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But Jonah, fearing that the mercy of God in sparing the city would leave him suspected of a false prediction, bent his course another way; and, going down to Joppa, and, finding a ship ready bound for her passage into the Mediterranean Sea, he put himself into her, and paid the fare thereof, &c.
1. 10. Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.
Then, when Jonah had told the men, both his nation, and his religion, and his profession, and his heinous sin in fleeing from the charge that God had laid upon him, they were exceedingly afraid ; as being stricken, both with the sense of their own danger, and of compassion towards a person of such quality, who had so freely confessed himself and his offence.
1. 16. Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows.
Then the men were struck with an awful fear of the power and majesty of that God, whereof they saw such proof before their eyes: the sight whereof, being added to the religious sermon of Jonah, wrought so with them, that, disclaiming all their idol-Gods, they offered a sacrifice to the only true God; and made vows to him, which they would carefully perform upon their return, to worship him at Jerusalem.
II. 1. Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fisl's belly.
Then Jonah spent that time of the three days, wherein he was thus woefully imprisoned in the belly of the whale, in his earnest prayers unto God, and in his humble and hearty confessions of his great sin against his God.
II. 2. And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction, fc.
And after, when he was by the power of God delivered from that death, he uttered and penned this song of thanksgiving, for so wonderful a mercy, &c.
Ibid. Out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my prayer.
Out of that place of unspeakable horror, wherein I was for the time buried, as in the belly of a living and moving grave, I then failed not to cry unto thee, and thou heardest me.
II. 3. For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy wares passed orer me.
It was not the act of the mariners, Lord, it was thy just act, to cast me into the deep: there I was, by thine appointment, in the midst of many seas; for so did that fearful monster carry me from one sea to another; and the floods compassed me about.
II. 4. Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.
Then said I, Lord, I am justly cast out of thy sight, into this place of horror; yet, since thou still givest me life and being, I will trust in thy mighty power and infinite mercy, that thou hast reserved me for some further service to thee in thy Church.
II. 6. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever.
I went down, in the maw of that vast and dreadful beast, to the bottom of the sea, even to the lowest foundations of the mountains; the earth, with all her rocks and hills, was over my head, beyond all natural possibility of recovery.
II. 8. They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.
Those foolish men, that worship vain idols, which are nothing but lies and falsehood, forsake all the benefit of thy merciful protection and deliverance. But I, &c.
II. 10. And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
And the Lord commanded the whale, and it accordingly did cast up Jonah upon the dry land.
III. 4. And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be orerthrown.
And when Jonah had spent one day in his preaching, and had gone through one third part of the city, crying and saying, There are but yet forty days to come, ere Nineveh, except it repent, shall be destroyed;
III. 5. So the people of Ninereh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, fc.
The people of Nineveh believed that word of God, delivered to them by his prophet, &c.
III. 7. Let them not feed, nor drink water.
Let not the very beasts feed, nor drink water; that the men may be the more moved with that woeful moan, which those dumb creatures must needs make in their extremity.
III. 10. And God repented, fc. See Amos, vii. 3.
Dost thou think this is a just cause for thee to be moved with anger, for that I have spared the Ninevites?
IV. 9. I do well to be angry, even unto death.
And he said, in much weakness and rash passion, I do well to be angry; and think that I have just cause to be so fretted with this, which thou hast done, as to wish, in the bitterness of my soul, to be rid of my life.
IV. 10, 11. Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?
Then said the Lord, I have done this purposely to shew thee thine own error and weakness: thou hadst pity on a sorry plant, which cost thee no labour, which received no life from thee, which suddenly came up and suddenly vanished: And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are sixscore thousand infants that have not lived to offend, and much cattle which are not capable of offence? How much are these better than the senseless plants of the earth! and these are the work of my hands, and have cost me much care and regard, and such as require time and leisure for their perfection; bethink thyself therefore, how just reason I have to be angry at thy unmercifulness, which art angry at my forbearance of Nineveh.
I. 3. For, behold, the LORD cometh forth out of his place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth.
The Lord will, in a terrible sort, manifest his power from heaven; and, as in the height of his fury, coming down from above, will trample upon the loftiest tops of the mountains:
I. 4. And the mountains shall be molten under him, and the vallies shall be cleft, as wax before the fire, and as waters that are poured down a steep place.
In such manner, as that the great mountains shall, as it were, melt and dissolve under his feet; and the deep vallies shall be cleft asunder and severed from the hills: the mountains, I say, shall melt like wax; and the vallies shall run from the hills, as waters, that are poured out from a steep place, run down from the place where they are poured. In short, all the whole earth shall be exceedingly moved and affected, with the dreadful presence of God descending to punish the wickednesses of his people.
I. 5. For the transgression of Jacob is all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? is it not Samaria ? and what are the high places of Judah? are they not Jerusalem ?
And all these judgments shall be for the idolatries of Israel and Judah: What then, or who, is the author of this great sin of Israel? Is it not the mother city Samaria, whose princes have erected and maintained those golden calves ? And who
is the author of those offensive high places of Judah? Is not Jerusalem, and those her kings that have set them up and countenanced them?
1. 6. Therefore I will make Samaria as an heap of the field, and as plantings of a vineyard: and I will pour down the stones thereof into the valley, fc.
Therefore I will raze and pull down Samaria, by the hands of the Assyrians; and make that high built city as a heap of stones laid together carelessly in the field, or as those hillocks of earth which are cast up for the planting of a vineyard: and I will cause the goodly stones of their stately palaces, to be tumbled down into the valley, &c.
1. 7. And all the hires thereof shall be burned with the fire, and all the idols thereof will I lay desolate : for she gathered it of the hire of an harlot, and they shall return to the hire of an harlot.
And all those costly offerings and presents, that were brought to their idols, as the hire of their spiritual fornication, shall
be burnt with fire &c. as they have imagined foolishly, that they have received their wealth, as the reward of their idol-service, which they have borrowed of the heathen; so shall they know, that it shall go back again the same way: for the Assyrians, who shall carry it away, shall impute it to their gods, as a reward of their idolatry.
I. 8. Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls.
Therefore, since these great evils are coming upon my nation, I, for my part, will spend my time in mourning and bitter lamentation : I will lay down my prophet's weed and go up and down heavily and forlornly.
I. 9. For her wound is incurable ; for it is come unto Judah; he is come unto the gate of my people, even to Jerusalem.
This destruction, by the hand of the Assyrians, is uncurable; for it is passed from Samaria, and is come forward to Judah, and is now drawing on towards the very gates of Jerusalem.
I. 10. Declare ye it not at Gath, weep ye not at all : in the house of Aphrah roll thyself in the dust.
Let no man tell the news of this calamity at Gath, the city of the Philistines, lest they rejoice and triumph in our misery: oh, let no man there bemoan our sorrows; and, ye inhabitants of Aphrah, (a city of Benjamin,) roll yourselves in the dust, for the miserable desolation that is coming upon you.
I. 11. Pass ye away, thou inhabitant of Saphir, having thy shame naked : the inhabitant of Zaanan came not forth in the mourning of Beth-ezel; he shall receive of you his standing.
Pass ye away into a woeful captivity, / ye inhabitants of the beautiful city of Saphir, pass along in your shame and nakedness: the inhabitants of Zaanan stood upon their guard, and came not forth as yielding to the enemy, upon the sad taking in of Beth-ezel; the enemy shall therefore receive of you, O Zaanites, the full recompence of that long siege, to which ye have put him.
I. 12. For the inhabitant of Maroth waited carefully for good: but evil came down from the Lord unto the gate of Jerusalem.
The inhabitants of Maroth shall be much grieved, for the failing and disappointment of their hopes; they made account to have escaped this misery, but evil came down upon them from the Lord; and shall not stay there, but shall proceed on, till it come to the very gates of Jerusalem.
I. 13. O thou inhabitant of Lachish, bind the chariot to the swift beast : she is the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion: for the transgressions of Israel were found in thee.
As for you, 0 ye inhabitants of Lachish, make all possible speed to escape by flight: put your swiftest beasts into your chariots, and drive away hastily; taking the advantage of your remoteness: try if you can thus avoid the judgment, who were the authors of sin to the rest of Judah, next after the revolt of the Ten Tribes to their molten calves. Lachish was the first of the tribe of Judah, that both received and diffused the infection to the daughter of Zion: the idolatries of Israel were first found in thee, O Lachish.
I. 14. Therefore shalt thou give presents to Moresheth-gath; the houses of Achzib shall be a lie to the kings of Israel.
Therefore shalt thou be fain to give vain presents unto the Philistines, to help thee: thou shalt have recourse to those false and lying succours, which have been ever deceitful to the kings of Judah, and so shall be still unto thee.
I. 15. Yet will I bring an heir unto thee, O inhabitant of Mareshah: he shall come unto Adullam the glory of Israel.
As for thee, O Mareshah, which hast thy name from inheritance, I will bring such an heir to thee, for thy land, as thou shalt never be able to dispossess; even the enemy which shall seize thee for ever: and he, that is the Glory and God of Israel, shall execute his justice upon Judah, even as far as Adullam, the utmost coast thereof.
I. 16. Make thee bald, und poll thee for thy delicate children; enlarge thy baldness as the eagle ; for they are gone into captivity from thee.
Make thee bald, O land of Israel, in token of extreme mourning; and cut off thy hair, in sorrow for thy delicate children, which are slain and captived; yea, enlarge thy baldness, the sign of thy grief, as the eagle, which moults with age, being left without feathers till her renovation: so do thou