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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.


8. But the liberal shall devise liberal things. We have already said that these statements of the Prophet have a deeper meaning than is commonly supposed; for he does not speak in the ordinary sense of the words, but treats of the reformation of the Church. This relates therefore to the regenerate, over whom Christ reigns; for, although all are called by the voice of the gospel, yet there are few who suffer themselves to be placed under his yoke. The Lord makes them truly kind and bountiful, so that they no longer seek their own convenience, but are ready to give assistance to the poor, and not only do this once or oftener, but every day advance more and more in kindness and generosity.

In acting liberally he shall make progress. This passage is commonly explained in a different manner, namely, that the liberal advance themselves, and become great by doing good; because God rewards them, and bestows on them greater blessings. This view pleases at first sight; but the Prophet, on the contrary, shews that the liberal will never cease to perform acts of generosity, for they will daily make greater progress, and will pursue the same designs and adhere firmly to their intention, as it is said by the Psalmist,

“He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever.” (Psalm 112:9; 2 Corinthians 9:9.)

This is added, because it is easy to counterfeit liberality for a time; many even think that they are sincerely bountiful because they have performed an act of beneficence, but quickly cease and change their purpose. But true liberality is not momentary or of short duration. They who possess that virtue persevere steadily, and do not exhaust themselves in a sudden and feeble flame, of which they quickly afterwards repent.

This is what the Prophet intended to express by the word קום, (kūm,) which signifies to “arise” and “grow.” There are indeed many occurrences which retard the progress of our liberality. We find in men strange ingratitude, so that what we give appears to be ill bestowed. Many are too greedy, and, like horse-leeches, suck the blood of others. But let us remember this saying, and listen to Paul’s exhortation “not to be weary in well-doing;” for the Lord exhorts us not to momentary liberality, but to that which shall endure during the whole course of our life. (Galatians 6:9.)

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