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In this plain prophecy " of the casting away of Israel," and of the dispersion of Judah among all nations, a distinction is made between the true Israelite, " the Israelite indeed," and the " sinners of that people." The one, according to the distinction, we have already learned are " the children of the promise, which are counted for the seed." In all God's dispensations, not one of these is lost. But " the children of the flesh," who walk not in the footsteps of their father Abraham—for the last line presents us with a singular picture of those who are hardening themselves in unbelief, — over all these the judgment of the sword is suspended: and according to what we have already learned from the sacred oracles, this is the destiny of the apostates of Israel in every age. Not only at the time of their dispersions, whether by the Assyrian, the Babylonian, or the Roman, but a "sword is still to be drawn out after them;" and even at the time of their restoration, their numbers are dreadfully thinned by the sword, "until the consummation decreed is finished."
11. In that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, that is
And I will raise up its ruins,
And I will build it as in the days of old;
12. That' they' may inherit the remnant of Edom,
And of all the nations " who are" called by my name,
The reader may see in Kennicott what is advanced for the reading of the Septuagint, — " That the residue of men may seek Jehovah." I see no reason to depart from our present received text. The quotation in the Acts of
the Apostles is only to prove that the call of the Gentiles was not unscriptural, "and to this agree the words of the prophets." The apostle then refers to this passage, and, probably, quotes it in the translation to which his hearers were most accustomed: this was sufficient to prove his point, —" That God would visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name." But there is no occasion to suspect the integrity of the text. We have learned in former prophecies to apply the term Edom " spiritually" to the last enemy of Israel that comes from " Chittim:" we know that of these apostate nations but a very small remnant escapes. We have learned, too, that those who do escape yield a willing subjection to the restored Israel; * and that the supremacy of the children of the patriarchs is established over all the earth when Messiah shall sit upon the throne of David, and shall reign " over his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth even for ever." There is no necessity, therefore, to alter the received text. Next follows a prediction of final felicity, in a metaphorical language very similar to that; in which the same scenes of prosperity and blessedness, in the renovated world, have been predicted by former prophets: —
Behold, the days come, hath Jehovah said,
13. That the plougher shall draw near to the reaper,
And the treader of the grapes to the sower of the seed.
"This," says Archbishop Newcome, "is a lively way of expressing that the harvest and vintage should be copious, and long in gathering."
And the hills shall distil wine,
And the mountains shall pour it down.
• Isainh, xiv. anH Ixvi.
As we have observed of similar passages before, the least we can say of this is, that the curse is removed from the earth; labour and toil are no more. "Nature/' "delivered from the bondage of corruption," is made abundantly productive to supply every want and every comfort for man that shall remain upon earth, under the glorious reign of Christ and his saints. As for the glorified saints, we are ever to bear in mind, their habitations be not with man—they dwell not in houses of clay; yet, partakers in the kingdom of Christ, they reign over the regenerated earth. On this regenerated earth, the reestablishment of Israel in Canaan, we have seen also, is one of the first events of Messiah's glorious reign: thus the prophecy of Amos closes: —
14. And I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel, And they shall build the desolated cities, and inhabit them;
And they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof,
15. And I will plant them on their land,
From the land that I have given them,
The three first chapters of the prophet Hoaea will next claim our attention. The prophetical symbol here made
* Supposed to have prophesied between the years 809 and 698 before Christ.
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use of is that of a woman faithless to her husband. This is emblematical of the Israelitish church. Her 6rst-born son is acknowledged, or supposed to be acknowledged, by the father as his own. He is called " Jezreel" or " seed of God." An oracle is delivered at his birth:—
4. For yet a little while, and I will visit
"I am persuaded," says Bishop Horsley, "that Jezreel is to be taken in this passage in its mystical meaning, and is to be understood of the persons typified by the prophet's son—the holy seed—the true servants and worshippers of God. It is threatened that their blood is to be visited upon the house of Jehu, by which it had been shed. The princes descended from Jehu were all idolaters; and idolaters have always been persecutors of the true religion In all ages, and in all countries, they have persecuted the Jezreel unto death whenever they have had the power of doing it. The blood of Jezreel, therefore, •which was to be visited on the house of Jehu, was the blood of God's servants, shed in persecution, and of infants shed upon the altars of their idols, by the idolatrous princes of the line of Jehu: and so the expression was understood by St. Jerome and Luther."
Again; she bears a daughter, who is directed to be called " Lo-ruhamah," "not having obtained mercy," or "unpitied." This daughter is symbolically considered as illegitimate, "born in fornications;" and the symbol is applied to the main body of the ten tribes. They are not the real seed of God, and are no longer to be the objects of his pity.
6. But the house of Judah will I cherish with tenderness, And I will save them by Jehovah, their Elohim.
And I will not save them by bow, nor by sword,
Again; she bears another son. He also is pronounced •a "child of fornications." His name is directed to be called Lo-ammi, " not my people."
9. For ye are not my people,
"This child," observes Bishop Horsley, " must typify the people of the kingdom of Judah, in the subsequent periods of their history." In the different treatment of the house of Judah and the house of Israel, we see the prophecy hitherto remarkably verified. After the excision of the ten tribes, Judah, though occasionally visited with severe judgments, continued to be cherished with God's love," or continued to be pitied, " till they rejected our Lord. Then Judah became Lo-ammi; but still continues to be an object of God's love, preserved as a distinct race for the gracious purposes of mercy."
This child, then, called " Lo-ammi,"—" no people of mine"—is to be considered as symbolical of the Jewish commonwealth at the first advent. The Jews seem to
1 Bishop Horsley observes on it was nothing more." '' Perhaps, this passage,—" These expressions in the last ages, the converts of the are too magnificent to be under- house of Judah will be the prinstood of any thing but the final cipal objects of Antichrist's malice. rescue of the Jews from the power Their deliverance may be first of Antichrist in the latter ages, by wrought, and through them the the incarnate God destroying the blessing may be extended to their «nemy with the brightness of his brethren of the ten tribes, and ulticoming, of which the destruction mately to the whole world. This of Sennacherib's army in the days order of things the subsequent proof Hezeliah might be a type, but phecy seems to point out."