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IV. 17 In our watching we have watched for a nation that could not save us. We depended upon hope and aid from the Egyptians, which could not succour us, nor preserve themselves.
IV. 18 They hunt our steps, that we cannot go in our streets. They hunt and chase us up and down in our streets: they follow us at the heels, so as we cannot so much as look out of our doors.
IV. 19 Our persecutors ure swifter than the eagles of the hea. ven : &c. These Chaldean persecutors are so swift, that it is vain to hope for an escape from them.
IV. 20 The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the LORD, was taken in their pits. Yea, which makes up the measure of our sorrow and misery, our king Zedekiah, the anointed of the Lord, who was dear to us as our very breath and life, was taken by them in their pursuit.
IV. 21 Rejoice and be glad, o daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz; the cup also shall pass through unto thee : thou shalt be drunken, and shalt make thyself naked. Rejoice, O) thou ancient enemy, the posterity of Esau, that dwellest in the land of Uz; rejoice thou in our ruin and desolation, as thou pleasest ; but this cup of the Lord's vengeance shall come, in due time, unto thee also ; and thou shalt drink deep of it, and the shame of thy wickedness shall be discovered.
V. 7 Our fathers have sinned, and are not; and we have borne their iniquities. See Jer. xxxi. 29.
V. 8 Servants have ruled over us. Not only the princes and great commanders of Chaldea have ruled over us, but even their very slaves insult upon us, and exercise cruelty upon us.
v. 9 We gat our bread with the peril of our lives because of the sword of the wilderness. Even before this destruction, during the time of the siege, we were fain to get our bread with the peril of our lives, because of the sword of the enemy, that lay encamped about us.
V. 12 Princes are hanged up by their hand. Our princes were driven to make their own hands their executioners.
V. 13 They took the young men to grind, and the children fell under the wood. They put our young men to all the servile and base drudgeries, that could be devised ; and compelled our children to undergo those burdens, which they were not able to carry.
V. 16 The crown is fallen from our head : woe unto us, that we have sinned! All our glory is quite gone, and utterly cast down to the ground.
V. 18 Because of the mountain of Zion, which is desolate, the foxes walk upon it.
The hill of Zion, where the temple stood, which was so honoured, so frequented, is now so desolate, that the very foxes walk upon it.
I. 1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. It came to pass, in the thirtieth year after the jubilee, and the finding of the original copy of the law, in the month of July, and the fifth day of that month, when I was among the Hebrew captives in Chaldea, by the river Chebar, that God revealed himself to me, and put into me the spirit of prophecy, and represented divers risions to the eyes
mind. I. 2 In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity. In the fifth day of July, which was in the fifth year of the first deportation into Babylon, and captivity there.
1. 3 And the hand of the LORD was there upon him. And the efficacy of God's Spirit did shew itself in and upon me, in his holy revelations.
I. 4 And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire. And, behold, I looked; and God shewed me a representation of those fearful tempests of calamity, which yet were to come upon his people, by a whirlwind, arising from the north, (whence their further persecution and captivity was to come,) by a dark cloud; and fire infolded within it, to signify the trial which they are to undergo: but there was a pleasing brightness about that cloud ; and out of the midst of that fiery splendour, there was, as it were a shining colour of amber, to signify the presence of God's powerful grace and mercy, in the midst of all the fiery trials of his Church.
I. 5 Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four liting creatures. And this was their appearance ; they had the likeness of a man. And out of the midst of that fiery brightness, came four Angels, in the likeness of four living creatures, whose number was proportioned to the four corners of the world. And this was their appearance; they had the shape and likeness of a man.
1. 6. And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. And every one of them had four faces; to siguify their ready address to receive whatsoever command from God, which way soever it should be delivered: and every one of them had four wings; to signify their swiftness in execution of all the charges of God.
1. 7 And their feet were straight feet : the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. The legs of these Angels were straight up, like the legs of a man; and their feet were round, as the circumference of a calf's foot, for the greater fitness of that turning motion, which they should be put unto; and they had a sparkling kind of brightness in their moving, like to that of burnished brass.
I. 8 And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides ; and they four had their faces and their wings. And they had the likeness of hands; to signify their aptness to execute the will of God: and those hands were under their wings; to imply that their motion is not of themselves, but such as is regulated and directed by the secret instinct of God: all the four Angels had both faces and wings.
1. 9 Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward. Their wings were joined together, at their tops; to signify their full concord and agreement in fulfilling God's command; and they went unanimously together, and all moved right forward, without turning to the right hand or to the left.
1. 10 As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side : and they four had the face of an ox on the left side ; they four also had the face of an eagle. And for the likeness of their faces, it was according to the several qualities, which are emi n in four noted creatures ; a Man, a Lion, an Ox, an Eagle : such were these Angels; to signify that they were understanding as a man, strong as a lion, serviceable as the ox, as the eagle swift.
I. 11 Thus were their faces : and their wings were stretched upward ; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies. Such were their faces: as for their wings, two of them were stretched upward; to signify their relation unto and dependance upon God's charge : and were joined together; in a signification of the perfect concord and joint agreement in all their services : and two of them covered their bodies; to signify the hidden nature of these celestical spirits, beyond the reach of all human comprehension.
I. 12 And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went ; and they turned not when they went. And they went in this posture all together, straight forward, which way soever the Spirit of God moved them to go; not tuning at all to either hand.
I. 13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps : it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. As for the colour wherein these Angels appeared, they seemed to be like unto burning coals of fire, or like to burning lamps; to represent both the glory and the terror of those spiritual creatures: and this fiery glittering seemed to be diffused over all these Angels; and did cast out a bright lustre from it, and did, as it were, dart out lightning upon the eyes of the beholder.
1. 14 And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning. And the Angels made so speedy dispatch, as that their motion was as the sudden flash of the lightning.
I. 15 Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces. Now, as I beheld these four Angels, behold, I might see four wheels appearing upon the earth, by those four Angels; to signify the perpetual mutability of all these inferior things.
1. 16 The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl : and they four had one likeness : and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel. The appearance of every one of the wheels and their work, was of a sea-colour; to shew the vanity and instability of these earthly things: and they four had one likeness ; to shew the constant uniformity of God's proceedings with men: and their work was, as it were of a Sphere, wherein one wheel seemeth to be set cross to the other; to shew, that, however God hath most wisely and ordinately disposed all things, yet they seem to us intricate and perplexed.
I. 17 When they went, they went upon their four sides : and they returned not when they went. When they moved, they moved all four together; and went right on to the period appointed.
I. 18 As for the rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four. As for the outmost roundels of those wheels, they were of a vast and dreadful height: and they were on all sides thereof full of eyes; to shew, that there is not the least motion in any of these earthly things, which is not directed by an eye of Divine Proyidence.
I. 19 And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. And, to shew that all these worldly alterations and changes have a dependance upon the powerful preordination and instinct of God, and are overruled by those ministering spirits to whom he committeth the managing thereof, when the Angels moved on, the wheels moved by them, and when the Angels were lifted up, the wheels were lifted up also.
I. 20 Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. Which way soever the Spirit of God directed them to go, thither they went: and if by the power of that Almighty Spirit the Angels were raised upward, the wheels were accordingly raised; for the same Spirit, that moved the Angels, did also move those wheels to concur with them; God, by his Angels, transfusing into these earthly creatures the power of their governance and motion. So also verse 21.
I. 22 And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above. And the colour of the firmament, which was spread over the head-1 of these four Angels, was as the colour of a glorious crystal, which had in it a kind of majestical brightness.
I. 23 And under the firmament were their wings straight, the one toward the other : every one had two, which covered on this side, and every one had two, which covered on that side, their bodies. And under this shining firmament were the wings of these four Angels reached straight forth, one toward another; which, as was formerly said, being four to each, two of them served to be stretched forth for the meeting of the wings of their fellows, and the other two covered their own bodies.
1. 24 And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of a host. And when they moved, I heard the noise of their wings, in their motion, very loud and strong, as of gushing waters or of thunder; and the noise of that voice, which was heard over them, was as the shouting of a host. So also verse 25.
1. 26 And above the firnament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone : and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. And, to shew that all these motions, both of the Angels and the inferior creatures, proceed from the infinite wisdom and power of God, above the firmament, that was over their heads, there was the likeness of the glorious throne of the Almighty, bright and shining of a celestial colour; and upon that throne was there the likeness of a man sitting, even that God, who would afterwards take upon him the shape of man, for man's redemption.
I. 27 And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. And I saw the resemblance of a glorious amber-coloured brightness, and as of a perfectly inflamed and ardently red fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins upward ; and for the other part, which was from the appearance of the loins downward, the resemblance of a bright fire, but less digested; to shew, that the Son of God, though all glorious, yet, in that part, which concerns his creatures, and wherein he reveals himself to men, he remits of that fiery and incomprehensible Majesty, and descends graciously to our capacity and apprehension.