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The rise of such an infidel state we have beheld even in our own days, and we have yet more recently seen it identified with the last head. Even now the predicted confederacy of this formidable power, of the false Romish prophet, and of the vassal kings of the Latin earth, the confederacy of which Edom is here used as a type, is forming with a wonderful degree of rapidity; and every passing event seems to be preparing the way for some awful crisis. From the overthrow of this confederacy at the time of the restoration of the Jews, a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, Isaiah beholds the Messiah triumphantly returning.
It is worthy of notice, that the learned among the Jews have ever considered Edom as a type of Rome : whence they interpret those prophecies, which foretell some future calamities about to befall Edom, as relating, not to the literal Edom, but to his antitype Rome ; or, as they might more accurately have expressed themselves, to the Roman empire; for Edom being a kingdom, his antitype must be a kingdom likewise. Thus R. Kimchi asserts, that " Whatever the prophets have spoken “ of the destruction of Edom in the last times,
they have spoken concerning Rome;" and that, “ When Rome sball be laid waste, there shall be “ redemption to Israel.” The same commentator applies the 34th chapter of Isaiah, which like the
prophecy now under consideration literally treats of the desolation of Edom and the Lord's sacrifice in Bozrah, to the downfall of Rome; and cites with marks of approbation the Chaldee exposition of the 9th verse, “ The streams of Rome shall be “ changed into pitch.” It is sufficiently evident indeed, that the two predictions are so entirely parallel to each other, that they must both relate to the same events. The 34th and 35th chapters compose one prophecy, as the 62d and 63d compose another. They both equally treat of the restoration of Judah, and the downfall of the Antichristian Roman confederacy under the mystical name of Edom. The only difference between them is, that in the one
the overthrow of Antichrist is first mentioned, and in the other the restoration of Judah. R. Kimchi applies, in a similar manner, the whole 24th chapter of Isaiah to the destruction of Edom and the return of Israel, declaring it to be a prophecy yet unaccomplished; and what he understands by Edom he shews by his commentary on the 16th
“Whoever inquires into the destruction of Rome, let him diligently examine the whole book ! of the Lord.” Both he, and R. Solomon Jarchi, use exactly the same language (with what propriety in the present case I shall not stop to inquire), when paraphrasing the 11th verse of the 21st chapter of Isaiah. *" The burden of Dumah, which is Edom,” says R. Jarchi: “ The burden of
Rome,” says R. Kimchi*. The Targum on the 22d verse of the 4th chapter of Lamentations is composed on precisely the same principle of mystic interpretation : “And, after thine iniquity shall be “ accomplished, O congregation of Zion, thou shalt " be delivered by the hand of Messiah and Elias " the high-priest; and the Lord shall no more “ cause thee to migrate into other countries : and in “ that time I will visit thine iniquity, O Rome, “ which art built in Italy, and art full of the troops " of the sons of Edom.” In fine R. Abraham Sebah, commenting on the 1st chapter of Genesis, says, that, “While the sixth millenary of the world “ is running out and drawing near to a close, Rome " shall be destroyed, and the Jews shall return “ from their dispersion t.”
In thus closely connecting together the downfall of the Roman Antichristian faction and the restoration of Judah, the Hebrew doctors seem to me to be perfectly right: an attentive perusal of the ancient Scriptures, not to mention those of the New Testament, must unavoidably lead every person to the same conclusion. Such prophecies, as are unchro
* It is not improbable, that this gloss, might have been founded on the circumstance of their reading Romah (np17), instead of Dumah (17017). The difference between the R (V), and the D (1), is so trifling, that one might easily have been substituted for the other,
+ See Mede's Works, B. v. Chap. viii. p. 902, 903 ; whence these remarks are taken.
nological, rarely foretell the return of the Jea's without declaring, that at the very same season there shall be a tremendous overthrow of God's enemies. These enemies they sometimes describe as a great confederacy of many nations : at other times they designate them by the general name of Edom. What then are we to understand by the power or powers termed Edom at the yet future period of the restoration of Israel? This we are abundantly taught, in a manner that can scarcely be misunderstood, by the two chronological prophets Daniel and St. John. At the close of a certain grand period, indifferently styled three times or three years and a half, 42 months, and 1260 days, all which equally mean 1260 natural years, the last or Roman beast and his little tyrannical horn are to begin to be destroyed *. At the close of the very same period, the power of the Jews is to cease to be scattered; or, in other words, is to begin to be restored t. At this time likewise a power, noted for atheism, infidelity, and tyranny; a power, which should spring up after the era of the reformation; is to come to its end, none being able to help it, after having first invaded Palestine, and taken Jerusalem I. And, at the close of these same 1260 years, St. John declares, that the great Roman beast under his last head, his colleague the false Romish prophet or the two-horned beast
+ Dan, xii. 6, 7. I Dan. xi. 35-45. xii. 1-7.
* Dan. vii. 11, 25, 26.
(which answer to the ten-horned beast and the little horn of Daniel), and his confederates the vassal kings of the Latin empire, shall be totally overthrown by the Word of God at Megiddo in Palestine; and that the winepress shall be trodden in a country 1600 furlongs in length, which is the precise measure of the Holy Land*. Now, since the restoration of the Jews is to commence at the end of the 1260 years; and since the unspeakable time of trouble, during which the Roman beast under his last head, the atheistical king, the false prophet, and the confederated Latin sovereigns, will be overthrown, is to be contemporary with the restoration of the Jews : since likewise, whenever the Jews are restored, a confederacy of God's enemies, more than once mystically denominated Edom, is to be utterly broken by the victorious Messiah at his second advent : it will necessarily follow, that what Isaiah terms Edon must be the confederacy of the ten-horned beast, the little horn, and the atheistical king : that is to say, the mystic Edom must be, what the Hebrew doctors have rightly judged him to be, some grand confederacy formed, during the last days, within the limits of the Roman empire. And at this conclusion, they might most assuredly arrive merely by comparing together different parts of their own Scriptures. St. John indeed both confirms the conclusion, and
* Rev, xiii. 5. xix. 11-21. xiv. 17--20.