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one of ten Christians is more than called a Christian; and not one Jew of ten thousand bears the name of a Christian.
of a 66 GREAT AND TERRIBLE DAY OF THE LORD:"
2ndly. At the time the Prophet mainly intends, there must be wonders in heaven, and in earth,-blood, and fire and "pillars of smoke,—a darkening of the sun, and discolouring "of the moon, &c." All these things must amount to the making up and that to the destruction of them that do not so believe, as to call upon God in faith; as the last verse intimates,-" Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." And the destruction shall be especially of those unbelievers that are enemies to the Jews; as the same verse and two first verses of the following chapter evidently hint: "For in Mount Zion and "in Jerusalem, shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and "in the remnant whom the Lord shall call. 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 to the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will "plead with them there, for my people, and for my heritage "Israel, whom they have scattered." When the wonders took place at the passion of Christ, there was no destruction of any man; neither at the effusion of the Spirit after his ascension. And at the desolation of Jerusalem by Titus, there was indeed the sad destruction of the Jews, but of none of the Jews' enemies.
3rdly. The following is not yet fully accomplished: "In Mount "Zion, and in Jerusalem, shall be deliverance as the Lord hath "SAID, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call." That this was not completed in the few Jews converted at the Pentecost, or since, is evident from the following reasons. First, the Apostle Peter when quoting Joel makes not the least mention of this clause. Secondly, Christ's coming to Jerusalem as a spiritual deliverer was previous to that pouring out of the Spirit; whereas the deliverance mentioned (according to the Apostle's method, yea, and of the prophets,) is after the pouring out of the Spirit. Thirdly, the Prophet adds,-"as the Lord hath said;" viz. by his prophets. But they mainly spake of the Jews' corporal deliverance, as we have before abundantly shown. For as for spiritual deliverance, they had it then: and there was no
doubt but it should be continued in all ages; else the Church would be extinct, and God's covenant with Abraham and David would fail.
The most (if not all) of the former passage in the second chapter is again mentioned in this third chapter; and with four emphatic marks of connexion, confirming and explaining what had been said before. 1st.-It begins with the word "FOR;" as if the Lord should say,—I bring this for a proof, that I will do as I have said. 2nd.-" BEHOLD;" as much as to say, there shall be some notable thing done, some grand event, as an eminent sign that I will be as good as my word. 3rd. "IN THOSE DAYS," and "AT THAT TIME ;" (with great emphasis of pronouns, &c.) which tend to this effect; that methodically, and in a just order, when I do the former things, I will do these following also; so that the plurality and magnificence of exploits shall force the eyes of men to see my truth in the performance of all that I have spoken. 4th.-I will, in pursuance of that deliverance of my people mentioned, "gather all nations to the valley of Jehosaphat, and will plead with them there for my people;" which amounts to this, that the famous, remarkable circumstances (as before of time, so here of place) shall be undeniable witnesses of the substance of my true performance for as we know that circumstances of time and place, &c. beget in us great credence to a report, that such a thing was done; so here they are given as confirmation that it will be done.
vv. 1, 2. Next for the substance of this place. Take notice in the entrance, that the people who, according to this prophecy, shall be delivered, are named "Judah and Jerusalem," signifying the two tribes. In the second verse however, they are called his "heritage, Israel," and the "scattered among the nations;" which most aptly sets forth the ten tribes. Their deliverance is so expressed in the Hebrew, Chaldee, and Septuagint, that the words may well be extended to a spiritual conversion of their souls from infidelity, besides the corporal deliverance of their persons from captivity; as many translators render it. For confirmation of this observe, that whereas in
Hosea chap. i, the Lord calls them (speaking of both the said kingdoms) Lo-ammi, NOT MY PEOPLE, and Lo-ruhamah, I WILL NOT HAVE MERCY; (viz. whilst they are to be in captivity;) so here, the Lord, speaking of their deliverance, expresses it to the effect of receiving them at their return, as his people and his heritage.
In the next place we are to observe, that this must not be a mere still and tacit deliverance of the Jews, but with a tumultuous destruction of the enemies who formerly caused their bondage: "I will gather all nations, and bring them down into the valley of Jehosaphat, and plead with them there for my people, &c" which last clause the Chaldee renders,—“ and I will take vengeance on them there for my people." This vengeance is further amplified in verses 9-12, &c.
The valley of Jehosaphat is particularly named, as the place where God will avenge his people ;-First, because there Jehosaphat overthrew the Ammonites and Moabites and their confederates, that rose up against the Jews.P Secondly, because Jehosaphat signifies pleading, or judging; viz. the thing that God will do upon the incorrigible enemies that yet remain, (see verse 12.) Thirdly, because this is also called the valley of Beracha, that is, the valley of blessing; for there Jehosaphat blessed and praised God, first in hope of the said victory, secondly, for help in it, (compare verse 16.) Fourthly, because this is called the valley of decision or threshing, twice in verse 14; for there God threshed his enemies (as the chaff from the wheat) according to Isaiah xxv, 10, and thereby decided the controversy between the Jews and their enemies.
But though the valley of Jehosaphat hath here these names, yet they are to be understood appellatively in a larger sense, to signify and typify any eminent place or places, where the Lord shall overthrow the incurable enemies of the believing Jews. For first, the Holy Ghost uses the name Jehosaphat only as a paranomasia; the original being literally,—“ I will bring them down to the valley of Jehosaphat, and there I will Jehosaphatize them;" i. e. overthrow them as Jehosaphat did his enemies. Secondly, let any rational man judge whether
p 2 Chron. xx, 22, &c.
Jehosaphat, as a proper name of a place in Judea, doth signify, that there only God will judge the enemies of the believing Jews; when their enemies are seated in every place where the Jews are scattered, and will in those places oppose them and the believing Gentiles that shall help in their return. That very place may nevertheless be one, where a notable overthrow of some chief enemies of the Jews, (as the Arabians, Saracens, or Turks,) may take place.
Now the Jews were never delivered, as we have repeatedly shown before, by a destruction of their enemies; neither to such an effect and degree, as that no stranger should pass through Jerusalem any more. (vv. 12-17.) The opening of this destruction, and the collation of the happy condition of the Jews when delivered, will yet further demonstrate, that this prophecy of Joel is not yet fulfilled.
From verses 14-19 the destruction of their enemies must be very formidable.—" Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision; for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of de"cision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the "stars shall withdraw their shining. The Lord also shall roar "out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem, and the "heavens and the earth shall shake.”—“ Egypt shall be a deso"lation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, &c." On the other hand we read-" But the Lord will be the hope of his "people, and the strength of the children of Israel."-" So shall "ye know that I am the Lord your God, dwelling in Zion, my 'holy mountain; then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall "no strangers pass through her any more. And it shall come to "pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new "wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, &c."-" Judah shall "dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation." Thus the happy condition of the Jews appears to be interwoven with their enemies' destruction, the better to intimate, that they both occur at the same time.
Consider next how exactly verse 13, &c. is repeated and applied in Rev. xiv, 15-20 to the ruin of Antichrist. 'Put "ye in (saith Joel) the sickle, for the harvest is ripe; come,
get you down, for the press is full, the fats overflow, for their "wickedness is great."-And then follows the destruction of
the enemies of the Jews, as we before stated. St. John saith, " An angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to "him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap; for
the time is come for thee to reap, for the harvest of the "earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud, thrust in his sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped. And another "angel came out of the temple, which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from "the altar, which had power over fire, and cried with a loud "cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for "her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle "into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it "into the great wine-press of the wrath of God; and the wine'press was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the "wine-press, even unto the horse-bridles, by the space of "one thousand six hundred furlongs."
Compare Joel also, touching the valley of Jehosaphat and God's judging there, with Isaiah lxvi, 24; Matt. v, 22; Rev. xvi, 12-16. It seems from Isaiah, that there shall be a slaughter of the enemy of the Church, at his great fall, in some eminently conspicuous place, whither the Church (made up of Jews and Gentiles) shall go forth and look upon the carcases of the men that had transgressed against God," and for which they had been slain : "For (saith Isaiah) their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched, and they shall be an abhorring to all flesh." Upon which words our new Annotations say well, that "it is apparent enough, that the execution of "God's wrath on the wicked-either on the mountains near "unto Jerusalem, as some of the Rabbins affirm, or in the "valley of Jehosaphat, according to Joel iii; or in Tophet, in "the vale of Gehinnom, agreeable to Isa. xxx, 33; Jer. vii, "31, 33;-is here described, by a resemblance taken from "dead bodies; which, after great slaughter made of them, lie
a long time above ground unburied, either as deemed un"worthy to be at all interred, or because, in regard to the "multitude of them, it cannot suddenly be effected. The "worm hath reference to such vermin as are wont to breed in
and feed on dead corpses; on such carcases especially as lie