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5

Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets

who lead my people astray,

who cry “Peace”

when they have something to eat,

but declare war against those

who put nothing into their mouths.

6

Therefore it shall be night to you, without vision,

and darkness to you, without revelation.

The sun shall go down upon the prophets,

and the day shall be black over them;

7

the seers shall be disgraced,

and the diviners put to shame;

they shall all cover their lips,

for there is no answer from God.

8

But as for me, I am filled with power,

with the spirit of the Lord,

and with justice and might,

to declare to Jacob his transgression

and to Israel his sin.

 

9

Hear this, you rulers of the house of Jacob

and chiefs of the house of Israel,

who abhor justice

and pervert all equity,

10

who build Zion with blood

and Jerusalem with wrong!

11

Its rulers give judgment for a bribe,

its priests teach for a price,

its prophets give oracles for money;

yet they lean upon the Lord and say,

“Surely the Lord is with us!

No harm shall come upon us.”

12

Therefore because of you

Zion shall be plowed as a field;

Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins,

and the mountain of the house a wooded height.

 


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Verses 1–8

Men cannot expect to do ill, and fare well; but to find that done to them which they did to others. How seldom do wholesome truths reach the ears of those in high stations or in authority! Those who deceive others are preparing confusion for their own faces. The prophet had ardent love to God and to the souls of men; deep concern for his glory and their salvation, and zeal against sin. The difficulties he met with did not drive him from his work. He had this strength; not from and of himself, but he was full of power by the Spirit of the Lord. Those who act honestly, may act boldly. And those who come to hear the word of God, must be willing to be told of their faults, must take it kindly, and be thankful.

Verses 9–12

Zion's walls owe no thanks to those that build them up with blood and iniquity. The sin of man works not the righteousness of God. Even when men do that which in itself is good, but do it for filthy lucre, it becomes abomination both to God and man. Faith rests in the Lord as the soul's foundation: presumption only leans upon the Lord as a prop, and would use him to serve a turn. If men's having the Lord among them will not keep them from doing evil, it never can secure them from suffering evil for so doing. See the doom of wicked Jacob; Therefore shall Zion for your sake be ploughed as a field. This was exactly fulfilled at the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, and is so at this day. If sacred places are polluted by sin, they will be wasted and ruined by the judgments of God.




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