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the prophetic beam, which, by the prophet Joel, the Spirit of God casts upon this scene! (iii. 1.)
“For, behold, in those days and at that time When I shall bring back the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also assemble all the nations, And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there respecting my people Israel and
inheritance, Whom they scattered among the nations, and divided my
Proclaim ye this among the nations ;
thy mighty one.
in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, get ye down, for the press is full, The vats overflow; surely their wickedness was great ! Multitudes ! multitudes ! in the valley of the executed-justice, Surely the day of the Lord is near, in the valley of executed
* See Newcombe and Horsley. + The valley of decision, or the “cutting short.”
The sun and moon are darkened,
The order of events seems to be clearly discoverable from this passage alone. The general assembly of the nations for judgment in the holy land, after Judah's restoration. The harvest, which ever symbolizes the gathering of the elect, preceded, we know, by the resurrection of the blessed. Then follows the treading of the wine press, accompanied with the shaking of the nations, symbolized by, and as it will be seen, accompanied with great changes in the heavenly bodies and on the surface of the earth. Should, therefore, the taking up of the saints not take place, as is the sanguine expectation of some, before the armies are gathered at Armageddon, yet surely, “when these things begin to come to pass,” or corresponding military movements are seen among the nations of the earth, leading to this position of things, the Church cannot then but know that “the judge is even at the door.”
Before the Redeemer “comes to Zion,” and “treads the wine press” at
Armageddon ; we have intimation, also, that he will have conducted
We have seen in the last section, that before “the Redeemer cometh to Zion,” or “cometh forth at Zion,” in order that he may bring his saints with him, as it is asserted he will, he must have raised his dead, and taken up from the earth the living who believe in his name. So, also, we have intimation in other Scriptures, that before Jehovah Sabaoth goes forth to the great conflict, his presence
-manifested, perhaps, by his cloud of glory, as at the first Exodus-proceeding from the east, will have conducted certain portions of Israel through the desert, to the scene of this great warfare.
This, of course, will be a pre-eminent part of the grand restoration of the chosen people. It strikes me as being described to take place, at the very time when the anti-christian armies are employed on their last fatal expedition in Palestine. I believe that “the tidings out of the north and out of the east,” which the victorious king hears in Egypt, have some connection with this approach of a divinely conducted people, and, perhaps, also that oracle, which, in the drying up of the waters of the Euphrates, saw a way prepared, for “the kings from the sun-risings.”
The scriptures which disclose this second Exodus are numerous.
The lxviii. Psalm is very express and particular, and may serve as an introduction to the other scriptures, which will illustrate its meaning. “The song opens with that solemn invocation, which was used by the Israelites in the wilderness, in the time of Moses, when the tent of the tabernacle was struck, and the Levites set forward with the sacred burden upon their shoulders.”
"Let Elohim arise, his enemies be scattered ;
Father of the fatherless, defender of widows,
Ye shall be like the wings of a dove, covered with silver,
The hill of Bashan is the hill of God!
Or “the rebellious,” or “revolters shall inhabit the dry-rock.
+ Or parched.