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mountain of the Lord of hosts, The holy mountain. 4. Thus saith the Lord of hosts : There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for every age.
5. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof. 6. Thus saith the Lord of hosts ; If it he marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvellous in mine eyes? saith the Lord of hosts. 7. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Behold I will save my people from the east-country, and from the west-country *; 8. And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem : and they shall be my people, and I will be their God in truth and in righteousness—13. And it shall come to pass, that, as ye were a curse among the nations, ( house of Judah, and house of Israel t; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing : fear not; let your hands be strong. 14. For thus saith the Lord of hosts; As I thought to punish you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath, saith the Lord of hosts, and I repented not; 15. So again have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem and to the house of Judah; fear ye not-20. Thus saith the Lord of hosts ; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities.
blessing: • I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country.] " This denotes the general restoration of the " Jewish nation from their several dispersions, an event foretold " by most of the prophets of the Old Testament. The west « country here mentioned hath a particular relation to their
present dispersion, great numbers of them being in these “ latter ages settled in the western parts of the world.” Mr. Lowth in loc.
+ O house of Judah, and house of Israel.] “ The mentioning “ both Judah and Israel, which had been so long separated, " shews that both the curse and the blessing here spoken of, in " its ultimate sense, belongs to the whole body of the Jews ; “ who, as they are a public instance of God's judgments now, " so shall they hereafter be of his blessings : namely, at the ci general restoration and conversion of that nation, to which
cities. 21. And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord * and to seek the Lord of hosts : I will go also. 22. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord. 23. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; It shall come to pass in those days, that ten men out of all the languages of the nations shall take hold, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying we will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.
several promises in this chapter relate.” Mr. Lowth in loc.
* Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord.) “ A prophecy " of the Gentiles coming into the Church.” Mr. Lowth in loc.
This prophecy must, I think, be referred to the yet future restoration of God's ancient people, and not merely to the return of Juduh from the Babylonian captivity. The following considerations lead me to adopt such an opinion.
1. A restoration from the east and the west, which was yet future, is promised: the Jews hud already returned from Babylon, which was only in the north-east-2. The restoration both of the house of Judah and the house of Israel is predicted: Judah alone returned from Babylon, with the exception of a few stragglers belonging to the other ten tribes-3. Judah and Israel are conjointly to cease to be a curse among the nations: they are still, even in the present day, a proverb and a by-word4. Finally there is to be a great influx of mighty and strong nations to Jerusalem, there to worship the Lord, and to seek his face; they are to acknowledge, that God of a truth dwelleth with the Jews; and so eager are they to be to court an intimate communication with the house of Jacob, that even ten men of all nations and languages shall lay hold of the skirt of a single Jew: this prophecy has never yet been accomplished, for it is absurd to suppose it accomplished in the few gentile proselytes made occasionally before the day's of the first advent; and, if it be not yet accon
plished, we must look for its completion in the days of the second advent, agreeably to many other predictions to which this is exactly parallel *.
Such then being the case, we may see the reason why it should appear so marvellous in the eyes of the people. They had only just been brought back from Babylon, and they are presented with a prophecy relative to some yet future restoration both of Judah and Israel. They do not seem to have considered, that a prediction of this nature involved necessarily a prediction of some yet future dispersion. Hence it was marvellous in their eyes : but should it for that reason be likewise marvellous in the eyes of the Lord of hosts? Their second dispersion by the Romans has now long since taken place: and from the past we may anticipate, as equally certain, their future restoration along with the house of Israel, both from the west-country and from the east-country.
See Isaiah ii. 1-5. Ixvi. 12, 19-24, and Micah iv. 1, 2, 3.
The instrumentality of Judah in the overthrow of
Antichrist --The restoration of Joseph-His office of converting the Gentiles-The fate of Egypt and Assyria.
Zechariah x. 3. Mine anger is kindled against the shepherds, and I will punish the goats: for the Lord of hosts visiteth his flock the house of Judah, and maketh them as his goodly horse in the battle. 4. Out of him shall go forth a corner, out of him a nail, out of him the bow of battle, out of him all that draw near together. 5. And they shall be as mighty men *, which tread down in the mire of the streets in a battle: and they shall fight, because the Lord is with them; and the riders on horses shall be confounded. 6. And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph t, and I will bring them again
* They shall be as mighty men.) “ This may be understood “ of the victories, which the Jews should obtain over their “ enemies in the latter times. See chap. xii. 6, to which the
following part of the chapter seems to relate.” Mr. Lowth in loc.
+ Judah-Joseph.] “ This promise is probably to be under" stood of the generul restoration of the Jewish nation upon their “ conversion, a subject often treated of by the prophets in the “ Old Testament, where Judah and Israel are spoken of as equal sharers in this blessing,” Mr. Lowth in loc.