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PROPHECY XXVIII.

The captivity of Judah and Israel The application

of some of their members to the mystic Assyrian to effect their restoration-Their distress-Their final political revival.

Hosea v. 8. Blow ye the cornet iu Gibeah, the trumpet in Ramah; sound an alarm at Bethaven. Look behind thee, O Benjamin. 9. Ephraim shall be given up to desolation, in the day of rebuke, among the tribes of Israel: I have declared what shall surely be. 10. The rulers of Judah have been as those that remove the bounds *. Upon them like a flood I will pour out my fury. 11. Ephraim is hard pressed, ruined in judgmentt; because he is self-willed, walking after a commandment I. 12. Therefore am I as a moth in

the

* Those that remove the bounds.] “ That is, they have con" founded the distinctions of right and wrong. They have turned upside down all political order, and all manner of religion, “ English Geneva.” Bp. Horsley in loc.

+ Ephraim is---ruined in judgment.] “That is, he has no " defence to set up against the accusation bronght against him; * he has nothing to say for himself.” Bp. Horsley in loc.

1 Self-willed, walking after a commandment.] “ That is, al. . " though he has a commandment to walk after, namely the “ divine law, yet he will take his own way; and this he does, " notwithstanding he pretends to acknowledge the authority of

to the

the garment to Ephraim, and as a worm in the flesh to the house of Judah. 1. When Ephraim perceives his holes, and Judah his corrupted sore, then Ephraim will betake him to the Assyrian, and send to the king who takes up' all quarrels *. But he shall not be able to repair the damage for you, nor shall he make a cure of your corrupted sore. “14. For, I will be as a lion unto Ephraim, and as a young lion to the house of Judah. I, I, will seize the prey, and be gone; I'will carry off, and none shall rescue. » 15. 'I will be gone, I will return unto niy place t; till what time they ac

knowledge

" the commandment. The ten tribes pretended to be wor" shippers of Jehovah; but they worshipped him in the calves " ai Dan and Bethel ; and they appointed a priesthood of their “ own, in prejudice of the prerogative of the sons of Levi.” Bp. Horsley in loc.

* The king who takes up all quarrels.] “This describes some “ powerful monarch, who took upon him to interfere in all “ quarrels between inferior powers; to arbitrate between them,

and compel them to make up their differences, upon such “ terms as he thought proper to dictate : whose alliance was " of course anxiously courted by weaker states. , Such was “ the Assyrian monarch in the times, to which the prophecy “ relates” primarily; and such will be his antitype, the last head of the Roman Babylon, in the times, to which it relates secondarily and ultimately. Bp. Horsley in loc.

+ I will be gone, I will return unto my place.] “ I will withio “ draw myself from them, till by a sincere humiliation they “ implore my favour. The Chaldee paraphrase expresses the *6 sense thus, I will take away my majestic presence or Shechinah from among them, and will return into heaven" (Mr. Lowth

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" in

knowledge their guilt, and seek my face. When distress is upon them, they will rise early to seek me.

vi. 1. Come, and let us return unto the Lord. For he hath torn, but he will make us whole: he hath inflicted the wound, but he will apply the bandage. 2. He will bring us to life after two days; in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his presence. 3. Then we shall know, we shall pursue after the knowledge of the Lord. His coming forth is fixed as the morning; and he shall come upon us as the pouring shower, as the harvest rain, as the rain of seed-time upon the earth-10-I have seen a horrible thing: forni. cations in Ephraim ! Israel polluted! 11. Moreover, 0 Judah, harvest-work is appointed for thee, when I bring back the captivity of my people.

COMMENTARY.

The prophet begins with foretelling the captivity of Judah and Israel; and declares, that in consequence of their sius, tliey shall be deprived of their former greatness and prosperity, Sensibly

in loc.). The passage seems to be exactly parallel with that declaration of our Lord to the unbelieviug Jews, “ Behold, “ your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto " you, Ye shall not see me until the time come wbep ye shall “ say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Luke xiii. 35,

feeling

feeling their degraded situation, they shall at length endeavour to extricate themselves from it by the undue means of applying to a king, who officiously takes up all quarrels, and of whom the king of Assyria was a type, as the first restoration from Babylon was a type of the second restoration from the mystic Babylon or the Roman empire. Yet this king shall not be able to repair their damages, nor to make a cure of their corrupted sore. For the Lord will arise as a lion in his wrath, and will execute vengeance both upon them and their presumptuous ally.

This king exactly answers to the description of Antichrist, who will then be the last head of the Roman beast, as the Assyrian was the head of the Babylonian beast : and such accordingly I take him to be. Certain of the unconverted Jews will accept his offer to restore them to their own country; and it appears likewise from the prophecy (what indeed is highly probable in itself), that several members of the kingdom of Ephraim or the ten tribes, now scattered through the east, will be both invited and induced by him to join themselves to bis confederacy. Such however is not the way, in which God has decreed to restore the main body of his ancient people. The king shall be utterly overthrown; and many of his Israelitish allies shall perish with him *

Yet

* This passage can only relate to certain individuals of the kingdom of the ten tribes; for the main body of the ten tribes will

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Yet the rest of these misguided wretches, when distress is upon them, will rise early to seek the Lord. They will look upon him whom they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one that mourneth for an only son. They will join their believing brethren, who had been restored by the instrumentality of the great maritime power ; and with them will say, Come, and let us return unto the Lord.

To express the political revivification of the house of Israel, Hosea, like Isaiah and Ezekiel, uses the allegory of a resurrection *. After two days God will bring life into them; yea, in the third day he will raise them up, and they shall live in his presence. These three days mean, I apprehend, the three great days of Patriarchism, Judaism, and Christianity ; that is, according to the tradition of the house of Elias, the day before the law, the day under the law, and the day of the Messiah. After the two first, and in the evening of the third, immediately before the commencement of the Millenlenium, the resurrection of the whole house of Israel will take place; first the resurrection of Judah, and afterwards the resurrection of Ephraim. Then the ancient people of God sliall know, and pursue

ursue

be restored after the overthrow of Antichrist, and in consequence of the fugitives from his army being scattered througlo all countries. Isaiah lxvi. 15~24.

* The restoration of the Jewish nation is often described, me as if it were a new life from the dead.” Mr. Lowth in loc.

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