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THE MINOR PROPHETS, COTEMPORARY WITH ISAIAH.
We next proceed, according to the plan we have proposed, to consult the writings of the other prophets who were cotemporary with Isaiah. The close of the prophecy of Amos will, in this view, first claim our attention. It will be found parallel to those parts of the prophecies already considered, which predict the dispersion of Israel, their restoration, and great prosperity in the last days. The connexion of these events with the second advent of our great Redeemer, we have already learned.
5. And the Lord Jehovah, it is' he who is the God' of Sabaoth: 1
'It is' he who toucheth the earth and it melteth,
And all the inhabitants thereon do mourn;
Supposed to have prophesied between the years 823 and 758 before Christ.
The Creator and the Governor of the shining hosts of heaven. Or, with Bp. Horsley,"The compound Jehovah Sabaoth belongs properly to the Second
Person [in the Godhead,] being his appropriate demiurgic title: the Maker and Sustainer of the whole array and order of the
And it heaveth, all of it, like a river,
And sinketh as the river of Egypt.'
6. It is he that buildeth his chambers in the heavens, And foundeth his vaulted arch over the earth;"
Who calleth for the waters of the sea,
And poureth them upon the face of the earth:
7. Are not ye as the sons of the Cushites to me?
Did not I bring up Israel from the land of Egypt,
And the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from
8. Behold, the eyes of the Lord Jehovah are upon the sinful kingdom, '
And I will destroy it from off the face of the land.
Notwithstanding, I will not utterly destroy the house of
9. For, behold, I will command,
And I will shake together the house of Israel among all nations; "
As one' shaketh together corn' in a sieve,
10. By the sword shall all the sinners of my people die,
1. That is to say, it is He whose mighty power is seen in the earthquake.
See Sim. Heb. Lex. meaning of these lines is, It is God that covereth the heavens with clouds, in order to pour down the storm and rain upon the earth. What is Israel, but by my
special favour, more than other nations? Jehovah is equally the Disposer of all.
"The kingdom of Israel seems here to be meant."-ARCHBISHOP NEWCOME.
"Sift, or shake together and toss to and fro, so as completely to mingle."-IDEM.
In this plain prophecy "of the casting away of Israel," and of the dispersion of Judah among all nations, a distinction is made between the true Israelite," the Israelite indeed," and the "sinners of that people." The one, according to the distinction, we have already learned are" the children of the promise, which are counted for the seed." In all God's dispensations, not one of these is lost. But the children of the flesh," who walk not in the footsteps of their father Abraham-for the last line presents us with a singular picture of those who are hardening themselves unbelief, over all these the judgment of the sword is suspended and according to what we have already learned from the sacred oracles, this is the destiny of the apostates of Israel in every age. Not only at the time of their dispersions, whether by the Assyrian, the Babylonian, or the Roman, but a "sword is still to be drawn out after them;" and even at the time of their restoration, their numbers are dreadfully thinned by the sword, "until the consummation decreed is finished."
11. In that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, that is fallen down,
And I will close up the breaches thereof;
And I will raise up its ruins,
And I will build it as in the days of old;
12. That'they' may inherit the remnant of Edom,
And of all the nations" who are" called by my name,
The reader may see in Kennicott what is advanced for the reading of the Septuagint,-"That the residue of men may seek Jehovah." I see no reason to depart from our present received text. The quotation in the Acts of
the Apostles is only to prove that the call of the Gentiles was not unscriptural, " and to this agree the words of the prophets." The apostle then refers to this passage, and, probably, quotes it in the translation to which his hearers were most accustomed: this was sufficient to prove his point," That God would visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name." But there is no occasion to suspect the integrity of the text. We have learned in former prophecies to apply the term Edom "spiritually" to the last enemy of Israel that comes from "Chittim:" we know that of these apostate nations but a very small remnant escapes. We have learned, too, that those who do escape yield a willing subjection to the restored Israel;* and that the supremacy of the children of the patriarchs is established over all the earth when Messiah shall sit upon the throne of David, and shall reign "over his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth even for ever." There is no necessity, therefore, to alter the received text.
Next follows a prediction of final felicity, in a metaphorical language very similar to that; in which the same scenes of prosperity and blessedness, in the renovated world, have been predicted by former prophets :
Behold, the days come, hath Jehovah said,
13. That the plougher shall draw near to the reaper,
"This," says Archbishop Newcome, "is a lively way of expressing that the harvest and vintage should be copious, and long in gathering."
And the hills shall distil wine,
And the mountains shall pour it down.
* Isaiah, xiv. and lxvi.
As we have observed of similar passages before, the least we can say of this is, that the curse is removed from the earth; labour and toil are no more. "Nature," "delivered from the bondage of corruption," is made abundantly productive to supply every want and every comfort for man that shall remain upon earth, under the glorious reign of Christ and his saints. As for the glorified saints, we are ever to bear in mind, their habitations be not with man- they dwell not in houses of clay; yet, partakers in the kingdom of Christ, they reign over the regenerated earth. On this regenerated earth, the reestablishment of Israel in Canaan, we have seen also, is one of the first events of Messiah's glorious reign: thus the prophecy of Amos closes:
14. And I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel, And they shall build the desolated cities, and inhabit them; And they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof, And they shall make gardens, and eat their fruit.
15. And I will plant them on their land,
And they shall no more be rooted up,
THE three first chapters of the prophet Hosea will next claim our attention. The prophetical symbol here made
Supposed to have prophesied between the years 809 and 698 before Christ.