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priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And they have turned unto me the back and not the face :* though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction. But they set their abominations in the house, which is called by my name, to defile it. · And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.
And now, therefore, thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, concerning this city, whereof ye say, It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence; behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God :* and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: and I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; But I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart, and with my whole soul. For thus saith Jehovah; like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them. And fields shall be bought in this land,
* Those who ridicule the idea of a literal, or at least national restoration of the Jews, should inform us when this prophecy has been fulfilled.
whereof ye say, It is desolate without man or beast; it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans. Men shall buy fields for. money, and subscribe evidences, and seal them, and take witnesses in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, and in the cities of the mountains, and in the cities of the valley, and in the cities of the south : for I will cause their captivity to return, saith Jehovah.
Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. For thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city, and concerning the houses of thek ings of Judah, which are thrown down by the mounts, and by the sword; they come to fight with the Chaldeans, but it is to fill them with the dead bodies of men, whom I have slain in mine anger and in my fury, and for all whose wickedness I have hid my face from this city. Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth : and I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israelf to return, and will build them, as at the first. And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness, and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it. Thus saith Jehovah; again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say shall be desolate
• Jer. xxxii. 27–44. † “ This must respect the latter times, for the ten tribes did not return with the Jews, at the termination of the seventy years." A. CLARKE.
without man and without beast, even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man, and without inhabitants, and without beast, the voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, praise Jehovah of Hosts : for Jehovah is good; for his
mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise* into the house of Jehovah. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith Jehovah.
Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts ; again in this place, which is desolate without man and without beast, and in all the cities thereof, shall be an habitation of shepherds, causing their locks to lie down. In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the vale, and in the cities of the south, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shall the flocks pass againt under the hands of him that telleth them, saith Jehovah.
Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel, and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that time, will I cause the branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith he shall be called, Jehovah OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. For thus saith Jehovah; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel; neither shall the priests, the Levites, want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually. Thus saith Jehovah; if ye can break my covenant of the
* See this fulfilled. Ezra, iij. 11. + That is, for the purpose of paying tribute or custom, and thus denoting the prosperity of a regular government. Burder, O.C. 772.
day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season;
my covenant be broken with David, my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites, the priests, my ministers. As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured : so will I multiply the seed of David, my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me.
Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, the two families which Jebovah hath chosen, he hath even cast them off? Thus they have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them.
Thus saith Jehovah; if my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth; then will I cast away the seed of Jacob, and David, my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for J will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them.*
Notwithstanding the displeasure of Zedekiah, this prophetic denunciation, however, and the pressure of the siege, appear to have produced a transitory effect upon the sovereign and his people; for he made a covenant with them to proclaim liberty unto them ;t that every man should let his man servant, and every man his maid servant, being an Hebrew or an Hebrewess, go free; that none should serve himself of them, to wit, of a Jew his brother. Now when all the princes, and all the people, which had entered into the covenant, heard that every one should let his man servant, and every one his maid servant, go free, that none should serve themselves of them any more, then they obeyed, and let them go.
# Jer. xxxiii. 3-26.
Pharaoh, king of Egypt,* having marched out of his own territories with a large army, in order to relieve Jerusalem; Nebuchadnezzar raised the siege,t and proceeded towards the Egyptians, having first, however, sent all the Jewish captives already taken, to the number of 832, to Babylon. I
Upon the departure of the Chaldean army, Jeremiah seems to have been set at liberty, and Zedekiah, naturally desirous of knowing what would be the result of the expected conflict between the Babylonish and Egyptian monarchs, sent Jehucal and Zephaniah to Jeremiah, saying, pray now unto Jehovah, our God, for us.ll
To this message the prophet was directed to reply: Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel: Thus shall ye say to the king of Judah, that sent you unto me to enquire of me, behold, Pharaoh's army, which is come forth to help you, shall return to Egypt into their own land. And the Chaldeans shall come again, and fight against this city, and take it, and burn it with fire.
Thus saith Jehovah; Deceive not yourselves, saying, the Chaldeans shall surely depart from us, for they shall not depart. For though ye had smitten the whole army of the Chaldeans that fight against you, and there remained but
* “ Pharaoh Hophra, Apries, or Vaphris, who had succeeded his father Necho." A. CLARKE. It is said of him, that after he had reigned twenty years in great prosperity, he grew so insolent as to say, that it was not in the power of God to dispossess him of his kingdom. Hero. dot. He also boasted “The river is mine, and I have made it.” Ezek. xxix. 9. “Hophra was given up and destroyed on account of his perfidy to Zedekiah, whose cause he had deserted; and left him to be taken by Nebuchadnezzar, after he had induced Zedekiah to enter into a confederacy with him, contrary to his oath to the king of Babylon. So that God revenged the breach of both their oaths upon these two kings." BP. Wilson.
+ Jer. xxxvii. 5.