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footsteps of Abraham's faith, they answer to the type and character of Esau, and not of " Jacob, whose name is called Israel."
From the opening of this oracle, we perceive that the whole world is concerned in its burden: —
1. Draw near, ye nations, to hear;
Let the earth and its fulness hear,
2. For Jehovah hath anger against all nations,
He hath devoted them, he hath given them up to slaughter;
3. And their slain shall be cast forth:
And the stench of their putrid corses shall arise,
This dreadful picture of destruction is so similar to what we have learned from former oracles, that I need but refer to them in the margin *. The " song of remembrance" will show us whereabouts, in the history of the church and of the world, we are to bring in this prediction. A "people that delight in war" has already been given us, as a prophetical description of a prominent character of the last times. It should seem, that many nations are engaged in the conflicts of this awful period: and, as we read before, in the same symbolical language of prophecy, not only the armies of all nations perish at this epocha; struggling, it may be, and ready to decide
• Jude, 14; Job, xix. 23, &c.; Deut. xxxii. 40, tec.; Numbers, xxiv. 24; 1 Sam. ii. 10; Psalms, iii.; ix. 15; x.; xlvi.; lviii. 9; Ixviii.; lxxvi. 5; lxxxix.; xcvii.; ex.; Isaiah, ii. 10; xiii.; xxv.; xxvii. 1; xxix. 5; xxx. SO.
the conflict, for the empire of the world, on the mountains and plains of Palestine; but we are to expect a total change and revolution in the political world, to the entire overthrow and destruction of all human power and authority, as exercised by the corrupted and wicked rulers of mankind: and this will be found the grand burden of prophecy: * —
4. And all the hosts of the heavens shall be dissolved, And the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll:
And all their hosts shall fall,
As the leaf falleth from the vine,
And as the blighted fruit from the fig-tree.
The object of this vengeance is next introduced under the name of Edom, and its metropolis Bosra. This seems to predict, that the country from whence those armies of congregated nations came, whose blood had moistened the hills of Canaan, is, at the same time, itself the scene of this vengeance of Almighty God. The destruction is represented as a general slaughter of all kinds of cattle, and the burning of a country by fire and brimstone, so as to be rendered for ever a complete scene of ruin and desolation: —
5. For my sword hath been bathed' in heaven,
• Isaiah, xiii. 9; xxiv. 19; xxx. 26.
1 Some propose to read nwa, sword; so that it seems, as it were,
in blood, instead of Dniio, in bathed in the sky, the dreadful
heaven. Others propose mm," was stroke of which is to comedown on
made bare," which Bishop Lowth the mystic Edom. "My knife,"
approves. Bishop Stock has," tem- the knife of "sacrifice."—Hoks
pered." I conceive, however, the Ley. metaphor to be the lifting up of the
Lo, upon Edom shall it come down,
Even upon the people whom I have doomed to judgment.
6. The sword of Jehovah is glutted with blood,
With the blood of lambs and of goats,
For Jehovah hath a sacrifice in Bosra,
7. And a great slaughter in the land of Edom:
And the beeves shall fall with them,
And their land shall be drenched with blood,
8. For it is the day of Jehovah's vengeance,
9. And HER streams shall be turned into pitch, And her dust into sulphur,
And her whole land shall become burning pitch.
10. It shall not be quenched day nor night,
From generation to generation she shall lie desert,
11. But the pelican and the heron shall possess her,
And he shall stretch over her the Tine of ruin,
1 Or " the year of awards in said of some of the animals menjudgment, in the cause of Zion," or tioned below, for Zion's advocate. 'Perhaps, " Formless masses
'We cannot be at a certainty shall be her scorched ruins." Lite
what kind of birds are here in- rally " stones of vacuity,''T13-»J3x.
tended. Birds frequenting the most The learned reader will remark, in
desolated and retired spot they this couplet, that both the terms
evidently are. The same may be are employed, which, in the first
12. And there shall be no longer what is called a kingdom, Her nobles and her princes shall be brought to nothing:
13. And thorns shall spring up in her palaces,
And she shall become an habitation for serpents,
14. And the birds of the coasts shall meet the birds of the
And there shall the screech-owl rest,
15. There shall the darting serpent make her nest and breed, And shall hatch her young, and gather them under her
And there the black vultures shall assemble,
16. Consult ye the book of Jehovah, and read;
Not one of these hath been missing,
The female looked not for her companion:
For his mouth hath given the command,
17. And he hath cast for them the lot,
And his hand hath divided them their portion by line.
For ever shall they possess it,
From generation to generation they shall dwell there.
of Genesis, express the shapeless emptiness, over her scorched
chaos, imi inn rum nxm, "and plains." Houbigant transposes inn,
the earth was without form, and and begins the following line with
void." Bishop Lowth translates, it; which, upon the whole, is the
"He shall stretch over the line of most probable emendation, devastation, and the plummet of
— A picture, doubtless, of complete and perpetual desolation. The animals that inhabit these ruins are never more to be disturbed by the intrusion of man.
With this great slaughter of " all the armies," and with the entire revolution of nations, and destruction of the apostate city and territory, is again connected, in the prophecy before us—the prosperity of the Jewish church.
The following chapter has generally, indeed, been understood in a figurative sense; but, from a comparison of the sixty-eighth Psalm, I am led to conclude, that it is to be literally interpreted, and that it refers to a miraculous passage of the deserts of Arabia; through which, at this very time, when the great adversary meets his fate in his last oppression of Jerusalem, and his country perishes by fire, the divine presence is leading a part of returning Israel: and this is confirmed by subsequent prophecies.
1. The wilderness and parched land shall be glad, The desert shall rejoice and spring forth.
2. It shall burst into flower like the rosebud,
It shall rejoice even with exultation and singing.
The majesty of Lebanon shall be given to it,
They shall see the majesty of Jehovah,
In waiting this deliverance, it is plain, from what follows, that the people of God will need consolation: —
3. Strengthen ye the slackened hands, Support the tottering knees.
4. Say to the hurried minds, Be strong, Fear not, behold your Elohim!