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THE just perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart, and men of mercy are taken away, because there is none that understandeth; for the just man is taken away from before the face of evil.

Ver. 1.  The just.  Christ, (C.) Josias, (Grot.) or any whose cause is just, yet finds no protection from such corrupt magistrates.  H.

 

--- Evil, by the wicked, or to prevent his fall.  4 K. xii. 20.  People little consider what a loss the world sustains, when those die who might have averted the divine wrath.  C.

 

--- They are usually taken away, that they may not witness such misfortunes, and are settled in eternal peace.  W.


2 Let peace come, let him rest in his bed that hath walked in his uprightness.

Ver. 2.  Bed.  The grave which affords rest to the virtuous, Josias, &c.  C.


3 But draw near hither, you sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer, and of the harlot.

Ver. 3.  Sorceress.  Sept. "lawless" children.  H.


4 Upon whom have you jested? upon whom have you opened your mouth wide, and put out your tongue? are not you wicked children, a false seed,

Ver. 4.  Tongue, in contempt.  Saints, and particularly Jesus Christ, have been exposed to ridicule.


5 Who seek your comfort in idols under every green tree, sacrificing children in the torrents, under the high rocks?

Ver. 5.  Comfort.  Heb. "heat," abandoning yourselves to shameful excesses.

 

--- Torrents, to avoid being seen.  Such sacrifices would have been incredible, if the Scriptures, and all history did not prove their existence.  Deut. xii. 31.  Wisd. xii. 3. and 4 K. xxiii. 10.


6 In the parts of the torrent is thy portion, this is thy lot: and thou hast poured out libations to them, thou hast offered sacrifice. Shall I not be angry at these things?

Ver. 6.  Them.  The stones of the torrent, which were often the objects of adoration.  Lev. xxvi. 1.  Gen. xxviii. 18.  The god, Helagabalus, was a rough boundary stone.


7 Upon a high and lofty mountain thou hast laid thy bed, and hast gone up thither to offer victims.

Ver. 7.  Bed, like a shameless prostitute.  The idols are generally represented in this light, as corrupting God's people.  C.


8 And behind the door, and behind the post thou best set up thy remembrance: for thou hast discovered thyself near me, and hast received an adulterer: thou hast enlarged thy bed, and made a covenant with them: thou hast loved their bed with open hand.

Ver. 8.  Remembrance.  Domestic gods.  S. Jer.  The Lares or Penates were usually placed in the court or porch.  The Jews probably used Hecate or Trivia, for the same purpose.  C. lxv. 11. and lxvi. 17.  To prevent this impiety, God had ordered some of the law to be written on the doors.  Deut. vi. 9.  But this it seems was disregarded.  4 K. xxiii. 8. and 1 Mac. i. 58.  Ezec. viii. 5.

 

--- Near me.  Idols were placed in the very temple.  Jer. xxxv. 15. and 4 K. xxi. 4.  Ezec. viii. 3. and xvi. 17.  C.

 

--- Hand.  Prot. "where thou sawest it."  Thou didst even invite thy lovers by presents.  Ezec. xvi. 32.  H.


9 And thou hast adorned thyself for the king with ointment, and hast multiplied thy perfumes. Thou hast sent thy messengers far off, and wast debased even to hell.

Ver. 9.  King.  Moloc, or (C.) any foreign king, of whose alliance God did not approve.  Theod.

 

--- To please them, the true religion was adulterated.


10 Thou hast been wearied in the multitude of thy ways: yet thou saidst not: I will rest: thou hast found life of thy hand, therefore thou hast not asked.

Ver. 10.  Rest.  They were obstinate before the coming of Nabuchodonosor, and of the Romans.

 

--- Asked.  Confiding in their own strength.


11 For whom hast thou been solicitous and afraid, that thou hast lied, and hast not been mindful of me, nor thought on me in thy heart? for I am silent, and as one that seeth not, and thou hast forgotten me.

Ver. 11.  Afraid, since thou hast despised my, my laws and offers.


12 I will declare thy justice, and thy works shall not profit thee.

Ver. 12.  Justice.  He speaks ironically.  C.

 

--- Self-righteousness is vicious.  H.


13 When thou shalt cry, let thy companies deliver thee, but the wind shall carry them all off, a breeze shall take them away, but he that putteth his trust in me, shall inherit the land, and shall possess my holy mount.

Ver. 13.  Companies, or princes, in whom thou hast confided.  Assyria and Egypt cannot save themselves.  C.


14 And I will say: Make a way: give free passage, turn out of the path, take away the stumblingblocks out of the way of my people.

Ver. 14.  And I.  Seeing there is no aid in man, God will save his people for his own goodness' sake.  H.



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15 For thus saith the High and the Eminent that inhabiteth eternity: and his name is Holy, who dwelleth in the high and holy place, and with a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite. 16 For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be angry unto the end: because the spirit shall go forth from my face, end breathings I will make.

Ver. 16.  End.  I will not always threaten or be angry.  Gen. vi. 3.  C.

 

--- Spirit.  Holy Ghost.  S. Iræn. v. 12.  S. Aug.

 

--- God spares the humble penitent, and grants what they desire with as much eagerness as a sailor does a fair wind.  W.

 

--- He does not regard the indifferent.  H.


17 For the iniquity of his covetousness I was angry, and I struck him: I hid my face from thee, and was angry: and he went away wandering in his own heart.

Ver. 17.  Heart.  Dreadful state of the abandoned sinner!  Deut. xxxii.21.  Ps. xii. 2. and xliii. 24.


18 I saw his ways, and I healed him, and brought him back, and restored comforts to him, and to them that mourn for him. 19 I created the fruit of the lips, peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, said the Lord, and I healed him.

Ver. 19.  Lips.  Whatever they could ask, so that they might sing canticles.  All should be content.  He alludes to the liberation of the captives, which was near, and to the redemption of mankind far off.  C.


20 But the wicked are like the raging sea, which cannot rest, and the waves thereof cast up dirt and mire.

Ver. 20.  Dirt.  Lit. "treading," conculcationem.  H.

 

--- The works of the wicked are fruitless.  They have no content.  C.

                        Non enim gazæ neque consularis

                        Summovet lictor miseros tumultus,

                        Mentis et curas laqueata circum,

                        Tecta volantes.  Hor. ii. ode 16.

 

--- The obstinate sinner can receive no pardon.  W.


21 There is no peace to the wicked, saith the Lord God.

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