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2. “Like as mother birds flying above their nest,
So will the Lord of Hosts defend Jerusalem.
Passing over it, He will preserve it! “O Children of Israel, turn ye unto Him, from whom ye have deeply revolted.
“ Then shall every man cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which his own hands have sinfully made for him. Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not the sword of man : and the sword shall devour him, not the sword of man.
He shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall pay tribute. His stronghold shall be passed in fear: his princes shall be dismayed at their own standard !” Thus saith the Lord whose fire is in Zion, and whose hearth is in Jerusalem.
(Ch. xxxi. 1-9.)
An Oracle concerning Egypt.
into Egypt ! The idols of Egypt are moved before Him! The heart of
Egypt melts within her! I will set Egypt against Egypt: they shall fight against one
another. Neighbour against neighbour : city against city: kingdom
against kingdom. The courage of Egypt shall fail within her : will destroy
her counsel : They will consult the idols, and the divinersThose that have familiar spirits, and wizards. Yea, I will give Egypt over into the hand of a cruel
master, And a fierce king shall rule over them. Thus saith the Lord, the Lord of Hosts. (Ch. xix. 1-4.)
A Vision of Destruction.
dried up! The rivers are stagnant: the Nile canals are empty and
dried up! The reeds and papyrus-plants wither away! The meadows by the Nile—on the bank of the Nile, Every plot by the Nile—wither, disappear, and are no more ! The fishers mourn ! All that fish in the Nile lament ! They that spread their nets on its waters languish ! The workers in fine flax, the cotton weavers
founded ! The pillars of the land are broken ! The labourers are
afflicted! The princes of Zoan are at their wit's end! The wise
counsellors of Pharaoh-foolish is their counsel ! How can ye say unto Pharaoh, “I am the son of the wise,
the son of ancient kings”? Where are thy wise men ? Let them declare and tell to thee What the Lord of Hosts hath purposed concerning Egypt. Fools are the princes of Zoan! Deceived—the princes of
Noph! They have misled her, who are the stay of the tribes of
Egypt. The Lord hath mingled a perverse spirit in her midst: And they have misled Egypt in all her doings, Even as a drunken man staggereth in his vomit. There shall not be anything for Egypt to doNeither for the head nor tail, neither for palm branch or
rush. In that day shall Egypt be like unto women :
She shall be afraid, because of the shaking of the Hand-
(Ch. xix. 5-17.)
The Hope of Egypt's Conversion.
In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear by the Lord of Hosts. One of them shall be called “Ir Ha-Heres.' In that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land, and a pillar at the border thereof to the Lord. And it shall be for a sign, and for a witness unto the Lord of Hosts in the land of Egypt. For they shall cry unto the Lord because of the oppressors, and He shall send them a deliverer, and a mighty one, and he shall deliver them. Then the Lord shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day, and shall worship with sacrifice and mealofferings: yea, they shall vow a vow unto the Lord and perform it. The Lord is the smiter of Egypt, but He shall smite and heal it. Then they shall return to the Lord and He shall be inquired of by them, and shall heal them. In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall worship along with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt, and with Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth : and these the Lord shall bless, saying: “Blessed be Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My Hands, and Israel Mine inheritance."
(Ch. xix. 18-25.)
THE PROPHET URGES REPENTANCE ON HIS OWN PEOPLE.
Warning drawn from the Siege of Samaria (722 B.c.).
tempest of hail ! A destroying storm—a flood of mighty waters, over
flowing He is casting her down to the earth with His Hand.
The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim shall be trodden under feet, and the glorious beauty, which is situated on the head of the fertile valley, shall be a fading flower, as the early fruit before its season: which he that looketh upon and seeth, while it is yet in his hand, eateth up. In that day, the Lord of Hosts shall be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty unto the residue of His people. He shall also be for a spirit of justice to him, that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them, that turn the battle to
The State of Jerusalem.
But these also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way! The priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink: they are swallowed up of wine : they are out of the way through strong drink. They err in vision: they stumble in judging! All their tables are covered with vomit and filthiness: there is no place clean.
“Whom will he teach knowledge ?” say they, “and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn away from the breast ! For it is precept upon precept, line upon line: here a little, and there a little."
“Yes, with stammering lips, and a foreign tongue, will He speak to this people. For to them he said, “This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest : and this is the refreshing, but they would not hear. Yes, indeed, the Word of the Lord shall be unto them precept upon precept: line upon line, line upon line: here a little, and there a little (as they say), that they may go, and fall backward, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.”
Oh! hear the Word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this people in Jerusalem ! Because
ye have said, “We have made a covenant with death, and with the grave we are in agreement : when the overflowing scourge shall pass along, it shall not come unto us—we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves."
Therefore, thus saith the Lord of Hosts, “Behold! I will lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone, a sure foundation. He that trusteth on it shall not be confounded. Justice also will I make the line, and righteousness the plummet. The hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding-place. Your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with the grave shall not stand. When the overflowing scourge shall pass along, then ye shall be trodden down by it. As often as it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass