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By the blind and lame" the Prophet hews that they will then be poor, weak, and miferable and that the troubles and afflictions, near the time of the redemption, will be fo great; that they will come weeping, crying, and making fupplication to God, to deliver them from their oppreffors; and to conduct them to the goodly land: and which he promises to do; because he is a father unto Ifrael, and Ephraim is his first born. This denotes, that the former love which God bore to them, was not extinguished; (See ver. 3.) but operated as the motive of God's returning favour to Ifrael. And, as the great length of time, that the ten tribes will have remained in captivity, (it being now already upwards of two thousand three hundred years) will be the cause of their being forgotten and lost among the nations the Prophet in the fucceeding fentence, makes proclamation concerning them. "Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the distant islands, and fay, He that fcattered Ifrael will gather him, and guard him, as a fhepherd (doth) his flock." Ye (fpeaking to the nations) are not to imagine, that because they are thus long in captivity, VOL II. X
that God hath forfaken them; or that it was the power of Sennacherib folely that carried them captive: or that ye, by your power, have kept them thus long in captivity; no: the cafe is not fo: but it was the LORD that fcattered Ifrael; and he himfelf, will gather him for he maketh fore, and bindeth up; he woundeth, and his hands heal. And as a proof of this, he fhews their prefervation during this long and dreadful captivity for how could it otherwise be poffible, that they fhould thus continue for fo many centuries in captivity, and not be loft, or mingled with the other nations, as already mentioned in the course of this work; (See Vol. Ift. p. 17. &c.) if it had not been for his remarkably providential care of them; and which is beautifully expreffed, by the fhepherd's guarding his flock: for as the shepherd sometimes lets his flock go at large; and at other times gathers them in: fo does God by Ifrael.
The Prophet proceeds to fpeak of their redemption; ver. 11th. For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ranfomed him. from a hand too ftrong for him." And, as during the reign of the kings of Israel, they
were prevented from going up to Jerusalem, for fear, that they would return to the subjection of the kings of Judah; he in verfe 12th, informs them, that at the future redemption it will not be fo; for they fhall no more offer their facrifices before the golden calves: "But they shall come, and shall fhout in the height of Zion"; And which denotes the temple at Jerufalem. He also farther informs them, that they shall no more experience want, or famine, as was the cafe when they were wicked; as the Prophet Amos fays, (iv. 6—7.) "And moreover I have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: And moreover I have withholden from you the rain," &c. And therefore, he fays, "And they fhall flock together to the good (things) of the LORD, for corn, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock, and of the herd; and their foul fhall be as a well watered garden, and they shall not pine for hunger any more. Then fhall the virgin rejoice in the dance, and the young men and old men together; for I will turn their mourning into joy; I will also
comfort them, and make them rejoice from their forrow."
In verfe 14th, the Prophet fpeaks of the Priefts. "And I will fatiate the foul of the priests with fatnefs, and my people fhall be fatisfied with my goodnefs, faith the LORD." For during the captivity, while the temple lay defolate, the priests were deprived of the gifts of the offerings &c. but at the restoration, they will be fatiated with the gifts of the rich offerings that will be brought to the houfe of God from all parts, as the Prophet Ifaiah fays (lx. 7.) "All the flocks of Kedar fhall be gathered unto thee; unto thee fhall the rams of Nebaioth minifter," &c.
In verfe 15th, the Prophet in a most beautiful poetick figure, reprefents Rachel, the mother of Jofeph, and Benjamin, (who was buried near Ramah, a city of Benjamin ;) as coming out of her grave, and bitterly lamenting the lofs of her children; they being all either flain, or gone into exile. "Thus faith the LORD; A voice hath been heard in Ramah, a lamentation of most bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children; fhe refuseth to be comforted for her children, because he (is) not."
The reader will obferve, that in this tranflation, I have differed from the common tranflation of the Bible: in making use of the fingular pronoun be, inftead of they : but I muft inform him, that it is strictly conformable to the Hebrew word made use of by the Prophet; 8. And which was done, in order to diftinguish the difference in the bitter lamentation that Rachel made for the lofs of her children. It is well known, that on the divifion of the kingdom*, in the days of Rehoboam, Joseph and Benjamin were divided for the two fons of Jofeph, Ephraim and Manaffeh, belonged to the kingdom. of Ifrael; but Benjamin remained with Judah . Now, it is likewife well known, that the children of Jofeph, viz, the tribes of Ephraim and Manaffeh, were part of the ten tribes, that were carried captive into Affyria, and were placed in Halah and in Habor by the river Gozen, and in the cities of the Medes: and who never returned to the fecond temple: nor do we know to