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ple. Let us, both in our social and private conduct, show that the gospel has this effect upon us ; and we should earnestly pray that it may have the same effect upon others, even upon all mankind ; and that by the more plentiful effusion of the spirit in the latter day, God may again say, Plessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.
CHAP. XX, XXI,
A type prefiguring the shameful captivity of Egypt and Ethiopita.
This happened between the time that the Assyrian army took the de fenced cities of Judah, and when they besieged Jerusalem, which was about three years.
N the year that Tartan (mentioned with Rabshakeh, 2 Kings
cherib, the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ash2 dod, and took it ; At the same time spake the Lord by Isaiah
the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, which thou hast worn as a mourning habit for the sins and calamities of Judah and Israel, and put off thy shoe from thy
foot. And he did so, walking naked, that is, without an upper 3 garment, and barefoot. And the LORD said, Like as my servant
Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot ihree years (for) a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia ; not three years, but three days, to represent three years ; or it may be rendered, for a three year's sign, that is, for a type or example of three 4 years ; So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians
prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and
barefoot, even with (their) buttocks, or hind paris, uncovered, to 5 the shame of Egypt, who were a very proud people. And they
shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory ; the nations that trusted in them, and who had
great expectations from the Ethiopians and Egyptians, particularly 6 Israel, shall be ashamed of their weak allies. And the inhabitant
of this isle, or country, shall say in that day, Behald, such [is] our expectation, whither we flee for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria : and how shall we escape ? we have no way to escape, now the Assyrians have such success against ihe 86
nations. 1 CHAP. XXI. The burden of the desert, or plain, of the sea ;
that is, Babylon, which lay upon the rivers, and had large lakes like seas about it. As whirlwinds in the south pass through, come suddenly, irresistibly, and carry all before them, (so) it cometh * from the desert, which lay between Persia and Babylon, from a 2 terrible land. A griveous vision is declared unto me; the
treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously, or, is dealt ireacherously with, and the spoiler spoileth, or, is spoiled; Labylunt is ree
paid in her own coin.' Go up, O Elam : besiege, O Media ; all
the sighing thereof have I made to cease, that is, the sighing of 3 the caplive Israelites and others. Therefore are my loins filled
with pain ; pangs have taken hold upon me, as the pangs
of a woman that travaileth. I was bowed down at the hearing 4 (of it ;] I was dismayed at the seeing (of it.] My heart panted,
fearfulness affrighted me : the night of my pleasure, when I 5 used to take my repose, hath he turned into fear unto me.* Pre
pare the table, watch in the watch tower, eat, drink ; while you, prepare your table, and are feasting in luxury, ye shall hear a sud. den cry , arise, ye princes, [and] anoint the shield, that they
may be beautiful and serviceable, and the darts may easily slip off. 6 For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, who
may discern the approaching danger, and let him declare what he 7 seeth. And he saw a chariot (with) a couple of horsemen, or
horses, that is, the commanders in chief, Cyrus and Darius, a chariot of asses, or mules, that is, the Persians, (and) a chariot of camels, the Medes, who made use of them ; they were both joined
in this expedition ; and he hearkened diligently with much 8 heed : And he cried, A lion ; or, the watchman cried as a lion,
with a terrible voice, at the sight of the danger approaching, and said, My lord, I stand continually upon the watch tower in the
day time, and I am set in my ward whole nights ; I am very 9 careful to observe what passes : And, behold, here cometh a
chariot of men, [with] a couple of horsemen. And he, that is, the commander in chief, answered and said, Babylon is fallen, shall
surely fall : and all the graven images of her gods he hath brok, 10 en unto the ground. O my threshing, and the corn of my floor;
referring to the Israelites, who are represented as God's corn, in opposition to chaff and straw ; they shall be oppressed yet preserved ; that which I have heard of the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have I declared unto you for your comfort.
The burden of Dumah, that is, of lumea, or Edom. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night? The Edomites were alarmed with the
approaching danger, and are here represented as eagerly addre8812 ing the prophet. The watchman said, The morning cometh,
and also the night ; ye shall have peace and respite for a while, but a dark and dreadful night will follow : If ye will inquire, inquire ye : return, come ; if ye will inquire, inquire immediately, in good earnest ; and come, return 10 God, join yourselves to his
people, and so escape the threatened destruction. 13 The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall ye 14 lodge, O ye travelling companies of Dedanim. The inhabitfrom the swords, from the drawn sword, and from the bent bow, .16 and from the grievousness of war. For thụs hath the LORD said
ants of the land of Temah brought water to him that was thirsty, 15 they prevented with their bread him that fled. For they fled
* Some understand this of the prophet's concern for their calamities ; ! rather think it is a description of the terror of Babylon, especially of Belshazzar, when the city was taken.
+ These were the descendants of Abraham by Keturah. The king of Assyria might attack this people ; they used to pitch their tents in fruitful countries, but now they were gläd to wander in forests, and to receive help from their neighbours.
unto me, Within a year, according to the years of an hireling, and all the glory of Kedar, the son of Ishmael, another clan or
tribe, shall fail ; within a year all their focks and power shall 17 fail : And the residue of the number of archers, for which this
iribe was famous, the mighty men of the children of Kedar, shall be diminished : for the Lord God of Israel hath spoken [it.]
pectations of Ethiopia, and of Egypt, the glory of Israel, were all disappointed. The skill of archers, the most numerous forces, and great wealth, are no security to a nation when God determines to punish. Let us learn wisdom by these repeated examples. If we trust in man, and neglect God, or do not make him our chief confidence, he will suffer us to be disappointed, and he is just and kind in it. Truly in vain is salvation looked for from the hills and the multitude of mountains ; our help is only in the name of our God.
2. See how soon the carnal mirth of men may be turned into sorrow. Another seasonable lesson for us. When the Babylonians were preparing the table, eating, drinking, and making merry, God was preparing slaughter and destruction for them. How suddenly did confusion and misery come on this sensual, riotous people! Thus if we transgress the bounds of temperance and prudence, the night of our pleasure may be turned into fear. Though we escape every other enemy, death may come upon us unawares, and the end of ou
our mirth may be heaviness. Let us therefore never be off our guard, but be peculiarly watchful in seasons of temptation, and remember, that for all these things God will bring us inta judgment.
3. God's people are dear to him, and he intends their benefit, even when he corrects them. The church is his husbandry. His people are the corn of his floor, valuable in themselves, and dear to him. He may see good to thresh or bruise them by afflictions, but it is to purify them. Hypocrites are as chaff, worthless and contemptible ; he takes no concern about them, suffers them to go on in ease and prosperity : but at length they shall be burned with unquenchable fire. Let us then be patient in tribulation, and wait upon God to make all issue in our salvation.
4. In every time of danger it is our duty immediately to return to God. Ministers are appointed as watchmen, in the name of God to give men warning of the danger they are in, and the destruction that is before them; and it is their duty to attend to the warning, to inquire the will of God, and immediately comply with the intimations of it. They must return to him and their duty, if they desire to escape destruction ; if they linger, it is at their
peril ; for though every thing may now look bright and pleasing as the morning, yet the night cometh when no man can work, and they will sink into blackness of darkness for ever ; therefore, today, while it is called today, let us hear his voice and not harden our hearts.
The title of this chapter, as it stands in our Bible, is a mistake : the former part relates to the invasion of Judea by Sennacherib in Hezc. kiah's time ; the latter to some changes in his court.
HE burden of the valley of vision, that is, of Jerusalem,
most of which was in a valley surrounded with inountains. It is called the valley of vision, because there God was known; it had the scriptures and the prophets, and other means of seeing, that is, knowing the will of God. What aileth thee now, that thou art
wholly gone up to the house tops, to observe the motion of the ene. % my, or look out for help ? Thou that art, that is, hast been, full of
stirs, a tumultuous city, a joyous city, full of trade, hurry, and
diversions : thy slain (men are) not slain with the sword, nor 3 dead in battle, but dead with fear. All thy rulers are fled to
gether, that is, the rulers of the fortified cities that Sennacherib hud laken, they are bound by the archers : all that are found in thee are bound together, (which) have fled from far ; they are taken
prisoners by the archers and bound like captives, though they are 4 fled far away. Therefore said I, Look away from me: I will
weep bitterly, labour not to comfort me, let me alone to indulge
my grief, because of the spoiling of the daughter of my people. 5 For [it is) a day of trouble, and of treading down, and of per:
plexity by the Lord God of hosts in the valley of vision; there are dangers without and troubles within, but all are from the Lord of host& ; breaking down the walls of the cities they had taken ; or rather, some of the walls or houscs about Jerusalem, lo fortify it the better ; and of crying to the mountains ; calling to those who guarded the passes of the mountains to know what intelligence
they had of the enemy, or to echort them to defend their posl8 vigo 6 orously. And Elam bare the quiver with chariots of men [and]
horsemen, and Kir uncovered the shield ; that is, the Persians
and Medes, who were subject to the king of Assyria, or allies in 7 this war, And it shall come to pass, (that) thy choicest vallies
shall be full of chariots, and the horsemen shall set themselves 8 in array at the gate. And he discovered the covering of Judah,
and thou didst look in that day to the armour of the house of the forest ; referring 10 Sennacheril's taking the fenced cities, which were a covering to the country; and especially 10 his bing furnished with arms out of the armuury that Soloiron had built, 9 and where he put his shields, 1 Kings, X. 17. Ye have seen also
the breaches of the city of David, that they are many ; the fors and castle of the city, and repaired them ; and je gathered together the waters of the lower pool ; probably conveyed them
under ground to furnish themselves with water, and deprive the 10 enemy of it. And ye have numbered the houses of Jerusalem,
and the houses have ye broken down to sortify the wall ; that is,
numbered the houses, either to lay a lax on them, or to see which Il might be pulled down, in order the better to defend the walls. Ye
made also a ditch between the two walls, to strengthen the city, for the water of the old pool, and conveyed water thither for its security : but ye have not looked unto the maker thereof, neither had respect unto him that fashioned it long ago ; in all this ye
have forgotten Jehovah, who appointed this place for your capital. 12 And in that day did the Lord God of hosts call, by the language
of his providence, and the voice of his prophet, to weeping and to
mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth ; 10 13 fasting and all the marks of deep humiliation : And behold joy
and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine : let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we shall die ; instead of humiliation, there was nothing but mirth and feasting,
and a stupid despair, grounded upon licentious principles, a disbe14 lief or a contempt of a future slate. And it was revealed in mine
ears by the Lord of hosts, that I might publish it, Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, saith the Lord God of hosts ; that is, it shall never be purged, ye shall perish in these your iniquities. Then follows a prophecy of some changes in
Hezekiah's court. 15 Thus saith the Lord God of hosts, Go, get thee unto this
treasurer, [even) unto Shebna, which [is] over the house,* (and 16 say,) What hast thou here? and whom hast thou here, what
estate, family, or relations ? that thou hast hewed thee out a sepulchre here, [as] he that heweth him out a sepulchre on high, [and] that graveth an habitation for himself in a rock?
a grand sepulchre, like a palace, to keep up thy memory 10 succeed17 ing times, as if sure of continuing in thy post? Behold, the LORD
will carry thee away with a mighty captivity, and will surely cover thee ; or, the Lord, who covered thee with an excellent covia ering, and clothed thee gorgeously, shall surely cover thee with disgrace, as criminals when led to execution, were covered, as
as if 18 unworthy to see the light. He will surely violently turn and toss
thee (like) a ball into a large country : there shalt thou die, in a far country; and obscurity, and there the chariots of thy glory, in which thou hast been used to ride in state, (shall be] the shame
of thy lord's house, that is, of Ahaz, who probably advanced him 19 to this dignity. And I will drive thee from thy station, and from 20 thy state shall he pull thee down, that is, God shall do it. And it
shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Elia21 kim the son of Hilkiah : And I will clothe him with thy
robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, he shall have thy
* So ne suppose him to have been a foreigner, as his father is not mentioned; and the Jews say, that he kept up a traiterous correspondence with the Assyrians.