Prohibitions given to the prophet. (1-9) The justice of God in
these judgments. (10-13) Future restoration of the Jews, and the
conversion of the Gentiles. (14-21)
The prophet must conduct himself as one who expected to see
his country ruined very shortly. In the prospect of sad times,
he is to abstain from marriage, mourning for the dead, and
pleasure. Those who would convince others of the truths of God,
must make it appear by their self-denial, that they believe it
themselves. Peace, inward and outward, family and public, is
wholly the work of God, and from his loving-kindness and mercy.
When He takes his peace from any people, distress must follow.
There may be times when it is proper to avoid things otherwise
our duty; and we should always sit loose to the pleasures and
concerns of this life.
Here seems to be the language of those who quarrel at the
word of God, and instead of humbling and condemning themselves,
justify themselves, as though God did them wrong. A plain and
full answer is given. They were more obstinate in sin than their
fathers, walking every one after the devices of his heart. Since
they will not hearken, they shall be hurried away into a far
country, a land they know not. If they had God's favour, that
would make even the land of their captivity pleasant.
The restoration from the Babylonish captivity would be
remembered in place of the deliverance from Egypt; it also
typified spiritual redemption, and the future deliverance of the
church from antichristian oppression. But none of the sins of
sinners can be hidden from God, or shall be overlooked by him.
He will find out and raise up instruments of his wrath, that
shall destroy the Jews, by fraud like fishers, by force like
hunters. The prophet, rejoicing at the hope of mercy to come,
addressed the Lord as his strength and refuge. The deliverance
out of captivity shall be a figure of the great salvation to be
wrought by the Messiah. The nations have often known the power
of Jehovah in his wrath; but they shall know him as the strength
of his people, and their refuge in time of trouble.