Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

of the land of Judah, now so desolate ; and an assignment of the cause, of one cause at least, from which it will arise. A new supply of water will be afforded from all its channels, or ancient courses, which are described at this time by travellers as so remarkably deficient. Especially, a new fountain is to be created by miraculous power, on some spot near to where the temple stands — a fountain which will water all the desolated country, from Jerusalem towards the east; and not only flow into the Jordan, and the Dead Sea; but burst its way -beyond, and flow into the champaign country of Moab. For there, from a comparison of Joshua, ii. 1; and Numbers, xxv. 1; we find the valley of Shittim, as some explain it, of '* acacia trees:" and comparing this again with what was mentioned in former prophecies concerning the watering of the Arabian desert, * who can but conjecture that this is the very stream, that is to produce this wonderful change in that now desolate part of the earth?

19. Egypt shall be a desolation,

And Edom shall be a desolated wilderness;

For their violence against the sons of Judah,
Whose innocent blood they shed in their land.

A question may arise here, Are Egypt and Edom to be taken literally for the countries so called; or spiritually of the Roman empire, of which both these nations, as we have seen, were types? I am inclined to suppose the Litter; because we know from former prophecies, that the Roman world is, at this time, to be made a desolation; and because it should seem, from Isaiah, chap, xix., that the situation of Egypt, at this era, will be very different from the description here given: and as for Edom, it is at present, and ever has been, a desolate wilderness, comparatively speaking. The prophecy ends:

* Isaiah, xxxv. 7.

20. But Judah shall dwell for ever,

And Jerusalem from generation to generation;

And I will purify' them of the blood shed by them, which I

had not purified; And Jehovah will dwell in Zion. /.

What this guilt of blood is, that rests to the very last on accursed Judah and Jerusalem, we cannot be at a loss to discover: and the comparison of the oracles that have already glanced at this fact will be very interesting to read; Isaiah, iv. 4; Psalm li. 14. They, "with wicked hands," " crucified the Lord of glory!" and with their own lips imprecated his innocent blood upon themselves, and upon their children.

1 " Kxpergavit, extcrsit."—Simon.

CHAPTER V.

THE PROPHETS <JP TflE tRA OF THE BABYLONIA!* CAPTIVITY.

We now enter upon the second division of the Jewish prophets; which we have connected together under the title of the era df the Babylonian captivity. Zephaniah preceded a short time this period, which is more properly filled by the prophets Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, with whom Habakkuk was contemporary: including a space of about one hundred years, from 640 to 534 before Christ.

SECTION I.
Remarks on the Three First Chapters of Zephaniah.

The prophet Zephaniah prophesied in the reign of Josiah, "from before Christ 640 to 609;" so that from the time of Isaiah, to the prophets of the captivity, we have almost an uninterrupted series. The oracles delivered by this prophet confirm, in several places, what has been before foretold of the restoration of the Jews, the punishment of their adversaries, and the manifestation of Christ's kingdom, as ;} few extracts will show: —

CHAPTER I.

14. The great day of Jehovah is near,
It is near, and hasteth much.

The report of the day of Jehovah is
There the Mighty One shall cry aloud.

15. That day is a day of wrath,

A day of distress and anguish;

A day of desolation and destruction,
A day of darkness and of gloom;

A day of clouds and of thick darkness,

16. A day of' sounding* trumpets and of shouting:

Against the fenced cities,
And against the lofty towers.

17. And I will distress man, and they shall walk as the blind, Because they have sinned against Jehovah:

And their blood shall be poured out as dust,
And their flesh shall be as dung.

1 8. Moreover, their silver and their gold
Shall not be able to deliver them,
In the day of the anger of Jehovah.

But by the fire of his jealousy shall the whole earth be

devoured;

For a full end, nay, a speedy one will he make, •

With all the inhabitants of the earth.

CHAPTER II.

1. Gather yourselves together and assemble, O nations, not

desired,
Ere the decree bring forth, the day pass over as chaff.

2. Ere the heat of the anger of Jehovah come upon you,
Ere the day of the wrath of Jehovah come upon you.

3. Seek ye Jehovah, all ye meek of the earth,

Who have wrought judgment, have sought righteousness,

have sought meekness, It may be ye shall be protected in the day of Jehovah's anger.

A particular specification of what will be the destinies of the several surrounding nations, and opponents of Israel, in the view of Israel's final establishment, then follows—with a description of their apostacy. But in the eighth verse of the third chapter we read: —

CHAPTER III.

8. Yet wait for me, hath Jehovah said, Until the day that I rise up to the prey:

For my decision is to gather the nations, to assemble the

kingdoms, To pour out upon them mine indignation, all the heat of my

wrath, For by the fire of my jealousy shall all the earth be consumed.

9. Surely, then, will I turn to1 the nations a pure language, That they may all of them call upon Jehovah, and serve him

with one consent. *

10. From beyond the rivers of Cush,

My suppliants shall bring, as an offering, the daughter of my dispersed.

This is clearly the event foretold in the eighteenth chapter of Isaiah; and it is remarkable, when compared with what has been observed on that passage, that the Targum has here, " Beyond the rivers of India :"3 and it

1 "I will cause them to have." nations of India."—Sir William Some, after a conjectural reading Jones, who observes, " that many of Houbignnt, render, " I will pour monuments of antiquity seem to upon," &c. prove an early connexion between * " With one shoulder." that country and Africa." — Du* " The people who received courte on the Hindus. And, again, t fit: fir ft light of the tun, according in his eighth anniversary discourse, to the limited knowledge of the he observes: "It is very remarkancients, are snitl by Apuleius to able, as Mr. Bruce and Mr. Bryant be the Aru and Ethiopians, by have proved, that the Greeki gave which he clearly meant certain the appellation of Indians, both to

« AnteriorContinuar »