Page images

The happy state and most abundant prosperity of the people so restored, is next described, and in a manner perfectly analogous to former prophecies:


16. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith Jehovah, That thou shalt call me,

husband;" Thou shalt no more call me,“ my master;" 17. For I will take away the names of masters' out of her mouth,

And their name they shall mention no more.

It is in vain,” says Bishop Horsley, “ to look for a purity of religious worship, answerable to this prophecy, among the Jews returned from the Babylonian captivity. This part of the prophecy, with all the rest, will receive its accomplishment in the converted race in the latter days." To illustrate the meaning of the language, we may compare our Lord's address to his disciples, John, xv. 14: “ Henceforth, I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth; but I have called you friends,” &c. Gospel privileges are but a foretaste and earnest of the felicities of these times.

18. And I will on their behalf sanction a covenant in that day,

With the beasts of the field,
And with the birds of the air,
And with the reptiles of the ground.

To sanction or make a covenant, often implies the imposing of a law, or the will of the Supreme upon his

ness, and the first entrance into under that leader, of whom Moses the Holy Land, plainly points the was the type.”—Horsley. prophecy to a similar deliverance, I “ These lords." — HORSLEY. by the immediate power of God, Literally Baalim.

creatures. This prediction is parallel with the latter part of the eighth psalm: “ Thou hast put all things under his feet,” &c.: and with Isaiah, xi. 9, and lxv. 25, “ They shall not hurt nor destroy,” &c. The powers of nature are then to be subjected in a more complete manner to the service of mankind.

And the bow, and the sword, and the armour,
Will I destroy from off the earth,
And I will cause them to dwell in security.'

Exactly similar to Isaiah, “ They shall beat their swords into ploughshares,” &c.; and to Psalm xlvi., “He maketh wars to cease in all the world,” &c.

The metaphor of an espousal and marriage, as in the forty-fifth psalm, and in the sixty-second chapter of Isaiah, is again used to describe the relation in which his favoured people will then stand to their God:

19. And I will espouse thee unto me for ever;

Ay, I will espouse thee unto me with righteousness,
And with judgment, and with tender love, and with com-

Ay, I will espouse thee to me with faithfulness,'
And thou shalt know Jehovah.

Taking these terms in the usual sense in which we

his ,משפט ;his own justice ,צדק ,חסר ;perfect obedience to the law

, ;

1 « Lie down in their beds."

HORSLEY. 3“ A noun substantive after the verb, wax with a prefixed, denotes the dowry, or that which a man gives to obtain his spouse of his parents. Christ gave, for the espousal of the church, his bride,

; , exuberant kindness; brom, tender love ; 12x, faithfulness, steady adherence on his part in the covenant between the Holy Three."-Bp. HORSLEY.

meet with them in prophetical language, I should explain the language of the metaphor to say, “ The dowry that I shall then give for my espoused will be “ righteous vengeance” on her adversaries, and “the judgment” that will destroy the sinners of my people. To herself “ grace" and “ mercy,” and “ the faithful fulfilment of promises."

21. And it shall come to pass in that day,

I will richly supply, hath Jehovah said ;
I will richly supply the heavens,

And they shall richly supply the earth;
22. And the earth shall richly supply the corn,

And the wine, and the oil,
And they shall richly supply the seed of God.'

The word I have rendered “ richly supply,” as the best equivalent I can think of, is the word usually rendered,“ to answer, “ to respond to," « to hear.” Bishop Horsley renders, “ I will perform my part upon.” But I greatly prefer the sense confirmed by the Arabian language, “ To flow,” “ to exhibit one's self rich and efficient to another.” St. Paul seems to embrace its meaning, “ The same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.”

13. And I will sow it for me in the earth ;

And I will pity her that was named “ UNPITIED:”
And I will say to “ No People of mine," “ my people;"
And he shall say, my God.

1 "ny, Auxit; pressit; sufficit se divitem et sufficientem præbuit alteri (Arab., is ditari).” Simon.

?" I will sow the seed of God in the land;" a plain reference to the etymology of Jezreel.

Jezreel, or “ the seed of God,” includes, it should seem, the whole elect people of God, all the spiritual seed of Abraham. They were part of this seed, whose blood had been shed by the house of Jehu, chap. i. verse 4. Surely, then, this must answer to “ the holy myriads," whom the Lord from heaven brings with him ; to “ the Jerusalem above," of the apostle, “the mother of all” true believers; they being “ Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” The promise to Abraham, and to his seed, that he should be the heir of the worldof that “world to come,” which the Epistle to the Hebrews informs us is not put in subjection to angels, but “to man" to glorified men, for “ flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” The corn, and the wine, and the oil, therefore, as far as relates to them, are symbolical of something else. We may compare the words of our Lord : " But I

unto you,

I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with

my Father's kingdom.”* Admitting, then, that Jezreel symbolizes the spiritual seed, the new Jerusalem, the sowing or planting of it in the land, or in the earth, must be the same as its “coming down from God out of heaven;" and as the same symbol, “ the bride, the Lamb's wife," in the Revelation, denotes the church triumphant; so does the metaphor of the espousals here, of the royal marriage, in the forty-fifth psalm, and in the sixty-second of Isaiah.

Moreover, distinct from Jezreel, we have a plain intimation of the restoration of the survivors, in the flesh of both branches of the house of Israel. The second child of the prophet was called “Lo-ruhamah,” “the unpitied;"

you in

Matthew, xxvi. 29.

she symbolized, as we have seen, the ten tribes: she is now to become the object of pity; the ten tribes are to experience mercy. The third son, named “ Lo-ammi," “no people of mine," symbolized, we saw also, the house of Judah in its present rejected state. This nation is again, to be acknowledged as a “ people of God.” “Loruhamah,” and “ Lo-ammi,” are not to be confounded with “ Jezreel.” The two former are nations upon the renovated earth, inhabiting the restored Jerusalem, and the cities of Palestine ; but Jezreel is a symbol of those glorified spirits which inhabit the heavenly Jerusalem, “ the city that hath foundations, whose builder is God;" whereas the restored Jerusalem is “ of this building.” In what manner a connexion is opened between the world of spirits, and of men in the flesh, of what nature will be “ the manifestation of the sons of God,” and how the “ Redeemer,” and “ his happy followers,” “ the hosts of heaven,” will reign upon earth, is, perhaps, past our conception at present. “ It does not yet appear what we shall be;" but enough is revealed to establish the fact of such an intercourse in a future age, and the zeal of the Lord of hosts is to accomplish it.

Again, in the third chapter, the extraordinary situation of the Israel that now is, is represented by a symbolical harlot, who is not espoused, or acknowledged as a wife, but whose person is hired for a mean pittance of money and food. This represents the Jews as we now see them; kept steady in a certain way to the profession of the religion of their fathers, but without its privileges and its honours, its ordinances and its sacramental rites : yet, at the same time, clear from idolatry or spiritual fornication, the sin for which their forefathers suffered so much.

« PreviousContinue »