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PREFACE

 

 

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 Prelate’s 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 author’s ‘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 author’s 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 prophet’s 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 God’s 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

 

 

TRANSLATION

 

CHAPTER 1

 

 

1 THE VISION OF ISAIAH THE SON OF AMOS, WHICH HE SAW CONCERNING JUDAH AND JERUSALEM; IN THE DAYS OF UZZIAH, JOTHAM, AHAZ, AND HEZEKIAH, KINGS OF JUDAH.

 

 

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;

But Israel knoweth not ME,

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 Zion is left as a tent in a vineyard;

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 Sodom, and been made like unto Gomorrah.

 

 

10 Hear the word Of JEHOVAH, ye rulers of Sodom!

Give ear to the law of our God, oh people of Gomorrah!

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 Zion become an harlot!

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 Israel!

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 Zion be redeemed,

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.

 

 

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[Page 123]

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 Saviour’s 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 Saviour’s 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 Isaiah’s 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 Israel’s iniquities was nearly full.  They were nationally idolaters.  Besides the golden calves at Dan and Bethel, those snares which Jeroboam laid for Israel, we are also informed by sacred authority, that “they built them high places (or altars) in all their cities, from the tower of the watchman to the fenced city.  And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree, and there they burned incense in all the high places, as did the heathen, whom the Lord carried away before them.” (2 Kings 17: 9.)

 

 

Isaiah prophesied, we are told, in the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.  The reign of Uzziah was long and successful.  He prevailed against several of the neighbouring nations; and, by his conquests, established on the borders of the Red Sea the city of Elath, as a station for trade.  But, attempting to assume the priestly functions of burning incense on the golden altar, he was smitten with leprosy, and so continued till his death.  From the time of his affliction, his son Jotham administered the government.  The kingdom of Israel during this period was in a state of the utmost confusion, through treason and perpetual bloodshed.  But Jotham’s reign was prosperous, for he feared the Lord.  In his days was [Page 125] Rome founded (B.C. 753) – that city which should afterwards be the especial scourge of Israel.  Ahaz succeeded, a king so deeply sunk in idolatry, that he sacrificed even his infant children.  In his reign, Pekah of Israel, and Rezim, king of Syria, came against Jerusalem, designing to overthrow the succession of the throne of David.  This event, as foreshadowing in principle altogether, and partly in its circumstances, the great confederacy of the kings and nations of the world against Christ,* in the latter days of the world, is the opportunity made use of for delivering prophecies of the certainty of Messiah’s [millennial] reign, in spite of all human opposition.

 

* Rev. 19: 19.

 

 

Ahaz, in his distress, applied to Tiglath Pileser, the monarch of Assyria, who accordingly took Damascus, and slew Rezim; but his aid did not restrain the Edomites and Philistines, who plundered Judaea with impunity, in its now defenceless state.  In Tiglath Pileser we may recognise the features of Antichrist, who is evidently prophesied of in several places under the title of “the Assyrian  And in the application of Ahaz to this monarch for help, may be seen the type of the future alliance of the Jews with the last great scourge of their nation.

 

 

In reference to this association, and its disastrous issue, the prophet, declares by inspiration, that in the time of Israel’s glory, they “shall no more stay themselves upon him” who will afterwards break his covenant, and “smite them  Ahaz, having met Tiglath Pileser at Damascus, was, by his example, confirmed in his evil ways, and substituted an altar of a pattern derived from idolaters for the brazen altar of the temple.  After a reign of sixteen years he died.  To him succeeded Hezekiah: and, “like unto whom was there no king before him that turned to the Lord with all his heart  He restored the assover, and invited Israel as well as Judah to keep this festival.  Some mocked, but a great multitude assembled at Jerusalem to celebrate the feast. The revival of religion among the nation that at this time took place, is probably a type of the conversion of the elect Jews to the Messiah whom their fathers crucified; for, when the Saviour says, “Ye shall not see me henceforth till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord,” he clearly implies, that when they do thus recognise him, he will return; and hence [Page 126] the partial conversion of the Jews before the great tribulation, will be a sign that the Son of Man is near.

 

 

At this time the Assyrian empire had attained its height, and Israel was carried captive.  Thus it is foretold that the Jews have yet a third time, and finally, to be enslaved by their fierce and subtle enemy, the “Man of Sin But in Hezekiah’s reign, we have a wonderfully exact type of the history of the future Antichrist in the destruction of the host of Sennacherib, after his daring blasphemy and the proud words which he uttered by his messengers to Hezekiah.  To cheer the despairing thoughts of the Jewish king and of his people, a series of prophecies was delivered, which, while it declared the terrors of that great day of the Lord, yet dwelt with fulness and triumph on the [millennial] glory that shall follow.

 

 

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.

 

 

*         *       *

 

 

EXPOSITION

 

CHAPTER 1

 

 

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 master’s 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, ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered thy sons, and thou wouldst not!’” To which may be added, the Saviour’s own declaration, in words exactly resembling those of the passage before us: “Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father; if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.” (John 8: 19.)  On the complaint, that the whole body was [Page 127] diseased, the same writer remarks, “What more powerful mode of cure remained, after that of the Saviour’s tarrying with them, who was able to heal every sickness and malady, both of souls and bodies, in them that believed The desolation of the country was such as characterized the reign of Ahaz, when the neighbouring nations, at their will, insulted and plundered Judaea.  Still more fully does it apply to the destruction of Jerusalem, and devastation of Judaea by the Romans, after the Saviour’s crucifixion?  The comparison of Jerusalem to a “cottage in a vineyard, and a lodge in a garden of cucumbers is beautifully illustrated by Eusebius.  In order to guard the fruits of the vineyards, sheds are set up for the watchman’s convenience.  “Whilst, then he says, “the vine is filled with its proper fruits, the shed is tended with every care and regard, that the watchman may diligently guard that no passer-by rob it of its fruits; but when the vineyard is without fruit, his watching-place is disregarded, as is fitting.  Thus are the Jews threatened that they should be abandoned, since they brought not forth suitable fruits  Even so, when the Jews rejected Jesus, “their house (and country) was left unto them desolate

 

 

It was to the times bordering on this overthrow that Paul, guided by the sacred Spirit, applied the succeeding verse, “Except the Lord had left unto us a very little remnant, we had been as Sodom, and had been make like unto Gomorrah  On which passage Procopius beautifully observes, “There shall be a second call of the Jewish people in the last days, even though it be only a remnant at first.  And this prophecy hath declared, saying, ‘The children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an altar, and without a priesthood, and without teraphim.  Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek Jehovah their God, and David their king.’ (Hosea 3: 4, 5.)  And this is signified to us also in another mode.  For verily the people of old were disobedient, of whom he said, ‘As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest  But Caleb and Joshua entered in with the new generation, they being a figure of the remnant of Israel, saved by obedience and faith in Christ, who, after crossing with us the holy Jordan*, shall inherit hereafter the kingdom of heaven  We know [Page 128] how truly the words quoted by St. Paul were fulfilled in that day.  But it still remains, as appears probable, that it will receive a fuller and final accomplishment in the day of unparalleled tribulation.

 

[* That is, with reference to the time of RESURRECTION: not the time of DEATH.]

 

 

By calling them “Sodom and Gomorrah Isaiah chastises their pride in regarding themselves as surely the children of God, because of their natural descent from Abraham.  On which Procopius observes, “They published and declared their sin, together with their injustice, as Sodom, when they devised the evil counsel, saying among themselves, ‘Let us bind the Just One, for he is displeasing unto us:’ which sin, truly, against him who alone is called ‘Just,’ that is, Christ, rendered them worthy of such a title” as that of Sodomites.  And when the prophet again calls them, “the people of Gomorrah he adds, “The prophet justly unites with the rulers ‘the people,’ for, as they refused the just judge, Lot, saying ‘Thou enteredst to sojourn, was it to judge also?’ so also they refused the just judge, saying, ‘Away with him!  Crucify him, crucify him  They of Sodom, indeed, wrongfully entreated strangers; but the Jews, him that came to his own; - the one, angels: the others, God.  Jerusalem, therefore, because of its wickedness, became Sodom

 

 

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 Saviour’s 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 Jehovah’s word.

 

 

The character given of Jerusalem by Josephus fully confirms the prophetic picture.  “Murderers indeed lodged in it – the bands of assassins that paraded Jerusalem filled it with murders.  The people were wicked to so surpassing a degree that Josephus himself says – “I verily think that had the Romans forborne to punish so great criminals, either the earth would have swallowed the city up, or some deluge had drowned it, or else the thunder and lightning which consumed Sodom, would have lit upon it; for the people of the city were far more impious than the Sodomites

 

 

But let us fill up more definitely the prophet’s 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 Pharisees, hypocrites!”  That their princes were “rebellious was seen by their revolting from Rome; that they were “companions of thieves was 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 Saviour’s 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 Zion shall yet be called, “The faithful city.”*  Their comparison to “an oak whose leaf fadeth was strikingly illustrated by the Saviour’s parable of the barren fig-tree, and by his withering the way-side tree which presented nothing but leaves.

 

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 Saviour’s 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 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killest the prophets  And Stephen re-asserts it, “Which of the prophets have not your fathers killed

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

TRANSLATION

 

CHAPTER 2

 

 

1. THE WORD WHICH ISAIAH THE SON OF AMOS RECEIVED CONCERNING JUDJEA AND JERUSALEM.

2 It shall come to pass in the last days,

That the mountain of JEHOVAH shall be conspicuous,

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 the mountain of JEHOVAH

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 Zion shall go forth the law,

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 Bashan.

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?

 

 

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[Page 130]

EXPOSITION

 

CHAPTER 2

 

 

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 Judah, that “a lawgiver should not depart from between his feet, until he come for whom it is reserved, and to him shall be the expectation of the Gentiles*  The blessed state described in this chapter of Isaiah has certainly never [Page 131] been exhibited on earth.  War has not ceased, nor will it cease till the time of the Saviour’s promised [millennial] reign.  The time specified herein must be the time of the restoration of the Jews; for “from Zion is the law to go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem  It must be the season prophesied of when all the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah; for “all nations” shall flow into its rebuilt temple. Then follows an invitation to the Jews to walk in the light of Jehovah.  The prophet seems to speak this as if living in the days when Jesus was on earth: for he was the “light of the world and the “light of Jehovah and to the same effect did Christ himself exhort them when he said, “Yet a little while is the light with you.  Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you; for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.  While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.” (John 12: 35, 36.)  But the Jews’ rejection of the Lord is noted by the next verse; “Thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob

 

* 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 Saviour’s 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 Lord’s 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 Saviour’s 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 God’s 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 Lord’s 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 Saviour’s [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.)

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

TRANSLATION

 

CHAPTERS 3 & 4

 

 

1 For, behold, the Lord JEHOVAH of hosts

Taketh away from Jerusalem, and from Judaea,

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 father’s, 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.

8 For Jerusalem is abandoned, and Judaea hath fallen,

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 Sodom, and manifested it openly.

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 Zion are haughty,

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 Zion,

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.

 

 

CHAPTER 4

 

 

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 remnant in Zion,

And the escaped in Jerusalem.

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 Zion.

And shall purge the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof

With the spirit of judgement and the spirit of burning.

5*And JEHOVAH shall create

On every place of Mount Zion,

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.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

EXPOSITION

 

CHAPTERS 3 & 4

[Page 133]

 

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 read, 2 Kings 24: 14, 16, “And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.  And all the men of might, even seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths a thousand, all that were strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon  The persons thus described as led captive, are precisely those noticed by Isaiah; the mighty, the princes, the cunning workmen, the men of war.  But it had a second fulfilment, and a more complete one, at the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus.  “The whole stay of bread and the whole stay of water was taken away  Hear what Josephus says, - “Many there were indeed who sold what they had for one measure; it was of wheat, if they were of the richer sort; but of barley, if they were poorer.  When these had so done, they shut themselves up in the innermost rooms of their houses, and [Page 134] ate the corn they had gotten (Book v., c. x., § 2.)  Again, after mentioning the completion of the circumvallation made by the army of Titus, he says,- “Then did the famine widen its progress, and devoured the people by whole families and houses; the upper rooms were full of women and children dying by famine; and the lanes of the city were full of the dead bodies of the aged; the children also and the young men wandered about the market-places like shadows, all swelled with the famine, and fell down dead, wheresoever their misery seized them (Book v., c. xii., § 4.)  In another place he adds, - “Now of those that perished by the famine in the city, the number was prodigious, and the miseries they underwent unspeakable; for if so much as the shadow of any kind of food did any where appear, a war was commenced presently; and the dearest friends fell a fighting with one another about it, snatching from each other the most miserable supports of life. … Moreover their hunger was so intolerable, that it obliged them to chew every thing, while they gathered such things as the most sordid animals would not touch, and endured to eat them; nor did they at length abstain from girdles and shoes; and the very leather which belonged to their shields they pulled off and gnawed; the very wisps of old hay became food to some; and some gathered up fibres and sold a very small weight of them for four Atric drachmae (Book vi., c. iv., § 3.)  He then proceeds to tell of the woman that slew and eat her child.  The famine that prevailed during Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem was as nothing to this.  In the captivity that ensued on the capture of the city, the succeeding verses were again fulfilled, as they had been before by Nebuchadnezzar, but in a more full and terrible manner.

 

 

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 men’s 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 “Jerusalem was abandoned, and Judah was fallen  And why was “their glory humbled, and why did the shame of their face arise against them Because, remarks Eusebius, of their binding (or rather putting, to death*) the Just One.  “This is the cause of all these threats.  These words I think unambiguously received their accomplishment after the Saviour’s advent.  In multitudes, and altogether, all these things failed, as the Prophet had declared, and were taken away both from Jerusalem and Judea for no other reason than their plot against our Saviour To a like purpose Jerome comments thus on verses 9 and 10 (quoting them as here given, except that he has the words “let us bind instead of “let us destroy the “Just One”): “This is evidently spoken of the passion of the Lord, because they devised a most wicked counsel, not so much against the Just One as against themselves and their own soul  To which let Procopius also add his testimony: “After speaking of the day of retribution, he now, taking another point of view, denounces the withdrawal of the gifts of God from his former people, not because of idolatry, or for any other deeds than because ‘they devised a device against the Just One  For having slain the prophets, at last they raged wickedly against the Lord of all things, killing, as far as in them lay, the Prince of Life

 

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.

 

 

Eusebius also 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 (…) man, and release unto us Barabbas.” (Luke 23: 18.)  Exactly the same word is made use of by St. John describing their cry, “Away with him (apov), away with him, Crucify him And the Hebrew word … which was probably written by the Prophet, has a distinct reference to the kind of death which Jesus should suffer; being in fact the very form of expression which he himself uses to describe it.  “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up.” (John 3: 14.)  And again, [Page 138] “I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me.” (John 12: 32.)

 

 

This, their grievous crime, saith the prophet, “they declare as Sodom, they hide it not  Their demanding of the death of Jesus was open, public, national, reiterated.  They publicly took on themselves all the consequences of his death.  “His blood be on us, and on our children  “For us saith Procopius, “the Sodomites demanding the men, published their licentiousness to Lot, so did these also publish their sin to Pilate, shouting, ‘Away with him, away with him; Crucify him, crucify him  But every one that devises evil, devises it against himself: as the weapons that light on hard bodies return to him that hurls them.  But what is the ‘counsel  ‘Let us bind the Just One, for he is displeasing unto us  For having ‘bound the Christ, they led him away to Caiaphas  And to the unrighteous, righteousness is displeasing, as the sun to diseased eyesight. But ‘they shall eat the fruit of their doings’ -  captivity, dispersion, the destruction of the temple, their fall from glory, their confusion of face, whereby they are prevented from looking up to God, after transgression against his Son, for having bound ‘the Word,’ the Truth, the Light, the Righteousness, the Saviour, the Physician, the Deliverer (under which titles Christ is signified), they are deprived of the Word, Light, and Truth; reaping as they have sowed.  ‘For what a man soweth, that shall he also reap  And as they delivered Jesus to Pilate, and to the unbridled passions of his soldiery, so they also, saith the prophet, shall be delivered to the Roman armies: agreeably whereto, Ezekiel saith, ‘As I have done, so shall it be unto thee.  Thy recompense shall be returned on thine own head.’”  Therefore “they eat the fruit of their doing  The Lord Jesus thus represented it to them.  In his parable of the wicked husbandmen, after describing their slaughter of the son of the lord of the vineyard, he proceeds to denounce its just consequences similarly with the Prophet Isaiah.  “What, therefore, shall the lord of the vineyard do?  He will come and destroy the husbandmen, and give the vineyard unto others.” (Mark 12: 9.)

 

 

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 God’s threats against the daughters of Zion.  These also received their partial accomplishment in the desolations wrought on Jerusalem, but still I believe a fuller and severer fulfilment awaits them.  Isaiah represents a state of the highest luxury and haughtiness, followed by a time of the severest trouble.  And yet at that very time shall the “branch of Jehovah be beautiful and glorious to the escaped of Israel.” (4: 2.)  And even thus is it written in the prophecy on Mount Olivet, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days ... they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory  Again, as it is affirmed by Isaiah that the remnant “shall be called holy, even all that are written unto life in Jerusalem so it is written in St. Luke, “When all these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh It is also worthy of remark that the expression “written unto life answers to the phrase in the New Testament, “the elect who, as we are informed, shall be gathered in that day by the angels from the one end of heaven to the other.  To a similar effect, Eusebius on this passage refers to Luke 10: 20, “the names written in heaven The concluding promise alludes to the cloud and pillar of fire that went before Israel in the wilderness, and here we are taught, that it shall be restored in that day of glory, and shall be a “tabernacle of a shade from the heat, and a covert from storm and rain testifying, that the God of Jacob is in Jerusalem as he was of old present in the camp of Israel, while sojourning in the wilderness.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

TRANSLATION

 

CHAPTER 5

 

 

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 Jerusalem, and men of Judah,

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 Israel,

And the men of Judah his beloved plant;

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.

 

 

*       *       *

 

[Page 140]

EXPOSITION

 

CHAPTER 5

 

 

THE strong resemblance which exists between this sacred song and our Lord’s 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 Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant  He appointed for them a land, “the glory of all lands and hedged them in with mountains, and deserts, and the sea.  By the wine-vat Jerome and Eusebius both understand the temple and altar of Jerusalem, into which the blood of the sacrifices was poured, as the juice of the grape flowed into the wine-vat. “And I waited says the Lord, “that it should bring forth grapes, but it produced poisonous berries Correspondently with this, we have seen the state of the Jews at the Saviour’s advent, both from the sacred Evangelists, and the pen of Josephus.  As, then, it was owing to no neglect on the part of the owner, that the vineyard produced these poisonous fruits, for, “what could be done more for my vineyard, that I had not done in it thenceforth it was to be given up to desolation.

 

 

“I will take away the hedge thereof that is, according to St. Jerome, “I will withdraw Angelic aid:” nor was that all; its wall was to be broken down, and itself laid waste; which was fearfully accomplished by Titus and his army.  Nor has any prophet or messenger of God been vouchsafed to them, which Jerome supposes is signified by the words, “I will also command the clouds, that they rain no rain upon it  For when the blessed Son of God had delivered his message, he looked for judgement, but behold oppression, of himself and of those that believed on him; for, even during the time of his own ministry, the Pharisees had agreed together that, if any did confess him to be the Christ, they should be put out of the synagogue.  He looked also “for righteousness, but behold a cry  On which both Eusebius and Jerome remark, that our sins send up a cry against us to God, as it was said of Sodom, “I will go down now, and see if they have done altogether according to the cry of it.” (Gen. 18: 21.)  Especially [Page 142] they notice the words of the Lord to Cain, “The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground  And Jerome supposes that by “the cry” here specified, is meant in a particular manner the shouts of the multitude against Jesus, “Crucify him, crucify him

 

 

Then follow, in verses 8, 9, and 10, God’s 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 Jerusalem.  And well might it be said, that “Hades enlarged its desire, and opened his mouth without measure when we consider the vast multitude that, according to the accurate Josephus, perished in the war, being no less than 1,100,000.

 

 

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 Christ’s 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 prophet’s 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 Saviour’s 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 Jerusalem.  But if we take the expressions in their full force, they can apply to supernatural beings only; for such alone would neither “be weary, nor stumble, neither slumber nor sleep and of such beings St. John prophesies, where he describes the army of Euphratean horsemen. (Rev. 9: 14-21.)  I am not unaware how differently that vision is usually interpreted; but believing, as I do, that “no jot or tittle” of the Scripture shall fail of its accomplishment, I would rather be content to be reckoned superstitious, than explain explain away the force of the Word of God.  For that Word, most certainly, if taken in its plain sense, announces that supernatural agency will be widely exerted in the latter times of [Page 143] the world, when a series of ages of apparent indifference on the part of God shall have persuaded men that everything supernatural is impossible. But of this more hereafter.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

TRANSLATION

 

CHAPTER 6.

 

 

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 people’s 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.

 

 

*       *       *

 

[Page 144]

EXPOSITION

 

CHAPTER 6

 

 

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 (Christ’s) 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 St. John also, when after having now brought to a close his narrative of the Saviour’s public life, he reviews the result.  How was it, that when every miracle had been performed which it was foretold the Messiah should perform, they did not believe?  Because God would thus fulfil his word by Isaiah, “Lord, who hath believed our report which expression of sad complaint indicated the fewness of those that believed.  But he proceeds,- “Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias saith again, ‘He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, nor be converted, and I should heal them.’”  This is reiterated by the apostle (Rom. 9: 18), “Therefore he hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth  But if so, why does he rebuke, why punish them, when they have only accomplished his will?  We might take shelter from this objection, which is the very reply which the Spirit of God foresaw that man would make, by asking, How man dare accuse the majesty of Jehovah?  How he dares bring to his bar the manifest and declared will and pleasure of God?  How his puny understanding presumes to cope with the unsearchable depths of the Divine counsels, and to measure his feeble strength against the power of the Creator?  But perhaps it may be permitted with humility to suggest some observations which may clear up in part the difficulty.  Be it observed, then, that the usual idea of God’s hardening the heart is false.  It is conceived that he infuses evil.  But this cannot be. The perfection of holiness himself, “he cannot be tempted of evil, neither tempteth he any man  It is forgotten, that man is evil himself, and that, situated as he is, in a world lying in wickedness, and subject to the temptations of apostate spirits, his natural tendency is to proceed, with [Page 146] rapid and ever-increasing speed, along the downward course of wickedness, as the stone that begins to roll on the edge of a declivity, every instant gathers speed and fury of descent. It is Gods mercy alone, then, that this downward course is checked: by the grace of His Spirit the restraints of laws, human and Divine, are so applied to his conscience, that he does not break out into fierce and open profligacy  of wickedness.  For what is the reason why the nations ..where Christianity is received, are more civilized, and their lives more peaceful, and their country less disfigured by horrible crimes, than the nations of old, or the savages of modern times?  Shall we be told that it is owing to civilization?  But civilization is not the cause, but the effect.  Why are they civilized?  Shall we be told, “It is because of the increase of knowledge, and the retention and the spread of information by the art of printing  But were not all these things in France in their full-perfection when the “reign of terror” exhibited its ghastly doctrines, and enacted its hideous scenes in the sight of the world?  Rather, then, be the peace, and civilization, and general honesty of the nation, in Christian countries, attributed to the restraining grace of God.

 

 

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 Spirit’s 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 Spirit’s 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.

 

 

This passage is quoted a fifth time by St. Paul, in Acts 28: 26.  He had, we are there informed, laid before the Jews of Rome the Gospel of the grace of’ God, “and some believed the things that were spoken, and some believed not.”  It gave rise to great disputings, instead of meek reception and diligent search.  Wherefore Paul, perceiving the hardness of their unbelief, quoted against them the words of this prophecy.  And since they would not receive it, “Be it known therefore unto you,” saith he, “that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and they will hear it

 

 

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 Israel’s rejection, a secret few, such in character as the apostle himself: such, also, as he reserved during the time of idolatrous Ahab.  No – even in that day, “the election obtained it, the rest were blinded But why this blinding of Israel?  That to the Gentiles the Gospel might he preached.  For at the first the good news of salvation was for the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” alone.  “It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and cast it to dogs Had Israel received Jesus as their long-expected Christ, the Gospel had not been preached to the Gentiles.  Had the husbandmen given to the lord the fruits of the vineyard, the vineyard had never been taken from them.  Had not the invited guests refused to come when the supper was ready, the messengers had never been sent to the “streets and lanes, the highways and hedges  But, since they rejected the Gospel, the feast must not be spread in vain, - others must be sent for to supply [Page 148] their. Place: “It was necessary that the Word of God should first have been spoken to you; but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles  This was the reason of the procedure, not of the apostles alone, but of God also.  As they with wicked hearts rejected his Son, so he in justice rejected them.  As they with wicked hands and malignant passions crucified the Lord of life, so he in his justice, according to the passage cited by St. Paul, decided “That their table should be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling-block, and a recompense unto them, that their eyes should be darkened, and their back bowed down I

 

 

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 Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles is come in.  And so (after that) all Israel shall be saved  Accordantly with what is here written, that “the holy seed shall be the support thereof the apostle declares, that “as touching the election, they are beloved for their fathers’ sakes, for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance  At which spectacle the apostle bursts forth into just wonder and astonishment at the vastness and depth of the designs of God.  And it well becomes us Gentiles who, through the unbelief of the Jews, are grafted into the good olive tree, to adore the goodness of God, who hath thus shown the natural unbelief of both Gentiles and Jews, when left to themselves, that on each in turn he might have mercy.  Another lesson to be derived from it is, that as unbelief was the cause of the rejection of the Jew much more shall it be of the Gentile, that worthless wild olive-tree of nature!  Let us, then, not be “high-minded but fear; lest a promise being left us of entering into rest, any of us should seem to come short. Of it

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

TRANSLATION

 

CHAPTER 7

 

 

1 And it came to pass, in the days of Ahaz, the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin, king of Assyria, and Pekah, the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem, to war against it, but could not prevail against it.  2 And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim.  And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind.  3 Then said JEHOVAII unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou and Shear Jashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller’s field. 

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.

5 Because Syria hath devised an evil device against thee;

Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, saying,

6 Let us go up against Judah, and harass it,

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 Syria, be Damascus;

And the head of Damascus, Rezin;

9 And the head of Ephraim, be Samaria,

And the head of Samaria, Remaliah’s son,

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 father’s house,

Days, such as shall not be

* From the day that the King of Assyria shall take away Ephraim from Judaea.

 

 

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 river of Egypt.

And for the bee, that is in the land of Assyria,

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 Assyria beyond the river,

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.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

EXPOSITION

 

 

CHAPTER 7

 

[Page 149]

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 Redeemer’s advent.

 

 

We are informed, at its commencement, that the king of Assyria and the king of Israel confederated together to make war against Jerusalem, “and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal  Now this was not an ordinary war, as of one nation of the earth against any other nation of the earth.  It was a war whose object, if carried, would have made God a liar; for he had predicted, that none but the family of David should rule over Judah.  Even when, at Solomon’s death.  God rent the kingdom, he left to Rehoboam “one tribe, that David his servant might have a light always before him in Jerusalem.” (1 Kings 11: 36.)  That tribe was the tribe of Judah, to which so many promises were attached.  To attempt, therefore, to set up one of any other family as king in Jerusalem, was [Page 150] daringly to endeavour to contravene the pleasure of the Most High. It was a contest, not merely against man, but against God.

 

 

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 Shalmaneser’s 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 Saviour’s 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 Eden declared that the Restorer should be the “seed of the woman but this added distinctness to the information.  The Restorer should be a miraculous seed of the woman, and of the family of David.  If so, then the house of David could not but endure till the time predicted. But it may be asked, How could that which was not to take place for many centuries afterwards afford consolation to Ahaz? To this commentators have always found it difficult to return an answer.  But perhaps the foregoing remark meets the brunt of the difficulty.  Still further, it should be observed, that as Ahaz had rfused the miracle, the miracle was no longer to be vouchsafed to him.  For the reality of his deliverance from the two kings he must now rest on the bare word of Jehovah.  Yet, as it is the manner of God’s dealings, when he bestows a promise, to give then or soon after an earnest of the greater things promised, by bestowing something resembling the future grand accomplishment; so it is not improbable that Isaiah might have pointed (as Dr. Kennicott thinks) to his infant son Shear Jashub, as the child before whose arrival at the discernment of good and evil, the land which he feared should be forsaken of both the kings.  Both Jerome and Eusebius understand the declaration that the child should eat “butter and honey as an intimation of the reality of Christ’s manhood, since he should be sustained by food such as is the support of ordinary men, though his birth should be supernatural, and though to him should belong those majestic titles, “Immanuel (God with us,) and “the Mighty God  The quotation of this passage by St. Matthew is exactly in accordance with the Greek as restored by the various readings there presented; and with the quotations of the Fathers.  That it was exactly fulfilled the sacred historian shows.  On which point Justin Martyr, arguing with the Jew Trypho, has this [Page 152] observation:- “Now that there never was any one of the race of Abraham, according to the flesh, either born, or said to be born of a virgin, except this Christ of ours, is evident to all the world

 

 

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 Saviour’s words, ‘Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains”

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

TRANSLATION

 

 

CHAPTER 8

 

 

1 And JEHOVAH said unto me, Take unto thee a large roll, and write on it with a man’s 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 Damascus shall be taken away,

And the spoil of Samaria, before the king of Assyria.

 

 

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

(Even) the king of Assyria and all his glory.

And he shall come up on all their valleys,

And march over all their walls.

8* And he shall pass through Judaea,

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 Israel;

And a gin and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

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 wonders to Israel,

From Jehovah of hosts, who dwelleth in Mount Zion.

 

 

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.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

EXPOSITION

 

 

CHAPTER 8

[Page 152]

 

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 Lord’s command, Maher-shalal, Hash-baz.  And within three years Tiglath Pileser went up against Damascus and took it, and carried captive of the spoil of Israel.  But in the opinion of Jerome and Eusebius (and probably the reader will agree with them), it was intended to conceal beneath the apparently simple words of verse 3, an intimation of the miraculous conception of the Saviour.  God pledges his perfections as witnesses to the truth of the promise, and then adds – “I approached unto the prophetess, and she conceived and bare a son  Parallel certainly with this are the words of the angel to Mary, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee, therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God.”  And that Mary was a “prophetess we are sure from her prophetic song in the same chapter of St. Luke.  Nor is the mystical meaning deserted at this point.  For it was threatened, that as the ill-disposed Jews of that day “refused the waters of Shiloah that flowed softly that is, as afterwards explained, the heir of David for their king; and would rather have had Rezin and Pekah succeed in their project, therefore they should not only not attain their desire, but the Lord would “bring on them the waters of the river strong and many, even the king of Assyria and all his glory  They refused the gentle, brook of their own land, therefore God should bring on them the devastating waters of a foreign river.  Now the pool of “Siloam” is mentioned also in the gospel by St. John, where Jesus bid the man blind from his birth, “Go wash in the pool of Siloamto which is added the Evangelist’s remark, “Which is by interpretation, Sent  Now no end is answered by this information respecting the interpretation of the name of the place, unless beneath the obvious meaning was also couched one that did not strike the mind at once; which meaning is thus presented by Jerome.  “We read in the Gospel according to John, that the Lord sent to the waters of Siloam the man blind from his birth, [Page 154] in which when the blind had washed he received the clear light of the eyes: which beside the greatness of the miracle, signifies that the blindness of the Jews can be healed only by the doctrine of Christ,” – the Shiloh or SENT of God, whom St. Pau1 as Procopius notices, calls “the Apostle of Salvation.” Apply the same remark to the prophecy before us.  This people (of the Jews) refuseth the waters of Shiloh that go softly (Jesus the Sent or Apostle of God, whose life both by prophecy and fulfilment was meek like a gentle brook).  “Therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth upon them the waters of the river strong and many, even the king of Assyria that is. Anti-christ and his host, in whom the Jews will believe; according to the implied meaning of our Lord’s words, “I am come in my Father’s name (his Shiloh. Or Sent), and ye receive me not; if another should come in his own name, him ye will receive.”(John 5: 43.)  That Antichrist is here signified under the title of king of Assyria, may be proved by many passages, and will become clear as we proceed.  His army shall be so mighty, that like a torrent it shall flood the land – and his camp shall fill the breadth of the Saviour’s land.  His host is composed (as we learn from the next verse), of a confederacy of the nations or Gentiles, a thing prophesied of in very many places of Holy Scripture.  Thus we read in the second Psalm,

 

 

“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 potter’s 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 Emmanuel’s 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 Israel against the future banding together of the nations. “Say ye not, A confederacy, to all to whom this people shall say, A confederacy: neither fear ye their fear  (Antichrist, the object of their dread.)  “But Jehovah of hosts let him be your fear  Similar was Bishop Horsley’s opinion on this passage, who adds, that included in these words was a warning against the union of the heathen and scribes and people against Christ.  And that they should not fear their fear, “lest the Romans come and take away our place and nation This opinion is in entire accordance with the former, since we are told by inspired authority that the second Psalm received a commencing fulfilment in the banding of Herod and Pilate and the Scribes and Pharisees with the people against Jesus.  If the application be continued, the promise that he should be to them for a sanctuary, bore reference to the destruction of the worldly sanctuary, the temple; when men should no longer at Jerusalem worship the Father, but the raising up of another instead of it, even the spiritual; for “ye are the temple of God, if so be the Spirit of God dwell in you  Yet as Simeon in the temple foretold, that the child Jesus “should be set for the fallas well as the “rising again of many in Israel even so is it here predicted, that the Saviour should be a “stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel  Agreeably with this, St. Peter divides the hearers of the Gospel into two classes; “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious; “but a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence even to them which stumble at the word being disobedient, whereunto also they were appointed  And St. Paul more particularly applies it to the Jews, of whom it is primarily spoken.  “We preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a [Page 156] stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foolishness Again, whereas it is said, that “many among them shall stumble, and fall, and he broken, and snared, and taken it is declared of Antichrist, “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life as also St. Paul, speaking of the same person under the title of “the man of Sin says, Wherefore also “God shall send them strong delusion that they may believe a lie Coincidently with this it is written in the next verse of this chapter, “Bind up the testimony, and seal the law among my disciples  As Daniel also writes, “Many shall be purified and made white and tried, but the wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand  In such a state of affairs therefore, the Christian look for the Saviour appearing as saith the apostle, “to wait for his Son from heaven,” “for when these things begin to come to pass he is near, even at the doors  The next verse is cited by St. Paul in the Epistle to the Hebrews, 2: 13, to prove that as the Saviour and those whom he redeems are both sons of the same Father, though they are so in an inferior sense to that in which he is, yet as they are sons, he is not ashamed to call them brethren.  The words succeeding received their primary fulfilment in the signs and wonders wrought by the early Christians in their miraculous healings, speaking with tongues, and other similar powers.  But the ultimate accomplishment seems to intend that the Lord will make his return with his saints memorable with signs and wonders.

 

 

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

 

[Page 157]

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 elect’s 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 God’s 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. 10And 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 till 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] St. John notices of a like kind are several times given. “Behold! I come quickly

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

TRANSLATION

 

 

CHAPTER 9

 

 

1 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Naphthali,

By way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.

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 Israel;

9 And all the nations have become wicked,

Ephraim, and the inhabitants of Samaria,

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 Mount Zion those that rise against him,

And at Jerusalem shall he scatter his enemies:

12 The Syrians on the east, and the Greeks on the west,

That devour Israel with open mouth.

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 from Israel

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 Judah.

For all this his anger is not turned away,

But his hand is stretched out still.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

EXPOSITION

 

 

CHAPTER 9

 

 

The passage with which this chapter commences is quoted by St. Matt. 4: 16, as a prophecy of Christ’s 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 Judaea.  This was in consequence of the captivity of Israel to Babylon, to supply whose place the Assyrian King sent foreigners thither, who ever after remained in the land.

 

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 Egypt have I called my Son  This is put absolutely, and no reason why it should be so is given. Yet, when in the course of our Lord’s sojourn on earth it was accomplished, it was in consequence of pressing necessity, so that under the circumstances it was the most natural and best step that could be taken.  An imperious cruel tyrant was about to slaughter the children of Bethlehem: it became necessary, therefore, that the Saviour should be removed to a distance to some place of security, and what land was so secure from the power of Herod and so near to the south of Judaea as Egypt?  Had there been no such necessity, but had Joseph while the child was courted and honoured by all, been told to conduct him into Egypt, we could not have so remarkably perceived the expediency and beauty and use of prophecy.

 

 

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 Saviour’s 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 centurion’s servant; there he quenched the fever of Peter’s wife’s 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 Lord’s 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 Christ’s first coming is evident, from the history.  There was, indeed, a partial rejoicing at Christ’s entry into Jerusalem, and their joy manifested itself in appropriate acts.  But the fourth verse introduces a sentiment which had then no accomplishment.  “Thou hast broken the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian  If we regard the Roman power as the oppressor, (and what other was there?) there was no breaking of his yoke, much less a miraculous vengeance, as in the day of Midian, when Gideon, with his lamps and trumpets, routed the host of Israel’s enemies.  But all this is prophesied of Christ’s return; that an oppressor shall arise over the children of Israel, - the false Messiah, whom the Lord will destroy by his supernatural power at his coming; and at this the Jews shall rejoice, as they that divide the spoil.  Though the next verse be not certain, as the various readings in all the versions testify, yet as given in the authorized translation, it carries on the true sense.  This battle shall be, not only as every battle of the warrior, “with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood but with “burning and fuel of fire  And even thus does the Scripture in many a passage declare, “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God  “Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence, a fire shall devour before him.” (Ps. 50: 3.)

 

 

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 David’s 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 Israel, and of the Gentiles, in the last days, and the judgements of God that shall overtake them.  The remark of Procopius upon the tenth verse is worthy of notice.  “Instead of the temple which Solomon built (they will say), ‘Let us erect a tower, devising a plan similar to the attempt at Calno  For they also said, ‘Come, let us make bricks, and burn them in the fire  And again, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city and tower, whose top may reach unto heaven.’ (Gen. 11: 3, 4.)  The rise of false Christs and false prophets is foretold in the fifteenth verse, and the flatteries of Antichrist and his subjects in the succeeding, whereby the unbelieving of the Jews shall be deceived to their ruin: for this Deceiver, as the Scripture says, shall “lay his hands on such as be at peace with him, and, breaking his covenant,” shall destroy and carry captive Jerusalem and Judaea.

 

 

Following which, after the wilful king has thus wrought God’s vengeance on Israel for their sins, the Lord himself shall appear to repay the wicked to their face with “flaming fire;” “and wickedness shall be devoured as with fire, and as dry grass shall it be consumed by flame

 

 

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.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

TRANSLATION

 

 

CHAPTER 10

 

 

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 Babylon,

And Calno, where the tower was built,

But I have taken Arabia, and Damascus, and Samaria.

10 As I have taken these, so will I take all kingdoms,

Howl, ye graven images in Jerusalem and Samaria!

11 For as I have done to Samaria and her idols,

So will I do to Jerusalem also, and to her images.

12 And it shall be, that when I JEHOVAH, have performed

the whole work,

Upon Mount Zion, and Jerusalem,

I will punish the proud heart of the king of Assyria,

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 Israel shall be a fire,

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 of Israel,

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 Israel be as the sand of the sea,

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 Zion,

Because of the Assyrian, because he shall smite thee with a staff,

And shall lift up his rod against thee after the manner of Egypt.

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 Egypt.

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 Megiddo:

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 daughter of Zion,

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,

And Lebanon, with its lofty ones, shall fall.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

EXPOSITION

 

 

CHAPTER 10

[Page 164]

 

The tenth chapter contains a clear prophecy of the great and wilful king, of Daniel’s 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 Israel they “were gathered together by their own evil passions, and with their own fruitless purposes, “to do says the Evangelist, “whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done  Which remarks solve a fancied difficulty proposed by Arminians, - how God can punish those who have all along been fulfilling his will?  To which the answer is ready; - it is the intention that makes the act good or evil, and the intention of the wicked is to please themselves, and to oppose God.  True it is that all their deeds and designs shall further his will; but no thanks are due to them.  Such an issue was the farthest from their thoughts and desires.

 

 

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 Isaiah’s 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,‑

 

 

“Howl, ye graven images, in Jerusalem and Samaria

For, as I have done to Jerusalem and her idols,

So will I do to Jerusalem also, and her images

 

 

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 Haran, and the children of Eden, which dwelt in Telassar  As, then, in his boasting, ambition, and blasphemy, he shall resemble Sennacherib; so shall he, in the end of his pride, and the mighty slaughter of his host, slain not by the power of man, but by the vengeance of the Saviour’s return.  Moreover, as Sennacherib was rebuked of Jehovah, because of his boasting that “by the multitude of his chariots he had come up to the height [Page 168] of the mountain, and that with the sole of his feet he had dried up all the rivers of the besieged places;” as the Lord bids him know, that “HE had done it,” “that HE had brought it to pass in order to desolate the nations in their strongholds, and the dwellers in fenced cities, so does he scornfully reprove the Wilful King, -

 

 

“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 Saviour’s coming, as is evident from the next words:

 

 

“And the light of Israel shall be a fire,

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 elect’s 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 God’s 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 Israel, “the Midianites and the Amalekites, and all the children of the east that lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude

 

 

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 “flee to the mountains” at once, without looking back, lest they perish, like Lot’s wife, being overtaken by his speedy march.  The celerity of his movement is beautifully shown by the perturbation of so many cities.  It is implied by the names of the cities mentioned, that the invaders’ march will be directed from the north, and that part of his army would be detached to the westward of it, in order to surround it, and cut off escape.  “The places here mentioned says Lowth, “are all in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem; from Ai northward, to Nob westward of it.  Anathoth was within three Roman miles of Jerusalem, according to Eusebius, Jerome, and Josephus.  Nob probably still nearer

 

 

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.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

TRANSLATION

 

 

CHAPTER 11

 

 

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 Egypt,

And from Pathros, and from Ethiopia,

And from Elam, and from the Shinar,

And from Arabia, and from the regions of the west.

12 And he shall lift up a standard for the Gentiles,

And shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, .

And gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

13 The envy also of Ephraim shall depart,

And the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off:

Ephraim shall not envy Judah,

And Judah shall not vex Ephraim.

14 But they shall fly in the ships of strangers over the sea,

Together shall they spoil the sons of the east:

Upon Edom and Moab shall they first lay their hands,

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 Assyria;

And it shall happen unto Israel

As in the day when he came up out of the land of Egypt.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

EXPOSITION

 

 

CHAPTER 11

[Page 167]

 

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 David’s line from the throne of Judah, and the apparent destruction and real poverty of his family at the time when the Saviour was to appear.  In this passage, again, the first and second appearances of the Lord Jesus are blended: for a part of this was fulfilled in the days of his sojourn on earth at the first.  How emphatically true was it, “The Spirit of Jehovah shall rest upon him  This was the very sign given to John the Baptist by express revelation, “He that sent me to baptize, with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost And John “bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode on him.” (John 1: 32, 33.)  The Spirit was bestowed upon him without measure in all his varied gifts.  And how true was it that he judged not after the sight of his eyes!  Had he done so, he had been deceived by the fair appearances of the Pharisees, to think them, as his nation believed them, prodigies of sanctity.  But we find from the Gospels that he judged from reading the thoughts of their hearts.  Had he decided from appearance, he been deceived by the fair promises with which his ministry commenced; but, it is written, that though “many, believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did yet “Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man  That he did not judge “after the hearing of his ears a memorable instance is offered when the Pharisees “watched him and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him to the power and authority of the governor.  And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly: Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar? But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me ye hypocrites? (Luke 20: 1-20, 21.)  Had he judged according to the hearing of his ears, he would have received this flattery as real praise.  Thus far, then, was this prophecy accomplished at his first sojourn on earth.

 

 

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 Christ’s giving salvation to the remnant of his people that shall escape the persecution of Antichrist, who is here mentioned under the same title that St. Paul uses, “And then shall that Wicked (One) be revealed  It is scarcely necessary to prove that the word “poor” betokens the people of the Lord, as it so often occurs in the Psalms in this sense, and especially denotes them in their last scattered and persecuted state.  That the coming of Christ is for the deliverance of these, many verses of the Psalms assert, as Psalm 12: 3-5, “The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things (of whom this is spoken has already been noticed): “Who have said, With our tongues will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is Lord over us?  For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him

 

 

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 St. Paul’s words, which seem taken from the passage before us.  For, speaking of that Wicked One, he ,says, “Whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of his mouth, and destroy with the brightness of his coming.” (2 Thess. 2: 8.)

 

 

It needs no comment to show that perfect justice shall signalize the Lord’s 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 Christ’s 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 Saviour’s 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 heathenGentiles… 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 Israel to their own land.  The Lord’s return shall be the signal for that of his people also from the various countries into which they shall be scattered at their last dispersion.  Jerome remarks, with his usual note of disapprobation, that it was the opinion of the majority of Christians of his day, “that this should take place at the end of the world, when the fulness of the Gentiles is come in

 

 

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 Israel, and one king shall be king to them all.” (Ezek. 37: 19, 22.)

 

 

This return into their land shall be more signalized by wonders than their first passage into it; for at their first leaving of Egypt, the Red Sea was cleft for their passage: but at their final return, the tongue of the Egyptian Sea, (in modern geography the Arabian Gulf,) shall be permanently dried up.  And the Lord shall also divide the river Euphrates into seven channels, that it may be easily fordable by his people.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

TRANSLATION

 

 

CHAPTER 12

 

 

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 JEHOVAH’S name: for he hath done mighty things:

Publish this in all the earth;

Rejoice and shout for joy, ye inhabitants of Zion,

For exalted is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

EXPOSITION

 

 

CHAPTER 12

 

 

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 God’s wrath against his people, poured out on them during the Great Tribulation, the Church offers praise for Christ’s 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 Shiloh, and bringing it into the temple, mixed it with wine and poured it on the sac [Page 173] on the altar.  This ceremony our Lord applied to himself.  “In the last day, that great day of the Feast (of Tabernacles) Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink And Jerome remarks, that it might be translated, “out of the fountains of Jesus,” because the Hebrew word for salvation is Joshua, or in Greek, Jesus.

 

 

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, Zion is now called on to rejoice, “because great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee  “Swear not by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the, Great King.”

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

TRANSLATION

 

 

CHAPTER 13

 

 

1 THE VISION AGAINST BABYLON WHICH ISAIAH THE SON OF AMOS SAW.

 

 

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 man’s 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.

19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms,

The beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency,

Shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.

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.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

EXPOSITION

 

 

CHAPTER 13

[Page 173]

 

With the thirteenth chapter a new subject begins.  A vision of Isaiah against Babylon.

 

 

What is meant by the “mountain of the plain” is difficult to say.  It appears to refer to some mountain in the neighbourhood of Babylon, the whole country adjacent to which is one vast desert plain.  On this God gives command that his ensign is to be exalted, as a signal to his army to take revenge on Babylon, not here the literal, because that has now been destroyed, but on the mystical Babylon of St. John.  The ensign lifted, - the voice of command is given to the army of wrath to come forth: and there is a beckoning with the hand, still further to enforce it.  A command is given to some leaders or rulers to open - but who are the leaders, and what is to be opened?  The answer, I fear, will startle many; yet the interpretation is from the Scriptures.  If there be any meaning in many passages of the Word of God, they certainly declare that in the latter days, when the wickedness of man is come to the full, “seducing spirits,” “devils,” “unclean spirits shall be let loose amongst men, as they were in the times of Pharaoh, which we are told were a type of these times.  “He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them  So was it also, as I cannot but believe, at the flood, and that the “Sons of God” were angels, that raised the tide of wickedness to fearful height before that dreadful desolation of the flood, (to which the coming [Page 174] of the Son of Man is compared,) fell upon the whole world.  But for further observations on this point, see the “Dissertation on the Rephaim, or Giants

 

 

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 Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain; let all the inhabitants of the land” (earth) “tremble  Then, as in the Revelations it is said, that the “sun and air were darkened by the smoke of the bottomless pit,” so here it is added, “A day, of darkness and of glominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains But to return to Isaiah. That the opinion here expressed is not a novel conceit, but a revival of the old belief, may perhaps appear from the comment of Eusebius upon the words, “Open, ye rulers  “Is this says he, “that abyss of which it is said ‘Ye dragons and all deeps  Therefore, also, the demons besought the Saviour that he would not send them thither, knowing that there was a time when they must enter it  Again, he, remarks on the words, “Giants come, exulting and insulting together:” “Thus he calls those avenging Powers by whom his anger and revenge should be executed on the impious  Confirmatory is the opinion of Procopius.  “By giants, it is probable that we are to understand those whom David (Psalm 78: 49) calls ‘evil angels,’ who, from their cruelty, rejoice at seeing us punished, and regard our misery as their enjoyment, who behave with insolence, though they can effect only what God permits.  The command, ‘to lift up the standard on a mountain of the plain,’ the prophet put forth as in the person of God, who commands the angels about him to open the closed doors, and to send forth, exhort, and hasten those within to vengeance on the un-godly.  In which words it is probable that some region, appropriated to hostile Powers as their prison, is signified.  And may not this be that abyss, which is filled with dragons, as it is said, ‘Ye dragons, and all abysses,’ (Psalm 148: 7,) whereunto the demons exhorted the Saviour not to send them ‘before the time,’ as well aware that the time would come?  And these Powers he calls giants, either as possessing the souls of Giants, or as being of the number [Page 176] of those angels that came down from heaven, of whom ‘the giants’ were born by their connexion with the ‘daughters of men;’ or other revolted Powers, bound there till the time of judgement.  But when the judgement of God shall have come, ‘He shall send,’ as he himself says, ‘his angels with a great trumpet, and they shall gather his elect from the one end of heaven to the other,’ and he shall inflict punishments on those who are to be punished by hostile Powers, as by means of executioners.  He gives commandment to the angels about him to open their prison that they may depart, and execute vengeance on the ungodly.  And he calls some adjacent spot of earth and the whole habitation of man, ‘the mountain of the plain  It is manifest that they are enclosed in outer darkness [from the command and exhortation given] whence they could not have issued, had not this Judge commanded them

 

 

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 St. John, to “hurt those men that have not the seal of God in their foreheads Their time of power, the same authority informs us, shall be “five months and why not literally?  Is not this time long enough to let loose so fearful a scourge?  But there is one point which identifies the three visions here compared together.  “Howl ye saith Isaiah, “for the day of Jehovah is nigh, and destruction from the Almighty shall come “Let all the inhabitants of the land” (earth) “tremble saith Joel, “for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand.”  That the day of the Lord must be regarded as near in the vision of Revelation is evident from this, that the plague of locusts forms the subject of the fifth trumpet; the plague of horsemen (recognised in Isaiah 5: 26-30) the sixth; and it is added, “In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished (Rev. 10: 7.)

 

 

The effect of this terrible visitation next falls beneath the prophet’s notice; astonishment mixed with terror, and incapacity to resist, rendering men’s 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 Mount Olivet, which is conceived in almost the same terms, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven.” (Matthew 24: 29.)  The words in italics discover that the signs in heaven succeed the period of great tribulation in the prophecy of the Lord Jesus, as they do also in Isaiah, forming another powerful link of coincidence between the two prophecies.  To the same effect is the vision of the seven seals in Rev. 6.  The fifth seal presents to our notice the souls of the slain under the altar, evidently disclosing to us that that is a time of tribulation to the people of God.  And the answer that they should wait till the rest of “their brethren that should be killed” evidences the same conclusion.  Keeping precisely the same order, the sixth seal reveals the signs in heaven, “The sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood, and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth and the nations are terrified and mourn, as the prophecy of St. Matthew also declares: “for the Great Day of his (the Lamb’s) wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?” (Rev. 6: 9-17.)  Whoever wishes to see reasons why these signs should be considered literal, will do well to peruse Begg’s “Letters on the Coming of Christ  Will not the signs in the great luminaries form a far better signal to the whole world than any other that could be devised?  But if any tell us that from the discoveries of modern days the thing is impossible, our reply must be, Shall science (so-called) drive God from the government of his own world?  Shall the register of his acts of the past, and the journals of the present pleasure of the Almighty so bind him that he cannot fulfil his will?  The Christian has a “more sure word of prophecy, whereunto he doth well to take heed  “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away.” The Christian’s [Page 178] staff must be that which was the Saviour’s sword, “It is written”.

 

 

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 Babylon’s visitation, but the Saviour’s return follows hard upon it, as we learn from the Apocalypse.  For the eighteenth chapter describes the downfall of the mystical city of Babylon, or Rome; and the commencement of the nineteenth the rejoicing in heaven over her, immediately on which (verse 7) it is said, “the marriage of the Lamb is come and again (verse 9), “Blessed are they that are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb Jesus himself appears in the 11th verse, going forth “to tread the wine-press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” (Verse 15.)  Then follows an invitation to the fowls to eat the flesh of kings and mighty men, and the Antichrist and his armies are slain.  How truly does all this correspond with the verses of Isaiah now before us!  Here we are taught that so great shall be the slaughter that “the remnant shall be more precious than gold, even a man than the golden wedge of Ophirwhere reference is made to the pomp and wealth with which the forces of the Wilful King shall be laden when destroyed at Jerusalem.  But the collateral and fully confirming prophecy of Joel must not be forgotten.  “The sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.  And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army; for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word; for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?” (Joel 2: 10, 11.)

 

 

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 predicted against Babylon in [Page 179] Psalm 137.  As the Medes were the avengers on literal Babylon, so these mystical Medes on mystic Babylon.  Its desolation is then finely described.  It shall never be inhabited, nor even passed through, but birds and beasts that delight in solitude and deserts shall dwell there.  Respecting the signification of the word translated “satyrs in our authorized version, there has been much doubt.  I have rendered it “daemons as do the LXX., Arabic, Eusebius, Syriac, Chaldee, and Old Italic.  But all this authority is confirmed with tenfold power by the testimony of St. John.  His description of the desolation of Babylon (Rev. 18: 21-24), is quite parallel with this of Isaiah; but the words of the angel, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird are so exact, as to make it certain that this is the true rendering.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

TRANSLATION

 

 

CHAPTER 14

 

 

1 For JEHOVAH will have mercy on Jacob,

And will yet choose Israel,

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 Israel shall possess them,

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 Babylon, and say,

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 Babylon desolate, a dwelling for porcupines and pools of water;

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 serpent’s 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 Zion,

And the poor of his people shall be saved by him.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

EXPOSITION

 

 

CHAPTER 14

[Page 179]

 

The subject is not concluded with the thirteenth chapter, but continued throughout the present.  Babylon being destroyed, the Lord shall have mercy on Judah.  It was so with the literal Babylon,- after its capture, by the Medes and Persians, Cyrus dismissed the Jews to settle in their land, and rebuild their temple.  On this point, also, there is Jewish tradition, that when Rome is overthrown, the redemption of Israel shall come.  In Massechet Sanhedrim, one of their Rabbies writes, “The son of David (i.e. Messiah), shall not come till a wicked kingdom” (Rabbi Solomon interprets it, “the Roman”) “shall prevail over Israel nine mouths, as it is said in Mic. 5: 2, ‘He shall give them’ (Rabbi Solomon interprets ‘them’ to signify ‘Israel’) ‘up till the pregnant have borne’ (that is, says R. Solomon, ‘nine months.’)”  Afterwards he adds, that this kingdom shall, for the same space of time, rule over the whole world.

 

 

At this time Jehovah shall give to Israel “rest” in their own land, which promise is repeated in verse 3.  Viewed in connexion with the argument of the Apostle Paul in the fourth chapter of Hebrews, this is no insignificant announcement.  In the former chapter the apostle remarks, that God sware to the unbelieving that they should not [Page 180] “enter into his rest  In the beginning of the fourth chapter he declares the unexpected truth that this promise (…) by implication, made to Israel while in the wilderness, is preached not to the Jews only, but to us: even though Gentiles living in Gospel times.  For, as he argues, this promise was not fulfilled by the “rest” of God on the seventh day, for that had passed long before the promise was made.  Nor was it the “rest” won for the Jews by Joshua, else David would not, so long a time after, have spoken of it as future.  Hence “there remaineth a rest” to be enjoyed: for God’s word must needs be accomplished.  And since it is declared that the unbeliever shall not enjoy it, conversely it is implied, that the believer, be he Jew or Gentile shall attain it.  Moreover this “rest” promise shall be similar to the rest of God on the Sabbath-day; a ceasing from work, and complacency in the things created, as when God surveyed the whole of his workmanship, “and behold it was very good  Hence our thoughts are naturally led to conclude, that the six days of creation were typical of six thousand years of the world’s history, and as the Sabbath was the time of God’s rest and complacency in his work, so the seventh millennium shall be a time of bliss and joy for all that are permitted to enter into it, and a “ceasing from work as God did from his  In accordance with this, as Greswel remarks a prophecy has long been current, ascribed by some to Elijah, that the world should exist six thousand years: two thousand, a void; two thousand, the law; two thousand, Christ.  The Jews also believe, as Raymund Martin assures us that the Messiah shall reign in the seventh millennium of the world with the just.  And as St. Paul in his argument fixes on those passages of the Scripture which contain the word “rest and decides both that this promise is real, future, and open to Gentiles as well as Jews, so may we, from the passages now before us, where it is expressly promised as then to take place, very justly believe that this is the time fixed for its fulfilment.

 

 

But this conclusion is yet powerfully corroborated by the Apocalypse and the Acts.  In 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 Babylon (who will be shortly proved to signify Antichrist), is made to cease.  Then shall the dirge of this chapter be sung over his fall - wherein is declared, that the “whole earth now at rest and quiet, and breaks forth into singing  Accordantly with this, while the nineteenth of Revelation describes the destruction of Antichrist and his host as noticed above, the beginning of the twentieth chapter describes the binding or Satan, and the glorious reign of the Millennium.

 

 

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 Babylon. That by him is signified Antichrist, let us offer, first, the authority of Bishop Horsley.  “The schemes of impious ambition ascribed in this verse [he is commenting on verse 13] to the Babylonian despot, suit exactly with the character of the Man of Sin, as delineated by Daniel and St. Paul, and seem to indicate, that the prophecy extends to much later times than that of the Babylonian empire  With this the sentiments of Vitringa accord.

 

 

But the 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 Babylon in the Revelation is signified Rome, so here we may understand that “King of Rome” will be one of the titles of Antichrist.  For though, from the Apocalypse (17: 12), it appears that the “ten kings which receive power as kings one hour with the beast shall destroy Rome with fire, thus fulfilling the will and vengeance of God, yet it is not [Page 182] improbable that the east, after the destruction of the city, which contained the only system and power capable of coping with his own, will take to himself the name of “King of Rome

 

 

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 St. Paul as the features of Antichrist and the Wilful King.  And first he is depicted as the oppressor.  Thus is he described in Isaiah 51: 12, 13 as exercising his power for the destruction of the saints and Jewish people; after which God bestows comfort on them when the oppressor is removed by the wrath of God.

 

 

“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,

 

“No longer shall the remnant of Israel,

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 Zion,

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, St. John foretels of the beast, “It was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them.” (Rev. 13: 7.)  Of his coadjutor, the false prophet, it is also written, ver. 15, “He caused that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed  These passages then identify him as the Persecuting Antichrist.

 

 

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 Lebanon, and I will cut down the tall cedars thereof, and the choice fir-trees thereof; and I will enter into the height of his border, and into the forest of his Carmel  In both passages what reason is there why we should not take the words literally? Sennacherib might have devised to secure for himself the costly and celebrated cedars of the forest of Lebanon for the purpose of building himself a palace, as did King Solomon; and the design of Antichrist may be similar, either in repairing or rebuilding “the temple of God” at  Jerusalem, where Daniel, Isaiah, and St. Paul conjointly assure us that he shall “sit showing himself that he is [Page 184] God.” (2 Thess. 2: 4.)  It is true that we must take the “rejoicing” of the fir-trees, and the speech of the cedars, as poetical: and why not then, it may be said, make the whole verse figurative?  Because it is easier to admit a metaphor, than an allegory.  And because it is the custom of Scripture frequently, especially in poetry, to use prosopopceia, as where it is said, that all “the trees of the field shall clap their hands  “From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty.” (2 Sam. 1: 22.)  But comparatively very sparingly is allegory introduced.  At the ninth verse the soul of the slain king is presented to us, not figuratively, but literally, descending into Hades:  (…, which never signifies the grave) that is, the intermediate state, or, rather place, where all the souls of the dead are gathered before the final judgement shall reunite body and soul.  And as he enters, the Rephaim* meet him, with scornful amazement –

 

* 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, St. John represents the close of the career of the Beast.  “The Beast was taken, and with him the false prophet ... These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” (Rev. 19: 20)  Eusebius thus corroborates this view of the passage, “They who are upon earth shall say the thing spoken above” (ver. 4-8), “but they who have passed through mortal life, and are detained in the regions of Hades as in chains, these also at his destruction shall speak the words following.” (Ver. 10.) The 12th verse describes the depth of his fall: “How art thou fallen from heaven, 0 Lucifer, son of the morning  These words would lead us to conclude, what Greswell has shown the ancient [Page 185] Church believed that Antichrist should be an incarnation of one of the spirits of evil. For he is here presented as one whose habitation once was the heaven, but afterwards cast out into the earth.  And this carries our thoughts to that time (yet future) when there shall be “war in heaven and the accusing spirits shall be finally ejected from the presence of God. “unto the earth.” (Rev. 12: 9. See Burgh on “Revelation,” p. 131.)  Hence our Saviour, prophetically speaking of the “things that are not as though they were observed to his disciples concerning that time, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” (Luke 10: I8.)

 

 

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 Mount Zion, the site of God’s temple, “the place as it is often expressed, “which the Lord chose to place his name there.” (1 Kings 14: 21.)  This is also the testimony of Jerome. “The mount of the covenant, that is in the temple, where the statutes of the Lord were instituted.  ‘The side of the north,’ that is Jerusalem.  For it is written (Ps. 67: 1), ‘The mountains of Zion are the sides of the north.’”* Again, agreeably with what is here stated as the despot’s ambition, St. Paul by the Spirit foreshows that he shall sit “as God in the temple of God” at Jerusalem.  On which see Burgh on the “Second Advent.” In precise accordance therewith, Daniel writes, “He shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain.” (Dan. 11: 45.)

 

* 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 St. John, “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies.  And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.” (Rev. 13: 5, 6.)

 

 

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 Babylon of the Apocalypse, a point examined at large hereafter, chapter 23.  This remarkable portrait of him who shall consummate iniquity, and seal up to utter perdition those who will not believe the truth, is found in Ezekiel 28: 1-19:-

 

 

“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 Eden, the paradise of God;

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 mountain of God:

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

 

 

Here the 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 Daniel’s: “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 Egypt.” (Dan. 11: 43.)  And before this, “Then shall he return into his land with [Page 189] great riches (Ver. 28.)  Again, “He shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land (earth) for gain.” (Ver. 39.)  By “the strangers, the terrible of the nations,” that shall draw their swords against him, may be meant the Jews (see Zech. 12: 6, 8; 14: 14); a position which will be confirmed by the consideration of chap. 18.

 

 

“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 Sea of Galilee), in the glorious holy mountain,” adds, “yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.” (Dan. 11: 45.)  That he shall die amongst “the multitude of the uncircumcised has been noticed already, where it has been shown that all nations shall be gathered together by his order against Jerusalem.  But this threatening is again amplified in the thirty-second chapter of Ezekiel.

 

 

Still further, a dirge is raised over the king of Tyrus, as over the king of Babylon.  And, as it seemed probable, from the words which have been noticed above, that the dreaded oppressor of the Church should be a fallen angel, this exactly teaches it, tells us his station in Eden, his glory, his original rectitude, his fall, his consequent ejection from his post of happiness and power, and lastly, his final scene of wealth and power on the earth.  And this arose from a heart lifted up: if then, even an angel fell by pride, how necessary for man “to walk humbly with his God He is represented again as “cast to the earth in exact accordance with what has been remarked above; and his being made a “public example” is thus prophesied:- “For Tophet is ordained of old: yea, for THE KING is it prepared: he hath made it deep and large; the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of Jehovah like a stream of fire doth kindle it.” (Is. 30: 33.)  The astonishment [Page 190] of the beholders is paralleled in this chapter of Isaiah, verse 16:-

 

“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 Jerusalem, “suffering the vengeance of eternal fire because he had destroyed the land of Immanuel, and slain his people.  Hence, also, his children are to be slain “for their fathers’ iniquityand, doubtless, for their own also; for it is added, lest they “rise up, and fill the face of the world with wars  This cannot be allowed, for as it is the time of Christ’s [millennial] reign, “all enemies must be put under his feet” and all “his foes made his footstool  Then follows the curse on Rome, which has been already considered.

 

 

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 Palestine, then shall the yoke for ever be broken from the neck of the Jews.  Nor does it concern them alone.  “This is the purpose that is purposed on the WHOLE EARTH; And this is the hand which is stretched out on all nations

 

 

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 St. John?  We have traced his prophecies, up to the glories of the thousand years, during which Satan is bound, and the earth is full of righteousness.  But afterwards we are informed, “when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the [Page 191] nations that are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.  And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city (Jerusalem): and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them(Rev. 20: 7-9.) By this fire it would appear that the earth is burnt up and then the general resurrection takes place.  No wonder, then, that a warning is given to all foreign nations, since they all are in danger of again being deceived by Satan, and perishing by the sudden and immediate stroke of the wrath of God.

 

 

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 St. John informs us. shall descend, on the earth which shall be created after this hath passed away?  And what answer shall then be made to those angels whom God hath set over various nations and kingdoms? (See Dan. 10.)  That it is the pleasure of God to found this New Jerusalem, and to give eternal rest and salvation therein to the poor of his people!

 

 

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.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

TRANSLATION

 

 

CHAPTER 15

 

 

1 THE ORACLE AGAINST MOAB.

 

 

By night Moab is undone, for by night is Ar of Moab destroyed!

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, shall Moab howl:

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 Moab shall cry out;

Her very soul shall cry.

5 The heart of Moab crieth out in her;

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 Moab:

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 Moab

And Ariel, and the remnant of Admah.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

EXPOSITION

 

 

CHAPTER 15

[Page 191]

 

The fifteenth chapter begins a new subject - the judgements upon Moab; but it is so obscure, that it is difficult to say anything with certainty.  It is probable that it has yet to be fulfilled: as no great and notorious accomplishment of the prophecy has taken place.  It would also appear likely that it shall be fulfilled by the “Destroyer of the Gentiles as Antichrist is called, Jer. 4: 7.  Yet thus to affirm appears to contradict a declaration of Daniel: “He (the Wilful King) shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but there shall escape out of his hand, even Edom and MOAB, and the chief of the children of Ammon.” (Dan. 11:  41.)  Yet perhaps there will be no contradiction if we suppose that the “country” of Moab shall, indeed, escape; but that its [Page 192] armies, assaulting him, shall be so utterly destroyed that it shall cause the whole breadth of the country to send up one cry of weeping and wailing.  “The city of Jassa,” says Jerome, “borders on the Dead Sea, which is the boundary of the province of Moab.  This, therefore, signifies that even to its extreme borders, the howling of the province shall reach  Procopius adds, “All these cities and villages of Moab which are named, are known even to the present time, all of which were to experience capture by the Assyrians.  Ariel also remains (like the rest) to the present day, being the considerable village called Areopolis

 

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

TRANSLATION

 

 

CHAPTER  16

 

 

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 daughter of Zion.

2 For it shall be that as a wandering bird, cast out of the nest.

So my daughters, 0 Moab, shall be at the fords of Arnon.

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 with thee, Moab;

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 Moab,

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 Moab;

In Moab shall all cry out.

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 Moab shall sound like pipes,

And her bowels like a pipe for the men of Kir-heres.

12 And it shall come to pass, that when Moab is ashamed,

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

Concerning Moab long ago; but now JEHOVAH hath spoken, saying,

After three years as the years of an hireling,

The glory of Moab shall be debased with all his great multitude;

And the remnant shall be left small and without honour.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

 

EXPOSITION

 

 

CHAPTER 16

 

 

“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 Moab, against whom the lion will rage, and of whom not even the remnant will be saved, receive this consolation.  From thee shall come the spotless Lamb that shall take away the sins of the world, and rule over the whole world  That Christ should come from Moab he afterwards explains, by noticing that Ruth was a Moabitess, of whose family sprang David, and, through David, Jesus the Lord.

 

 

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 Moab, but to the daughters of Zion, which is mentioned just before.  This appears highly probable, from the preceding and following context.  From the preceding; because, if it be proved that the first verse relates to the Saviour’s return and rule, the second will, with far greater probability, refer to the daughters of his people.  But from the subsequent context, the argument is far stronger.  The same parties here represented as “cast out of the nest are addressed as “my outcasts which can signify nothing but the Jews - the fellow-citizens of him who is designated, at the commencement of this chapter, as the Lamb of God.  As they are described as being “cast out of the nest when at the fords of Arnon; this refers with far greater force and beauty to Israel, driven from their own land into that of Moab, than to the daughters of Moab, in whose own native land was the river Arnon.  This remark overthrows the hypothesis of those who conceive that this chapter is a supplication on the part of Moab to be received into the land of Israel.  But additional and strongly confirmatory evidence is not wanting.  If the daughters of Zion be here spoken of then are these also twice mentioned, and once pointedly addressed by the Saviour.  But Jesus turning unto them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.  For behold, the days are coming in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.” (Luke 23: 28, 29.)  The other passage bears still more directly on the chapter before us.  For what is the tenour of the prophecy of Isaiah? For what is the tenour of the prophecy of Isaiah?  First, there is a promise that a mighty king shall come; then follows a description of a flight of females from their homes, in consequence of some desolation which has befallen their land.  Next, a command to Moab to offer shelter to these destitute outcasts, and not to betray them to the plunderer and oppressor that shall seek their lives.  After the destruction of which oppressor, there shall be a glorious and just ruler on the throne of David.

 

 

Now, how exactly does this tally with the prophecy [Page 194] on Mount Olivet (Matt. 24.)?  “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy placeand Jerusalem surrounded by armies,’ Luke], (whoso readeth, let him understand:) [‘then know that the desolation thereof is nigh,’ Luke.] Then let them that are in Judaea flee to the mountains: let not him that is on the housetop come down to take any thing out of his house: neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.  And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give such in those days! For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled   ‘for there shall be great distress in the land (earth), and wrath upon this people Luke.]”  Soon after which follows the promise of the Saviour’s appearance, and an intimation of joy to is people, that then is the time for them to rejoice.

 

 

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 temple of Jerusalem.  The time of this attempt will be, when he marches suddenly against it, and, as our Lord declares, “shall compass it with armies  See the clearness with which this is prophesied by Ezekiel, in his thirty-eighth chapter (corrected in places by the Septuagint):-

 

 

“Son of man, set thy face against Gog, and the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, 0 Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.  And I will gather thee, and all thy forces, horses and horsemen, all clad in breastplates, a great company, with bucklers and helmets, and swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya, all of them with shields and helmets: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah from the ends of the north, and all his bands: and many nations with thee. Prepare thyself, thou, and all thy company that is assembled unto thee, and thou shalt be my advanced guard. After many days shalt thou be prepared, and in the latter years shalt thou come into the land that is turned away from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel.  Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, and thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, [Page 195] and many people with thee.  Thus saith the Lord God: It shall also come to pass in that day, that thoughts shall come into thy mind, and thou shalt devise a wicked device: And shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages.  I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, al1 of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations which have gotten cattle and goods, and dwell in the centre of the earth

 

 

We see, then, why Israel is to flee.  Because Antichrist shall come up against Judaea and Jerusalem, with the mighty armies and nations above enumerated, and shall besiege and spoil the whole land suddenly, swiftly, in a time of peace.  For it would appear that Israel has at this time received him for their Messiah, and dwell in security under his expected protection.  Hear the Psalmist describing that day of terror, Psalm 55.: “He hath put forth his hands [Prayer-book version, ‘made war] against such as be at peace with him; he hath broken his covenant.  The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.” (Ver. 20, 21.)  In this time of seeming peace, then, he spoils the whole land, and compasses Jerusalem on the north and west.  Because of his speedy approach, therefore, unless the Jews flee with all their might at the very first alarm, none will escape.  And, because the north and west sides of Jerusalem will be first enclosed, therefore Israel is bid to flee to the mountains, that is, to the west and south, and the nearest point would be to flee to the mountains of Moab.  So swift must be this flight, that prayer is to be made that it be “not in the winter, nor on the Sabbath-day Hence, also, the woe “to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days  But this the prophecy supposes already accomplished.  Some of the daughters of Zion have escaped to the land of Moab, and the fords of Arnon.  Because of their desolate condition, ejected from their country in haste, the prophet beautifully likens them to “wandering birds cast out of the nest  With these outcasts Moab is commanded to deal mercifully, and to conceal them; at mid-day making her shadow of protection [Page 196] like the night, and not, at the charge of Antichrist, delivering up the fugitives.  For soon, they are taught, this Wilful King, who is described under his true characteristics as a “destroyer,” “oppressor and “spoiler and the “ruler that tramples” in scorn “on all the earth shall “come to his end, and none shall help him  It would seem that to this command of Jehovah Moab will attend, and refuse to deliver up the outcasts, not, indeed, from the fear of God, but through “pride (Ver. 6.)  Hence Antichrist “enters his coasts and “on his vintage and summer-fruits the destroyer” falls; and his armies cause such slaughter, that lamentation and wailing shall be heard in the places mentioned by the prophet.  Similar to the interpretation here given is the comment of Jerome on verse 3:- “In the clear daylight and open flight of my people, be thou as night and darkness, and betray not the wanderers.  And why he spoke thus, he immediately proceeds to say. ‘Mine outcasts shall dwell with thee.  For Jerusalem being laid waste, and all Judaea, which is on the borders of Moab, my people shall flee to thee.  Be thou, therefore, their hiding-place, nor fear the assault of the desolator, for as dust he shall soon pass away; and the devastator of the whole earth who trod it down, and subjected it to his feet, with the blowing of the wind shall perish  He also (which is of material moment) notices that this interpretation of the chapter before us was the one common amongst the ancient Christians, though he affixes to it his mark of displeasure: “Some explain this passage of Antichrist, as thinking that the saints at that time, because of the nearness of the city of Jerusalem, shall pass over to the Arabians, and that now a command is given that they should not betray those who flee to them.” Again he adds, on verse 5, “Others understand this of Christ.  The dust of Antichrist being removed, and the desolator being taken away, who trampled on the whole earth, Christ the king shall come, who shall sit on the throne of David, and in the day of judgement shall give to every one according to their deeds

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

TRANSLATION

 

 

CHAPTER 17

 

 

1THE ORACLE AGAINST DAMASCUS.

 

 

Behold, Damascus is destroyed from the number of cities,

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 Damascus:

*And the remnant of the Syrians

Shall be for the glory of the children of Israel,

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 Israel.

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 children of Israel,

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.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

EXPOSITION

 

 

CHAPTER 17

[Page 196]

 

The seventeenth chapter refers, it would seem, to the same times.  This appears from its being the day of Israel’s [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 Israel, we are informed in other places, shall take place under Antichrist.  “Except those days should be shortened, said the Lord, there should no flesh be saved  But St. Luke, in a verse quoted before, assures us that there should be “wrath on this people” of the Jews, at the same time that there shall be distress in the earth.  Yet this time of the cutting short of Israel’s numbers will be also the time of their returning to him that smote them.  Hence the 7th verse declares that “in that day a man shall trust in his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israelthat is, as Jerome observes, to Christ; for “without him was not anything made that was made and the apostles several times call him the “Just One  St. Peter, in particular, quotes, as belonging to the Saviour, the prediction of David which styles him “the Holy One  But before this day the cities of Judaea shall be desolate, which we have observed was prophesied above in the sixth chapter.  And the cause is doubtless to be found in the irruption of Antichrist, and the trampling down of Jerusalem and the whole land, by the Gentile nations under his sway, for the space of three years and a half.  Moreover, the circumstance to which the future devastation of Israel is compared, is similar to that here supposed.  As the Amorites and Hivites deserted their cities before Israel’s conquering armies, so shalt thou desert thine, 0 Israel, before the mustered nations of Armillus, thy fierce foe!  This terrible scourge shall be used because of the rejection of Jesus as the Messiah. “Therefore thou shalt plant faithless plants and an unbelieving seedwhich words refer probably to their preference of the false Messiah to the true; the result of which is their last terrible discomfiture.  And this is sublimely and briefly depicted in the concluding verses.  “Woe to the multitude of many nations saith Isaiah: and we have seen that Armillus comes up against Jerusalem with many nations, just before his last overthrow.  The same scene is predicted with like sublimity and exact [Page 198] parallelism by Zechariah, as is noticed by Burgh.  “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil (0 Jerusalem) shall be divided in the midst of thee.  For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of my people shall not he cut off from the city.  Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations.” (Zechariah 14: 1-3.)  The plagues that shall follow and destroy this multitude are described in the 12th and following verses.  Similar is the prophecy of Zephaniah: “Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured by the fire of my jealousy.” (Zeph. 3: 8.)  In spite therefore of their vast multitude, and mighty sounds of war, they shall be destroyed with ease.  “Before the morning … Antichrist and his army is no more as in the overthrow of Pharaoh, “The sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared … and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.” (Exod. 14: 27.)

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

TRANSLATION

 

 

CHAPTER 18

 

 

1* Ho! land that spreadest wide the shadow of thy wings,

Which art beyond the rivers of Cush!

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 hosts, Mount Zion.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

EXPOSITION

 

 

CHAPTER 18

[Page 198]

 

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. Henderson’s 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 Bishop’s commencing observations:-

 

 

“I  set out with considering every one of these assumptions (that the prophecy regarded Egypt; described a heavy judgement; and that the time was close at hand), as doubtful; and the conclusion to which my investigations bring me, is that every one of them is false.  First, the prophecy indeed predicts some woeful judgement.  But the principal matter of the prophecy is not judgement but mercy, a gracious promise of the final restoration of the [Page 199] Israelites.  Secondly, the promise has no respect to Egypt or to any of the contiguous countries.  What has been applied to Egypt is a description of some people or another destined to be the principal instruments, in the hand of Providence, in the great work of the resettlement of the Jews in the Holy Land - a description of that people by characters by which they shall be evidently known when that time arrives.  Thirdly, the time for the completion of the prophecy was very remote when it was delivered, and is yet future, being indeed the season of the second Advent of our Lord

 

 

A summons is uttered to some mighty nation, situated either towards the east or west of Cush (or Ethiopia), and accustomed to send ambassadors by sea (to all nations), and letters on the surface of the waters, commanding her messengers to go forth.  Yet it should be noticed that the first characteristic of this nation is given differently by the LXX., according to whom it should be, “Land of the winged ships

 

 

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 Joshua’s day, of the Judges, and the Kings, of the Saviour’s 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 God’s 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 Saviour’s 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, men’s 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 Horsley’s 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 Horsley’s 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 God’s 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 reader’s 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 St. John, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. [Page 202] Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit Moreover, as Isaiah declares that these useless twigs shall be left to the ravenous bird and the wild beasts, signifying thereby the desertion of the Christian faith by false professors, for the lies and abominations of Antichrist and his seducing spirits, so Paul foretells, that “in the latter days men shall depart from the (Christian) faith and the Man of Sin shall gather them to his party and to his own dreadful end.  “For this cause God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”   In St. Paul their want of faith is ascribed as the reason of their rejection; in St. John the want of those works which are the evidence of faith.

 

 

Yet at 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 Saviour’s abode on Mount Zion.

 

 

The observations of Procopius on this point are here presented to the reader’s 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 Church of God.  And the superfluous branches of the vine shall be cast for food to the avenging Powers; and the fruitful souls shall attain their expectation from God.  But who he is that shall take away and cut off, the Saviour himself declares, setting before us under the figure of a vine and its branches, the good and the foolish, saying, ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he taketh away”  Here the writer refers the period spoken of to that succeeding the final judgement, which the concluding words forbid us to admit; for the time specified shall be that of the Jews’ return, both locally to “Mount Zion and spiritually in heart to the faith of Christ; and this were impossible in its former part after the earth is burnt up.  With this exception the view of Procopius agrees with that given above.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

TRANSLATION

 

 

CHAPTER 19

 

 

1 THE SENTENCE OF EGYPT.

 

 

BEHOLD, JEHOVAH rideth

On a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt,

And the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence,

And the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst thereof.

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 Egypt shall be troubled in the midst of her;

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 Pharaoh’s 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 Egypt;

13 The princes of Zoan have become fools,

The princes of Noph (Memphis) are deceived;

They shall deceive Egypt,

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 Egypt to err in all her deeds,

As the drunkard staggereth and vomiteth at once:

15 Nor shall there be any work for Egypt,

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.

17 And the land of Judaea shall be a terror to Egypt;

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 land of Egypt

Speak the language of Canaan,

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 Egypt,

And a pillar at the border thereof unto JEHOVAH.

20 And it shall be for a perpetual sign

Unto JEHOVAH of hosts in the land of Egypt.

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 smite Egypt with a mighty blow,

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 Egypt to Assyria,

And the Assyrians shall come into Egypt,

And the Egyptians shall go into Assria,

And the Egyptians shall worship with the Assyrians.

24 In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and Assyria,

Even a blessing in the midst of the earth,

25 Whom JEHOVAH of hosts shall bless, saying,

“Blessed be my people, Egypt;

And Assyria, the work of my hands;

And Israel, mine inheritance.”

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

EXPOSITION

 

 

CHAPTER 19

[Page 203]

 

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 called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified  Now this last clause beyond a doubt fixes the city as that of Jerusalem.  That Jerusalem is called Sodom, is certain from the very first chapter of Isaiah.  But where is it prophesied of under the name of Egypt?  Is it so entitled in this chapter?  There is much evidence in support of it, though it must be confessed that there are serious, or perhaps we should say insuperable, objections against it.

 

 

It remains then that this foretells Christ’s judgement on the land of Egypt at his return.  Nor should it be forgotten that while most of the other nations that were contemporary with Israel in the early ages of the world have vanished, the Egyptians still remain, and doubtless will subserve a purpose in the future history of God’s dealing with the world.  They are not to be condemned, as Babylon, to a final overthrow and desolation, but are to know the Lord and be known and blessed of him.  But here the calamities that shall befall them in the last days are revealed.  First, civil war - Egyptian against Egyptian, city against city, kingdom against kingdom.  And this probably shall take place at that time of which the Saviour speaks, when [Page 204] “nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom the first of the signs given of his return: since, from the words that precede, “the end is not yet we gather, that those previously spoken received their accomplishment in the Roman destruction of the Jewish temple.

 

* 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 Christ’s coming as almost any that can be found.  His appearance on Zion (Verse 2).  The fire burning before him (2 Thess. 1: 8.)  His coming to judge (Verse 4).  His gathering the saints (Verse 5; Matthew 24: 3l.)  Then Christ’s plea, first with the righteous, and then with the wicked, all clearly betoken the real day of his coming.  The passage in Isaiah will be considered soon.  That from St. John predicts “no great calamity or remarkable judgement.” And James (5: 8) predicts no “great calamity,” other than the last judgement of the ungodly. (See verses 3, 7, 9.)

 

 

Next the prophet unfolds the sway of magical superstition to which Egypt was always and still is addicted. That this will be very general the Scriptures foretell.  Next is foretold their delivery into the hand of a “cruel lord and fierce king  There is no difficulty in deciding him to be the Wilful King prophesied of above.  He is called by Daniel a “king of fierce countenance who stands up “when transgressors are come to the full.” (Dan. 8: 23.)  That he shall be cruel, is seen (to take but one testimony) from Dan. 11: 44.  And, which critically confirms the whole, “He shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt” (ver. 43), showing that that country is given into his hand.

 

 

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 existence of Egypt depends upon its annual overflow, as it never rains there; hence the extent of the calamity may well be imagined, should such an event occur; and its effects are here graphically foretold.  As once in the days of Moses, its waters “were turned into blood, so that they could not drink the waters of the riverso in that day, its waters shall be wasted, and fail.  And as then, “the fish that was in the river died so the same is implied here also from the mourning of the fishermen, whether anglers, or the casters of nets.  And as then, “the Egyptians digged round about the river for water to drink, for they could not drink of the water of the river so here it is threatened that “the Egyptians shall drink sea water  Is not this the time of which it is prophesied in the Apocalypse, “And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the [Page 205] third part of the waters became wormwood; and many died of the waters, because they were made bitter(Rev. 8: 10, 11.)  But you do not mean to say, that the star shall actually fall, and the waters become bitter?  Astronomy has marked out the paths of the stars, and we know their courses, and are confident that such a thing could not take place?  It shall be seen one day, whether God is able to accomplish his word or no.  “If it be marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be MARVELLOUS IN MINE EYES? saith the Lord of hosts(Zech. 8:6.)  “Fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven

 

 

At these fearful judgements the heart of Egypt shall fail, and its wise men seek in vain to discover their causes, yet shall not return to him that smote them.  “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass.” (Rev. 9: 20.)  On this passage Jerome remarks, that at Zoan or Tanes the miracles of Moses of old time were wrought.  He then proceeds. “That Memphis also was given to magic arts, traces of the old error even to the present time show.  And this briefly indicates, that when the Babylonian invasion comes, all the counsel of the magicians and of those who promised the knowledge of future things are convicted of folly

 

 

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 Egypt, Assyria, and Palestine, will be open.  And then will the blessing of the Saviour rest on the land in which for a time he tarried, when the Father “called his Son out of Egypt  And he shall say,

 

“Blessed be my people, Egypt;

And Assyria, the work of my hands,

And Israel mine inheritance

 

 

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 Egypt,’ both Jews and Christians understand the coming of the Christ, but they put off their views to the future, we hold them to be now accomplished  Then he adds, speaking of the pillar’s erection, “It shall, be for a sign and a testimony, that is, of the Saviour’s passion.  Then they who believe, when the Egyptians combat with Egyptians, and a man fights with his brother, and city goes to war with city, when the time of persecution shall have come, (how exactly accordant with the Lord’s prophecy on Olivet!) will implore the mercy of the Lord, and he will send them immediately a Saviour, that is, Jesus; for the word [Saviour] becomes [Jesus] in Latin

 

 

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 have possessed Egypt and Ethiopia

 

 

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”

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

TRANSLATION

 

 

CHAPTER 20

 

 

1 In the year that Tartan entered into Ashdod, (where he was sent by Sargon, the King of Assyria,) and he fought against Ashdod, and took it;

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 Assyria lead captive

Egyptians and Ethiopians, young and old, naked and barefoot,

With their hinder-parts discovered, to the shame of Egypt.

5 And they shall be afraid and ashamed

Of Cush their expectation,

And of Egypt their glory.

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?

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

EXPOSITION

 

 

CHAPTER 20

[Page 206]

 

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

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

TRANSLATION

 

 

CHAPTER 21

 

 

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.

Go up, Elam! besiege, ye Medes!

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 Babylon: and all her images,

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 ARABIA.

 

 

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 land of Teman.

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.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

EXPOSITION

 

 

CHAPTER 21

 

 

The first vision of this chapter contains the execution of God’s vengeance against Babylon.  It received its first accomplishment in the taking of that city by the Medes and Persians, who are here mentioned by name.  But as there is a Babylon yet to be destroyed, so the vision has yet a future fulfilment in the destruction of Rome. This will be seen from the entire accordance of this chapter with the fiftieth and fifty-first chapters of Jeremiah, and the agreement of each of these with themselves, and with the seventeenth and eighteenth chapters of Revelation.

 

 

The time predicted is, I suppose, that day when Antichrist, and Rome* as the seat of the Roman Catholic religion, are jointly ruling the earth.  But this joint rule will displease the Wilful King, whose ambition will spur him on to universal lordship: and he will command his ten tributary kings to destroy her.  He has already begun to scorn and to destroy, but has not yet reached his height [Page 208] of power, nor till this capture of Rome as the seat of an independent power, will he be most probably entitled “the King of Babylon  So dreadful are these times of trouble, that the prophet compares it to a southern tempest violently sweeping along.  The blasphemy and violence and persecution are such, that Isaiah vividly describes his keen pain and anguish at the sight of God’s people mercilessly massacred, both by Rome and Antichrist.  For the mystical Babylon just before her overthrow is described as “drunken with the blood of the saints as it is also said of Armillus, that the “saints were given into his hand  That these two independent powers will join to destroy the saints, though hating each other in heart, is seen by the example of Herod and Pilate, who “though before they had been at enmity between themselves united in putting Jesus to death.

 

*That Rome will yet fulfil the prophecy of Revelation by becoming an immense city of traffic, and will again rule over the world, see Burgh on the Revelation.

 

 

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 God’s saints for a time, Armillus, as we have seen, becomes jealous of Rome, and designs to put an end to her power.

 

 

This is the next scene of the prophetic vision.

 

 

“Go up, Elam! besiege, ye Medes!

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 kingsking,’ LXX.) of the Medes,

For his purpose is against Babylon to destroy it.

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 arrayed against Babylon, under the command (as Isaiah states) of Princes.  In the prophecy of Jeremiah we find that these princes are “rulers” subordinate to the “King of the Medes and of all the earth

 

 

This is confirmed and expounded yet further by St. John, who foretells that these princes shall be ten in number, who shall rise up at the breaking in pieces of the Roman empire.  “The ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no power as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the Beast.  These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the Beast. ... And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the Beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked and burn her with fire.  For God hath put it into their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.” (Rev. 17: 12, 13, 16, 17.)  But the coincidence between St. John and Jeremiah must be drawn yet closer.  St. John calls her in the second verse of this chapter, “The great whore, with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication  Such are also the words of Jeremiah in the same chapter, “Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord's hand, that hath made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine, therefore the nations are mad  And as St. John heard a voice bidding the Lord’s people depart out of her, so in the sixth verse of the chapter of Jeremiah above mentioned, an exactly similar command is given.  And as St. John declares that the ten kings “shall burn her with fire,” so does Jeremiah affirm in the 30th verse, “They have burned her dwelling-places: her bars are broken

 

 

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 St. John was forbidden to narrate what the seven thunders uttered.  He is then directed to call Uriah the priest, one of the witnesses to the birth of Maher-shalal Hash-baz.  The purport of this is [Page 210] mentioned by Theodoret: “Take Uriah as your companion, for in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established  He then declares that after standing on the watch day and night he beheld the rider of the chariot drawn by the two animals approaching.  The charioteer then declares the issue of the expedition of the ten kings.

 

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon, and all her images,

And all the idol-works of her hand are crushed to the earth

 

 

As this is precisely similar to the announcement of St. John, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication which is made by an “angel so is it probable that the charioteer of Isaiah is an angel also.  A like declaration of God’s wrath upon her is made Jeremiah 51: 8, “Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her  And in Jeremiah 50: 2, “Publish, and conceal not; say, Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces

 

 

“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 Babylon, What is written concerning them; with the prophet’s exhortation to return to Jehovah whom they had so long forsaken.  Perhaps it refers to that time of which St. John speaks immediately before the passage last quoted: “I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his [Page 211] judgement is come (Rev. 14: 6, 7.)  “The morning cometh, and also the night thus explained by Jerome, “The morning cometh to my people, and night to the nation of the Edomites: to the one will I give light, you will I leave in darkness  He mentions also, which is certainly true, that the Jews by Idumea, or Edom, understand Rome, though not as he supposes from the resemblance of the Hebrew letters in the two words: E-D-o-M and R-o-M-e; the D and R being in Hebrew exceedingly like each other.  But Raymund Martin in his Pug. Fid  more truly remarks, “The Jews call the Romans the sons of Esau.  In innumerable places in the Talmud they are called sometimes Esau, sometimes Edom, or Seir, or the sons of Esau, and Rome is called Mount Seir, or the Mount of Esau.  In Obadiah, ‘And saviours shall arise on Mount Zion  ‘That is,’ says Rab. Solomon, ‘It is to teach that the kingdom of God shall not be perfect till he hath taken vengeance on the impious Esau  Rabbi Solomon in his note adds, ‘Titis is Rome”  Still further, “Kimchi,” remarks De Rossi, “in the ‘Soncinensian,’ Ed. of 1486, and the ‘Ulyssiponentian,' of 1492, reads ‘not Edom but Rome ‘And according to the words of our Rabbins of blessed memory, in the book of Rabbi Meir, they found it written, ‘The burden of Dumah is the burden of Rome.’”  In a succeeding note De Rossi further remarks, on finding one of his codices reading. … “It is indeed remarkable that this, which is the ancient interpretation of the Jews, the extreme resemblance of the two letters (… and …), and the great likelihood of mistaking them, should not have occasioned this various reading to be found in more MSS

 

 

The vision of Arabia is, I conceive, a further enlargement of the vision respecting Moab.  The vision of Moab presented to us the Israelites driven by Armillus out of their native land.  Here they are represented again as on their road to Arabia; and the place of their lodging on their flight is predicted.  The Arabians are commanded to bring the weary and thirsty fugitives bread and water: which command Jehovah will doubtless at the time put it into their hearts to fulfil.  Because of the omission of this act of kindness and hospitality, God was very indignant against Moab in the days of Moses. “An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord, even to the … [Page 212] tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the Lord for ever, Because they met you not with bread and water, in the way when ye came forth out of Egypt.” (Dent. 23: 3, 4.)  The fugitives here spoken of are represented as escaping because of the multitude of the slaughtered and the horrors of war, as it was shown above, will be the case when the Wilful King makes his treacherous and bloody expedition against Judaea and Jerusalem.

 

 

Jerome’s 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 Arabia, in the path which leads to their brethren  [Dodanim, he observes, signifies “relations.”] “And again his discourse is turned towards the Ishmaelites, and he exhorts them to mercy, ‘Run ye, and carry water to meet your brethren, weary and in danger of death from burning thirst, for so great is the heat of the sun, that except you aid them, they must perish in the desert; and bring, not only water, but bread to the fugitives, that those whom the siege has ruined, your mercy may relieve.’  And at the same time, he adds the reason why he bids them do these things.  They have fled from the sword of Babylon, they have fled from the bows of the Elamites, they have fled from the battle nigh at hand

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

TRANSLATION

 

 

CHAPTER 22

 

 

1 THE ORACLE CONCERNING THE VALLEY OF ZION.

 

 

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.

In the valley of Zion there is wandering,

From the greatest to the least, they roam upon the mountains.

6 And they of Elam bare quivers;

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 Judah;

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 Jerusalem,

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 inhabitants of Jerusalem,

And to the house of Judah.

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 father’s 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.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

EXPOSITION

 

 

CHAPTER 22

[Page 212]

 

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 Jerusalem gone up to the house-tops.  For what reason?  The answer to this must contain a reply signifying the general bearing of the whole.  It represents, I apprehend, the great final siege of Jerusalem by the Destroyer.  The inhabitants have run to the housetops to see the invader’s troops advancing: which is the very position in which our Lord supposes that some of the inhabitants at that day would be found. “Let him which is on the house-top not come down to take anything out of his house.” (Matt. 24: 17.)  Yet it is said, that [Page 213] “the slain are not the slain of the sword  Probably this intimates that many will die outright with fear: perhaps also with hunger and pestilence, which the Most High may send during the siege.  But the next verse describes the capture, the binding together of the rulers and the prisoners of various kinds, with the flight of the men of war, such as took place in the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. (2 Kings 25: 4.)  That day will be eminently “a day of troubleindeed “the day of GREAT TRIBULATION especially to Israel, as has before been shown by the quotation from the twenty-first chapter of St. Luke.  So Jeremiah 30: 5-7, describes it, “For thus saith the Lord; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.  Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?  Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it; it is even the time of Jacob's trouble;  but he shall be saved out of it  It is also a day of wandering on “the mountains for thither Christ has directed all those who believe in him to flee in that day, as has been noticed above.  Next, the nations by whom the infliction is wrought are brought before the reader; and subsequently their searching into every, house for spoil, and their discovering the measures taken by the inhabitants of Jerusalem to stand the siege.

 

 

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 voluptuary’s 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 duty.  St. Paul, by having quoted this passage in the magnificent chapter on the resurrection, has reproved this mirth of reckless despair.  He hath set forth there the life beyond, and the resurrection as the gate that leads to it.  Were this life the only existence, then when we fell into deep calamity, we might perhaps be excused for saying, Our life is cut short, and darkness has enveloped its future; let us [Page 214] enjoy the little pleasure which is in our grasp, for to-morrow we shall be no more.  “But now hath Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept Hence there is a [out] resurrection of the [‘soul’ and the] flesh and a judgement-day, in which the deeds of man shall be finally recompensed.

 

 

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 Jerusalem went over to the Assyrian monarch. However this be, when his removal should take place, it was foretold that “Eliakim, which was over the household should take his office and stewardship.

 

 

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 father’s 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 Jerusalem,

And to the house of Judah

“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 daysays 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.)

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

TRANSLATION

 

 

CHAPTER 23

 

 

1 THE SENTENCE OF TYRE.

 

 

Howl, ships of Tarshish, for it hath been spoiled!

And men come no more from the coast of Chittim.

They are carried captive.

2 To whom Were they like, they that dwelt in this island?

The traders of Phoenicia, messengers that passed over the sea!

3 On mighty waters was the nation of merchants.

As when the harvest of Ur is carried in, are the traders of the nations!

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 Egypt,

Sorrow on behalf of Tyre shall seize them.

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 Tyre?

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 Zion:

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,

That Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years,

As the years of one king,

And after seventy years,

Shall Tyre be as the song of an harlot.

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 Tyre;

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 Jerusalem,

For meat and for drink, even to the full,

And for clothing that shall not wax old.

 

 

*       *       *

 

 

EXPOSITION

 

 

CHAPTER 23

[Page 215]

 

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 Jerusalem and Rome.  In this way only it appears can the intimations left unfulfilled by the literal Tyre be accomplished.  But in thus applying the prophecies respecting Tyre to modern times, a great difficulty has been felt, from the apparently opposite statements made respecting her.  And though it is certain that the fault is in the interpreter, and not in the prophets, yet the difficulty of reconciling them remains the same.  With diffidence, therefore, the conclusions derived from investigation of the subject are presented to the reader.

 

 

[Page 216] It has been already intimated, that by Tyre we are probably to understand Rome.  But against this conclusion a formidable objection will probably at once start up in the mind of the reader.  Tyre was the “merchant city” of old time, but Rome has never been noted for her commerce, at least in modern times.  Now the same objection applies with equal force against interpreting the “Babylon” of the Apocalypse to signify Rome.  And if this objection be overruled by all commentators, and the description be thought nevertheless to apply to her with the most evident clearness, then is the same objection against her description under the name of Tyre overruled also.

 

 

But further, those who have perused Burgh’s “Exposition of the Revelation,” and are satisfied with his literal scheme of interpretation, will be apt to think with him, that Rome has yet to become the mightiest of merchant cities, as renowned for traffic, as she was once for arms.  If ever again she assumes power over the world, as prophecy seems evidently to foretell, then it would seem necessary or inevitable that she must become great by commerce.  It may be, indeed, apparently absurd to assert this, and contrary to all human probabilities; but surely the very glory of God is to foretell that which the keenest sagacity of man could not discover.  It may be safely left thus.  If “it is written” it shall certainly be accomplished; and if “Babylon” be Rome, it is certainly predicted that Rome shall be mighty in commerce.

 

 

Let us, then, compare the features of Tyre and Babylon as delineated by inspiration, and see if they do not even minutely accord.  For thus by proving the prophetic Tyre to be identical with the prophetic Babylon, the end will be attained to all who believed Babylon to mean Rome.

 

 

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, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen and the announcement, that “the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.” (Verses 2, 3.).

 

 

Next note the pride of Tyrus, “0 Tyrus, thou hast said, I am of perfect beauty  So St. John, “She saith [Page 217] in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.” (Verse 7.)  Then follows in Jeremiah a description of Tyre apparently under the figure of a ship, represented as composed of the most costly materials.  “Fine linen with broidered work from Egypt was that which thou spreadest forth to be thy sail; blue and purple from the isles of Elishah was that which covered thee  This greatly resembles the description of the mystic Babylon, “The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls.” (Chap. 17: 4.)  Succeeding which, the prophet gives an enumeration of the various nations with which Tyrus had commerce, and the commodities that they imported. This list is wonderfully similar to St. John’s description of the wares brought to Babylon,- “The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and of fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner of vessels of ivory, and all manner of vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, and cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men  The same nearly are said to be the commodities of Tyre: “gold” is brought her by the “merchants of Sheba and Ramah” (ver. 22); “silver by the men of Tarshish (ver. 12); “precious stones by the merchants of Sheba and Ramah; as we also read of Syria bringing “emeralds, and coral, and agate (Verses 22 and 16.)  “Purple, fine linen, and silk, and scarlet are the next commodities mentioned in Revelation.  These answer to the “broidered work and fine linen” of Syria, the “blue clothes, and broidered work, and chests of rich apparel” of “Haran, and Canneh, and Eden, and the merchants of Sheba, Asshur, and Chilmad.” (Verses 23, 24.)  “The thyine wood, and ivory, and precious wood is paralleled by the “horns of ebony and ivory” of verse 15, while in verses 5 and 6 we read of “fir-trees of Senir,” “cedars of Lebanon,” “oaks of Bashanand “benches of ivory  The “brass, iron, and marble of the Apocalypse correspond with the “silver, iron, tin, and lead of Tarshish, and the “vessels of brass brought by Javan, Tubal, and Meshech. (Ver. 13.)  “Cinnamon, odours, and frankincense answer to the “chief of all [Page 218] spices” of Sheba and Raamah, and the “cassia and calamus” of Dan and Javan. (Ver. 19.) The “wine, and oil, fine flour, and wheat are enumerated as the produce of Judah and Damascus in verses 17 and 18.  The “beasts, and sheep, and horses are found mentioned as the importations of Arabia and Kedar, with those of the house of Togarmah (Verses 21, 14.)  That “chariots” are implied also among the merchandise of Tyre is evident from the words of ver. 20 - “Dedan was thy merchant in precious clothes for chariots where the LXX have “in choice beasts for chariots  There yet remain but two articles of the list unnoticed – “slaves and souls of men  But here also there is a correspondence - “Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, they were thy merchants: they traded the persons of men (...)

 

 

After this description of the wealth of Tyre succeeds the account of her destruction: and here the parallelism between Ezekiel and Revelation is so striking, that the texts are set side by side for inspection:-

 

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 [Page 219]

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 reader’s 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 Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and chariots, and horsemen, and companies, and much people.” (Verse 7.)  His military operations are then described, and the result, he shall enter into thy gates; with the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all thy streets: “he shall slay thy people with the sword.” (Verses 10, 11.)  This prophecy was doubtless fulfilled primarily by the siege and destruction of Tyre under the literal Nebuchadnezzar; but as it has been shown, that one is hereafter to arise of whom Nebuchadnezzar is only the figure, we are justified in assuming that this has yet ultimately to be accomplished by the “Destroyer of the Gentiles  Nor is the account of the destruction of Babylon in the Apocalypse at all inconsistent with this.  That sacred book declares, that the ten kings of the Roman empire in its future divided state, “shall receive power as kings one hour with the Beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the Beast.  And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the Beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.  For God hath put it in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree and give their kingdom unto the Beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.” (Rev. 17: 12, 13. 16, 17.)  [Page 220] These two predictions are, therefore, easily reconciled.  As these ten kings agree with Antichrist, and use their forces to advance every will of his, conjointly with him, therefore Ezekiel notices the destruction of Tyre as the effect of the wrath or ambition of the “Wilful King while St. John regards principally the instruments of it; to which let the testimony of Jeremiah be subjoined (chapter 47: 2), “Thus saith the Lord; Behold, waters rise up out of the north, and shall be an overflowing flood, and shall overflow the land (earth), and all that is therein; the city, and all them that dwell therein; then the men shall cry, and all the inhabitants of the land (earth) shall howl.  At the noise of the stamping of the hoofs of his strong horses, at the rushing of his chariots, and at the rumbling of his wheels, the fathers shall not look back to their children for feebleness of bands because of the day that cometh to spoil all the Philistinesforeign nations,’ LXX), and to cut off from Tyrus and Zidon every helper that remaineth  But there is one remarkable part of the destiny of Tyre which has not yet been noticed by any of the passages adduced; her destruction by fire.  This is supplied by Zech. 9: 1-11, in which some of the readings of the LXX. are adopted in preference to the Hebrew.  “The burthen of the word of the Lord in the land of Hadrach and of Damascus his sacrifice; for the Lord hath the oversight of man, and of all the tribes of Israel, and of Hamath, with its coasts, Tyre and Sidon, though they be very wise.  And Tyrus hath built herself a stronghold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets.  Behold, Jehovah will cast her out, and smite her power ininto,’ LXX.) the sea, and she shall be devoured with fire.  And aliens shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut of the pride of foreigners.  And I will take away their blood from their mouth, and their abominations from the midst of their teeth; but he that remaineth, even he, shall be for our God, and he shall be as a governorcaptain of a thousand,’ LXX.) in Judah and Ekron as a Jebusite.  And will encamp about mine house because of the army, because of him that passeth by, and him that returneth: and no oppressor shall pass through them any more; for now have I seen (the oppressor) with mine eyes.  Rejoice greatly, 0 daughter of Zion; shout, 0 daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh to thee; he is just, and [Page 221] having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.  And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace to the heathen, and his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.  As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water  In this passage more verses are quoted than are absolutely necessary, because the author could not deny himself the pleasure of pointing out to his readers how exactly this prophecy, in its broad bearing, agrees with the landmarks already laid down.  The first and second comings of the Lord are here blended, as is commonly the case: but the part which refers to his meekness, and his sitting on an ass and its colt, is already literally and indisputably fulfilled.  It remains then that the rest be similarly accomplished at his second coming.  In casting the eye consecutively down the verses adduced, we observe God’s providence ordering all events in the world, and at that time effecting the overthrow of Tyrus by fire: next the great confederate invasion of Judaea is intimated to us by “aliens dwelling in Ashdod, and the pride of the foreigners being cut off while their prey is taken from their teeth.  On the remnant of Ashdod is poured out the Spirit of God, and they dwell in Judah, and are advanced therein to honour; residing in the land of promise as did Aranuah the Jebusite in the midst of Jerusalem, after it had been conquered by David, and become his own city.  At this time Christ shall come and cut off the “chariot, and horse, and battle bow for he shall make wars to cease unto “the ends of the earth and “his dominion shall be from sea to sea while, by the blood of his covenant, the Father sends forth the souls of the just from their present sojourn in Hades - that “pit without water  As it is noticed in another place, that the destruction of Babylon is the great event just before the coming of the Saviour, so does the destruction of Tyre immediately precede his coming in this instance also, thus completing the correspondence.  It should not, however, be forgotten that the prophecy of the “king of Tyrus which has been noticed above, so exactly tallies with the prophecy of the arrogance and final fall of the “king of Babylon” on the one hand, and of the “Man of Sin and [Page 222] “the beast” on the other; that this also forms another corroboratory evidence.

 

 

Yet this view does not embrace the whole of the intimations respecting Tyre.  It should be observed, then, that there are two seemingly contradictory statements respecting Tyre: one, declaring that the city shall never be built, nor even found any more, though she be sought for (Ezekiel 26: 21; 27: 36): and the other, the prediction of this chapter, that after seventy years she shall be rebuilt on her old site, and her merchandise laid up for those that dwell before Jehovah.  This difference of lot obliges us, it would seem, to adopt the supposition that there are two Tyres: both resembling the city of old time in extent of traffic, commercial prosperity, wealth, and pride; but which shall experience very different destinies.  With this supposition the chapter of Isaiah now in question, together with scattered hints of Scripture, and profane history, and passages of the Psalms, seem to harmonize.  For it appears from profane history that there were two Tyres - the one, on the main land; the other, seven hundred paces distant in the midst of the sea.  That on the main land was called Palaeo Tyrus, or, Old Tyre, and this was the city which was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar.  But afterward the city on the island arose, and became both populous and wealthy.  Prideaux supposes, that after the fall of continental Tyre, it submitted to Nebuchadnezzar for the space of seventy years. (Vol. i. p. 83.)  Its subsequent history will be referred to again.

 

 

But, on the supposition of a twofold Tyre, what country or city are we to suppose designated by it?  The present chapter addresses Tyre as an “island” without a parallel. “a nation of merchants a sea-faring people, and, according to the authorized translation, “a mart of nations(Verse 2, 3.)  She is described as haughty and ancient, her “merchants as princes, her traffickers the honourable of the earth her power “as provoking kings by sea (Verses 7, & 11.)  Would, then, the conclusion be devoid of probability, that should consider England to be the state addressed?  Do not all these characters meet in her? and, in their totality, in her alone?  Some may, indeed, laugh to scorn the supposition; but it will, perhaps, be easier to laugh at, than to overthrow it by argument.  Does not the declaration by the prophet, that Jehovah. of hosts [Page 223] intends, by his counsel in leading Tyre captive, to “wound the pride of all glory, and bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth afford further support to the idea?  For what, would effect this purpose so fully, so deeply, as the humiliation and servitude of England, boastful of her freedom, power, intelligence, and wealth?  And what could humble her more than the destruction of her navy, implied in the succeeding words‑

 

 

“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 Israel unto me; Take the wine-cup of this fury at mine hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it.  And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send upon them.  Then I took the cup at the Lord’s hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the Lord had sent me: To wit, Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and the kings thereof, and the princes thereof, to make them a desolation, an hissing, and a curse; as it is this day. … Edom, and Moab, and the children of Ammon, And all the kings of Tyrus, and all the kings of Zidon, and all the kings of the isles that are beyond the sea.  …  And all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world, which are upon the face of the earth: and the king of Sheshach (Babylon) shall drink after them.” (Jeremiah 25: 15-18, 21, 22, 26.)  Then follows the threat of punishment on them all, and their gathering together, when Christ shall “shout at his return, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.” (Verse 30.)

 

 

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 Babylon, my servantto serve him,’ LXX., instead of ‘my servant,’]; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him The next verse is omitted by the LXX., and appears, in some measure, to oppose the general tenour of the prophecies respecting Antichrist; though it is also true, that in Isaiah 14: 21, he is bidden to “prepare his children for the slaughter  To reconcile this then, we must suppose that “his son and his son’s son” do not designate successive generations, but cotemporaneous rulers.  “And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the Lord, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand.  Therefore hearken ye not to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon: For they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish.  But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let still remain in their own land, saith the Lord; and they shall till it, and dwell therein.” (Jer. 27: 2-11.)  The duration of this servitude is also specified.  “Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the Lord, and Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and will bring them against this land (of Judah), and against all the inhabitants thereof and against all these nations round about, and will utterly lay them waste (… LXX.), and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and a perpetual reproach. (… LXX.)  And the whole earth (… LXX.) shall be a desolation and an astonishment round about; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.  And it shall come to pass, that when seventy years are [Page 225] accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the Lord, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.” (Jer. 25: 9. 11, 12.)  Then follows the list of nations and kings, part of which has been given above, and amongst which is included the “king” or “kings of Tyrus  Now, how exactly accordant is this last conclusion with the prediction of this chapter, that “Tyre shall be forgotten severity years  We now see the reason; because, during that time, it shall be under the king of Babylon’s power.  But how does the declaration that these kingdoms shall serve the king for “seventy years” accord with other prophecies, which limit the duration of the Destroyer’s rule to “three years and a half  Be it answered that, measured from one point of time, it will be seventy years; and from another but three years and a half.  For it should be remembered that the 1260 days refer not absolutely to the whole time of his reign, but to the period during which he “sets up the abomination of desolation, sitting in the temple of God at Jerusalem, and showing himself that he is God

 

 

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 the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee  If Jerusalem fell, is England more likely to escape?  “Because of unbelief she was broken off, and we stand by faith” alone.  Shall Churches planted by apostles fall away to the delusions of Mahomet, and shall it be thought a thing incredible that our own nation, if it sin remorselessly, should be cast off also?

 

 

Nor is that which is here supposed something of which history has given no type.  What say the annals of old of insular Tyre?  “While Parmenio,” says Prideaux, “took in Damascus and Coele Syria, Alexander marched with the main of his army along the seacoasts towards Phenicia.  As he advanced, all yielded to him, and none more readily than the Zidonians. … But when he came to Tyre, he found a stop.  As he approached their territories, the Tyrians sent ambassadors to him, with presents to himself, [Page 226] and provisions to his army: but, being rather desirous to have peace with him as a friend than willing to submit to him as a master, when he would have entered their city, they denied him admittance; which Alexander, being flushed with so many victories, not being able to bear, resolved to force them by a siege; and they, on the other hand, resolved to stand it out against him.  What encouraged them to this resolution was, the strength of the place, and the confidence which they had in the assistance promised them by their allies.  For the city stood on an island at the distance of half a mile from the shore, and was fortified with a strong wall drawn round it, upon the brink of 100 feet in height; and the Cartliaginians (their colony), who were a powerful state, and then masters of the seas, had engaged to send them succours in the siege.  And what gave them this confidence for the war, gave Alexander no less trouble in mastering the difficulties which he found in it: for the city being so situated (as I have said) he had no way of approaching to it, for the making of an assault, but by carrying a bank from the continent through the sea, to the island on which the city stood.  And therefore, having resolved, at any rate to take the city, he determined on the making of such a bank to approach it, which he accomplished with unwearied labour in seven months’ time, and by means thereof at length took the city.  Had he here suffered a baffle, it would have conduced much to the sinking of his credit, and this might have lessened his success every where else in the future progress of his affairs; of which, being thoroughly sensible, he spared no pains to surmount this obstacle, and, by assiduous application, at last carried his point.  To make this bank or causeway, the town of Old Tyre, which lay on the continent, furnished him with stones and rubbish (for he pulled it all down for this purpose), and Mount Libanus, which is so famous in Scripture for its cedars, being near, supplied him with timber for the work.  And, by this means, having carried home his causeway from the continent to the island, he then stormed the town and took it.  And that bank or causey is there still remaining even to this day, and of the very same length as anciently described, that is, of half a mile; whereby what was formerly an island, at that distance from the shore, was thereby made a peninsula, and so it hath ever since [Page 227] continued.  The Carthaginians, having troubles at home, the Tyrians could not have from them that assistance which was promised.  However, they fainted not in their resolutions of standing to their defence, and therefore, when Alexander sent to them ambassadors, with terms of peace, they threw them into the sea, and went on with the war.  But many of them, for fear of the worst, sent their wives and children to Carthage  He then mentions a dread which they felt, arising from some dream or omen, lest Apollo, their tutelar deity, should go over to the side of Alexander: on which they “chained his statue with golden chains to the altar of Hercules, thinking thereby forcibly to detain this their god from going from them   He then proceeds:- “Old Tyre he wholly demolished, to make his causey to the New; by the means of which, having taken that new town, he burnt it down to the ground, and destroyed or enslaved all the inhabitants; eight thousand he slew in the sackage of the town; and two thousand of those he took prisoners he caused to be crucified.  Those who were sent before to Carthage escaped this rein, and a great number (15,000) were saved by the Zidonians, and secretly conveyed away in their ships on the taking of the place; all the rest, to the number of thirty thousand, he sold for slaves.  The cruelty to the two thousand who were crucified was unworthy of a generous conqueror. This Alexander did, to gratify his rage for being so long detained before the place, and there so valiantly resisted  He then informs us that, to palliate this barbarity, he gave out that it was in revenge for an ancient insurrection of the slaves in their city against their masters, whereby, all but one, by name Strato, were massacred; and to make this, “look the more plausible, he saved all the family of Strato, as not being involved in this guilt, and among them Azelmelic, their king, who was of it, and continued the crown still to him and his family, after he had again re-peopled the place; for, having thus ridded it of its former inhabitants, he planted it anew with colonies drawn from the neighbouring places, and from thence would be esteemed the founder of that city, though in truth he was the cruel destroyer of it.  On his taking the city, he unchained Apollo, rendered thanks to him for his intentions of coming over to him, and did a great many other superstitions follies, which were [Page 228] reckoned as acts of religion in those days, and then marched towards Jerusalem

 

 

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 me, 0 Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestineof the aliens,’ LXX.] will ye render me a recompence? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompence on your own head.  Because ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things: The children also of Judah, and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from your border  Then follows a magnificent description of all the nations gathered against Jerusalem, and of the “day of great slaughter, when the mighty fall and “the sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining because the Saviour is come, and “utters his voice” of wrath “from Jerusalem.” (Ver. 9-21.)  Coincident with this is the testimony of the eighty-third Psalm: “Hold not thy peace, and be not still, 0 God.  For lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up their head.  They have taken crafty counsel [Page 229] against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.  They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.  For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee.  The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes: Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines foreigners’) with the inhabitants of Tyre  Then follows a petition which has the force of a prophecy, that their nobles shall be like the Midianites; like Oreb and Zeeb, and “like Sisera at the Kislion  The design of the confederates is further said to be “to take to themselves the housesthe sanctuary,’ LXX.) of God for a possession  For which cause God shall smite them, that the remnants of men “may seek his name for thus shall Jesus show that he “whose name alone (not Antichrist’s) is Jehovah, is the Most High over all the earth

 

 

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 Tyre does certainly in some places signify the same city as Babylon, it is also proved, that where Edom and Tyre are mentioned together, as Edom signifies Rome, Tyre must signify some other city, and thus the twofold prophetic character of Tyre is confirmed.

 

 

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 Tyre’s humiliation is to last but the length of Israel’s 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 Jerusalem is some MSS. of the LXX. add in this place.  The interpretation here offered is confirmed by ancient tradition, for Jerome acknowledges that the Jews and Christians of his day both combined to expect the fulfilment of these things after Antichrist in the thousand years.

 

 

The incidental notices of Tyre in the Sacred Scriptures confirm this promise of her future restoration.