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must stir up ourselves to take hold on God ; do all we can to quicken our spirits; and engage all that is within us in this important work. Then we may hope that our prayers will prevail, and that God will stir up his strength, and come and save us.
This chafiler is an answer to the people's complaint in the foregoing one,
of God's rejecting them ; informing them that it was for their sins, especially their rejection of Christ, when the Gentiles received him ; and it concludes with firomises of their future restoration.
1 I AM sought of [them that) asked not (for me ;] I am found
1 of [them that) sought me not; I am sought now of them that asked not after me before, thus St. Paul interprets the words, Rom. ix. 25, &c. and ch. x. 20.) I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation [that] was not called by my name; I manifested myself to them; and invited thein to seek me. I have spread out my hands all the day with great earnestness unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way (that was) not good, after their
own thoughts; after their corrupt doctrines and superstitious ways 3 of worship; A people that provoketh me to anger continually
to my face ; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense up4 on altars of brick; Which remain among the graves, and lodge
in the monuments, who use abominable rites in honour of the dead, or to consult them, which eat swine's flesh, though forbidden by :he law, because used in idalatrous rites among the heathen, and
broth of abominable [things is in their vessels, such as a kid 5 seethed in its mother's milk ;* Which say, Stand by thyself, come
not near to me, for I am holier than thou; valuing themselves on their own sanctity, and counting others unclean and profane: an exact description of the character of the Pharisees in Christ's time.
These [are) a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the 6 day; they are offensive, as the smoke of wet wood. Behold,
[it is) written before me, I will not forget it ; I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom, Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the LORD, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills : therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom ; I will take their former and lat. ter eins into account when I come to punish them as a nation. Nevertheless there shall be a-remnant according to the election of grace : for
• It is obiected that this cannot be applied to the Tews after their captivity, because they were then free from idolatry ; but it mav refer partly to the isolatry of their fathers, as in 0.7. It chiefly describes their wickedness in Christ's time, in language taken from their an. cient manner of transgressing ; it is a kind of proverbial expression for worshipping God in a way that he hath not directed, as incense and a pure sacrifice are put for gospel worship ; or it may refer to their complying with popish idolatry to avoid persecution, many of the Jews yet do. Vol. V.
8 Thus saith the Lord, as the new wine, or rather, a good grape, - is found in the cluster, and (one) saith, Destroy it not, for a blessing (is) in it: so will I do for my servants' sakes, that I may not destroy them all ; as when a man who is pruning a vine, and cutting out the dead branches, sees a cluster likely to ripen, he leaves ii, saying, these will become good grapes ; so some of the Jews shall be converted, and some of the unbelievers shall be spared, in
hope that a better generation will rise out of them : as it follows ; 9 And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an
inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my 10 servants shall dwell there. And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks,
and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in,
for my people that have sought me.* 11 But ye (are) they that forsake the LORD, that forget my
holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, for Gad, and
that furnish the drink offering unto that number, that is, to 12 Meni.t But because ye choose a riumber of idols, Therefore will
I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter : because when I called, ye did not answer ; when I spake, ye did not hear ; but did evil before mine eyes, and did
choose (that) wherein I delighted not, what was mosi odious to 13 me. Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, my servants, . true believers in Christ, shall eat, but ye, unbelievers, shall be
bungry : behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be
thirsty : behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be 14 ashamed : Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but
ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation 15 of spirit. And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my
chosen ; according to the proverb,' He is as miserable as a Jew;' or the erecration, God make thee like a Jew:' for the Lord God shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name, that is,
Christians ; or in general it may mean, that he will show them 16 peculiar favour: That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall
bless himself in the God of truth ; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth ; because the former , troubles, or when the former provocations, are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes ; there shall be an uster extirpation of idolatry, superstition, and wickedne88, from among
them. 17 For, behold, I create new heavens, and a new earth : and the . former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind ; the final
conversion of the Jews shall be a new and glorious state of things, 18 superior to any before. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever, or,
for the age to come, [in that) which I create : for, behold I cre19 ate Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will
rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people : and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying ;
• Sbaron lay to the west, and Achor to the cast; so that it intimates, that the whole country should be peopled and become fruitful.
# It is unc. rtain what particular idols these were.
20 the former occasions of grief shall cease. There shall be no more
thence an infant of days, nor an old man tbat hath not filled his days ; for the child shall die an hundred years old ; but the sinner [being] an hundred years old shall be accursed ; (figures taken from the antediluvian slale :) men shall live to a great age, and not die when they begin to grow old ; he that is an hundredi years old shall be reckoned but as a child ; and if a man die at an hundred years, he shall be esteemed a grievous sinner, who hain
pirovoked God, by some aggravated offence, to shorten his dune. 21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit [them ;) and they shall 22 plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build,
and another inbabit ; they shall not plant, and another eat : for as the days of a tree (are) the days of my people, they shall re
vive as a tree does in the spiring, and mine elect shall long enjoy 23 the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor
bring forth for trouble ; for they (are) the seed of the blessed of
the LORD, and their offspring with them; their children shall 24 live, shall be well provided for, and be a holy seed. And it shall
come to pass, that before they call, I will answer ; and while
they are yet speaking, I will hear ; I will prevent them with the 25 blessings of my goodness. The wolf and the lamb shall feed to
gether, and the lion sliall eat straw like the bullock : and dust [shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD; there shall be no persecution nor severity among them, but perfect harmony and friend
ship; the serpent shall not fly upon men and bite thein, but apear • as an innocent reptile.*
1. T ET us bless God that he hath fulfilled his promise to the
La Gentiles. They knew not God, nor did they seek after him; but he made himself known to them ; invited them to seek him, and return to him. This is the happy case of our land. O that we may be duly sensible of the divine goodness herein. When he calls . to us, let us hear his voice and learn his ways ; and let not our ministers have reason to complain of any of us, that they have stretched out their hands to a disobedient and rebellious people.
2. We may observe how offensive spiritual pride is to God. A black character is here given of the Jews, and no part of it is represented to be so offensive to God as their hypocrisy and self conceit, which generally go together. This is illustrated by our Lord's reproof of the pharisees. They trusted that they were righteous, and despised others; looked upon all who did not observe their superstitions, as unclean. A temper much resembling this is too common among christians, which discovers itself in their unreasonable attachment either to some peculiar notions which they term orthodoxy, or
• Bp Sherlock understands it as referring to the sentence on the serpent at the fall, that Saran should be subdued and bound, te stripped of his influence over the souls of men, and the curse of God executed upon him and his seed.
to some unscriptural rites, in which they place the whole of religion; and are too ready to say to others, We are holier than you. But such a temper as this is highly displeasing to God, v.5. Those are often, yea, generally, the most unholy, who think themselves most holy. Let us beware therefore, lest, being lifted up with pride, we fall into the condemnation of the devil,
3. We see what a difference God makes and will make between his servants and his enemies. This difference is here specified, and their respective conditions are set one over against the other. His servants have comfort in their earthly enjoyments ; true peace, pleasure, and joy ; and they are really honourable. While his enemies are strangers to true pleasure ; are, and will be, contemptible. Let God's servants therefore be thankful for his grace mani, fested to them; and let his enemies tremble to think, how much worse their state will be hereafter, when the righteous shall be com, forted, while they are tormented.
4. When God is doing great things for his church, it becomes us to observe and rejoice in them, v. 18. He is able to do great things for them ; as great, as making a new heaven and a new earth; and he will do it in his time. He will rejoice over his people himself ; and it becomes us to rejoice with them, and take a part in their pleasure and gratitude. In the mean time, let us rejoice in the assurance and prospect of this happy period, and in every instance in which religion revives, and there are added to the church such as shall be saved.
This chapler consists of two paris ; v. 1-7, is a reproof to the Jews for laying such a stress on the temple and temple worship in Christ's time, with an intimalion that God would change it. In this view Stephen quotes it, Acts vij. 49, 50.
I THUS saith the Lord, The heaven (is) my throne, and
1 the earth (is) my footstool : where [is] the house that ye build unto me? and where (is) the place of my rest? where is
the temple that suits my majesty, and where I may take up my 2 rest without any thought of a departure ? For all those [things)
hath mine hand made, and all those [things] have been, or ra. ther, are mine, saith the LORD : but to this (man) will I look, [even] to (him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trem
bleth at my word; who possesses habitual humility and seriousness, 3 and revereth my word. Without this devout temper, He that kil.
leth an ox [is as if] he slew a man ; he that sacrificeth a lamb, (as if] he cut off a dog's neck ;* he that offereth an oblation,
• This was one of the sacrifices used by the heathens at the death of their friends, mentioned by Homer.
[as if he offered] swine's blood; he that burneth incense; (as if] he blessed an idol ; the sacrifices of the unbelieving Jews will not be acceptable to God, but very firovoking to him. Yea, they
have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their 4 abominations, or, their superstitions. I also will choose their
delusions; they shall be slaves 10 tradition and be deluded by false : Christs, and will bring their fears upon them ; probably the
Romans, for fear of whom they crucified Christ ; because when I . called, none did answer ; when I spake, they did not hear ; but
they did evil before mine eyes, and chose (that) in which I de
lighted not, 5 Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word ; . Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's
sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified : but he shall appear to 6 your joy, and they shall be ashamed. A voice of noise from
the city, a voice from the temple, * a voice of the LORD that rendereth recompense to his enemies ; 'to the unbelieving Jews, who shall be left to perish in the destruction of the city ; while the christians, being warned by Christ, shall fly to the mountains and be secure. The remainder of the chapier refers, I think, to the
glorious state of the Jews in the latter day. ✓ Before she travailed, she brought forth ; before her pain came, 8 she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a
thing? who hath seen such things ? Shall the earth be made to bring forth, to produce fruit in all 118 perfection, in one day ? [or] shall a nation be born at once ? without growing up, without any
pain and difficulty, or any ill accident ? for as soon as Zion tra9 vailed, she brought forth her children. Shall I bring to the
birth, and not cause to bring forth ? saith the LORD : shall I cause to bring forth, and shut (the womb ?) saith thy God; Shall I disappoint the expectations of my people, and fail to perform my work, when every thing is ripe for execution ? Then
follows an address to gentile christians, who had mourned over the 10 calamitoil8 state of the Jews for many ages. Rejoice ve with Je
rusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her, rejoice for 11 joy with her, all ye that mourn for her : That ye may suck, and
be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations ; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory, or
stores ; as if he had said, That ye may be edified or delighted, by 12 the gifts and graces bestowed upon the Jewish church. For thus
saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace, or happiness, to her like a river, and the glory of the gentiles like a flowing stream, by the liberalily and kindness of the Jews on their conversion : then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon (her) sides, and be
dandled upon [her] knees, as young children are by a fond and 13 tender parent. As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I
comfort you ; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem, by the re14 turn of the divine favour to it. And when ye see(this,] your heart
• This is addressed to the believ in Tews, who were excom inric ted under a pretince of zeal for God, and persecuted in very city to which their enemies did acıtss.