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will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them) that is, governors after the captivity, or rather, in the latter days; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they bo lacking;, saith the Lord.

5 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth; he Uiarl

6 impartially reward the righteous and the wicked. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this [is] his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS; or, this is the name bu wliich Jehovah shall call him, OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, that'is, the means of

7 our justification and salvation• Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that is, the latter days, that they shall no more say, The Lord liveth, which brought up the children of

S Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The Lord liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them: and they shall dwell in their own land; this last deliverance shall ecli/ise the former, and be as life from the dead. 9 Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; alJ my bones shake; I am like a drunken man; and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the Lord, and because of the words of his holiness, which they have profaned; Iam deeply affected with their horrible sin, ami tremble to deliver my

10 message. For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing, or perjury, the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and the' r force [is] not right; their zeal is not to promote religion, i:. t

|| wickedness. For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the Lord; Iharr

12 found their idolatries there. Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery [ways] in the darkness: they shall be driv..u on, and fall therein; they promise others peace and light, but they shall miss of both themselves, andfall and miscarry in their desigt:»; for I will bring evil upon them, [even] the year of their vi's:t?

12 tion, saith the Lord. And I have seen folly in the prophetr. of Samaria; they have prophesied in Baal, and caused my pec [lie Israel to err; / have seen this comparatively as a small mat'er.

14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen -.dsn the hands of evil doers, that none doth return from his wickcVness; calling their own fancies divine oracles, and promising impunity: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the in!iab

15 itants thereof as Gomorrah. Therefore thus saith the Lor n of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for Iror.i the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into al! the land; they have made others vile by their counsels and example«.

• See Dr. Bl-yncy'i nure on th'r; passage.

16 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain, that is, deceive you: they speak a vision of their own heart, [and] not

IT out of the mouth of the Lord. They say still unto them that despise me, The Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace: and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own

18 heart, No evil shall come upon you. For who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord, and who hath perceived and heard iris word? who hath marked his word, and heard [it ;] they never took pains to distinguish my suggestions from their own foolish reasonings, else, instead of peace, they would have foretold judg

19 ments. Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the

20 head of the wicked. The anger of the Lord shall not return, shall not turn back, or rest, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days re shall consider it perfectly; in your cafitivity and distress ye shall

21 understand and consider the meaning of these firofihecies. I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to

22 them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then the? should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil

23 of their doings, they would have had some success. [Am] I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar olf? in heaven, and not in earth? cannot I discern what is doing at the greatest

24 distance? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord: can they think to deceive and impose

25 upon me? Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord. I have heard what the prophets said, though they thought I did not, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have

26 dreamed; I have a divine admonition to deliver. How long shall [this] be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea,

27 [they are] prophets of the deceit of their own heart; Which think, or contrive, to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal; their design is to lead

28 them to idolatry, and to forget me and my laws. The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; tell it as a dream that deseri'es no regard; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully: What [is] the chaff to the wheat ? saith the Lord; there is as much difference between true and false prophets,

29 and their way of preaching, as between chaff and wheat. [Is] not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer [that] breaketh the rock in pieces? that breaks through all opposition, and subdues the most obdurate hearts; and the words of the true prophets had often this effect, which was a proof that they

30 were not counterfeit. Therefore, behold, I [am] against the prophets, saith the Lord, that steal my words every one from his neighbour, that in, some of their good sayings, and apply them

3 1 to their own purposes; imitating their manner of address. Be

hold, I [am] against the prophets, saith the Lord, that use, or smooth, their tongues, and say, He saith ; pretending a divine

33 authority for what they deliver. Behold, I [am] against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the Lord, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies and by their lightness; their unsteady and inconsistent conduct; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord.

S3 And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What [is] the burden of the Lord? when they meet thee, and ask in a taunting and scornful way, what the burden of the Lord пою ie; (as firofihedes are often called, because they contained very weighty and importan' matters ;) thou shall then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the Lord; or rather, Ye are the ¿urden, and I will cast you off, saith

34 the Lord. And [as for] the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of the Lord, I will even pun

35 ish that man and his house. Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, instead of that profane jesting language, you should say, What hatli the Lord an

S6 swered? and, What hath the Lord spoken? And the burden of the Lord shall ye mention no more: for every man's word shall be his burden ; he that makes a jest of it shall feel it; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the Lord of

37 hosts our God, who is able to accomplish his thrcatenings. Thus shall thou say to the prophet, What hath the Lord answered

38 thce? and, What hath the Loud spoken? But since ye say, or, if ye milt say, The burden of the Lord; therefore thus saith the Lord; Because ye say this word, The burden of the Lord, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of

39 the Loud: Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your

40 fathers, [and cast you] out of my presence: And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.

REFLECTIONS.

1. T E T us regard Jesus Christ in the view in which he is here • л foretold: as a Branch of David, in whom the prophecies are fulfilled; and as our Righteousness, as one who is perfectly righteous himself, and who wrought out righteousntss for his pecpie. The dignity of his person, the excellency of his character, and his divine appointment, all join to render him a complete Saviour. May we then look to him, and be saved. lie will take care of his church and provide for his flock, when thoae who should feed it, neglect it; and those who should defend it, devour it.

2. Let us reverence the omniscience of God. These prophets would not have been so wicked; nor the people so easily imposed upon, had they not forgotten this, and said, The Lard doth not ire.

Vol. V. X x

But there is no concealing any thing from him; no imposing upon him: darkness and distance are no obstruction to his view. Let us reflect seriously on this; be afraid of secret sins ; and approve ourselves to him.

3. Let ц« admire the power of the word of God. It is as fire, and as a hammer; dissolving the stubborn spirit; breaking the most rocky heart. It has a wonderful efficacy for these purposes; and it is a proof of its divine authority when such effects attejid it. Let us pray that it may have this effect upon our souls; and instead of being a savour of death may be a savour of life to them.

4. Here is an awful lesson to ministers to preach God's word faithfully, and to deal plainly with immortal souls. What a number of expressions have we here of God's displeasure against false prophets and deceivers 1 May ministers take warning, and not smooth their tongues, but show men their transgressions. May they never strengthen the hands of the wicked, by promising them peace; by lowering the terms of salvation, or weakening the threatenings of God's word. May they never lead people to substitute any thing for real holiness. To say nothing but what is pleasing and plausible; to be more fearful of offending man than God, are proofs that they never stood in his counsel, nor understood his words. Tliis is doing men the greatest mischief imaginable. May they therefore mifc/if^r souls as those that must giiie an account.

5. See the evil and danger of making a jest of scripture truths, or scripture language. This was the sin of the Jews; we see how highly God resented it; and how awfully he forbids it, on pain of his highest displeasure. It is common for men to turn sacred things into ridicule, and to make a jest of the language of ministers, though it be the language of scripture,and the language of the Spirit of God. Sometimes those who profess godliness will use scripture phrases and expressions in a light, trilling manner, and make it their jest, when perhaps they have no evil intention. Hut let them beware of this, lest their own tongues full upon them, v. 36. They who allow themselves in this indecent, irreverent, profane language, will hereafter perfectly understand what it is to trifle with sacred things, and what a fearful thing it is to fall into the hands of the living God. God and his word je.st with no man, and therefore they are not to be jested with.

CHAP. XXIV.

In the former chapter the ruin of Jerusalem and the Jewish state wa» foretold ¡ here, for the encouragement of the firo/ihet and the /ной» /ifO/ile in the land, it is declared, that though all s/iould suffer, God mould make a distinction between the /irecious and the vile.

1 ГТПН К Lord showed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs

_l_ [were] set before the temple of the Lord, these were

offered, according to the lav,; as ¡¡art of thtirjirtt fruit») after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon; because they wanted these most, or- to

2 fire-vent the Jews fortifying their city and viaking weapons. One basket [had] very good figs, [even] like the figs [that are] first ripe: and the other basket [had] very naughty figs, which could

3 not be eaten, they were so bad. Then said the Loud unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good ; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.

4 5 Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Thus saith the Lord, the Gel of Israel ; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge, or distinguish, them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for [their] good, or, in a favourable manner; that is, I will show them favour, and make their cafilivitu work for

6 their good• For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull [them] down; and I will plant them, and not pluck [them] up; / will give them favour in the land of their cafitivity, and bring them or their fiosterity back, and fix them in a state

7 of prosfierity. And I will give them an heart to know me, that J [am] the Lord : and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart; they shall know God firactically, renounce their idolatry, return to their duty, and live in the fear of God, and in obedience to his cominandiJ

8 And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the Lord, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt, that

0 went to settle in Egyfit for security: And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for [their] hurt, [to be] a reproach and a proverb, a taunt, and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them ; they shall be signal instances of God's displeasure, and become so conte mptible and miserable, that the common form of cursing shall be,' God make you like 10 them.' And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers; / will send one calamity after another ufwn them, so that neither they nor their posterity shall ever return to their own land.

'

• Probably m<nt of these were pious men: God might influence the htaris of the conquerors to take such, while those who strtyed b,hind thought themselves better bel,wcH of Cod than iheir brethren who were carried captive ; but God would show ihtm the contrary.

"t' Their former calamities had no such effect, hut seemed rather to h.irdrn them"; this therefore could not W * coniecture of Jeremiah's, lor it was a most unlikely thins i but tho spirit of prophecy plainly appeals in it.

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