Page images

"Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, "behold I will punish the king of Babylon, and his land, as I “have punished the king of Assyria. And I will bring Israel "again to his habitation, and he shall feed cn Carmel, and "Bashan, and his soul shall be satisfied on mount Ephraim, and "Gilead." Note first, that at least this concerns Israel, the ten tribes, who never yet were so delivered. Secondly, that the deliverance must be in a hostile way, viz. by the destruction of kings and kingdoms; but as yet the kings and kingdoms, who in a constant succession down to this day have been the enemies of the Jews, are not destroyed. Thirdly, that God promises to come down in a methodical order, to punish their enemies, successively in time and place.

For the king of Assyria had "devoured Israel," which can be no other then Salmaneser's taking Samaria, &c. captive, which Samaria was the metropolis of the kingdom of the ten tribes; and Nineveh, where Salmaneser dwelt, being the metropolis of that kingdom, while it was called the kingdom of Assyria, it is therefore said that "Assyria hath devoured him." Then, secondly, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem (the metropolis of the kingdom of the two tribes) and took it, and carried away all the considerable persons of that kingdom, and all their substance of any value, captive to Babylon ;d and this was the king of Babylon's “breaking his bones;" called the king of Babylon, because Babylon then was the metropolis of the kingdom of Chaldea, the Chaldeans then ruling over the Assyrians: wherefore also the monarchy was afterwards called the Assyrio-chaldean. Now as God hath punished some of their enemies heretofore; viz. Nineveh of Assyria, according to the prophet Nahum, and Sennacherib their king, and his host :e so must he according to his promise descend in order with destruction in a hostile manner upon Babylon, and upon the kings of Babylon, whatsoever, and whosoever that Babylon and those kings be, in the Scripture name and notion, and extended in the promises of the New Testament. And therefore as God did punish Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, by turning him as it were into a beast for certain

b 2 Kings xviii, 9. c 2 Kings xix, 36. d 2 Kings xxv, 1, &c. e 2 Kings xix.

years; and afterwards punished Belshazzar king of Babylon, by Darius the Mede invading it;s and Darius the Mede (then king of Babylon) by Alexander the Greek; and Alexander's successors (then kings of Babylon) by the Roman; and the Roman emperor (then king of Babylon, both old and new, that is Babylon and Rome) by the Arabian, Saracen, or Turk, the present king of old Babylon h so according to the explication and application, in the New Testament, of this promise, God must yet go on corporally to destroy the Turk and the Roman, (who once was the tyrant of old Babylon and after that continued to be the tyrant of new Babylon, first by heathen tyranny, and after by papal and antichristian tyranny,) and this must be done by the power of Christ and his Church. Now neither the Turkish king of Babylon, nor his kingdom, is yet destroyed; but rather mightily prospers and prevails. And God is in arrears of judgements with new Romish Babylon for her ten heathenish bloody persecutions; and hath not given her present pay for her late papal and antichristian massacres, inquisitions, tortures, and blasphemies, as to the matter of destroying the supreme power, and the kingdom of this Babylon, according to the amplification of Revelation xvii and following chapters.

Note fourthly, that the punishing the enemies of the Jews must so succeed, that Israel and Judah may be delivered from their dispersion, and restored to their own land, and distinctly to their several quarters there, viz. Carmel, Bashan, Ephraim, and Gilead. One Carmel was a city of the tribe of Judah, some twelve miles from Jerusalem southward ;-another Carmel was of the tribe of Issachar, not far from Ptolemais ;J-Bashan was of the country of Og, but afterwards became part of the portion of the half tribe of Manasseh;k-mount Ephraim was the portion of Ephraim, and Manasseh,1 and as one half of the tribe of Manasseh stuck to Judah, so Ephraim is an usual expression to signify the kingdom of the ten tribes, or Israel;m Gilead was a country that lay between the sea of Galilee, and mount Gilead, some sixty miles from Jerusalem, and separated the country of Galilee from Israel. By this description it evidently appears, that God's mind in this prophecy of Jeremiah

f Dan. iv. g Dan. v. k Num. xxi, Isa. ii, 13.

h Dan. vii. i Dan. ii and vii. j Josh xix, Jer. xlvi. 1 Josh. xiii and xvii. m Isa. vii, ix; Hos. v; Ps. lix.

is, that not only the two tribes, but also the other ten are to be restored to their own land, though it cost the ruin of all kings and of all Babylons whatsoever.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Chapter xxviii, 24-26.

There shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of "Israel, nor any grieving thorn of all that are round about "them, that despiseth them; and they shall know that I am the Lord God. Thus saith the Lord God: When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them, in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land, that I have given my servant Jacob. And they shall dwell safely therein, "and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea they shall dwell "with confidence when I have executed judgements upon all "those that despise them, round about them; and they shall "know that I am the Lord their God."


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

Take notice, that God pledges himself as the Lord God, and their God (twice repeated) that this prophecy shall be fulfilled ; and fulfilled to the whole house of Israel, also twice expressed. The pricking brier and grieving thorn are the adversaries of the Jews, whereof some are named; (viz. Tyrus and Sidon ;n) both which are threatened with ruin on that account. Others are intimated in the words, " Nor any grieving thorn of all that are round about them, that despised them."

Now mark the matter of the prophecy. First, those adversaries must be destroyed or removed, in order to bring

Israel and Jacob into their own land, there to dwell safely, and with confidence." Secondly, they must be gathered from all places where they have been scattered. Thirdly, they must be free from any pricking brier, or grieving thorn. And fourthly, they must dwell in their own land, with full liberty-as of their polity, to enjoy their buildings and plantations; so of their piety, to exercise the true spiritual worship of God. And lastly, they must enjoy all this in the sight of all the heathen."


n Verses 1-23.

Chapter xxxiv, 11-31, and xxxvi, 9-37.

These prophecies are so like the former, that ye have need only to read them to see, that the one in chapter xxxiv has the same things of Christ, the Son of David, being a Prince or King; and the happiness of Israel in their own land, their dwelling safely, being delivered from all enemies and all evil. So that prophecy in chapter xxxvi* is again concerning Israel and Judah; the universality of the mercy in all things; (vv. 9—16;) the great dimension of their deliverance; (v. 24;) and their conversion. (vv. 25-27.)

Chapter xxxvii. †

The two parables contained in this chapter set forth the substance of the deliverance of the Jews: the rest of the chapter sets forth the notable circumstances of their state, being delivered.

vv. 1-14. The dry bones described in the first parable, signify, as the Prophet explains it," the WHOLE house of ISRAEL:" so that it must concern the deliverance of the whole twelve tribes.


vv. 15, 23. The second parable is the connexion of the two sticks the one to have written upon it " Judah, and his companions that were of Israel;" i.e. the tribe of Benjamin, which clave to Judah in one kingdom; the other to have written upon it Ephraim, to signify "all the house of Israel, his companions." Both these, integrated into one stick, signify the form of the

* Jerome, when discussing this chapter, again confesses, that Jews and learned Christians before him allege this prophecy for the glorious state of the Church in the time of the thousand years. "Hæc illi (Judæi) expectant in mille annorum


regno, quando civitatem Hierusalem asserunt extruendam, et templum quod "in fine hujus voluminis describitur, et rerum omnium felicitatem, &c. Quod "et multi nostrorum, et præcipue Tertulliani liber, qui inscribitur de spe fide"lium; et Lactantii Institutionum volumen septimum pollicetur, et Victorini "Pictavionensis episcopi crebræ expositiones; et nuper Severus noster in "Dialogo, cui Gallo nomen imposuit; et, ut Græcos nominem, et primum

extremumque conjungam, Irenæus et Apollinarius."

[ocr errors]

+ Jerome makes a confession, similar to that adduced before, concerning this chapter. See in loco.

deliverance of the twelve tribes; viz. that they shall be restored into one entire kingdom as in the time of David and Solomon, and that upon the mountains of Israel. See v. 22.

The eminent circumstances of this deliverance are First, that they shall be as marvellously brought out of all quarters of their captivity into their own land, as dry bones made to live, or dead men to be raised out of their graves. Second, that they shall have but one king; and that must be David, that is one of David's seed,—viz. Messiah, (as the Rabbins well understand it,) " and he shall be their Prince FOR EVER." (vv. 24, 25.) Third, that " they, their children, and their childrens' children shall dwell in their own land FOR EVER. (v. 25.) Fourth, the spiritualizing this their happy deliverance :-" Moreover "(saith the Lord) I will make a covenant of peace with them, it "shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will place them, and will multiply them, and I will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. And my tabernacle also shall be with them; yea I will be their God, and they shall "be my people." vv. 26, 27.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Now some refer these things to the last resurrection; minding more the fitness of the comparison to that in the simile of the dry bones reviving, and God's bringing them out of the graves, than that which is immediately annexed,—“ O my peo'ple, I will open your graves, &c. and bring you into the LAND "OF ISRAEL;" (vv. 12-14;) which things are utterly inconsistent with the last general resurrection, but may with propriety be applied to deliverance from captivity.P


Others again restrain this to Judah's return from Babylon, and explain David their king to be Zerubbabel. In answer to this we observe, First, that the things in this chapter were not fulfilled at that time. For though Zerubbabel was of the kindred of David; yet was he no king, neither called a king; nor could he be accounted a king whilst they were under the MedoPersian monarch. Secondly, Daniel, and also the apostles apply the phrases and things of this chapter to future times. Daniel says, "At that time (viz. after the tyranny of the Roman empire 'shall have been long time rampant, chap. ii,) Michael shall


[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »