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eyes, that the world, that now is, may understand, that it was no common revolution, effected by the strength of their Roman forefathers, but was the special interference of Providence. These enemies are next described.
28. Surely THESE are a nation lost to counsel,
29. Oh, if they were wise, they would understand this, They would understand their last end;
30. How one shall chase a thousand,
That is, their enemies, the Roman nation, so to call it generally, for the Scripture, as we shall hereafter see, considers the Roman empire as ruling the destinies of the civilized world, and as the great enemy to the people of God, from the destruction of Jerusalem to the second advent; and this song forebodes, though they are ignorant of it, and will not receive counsel, that at the latter end of their dominion, the sons of Zion will in prowess be immensely exalted above them. This fact subsequent prophecies will illustrate.
31. But, certainly, their Founder hath sold them,
Yet not like our Founder is their founder,
Here, "Founder" or "Creator" is to be understood as above, not as the original maker of men and nations, but as the framer, institutor, author, or founder of their civil and religious polity and institutions. Jehovah, in this sense, was the Creator of Israel. They could sing, "For he is our Maker, and we are the sheep of his pasture." But to anticipate the revelations of future prophecies, the being denoted by the Great Red Dragon with seven
heads and ten horns, he is the creator, framer, and contriver of the tyrannical and idolatrous institutions, both of ancient and modern Rome: and his hand it is which sways that combination of human power, which desolates the earth, and opposes the kingdom of Christ in the last days. But in this contest will be seen the inferiority of "the god of this world" to " the God of Israel."
The following lines are meant to portray the ruinous and fatal nature and consequences of these institutions, which are contrasted with the institutions of God. No doubt the blasphemous institutions of modern Rome, which has armed the world against the cause of Christ, are intended; the same that are symbolized in subsequent prophecies by "the cup of fornications," which makes "drunk all the kings of the earth," till they fall together in the great day of the battle of Almighty God.
32. Truly their vine is from the vine of Sodom,
Their grapes are grapes of gall,
33. Their wine is the poison of dragons,
What follows belongs to his people Israel - the true Israel of which he is the Author and Institutor- that is, if you regard the times of the Gentiles, the company of all faithful people among them; for they are the seed of Abraham now; and hence perhaps the metaphor of the sealed-up treasure, because a secret reserve, a remnant according to the election of grace, when the natural Israel would be in a visible state of apostasy, and the machinations of Antichrist have triumphed, almost to the extinction of the institutions of the Gospel. This is the Israel laid
up in treasure; though, in the last day, as we have reflected before, it appears that a future generation of natural Israelites will, in a very conspicuous manner, be owned as the seed, and "salvation" a second time" be of the Jews."
34. Is not THIs laid up with me,
And sealed up among my treasures?
It follows, that the Lord will at last avenge his own elect:
35. To me belongeth vengeance, I will repay;
Surely the day of their calamity is near,
36. Jehovah will judge the cause of his people,
When he seeth that their strength is gone,
This clearly forebodes, that at the season of this final intervention of divine power, the cause of God will be reduced to the last extremity. This awful fact will meet our view in subsequent prophecies.
37. When it is said, Where are their Elohim,
Their Founder in whom they trusted?
38. Who hath eaten the fat of their sacrifices,
Let them arise, and let them help you;
I think with bishop Horsley, that these verses contain the taunts of the enemies of God and of his people, to which the following is a reply:
• "And none is left immured, or at large."— IIORSLEY.
The awful oath of the great Jehovah is next introduced, to declare his irreversible decree respecting the final overthrow of the enemy before described:
40. Surely, I lift up my hand to the heavens,
41. "I have sharpened the blade of my sword,
"I will render vengeance to mine enemies,
42. "I will drench mine arrows in blood,
"The blood of the slain and of the captive,
This complete destruction of the adversary by the sword of God himself, cannot, I think, be referred to a different catastrophe from that of the judgment to be executed upon the ungodly, when, according to Enoch's prophecy, "the Lord shall come with his Holy Myriads."+―This can be nothing else than the avenging sword of Job's Redeemer. The tremendous oath with which this declaration of vengeance is introduced is much to be remarked; as we shall notice, in other Scriptures, the same form of denouncing "the judgment of the great day of the battle of Almighty God," as we find it termed hereafter.
* See Parkhurst.
† Jude, v. 14.
Job, xix. 23, &c.
We are next to notice the conclusion of this prophetic
43. Shout for joy, ye nations, with his people,
When he shall have avenged the blood of his servants,
When he shall have rendered vengeance to his adversaries,
Here we gather that the consequence of this signal vengeance upon the wicked and idolatrous adversary, will be the restoration or re-establishment of his people Israel; for, "his people," as opposed to the nations, must necessarily mean them. Again, they are said to be absolved"covered," as to their sin; an atonement is accepted on their behalf, as well as their land. This must refer to the same people and country that were described in the former part of the song, as suffering the chastisement of God. Both the people, therefore, and the country, we discover are to be restored from their present desolate state, no doubt, as we shall see hereafter, to be the subject and the scene of future wonders. The nations of the earth also, it seems, are to share in the blessedness of his people; they are not merely, as on a former occasion, to be called on their apostacy, to "move them to jealousy;" but, they are to be blessed, and the nations are to be blessed with them and who can forbear to see in this the complete fulfilment of the promise to Abraham: "In thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed?"