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AND the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 2 Go, and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying: Thus saith the Lord: I have remembered thee, pitying thy soul, pitying thy youth, and the love of thy espousals, when thou followedst me in the desert, in a land that is not sown.

Ver. 2.  Espousals.  He speaks ironically.  Theod.

 

--- Yet the Israelites at first shewed greater proofs of love than they did afterwards.  It is true they often prevaricated, in the wilderness.  Ex. xxxii. 1.  Amos v. 25.  Ps. lxxvii. &c.  C.

 

--- The Lord declares his gratuitous love, and then upbraids his people.  H.

 

--- He had caused them to multiply in Egypt, and gratuitously made choice of them.  W.




3 Israel is holy to the Lord, the first fruits of his increase: all they that devour him offend: evils shall come upon them, saith the Lord.

Ver. 3.  Increase; most desirable.  Osee ix. 10.  God punished those who attempted to injure his people: yet they abandoned his service.


4 Hear ye the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all ye families of the house of Israel. 5 Thus saith the Lord: What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?

Ver. 5.  Vanity; idols, whom he will not mention, to spare their shame.  C.



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6 And they have not said: Where is the Lord, that made us come up out of the land of Egypt? that led us through the desert, through a land uninhabited and unpassable, through a land of drought, and the image of death, through a land wherein no man walked, nor any man dwelt?


7 And I brought you into the land of Carmel, to eat the fruit thereof, and the best things thereof: and when ye entered in, you defiled my land, and made my inheritance an abomination.

Ver. 7.  Carmel.  That is, a fruitful, plentiful land.  Ch.  W.

 

--- All Palestine is thus designated.  M.



Carmel

Carmel. Not where Elias dwelt, but a city and mountain 10 miles east of Eleutheropolis. Nabal rendered it famous by his imprudence, (1 K. xxv.) and Saul by a triumphal arch, 1 K. xv. 12. --- Carmel, so famous for the miracles of Elias, 3 K. xviii. 20. Josephus (Bel. ii. 17,) places it 120 stadia south of Ptolemais. This range of mountains extended northward through the tribes of Issachar and of Zabulon. Pliny (v. 17,) speaks of a promontory and of a town of this name. Here also the god Carmel was adored, having an altar, but no temple or image, as the ancients had decreed. Nec simulacrum Deo aut templum, (sic tradidere majores) ara tantum et reverentia. Tacit. Hist. ii. 78. --- Vespasian consulted the priest Basilides. Carmel means "the vineyard of the Lord," or the excellent vineyard, &c. It was so rich and beautiful as to become proverbial. The spouse compares the head of his beloved to Carmel. C. vii. 5. Isaias (xxxii. 15,) foretels that the deserts shall be equal to Carmel. It was covered with wood and fruit. S. Jerom in Isai. x. 18. Jer. iv. 26. The city, which was built upon this mountain, and which Pliny calls by the same name, was formerly styled Ecbatana. The oracle had denounced to Cambyses that he should die at Ecbatana, and he concluded that the city of Media was meant; but it was "that of Syria," says Herodotus, (iii. 64,) where he died.

8 The priests did not say: Where is the Lord? and they that held the law knew me not, and the pastors transgressed against me: and the prophets prophesied in Baal, and followed idols.

Ver. 8.  Priests were silent, or abandoned themselves.

 

--- Pastors; "princes."  Chal.  Manasses, Amon, &c.

 

--- In Baal, promoting his worship.  H.

 

--- The land was full of false prophets, and none stood up for the Lord.



Baal

Baal (1Chron 4:33), probably identical with Baalath Beer Ramath (Josh 19:8; Simeon), poss. Biâr Mãyîn, or Tell el-Lekiyeh, N. of Bersabee. Baal, or Ballath. Jos. xix. 1.

9 Therefore will I yet contend in judgement with you, saith the Lord, and I will plead with your children.

Ver. 9.  Children; the Israelites, under Moses, and their posterity transgressed.


10 Pass over to the isles of Cethim, and see: and send into Cedar, and consider diligently: and see if there hath been done any thing like this.

Ver. 10.  Cethim; Macedon.  It here denotes the western nations, as Cedar does those of the east.



Cethim

Cethim; Cyrus, or rather Macedonia. --- Cethim; Macedon. It here denotes the western nations, as Cedar does those of the east.

Cedar

Cedar: Arabia, (Ch.) near to Edom. C. --- Cedar and Nabaioth sprung from Ismael, and dwelt in desert Arabia, under tents, feeding flocks. S. Jer. Ezec. xxvii. 21.

11 If a nation hath changed their gods, and indeed they are not gods,: but my people have changed their glory into an idol.

Ver. 11.  Glory; the true God and his ark.  Ps. iii. 4. and 1 K. iv. 21.


12 Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and ye gates thereof, be very desolate, saith the Lord.

Ver. 12.  Gates; angels, or the temple.


13 For my people have done two evils. They have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and have digged to themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

Ver. 13.  Water.  The idols and nations, to which they have had recourse, injure them.  C.

 

--- The Jews did just the reverse to what God commanded.  W.


14 Is Israel a bondman, or a homeborn slave? why then is he become prey?

Ver. 14.  Slave.  From such, labour and tribute were required.  Mat. xvii. 24.  Jo. viii. 33.


15 The lions have roared upon him, and have made a noise, they have made his land a wilderness: his cities are burnt down and there is none to dwell in them.

Ver. 15.  Lions; kings of Assyria, &c.  The decree for the devastation of Juda had already passed, though it was not put in execution.


16 The children also of Memphis, and of Taphnes have deflowered thee, even to the crown of the head.

Ver. 16.  Taphnes, 16 miles from Pelusium, in Egypt.  The nation proved only detrimental to the Jews, by engaging them in their abominations, instead of affording relief.




17 Hath not this been done to thee, because thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God at that time, when he led thee by the way? 18 And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the troubled water? And what hast thou to do with the way of the Assyrians, to drink the water of the river?

Ver. 18.  Troubled.  Heb. shichor, or Nile water, (Jos. xiii. 3.) which was thought as good as wine, and grew better for keeping.  Strabo xvii.

 

--- Hence the people adored it.  Vitruv. viii.

 

--- God often reproached the Jews for distrusting in his protection, and seeking aid from the Egyptians, who deceived them.  We know not that Josias did so.  C.

 

--- He even opposed them, and lost his life in defending the country.  4 K. xxiii. 29.  H.

 

--- He was probably obliged to pay tribute to the Assyrians, whom Achaz had called in.  2 Par. xxviii. 23.  These alliances the Lord condemned.




19 Thy own wickedness shall reprove thee, and thy apostasy shall rebuke thee. Know thou, and see that it is an evil and a bitter thing for thee, to have left the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not with thee, saith the Lord the God of hosts. 20 Of old time thou hast broken my yoke, thou hast burst my bands, and thou saidst: I will not serve. For on every high hill, and under every green tree thou didst prostitute thyself.

Ver. 20.  Thou.  Sept.  Yet Heb. and Chal. have, "I have permissively broken," or foretold this infidelity.



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21 Yet I planted thee a chosen vineyard, all true seed: how then art thou turned unto me into that which is good for nothing, O strange vineyard?

Ver. 21.  Chosen.  Heb. Sorek.  Judg. xvi. 4.  Is. v. 2. and xvi. 8.  C.

 

--- God created all things good, planted his Church in justice, and no evil proceeds from Him.  W.



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22 Though thou wash thyself with nitre, and multiply to thyself the herb borith, thou art stained in thy iniquity before me, saith the Lord God.

Ver. 22.  Borith.  An herb used to clean clothes, and take out spots and dirt, (Ch.) like kali, soda, (C.) or soap.  Langius.

 

--- Prot. "and take thee much soap."  H.


23 How canst thou say: I am not polluted, and I have not walked after Baalim? see thy ways in the valley, know what thou hast done: as a swift runner pursuing his course.

Ver. 23.  Valley of Hinnom, under the very walls of Jerusalem.  C.

 

--- Runner.  Heb. "dromedary," which takes its name from its swiftness.  H.

 

--- The female camel continues all day with the male, and cannot be approached.  Aristot.  Pliny x. 63.

 

--- Juda is represented as no less libidinous.  C.


24 A wild ass accustomed to the wilderness in the desire of his heart, snuffed up the wind of his love: none shall turn her away: all that seek her shall not fail: in her monthly filth they shall find her.

Ver. 24.  Away.  The female may easily be found by the poisonous hippo-manes.  Georg. iii.

 

--- Thus Jerusalem is an impudent prostitute.  H.


25 Keep thy foot from being bare, and thy throat from thirst. But thou saidst: I have lost all hope, I will not do it: for I have loved strangers, and I will walk after them.

Ver. 25.  Foot, and the parts which modesty covers.  My exhortations are slighted.  C.

 

--- Despair opens the door to every sort of impurity.  Eph. iv. 19.  H.


26 As the thief is confounded when he is taken, so is the house of Israel confounded, they and their kings, their princes and their priests, and their prophets.

Ver. 26.  Taken.  Juda affected still to be very pious.  v. 23.


27 Saying to a stock: Thou art my father: and to a stone: thou hast begotten me: they have turned their back to me, and not their face: and in the time of their affliction they will say: Arise, and deliver us.

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28 Where are the gods, whom thou hast made thee? let them arise and deliver thee in the time of thy affliction: for according to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Juda.

Ver. 28.  Cities.  All were abandoned.  Ezec. xvi. 24.  Osee x. 1.



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29 Why will you contend with me in judgement? you have all forsaken me, saith the Lord. 30 In vain have I struck your children, they have not received correction: your sword hath devoured your prophets, your generation is like a ravaging lion.

Ver. 30.  Prophets; Zacharias, (2 Par. xxiv. 21.) Isaias, &c.  Mat. xxiii. 34.  C.

 

--- Punishment is designed by God to cause people to repent.  W.


31 See ye the word of the Lord: Am I become a wilderness to Israel, or a lateward springing land? why then have my people said: We are revolted, we will come to thee no more.

Ver. 31.  See, or hear.  The sword seems to be animated.  C.

 

--- Lateward.  Heb. "darksome land."  Have I not heaped blessings on my people?

 

--- Revolted.  Prot. "Lords."  H.


32 Will a virgin forget her ornament, or a bride her stomacher? but my people hath forgotten me days without number. 33 Why dost thou endeavor to shew thy way good to seek my love, thou who has also taught thy malices to be thy ways,

Ver. 33.  Thou who.  Heb. "Therefore have I."  C.

 

--- Prot. "hast thou also taught the wicked ones thy ways."  H.

 

--- Thou hast opened a school of vice.


34 And in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor and innocent? not in ditches have I found them, but in all places, which I mentioned before.

Ver. 34.  Innocent children, immolated to Moloc, or people murdered, whose blood thou hast not concealed.  4 K. xxi. 16.


35 And thou hast said: I am without sin and am innocent: and therefore let thy anger be turned away from me. Behold, I will contend with thee in judgement, because thou hast said: I have not sinned. 36 How exceeding base art thou become, going the same ways over again! and thou shalt be ashamed of Egypt, as thou wast ashamed of Assyria.

Assyria

Assyria. The successors of Cyrus now ruled over those countries, (C.) which had belonged to the most potent Assyrian and Chaldean monarchs; and therefore the titles are given to them indiscriminately. T.

37 For from thence thou shalt go, and thy hand shall be upon thy head: for the Lord hath destroyed thy trust, and thou shalt have nothing prosperous therein.

Ver. 37.  Head, like the violated Thamar.  2 K. xiii. 19.  The king of Egypt was routed, when coming to assist Sedecias.  C. xxxvii. 3. 10.  C.


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