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" so long above ground, that they rot and become as dung. " The fire hath reference to the burning of such bodies ; which
are not fit now to be removed, but must be consumed by fire “ in the place where they lie. And because the putrifying car
cases long time crawl with worms and maggots, ere the flesh “ be consumed ; and it would be a long time burning to con
sume the remainder with fire ; therefore it is said, their worm
never dies, and their fire is never quenched, but are a long " time an abhorring to all flesh,-viz. to all that shall behold " them.”
In St. Matthew v, 22, the Lord Christ speaks of such a place of common execution of malefactors,—"Whoever shall say to his brother, thou fool, thall be in danger of hell fire." Teevva here (as Broughton learnedly disputes) does not of itself signify hell : and I add, that it cannot possibly signify here an eternal punishment in the hell of the damned; for otherwise it would follow from this text, that some sins are venial, and others only mortal or damnable. For our Saviour saith,
Whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall “ be in danger of the judgement ; and whosoever shall say to “his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; but " whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” Thus the latter only would seem to be adjudged to eternal punishments; but such a distinction would be contrary to all Scripture, and therefore eternal hell fire, or the place of the damned, cannot be meant. To keep however to the order and nature of the Greek words : Teevvav Tov Trupos means the Gehinnom of fire ; that is the valley of Hinnom, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, taking its name from the first possessor. This place is described to be in the borders of the lot of the tribe of Judah ; and therefore not far from Jerusalem, even near the East-gate ;9 and the sacred history tells us further that in this valley of Hinnom was Tophet ; and that there they burnt their children in the fire, as a sacrifice to the idol Moloch, after the manner of the heathen.r Tophet signifies a drum, because they used to beat a drum to drown the noise of the cry
q Josh. xv,
8'; Jer. xix, 2.
r 2 Kings xxii, 10; 2 Chron. xxviii, 3 ; xxxiii, 6 ;
Jer. xxxii, 35.
of their children. And further, in Jer. vii, 32, we have it set forth as a place of the execution of God's vengeance : "Be" hold the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall be no more "called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the val
ley of slaughter ; for they shall bury in Tophet, till there be no place.” Rabbi David Kimchi, on the words “ the land of the living,” (Psalm xxvii, 13,) contrasts it thus: “even as the " judgement of the wicked is called Gehenna, which was a valley
near Jerusalem whereinto they did cast forth dead carcases and ' every uncleanness, and there the fire did perpetually burn “ them even into bones, &c.” The name Geennua, or Gehenna is compounded of Na Gi, which signifies a valley, and DIN hinnom; the Syriac writes Gihanna. Doubtless as kplois, judgement, signified a lesser civil punishment, (viz. that inflicted by the judges ;) and ovvedplov, the council, signified a greater, (viz. that which the sanhedrim, or great council, inflicted ;) so this Gehinnom of fire must signify the greatest : and our Saviour perhaps intended these words to be understood by way of
parallel, thus: that if men did thus punish such faults according to their degrees, how much more will the most righteous holy God?
We have yet to notice Rev. xvi, 12, &c. “ And the sixth
angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates, and “ the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of “ the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits
like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of
the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false “ prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, " which go forth unto the kings of the earth, and of the whole
world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God
Almighty. Behold I come as a thief. Blessed is he that “ watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked and
they see his shame. And he gathered them into a place called “ in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon.” What is said touching the River Euphrates and the kings of the earth must first be a little explained, and then we shall the better understand this Armageddon. The sixth vial (saith Mr. Mede) shall be poured out upon the great river Euphrates, that, being dried up, a passage may be prepared for new enemies of the beast to come
from the east ; that is, for the Israelites to be wonderfully converted to the pure faith and worship of Christ, and to be now seeking for the kingdom promised many ages since. Two things lead me to think, that these kings who come from the east are Jews. First, that this is the last vial save one : in the time of which the Jews must be converted; or else destroyed, with the rest of the enemies of Christ in that great day of universal revenge and judgement, which the next vial shall bring upon them. But their non-conversion or general destruction, are both flatly against the tenor of Scripture. Secondly, Isaiah xi, 15, 16, whence the matter of the sixth vial is borrowed, moveth me thereto. I translate it thus : Like as the Lord hath de“stroyed (1777) 7771) the tongue of the Egyptian sea : so " he shall lift up his hand upon the river (the Targum says the " River Euphrates) in the strength of his Spirit, and shall smite “ it in the seven streams, so that men may pass over dry-shod.
And there shall be a way for the remnant of my people, which "shall be left by the Assyrians (a plain mark Euphrates is un“derstood) as it was in that day wherein he ascended up from "the land of Egypt;"—a good justification of that translation of the words in the first clause. Parallel to this place is-Zech. 'X, 10, 11, which the Chaldee renders : And even as I “ brought them out of the land of Egypt, so will I gather to"gether their captivity from Assyria ; and I will bring them back "to the land of Gilead and of my sanctuary, and it shall not be "sufficient for them : and miracles, and the marvellous great “works of God shall be wrought for them, even as they were “wrought for their fathers when they passed through the sea : “and they shall see the vengeance on their enemies, &c.”
But what shall we say that Euphrates is, whose waters shall be dried up ? "Mystical Babylon must also have her mystical Euphrates, which shall be the obstacle of those new enemies from the east, and on that part the only defence of the beast. Neither will such understanding of Euphrates be without example : for Isaiah himself (viii, 7) by the like parable of Euphrates hath expressed the army of the Assyrians, bordering upon the same river." The Lord shall bring upon them (the “Syrians and Israelites) the waters of the river, (for so Eu"phrates by way of eminency is called) strong and many, the
king of Assyria, and all his glory: (Targum, his army) &c." Compare also Jer. xlvii, 2, 3, “ Behold waters rise up out “ of the north, and shall be an overflowing flood, and shall "overflow the land and all that is therein; the city and them “that dwell therein : then the men shall cry, and all the in“habitants of the land shall howl, at the noise of the stamping “of the hoofs of his strong horses, at the rushing of his chariots,
&c.”—Where evidently by the waters of the north are understood the armies of the north. Why therefore should not the Euphrates of the sixth vial be understood of the Turks; being no less borderers upon the Euphrates than the Assyrians, the inhabitants of the same tract? It confirms this not a little, that the loosing of that great army of horsemen, long stayed at that great river Euphrates, (see Rev. iv, 15,) signifies the Turks, who from thence over-ran the Roman empire; as the series of the trumpets and the apt truth of the matter demonstrate. Therefore by the sixth vial this Euphratæan deluge shall be dried up : which plainly accords with Rev. chap. xi, 13, 14, in that next after the overthrow of the city, which shall come to pass in a great earthquake, (agreeing to the fifth vial,) the second woe shall be past ;—that is, the plague of the sixth trumpet. By what means and by what authors it shall come to pass, we cannot certainly say: but whatsoever it be, this let being removed, A WAY of going to some place is prepared for these new Christians from the east; and that (as it seemeth) to make an expedition against the beast, to whose ruin all the vials point. From whence otherwise should so great an apprehension suddenly assail the worshipers of the beast, (yea, even the devils themselves, as it seemeth,) and minister occasion for so horrible and unprecedented a preparation for war as is here described ; unless they, with their whole diabolical band, should fear themselves to be at the last extremity, by the coming of these new kings of the east ?
The Armageddon, mentioned in verse 16 (being the Hebrew 77720 77 Har Mageddon; that is, mountainous places, or downs of Mageddon) was the place where good King Josiah was slain; whence Jeremiah takes the rise and beginning of his Lamentations, as the anti-scene to the ensuing captivity. See 2 Chron. Xxxv, 22—27 : where, though it be written ytan Mageddo ; yet because in Zach. xii, 11 it is written in the Hebrew as above, and in the Greek, even in this 2 Chron. xxxv, 22, EV TEÒLW Mayeddwv, therefore the Apostle writes it Armageddon.
By all this St. John intimates, that God will yet, before the ultimate general judgement, give the Church's enemies, as they come forth to oppose her, a notable overthrow in some notorious eminent place. And it is most incongruous with the last general judgement to speak of a particular place, wherein the grand enemies of the Church shall be destroyed for her deliverance: neither is it agreeable to Joel's close; who declares, upon that destruction at the valley of Jehosaphat, that it is in order that Judah and Jerusalem may have a quiet and lasting habitation.
AMOS, CHAPTER ix, 11-15
Compared with OBADIAH verses 17-21, and Acts xv, 13-17.
Amos ix, 11-15. In that day will I raise up the taber“ nacle of DAVID that is fallen, and close up the breaches “thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and will build it as in
the days of old ; that they may possess the remnant of Edom, " and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the
Lord, that doth this. Behold the days come, saith the Lord, “ that the ploughman shall overtake the reaper; and the treader “ of grapes, him that soweth seed ; and the mountains shall
drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. And I will bring again the captivity of my people ISRAEL, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant
vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; and they shall also “make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant “them upon their land, and they shall be no more pulled up out
of their land, which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.”
Observe first, that the ten tribes as well as the two tribes must be meant to share in this deliverance : being mentioned in the terms David, who reigned the latter part
his life over all the twelve tribes; and Israel, which by God's assignation was the name of Jacob, the father of all the tribes, and after the