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CHAP. LXIV. This is a continuation of the prayer begun in the former chapter. It
describes the case, and is intended for the use of the Jews in their present dispersed state, and not their captivity in Babylon, as some understand it.
In that thou wouldst rend the heavens, that thou wouldst
U come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence! Oh that God would look upon us, and show himself as visibly in our favour as he did to our fathers at mount Sinai,
when there was such thunder, lightning, and rain, as made the 2 mountains look as if they were melted down ; As [when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, or when the fire make the metals melt, and the waters boil, to make thy
name known to thine adversaries, [that] the nations may trem3 ble at thy presence. When thou didst terrible things [which] we looked not for, in our deliverance from Egypt, and al mount Sinai, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence. For since the beginning of the world (men) have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, (what] he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him ; or, as in the margin of our bibles, neither hath
the eye seen a God beside thee which doeth so for him that waiteth 5 for him.* Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh right
eousness, that is, thou meetest with thy favour, or with joy, those who serve thec cheerfully, [those that] remember thee in thy ways, who observe and own thy providence, and regard thee in every merciful and afflictive event : behold, thou art wroth ; for we have sinned : in those is continuance, and we shall be saved ; that is, in those ways of thine, especially thy ways of mercy,
there is continuance : thy mercy is everlasting, therefore we shall 6 be saved.t But we are all as an unclean [thing,] and all our
righteousnesses (are) as filthy rags ; our best services are in perfect, defective, and mixed with pollution : and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away ;
as the wind doth a withered leaf, thou hast driven us out of out 7 land, and deprived us of good. And [there is) none that calleth
upon thy name, none who is carnest in his intercession for us, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee, to avert the judgment ; an allusion to holding a man's hand when he is going to
strike : for, or rather, therefore, thou hast hid thy face from us, 8 and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. But now, O
LORD, thou (art) our father ; we are the clay, and thou our potter ; and we all (are] the work of thy hand.
This speaks the unsearchable wisdom and ice of God in his scheme for the salvation of his people; as if he had said, Thou hast not yet done thy urmost, there is still aulc in reserve.
† lowth translatis it ; L. 11 artinya (For we lose sinned) bicause of war berds for w:have been pre lliun.
9 Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity
for ever : behold, see, we beseech thee, we [are] all thy people; 10 thy peculiar, covenant people, and not thy creatures only. Thy
holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a
desolation, even Sion and Jerusalem, the upper and lower city, and il all the cities of the holy land also, are desolate. Our holy and our
beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee, is burned up
with fire : and all our pleasant things are laid waste ; not only 12 the temple, but the palace and the synagogues are destroyed. Wilt
thou refrain thyself for these things,] O Lord? wilt thou hold thy peace, and afflict us very sore ? IVilt thou neither show compassion to us, nor execute judgment upon those that oppress us?
1. I ET us learn to entertain high thoughts of the power, wis
I dom, and goodness of God. What a beautiful idea of them is there in this chapter ! He is able, and intends, to do what his people have never seen nor heard of before ; something beyond their highest conception. The apostle accommodates this remark to the gospel dispensation, 1 Cor. ii. 9. Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man to conceive, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him ; because it revealed glorious things, which human wisdom could not discover. It is also applicable to the future state of the righteous ; for we can form no idea equal to what God intends for them. As we desire to be the objects of divine favour, and to share in the blessings of his people, let us wait for him in the way of duty, and love him with all our hearts.
2. Let us observe the character of good men, as it is here described ; examine ourselves by it, and endeavour to answer it in our conduct. He will meet them who rejoice and work righteousness, who are faithful and constant in the discharge of their whole duty, and who do it cheerfully. Let us rejoice in God, in our relation and obligations to him. Let us remember him in his ways, whether of judgment or mercy; and accommodate our temper to his various providences. He will then meet us ; admit us to converse with him ; visit us with his favour, and show himself as our friend and helper.
3. We are taught our duty in times of public trouble, and that is, humbly to bewail our sins before God ; our guilt and pollution, and the imperfection of our righteousness; to deprecate the continuance of his anger, and entreat his kind and powerful appearances for us ; to seek his mercy to remove our calamities, and his grace to reform our manners. On this errand we may comfortably apply to him, as our Creator and Father, who has shown so much goolness in our creation and support ; and much more, as our God in Jesus Christ. But let us remember, that if we desire these blessings, we
must stir un ourselves to take hold on God; do all we can to quicken our spirits ; and engage all that is within us in this important work. Then we may hope that our prayers will prevail, and that God will stir up his strength, and come and save us.
This chapter is an answer to the people's complaint in the foregoing one,
of God's rejecting them ; informing them that it was for their sins, especially their rejection of Christ, when the Gentiles received him ; and it concludes with promises of their future restoration.
I AM sought of (them that) asked not (for me ;) I am found 1 of [them that] sought me not ; I am sought now of them that asked not after me before, (thus St. Paul interprets the words, Rom. ix. 25, &c. and ch. x. 20.) I said, Behold me, behold me,
unto a nation (that) was not called by my name; I manifested 2 myself to them, and invited them to seek me. I have spread out
my hands all the day with great earnestness unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way (that was) not good, after their
own thoughts ; after their corrupt doctrines and superstitious ways 3 of worship; A people that provoketh me to anger continually
to my face ; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense up. 4 on altars of brick; Which remain among the graves, and dodge
in the monuments, who use abominable rites in honour of the dead, or to consult them, which eat swine's flesh, though forbidden by the law, because used in idolatrous rites among the heathen, and
broth of abominable [things is in] their vessels, such as a kid 5 seethed in its mother's milk ;* Which say, Stand by thyself, come
not near to me ; for I am holier than thou ; valuing themselves on their own sanctity, and counting others unclean and profane: an exact description of the character of the Pharisees in Christ's time.
These (are) a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the 6 day; they are offensive, as the smoke of wet wood. Behold,
[it is] written before me, I will not forget it; I will not keep
silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom, 7 Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith
the LORD, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills : therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom ; I will take their former and lai. ter sins into account when I come to punish them as a nation. Nevertheless there shall be a remnant according to the election of grace : for
• It is objected that this cannot be applied to the Jews after their captivity, becanse they were then free from idolatry; but it may refer partly to the idolatry of their fathers, as in 6. 7. It chiefly describes their wickedness in Christ's time, in language taken from their an. cient manner of transgressing ; it is a kind of proverbial expression for worshipping God in a way that he hath not directed, as incense and a pure sacrifice are put for gospel worship; or It may refer to their complying with popish idolatry to avoid persecution, as arany of the Jews yet do. Vol. V.
8 Thus saith the LORD, as the new wine, or rather, a good grafie,
is found in the cluster, and (one] saith, Destroy it not, for a blessing [is] in it: so will I do for my servants' sakes, that I may not destroy them all; as when a man who is pruning a vine, and cutting out the dead branches, sees a cluster likely to ripen, he leaves it, saying, these will become good grapes ; 50 some of the Jews shall be converted, and some of the unbelievers shall be spared, in
hope that a better generation will rise out of them : as it follows ; 9 And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an
inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my 10 servants shall dwell there. And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks,
and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me.*
But ye (are) they that forsake the LORD, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, for Gad, and
that furnish the drink offering into that number, that is, 10 12 Meni.t But because ye choose a number of idols, Therefore will
I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter : because when I called, ye did not answer ; when I spake, ye did not hear ; but did evil before mine eyes, and did
choose (that) wherein I delighted not, what was most odious to 13 me. Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, my servants,
true believers in Christ, shall eat, but ye, unbelievers, shall be hungry : behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be
thirsty : behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be 14 ashamed : Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but
ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation 15 of spirit. And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my
chosen ; according to the proverb, “ He is as miserable as a Jew;' or the execration, God make thee like a Jew :' for the Lord God shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name, that is,
Christians ; or in general it may mean, that he will show them 16 peculiar favour: That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall
bless himself in the God of truth ; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth ; because the former troubles, or when the former provocations, are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes; there shall be an ulter ertirpation of idolatry, superstition, and wickedness, from among
them. 17 For, behold, I create new heavens, and a new earth : and the
former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind ; the final
conversion of the Jews shall be a new and glorious state of things, 18 superior to any before. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever, or,
for the age 10 come, [in that] which I create : for, behold I cre 19 ate Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will
rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in ny people : and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying ;
• Sharon lay to the west, and Achor to the cast; so that it intimates, that the whole country should be peopled and become fruitful.
# It is uncertain what particular idols these were.
20 ihe former occasions of grief shall cease. There shall be no more
thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days : for the child shall die an hundred years old ; but the sinner [being] an hundred years old shall be accurscd ; (figures taken from the antediluvian stale :) men shall live 10 a great age, and not die when they begin to grow old; he that is an hundred years old shall be reckoned but as a child ; and if a man die at an hundred years, he shall be esteemed a grievous sinner, who hath
provoked God, by some aggravated offence, to shorten his days. 21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit (them ;) and they shall 22 plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build,
and another inhabit ; they shall not plant, and another eat : for as the days of a tree (are] the days of my people, they shall re
vive as a free does in the spring, and mine elect shall long enjoy 23 the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor
bring forth for trouble ; for they (are) the seed of the blessed of
the Lord, and their offspring with them; their children shall 24 live, shall be well provided for, and be a holy seed. And it shall
come to pass, that before they call, I will answer ; and while
they are yet speaking, I will hear ; I will prevent them with the 25 blessings of my goodness. The wolf and the lamb shall feed to
gether, and the lion shall eat s!raw like the bullock : and dust [shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD ; there shall be no pier. secution nor severity among them, but perfect harmony and friend. ship; the serpent shall not fly upon men and bite them, but appear as an innocent reptile.*
i. I ET us bless God that he hath fulfilled his promise to the
I Gentiles. They knew not God, por did they seek after him; but he made himself known to them ; invited them to seek him, and return to him. This is the happy case of our land. ( that we may be duly sensible of the divine goodness herein. When he calls to us, let us hear his voice and learn his ways ; and let not our ministers have reason to complain of any of us, that they have stretched out their hands to a disobedient and rebellious people.
2. We may observe how offensive spiritual pride is to God. A black character is here given of the Jews, and no part of it is represented to be so offensive to God as their hypocrisy and self conceit, which generally go together. This is illustrated by our Lord's reproof of the pharisees. They trusted that they were rightrous, and despised others; looked upon all who did not observe their superstitions, as unclean. A temper much resembling this is too common among christians, which discovers itself in their unreasonable attachment either to some peculiar notions which they term orthodoxy, OT
• Bp Sherlock understands it as referring to the sentence on the serpent at the fill, that Satan shonld be subdued and bound, be stripped of his influence over the souls of nici), and ine curse of God executed upon him and his secd.