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“ Esau against Jacob continued in the very seed; therefore the “ overthrow of them is foretold Isa. xxi, 34 ; Jer. xlix ;
Ezek. xxxv; Amos i; Mal. i. This Prophet doth chiefly “ and excellently handle this,-That as Christ is the Son of
Abraham and Israel, therefore all indued with the Spirit are “his brethren, and also belong to the seed of Abraham and of “ Israel ; and all false brethren (that is, Antichrists and hypo
crites) belong to the seed of Esau. To this agrees whatsoever
thou here readest against the Edomites. Obadiah's prophecy “ is small in bulk but great in sense, comprehending many
things in a few words. He prophesieth in the behalf of Is“rael against Edom, --foretelling the subversion of the Edomites,
and the glory of the true Israel, the Church of Christ, and " that He alone shall reign. He saith that on mount Sion shall “ be deliverance and salvation : which are more perfectly fulfilled,
according to the letter, in the Church then to be in mount Zion;
because the state of Mount Zion continued but for a time, “ whereas the Church abides for ever; and it shall be, we are “ confident, more eminently famous in the very land of Israel,
when Israel in the last time shall receive Christ. And their possessing those that possessed them, shall come to pass with illustrious glory, after the last conversion of Israel. It is in
some measure fulfilled daily in the elect, who overcome their " enemies with invincible patience; but it is to be fulfilled “more sublimely and gloriously in the judgement, when the
wicked shall openly before all be judged of the elect. In
special, the house of Joseph is named, (albeit it is contained “ under the house of Jacob,) lest for their worshiping calves " and their long captivity it should be deemed as rejected.
Joseph and Ephraim (of which tribe was Jeroboam) are the “ ten tribes, whose captivity, say the Hebrews, is not yet dis"charged. But as it is said in the end of the prophet Amos, in “ the last time Israel shall be converted.”_" Zarepha (which “others write Sarephta) and Separad, the Rabbins interpret to
be France and Spain. But this may safely be collected, that “ because those nations are here named which most infested “the Israelites,-namely the Canaanites, Philistines, and
Edomites,--all enemies of the faithful are to be understood, " which haply is to be fulfilled according to the letter.”
Ecolampadius likewise says, “ On mount Sion shall be de“ liverance,—that is, salvation or safety. It is certain the “apostles and others conjoined to the Church were by the " sending of the Spirit upon mount Sion, delivered by Christ at “ his first coming; and so we believe at this day every congre“gation of the faithful is delivered. But we expect a more
ample felicity when the Lord shall come again, &c. In the “ last times we expect more perfect sanctity; and these of the “house of Jacob shall be lords of those who before oppressed
them. We find not in history, that many of the Jews did bear rule in those countries, save only that the Maccabees
seized upon certain towns. But those things do not seem to "satisfy the prophetical majesty (majestati propheticæ.) In the
last times, (that is when Christ shall come,) we shall see the apostles and those that have imitated them judges of the whole
earth : albeit at this day the elect are divers ways afflicted by " the antichristian party, yet it shall come to pass that they
shall be lords over others, &c. I am not ignorant that some,
agreeing with the Jews, do think that before the day of Christ, " this kingdom shall be on earth. Christ did not tell his disciples " this, therefore let not us be solicitous of this thing." No farther shone the dim light of Ecolampadius in those ancient darker times : yet hear him presently, almost in the next words, how he doth in the general grant this truth : “ By the people of “ Esau, we understand the enemies of the truth, who shall be be
fore it as stubble to the fire; which began in the preaching of
the apostles, overthrowing idolatry, &c. But in the day of “ judgement, when hereafter they shall with Christ pronounce “ sentence and condemn them, they shall perish by the word of “God, &c. However the Jews expound it either of times
before or after the return from Babel, yet still they have been
adversaries; albeit they spake of a happy age for a thousand “ years.
Some do think that the just or righteous Jews shall rise and dwell upon the earth ; but I leave that as uncertain : “yet most certain it is, that this Prophet doth promise to the
people of God in these words, a most perfect felicity. Among “ the Edomites shall be no felicity, &c. In these verses, there“fore he teacheth, that the kingdom of Christ shall be most am“ple and large, &c."-" The Jews say that Canaan signifies all
Germany unto France, and that Sepharat signifies Spain ; “ which things are uncertain by this description of places ; but
certainly all Israel shall be saved.” Now compare Ecolampadius, with Ecolampadius, and see whether he doth not in the general grant the point in hand ; (viz.—a future glorious state of the Church on earth ;) and grant it as a thing certain.
Notice first, generally, that this prophecy of Micah is as well concerning Samaria, the metropolis of the ten tribes, as concerning Jerusalem, the metropolis of the two tribes. (chap. i, verse 1.) Secondly, That this place was urged for our opinion before Jerome's time; (which was 390 years after Christ;) as he himself confesses in his comment on this chapter.
To come to particulars, let us note first the time of fulfilling this prophecy. Our last English translation saith, in the last days. The Hebrew speaks higher ey99982: which words (differing in gender and number, and non properly signifying last) must be closely construed, in the last of days. Thus also Jerome renders it, in novissimo dierum ; the Chaldee 1927 9902 ; and the Septuagint en coxarQ Tov nepov. So that the state of the Church here prophesied is its last state, before the end of the world.
Observe secondly, that the first three verses are altogether the same with Isa. ii, 4, already discussed; which shows, how notable must be the prophecy to be thus twice mentioned by two famous prophets, with so great emphasis, in the same words, phrases, and figures. The Geneva notes assert in the margin, that this prophecy relates to the time of Christ's coming, and to the time when the temple shall be destroyed : by which I apprehend they meant, the time after the destruction of the temple by Titus Vespasian. Our new Annotations refer it to the time intended by Joel, chap. ii, 28; which we have already proved is not yet come to pass. Dr. Mayer, on the fourth verse—" they shall sit every one under his own vine, &c. and there shall be none to make them afraid”-hath these words : “ And this is still to be fulfilled when this world draweth near to " an end, the fulness of the Gentiles being come in, and the “ Jews who remain yet blinded, being converted to the faith of “ Christ.” Indeed, let any only consider exactly the description contained in the remainder of the chapter, from verse 4 to the end, of the prosperity, piety, and victory of the Church -yea of the Jewish Church, and he will be unable to show that these things have been ever yet fulfilled since the Jews' first captivity in Babylon.
The prosperity is described at verse 4. “ They shall sit every man under his vine, and under his fig-tree, and none shall make them afraid ;” and verses 6, 7.-" In that day I will as“semble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven
out, and her that I have afflicted. And I will make her that “ halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong na
tion, and the Lord shall reign over them in mount Zion, from “ henceforth and for ever.” (1 799) Now when was this prosperity made good to them since their Babylonish captivity, and for so long time as for ever? Though they were settled at the first of their return, yet from A. M. 3518 to 3640 are but one hundred and twenty two years, about which time Alexander brought Jerusalem under subjection ; after which the Romans immediately subdued them; and then the Saracens and Turks. A mark of remembrance of their subjection to the Greeks, is the translation of the Bible, called the Septuagint ; because it was done by about seventy Jews, at the command of the Grecian powers. As plain a memento of their Romish subjection is, that Christ was crucified under the Roman Pontius Pilate. And a sufficient memorandum of their subjection to the Turks is, that they possess Jerusalem at this day. So that the time of their prosperity will not amount to above one hundred and twenty two years : and is that a fulfilment of the promise, That the Lord should reign over them of mount Zion, from henceforth and for ever ?" His reign must here be understood of such a manifest, visible reigning, as stands in direct opposition to tyrannical men or conquerors reigning over them : else the Prophet had told them nothing ; seeing God doth equally reign by his power over all the world, and by his spiritual grace over all believers.
Their piety is characterized in the fifth verse.—" For all people will walk every one in the name of his God; and we will walk in the name of JEHOVAH our God for ever and ever.” For these words are not only a promise, but a prophecy ; to signify the piety they should practise when the Lord should perform the aforesaid prosperity unto them. For as for Micah, and his generation of religious men, they were soon dead ; and the generality of the Jews were mightily corrupted, and stood heinously guilty of ignorance, idolatry, injustice, oppression, cruelty, &c. as the three first and sixth chapters abundantly testify. Yea, in those chapters the Prophet reminds them, in regard to that prosperous time, in which they should thus serve God for ever, that they were to expect nothing at present but devastations and captivities. Long afterwards, in the time of the Maccabees, great profanation was brought in as a flood upon their Jewish religion. And in Christ's and the Apostles' times, we find the whole body of their law to be exceedingly corrupted, which our Saviour exposes in various parts of the Gospel. And as for the Christian religion, they did, for the generality, refuse both it and him ;-" He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” And so they did afterwards in the Apostles' ministrations ; rejecting their doctrine, and persecuting their persons ;w and St. Paul saith they are to continue in blindness till the fulness of the Gentiles shall be come in, and that then all Israel shall be saved.x
Their victory is set forth in the eighth verse to the end of the chapter.—“And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of
the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first
dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jeru“ salem."-" Thou shalt be delivered from Babylon ; there the " Lord shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies." They shall not only be delivered as by a common providence ; but shall be redeemed as relating to the fruit of a Saviour ; see Luke iii, 31–38. “Arise, and thresh, O daughter of Zion : “ for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thine hoofs
brass, and thou shalt beat in pieces many peoples. And I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord, and their substance
u 2 Macc. chapters vấvii.
v Johni, 2.
w Acts iv, and xiii.
x Rom. xi.