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12, takes in the tenth verse, which the Apostle draws down to Christ then ascended, and gives us this sense of the Prophet : that Christ is not only the object of faith to the Gentiles; but that the Gentiles shall be his subjects, he reigning over them. How reigning over them? Mark well the Apostle's words. Again there shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, in him shall the Gentiles trust." His reigning, as in relation to David, does not commence from his incarnation; but he shall rise to reign: which is spoken by the Apostle after Christ's resurrection and ascension, and rendered by our translators in a future sense—“He shall rise to reign.” Yea, follow the words to the original, and you will see, I think, yet more: εσται ἡ ῥιζα του Ιεσσαι και ὁ ανισταμενος αρχειν, &c. There shall be a root of Jesse, and he shall rise again to reign over the Gentiles, or stand up again, to reign over them." This the prophet Daniel calls "His standing up as a great prince to deliver his people;"z which shall begin, saith the Angel, 1290 days (that is, so many years) from "the ceasing of the daily sacrifice," and shall be 45 years in finishing, ere all the Jews' enemies shall be thrown down after which immediately begins the great restitution of all things and the resurrection of the saints, Daniel standing up in his lot.
Again, in the fourth verse, the Prophet says, that Christ “with righteousness shall judge the poor, and reprove with equity, "for (or in behalf of) the meek of the earth, and shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his "mouth shall he slay the wicked." Now Christ did not reprove in behalf of the meek nor slay the wicked at his first coming in the flesh; but this is extended by the Apostle, 2 Thess. ii, to future times, when Christ shall destroy Antichrist, who was not revealed when the Apostle wrote.
So in verses 6-8 it is said, that the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, &c." meaning the restitution of the creatures from the enmity of the curse by Adam's fall, according to Rom. viii, 19-23, which never yet was accomplished. I know that many understand this part of the prophecy metaphorically, of men by nature
z Dan. xii, 1.
fierce as beasts, who were to be made tame and loving by the power of the Gospel at Christ's first coming; for it is too common a fault in writers to take the scent from former expositors, and to run with full cry after them. Calvin indeed more reasonably asserts hence the change of the nature of wild beasts, and the restitution of the creation as at first.* And with this the analogy of other Scriptures concur; viz. Rom. viii, 19, &c. Ps. viii, and Heb. ii, fully opened before. And while some insist "that an agreement among men by the power of the Gospel" is the proper meaning of this place; they would give us more satisfaction, had they shewn us an effect of the Gospel at Christ's first coming, answerable to the mind of this prophecy; viz. that it should exceed the agreement and peace that were in the national church of the Jews before Christ's coming. But this they cannot do; for as Christ himself at his first coming said, "I came not to bring peace, but a sword, and to set those of the same family one against another;" so we know by the histories of the four Evangelists, and by the Acts of the Apostles, that great oppositions, mighty tumults, and hideous persecutions followed Christ's first coming, and continued from age to age; so that the small first-fruits, that were reconciled to God and to one another upon Christ's first coming, are drowned as it were in the ocean and sea of enmity, that from thence forward until now remains with great animosity. And therefore we believe another sense of these words; viz. that at Christ's next appearance there shall be a general peace between men among each other, and also between them and the creatures, as it follows in the next argument.
They shall not hurt, nor destroy, (observe the words, not destroy, nor so much as hurt) in all my holy mountain." And lastly, observe the confirmation of all, viz. "That the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." (v. 9.) Now though there was an increase of knowledge at Christ's first coming, which, like the stream from a fountain, the further it ran, the larger it was; yet from that time until now the knowledge of the Lord hath not increased to a sea, to cover all the earth, so as to drown all iniquity and opposition
* See Calvin in loco; see also Mayer and others.
against Christ or christians; and so as to work in men such peace, as that there shall be neither destroying, nor hurting in all the holy mountain. At least three parts out of four of the whole world hath not been filled with the knowledge of the Lord; but have made opposition against it, hurting and destroying, and that too in the holy mountain; whether we take it strictly for Zion, or largely for the Church wheresoever seated.
Further, it follows in the tenth verse: “And in that day there "shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the "peoples() to it shall the Gentiles seek; and his rest shall "be glorious." In which words the Prophet mainly looks at the great call of the Gentiles; as the apostles (the best expositors) have since alledged them, Rom. xv, 8-12. We have just seen how generally the Gentiles have and do oppose the Gospel to this day throughout the world; so that the words, "his rest shall be glorious," more evidently demonstrate, that this place of Scripture, as to the main intent, is not yet fulfilled. For if we will understand inward rest, the believing saints before Christ's incarnation had it; and the apostles also in their troublous times. And if we would understand here eternal glory; yet we cannot, for two reasons: first, because it is said, that unto the ensign, Christ, the Gentiles shall seek; (which cannot consist with eternal glory—no seeking then ;) secondly, because it is said, verse 11, And it shall come to pass in that 'day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to re"cover the remnant of his people, &c. from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, &c."-all inconsistent with the state of eternal glory. v. 11. Observe well, the Lord must set his hand again the second time, to recover the remnant of his people from the fore-mentioned places. Now when Isaiah prophesied, the Lord had not recovered his people from captivity in Assyria the first time; for the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin had not yet been captive, nor the ten tribes either, for ought we can find. For, according to Bucholcerus, Isaiah prophesied forty years before the captivity of the ten tribes, and above seventy years before the captivity of the two tribes. But before this text can be fulfilled, they must have been in captivity in Assyria the first
a Psalm cxvi, 7; 2 Cor. vi, 10.
time, and be delivered the first time; which at the most can only refer to the return of the two tribes: nor can we find where, at the soonest, to place the recovering God's people the second time, but in that period when he shall bring back the rest of the tribes, (viz. the ten tribes, which were, and still are, in Assyria,) from Assyria, and from Pathros, and Cush, and Elam, and Shinar, and Hamath, and from the Isles of the Gentiles.*
But this expression-" Again the second time, &c."-may not only import two parts of the recovery; or the deliverance of the whole twelve tribes from Assyria-the first time of the two tribes, the second time of the ten tribes: but two distinct times of deliverance of the twelve tribes,-the two tribes and some of the ten, in the first instance, but more especially the two. For God's setting his hand the second time to recover his people out of Assyria, &c. cannot be limited to the return of the two tribes under the conduct of Zerubbabel and Joshua with Ezra; for this was but the first time. They are again scattered; and the ten tribes, as well as the two, are his people; and the promise is, Rom. xi, of saving all Israel. Therefore the whole work of restoring all the twelve tribes now lies on God's hands; and that restoration must also be from Assyria, Pathros, &c.
v. 12. Furthermore, "He shall set up an ensign for the "nations, or Gentiles; (that is, for the unbelieving people with" out the Church, that had not yet received the word ;) and shall " assemble the outcasts of Israel (that is, the ten tribes) and gather together the dispersed of Judah (that is, the two tribes) from the
* Mention is made in Gen. x, 14, of a people called Pathrusim, whose place or land of habitation may very fitly be called Pathros. It was a province of Egypt, according to Jer. xl, 1, 15, and Ezek. xxix, 14, and xxx, 14, which see. And those Pathrusim were of the lineage of Mitsraim or Egyptius; see Gen. x, 1 Chron. i, 12. But others say, it signifies Parthos, the Parthians of the country of Parthia, which is on the borders of Media. Others again, that it may be Petra in Arabia (of which see Isa. xvi, 1. "the land from Sela," or as it is in the margin, Petra) whence Arabia Petrea. Others say, it is a part of Lybia, inhabited by the Pharusii mentioned by Pliny and Ptolemy, and seated near the Atlantic Sea. Of the Jews being scattered, even in the apostles' times, in the said Parthia, Media, Egypt, Lybia and Arabia, we read in Acts ii, 9-11. Cush is Ethiopia: compare chap. xviii, 1. Elam is Persia. Shinar is a region in Chaldea; see Gen. xi, 28; Jer. li, 24 and 35; Ezek. xxiii, 16. And of their scattering, even to the apostles' times, in Elam and Mesopotamia, which was part of Chaldea, see also Acts ii, 9-11, and 1 Peter i, 1. Hamath is Cilicia in Asia the less. Of their scattering there, see likewise the places before mentioned. Paul also, a Hebrew, saith of himself, that he was born at Tarsus, a chief city of Cilicia.
"four corners of the earth." Observe how distinctly the Prophet here names the Gentiles," "the outcasts of Israel," and "the dispersed of Judah;" and that the elect of all Jews, Israelites and Gentiles, must be called and gathered together from the four corners of the earth, (that is, from all parts of the world,) which is larger than Babylon. This however is not done to this day, but Jews and Israelites are still found dwelling in all quarters of the world, as travellers and seafaring men behold with their eyes, and the Rabbins confess in their books.
v. 13 to the end: the sum whereof is, "That all envy be"tween Judah and Ephraim shall cease; and that all other that "will not obey and comply with the Jews, in a right Gospel "worship of God, shall be destroyed ;-viz. the Philistines in
the west, and the people of the east, all them of Moab, "Ammon, Edom and Egypt;-and there shall be a way for the "remnant of the Jews from Assyria, as there was when they came up out of Egypt." But none of their enemies have been destroyed, neither do any nations comply with them in point of religion to this very day.
Chap. xii. Lastly, it appears by the twelfth chapter (the seal of the eleventh) that the prophecy of the eleventh chapter is not yet fulfilled. For the Jews never yet were so delivered, as to be enabled with propriety to sing that song of thanksgiving contained in the twelfth chapter. Their harps are hung up, as at their scattering in Babylon. I myself have heard some of them bemoaning themselves, that this their last captivity, or dispersion, is longer than any before. They have not hitherto (as it is in that song, verse 4) declared the name and famous acts of God among his peoples;" but rather, in refusing Christ, have obscured his name. Nor have they (as in v. 5) “praised God for the excellent things that He should do for them in all the earth."
Now let the wise and understanding Reader review all that hath been said, and be judge himself, whether this eleventh chapter of Isaiah hath been fulfilled to this day. And if not, sure he will not dream of its fulfilment at the ultimate judgement; there being something, almost in every verse, inconsistent with that time. For then no "government" will be remaining in Christ's hands; (1 Cor. xv, 28, &c.;) there will