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Tins chapter contain* an entire prophecy. Under the symbol rfà linen girdle, left to rot near Euphrates, it foretells the manner ir. which the ghry of the Jews shall be marred during their long captivity in Chaldea.
\ r I ^HUS saith the Lord unto me, Go and get thee a linen
_I_ girdle, and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water;
do not wash it, let it be sailed; to intimate how the Jews had dt
2 ßled themselves. So I got a girdle according to the word of the
3 Lord, and put [it] on my loins And the word of the Lord
4 came unto me the second time, saying, Take the girdle that thou hast got, which [is] upon thy loins, and arise, go to Eu
5 phrates, and hide it there in a hole of the rock. So I went, and
6 hid it by Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me. And it came to pass after many days, that the Lord said unto me, Arise, go to Euphrates and take the girdle from thence, which
7 I commanded thee to hide there. Then I went to Euphrates, and digged, and took the girdle from the place where I had hid it: and, behold, the girdle was marred, it was profitable for nothing. Ли this was transacted in a -vision, the more strongly to impress
8 the mind of the prophet and the people. Then the word of the
9 Lord came unto me, saying, Thus saith the Lord, After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem: they shall be carried captive beyond Euphrates, and all theirßnery shall be defaced; thus -will I bring down the pride
10 of the countrymen and the citizens. This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.
11 For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the Lord; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would hot hear; they have been my peculiar people, have entered into covenant with me; they have been honoured -with my name, and a special relation to me, that I might be glorified by their showing forth my truth and praise to the world: but by their 4vickedness they are no more a glory to me, than a rotten, dirty girdle is to him thai weareth it.
12 Therefore thou shalt speak unto them this word ; Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Every bottle shall be filled with wine, (probably a common proverb) and they shall say unto thee, Do we not certainly know that every bottle shall be filled with wine ? they will make a jest of it, saying, Who dues not knuiv this? But the prophet is ordered to give them a terrible explanation of it.
13 Then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the Lord, Hehold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, even the Lings that sit
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upon David's throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness; / -will turn
14 them all to confusion, and fiut them to their wits end. And 1 will dfsh them one against another like bottles, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the Loud: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, bul destroy them.
15 Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud, so an to des/use what it
16 said to you: for the Lord hath spoken. Give glory to the Loiin your God, by confession, humiliition, and returning to him, before lie cause darkness, that ¡я, trouble and great affliction, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, when flying over the mountains by ni ¡¡hi from the sword of the Chaldeans, and, while ye look for light, and -wish for the morning, he turn it into
17 the shadow of death, [and] make [it] gross darkness. But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for [your] pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the Lord's flock is carried away captive,/br tl,at will be
IS the end of v nur firidc and obstinac y. Say unto the king and to the queen. Humble yourselves, sit down as mourners: for your principalities shall come down, [even] the crown of your glory; or, he will cause to fait from your heads the diadem of i/our glory: firobably referring to Jehoiakim and his mother, ('2 King» xxiv.
19 12.) who were carried cafitive by the king 'if Uabulon. The cities of the south shall be shut up, and none shall open [them :] Judah shall be carried away captive all of it, it snail be wholly carried away captive; all the cines shall be besieged or forsaken.
20 Lift up your eyes, and behold them that come from the north, thai is, the Chaldeans, (this is addressed to the king and governors :) where, [is] the flock [that] was given thee to lake care of, thy beautiful flock, which ;lau has/ neglected? w/at is become
21 of them ? to what »tare are they reduced? What wilt thou say when he, that is, God, shall punish thee? for thou hast taught them [tobe] captains, [and] as chief over thee ; thy regard to thy neighbours, nhall be thy ruin: shall not sorrows take thee, as
22 a woman in travail? And if thou say in thine heart, Wherefore come these things upon me? For the greatness of thine iniquity are thy skirts discovered, [and] thy heels made bare ; for this thou art carried away ca/itive, strifified of thy ufifn-r garments,
23 and barefoot. Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots ? [then] may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil ; so accustomed to it. that it is almost imfiostiNc tort claim
21 you, there i» no/iros/icct tfit. Therefore will I scatter them as the stubble that passeth away by the wind of the wildeincss.
25 This [is] thy lot, the portion of thy measures from me, saith the Lord ; because thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood ; in allies that deceived thee, and disafifiointed thy /irr4nnfi
26 tuoue hoftf». Therefore will I discover thy skirts upon thy face, that thy shame may appear ; an allusion to the way cf [iuni»hing
¿7 Ifimt wemen, by f>uhl>c!y ex/ioting them, I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, [and] thine abominations on the hills in the fields ; / lave teen thy idoia'ry, which is spiritual levuJness. Wo unto thee, O Jerusalem ! wilt thou not be made clean? when [shall it] once [be ?]
I uilt yet wail a wtii'c to see кЛп( effect ihent threatening* and cxfi(/stulatio?is will have, u/ion tlice.
1. "\Ж7"Е here see how much God is displeased with pride, V V whatever it be that we are proud of: and especially with those who think themselves too wise and good to be taught. God takes notice of the degrees of pride in the heart, though it do not appear to men. He observes the pride of the countrymen, and the greater pride of the citizens. Those who live in populous, wealthy places, are more apt lobe proud of their fine houses, furniture, and entertainments, than those who live in the country. But it is a sin that easily besets all ; and is particularly abominable in God's professing people. He has many ways of marring it and bringing it down. Let us therefore examine our own hearts, guard against self conceit, and earnestly pray that we may be clothed with humility.
2. The prospect of approaching evils should lend us to humiliation and amendment of u hat is amiss, 7'. 16. Pride makes men secure and confident; but darkness is before them. Our afflictions, disappointments, and days of darkness may be many ; at least death is before us; and on these dark mountains our ieet may stumble. To prevent this, let us give glory to God by confession and reformation, and living near to him. It becomes the greatest persons to do this, even kings and queens ; else all their glory and lustre will end in everlasting darkness; while the humble and pious shall l>c exalte.d, and partake of the inheritance of the saints in light.
3. How tenderly ought God's people, and especially his ministers, to be affected with the obstinacy and impenitence of others, v. 17. It should grieve us to behold transgressors, especially those who have enjoyed many and great religious advantages. Ministers, when they see their labours unsuccessful, often weep in secret, and pour out their prayers and tears to God on this account. J5ut God bottles their tears; and wo. be to those whose pride and obstinacy have occasioned them.
4. Let our minds be impressed with the great difficulty of conquering bad habits. It is a thing next to impossible. Hardly any principles of religion, any motives, either of fear or shame, will work upon t4iose who are accustomed to do evil. Fact and experience prove this. Let us be thankful if through the pious care of parents, and divine grace, we have never contracted them. Young people should above all things guard against them; and parents wa'tch over their children to prevent them. Nothing is impossible to divine grace and power. Let those therefore who are under the power cf them, earnestly strive and pray against them, and do it without delay, lest the disease should become incurable.
This chapter foretells a drought, which wiuld greatly distress- Judea; the prophet makes confession and supplication for ¡lardon; God declares his purpose to punish; and the prophet bewails their misery.
1 ' Г^НЕ word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning
2 _1_ the dearth, the scarcity occasioned by want of rain. Judah mourneth, and the gates thereof languish, that is, the cities and their inhabitants; they are black unto the ground; they losk black and ghastly, and throw themselves on the ground in grief and despair; and the cry of Jerusalem is gone up, even the capital
3 city groans under it. And their nobles have sent their little ones to the waters, being forced to part with their servants, tin 4 vend their children for wafer: they came to the pits, [and] found no water; they returned with their vessels empty; they were
4 ashamed and confounded, and covered their heads. Because the ground is chapt, for there was no rain in the earth, the
5 ploughmen were ashamed, they covered their heads. Yea, the hind also calved in the field, and forsook [it,] because there was
6 no grass for herself to eat, that she might nourish her young. And the wild asses did stand in the high places /or air to cool them, they snufled up the wind like dragons, or, like crocodiles, -¡oho frequently put up their heads above the water to breathe; their
eyes did fail, they looked till they were weary with looking, because [there was] no grass.
7 О Lord, though our iniquities testify against us,do thou [it] for thy name's sake, interpose for us: for, or rather, though our
8 backslidings are many; we have sinned against thce. О the hope of Israel, the saviour thereof in time of trouble, why shouldst thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man, [that] turneth aside to tarry for a night? thou hast promised to dwell ivith us: end dost thou rtgard us no more than a traveller doth a place in which he lodges Jor a nigh!, and never experts to see it
9 any more ? Why shouldst thou be as a man astonicd through fear and surprise, as a mighty man [that] cannot save, who hath lost his wisdom and strength .? yet thou, О Lord, [art] in the midst of us, and we are called by thy name; leave us not. To which Cod repliée;
10 Thus saith the Lohd unto this people, Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet from evil miys, therefore the Lord doth not accept them; he will now remein
11 ber their iniquity, and \isittheir sins. Then said the Lord unto me, Pray not for this people for [their] good; do not е.г/iect
¡2 that your intercessions will prevail. When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept them; though they offer whole burnt offerings, and bread offerings* (which were then peculiarly -valuable) yet I will not hear: but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence; the. pestilence and the sword shall be added to the famine already among them.
13 Then said I, as some excuse for them, Ah, Lord God, behold, the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine ; but I will give you assured peace in this
14 place. Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of
15 their heart. Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed, which, though they call themselves prophets, they cannot see to be coming upon
16 themselves. And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword ; and they shall have none to bury them ; them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness upon them.
17 Therefore thou shalt say this word unto them; Let mine eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease; God commands me to lament your calamines: for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great breach, with a
18 very grievous blow.• If I go forth into the field, then behold the slain with the sword! and if I enter into the city, then behold them that are sick with famine! yea, both the prophet and the priest go about into a land that they know not; the false
19 prophets and wicked priests shall be carried caplive. Hast thou utterly rejected Judah? hath thy soul loathed Zion ? why hast thou smitten us, and [there is] no healing for us? we looked for peace, and [there is] no good: and for the time of healing,
20 and behold trouble! We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness, [and] the iniquity of our fathers: for we have sinned
21 against thee; we plead guilty. Nevertheless, Do not abhor [us,] for thy name's sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory, thy temple: remember, break not thy covenant with us; do not
22 annul or cut off our relation to thee. Are there [any] among the vanities of the gentiles that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? idols or second causes cannot relieve us; but [art] not thou he, O Lord our God ? therefore we will wait upon thee: for thou hast made all these [things.]
1. TI7 ANT of rain in its season, is a great judgment, with VV which our hearts ought to be deeply affected. God commands the prophet to lament it. Let us own the hand of God whenever we see or feel any degree^of it. It is he who maketh the
• Jerotakm is called a virgin daughter, or city, because it had never been burned or destroyed.