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Thy sons have come quickly from thy destroyers,
Lift up thine eyes around and see,
All these shalt thou put on as ornaments,
For thy waste and thy desolate places,
Again shall thy children of which thou art bereaved say in
And thou shalt say in thine heart:
Who hath brought me forth these ?
“I was a captive and an outcast,
Lo, I was left alone,
Thus is the desolated city represented as expressing
her happy surprise at seeing the great concourse of her returning children. It appears from what follows, that certain nations — for all are not rebellious — obey the signal of Jehovah, and heartily concur in subserviency to the restoration of the Israelites from among them:
Behold I will lift up my hands for the nations,
And they shall bring thy sons in their bosom,
23. And their kings shall be thy foster-fathers, And their queens thy nursing mothers:
They shall prostrate their faces to the earth before thee,
And thou shalt know that I am Jehovah,
This seems to be a view of the world as to the operations that are going on among certain nations rendered by God's providence friendly to Israel, at that very period when the last enemy has assembled in their land:—or rather, it anticipates what will be the result of the final vengeance on the oppressor, who is again presented before us in the vision, as having actually at that time seized
upon Israel as his prey.
24. Shall the prey be taken from the mighty 7
Verily thus hath Jehovah said:
Even the captive of the mighty shall be taken,
And I myself will contend with them that contend with thee,
* Some in this place suppose pox to be a mistake for roy, which is supported by the Syriac and Vulgate. Compare especially ver. 25.
Bishop Stock renders poly onw “the completely captivated,” which is much confirmed by circumstances. Pony, complete, as the Latins say, “justus exercitus, jus
tum volumen,” &c.
“The word, I think, will bear another reading: — “Shall the booty be taken from the mighty Or shall the Just One set the captives free? Verily, thus saith Jehovah, Even the captives shall seize the mighty, And the tyrant [himself] shall relinquish the booty.” HoRsley.
25. And I will gorge thy oppressors with their own flesh, And I will drench them with their blood as with new wine;
And all flesh shall know,
That I, Jehovah, am thy Saviour,
This, then, is the time of the appearing of the Just One, the great Redeemer from heaven. Jerusalem, as before addressed, was only comforted in anticipation of the result of the impending conflict; she was then at her last gasp of hope before the enemy that had surrounded her. She is shown the wonderful preparations that are making, in certain directions, for the return of her lost children. While her last great enemy is ravaging her country, and ready to lay her waste, other nations of the earth are gathering her children, and coming, with the utmost reverence for her high destinies, to present their present to Jehovah in Zion. This passage, therefore, is evidently parallel to the prophecy in the eighteenth chapter, where our attention was directed to a country “extending the shadow of its wings, which is beyond the rivers of Cush, that sendeth ambassadors by sea,” &c.; and it is described, at a “signal” “given,” as bringing “a present to Jehovah Sabaoth, of a people scattered and cast away,” &c. We saw reason, in expounding that part of the prophecy, to think the ten tribes dispersed by the Assyrian were particularly intended. “Beyond the rivers of Cush,” we were inclined to understand as denoting an eastern direction beyond the Tigris and Euphrates, though the Nile had some pretension to the title of a river of Cush. In the passage before us, the assembled people are described as coming, some from a country afar off, some from the north, some from the west or from the
WOL. I. Z.
sea, and some from the land of Sinim. The position of the land of Sinim it seems difficult to settle: Bishop Stock, after Arias Montanus, has China; the north he refers to Tartary, and the west or sea to Europe. The Chaldee interpreter, and some of the Jewish expositors, place Sinim in the south; and by the land afar off would designate the east to its remotest regions: so that it should seem the swift messengers, in their ships, are sent in all directions on this wonderful occasion.
We are still to pursue the train of the prophecy:—
1. THUs hath Jehovah said,
Where is the bill of divorcement
Or who is he among my creditors,
The church of Israel is here contemplated in her present rejected and banished state. It is asked, Why has this former spouse of God been discarded with her children? Had the God of Israel acted the capricious husband? Or, had the Father of her children been compelled by poverty to sell them? Had the Almighty wanted power, that his chosen people are found in this extraordinary and most wretched situation? No.
Lo, you have been sold for your iniquities,
Their particular crimes, which had brought on this judgment, are next pointed out: —
2. Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? When I called, was there none that answered?
Is my hand so weakened that it cannot redeem?
The incarnate Eloah speaks—“ He came to his own, and his own received him not.” The Jews of the first advent despised their meek and lowly Saviour, and regarded him as too weak and contemptible to be “the Hope of Israel.” But that arm which they despised would one day show itself mighty to save : —
Behold, at my rebuke I will dry up the sea,
Their fish shall become putrid for want of water,
3. I will clothe the heavens with blackness, And will make sackcloth their covering.
The same Jesus whom they betrayed and delivered up to be crucified, will prove to be the great Redeemer and Avenger of the last times. He will one day quell the turbulent uproar of the conflicting nations of the earth, the symbolical rivers and floods that have destroyed his land by their overflowings, and will dissipate them for ever. Then the powers of heaven, the political heavens, shall be shaken, and extinguished in eternal darkness.
The vision still continues to set before us the Saviour, as seen at the time of his rejection by the Jews:–
4. The Lord Jehovah hath given to me the tongue of the instructed, That I might know, on occasion, to speak to the fainting.