« PreviousContinue »
cob, and shout among the chief nations : publish ye, praise ye, and say, O Lord, save thy people, the remnant of Israel.
Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame: a great company
shall return thither.
They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way wherein they shall not stumble : for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my first-born. .
Hear the word of the LORD, Oye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd does his flock.
For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.
Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young
of the flock and of the herd : and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.
Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together : for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
The promises which compose this Section, were delivered by Jeremiah at the same time that he was commissioned to denounce those dreadful threatenings which were fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem. It is
needless to observe, that they were mercifully calcu. lated to support the hopes of those who continued faithful to the LORD, or who were penitent for their sins. A variety of other consolatory passages might be selected from the rest of the prophets.
A PROPHECY OF EZEKIEL RELATING TO TYRE.
From Chap. xxvi.
And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, because that Tyrus hath said against Jerusalem, Aha, she is broken that was the gates of the people: she is turned unto me, I shall be replenished, now she is laid waste: Therefore thus saith the LORD God, Behold, I am against thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up.
And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock.
It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea : for I have spoken it, saith the LORD, God, and it shall become a spoil to the nations.
And her daughters which are in the field shall be slain by the sword, and they shall know that I am the Lord.
For thus saith the LORD God, Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people. He shall slay with the sword thy daughters in the H5
field, and he shall make a fort against thee, and cast a mount against thee, and lift up the buckler against thee.
And he shall set engines of war against thy walls, and with axes he shall break down thy towers.
By reason of the abundance of his horses, their dust shall cover thee, thy walls shall shake at the noise of the horsemen, and of the wheels, and of the chariots, when he shall enter into thy gates, as men enter into a city wherein is made a breach.
With the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all thy streets; he shall slay thy people by the sword, and thy strong garrisons shall go down to the ground.
And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandize, and they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses ; and they shall lay thy stones, and thy timber, and thy dust, in the midst of the water.
And I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease, and the sound of thy harps shall be no more heard.
And I will make thee like the top of a rock: thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon: thou shalt be built no more: for I the Lord have spoken it, saith the LORD GOD.
Thus saith the Lord God to Tyrus, Shall not the isles shake at the sound of thy fall, when the wounded cry, when the slaughter is made in the midst of thee?
Then all the princes of the sea shall come down from their thrones, and lay away their robes, and put off their broidered garments: they shall clothe themselves with trembling, they shall sit upon the ground, and shall tremble at every moment, and be astonished at thee.
And they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and say to thee, How art thou destroyed that wast inhabited of sea-faring men, the renowned city which wast strong in the sea, she and her inhabitants, which cause their 2
terror to be on all that haunt it? Now shall the isles tremble in the day of thy fall : yea, the isles that are in the sea shall be troubled at thy departure.
For thus saith the LORD GOD, When I shall make thee a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited, when I shall bring up the deep upon thee, and great waters shall cover thee; when I shall bring thee down, with them that descend into the pit, with the people of old time, and shall set thee in the low parts of the earth, in places desolate of old, with them that go down to the pit, that thou be not inhabited, and I shall set glory in the land of the living;
I will make thee a terror, and thou shalt be no more: though thou be sought for, yet shalt thou never be found again, saith the Lord God.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
This prophecy begins with introducing Tyre insulting Jerusalem on her fall, and congratulating herself on the prospect
of accession to her commerce, now that this city was no more. Upon which God denounces destruction to Tyre, and all the lesser cities dependant upon her. Nebuchadnezzar is named as the person charged with this work, and his proceedings, and the fatal consequences of them, are described in the most lively colours. At length, nothing remains of Tyre, but the bare rock on which it was built. Let us now see how this prediction was fulfilled.
About two years after the destruction of Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar went again into Syria, and laid siege to Tyre. It was a strong and wealthy city, which had never yet submitted to any foreign empire, and was at that time famous for its traffic and merchandize ; by H6
which several of its inhabitants had enriched themselves to such a degree, that they were able to vie with princes in splendour and magnificence. It was built by the Zidonians, two hundred and forty years before the building of the temple of Solomon at Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar had great difficulties in subduing Tyre, which resisted him for thirteen years, but at length yielded to this mighty conqueror.
Before it came to this extremity, the inhabitants had removed their effects into an island about half a mile distant from the shore, and there built a new city: therefore, when Nebuchadnezzar entered, he found but little to reward his soldiers. In revenge he razed the town, and it never rose to be any thing more than a village afterwards; but the city in the island became famous under the name of New Tyre.
From the downfall of Tyre we learn, that it is great folly, as well as cruelty, for one nation to exult at the ruin of another; for, behold! the LORD maketh the earth empty; he scattereth abroad all the inhabitants thereof; none are able to resist his power, when his judgments are gone forth to punish for iniquity.
Whilst Nebuchadnezzar lay at the siege of Tyre, Nebuzar-adan, his general, being sent by him with part of his army,
invaded the land of Israel, to take revenge, as is supposed, for the death of Gedaliah: in which expedition he carried away captive seven hundred and furty• five persons who remained in the land. Perhaps this small remnant had been restrained by the threatenings which Jeremiah denounced in the name of the LORD, against all those who should, in defiance of the Divine command, go into Egypt; if so, we may regard their captivity as a merciful dispensation, since it proved the mean of their being comfortably settled with the rest