Watchman's Teaching Letter #146 June 2010
This is my one hundred and forty-sixth monthly teaching letter and continues my thirteenth year of publication. Since lesson #137, I have been presenting a series entitled The Greatest Love Story Ever Told. I had given a general overview before starting the seven stages of this story, which are as follows: (1) the courtship, (2) the marriage, (3) the honeymoon, (4) the estrangement, (5) the divorce, (6) the reconciliation, and (7) the remarriage. With the last two lessons, we got into the marriage stage of the Love Story. It was necessary to take into consideration the prenuptial agreement which Yahweh made with His bride, the twelve tribes of Israel. As the nuptial agreement was too long to complete in lesson 145, we will continue with it here.
THE GREATEST LOVE STORY EVER TOLD, Part 10
“THE MARRIAGE” continued:
YAHWEH’S PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT WITH ISRAEL continued:
In order to understand the full significance of the nuptial agreement which Yahweh made with the twelve tribes of Israel, one needs to obtain a copy of the previous lesson. The provisions for this agreement are pretty well spelled out in Exodus chapters 20 through 23. The last provision we addressed was that of killing a man, at Exod. 21:12-14. I showed that verse 12 generally stated the rule should one kill another Adam-man, but I didn’t address the circumstances covering verses 13 and 14. In cases where an Adam-man kill another without malice, yet subject to being put to death by the hand of the avenger of blood as nearest of kin, Yahweh prescribed cities of refuge to which the accidental manslayer might flee until a civil magistrate might judge the case. Before cities of refuge were assigned as havens of safety, an Israelite might find the altar of Yahweh a place of asylum. But if a man should kill his neighbor presumptuously, neither the city of refuge nor the altar would spare him from justice.
Under the nuptial agreement, we promised Yahweh we would not smite our father or our mother, Exod. 21:15! An act such as this was considered the lowest of moral depravity. Upon an Israelite son or daughter consorting or fornicating (i.e. race-mixing) with a nonwhite is equivalent (and even more depraved) than smiting their father or mother, and the penalty was, and should still be, death! (Num. 25:6-8)
Under the nuptial agreement, we promised we would not steal a man for the purpose of selling him into slavery, nor would we purchase a stolen man upon penalty of death, Exod. 21:16! And contrary to Adam Clarke in his Commentary, this has nothing to do with negroes or negro slave dealers, but rather only White Adam-kind, even though the word “man” here is H376, ’îysh! A man would have been stolen or sold by-and-large for forced labor, whereas a woman would have been, and still is, stolen or sold primarily for sexual purposes. In either situation, it requires nothing short of the death penalty!
Under the nuptial agreement, we promised Yahweh we would not curse our father or our mother on penalty of death, Exod. 21:17! As a minimum, we should respect our fathers and mothers all the way back to Adam for maintaining and keeping in tact their/our genetic purity. A half-breed (mamzer) child has every reason to curse his father and mother, for it is something that can never be corrected, or as Scripture states “... a sin unto death ...”, 1 John 5:16! Mamzers can breed only more mamzers! We are even admonished, at this same passage, that it is futile to pray for such a tragic event as the birth of a half-breed!
Under the nuptial agreement, we promised Yahweh we would reimburse any brother for his loss of time and cost of recovery in the event of maiming or debilitating him in a heated argument, Exod. 21:18-19. If a man injured another in an argument, he was responsible to pay for his loss of time according to his occupation and also his medical expenses. This was an excellent and wise institution, and most courts of justice still regulate their decisions on such cases by this Biblical precept.
Under the nuptial agreement, we promised Yahweh we would punish any master who killed or injured a man or maid servant with a rod, Exod. 21:20-21. If the servant who had been beaten by his master died by his hand, the master was to be punished with death, see Gen. 9:5-6. Be he master or servant (slave), he shall not avoid justice! But if the beaten one survive the beating a day or two, the master was not punished, because it might be presumed that the servant died as the result of some unrelated cause. In Biblical times, a servant represented part of the master’s wealth, and it might have been decided that the master suffered loss through his own bad judgment.
Under the nuptial agreement, we promised Yahweh we would punish any man who injured a woman by physically forcing or contending with her who was, at the time, carrying an unborn child, and as a result of the physical abuse on the part of the intrusive man whose hostility would cause the woman’s child to be born dead, Exod. 21:22-23. In spite of what the high courts of today have decided, the unborn child carried by the mother is the property of the father, and therefore the crime in this case is against the husband of the mother carrying the child, and the degree of punishment was left to his discretion. But if any mischief followed, that is, if the child was fully formed, and was killed as a result of this physical abuse, or the woman lost her life as a result of this brutality, then the punishment was meted out according to other cases of murder – the person who did the striving with the woman was put to death, ver. 22. Once a racially pure child is voluntarily conceived by an Adamic woman, she, under normal circumstances, has no Biblical right to abort it!
Under the nuptial agreement, we promised Yahweh we would mete out punishment for crimes in like-kind; eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, burning for burning, wound for wound, and stripe for stripe, Exod. 21:24-25. Actually, this is a continuation of verse 23 where it includes “life for life”. According to Adam Clarke in his Commentary on this passage, he states: “... This is the earliest account we have of the lex talionis, or law of like for like, which afterwards prevailed among the Greeks and Romans. Among the latter, it constituted a part of the twelve tables, so famous in antiquity; but the punishment was afterwards changed to a pecuniary fine, to be levied at the discretion of the praetor. It prevails less or more in most civilized countries, and is fully acted upon in canon law, in reference to all calumniators ... ‘If the calumniator fail in proof of his accusation, let him suffer the same punishment which he wished to have inflicted upon the man whom he falsely accused.’ Nothing, however, of this kind was left to private revenge; the magistrate awarded the punishment when the fact was proved, otherwise the lex talionis would have utterly destroyed the peace of society, and have sown the seeds of hatred, revenge, and all uncharitableness.” It appears, here, that Adam Clark is insinuating that Yahweh’s law is somewhat imperfect! (According to Livy and others, the Romans copied the laws of Athens, and from them formulated the twelve tables.)
Under the nuptial agreement, we promised Yahweh we would punish any master who would smite out the eye or tooth of his maid or male servant by giving the injured one their freedom, Exod. 21:26-27. It was an ethical law that obligated the unmerciful slave holder to set the slave at liberty whose eye or tooth he had smitten out. In Biblical times, a good servant was worth their weight in gold so-to-speak, and this provision would teach the master the value of caution.
Under the nuptial agreement, we promised Yahweh, that if anyone of our brethren, man or woman, were gored by an ox resulting in death, that the ox was not to be eaten but rather be stoned to death, and the owner was not to complain of his loss. But if the ox had a history of pushing with his horns, and had been reported to its owner who, in turn, neglected to keep him within an enclosure, whereupon the ox killed a man or woman, the ox was to be stoned to death along with its owner, Exod. 21:28-29! Adam Clarke on this passage comments thusly: “It is more likely that a bull is here intended, as the Septuagint translate ... shor of the original by ... a bull. Mischief of this kind was provided against by most nations. It appears that the Romans twisted hay about the horns of their dangerous cattle, that people seeing it might shun them ...” Although at vv 30-36, it appears that provision was made for the owner, who knew his ox was vicious and had been informed of it, he could pay a fine in lieu of his life. No doubt such money raised by that fine was used to settle losses caused to the family whose member was killed. The fine would be the same for the death of a son or a daughter. For the death of a servant, the fine was thirty shekels of silver, and the ox was to be stoned. Ironically, Judas betrayed Christ for the same cost that was claimed for a slave killed by an ox, thus pricing Him at the same value as a dead slave.
Further at Exod. 21:33-36, provision is made that if a man left a pit uncovered, he was responsible for the loss incurred by an animal falling into it. Or if a man’s ox killed another man’s ox, both oxen were to be sold and the money divided equally between them. But if the owner of the offending ox were aware of the ox’s dangerous habits, the offending ox was to be destroyed. Then he also had to pay for the slain animal, which he could keep, but no doubt the price was high, and if not bled out properly, could not be eaten.
Under the nuptial agreement, we promised Yahweh we would, if a man stole an ox or sheep and killed it, that he shall restore five oxen for an ox or four sheep for a sheep, Exod. 22:1. A thief was required to make full restitution for what he had stolen, the amount contingent upon the nature of the theft.
Under the nuptial agreement, we promised Yahweh, if a thief was found breaking into our home during the night, it was our prerogative to kill him, Exod. 22:2. However, had the sun risen, there could be no shedding of blood, for then it might be determined what he had taken and lawful restitution achieved, Exod. 22:3. In those days, with no electric lights, it was pitch black during the dark of the moon. So it was kill or be killed! And how about the defenseless cattle?
Under the nuptial agreement, we promised Yahweh that, if something was stolen by a thief and be found alive in his hand, whether ox, ass or sheep, he should restore double, Exod. 22:4. There was no blood to be shed for a thief, except when caught breaking into a house. But had the thief sold the stolen property, he was to restore it four or fivefold, v. 1.
Under the nuptial agreement, we promised Yahweh that, if someone allowed his animals to stray into another farmer’s grain field, orchard, garden, or grape vineyard, he would be made to restore the same amount from his own best field or vineyard to the farmer from whom he had taken unfair advantage, Exod. 22:5.
Under the nuptial agreement, we promised Yahweh we would discipline anyone who carelessly started a fire which got out of control. Great caution was needed to avoid crop fires, as it would take another year to replenish the food supply, Exod. 22:6. This verse simply states: “If fire break out, and catch in thorns, so that the stacks of corn, or the standing corn, or the field, be consumed therewith; he that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.” In Biblical times, to their benefit, they didn’t have matches, but neither did they have fire fighting equipment like we have today. Many of the villages had a central community fire pot which they kept burning continually. Therefore, an arsonist would have to start his own flame by rubbing two sticks together, or take it from the community fire pot. It was only fair to find the guilty party and make him pay restitution! And if he cannot pay for his dastardly deed, let him serve a term of indentured servitude! It seems that every child, at one time or another in his growing-up years, is intrigued with playing with matches and setting small fires. When the parent first notices this inclination in their child, it is time to administer strict discipline. It is always a good idea, when there are very young children around the house, to take all the book and box matches and place them in a glass jar with a cap, and place it on a high shelf where the small child cannot reach. Nip-it-in-the-bud, and it will prevent problems later!
Under the nuptial agreement, we promised Yahweh that, if any property or money is left to another to keep in trust, such property or money would not be stolen. And if stolen, and if the thief cannot be found, the one holding the valuables for safekeeping would have to appear before judges to determine whether or not the holder was the guilty party. In any case, a breach of trust would require the guilty party to restore double the amount of the theft, Exod. 22:7-9. On this passage, Adam Clarke states: “This is called pledging in the law of bailments; it is a deposit of goods by a debtor to his creditor, to be kept till the debt be discharged. Whatever goods were thus left in the hands of another person, that person, according to the Mosaic [sic Yahweh’s] law, became responsible for them; if they were stolen, and the thief was found, he was to pay double; if he could not be found, the oath of the person who had them in keeping, made before the magistrates, that he knew nothing of them, was considered a full acquittance. Among the Romans, if goods were lost which a man had entrusted to his neighbour, the depositary was obliged to pay their full value. But if a man had been driven by necessity, as the case of fire, to lodge his goods with one of his neighbours, and the goods were lost, the depositary was obliged to pay double their value, because of his unfaithfulness in a case of such distress, where his dishonesty, connected with the destruction by the fire, had completed the ruin of the sufferer ...”. It should be noticed here that we are to deal in trust with our Israelite neighbor, not some Canaanite-jew!
Under the nuptial agreement, we promised Yahweh that, in such a case where an animal is held by a neighbor in trust, and if the animal die, or is hurt, or is driven away while in trust, and if the trustee had sworn an oath before Yahweh that what had happened was beyond the herdsman’s power to prevent, no restitution was necessary. However, if the animal was stolen, it could possibly be that either the herdsman might have prevented it, or that he could find the thief and bring him to justice. Should an animal be killed by a wild beast, the keeper was required to produce the mangled carcass, not only in proof of the fact, but to show that by his vigilance and courage he deprived the wild beast of his prey, Exod. 22:10-13. Adam Clarke comments on this passage thusly: “So solemn and awful were all appeals to God considered in those ancient times, that it was taken for granted that the man was innocent who could by an oath appeal to the omniscient God that he had not put his hand to his neighbour’s goods. Since oaths have become multiplied, and since they have been administered on the most trifling occasions, their solemnity is gone, and their importance little regarded. Should the oath ever reacquire its weight and importance, it must be when administered only in cases of peculiar delicacy and difficulty, and as sparingly as in the days of Moses.” It is clear that, even though a man swore an oath in ancient times, some sort of evidence was, and should still be, required!
Under the nuptial agreement, we promised Yahweh that, if one were to borrow an animal and it became injured or killed, the borrower was responsible for making it good. However, if the owner were present when either of these two things happened, being in a position to protect the animal, no restitution was warranted. Further, in the case of an animal leased for hire, any risk of an injury or accidental death of the animal was included in the price, Exod. 22:14-15.
Matthew Poole in his Commentary states on this passage, vol. 1, p. 166 as follows: Verse 14: “Ought, i.e. any living thing, which may be hurt or die, as it follows. He shall surely make it good: this may seem hard, but all things considered is reasonable; because in doubtful cases, wherein it is not evident whether the borrower was faulty or not, as it is here, it ought to be interpreted in favour of the lender, rather than of the borrower; partly, to oblige the borrower to the greater fidelity and care in such things, which being not his own, men are commonly more careless about; partly, because the benefit being wholly the borrower’s, the loss also in all reason ought to be his, and the lender ought not to suffer for his kindness, lest he should be discouraged from such actions for the future.”
Verse 15: “If the owner thereof be with it: the law reasonably presumes, both that the borrower would not abuse it in the sight of its owner, and that the lender might and would take due care about it. He shall not make it good, except there be some manifest fault in the borrower, as if he should kill or wound the beast in the lender’s presence; which exception is easily to be understood from divers other laws of God. It came for his hire, i.e. the benefit was the lender’s, and not the borrower’s, and therefore the former reason ceaseth; and whether the master were present or absent, he that receives the gain or hire shall bear the loss, except when it came through the borrower’s gross and wilful default.”
Under the nuptial agreement, we promised Yahweh that, if a man entice (i.e., seduce) a non-betrothed virgin maid, he was obliged to marry her and pay the customary dowry. However, if the father refused to give his daughter in marriage, the man was still liable to pay the “bride-price” to the father, as this situation greatly reduced the possibility for his daughter to marry someone else, for what selfrespecting young Israelite man would want her? (Exod. 22:16-17.) Of my many commentaries, the only one I found suitable to quote was that of Jamieson, Fausset & Brown in their six volume edition where they state on this passage:
“And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed. The insertion of this case in a series of ordinances respecting claims to property arose from its being possessed to some extent of a similar character. A daughter was regarded by her father as property. Her suitor had to pay her father a certain sum for her; and of course antenuptial intercourse depreciated her value as a disposable subject. To seduce a young woman who was betrothed was treated as a capital crime (Deut. xxii 23). But, though, to do so in the case of an unbetrothed girl was in the eye of the law an offence of less magnitude, it was not dealt with lightly. No man, single or married, who by enticements overcame the virtue of a young female was allowed to abandon her but was obliged to make provision for her as his future wife. And should the girl’s father withhold his consent to the matrimonial union, the man was required to furnish her with a dowry suitable to her quality (cf. Gen. xxiv. 53; xxxiv. 12). But in the present case the law determined that the highest demand which could be made was that specified. Deut. xxii 29. The circumstance of no punishment being inflicted on the girl; beyond her personal and irreparable degradation, was probably owing to her being still only a minor, and a ward of her father’s house. It would be well if this law were still in force and obligatory.” We have a saying today that, “All is fair in love and war”, but we can clearly see that this was not true in Biblical times; neither should it be true today! If there is any fairness affiliated with this subject, it is through responsibility!
Under the nuptial agreement, we promised Yahweh we would, if anyone among us were caught practicing witchcraft, sacrificing to a god other than Yahweh, afflicting a widow or having sexual intercourse with a beast, treat it as a capital offense, Exod. 22:18-20. Again I will quote from the six-volume Commentary by Jamieson, Fausset & Brown where they state on this passage:
“Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live ... a practitioner in magic and incantations; a juggler; who pretended by skill in occult science to reveal future events. The word is in the feminine gender; and although the profession of a wizard was equally proscribed, the ‘witch’ is mentioned here because, from the female taste being strongly devoted to mystic arts, witches, if unchecked, would rapidly increase in Israel, and their influence prove more seductive than that of male performers. ‘Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live’ is a strong expression, adopted apparently to prevent the interposition of any false sympathy or misplaced tenderness towards persons of such a character. They were to be exterminated from Israel as engaged in the service of idols (see further on Deut. xviii. 10, 11). ‘All manner of witchcraft, sorceries, divinations, or pretences to any of them, were an open profession and practice of idolatry; for witches pretended to a knowledge and power of doing things above human, by virtue of supernatural powers received from the deities with whom they were presumed to have an immediate and intimate connection. Now, the very profession of having received such supernatural powers from idols was an overt act of idolatry – that is, of high treason to the Hebrew Israelite government; and whether such declaration was really true or false in itself, still the treason was the same; for it openly denied Jehovah [sic Yahweh] to be the one true God, as it asserted the power of idols. It was compassing to depose Jehovah [sic [Yahweh] as King of Israel, by asserting the authority of ‘other gods before him;’ which justifies the wisdom of this law against a practice of idolatry which was so very apt to corrupt weak minds eagerly fond of knowing things to come; and of such the greater part of every nation composed.’ (Lowman’s Civil Government of the Hebrews).”
Before I address Exod. 22:19, let’s read it to become familiar with it: “Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death.” Most commentaries speak of this verse as having sex with an animal, but it goes far beyond that! Jamieson, Fausset & Brown comments thusly on this passage: “Whosoever lieth with a beast, &c. This revolting crime was practiced by many of the Egyptians in honour of their idols: and it was mentioned thus early in denouncing other abominations of idolatry, perhaps because of its prevalence also among the Canaanites (Lev. xviii. 23-28).” While Jamieson, Fausset & Brown did fair commenting on this passage they entirely missed the main point! Of this passage, verse 23 is of special interest which reads: “Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.” First of all, the “beast” of Exod. 22:19 and Lev. 18:23 is Strong’s Hebrew #929 and means “bhemah, four-footed/quadrupeds”, and translated in the KJV as “cattle” or “beast”. Now as a young boy, although my father was not a farmer, we lived in a farm district, and I never remember any four-footed/quadrupeds lying down to have sex, as they always did that standing on their feet. Secondly, the word “confusion” at Lev. 18:23 is Strong’s #H8397, and is “tebel” and means “mixture”, and I never saw a half-cow and half-man born to one of those farm animals or to one of the farmer’s wives or daughters. On the other hand, once we comprehend that Strong’s #H929, bhemah, is also a Hebrew idiom for a two-legged/biped, we see half-beast and half-man creatures throughout America and the world, and they surely are “mixtures”! We even have one for a president!
Of the three transgressions that deserve capital punishment at Exod. 22:18-20, we still have to address verse 20 which reads: “He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto Yahweh only, he shall be utterly destroyed.” Upon reading this verse, it may not become evident the significant seriousness of such a sacrifice unto another god other than Yahweh! To make it a little more clear, I will quote Lev. 27:28: “Notwithstanding no devoted thing, that a man shall devote unto Yahweh of all that he hath, both of man and beast, and of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed: every devoted thing is most holy unto Yahweh.” To get a better handle on this subject, I will quote Adam Clarke on Exod. 22:20: “Utterly destroyed.] The word ... cherem denotes a thing utterly and finally separated from God and devoted to destruction, without the possibility of redemption.” So Exod. 22:20 is simply stating, when one sacrifices children, animals or fruit of the field to a false god, one is in essence sacrificing unto Satan’s agenda! And Yahweh, as Husband, had the best interest of His wife (the twelve tribes of Israel) at heart!
Under the nuptial agreement, we promised Yahweh we would be compassionate toward strangers, widows and children whose father had died, Exod. 22:21-24. Exod. 22:21 states: “Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” There are several Hebrew words translated as “stranger” in the Old Testament which have various meanings. In some cases the Israelites were to show compassion, and at other times we were to avoid them at all cost as being unclean to us. The Strong’s numbers in the Hebrew for “stranger/s” are 1121, 1482, 1616, 2114, 4033, 4038, 5235, 5236, 5237, & 8453. The “stranger” at Exod. 22:21 is Strong’s #1616 and is “... gêyr ... a guest by implication ...” Egypt appears to have been by-and-large peopled by the descendants of Ham, however the city of On (from whence Joseph received his wife) was formerly called Beth Shemesh, or house of the people of Shem. It is my opinion that the “stranger” of Exod. 22:21 is more than likely one from Beth Shemesh, but the descendants of Ham were also White Adamites. Therefore, it is imperative, when one encounters the term “stranger/s”, to find out which Strong’s number applies; that is, its meaning and context! Surely, the house of Shem from Egypt would have been welcome guests among the Israelites! The bad guys in Egypt were the half-breed pharaohs who had been born of Hittite women who had become part of the pharaoh’s harem, due to a treaty made with the Hittite empire, or in other words, “serpent seed”!
The next three verses are Exod. 22:22-24 and they read: “22 Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. 23 If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry; 24 And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.” Thus, we as Israel agreed to this as part of the nuptial agreement, but in this case it is left up to Yahweh Himself to enforce! Of course, this was and is meant exclusively for White Israelite widows and fatherless children, rather than black, yellow or mudcolored widows and fatherless children! Adam Clarke does quite well by commenting on this passage thusly:
“Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child.] It is remarkable that offences against this law are not left to the discretion of the judges to be punished; God reserves the punishment to himself, and by this he strongly shows his abhorrence of the crime. It is no common crime, and shall not be punished in a common way; the wrath of God shall wax hot against him who in any wise afflicts or wrongs a widow or a fatherless child: and we may rest assured that he who helps either does a service highly acceptable in the sight of God.”
Under the nuptial agreement, we promised Yahweh we would absolutely not lend money upon usury to our Israelites brethren, nor would we take our kin’s clothing on pledge without returning it before sundown, Exod. 22:25-26: “25 If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury. 26 If thou at all take thy neighbour’s raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down.”
One might think by reading some of the various commentaries that there is such a thing as a just amount of usury and an unjust amount of usury, but none of them draw a line in the sand and define where just usury ends and an unjust usury starts. Adam Clarke is one of them, but he does a good job describing the process and cites the words of the language thusly:
“Verse 25. Neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.] ... neshech, from nashach, to bite, cut, or pierce with the teeth; biting usury. So the Latins call it usura vorax, devouring usury. ‘The increase of usury is called ... neshech, because it resembles the biting of a serpent; for as this is so small as scarcely to be perceptible at first, but the venom soon spreads and diffuses itself till it reaches the vitals, so the increase of usury, which at first is not perceived nor felt, at length grows so much as by degrees to devour another’s substance.’– Leigh.”
But if one will peruse Deut. 23:19, there is absolutely no such thing as just usury to a kinsman, where it declares: “Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury.” It is true that in the very next verse, Deut. 23:20, that it permits an Israelite to loan money upon usury to a stranger (#5237 ... nokrîy ... foreign nonrelative), but this would encourage the affluent Israelite to lend to the alien rather than his own poor and afflicted people! It is my opinion that if the affluent Israelite will first of all simply lend without usury to his own brethren, he won’t have anything left over to lend to an alien!
To show the true unadulterated story on usury in the Old Testament, I will quote Jeremiah 15:10: “Woe is me [Jeremiah], my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury; yet every one of them doth curse me.” Of all of the commentaries I have cited in this lesson, only Matthew Poole has adp align=p/emdressed this verse properly, repeated below:
“The prophet in this verse cannot be excused from a great measure of passion and human infirmity; he almost curseth the day of his birth, denouncing himself a woeful, miserable man, to be born a man of strife and contention to the whole world, that is, those nations in it against which God sent him to denounce his judgments; which denunciations, how true soever, and the truth of which they afterward did effectually find, yet they were not able to bear, and therefore they strove with him, and contended against him; yet it was not for his sin. Usury was forbidden the Jews [sic Israelites], Deut. xxiii. 19, and so was the more odious; but saith the prophet, I have not followed that trade, I have neither lent nor borrowed upon usury; I have done them no wrong, nor given them any occasion against me; yet they will not be reconciled to me, but speak of me all manner of evil. This was the lot of the old prophets, the lot of Samuel, of Christ, of his apostles, and of all the faithful ministers of the gospel ever since; let them carry themselves never so innocently and obligingly to people, yet if they will be faithful, and truly reveal unto people the mind and will of God, that is enough to anger a people whose wills are not subjugated to the will of God, and they will curse them.” All of these nuptial rules came not from a cruel dictator God, but from a loving Husband! Therefore, we should look upon the laws of Yahweh as a blessing rather than a curse! Consider our privation for not keeping them as we promised!