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4 that is, upon uncertain reports : But with righteousness shall he
judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall defend the poor, and condemn their oppressors :
and he shall smite the earth with the rod, or sword, of his mouth, 5 and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.* And
righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the
girdle of his reins; he shall have a strict regard to justice and · 6 integrity, which, like a girdle, adorn and defend a person. The
wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie
down with the kid ; and the calf and the young lion and the fat7 ling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow
and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together : 8 and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child
shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den ; a beautiful image, especially as Those countries abounded with gvild beasts and serpents : the meaning is, that Jews and Gentiles should be united, the irregular tempers
of men corrected, so that the mischievous should become innocent 9 and useful, and a peaceable disposition universally prevail. They
shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain ; (a proof that the above expressions are all figurative :) for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea ; knowledge and holiness shall be promoted, and the effect shall be meekness, peace, and love. The remainder of the chapter refers
to the conversion of the Jews in the latter day. 10 And in that day there shall be a branch out of the root of Jesse,
which shall stand for an ensign of the people, to gather them together, (Rom. xv. 12.) to it shall the gentiles seek : and his rest
shall be glorious, that is, the church, where he rests and dwells, To shall be glorious by the accession of the gentiles. And it shall
come to pass in that day, in the illustrious time I am speaking of, [that] the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, as he did first out of Babylon, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea, that is, all coun
tries on the sea coast as well as islands, and refers to these western 12 parts of the world. And he shall set up an ensign for the na
tions, that is, the doctrine of the gospel, and shall assemble the
outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah 13 from the four corners of the earth. The envy also of Ephraim
shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off :
Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim, 14 they shall cease from onen hostilities and secret animosities. But
they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west ; they shall spoil them of the east together : they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them; these being the ancient enemies of Israel, are put
• This is applied to antichrist, Rro. xix. 15. The Lord shall destroy him.
figuratively for the enemies of the christian church; and the passage
intimates, that the converted Jews shall triumph over all that oppose 15 their return to their own land. And the Lord shall utterly de.
stroy the tongue, or bay, of the Egyptian sea ; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make [men] go over dry
shod ; he shall overcome all opposition in their way, as he divided 16 the Red sea for Israel to go out of Egypi.* And there shall be
an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left from Assyria ; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt; there shall be a free passage, and all difficulties shall be removed which hinder their return,
1. THE extraordinary endowments of Christ, as a teacher and
1 king, render him worthy of the highest regard. He was gloriously qualified for his work by the spirit which was given him without measure, He had all treasures of wisdom and knowledge, for his own use, and to bestow on his people. Meekness and courage, wisdom and strength, justice and gentleness, were united in him. Happy are the subjects of such a prince, the disciples of such a teacher ! And blessed be God for his high exaltation and glorious qualifications ; so that in him we may safely trust. And that his churches every where may be glorious, by the supply of the spirit which is in Christ!
2. How solicitous should we be to answer the design of his gospel, and to have these illustrious prophecies of its good effects fulfilled in us. Let us make it appear that we are christians indeed, by the peaceableness and gentleness of our disposition, the softness and sweetness of our tempers! Let nothing malicious, revengeful, sour, contentious, or unkind, be ever found in us. Let us cultivate peace ; labour to promote each other's happiness; and in this, foi. low on to know the Lord ; and by increasing in our acquaintance with him, who is love, be conformed to his image, and walk in love, even as Christ hath loved us.
3. Let us rejoice in the prospect of that day, when christianity shall have a more illustrious triumph, and Jews and Gentiles be gathered into his church. It is delightful to think, when we hear of the poor Jews dispersed and evil entreated every where, that there is mercy in store for them ; that they shall at length become christians, and be as much esteemed and beloved as they are now hated and despised. Many signs and wonders will introduce and attend this great event. God will overcome all difficulties which lie in tive way, and in the mean time, our heart's desire and prayer for Israel should be that they may be saved.
• This is expressed in Rev. xvi 12. by drying up Euphrates.
The conclusion of the former chafter referred to the glory of the latter
day, when Jews and Gentiles shall be gathered into the church, its enemies be destroyed, and peace restored ; this chapter is a thanksgiving which they are directed to use at that time ; it represents to them what sentiments they should entertain, and how they should express them. It consists of two parts ; in the first three verses there is a call 10 God's people to stir wp themselves to the work of praise ; in the other three verses they are directed to stir up one another, and endeavour to engage all about them to join in it.
1 A ND in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise
n thee : thougli thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me ; though thou didst punish and disperse thy people, the tokens of thine anger are now removed, and their blessings restored ; thou hast given them cause 2 and hearts to praise thee. Behold, observe it as a great, wonder
ful, and unexpected event, God [is] my salvation; he hath brought salvation suited to our circumstances, and every way worthy of God; I will trust, and not be afraid : for the LORD JEHOVAH,the eternal and unchangeable God, the author and giver of all our strength, [is] my strength and (my) song, that is, the subject matter of my song ; he also is become my salvation ; he hath
manifested himself as our saviour in the most remarkable manner, 3 and shall have all the glory. Therefore, as the consequence of
God's kind interposirion, with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation ; ye shall have abundance of divine joy and comfort in altending upon ordinances, to which ye shall be restored and
admitted ; springs of salvation shall then break up, and ye shall reA ceive refreshment with unutterable joy.* And in that day shall
ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted;
ye shall not only praise him yourselves, but tell the world what he 5 has done for you, and record it for the benefit of posterity. Sing
unto the LORD ; for he hath done excellent things : this [is] known in all the earth ; the blessings he hath bestowed are truly
valuable, are not confined to the Jews, but extend over the whole 6 earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion ; 118e the
strongest expressions and demonstrations of thankfulness and joy : for great[is] the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee; he hath manifested his greatness in thy deliverance, and his holiness too ; his faithfulness to his promise and covenant ; and he is still in the midst of thee, to defend thee from danger, secure thy firivileges and prolong thy peace,
Here is an allusion to the state of Israel in the wilderness ; when thirsty and really to perish, Goi cused springs to rise up for them; and they received the water with joy and singing. Religious ordinances and communications of the spirit, are often representes under this image.
REFLECTIONS. ITE are led from hence to ascribe the praise of all our
peace and comfort, to God. Whatever deliverances we have, whatever comforts have been restored, or continued, all is owing to the care and favour of Jehovah. Let us cherish a grateful temper ; sing praises to him with our voice ; and not be low, dull, and lifeless in this most reasonable and delightful work.
2. The people of God should heartily join in presenting their public thanks to him. Every one should say this for himself, and say it together, that God is our strength and salvation ; especially is he so in our redemption through Christ Jesus, that great salvation to which all the prophets bore witness. Let us be thankful, that it is an extensive as well as a glorious salvation ; that it is known through all the earth. Let us speak of it one to another, and mention it to our children, that they also may thank God for his unspeakable gift.
3. Divine ordinances should be attended with pleasure. Those wells of salvation are opened to us ; there is no enemy to stop them or divert their course ; and we ought to come to them with as much relish as a thirsty, perishing traveller would come to a spring of water. Here we may drink, not only for our present refreshment, but to gain strength for the discharge of all the duties of life. How ungrateful to God is it to say, What a weariness is it ! He expects that we be joyful in his house of prayer ; he bath done every thing to make us so, and he loveth a cheerful worshipper.
4. Former experiences of God's goodness are an encouragement to trust in him. He has often been our salvation, when we have been in imminent danger ; hath given us his Son to be our saviour : and the Holy One of Israel is still in the midst of us, to guard his churches, and secure the happiness of all his people. And while we praise him for past favours, let us further call upon his name, and commit all our concerns to his good providence, for thus he commands us, Be careful for nothing ; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving make known your requests unto God.
The prophet proceeds to foretell the calamities of the neighbouring naa
tions, particularly those that Israel was some way or other concern. ed with ; and begins with Babylon, that would be a cruel oppressor to them,
irTHE burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz 2 I did see.* Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain,
lo gather the soldiers together, exalt the voice unto them, as they
• A burden signifies in general, a weighty, important matter; but sometimes, as here, a burdensome prophecy, that foretells the rain of a country. It was near two hundred years after this, that Babylon was taken by Cyrus; its ruin, and that entire desolation which this chapter describes, was an event utterly beyond all human foresight, and exceedingly improbable to be conjectured.
do that would enlist them, shake the hand, beckon with the hand for them to come, that they may go into the gates of the nobles ;
that they may enlist under great officers ; or it may refer to the 3 seizing of Babylon, and pilundering its palaces. I have command
ed my sanctified ones, those whom I have called, separated, and firepared for the service, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, [even) them that rejoice in my highness; who shall cheerfully execute those commands which display my greaness and glory, though they do not consider it as such. The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people ; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together,
crowding together to my standard ; the LORD of hosts muster5 eth the host of the battle. They come from a far country,
from the end of heaven, (even] the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land ; referring to the troops of Media and Persia, and the auxiliaries Cyrus had from many other nations ; all regular and well disciplined soldiers, and
God's instruments to destroy the whole land af Chaldea. 6 Howl ye ; for the day of the Lord [is] at hand ; it shall
come as a destruction from the Almighty, and as such shall be 7 irresistible. Therefore shall all hands be faint, not able to hold
their weapons, and every man's heart shall melt with fear, so 8 that he shall have no spirit to resist. And they shall be afraid :
pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth : they shall be amazed one at another, thinking the city impregnaile ; and when it is taken,
spreading consternation from one to another ; their faces (shall be 9 as] flames, black and ghastly, as when scorched by the flames. Be
hold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate : and he shall destroy the
sinners, the idolatrous, cruel, and luxurious inhabitants thereof out 10 of it. For the stars of heaven, and the constellations thereof
shall not give their light; the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine ; a common description in the prophets of the removal of every thing that gives comfort and encouragement to a nation ; and here, of the
universal gloom and melancholy that should spread over the land of il Chaldea. And I will punish the world, or the kingdom of Baby
lon, for [their] evil, and the wicked for their iniquity ; and I will
cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the 12 haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a man, that is, a com
mon man, more precious than fine gold ; even a man, that is, a gallant man, than the golden wedge of Ophir. An elegant and beautiful description ! There shali hardly be a man to be found,
such havock shall be made of them; they shall be so scarce, that 13 they cannot be hired for any money. Therefore I will shake the
heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger ;
such shall be their terror and confusion, as if the heavens and earth 14 were jumbled together. And it shall be as the chased roe, and