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he was to foretell the destruction of the people and city as then

begun, and the event would confirm the truth of his mission. 3 And utter a parable unto the rebellious house, and say unto

them, Thus saith the Lord God ; Set on a pot, set [it] on, and also pour water into it ; a reference 10 Jeremiah's seeing

a caldron, and the people's saying, This city, the caldron, is as 4 safe as if surrounded with brazen walls : Gather the pieces

thereof into it, [even] every good piece, the thigh, and the

shoulder ; fill [it] with the choice bones, the chief of the people. 5 Take the choice of the flock, and burn also the bones under

it, (and) make it boil well, and let them seethe the bones of it

therein ; let it bcil till the water is evaporated, the flesh torn to 6 pieces, and even the bones softened. Wherefore thus saith the

Lord GOD; Wo to the bloody city, to the pot whose scum
[is] therein, and whose scum is not gone out of it ! bring it
out piece by piece ; the principal men shall be brought out and
slain : let no lot fall upon it ; there shall be no lot cast which to
take and which to save, for all, one way or other, shall be destroy-
ed. For her blood, that is, the blood shed by her, is in the
midst of her ; she set it upon the top of a rock; she poured

it not upon the ground, to cover it with dust ; she committed 8 her crueliies openly, she took no pains to conceal them ; That it

might cause fury to come up to take vengeance : I have set

her blood upon the top of a rock, that it should not be covered; 9 her punishment shall be as notorious as her sins. Therefore

thus saith the Lord God; Wo to the bloody city ! I will 10 even make the pile for fire great. Heap on wood, kindle

the fire, consume the flesh, and spice it well, and let the bones be burned ; I will bring upon them utter destruction : and it

shall be as agreeable to the Chaldean soldiers to destroy and plun11 der them, as well seasoned meal is to the palate. Then set it emp.

ty upon the coals thereof, that the brass of it may be hot, and may be burned, and [that] the filthiness of it may be molten in it, [that] the scum of it may be consumed ; which

intimates, that the city itself should be destroyed, since the scum 12 or filth that cleaved to the pot would not be separated. She hath

wearied (herself) with lies, with idolatry, and vain confidence in allies, and her great scum, that is, her wickedness, went not forth out of her ; all the admonitions of the prophets were in

vain : her scum (shall be] in the fire ; her wickedness shall be 13 punished in the fire that burns the city. In thy filthiness [is]

lewdness ; great corruption and impudence : because I have purged thee, that is, have attempted to purge thee, and thou wast not purged, thou shalt not be purged from thy filthiness

any more, till I have caused my fury to rest upon thee; till I 14 have brought upon thee the destruction I intended. I the LORD

have spoken [it :) it shall come to pass, and I will do [it ;] I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent ;

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according to thy ways, and according to thy doings, shall they

judge thee, saith the Lord God; I will be absolutely inexora· ble, and fulfil my threatenings to the utmost. 15 16 Also the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of

man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes, thy wife, the object of thy love and affection, with a stroke ; yet

neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run 17 down. Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind

the tire, or turban, of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, thou shali not go barcheaded and barefoot, as is usual in mourning, and cover not (thy) lips, by putting a veil over the head, and eat not the bread of men, the provisions which their relations used to send in upon such occasions, as supa

posing the mourners not inclined to dress any for themselves ; in 18 a word, use none of the customary forms of mourning. So I

spake unto the people in the morning: and at even my wife died ; and I did in the morning as I was commanded ; I went

abroad without mourning. 19 And the people said unto me, Wilt thou not tell us what

these [things are) to us, that thou doest (so ?] They were surprized that Ezekiel, whose temper was 80 affectionate, was not concerned for the loss of a good wife, and imagined there was

something extraordinary in the case, perhaps they fancied it sige 20 nified something favourable to them. Then I answered them, 21 The word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Speak unto the

house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the temple which you are 80 fond of, shall be delivered to the heathen, the excellency of your strength, the desire of your eyes, and that which your soul pitieth, or affecteth, and whereon you rely for security ; and your sons and your daughters whom ye have left, and who

were as dear to you, as my wife was to me, shall fall by the 22 sword. And ye shall do as I have done : ye shall not cover 23 (your) lips, nor eat the bread of men. And your tires [shall

be) upon your heads, and your shoes upon your feet : ye shall not mourn nor weep : but ye shall pine away for your iniquities, and mourn one toward another ; ye shall have no heart to mourn for your nearest relations ; ye shall be quite a.

mazed and stupid ; ye shall look on one another with dismal 24 countenances, and yet have no true repentance. Thus Ezekiel

is unto you a sign, to show you what shall be your condition : according to all that he hath done shall ye do: and when this cometh, ye shall know that I [am] the Lord God; that your

idols are vain, and that my hand is in all these judgments, 23 Also, thou son of man, (shall it] not [be] in the day when

I take from them their strength, the joy of their glory, the desire of their eyes, and that whereupon they set their minds, their sons and their daughters; when I take away their temple,

26 their city, their relations, and comforts ; (That] he that escapeth

in that day shall come unto thee, to cause (thee) to hear [it]

with (thine) ears ? some one shall come and tell thee the news. 27 In that day shall thy mouth be opened to him which is es.

caped, and thou shalt speak, and be no more dumb : and thou shalt be a sign unto them; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD : for a year and a half no message from God was sent to them ; for Ezekiel prophesied only concerning other nations ; and there was an expressive language in his silence, if they had been wise enough to attend to it.

REFLECTIONS.

1. INTE may reflect upon the dreadful case of those, on whon

VV ordinances and providences have no good effect; to whom messengers, predictions, instructions, threatenings, and lesser judgments have been sent, but all in vain. God would have purged the Jews, but they would not be purged. They never considered his intentions, nor put away those sins for which he contended with them, but were made worse, rather than þetter, by them. This is the desperate case of many sinners still ; and It is an awful consideration that it should be so. But God will be true to his threatenings, v. 14. God grant that we may never know by our own experience what such denunciationsmean.

2. The prophet's being commanded not to mourn for his wife suggests some important instructions to us. We may have a. greeable relations, especially yoke fellows, the desire of the eyes ; most pleasing objects, and delightful relatives. But they are mortal ; may be removed by a stroke, suddenly and unexpected. lv. Let us consider them in this light. Those who have wives, or other beloved friends, should be as though they had pone ; should not depend too much upon them for happiness here, but by mutual piety and kindness, lay a foundation for eternal friend. ship. Let us remember it is the stroke of God that removes. them. Behold, I take away. This is a reason for humble submission. We may weep, but it should be under the restraints of reason and religion. Let us guard against excess of grief; and be careful to improve such afflictive events ; that we be not sloth. ful, but followers of them, who through faith and patience inherit the Aromi8c8.

3. See how foolish it is to set our minds on earthly things; fine houses, substance, or even relations, v. 23. The heart follows the eye; we forget their fading nature ; our affection for them lessens our concern about unseen things. But they are all fading ; and if we set our minds upon them, it may provoke God to take them away. Let us then be concerned to walk by faith ; to set our minds on better objects; to look not on things that are seen and temporal, but on those that are unseen and eternal.

CHAP. XXV.

This chapter contains threatenings of the heavy judgments of God against the Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, and Philistincs, on account of their hatred to his people, and their insulting them in the time of their distress.

I THE word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,

2 1 Son of man, set thy face against the Ammonites, and 3 prophesy against them ; And say unto the Ammonites, Hear

the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord God; Because thou saidst, Aha, against my sanctuary, when it was profaned ; and against the land of Israel, when it was desolate ; and against the house of Judah, when they went into captivity ; because thou didst this through jealousy of Israel as a rival, and hatred to their religion ; Behold, therefore, I will deliver thee to the men of the east for a possession, that is, to the Chaldeans, who lay north east, (and who came and destroyed this country about five years after this prophecy ; upon which the Arabians came and took possession of it,) and they shall set their palaces in thee, and make their dwellings in thee ; that is, the Arabians shall crect their tents, and take up

their dwellings, as in a conquered country : they shall eat thy 9 fruit, and they shall drink thy milk. And I will make Rab

bah, the royal city, a stable for camels, and the country of the Ammonites a couching place for flocks: and ye shall know that I (am) the LORD, the God of Israel, and the Lord of the whole earth. For thus saith the Lord God; Because thou hast clapped [thine) hands, and stamped with the feet, and re. joiced in heart, with all thy despite against the land of Israel ; thal is, hast showed prodigious spite and malice ; which was the more shameful, as they knew that Nebuchadnezzar intended to come against them, and that he was in debate with himself whether he should come against them or Jerusalem first : Behold, therefore, I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and will deliver thee for a spoil to the heathen ; and I will cut thee off from the people, and I will cause thee to perish out of the countries : I will destroy thee ; and thou shall know that I (am) the LORD.

Thus saith the Lord God; Because that Moab and Seir, the posterity of Lot and Esau, do say, Behold, the house of

Judah [is] like unto all the heathen in apostacy and calamity, 9 and is not distinguished by the visible protection of God; There

fore, behold, I will open the side of Moab from the cities, from his cities (which are] on his frontiers, the glory of the ountry, Bethjeshimoth, Baalmeon, and Kiriathaim; the exo

12

my shall enter in at the frontiers, destroy the principal cities and 10 the whole country, and thus I will give the Mobiles also Un

to the men of the east with the Ammonites, and will

give them in possession, that the Ammonites may not be Il remembered among the nations. And I will execute

judgments upon Moab ; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD.

Thus saith the Lord GOD ; Because that Edom, the de. scendants of Esau, hath dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and hath greatly offended, and revenged himself upon them ; not only in encouraging the Chaldeans,

saying, raze it, raze it, but they themselves making inroads upon 13 it ; Therefore thus saith the Lord God; I will also stretch

out mine hand upon Edom, and will cut off man and beast from it ; and I will make it desolate from Teman, on the

south ; and they of Dedan, on the north, shall fall by the sword; 14 all the inhabitants of the country shall be destroyed. And I

will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel ; and they shall do in Edom according to mine anger and according to my fury; and they shall know my vengeance, saith the Lord God; referring to the conquest of the Edomites by the Maccabees, and especially to Hircanus, an high priest of that family, about four hundred and fifty years

afier this. 15 Thus saith the Lord GOD ; Because the Philistines have

dealt by revenge, and have taken vengeance with a despiteful heart, to destroy [it,] that is, the land of Judea, for the old

hatred, on account of the old enmity between them and Israel ; 16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GoD ; Behold, I will stretch

out mine hand upon the Philistines, and I will cut off the 17 Cherethims, and destroy the remnant of the sea coasts. And

I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes ; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them ; this was ful. filled when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the Philistines a fewe years after. *

REFLECTIONS.

1. LJOW weak is all the glory of man, when God sets him

11 self against it! The strongest and most populous cities, the glory of a country, are easily taken and destroyed, when God opens the sides of them, and gives their enemies liberty to enter. Whoever are the instruments of destroying the glory of king.

• There might probably be some method of sending these prophecies by letter to the princes and leading men of those nations, to reprove their vices, and to give them warning of the judgments coming upon them; at least they confirmed the prophet's mission, and answered very important purposes to the Israelites.

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