(e.g. john 8 32)

Isaiah 4:4  (King James Version)

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Isaiah 4:4

The spirit of burning - Means the fire of God' s wrath, by which he will Proverbs and purify his people; gathering them into his furnace, in order to separate the dross from the silver, the bad from the good. The severity of God' s judgments, the fiery trial of his servants, Ezekiel (Ezekiel 22:18-22) has set forth at large, after his manner, with great boldness of imagery and force of expression. God threatens to gather them into the midst of Jerusalem, as into the furnace; to blow the fire upon them, and to melt them. Malachi, Malachi 3:2, Malachi 3:3, treats the same subject, and represents the same event, under the like images: -

"But who may abide the day of his coming?

And who shall stand when he appeareth?

For he is like the fire of the refiner,

And like the soap of the fullers.

And he shall sit refining and purifying the silver;

And he shall purify the sons of Levi;

And cleanse them like gold, and like silver;

That they may be Jehovah' s ministers,

Presenting unto him an offering in righteousness."

This is an allusion to a chemist purifying metals. He first judges of the state of the ore or adulterated metal. Secondly, he kindles the proper degree of fire, and applies the requisite test; and thus separates the precious from the vile.

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