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What could be more base, than to go with a band of assassins to the festive entertainment prepared for their refreshment by hospitality and friendship, and murder the kind provider of the liberal repast? Such are the direful effects of ambition !
Ishmael was going to seek for reinforcement in the land of Ammon, when it pleased God to deliver him up to the punishment due to his atrocious wickedness.
Gedaliah's fate appears to have been very hard: but we must remember, that there will be a state of future retribution.
JEREMIA H'S PROPHECY WHICH HE SPAKE TO THE MEN OF JUDAH THAT WERE LEFT IN THE LAND.
From Jeremiah, Chap. xliii. Then all the captains of the forces, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people, from the least even unto the greatest, came near, and said unto Jeremiah the prophet, Let, we beseech thee, our supplications be accepted before thee, and pray for us unto the Lord thy God, even for all this remnant: for we are left but a few of many as thine eyes do behold us.
That the Lord thy God may shew us the way wherein we may walk, and the thing that we may do.
Then Jeremiah the prophet said unto them, I have heard you : Behold, I will pray unto the Lord your God, according to your words: and it shall come to pass, that whatsoever thing the Lord shall answer you, I will declare it unto you: I will keep nothing back from you. Then they said to Jeremiah, The LORD be a true
and faithful witness between us, if we do not even according to all things for the which the LORD thy God shall send thee to us.
Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of thc LORD our God, to whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the Lord our God.
And it came to pass after ten days, that the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah. .
Then he called Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces which were with him, and all the people from the least even to the greatest.
And said unto theni, Thus saith the LORD the God of Israel unto whom ye sent me to present your supplication before him; If ye will still abide in this land then will I build you and not pull you down; and I will plant you, and not pluck you up: for I delight not in bringing evil upon you.
Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom ye are afraid ; be not afraid of him, saith the Lord: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand.
And I will shew mercies unto you, that he may have mercy upon you, and cause you to return to your own land.
But if ye say, We will not dwell in this land, neither obey the voice of the Lord your God, saying, No: but we will go into the land of Egypt, where we shall see no war, nor hear the sound of the trumpet, nor have hunger of bread; and there will we dwell: And now therefore hear the word of the LORD, ye remnant of Judah ; Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel ; If ye wholly set your faces to enter into Egypt, and go to sojourn there ; Then it shall come to pass, That the sword which ye
feared shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine whereof ye were afraid shall follow close after you there in Egypt; and there ye shall die.
So shall it be with all the men that set their faces to go into Egypt to sojourn there: they shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence : and none of them shall remain or escape from the evil that I will bring upon them.
For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, As mine anger and my fury hath been poured forth upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem : so shall my fury be poured forth upon you, when ye shall enter into Egypt: and ye shall be an execration, and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach: and ye shall see this place no more.
The Lord hath said concerning you, O ye remnant of Judah, Go ye not into Egypt: know certainly that I have admonished you this day.
For ye dissembled in your hearts, when ye sent me unto the LORD your God, saying, Pray for us unto the Lord our God : and according unto all that the LORD our God shall say, so declare unto us, and we will do it.
And now I have this day declared it to you, but ye have not obeyed the voice of the LORD your God, nor any thing for the which he hath sent me unto you.
Now therefore know certainly, that ye shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, in the place whither ye desire to go, and to sojourn.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. We find that the infinite mercy of God would have been extended to the Jews who remained in the land, if they would have reformed their lives, and submitted to the Divine commands; but notwithstanding they had seen desolation spread far and near, by famine,
sword, and fire; and had greatly felt the effects of these calamities, which had been long threatened, for the impiety and disobedience of the nation, they remained irreclaimable.
They pretended indeed to be desirous of conducting themselves in conformity to the Divine will, but the generality of them were insincere, which occasioned the prophet to reprove them in the name of God, who knoweth what passes in the secret recesses of the mind for their abominable hypocrisy.
JOHANAN, &c. DISCREDIT THE PROPHECY, AND RE
SOLVE TO GO INTO EGYPT.
From Jeremiah, Chap. xliii. And it came to pass that when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking unto all the people, all the words of the LORD their God, for which the LORD their God had sent him to them, even all these words, then spake Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men, saying unto Jeremiah, Thou speakest falsely : the Lord our God hath not sent thee to say, Go not into Egypt to sojourn there.
But Baruch the son of Neriah setteth thee on against us, for to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they might put us to death, and carry us away captives into Babylon.
So Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, and all the people, obeyed not the voice of the Lord, to dwell in the land of Judah.
But Johanan the son of Kareah, and all thecaptains of the forces, took all the remnant of Judah, that were returned from all nations whither they had been driven, to
to dwell in the land of Judah; even men and women, and children, and the king's daughters, and every person that Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard had left with Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan ; and Jeremiah the prophet, and Baruch the son of Neriah.
So they came into the land of Egypt: for they obeyed not the voice of the Lord; thus came they, even to Tahpanhes.
Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah in Tahpanhes, saying, Take great stones in thine hand, and hide them in the clay in the brick-kiln, which is at the entry of Pharaoh's house in Tahpanhes, in the sight of the men of Judah : and say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon my servant, and will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid, and he shall spread his royal pavilion over them,
And when he cometh, he shall smite the land of Egypt and deliver such as are for death, to death ; and such as are for captivity, to captivity; and such as are for the sword, to the sword.
And I will kindle a fire in the houses of the gods of Egypt, and he shall burn them, and carry them away captives, and he shall array himself with the land of Egypt, as a shepherd putteth on his garment, and he shall go forth from hence in peace.
He shall break also the images of Bethshemesh, that is in the land of Egypt; and the houses of the gods of the Egyptians shall he burn with fire.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. It is astonishing to read of the invincible obstinacy of the impious Jews; but what can reclaim those who VOL. IV.