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come 10 mount Sinai. Selah. His glory covered the heavens 4, and the earth was full of his praise. And [his) brightness, the

rays coming from the Shekinah, was as the light; he had horns, or streaming rays, (coming) out of his hand, and there

(was) the hiding of his power; he had stronger rays, and s brighter glories concealed, which mortals could not bear. Before

him went the pestilence, (alluding probably to the plagues of Egypt,) and burning coals, or flakes of fire, went forth at his feet ; intimating how easily, suddenly, and effectually he had

destroyed, and would again destroy, his and his people's enemies. 6 He stood, without moving from place to place, and measured

the earth, divided the promised land among his people, like a mighty conqueror : he beheld, and drove asunder the seven nations of Canaan by his frown, and the everlasting mountains were scattered, or, broken asunder, the perpetual hills did bow, when he clave the rock asunder for water, and especially when

Sinai trembled and shook : his ways [are) everlasting ; there. 7 fore we may hope for the same favours again. I saw the tents

of Cushan in affliction : [and] the curtains of the land of

Midian did tremble ; the Midianites and Arabians were terri. 8 fied ar Israel's approach. Was the Lord displeased against

the rivers ? (was] thine anger against the rivers ? (was] thy wrath against the sea, that thou didst ride upon thine horses [and] thy chariots of salvation ? God might seem to

angry, as a mighty warrior, but it was all for the 9 salvation of his people. Thy bow was made quite naked,

drawn out of its case, (according) to the oaths of the tribes, (even thy) word; according to thy promise to give the land of

Canaan to the Israelites. Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth 10 with rivers, The mountains saw thee, (and) they trembled :

the overflowing of the water passed by the deep úttered his voice, (and) lifted up his hands on high ; the waters, as if

affrighted, lifted up their waves with a great noise, and rose, like li a man who climbs up an ascent by his hand. The sun (and)

moon stood s:ill in their habitation : at the light of thine arrows they went, (and) at the shining of thy glittering spear; an allusion to the giving of signals in battle by shooting

an arrow, or lifting up a spear ; thus God gave them a sign when 12 10 stop, and when to go forward. Thou didst march through

the land in indignation, thou didst thresh, or tread down, the 13 heathen in anger. Thou wentest forth for the salvation of

thy people, [even] for salvation with thine anointed ; with Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and others, who were instruments of delivering Israel ; thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, thou didst destroy the confederate princes of Canaan, by discovering the foundation unto the neck, or, by laying bare the foundations to the rock ; that is, by exposing them to dee struction, from the greatest to the least, from the highest to the

14 lowest. Thou didst strike through with his staves the head of

his villages ; that is, the captains, or warriors ; they came out as a whirlwind to scatter me : their rejoicing (was) as to

devour the poor secretly ; they were cruel, and confident of 15 success. Thou didst walk through the sea with thine horses, 16 (through) the heap of great waters. When I heard these

relations of thy judgments, my belly trembled ; my lips quivered at the voice : rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, I was like a person seized with a violent distemper, and began to sink, that I might rest in the day of trouble : when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops ; or, nevertheless, I shall rest in the day of trouble ;- that is, though God goes on to bring punishments on a sinful people ; though the Chaldeans come and carry us cap. tive, yet I am still persuaded of his majesty and power, and shalt find enough in him to comfort me.

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither [shall] fruit (be) in the vines ; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat ; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and (there shall be) no herd in the stalls ; though

aggravating calamities meet each other, by invading enemies, or 18 the immediate hand of God, Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, 1 19 will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God (is) my

strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' [feet,) and he will make me to walk upon my high places ; he will restore my former strength for war, and raise sufficient fortifications about me.

To the chief singer on my stringed instruments. This poetical oration was to be used in the temple service, pirob. ably by order of Josiah, to encourage the faith and hope of Israel,

17

REFLECTIONS.

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EE of how much importance it is, that we recollect and

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his appearances for his people. The prophet here reviews God's ancient and wonderful works in favour of his people, and describes them in most sublime poetical language, to impress the hearts of his degenerate people. And it is proper that we should consider these things, that we may have a deep conviction of the providence and power of Jehovah ; that all nature and its elements are under his command ; that he can easily confound all his enemies, and save his people in the most distressing circumstances. He is a God above all gods ; let us learn to reverence and adore him, who is glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, duing wonders.

2. When we recollect what God did for his ancient people, it should lead us to pray and hope that he will revive his work. This is the great thing we should be solicitous about. It is a most im.

portant petition, and especially necessary now his cause is sung low; there is little piety or real charity to be found among us : few christians are faithful, fewer still are active and zealous. Let us earnestly pray, that God would support religion ; that he would quicken the spirits of his faithful servants ; comfort them under persecution and oppression, and make them zealous in coery good word and work. Our faith may be encouraged in such prayers and hopes, by recollecting what he has done : and considering that when his work seems dying, or even dead, he can revive it, so that our souls shall rejoice in him.

3. How comfortable is it to have God for our portion and happiness, when earthly comforts fail us, and to be able to rejoice in him in such circumstances. It is a melancholy case which the prophet here describes, v. 17. Earthly supports gone ; prospect for the next year sunk ; every thing dark and melancholy. If this should be the case with us, still, if true christians, we may rest in God, and have quietness within in the day of trouble : yea, we may joy and rejoice in him. He is the God of salvation. The everlasting salvation of his people is secure ; and all their temporal losses and disappointments shall be overruled, to prepare them for it, and to make it more welcome and delightful.

The Book of the PROPHET

ZEPHANIAH.

INTRODUCTION.

EPHANIAH was one of the last prophets who prophesied before

the captivity. He foretells the utter desolation of Jerusalem and Judea by the Chaldeans, thereby to stir them up, if it were possible, to repentance, that they might prevent this judgment : 10 which therefore he exhorts them ; and the rather, in regard of the sore judgments that were to be inflicted upon the neighbouring nations for their sins, which therefore should be a warning to them : but finding them incorrigible, he reproves them again ; and then concludes with gracious promises concerning their conversion and restoration to their own land in the latter day. He prophesied much about the time that Jeremiah entered on his prophetic office, before Christ, from 640 10 609, and in his method and subject resembles him.

CHAP. I.

Contains a prophecy of God's severe judgmeni against Judah for

diver's sins.

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HE word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah

the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.

I will utterly consume all [things] from off the land, saith the LORD ; an abrupt beginning, expressive of the certainly 3 and importance of his predictions. I will consume man and beast, I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumbling blocks with the wicked ; and I

will cut off man from off the land, saith the LORD ; figurative 4 expressions, denoting universal desolation. I will also stretch

out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who are under peculiar obligations to me ; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, the remaining places and altars that had escaped Josiah's reformation, [and] the name of the Chemarims, the idolatrous priests or sacri.

ficers, (Ho8. x. 5.) with the priests ; those of the Levites my .3 priests ihat joined avith them; And them that worsbip the

Vol. VI.

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host of heaven upon the house tops ; and them that worship [and] that swear by the LORD, and that swear by Malcham, or Moloch ;'as swearing is an appeal to God, it is an act of

religious worship ; 10 swear by idols, therefore, is idolatry ; 6 And them that are turned back from the LORD ; and (those)

that have not sought the LORD, nor inquired for him ; who 7 have forsaken God, and neglected religion. Hold thy peace at

the presence of the Lord God; with silent reverence adore him, and submit to his judgments : for the day of the LORD [is] at hand : for the Lord hath prepared you for a sacrifice, he

hath bid his guests; the Chaldeans to slay, and the birds and 8 beasis of prey to devour the carcasses. And it shall corne

to pass in the day of the LORD's sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, who by their example and authority have encouraged idolatry, and all such as are clothed

with strange apparel, such as was used by worshippers of idols. 9 In the same day, also will I punish all those that leap on the

threshold, which fill their masters' houses with violence and deceit ; that is, those who invade their neighbours' houses and rights, as most understand it ; or rather, I think, the worshifi

pers of Dagon, whose priests never trod on the thresholds of 10 their temples, but leaped over them. And it shall come to pass

in that day, saith the LORD, (that there shall be] the noise of a cry from the fish gate, and an howling from the second city,

and a great crashing from the hills, from the cutting down of U wood to make instruments for the siege. Howl, ye inhabitants

of Maktesh, (a valley in Jerusalem, which divided the upper from the lower city, a place of trade or exchange) for all tbe

merchant people are cut down ; all they that bear silver 12 are cut off. And it shall come to pass at that time, [that] I

will search Jerusalem with candles, I will make a strict scrutiny by the Chaldeans, and find out their treasures, and punish the

men that are settled on their lees : that say in their heart, 13 The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil. There

fore their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation : they shall also build houses, but not inhabit [them ;]

and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof. 14 The great day of the LORD [is] near, [it is) near, and hast.

eth greatly, [even] the voice of the day of the LORD : the 13 mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day [is] a day of . wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and

desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds 16 and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against 17 the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will

bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, who know not where to go to be safe ; they shall be in a state of the greatest anxiety and danger, because they have sinned against the LORD : and their blood shall be poured out as

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