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account of his conversion not being aniversal * , nor whom he can intend by the treacherous dealers, unless they be some nation remarkable in the last days, and even proverbial, for their perfidy and treachery. This passage therefore, which is so evidently connected with the restoration of the Jews, seems to me to confirm the opinion of Bp. Horsley, that some of them in an unconverted state will join the army of Antichrist, and seek to regain their own country by his instrumentality. Acting however merely from political motives, he will soon give them reason to bewail his wonted perfidy, and their own too easy faith in his promisest.
* It seems most natural to understand the leanness, of which Judah here complains, as meaning spiritual leanness; agreeably to that in the Psalms, “ He gave them their request, “ but sent leanness into their soul." Psalm cvi. 15.
The fides Gallica has immemorially been little less proverbial than the fides Punica. “ Francis familiare est ridendo “ fidem frangere”. (Vopisc. Procop. C. xiii. P. 237. Ed. Bir pont.). " Gens Francorum infidelis est. Si perjeret Francus “ quid novi faciet, qui perjurium ipsum sermonis genus putat os esse non criminis” (Salvian. de Gub. Dei L. iv. P. 82. Mag. Bib. Pat. 5.). “ Franci mendaces, sed hospitales" (ibid. 1. 7. P. 116.), "Such was the character of the ancient Franks, npon which Mr. Turner observes, “ This union of laughter " and crime, of deceit and politeness, has not been entirely “ unknown to France in many periods since the fifth century" (Hist. of the Anglo-Saxons, Vol. i. P. 56.). In the more stern and energetic language of the apostle, it is predicted, that in
* Meanwhile, as Daniel predicts that the restoration of the Jews shall take place in a time of unexampled trouble, so Isaiah here predicts, that it shall be at an era marked by astonishing revolutions and tremendous commotions. After describing a state of things, in which nọ man can promise himself either personal liberty or security, he proceeds, in the figurative language of prophecy, language in the present instance borrowed from the catastrophè of the deluge *, to foretell an unspeakable degree of misery and confusion, which should fall upon the inhabitants of the earth on account of their transgressions f. And this leads
the last days, the peculiar days of Antichrist, the days of which Isaiah is now speaking, there should be truce-breakers, traitors, heady, high-minded. 2 Tim. iii. 3, 4.
* At the period of the deluge, the fountains of the great abyss, were broken up, the fissures on high or in the shell of the earth were opened to give a free passage to the waters, and the very foundations of the globe trembled. See Catcost on the deluge. See likewise Mr. Lowth in loc.
+ Bp. Lowth applies this symbolical prediction to the destruction of the ecclesiastical and civil polity of the Jews. But this had been already foretold by Isaiah in the first thirteen verses of the 24th chapter; and he is now passing on to their restoration and conversion. Hence I think it more natural to refer it to the great convulsions which will usher in the final overthrow of Antichrist, to that period of unexampled distress in the midst of which the Jews will be restored. In fine, the political troubles here mentioned will terminate, according to Isaiah, in the reigning of the Lord of hosts on mount Zion
him to predict, in a manner perfectly analogous to bis former prophecy, the final overthrow of Antichrist and his rebellious kost. After many days (an usual scriptural phrase to denote the time of the end, or the conclusion of the great period of 1260 years,) the tyrant and his associates shall be gathered together into one place, here figuras tively termed their prison, as criminals are gathered together into the vault of a dungeon. This place we learn from other prophecies to be in the land of Palestine, and from St. John to be in the immediate neighbourhood of Megiddo *.. By the total overthrow of the enemies of God, the political sun and moon will be confounded; the last of the four great monarchies will be dissolved; the kingdom of the symbolical inountain will commence; and the Lord of hosts will reign in mount Zion and in Jerusalem.
Enraptured with the consolatory prospect, Isaiah now breaks forth into a song of triumph. He praises God for dashing in pieces the strong-holds
and in Jerusalem; whereas the overthrow of the Jewish polity had no such termination: for Jerusalem, instead of then becoming the city of God, began at that very period to be trodden down by the Gentiles.
*“ I cannot find any explication of this verse, (Isaiah “ xxiv. 22.): so agreeable to the natural sense of the words, “ as that of a late learned writer upon the Revelation, chap, " xix. 6, who explains it of the kings of the earth, who made
“ war with Christ and his saints at Armageddon. Rev. xvi. : “ 16. xix. 19.” Mr. Lowth in loc.
of Antichrist, and for defending the poor and the needy from his violence. He adds, that, in consequence of these judgments, even the terrible ones themselves should fear the Lord; thus hinting at that conversion of the relics of the Antichristian host, which in other parts of holy writ is more largely and definitely predicted. He declares, that, in this mountain, however unexpected such an event might be, even in mount Zion itself where the wilful tyrant had lately pitched the tabernacles of his hosts *; in this mountain the Lord shall make unto all people a spiritual feast of fat things t, and destroy the veil of ignorance I which has long
been cast over so large a portion of mankind, both - Jews and Gentiles. Then will he swallow up death
in victory; then will tears be wiped away from every eye; 'then will his people Israel be the glory, instead of the reproach, of the whole earth $.
In that day, the restored Jews inay be supposed to lift up their voices in joyful acclamations to the Lord; to praise him for overthrowing their enemies, and causing the nations to be ashamed of their former envy; to acknowledge his goodness
* Dan. xi. 45. + Compare Isaiah ii. 2-5. I “ The phrase--may denote the taking away all ignorance “ and prejudice from men's minds, which St. Paul compares “ to a veil (2 Cor. iii. 13, 14.); and the word covering is “ used in the same sense in the prophecy, Isaiah xxix. 10.” Mr. Lowth in loc.
§ Rev. xxi. 4. VOL. I.
for delivering them from those harsh lords who have had dominion over them; to confess, that he wonderfully preserved and increased them, as he did of old in Egypt, though he had removed them to the very ends of the earth; and to own that their pangs and troubles, both during the period of their dispersion and at the boisterous era of their restoration, resembled those of a woman drawing near to the time of her delivery. They had long brought forth, as it were, only wind; but now a mighty people is born at once, is suddenly converted to the faith of Christ, and takes its rank among the chief of the nations *.
The prophet now speaks again in his own person, and declares, that, although the Jews should long experience the horrors of a political death, they should at length revive, and once more become an independent and regularly constituted government. The earth should cast out her dead; they should be gathered together from the four quarters of the habitable globe ; and they, that long dwelt in the dust of the allegoričal grave, should awake and sing. In the midst however of God's judgments upon their enemies, he charges them to be still. He bids them wait, till the indignation be past; till the Lord hath come out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; tiH he hath broken the power of Antichrist, who, like
* Isaiah lxvi. 7, 8, 9.