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For a direction shall go forth from me,
nations. 5. My righteous vengeance is near, my salvation is gone forth,
And mine arms shall judge the nations.
My people,” addressed as distinct from Zion, and addressed also as “the nations," naturally carries our thoughts to those believing people, or peoples, that shall be found faithful at the last. That there will be such nations, and that a particular signal will be given them, as to the part which they are to take in these wonderful scenes, has been intimated before, and I have no doubt * the law,' or“ direction," or " instruction," "going forth,” and the “ judgment” which is to “ blaze” or “ glitter”. like a beacon, refers to us, the remnant of the nations. Nor do I in the least doubt, that “ righteousness” and “ salvation" in this connexion signify again the righteous vindication and triumphant deliverance, so emphatically promised in the controversy of Zion, and which terminates in universal redemption.
6. Lift up your eyes unto the heavens,
And look upon the earth beneath;
The people of God, severely, perhaps, put to the trial in these times, are to encourage themselves by reflecting
upon the everlasting benefits that await them, when this poor world, and all its inhabitants, whom now, it may be, they see in arms around them, are extinct in darkness. The symbolical heavens and earth, and at last, as it should seem, the natural heavens and earth themselves, are to be dissolved; but the salvation that awaits his people shall establish them in "a kingdom that cannot be moved.”
It seems from what follows, that the people who know the Lord,” and who are expecting the speedy appearance of the promised righteous vengeance and vindieation, whose attention has been called to the instruction then afforded whether this instruction be the word of prophecy better understood, or whatever else it is, that shall show 'to God's waiting people “ the signs of the times.'* ** It appears from what follows, that they will in those days be particularly exposed to the scorn and ridicule of an unbelieving world :
1 7. Hearken 'unto me, ye that know righteousness;
Ye people, in whose hearts is my instruction. That is, 'ye who know by prophecy concerning my righte: ous vengeance, and whose attention has been fixed upon my revealed word.
Fear ye not the reproach of man,
Neither be ye afraid of their revilings.
And the worm shall devour them like wool.
vindication shall be for ever,
The apostrophe to the arm of Jehovah which follows, and the reference to the wonders wrought at the exodus from Egypt, compared with what has already been re
vealed, clearly admonishes the waiting world of the nature
O arm of Jehovah !
In the former ages.
That pierced the serpent?
The waters of the great deep?
A passage for thy redeemed?
And they shall come unto Zion with rejoicing:
Does not this, among the number of other concurrent prophecies, * clearly establish the expectation, that a miraculous providence, similar to that exerted at the exodus, will be again seen at the final restoration of Israel? But this miraculous journey through the wilderness, and the circumstance that they arrive , at Zion, “ crowned with everlasting joy," seems clearly ascertained to be at a period after the tremendous vengeance has been inflicted on the last great adversary, so often set before us in prophecy. For, till that last conflict is past, Jerusalem cannot be a scene of everlasting peace and happiness. It was, however, evident from former Scriptures, that there was a partial restoration, previously to this which marks the appearance of the Redeemer; that
Psalın lxviñ.; Isaiah, xxxv. 1; xl. 2; xli. 17 ; xliii. 16.
Jerusalem had been rebuilt; and, in circumstances of extreme fear and apprehension, was to be besieged by the last mortal enemy; and, when fairly taken and captivated, should be rescued from his grasp.* This is evidently the people that is now addressed :
12. I, I am he that comforteth thee. Who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of a man that
Who stretched out the heavens, and founded the earth :
But where is the fury of this oppressor?
And he shall not die in the dungeon,
Neither shall his bread fail. 15. For I, Jehovah, am thy Elohim, . He who stilleth the sea when its waves roar,
Jehovah Sabaoth is his name.
.." Jehovah Sabaoth,” as we have seen before, is a title of the great Redeemer; the Lord that cometh with his shining armies from heaven. He, as we have learned before, appears at the last rescue of Jerusalem.
. It is to Him, in the character of the Deliverer of Zion, that the next lines are addressed, as appears from chapter xlix., verse 2.
• Psalm cvii.; Isaiah, xvii. and xviii., xxix., xlix. 24, &c..
“ The prisoner shall soon be released." —Horsley.
16. And I have put my words in thy mouth,
And I have covered thee in the hollow of my hand;
“ The word” “put into" the Deliverer's “mouth,” is represented in the address to Zion that follows:
17. Arise, arise,
Stand up, O Jerusalem,
She had been hitherto the object of the divine displeasure; she had drank of the cup of his wrath — a cup that caused “ trembling,” or “ reeling.” The intoxication of grief, and of mad despair, had rendered her incapable of making any exertion for her own relief. This consequence seems afterwards expressed :18. There was none to lead her,
Of all the sons she had brought forth;
Of all the sons she had reared. 19. These two evils befell thee. "In the desolation and the destruction, who would condole
with thee? • In' the famine and the slaughter, who would comfort thee?
The two evils were, I imagine, the calamity itself, and the being in her distress destitute of every comforter.
Thy sons fainted and fell.