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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,
10. For the fortified city shall become a solitude,
There shall the steer feed, 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. For this is a people of no understanding, Therefore he that made them will not have pity on them, And he that formed them will show them no favour.
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,
And ye shall be gathered one by one,
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 “ as the 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;
And they shall come who had fled away into the land of
And they shall worship before Jehovah,
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.
Itemarks on Parts of the Twenty-eighth and of the Twentyninth Chapters.
A PR or HEcy 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 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, -
And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, And for strength to them that beat back the battle to the gate.
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
• 1 Cor. xiv. 21, 22. + Ver. 16.
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,”
3. And I will encamp, as in a circle, against thee;
* See Simon. “ Besieged,” Sept. Vulg. Bishops Lowth and Horsley. “Resided.”—Stock. * “Focum altaris appellari bron, non sensu leonis Dei; uti Int. passim volunt: sad ignis Dei est enim bronx, compositum nomen ex Yix, ignis et on, Deus, comparavi, fateor, subinde vocem onx, ari, cum
Latino Ara, de cujus etymo Lati
norum doctissimi ambegerent.”—
pro -59] focus, (a rad. “in astuavit,
4. And thou shalt be brought low; from the earth shalt thou speak, And from the dust shalt thou utter thy words. And thy voice shall come like a necromancer's from the
“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
7. And as a dream, a vision of the night, shall the multitude become,