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HEAR ye the word which the Lord hath spoken concerning you, O house of Israel. 2 Thus saith the Lord: Learn not according to the ways of the Gentiles: and be not afraid of the signs of heaven, which the heathens fear:

Ver. 2.  Ways.  Religious rites.  v. 3.

 

--- Fear.  Worship.  Lev. xix. 14.

 

--- Signs.  They were designed to point out the seasons.  Gen. i. 14.  C.

 

--- Heathens thought that they had a divine power.  W.


3 For the laws of the people are vain: for the works of the hand of the workman hath cut a tree out of the forest with an axe.

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4 He hath decked it with silver and gold: he hath put it together with nails and hammers, that it may not fall asunder.

Ver. 4.  Asunder.  Is. xliv. 8.  Bar. vi. 3.  Wisd. xiii. 11.  The pagans themselves laughed at such folly.  C.

 

--- If such things were gods, the makers and tools deserved more adoration: Fabri deorum vel parentes numinum, says Prudentius.  The vanity of such idols was more easily discerned than that of the stars.  W.


5 They are framed after the likeness of a palm tree, and shall not speak: they must be carried to be removed, because they cannot go. Therefore, fear them not, for they can neither do evil nor good.

Ver. 5.  Tree.  The ancient statues were ill-formed, (Diodor. 4.) before Dedalus brought the art to greater perfection, and gave them a living attitude.


6 There is none like to thee, O Lord: thou art great and great is thy name in might.

Ver. 6.  There.  Sept. omit the three following verses; and from v. 9. all these, &c. to the end of v. 10. which Grabe inserts in a different character.  H.



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7 Who shall fear thee, O king of nations? for thine is the glory: among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms there is none like unto thee.

Ver. 7.  Wise.  MS. 2. has in the margin "kings," perhaps more correctly.  Kennicott.



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8 They shall all proved together to be senseless and foolish: the doctrine of their vanity is wood.

Ver. 8.  Vanity, and shews them clearly to be foolish (C.) and wicked.  H.


9 Silver spread into plates is brought from Tharsis, and gold from Ophaz: the work of the artificer, and of the hand of the coppersmith: violet and purple is their clothing: all these things are the work of artificers.

Ver. 9.  Ophaz, or Phison, (Gen. ii. 11.  C.) the coast of Pegu, Faprobana, &c.  M.




10 But the Lord is the true God: he is the living God, and the everlasting king, at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his threatening.

Ver. 10.  Wrath.  God is the true cause of all that terrifies mankind.


11 Thus then shall you say to them: The gods that have not made heaven and earth, let them perish from the earth, and from among those places that are under heaven.

Ver. 11.  Heaven.  This verse is in Chaldee, for the captives to use at Babylon, to defend themselves.  It should be in a parenthesis, as it interrupts the discourse.  Perhaps it was added during the captivity.


12 He that maketh the earth by his power, that prepareth the world by his wisdom, and stretcheth out the heavens by his knowledge.

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13 At his voice he giveth a multitude of waters in the heaven, and lifteth up the clouds from the ends of the earth: he maketh lightnings for rain, and bringeth for the wind out of his treasures.

Ver. 13.  Voice.  Thunder, (Ps. xxviii. 3.) which is usually the forerunner of rain.  Lightning is occasioned by the inflamed exhalations of conflicting clouds.



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14 Every man is become a fool for knowledge every artist is confounded in his graven idol: for what he hath cast is false, and there is no spirit in them.

Ver. 14.  Knowledge.  If it were real, he would see the vanity of idols.  v. 8.  C.


15 They are vain things and a ridiculous work: in the time of their visitation they shall perish. 16 The portion of Jacob is not like these: for it is he who formed all things: and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: the Lord of hosts is his name.

Ver. 16.  Portion.  The Lord.  H.  Ps. lxxii. 6.

 

--- Rod, to measure, (Ps. lxxiii. 2.) or the sceptre and ruler.  M.


17 Gather up thy shame out of the land, thou that dwellest in a siege.

Ver. 17.  Shame.  Idols.  See if they will keep thee.  Heb. "thy merchandise," or most precious effects.


18 For thus saith the Lord: Behold I will cast away far off the inhabitants of the land at this time: and I will afflict them, so that they may be found.

Ver. 18.  Found by the enemy.  Heb. also, "find" me, being taught by affliction.  C. xxix. 13.  C.

 

--- Entering into sentiments of penance, they shall say, Woe, &c.  H.


19 Woe is me for my destruction, my wound is very grievous. But I said: Truly this is my own evil, and I will bear it. 20 My tabernacle is laid waste, all my cords are broken: my children are gone out from me, and they are not: there is none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains. 21 Because the pastors have done foolishly, and have not sought the Lord: therefore have they not understood, and all their flock is scattered. 22 Behold the sound of a noise cometh, a great commotion out of the land of the north: to make the cities of Juda a desert, and a dwelling for dragons.

Ver. 22.  North.  He has announced this conqueror eight times.

 

--- Dragons.  Tannim means "huge reptiles," whether of sea or land.  C.




23 I know, O Lord, that the way of a man is not his: neither is it in a man to walk, and to direct his steps.

Ver. 23.  The way, &c.  Notwithstanding man's free-will, yet he can do no good without God's help, nor evil without his permission.  So that, in the present case, all the evils which Nabuchodonosor was about to bring upon Jerusalem, could not have come but by the will of God.  Ch.  W.

 

--- This prince succeeds by thy order.  Theod.

 

--- Yet chastise us as a father, and have us not to his fury.  v. 24.  C.

 

--- "Let new preachers blush, who say that each one is governed by his own will," (S. Jer.  C. ix. 23.) and able to do good without God's grace.  H.


24 Correct me, O Lord, but yet with judgement: and not in fury, lest thou bring me to nothing.

Ver. 24.  Judgment.  C. xxx. 11.  Ps. vi. 1.  Justice is not contrary to mercy.  C.


25 Pour out thy indignation upon the nations that have not known thee, and upon the provinces that have not called upon thy name: because they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have destroyed his glory.

Ver. 25.  Glory.  This is repeated from Ps. lxxviii. 6.  M.

 

--- The prophet supposes that these nations will not repent, and that their sins are more enormous.  To see God's people treated with greater severity, might scandalize the weak, while infidels would take occasion to abuse their own impunity.  C.

 



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