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use of is that of a woman faithless to her husband. This is emblematical of the Israelitish church. Her first-born son is acknowledged, or supposed to be acknowledged, by the father as his own. He is called “ Jezreel” or “ seed of God.” An oracle is delivered at his birth :
4. For yet a little while, and I will visit
The blood of Jezreel on the house of Jehu.
I am persuaded,” says Bishop Horsley," that Jezreel is to be taken in this passage in its mystical meaning, and is to be understood of the persons typified by the prophet's
-the holy seed— the true servants and worshippers of God. It is threatened that their blood is to be visited upon the house of Jehu, by which it had been shed. The princes descended from Jehu were all idolaters; and idolaters have always been persecutors of the true religion In all ages, and in all countries, they have persecuted the Jezreel unto death whenever they have had the power of doing it. The blood of Jezreel, therefore, which was to be visited on the house of Jehu, was the blood of God's servants, shed in persecution, and of infants shed upon the altars of their idols, by the idolatrous princes of the line of Jehu: and so the expression was understood by St. Jerome and Luther."
Again; she bears a daughter, who is directed to be called “ Lo-ruhamah," " not having obtained mercy," or
unpitied.” This daughter is symbolically considered as illegitimate, “ born in fornications ;" and the symbol is applied to the main body of the ten tribes. They are not the real seed of God, and are no longer to be the objects of his pity. 6. But the house of Judah will I cherish with tenderness,
And I will save them by Jehovah, their Elohim.
And I will not save them by bow, nor by sword,
Again; she bears another son. He also is pronounced a “ child of fornications.” His name is directed to be called Lo-ammi, “ not my people.”
9. For ye are not my people,
And I will not be your God.
“ This child,” observes Bishop Horsley, “ must typify the people of the kingdom of Judah, in the subsequent periods of their history.” In the different treatment of the house of Judah and the house of Israel, we see the prophecy hitherto remarkably verified. After the excision of the ten tribes, Judah, though occasionally visited with severe judgments, continued to be cherished with God's love," or continued to be pitied, “ till they rejected our Lord. Then Judah became Lo-ammi; but still continues to be an object of God's love, preserved as a distinct race for the gracious purposes of mercy.”
This child, then, called “ Lo-ammi," — “no people of mine" - is to be considered as symbolical of the Jewish commonwealth at the first advent. The Jews seem to
· Bishop Horsley observes on this passage,—“ These expressions are too magnificent to be understood of any thing but the final rescue of the Jews from the power of Antichrist in the latter ages, by the incarnate God destroying the enemy with the brightness of his coming, of which the destruction of Sennacherib's army in the days of Hezekiah might be a type, but
it was nothing more.” “ Perhaps, in the last ages, the converts of the house of Judah will be the principal objects of Antichrist's malice. Their deliverance may be first wrought, and through them the blessing may be extended to their brethren of the ten tribes, and ultimately to the whole world. This order of things the subsequent prophecy seems to point out.”
have had this passage in their minds, when, in reply to our Lord's rejection of their claim to be “ the children of Abraham," though they were.“his seed," they observe, “ We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.” * But our Lord shows, by his answer, that they were this symbolical child of fornication; “ they were of their father, the devil.” Then, and in the subsequent rejection of the nation, was fulfilled the awful prediction; “ Ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.”
Immediately there follows a prophecy, which the reader will soon recognise to be parallel to several delivered before :
10. Yet shall the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of
Notwithstanding this rejection of both houses of Israel, yet the promise made to Abraham respecting the vast multiplication of his seed would not be forgotten. How, then, would it be fulfilled ? In the first instance, as the event has shown, “ God would visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.” They would for a time fill up the chasm made in Israel, “ by the casting away of so many in apostate Judah.” But this would not be all; “ when this fulness of the Gentiles should be come in,” there would be then a resumption of the natural Israel, and the promise made to Abraham would be fulfilled in its utmost extent.
• John, viii.
And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was
said to them, « Ye are not my people;" !
There shall it be said unto them, “Ye are the sons of the living God." 11. And the sons of Judah, and the sons of Israel, shall be
They shall unite in one confession, and in one polity, under one King, Christ the Saviour."The great day of Jezreel, or of the seed of God, evidently refers to the season predicted in former prophecies : “He shall be King in Jeshuron,” when the chiefs of the people shall be assembled with the people of the God of Abraham ; "then shall be fulfilled the promise to Abraham and to his seed, that he shall be heir of the world."
Again, in the following chapter, after a clear prediction of the rejection of Israel, and of the desolation of their country, under the metaphor of a faithless wife, given up to shame and poverty by her husband, we have* another remarkable prediction of Israel's restoration, very similar in its language to those oracles which
1 “ That is, at Jerusalem, or of Judah," &c.-HORSLEY. at least in Judea, where this pro 9 “ And come up from the phecy was delivered, and where earth, i. e. from all parts of the the execution of the sentence earth, to Jerusalem."-IDEM. took place."--" This must relate
3 Idem. to the natural Israel of the house
* Verse 14.
we have already consulted, and which describe a passage through the desert, conducted in a manner that renders it as wonderful as the exodus from Egypt.
14. Notwithstanding, lo! I myself' will allure her,
And will lead her 'in' the desert,
And will speak cheeringly to her:
Even the valley of Achor' for a door of hope:
of her youth,
I see no necessity for understanding this in any other than a literal sense. We have ascertained from other prophecies, that there will be a party of restored Israelites conducted by special providence through the deserts towards Zion. The valley of Achor will lie in their way; and its possession may be to restored Israel as an earnest of future blessings : or— referring to the story of Achan, Joshua, vii. - in the spot where the “ sinners of the people are cut off,” shall hope begin to dawn upon returning Israel. We read in Isaiah, “ And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains.” — " And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in,”* &c. 3
when she shall be in the desert." Valley of tribulation.”
HORSLEY. , conturbatus : unde val
lis, 73y, conturbati, scil. populi Israelitici.” -SIMON.
3“ This perpetual allusion to the exodus, to the circumstances of the march through the wilder
Chap. Ixv. 9, 10. Compare Psalm lxviii.