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9. He shall stretch forth his hand, and they shall do no injury, Neither shall they destroy in all the mountain of my sanctuary.
The extirpation of the wicked, as I believe, "that wicked" of St. Paul,* we have read before in the more ancient oracles, is to signalize this appearing of the Messiah. In the metaphorical description of the "golden age" that follows, under the notion of taming, and rendering innoxious all savage beasts, the least we can understand is the extinction of all natural evil; nor can we doubt of moral evil too. The words we have read confines, indeed, in the first instance, this divine influence, that checks the hurtful propensities of nature, to the mountain of the sanctuary; here first he tames the savage beasts: but though the work of regeneration begins in this land of promise, it speedily extends itself over all the earth, as we read in the following lines, which should commence a new period in the translation: —
Surely the knowledge of Jehovah shall fill the earth,
10. And the shoot of Jesse shall be in that day,
And the nations shall seek unto him,
This exactly accords, again, with the close of the song of remembrance, (our small chart that we have taken to guide us through these wonderful prophecies). "Shout for joy, ye nations, with his people, when he shall have avenged the blood of his servants, and hath rendered ven
• 2 Thess. ii. 8.
geance to his adversaries, and hath absolved his land and his people."* The shoot, or rod, from the stock of Jesse, first affords protection to Israel, and heals his land; but that same shoot is, as it were, erected as a signal for the gathering of distant nations. The nations seek to him, they come at the signal lifted up; and the place of his rest, that is, as it should seem, the holy mountains, where his presence is in a particular manner revealed, is rendered "glorious."f
But the theme is again resumed, or continued: —
11. And it shall come to pass in that day,
That the Lord will, a second time, stretch out his hand,
To possess himself of the remnant of his people that remain,
And from Gush, and from Elam, and from Shinar,
12. And he will lift up a sign for the nations,
And he will collect the dispersed of Judah,
The first of these lines is very emphatic, " He shall repeat the action again, to stretch out his hand a second time." This may, indeed, refer to the return from Babylon as a " first gathering;" but, I believe, it will appear hereafter, if prophecy has not already disclosed the fact in the hundred-and-seventh psalm, that at the eve of the second advent there is to be a partial restoration of the Jews to their own land; that it is this restored remnant, whom the antitype of the Assyrian finds in the Holy Land in the last days, and whom he besieges in Jerusalem; that it is after the destruction of this foe, by the Lord revealed from heaven, that the grand restoration of Israel takes place; and that this is the happy period predicted in the "song of remembrance," "Rejoice, ye nations, with his people!"
* Deut. xxxii.
f "His residence."—Bp. Stock. "His resting place," [his abode.] —Horsley. "Perhaps Jerusalem, iu the millenary period, may be literally meant."—Idem. Compare, again, chapter the fourth.
1 "And from the islands of the "and from the western regions.'"— sea," rather, with Bishop Lowth: Housi,r.v.
13. And the jealousy of Ephraim shall cease,
Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah,
14. And they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines in
They shall lay their hands upon Edom and Moab,
A picture clearly of internal peace, and of the extension of the nation's authority over the surrounding countries. This certainly appears to concern the settlement of an earthly nation. Yet, from the tenour of prophecy, "the Lord and his holy myriads are come;" and he reigns in Zion. An inquiry may well arise, and which will meet us again hereafter: of what nature will be this reign of Christ and his saints, and how will they govern the nations upon earth?
The miraculous restoration of Israel, or of some parts of Israel, is plainly revealed in the verses which follow:—
15. And Jehovah shall dry up the tongue of the Egyptian sea, And he shall shake his hand over Ifee river with his burning
And he shall smite it into seven streams;'
16. And there shall be a highway for the remnant of his people, Which shall be left from Assyria;
As there was for Israel,
In the day when he came up from Egypt.
1. And thou shall say in that day,
I will confess to thee, O Jehovah:
Truly thou wast angry with me,
Thine anger is turned away, and thou dost comfort me.
2. Behold, Elohim is my salvation,
For Jah Jehovah is my strength and my song,
3. And with joy have ye drawn water,
4. And ye shall say in that day:
Make known his doings among the peoples,
5. Chant ye Jehovah, for he hath wrought a mighty work,*
6. Cry aloud and shout, O inhabitant of Zion,
For the Holy One of Israel is magnified in the midst of thee.f
* Compare Exod. xv. 11, 12. f Chap. xii.
1 So Vitringa, Bishops Lowth, understood the Red Sea; by the Stock, and Horsley. By the tongue river, the Euphrates. of the Egyptian sea is generally
What the drying up of the sea and of the river refers to, or what it symbofizes, if we are not to understand it literally, we are not at present competent to say; or whether the remnant left from Assyria means the ten tribes exclusively, or the remnant of "Judah also.
The next oracle that demands our attention is contained in the thirteenth and fourteenth chapters. It is entitled "the burden of Babylon." Whatever authority we are to attach to these titles, (for that with many able commentators is matter of great doubt), we are certainly not to understand the present title as designating the entire subject of the following prophecy. The grand subject of this prophecy, like that of the former, will be found to be the coming of the great day of the Lord. Babylon only comes in, as Assyria in the last oracle. This is the new subject which the prophecy embraces, as the vision sweeps through successive ages.
In tracing the destinies of Israel in general, the Assyrian invasion, with its consequences, was, in the former case, a grand epocha to be marked; so, in tracing the future history of that remnant which should be left in Jerusalem, their cruel treatment by the Babylonians, and the just retribution that should follow, were events of immediate importance, which required to be strongly marked in the perspective of prophecy — as seen in connexion with the coming of the Redeemer; and, as will