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and a Prophet to his Church, giving counsels of peace and eternal salvation, to both Jews and Gentiles.
VI. 14 And the crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, &c. And those crowns shall be kept and hanged up in the Temple of the Lord, as a memorial and monument of the liberal offering made by Helem, and Tobiah, &c.
VI. 15 And they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the Lord. Upon whose laudable example, not only those, which are near, but those, wbich are far off in place of habitation, shall come up, and offer munificently towards the building of the Temple of the Lord,
VII. 1 In the fourth day of the ninth month, even in Chisleu. In the fourth day of the month of November.
VII. 2, 3. When they had sent unto the house of God Sherezer and Regem-melech, and their men, to pray before the Lord, And to speak unto the priests which were in the house of the Lord of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, Should I weep in the fifik month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years? When the body of the then Jewish Church, which were returned from the captivity and planted in Judea, sent certain deputies or messengers, in the name of the whole, to offer up their religious devotions in the Temple; and to inquire of the priests of the Lord, and the prophets, concerning the anniversary observation of that fast, which they had hitherto kept in the fifth month, upon the sad remembrance of the destruction of the Temple; saying, We have hitherto duly kept this solemn fast for many years, but now we desire to be informed by you, since that the Temple is now repaired and finished, whether it be fit and requisite, that we should continue that fast of the fifth month any more, afficting ourselves with the memory of the demolishing of that, which is now so happily re-edified.
VII. 5 Il'hen ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me? When ye fasted and mourned, both in the fifth month for the Temple, and in the seventh for Gedaliah, did ye do this, even all these seventy years, out of any charge of mine? or did ye it, out of any true remorse for those sins of yours, which pulled these judgments upon you; and not rather out of a sense of your own sorrow and misery?
VII. 6 And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not ye eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves? And, contrarily, when, on your other solemn festival days, ye did eat and drink and make merry; was it out of any spiritual joy ye had in me and my service, and not rather for your own pleasure and jollity?
VII. 7 Should ye not hear the words which the Lord hath cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and the cities thereof round about her, when men inhabited the south of the plain ? Should ye not rather have hearkened to the words, which the Lord spake loud in your ears, by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was in her glory and prosperity, and all her daughter cities round about her; when the plains of the south parts were fully and richly inhabited ? which if ye had done, this misery and desolation had not seized upon us; we had had no need of these mourning fasts.
VII. 12 Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, &c. Yea, they wilfully hardened their hearts against the counsels given them by the Lord; and made them as hard as an adamant stone, which is utterly impierccable.
VII. 14 For they laid the pleasant land desolate. They, by their great sins, exposed this pleasant land to utter spoil and desolation.
VIII. 2 I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury. See chap. i. verse 14.
VIII. 6 If it be marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvellous in mine eyes ? saith the Lord of hosts. If it seem a thing strange and difficult unto you, the remnant of the people, that Jerusalem should be thus blessed with peace and prosperity ; it is no whit strange or difficult unto me, saith the Lord of Hosts.
VIII. 7 Behold, I will save my people from the east country and from the west country. Behold, I will both preserve and fetch home my people, from all the coasts of heaven ; from the east and west countries ; and from the north, viz. of Babylon, much more.
VIII. 9 Let your hands be strong.
VIII. 10 For before these days there was no hire for man, nor any hire for beast ; neither was there any peace to him thut went out or came in because of the affliction: for 1 set all men every one against his neighbour. For before these days, while ye slackened the building of the Temple, ye lived in penury and want : your labours were heartless, and unsuccessful : ye were infested and endangered with enemies, so as ye could not stir out of your houses, without peril; for, as a just punishment of your neglect, I did cause both Outward and inward broils and quarrels, to be raised up amongst you,
VIII. 11 But now I will not be unto the residue of this people as in the former days, saith the Lord of hosts. But now, it shall be otherwise : since ye address yourselves to this work, heartily and willingly, I will be favourable and gracious to you, saith the Lord.
VIII. 14 As I thought to punish you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath, saith the LORD of hosts, &c.
As I justly decreed to punish you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath by their sins, and by their wilful neglect of my work; and accordingly performed it, saith the Lord. So again, &c.
VIII. 19 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feast ; therefore love the truth and peace. Thus saith the Lord ; Be not careful of the keeping of those your solemn fasts; for I will turn all those fasts of yours, both that, which you keep in the fourth month, in memory of the breaking down of the wall of Jerusalem; and that, which you keep in the fifth, in memory of the burning of the Temple; and that, which ye keep in the seventh, in memory of the murder of Gedaliah; and that, which ye keep in the tenth, in memory of the first siege laid to Jerusalem, all these will I turn to joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts unto the house of Judah; therefore, be ye careful to carry yourselves holily, justly, peaceably, before your God. VIII. 20, 21 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; It shall yet come
that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities : And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, suying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, und to seek the Lord of hosts. And more than so: I will give a happy increase to my Church: many people and nations shall be added unto it; and shall cheerfully join together, and encourage each other in my service, both by their hearty counsels and examples. So also verse 22.
VIII. 23 In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you : for we have heard that God is with you. In those days it shall come to pass, that the Gentiles shall be added to the Church; in such number and zeal, as that many of them shall resort to one well-informed convert of the Christian Jews, and shall desire to be taught by him in the truth of godliness.
IX. 1 The burden of the word of the Lord in the land of Hadrach, and Damascus shall be the rest thereof : when the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, shall be toward the LORD. The heavy message, that God sends to those cities and countries, which have offered cruel violence to his people : in particular, this errand of judgment shall light upon the region and city of Damascus; which shall be accordingly executed upon them, since the eyes of the neighbour nations round about, but especially of all the tribes of Israel, are earnestly intent to expect this revenge from the band of the Lord.
IX. 2, 3 And Hamath also shall border thereby ; Tyrus, and Zidon, though it be very wise. And Tyrus did build herself a strong hold, and heaped up silver as the dust, &c. Neither shall Hamath be freed therefrom ; nor Tyrus and Zidon, though they be crafty and subtle enough, to use all human power and wit, for their own safety and evasion ; and though Tyrus have built strong holds for her defence, and have heaped up great treasures of wealth.
IX. 4 Behold, the Lord will cast her out, and he will smite her power in the seu ; and she shall be devoured with fire. But the Lord will send an enemy against her, even Alexander of Macedon, which shall subdue and vanquish her, and defeat her power by sea, and she shall be consumed with fire.
IX. 5 Ashkelon shall see it, and fear ; Gaza also shall see it, and be very sorrowful, and Ekron; for her expectation shall be ashamed; and the king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited. The confederate cities of the Philistines, Ashkelon, Gaza, and Ekron, shall see it, and fear; for that confidence, which they had put in the strength of the Tyrians, shall now disappoint them, to their shame and loss ; for Gaza shall no more have a king, nor Ashkelon an inhabitant.
IX. 6 And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines. And Ashdod shall be inhabited by a people, not her own; and I will, in all these territories, pull down the pride of the Philistines, by stripping them of their dominions.
IX. 7 And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth : but he that remaineth, even he, shall be for our God, and he shall be as a governor in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite. And I will, by this means, so humble them, that they shall be no more bloodily minded toward my people ; and shall grow up to a religious care of avoiding all legal pollutions: and those that remain of them shall be conscionably devoted unto God; and shall become friends and patrons of my people, within my Church; yea, even those of Ekion shall so have a part in my Church, as the Jebusite bath in the material and outward Jerusalem.
IX. 8 And I will encamp about mine house because of the army, because of him that passeth by, and because of him that returneth : and no oppressor shall pass through them any more : for now have I seen with mine eyes. And I will protect and defend my Temple, as it were by a camp pitched about it, against any enemy whatsoever, that shall ofer any violence against it; for I have well noted and pitied thy late affliction.
IX. 9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion ; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem : behold, thy King cometh unto thee : he is just, and having salvation ; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. Rejoice greatly, Oye inhabitants of Zion; and shout for joy, O ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; for ye shall see the Messiah, the Everlasting King of the Church, coming personally into your streets : he is just, and righteous, and brings salvation with him
to all believers : and, withal, he is lowly and meek; not making his approach in a royal, pompous, and majestical inanner, though he could command all the glories of heaven and earth to attend him, but in a mean and homely fashion, riding upon an ass, with her colt following her ; even like to him, that came to take upon him the estate of a servant.
IX. 10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth. I will draw my Church to a happy accordance, so as both Jews and Gentiles shall be linked together in the bonds of peace : there shall therefore be no more need of your chariots, O Israel ; or of your horses, () Judah ; or of any weapons of war ; for the common Saviour of both shall unite them together, and shall extend the bounds of bis spiritual dominion, all the world over.
IX. 11 As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water. As for thee, O Zion, whose covenant with me is made and confirmed by the precious blood of the Messiah, in that new and everlasting Testament, I do herein give thee a type of thy future deliverance from all thy spiritual miseries, in that, I have brought forth thy captives out of the miserable captivity of Babylon, wherein they were woefully distressed.
IX. 12, 13 Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope : even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee ; When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man. Return ye then, to the forts of Zion and Jerusalem, () ye hopeful captives, that are yet remaining in Babylon; for I do this day declare unto you, that I have prepared blessings for you above your expectations: and, whereof this is a type, turn ye into my Church, all ye that pertain to mine election, out of the world, wherein ye are held captive; and know, that I have prepared happiness for you, above the thoughts and desires of your hearts ; but, in the mean time, I shall make some warlike use of Judah and Ephraim, and raise the forces of Jerusalem, against the Grecians and Syrians, wherewith they shall be vexed; and will give good success to their courageous and well fought battles.
IX. 14 And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning : &c. And the Lord shall give good proof of his gracious protection of them, and shall manifestly shew that he fighteth for them from heaven.
IX. 15 The LORD of hosts shall defend them; and they shall devour, and subdue with sling stones; and they shall drink, and make a noise as through wine ; and they shall be filled like bowls, and as the corners of the altars.