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Government with Justice Predicted


See, a king will reign in righteousness,

and princes will rule with justice.


Each will be like a hiding place from the wind,

a covert from the tempest,

like streams of water in a dry place,

like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.


Then the eyes of those who have sight will not be closed,

and the ears of those who have hearing will listen.


The minds of the rash will have good judgment,

and the tongues of stammerers will speak readily and distinctly.


A fool will no longer be called noble,

nor a villain said to be honorable.


For fools speak folly,

and their minds plot iniquity:

to practice ungodliness,

to utter error concerning the L ord,

to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied,

and to deprive the thirsty of drink.


The villainies of villains are evil;

they devise wicked devices

to ruin the poor with lying words,

even when the plea of the needy is right.


But those who are noble plan noble things,

and by noble things they stand.


Complacent Women Warned of Disaster


Rise up, you women who are at ease, hear my voice;

you complacent daughters, listen to my speech.


In little more than a year

you will shudder, you complacent ones;

for the vintage will fail,

the fruit harvest will not come.


Tremble, you women who are at ease,

shudder, you complacent ones;

strip, and make yourselves bare,

and put sackcloth on your loins.


Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields,

for the fruitful vine,


for the soil of my people

growing up in thorns and briers;

yes, for all the joyous houses

in the jubilant city.


For the palace will be forsaken,

the populous city deserted;

the hill and the watchtower

will become dens forever,

the joy of wild asses,

a pasture for flocks;


until a spirit from on high is poured out on us,

and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field,

and the fruitful field is deemed a forest.

The Peace of God’s Reign


Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,

and righteousness abide in the fruitful field.


The effect of righteousness will be peace,

and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.


My people will abide in a peaceful habitation,

in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.


The forest will disappear completely,

and the city will be utterly laid low.


Happy will you be who sow beside every stream,

who let the ox and the donkey range freely.


20. Blessed are ye. He shews how great will be the change, when Christ shall begin to reign; for he had formerly said that so great would be the desolation, that “thorns and briers” would overspread the holy land, costly houses would be thrown down, and cities and palaces would be levelled with the earth. This would happen, when the incessant attacks of enemies should lay that country desolate. But now he says that they shall be blessed, because God will give them abundant produce of all fruits. That fertility which might have been described in simple language, he illustrates by figures, that they shall “sow in marshes,” and shall “send forth their cattle” into the fields without dread of losing them.

By waters some understand a rich and fertile soil; but the universal particle כל, (chōl,) all, leads me to take a different view; as if he had said, “Places which were overrun with waters shall be fit for sowing, and there will be no reason to fear that the water shall spoil our fields.” We are accustomed also to drive away oxen, and asses, and other animals, from fields, and especially from sown fields, that they may not eat the corn. But here he says that the corn will grow so thick and plentifully, that it shall be necessary to send oxen and asses to crop the early blade, as is commonly done when the corn is luxuriant. 346346    {Bogus footnote}

He calls them blessed, in accordance with the usage of the Hebrew language, because their labor will never be unprofitable. If it be objected that, under the reign of Christ, such fertility has never been seen, I acknowledge that, even when God has shewn the highest kindness to his people, still there have always been visible marks of the curse, which was entailed on mankind by the fall and revolt of Adam. (Genesis 3:17.) But since Christ has restored to believers the inheritance of the world, with good reason do the prophets assert that he would renew the earth, so as to remove its filthiness and restore that beauty which it had lost. They who complain that it is not yet fulfilled, ought to consider whether or not they themselves are purified from every stain of sin. And if they are still at a great distance from spiritual righteousness, let them be satisfied with enjoying the blessing of God according to the measure of regeneration, the full enjoyment of which we must not expect to obtain, till, freed from the pollution of the flesh, we shall bear the perfect image of God.

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