« AnteriorContinuar »
What follows contrasts their present captivity, and the anticipated deliverance, with the Egyptian bondage, and the deliverance therefrom : —
4. For thus hath the Lord Jehovah said,
My people went down to Egypt at first, to sojourn there; And when they had prospered,1 they oppressed them for nought:
5. And now what have I 'to do' here, * saith Jehovah,
Their rulers make their boast of this, saith Jehovah,9
6. Notwithstanding, my people shall know my name in that
Whether this is spoken in prospect of the general deliverance from the present captivity of the tribes in their respective places of residence, or whether these words have a particular reference to a future capture, that drags some of the restored remnant into Egypt, we, perhaps, cannot determine. We know for certain, that after ravaging the Holy Land, the last enemy of Jerusalem gains possession of Egypt: and it is about this time, as we have already learned, that the Redeemer appears. — The tidings of this are next announced : —
7. How beautiful on the mountains are the feet
Of him that spreadeth tidings, that announceth peace!
1 I consider timt as the parti- the various readings,
ciple of the verb -mx. VjbiT.
'" Here," in the spiritual Egypt 4 The second iJ> is wanting in
or Babylon — in all places of Israel's the Septuagint, Syriac, and Vul
'Adopting, with Bishop Lowth,
Of him that spreadeth good tidings, that announceth salva-
The news of this glorious event, that the kingdom of Messiah is come, is represented as circulated by welcome messengers; running, as was customary in those countries, along the ridges of the hills, to spread the tidings far and wide over the country. The watchmen stationed at Zion are represented as catching with enthusiasm the sound of the report: and as Jehovah, for whom they wait, suddenly appears, they burst forth into shouts of joy and congratulation, in which the desolated places of Jerusalem are invited to join:-.—
8. The voice of thy watchmen!
They lift up their voices together, they shout aloud t
For they see face to face,
When Jehovah returneth unto Zion.
9. Break forth into singing, shout together for joy,
For Jehovah hath pitied his people,
St. Paul, we should remark by the way, seems to point out an inceptive fulfilment of this prophecy, in the preaching of the glad tidings of the Gospel. The theme of its messengers was, "The kingdom of God is at hand." But " the kingdom was not, at that time, restored to Israel." /ion's watchmen did not then catch the sound, and rejoice in the glad exclamations. We have, however, our Lord's own word for it, that Jerusalem shall one day see him, and say, " Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." It is then that "Jehovah returneth to
VOL. I. A A
Zion." Again, we are told, that though the glory of the Lord first appears at Zion, it shall fill the whole earth: —
10. Jehovah hath made bare his holy arm,
And all the ends of the earth behold
The following verses appear to be addressed to those of the Israelites that still remained among the nations at the time of the last conflict, but who were then being gathered by a miraculous providence, in order to their final restoration: —
11. Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from hence,
Depart from the midst of her, purify yourselves,
12. For not in haste shall ye go out,
For Jehovah is gone before you,
And the Elohim of Israel bringeth up your rear.
This appears to be an allusion to Israel's former passage through the desert, when the ark, and all its sacred furniture, were borne in solemn procession by the priests and Levites. This, I think, is more probable than to suppose an allusion to the delivery of the sacred vessels to the Jews, when they returned from the captivity of the literal Babylon; because Egypt, and not Babylon, is referred to in the foregoing verses as the type of Israel's last tyrannical oppressor.
The latter Part of the fifty-second, and the Fifty-third Chapter.
The division of the chapters should have been in this place, beginning with the thirteenth verse. This divine oracle contemplates the future greatness and glory of the Messiah; but states, at the same time, with great clearness, that "he must first suffer many things," and be rejected by his professed people; and '' by their wicked hands be delivered up," so that he may be offered as a propitiatory victim for the sins of his people. No doubt this was one of the many passages on which the risen Saviour grounded his reproof of the two disciples journeying to Emmaus, when they were at a loss to reconcile the sufferings and death of Jesus of Nazareth with his claim to be the promised Messiah —" Then he said to them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have written; ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?"
The context, we shall bear in mind, has led us to the manifestation of the Redeemer in his glorious majesty to Zion, who was prepared to welcome him with loud hosannahs. But the heavenly vision now points to him in his humiliation, and seems to say: This is he that is to be exalted so high: but this can only be after a season of the lowest debasement, and most afflictive sufferings; for so the redemption of his people requires: —
13. Behold my servant shall prosper,'
He shall be raised, and exalted, and become exceeding great.
14. Like as many were shocked at' seeing' him,
His countenance marred more than man's,
And his form more than that of the sons of men;
15. So shall he astonish many nations,*
For what had not been told them shall they see,
The subjection of so many of the civilized nations of the earth to the religion of the once afflicted, rejected, and crucified Messiah, may be supposed to be an inceptive fulfilment of this prophetic picture. But its full amount, we cannot doubt, is to contrast together the appearance of th& -Redeemer at his first and at his second coming. Many were offended at him at his first appearance, and were shocked at the spectacle of misery and grief which he then exhibited. So on his future appearance shall the excess of his splendour and majesty, surpassing all that had been heard or seen, be the astonishment of monarchs and nations.
1 So Bishops Lowth and Stock, many nations shall look on him
or "shall grow mature in wisdom," with admiration." Bishop Stock
or " shall become firm in strength." has, "So shall he startle many
—See Simon in verbo. nations." Simon renders nr, " ex
"See Bishop Lowth's note. sultare faciet admiratione (proprie
He inclines to the conjecture of .-j saliit, exsiliit, expersus fuit
Dr. Durell, that the true reading saliendo) salire, exultare, fecit U
was Hit, which comes near, to the titia." Horsley retains the sense
0«uiaa«v1a1 of the Septuagint. He of " sprinkling." quotes Dr. Jebb's translation; " So