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“concerns the whole universe :) for the indignation of the Lord “ is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies, he hath
utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaugh'ter.” There follow many more such illustrations; and all for the sake of Zion, to be avenged of Zion's enemies. v. 8. But nothing of this kind has been done at any period of the Jewish history; therefore St. John carries this down to the New Testament, and the later times thereof, unto the ruin of the antichristian nations, whereby to make way for the glorious restitution of which we treat. In Rev. xi, There was a great “ earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and there were "slain of men seven thousand ;” (a number of perfection, to signify a sufficient number for the design ;) “and then the Lord takes to him his great power, and destroys them that destroy the earth.” And in Rev. xix, * One sat upon a white horse, called “ faithful and true, his eyes were as a flame of fire, &c. and out of ' his mouth went a sharp sword, that with it he might smite the nations, and rule them with a rod of iron. And an angel cried
with a loud voice, saying to the fowls, &c. Come, and gather “yourselves together, &c. that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and “of captains, and of mighty men, and of horses, and of them “ that sit on them, and the flesh of all men both free and bond, " both small and great, &c.”
vu. 8—10. It is said ; “ It is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of " Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, " and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall
become burning pitch, and it shall not be quenched, night
nor day, the smoke thereof shall go up for ever.” Now St. John, in the Revelation, (not only in my judgement, but in the judgement of the old Geneva notes, and of our new Annotationists,) carries down these prophecies to the destruction of the antichristian world; where it is said: “And the smoke of
their torment ascended up for ever, and they have no rest " day nor night, who worship the beast, and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name:" "
And they saw the smoke of the burning of Babylon :" And her smoke went up for ever and ever." See Rev. xiv, 11; xviii, 18; xix, 3.
It is said, that on the desolations of the enemies of the Church “shall dwell the cormorant, bittern, owl, and raven;" which again by St. John is carried down to the desolations yet to be made upon Antichrist—"An angel cried mightily “ with a strong voice saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is
fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of
every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." See Rev. xviii, 2. And (which is very considerable) the Hebrew rabbins, especially Kimchi, and the Chaldee Paraphrase interpret the judgements denounced in this chapter of the ruin of Rome; asserting that “ The streams of Rome shall be turned “ into pitch, and its dust into brimstone, and its land into burn“ ing pitch :" with which passages the Roman clergy being offended, they leave out in their editions of those works the word Rome, and substitute Cuthith and Javan, that is Grecia. And as these things have net been hitherto fulfilled, so neither can they be fulfilled at the ultimate judgement; at which time one place will be no more desolate then another, nor will there be birds inhabiting desolations, &c.
If it be objected, that the threats of this chapter are directed against Idumea (the country of Edom, or Esau) and Bozrah the metropolis thereof, it is easily answered ; that though Idumea be named in particular, as a most intestine Jew-hating enemy, and is to be destroyed among the rest; yet the threats are express in vv. 1, 2, against all nations. Secondly, Moab, and Ammon, and the Ishmaelites, (or Hagarenes) being knit to the line of the Jews,n the same as was Idumea the country of Esau, they are most fitly held forth as types of the antichristian enemies of the Church of the New Testament;0 all of them being mother's children, but not acting as brethren; even as St. John makes the destruction of those enemies types and prophecies of the destruction of antichrist, as we have just seen.
Chapters xliii and xliv.
These chapters treat principally of the conversion and salvation, spiritual and temporal, of the Jews; and are yet unfulfilled. We need but touch upon some passages.
n Gen. xvi and xviii.
o Psalm lxxxiii, 6, 7, &c.
p Cant. i.
Ch. xliii, 1-3. It is said, “ Thus saith the Lord that created "thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel: fear not, for “ I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by name, thou art “mine. When thou passest through the waters and fires, thou “shalt not be destroyed, &c; for I am the Lord thy God, the
Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour ; I gave Egypt for thy ransom,
Ethiopia and Seba for thee.” If we look on this place as a history of things done, then it may be justly queried, that though God destroyed Egypt for Israel's sake, yet when dealt he so with Ethiopia and Seba ? Therefore generally, and most safely, it is considered prophetical ;-answerable to the promise in verse 2, that God would be with them in all difficulties; and to v. 4, “ I have loved thee, and therefore I will give MEN (mark the comprehensiveness of the term) for thee ;”—and answerable to verses 5, 6, I am with thee, I will bring thy “ seed from the east, and gather thee from the west ; I will “say to the north give up, and to the south keep not back,
bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends “ of the earth ;”—and verses 18 to 21, Remember not the “ former things, behold I will do a new thing, &c. I will
even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the esert,
the beasts of the field shall honour me, because I give “ waters in the wilderness, &c. to give drink to my people, "my chosen. This people have I formed for myself, they shall “shew forth my praise." For this giving Ethiopia and Seba for the Jews cannot be understood (as Calvin and the Geneva notes hint) of the coming up of Tirhakah king of Ethiopia against Assyria, whilst Sennacherib king of Assyria was coming up against Jerusalem,q for these reasons. First, the angel of the Lord going forth into the army of Sennacherib, and slaying one hundred and eighty five thousand of them, was the giving the Assyrians, not the Ethiopians, for a ransom for the Jews. Secondly, if that slaughter of the Assyrians was a ransom for the two tribes, yet is it nothing for Israel the ten tribes, so often mentioned in this chapter. Thirdly, as we have no sacred history for it, so no human probability, that Sennacherib's army, thus weakened by the angel, was in a fit condition to war against and to worst that army of the Ethiopians, then gathered against Sennacherib's kingdom of Assyria ; or to overthrow Seba : as it is alike improbable, that Sennacherib could recruit the old, or raise a new army, speedily enough to encounter with Tirhakah, who was then fully ready for fight. Besides, the story concludes Sennacherib's retreat from Jerusalem otherwise ; viz. that he returned and dwelt in Nineveh, and worshiping in the house of his idol gods, was slain there by his two sons.
q Isa. xxxvii.
And in this our new Annotationists concur ; saying, “ that though most under“stand this of God's turning Sennacherib's forces against Egypt " and Ethiopia, upon the tidings brought to him of Tirhakah's “coming against him, when he was making towards Jerusalem “ to besiege it; yet we cannot conceive that to be the meaning " of the place, &c.” But afterwards they add, “ that this of
giving Ethiopia and Seba for a ransom for Israel, may well have reference to the remarkable defeat of that vast army, the greatest upon record in Scripture, given to the Cushites under · Asa, &c:” to which I cannot consent; for this chapter is a prophecy of things to come, speaking both first and last in the chapter in the future tense. For if once or twice it speaks in the past tense in the middle of the chapter, it is only usual in prophecies, in order to shew their certainty, as if already done.r Besides, it is spoken of Jacob and Israel, comprehending all the twelve tribes ; certainly not the two only, called Judah, and over whom Asa was king. And it mentions the ruin of Seba for Israel's sake, that they might be delivered; of which we have nothing in past stories. And if this chapter be a prophecy, the story of Asa's victory, above mentioned, over the Cushites will not comport with the meaning thereof, since Asa died many years before Isaiah prophesied ;-Bucholcerus says above one hundred and fifty.
These things then (further amplified in the following chapter) were never yet since Isaiah's time fulfilled; and therefore there remains yet a time to come, when the prophecies of these chapters must be fulfilled, and that before the ultimate day of judgement. There must be a distinct time on earth when Egypt, Ethiopia, and Seba shall be destroyed for the deliverance and freedom of Jacob and Israel ; and not only these, but all four
r See Romans iv, 17. Ep.
quarters of the world, and the utmost ends of the earth (see verses 4–6) shall be forced to let Jacob and Israel go free. The Lord will do a NEW THING (which must properly signify a thing never done before) to make way for their return and liberty; as it is expressed in v. 19, &c. Wanton wits may endeavour to elude this with allegories and phantasms of their own hatching; but these can neither convince a rational christian, nor deliver the Jews according to the meaning of the Prophet : for though before their deliverance the Jews will not call upon God as they ought; (but will be weary of the Lord, and will
weary the Lord with their iniquities, and therefore they are given up to the curse, and to the reproach, v. 22;) yet, after these things, the Lord promises, that they all shall have a glorious condition ; saying—" Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant, and
Israel whom I have chosen. Thus saith the Lord that made thee, &c. Fear not, O Jacob, and thou Jeshurun, (the name also of the twelve tribes, in Deut. xxxii,) I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground. I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine
offspring And they shall spring up among the grass, as “ willows by the water courses. One shall say, I am the Lord's, " and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob, and ano
ther shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel. Thus saith the Lord, the King of Israel, I am the first, and I am the last: who, as I, shall
call, and declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed “ the ancient people, and the things that are coming, and shall
come ?" Chap. xliv, 1—7.
Thus you see the present state of the Jews, as in the latter end of the former chapter, viz. sinful, and doleful ;-you see their names, viz. Jacob, Israel, and Jeshurun, all names of the twelve tribes ;—you see what is meant by pouring water upon the thirsty, viz. pouring out of the Spirit ;-you see what is meant by “growing as willows by the water courses,” viz. by the effusion of the Spirit, multitudes shall own the Lord ;-you see what titles Christ hath, viz. “ King of Israel,” and “First and Last ,” which are his titles when he prophesies of his visible kingdom to be on earth, repeated several times in the Revelation.