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20. At the head of all the streets “were they' as the oryx in the toils, Filled with the wrath of Jehovah, with the rebuke of thy God.
This is evidently intended to predict, as other oracles have done before, the feebleness of Jerusalem in the last conflict, and her utter destitution of all human help. Hut, as we learned long ago, when “He seeth that her strength is gone,” &c.; * then Jehovah with his own arm will accomplish salvation.
21. Since thus it is, hear thou this, thou afflicted; And thou drunken, but not with wine;
22. Thus saith the Lord, Jehovah,
Lo, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of reeling,
But, as we usually find in this connexion, when Jerusalem's chastisement is finished, then comes the dreadful retribution on her adversaries: — *
23. And I will put it into the hand of them that oppress thee, Who said to thee, Bow thyself down, that we may pass over thee:
And thou placest thy body as the ground,
"A picture of the most tyrannical oppression on the one hand, and of the most abject wretchedness on the other: but too truly illustrated by the sufferings which this nation has often already endured from its enemies!
* Song of remembrance.
The season of her vindication, however, from all her wrongs, and of the perpetual triumph of her final salvation, is now anticipated.
Zion, in the character of a captive, is next addressed in the first verse of our fifty-second chapter. She is congratulated on her approaching deliverance, and invited to exchange the sordid garments of her captivity, and her lowly seat on the dust, for the robe and chair of state; for she is henceforth to sit as queen:—
1. A Rise, arise,
2. Shake thyself from the dust, arise,
Loose thyself from the bands on thy neck,
3. For thus hath Jehovah said:
Ye were sold for nothing,
If the uncircumcised and unclean are no more to enter into Jerusalem, the conclusion is certain, that the above is addressed to this city on her final deliverance.
What follows contrasts their present captivity, and the anticipated deliverance, with the Egyptian bondage, and the deliverance therefrom : —
4. For thus hath the Lord Jehovah said, My people went down to Egypt at first, to sojourn there; And when they had prospered," they oppressed them for nought: 5. And now what have I ‘to do' here,” saith Jehovah, For my people hath for no reason been taken away.
Their rulers make their boast of this, saith Jehovah,” And my name, day after day, is continually despised. 6. Notwithstanding, my people shall know my name in that day," For I am He that spake, Lo, I am here.
Whether this is spoken in prospect of the general deliverance from the present captivity of the tribes in their respective places of residence, or whether these words have a particular reference to a future capture, that drags some of the restored remnant into Egypt, we, perhaps, cannot determine. We know for certain, that after ravaging the Holy Land, the last enemy of Jerusalem gains possession of Egypt; and it is about this time, as we have already learned, that the Redeemer appears.-The tidings of this are next announced:—
7. How beautiful on the mountains are the feet
" I consider munt as the parti- - the various readings, Town and
ciple of the verb own. Ybbro.
* “Here,” in the spiritual Egypt “The second 2% is wanting in or Babylon—in all places of Israel's the Septuagint, Syriac, and Vuldispersion. gate.
*Adopting, with Bishop Lowth,
Of him that spreadeth good tidings, that announceth salva-
The news of this glorious event, that the kingdom of Messiah is come, is represented as circulated by welcome messengers; running, as was customary in those countries, along the ridges of the hills, to spread the tidings far and wide over the country. The watchmen stationed at Zion are represented as catching with enthusiasm the sound of the report: and as Jehovah, for whom they wait, suddenly appears, they burst forth into shouts of joy and congratulation, in which the desolated places of Jerusalem are invited to join:—
8. The voice of thy watchment
For they see face to face, .
9. Break forth into singing, shout together for joy, Ye desolated places of Jerusalem! *
For Jehovah hath pitied his people,
St. Paul, we should remark by the way, seems to point out an inceptive fulfilment of this prophecy, in the preaching of the glad tidings of the Gospel. The theme of its messengers was, “The kingdom of God is at hand.” But “the kingdom was not, at that time, restored to Israel.” Zion's watchmen did not then catch the sound, and rejoice in the glad exclamations. We have, however, our Lord's own word for it, that Jerusalem shall one day see him, and say, “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” It is then that “Jehovah returneth to
WOL. I. A A
Zion.” Again, we are told, that though the glory of the Lord first appears at Zion, it shall fill the whole earth:
The following verses appear to be addressed to those of the Israelites that still remained among the nations at the time of the last conflict, but who were then being gathered by a miraculous providence, in order to their final restoration: —
11. Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from hence, Touch not the unclean thing;
Depart from the midst of her, purify yourselves,
12. For not in haste shall ye go out, Neither shall ye proceed in flight;
For Jehovah is gone before you,
This appears to be an allusion to Israel's former passage through the desert, when the ark, and all its sacred furniture, were borne in solemn procession by the priests and Levites. This, I think, is more probable than to suppose an allusion to the delivery of the sacred vessels to the Jews, when they returned from the captivity of the literal Babylon; because Egypt, and not Babylon, is referred to in the foregoing verses as the type of Israel's last tyrannical oppressor.