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“ take another stick, and write upon it, For Jo. “ feph, the ftick of Ephraim, and for all the “ house of Israel his companions: and join them “ one to another into one stick; and they shall “ become one in thine hand. And when the “ children of thy people shall speak unto thee, “ saying, Wilt thou not fhew us what thou “ meanest by these?-Say unto them, Thus « faith the Lord God, Behold, I will take the “ children of Israel from among the heathen, “ whither they be gone, and will gather them
on every side, and bring them into their own 66 land: and I will make them one nation in “ the land upon the mountains of Israel; and “ one king shall be king to them all: and they 6 shall be no more two nations, neither shall " they be divided into two kingdoms any more « at all;" Ezek. xxxvii. 15.-19. 21, 22.
In order to fulfil this prophecy, it is not ne. cessary to suppose, with some visionary men, that the ten tribes carried away captive by Salmanefer are still preserved a separate people in fome unknown country. There is not much reafon to doubt that all of those carried away by him, are blended with the other nations of the world, and lost as a separate people. But seve. ral individuals of the ten tribes deserted the land of Israel, when the calves were set up in Dan and Bethel, and lived with their brethren,
voluntary exiles in the land of Judah, out of regard to the ordinances of religion'. After the great body of the nation of Israel was carried away captive, many families remained in the land, others took refuge in the land of Judah, as appears from their attending the paffovers of Hezekiah and Josiah ?, after the capti. vity. The posterity of these were all along, and still are blended with their brethren, under the common name of Jews. It is an easy matter for the Almighty to make them a very numerous people, by the time they go down to Armagedo don,
The land of their poffefsion shall be much more extensive than at any former period, including the whole district of the country that lies betwixt the Euphrates and the Mediterranean; so the prophet Micah says, chap. vii. 12, 6. In that day also he (Israel) shall come even to or thee (Jerusalem) from Assyria, (to the forti. 6c fied cities, and from Tyre 3, shall he extend),
(1) See 2 Chron. xi. 13.-18. 2 Chron. xxxi. 6, 7. (2) See 2 Chron. xxx. 11. 2 Chron. xxxv. 17.
(3) I suppose the fortress mentioned to be Tyre, ber. · cause it was once the most famous fortress in Palestine.
Besides, its situation is the point of land farthest weft on the coast of Palestine, to which we are directed to look,
“ to the river, and from sea to sea, and from “ mountain to mountain.” The prophet describes the extent of their territory, by marking the breadth of their land from west to east, in two different places. At the north end it shall extend from Tyre to the Euphrates, at the south end from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulph. The length of the land from north to fouth, fhall be from mount Lebanon, which was at all times the northern boundary, to mount Seir, as in the parallel passage. “ They “ in the south shall possess the mount of Efau ;" Obad. ver. 19.
This is confirmed by Zechariah. “ His do. • minion shall be from sea to sea, and from the “river even to the ends of the earth;” Zech. ix. 10. The words have a double meaning; they not only represent the Messiah's kingdom, as extending over all nations, but they likewise describe the territory of the people of Israel, after their submission to the Mefliah ; while the words are so happily chosen as to suit both events. In the latter sense, the description is the same with that of Micah, their dominion ex
when set in opposition to the Euphrates, as the eastern boundary. The scriptures always mean the Euphrates, when no proper name is added to the river. Besides, the word translated fortress, with a small variation, would give the name of Tyre in the original.
tends from the Persian Gulph', to the Mediterranean, at the south end, and from the Euphrates to the extremities of the land of Palestine, that is, to the sea-coast at the north end.
The same expressions are used Psalm lxxii. 8. where they have likewise à double meaning. They represent the extent of the Mefliah's kingdom, and likewise of Solomon's. Now Solomon reigned over all the kings betwixt the Euphrates and the Mediterranean, 1 Kings iv. 24. which fixes the meaning of the expressions both here and in Zechariah, as far as they relate to the people of Ifrael.
The division of the land shall be different from that originally made by Joshua. It is mi. nutely described in the 48th chapter of Ezekiel. The inheritance of each tribe shall extend along the breadth of the land, from the east to the west fide, so that each tribe shall be pofseffed of
(1) Many have supposed, that the lake Asphalites, or Dead Sea, is meant; but observe that the kingdom of Solomon extended beyond it, and that the country of the Moabites and Ammonites, which lay to the east of it, is said to be possessed by the children of Israel upon their restoration, (Zeph. ii. 9.), consequently it cannot be intended. Now the next fea to the east is the Persian Gulph, into which the Euphrates falls, therefore being the continuation of the same line, which makes the eastern boundary at the north end, it is most probably intended
sea-coast. Seven of the tribes shall lie to the north of Jerusalem in the following order, beginning at the entrance of Hamath: Dan, Afher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Ephraim, Reuben, Judah; and five to the south, Benjamin, Simeon, Issachar, Zebulon, Gad. The holy portion for the city, described Ezek. xlv. 8.–21: shall fie betwixt the inheritance of Judah and Benjamin, so as not to be reckoned of either
(1) The city and the holy portion may be understood, partly in a literal sense, but chiefly in a mystical, fignifying the national polity, like the new Jerusalem. I prefume the meaning of it cannot be fully understood, till the Jews receive the model of their national polity, upon their conversion. However, it may have thus far a literal meaning, that a certain portion of land, distinct from the inheritance of the twelve tribes, shall be allotted for a fubfiftence to persons in public offices, both ecclesiastical and civil; and that in lieu of tithes and taxes, that have been frequently sources of oppression to the people. I build this idea, on the portion allotted to the prince ; for which the reason is given, “ My princes shall- no more « oppress my people; and the rest of the land shall they 6 give to the house of Ifrael, according to their tribes.“O princes of Israel, take away your exactions from my “ people, faith the Lord God;" Ezek. xlv. 8, 9.. Again, it is said of a part of the holy portion, “ It shall be for “ food to them that serve the city,” chap. xlviii. 18,; that is, for a subsistence for public functionaries. Farther, the part allotted to the priests and Levites, may signify a fubfistence to the ministers of the gospel.