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of this prophet will sound as having reference, not to the judgments immediately threatened, but to the grand and ultimate theme of the vision. •
2. Hear, ye peoples, all of ye;
Hearken, O earth, and all that are therein;
For the Lord Jehovah doth testify against you,
3. For, behold, Jehovah will go forth from his place and
4. And the mountains shall melt beneath him,'
As wax before the fire,
As waters running down a steep place.
After the prediction of those immediate judgments that should disperse the children of Israel, their restoration is thus foretold : —
12. I will surely gather, O Jacob, all of thee,
I will certainly assemble the residue of Israel.
I will place them together, as the sheep of Bozra,
A buzz from ' a multitude of men!
13. He that forceth a passage, is gone up before them.
They have forced a passage, and have passed through the
gate, and are gone forth by it; And their King passeth before them, even Jehovah at their
T, " Vulgatus, scindentur; emplo docemur, verbum ypa, de
melius Grseci Intt. T«hiit»toi, re- liquidis rebus usurpari, ut et de
solventur; nam cera, priesonle igne, aridis." resolvitur, non scinditur; quo ex
In this passage, again, I conceive we have a view of the two great parties that are the objects of mercy at the second advent. The nation of Israel, gathered from all lands, and like a flock pastured in their recovered country. But besides these, there is the stir and bustle of a multitude. They follow one, who afterwards is declared to be their King, even Jehovah; they follow him, as it is described, ascending to force a passage for them through some gates that impede their progress upward, The passage is forced, and they go forth from the place of their confinement or concealment.
What is this, but the great Redeemer bursting open the gates of the unseen world, that he may bring his people with him? "Behold, the Lord cometh with his holy myriads." "Jehovah shined forth visibly at Sinai; he arose over Seir, and displayed his glory from Mount Paran, and from the midst of myriads came forth the Holy One." * On his right hand were streams of fire. "O ! loving Father of the peoples, all the saints are in thy hands, they are seated at thy feet."—" God rideth on amidst myriads, a leader of happy 'followers' is the Lord among them. Sinai is in the sanctuary. Thou didst* ascend on high, thou leddest captivity captive," &c.: f " and he shall penetrate," or " perforate, in this mountain, the face of the covering that is cast over all peoples, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He shall penetrate," or "perforate death unto victory; and the Lord Jehovah shall wipe away the tear from every face," 8tc. J "Thy dead shall live; their dead bodies shall rise: awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust. For thy covering shall be as the dew of the morning, and the earth shall drop the deceased from her womb." ||
* Deut. Jtxxiii. 2. t Psalm lxviii.
Isaiah, xiv. j| Isaiah, xxri. 19.
The same prophecy that we have considered in the second chapter of Isaiah, is nearly word for word repeated in the fourth chapter of Micah: "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains," &c. We need not reconsider the prediction in this place; it is enough to say that it is a clear prophecy of the extension of the reign of the Prince of Peace, "from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth."
3. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war any more.
4. But they shall sit every man under his vine,
And under his fig-tree; and none shall make them afraid.
These two last lines are added to the prophecy in Isaiah, and complete the picture of the happy condition of mankind upon earth, under the reign of Christ and his risen saints.
In the sixth verse, again, of the same chapter, the prophecy glances on the same wonderful period; and describes the restoration of the outcasts of Israel, who, under this new dispensation, are to be fixed in their own land at the head of the nations upon earth.
6. In that day, saith Jehovah, I will take again her that was
And her that was driven out will I receive, even her whom. I afflicted.
1 See note in Boothroyd's Hebrew Bible, "cam quae debilis erat, resumam," &c.
7. And I will make her that was barren a remnant,
And Jehovah shall reign over them in Mount Zion,
She that was barren appears to be a symbol of Jerusalem and Judah; she that was " driven out," or " removed," of the ten tribes. Over both these nations the Lord, who cometh with his holy myriads, will exercise his peaceful dominion, and Jerusalem is to be the throne of his kingdom: —
8. And thou, O Tower of the flock,
O mound of the daughter of Zion, to thee it shall Come;
Even the first dominion shall come,
The kingdom to the daughter of Jerusalem.
But, ere this final establishment of her kingdom, the prophet proceeds to predict she must suffer many things; and "be in pangs, like a travailing woman"—she must be carried to Babylon — verse 10—but from hence God will rescue her.
The vision then passes through many ages to the last siege of Jerusalem^ which terminates, as we have often learned, in the entire discomfiture of the enemy: •—
11. And now many nations are gathered against thee,
Who say, Let her be denied, and let our eye look in triumph on Zion.
12. But they know not the designs of Jehovah, Neither understand they his determination;
For he hath assembled them as a sheaf for the threshing floor,
1 So Archbishop Newcombe; or, perhaps, " sh« that was nick or grieved hi mind."
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13. Arise, and tread out the grain, O daughter of Zion,
And thou shalt beat to pieces mighty nations,
The prophet, however, summons the Israelitish nation to hear their more immediate doom :—
1. Now assemble in troops, O daughter.
With a staff have they smitten on the cheek
The Septuagint version and some manuscripts read here, " O daughter of Ephraim." This guides us to the most probable interpretation, that the conquest of Hosea and the ten tribes is especially intended; though from what follows, it seems, we are to include all the calamities brought on both houses of Israel by the Assyrian invasions. The order " to assemble in troops" bids the country to prepare for war. In the midst of these warlike preparations, the Spirit of prophecy animadverts on the low condition of Bethlehem, the native city of David. At the time of these musters which are to meet the Assyrian attack, this town, it appears, was too small to send forth even the leader of a thousand men. How different the future destinies of Bethlehem!
2. And thou, Bethlehem Ephrata,
Too little to be among the leaders of Judah!'
1 "Art thou too little to be among the leaders of Judah?"