IT must appear an act of great daring, for any of talents and learning inferior to the celebrated Lowth, to attempt a version of the Prophet Isaiah after that Prelates admired composition. But though the Prophet is greatly indebted to his labours for a restoration in very many places of what was evidently the original text, it did appear to the author that though the Bishop had derived and acknowledged much assistance from the Septuagint, there was yet much more concealed beneath that translation which has not been wrought as yet by any.
He was also grieved to see so little notice taken of the scriptural quotations of Isaiah; so little done towards manifesting the honesty of the citations made by the inspired writers, and the justness of the testimonies they derive thence to their arguments. It is a subject but little noticed, yet surely of considerable importance; and much attention is paid to it in the present work. The investigations on this point have led to the conviction that in many instances the Jews have wilfully corrupted the oracles of God committed to their care; while in other cases mistakes have arisen from the inaccuracy of transcribers. The Septuagint version most clearly establishes both these facts; and the sentiments of such critics as Kennicott, De Rossi, and Bos, confirm the conviction. Far be it from the author unjustly to accuse the Jews; that first of the nations to whom pertained the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service, and the promises, whose are the fathers, and of whom (mightiest privilege of all!) as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever, Amen. But a firm belief of the justice of the charge, based on a broad foundation of evidence, has led him to make and to sustain the accusation. Let God be true, and every man a liar! His interpretation of Isaiah is as completely in their favour as, he supposes, any Jew by birth could desire; his expectation of their final glory as distinct as they are wont to form.
The frequent use of the Greek translation is vindicated in the Dissertation, with what success the reader must determine. Not that it was his intention always to uphold the Greek against the Hebrew; but so far to establish his conclusion, as to make it manifest that the Hebrew is not so, perfect but that it may and should accept the aid of ancient MSS. and versions. Asterisks at the side of texts mark that the reader is referred to the notes* for the reversions not received into the text, but worthy of notice. They are given in English for the convenience of the general reader.
[* NOTE. The authors Notes (in the latter pages of his book) are not included because Greek lettering is not available. The reader is advised to purchase the book form its publisher. Also, the format here is not as it is set out in the book: each chapter translation, is immediately followed by the authors exposition of that chapter. Dissertations 1. & 2. are to be found at the end, (D.V.) - Ed.]
It was primarily his intention to put forth simply a new version with notes critical and explanatory; but finding that so many had anticipated him in this, and that though the text should be perfect as it came from the prophets pen, it might still leave his oracles little understood, giving full scope to the work of an interpreter, he was induced to offer an Exposition. To this he was led by the belief that ancient and modern writers had combined to furnish him with a key to its just explanation. Certain it is that the Exposition now offered does not wittingly omit to face any difficulty, and the reader is requested to compare the Commentary with the text chapter by chapter as he proceeds. Let him not be startled or throw aside the book if he finds interpretations given which differ greatly from those of modern commentators, but suffer the whole of its bearings to be seen. For if the author be not mistaken, he has kept throughout to the principles laid down in the commencement; the chief of which is that the true key of Scripture prophecy is LITERAILITY of interpretation, restrained, by common sense from running into absurdity, such as attributing passions to inanimate things.
The reader will, it is believed, receive much confirmation of his belief in the truth of the Exposition given, if he will compare at large the passages cited as parallel from the Old Testament, as much evidence thence deducible was not capable of being brought forward, lest the discussion should become prolix and full of episode. And if it be found that the general scheme of prophecy as exhibited here accords remarkably with the tenor of the Psalms, the Prophets, and the Revelation, will not this be an argument of invincible power that it is the true? It certainly is agreeable to the ancient belief of the Christian Church, before Origen and Jerome by their spiritualizing mode of interpretation, turned the tide against the literal acceptation. It is which is higher ground still, accordant with the literal fulfilments which, as Evangelists and Apostles have shown, have already occurred. And if the principles here advocated be just - if a time be coming when the Christian, Church shall be beset with trials and persecution, mightier and fiercer than has yet been recorded, then it becomes us to turn with zealously inquiring eye to the sure word of prophecy, that in the sifting that shall take place, our faith fail not. Is it not also an argument worth consideration, that if in the present day the key be found to unlock the mysteries of prophecy that have been hid for so many generations from the Christian Church, it may in Gods mercy be restored, that his people may be found wakeful and patient; and that the cry, The bridegroom cometh, betokens that the hour of midnight is not far off, and the time of the revelation of the Lord Jesus not far onward in futurity?
If these principles be true, the writer is confident that they will make their way amongst all the real servants of the Redeemer; for he is cheered by the promise vouchsafed of old to Daniel, The wise shall understand.
* * *
A TRANSLATION AND
EXPOSITION OF ISAIAH
1 THE VISION OF ISAIAH THE SON OF AMOS, WHICH HE SAW CONCERNING
2 Hear, 0 heaven! and give ear, 0 earth!
For JEHOVAH speaketh.
I have begotten children and brought them up,
But they have set me at nought.
3 The ox knoweth his owner,
And the ass the crib of his lord;
Nor doth my people discern me.
4 Ah sinful nation! A people laden with iniquity!
An evil seed, corrupted children!
Ye have forsaken JEHOVAH,
Ye have provoked the Holy One of Israel.
5 On what part shall ye be smitten again, if ye repeat transgression?
The whole head is sick, the whole heart faint,
6 From the sole of the feet to the head there is no soundness therein,
But a wound, a bruise, and putrefying sores:
*They have not been closed, nor bound up,
Nor mollified with ointment.
7 Your land is desolate, your cities burnt with fire;
Your country oppressors devour in your presence,
And it is laid waste as overthrown by stranger nations.
8 And the daughter of
As a shed in a garden of cucumbers, as a captured city.
9 And except JEHOVAH of hosts had left us a seed,
We had been as
10 Hear the word Of JEHOVAH, ye
Give ear to the law of our God, oh people of
11 What regard I the multitude of your sacrifices? Saith JEHOVAH:
I am full of burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts,
The blood of bullocks and lambs, and he-goats, I desire not.
12 Nor come ye to appear before me:
For who hath required this at your hands?
Ye shall tread my courts no more.
13 If ye bring a flower-offering, it is vain;
(Or) incense, it is an abomination to me:
14 Your new moons, and Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies I cannot endure;
The fast, and the day of restraint.
Your new moons and your festivals my soul hateth;
Ye have cloyed me: no longer will I endure your sins.
15 When ye stretch forth your hands, I will turn mine eyes from you,
Yea, when ye multiply your supplications, I will not give ear,
For your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash you, make you clean take away the iniquity of your doings
17 From before mine eyes: cease from evil doing, learn to do well:
Seek out justice; succour the injured;
Do justice to the fatherless, right to the widow.
18 Come, now, let us plead together, saith JEHOVAH;
Though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them white as snow;
And though they be red as crimson, yet will I whiten them as wool.
19 If ye be willing and obey me,
Ye shall eat the good of the earth.
20 But if ye refuse, and will not obey me,
The sword shall devour you,
For the mouth of JEHOVAH hath spoken it.
21 How is the faithful city of
Therein once lodged righteousness, but now murderers.
22 Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water.
23 Thy princes are rebellious, associates of robbers,
Every one loving gifts, and seeking rewards,
They do not justice to the fatherless; the cause of the widow they regard not.
24 Therefore thus saith JEHOVAH of hosts,
Woe to the mighty ones of
For my wrath shall not cease against mine adversaries:
And I will deal vengeance on my foes.
25 And I will turn mine hand upon thee,
And will refine thee until thou art pure;
*And I will purge thy dross,
And take away all thy tin;
26 Then will I restore thy judges as at the first,
And thy counsellors, as at the beginning:
And afterwards thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness
The faithful metropolis.
27 For with judgement shall
And her captivity with righteousness.
28 And the transgressors and the sinners shall be destroyed together;
And they that forsake JEHOVAH shall be cut off.
29 For they shall be ashamed of the idols, they have desired;
And confounded at the gardens, they have chosen.
30 For they shall be as an ilex whose leaves fade;
And as a garden that hath no water.
31 And the strong shall be as tow,
And their workmanship as sparks;
And the lawless and sinners shall be burnt up together,
Nor shall any quench them.
* * *
EXPOSITION OF ISAIAH
In endeavouring to illustrate the prophecies of Isaiah, the principles on which the exposition is conducted shall be briefly stated.
First, That no prophecy is of any private interpretation. Against this inspired rule those offend who, like Grotius, interpret the prophecies as fulfilled in the person of Isaiah, David, or Solomon, and in events which have no reference to us at the present day.
Secondly, That as, in the accomplishment of those prophecies declared by Scripture itself to be fulfilled, the accomplishment was literal, so the fulfilment of those yet to be accomplished will be literal also. Hence the tendency of the present interpretation will be to regard every affirmation of the prophet as intended literally which, when so taken, does not involve absurdity. This principle is, in short, opposed to that popular mode of explaining prophecy, which interprets as many passages as possible in a figurative sense. It is founded on the Saviours word, that one jot or tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled. (Matt. 5: 18.) Here the word law is to be taken in its fullest sense, as including the Old Testament, and, indeed, the sacred Scriptures generally. That it comprehends more than the five books of Moses is evident from our Saviours words, John 10: 34, where the passage quoted is from the Psalms.
On these principles we shall arrive at the conclusion, that the greater part of Isaiahs prophecies have yet to be fulfilled; and that much which is generally supposed to be accomplished, had only a commencing fulfilment in the events referred to. On this point accept, the testimony of [Page 124] Bishop Horsley:- You are perfectly right in the opinion you maintain, that a far greater proportion of the prophecies, even of the Old Testament, than is generally imagined, relate to the second advent of our Lord. Few, comparatively, relate to the first advent by itself, without reference to the second. And of those that have been supposed to be accomplished in the first, many had in that only an inchoate fulfilment, and have yet to receive their full completion.
Since it is a principle in the Scriptures of the prophets,
that the Holy Ghost inspired those persons to prophesy of future events, whose
times and circumstances the nearest resembled those scenes of the future which
they were commissioned to predict, it is highly probable, that when Isaiah
prophesied, he had before his eyes some such scene, in many points, as in the
four first chapters is depicted. Yet, combined with the general outlines, were peculiar declarations,
not to be understood of those times, which therefore carried onward, and were
intended to carry onward, the thoughts of the hearers and readers to events yet
future. For, in the days of
Isaiah, the measure of
Isaiah prophesied, we are told, in the reigns of Uzziah,
Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of
* Rev. 19: 19.
Ahaz, in his distress, applied to Tiglath Pileser, the monarch
of Assyria, who accordingly took
In reference to this association, and its disastrous issue,
the prophet, declares by inspiration, that in the time of
At this time the Assyrian empire had attained its height, and
In accordance with this sketch, it will be my endeavour to point out where the prophecies before us resembled in the main the state of Jerusalem and Judaea, in the days when they were delivered; next, the points in which they obtained a partial completion at the first advent of the Saviour; and still more fully explain those prophecies which yet expect their complete development in the times preceding, attending, and succeeding his return.
* * *
THE first chapter of the prophet rebukes severely the Jews for
the national desertion of Jehovah. But the
pathetic appeal, that the ox knew its owner, and the most stupid of animals his
masters crib, yet that Israel knew not HIM, applies in its fullest force to the
Jews rejection of Jesus, by whom they were created, and for whose pleasure
they were made. They did not
understand, says Procopius, who he was,
who was seen even by their fathers in a human form. Therefore he saith, Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it,
and was glad. And,
It was to the times bordering on this
overthrow that Paul, guided by the sacred Spirit, applied the succeeding verse,
the Lord had left unto us a very little remnant, we had been as
[* That is, with reference to the time of RESURRECTION: not the time of DEATH.]
By calling them
The Lord himself then attacks the next object of their dependence their rites and sacrifices. He discovers to them that when these were not offered with a prepared and contrite heart they were no longer acceptable. But, beside this general subject of disparagement, there was a yet deeper cause of dissatisfaction. The sacrifice of Jesus being now offered, the significance of the temple service had departed, and its victims were no longer worthy of regard; but rather an abomination, since they could no longer be offered in faith. Another reason assigned for disregarding their most solemn rites and prayers, is, that their hands were full of blood. And this doubtless had an especial reference to the Saviours death, as Procopius also remarks. His blood be on us and on our children! was the cry which fixed their condemnation. Thenceforth their prayers were abomination, for their hands were imbrued in the blood of the Son of God. Even this the Saviour himself threatened: Behold, I send unto you prophets and wise men and scribes; and some of them ye shall kill, and crucify, and some of them ye shall scourge in your [Page 129] synagogues, and persecute from city to city: that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias the son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and altar. Thus the law ended with a curse: for it found its professed subjects laden with guilt. But then the prophet addresses them with Gospel exhortations, Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings, cease to do evil, learn to do well: words which are re-echoed by St. Peter in his exhortations at Pentecost; Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. Repent ye, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted [out] when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. Even yet their scarlet sins might be made white by the blood they had wickedly shed. But if not, the sword should devour them: and so it happened; the Roman armies with keen severity redeemed the pledged faithfulness of Jehovahs word.
The character given of
But let us fill up more definitely the prophets sketch.
Eusebius agrees with Jerome in explaining the
expression in verse 22, Thy dealers mix wine with water (the version of the LXX.), as signifying
that the Scribes and Pharisees adulterated the true and pure word of the Most
High with their puerile and corrupt traditions.
Their hypocrisy the Saviour exhibited, Woo unto you Scribes and
princes were rebellious, was seen by their revolting from Rome; that they were companions of
fulfilled, as both Eusebius and Jerome conceive, by their league with Judas, the
traitor and thief. That they judged not
the cause of the widow, we learn from the Saviours reproach, that [Page 130] they devoured widows houses. In consequence of all these sins,
the vengeance of God, it is threatened, should come upon them; yet this
judgement should destroy only the wicked.
His wrath accomplished, the remnant shall yet come forth, Isaiah assures us, purified as gold
without alloy, and
61 Her judges restored would be such men as Moses and Joshua, or in the latter times such as Ezra and Nehemiah; or more properly still, such as the Apostles of the Lord.
The general features which this chapter exhibits as
characteristic of the Jews, are, a hypocritical show of righteousness, and
attention to ceremonies, joined with a real disregard of God, and a heart full
of malice, envy, and avarice. How truly
this was fulfilled in the Jews of our Saviours time we know from the
Evangelists. Connected with this their
sin, is the threat which was afterwards executed, that the temple and its
service should be no longer continued to their nation. Tread my courts no more, which is not so much a prohibition,
as a prophecy that soon they should not be able to enter those courts which
they had so profaned. And Procopius justly
observes, The prophet does not accuse them at this time of idolatry,
but of murder,
with which the Saviour charged them, 0
* * *
1. THE WORD WHICH ISAIAH THE SON OF AMOS RECEIVED CONCERNING
2 It shall come to pass in the last days,
And the house of God on the top of the mountains;
And it shall be exalted above the hills:
And all nations shall flow unto it.
3 And many nations shall go and say,
Come, and let us go up to
And to the house of the God of Jacob.
And he will teach us of his ways,
And we will walk in his paths:
For out of
And the word of JEHOVAH from Jerusalem.
4 And he shall judge among the Gentiles;
And shall work conviction among many people:
And they shall beat their swords into plough-shares,
And their spears into pruning-hooks.
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation;
Neither shall they learn war any more,
5 And now, 0 house of Jacob, come ye,
Let us walk in the light of JEHOVAH.
6 For he hath forsaken his people, the house of Jacob:
Because their country is filled with diviners as of old time,
And with soothsayers like the (land of) foreigners:
*And they multiply a spurious brood of strange children.
7 Their land also is full of silver and gold;
Neither is there any numbering of their treasures;
And their land is filled with horses;
Neither is there any end of their chariots.
8 Their land also is filled with idols, the work of their own hands;
That which their own fingers have made they worship.
9 And the mean man boweth down,
And the great man humbleth himself;
Therefore will I not forgive them.
10 And now enter into the rocks, and hide thyself in the dust,
From the terror of JEHOVAH and the glory of his majesty,
When he ariseth to smite terribly the earth.
11 For the lofty looks of man shall be humbled;
And the haughtiness of men bowed down;
And JEHOVAH alone shall be exalted in that day:
12 For a day is appointed by JEHOVAH of hosts against every insolent and haughty one,
And against every one that is lofty, and he shall be brought low.
13 And against all the cedars of Lebanon that are high and exalted,
And against all the oaks of
14 And against all the lofty mountains,
And against all the hills that are lifted up;
15 And against every high tower,
And against every fenced wall.
16 And against all the ships of Tarshish,
And against every spectacle of beauty.
17 And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down,
And the haughtiness of men brought low.
And JEHOVAH alone exalted in that day.
18 And the idols they shall utterly abolish,
19 Carrying them into the caverns and clefts of the rocks,
And into the holes of the earth;
From the terror of JEHOVAH, and the glory of his majesty,
When be ariseth to smite terribly the earth.
20 In that day a man shall hide his idols of silver,
And his idols of gold, which they made to worship,
21To enter into the caves of the rocks, and the holes of the craggy rocks;
From the terror of JEHOVAH, and the glory of his majesty,
When he ariseth to smite terribly the earth.
22 Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils:
For wherein is he to be accounted of?
* * *
JEROME, in the commencement of this chapter,
remarks upon the words the last days, that this may remind us of the blessing of Jacob recorded in Gen. 49., a prophetic blessing, which was to
reveal to them what should be in the last days.
Specially does he refer to the promise to
* Septuagint [LXX] version Here the correct reading.
The consequences of this rejection the prophet traces in the state of the Jewish nation before that scene of millennial glory, while they are yet forsaken of the Lord for their sins, which provoke the Son of Man at last to appear with his mighty angels unto judgment. The first sin for which they are reproved is divination which is reiterated in other passages. The Jews of our Saviours time were according to Lightfoot, addicted to magic, and this is corroborated by the evidence of the Talmud; but the accusation of the present chapter appears specially to refer to the times immediately preceding our Lords second advent. And, strange as it may sound to many an ear, the Scripture prophesies that this shall be one of the sins of the last days, Neither repented they of their murders nor of their sorceries. (Rev. 9: 21.)
The charge that many foreign children are born unto them, would seem to signify, that they disregarded the command of God in marrying or committing fornication with the females of other countries. Their land is described as full of silver, and gold, and horses. This was probably partly the case when Isaiah prophesied; it was perhaps more fully the case in the Saviours time: but it has yet to receive its final accomplishment when the Jews return to [Page 132] their own land in unbelief, and by their sins draw down Gods vengeance on their heads. Their land, it is also said, is full of idols: and idolatry the Revelations inform us, will be the last form of wickedness which shall defile the earth. Absurd as this may appear to many, the means that shall bring it to pass are fully equal to its accomplishment; the reigning of One by the power of Satan, who shall by infernal influence be able to work miracles, so as to deceive, if it were possible, even the very elect and who, possessing authority throughout the habitable world, shall command all to worship or die. But a fuller consideration of the Man of Sin is reserved for the tenth and fourteenth chapters. And for this cause, God saith by Isaiah, I will not forgive them. He arises to judgement; and the prophet bids his foes hide them in the rocks for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. Even thus did the Saviour describe his return: Behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. (Luke 23: 29, 30.) To a like effect does St. John describe that day, And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman and every freeman, hid themselves in the dens, and in the rocks of the mountains; and said unto the mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: FOR THE GREAT DAY OF HIS WRATH IS COME; and who shall be able to stand? (Rev. 6: 16, 17.) And with this accords the 12th verse, For a day is appointed by Jehovah of hosts against every insolent and haughty one; where Antichrist is probably intended primarily, because of the expressions being in the singular number, though of course it does not exclude any who are his followers.
There is no reason why the cedars, and towers, and ships, and pictures, should not be taken literally, since the great day of the Lords return shall produce, the Scripture tells us, a mighty change in the face of the whole earth: The earth shall be removed, and the mountains carried into the midst of the sea; the waters thereof roar and be troubled, and the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. (Psalm 46: 2, 3.) The declaration that [Page 133] Jehovah alone shall be exalted in that day, surely needs no further proof, than that on that day all [then living upon the earth*] shall stand before the judgement-seat of Christ, to give an account of the deeds done in the body, whether they be good or evil. Every face, both of the risen saints and of the living wicked, must needs be then cast down; for who will not be obliged not to confess himself a transgressor? None but he who shall alone be conspicuous in that day. But at that time the Spirit shall be poured out on the remnant that remains upon earth, and thenceforth the idols during the Saviours [millennial] reign of glory shall be cast into dens and caves, to the moles and to the bats.
[* NOTE. There must be a judgment prior to this time; a judgment of the souls of the dead now in the underworld of Hades. This prior judgment will determine who shall be deemed worthy to obtain THAT RESURRECTION [out] FROM THE DEAD (Luke 20: 35), when our Lord will return to earth, (1 Thess. 4: 16). See also Phil. 3: 11; Heb. 11: 35b; Rev. 20: 4-6. Ed.]
The concluding verse contains a rebuke to them that put their trust in man, though that man should be one so exalted as Antichrist himself; for he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. (Dan. 11: 45.)
* * *
CHAPTERS 3 & 4
1 For, behold, the Lord JEHOVAH of hosts
Taketh away from
The strong both male and female;
The whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water.
2 The mighty man and the man of war,
The judge, and the prophet, the diviner, and the ancient,
The captain of fifty and the honourable man,
And the counsellor, and the skilful artificer, and the skilful in incantation.
3 And I will make youths their princes,
And scorners shall rule over them.
4 And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another,
And every one against his neighbour shall behave insolently:
The child against the ancient, the base against the honourable.
5 Then shall a man lay hold of his brother,
Or some relation of his fathers, saying,
6 Thou hast raiment, be thou our ruler;
And let my food be under thy control.
7 And he shall answer and say in that day,
I will not be your ruler,
For in my house is neither bread nor raiment.
I will not be the ruler of this people.
Because their words are with iniquity,
And in their inventions, they disobey JEHOVAH.
9 For now is their glory humbled;
*And the confusion of their countenance hath arisen against them,
But they published their sin as
Woe to their souls! For they have devised a wicked counsel.
10 Saying among themselves, Let us destroy the Just One,
For he is displeasing unto us;
Therefore shall they eat the fruit of their deeds.
11 Woe to the Wicked One! Evil
According to the works of his hands shall befall him.
12 O my people, oppressors spoil you,
And exactors lord it over you;
O my people, they that flatter you, cause you to err,
And pervert the path of your feet.
13 But now JEHOVAH shall arise up to judgement,
And shall cause the nations to stand for trial.
14 JEHOVAH himself cometh to judgement
With the elders of his people, and with his princes:
Wherefore now have ye set on fire my vineyard!
And (why) is the plunder of the poor in your houses
15 Why do ye afflict my people?
* And grind the faces of the poor?
16 Thus moreover, saith JEHOVAH,
Because the daughters of
And walk with a lofty neck and with wanton eyes,
And draw a sweeping train as they go,
And march with stately step.
17 Therefore JEHOVAH will humble the head of the daughters of
And JEHOVAH will expose their nakedness.
18*And in that day shall JEHOVAH take from them,
The bravery of the tinkling ornaments about their feet,
And their cauls, and round tires like the moon,
19 The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers,
20 The bonnets, and ornaments of the legs,
And the headbands, and the tablets, and earrings,
21 The rings and nose jewels,
22 The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles,
And the wimples, and the crisping pins,
23 The glasses and the fine linen,
And the hoods and the vails.
24 And there shall be instead of sweet smell, a stench;
And instead of a girdle, a rent;
And instead of a well-set hair, baldness;
And instead of a stomacher, a girding of sackcloth.
25 And thy very beautiful son whom thou lovest shall fall by the sword,
And thy strong men be brought low in the war.
26 And thy coffers of jewels shall mourn,
And thou shalt be left solitary and sit on the ground.
1 And seven women shall lay hold of one man in that day saying,
We will eat our own bread and wear our own apparel,
Only let us be called by thy name,
To take away our reproach.
2*In that day shall the branch of JEROVAH be beautiful and glorious,
And the fruit of the earth excellent and comely for the escaped of Israel.
3 And it shall be that the
And the escaped in
Shall be called holy,
Even all that are enrolled unto life in Jerusalem.
4 For JEHOVAH shall wash away the filth
(Of the sons) and daughters of
And shall purge the blood of
With the spirit of judgement and the spirit of burning.
5*And JEHOVAH shall create
On every place of
And all the surrounding parts,
A cloud and smoke by day,
And the shining of a burning fire by night;
For with all the glory of JEHOVAH shall it be covered.
6 And it shall be a tabernacle for shade from the heat by day,
And a refuge and a covert from storm and rain.
* * *
CHAPTERS 3 & 4
IN this chapter
is described the utter overthrow of Jerusalem; an overthrow so complete, that
the simple opinion that one was possessed of food and clothing, would create an
eminence sufficient to cause a desire in the desolate remnant to appoint him
king. This had a first accomplishment in
the captivity by Nebuchadnezzar. Thus we
Kings 24: 14, 16, And he carried away all
The curse of the 4th verse, that young men should rule over them, and scoffers be their lords, was fulfilled in the various seditions that arose within the city. A young man was the cause of the war with the Romans. At the same time, says Josephus, Eleazer the son of Ananias the high-priest, a very bold youth, who was at that time governor of the temple, persuaded those that officiated in the divine service, to receive no gift nor sacrifice from any foreigner. And this was the true beginning of our war with the Romans; for they rejected the sacrifice of Caesar upon this account, and when many of the high-priests and [Page 135] principal men besought them not to omit the sacrifice, when it was customary to offer for their princes, they would not be prevailed upon. That the people were oppressed, every one by another, is proved from every page of Josephus, the daily murders of John and Simon, and the Sicarii, and the fierce search for provisions, which Josephus thus describes: The madness of the seditious did also increase together with the famine, and both these miseries were inflamed every day more and more ... the robbers came running into and searched mens private houses; and then if they found any, they tormented them because they denied they had any: and if they found none, they tormented them worse, because they supposed that they more carefully concealed it. (Book v., c. x., §. 2.) The following passage confirms what has been affirmed above: At the first this quarrelsome temper caught hold of private families, who could not agree among themselves; after which, those people that were the dearest one to another, brake through all restraints with regard to one another, and every one associated with those of his own opinion, and began already to stand in opposition one to another; so that seditious arose everywhere, while those that were for innovations, and were desirous of war, by their youth and boldness, were too hard for the aged and prudent men. Add to this the character drawn by Josephus of the Zealots: and it will be seen how at once they were both oppressors and scorners. They looked upon the doing of mischief to strangers only, as a work beneath their courage, but thought their barbarity towards their nearest relations would be a glorious demonstration thereof. The Idumeans also strove with these men, who should be guilty of the greatest madness; for they all, vile wretches as they were, cut the throats of the high-priests, that so no part of a religious regard to God might be preserved; under which scene, that sort of people that were called Zealots grew up, and who indeed corresponded to the name: for they imitated every evil course. Nor if their memory suggested any evil thing that formerly had been done, did they avoid zealously to pursue the same, and although they gave themselves that name from their zeal for what was good, yet did it agree to them only by way of irony, on account of those they had unjustly treated by their wild and brutish disposition, or as thinking the [Page 136] greatest mischief to be the greatest good. Their utter disregard of all religious feeling was likewise shown by their jesting with perjury, their seizing on the temple, appropriating its precincts and vessels to their use, and defiling its courts with blood. Well therefore might the prophet call them scorners.
And what was the reason that thus
61 See note on this passage.
It was the discovery of the remarkable prophecy restored in the 9th and 10th verses of this chapter, that first induced the author to think of a new version of this prophet. For here is a clear unambiguous prophecy of the plots of the Jews against the life of our Saviour, who is called the Just One: which title is also used by the Apostles, who refer to this very passage, whenever they accuse the Jews of his death. Ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you, and killed the Prince of Life. (Acts 3: 14, 15.) Such also is the accusation of Stephen: They have slain them [Page 137] which showed before the coming of the Just One: of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers. (Acts 7: 52.) It is not wonderful then, as this passage so clearly pointed out their sin, and was doubtless often quoted against them by the early Christians, that the Jews should endeavour to corrupt it; which they have done in the Hebrew entirely, and in the Greek partially: yet God, jealous of the honour of his sacred oracles, has left us the means of detecting the fraud. But let the accuser speak for himself. But herein consists the exceeding greatness of your wickedness that you hate that Just One, whom you have put to death, and those who have received from him, that they are what they are, namely, just, righteous, and humane. Wherefore Woe unto their soul, saith the Lord, because they have taken evil counsel against themselves, saying, Let us destroy the Just One, because he is displeasing to us. And again, And as they still remained silent, I said, I will now quote the Scriptures as they are translated by the LXX.: for when I cited them before, as you have them, I did it to try what was your opinion. For in reciting that Scripture which saith, Woe unto them, because they have taken evil counsel against themselves, saying, I added, according to the translation of the Septuagint, Let us destroy the Just One, because he is displeasing to us. When at the beginning of this conference I said, as you would have it translated, saying, Let us bind the Just One, because he is displeasing unto us. Just. Martyr, Dial. With Trypho.
testifies that the original words of the LXX. Were, Let us
destroy the Just One. And which is very remarkable, the multitude
demanding the death of Jesus made use of this very word. And they all cried out at once, Away
with this (
and release unto us Barabbas. (Luke 23: 18.) Exactly the same word
is made use of by
This, their grievous crime, saith the prophet, they declare
But notwithstanding these fearful judgements thus fulfilling the Word of the Most High, other passages of [Page 139] Scripture, and the concluding portion of this prophecy, seem to show that yet a third and final accomplishment awaits it in the times of Antichrist. For the succeeding verse addresses the lawless one, who is described by St. Paul under this very title, 2 Thess. 2: 8, And then shall that wicked (one) be revealed; who in this chapter of Isaiah, and in Daniel (chap. 11.) is characterized by his flattering first, and afterwards oppressing the people of the Jews; and by his perverting the path of their feet, in asserting himself to be the long-looked for Messiah. That their oppressors and flatterers are spoken of in the plural number, is doubtless owing to the fact mentioned by Daniel, that he (Antichrist) shall cause them (his adherents) to rule over many, and divide the land for gain. Yet in spite of their oppression, both he and they shall pretend to serve the people they oppress, as it is written, And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries. And many shall cleave to them with flatteries. (Dan. 11: 32, 34.) But as St. Paul threatens, that the Lord will consume him with the spirit of his mouth, and destroy with the brightness of his coming, so is the same here declared, But now Jehovah shall arise up to judgement, and shall cause his people to stand for trial. Moreover, the glorious array of the Saviour is noticed as he comes to judgement. Jehovah himself cometh to judgement with the elders of his people and with his princes, or as our Lord differently expresses the same thing. The Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all his holy angels with him, and then shall he sit on the throne of his glory. (Matt. 25: 31.) Isaiah proceeds to charge his enemies with burning up his vineyard and oppressing his saints; even so the same rule of judgement is seen to be exhibited in this parable of the Lord, I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. It is quite in keeping; says Eusebius, that after he had prophesied the first coming of the Saviour, and the overthrow of the people, he should also hand down the knowledge of his second coming in these words: Jehovah himself cometh to judgement with the elders of [Page 140] his people, and with his princes: wherefore have ye set on fire my vineyard? And why is the plunder of the poor in your houses? (ver. 14); whom he chides as if standing before the judgement-seat of the Lord.
At the 16th verse
begins a new subject, which is continued to the end of the fourth chapter, and
contains Gods threats against the daughters of
* * *
1 Now will I sing to my beloved,
A tender song touching my vineyard.
The beloved had a vineyard on a very fruitful hill,
2 And I fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof,
And planted it with the choicest vine,
And built a tower in the midst thereof,
And dug out a wine vat therein,
3 And I waited that it should bring forth grapes,
But it produced poisonous berries.
And now, ye inhabitants of
Judge, I pray you, between me and my vineyard.
4 What could be done more for my vineyard,
That I have not done for it?
Therefore I expected that it should bring forth grapes,
But it produced poisonous berries.
5 But now, go to, will I tell you what I will do to my vineyard,
I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up;
I will break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down.
6 And I will forsake it; it shall not be pruned nor digged,
But there shall come up thereon thorns and briars.
I will also command the clouds, that they rain no rain upon it.
7 For the vineyard Of JEHOVAH
of hosts is the house of
And the men of
I expected that it should bring forth justice, but behold oppression;
And righteousness, but behold a cry.
8 Woe unto them that join house to house,
And lay field to field, till there be no place,
Would ye dwell alone upon the earth?
9 And JEHOVAH of hosts made me to hear this (word);
Though there be many houses: they shall be desolate;
Though fair, they shall be without inhabitant.
10*Yea, ten acres of vineyards shall yield one bath,
And the seed of an homer shall yield an ephah.
11 Woe unto them that rise early in the morning, to follow strong drink,
That continue until night, till wine inflame them!
12 For the harp and the viol, the tabret and the pipe, are in their feasts.
But they regard not the work of JEHOVAH
Nor consider the operations of his hands.
13 Therefore my people are gone into captivity,
Because they know not JEHOVAH;
* And their honourable men are famished,
And their multitude dried up with thirst.
14 Therefore Hades hath enlarged his desire,
And hath opened his mouth without measure.
And their glorious ones, and their multitude,
And their rich ones, and they that exult, shall descend into it,
15 And the mean man shall be brought down,
And the mighty man shall be humbled;
And the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled.
16 And JEHOVAH of hosts shall be exalted in judgement,
And the Holy God shall be glorified in righteousness.
17 Then shall they that have been plundered feed like oxen,
And the wastes of the transgressors shall strangers eat.
18 Woe unto them that draw iniquity as with a long cord,
And sins as with a cart-rope!
19 Who say, Let him make speed
And hasten his work, that we may see it:
And let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel
Draw nigh, and come, that we may know it!
20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil.
That put darkness for light, and light for darkness:
That put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.
21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes;
And prudent in their own sight!
22 Woe unto your powerful ones, the wine-bibbers;
And those in authority, mixers of strong drink!
23 That justify the wicked man for reward,
And take away the righteous of the just man from him.
24 Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble,
And the flame consumeth the chaff,
So their root shall be as rottenness,
And their blossom shall go up as dust.
Because they have cast away the law of JEHOVAH of hosts,
And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
25 Therefore the anger of JEHOVAH of hosts is kindled against his people.
And he hath laid his hand upon them,
And he smote them; and the mountains trembled:
And their carcases became as dung in the midst of the streets;
Yet for all this his anger is not turned away,
But his hand is stretched out still.
26 Therefore shall he lift an ensign to the nations afar off,
And shall hiss for them from the ends of the earth:
And behold, they shall come with speed swiftly.
27 None shall be weary, nor stumble among them,
None shall slumber, nor sleep;
Nor shall the girdle of their loins be loosed,
Nor the latchet of their shoes be broken.
28 Whose arrows are sharp, and their bow bent,
Their horses hoofs shall be counted a flint,
And their chariot wheels like a whirlwind.
29 They shall be angry as lions,
And roar as lions whelps;
And they shall roar and seize the prey,
And they shall carry it away, and none shall deliver it.
30 In that day there shall be a cry because of them,
As the sound of a billowy sea;
And they shall look to the heaven above,
And to the earth beneath.
And behold darkness, horrible darknes, in their (time of) distress.
* * *
THE strong resemblance which exists between this sacred song
and our Lords parable of the wicked husbandmen is such as must strike every
reader: and it seems beyond a doubt that our Saviour took his description from
hence, by which means he identified himself as the Beloved, whose [Page 141] vineyard, as, being the heir, it was.
And this title of the Saviour was twice given him from heaven. (Matt. 3:
17, and 17: 5.) In this chapter Christ is represented as performing
those kind offices to the vineyard which in the parable are attributed to the
householder. But this difference is no
objection; as the work of creation is, in various places, ascribed to Father,
Son, and Spirit; and the Son and the Father are one. Nor are we left in doubt what is the
vineyard: For the vineyard of Jehovah of hosts is the house of
I will take away the hedge thereof; that is, according to
Then follow, in verses 8, 9, and 10, Gods curses against the avaricious; and the desolation of houses great and fair, and the diminution of the produce of the land, were literally fulfilled to the Jews of the Apostles times, not only by the famines which took place, but also by the devastation of Judaea, first under Titus, and finally under Hadrian.
The next woe is directed against the voluptuary and the drunkard, and it is regarded as his heavy crime that he forgets his God, amidst his many bounties; but his end will be according, to the words of the Psalmist, The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the people that forget God.
The threat of captivity which follows was, to the letter,
fulfilled, and that, because they
knew not Jehovah. They beheld amongst them the glory, as of the only begotten of the Father,
full of grace and truth, but because they knew him not, but rejected and crucified him,
therefore they were not only led into captivity, but were smitten with famine
and thirst during the fearful siege of
Verse 17 is probably corrupt; as seems apparent from the variety of readings proposed by the ancient versions. The Chaldee paraphrase gives as its meaning, Then shall the just feed as is written of them, and shall be multiplied, and the just shall possess the substance of the ungodly.
The woe next denounced falls upon the libertine, who deride the threats of Christs return. Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it. Precisely parallel to this is the prophecy of St. Jude, There shall be mockers in the last time, walking after their own ungodly lusts. So also St. Peter, There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the [Page 143] fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. (2 Pet. 3: 3, 4.)
Those who endeavour to do away with the distinctions between right and wrong, then receive the prophets curse. Jerome and Eusebius apply it to the Jews, and remark that they called good evil, in attributing the miracles of Christ to Beelzebub; and put darkness for light, in choosing Barrabas before Jesus, and in turning to their corrupt fables rather than to the holy doctrines of the Gospel. But the passage appears to have a wider scope, and to be levelled at the forms of evil that shall arise especially at the end of the world [age], when men shall endeavour to make it appear that there is no difference between good and evil, and many shall follow their pernicious ways.
The prophet then successively rebukes pride, drunkenness, and abuse of power; and pride and covetousness are two of the features which the Apostle sketches as the characteristics of the last times. (2 Tim. 3: 2.) That drunkenness will also be in characteristic of the last days, is implied in the Saviours warning that his disciples hearts be not overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness(Luke 21: 34); and his threat against his servant that shall eat and drink with the drunken.
The woe threatened against those who take away the
righteousness of the righteous man from him, was once accomplished in the mock
trial of our blessed Lord, and the false witnesses brought against him; and the carcases of the people that condemned him, did
indeed become as dung in the midst of the streets.
The threat of nations to come from afar, was partially accomplished in
the advance of the destroying Roman force against
* * *
1 In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw JEHOVAH sitting upon a throne high and lifted up, and the house was full of his glory. 2 Above him stood seraphim; each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet; and with twain he did fly.
3 And they cried one to the other, and said,
Holy, holy, holy, is JEHOVAH of hosts.
The whole earth is filled with his glory.
4 And the posts of the door moved at the sound of their cry: and the house was filled with smoke. 5 And I said, Woe is me, for I am undone: for I am a man, and have unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips, and mine eyes have seen the King, JEHOVAH of hosts. 6 Then was sent to me one of the seraphim, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. 7 And he laid it on my mouth, and said,
Lo, this hath touched thy lips:
And thine iniquity is purged, and thy sin taken away.
8 And I heard the voice of Jehovah, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? 9 And I said, Here am I: send me. And he said,
Go, and say to this people,
By hearing ye shall hear, and not understand;
And seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:
10 For this peoples heart is waxed gross,
And their ears are dull of hearing:
And their eves they have closed,
Lest at any time they should see with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart,
And be converted, and I should heal them.
11 And I said, How long, 0 JEH OVAH? And he said,
Till the cities be desolate from not being inhabited,
And the houses, because there is no man:
And the land be utterly desolate.
12 And after that God shall remove men to a distance;
And they that are left in the land shall be multiplied.
13 Because yet in it shall be a tenth,
And again it shall be for preservation,
As an oak, that drops its leaf,
And as an acorn, when it falls from its cup,
So the holy seed shall be support thereof.
* * *
The vision contained in this chapter is deeply mysterious, and yet equally important. In it the mystery of the blessed Trinity is not obscurely declared; and the blindness of the Jews is explicitly foretold.
The vision opens with describing Jehovah as seen by the prophet in the temple, when his glory filled its courts. Above him stood seraphim, who cried thrice, Holy holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts, thus intimating the trinity of persons in One Jehovah. According to the remarks of an acute writer, The inner part of the Jewish sanctuary was called the Holy of Holies; that is, the holy place of the Holy Ones. And the number of these is limited to three, by the acts of adoration mentioned above. It is further worthy of serious notice that a voice from that excellent glory responded in the same language of plurality. Whom shall I send? And who shall go for us? Here the being addressed is the Lord of hosts. This all acknowledge to include the Father:but the Evangelist John (12: 41), in manifest reference to this transaction, observes, These things spake Esaias, when he saw his (Christs) glory, and spake of him. In this vision, therefore, we have the Son also, whose glory, on this occasion, the prophet is said to have beheld. Acts 28: 25 determines that there was also the presence of the Holy Ghost: Well spake the Holy Ghost, by Esaias the prophet, unto our fathers, saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing shall hear, and not understand. These words quoted from Isaiah the Apostle Paul declares to have been spoken by the Holy Ghost, and Isaiah declares them to have been spoken on this occasion by the Lord of hosts.
The passage which follows this scene is one of the most remarkable in the Old Testament, being quoted at least five times in the New. It is alleged by the four Evangelists; by St. Matthew (in the thirteenth chapter, and 14th and 15th verses), as the principal reason why Jesus discoursed in parables to the multitude. The same [Page 145] application is made by St. Mark and St. Luke; and this not by way of accommodation, but with just reason, and by the dictation of the sacred Spirit. For we see that parables had this effect: the people understood him not, as we may be sure. Since His own disciples did not; and the Saviour remarked it, as their peculiar privilege, that unto them the mysteries of the kingdom were manifested, while to others they were enveloped in parables of which they were too idle, or too faithless, or too proud, to seek the meaning.
This passage is quoted by
It is, then, only to withdraw this grace, that is, this unmerited favour, from either a nation or an individual, and the nation or the individual heart is hardened. Take an illustration. Our world possesses neither light nor heat itself, to enlighten us in our occupations, or to ripen its produce. All, then, that were necessary to harden and darken it would be to withdraw the sun. No need to send Planets of ice to hover above our atmosphere no need to surround the globe with a brazen wall: simply left to itself it would freeze to iron hardness, and be dark with the blackness of darkness. It is even thus with man. Withdraw the sacred Spirit, that only source of light and warmth, and man becomes dark and cold. And the Spirits aid is of grace; and grace means a gift during pleasure; - and a gift during pleasure depends upon the giver to continue or to withdraw.
Thus, then, we have arrived at the conclusion which bears upon the present topic. God, in his infinite wisdom, withdrew his Spirits aid. Long time had they grieved that Spirit: now did He withdraw. This was an act of justice. The speaking in parables did not begin till after [Page 147] the memorable blasphemy against the Holy Ghost which sealed the doom of the haughty, malignant Pharisees. It was, in fact, a consequence of this. The Spirit, by whom alone man can be regenerated, being insulted beyond endurance by the declaration that He was the spirit of Satan, left those miserable men for ever to the blindness and inexorable hardness of their own malicious hearts.
passage is quoted a fifth time by
In this transaction, then, is represented to us in miniature the main dealings of God concerning the Jews and the Gentiles, that mystery into which Paul enters in the eleventh chapter of the Epistle to the Romans. Did it not show fickleness on the part of God, to cast off his ancient people, and take to himself the Gentiles? Did it not involve an annulling of the promises of God, made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? By no means. God had,
even then, during
But this unbelief of the Jews is made, in the wisdom of God, a purpose of mercy to the Gentiles. We have obtained mercy through their unbelief: They are enemies to the Gospel for our sakes, that it might now be justly preached to us for our salvation.
But have they stumbled that they may utterly be cast off? No; there is a limit to their unbelief, fixed by two independent landmarks in the counsels of God. Then said I, Lord, how long shall this blindness last? This beholding thee, yet not recognising thee as the Christ; this hearing of thy words such as never man spake, yet not understanding? And he answered,
Until the cities be desolate from not being inhabited,
And the houses because there is no man:
And the land be utterly desolate.
And after that God shall remove men to a distance;
And they that are left in the land shall be multiplied,
Because yet in it shall be a tenth,
And again it shall be for preservation,
As an oak (that casts its leaf),
And as an acorn when it falls from its cup,
So the holy seed shall be the support thereof.
In spite of the many difficulties and varieties of reading
that encompass this passage, we may yet discern the general meaning, which must
certainly be that of merciful promise.
For the question of the prophet is, How long should the Jews thus be
cast off? And the reply is, that it
shall last till a great desolation has taken place, either in the land or in the earth (for the word
signifies both), perhaps the latter.
When this is accomplished, it is [Page 149] clearly implied that the mercy of God
shall return. Nor are we left to the
force of deduction alone. For St. Paul assures us, that
blindness in part is happened unto
* * *
1 And it came to pass, in the days of Ahaz, the son of
Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of
4 And say unto him,
Take heed, and be still, fear not, neither be faint-hearted,
Because of the two tails of these smoking fire-brands.
For when the anger of my indignation is ceased,
Again I will heal thee.
Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, saying,
6 Let us go up against
And let us turn them away unto ourselves,
And set a king over it, the son of Tabeal.
7 Thus saith JEHOVAH of hosts,
This counsel shall not stand nor take effect.
8 Though the head of
And the head of
9 And the head of Ephraim, be
And the head of
Yet within threescore and five years
Ephraim shall be broken, that he be no more a people;
* If ye will not believe in me, ye shall not be established.
10 Moreover JEHOVAH spake again unto Ahaz, saying,
11 Ask thee a sign of JEROVAH thy God,
Go deep to Hades, or high to heaven above.
12 But Abaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt JEHOVAH.
13 And he said, Hear ye now, 0 house of David;
Is it a small thing for you to contend with men,
And how can ye contend with JEHOVAH?
14 Therefore JEHOVAH himself shall give you a sign,
Behold the Virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a son
And they shall call his name Emmanuel.
15 Butter and honey shall he eat,
Before he know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.
16 For before the child shall know how to refuse the evil, and choose the good,
The land for which thou fearest,
Shall be forsaken of the two kings.
17 But JEHOVAH shall bring upon thee
And upon thy people, and upon thy fathers house,
Days, such as shall not be
* From the day that the King
of Assyria shall take away Ephraim from
18 And it shall come to pass in that day,
That JEHOVAII shall hiss for the fly,
That dwelleth in the utmost part of the
And for the bee, that is in the
19 And they shall come and rest all of them
Upon the desolate valleys, and in the holes of the rocks;
And on all thorny trees, and on all bushes.
20 In that day JEHOVAH shall shave with his hired razor,
(Even) by the king of
The head, and hair of the feet, and moreover shall take away the beard.
21 And it shall come to pass in that day,
That a man shall feed a young cow and two sheep,
22 And it shall be, from their producing much milk,
That he shall eat butter;
For butter and honey shall every one eat that remaineth upon the land.
23 And it shall be in that day, that every place
Where there were a thousand vines, at a thousand pieces of silver,
Shall be for a wilderness, and for thorns.
24 With arrows and bows shall they come thither,
For a wilderness of thorns shall the whole land become.
25 And on every mountain once tilled with the mattock,
Thither shall no fear approach,
For because of its briars and thorns,
It shall be for the feeding of sheep, and the trampling of the ox.
* * *
We arrive now at a chapter beset with many difficulties, yet whose general tenour exhibits the power and foreknowledge of God, and the pride and unbelief of man, surmounted by a glorious prophecy of the Redeemers advent.
We are informed, at its commencement,
that the king of Assyria and the king of
Yet idolatrous Ahaz and his people, who took no heed to the promises of God, were moved at the tidings of this war, as the trees of the wood are moved by the wind. The heart of the believer is kept in perfect peace: the heart of the faithless is not so. Had they but recalled to mind the words of God, they would have perceived that while he lived and ruled, the design was impossible.
But to quiet their fears, the prophet was directed to take his son, perhaps an infant, and named Shear Jashub, (the remnant shall return,) and to assure Ahaz that these kings were now only two firebrands, no longer emitting flame but smoke, the signal of their being nearly extinguished. Also, because Ephraim must have known the prophecy respecting the integrity of the line of David, yet attempted to overthrow it; therefore within sixty-five years it should be smitten, that it be not a people; which was accomplished by Shalmanesers carrying captive the tribes of Israel out of their own land, since which day, they have no more appeared as a people, and their very locality is a matter of doubt.
But the fate of Ahaz was not to be tried by waiting to the end of so long a period as sixty-five years. Since the honour of God was concerned, the Lord was willing to give any sign that he might devise, either from Hades or from heaven. On which point take the following quotation from Jerome:- Would you have, says he, the earth to cleave, that with a mighty yawning, Hades (which is said to be in the heart of the earth) should be laid open? Or that the heavens should be opened? Both which refer to the type of the Saviours death and resurrection. For he that descended is the same as he who ascended. Now that he ascended what is it, but that he descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things. (Eph. 4: 9, 10.) And again, Romans 10: 6, 7,- Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from aboveJ or, Who shall descend, into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
This sign Ahaz refused, either from superstitious slavish [Page 151] fear or from pride, lest the true God should show his superiority to the idols of his worship. For which sin the prophet uttered his just rebuke: of which the meaning probably is this Are you fearful when you have only to contend with men like yourselves, what then must it be to contend with God? For by thus refusing his offer, you do in fact oppose his gracious purpose towards you.
But since Ahaz thus refused, Jehovah himself would give them a
miraculous sign. Behold, the
virgin shall conceive. The promise in
The succeeding verses contain the intimation of a great desolation that was to befall the land of Judaea, in spite of this promise, and seem to be an expansion of the prophecy in the preceding chapter, where it was said that the cities should be desolate without inhabitant; and that, owing to a double infliction of wrath by the king of Assyria on the one hand, and a plague of insects on the other; as of old time the Almighty threatened to send the hornet as the instrument of his vengeance against the Canaanites. And so great should be the desolation of the poor remnant, that instead of their possessing herds of oxen and flocks of sheep, as in the days of their prosperity, a man should but possess a single cow and two sheep. Also, instead of the provisions being of the finest wheat-flour, the wild productions of the country would be the only sustenance, for the vineyards should be desolate with briers and thorns, and the survivors should be obliged to go forth with arrows and bows to obtain the wild animals necessary to their subsistence. Procopius further supposes that this passage implies the fear of the survivors. The small remnant shall be so possessed with fear as to take up their abodes in the mountains, woods, and thickets, according to the Saviours words, Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains.
* * *
1 And JEHOVAH said unto me, Take unto thee a large roll, and write on it with a mans tool,Quickly take the spoil, haste to the prey. 2 And I took me faithful witnesses, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Baruchiah. 3 And I went unto the prophetess, and she conceived, and bare a son. And JEHOVAH said unto me,
Call his name, Quickly spoil, - with speed take the prey:
4 For before the child shall know
To call, My father and My mother,
The power of
And the spoil of
5 JEHOVAH spake also unto me again, saving,
6 Because this people refuseth
The waters of Siloam that flow softly,
And desire to have Rezin,
And the son of Remaliah as king over them:
7 Therefore behold the Lord bringeth upon them,
The waters of the river, the strong and mighty
the king of
And he shall come up on all their valleys,
And march over all their walls.
8* And he shall pass through
He shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck;
And the breadth of his wings shall even fill
The extent of thy land, 0 Immanuel
9 Confederate yourselves, ye Gentiles, and ye shall be defeated.
Give ear, from the ends of the earth;
Strengthen yourselves, and ye shall be defeated;
And if again ye strengthen yourselves,
Again shall ye be defeated.
10 And what counsel soever ye devise, JEHOVAH shall scatter it,
And what word soever ye speak, it shall not stand,
For God is with us.
11 For thus said JEHOVAH unto me,
As with the strength of his hand he turned me aside,
From walking in the way of the people, saying,
12 Say not ye, A confederacy,
To all to whom this people shall say, A confederacy.
Neither fear, nor be troubled.
13 But JEHOVAH of hosts, sanctify him,
And let him be your fear.
14 And if thou trust in him, he shall be to thee a sanctuary,
But a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence
To the two houses of
And a gin and a snare to the inhabitants of
15 For many among them shall stumble and fall,
And be broken and snared and taken.
16* Bind up the testimony, and seal the law among my disciples.
17 And thou shalt say, I will wait for the Lord
That turneth away his face from the house of Jacob,
And I will trust in him.
18* Behold I and the children whom God hath given me,
Are for signs and for
From Jehovah of hosts, who dwelleth in
19 And if they say unto you,
Seek unto them that have familiar spirits,
And to wizards that speak spells and mutter,
Should not a nation seek unto their God?
Why enquire they of the dead concerning the living?
20 To the law and to the testimony,
If they speak not according to this word,
There shall be to them no reward.
21 And there shall come unon you severe famine.
And it shall be that when ye hunger,
Ye shall fret and blaspheme your king and your fathers God,
And ye shall look to heaven above,
22 And to the earth beneath shall ye look,
And behold, straits and darkness!
Affliction, misery, and darkness, so that ye cannot see!
For he shall not see who is in darkness,
Till the time when they shall also turn to the Lord:
This will I perform very speedily.
* * *
This series of prophecy does not end with the last chapter: the same subject is continued throughout chapter the eighth. The child to be born was not only to be named Emmanuel, but also Maher-shalal; Hash-baz, or Haste-to-the-spoil, Quick-to-the-prey, as Bishop Lowth expresses the name.
Jerome supposes that a mystery is contained in the names of the witnesses to this transaction. Isaiah signifying the Salvation of God; Uriah, the Light of God; Zechariah, the Remembrance of God, whose son was Barachias, or the Blessing of God. That the last of these was a faithful witness, our Lord himself informs us, where, speaking of the righteous blood shed by the Jews, he mentions [Page 153] Zechariah the son of Barachias as being slain by them between the temple and altar.
In this prophecy, as has been remarked above, there was given
an earnest at the time then present, of the greater things in store. The prophetess conceived and bore a son,
whose name was called, in obedience to the Lords command, Maher-shalal, Hash-baz. And within three years Tiglath Pileser went
Why do the heathen (or Gentiles) rage, and the peoples (or nations) imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel against the Lord. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion, where, from the verse last quoted, we see that the confederacy of the nations is against the reign of Jesus, And this also, we are informed in the Revelations, is the object of the Great Confederacy. I saw the beast (Antichrist) and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse (who is in verse 13 called the Word of God) and his army. And as the issue of the confederacy is declared to be that the nations shall be broken in pieces, so is it asserted in the second Psalm, Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron, thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potters vessel. So in the passage quoted from the Revelations the sequel is the same. And the beast was taken and with him the false prophet ... And the [Page 155] remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse. Again, as the camp of the Assyrian is here said to fill the breadth of Emmanuels land, so in the fourteenth chapter of this book and the 25th verse, it is declared, I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot. This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth, and this is the hand that is stretched out on all the nations.
It was in the foresight of this confederacy of the Gentiles,
and the counsel against the Lord Jesus, that the prophet was instructed by God
to warn the people of
At this time we are moreover informed that men shall advise to seek counsel of them that have familiar spirits and wizards. Even as Christ declared that false Christs and false prophets should arise, and do great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if it were possible, even the very elect. In reference to which times he gave his disciples this warning, Wherefore if they say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert, go not forth; behold, he is in the secret chamber, believe it not. (Matt. 24: 26) Rather than betake themselves to the delusive spirits of evil, as did Saul in his despair, they were to consult the law and their testimony, as saith the apostle, Ye have also a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed until the day dawn.
The concluding verses describe that period called by the
Saviour and his Apostle John the Great Tribulation,
which immediately precede the coming of the Lord, when the sun shall be
darkened, and the moon shall not give her light; days, which, except they should be shortened for
the elects sake, there should no flesh be saved.
And in this time, it is prophesied, that the Jews shall curse Christ
their king, and the God of their fathers, and there shall be darkness in the
heavens and affliction upon the earth; affliction, which shall not cease till
they believe in Jesus as their Messiah.
Now that the effect of Gods last plagues shall be, that they shall
curse, instead of repenting, we are informed also by St. John, when, in the
chapter which describes the seven last plagues of the wrath of God, it is
written, And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun, and
power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed
the name of God (the Lord Jesus, called in Isaiah, their King
and their God,) which had power over these
plagues, and they repented not to give him glory. (Rev. 16: 8, 9.)
Why may not this be taken literally?
It is, I suppose, in the power of God to make the sun scorch as easily
as to make him shine. Again, ver. 10,And the fifth angel
poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast, (we have seen already that the
Antichrist and his confederacy is described in this chapter, the succeeding
verses in St. John describe it,) and his kingdom was full of darkness,
and they gnawed their tongues for pain. And
blasphemed the God of heaven because of their
pains and their sores: and repented not of their deeds. (Ver. 10, 11.) Again, And there
fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, (why not literal?) every stone about the weight of a
talent; and men blasphemed God because
of the plague of the hail, for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
(Ver. 21.) Yet on some of the Jews (and perhaps
also of the Gentiles) the Lord will pour his Spirit, and they shall believe on him whom
they have pierced and mourn. And then shall the
Saviour return according to his implied promise, Ye shall not see me henceforth
ye say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
And to this implied promise is added the warning of his speedy approach.
This will I perform very speedily, as in [Page 158]
* * *
By way of the sea, beyond
2 The people which sat in darkness have seen great light,
And to them which sat in the region and shadow of death
Light is sprung up.
3 Thou, O Cod, hast multiplied the nation, and increased the joy;
They joy before thee according to the joy in harvest,
And as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
4 For thou hast broken the yoke, his burthen;
And the staff that was upon his shoulder, -
The rod of their oppressor, JEHOVAH hath broken,
As in the day of Midian.
5* For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise,
And garments rolled in blood,
But this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given,
And the government shall be upon his shoulder, -
And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor,-
The Mighty God, the Father of the future age, the
Prince of Peace.
7 Mighty shall be his dominion, and of his peace no end:
He shall ascen the throne of David, and his kingdom.
To order it, and establish with judgment,
And with righteousness, henceforth and for ever.
The zeal of the JEHOVAH of hosts will perform this.
8 Jehovah hath sent a word upon Jacob,
And it hath lighted upon
9 And all the nations have become wicked,
Ephraim, and the inhabitants
Who say in their pride and loftiness of heart,
10 The bricks have fallen, but come, let us hew stone:
The sycamores are cut down, but we will replace them with cedars;
And we will build ourselves a tower.
11 Therefore God shall smite on
12 The Syrians on the east, and the Greeks on the west,
For all this his anger is not turned away,
But his hand is stretched out still.
13 Yet this people returned not to him that smote them.
And JEHOVAH of hosts have they not sought.
14 Thererore shall JEHOVAH cut off
The head and the tail, the little and the great, in one day.
15 The ancient and venerable, he is the head;
And the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.
16 For they that flatter this people shall be deceivers,
And they shall deceive, that they may swallow them up.
17 Therefore in their young men shall JEHOVAH have no joy,
And on their fatherless and widows no pity.
For they are all lawless and evil,
And every mouth speaketh falsity.
For all these things his wrath is not turned away,
But his hand is stretched out still.
18 And wickedness shall be devoured as with fire;
And as dry grass shall it be consumed by flame;
(A fire) shall be kindled in the thickets of the forest,
And all things around the hills shall be devoured together.
19 By the wrath of JEHOVAH of hosts is the whole land burnt,
And the people shall be as burned by the fire,
No man shall have pity on his brother.
20 But he shall snatch on the right, yet be hungry,
And eat on the left, yet not be filled;
Yea, a man shall eat the flesh of his children.
21 Manasseh shall devour Ephraim,
And Ephraim Manasseh;
And they together shall besiege
For all this his anger is not turned away,
But his hand is stretched out still.
* * *
The passage with which this chapter commences is quoted by St. Matt. 4: 16, as a prophecy of Christs residence in Capernaum, a town situated on the borders of Zabulon and Naphtali, on the western side of Jordan, lying on the coast of the sea of Gennesaret, and situated iii Galilee, called also Galilee of the Gentiles.* Now it was prophesied that this region especially, should see a great light, and the town where Christ was to reside was definitely marked out, by all the conditions above mentioned meeting in Capernaum.
* Galilee was called of the Gentiles because in this part foreigners were
more mixed with native Jews than in any other part of
It is important to remark, that though prophecy is delivered
absolutely, without assigning the reason why it shall thus take place, yet when
it is accomplishing or accomplished, it seems most naturally or even
necessarily accomplished in consequence of the state of circumstances at that
time. Thus it was prophesied of the
Saviour, Out of
The same remark applies to the present instance. Had [Page 159] Jesus, after dwelling at Nazareth during the first thirty years of his life, suddenly and without any further reason than that he might accomplish prophecy, left Nazareth and settled in Capernaum, though we should have acknowledged the prediction fulfilled, it would not have struck the mind with the force and beauty with which it now does, viewing it the just and righteous consequence of the Saviours rejection by the people of Nazareth, and their daring attempt to cast him headlong down the hill on which their city was built. But this behaviour clearly obliged our Lord to change his residence, and hence the accomplishment of the prophecy naturally followed. Nor were other reasons wanting to show that this was a fit spot for the sojourn of the Lord: (as Greswell has shown in his second volume of Dissertations:) the chief of which was, its nearness to the lake or sea of Gennesaret, across which he could easily pass, and thus escape the importunities of the vast multitudes, or the observation of his malignant enemies, the Pharisees.
The words of Theodoret on this passage are worthy of notice:- Zabulon and Naphtali obtained that inheritance (the great light mentioned in verse 1). In that region the Lord wrought the chief of his miracles; there he cleansed the leper; there he restored health to the centurions servant; there he quenched the fever of Peters wifes mother: there he restored to life the deceased daughter of Jairus; there he calmed the waves of the sea; there he multiplied the loaves; there he changed the water into wine, which was the beginning of all his miracles, as John the Evangelist teaches.
But another topic opens upon us from this passage. The quotation, as given by the apostle, runs thus: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon and the land of Nephthalim, by way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people that sat in darkness have seen a great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. But when we refer to the prophet Isaiah for confirmation of the above, we find it written, Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted, the land of Zabulon and the land of Naphtali, and after did more previously afflict her by the way of the sea, [Page 160] beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. What vexation? What dimness? Is this the passage to which the Evangelist referred? The Evangelist speaks not of vexation, but of joy, - not of affliction, but of a great blessing! How is this? Did the Evangelist forge a prophecy for Isaiah? for here are not only not the same words, but an opposite sense? I answer, which is most probable, that the Evangelist, writing by inspiration of the Spirit of truth, should have falsified this passage, or that the Jews corrupted it? If we suppose that the Old Testament, as we now have it, is absolutely perfect, and uncorrupted in every point, who shall defend the New Testament from the charge of forgery? But if it be beyond all doubt, that the Jews have wilfully corrupted the oracles of God in those passages which bore hardest on their unbelief, then let us by all means restore them as they were quoted by the Spirit that wrote them! This might be said, though we had no further evidence to produce than the fact that they are thus quoted by the Evangelists. To Christians, who admit the inspiration of Holy Scripture, the question must be decided at once. But there is also documentary evidence in almost every case, to prove this corruption. It is so with the present passage. The Arabic begins this chapter with the words, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephtali, &c., very nearly in the same words as the Evangelist, and discovers to us that the words dimness and vexation do, in fact, belong to the former chapter, the close of which predicted distress of the severest kind.
But to proceed. As Bishop Horsley observes, the first and second advent are here brought together; which remark,
indeed, there will be frequent occasion to repeat, as it is the practice of the
Sacred Spirit so to blend them; and this was partly the - occasion of the
blindness of the Jews to the pretensions of Jesus since they did not separate,
in their minds, the various prophecies which spoke of the Messiah; - at one
time, as humbled below the ordinary lot of man; and at another, as victorious
and dominant above all the kings of the earth.
But we know that the Lords first coming was to be that of his humiliation; and
we are assured, by abundant passages, that the second advent is the time of his
glory, and of that of his people. Hence the two first verses of this chapter,
and the light they predict, may yet [Page 161] have a further accomplishment; as it is clear that the third has
yet to be fulfilled. It represents the joy of the Jewish nation,
compared to that of harvest, which is the continual emblem of the ingathering of the
righteous into the garner of the Lord, at the consummation of this age or dispensation, as the parable
of the tares and the wheat declares. That it was not fulfilled at Christs first coming is evident, from the
history. There was,
indeed, a partial rejoicing at Christs entry into
Again, the prophet returns to the first advent, and discovers to us, that he who shall accomplish this should one day be presented to man in the form of a child, yet with the mighty titles that distinguish him so far above all of mortal kind, that Jerome supposed the Greek interpreters were afraid to translate them. Here the divine and human natures of Christ are seen united.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:
And the government shall be upon his shoulder:
And his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor,
The mighty God, the Father of the future age, the
Prince of peace.
Christ's human nature is described where he is spoken of as a child, and also where the government is promised to him; for only as Son of Man can this be said; as God, he is co-eternal in power and authority with the Father. The angel that appeared to Manoah, who was doubtless the Lord Jesus Christ, declared his name to be Secret, the word in the Hebrew being the same as in this place, and signifying, Wonderful, as well as hidden. That his name is also Counsellor, the eighth chapter of Proverbs will instruct us, where the Lord Jesus describes himself under the title of the Wisdom or Logos of the Father. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding, have strength. (Ver. 14.) The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. (Ver. 22, 23.) That he is also the Mighty God, various passages of Holy Writ do plainly assert. That we may know him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God, and everlasting life. (1 John 5: 20.)
The next title, the Father of the future age describes the kingdom of the Son of Man, that period of blessedness of which the prophets have spoken from the beginning. Of this future age or dispensation, our Lord spake when he answered the Sadducees question, respecting the resurrection. The children of this AGE ( ) marry, and are given in marriage, but they which are accounted worthy to attain that AGE and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage, neither can they die any more, but are equal unto the angels. (Luke 20: 34-36.) And again, in Heb. 2: 5: Unto the angels hath he not put into subjection the world to come (the habitable earth in its future state, ); but, as the apostle proceeds to show, from the eighth Psalm, this power and government is committed to the Son of Man, who is, accordingly, here styled the Father of the future age, of the earth in its future state of bliss. In connexion with this, he is called also the Prince of peace. And St. Paul notices this as one of his titles, where he discovers to us, that Melchisedec was a type of the Son of God, first being by interpretation king of righteousness, first being by interpretation king of righteousness, (Melech, in Hebrew, signifying king, and Zedek, righteousness) and afterwards king of Salem, which is, King of peace. Thus it is with Jesus, his first advent made him king of righteousness by his observance and death; his second advent shall reveal him as Prince of peace.
Can any seriously consider that the promise which accompanies this announcement, that he shall ascend the throne of David, is fulfilled? Yet it was affirmed again and again by God, and re-echoed by the angel to Mary: The Lord God shall give him the throne of his father David. (Luke 1: 32.) Now, if Davids was not a spiritual throne; if the throne of David were not a visible throne, nor a throne in the heavens, (and, we know, on inspired authority, that David is not (even) ascended into the heavens,) then must the throne here specified be the rule of Christ in Jerusalem over the people of the Jews, and from the river to the ends of the earth. (See the seventy-second and eighty-ninth Psalms)
From the eighth verse to the
conclusion of the chapter is described the wickedness of
Following which, after the wilful king has thus
wrought Gods vengeance on
By the 20th verse seems to be described that dreadful time of great tribulation, predicted to the Jews in Deuteronomy chap. 28: 49-68, where it is foretold [Page 164] that in the famine, Thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons, and of thy daughters, which the Lord thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee. I am aware that this is generally understood of the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans, and it was doubtless partially accomplished then, but other passages, as, for instance, the sixty-fourth verse, which foretells that they shall serve wood and stone in the countries whither they are carried captive, should lead us to believe that there is yet a completion more terrible even than that of the Roman siege.
* * *
1 Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees,
Unto the scribes, that prescribe oppression.
2 That turn aside the judgement of the needy;
That snatch away the right of the poor of my people;
That the widow may become their prey,
And that they may rob the fatherless.
3 And what will ye do in the day of visitation?
And in the desolation that shall come from afar?
To whom will ye flee for succour?
And where will ye leave your glory?
4 That ye be not carried into captivity,
And that ye fall not under the slain?
For all this his anger is not turned away,
But his hand is stretched out still.
5 Ho! to the Asrian, the rod of mine anger!
And in whose hands is the staff of mine indignation.
6 Against a lawless nation will I send him,
And against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge,
To take the spoil, and to gather the prey:
And to tread underfoot their cities,
And to make them as the mire of the streets.
7 Howbeit, he meaneth not so,
Neither in his heart doth he so purpose:
But to destroy is in his heart,
And to cut off nations not a few.
8 And if they say unto him, Art thou not the only King?
9 He shall say, I have not
taken the country above
And Calno, where the tower was built,
But I have taken Arabia, and
10 As I have taken these, so will I take all kingdoms,
Howl, ye graven images in
11 For as I have done to
So will I do to
12 And it shall be, that when I JEHOVAH, have performed
the whole work,
I will punish the proud
heart of the king of
And the loftiness of his haughty eyes,
13 For he hath said, By the strength of my hand I have done it,
And by the wisdom of my understanding;
I will take away the boundaries of the nations,
And their strength I will spoil.
14 AndIwill shake cities with their inhabitants,
And the whole world will I seize like a nest in my hand,
And like deserted eggs will I take them,
And none shall escape me, nor contradict;
Nor any open the beak or chirp.
15 Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith?
Shall the saw magnify itself against him that moveth it?
Or shall the staff be proud against him who heweth it?
16 Wherefore JEHOVAH of hosts shall send
Upon thy honour, dishonour;
And upon thy glory a burning fire shall be kindled.
17 And the light of
And his Holy One a burning flame;
And it shall consume the briers and thorns in that day.
18 And the mountains and the hills and the forests
Shall be consumed, and the fire shall devour both soul and body,
And he that fleeth shall be as one fleeing from burning flame.
19 And the remnant of the trees of his forest shall be few,
So that a child shall number them.
20 And it shall come to pass, in that day,
That no longer the remnant
And the escaped of the house of Jacob,
Trust in him that smote them:
But shall trust in JEHOVAH
The Holv One of Israel in truth.
21 The remnant shall return, the remnant of Jacob,
Unto the mighty God;
22 For though the number of the children of
The remnant (only) shall be saved:
23 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness,
Because a short work will JEHOVAH make upon the earth.
24 For thus saith JEHOVAH of hosts:
Fear not, my people, that dwell in
Because of the Assyrian, because he shall smite thee with a staff,
And shall lift up his rod against thee after the
25 For yet a little while, and mine anger shall cease,
And mine indignation against their designs.
26 And God shall raise up against him a scourge,
According to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb:
And like the rod which he lifted up over the sea,
He shall lift it up in the way of
27 And it shall come to pass in that day,
That his yoke shall be removed from thy shoulder,
And his fear shall be taken away from thee;
And the yoke shall be broken from your shoulders.
28 For he shall come to Aiath, he shall pass on to
At Michmash he shall deposit his bagerage.
29 He shall pass the strait (of Michniath);
Geba shall be his lodging for the night;
Fear shall seize Ramah, Gibeah of Saul shall flee.
30 Cry with thy voice, 0 daughter of Gallim!
Hearken, 0 Laish; answer her, 0 Anathoth.
31 Madmenah is stupefied, and the inhabitants of Gebim flee.
32 There is yet daylight, that he may stay in Nob,
He shall shake his hand over the mount of the
And against the hill of Jerusalem.
33 Beliold JEHOVAH, the Lord of hosts,
Shall trouble the mighty with strength,
And the lofty that rise up against him shall be broken,
And the haughty shall be humbled.
34 And the thick forest shall be laid low with the axe,
* * *
The tenth chapter contains a clear prophecy of the great and wilful king, of Daniels vision, who is here represented as ambitious to extend his sway over all the nations of the world, and set by God for the purpose of avenging the wickedness of the world, and especially of his people the Jews.
They are here described as returned to
their own land, but still avaricious and unjust, for which sins they are again
to be carried captive, and to fall under the slain.
For this cause Jehovah calls to the Assyrian to execute his wrath, to gather the
prey, and tread under foot their cities. Not that it is
his design to fulfil the purposes of God; far from it, his own lust of power
and of blood shall lead him on. So was
it of old with Pharaoh; so with Herod and Pontius Pilate, the
Gentiles, and the people of
The same announcement is made in other words by Daniel, respecting the Wilful King: And the king shall [Page 165] do according to his will, and he shall exalt himself and shall prosper until the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. (Dan. 11: 36.) Another point of resemblance between the two pictures is, that of Isaiahs king it is said, that to destroy is in his heart; and to cut off nations not a few. Coincidently we read in Daniel verse 44, that tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy and utterly to make away many!
At the concluding clause of verse tenth, God, I apprehend, begins to speak,‑
graven images, in
For, as I have done to
So will I do to
And after the Assyrian has thus accomplished the wrath of
Jehovah, he himself also shall be punished for his pride. Of which pride a specimen is given us in the 13th verse: By the
strength of my hand have I done it, and by the wisdom of my understanding.
In the same strain he declares his ambitious
purpose of subduing the whole world. His
flatterers, astonished at his prowess, call him the only sovereign, but, as Eusebius observes, he replies, that so long as any kingdoms remain
un-captured, he will not so consider himself.
The case with which he expects to perform it, is compared to a man
seizing a nest when the parent bird is departed, a beautiful, original, and
highly expressive image.* The whole picture strongly resembles the ambitious and
boastful message of Sennacherib to Hezekiah: Behold, thou hast heard what
the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly, and
shalt thou be delivered? Have the gods
of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed, as Gozan and
Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith?
Shall the saw magnify itself against him that moveth it?
Dost thou, only the instrument of my anger, fancy that thou art the prime mover?
Wherefore (for this thy pride) JEHOVAH shall send
Upon thine honour dishonour,
And upon thy glory a burning fire shall be kindled.
* In a note on ver. 23, Eusebins says, this is his boasting style, who is called Antichrist. Bishop Horsley also considers that this chapter refers to him.
Thus is it also written in Daniel, of the little horn, whom all commentators agree in regarding as identical with Antichrist, or the Wilful King. I beheld, then, because of the voice of the great words (of pride and blasphemy, ver. 25) which the horn spake; I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. And the time of this his destruction is also the time of the Saviours coming, as is evident from the next words:
And the light
And his Holy One a burning flame; ...
And the fire shall devour both soul and body,
And he that fleeth shall be as one fleeing from burning flame.
Moreover, the sequel proves the justness of this conclusion; for the remnant of Israel shall no more trust in him that smote them (i. e., Antichrist, as remarked above), but shall trust in the Holy One of Israel in truth.
This inference is further confirmed by the 22nd and 23rd verses, which are quoted by St. Paul in Romans 9: 27, 28, who there applies them to the small elect remnant that shall be saved out of Israel, though its numbers be as the sand of the sea, and at the time when God shall finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness, even when Jehovah shall make a short work upon the earth, which seems evidently to refer to that time of trouble of which Christ said, that except those days should be shortened, [Page 167] there should no flesh be saved, but for the elects sake those days shall be shortened.
For the sake of this elect remnant the prophet proceeds to
speak words of comfort. True it is, that
the Assyrian must come and smite with a rod; but, yet a little while, and Gods
anger shall cease. For when his time
shall come, God shall destroy him as he destroyed Pharaoh and his host by the uplifting
of the rod of Moses over the sea, when the waters, before suspended like walls
on either side, rolled down upon the encircled bravery of the Egyptian and his
forces. It shall also, be like the
destruction of the Midianites, recorded in the 7th and 8th of Judges, when Gideon, with his few followers, routed the invaders of
At the 28th verse begins the spirited description of that great invasion of
Judaea by Antichrist, when the Saviour counsels all them that are in Judaea, to
to the mountains
at once, without looking back, lest they perish, like
Yet in spite of this his resistless attack, when the indignation shall be accomplished, the Lord himself shall descend from heaven to smite the mighty, and the haughty shall be humbled to the dust.
* * *
1 But there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse,
And a branch shall come up out of his roots.
2 And the Spirit of JEHOVAH shall rest upon him;
The spirit of wisdom and understanding;
The spirit of counsel and might;
The spirit of knowle and piety.
3 And the spirit of the fear of JEHOVAH shall fill him;
Not according to the sight of his eyes shall he judge,
Not according to the hearing of his ears shall he reprove:
4 But he shall judge judgement for the poor,
And reprove with equity for the meek of the earth;
And he shall smite the earth with the blast of his mouth,
And with the breath of his lips shall he slay the Wicked One.
5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins,
And faithfulness the cincture of his reins.
6 And the wolf shall feed with the lamb,
And the leopard lie down with the kid;
And the calf, and the lion, and the fatling shall feed together
And a little child shall lead them.
7 And the cow and the bear shall feed together:
Their young ones shall lie down together;
And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp,
And the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice den.
9 They shall not hurt, nor destroy,
Upon my holy mountain:
For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of JEHOVAH,
As the mighty waters cover the sea.
10 And it shall come to pass in that day,
There shall be the root of Jesse;
And he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles,
In him shall the Gentiles trust,
And his rest shall be glorious.
11 And it shall come to pass in that in that day,
That JEHOVAH shall manifest his hand the second time,
To recover the remnant of his people that are left,
From Assyria and from
And from Pathros, and from
12 And he shall lift up a standard for the Gentiles,
And shall assemble the
And gather the dispersed of
13 The envy also of Ephraim shall depart,
And the adversaries of
Ephraim shall not envy
14 But they shall fly in the ships of strangers over the sea,
Together shall they spoil the sons of the east:
But the children of Ammon shall first obey them.
15 And JEHOVAH shall dry up the tongue of the Egyptian sea.
And with a mighty wind shall he lay his hand on the river,
And shall smite it into seven streams,
So that men shall pass it dry-shod.
16 And there shall be an highway
For the remnant of my people from
And it shall happen unto
As in the day when he came
up out of the
* * *
Nor does the subject cease in the last chapter. After the destruction of Antichrist, the
prophet beholds the rise of the Christ, expressively described as a rod from
the stem or rather stump of Jesse. For,
as Bishop Horsley observes, the word made use of signifies the stump of a tree [Page 168] after being cut down; an emblem exactly fulfilled by the cutting off of
Davids line from the throne of
But the succeeding words can only refer to the second [Page 169] presence ( ) on earth. At the first, he came not to judge the world, but to save the world: but then he shall reprove with equity for the meek of the earth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the Wicked One.
Here is a declaration of Christs giving salvation to the
remnant of his people that shall escape the persecution of Antichrist, who is
here mentioned under the same title that
Nor is the idea novel, that because the word wicked is in
the singular number, it alludes to the Man of Sin. The Chaldee
and many Jews,
says Dodson, suppose
their last cruel enemy to be intended, whom they call Armillus.
But there is a proof much stronger than this, arising from
It needs no comment to show that perfect justice shall signalize the Lords advent, as the 5th verse announces to us. But the 6th has given occasion to much doubt. Jerome, who denounces the literal meaning, and finds a figurative interpretation wherever he can, yet confesses that the majority of Christians of his day received this passage literally,
The wolf shall lie down with the lamb,
And the leopard lie down with the kid.
These things, says he, the Jews and our Judaizers (i.e. the Millenarians) contend will take place literally, that at the splendour of Christs appearance, who, they think, [Page 170] will come in the end of the world, all the beasts will be reduced to tameness, and that laying aside their ancient ferocity, the wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the other animals with those others which we now see to be contrary to them. His arguments against the Millenarians, whom he thus scornfully calls Judaizers, have been satisfactorily met by Greswell, in his work on the Parables. But, that these verses are not figurative, I conceive, follows easily on our admitting the principle that we are not to reject the literal sense, unless it leads us to an absurdity. But here is no absurdity - no necessity for taking the words figuratively. Nor does it accord either with the Old Testament or with the New to regard it as figurative. For the prophecies that have preceded, and those that follow, join in declaring, that at the Saviours return, all the wicked shall be judged and removed from the earth: therefore it cannot signify the harmonious intercourse of the wicked with the righteous. Neither again shall the wicked be found upon the earth, because a succeeding verse announces, that the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah, as the mighty waters cover the sea, evenly, uninterruptedly, universally. To the same truth the New Testament responds; for the Redeemer declares, that at the harvest, the end of the age, the Son of Man shall send forth his angels, and shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them that do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. But still further the New Testament declares, that the Lord Jesus shall remain in heaven till the times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of his holy prophets which have heen since the world began. Coincidently, therefore, with the return of Jesus, there will be a restitution or restoration of all things. But a restoration supposes a prior state of things to which return is made. And what can that state be, but the condition of Paradisiacal innocence? At that time, (with deference to the geologists be it spoken!) before the curse, there was no death, either amongst animals or men; nor had the fierce and voracious instincts of animals been excited or implanted by the Most High. To that state, then, there shall be a return. But what shall be the food of the beasts of prey? The lion shall eat straw like the ox. But his stomach is not capacitated for such food! It is written. Is he a Christian who cannot believe that what the Creator wills to do he has power to effect? And as there is no happiness while there is sin, so at the restoration of peace shall be a destruction of sin by the outpouring of holiness. The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, and that shall take place, not by the means now in use (though it is perfectly right to make use of every means), but because, as said the Lord by Joel, It shall come to pass afterwards, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh.
Now the Sacred Spirit bloweth where he listeth: his gracious rain falls but here and there: then it shall be universal upon all flesh.
And it shall come to pass in that day,
That there shall be a root of Jesse,
And he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles,
In him shall the Gentiles trust.
Here the Saviour is promised as a ruler not only to the Jews but to the Gentiles also, as saith Paul, who quotes this verse in Romans 15: 12, where he observes, that though Jesus Christ was a minister to the Jews especially, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, yet it was also intended that the Gentiles should glorify God for his mercy, according to the tenour of various passages which expressly predict such a thing. Thus, also, in the second Psalm it is written, Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen (Gentiles, LXX.) for thine inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for thy possession. And thus all the promise to Abraham be fulfilled, In thy seed (which; says the apostle, is Christ,) shall ALL THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH BE BLESSED. The verse of Isaiah just quoted, is another of the texts corrupted in the Hebrew, but correct in the Septuagint.
At the 11th verse begins the promise of the restoration of
The means of return shall be afforded by the eagerness [Page 172] of the Gentiles: as formerly in their departure from Egypt, the Egyptians,
seeing the signs and wonders God wrought on their behalf, lent, or rather gave, them
such things as they required; so at this time, the Gentiles shall bring
to Palestine, in the various modes described in the last chapter of Isaiah, the
sons of Jacob, as an offering to the Lord.
And henceforth the enmity between the two kingdoms of Judah and Israel
shall cease; they shall be no more two,
but one people, as was signified to Ezekiel; who was directed to take two
sticks, and cutting them in half, to unite one half of each, which should
become really one stick in his hand, thoroughly cohering throughout. Say unto them, Behold, I will take
the stick of Joseph which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel
his fellows, and will put them with him,
even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in
mine hand. And I will make them
one nation in the land upon the mountains of
This return into their land shall be more signalized by
wonders than their first passage into it; for at their first leaving of
* * *
1 And in that day thou shalt say,
I will give thanks unto thee, O JEHOVAH!
Though thou wast angry with me.
And thou hast compassion on me.
2 Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust in him, and not be afraid.
For Jehovah is my strength and my song,
And he hath become my Saviour.
3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water from the wells of salvation.
4 And thou shalt say in that day,
Praise ye JEHOVAH, call upon his name;
Declare his glorious doings among the Gentiles
Make mention that his name is exalted,
5 Sing unto JEHOVAHS name: for he hath done mighty things:
Publish this in all the earth;
Rejoice and shout for joy, ye inhabitants of
For exalted is the Holy
* * *
The subject is
still carried on. In that day thou shalt say. Hence, as Bishop Horsley observes. it is a song
for the Jewish Church (though not for them alone, but for the risen saints also)
after the destruction of Antichrist.
After first mentioning Gods wrath against his people, poured out on
them during the Great Tribulation, the Church offers praise for Christs
mercies returned to them. With joy
shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
The Jews had a remarkable custom which they referred to this verse. On the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles
they drew water from a golden pitcher at the fountain of
This chapter the Jews understand of the times of the Messiah. The great deeds here mentioned are his last triumph over the
Apostates of the last days.
And these being destroyed,
* * *
1 THE VISION AGAINST
2 Upon a mountain of the plain lift up a banner,
Exalt the voice unto them (fear not);
Beckon with the hand; open the gates, ye rulers!
3 I have commanded: they are set apart:
I have called them; the giants come to fulfil my wrath,
Exulting and insulting together.
4 The noise of a multitude on the mountains, as of many nations;
A sound of the tumult of kingdoms, and nations gathered together!
JEHOVAH of hosts hath commanded a warrior nation
5 To come from a country afar, from the end of heaven,
JEHOVAH, and the weapons of his wrath, to destroy the whole earth.
6 Howl ye, for the day of JEHOVAH is nigh,
And destruction from the Almighty shall come
7 For this cause all hands shall faint;
8 And every mans heart shall melt; and they shall be terrified;
Pangs and sorrows shall seize them, as of a woman in travail,
They shall be amazed one at another.
Their countenances shall change like flames.
9 For behold, the day Of JEHOVAH cometh.
Inexorable with wrath and indignation,
To lay the world desolate,
And to destroy the sinners out of it.
10 For the stars of heaven, and the constellations thereof,
Shall not give their light.,
The sun shall be darkened in his going forth,
And the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
11 And 1 will punish the world for their evil,
And the wicked for their iniquity;
And I will destroy the arrogancy of the proud,
And lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
12 And the remnant of men shall be more precious than gold,
Even a man, than the golden wedge of Ophir.
13 For the heaven shall be shaken,
And the earth removed from her foundations:
Through the anger of JEHOVAH of hosts;
In the day when his wrath is accomplished.
14 And the remnant shall be as the chased roe,
And as the wandering sheep, and there shall be none to gather them.
So that a man shall return to his own people;
And shall flee every one into his own land.
15 For whosoever is taken, shall be thrust through;
And they that are marshalled, shall fall by the sword.
16 Their children also shall be dashed in pieces before their eyes:
Their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.
17 Behold, I stir up against them the Medes:
Who shall not regard silver,
And gold, they shall not delight in.
18 The bows of the young men they shall break,
Their children they shall not pity:
Nor their eye have compassion on the babe.
The beauty of the Chaldees excellency,
Shall be as when God overthrew
20 It shall not be inhabited for ever.
Nor dwelt I from generation to generation:
Neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there,
Nor shall the shepherds make their fold therein,
21 But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there,
And their houses shall be full of howlings:
And there shall the daughters of the ostrich dwell,
And demons shall dance there:
22 And wolves shall howl one to another in their palaces,
And porcupines in their houses of luxury.
Also her time is near to come,
And her days shall not be prolonged.
* * *
With the thirteenth chapter a new subject begins. A vision of Isaiah against
What is meant by the mountain of the plain is difficult to say. It appears to refer to some mountain in the
If this be granted, then the answer to the question, Who are these thus addressed, and what is that which is opened? will be less incredible. For the reply, then, let us turn to Rev. 9: 1, And the fifth angel sounded, and 1 saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth; and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. By the star we cannot understand a literal star, because it is added, to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. This star thus falling from heaven to the earth is, it would seem, Satan, who shall be cast out of heaven when Michael stands up for the children of the people of the Jews. That this war is literal and future, see Burgh on the Revelation. Thus then, to him and his angels is given a charge to open the bottomless pit. Open, ye princes. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit; and the sun and air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth. And it was commanded them that they should hurt only those men who have not the seal of God in their foreheads. In Isaiah these are represented as giants: and instead of the agency of Satan in loosing them, which is remarked in Revelation, we are directed to the all-ordaining word of Jehovah in this place as the Mighty One, from whom the design of wrath originally proceeds, and of which Satan is but the instrument.
I have commanded: they are set apart:
And I bring them; the giants come to fulfil my wrath,
Exulting and insulting together.
The passage quoted from Revelation, mentions these as locusts: thereby referring us to Joel 1: 1, where the same evil spirits are in
like manner described as locusts. Hear ye this,
ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land (or of the earth), Hath this
been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? That which the palmerworm hath left hath the LOCUST eaten. That this is not a literal locust, we are led to suppose, both
from the question, whether they or their fathers had ever heard of such a
thing? which would not be true of the literal locust, and also from the
succeeding description. For a nation
is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, [Page 175] whose teeth
are the teeth of a lion, (agreeing with the
description in Revelation,) and he hath the cheek-teeth of a great lion.
In the second chapter this description is continued, and the introduction
is so very similar to that of the chapter of Isaiah now before its, that it
would perhaps lead to the belief that the mountain of the plain of Isaiah may be Zion, as it
expressly is mentioned in this chapter of Joel.
Blow ye the trumpet in
Their mighty sound when gathered together is then described; a
point also touched on by Joel: Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains
they shall leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble,
as a strong people set in battle array. Their
commission, as given in Isaiah, is to destroy the whole earth; as given by
The effect of this terrible visitation next falls beneath the prophets notice; astonishment mixed with terror, and incapacity to resist, rendering mens faces livid. Even thus [Page 177] the Prophet Joel, Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness. (Joel 2: 6.)
The next striking feature, marking the near advance of that
day of the lord, is the signs in heaven, The sun shall be darkened in his
going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. It is usual, indeed, to regard these as
figurative; but where is the necessity for so doing? This passage evidently refers us to the
prophecy of the Lord Jesus on
Close following on the signs in the heavenly bodies, as St.
Matthew also testifies, is the day of recompense. I will punish the world for their
evil, and the wicked for their iniquity. On which Jerome remarks, that some regarded this
as a prediction concerning the consummation of the world (or age). This conclusion is capable of being
established on the firmest evidence. The
commencement of the vision is, indeed, respecting
In the 14th
and 15th verses Isaiah appears to return to the more immediate
subject of the vision; the effect of the terrible army of spirits, desolating
the earth. Whoever is
taken shall be thrust through, and they that are marshalled shall fall by the
sword. The further horrors of their invasion are
described in the destruction of the young, the abuse of the women, the spoiling
of the houses. A similar threatening is
* * *
1 For JEHOVAH will have mercy on Jacob,
And will yet choose
And will give them rest in their own land.
And the stranger shall be joined to them;
And shall cleave to the house of Jacob.
2 And the Gentiles shall take them,
And bring them unto their place;
And the children of
And they shall be increased in the land of the Lord,
For servants and handmaids;
And they shall take them captives whose captives they were,
And they shall rule over their oppressors.
3 And it shall come to in that day that JEHOVAH shall give thee rest from thy sorrow,
And from thy fear, and from the hard bondage,
Wherein thou wast made to serve.
4 That thou shalt raise this
dirge over the king of
How hath the oppressor ceased, and the haughty one ceased!
5 JEHOVAH hath broken the yoke of the wicked, the staff of the rulers.
6 He that smote the nation in anger, with an inexorable stroke;
He that subdued the Gentiles in wrath, the cruel persecutor, hath ceased.
7 All the earth is at rest, and quiet; it breaks forth into singing.
8 Yea, the fir-trees rejoice over thee, and the cedars of Libanus say,
Since thou art laid to sleep, no feller has come up against us.
9 Hades from below is moved to meet thee at thy coming;
All the Giants, the rulers of the earth, have risen up to thee,
Even they that shook from their thrones all the kings of the nations.
10 All they shall speak and say unto thee,
Art thou also captured as we?
Art thou become like unto us?
11 Thy glory hath descended into Hades; thy great rejoicing:
Beneath thee is strewed corruption, and the worm is thy covering.
12 How hast thou fallen, 0 Lucifer, son of the morning!
(How) art thou crushed to the earth, who didst wound all the nations!
13 For thou saidst in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven;
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.
I will also sit on the mount of the covenant, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds: I will be like the Most High!
15 But now thou shalt descend into Hades - to the foundations of the earth.
16 They that see shall wonder at thee, and meditate on thee, and say,
Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that shook kingdoms?
17 That made the whole world a wilderness, and destroyed the cities!
That opened not the house of his prisoners!
18 All the kings of the nations are laid to sleep in honour, every one in his own house.
19 But thou art cast out among the mountains, as a defiled carcase,
With many corpses pierced through with the sword, of them that go down into Hades.
20 As a garment smeared with blood is not clean,
So neither shalt thou be clean,
Because thou hast destroyed my land, and slain my people,
Thou shalt not remain for ever, thou seed of wickedness!
21 Prepare thy children to be slain for the iniquities of their father,
That they may not rise up and possess the earth,
And fill the face of the world with wars.
22 For I will rise up against them, saith JEHOVAH of hosts,
And destroy their name, and remnant, and seed, saith JEHOVAH.
23 And I will make
And I will make it a miry gulph of destruction, saith JEHOVAH of hosts.
24 Thus JEHOVAH of hosts hath sworn, saying,
Surely as I have spoken, so shall it be,
And as I have purposed, so shall it stand,
25 That I will destroy the Assyrian on my land,
And his burden on my mountains tread him under foot:
Then shall his yoke be taken from off them,
And his burden be taken from off their shoulders.
26 This is the purpose which JEHOVAH hath purposed on the whole earth;
And this is the hand which is stretched out in all nations.
27 For what God the holy hath purposed, who shall disannul?
And his hand outstretched, who shall turn back?
28 IN THE YEAR IN WHICH KING AHAZ DIED WAS THIS PROPHECY.
29 REJOICE not, all ye foreign (nations), because the rod of him that smote you is broken,
For from the serpents seed shall come forth a cockatrice;
And its progeny shall be flying serpents.
30 But the poor of JEHOVAH shall feed through him,
And the needy shall rest in safety,
But he shall slay thy root with famine;
And thy remnant he shall cut off.
31 Howl, ye gates; let the cities cry aloud
Be troubled, all ye foreigners; for from the north cometh a smoke;
Nor shall one escape his army.
32 What shall they answer, then, to the angels of the nation?
That JEHOVAH hath founded
And the poor of his people shall be saved by him.
* * *
The subject is not concluded with the thirteenth chapter, but
continued throughout the present.
At this time Jehovah shall give to
But this conclusion is yet powerfully
corroborated by the Apocalypse and the Acts.
3: 19 mention is made of times of
refreshing to come from the presence of the Lord-
in which Jesus, who is now in heaven, there to remain till the
restitution (restoration) of all things, shall be sent to the Jews.
These times of refreshing are evidently
coincident with the rest here promised also to the Jews, and it shall be after the great and
terrible day of the Lord, we learn from the preceding chapter. But the Apocalypse is full to the point. This rest, we learn from verse 3 of the chapter before us, is to be
given when the hard rule of the king of
The second verse of this chapter of Isaiah announces that the Gentiles shall restore the Jews from their captivity, and bring them back in various conveyances to their own land; a feature of prophecy which will be noticed again in the concluding chapter of Isaiah.
We come, then, to the consideration of the dirge over the
fallen king of
conclusion here to be established need not rest on authority, for it can be
made good by argument. It would appear
that Antichrist is called the King of Babylon for two reasons; first, because
he will greatly resemble Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, in the vastness of
his dominion, in his carrying captive the Jews, his erecting an image to be
worshipped, in his arrogance, and in his fall.
And secondly, it would appear, that as by
But be this as it may, the characteristics of the King of
Babylon, as here set forth, agree exactly with those laid down by Daniel and
I, even I, am he that comforteth you:
Who art thou that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die,
And the son of man that shall dry up as grass?
And didst forget JEHOVAH thy Maker,
Who stretchest forth the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth,
And fearedst continually every day the wrathful face of the OPPRESSOR,
Because he devised to destroy thee:
And where is now the fury of thine OPPRESSOR?
In the Psalms continual mention is made of him under this character. In the seventy-second Psalm the Lord Jesus is presented to us in his kingly office, and the object of his rule is stated in verse 4 to be, He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and break in pieces the Oppressor. His haughtiness will be considered at the 13th and 14th verses.
He is next presented as smiting the nation (of the Jews) with an inexorable stroke, and subduing the nations in wrath. That he will be a cruel foe to the Jews many Scriptures foretell: thus Isaiah 10: 20,
shall the remnant of
And the escaped of the house of Jacob,
Trust in him that smote them.
Again, in the 24th verse:-
Fear not my
people that dwell in
Because of the Assyrian, because he shall smile thee with a staff.
That he shall be a tyrannical ruler of the nations his subjects, is also capable of being proved from other passages, He shall go forth, says Daniel in a passage already quoted, with great fury, to destroy and utterly to make away many. To destroy, adds Isaiah, is in his heart, and to cut off nations not a few.
Again, he is entitled, the cruel Persecutor. So is he represented in Dan. 7: 21, I beheld, and the same" (little) horn made war with the saints and prevailed against them. He shall prosper and practise, and destroy the mighty and the holy people. (Dan. 8: 24.) He shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: they shall be given into his hand for a time and times and the dividing of time. (Dan. 7: 25.) Similar is the testimony of the Psalms. Thou hast given us like sheep appointed for meat; and hast scattered us among the heathen. ... My confusion is continually before me: and the shame of my face hath covered me. For the voice of him that reproacheth and blasphemeth; by reason of the Enemy and Avenger. (Psalm 44: 11, 15, 16.)
In accordance with this,
But what is the meaning of the eighth
verse? Most appear to regard the
fir-trees and cedars as figuratively spoken of the nobles and princes of the
earth. But a like passage occurs in the
prophecy against Sennacherib. By the multitude of my chariots I am come up to
the heights of the mountains, to the sides of
* Vide Dissertation 1
Art thou also captured as we?
Art thou become like unto us?
All writers possessed of any taste have justly commended this
passage as sublime poetry; yet it will be not less fulfilled to the
letter. The mighty spirits that in the
greatness of their power shook from the thrones all the kings of the
nations, but were
swept away by the flood, even as mortal men, may well say with emphasis, Art thou also
captured as we
were by the flood? Art thou
become like unto us, in thy descent into Tartarus? To a like effect,
The succeeding words describe the extravagant ambition of this Son of the morning.
I will ascend into heaven;
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit in the mount of the covenant, on the sides of the north.
By the stars of God, is probably meant the angels or archangels attendant on God,
as we find them called by a like name in Job 38: 7, When the morning-stars sang
together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy!
By the mount of the covenant is meant
* LXX. translation.
His last assumption of blasphemy is, I will be like the
Most High. Intoxicated with a power, which none of
the nations of earth can resist, supported by the energy of Satan, and capable
of working miracles, this will be his final height of arrogance. Thus St. Paul, in words exactly [Page 186] parallel, That man of sin (shall) be revealed, the son of
perdition, who opposeth and exalted himself above all that is called God, or
that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth
in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Hear also the witness of the Spirit by
Daniel. He had a mouth
speaking great things. (Dan. 7: 8.)
I beheld then because of the voice of the great
words which the horn spake: I
beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the
burning flame. (Ver. 11.) And he shall speak great words against the Most High. (Ver. 25.) And the King shall
do according to his will; and he shall exalt and magnify himself above every God,
and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods. (Dan. 11: 36.) Confirmatory is also
the testimony of
But there is yet one prophecy more of Antichrist, in his
full-blown iniquity, as the Man of the Sin (of blasphemy, as we may suppose),
which, having received little or no attention by other writers, is given here
at length, as strongly corroborative of all that has been advanced, the text amended from the
Septuagint where the original has suffered variation, or is unintelligible.
He is described as the king of Tyrus;
and Tyrus, apparently, signifies the same city as the
1 The word of JEHOVAH came again unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus,
Thus saith the Lord God,
Because thine heart is lifted up,
And thou hast said, I am God,
I sit in the habitation of God, between the seas.
Yet art thou a man, and not God,
Though thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God.
3 Art thou wiser than Daniel?
Is there no secret that they can hide from thee?
4 Hast thou by thy wisdom and understanding gotten riches?
Hast thou procured gold and silver in thy treasures? [Page 188]
5 By thy great wisdom and thy traffic hast thou increased thy power?
And is thy heart lifted up because of thy power?
6 Therefore thus saith JEHOVAH,
Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God,
7 Behold, therefore, I will bring strangers on thee, the terrible of the nations:
And they shall draw their swords against thee,
And against the beauty of thy wisdom;
And they shall lay waste thy brightness, even unto perdition.
8 And they shall bring thee down to the pit,
And thou shalt die the death of them that are slain between the seas.
9 Wilt thou say before them that slay thee, I am God?
But thou shalt be as a man, and not God,
In the hands of them that slay thee.
10 Amidst the multitude of the uncircumcised thou shalt die,
By the hands of strangers; for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God.
11 Moreover, the word of JEHOVAH came again unto me, saying,
12 Son of man, take up a dirge upon the prince of Tyrus, and say to him,
Thus saith the Lord God,
Thou art the sealing up of the term (of time),
Full of wisdom, perfect in beauty.
13 Thou wast in
With every precious stone art thou covered,
The sardius, topaz, and the diamond,
The beryl, the onyx, and the jasper,
The sapphire, the emerald, the carbuncle;
And with silver hast thou filled thy treasures,
And with gold thy storehouses that are with thee.
14 From the day thou wert created, thou wast with the cherub;
I stationed thee in the holy
Thou hast been in the midst of the stones of fire.
15 Thou wert perfect in thy ways, from the day of thy creation,
Until iniquity was found in thee.
16 By the multitude of thy merchandise
Thou didst fill thy stores with iniquity;
Thou didst sin, and wert wounded from the mount of God;
And the cherub dragged thee from the midst of the stones of fire.
17 Thy heart was lifted up, because of thy beauty,
Thy wisdom, together with thy brightness, is corrupted:
For the multitude of thy sins I have cast thee to the earth.
I have caused thee before kings to be made a public example (of wrath).
18 For the multitude of thy transgressions,
And the lawlessness of thy traffic,
I have defiled thy sanctuaries,
And I will bring fire from the midst of thee,
It shall devour thee:
And I will bring thee to ashes on the earth,
In the sight of all them that behold thee.
19 All they that know thee among the Gentiles shall be astonished at thee;
Thou art become perdition, and shalt be no more (found) for ever.
coincidences are so numerous, that it seems highly probable that they refer to
the same person who forms the subject of the present chapter of Isaiah. His boast, I am God, seems at once to identify him. His sitting in the habitation
(temple) of God between the seas, confirms it. His wisdom is compared to Daniels: and Daniel
had understanding in all visions and dreams; was continually visited by angels,
and possessed of understanding in the interpretation of mysteries. In perfect harmony with this, Daniel
prophesies of Armillus, A king of
fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his
own power (Dan. 8: 23, 24), that is, as Burgh well understands it, by Satanic agency and supernatural
powers he shall reach his height of dominion.
His wealth offers the next feature.
This also is predicted by Daniel.
He shall have power over the treasures of gold and
silver, and over all the
precious things of
They shall lay waste thy brightness, even unto perdition,
They shall bring thee down to the pit, (saith Ezekiel).
Thy glory hath descended into Hades, (saith Isaiah).
Thou shalt die the death of them that are slain between the seas, (saith Ezekiel).
The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot,
is the burthen of the Lord against him
by Isaiah. So, likewise, Daniel, after declaring that he
shall set his tabernacle between the seas (Dead Sea, Mediterranean, and
Still further, a dirge is raised over the king of Tyrus, as
over the king of
They that see thee shall wonder at thee, and meditate on thee, and say,
Is this the man that made the earth to shake, that shook kingdoms?
The spectators cannot but remark the greatness of his might during his three years and a half of empire, and the fierceness of his destructive ambition, that made the whole world a wilderness, as has been already noticed.
His state of punishment is next
described, as not buried with honour, like kings in general, but cast into
Tophet, amongst the mountains of
To complete the awe and importance of the subject, is added
the oath of God, that the believers of that day, when ready to faint, and
almost supposing that God has forsaken the earth, may have strong consolation
in the midst of their suffering, even unto death. As soon as Antichrist is destroyed in
The new prophecy following this was given in the last year of
king Ahaz. Its first sentiment is a
command to all nations not to rejoice (that is, not without fear and
trembling), because, even after the mighty evil that had been predicted,
something yet more terrible should arise.
What can this be, but the scene presented by
After this final destruction of the wicked, what remains but
that the prophet speak of that city which hath the foundations, whose
builder and maker is God, which, as
From the foregoing interpretation (if correct, and it invites examination), it will follow, 1st, That Antichrist will be an individual, not a succession of men: 2nd ly, That he is some one yet to arise.
* * *
1 THE ORACLE AGAINST
2 Grieve ye over them, because Beth-Dibon also is destroyed:
Where your altar was built, there shall ye go up to weep:
Over Nebo, and over Medeba,
On every head is baldness, every beard is shorn.
3 In her streets be ye clad with sackcloth:
Lament ye on her housetops, and into her streets;
Let every one howl and descend with weeping.
4 And Heshbon and Elealeh have cried aloud:
Even unto Jassa is their voice heard:
Yea, the very loins of
Her very soul shall cry.
5 The heart of
Unto Segor she crieth out like a young heifer;
Yea, the ascent of Luhith with weeping shall they ascend;
In the way of Horonaim shall they raise a cry of destruction.
6 The waters of Nimrim shall be desolate;
And its grass withereth; the tender plant faileth, the green herb is no more.
7 But shall she even thus escape?
(Nay:) for I will bring Arabians into the valley, and they shall take her.
8 For the cry is gone round
the borders of
The howling thereof unto Eglaim;
(Yea) unto the well of Elim shall be her howling.
9 And the water of Dimon shall be full of blood,
For I will bring upon Dimon Arabians,
And I will destroy the seed of
And Ariel, and the remnant of Admah.
* * *
chapter begins a new subject - the judgements upon
* * *
1 I will send forth the LAMB of JEHOVAH to be ruler over the earth,
From the rock of the wilderness, to the mount of the
2 For it shall be that as a wandering bird, cast out of the nest.
So my daughters, 0
3 Take counsel, exercise justice;
Make thy shadow as night in the midst of the noonday:
Hide the outcasts; discover not him that wandereth.
4 Let mine outcasts dwell
Be thou a covert to them from the face of the Destroyer;
For the Oppressor is at an end; the Destroyer ceaseth;
The Ruler perisheth that trampled under foot the earth.
5 And in mercy shall the throne be established,
And my Exalted One shall sit upon it in truth,
In the tabernacle of David, a Judge,
Seeking judgement, and hasting righteousness.
6 I have heard of the pride of
His loftiness he hath greatly exalted,
His pride of heart I have seen; I have known his deeds, saith JEHOVAH.
Not according to his necessity shall be his strength.
7 Therefore howl ye in
To the inhabitants of Kir-heres shall be moanings,
They shall sing a mournful dirge;
The plains of Heshbon shall be ashamed.
8 Oh ye lords of the nations, tread down the vine of Sibmah!
Her shoots reached even unto Jazer,
Her branches roamed the desert,
They extended beyond the sea.
9 Therefore will I bewail, with the weeping of Jazer, the vine of Sibmah;
I will water thee with my tears, 0 Heshbon and Elealeh:
For upon thy vintage and summer fruits the Destroyer hath fallen.
10 And joy and gladness is taken away from the fruitful field.
And in the vineyards there shall be no singing;
Neither shall they tread wine into the vats [in the morning,]
Nor [at evening] shall they raise the vintage shouting.
11 Therefore the heart of
And her bowels like a pipe for the men of Kir-heres.
12 And it shall come to pass,
Because he is wearied at his altars,
That he shall enter to his shrines,
To pray: but he shall not prevail to extricate himself.
13 This is the word which JEHOVAH spake
After three years as the years of an hireling,
The glory of
And the remnant shall be left small and without honour.
* * *
I will send
forth the LAMB of Jehovah to be
ruler over the earth. To prepare the way for the
following interpretation, let us take the words of Jerome:- This is the sense: 0
That the opening verse of this chapter should predict the reign of Christ, is perfectly in accordance with what follows in the fifth verse, where the throne is promised to an Exalted One of the seed of David, who should rule in justice That he should be called the Lamb of Jehovah is agreeable with Scriptures, especially with his designation by his forerunner, Behold the Lamb of God! His dominion shall be universal, as we read in many Scriptures, especially in the seventy-second Psalm, in which is, exactly parallel with this, He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river even, to the ends of the earth. (Ver. 8.) Under the very title given in this chapter is universal dominion ascribed to the Saviour in the Revelation. Worthy is the LAMB that slain to receive power. Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the LAMB for ever and ever.(Rev. 5: 12, 13.) These [Page 193] shall make war on the Lamb (the ten kings and Antichrist, their chief), and the LAMB shall overcome them; for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings. (Rev. 17: 14.)
The second verse refers, I believe, not to the daughters of
Now, how exactly does this tally with the prophecy [Page 194] on
The application of this text will be seen more clearly, if it
be remarked that the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel, is that set up
by Antichrist (of which, on a future occasion, I may have somewhat more to say)
in the rebuilt
Son of man, set thy face against Gog, and the
We see, then, why
* * *
1THE ORACLE AGAINST
And it shall become a ruinous heap,
2 Forsaken for ever (a place) for the couching of flocks,
*Which shall lie down, and none shall scare them away.
3*And the fortress shall cease from Ephraim,
Nor shall there be a kingdom in
*And the remnant of the Syrians
Shall be for the glory of
the children of
Saith JEHOVAH of hosts.
4 And it shall come to pass in that day,
That the glory of Jacob shall fail,
And the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean.
5 And he shall be as when the harvestman gathereth the corn,
And reapeth with his arm the ears thereof;
And he shall be as when one gathereth ears of corn in the vale of Rephaim.
6 Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in him,
Or as the berries of a gleaned olive-tree.
Two or three in the top of the uppermost bough,
Or four or five may be left in the outmost fruitful branches,
Saith JEHOVAH, the God of
7 In that day shall a man trust in his Maker,
And his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.
8 And they shall not trust in their altars,
Nor in the works of their hands, which their fingers made,
Nor shall they respect the groves, nor the images.
9 In that day shall thy cities become deserted,
As the Amorites and Hivites deserted theirs,
Before the face of the
And they shall become a desolation.
10 Because thou hast deserted God thy Saviour,
And JEHOVAH thy helper thou hast not remembered,
Therefore thou shalt plant faithless plants,
And an unbelieving seed.
11* In the day that thou plantest, thou shalt be deceived,
And when thou sowest, in the morning it shall blossom;
And the harvest shall wave for the day of grief
And of desperate sorrow.
12 Woe to the multitude of many nations,
Which make a noise like the noise of the seas:
And to the rushing of the nations,
That make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!
16 Like the rushing of mighty waters shall the nations rush,
But (God) shall rebuke them, and they shall flee afar,
And they shall be pursued,
As the chaff of straw before the wind,
And like the dust of the chariot-wheel before the whirlwind.
14 At even there shall be sorrow,
Before the morning he is no more!
This is the portion of those that spoil us,
And the lot of them that rob us.
* * *
The seventeenth chapter refers, it
would seem, to the same times. This appears
from its being the day of Israels [Page 197] trouble and humiliation, when the
glory of Jacob shall fail, and his numbers shall be so decreased that, in place of being
as the stars that cannot be reckoned, and as the sand on the sea-shore, there
shall be only a small remnant, such as the gleaner might gather in his hand, or
as might be found on the olive-tree, when its fruits have been collected. This great final devastation of
* * *
1* Ho! land that spreadest wide the shadow of thy wings,
Which art beyond the rivers
2 Accustomed to send messengers by sea (to all nations),
And letters of papyrus on the surface of the waters:
Go, swift messengers,
To a nation dragged away and plucked,
To a people wonderful from their beginning hitherto,
An always expectant nation, yet trampled under foot,
Whose land rivers have spoiled.
3 All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers upon the earth,
When as it were a banner is lifted tip from the mountains, ye shall behold;
And when the trumpet is sounded, ye shall hear!
4 For thus said JEHOVAH unto me:
*I will sit still (but I will keep my eye oil my prepared habitation);
As the parching heat just before lightning,
And as the dewy cloud in the day of harvest,
5 For before the harvest, when the bud is coming to perfection,
And the blossom is become a juicy berry,
He will cut off the useless shoots with priming-hooks,
And with the bill take away the luxuriant branches.
6 And they shall be left together for the birds of prey of the air;
And for the wild beasts of the earth.
And to them shall the birds of prey of the air
be gathered, And to them shall the wild beasts of the field come.
7 At that season a present shall be brought to JEHOVAH of hosts,
Even a people dragged away and plucked,
A people terrible from their beginning hitherto,
A nation always expectant, yet trampled under foot,
Whose land rivers have spoiled.
Unto the place of the Name of JEHOVAH Of
* * *
The meaning of this chapter has been very variously given by those who have interpreted it. I prefer that of Bishop Horsley, as the most literal, consistent with itself, and agreeable to the ancient interpretations and general tenour of prophecy. Dr. Hendersons offends against that great canon of prophecy, which forbids us to regard as of private interpretation that which is of universal import to the Church. The following are some of the Bishops commencing observations:-
I set out with considering every one of these
assumptions (that the prophecy regarded
A summons is uttered to some mighty nation, situated either
towards the east or west of
A commercial and maritime nation is certainly pointed out by these various yet harmonious features. But to whom are the messengers to be sent? Jerome, Horsley, and others, understand the Jews, and it will be seen that the lineaments accord with the historical character of that people. They are dragged away and plucked - torn from their native country again and again. They are a people wonderful from their beginning hitherto. Moses brings this observation before their eyes in his day. Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live? Or hath God essayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched-out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? (Dent. 4: 33, 34.) Nor has their singularity and the awe of their history ceased since then. The wonders of Joshuas day, of the Judges, and the Kings, of the Saviours appearance, and their scattering through the world, combined with their present existence still unchanged and unchangeable, confirm their title to be considered the most wonderful people of the earth. To a like effect speaks the Geneva Bible on this clause The Jews (are the nation spoken of) who, because [Page 200] of Gods plagues, made all others afraid of the like. They are also an always expectant nation. Perpetually disappointed in the hope of a Messiah yet to come, still in every country and under every disappointment they are expectant, even to the present day. Yet in spite of their hope of one day ruling the world, they are also trampled under foot. Who more so than the Jews? Their very name a proverbial expression of insult, their persons despised everywhere, and in former times subjected to every species of ignominy, injury, and death. Whose land rivers have spoiled. That is, according to Bishop Horsley, whose country kings have frequently plundered. This interpretation seems borne out by chapter 8: 6, 7, nor is
there need to prove at length that the country of the Jews has been subject to invading armies. In addition, however, the confirmatory words of Jerome may not be unacceptable Go swiftly to the nation of the Jews, plucked up and torn by the Assyrian invasion; to a people once terrible, who were under the rule of God, with whose power none may be compared; to a nation always expecting the aid of God, and nevertheless trodden down by man; whose land, rivers, that is, different kings, have laid waste.
Nor are the messengers to go to them alone; but their cry is to all the nations of the world, to announce to them the appearing as of a banner on the mountains, and the sound of a trumpet. Now as the appearance of a banner and the sound of a trumpet are the signals for an army to gather, so I apprehend are these. We read of both these signals in the Saviours great prophecy of his return; to which time, as Horsley justly observes, this prophecy reaches. And then shall they see the sign of the Son of man in heaven, whatever it be: whether or not, as the Fathers expected, it signify the cross, which is indeed the emblem of the Son of Man. But the Saviour proceeds to declare, He shall send forth his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from one end of heaven to the other. Nor is this all. The coincidence is yet more complete. Isaiah assures us that the message is to all nations. St. Luke, immediately before this prophecy of the sign of the Son of Man and of the last trumpet of the Archangel, places the distress of nations with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring, mens hearts failing them for fear; while St. Matthew adds, [Page 201] And then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Respecting the 4th verse there is so much uncertainty, that though Horsleys version is retained in the text, that of the LXX. seems almost equally worthy of reception:-
For thus said Jehovah unto me,
There shall be safety in my city;
As a cloud in the mid-day light and heat,
And as dew in the day of harvest.
If Bishop Horsleys be preferred, the verse will signify a long withdrawal of the miraculous interposition of God in the affairs of the world. He will sit still in his dwelling place until the inhabitants will think that he has forgotten; that he hideth away his face and will never regard what is done on earth, and that, just before Gods vengeance shall burst forth like lightning. This is in entire accordance with the tenour of prophecy. The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool. If the Septuagint version be adopted, the sense will be, that when the banner is thus erected, and the trumpet blown, Jerusalem shall be a quiet habitation, and the security experienced shall be the more grateful because of the preceding time of great tribulation, even as a cloud is grateful in the midst of the glare and heat of a tropical clime, and, as Jerome observes, as the dew is pleasant to the panting reaper.
Which of these is to be preferred, as both exceedingly well accord with the analogy of prophecy, is left to the readers choice.
The 5th verse describes the judgements of God just before the harvest (or ingathering of believers, as the Saviour explains it in his parable of the tares and wheat), upon his professing Church. As at the time immediately preceding harvest, when the vine is in blossom, the husbandman prunes it of its luxuriant and useless shoots, so will Christ deal with his Church; he will send such troubles and persecutions upon it, that all who are mere professors will be severed from it, as the useless boughs by the pruning-knife. The time will come that judgement must begin at the house of God.
This interpretation is made good by the fifteenth of
that time when the wickedness of man has come to the full, the Lord Jesus shall
appear, and then shall his ancient people become glorious in the eyes of the
Gentiles, who shall bring them by every mode of conveyance to their native land,
and especially to the Saviours abode on
The observations of Procopius on this point are here
presented to the readers notice. After the harvest of the present life,
they that are though worthy of that consummation, shall partake of unmixed
divinity, when the separation shall take place of those who are now gathered
together in the
* * *
1 THE SENTENCE OF
BEHOLD, JEHOVAH rideth
On a swift cloud,
and shall come into
And the idols of
And the heart of
2 And the Egyptians I will cause to rise up against the Egyptians,
And they shall fight every one against his brother,
And every one against his neighbour,
City against city, and kingdom against kingdom.
3 And the spirit of
And her counsel will I scatter;
And they shall inquire of the idols,
And the sorcerers, and the necromancers, and the wizards.
4 And I will give up the Egyptians into the hand of a cruel lord,
And a fierce king shall rule over them:
Saith JEHOVAH of hosts.
5 And the Egyptians shall drink water from the sea,
For the river shall be wasted and dried up.
6 And the rivers shall fail, and the canals of the river,
[And every collection of waters shall be dried up:]
And the reeds and flags shall wither.
7*And the paper reeds beside the river, at its mouth,
And all that is sown by the river
Shall perish, be driven away and be no more.
8 The fishers also shall mourn,
And all that cast angle into the brooks shall lament,
And they that spread nets on the waters shall languish.
9 Moreover they that work in fine flax shall be confounded,
And they that weave net-work.
10 The artificers of these things shall be sorrowful,
Yea, all that make drink of barley shall mourn, and he grieved in soul.
11 And the princes of Zoan shall be fools;
As for Pharaohs wise counsellors, their counsel shall be turned into folly.
How will ye say unto Pharaoh,
We are the sons of the wise, the children of the kings of old?
12 Where now are thy wise men? let them come and tell thee,
Let them declare to thee, what JEHOVAH of hosts
hath purposed against
13 The princes of Zoan have become fools,
The princes of Noph (
They shall deceive
Even they that are the stay of the tribes thereof.
14 For JEHOVAH hath mingled for them a spirit of error;
And they have caused
As the drunkard staggereth and vomiteth at once:
15 Nor shall there
be any work for
Which the head or tail, the beginning and the end, may perform.
16 In that day the Egyptians shall become
Like women in fear and trembling,
Because of the hand of JEHOVAH of hosts
Which he shall lay upon them.
Every one that mentioneth it, shall be afraid in himself,
Because of the counsel of JEHOVAH of hosts, which he hath determined against it.
18 In that day shall
five cities in the
Speak the language of
And swear unto JEHOVAH of hosts;
*One shall be called, The City of the Sun.
19 In that day shall there be an altar to JEHOVAH,
In the midst of
the laud of
And a pillar at the border thereof unto JEHOVAH.
20 And it shall be for a perpetual sign
Unto JEHOVAH of hosts in the
For they shall cry unto JFHOVAH because of their oppressors,
And he shall send them a Saviour,
And a Judge that shall deliver them.
21 And JEHOVAH shall be known unto the Egyptians:
And the Egyptians shall know JEHOVAH in that day,
And shall do sacrifice and oblation,
Yea, shall vow a vow unto JEHOVAH, and perform it.
22 And Jehovah shall
Yet he shall surely heal it;
And they shall return unto JEHOVAH,
And he shall be entreated of them, and heal them.
23 In that day there
shall be a high-way out of
And the Assyrians
shall come into
And the Egyptians shall go into Assria,
And the Egyptians shall worship with the Assyrians.
24 In that day shall
Even a blessing in the midst of the earth,
25 Whom JEHOVAH of hosts shall bless, saying,
Blessed be my people,
* * *
There is one passage in the Apocalypse bearing strongly on the chapter before us, which has received little attention, though on it would seem to depend the true interpretation of many of the prophetic visions. It is found in chapter 11: 8.
The great city, which spiritually is
It remains then that this foretells Christs judgement on the
* Dr. Henderson on the first verse of this chapter has
the following note. It is common in Scripture to
represent any great calamity, or
the infliction of a remarkable judgement, under the idea of the Coming of the
Lord. The passages adduced in
support of this are, first, Psalm 50: 3. But this psalm is surely as clear a prophecy
of Christs coming as almost any that can be found. His appearance on
Next the prophet unfolds the sway of magical superstition to
A dreadful drought is the succeeding judgement. The river shall be wasted and dried
up. With what delight and veneration the
Egyptians regard their river is well known.
Its waters are, according to the testimony of all travellers, peculiarly
pleasant. Not only so, - almost the
At these fearful judgements the heart
But the coming of the Lord Jesus
himself, when on a swift cloud he passes through Egypt, and causes the
heart of Egypt to melt within her, shall produce a lasting effect of good; for then shall the Spirit be
poured out from on high, and the Egyptians at length shall believe, and the pillar and
altar spoken of be erected. And because
the tongue of the Egyptian sea is dried up by the hand of God, therefore the
highway between the three countries of
Blessed be my
That the interpretation here given was
the original idea [Page 206] entertained by the ancient Church,
the following comments of Jerome on
the 19th, 23rd, and 24th verses
will show. From
this place to the end of the vision on
On the 23rd verse, though as usual he disapproves, he
remarks: Some of our people refer this to the
thousand years, and after the Jewish fashion, decide that it shall take place
in the consummation of the world, when Antichrist coming from Assyria shall
On the 24th verse his observation is as follows: Then shall it be said by the Lord, Blessed is my people of Egypt, when not Moses, but Christ the Lord ruling, endless thousands of men shall fill the deserts, and Pharaoh being drowned [Antichrist being destroyed as was Pharaoh], they shall say in the desert, Let us sing unto the Lord: for he hath been exalted gloriously, the horse and his rider hath he cast into the sea.
* * *
1 In the year that Tartan entered into
2 At that time JEHOVAH spake unto Isaiah, the son of Amoz, saying,
Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins,
And put off thy shoes from thy feet.
3 And he did so, walking naked and barefoot. And JEHOVAH said,
As my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and bare foot three years,
For a sign and wonder to the Egyptians and Ethiopians;
4 So shall the king of
Egyptians and Ethiopians, young and old, naked and barefoot,
With their hinder-parts discovered, to the
5 And they shall be afraid and ashamed
6 And the inhabitants of this seacoast shall say in that day,
Behold, we trusted to flee unto them for succour,
Who could not deliver themselves from the King of Assyria,
And how then shall we escape?
* * *
The meaning of this prophecy as bearing on the future (for all prophecy not having a notorious fulfilment is, I apprehend, to be considered as having yet a future reference) is by no means evident: yet it is intended probably to foretell to the Jews the certainty of their falling under the power of the Assyrian, the burthen of so many prophecies; in spite of their dependence upon Egypt for aid. This the prophet was directed to make known to those of his day, by walking naked for three years, in the condition in which captives were driven like beasts before their conquerors. [Page 207] This passage is decisive against those who hold the theory that in the announcement of time in prophecy, a day stands for a year, and a year for 360 years. And on this point I am happy in being able to coincide with the learned writer on Isaiah who has just preceded me. Every statement, he says, which has been made to show that Isaiah did not appear in this symbolical state for the space of three years has proved abortive, being contradictory of the plain statement of the text. It is still more directly contradictory of the Septuagint, which, after all, is probably the true reading. As my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and sandal-less three years, so for three years shall there be signs and wonders to the Egyptians and Ethiopians.
Thus was Isaiah to foretell to the Jews that the Egyptians and Ethiopians, on whom they placed their hopes of support, should be led captive by the Assyrian. And how naturally and clearly does their reflection, as given by the Septuagint, follow? Behold, we trusted to flee unto them for succour, who could not deliver themselves from the King of Assyria; and how then shall we escape?
* * *
THE SENTENCE OF THE DESERT OF THE WEST.
1 Like a tempest rushing from the south,
From the desert there cometh, from the terrible land,
2 A fearful vision, and a dark (prophecy) was revealed unto me.
The Scorner is scorning; and the Lawless One is doing lawlessly.
3 Therefore my loins are filled with pain,
Pangs have taken hold on me, as a woman in travail,
I was cast down, so that I could not hear;
I was astonished, so that I could not see.
4 My heart doth palpitate: wickedness is flooding me,
My soul is distracted with terror.
All the groaning [of her captives] I have made to cease.
5 Prepare the table, set the watch; eat, drink:
Rise, ye princes, seize the shields.
6 For thus said JEHOVAH unto me,
Go, set thyself as a watchman,
And what thou seest, declare.
7 And I beheld a chariot with two beasts of draught,
The one beast, an ass; and the other, a camel.
And I heard a long narrative.
8 Then I called Uriah to the watch-tower, and he said,
My Lord, I have kept my station all day;
And at my post I stood all night,
9 And behold here cometh the very rider of the pair of beasts.
And he answered and said,
Fallen, fallen is
And all the idol-works of her hands are crushed to the earth.
10 Hear, 0 ye remnant, and ye that mourn, give ear;
What I have heard from JEHOVAH God of Israel,
That have I declared unto you.
THE ORACLE CONCERNING IDUMEA.
11 The night-watchman called to me from Seir,
12 Guard the battlements. I guard them morning and night.
Why mournest thou, watchman? What of the night?
The watchman answered, The morning cometh,
And also the night; if ye will enquire, enquire ye:
Repent ye, come!
THE ORACLE CONCERNING
13 In the wood, at even shall they lodge, on the road towards Dedan.
14 Bring water to meet the thirsty,
Ye that dwell in the
Meet with bread them that flee,
15 Because of the multitude of the slaughtered,
[Because of the multitude of the wanderers],
And because of the multitude of the swordsmen,
And because of the multitude of bended bows,
And the multitude of the fallen in battle.
16 For thus said JEHOVAH unto me,
Yet a year, as the year of an hireling,
And the glory of Kedar shall fail,
And the remainder of the mighty bowmen
17 Of the sons of Kedar shall be few,
For JEHOVAH of hosts hatlx spoken it.
* * *
The first vision of this chapter
contains the execution of Gods vengeance against
The time predicted is, I suppose, that
day when Antichrist, and
But as then, the Most High soon after made the one of these
parties execute his vengeance on the other, so will it be in that day. After they have thus agreed to destroy Gods
saints for a time, Armillus, as we
have seen, becomes jealous of
This is the next scene of the prophetic vision.
All the groaning of her captives I have made to cease.
Prepare the table, set the watch; eat, drink;
Rise, ye princes: seize the shields!
How strikingly is this in unison with Jer. 51: 11, 27, 28.
Make bright the arrows; gather the shields:
JEHOVAH hath raised up the spirit of the kings (king, LXX.) of the Medes,
For his purpose is against
Because it is the vengeance of JEHOVAH,
The vengeance of his temple. (people Sept.)
Ver. 27, 11 Set ye up a standard in the land (earth),
Blow the trumpet among the nations;
Prepare the nations against her,
Call against her kingdoms,
Ararat, Miniri, and Aschenaz.
The last lines, according to the LXX., run thus -
Commission against her the catapults,
Cause cavalry to come against her like a multitude of locusts;
Enlist nations against her,
[Page 209] THE KING of the Medes and of OF ALL THE EARTH,
His rulers, and all his generals,
And his forces of all the earth.
In these two remarkably accordant passages, we have the forces
This is confirmed and expounded yet further by
But to return. Whilst
thus on his watch-tower, the prophet heard a long narration, which he was not
suffered, we may suppose, to write; as
And all the idol-works of her hand are crushed to the earth.
As this is precisely similar to the announcement
The vision against Idumea. This prophecy is extremely obscure, but a
passage in the before mentioned fiftieth
of Jeremiah appears to throw much light on this short vision. After the declared judgement of God on
Babylon, and the coming up of the nation from the north to destroy her, it is
said, In those days, and in that time, saith Jehovah, the
children of Israel shall come, they
and the children of Judah together, going and weeping; they shall go and seek the Lord
their God. (Ver. 4.) Unto Zion shall they inquire the way, setting their faces thitherward; and they shall
come and flee for refuge to the Lord their God, for the everlasting covenant shall not be forgotten. (Septuagint translation of ver. 5.)
Hence the inquiry appears to be that of the Jews asking of the prophet,
whilst captive in mystical
The vision of Arabia is, I conceive, a
further enlargement of the vision respecting
Jeromes remarks on the 15th verse are as follows:
Therefore it is now predicted to the
Jews who shall be able to escape the Babylonian siege, and after the desolation
of the whole province, to cross over to the neighbouring desert, that they
shall dwell in the solitude of
* * *
1 THE ORACLE CONCERNING THE
What aileth thee now, that thou art wholly gone up to the housetops?
2 Thou city that was full of them that shout!
Tumultuous city, exulting city!
Thy wounded are not the wounded of war,
Nor thy dead the dead of battle.
3 All thy rulers have fled together from the bow,
And they that are caught are straitly bound;
And thy mighty ones have fled afar.
4 Wherefore, said I, Leave me alone, I will weep bitterly;
Strive not to comfort me, because of the desolation of the daughter of my people.
5 For it is a day of trouble and destruction,
And of trampling down, and delusion from JEHOVAH of hosts.
From the greatest to the least, they roam upon the mountains.
And with chariots came the Syrian, and with horsemen,
And Kir set the battle in array.
7 And thy choice valleys shall be full of chariots,
And horsemen shall besiege thy gates.
8 And in that day
they shall discover the gates of
And shall look on the chosen houses of the city,
9 And shall uncover the secret things of the houses of the mount of David,
And they shall see that ye are many;
And how ye turned the water of the old pool into the city,
10 And how ye numbered the houses of
And destroyed them for the fortification of the city-wall.
11 And how ye made yourselves an aqueduct
Between the two walls, for the water of the old pool:
But ye looked not to him that made it from the beginning,
Nor had ye respect to him that fashioned it long ago.
12 And JEHOVAH of hosts called in that day
To weeping and lamentation,
To shaving of the head, and girding with sackcloth
13 But behold joy and gladness,
Slaying of oxen, and killing of sheep,
Eating of flesh, and drinking of wine, saying,
Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die!
14 Then was revealed to mine ears the voice of JEHOVAH of hosts,
Surely this iniquity shall not be forgiven, till ye die,
Saith the Lord JEHOVAH of hosts.
15 Thus saith JEHOVAH of hosts,
Go, get thee to the bride-chamber, to Shelma the steward, and say unto him,
16 What doest thou here? and what hast thou here?
That thou hast hewn thyself here a sepulchre,
And hast made thyself a tomb on high,
And hast carved thyself a habitation in the rock!
17 Behold, JEHOVAH will surely cast thee out,
And will destroy thy (house) male and female,
And will take away thy robe, and diadem, and glorious crown.
18 And will cast thee into a country great and unmeasured,
And there shalt thou die;
And he will bring thy chariot of beauty to dishonour,
And the house of thy Lord, to be trodden under foot,
19 And thou shalt be taken from thy stewardship,
And from thy station he will pluck thee away.
20 And it shall come to pass in that day,
That I will call my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah,
21 And I will clothe him with thy robe,
And I will set on him thy crown with power,
And thy stewardship will I commit into his hand;
And he shall be a father to the
And to the house of
22 [And I will give the glory of David unto him,
And he shall rule, and there shall be none to gainsay,]
And I will lay the key of the house of David on his shoulder,
And he shall open, and none shall shut,
And he shall shut, and none shall open.
23 And I will make him ruler in a sure place,
And he shall be for a throne of glory to his fathers house.
24 And on him shall trust every one that is honourable
In the house of his father,
And on him shall they hang.
25 In that day, saith JEHOVAH of hosts,
The man that is fastened in a faithful place
Shall be moved, yea, be cut down and fall,
And the glory that was upon him shall utterly perish,
For JEHOVAH hath spoken it.
* * *
This vision begins in the spirited and poetically abrupt
manner of many of the prophecies, as if the prophet saw before his very eye the
scenes described. He beholds here the
whole city of
Yet in spite of this terrible calamity of their being besieged
by so many nations, a spirit of recklessness instead of sorrow will seize on
the Jews, and they will say in the voluptuarys despair, Let us eat
and drink, for to-morrow we die. A similar desperation
appears to have seized that nation during the siege by Titus. Yet such conduct is highly displeasing to
God: for such a providence is a call to a people on the part of Jehovah to
mourn, and humble themselves. Whence we
learn that national humiliation under national judgements is an evident
The 15th verse introduces a new subject: the reproof of Shebna the
steward. He is accused of unbelief and
pride: of pride, in hewing himself a tomb on high in the rock, like one of the
kings, and, as Procopius adds, in
inscribing over it, The sepulchre of Shebna,
which seems not improbable. He is also
rebuked for unbelief in gathering to himself riches, and priding himself in his
dress, and chariots, and a crown, in a land which God had threatened to
devastate. Hence he should be cast out
into a wide and foreign land, and there should die. This, the Jews tell us,
took place soon after the embassy of Rabshakeh to Hezekiah. Shebna was terrified, they say, by the
boastful speeches of Rabshakeh, and leaving
But this is only the primary and private interpretation. It is easy to see, indeed difficult not to see, that far higher truths are contained herein. The notice of the key of David, which is by our Lord Jesus Christ appropriated to himself (Rev. 3: 9), shows that the passage before us is a prophecy of him. Whence it is lawful to argue, that as one is to be cast down, and the other who is to succeed is the Christ, so, by parity of reason, he who is to be cast down is Antichrist; who, like Shebna, shall be remarkable for his crown, and chariots, and shrine ( ). Next the very word Eliakim, as Eusebius notices, conveys an intimation of Christ. The Lord shall cause him to rise, is its meaning, and the resurrection of Jesus is the very declaration the part of God that he is the Son of God; - the Son of David that shall sit on his fathers throne, according to the argument of St. Peter in his first sermon.
To none but him can the prophecy allude -
I will clothe him with thy robe,
And I will set on him thy crown with power,
And thy stewardship (or government) will I commit to his hand.
[Page 215] And he shall be a Father to
the inhabitants of
And to the house of
And I will lay the key of the house of David on his shoulder,
And he shall open, and none shall shut;
And he shall shut, and none shall open:
with the succeeding words. And accordantly with the whole tenour of prophecy, then shall the Traitorous King that has usurped his name and place be cut off, and the glory that was upon him shall utterly perish; for the Lord shall consume him with the spirit of his mouth, and destroy him with the brightness of his coming.
To those of that day, says Procopius, was Shebna a type. But Eliakim (which being translated signifies the resurrection of God) was a figure of the new priesthood, which the resurrection of our Saviour hath instituted in his Church throughout the world. For Christ is called high priest in the place of them, as was Eliakim in the place of Shebna. But Christ being high-priest, no one shall contradict him, as it is written, The Enemy shall not gain an advantage over him, the Son of Wickedness [Man of Sin] shall not hurt him. (Psalm 89: 22.)
* * *
1 THE SENTENCE OF
Howl, ships of Tarshish, for it hath been spoiled!
And men come no more from the coast of
They are carried captive.
2 To whom Were they like, they that dwelt in this island?
The traders of
3 On mighty waters was the nation of merchants.
As when the harvest of
4 Be ashamed, 0 Zidon, said the sea;
And the strength of the sea said,
I have not travailed, nor have I brought forth,
Nor nourished young men, nor brought up virgins.
5 But when it shall
be known in
Sorrow on behalf
6 Go ye over to Tarshish,
Howl, ye inhabitants of this isle!
7 Was this your haughtiness of old time,
Before it was delivered up?
Her own feet shall carry her afar unto a strange land.
8 Who hath taken
this counsel against
Was she poor, or without strength?
Her merchants were princes,
Her traffickers the honourable of the earth!
9 JEHOVAH of hosts bath purposed it,
To wound the pride of all glory,
And to bring into contempt, all the honourable of the earth.
10 Till thou thy land, for no longer
Shall ships come to thee from Tarshish.
11 And thy hand, that provoked kings,
Hath no more strength at sea.
JEHOVAH of hosts hath given command against the merchant (city),
To destroy the strong hold thereof.
12 And he hath said,
Thou shalt no more despise, nor oppress
The virgin, the daughter of
Arise, pass over to Chittim;
There, also, thou shalt have no rest.
13 And though thou shouldst go to the land of the Chaldeans,
That also is laid waste by the Assyrians:
Neither there shall there be rest for thee,
(The men of Siim founded it,
Set up its battlements, and raised its tower,
But its wall is fallen.)
14 Howl, ships of Tarshish
For your stronghold is laid waste.
15 And it shall come to pass in that day,
As the years of one king,
And after seventy years,
16 Take an harp, stroll hither and thither, forgotten harlot-city!
Make sweet melody, sing many songs,
That thou mayest be remembered.
17 And it shall come to pass, at the end of seventy years,
That God shall
make a visitation of
And she shall be restored to her site of old,
And be a mart for all the kingdoms of the world.
18 And her merchandise and her hire,
Shall be holiness to JEROVAH:
They shall not gather it nor store it for themselves.
But all her traffic shall be for them that
dwell before JEHOVAH in
For meat and for drink, even to the full,
And for clothing that shall not wax old.
* * *
As the original and literal Tyre has long ago been destroyed,
and her part in the fulfilment of the prophecies long since accomplished, it
may be asked by some, what further interest has the Church in the prophecies
respecting her? To which be it replied,
that the Scripture has taught us, that under the name of a city or country of
old, a city or country of modern times may be intended. This the Apocalypse asserts respecting
[Page 216] It has been already intimated, that
But further, those who have perused Burghs Exposition of the Revelation, and are satisfied
with his literal scheme of interpretation, will be apt to think with him, that
Let us, then, compare the features of
Let us, then, set side by side the twenty-seventh of Ezekiel,
and the eighteenth of the Apocalypse.
The first point of resemblance is the lamentation to be taken up for
Tyrus, who is
described as a
merchant of the nations for many isles. This is paralleled
in Revelation by the dirge of the angel,
Next note the pride of Tyrus, 0 Tyrus, thou
hast said, I am of perfect beauty. So
After this description of the wealth of
So complete a coincidence we may safely argue could not be the effect of chance, but the harmonious account of the destruction of the same city by two of the inspired penmen. To this comparison might be added that also of the fifty-first chapter of Jeremiah, which agrees remarkably with the chapter of Revelation referred to, but as this would render the investigation prolix, it is left to the readers own discovery.
But by whom is this great catastrophe to be efected? We are
informed in the former chapter of Ezekiel, Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus
Nebuchadnezzar, king of
Yet this view does not embrace the whole of the intimations
But, on the supposition of a twofold
Till thou thy land, for no longer
Shall ships come to thee from Tarshish;
And thy hand that provoked kings,
Hath no more strength by sea.
But how is this to be effected? What power is there, mighty enough to deal
the destroying blow? First, Jeremiah
introduces us to the counsels of Jehovah.
For thus saith the Lord God of
In the twenty-seventh chapter the instrument of this vengeance
is declared. Thus saith
the Lord to me; Make thee bonds and yokes, and put them on thy neck, And send
them to the king of Edom, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the
Ammonites, and to the king of Tyrus, and to the king of Zidon,
by the hand of the messengers which come to Jerusalem unto Zedekiah king [Page 224] of Judah; And command them to say unto their
masters, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Thus shall ye say
unto your masters; I have made the earth, the man and beast that are upon the
ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto
whom it seemed meet to me. And now have
I given all these lands into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of
But it may be said, with strong indignation, Who shall presume to think that England, whence the light of
God has so long shone forth as a beacon to other lands, shall be so fatally
eclipsed as to be subjugated under Antichrist? Alas! there is more reason to be apprehensive
than to boast. Be not
high-minded, but fear. If God spared not
branches, take heed lest he
also spare not thee. If
Nor is that which is here supposed something of which history
has given no type. What say the annals
of old of insular
How far the parallel in the future scenes of the world will be kept up, cannot be decided, though it seems to invite speculation; for this were to wander from the solid basis of Scripture into the regions of unstable conjecture. All that is intended is, to show that the general scheme of what is here supposed is not without a precedent, and that one of a very close and striking character. The last clause of the quotation from Prideaux, stating that, after effecting the destruction of Tyre, he marched towards Jerusalem, naturally recalls to our notice the fact, that these troubles appear to be sent on Tyre for oppression of Israel, and she is found at last in the Great Confederacy of Nations against the Jews, as several places of Holy Writ declare.
Thus Joel 3: 1-6: 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 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, and parted my land. And they have cast lots for my people; and
have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might
drink. Yea, and what have ye to do with
It should also be observed, in confirmation of what has been
laid down in a former part, respecting the two-fold character of Tyre, that Edom, in several of the prophecies which
have preceded, and in this instance also, is distinguished from Tyre, both being mentioned together, as in the
sending round of the cup, and in the prophecy of Amos 1. Hence, if it has been
made out that
Nor should it be forgotten, in further support of this supposition, that the prophecies relating to the Saviour are generally of a twofold construction, referring to times as widely separated and different as his first and second advent; and if this be true of times, may it not hold good of places also?
But the prospect, though sad, is not eternally over-clouded; this
duration of Tyres humiliation is to last but the length of Israels captivity
in Babylon; after which she is to be visited by Jehovah, not in vengeance, but
in mercy, at the end of the seventy years of the reign of the destroyer, and her
merchandise and her hire shall be holiness to Jehovah.
Her provision is to be stored, not for the Tyrians
themselves, but for them that minister [Page 230] before Jehovah in
The incidental notices of