upon you, and ye shall bear the sins of your idols : and ye shall know that I (am) the Lord God.

CHAP. XXIV.

The prophet now tells those of the captivity the very day on whick

Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Jerusalem, (compare Jeremiah lii. 4.) and describes the fate of that city and its inhabitants by the similitude of a seething pot ; the pot signifies Jerusalem, the flesh and pieces, the inhabitants, and the coals and the water, the calamitier they were to endure. The prophet is also forbidden 10 mourn for his wife ; which intimates, that the sufferings of the Jews should surpass all expressions of grief ; and that privale sorrow ought to be absorbed in the public calamities.

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A GAIN in the ninth year, in the tenth month, in the

A tenth (day) of the month, the word of the LORD came 2 unto me, saying, Son of man, Write thee the name of the

day, [even) of this same day : the king of Babylon set himself against Jerusalem this same day ; a remarkable circumstance revealed to the prophes when at a very great distance off:

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