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honouring God: it is now further represented to us under images drawn from the ancient history of Israel, and the prohibitions of the Levitical law. Those then, who compose the Antichristian confederacy, will be persons who imitate the idolatry of the Gentiles, worshipping deified saints, and polluting themselves with all manner' of abominations *. Such a description perfectly accords with the character of those, of whom we are taught the confederacy will consist. But its members, in the midst of their audacious attempt to oppose the counsels of the Lord, shall be consumed together: and God remarkably declares, that, while they are seeking only to fulfil their own diabolical purposes of ambition and persecution, he so overrules both their works and their thoughts, as to make them instrumental in gathering together all nations and tongues, that they may come, and see a marvellous display of his glory.
* “ The prophet mentions only such idolatries as were
practised in and about his own time; but yet may cornpre6 hend under those heads all other kinds of that siu, just as “ the idolatries practised by some Christians are called the “ doctrines of Balaam and Jezabel (Rev. ii. 14, 20.), and the " church where they were practised is described by the name “ of Sudom and Egypt (Rev. xi. 8.). And the Jew's at this “ day ackuowledge the compliances of several of their nation " with the idolatries practised in those Popish countries where " the Inquisition is set up, as one of their national sins. See “ Limborch's Amica collatio cum Judæo." Mr. Lowth's Coniment. on Isaiah lxv. 4. to which he refers is from Comment, on Isaiah ixvi. 17.
Still however, although Judah be now restored, and although Antichrist be overcome, we have to look for the return of Israel, that second grand division of God's people, which is to be brought back by land. Here then the prophet most fully declares to us the manner of their restoration. After the overthrow of Antichrist, such as escape the tremendous slaughter of Megiddo, a number amounting (as we are informed by Zechariah *) to a third part of his whole host, shall be converted to the pure faith of Christ; and shall be scattered among all nations, in order that they may carry far and wide the astonishing tidings, and declare the glory of God. Some of the Jeu's may naturally be supposed to have been left behind, at the period of the restoration of Judah, in the distant isles of the sea or the regions of Europe, and even in the territories of the modern Tarshish. These now will hear the joyful news; and will be gathered together along with their brethren the children of Israel from the north, the south, and the east. In Palestine the two kindred nations will coalesce into one : for, although Ephraim will undoubtedly be restored, he will be for ever broken, so that he shall be no more a distinct people t. We further learn from this passage, that Israel will be restored in a converted state, as one of the divisions of Júdah had been before him. The great maritime people, as we are elsewhere taught by Isaiah I, is * Zechar. xiii. 8, 9.
+ Isaiah vii. 8. Isaiah xviii. 7. See also lx. 9.
to bring certain of the sons of Judah, as a present unto the Lord; whence it must be inferred, that both the bringers and the brought are faithful worshippers: the various continental powers throughout the whole world are, in a similar manner, to bring their brethren of the tribes of Israel, by various modes of land conveyance, as an offering to the Lord; whence the same inference must unavoidably be drawn. The present passage indeed is on the whole more decisive than the other; for it is added, that the offering of the dispersed tribes should be brought by the nations, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord. Hence it is plain, since nothing legally unclean could be offered under the Levitical dispensation, that the tribes, so brought as an offering, must be figuratively clean: and, since the two passages are altogether parallel in point of phraseology, that part of Judah, which is brought by the ships of the modern Tyre, must be figuratively clean likewise.
The prophet concludes with symbolically describing the glories of the millennium, which will commence so soon as both Judah and Israel shall have been fully restored *.
* Mr. Lowth justly observes on this part of the prophecy, “ the worship of the new Jerusalem is represented by the " the practice of the Jewish temple; as if the prophet had " said, that state shall be one continued festival. It is usual o with the prophets to describe the Gospel dispensations by $ the usages of their own times.”
The captivity, restoration, conversion, and union
of Judah and Israel-The invasion of Palestine from the north by Antichrist-His destruction.
Jeremiah iii. ]. They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again ? shall not that land be greatly polluted ? But thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the Lord *-6. The Lord also said unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen what backsliding Israel hath done ? she is gone up upon every mountain, and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot. 7. And I said, after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto . me: but she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. 8. And I saw, when, for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery, I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also
* Return again to me saith the Lord.] In the Levitical law, a man, who had put away his wife, was forbidden to take her again, lest an encouragement should thereby be held out to licentiousness; but God, in the case of his mystical consort, the church of Israel, is here represented as mercifully dispensing with his own law. See Dr. Blayney's Jerem, in loc, and Air. Lowth in loc.
12. Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and
Return thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you : for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger for ever--14. Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you, one out of a city, and two out of a family, and I will bring you to Zion.
15. And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall, feed you with knowledge and understanding. 16. And it shall come to pass when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, In those days, saith the Lord, they shall say no more, The ark of the covepant of the Lord t: neither shall it come to mind; neither shall they remember it, neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more. 17. At that time they shall call Jerusalem, The throne of the Lord : and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem : neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. 18. In those days the
* I will take you, one out of a city, and two out of a family.] The miraculous gathering of the long-lost tribes of Israel seems here to be intended. Sprinkled as they now are through the various cities and families of the east, they shall then all be discovered. Compare Isaiah xxvii, 13. in Prophecy vir.
† They shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the Lord.) Compare Isaiah xxxi, 31-34. and see Mr. Lowth in loc.