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WOE is me, for I am become as one that gleaneth in autumn the grapes of the vintage: there is no cluster to eat, my soul desired the firstripe figs.

Ver. 1.  Figs, which are the worst.  S. Jer.  S. Amb. in Lu. vii. 3.  Yet they were eagerly sought after, before the other figs came to maturity.  They had escaped the rigours of winter.  Such Christ (C.) seemed to expect.  Mark xi. 13.

2 The holy man is perished out of the earth, and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood, every one hunteth his brother to death.

Ver. 2.  Holy man.  Heb. chasid, (H.) "the pious" Assidean.  2 Mac. xiv. 6.  The disorder of Israel was great, though some were religious.  C.


--- Such expressions only mean that few could be found, and that the far greatest number rejected the prophet's advice.  W.

3 The evil of their hands they call good: the prince requireth, and the judge is for giving: and the great man hath uttered the desire of his soul, and they have troubled it.

Ver. 3.  Giving.  Sept. "speaks words of peace."  He flatters the prince, (H.) and dares not oppose the unjust.  Syr. "he says, bring presents."


--- Troubled it; or, "have thy?" &c.  Heb. "they confirm it."

4 He that is best among them, is as a brier: and he that is righteous, as the thorn of the hedge. The day of thy inspection, thy visitation cometh: now shall be their destruction.

Ver. 4.  Brier.  Heb. chedek, or "thorn."  Sept. "a consuming moth."


--- Inspection, or of thy chiefs (H.) and prophets. C.

5 Believe not a friend, and trust not in a prince: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that sleepeth in thy bosom.

Ver. 5.  Bosom.  In times of general distress, even domestics are not trusted; because all are solicitous for themselves, even to the prejudice of others.  W.


--- Before the ruin of Israel civil wars raged.  4 K. xv.  Our Saviour alludes to this passage.  Mat. x. 35. Lu. xii. 52. and xxi. 16.  People will rise up to oppress true believers; and these must abandon their nearest relations, when they prove an obstacle to salvation.  Thus is the moral, and the other the literal sense.  C.

6 For the son dishonoureth the father, and the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law: and a man's enemies are they of his own household.


7 But I will look towards the Lord, I will wait for God my Saviour: my God will hear me. 8 Rejoice not, thou, my enemy, over me, because I am fallen: I shall arise, when I sit in darkness, the Lord is my light. 9 I will bear the wrath of the Lord, because I have sinned against him; until he judge my cause and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth into the light, I shall behold his justice. 10 And my enemy shall behold, and she shall be covered with shame, who saith to me: Where is the Lord thy God? My eyes shall look down upon her: now shall she be trodden under foot as the mire of the streets.

Ver. 10.  She; Babylon, my enemy.  Ch.


--- It was taken by the Medes and Persians, who set the Jews at liberty, to the great mortification of their enemies.  W.


--- God thus displayed his justice or mercy, rescuing his people from the nigh of misery.


--- Streets.  Cyrus treated the fallen city with contempt.  It stood for some time afterwards.  C.

11 The day shall come, that thy walls may be built up: in that day shall the law be far removed.

Ver. 11.  Law of thy enemies, who have tyrannized over thee.  Ch.


--- The walls of Jerusalem are ordered to be rebuilt.  Agg. i.


12 In that day they shall come even from Assyria to thee, and to the fortified cities: and from the fortified cities even to the river, and from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain.

Ver. 12.  Fortified.  Heb. also, "Egypt, and from Egypt to the river Euphrates," &c.  The Jews shall occupy their ancient limits.  Amos viii. 12.  C.


--- The fenced cities may be Pelusium, Gaza, Tyre, &c.  From all parts the captives shall return.  H.


--- They were very numerous under the Machabees, and in the time of Christ.  C.


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.

13 And the land shall be made desolate, because of the inhabitants thereof, and for the fruit of their devices.

Ver. 13.  Land of Babylon, (Ch.) or "the land of Judea (H.) has been," &c.  It might also be again made desolate, because the captives built houses for themselves, and neglected the temple.  Agg. i. 10.

14 Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thy inheritance, them that dwell alone in the forest, in the midst of Carmel: they shall feed in Basan and Galaad according to the days of old.

Ver. 14.  Alone: destitute of all things, or in full security.  Jer. xv. 17.  Num. xxiii. 9.  God will feed his people (C.) in the most fertile places, designated by Carmel and Basan.  H.


--- A pastor must maintain sound doctrine and discipline.  W.


Basan (Deut 3:4), a region S. of the Plain of Damascus; at first the Kingdom of Og, then given to the tribe of Manasses.


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.

15 According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt I will shew him wonders.

Ver. 15.  Wonders.  The prophets speaking of the return, have Christ and his religion in view; so that they seem not to find terms sufficiently magnificent.  Is. ix. 15. and xliii. 16.  Zac. x. 11.  We know from Esdras that nothing so surprising attended the liberation of the people.  C.

16 The nations shall see, and shall be confounded at all their strength: they shall put the hand upon the mouth, their ears shall be deaf.

Ver. 16.  Strength, because they cannot overcome the Hebrews or Christians.  M.


--- Deaf, being astonished.  Job xxi. 5.

17 They shall lick the dust like serpents, as the creeping things of the earth, they shall be disturbed in their houses: they shall dread the Lord our God, and shall fear thee.

Ver. 17.  Serpents, (Gen. iii. 14.) out of respect or rage.  C.


--- Converts shall humbly apply to the ministers of Christ to receive baptism and confirmation.  Theod. Sanct. lxvii.


18 Who is a God like to thee, who takest away iniquity, and passest by the sin of the remnant of thy inheritance? he will send his fury in no more, because he delighteth in mercy.

Ver. 18.  No more, for past offences.  Yet, if they transgress again, they must not expect impunity.  The Jews still bleed for the murder of the Messias.  C.


19 He will turn again, and have mercy on us: he will put away our iniquities: and he will cast all our sins into the bottom of the sea.

Ver. 19.  Away.  Prot. "subdue," (H.) or trample upon.  C.

20 Thou wilt perform the truth of Jacob, the mercy to Abraham: which thou hast sworn to our fathers from the days of old.

Ver. 20.  Truth, performing what he had promised out of mercy to Abraham.  W.

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Holy Spirit