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JO and wrong thee. Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie -with her: thou shalt build an house, and thou shalt not dwell therein: thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes thereof; all thy dearest property and goods
31 shall be taken away by violence. Thine ox [shall be] slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat thereof: thine ass [shall be] violently taken away from before thy face, and shall not be restored to thee: thy sheep [shall be] given unto thine enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue [them.]
32 Thy sons and thy daughters [shall be] given unto another people, shall be carried captive and sold for slaves; and thine eyes shall look, arid fail [with longing] for them all the day long, there shall be no hope of seeing them again, no friend, no ally, to interpose, and [there shall be] no might in thine hand
33 to rescue them, nor money to ransom them. The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed
34 alway :* So that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see; many accordingly destroyed them
35 selves through anguish and despair. The Lord shall smite thee in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot unto the top of thy head, so that thou shalt not be able to resist, because of thy own
neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone, either by persuasion or
37 force. And thou shalt become an astonishment, thy calamities shall be so great, that thy very enemies shall be astonished at them; a proverb and a byword among all nations whither the Lord shall lead thee; thy miseries shall be used proverbially to express great calamities; and they shall sport themselves in thy miseries, saying, These are the people of the Lord, &c.\
38 Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt
39 gather [but] little in; for the locust shall consume it. Thou shalt plant vineyards, and dress [them,] but shalt neither drink [of] the wine, nor gather [the grapes ;] for the worms
40 shall eat them. Thou shalt have olive trees throughout all thy coasts, but thou shalt not anoint [thyself] with the oil; for thine olive shall cast [his fruit,] shall be blasted in the very
41 blossom. Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt
42 not enjoy them ; for they shall go into captivity. All thy
43 trees and fruit of thy land shall the locust consume. The
* This was the case in the Assyrian and Babylonish captivity; and it was so remarkbale as not to be accounted for, without the immediate hand of God to fulfil these awful threatenings.
t This was fulfilled in their captivity; but more especially since their dispersion by the Romans; they are a common proverb through the earth. • You use me like a Jew: you would not have done so to a Jew.'that is, ta one of the worst of men.
stranger that [is] within thee shall get up above thee vet*f high ; and thou shalt come down very low; those who for*
44 merly served thee, shall now get above and insult . thee. He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou Shalt be the tail. Thus the promise of God, I* exalt his people and confound their foes, is quite reversed, and Israel shoidd become poor, mean, and contemptible.
, REFLECTION.: :.
SE E what a constant dependence we have upon God, and how solicitous we should be to secure his friendship* We need his favour and blessing in every circumstance of life, even .the most minute and inconsiderable. We depend upon him for rain and sunshine, for food, protection, health, and children,. and every other mercy. He can easily take them away if we displease him, and bring upolj us the curses here threatened. He can disappoint us in our most agreeable? hopes, jand send us unutterable anguish of body and mind. All blessings are in his good treasure, and all curses at his command. May we be solicitous! therefore", to acquaint ourselves MAth God j to lay hold on his strength, and seek pardon and peace through the blood of the everlasting covenant, that so he may be our friend, The blessing and the curse are set before us. Let us then serve God, and keep his commandments, and ive shall inherit the blessing promised in his word to those who, by a patient continuance in well doing, seek for glory,, /fo'nour, and immortality. ,
CHAP. XXVIII. 45, to the end.
The blessing and curses continued, to is'part of them refers to the. dispersioh and destruction of ther fert/s by the Romans, and is as remarkable a prediction, and was as 'signally accomplished, its
any in the Old Testament.^ ,("
45 T\ /TO RE OVER, all these curses shall come upon thee, JLVJL and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; one punishment shall foll&io another, till you are brought to ruin, and are more miserable than any other nation; and the reason is, because thoif h'earkenedst not unto the voice of the Loitn thy God to keep his commandments and his
46 statutes which he commanded thee: And they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever; the curse shall remain fixed upon thee, and all shall take notice
47 of it, as an extraordinary mark of God's displeasure. Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with
48 gladness of heart, for the abundance of all [things :] Therefore shah thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all [things :] and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee; because ye served not God in the way he required, ye shall serve your enemies, lose your liberty, sink into dreadful slavery, and be under a hard
49 yoke, from which ye shall not be able to free yourselves. The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, [as swift] as the eagle flieth ; a nation whose
50 tongue thou shalt not understand ;* A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favour to the young; a stern, bold, hardhearted people, inflexibly pursuing their ovm designs; which was the exact character of the old Romans : and though in other wars the conquerors usually pitied the old and the young, yet in the war
51 with the Jews they spared no one. And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, \intil thou be destroyed: which [also] shall not leave thee [either] corn, wine, or oil, [or] the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee; the country shall be destroyed by their
52 vast armies. And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee. The Jewsfled to theirfenced cities, where provisions were laid up, but the walls of most of them, even of Jerusalem
53 itself, were broken down. And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the Lord thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee;
H this was actually the case when besieged by the Romans: [So that] the man [that is] tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which
55 he shall leave: So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat; he shall grudge every morsel that he sees his nearest relations eat: shall be ready to snatch it from them; yea, even to eat and devour them; and not allow them to feed upon his own children, which he is forced to eat; because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy
56 gates. The tender and delicate woman among you, which would
• Some of tile Jewish doctors say. this is a prophecy of their destruction by the Romans: and indeed nothing is here mentioned but wlut was literally applicable to that dreadful event. The soldiers in Titus' armv were from France, Spain. Britain, and the ends of the earth; the eagle was their standard, and their language was unknown to the Jews, which was not entirely the case with the Chald..e language.
Vol. II. Bb
not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daugh
57 ter, And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all [things] secretly
• in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall dis
58 tress thee in thy gates.* If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD
59 THY GOD; Then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, uncommon and surprising to all the world, and the plagues of thy seed, [even] great plagues and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance; accordingly, they and their seed have been plagued in almost every na
60 tion under heaven. Moreover, he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall
61 cleave unto thee. Also every sickness, and every plague, which [is] not written in the book of this law, them will the
62 Lord bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.f And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldst not obey the
63 voice of the Lord thy God4 And it shall come to pass, [that]. as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. God takes no pleasure in the death of sinners, but he delights to glorify his justice, takes pleasure in asserting the honour of his government, and in securing
(4 the designs of it; therefore he plucked tliem off the land.^ And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other ;* and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have
•5 known, [even] wood and stone.f And among these nations
^ • Accordingly, Josephus tells us, that after eating dogs, horses, cats, see. they ate their own children privately, and let none share with them. He particularly mentions a noble matron, who boiled part of her child during the siege, but the mob, smelling the meat, broke in, and to them she offered the rest.
t This also is a fact, for in almost every nation they have been tortured and destroyed in various ways, and exposed to all the sicknesses that hunger, nakedness, and wandering about, could bring upon them. *
J This was remarkably the case when Jerusalem was taken; some say a million perished in the city by famine and the sword, and many hundred thousands in other parts of the kingdom.
H Titus carried away ninety thousand captives ; Adrian, soon after, slew five hundred thousand; and the senate joined with him in a decree, that no Jew should ever come within Judea, on pain of death; this he did out of policy, but he was fulfilling this word of the Lord.
• This was the natural effect of the decree abovementioned Some were carried to Spain, multitudes Med to Babylon, and the East; they were scattered over all the earth, but still continued distinct from all other nations; which is a standing miracle to this day.
11 make no doubt, but that this refers to their being obliged to turn christians in popish countries, and to worship their idols; this they were obliged to do in Spain and Portugal.
shah thou find no ease, no settlement, but be continually removed fromplace to place, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind, ye shall always be in dread
•66 of some new mischief* And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have
*7 none assurance of thy life: In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see on account of dreadful apprehensions in the nighty and
68 lamentable sights by day. And the Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again, to be slaves again there,\ with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy [you.f]
t. TTCTE should consider the prophecy in this chapter,as a V V glorious confirmation of the truth of the sacred writings, and a proof that Moses was a divinely inspired prophet. The words are fulfilled through every succeeding age to this day, in all the calamines of the Jews. The contempt they suffer in every nation, the marks of infamy that are put upon them, and the blindness of their hearts are unanswerable arguments for the truth of Christianity. Every Jew we see, is a kind of miraculous attestation that Jesus is the true Messiah, and that the scriptures were given by divine inspiration,
2. We find here many important branches of duty pointed out. Let us hearken to God's voice, observe his commands, his whole law, not turning aside to the right hand or to the left. Let us serve God with cheerfulness and gladness; serve him with all our good things. The more we have, the more cheerfully we should serve him ; not with reluctance, but with pleasure and delight. Let us fear that awful name, JEHOVAH, the selfexistent, unchangeable, eternal, and covenant keeping God; that so his blessing may continually overtake us.
* Hence Juvenal calls them, in contempt, trembling Jews; their eyes failed in looking for relief, ana they had sorrow of mind on account of their sufferings,
t So it came to pass at the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, when multitudes of them •were carried into Egypt and sold there for slaves.
1 Titus commanded all under seventeen years of age to be sold, and in such numbers, that thirty of them were sold for a small piece of money. Adrian sold them in a fair, like horses, and for the same price. Such multitudes were often exposed to sale, that there were not persons enough to buy them; and they were sent into confinement, and that so strict and severe, till they died by hundreds and thousands together; and in general they were looked upon in so contemptible alight, that men would not have them even for slaves; in so remarkable a manner have these awful denunciations been fulfilled.