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Text.— Who say, stand by thyself; come not near to me, for I am holier than thou; these are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.”
Here again ......ians are in their element! nothing mystical ! nothing spiritual! here all is literal and plain. This means the Pharisees and their followers, say all the commentators who say any thing about it, from Vetringa to Calvin, and from him it is repeated down to Coke and the evangelical Thomas Scott. 6 The Pharisees and their followers," all the Jews of the present day, (for there is no other sect among us.) They tell us, we consider ourselves holier than other people, and will not allow them to touch us, lest we become unclean. It is very true indeed, we know nothing about this pretended cleanliness and holiness; still, who will undertake to contradict the Doctors ? they must know our ailment better than ourselves. It is further true, they do not consider that the word which or who in the fifth verse is a relative, relating to the rebellious people treated of in the fourth verse, and which puzzles them so much, and are also mentioned in the third and second verses, and as I have shown are the same with those spoken of in the first, who they allow are the Gentiles; consequently, these Gentiles, or their descendants, the ......ians, are the smoke in the nose and the continual burning fire. Thus,
Explanation. Those ...... ians, after committing all those afore-enumerated nuisances, have the effrontery to say they are the only chosen people of God, the saints of God, the holy saints; and that all others, particularly the Jews, must not come near to them; they are vessels of wrath fitted for destruction. Those ......ians are a smoke in my nose, as offensive to me as smoke to the nostrils they provoke to jealousy continually, as a steady burning fire.
Text.- Behold it is written before me, I will not keep
silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosoms, your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the Lord, which have burnt incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills; and I will measure their former works into their bosoms.
Examination. I will not keep silence;" alluding to the prayer which says, (Ch. lxiv. 11.) Wilt thou hold thy peace ? God answers, “ I will not keep silence.” The same verb on chasha, to keep silence, is made use of in both places. « But will recompense, even recompense.” Hebrew inbo- ox im-shilomtee, is joined with a hyphen, showing they belong together; and „ kee, is by itself; thus, For, when I do recompense, then I will recompense, &c.
It would also appear, that the former works in this verse spoken of, are the iniquities of the progenitors—the fathers; and that those iniquities were offering incense on the mountains, and blaspheming him on the hills. Then the threat here is, when I recompense you for your own iniquities—for holding places of meeting among the graves, and making your lodgments of worship among the tombs and monuments—for eating swine's flesh-for having in your vessels abominable broth, or rather, having pieces of torn abominable things in your vessels—and for considering and holding forth that ye are the holy people, and despising others, -at the time when I shall recompense you for those iniquities which yourselves are guilty of, I will also add to your punishment that which is due for the iniquities your pagan progenitors were guilty of, to wit, offering incense upon the mountains, and blaspheming me upon the hills. Hence it appears that the fourth verse treats of the descendants of those spoken of in the third verse; and that the fathers had one erroneous form of worship, and the descendants another, and both displeasing to God. That of the fathers is called, a way that is not good, after their own thoughts; and that of the descendants, “ a smoke in my
nose, a continual burning fire. Consequently this is the explanation :- When I pay the ......ians for their own sins, I will visit on them the sins of their Pagan ancestors.
Text. Thus saith the Lord: as the new wine is found in the clusters, and one saith destroy it not, for a blessing is in it, so will I do for my servants' sake, that I may not destroy them all.
Explanation.--As in trimming the vines, when any clusters are found in a forward state, looking full and promising, having wine in them, one will naturally cry out do not destroy it, for there is a blessing in it, and it is left to ripen; therefore will I do this for the sake of my servants, the Jews, that I will not destroy all the ...... ians. That there is wine in the clusters there is no doubt. May God hasten it to ripening; for at this day there is already a blessing in it. Whatever are their opinions on religious subjects and doctrinal points, the fruit looks full and good. This verse alludes to the supplication that will be made for the Gentiles by the Jews, on the day of recompense, when the day of my redeemed is come, as we find written in Zach. xii. 9. 66 And it shall come to pass in that day I shall seek to destroy all the nations who shall come up against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplications; and they shall look to me in favour of those who have pierced them.” That is, the Jews will pray to God on account, and for the sake of the Gentiles, Mahomidans as well as ...... iaus, both of whom have pierced them upwards of these thousand years past. And this prayer of the Jews God promises here to answer in favour of the ...... ians, not to destroy them all-not any of the clusters where the wine is in.
Thus has God given a full and efficacious answer to the prayer of the Jewish church, as far as concerned the Gentiles, plainly showing us, and them also, if they are willing
to understand and consider it, that the Gentiles are not chosen, but that they in truth are threatened with heavy denunciations. He now, in the next two verses, places before us the hopes of Israel, or, as ...... ians would say, the hopes of our calling.
Text.-And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and from Judah an inheritor of my mountain, and my chosen shall inherit it, and my servants shall rest there. And Sharon shall become a fold for flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for herds of cattle to litter for my people that have sought me.
Explanation. This is a promise of our return to the land of Israel, and that finally those Jews who continue to seek the Lord, shall rest there in safety. They are here called God's servants, his chosen, (his elect, his people who have sought him, in opposition to those treated of heretofore, particularly verse first, where the Gentiles are on all hands allowed to be spoken of as those who have not sought me.
Text.—But ye are they that forsake the Lord; that forget my holy mountain; that prepare a table for that troop; and that furnish the drink offering unto that number.
Examination.- Are they that forsake.” The word thus translated is 19 Uzby, and is, in regimen, requiring the preposition of after it. Thus: And ye forsakers of the Lord.“ Prepare a table to that Troop.” The word is ab Lagad, the troop. Several united together in one makes a troop. Commentators are agreed thus far, it is an idolatry; but what idolatry they cannot agree. David Levi says it means Jupiter. Jarchi thinks it is the Goat, one of the signs of the zodiac. Kimchi, on Isaiah, I have not got: Levy says he will have it, Good Fortune Jupiter. As to the table, all are silent: they appear to be willing to leave the table as it stands. 6 To that number ;" Hebrew, ups Lamnee. Jarchi says, some explain it, to ihe strange, or
idol service that I placed over you ; but he is of opinion it means number; he supposes, number of cups of wine, according to the number of worshippers. David Levi.-And furnish the drink offering to that number, i. e. the number of the planets or wandering stars. In short, the Jewish commentators appear only to make guesses, or perhaps, if they did know, they keep the meaning to themselves ; it is certain they write in Europe with a sword at their throats. One thing, however, is plain, that the word 10% Lamnee, is in the possessive case, to my number. Neither can the ...... ian commentators agree or make any thing of it; at all events, however, they will have, all of them, the Jews are here meant and intended. That it is a Jewish idolatry, they all agree; and they throw away much profound l'earning to discover what this troop and number was, as nothing can be found on record of the Jews ever having worshipped such gods as Gad and Meni. Troop and Number. Some say troop means Jupiter, and number, Venus ; others say, troop means the Sun, and number, the Moon : none, however, give satisfaction to the others, (and indeed, hardly to themselves,) until the Reverend Thomas Scott, finally settles the business, no doubt, to the satisfaction of all parties. He allows it is a horrid Idolatry, and since it is undoubtedly the will of heaven that it should be lost and forgotten, it is in vain to ransack ancient lore for that, which he thinks, can never be discovered, and thus he gives up the chase : still he will have it is a Jewish idolatry. Alas, poor Scott! with all his learning, with all his Evangelism, he could not discern the beam in his own eye: (although he comes very near it sometimes,) for w Lagad, say what they please, is still the troop ; and a troop is several persons joined into one company or fellowship; and ups Lamnee is still to my number, some certain and defined number you are pleased to account me to consist of; the table still remains the