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Lecture Fifty-Ninth.

We yesterday read over that sentence in which the Prophet says that Judea produced another lion after the former had been captured and led into Egypt. Now this ought to be referred to King Jehoiakim, who was appointed by King Nebuchadnezzar, when he had laid waste a part of Egypt, possessed the whole of Judea, and imposed laws by establishing a king, according to the rights of conquest. But since he also acted perfidiously, he was led away into captivity. The Prophet, therefore, means that the nation did not repent through this single chastisement; nor did it change its disposition, since its mother was a lioness: and not only did it bring forth young lions, but taught them to seize upon their prey till they became grown up. He says, therefore, that she saw what she had hoped, and her hope was futile. Some think that the noun “hope” is here repeated by the Prophet — she saw that her hope was lost; lost hope, I say. But the other reading is better — she saw that she had hoped; that is, she saw that her hope had not produced any fruit for some time, because the royal throne remained deserted; therefore she took another of her whelps, says he, and made him a lion. The Prophet again briefly teaches that the whole royal offspring was like young lions. Although, therefore, the lion alone is called king, yet he is said to be taken from a number of whelps; and hence it follows that this denotes the depraved and cruel nature of all. Thus we see that the Jews are indirectly reproved for not returning to soundness of mind, when God punished them severely, and King Jehoahaz was taken. Since, therefore, that punishment did not result in their correction, it follows that their dispositions were depraved; and the Prophet means this when he says, that she took one of her whelps, and again made it a lion. It follows —

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