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From thee shall go forth to me,
'He' who is to be the Ruler in Israel,
Ay, His going forth were of old — from the days of eternity.
It has been justly observed, that in this unequivocal prophecy of the Redeemer and future King of Israel, one going forth is spoken of as future, and another as past, which can suit none but Christ:—" God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the world, and man of the substance of his mother, born in the world."
3. Therefore will he deliver them up until she that beareth hath
And until the residue of their brethren shall be converted
these lines: according to this, the prediction is, that Israel, notwithstanding their high destinies foretold above, will be delivered into the hands of their enemies, until after the birth of the Messiah, and until after the conversion of the residue of their brethren, with the sons of Israel: "Even us whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles," as we shall find hereafter. It is when " the fulness of the Gentiles is come in" that all Israel shall be saved. What follows will then refer to the promised kingdom at the second advent: —
4. And he shall stand and feed ' his flock' in the strength of
And they shall return : — for now shall he be great
5. And He shall be ' our' peace.
With the abovementiohed translator, I divide the passage in this place. "After the illustrious propnecy relating to the Messiah, in the three foregoing verses, the prophet passes on to the subversion of the Assyrian empire," vejses 5, 6: after this follow two predictions respecting "the remnant" of Jacob, both of which are to be referred to the latter times:—
7. And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the nations, In the midst of many peoples;
As the dew from Jehovah,
As the drops of water on the grass;
Which looketh not to man,
Some are of opinion, that this symbolizes the preaching of the Gospel among the Gentiles by Jewish apostles and teachers. I rather agree with those who think that the passage describes the entire dependence of the remnant of Israel on a special Providence, which will protect them in all their dispersions, and which shall particularly manifest itself in their final deliverance. The metaphor I conceive to be taken, not from the fructifying effects of the dew and showers; but from the circumstance of the partial falling and uncertain continuance of the dew on the earth, and of those numerous drops that stand in consequence on the blades of grass and other vegetables. They come and are removed, they multiply and are diminished, without the knowledge or control of man, as it were, by a secret operation of Providence. So shall the remnant of Israel be among the nations. The places of their abode, their removals, their increase and decrease, shall be managed by the hand of God himself; so that it is beyond all the wisdom and all the power of man, to dispose of or to control this wonderful people. The other prediction describes the invincibleness of this small remnant in the midst of their mighty foes:—
8. And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the nations,
As the lion among the cattle of the forest,
Who, when he passeth through, treadeth down,
9. Thine hand shall be lifted up over thine adversaries,
But before this shall come to pass, the prophecy proceeds to show, Israel will be brought low, in order to purge them of idolatry and false worship.
The last chapter of this prophet, of which we shall next take notice, begins with foreboding the great diminishing of the faithful in Israel; and it appears, from what follows, to be particularly applicable to the Jews of the first advent: for our Lord refers the prediction to the eventual consequences of his mission:—
4. 'It is' the day of thy watchmen, thy visitation cometh, Now shall be their perplexity.
Or, " In the day of thy watchmen." It may mean, at the very season when thy faithless watchmen should have been at their stations, or when their neglect shall be punished.
5. Trust ye not in a friend;
Put ye not confidence in a guide;
From her that lieth in thy bosom keep the doors of thy mouth:
6. For the son will dishonour his father,
The daughter will rise up against her mother, the bride
'against her mother-in-law,
When Christ's disciples were " hated of all men for his name's sake," then was the prophecy fulfilled; and the spirit of the same hostility is seen, where, for the sake of their religion, friends are renounced by friends, and, as is sometimes the case, the dearest charities of kindred are violated from animosity to the truth.
It is in the mouth of the fallen Jewish church that the following supplication is put, and her complaints are beautifully mingled with the anticipating hope of future deliverance: —
7. As for me, I will look unto Jehovah,
I will hope in the Elohim of my salvation:
8. Rejoice not over me, O mine enemy,
When I sit in darkness, Jehovah will be light to me.
9. I will bear the indignation of Jehovah, Because I have sinned against him;
Until he plead my cause and execute judgment,
Until he bring me forth to light, and I see his righteous
10. Then mine enemy shall see it, and she shall be covered with
Mine eye shall look ' in triumph' upon her,
Now shall she be trodden down as the mire of the streets,
11. In the day when thy walls shall be built,
In that day the decree shall be removed afar off;
12. And in that day they shall come unto thee, From Assyria even unto the cities of Egypt; And from Egypt even unto the river,
And from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain:
13. And the earth shall be for a desolation,
Because of its inhabitants, for the fruit of their doings.
14. Feed thy people with thy staff, the flock of thine inherit
Let them feed in the midst of Carmel,
In Basan, and Gilead, as in the days of old.
15. As in the days when they came up from the land of Egypt, I will show them wonderful things.
16. The nations shall behold, mid be abashed
They shall place their hand on their mouth,
17. They shall lick the dust as a serpent; as the reptiles of the
They shall stand in awe of Jehovah, our Elohim,
18. Who is a god like unto thee, pardoning iniquity,
And passing by transgression in the residue of his inheritance?
Keeping not his anger for ever,
Because he delighteth in tender kindness!