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" afflicted the nation of the Hebrews, and detained " them in bondage several years. The Assyrians “ carried away captive the ten tribes of Israel ; “ and the Babylonians afterwards, the two remain“ing tribes of Judah and Benjamin. The Syro“ Macedonians, especially Antiochus Epiphanes, “ cruelly persecuted them : and the Romans ut“ terly dissolved the Jewish state, and dispersed “ the people so that they have never been able to
recover their city and country again. And “where are now ' these great and famous mo“ narchies, which in their turns subdued and op" pressed the people of God? Are they not " vanished as a dream; and not only their power, “but their very names, lost in the earth? The “ Egyptians, Assyrians, and Babylonians, were “ overthrown, and entirely subjugated, by the “ Persians : and the Persians (it is remarkable) “ were 'the restorers of the Jews, as well as the “ destroyers of their enemies. The Syro-Mace“ donians were swallowed up by the Romans : " and the Roman empire, great and powerful as “ it was, was broken into pieces by the incursions “ of the northern nations; while the Jews are ss subsisting as a distinct people at this day. And " what a wonder of Providence is it, that the “ vanquished should so many ages survive the « victors; and the former be spread all over the s world, while the latter are no more *.” The
* Bp. Newton's Dissert. viii. 2.
prediction however will be get more amply fulfilled at the era of the final restoration of Israel, when the sovereigns of the Romish apostasy, who are now rapidly sinking into the state of mere vassals 'to Antichrist, shall be overthrown, along with their tyrannical chief and their false prophet, in the land of Palestine, in the region between the two seas.
Their destruction will be the prelude to a new and happy order of things. The Messiah, at his second advent (for his second advent is here manifestly spoken of), will reign over his people Israel, either personally, or by the instrumentality of other righteous shepherds. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and their restoration from the different countries of their dispersion shall then be as much celebrated, as their deliverance out of the land of Egypt was in the days of yore *
PROPHECY XIX. The general restoration of Israel. The restoration
of Judah in a time of great trouble. The overthrow of Antichrist-The certainty of the restoration of Israel, and his happy state subsequent to it. * Compare with this prophecy Jerem. xxxiii. x 2
Jeremiah xxx. 1. The word that came to Jere miah from the Lord, saying, 2. Thus speaketh the
Lord God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the · words which I have spoken unto thee in a book.
3. For lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring back the captivity of my people Israel and Judah *, saith the Lord: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it. 4. And these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and .concerning Judah. 5. For thus saith the Lord: We hear a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of . peace. 6. Ask ye now, and see, whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins as a woman in -travail, and all faces are turned into paleness ? 7.
* Israel and Judah.] “ Israel and Judah, having been car*" ried away by two distinct captivities into different parts of ós the world, several prophecies of the Old Testament not only 6 foretell the restoration of each of them, but likewise their “ re-union after their restoration. Now, though it be granted " that some of every tribe did return to their own country “ under Cyrus and Artaxerxes, and are therefore called by " the name of all Israel (Ezra ii. 73. vi. 17. vii. 13. x. 5. “ Nehem. xii. 47.); yet the far greater part of these were of
Judah and Benjamin, together with the Levites (Ezra. i. 5.). -66. So that it is a great question, what is become of the main .“ body of the ten tribes, which Salmanasar carried away “ into Assyria and the neighbouring countries. From all is which we may infer, that this and the like prophecies of the 56 Old Testament refer to a further restoration of the Jews " that is yet to.come.” Mr. Lowth in loc. at
Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. 8. For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, I will break his yoke from off his neck, and his bands * will I burst asunder; and strangers shall no more exact service of him t: 9. But they shall serve the Lord. their God, and David their king I whom I will raise up unto them. 10. Therefore fear thou: not, O my servant Jacob, saith the Lord; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for ló, I will save thee froin afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity S; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make hiin afraid.
* His neck-his bands.] - See Dr. Blayney in loc.
+ Strangers shall no more exact service of him.] “ This $ promise has not yet received its accomplishment; since, “ after the return of the Jews under Cyrus, they were reduced «« into servitude by the Greeks and Romans; and at present " there is no place in the world where they can be said to be as their own masters.” Mr. Lowth in loc.
| David their king.] “ That is, the Messiah, who is often “ called by the name of David in the prophets, as the person " in whom all the promises made to David were to be fulsa filled.” Mr. Lowth in loc.
§ I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity.] “ I will deliver thee froni thy captivity, “ though thou shouldest be dispersed into the most distant “ countries. And this, though it be not accomplished in the " Jews of the present age, shall be made good to their pos“ terity, who are beloved for their fathers' sake, as St. Paul « speaks.'' Mr. Lowth in loc.,
11. For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in exact measure *, and will not leave thee altogether un. punished—16. All they, that devour thee, shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all that prey upon thee will I give for a prey. 17. For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee, An outcast, this Zion, no man seeketh after her. 18. Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob's tents, and have mercy on his dwelling places, and the city shall be builded upon its own ruinous heap, and the temple shall stand after the measure thereof. 19. And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving, and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be a few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small. 20. Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them. 21. And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their goyernor shall proceed from the midst of them: and
+ I will not make a full end of thee : but I will correct thee in exact measure.] Compare this with Isaiah xxvii, 7, 8, 9. in Prophecy vir.