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I do for the fake of my fervants: that is, although there are great numbers of the nation, that are totally undeferving of being redeemed yet, I will not deftroy the whole; but will have regard to those among them who are my fervants: but more efpecially, in regard to what they will all be hereafter; as he fays, verfe 9th, "And I will bring forth a feed from Jacob; and from Judah an inheritor of my mountains; and my chofen shall inherit it, and my fervants shall dwell there." By the feed of Jacob, he meant the ten tribes; and by the inheritor of Judah, the kingdom of Judah: and they all together, are the LORD's chofen fervants, and shall inherit the land, and dwell there,
He also observes that, although the land of promise fince the nation hath been carried captive out of it, is in a most ruinous, miferable, barren ftate, yet fhall it become exceedingly rich and fruitful; feeding numerous flocks and herds; verfe 10th. "And Sharon fhall be a fold for the flocks, and the valley of Achor a refting for the herds;
y Achor in Hebrew, denotes trouble: and it may
for my people who have fought me. those of my people who during the captivity fought me; who always ftrictly adhered to my law, and looked forward to the salvation of Ifrael.
The Prophet then proceeds to inform us, that the rebellious and wicked tranfgreffors in Ifrael, fhall not prevent the redemption of the nation; for they will all be numbered to the fword, and the flaughter; verse 11. 12. "But ye who have forfaken the LORD; and have forgotten my holy mountain: who fet in order a table for troop; and pour out mixed wine for a number." Here, the Prophet addreffes himself to the rich and opulent who of the nation; who forfake the LORD ; confider the Law and commandments as a very heavy and unprofitable burden. Thus also they neglect, and difregard that effential part of the true fervice of God; the addreffing themselves to him in prayer &c. accounting
thus be very properly called the valley of trouble; on account of the state it is in at prefent. And the learned Abarbanal is of opinion, that Sharon denotes a plain, level, barren spot: and therefore ob'erves that, both the troubled valley, and barren country, fhall then become exceedingly fruitful.
ing it altogether unprofitable: afcribing all things to a concatenation of causes, without the leaft interference of the Deity: thus fully confirming the words of the Prophet *, "The LORD hath forfaken the earth; and the LORD feeth not."
They have alfo forgotten his holy mountain: they do not beftow one thought on the ruined ftate of Jerufalem; they mourn not for it; neither do they pray for its restoration to its former ftate: on the contrary, their fole aim is to lead a voluptuous life, and to feast luxuriously for which purpofe, they have a grand table, covered with the choiceft and moft delicious viands, together with different forts of the richest wines; and which the Prophet calls mixed wine: thus, do they spend their time Joyously; without the least thought of the worship of God, or his temple, that lies defolate he therefore, fays, verse 12th.
Verily I will number you to the sword; and all of you shall bow down to the flaughter: because I called, and ye answered not; I fpake, and ye would not hear: would not hear: "This denotes, that, while they were in the land of promife, they would not hearken to the Pro
* Ezek. viii, 12. &. ix. 9.
phets, whom God fent to admonish them: and to thofe in the captivity, he fays, "But did that, which was evil in my fight; and that, in which I delighted not, ye chofe." This, appears to me to be the real meaning of the paffage, according to its literal fenfe and in which, I am fupported by the learned Abarbanal*. I know, there are feveral learned commentators, who fuppofe that, Gad and Meni, are names of idols worshipped by the ancient Jews; but Kimchit, has clearly fhewn the many objections, to which this fenfe is liable: and which has induced him to explain it, as referring to the fpiritual reward and punishment after death: but I am convinced, that the whole prophecy, is addreffed to thofe that are to return from captivity; and whom God will purify, as filver is purified; so that the righteous will enjoy the happiness of the redemption; but which the rebellious will not attain for of them, he fays, verfe 13. "Wherefore thus faith the LORD God; Behold, my fervants fhall eat, but ye thall be famished; behold, my fervants fhall drink, but ye fhall be thirty:" This verfe, I humbly conceive,
Abarbanal in Loc.
conceive, is a manifeft proof of the truth of my explanation; being an exact retaliation: for as they had placed their fole happiness, in eating, drinking, and feasting; it is but juftice that, instead of their tables having been fo fumptuously fupplied, they fhould then fuffer hunger and thirft; and that the true fervants of God, who endured all the miseries of the captivity in penury and want, should then eat and drink. And, as it is cuftomary at these feafts, to fing and rejoice, and be merry: the Prophet fays, "Behold, my fervants fhall rejoice, but ye fhall be confounded; Behold, my fervants shall fing, for gladness of heart; but hall cry ye aloud for grief of heart; and in the anguish of a broken fpirit fhall ye howl."
And, as a person of nice honour, values that, more than his life; he informs them, that as a punishment for their tranfgreffions, their Glory fhall be changed to fhame; verfe 15th. "And ye fhall leave your name for a curfe to my chofen: for the LORD God shall flay you; and his fervants fhall he call by another name". Thus, will the righteous be diftinguished from the wicked, not only in corporeal bleffings, as in eating and drinking in plenty of the fruits of the holy land; but alfo