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12. And there shall be no longer what is called a kingdom,
Her nobles and her princes shall be brought to nothing :
13. And thorns shall spring up in her palaces,
The nettle and the bramble in her castles:
And she shall become an habitation for serpents,
14. And the birds of the coasts shall meet the birds of the
And there shall the screech-owl rest,
And find ber a place of repose. 15. There shall the darting serpent make her nest and breed, And shall hatch her young, and gather them under her
Each with her fellows.
Not one of these hath been missing,
And his Spirit itself hath made the gathering : 17. And he hath cast for them the lot,
And his hand hath divided them their portion by line.
of Genesis, express the shapeless emptiness, her scorched chaos, 1121 nn non r987), “and plains.” Houbigant transposes frian, the earth was without form, and and begins the following line with void.” Bishop Lowth translates, it; which, upon the wbole, is the " He shall stretch over the line of most probable emendation. devastation, and the plummet of
A picture, doubtless, of complete and perpetual desolation. The animals that inhabit these ruins are never more to be disturbed by the intrusion of man.
With this great slaughter of “ all the armies," and with the entire revolution of nations, and destruction of the apostate city and territory, is again connected, in the prophecy before us—the prosperity of the Jewish church.
The following chapter has generally, indeed, been understood in a figurative sense; but, from a comparison of the sixty-eighth Psalm, I am led to conclude, that it is to be literally interpreted, and that it refers to a miraculous passage of the deserts of Arabia ; through which, at this very time, when the great adversary meets his fate in his last oppression of Jerusalem, and his country perishes by fire, the divine presence is leading a part of returning Israel: and this is confirmed by subsequent prophecies.
1. The wilderness and parched land shall be glad,
The desert shall rejoice and spring forth. 2. It shall burst into flower like the rosebud,
It shall rejoice even with exultation and singing.
In waiting this deliverance, it is plain, from what follows, that the people of God will need consolation:
3. Strengthen ye the slackened hands,
Support the tottering knees. 4. Say to the hurried minds, Be strong,
Fear not, behold your Elohim!
Vengeance will come, the retribution of Elohim,
In these dreadful times, therefore, the waiting people of God, wherever they are found; or, as I rather conclude, especially that particular part of returning Israel that is to be conducted through the desert,--are warranted to expect the appearance of that God whom they adore, in the character of their deliverer. This is, doubtless, what more ancient oracles foretold : “ The Lord” cometh “ with his holy myriads ;”—“ I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that in the last day he shall rise upon the earth, and of my flesh shall I see Elohim," &c. &c. *
5. Then shall the eyes of the blind be open,
And the ears of the deaf shall be unclosed : 6. Then shall the lame bound like a stag,
And the tongue of the dumb shall sing.
And streams in the desert:
And the thirsty soil springs of water.
Grass, with reeds and rushes :
Compare xxv, 9,
1 " Behold your God! To avenge
added to the first member of the he cometh !
sentence, from the beginning of the God, who maketh retribution, following member: 16 MSS. (7 He will come and save you l" ancient) have it but once; so, like
HORSLEY. wise, the Syriac."-Bp. Lowth. 2“ The word 7771 is by mistake
And it shall be called the way of the Holy • One.'
And the foolish shall not err.
It shall not ascend it, or be found on it.. 10. But the redeemed shall journey,
And the ransomed of Jehovah shall return:
These beautiful figures, I am aware, have been very generally explained of the spiritual privileges of Gospel times; but, certainly, from a mistaken rule of interpretation. What the believer now possesses is, indeed, an “ earnest,” and “ foretaste," of heavenly joys to come. But he is every where taught, that he is “saved in hope" that“ is not seen,”and for the object of which, he" waits ;" -he still “ groans, being burdened, waiting for the adoption, the redemption of the body. He is ever bid, with the whole church, to fix his expectation on the coming of Jesus Christ in his glory.
In the passage before us, we have a declaration, as plain as words can declare it, of a personal appearance of
T«But he shall be with them walking in the way,' i. e. God; see verse 4. Our old English versions translated the place to this purpose, our last translators were misled by the authority of the Jews, who have absurdly made a division of the verses in the midst of the
sentence, thereby destroying the construction and the sense.”—Bp. Lowth.
“ Their own Lord walking, &c. —Bp. Stock.
“The Holy One." —Bp. HorsLEY.
the God of Israel. What, however, will strike us as remarkable is, that he is not here described as coming in the clouds of heaven; but as leading a company of his people through the desert - and by the desert, emphatically named, is always meant the desert of Arabia--and as bringing them safe to Zion, where they enjoy everlasting felicity. A miraculous conducting of certain of the tribes of Israel through the desert, has before been intimated to be one of the wonders of the second advent, especially in Psalm the sixty-eighth. This Psalm, indeed, if. referred to, will show the exact connexion of the different scenes of this wonderful period : and prophecies yet to be considered, will again bring before us the miraculous passage of the desert.