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the 7th verse downward, be applied to the times in which our Saviour appeared, the perplexity is removed, the interpretation appears connected, and every expression of the prophet has been fully verified by the event.
If ver. 11. signifies the teaching of Senacherib's rod, how does that agree with the doctrine taught? " To whom he said, This is the rest “ wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest, “ and this is the refreshing, yet they would not 66 hear;" ver. 12.
Was it to offer reft that Senacherib invaded Judea? But was not this the design of the apostle's ministry, to point out Jesus as the Melliah, whom the prophets foretold, their fathers expected, and in whom their souls should find rest and refreshment? The address to the rulers, ver. 14, 15. if applied to Hezekiah's time, fupposes a faction in opposition to his government, which the history of these times does not warrant; whereas, without supposing any thing, but what is on record, the address is perfectly applicable to the rulers of the Jewish nation in our Saviour's time. They derided and rejected the Saviour, to ingratiate themselves with the Roman people, the great destroyers of mankind at that period. “ let him thus alone, (say they) all men will “ believe on him, and the Romans shall come
66 If we
“ and take away both our place and nation;" John Xi. 48.
In ver. 18.-22. it appears, that the covenant of the rulers, with the destroyers called Death, ended in the destruction of the rulers, and the utter desolation of their land. Was this the end of Senacherib's invasion ? Did it not issue in a glorious deliverance ? But every part of this defcription was fully verified by the Roman disperfion.
State of the Jews.
The history of the Jews is more or less mingled with the greater part of the Old Testament prophecies. They are sometimes represented as in a state of dispersion ; at other times, as re. ftored to the favour of God ;-gathered from among the nations ;-brought back to their own land; or as enjoying all happiness in it.
· Some one or other of these circumstances annexed to a section of prophecy, at the beginning or end, or blended with it throughout, shews, that the events contained in that section of prophecy shall be contemporary with the state of the Jewish nation represented. D
Thus Joel iii. begins with these expressions, “ For behold in those days, and in that time, “ when I fall bring again the captivity of Ju“ dah and Jerusalem,” to thew that the several events detailed in that chapter shall begin to be accomplished about the time that the Jews shall return to the land of Judea, from their dispersion.
The pointed prophecy concerning the fall of Babylon, contained in the goth and sist chapters of Jeremiah, is blended throughout with the return of the Jews. Those two events are related in alternate stanzas, to shew that they shall be contemporary and progressive.
The prophecy concerning Gog and his army, laid before us in the 38th and 39th chapters of Ezekiel, is mingled with accounts of the happiness of the Jewish nation, represented as then living in their own land, in security and afluence, tofhcw, that the invasion of Gog shall take place a long time after their resettlement in Judea.
As the time of each remarkable circumstance respecting the Jewish nation is fixed in the Apocalypse, any of those circumstances connected with a prophecy, shews the particular place of that prophecy in the series of events, and confequcntly enables us to ascertain its relation to
other events, which either precede, are contem. porary with, or follow after it.
But a difficulty will readily occur in the application of this rule. All the Old Testament prophets, three excepted, lived before the Babylonish captivity: When they mention the deso. late state of the Jews, the question is," Whether they mean their captivity in Babylon, or their dispersion by the Romans ? 'for both were future events, at the time the prophecy was ut. tered. And when they mention their resettlement in Judea, it is a question, Whether they understand their past return, or their future restoration,
In order to remove the difficulty, I would observe, that all the circumstances not fulfilled in the former event certainly refer to the latter. As the prophecies which are yet to be accomplished are only connected with their future restoration, the following circumstances respecting that event will occur to the attentive reader of the prophecies, and clearly distinguish it from their return from Babylon.
The ten tribes, who have had no national existence since their captivity by Salmanazar, shall return together with the two tribes. The kingdoms of Israel and Judah shall form one grcat united nation!.
They (1) Ezek. xxxvii, 15–22. Jer. iii. 18. Ifa. xi. 13.
They shall be gathered from all countries and corners of the earth'; whereas formerly they returned from one country only. : They shall be thoroughly cleansed from their sins> ; whereas they brought much of their perverseness along with them from Babylon'.
They shall return under the Messiah their Leader+.
They shall possess all the land, as in the most flourishing days of David and Solomon, and more extensively than in their time, which certainly was not the case on their return from Babylon.
Their possession of the land shall be perpetu. al'; whereas, after their return from Babylon, they were dispoffefsed by the Romans.
Jer. xvi. 15. Jer. xxiii. 3. and 8.
(1) Isa. xl. 11. Jer, xxxi, 8, 9.
(2) Ifa. i. 25. Jer. xxxiii. 8. Ezek, xx. 38,
(5) Jer. xxxiii. 7. Ezek. xxxvi. 11. Ezek. xlvii. 13 -21. Obad, ver. 19, 20,
(6) Ifa. liv. 7-11. Ezek.xxxvi. 12–15, Ezek, xxxvii.