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9. Wherefore by this shall the iniquity of Jacob be covered,
And this is all the fruit designed,' the removing of his sin.
Here I believe to end the description of Israel's share in these last judgments. Severe as they may be, they are overruled for his final good. Not so is the stroke of them that smote him; the stroke which is inflicted on Israel's last enemy, does not chasten, but exterminates: and this judgment is again described as a fiery indignation, that consumes a nation of idolaters:
While he is making all the stones of the altar,
The groves and the images shall not stand. 10. For the fortified city shall become a solitude,
A deserted habitation, and forsaken as a desert.
And there shall he lie down, and browse its boughs. 11. When its branch is dry, it shall be broken off;
Women shall come, that they may light their fire therewith.
This appears to stand as a prophetic symbol of the entire desolation of the great residence of the adversary, whose idolatries are visited. They are “ a people lost to understanding;" compare the song of remembrance, Deut. xxxii.
12. And it shall come to pass in that day,
That Jehovah shall beat from the flowing of the river,
This seems to represent the Holy Land, after the desolating storm had passed, as a vineyard or olive tree, when the harvest was over. As we read before, the enemy should gather the harvest; destroying, as it should appear, the greater part of Israel after the flesh. But the remnant that remained would be precious in the eyes of Jehovah, though in numbers they might appear mere gleanings” after the gathering was over.
But others besides these are to be gathered :
13. And it shall come to pass in that day,
That a great trumpet shall be sounded;
All this certainly confirms what we gathered from the Psalms, and other oracles already considered ; that though Israel is saved at last with a mighty deliverance, * yet this nation is to a very great extent a sufferer in the troubles of the last days, and that a remnant only survives to inherit the blessing.
Remarks on Parts of the Twenty-eighth and of the Twenty
A PROPHECY follows, in the twenty-eighth and twentyninth chapters, respecting the two capitals of the king
* Psalm cvii., and Isaiah, x. 22; xvii., xxvi. 16.
doms of Israel and Judah.
Samaria,” the pride of the drunkards of Ephraim, and their boasted splendour, is to become a
a fading flower.” To Jerusalem men's eyes are to be directed. But, however we may consider Hezekiah's kingdom as typical of Messiah's, it is to his reign alone that the ultimate force of the fourth verse must apply:
4. In that day,
Shall Jehovah Sabaoth be for a splendid crown,
But, ere this shall happen, the great corruption of those that compose this remnant, whose latter end is to be so glorious, is clearly foretold.—The drunkenness of the sixth and seventh verses, I should conceive, is symbolical of the intoxication of false doctrine and vain delusions.—The rejection of the Gospel by the proud and scornful Pharisee is next portrayed; and obscurely also, as the apostle teaches us, the gift of tongues at the day of Pentecost. *—The consequence of this rejection of the divine instructions at the first advent, when “the precious corner stone” + is laid “ for a foundation in Zion,” next follows.—The "overflowing scourge,” the storm and inundation, is to sweep away this “ refuge of lies,” &c. All this was clearly fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans.—God, whom they despised, who “taught man wisdom,” would accomplish this.
This will form a connective view of the twenty-eighth chapter. The opening of the twenty-ninth will a little
delay us, as it sets before us an era when Jerusalem shall be close pressed in siege, with all the usual apparatus of assailants. This cannot be interpreted of the Assyrian king, for he“ was not to shoot an arrow there, nor come against it with forts and towers;” and notwithstanding the language of the prophet is so similar to that of our Lord, when he foretells the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans, it cannot refer to that siege, because the event is totally different: and the same objections will apply to the taking of the city by the Babylonians. We must, therefore, refer it to that future attack upon the city, which we know is to be made by the last enemy: it affords accordingly a prophecy respecting the era of the second advent.
1. Ah! altar of God, altar of God, the city which David chose
for an habitation,' Add ye year to year, let the festivals go round. 2. But I shall press hard upon the altar of God,
And there shall be grief and sorrow;
Yet shall it be to me as the altar of God:
And I will form a mound against thee,
See Simon. “ Besieged,” Sept. Vulg. Bishops Lowth and Horsley. “ Resided."-STOCK.
? - Focum altaris appellari 5xinx, non sensu leonis Dei; uti Int. passim volunt : sed ignis Dei est enim 5*, compositum nomen ex 778, ignis et 5x, Deus, comparavi, fateor, subinde vocem '9x, ari,cum
Latino Ara, de cujus etymo Latinorum doctissimi ambegerent,”VITRINGA:
“ 58*7*, Focus Dei, ex Arab. 8,1 pro Sl focus, (à rad. •7x æstuavit, exarsit) et 5x Deus, quo nomine vocaturaltare holocaustorum, Ezek. xliii. 15, 16, et urbs Hierosolyma, Jer. xxix. 1, 2," &c. &c. --Simon.
4. And thou shalt be brought low; from the earth shalt thou
“ Altar of God,” I select as the most probable interpretation of Ariel, the title here given to Jerusalem. The address with which the prophecy opens, may be meant to denote the unmeaning formality of those who were engaged in the external rites of the religious festivals. Hence the sore punishment that awaited“ a hypocritical people.” Yet still the Lord would not entirely forsake " the place which he had chosen to fix his name there.” He would still esteem it as the “ altar of God," the consecrated spot where the typical sacrifices were offered from year to year - the destined spot, where, once for all, “ the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world,” was to be offered. The last verses we quoted, I conceive to be a description of the extreme despair of the inhabitants of the city in its last siege. But the enemy are disappointed in the moment of victory, and overwhelmed in everlasting confusion.
5. But the multitude of thy foes shall become as small dust,
And the multitude of the terrible as flitting chaff;
And it shall be suddenly, in an instant. 6. From Jehovah Sabaoth shalt THOU be visited
With thunder, and earthquake, and a mighty voice;
With storms, and tempest, and flame of devouring fire: 7. And as a dream, a vision of the night, shall the multitude