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in righteousness; he who '* had loved righteousness, and hated iniquity;" and for this cause, as if alone considered, had been "exalted with the oil of gladness above his fellows:" "and every eye shall see him," for "he shall reign from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth." The sixteenth verse, " He shall sit on high," &c. I consider as . parallel to the second verse of the last chapter, ".a man shall be a hiding place from the storm," &c. So shall "the Lord our righteousness" be in that great day, when "the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is," and every thing out of Christ shall burn as stubble. His people have a sure retreat. Their Redeemer is a strong place for them; like a fortress of rocks, where they will find safety and support, while the wrath of the Almighty blazes forth against his adversaries. "Blessed is the man that hath taken shelter in him."
But Jerusalem, it seems, not knowing that her deliverance was so near and so great, is alarmed at her situation; at least, "the sinners in Zion are afraid:" —
18. Thine heart shall speak its terror,
"Where is the enroller? where is the examiner?
She has no walls, nor fortifications, that can withstand
19. This boisterous' people thou shalt see no more, i *
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A people of a deep speech, which thou canst not hear;'
There follows, in the next verses, a picture of the permanent and eternal prosperity of Zion and Jerusalem, to which we have before referred, and which can certainly apply to nothing else than the prosperity consequent to the final deliverance of Israel: —
20. Look on Zion, the city of our assemblies, Let thine eyes behold Jerusalem;
'It is' a dwelling undisturbed, a tent that is not removed.
Its stakes shall never more be plucked up,
21. But there shall be the mighty one, Jehovah.
For us shall be a place of rivers,
Which no oared vessel shall pass,
22. Verily, Jehovah will be our judge; Jehovah will be our law
This is plainly Jerusalem become "the city of the great King." Whether the rivers and streams are meant for a picture of security, or of spiritual privileges; or whether it refers to some extraordinary changes in the face of the country and of the world, the event, or subsequent prophecies, must explain. What follows is evidently a new symbol of the destruction of the great adversary. '' The spoiler is spoiled." A vessel, that lately rode so gallantly on her own element, now wrecked
and stranded, falls helpless into the hands of her enemies, who spoil her at their leisure : —
23. Thy ropes have got loose, they cannot fasten them!
— The fastening of their mast, they cannot spread the sail!
Then shall the booty of the spoil be divided,
And the lame shall take the prey from the great one.
24. No inhabitant shall say, My strength is 1 exhausted,
The people that dwell in her have been pardoned their iniquity. *
The thirty-ninth chapter of Ezekiel will be found to throw great light upon this remarkable prophecy.
I subjoin Bishop Horsley's remarks: "Could Jerusalem, in the time of Hezekiah, be called ' the great habitation, the tabernacle not to be shaken, whose stakes should not be removed for ever, of whose cords not any should be broken,' when it was to be destroyed, first by the Babylonians, and a second time by the Romans? To suppose that these prophecies had their accomplishment in the deliverance of the city from Sennacherib, and the prosperity of the remainder of Hezekiah's reign, is to suppose that the prophets describe things comparatively small under the greatest images: and this being once granted, what assurance have we that the magnificent promises to the faithful will ever take effect in the extent of the terms in which they are conveyed? The language of prophecy is, indeed, poetical and figurative; but the hyperbole is a figure which never can be admitted in the
1 "Virihus attritus ct imminu- the punishment of iniquity; they tusest."—Sim. Lex. have borne it, the period of their
'Or" have borne iniquity," or chastisement is passed.
divine promises; on the contrary, it is always to be presumed, that more is meant than the highest figures can express adequately."
Chapters Thirty-fourth and Thirty-fifth.
The language of this prophecy is so express and remarkable, that few commentators have hesitated to pronounce it belonging to the latter days; foretelling the destruction of the last opponents of Christ's kingdom, and the establishment of his glorious reign as King of Zion.
The occurrence, however, of the names Edom and Bosra, has induced some to look for correspondent events in the destruction of this nation, and its capital, by the Babylonians. But, Bishop Lowth has very justly remarked: "This event, as far as we have any account of it in history, seems by no means to come up to the terms of the prophecy, or to justify so high wrought and so terrible a description: and it is not easy to discover, what connexion the extremely flourishing state of the church or people of God, described in the next chapter, could have with these events, and how the former could be the consequence of the latter, as it is represented to be. By a figure very common in the prophetical writings, any city or people, remarkably distinguished as enemies of the kingdom and people of God, is put for those enemies in general. This seems here to be the case with Edom and Bosra. It is, therefore, reasonable to suppose, with many learned expositors, that this prophecy has a further view to events still future; to some great revolutions to be effected in later times, antecedent to the more perfect state of the kingdom of God upon earth, and serving to introduce it, which the holy Scripture warrants us to expect."
In truth, the prophecy in this chapter is but one of a series; the whole of which, as we have seen, relate to the wonderful events of the last times, and are " written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come:" and this force of truth upon the mind of Bishop Lowth, who, probably, contrary to his own hypothetical opinions respecting these oracles, could not but see the unsuitableness of their application to the literal Edom and Basra, is not more remarkable than the common consent of the ancient Jewish expositors, that by these terms, in this and other prophecies, the empire and city of Rome is intended:1 and with our present knowledge of this great enemy from " Chittim," we perceive a particular reason, why it should be prophetically symbolized as Edom. Edom, we know, was a name of Esau, Jacob's brother. He was a child "born after the flesh" in the holy family, and as such entitled to the distinctions and privileges of the external church of God. He was a "child of the kingdom," but he was profane, and despised his birthright; and hence, by divine interposition, was prevented from inheriting the promised blessing. The nations of Europe, of Roman extraction or civilization, by their conversion to the religion of the Messiah, have come to stand in this same relation to the family of Abraham; but, becoming apostate from the true religion, not walking in the
1 " Interpretes Hebrei omnes Imperil Romani; quod illi existiex trnditione veten prophetiam mant hie venire sub mystico 110hanc interpretanturde destruction mine Edoini."—Vitrikoa. .