Micahthe Prophet of the tribe of Iudah serued in the worke of the Lorde, concerning Iudah and Israel, at the least thirtie yeeres: at what time Isaiah prophecied. He declareth the destruction, first of the one kingdome, and then of the other, because of their manifolde wickednesse, but chiefely for their idolatrie. And to this ende he noteth the wickednesse of the people, the crueltie of the princes and gouernours, and the permißion of the false prophets, and the deliting in them. Then he setteth foorth the comming of Christ, his kingdome, and the felicitie thereof. This Prophet was not that Micah, which resisted Ahab, and all his false prophets, as 1.King.22.8. but another of the same name.
[Israels, and Iudahs plagues.]
1 The destruction of Iudah and Israel because of their idolatrie.
1 The word of the Lorde, that came vnto Micah the [Note: [a] Borne in Mareshah a citie of Iudah. ] Morashite in the dayes of Iotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah Kings of Iudah, which he sawe concerning Samaria, and Ierusalem.
2 Heare, [Note: [b] Because of the malice, and obstinacie of the people whome he had so oft exhorted to repentance, he summoneth them to Gods iudgements, taking all creatures, and God him selfe to witnes, that the preaching of his Prophets, which they haue abused, shalbe reuenged. ] al ye people: hearke thou, O earth, & all that therein is, & let the Lord God be witnes against you, euen ye Lord from his holy Teple.
3 For beholde, the Lorde commeth out of his place, and will come [Note: [c] Meaning hereby, that God will come to iudgement against the strong cities and holdes. ] downe, and tread vpon the hie places of the earth.
4 And the mountaines shall melt vnder him (so shall the valleys cleaue) as waxe before the fire, and as the waters yt are powred downewarde.
5 For the wickednes of Iaakob is all this, & for the sinnes of the house of Israel: what is the wickednes of Iaakob? Is not [Note: [d] Samaria, which shoulde haue bene an example to all Israel of true religion and iustice, was the puddle, and stewes of all idolatrie and corruption, and boasted themselues of their father Iaakob. ] Samaria? & which are the hie [Note: [e] That is, the idolatrie and infection ] places of Iudah? Is not Ierusalem?
6 Therefore I wil make Samaria as an heape of the fielde, and for the planting of a vineyard, and I will cause the stones thereof to tumble downe into the valley, and I will discouer the foundations thereof.
7 And all the grauen images thereof shalbe broken, and all the [Note: [f] Which they gathered by euill practises, and thought that their idoles had enriched them therewith for their seruice vnto them. ] giftes thereof shalbe burnt with the fire, and all the idoles thereof will I destroy: for she gathered it of the hire of an harlot, and they shal returne [Note: [g] The gaine that came by their idoles, shalbe consumed as a thing of nought: for as the wages or riches of harlots are wickedly gotten, so are they vilely and speedily spent. ] to the wages of an harlot.
8 Therefore I will mourne and howle: I wil goe without clothes, and naked: I will make lamentation like the dragons, and mourning as the ostriches.
[Israels, and Iudahs plagues.]
9 For her plagues are grieuous: for it is come into Iudah: the enemie is come vnto the gate of my people, vnto Ierusalem.
10 Declare ye it not at [Note: [h] Lest the Philistims our enemies reioyce at our destruction. ] Gath, neither weepe ye: for the house of [Note: [i] Which was a citie neere to Ierusalem, Ioshu. 18.23. there called Ophrah, and signifieth dust: therefore he willeth them to mourne, and roule themselues in the dust, for their dustie citie. ] Aphrah roule thy selfe in the dust.
11 Thou yt dwellest at [Note: [k] These were cities whereby the enemie should passe as he came to Iudah. ] Shaphir, go together naked with shame: she that dwelleth at Zaanan, shal not come forth in ye mourning of Beth-ezel: the enemie shall [Note: [l] He shall not depart before he hath ouercome you, and so you shall pay for his tarying. ] receiue of you for his standing.
12 For the inhabitant of Maroth wayted for good, but euill came from the Lorde vnto the [Note: [m] For Rabshakeh had shut vp Ierusalem, that they could not send to succour them. ] gate of Ierusalem.
13 O thou inhabitant of Lachish, binde the charet to the beastes [Note: [n] To flee away: for Saneherib laid siege first to that citie, and remained therein when he sent his captaines and armie against Ierusalem. ] of price: she [Note: [o] Thou first receiuedst the idolatrie of Ieroboam, and so diddest infect Ierusalem. ] is the beginning of the sinne to the daughter of Zion: for the transgressions of Israel were found in thee.
14 Therefore shalt thou giue presents to Moresheth [Note: [p] Thou shalt bribe the Philistims thy neighbours, but they shall deceiue thee, as well as they of Ierusalem. ] Gath: the houses of Achzib shalbe as a lye to the Kings of Israel.
15 Yet will I bring an [Note: [q] He prophecieth against his owne citie, and because it signified an heritage, he saith that God would sende an heire to possesse it. ] heire vnto thee, O inhabitant of Mareshah, he shall come vnto Adullam, [Note: [r] For so they thought them selues for the strength of their citie. ] the glorie of Israel.
16 Make thee balde: and shaue thee for thy delicate children: enlarge thy baldenesse as the eagle, for they are gone into captiuity from thee.
1 Threatnings against the wanton and deintie people. 6 They would teach the Prophets to preach.
1 Wo vnto them, that imagine iniquitie, and worke wickednesse vpon their beddes: [Note: [a] Assoone as they rise, they execute their wicked deuises of the night, and according to their power hurt others. ] when the morning is light they practise it because their hande [Note: Ebr. Is in power. ] hath power.
2 And they couet fields, and take them by violence, and houses, and take them away: so they oppresse a man and his house, euen man and his heritage.
3 Therefore thus saieth the Lorde, Beholde, against this familie haue I deuised a plague, whereout yee shall not plucke your neckes, and ye shall not go so proudly, for this time is euill.
4 In that daye shall they take vp a parable against you, and lament with a dolefull lamentation, and say, [Note: [b] Thus the Iewes lament & say that there is no hope of restitution, seeing their possessions are deuided among ye enemies. ] We be vtterly wasted: hee hath changed the portion of my people: how hath he taken it away to restore it vnto mee? he hath deuided our fieldes.
5 Therefore thou shalt haue none that shall cast a corde by lot in [Note: [c] Ye shall haue no more lands to deuide, as you had in times past, and as you vsed to measure them in the Iubile. ] the Congregation of the Lorde.
6 [Note: [d] Thus the people warne the Prophets that they speake to them no more: for they cannot abide their threatnings. ] They that prophecied, Prophecie ye not. [Note: [e] God saith that they shal not prophecie, nor receiue no more of their rebukes nor tauts. ] They shall not prophecie to them, neither shall they take shame.
7 O thou that art named of the house of Iaakob, is the Spirite of the Lorde shortened? [Note: [f] Are these your workes according to his Law? ] are these his workes? are not my wordes good vnto him [Note: [g] Do not the godly finde my words comfortable? ] that walketh vprightly?
8 But hee that was [Note: [h] That is, afore time. ] yesterday my people, is risen vp on the other side, as against an enemie: they spoyle the [Note: [i] The poore can haue no commoditie by them, but they spoyle them, as though they were enemies. ] beautifull garment from them that passe by peaceably, as though they returned from the warre.
9 The women of my people haue ye cast out from their pleasant houses, and from their childre haue ye taken away [Note: [k] That is, their substance, and liuing, which is Gods blessing, and as it were, parte of his glorie. ] my glorie continually.
10 Arise and depart, for this is not your [Note: [l] Ierusalem shall not be your safegarde: but ye cause of your destructio. ] rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, euen with a sore destruction.
11 If a man [Note: [m] That is, shewe him selfe to be a Prophet. ] walke in the Spirit, and would lie falsely, saying, [Note: [n] Hee sheweth what Prophets they delite in: that is, in flatterers, which tell them pleasant tales, and speake of their commodities. ] I wil prophecie vnto thee of wine, and of strong drinke, he shall euen be the prophet of this people.
12 I will surely gather [Note: [o] To destroy thee. ] thee wholy, O Iaakob: I will surely gather the remnant of Israel: I will put them together as the sheepe of Bozrah, euen as the flocke in the mids of their folde: the cities shall be full of brute of the men.
13 The [Note: [p] The enemie shall breake their gates and walles, and leade them into Caldea. ] breaker vp shall come vp before them: they shall breake out, & passe by the gate, and goe out by it, & their King shall goe before them, and the Lorde shalbe [Note: [q] To driue them forwarde, and to helpe their enemies. ] vpon their heades.
1 Against the tyrannie of princes and false prophets,
1 And I sayd, Heare, I pray you, O heads of Iaakob, and yee princes of the house of Israel: should not ye knowe [Note: [a] That thing which is iust and lawfull, both to gouerne my people aright, and also to discharge your owne conscience? ] iudgement?
2 But they hate the good, and loue the euill: they plucke off their skinnes from them, & their flesh from their bones.
3 And they eate also the [Note: [b] The Prophet condemneth the wicked gouerners not only of couetousnesse, theft and murther, but compareth them to wolues, lions, and most cruell beastes. ] flesh of my people, & flay off their skinne from them, & they breake their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron.
4 Then [Note: [c] That is, when I shall visite their wickednesse: for though I heare the godly before they cry, Isa.65 24. yet I will not heare these though they cry, Isa.1.15. and Ezek.8.18. iam.2.12. 1.pet.3.11,12. ] shall they crye vnto the Lorde, but he will not heare them: he wil euen hide his face from them at that time, because they haue done wickedly in their workes.
5 Thus saith the Lorde, Concerning the prophets
[Couetousnesse is cruell.]
that deceiue my people, and [Note: [d] They deuoure all their substance, and then flatter them, promising that all shall goe well: but if one restraine from their bellies, then they inuent all wayes to mischiefe. ] bite them with their teeth, and cry peace, but if a man put not into their mouthes, they prepare warre against him,
6 Therefore [Note: [e] As you haue loued to walke in darkenesse, and to prophecie lies, so God shall reward you with grosse blindnesse, and ignorance, so that when all others shall see the bright beames of Gods graces, ye shall as blinde men grope as in the night. ] night shalbe vnto you for a vision, and darkenesse shalbe vnto you for a diuination, and the sunne shall goe downe ouer the prophets, and the day shalbe darke ouer them.
7 Then shall the Seers bee ashamed, and the southsayers confounded: yea, they shall all couer [Note: [f] When God shal discouer them to the world, they shalbe afraide to speake: for all shall knowe that they were but false prophets, and did belye the worde of God. ] their lippes, for they haue none answere of God.
8 Yet notwithstanding I am full [Note: [g] The Prophet being assured of his vocation by the Spirit of God, setteth himselfe alone against all the wicked, shewing howe God both gaue him gifts, habilitie and knowledge, to discerne betweene good and euil, and also constancie to reproue the sinnes of the people, and not to flatter them. ] of power by the Spirite of the Lord, and of iudgement, and of strength to declare vnto Iaakob his transgression, and to Israel his sinne.
9 Heare this, I pray you, ye heades of the house of Iaakob, and princes of the house of Israel: they abhorre iudgement, and peruert all equitie.
10 They build vp Zion with [Note: [h] They buylde them houses by briberie, which hee calleth blood & iniquitie. ] blood, and Ierusalem with iniquitie.
11 The heads thereof iudge for rewardes, and the Priestes thereof teache for hyre, and the prophets thereof prophecie for money: yet wil they [Note: [i] They wil say, that they are the people of God, & abuse his Name as a pretence to cloke their hypocrisie. ] leane vpon the Lorde, and say, Is not the Lorde among vs? no euill can come vpon vs.
12 Therefore shall Zion for your sake bee [Note: [k] Reade Ieremiah 26.18. ] plowed as a field, & Ierusalem shalbe an heape, and the mountaine of the house, as the hye places of the forest.
1 Of the kingdome of Christ, and felicitie of his Church.
1 Bvt in the [Note: [a] When Christ shall come, and the Temple shalbe destroyed. ] last dayes it shall come to passe, that the mountaine of the House of the Lord shall be prepared in the toppe of the mountaines, and it shall bee exalted aboue the [Note: [b] Reade Isa 2.2. ] hilles, and people shall flowe vnto it.
2 Yea, many nations shal come & say, Come, and let vs goe vp to the Mountaine of the Lord, and to the House of the God of Iaakob, and hee will [Note: [c] He sheweth that there is no true Church but where as the people are taught by Gods pure worde. ] teache vs his wayes, and we wil walke in his pathes: for the Lawe shall goe forth of Zion, and the worde of the Lord from Ierusalem.
3 And he shall iudge among many people, & [Note: [d] By his corrections and threatnings he will bring the people into subiection which are in the vtmost corners of the worlde. ] rebuke mightie nations a farre off, & they shall breake their swordes into mattockes, and their speares into [Note: [e] They shall absteine from all euill doing, and exercise themselues in godlines and in well doing to others. ] sithes: nation shal not lift vp a sword against nation, neither shall they [Note: [f] Reade Isa.2.4. ] learne to fight any more.
4 But they shall sit euery man vnder his vine, and vnder his figge tree, and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lorde of hostes hath spoken it.
5 For all people will walke [Note: [g] He sheweth that the people of God ought to remaine constant in their religion albeit all the world should giue themselues to their superstition and idolatrie. ] euery one in the name of his God, and we will walke in the Name of the Lord our God, for euer and euer.
6 At the same day, saith the Lorde, will I gather her that halteth, and I will gather her that is cast out, and her that I haue afflicted.
7 And I will make her that halted, [Note: [h] I will cause that Israel, which is now as one lame and halting, and so almost destroyed, shall liue againe and growe into a great people. ] a remnant, and her that was cast farre off, a mightie nation: and the Lorde shall reigne ouer them in [Page]
[God will gather his.]
Mount Zion, from hence forth euen for euer.
8 And thou, O [Note: [i] Meaning Ierusalem, where the Lords flocke was gathered. ] towre of the flock, the strong holde of the daughter Zion, vnto thee shall it come, euen [Note: [k] The florishing state of the kingdome, as it was vnder Dauid and Salomon, which thing was accomplished to the Church by the coming of Christ. ] the first dominion, and kingdome shall come to the daughter Ierusalem.
9 Nowe why doest thou crie out with lamentation? is [Note: [l] In the meane season he sheweth that they should endure great troubles and tentations when they sawe themselues neither to haue king nor counsel. ] there no King in thee? is thy counseller perished? for sorowe hath taken thee, as a woman in trauaile.
10 Sorow and mourne, O daughter Zion, like a woman in trauaile: for nowe shalt thou goe foorth of the citie, and dwel in the field, and shalt goe into Babel, but there shalt thou be deliuered: there the Lord shall redeeme thee from the hand of thine enemies.
11 Nowe also many nations are gathered against thee, saying, Zion shalbe condemned and our eye shall looke vpon Zion.
12 But they [Note: [m] Hee sheweth that the faythfull ought not to measure Gods iudgements by ye brags and threatnings of the wicked, but thereby are admonished to lift vp their hearts to God to call for deliuerance. ] knowe not the thoughtes of the Lord: they vnderstand not his counsell, for he shall gather them as the sheaues in the barne.
13 Arise, and thresh, [Note: [n] God giueth his Church this victorie so oft as hee ouercommeth their enemies: but the accomplishment hereof shalbe at the last comming of Christ. ] O daughter Zion: for I will make thine horne yron, and I will make thine hooues brasse, and thou shalt breake in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their riches vnto the Lord, and their substance vnto the ruler of the whole worlde.
1 The destructio of Ierusalem. 2 The excellencie of Beth-leem.
1 Nowe assemble thy garisons, O daughter [Note: [a] He forewarneth them of the dangers that shal come before they enioy these comforts, shewing that forasmuch of Ierusalem was accustomed with her garisons to trouble others, the Lorde would now cause other garisons to vexe her, and that her Rulers should be smitten on the face most cotemptuously. ] of garisons: he hath layed siege against vs: they shall smite the iudge of Israel with a rod vpon the cheeke.
2 And thou Beth-leem Ephrathah art [Note: [b] For so the Iewes deuided their countrey, that for euery thousand there was a chiefe captaine: and because Bethleem was not able to make a thousande, he calleth it litle, but yet God will raise vp his captaine & gouernour therein: and thus it is not the least by reason of this benefite, as Mat.2.6. ] litle to bee among the thousandes of Iudah, yet out of thee shall he come forth vnto me, that shalbe the ruler in Israel: whose [Note: [c] He sheweth that the comming of Christ and all his waies were appoynted of God from all eternitie. ] goings forth haue bene fro the beginning and from euerlasting.
3 Therefore will he giue them vp, vntill the time that [Note: [d] He compareth the Iewes to women with child, who for a time should haue great sorowes, but at length they should haue a comfortable deliuerance, Ioh.16.21. ] shee which shall beare, shall trauaile: then the remnant of their brethren shall returne vnto the children of Israel.
4 And he shall [Note: [e] That is, Christs kingdome shalbe stable & euerlasting, and his people, aswel the Gentiles as the Iewes shall dwel in safetie. ] stand, and feed in the strength of the Lord, and in the maiestie of the Name of the Lord his God, & they shal dwel still: for now shal he be magnified vnto the ends of the world.
5 And hee [Note: [f] This Messiah shalbe a sufficient sauegard for vs, and though the enemie inuade vs for a time, yet shall God stirre vp many which shalbe able to deliuer vs. ] shall be our peace when Asshur shall come into our lande: when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seuen shepheardes, and eight principall men.
6 And they shall destroy [Note: [g] These whom God shall raise vp for the deliuerance of his Church, shall destroy all the enemies thereof, which are meant here by the Assyrians & Babylonians which were ye chiefe at that time. ] Asshur with the sword, & the land of Nimrod with their swordes: thus shall he [Note: [h] By these gouernours wil God deliuer vs whe the enemie commeth into our land. ] deliuer vs from Asshur, when hee commeth into our lande, and when he shall tread within our borders.
7 And the [Note: [i] This renant or Church which God shall deliuer, shal only depend on Gods power & defence, as doth the grasse of the field, & not on the hope of man. ] remnant of Iaakob shalbe among many people, as a dewe from the Lord, and as the showres vpon the grasse, that waiteth not for ma,
[What the Lord requireth.]
nor hopeth in the sonnes of Adam.
8 And the remnant of Iaakob shalbe among the Gentiles in the middes of many people, as the lyon among the beastes of the forest, and as the lyons whelpe among the flockes of sheepe, who when he goeth thorow, treadeth downe and teareth in pieces, and none can deliuer.
9 Thine hand shall bee lift vp vpon thine aduersaries, and all thine enemies shalbe cut off.
10 And it shal come to passe in that day, sayth the Lorde, that I will cut off thine [Note: [k] I wil destroy all things wherein thou puttest thy confidence, as thy vaine confidence and idolatrie, and so will helpe thee. ] horses out of the middes of thee, and I will destroy thy charets.
11 And I will cut off the cities of thy land, & ouerthrowe all thy strong holdes.
12 And I will cut off thine enchanters out of thine hande: and thou shalt haue no more southsayers.
13 Thine idoles also will I cut off, and thine images out of the middes of thee: and thou shalt no more worship the woorke of thine hands.
14 And I wil plucke vp thy groues out of the middes of thee: so will I destroy thine enemies.
15 And I will execute a vegeance in my wrath and indignation vpon the heathen, [Note: [l] It shalbe so terrible that the like hath not bene heard of. ] which they haue not heard.
An exhortation to the dumme creatures to heare the iudgemet against Israel being vnkinde. 6 What maner of sacrifices doe please God.
1 Hearken ye nowe what the Lord sayth, Arise thou, and contende before the [Note: [a] He taketh the hie mountaines and hard rockes to witnesse against the obstinacie of his people. ] mountaines, and let the hilles heare thy voyce.
2 Heare ye, O mountaynes, the Lordes quarel, and ye mightie foundations of the earth: for the Lord hath a quarell against his people, and he will pleade with Israel.
3 O my people, what haue I done vnto thee? or wherin haue I grieued thee? testifie against me.
4 Surely I [Note: [b] I haue not hurt thee, but bestowed infinite benefites vpon thee. ] brought thee vp out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of seruants, & I haue sent before thee, Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.
5 O my people, remember nowe what Balak King of Moab had deuised, and what Balaam the sonne of Beor answered him, from [Note: [c] That is, remember my benefites from the beginning how I deliuered you from Balaams curse, and also spared you from Shittim, which was in the plaine of Moab, till I brought you into the land promised. ] Shittim vnto Gilgal, that ye may knowe the [Note: [d] That is, the trueth of his promes and his manifolde benefites toward you. ] righteousnes of the Lorde.
6 Wherewith [Note: [e] Thus the people by hypocrisie aske how to please God, and are content to offer sacrifices, but will not change their liues. ] shall I come before the Lord, and bowe my selfe before the hie God? Shall I come before him with burnt offrings, and with calues of a yeere olde?
7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousand riuers of oyle? shall I giue my [Note: [f] There is nothing so deare to man, but the hypocrites will offer it vnto God, if they thinke thereby to auoyd his anger: but they will neuer bee brought to mortifie their owne affections & to giue themselues willingly to serue God as he commaundeth. ] first borne for my transgression, euen the fruite of my bodie, for the sinne of my soule?
8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requireth of thee: [Note: [g] The Prophet in fewe words calleth them to the obseruation of the seconde table, to knowe if they will obey God aright or no, saying that God hath prescribed them to doe this. ] surely to doe iustly, and to loue mercie, and to humble thy selfe, to walke with thy God.
9 The Lordes voyce cryeth vnto the [Note: [h] Meaning, that when God speaketh to any citie or nation, the godly will acknowledge his maiestie, and consider not the mortall man that bringeth the threatning, but God that sendeth it. ] citie, and the man of wisedome shall see thy name: Heare the rodde, and who hath appoynted it.
10 Are yet the treasures of wickednes in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure, that is abominable?
11 Shall I iustifie the wicked balances, and the bag of deceitfull weightes?
12 For the rich men [Note: [i] That is, of Ierusalem. ] thereof are full of crueltie, & the inhabitants thereof haue spoken lyes, and their tongue is deceitfull in their mouth.
13 Therefore also will I make thee sicke in smiting thee, and in making thee desolate, because of thy sinnes.
14 Thou shalt eate and not be satisfied, and [Note: [k] Thou shalt be consumed with inwarde griefe and euils. ] thy casting downe shall be in the mids of thee, and thou [Note: [l] Meaning, that the citie shoulde goe about to saue her men, as they that lay holde on that which they woulde preserue. ] shalt take holde, but shalt not deliuer: and that which thou deliuerest, will I giue vp to the sworde.
15 Thou shalt sowe, but not reape: thou shalt treade the oliues, but thou shalt not anoint thee with oyle, and make sweete wine, but shalt not drinke wine.
16 For the [Note: [m] You haue receiued all the corruption and idolatrie, wherewith the ten tribes were infected vnder Omri and Ahab his sonne: and to excuse your doings, you alledge the Kings authority by his statutes, & also wisedome and policy in so doing, but you shall not escape punishment, but as I haue shewed you great fauour, and taken you for my people, so shall your plagues be accordingly, Luke 12.47. ] statutes of Omri are kept, & all the maner of the house of Ahab, and ye walke in their counsels, that I should make thee waste, and the inhabitants thereof an hissing: therefore ye shall beare the reproche of my people.
1 A complaint for the small nomber of the righteous. 4 The wickednesse of those times. 14 The prosperitie of the Church.
1 VVo is me, for I am as [Note: [a] The Prophet taketh vpon him the person of the earth, which complaineth that all her fruites are gone, so that none is left: that is, that there is no godly man remaining: for all are giuen to crueltie and deceite, so that none spareth his owne brother. ] the sommer gatherings, and as the grapes of the vintage: there is no cluster to eate: my soule desired the first ripe fruites.
2 The good man is perished out of the earth, and there is none righteous among men: [Note: [b] He sheweth that the prince, the iudge and the rich man are linked together, all to doe euill and to cloke ye doings one of another. ] they all lye in wayte for blood: euery man hunteth his brother with a net.
3 To make good for the euil of their hands, the prince asked, and the iudge iudgeth for a reward: therefore the [Note: [c] That is, the rich man that is able to giue money, abstaineth from no wickednesse nor iniurie. ] great man he speaketh out the corruption of his soule: so [Note: [d] These men agree among themselues and conspire with one consent to doe euill. ] they wrapt it vp.
4 The best of them is as [Note: [e] They that are of most estimation and are counted most honest among them, are but thornes and briers to pricke. ] a brier, and the most righteous of them is sharper then a thorne hedge: the day of [Note: [f] Meaning, of the Prophets and gouernours. ] thy watchmen and thy visitation commeth: then shalbe their confusion.
5 Trust ye not in a friend, neither put ye confidence in a counseller: keepe the doores of thy mouth from her that lyeth in thy bosome.
6 For the sonne reuileth the father: ye daughter riseth vp against her mother: the daughter in lawe against her mother in lawe, and a mans enemies are the men of his owne house.
7 Therefore [Note: [g] The Prophet sheweth yt the only remedie for ye godly in desperate euils is to flee vnto God for succour. ] I will looke vnto the Lorde:
[The prosperitie of the Church.]
I will waite for God my Sauiour: my God will heare me.
8 Reioyce not against me, [Note: [h] This is spoken in the person of the Church, which calleth the malignant Church her enemie. ] O mine enemie: though I fall, I shall arise: when I shall sit in darkenesse, the Lord shalbe a light vnto me.
9 I will beare the wrath of the Lord because I haue sinned against him, vntill he pleade my cause, and execute iudgement for me: then will he bring me foorth to the light, and I shall see his righteousnesse.
10 Then she that is mine enemie, shall looke vpon it, and shame shall couer her, which said vnto me, Where is the Lorde thy God? Mine eyes shall behold her: now shall she be troden downe as the myre of the streetes.
11 This is [Note: [i] To wit, when God shall shewe him selfe a deliuerer of his Church, and a destroyer of his enemies. ] ye day, that thy walles shalbe built: this day shall driue farre away [Note: [k] Meaning, the cruel empire of the Babylonians. ] the decree.
12 In this day also they shall come vnto thee from [Note: [l] When the Church shall be restored, they that were enemies afore, shall come out of all the corners of the worlde vnto her, so that neither holdes, riuers, seas nor mountaines shalbe able to let them. ] Asshur, and from the strong cities, and from the strong holdes euen vnto the riuer, and from Sea to Sea, and from mountaine to mountaine.
13 Notwithstanding, the lande shall be desolate because of them that dwell therein, and for the fruites of [Note: [m] Afore this grace appeare, he sheweth howe grieuously the hypocrites them selues shall be punished, seeing that the earth it selfe, which can not sinne, shalbe made waste because of their wickednesse. ] their inuentions.
14 [Note: [n] The Prophet prayeth to God to be mercifull vnto his Church, when they should be scattered abroade as in solitarie places in Babylon, and to be beneficiall vnto them as in time past. ] Feed thy people with thy rod, the flocke of thine heritage (which dwell solitarie in the wood) as in the middes of Carmel: let them feede in Bashan and Gilead, as in olde time.
15 [Note: [o] God promiseth to be fauourable to his people as he had bene afore time. ] According to the dayes of thy comming out of the lande of Egypt, will I shewe vnto him marueilous things.
16 The nations shall see, and be confounded for all their power: they shall [Note: [p] They shalbe as dumme men and dare bragge no more. ] lay their hande vpon their mouth: [Note: [q] They shalbe astonished, & afraid to heare men speake, least they shoulde heare of their destruction. ] their eares shall be deafe.
17 They shall [Note: [r] They shall fall flat on the grounde for feare. ] licke the dust like a serpent: they shall mooue out of their holes like wormes: they shalbe afraide of the Lord our God, & shall feare because of thee.
18 Who is a God like vnto thee, that taketh away iniquitie, and [Note: [s] As though he would not see it, but winke at it. ] passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage! He reteineth not his wrath for euer, because mercie pleaseth him.
19 He will turne againe, and haue compassion vpon vs: he will subdue our iniquities, and cast all [Note: [t] Meaning, of his elect. ] their sinnes into the bottome of the sea.
20 Thou wilt perfourme thy [Note: [u] The Church is assured, that God will declare in effect the trueth of his mercifull promes, which he had made of olde to Abraham, and to all that should apprehende the promes by faith. ] trueth to Iaakob, and mercie to Abraham, as thou hast sworne vnto our fathers in olde time.