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" inent, and have yet to receive their full com“
Joel (for I wish only that he sliould be his own interpreter) has given us a most decisive mark, whereby we may know which of the two advents he is properly treating of. He tells us, that the time of God's gathering together the nations to the great day of the Lord shall be in the days when he will bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem. Thus it is manifest, that since the whole of his prophecy, as he four times carefully tells us, relates to the great day of the Lord, it must necessarily relate, so far as its full completion is concerned, to the great day of the second advent; for, at that great day, not at the great day of the first advent (for then they were dispersed), the Jews will be restored. This being the case, the destruction of the symbolical locust-army will take place at the era of the second great day of the Lord, the era of the second advent, the era of the restoration of Judah. But the locust-army is not only to be destroyed at this era: it is likewise to be destroyed in Palestine between the two seas. Now we are taught by Daniel, that the confederacy of the Infidel king is to be overthrown both at the same era, and in the saine bismarine country t. Hence we necessarily, I think, arrive at the couclusion which I have already stated, that the locust. army is no other than the army of Antichrist.
* Letter on Isaiah xviii. p. 3. + Dan. xi. 45. xii. 1.
Chandler's exposition of the last chapter of Joel is yet more exceptionable than that of the formet part of the prophecy. Ile separates it from all that had preceded it, notwithstanding Joel firmly binds together in one the whole of his prediction, by four times referring us for its accomplishment to the great day of the Lord : and fancies, that it relates to nothing but a war between Ahaz and the Edomites and Philistines, in the course of whichi several of the Jews were taken prisoners; and to some subsequent victories of Hezekiah, in consequence of which and of the destruction of Sennacherib's army, many of the captives were probably restored to liberty *. Thus does he reduce the restoration of Judah and Jerusalem to the mere recovery, and that the only probable recovery, of some prisoners of war; and the inagnificent description of the overthrow of the nations in the great day of the Lord to some petty victory of Hezekiah, not of sufficient consequence to be par
* “ Probably under the prosperity of Hezekial's reign many
were restored to liberty-The sacred historian takes notice, * that after the slaughter of Sennacherib's army many brought
gifts to the Lord at Jerusalem, and presents to Ilezekiah king * of Judalı If amongst these offerings there were any prisoners " and captives, they must have been a very grateful present to " this religious and virtuous prince,
ticularly ticularly mentioned by the sacred historiau *. Yet this strange interpretation of one of the noblest prophecies in Holy Writ he requires us to receive in preference to that of R. Kimchi, who naturally supposes, that the scattering of Israel among the nations und the parting of God's landt means the scattering of the Jews and the partition of Palestine by the Romans, and consequently that the bringing again the captivity of Judah means his final restoration 1. On the same principle he at
* “ If we take the valley of Jehoshaphat in a literal sense, the * prophet foretells some signal vengeance that should be taken
on the Jewish enemies there; which, because of the short.
ness of the history, we may not be so well able to point out " the exact accomplishment of. It is certain Hezekiah had
many victories over the neighbouring nations, but whether
any of them happened in this valley is not particularly men46 tioned.” + Joel iii. 2.
“ Kimchi refers this (the bringing again the captivity of Judah) to the days of the Messiah ; and the pouring out of k the Spirit (Joel ii. 28.), to the days when the captivity of “ Judah should be brought back, without, as I can find, any
reason for such an application--Kimchi understands the “scatlering of the Jews, and the partition of the land, of what
done by Titus and his army, when they came into the land " of Israel. But this seems going much out of the way to find " out the accomplishment of this prophecy. All that is in“ plied is, that the nations mentioned made several incursions * into the Jewish territories, seized upon several of their cities " and towns, took the inhabitants captives, and sold them for “ slaves." What a singular mode of sinking a prophecy, replete with the boldest and most terrific images !
tempts to lower all the promises, with which the prophecy concludes, to the short-lived tranquillity of Jerusalem during the latter part of the reign of Hezekiah; a tranquillity ere long clisturbed by the captivity of his son Manasseh, and the subsequent general Babylonian captivity which put an end to the kingdom of Judah. How the divine deciaration, that Jerusalem should be holy, that hostile strangers * should pass through her no more, and that Judah should dwell for ever, could have been fulfilled in the reign of Hezekiah, when we consider what speedily followed that reign, it is not very easy to conceive t.
• Chandler himself adopts the obvious exposition of Grotius, that the strangers, here mentioned, are hostile strangers, “ Jerusalem shall be holiness, separated to God, and esteemed " as under his peculiar protection by the stranger or neigh“ bouring nations, who shall therefore nu more pass through “ it; they shall neither besiege, nor take it; or, as Grotius " expounds it, they shall no more pass through it with a hose " tile army. This prophecy seems to me to have been ful“ filled in the time of Hezekiah, when God saved the inha“ bitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib, and " from the hand of all others, and guided them on every ac side: and when the Lord was with Hezekiah, and prospered “ him whithersoever he went forth.”
+ Dr. Gray observes, that this prophecy is supposed to relate to the circumstances predicted in Ezekiel xxxix. 5—11. and Rev. xx. 8, 9 (Key. p. 437.). ( fully agree with him, that the Gog and Magog of Ezekiel are the same as the Gog and Magog of St. John; but I cannot think, that the predicPROPHECY XXXII.
The dispersion of the Jews, and the occupation of
their country by foreign invaders—Their restoration and triumph over the mystic Edom.
Amos viii. 11. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. 12. And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east; they shall run to and fro to seck the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.-ix. 4. Though they go into captivity before their enemies, thence will I command the sword, and it shall slay them: and I will set mine eyes upon them for evil, and not for good. 5. For the Lord God of Hosts toucheth the land, and it shall melt, and all that dwell therein shall mourn: and it shall be come up upon as by a river *, and it shall be laid
tion of Joel at all relates to them. It speaks of a formidable confederacy about to be destroyed at the era of the restoration of Judah ; whereas the overthrow of Gog and Magog takes place at the end of the millennium. Hence I rather think, that it relates to the circumstances predicted in Isaiah Ixiii. Ezeka xxvii, xxviii, 35. Dan, xi. 40–45, xji. 1. Rev. xiv. 17–20. xviii, xix. 11-21, and many other parallel prophecies.
* It shall be come up upon us by u riter.] The land shall be overflowed by invading armies, as completely as Fyypt is by