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13 found him by the great waters that [are] in Gibeon. Now it came to pass, [that] when ail the people which [were] with Ishmael saw Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that [were] with him, then they were glad; hoping to be

14 recovered and taken back. So all the people that Ishmael had carried away captive from Mizpah cast about and returned, and

15 went unto Johanan the son of Kareah. But Ishmael the son of Nethaniah escaped from Johanan with eight men, only two of the assassins being probably slain, and went to the Ammonites.

16 Then took Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that [were] with him, all the remnant of the people whom lie had recovered from Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, from Mizpah, after [that] he had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, [even] mighty men of war, and the women, and the children, and the eunuchs whom he had brought again from Gibe

17 on: And they departed, and dwelt in the habitation of Chimham, which is by Bethlehem, an estate which David had given to Chimham the son of BarziUai, and which was called by his name, to go

18 to enter into Egypt, Because of the Chaldeans ; that is, in order proceed to Egypt out of the reach of the Chaldeans: for they were afraid of them, because Ishmael the son of Nethaniah. had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon made governor in the land; they were fearful it would be imputed to them all as a revolt; a groundless fear; for though the king of Babylon might have resented the murder of his viceroy, he would rather have applauded and rewarded Johanan,for slaying the murderers and recovering the captives.

REFLECTIONS.

I. 'TP HOSE who are most honest and friendly, and mean the JL best, have need of prudence and discretion. It was wise in Gedaliah not to entertain jealousy of his subjects; but very unwise not to be more upon his guard, after he had been warned of Ishmael's design. A proper medium is to be observed between hastily crediting and hastily rejecting or despising reports of inju. ries intended us. We should be cautious whom we trust; and while we show the courage of an honest heart, we should be upon our guard that we be not deceived by pretended friendship.

2. Observe here the dismal consequences of pride and ambition, and what dreadful CvilS they occasion in society. Ishmael treacherously slew Gedaliah, because he thought, that being of the seed royal, he had a better claim to the government; and when once he was engaged in this bloody work, he slew those honest Israelites, because they were the friends of Gedaliah, though he had nothing to fear from them: and this cruelty he exercised upon his brethren and countrymen, who were all companions in the general affliction of the nation. Such monsters, such demons, do ambition and malice turn men into: and we have need to pray earnestly, that God

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would restrain this ambitious spirit in our land, which seems otherwise likely to blast our hopeful prospects, and hurry us into ruin.

„ 3. See the uncertainty of human affairs, and how little the continuance of earthly blessings is to be depended upon. The poor Jews that were left in the land, began to think themselves happy in such a governor as Gedaliah, and probably would have been so: but he was treacherously slain; and then all their expectations' were disappointed, and there was nothing but confusion again. Thus may God soon disappoint our most pleasing expectations; and bring upon us fresh troubles, while we are rejoicing in the restoration of peace. Let us therefore maintain a constant sense of the uncertainty of earthly comforts; and be solicitous to secure a kingdom that cannot be moved; an inheritance., incorruptible, undefded, and that fadeth not away.

CHAP. XLII, XLIII.

fohanan and the remnant of the people desire Jeremiah to ask counsel of God what they should do; the prophet assures them of safety in Judea, hut of destruction hi Egypt: JVcx'ertheless the leading men carry the people there; and the prophet foretells the conquest qf Egypt by Mbuchadrezzar.

1 T | ' HF.N all the captains of the forces, and Johanan the son

JL of Kareah, and Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the

2 people from the least even unto the greatest, came near, And said unto Jeremiah the prophet, Let, we beseech thee, our supplication be accepted before thee, and pray for us unto the Lord thy God, [even] for all this remnant; (for we are left [but] a

3 few of many, as thine eyes do behold us :) That the Lord thy God may show us the way wherein we may walk, and the thing that we may do: nothing could be more proper, humble, and re

4 spectful, than this address, had it been honest. Then Jeremiah the prophet said unto them, I have heard [you ;] behold, I will pray unto the Lord your God according to your words ; and it shall come to pass, [that] whatsoever thuvj; the Lokd shall answer you, I will declare [it] unto you; I will keep nothing

5 back from you. Then they said to Jeremiah; The Lord be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not even accord- . ing to all things for the which the Lord thy God shall send

6 thee to us. Whether [it be] good, or whether [it be] evil, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God, to whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the Lord our God.

7 And it came to pass after ten days, that the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah l Utey were kepi so long in suspense^ to givi

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famine, and by the pestilence, in the place whither ye desire t» go [and] to sojourn.

1 Chap. XLIII. And it came to pass, [that] when Jeremiah v had made an end of speaking unto all the people all the words

of the Load their God, for which the Loup their God had sent him to them, [even] all these words, (a strong expression, denoting the authority of God's word, and their great wickedness and

2 obstinacy in acting contrary to it ;) Then spake Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men, saying unto Jeremiah, Thou speakest falsely: the Lord our God hath not sent thee to say, Go not into Egypt to sojourn

3 there: But Baruch the son of Neriah setteth thee on against us, for to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they might

4 put us to death, and carry us away captives into Babylon.* So Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, and all the people obeyed not the voice of the Lord, to dwell in

5 the land of Judah.. But Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, took all the remnant of Judah, that were returned from all nations, whither they had been driven, to

6 dwell in the land of Judah; [Even] men, and women, and children, and the king's daughters, and every person that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard bad left with Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Jeremiah the prophet, and Ba

7 ruch the son of Neriah. So they came into the land of Egypt: for they obeyed not the voice of the Lord: thus came they [even] to Tahpanhes.

8 Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah in Tahpan

9 hes, saying, Take great stones in thine hand, and hide them in the clay in the brick kiln, wbich is at the entry of Pharaoh's house in Tahpanhes, or, in the way that leads to it, in the sight

10 of the men of Judah; And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel ; Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid; and he shall

11 spread his royal pavilion over them. And when he cometh he shall smite the land of Egypt with pestilence, [and deliver] such [as are] for death to death; shutting them up in infected places; and such [as are] for captivity to captivity^ and such [as are]

12 for the sword to the sword. And I will Kindle a fire in the houses of the gods of Egypt; and he shall burn them and carry them away captives: and he shall array himself with the land of Egypt as a shepherd putteth on his garment; beautifully alluding to the ease with which he should make the conquest; just as a shepherd slips on his garment; soon, and without care or nicety and he shall go forth from thence in peace; without

• What strange, inconsistent conduct was this! They knew him to be a prophet, and thit his words had been fulfilled; yea, they set him on to inquire of the Lord, and promised obedience. Had he and Barach chosen to go to Babylon, they might have gone when the captain solicited them. It was therefore an idle and absurd suggestion. ' .' * |

13 opfiosition, and without Jeer. He shall break also the images of Bethshemesh, that ['*] 'n the °f EgyP1 > aI)d tne houses of the gods of the Egyptians shall he burn with fire; though an idolater himself, he shall destroy their idol*; and though a worMfiper of the sun, he shall break its images and burn its ternlties.

REFLECTIONS.

1. T I 'HE resolution expressed inf. 5. is very proper for us to JL make when we read or hear the word of God, viz. to do what he requires of us, whether agreeable or disagreeable, whether fashionable or unfashionable ; whatever pains, labour, or self denial it may cost us. This is the way to have things well with us. And in order to confirm this resolution, it will be proper to make it in the presence of God, and with an appeal to him, as a true and faithful witness.

2. We have here a deplorable instance of the gross hypocrisy which men are sometimes guilty of in their transactions with God and his ministers. The people came respectfully to the prophet to inquire the will of God ; resolving to do it, and appealing to God ifor their sincerity ; and yet they were determined not to obey if it was disagreeable to them. Thus many pretend respect to ministers, come and sit before them as God's own people, and profess obedience and submission ; till the word comes to cross their inclinations and worldly interests; then they will not obey; but like these hypocrites, begin to find fault with the word itself, or the preachers of it. They will desire their prayers,but reject their exhortations. This is horrible prevarication both with God and man; and the portion of such hypocrites will be peculiarly dreadful.

3. God will bring upon sinners the evils which they think to escape Ijy indirect means. These men wanted to go to Egypt that they might escape the sword and famine: and God threatens, v. 22. to destroy them in the land where they desire to sojourn, by sword, famine, and pestilence. It is impossible to outrun the judgments of God. Men now bring themselves into poverty and contempt by dishonest methods of increasing their substance; or a fretful, impatient disposition, leads them to change their situation, their business, or tneir connections, to avoid something that disturbs them; but wherever they go, crosses will attend them, because they carry with them their own irregular passions. The way to be happy, is to take pains to mend our bad tempers, and make God

our friend. With a humble, patient, devout spirit, we may be com- . . , fortable any where ; without such a disposition we shall be comfort-' , able no where.

4. Observe with what infinite ease God can transfer the possession of the greatest kingdoms. He calls Nebuchadrezzar his servant, because he was to execute his pleasure; foretells that he should destroy Egypt, that ancient, rich, and populous kingdom;

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