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the consequences which almost beyond hope and expectation result from it) "the battle of the great day of God Almighty;" and is alluded to in the ancient prophets, under the designation of the "day of recompences,—the day of vengeance for the controversy of Zion." And it will probably be distinguished' by some signal evidence of a divine interposition, to decide for ever the question in controversy, and that the world should no longer " halt between two opinions;" but if Mahuzzim be God, they should serve them, or if Christ, they should address their undivided worship through him, the alone Mediator, to the Creator of all things.*
The three wicked and subtle emisaries of the dragon and the false prophet, having executed their commission successfully, an army of immense multitude is assembled, under the conduct of a leader of mighty name and resistless power; who will be somehow or other distinguished by his pre-eminent abilities, now
* 1 Kings xviii. 21.
particularly displayed in his conduct and disposition of this prodigious force, in such a manner as to have victory, to all human appearance, absolutely within his grasp. This is perhaps the reason of the change of the number from the plural to the singular, in this place, which is generally remarked as a great difficulty. "And He gathered them together into a place called in the hebrew tongue ARThe business of the false pro
phet lay in another department, in this the talents of the military dragon alone are taken notice of. That his army, collected by such previous measures of preparation from both the civil and spiritual powers, will indeed be a countless multitude, may easily be conjectured from the unhappy state of despotism under which, at this time, the world will lie prostrate. But it is plainly intimated in other prophecies which relate to this time, and to this "battle of that great day of God Almighty.". ""For behold! in THOSE DAYS, and in THAT TIME when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather ALL NATIONS, and I will bring them
down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people, and for my heritage, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat, for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the HARVEST is ripe: come, get ye down, for the PRESS IS FULL, the fats overflow for their wickedness is great. Multitudes,
multitudes in the VALLEY OF DECISION: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision,"*
* Joel iii. 1, 2, 12, 13, 14. See Section xxix.
I think it can hardly be disputed that this prophecy of Joel, which he fixes to the days of Israel's restoration, does really relate to the subject of St John's prophecy in Rev. xvi, 16; for he says that immense multitudes, even ALL NATIONS, shall be forced into the service of the DRAGON, against the little army of the TWO WITNESSES, whom I have supposed to be, at this juncture, raised to life again, aed standing on their feet, and about to be (by the happy event of this battle) called up to heaven by the great voice of public acclamation.
"The valley of Jehoshaphat" is put here figuratively, and is called also in this place "the valley of decision," as by St John it is called ARMAGEDDON, or the Mountain of Destruction; alluding to the great destruction of the heathen, or infidel and
But high as the expectation of this countless host is raised, by their confidence in the known abilities of their chief, his uninterrupted career of victory in many preceding desperate encounters, and the comparative weakness of the little trembling flock of fugitives that
apostate army, which here ensues; and to the long depending CONTROVERSY OF ZION, which here obtains a final decision; God himself (accordingly to Joel's prophecy) sitting as judge upon this occasion, and awarding his sentence by such a token as the whole world will acknowledge. This is intimated by a voice proclaiming from the temple of heaven-" IT IS DONE.” (Rev. xvi. 17.)
To this decision is the allusion of the psalmist "The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies, he shall wound the beads over many countries. (Psalm cx. 5.)
The prophecy of Joel refers us to a miraculous deliverance vouchsafed to king Jehoshaphat in the plains of Engedi, and which was by a prophet announced to him the day before the intended battle. It was a complete decision, A divine fury seized upon the combined multitudes, and they destroyed each other, (2 Chron, xx.)
It were the utmost absurdity to expect geographical niceties or precision in the figurative emblems introduced in the prophecies. I look upon it as no objection to the identity of the facts meant by both these prophets, that the place where this battle is to happen, is called by one of them "the Mountain
stand opposed to them, cooped up by the most masterly manœuvres, in almost inextricable difficulties; yct the event is not answerable to it. The talents of this second ALEXANDER, perhaps, may have been fully adequate to the task appointed him, and undeviating success may have so far waited upon his rapid steps.
of Destruction," but by the other the "Valley of Decision,"no one doubts that the WHORE of Babylon and the MAN of sin have but one and the same object.
Joel also alludes to the two great calamities which, in quick succession, are about this time to befal the papal empire, and are described under the types of a ripe harvest and a vintage, and the treading of blood from the "wine press of the wrath of Almighty God," (Rev. xiv. 20,) which circumstance alone would be sufficient to prove that the same events are intended by both Joel and Saint John: No one will contend that this prophecy has ever yet been fulfilled; for, in consistency with all other prophecies of these times and events, it describes the condition of the jews after this struggle, to be exceedingly happy, and the stability of their kingdom (now re-established) to be unmoveable for ever." Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness ;"-(that is to say, the papal hierarchy and apostacy, or figurative Egypt, and Rome, the figurative Edom, the seat of that bloody and impious power at the head of it, shall be no more ;)" for their violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation."