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CHAP. XXXV. and CHAP. XXXVI. 1—15.

We have here the judgment of mount Seir, or Edom, for their hatred of Israel, and the temporal state of Israel immediately after the captivity.

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OREOVER

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the word of the LORD came unto me,

say

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ing, Son of man, set thy face against mount Seir, and 3 prophesy against it, And say unto it, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O mount Seir, I [am] against thee, and I will stretch out mine hand against thee, and I will make thee most 4 desolate. I will lay thy cities waste, and thou shalt be deso5 late, and thou shalt know that I [am] the LORD. Because thou hast had a perpetual hatred, and hast shed [the blood of] the children of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of their calamity, in the time [that their] iniquity [had] an 6 end:* Therefore, [as] I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will prepare thee unto blood, and blood shall pursue thee: since thou hast not hated blood, but delighted in it, even blood shall pursue thee; others shall be as eager to shed thine as thou 7 hast been to shed theirs. Thus will I make mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it him that passeth out and him that 8 returneth; there shall be no travellers there. And I will fill

his mountains with his slain [men :] in thy hills, and in thy vallies, and in all thy rivers, shall they fall that are slain with 9 the sword. I will make thee perpetual desolations, and thy

cities shall not return and ye shall know that I [am] the 10 LORD. Because thou hast said, These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess it; whereas the LORD was there; hoped to possess the whole in time, though 11 it was the Lord's peculiar inheritance: Therefore, [as] I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will even do according to thine anger, and according to thine envy which thou hast used out of thy hatred against them; and I will make myself known among 12 them when I have judged thee. And thou shalt know that I [am] the LORD, [and that] I have heard all thy blasphemies which thou hast spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, They are laid desolate, they are given us to consume. 13 Thus with your mouth ye have boasted against me, were guilty of blasphemy against the God of Israel, as well as of unkindness to them, and have multiplied your words against me: I have

The old hatred between their ancestors, Esau and Jacob, continued between their posterity; and when the iniquity of Israel was full, and judgment was come upon them, then in a cowardly manner they fell upon them, and took advantage of their weak state to injure them.

This was remarkably accomplished: they were driven out of their own country by a neighbouring nation, and afterwards settled in the southern parts of Judea and in the time of the Maccabees were conquered, and forced to be circumcised and become Jews. By which means they were incorporated and lost in that nation, so that we hear ne more of them.

14 heard [them.] Thus saith the Lord GOD; When the whole earth rejoiceth, that is, the whole land of Canaan, or other na 15 tions restored by Cyrus, I will make thee desolate. As thou

didst rejoice at the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so will I do unto thee: thou shalt be desolate, O mount Seir, and all Idumea, [even] all of it: and they shall know that I [am] the LORD.

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CHAP. XXXVI. Also, thou son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, to the inhabitants of them, and the country round about, as mount Seir and all Idumed, as in the former chapter; or rather, (the country being desolated) he is commanded to address the mountains, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD: Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because the enemy hath said against you, Aha, even the ancient high 3 places are ours in possession: Therefore prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GoD; Because they have made [you] desolate, and swallowed you up on every side, that ye might be a possession unto the residue of the heathen, and ye are taken up in the lips of talkers, and [are] an infamy of the peo4 ple, a by word and a reproach to them: Therefore, ye moun tains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the vallies, to the desolate wastes, and to the cities that are forsaken, which became a prey and derision to the residue of the heathen that [are] round about; particularly to those who were left after the general desolation that was made by the 5 king of Babylon; Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen, and against all Idumea, which have appointed my land into their possession, with the joy of all [their] heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey. Prophesy therefore concerning the land of Israel, and say unto the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the vallies, Thus , saith the Lord GoD; Behold, I have spoken in my jealousy

and in my fury, because ye have borne the shame of the hea7 then: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I have lifted up

mine hand, Surely the heathen that [are] about you, they shall 8 bear their shame. But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come from Babylon to their 9 own land. For, behold, I [am] for you, and I will turn unto 10 you, and ye shall be tilled and sown: And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, [even] all of it and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes, the castics and fortified places, shall be builded: And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit : and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better [unto you] than at your beginnings and ye shall know that

12 I [am] the LORD. Yea, I will cause men to walk upon you, O mountains, [even] my people Israel; and they shall possess thee, and thou shalt be their inheritance, and thou shalt no 13 more henceforth bereave them [of men.] Thus saith the

Lord GOD; Because they say unto you, Thou [land] devourest up men, thou art an unlucky country, always afflicted with 14 one judgment or another, and hast bereaved thy nations; There

fore thou shalt devour men no more, neither bereave thy na15 tions any more, saith the Lord GOD. Neither will I cause [men] to hear in thee the shame of the heathen any more, neither shalt thou bear the reproach of the people any more, neither shalt thou cause thy nations to fall any more, saith the Lord God. These promises were designed to animate the people to leave their comfortable settlements in Babylon, where most of them were born, and to return to their own land.

REFLECTIONS.

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EE the confirmation of Solomon's remark, that he who is glad at calamity shall not go unpunished. The Edomites rejoiced in Israel's ruin, because they expected to possess their land; but God here informs them how much he resented and would punish their cruelty and selfishness. Thus, when men rejoice at the sufferings of others, when they are likely to reap some advantages by it, it is highly displeasing to the God of love. When men suffer for their sins, they are not to be insulted; and the loss and calamity of others, instead of giving us an illnatured pleasure, should excite our pity, and make us less fond of the world, since its enjoyments are so precarious. God will give persecutors blood to drink; and make those who rejoice in the desolations of others, desolate.

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2. We are taught that God heareth and remembereth all our words; especially those which we have spoken against him, or his people, v. 12, 13. and particularly proud, boasting, insolent words, which show a weak, vain, and sinful heart. It is a remarkable phrase, ch. xxxvi. 3. The lips of talkers. There are many who deserve that name; have something to say to, or of, every body; to show their wit, vent their spleen, or rattle out mere impertinence. To prevent these irregularities of the tongue, let us remember that God heareth our words, and observes how they have been multiplied: and that by our words we shall be justified or condemned. Let this engage us to set a watch at the door of our lips: for if any man among you seemeth to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, that man's religion is vain.

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CHAP. XXXVI. 16, to the end.

This part of the chapter refers to the spiritual state of the Jews, and their conversion, and restoration to their own land, in the lat ter days.

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OREOVER the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings, though it was a good and a holy land: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman, who could not enter God's courts; so they were unfit for religious services 18 with idolatrous and polluted hearts. Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols [wherewith] they had polluted it ; murder and idolatry were their two greatest sins, and the true cause 19 of their misery: And I scattered them among the heathen,

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and they were dispersed through the countries: according to 20 their way and according to their doings I judged them. And

when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These [are] the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land; by their ill behaviour they have given occasion to the heathen to say, that Jehovah has done as little to defend his people as other gods have to defend theirs, and cannot make good his grant to 21 them. But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. 22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord

GOD; I do not [this] for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the 23 heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I [am] the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes; that is, manifest my perfections, and give glorious proofs of my power and goodness. 24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you

out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. 25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you; an allusion to legal pollutions, for which sprinkling 26 was appointed under the law. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh; a different and more excellent disposition, 27 and all that is vile shall be taken away. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and

28 ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them.] And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and ye shall be 29 my people, and I will be your God. I will also save you

from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and 30 will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen; shall no more be upbraided with the barrenness of a land, relating to the fruitfulness of which so many promises have 31 been given you. Then shall ye remember your own evil

ways, and your doings that [were] not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations; divine mercies shall increase your repentance 32 and self abasement. Not for your sakes do I [this,] saith the Lord God, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel; a remarkable phrase, intimating how prone men in general are, and the Jews especial33 ly were, to be conceited of their own merit. Thus saith the

Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities, I will also cause [you] to dwell in the cities, 34 and the wastes shall be builded. And the desolate land shall

be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed 35 by. And they shall say, This land [that was] desolate is be

come like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities [are become] fenced, [and] are inhabited. 36 Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined [places, and] plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken [it,] and I will do [it ;] a promise yet to be fulfilled, as their country is still desolate 37 in general, and has few inhabitants. Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet [for] this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do [it] for them; it is their duty to ask these mercies, and I will incline them to pray, and give them gracious answers: I will 38 increase them with men like a flock. As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men; the inhabitants shall be as numerous as the flocks which were driven up to the temple at the solemn feasts to be sacrificed; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD.

REFLECTIONS.

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TO W sad is it when God's professing people occasion his name to be blasphemed! The Israelites profaned his name among the heathen; to whom they should have been teachers of religion, and patterns of good works. Thus when men that profess religion and devotedness to God are vicious, slaves to

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