[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



The prophet had previously given warning of the judgments coming upon the people; see Jer. xxx. xxxi.

All faces were turned to paleness.
Alas! for that day is great,
So that none is like it:

It is even the time of Jacob's trouble. But with the declaration and warning thus given of the extremity of suffering to be inflicted on the Jewish nation in the day of its captivity, promises of future deliverance and glory were given. The cause of the judgments was fully stated; also the extent to which they should go, and the manner in which they should be restrained, and that the Lord would not forsake his favoured people, even in their most severe sufferings, Jer. xxx. 11, and xxxi. 1-3.

For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee; Though I make a full end of all nations whither I have

scattered thee:
Yet will I not make a full end of thee:
But I will correct thee in measure,
And will not leave thee altogether unpunished.

At the same time, saith the Lord,
Will I be the God of all the families of Israel,
And they shall be my people.
Thus saith the Lord,
The people which were left of the sword found grace in

the wilderness;
Even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest.
The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying,
Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love:

Therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. By a beautiful personification Rachel is represented as rising from her grave at Ephrata, weeping for her children led into captivity, and refusing to be comforted; but yet a word of comfort is sent.

Thus saith the Lord; Refrain thy voice from weeping, And thine eyes from tears: For thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord ; And they shall come again from the land of the enemy.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]



The history of the Jewish nation during the captivity in Babylon, and on their return to the land of Palestine, contains many important lessons for the people of every age and country. The sins of the Jews, as a nation, brought down national judgments upon them; they thus learned by personal experience,

Happy is that people, whose God is the Lord,” Psa. cxliv. 15;


and that “ It is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts," Jer. ii. 19. The events recorded in the narratives of Scripture bear witness to the principles inculcated in the word of God. Some men may say they do not believe that similar results are now to be expected from the like proceedings; but the whole testimony of history, both concerning the Jews and other people, shows that, sooner or later, every nation has eventually suffered that just retribution for which its sins have called. Would that this important truth were duly impressed upon the minds of the rulers, and of the people, of every

the earth!

nation upon

The desolate state of Judea, and the afflicted condition of the Jews, after the destruction of Jerusalem, are powerfully described by the prophet Jeremiah, in his Lamentations, ch. i. 1-5.

How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people !
How is she become as a widow, she that was great among

the nations !
And princess among the provinces, how is she become tri-

butary! She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her

cheeks: Among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her: All her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they

are become her enemies.
Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction, and be-

cause of great servitude:
She dwelleth among the heathen, she findeth no rest :
All her persecutors overtook her between the straits.
The ways of Zion do mourn, because none come to the

solemn feasts :
All her gates are desolate: her priests sigh,
Her virgins are afflicted, and she is in bitterness.
Her adversaries are the chief, her enemies prosper;
For the Lord hath afflicted her for the multitude of her

transgressions :
Her children are gone into captivity before the enemy.


« VorigeDoorgaan »