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as a brand taken out of the fire: yet all this hath not moved you to return unto me, saith the Lord.
IV. 12 Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel. and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel. Therefore, since thou hast slighted all these judgments and mercies, I am resolved to execute upon thee the severest of all my vengeances; and, since thou hearest I have taken up this determination to proceed against thee, therefore prepare thyself, O Israel, to meet thy God with unfeigned humiliation and repentance.
IV. 13 For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name.
For well thou knowest, it is no hoping to resist the power of the Almighty it is He, that formeth the mountains, and infuseth the spirit into man, and knoweth and declareth the thoughts of man's heart before he conceives them: it is He, that can cloud the brightest day at pleasure, and can bring down the highest and strongest fortifications upon earth: he is the Lord of Hosts; all things are at his command.
V. 2 The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up. That Israelitish commonwealth, which was as a virgin untouched, is now fallen under the yoke of bondage; and so fallen, as that she shall no more rise: so is she forsaken, as that there is none to raise her up again.
V. 3 The city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred, &c.
For so few shall be left alive, after the hard and long sieges of the Assyrians, that, in those cities of Israel, whereout a thousand able men had wont to go forth to war, there now shall be left but a hundred, &c.
V. 5 But seek not Beth-el, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beer-sheba: for &c.
But go not up to the calves of Beth-el, nor to the high places and idolatrous altars of Gilgal and Beer-sheba: for &c.
V. 6 Lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph.
Lest he send the enemy upon you, which, like a consuming fire, shall devour the royal tribe. of Ephraim, the posterity of Joseph.
V. 7 Ye who turn judgment to wormwood. Ye, who corrupt judgment, and make it grievous and hateful to my people.
V. 8 Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name.
Seek ye him, who maketh the great frame of the heaven, and all the glorious tars herein who turneth the blackest night into a
clear morning, and causeth the brightest day to end in a dark night; who causeth the waters of the sea to overswell their banks, and to drown the face of the earth: the Lord is his name.
V. 10 They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they ahhor him that speaketh uprightly.
They hate him, that judgeth uprightly, and that doth freely and unpartially rebuke the wicked man upon the bench of justice; and they abhor him, that speaketh justly.
V. 11 Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them.
Forasmuch therefore as ye do grievously oppress the poor, and extort from him costly gifts; howsoever ye have, by your bribes and exactions, built unto yourselves houses of hewn stone, yet ye shall not dwell in them.
V. 13 Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time. Therefore, those, that are prudent, when they shall see these foretold calamities to fall upon Israel, shall lay their hands upon their mouths, in an humble silence, and acknowledge the justice of God in these events; for the times shall be very grievous and miserable.
V. 14 Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live.
Wherefore, that ye may avoid these plagues, frame yourselves to all holy and good ways, and avoid those wicked courses of the rest of Israel: so shall ye live.
V. 16 And they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skilful of lamentation to wailing.
And husbandmen shall have their part in the common sorrow, forasmuch as their corn shall be wasted and devoured; and those, whose trade, and practice, is to make common lamentation, shall now mourn in earnest, without a hire.
V. 18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. Woe to those amongst you, that mock at the tidings of this sad day of the Lord; and scornfully ask, why it doth not come, and when it will come! they shall find that it will come, smally to their comfort: they shall find it is not a day for mirth or pleasure, but for heaviness and sorrow.
V. 19 As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.
It shall be with you, as with a man, who, flying from a lion, meets in his way with a bear; and, to escape both, flies into a house, and, laying his hand upon the wall, to get over, is bitten by a serpent: so shall you, shunning one danger, fall into another.
V. 23 Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; &c. Do not think to please me with the musical harmony of your for. mal devotions, while I hear and abhor the discordous noise of your sins.
V. 24 But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.
No; notwithstanding all these your outward services, I will cause my judgments to gush out upon you as waters; and my righteous vengeance, as a mighty stream, shall bear you over.
V. 25 Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?
Have ye not whole forty years together, in the wilderness, bewrayed your averseness from me, and your inclination to idolatry? was it to me, that in this while ye offered your sacrifices, O ye house of Israel?
V. 26 But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves.
No; howsoever ye pretended to bear my tabernacle, yet indeed ye did your services and oblations to your god Moloch, and the other images of those planetary gods, whom ye worshipped.
VI. 1 Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!
Woe to those, that live securely and pleasurably in Zion, and that trust to the impregnable situation of the city of Samaria, the mountains whereof are held the strongest forts of that nation, whereto the house of Israel resorts!
VI. 2 Pass ye unto Calneh, and see; and from thence go ye to Hamath the great: then go down to Gath of the Philistines: be they better than these kingdoms? or their border greater than your border?
Look ye unto the most famous and best traded cities and countries, round about you: look to Calneh, that wealthy city of Assyria: look to the great city Antiochia; then take view of Gath, the well known city of the Philistines; and compare your blessings with theirs; and tell me whether these kingdoms be richer, and stronger, and larger than yours: yet these shall ye shortly see brought down.
VI. 3 Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near.
Yet ye are careless and confident, and put away from you all fear of danger; and thereupon grow outrageous and cruel, insomuch as ye strike into others a fear of your violence and oppression.
VI. 4 That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall.
Ye give up yourselves to pride, and ease, and delicacy; stretching yourselves upon your soft couches and beds of ivory, and pampering yourselves with the daintiest fare.
VI. 5 That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of music, like David.
They make themselves merry with the most pleasant music; and devise instruments of melody for their vain and wanton mirth, such as David invented for the praising and cheerful service of God.
VI. 6 That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph. They let themselves loose to all intemperance and carnal pleasure, pouring in wine out of their large bowls, and anointing themselves with the most precious and fragrant ointments; but, in the mean time, they are not sensible of the miserable condition of God's wrongfully oppressed servants.
VI. 7 Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive, and the banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed.
Therefore, since ye are the prime offenders, and, as it were, leaders of these sins, ye shall be the first in the punishment thereof, even in that woeful captivity, which shall shortly ensue, and then there shall be an end of these your riotous and wanton pleasures.
VI. 8 I abhor the excellency of Jacob, and hate his palaces; therefore will I deliver up the city with all that is therein.
I abhor this proud excess of my people of Israel, and hate those their palaces, which they have built in blood and oppression; and therefore I will deliver up Samaria, and all that is therein, to the hands of the Assyrians.
VI. 10 And a man's uncle shall take him up, and he that burneth him, to bring out the bones out of the house, and shall say unto him that is by the sides of the house, Is there yet any with thee? and he shall say, No. Then shall he say, Hold thy tongue; for we may not make mention of the name of the LORD. And a man shall not have a brother or a son left, to do him the last offices of his burial; but if his uncle or kinsman shall undertake to bring out his corpse, he, that is the overseer of these funeral rites of burning the dead, joining with him in that work, shall say to that one which is left alive in the house, Is there any more remaining of the whole number of the family? and he shall say, No. Then shall the other answer again, Rest thou humbly and silently in the just pleasure of the Almighty: this is his work: as for us, our sins have been so grievous, that, in the conscience thereof, it is not for us to call upon the name of the Lord, for a release or mitigation of his judgment.
VI. 11 For, behold, the LORD commandeth, and he will smite the great house with breaches, and the little house with clefts. For, behold, the Lord, whom we have provoked, commandeth these executions from the hands of the Assyrians, and will by their arm smite both the small and the great.
VI. 12 Shall horses run upon the rock? will one plow there with oxen? for ye have turned judgment into gall, and the fruit of righteousness into hemlock :
Is it possible, that horses should run upon the steep and craggy cliffs? or can it be, that the husbandman should draw his plough
through those hard rocks? so impossible is it, that ye Israelites should continue to prosper, while ye remain thus sinful; for ye have corrupted judgment and justice, and made it hateful, and deadly to the innocent:
VI. 13 Ye which rejoice in a thing of nought, which say, Have we not taken to us horns by our own strength?
Ye, which rejoice in your own strength, which is vain and nothing worth; and say, in the pride of your heart, Have we not made ourselves strong and impregnable by our wit and power?
VI. 14 But, behold, I will raise up against you a nation, O house of Israel, saith the LORD, the God of hosts; and they shall afflict you from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of the wilderness.
But, behold, I will raise up against you, O house of Israel, a mighty nation, even that of Assyria; and they shall plague you, even from the one end of your country to the other; from Hamath, which is in the borders of the north, to Sihor the river of the wilderness, to the south.
VII. 1 Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me; and, behold he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, it was the latter growth after the king's
Thus hath the Lord God shewed me the judgment, which he is about to bring upon the land; even that extreme famine, which he shall cause, through the abundance of locusts and other noisome worms, which he will send upon the earth: early therefore in the shooting up of the grass, after the first mowing thereof for the king's use, which is wont to be sooner than the common mathe, be formed store of those hurtful vermin, and sent them upon the land.
VII. 2 Then I said, O Lord GOD, forgive, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.
Then I, seeing the proceedings of this famine, said, O Lord God, forgive us I beseech thee: if thou go on thus to plague us, who shall be left alive, to continue the name and generation of thy people? For even now, as it is, the number of thy people is but small.
VII. 3 The LORD repented for this: it shall not be, saith the LORD. The Lord thereupon ceased from this plague; and, did, as it were, say, No; it shall not proceed; Israel shall not be quite wasted.
VII. 4 Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and, behold, the Lord GOD called to contend by fire, and it devoured the great deep, and did eat up a part.
The Lord God foreshewed me the judgment that he meant to bring upon Israel, by the sword of Tigleth Pileser, king of Assyria; represented by a fire, which should devour up the deep, and did eat up a part; signifying, that the fury and force of this king of Asshur should utterly swallow up the kingdom of Syria fist, and afterwards that part of Israel which is beyond Jordan.