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12. Therefore will I assign him a portion from the many,
And with the strong' ones' shall he divide a prey.'
This beautiful episode, so clearly stating the vicarious nature of the sacrifice of Christ, belongs not indeed to the proper subject of this work; but it was necessary that we should include it in our view, in order to show the connexion of what follows. For the next chapter cer"tainly opens with a description of what belongs to the SECOND ADVENT; and the connexion seems to be this. As the Saviour at the first advent is rejected, and none appear to believe the Gospel report, which alone can save their souls; yet He, notwithstanding, is destined to carry into execution all the purpose of his Father's will, and to conquer, and to reign: so his church, Zion, though become a disconsolate widow, no longer seeming to bear
"I somewhat suspect that these two lines should be rendered ;“ Therefore will I assign him many
for his portion, Ay, numbers shall be divide as
his spoil." *
He shall see a seed, which shall
prolong its days; And the pleasure of Jehovah
shall prosper in his hand. The record of the toil of his soul
he shall see, [as seed which] shall be fed to the full with
the knowledge of him; The Just One shall justify the
slaves of mighty ones, And himself shall take the bur
den of their iniquities."
• Bp. Horsley renders thus : “ But it was the pleasure of Jeho
vah; suffering overwhelmed
him. Upon condition that his soul
make a trespass-offering,
children to her mystic spouse, shall, in a miraculous manner, find herself at last to be still the joyful mother of a numerous family.
On the Fifty-fourth Chapter. 1. Shout for joy, thou barren that barest not, Break forth with shouting and rejoice, thou that hast not
travailed : For more are the children of the desolate, Than the children of her that hath her husband, saith Jehovah.
The parallel passages will render it evident that Zion is here addressed in prospect of her glorious state in the last days. She had long been in the condition of a barren woman, a woman separated from her husband, a disconsolate widow, who saw no children growing up around her. Such is the situation of Zion, or the Israelitish church, at this present hour: but, as in chapter xlix. 18, the church is saluted as becoming on a sudden the joyful mother of children; and we shall find that this is a standing metaphor to represent the glories of the church at the time of Christ's appearing. There may, perhaps, be intended a contrast between the Gentile Gospel church and the church of the circumcision, in the comparison of the woman still possessing her husband and the divorced or widowed woman. But, however this may be, the oracles of God have all along declared, that in the restoration of Israel to its former relation to God, commence the glories of the Messiah's kingdom: and we remark that one of the peculiarities of the symbol is, the former disconsolate widow finds herself on a sudden surrounded with her
numerous progeny, which she wonders to behold. Now, we have had reason, from the prophecies which have already fallen under our notice, to think that this is not to be understood merely of the gathering of the living Jews and Israelites, but of the appearing also at this time of the blessed dead with Christ in glory. And this explanation is strongly corroborated by St. Paul's quotation and application of the passage before us.
He is pursuing the allegory of Hagar and Sarah : “For this Agar,” he says, “is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem that now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thow barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not ; for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband." *
This is most important as a key to the interpretation of these mysteries. “ Jerusalem,” the “mother of all ” the spiritual seed, is the symbol of a society “above:"and this society is distinguished from that people who then possessed the sacred city upon earth. The Jerusalem above must denote “ the church of the first-born written in heaven,” “ the souls of just men made perfect.” St. Paul assures us, that the symbol of the rejoicing mother of children relates to this Jerusalem ; but how it can relate to this blessed society, except in the view of their suddenly appearing to occupy, in some sort, the desolated mountains of Zion, I believe it were impossible to show. The Jerusalem above, if you have respect to her abode in heaven, can never have been a widow, or disconsolate, or as a barren woman that did not bear. This must be
• Gal. iv. 25, &c.
symbolical of the Israelitish church, and locally of the holy city, the now desolated Zion and Jerusalem. She must be the barren that did not bear, who shouts for joy to see herself on a sudden the mother of a numerous progeny. But if, as we are assured, at this very time she becomes identified with the Jerusalem above, the mother of all the believing seed of Abraham: then that “new Jerusalem must come down out of heaven;" and what follows must relate to the church in its triumphant and glorified state ; and it is confirmed that its locality, in some sort, is to be on those very mountains of Israel now desolate: and this is the favour which God bestows in the last days upon his people and upon his LAND.* Here, too, is the fulfilment of the promise" to Abraham and to his seed,” that he should be “ heir of the world”— that “in him and in his seed should all the families of the earth be blessed,” — and that “ the land of Canaan” should be given him “ for an everlasting possession,”
given to him in the character of “ the father of the „ faithful;" which, as a type or symbol, is equivalent “ to
Jerusalem,” “ the mother of all” true believers. Most important, then, to every Christian believer, in this point of view, is the prophetical description which follows; for if we believe in Christ, then are we Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. 1
* Deut. xxxii.
1“ This sense of the prophecy, as describing the prosperity and pre-eminence of the Hebrew church, is so very manifest, that no other exposition would ever have been invented, had not a just abhorrence of the doctrine of a mil
lennium, in the form in which it was taught by some of the ancient heretics, made St. Jerome, and other great men of antiquity, studious to interpret every thing in the manner that might be the most contrary to it.”—Horsley.
2. Enlarge the space of thy tent,
Let the curtains of thy dwellings be extended.
Spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes, 3. For on the right hand and on the left shalt thou burst forth.
And thy seed shall inherit the nations,
And they shall cause the desolated cities to be inhabited. 4. Fear not, for thou shalt not be confounded;
Be not abashed, for thou shalt not be put to shame:
Jehovah Sabaoth is his name.
Shall be called the Elohim of all the earth.
Hath Jehovah called to thee;
Hath thy Elohim addressed thee.
But with great affection will I take thee again.
We may remark, all that the people or the land has endured for so many ages is but a little—" for a moment,” in comparison of “ the eternal weight of glory” that “ is to be revealed." I say “ people and land,” for such is the style of Scripture, and used, as we have seen, not without reason, in respect of what is to take place hereafter.
We should bear in mind that in present circumstances it is not, individually, the unbelieving Jew that is interested in these promises; they are “the branches of the