« PreviousContinue »
go and wrong thee. Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man
shall lie with her thou shalt build an house, and thou shalt not dwell therein : thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes thereof; all thy dearest property and goods shall be taken away by violence. Thine ox (shall be] slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat thereof : thine ass (shall be] violently taken away from before thy face, and shall not be restored to thee : thy sheep (shall be) given unto
thine enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue [them.] 32 Thy sons and thy daughters [shall be) given unto another
people, shall be carried captive and sold for slaves ; and thine eyes shall look, and fail (with longing] for them all the day long, there shall be no hope of seeing them again, no friend, no
ally, to interpose, and (there shall be) no might in thine hand 33 to rescue them, nor money to ransom them. The fruit of thy
land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest
not eat up ; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed 34 alway :* So that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine
eyes which thou shalt see ; many accordingly destroyed them35 selves through anguish and despair. The LORD shall smite
thee in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot unto the top of thy
head, so that thou shalt not be able to resist, because of thy own 36 sickness and weakness. The Lord) shall bring thee, and thy
king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt
thou serye other gods, wood and stone, either by persuasion or 37 force. And thou shalt become an astonishment, thy calam
ities shall be so great, ihat thy very enemies shall be astonished at them; a proverb and a byword among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee; thy miseries shall be used proverb. ially to express great calamities ; and they shall sport themselves
in thy miseries, saying, These are the people of the Lord, &c.t 38 Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt 39 gather [but] little in ; for the locust shall consume it. Thou
shalt plant vineyards, and dress [them,] but shalt neither
drink [of] the wine, nor gather (the grapes ;] for the worms 40 shall eat them. Thou shalt have olive trees throughout all
thy coasts, but thou shalt not anoint (thyself] with the oil ;
for thine olive shall cast [his fruit,] shall be blasted in the very 41 blossom. Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt 42 not enjoy them ; for they shall go into captivity. All thy 43 trees and fruit of thy land shall the locust consume. The
. This was the case in the Assyrian and Babylonish captivity; and it was so remark. bale as not to be accounted for, without the immediate hand of God to fulfil these awful threatenings.
+ This was fulfilled in their captivity ; but more especially since their dispersion by the Romans; they are a common proverb through the earth, You use me like a Jew: you would not have done so to a lew,' that is, to one of the wors
stranger that [is] within thee shall get up above thee vert
high; and thou shalt come down very low; those who fora 44 merly served thee, shall now get above and insult thee. He shall
lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him : he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail. Thus the promise of God, to eralt his people and confound their foes, is quite reversed, and Israel should become poor, mean, and contemptible.
... REFLECTION.: .
@ EE what a constant dependence we have upon God, and 10 how solicitous we should be to secure his friendship. We need his favour and blessing in every circumstance of life, even the most minute and inconsiderable.' We depend upon him for rain and sunshine, for food, protection, health, and children, and every other mercy. He can easily take them away if we displease him, and bring upon us the curses here threatened. He can disappoint us in our most agreeable hopes, and send us unutterable anguish of body and mind. All blessings are in his good treasure, and all curses at his command. May we be solicitous, therefore, to acquaint ourselves with God; to lay hold on his strength, and seek pardon and peace through the blood of the everlasting covenant, that so he may be our friend. The blessing and the curse are set before us. Let us then servë God, and 'keep his commandments, and we shall inherit the blessing promised in his word to those who, by a patient continuance in well doing, seek for glory, honour, and immortality. ...
CHAP. XXVIII. 45, to the end. The blessing and curses continued. This part of themi refers to the
dispersion and destruction of the Jews by the Romans, and 'is : as remarkable a prediction, and was de signally accomplished, às
any in the Old Testament. : 45 M OREOVER, all these curses shall come upon theės
and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; one punishment shall follor another, till you are
brought to ruin, and are more miserable than any other nation ; · and the reason is, because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice
of the LORD thy God to keep his commandments and his 46 statutes which he commanded thee : And they shall be upon
thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever ; the curse shall remain fixed upon thee, and all shall take notice of it, as an extraordinary mark of God's displeasure. Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with
48 gladness of heart, for the abundance of all [things :) There
fore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all (things :] and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee; because ye served not God in the way he required, ye shall serve your enemies, lose
your liberty, sink into dreadful slavery, and be under a hard 49 yoke, from which yc shall not be able to free yourselves. The
LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end
of the earth, [as swift] as the eagle fieth ; a nation whose 50 tongue thou shalt not understand ;* A nation of fierce coun
tenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favour to the young; a stern, bold, hardhearted people, inflexibly pursuing their own designs ; which was the exact character of the old Romans : and though in other wars the con.
querors usually pitied the old and the young, yet in the war 51 with the Jews they spared no one. And he shall eat the fruit
of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which (also] shall not leave thee (either] corn, wine, or oil, [or] the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he
have destroyed thee; the country shall be destroyed by their 52 vast armies. And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until
thy high and fenced walls come down wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land : and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the LORD thy God hath given thee. The Jews fled to their fenced cities, where provisions
were laid us, but the walls of most of them, even of Jerusalem 53 itself, were broken down. And thou shalt eat the fruit of
thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the LORD thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and
in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee ; 54 this was actually the case when besieged by the Romans : [So
that] the man (that is] tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife
of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which 55 he shall leave : So that he will not give to any of them of
the flesh of his children whom he shall eat ; he shall grudge every morsel that he sees his nearest relations eat : shall be ready to snatch it from them ; yea, even to eat and devour them; and not allow them to feed upon his own children, which he is forced to eat; because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the
straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy 56 gates. The tender and delicate woman among you, which would
* Some of the Jewish doctors say, this is a prophecy of their destruction by the Ro. mans; and indeed rothing is here mentioned but what was literally applicable to that dreadful event. The soldiers in Titus' army were from France, Spain, Britain, and the ends of the earth; the eagle was their standard, and their language was unknown to the Jews, which was not entirely the case with the Chald:e language. VOL. II.
not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for del. icateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the hus
band of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daugh57 ter, And toward her young one that cometh out from
between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear : for she shall eat them for want of all (things] secretly
in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall dis58 tress thee in thy gates.* If thou wilt not observe to do al}
the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou
mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD 59 THY GOD; Then the LORD will make thy plagues won
derful, uncommon and surprising to all the world, and the plagues of thy seed, [even] great plagues and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance; accord
ingly, they and their seed have been plagued in almost every na60 tion under heaven. Moreover, he will bring upon thee all the
diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall 61 cleave unto thee. Also every sickness, and every plague,
which [is] not written in the book of this law, them will the 62 LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.t And ye
shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of
heaven for multitude ; because thou wouldst not obey the 63 voice of the LORD thy God. And it shall come to pass, [that]
as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you ; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought ; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. God takes no pleasure in the death of sinners, but he delights to glorify his justice, takes pleas
ure in asserting the honour of his government, and in securing 64 the designs of it ; therefore he plucked them off the land. And
the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other ;* and there thou shalt
serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have 65 known, (even) wood and stone.t And among these nations
* Accordingly, Josephus tells us, that after eating dogs, horses, cats, &c. they ate their own children privately, and let none share with them. He particularly mentions a noble matron, who boiled part of her child during the siege, but the mob, smelling the meat, broke in, and to them slie offered the rest.
+ This also is a fact, for in almost every nation they have been tortured and destroyed in various ways, and exposed to all the sicknesses that hunger, nakedness, and wandering about, could bring upon them.
This was remarkably the case when Jerusalem was taken; some say a million perished in the city by famine and the sword, and many hundred thousands in other parts of the kingdom.
| Titus carried away ninety thousand captives ; Adrian, soon after, slew five hundred thousand; and the senate joined with him in a decree, that no Jew should ever come within Judea, on pain of death; this he did out of policy, but he was fulfilling this word of the Lord.
This was the natural effect of the decree abovementioned. Some were carried to Spain, multitudes fled to Babylon, and the East; they were scattered over all the earth, but still continued distinct from all other nations; which is a standing miracle to this day.
f I make no doubt, but that this refers to their being obliged to turn christians in popish countries, and to worship their idols; this they were obliged to do in Spain and Portugal.
shalt thou find no ease, no settlement, but be continually removed from place to place, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest : but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and
failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind, ye shall always be in dread 66 of some new mischief.* And thy life shall hang in doubt be
fore thee ; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have 67 none assurance of thy life : In the morning thou shalt say,
Would God it were even ! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou
shalt see on account of dreadful apprehensions in the night, and 68 lamentable sights by day. And the Lord shall bring thee into
Egypt again, to be slaves again therent with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again : and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy [you.t]
1. INTE should consider the prophecy in this chapter, as a
VV glorious confirmation of the truth of the sacred writings, and a proof that Moses was a divinely inspired prophet. The words are fulfilled through every succeeding age to this day, in all the calamities of the Jews, The contempt they suffer in every nation, the marks of infamy that are put upon them, and the blindness of their hearts are unanswerable arguments for the truth of christianity, Every Jew we see, is a kind of miraculous attestation that Jesus is the true Messiah, and that the scriptures were given by divine inspiration,
2. We find here many important branches of duty pointed out. Let us hearken to God's voice, observe his commands, his whole law, not turning aside to the right hand or to the left. Let us serve God with cheerfulness and gladness ; serve him with all our good things. The more we have, the more cheerfully we should serve him ; not with reluctance, but with pleasure and delight. Let us fear that awful name, JEHOVĀH, the selfexistent, unchangeable, eternal, and covenant keeping God ; that so his blessing may continually overtake us.
Hence Juvenal calls them, in contempt, trembling Fews; their eyes failed in looking for relief, and they had sorrow of mind on account of their sufferings,
+ So it came to pass at the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, when multitudes of them were carried into Egypt and sold there for slaves.
Titus commanded all under seventeen years of age to be sold, and in such numbers, that thirty of them were sold for a small piece of money. Adrian sold them in a fair, like horses, and for the same price. Such multitudes were often exposed to sale, that there were not persons enough to buy them; and they were sent into confinement, and that so strict and severe, till they died by hundreds and thousands together; and in general they were looked upon in so contemptible a light, that men would not have them even for slaves; in so remarkable a manner have these awful denunciations been fulfilled.