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is the covenant of the LORD; nor will it come to the mind of any of the parties themfelves, to fay, let us fear the ark of the covenant of God: nor will it be remembered, in regard of the oath that ufed to be taken before it; nor fhall it be vifited for that purpofe: nor fhall that be done any more: they no more will trefpafs against each other; and confequently, will not be obliged to fwear; because the children of Ifrael, will all then be righteous and juft; fo that, " At that time they shall call Jerufalem the throne of the LORD:" And the confequence will be, "And all nations fhall refort to it, to the name of the LORD, in Jerufalem: and they (Ifrael) shall not walk any more after the lufting of their evil heart." And therefore, they will no more fin against each other, and confequently, they will have no neceflity to go before the ark; to fwear concerning the trefpafs.
The Prophet then proceeds to speak of the return of the ten tribes from the north: and the reunion of the kingdoms of Ifrael, and their joint participation in the happiness of the true Mefliah's kingdom: as in verfe 18th. "In thofe days thall the houfe of Ju
dah walk with the houfe of Ifrael, and they fhall come together out of the north country, unto the land which I gave for an inheritance to your fathers."
The Prophet then proceeds to recount God's mercy and kindness, towards them, and the ill return that they made to fuch goodness, by their apoftafy, &c. verfe 19th. &c. "And when I faid, How fhall I place thee among children, and give unto thee the defirable land, the inheritance of the glory of hofts of nations? But I faid, Thou shalt call me, My father; and thou shalt not turn afide from following me." The Supreme Being, is here reprefented, as faying to himself, when the nation was in bondage in Egypt, "How fhall I place thee as children," &c, Ye now are flaves to the Egyptians, in the lowest state of degradation; how then, can I think of exalting you to fo high a degree, as to make you children of the LORD God' But I faid, "Thou shalt call me, my father,"
The Hebrew is by which literally fignifies upon, over, &c. and denotes that the houfe of Judah fhall then reign over the house of Ifrael; fo that they will all be governed by one head of the houfe of David, as foretold elfewhere, by this Prophet and others; See Chap. xxiii. 6. xxx. 9. Ifai. xi. 1. &c. Ezek. xxxvii. 22. & Hofea, i. 11.
&c. If I bring them forth from bondage; adopt them for my children; and give them fuch a glorious inheritance: they, no doubt, will be true, faithful, and obedient children to me, and will not turn afide from following me: but it did not prove fo; for, (verse 20th.) "Surely (as) a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, fo have ye dealt treacherously with me, O houfe of Ifrael, faith the LORD." But, notwithstanding, that they have thus grievously finned against me; yet, will I hear their penitent prayer, when making confeffion of their fins; verfe 21ft. "A voice hath been heard upon the high places, weeping and fupplications of the children of Ifrael: because they have perverted their way, they have forgotten the LORD their God. (Thou didft fay) Return, O ye backfliding children, and I will heal your backflidings.- Behold, we come unta thee, for thou art the LORD our God." We therefore are returned unto thee, as thou haft defired us; and fincerely acknowledge the vanity of our misplaced trust; verse 23d, &c. Surely it is vain (to hope for falvation) from the hills, or the multitude of the mountains; verily in the LORD our God is the falvation of
of Ifrael. But (the idol) Bofheth* hath devoured the labour of our fathers from our youth; their fheep, and their bulls, their fons and their daughters." And, as we have taken faft hold of their wicked ways, "We lie down in our fhame, and our confufion covereth us for we have finned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God." This being the confeffion of the Ifraelites ; they are answered as follows, Chap. iv. verse Ift. "If thou wilt return, O Ifrael, faith the LORD, unto me fhalt thou return;" Ye have no neceffity for a mediator, or mediators, to intercede in behalf of you; but ye shall return immediately to me. "And if thou wilt put away thine abominations from before me, then shalt thou not be removed :" Shalt then no more go into captivity. "But thou fhalt fwear, (as) the LORD liveth in truth, in Judgment, and in righteousness; Not as ye now fwear falfely; as the Prophet
This is fuppofed to be the idol Baal; and is called which denotes fhame: because it fruftrates, and puts to fhame all the hopes of its votaries, as mentioned in the following verse.
fays elfewhere, (Chap. 2.) "But though they fay, (as) the LORD liveth, furely they will fwear falfely." But ye fhall only swear to the ftrict truth of the matter; then will ye be in fo exalted a state of bleffedness, that, "The nations fhall bless themselves in him, and in him fhall they glory." For then the nations will all follow after Ifrael, as the Prophet fays, (Zechariah, viii. 23.) "Saying, We will go with you: for we have heard (that) God is with you."
According to this explanation of the prophecy, it contains four fundamental truths. Firft, that the future redemption will not take place, till after they have been scattered in all parts, and greatly decreased; owing to the great length of this dreadful captivity; fo that they will be gathered one out of a city, and two out of a family. This agrees with the feventh principle contained in the prophecies of Ifaiah.
Second, that after their redemption, they' will attain the highest degree of fanctity and piety; and will no more fall into fin, by following the evil imaginations of their luftful heart. This agrees with the eleventh principle of the prophecies of Ifaiah.