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heritage *? He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. 19. He will turn again; he will have compassion upon us : he will subdue our iniquities : and thou wilt cast all their iniquities into the depths of the sea. 20. Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.
The form of this prophecy seems to be dramatic : I conceive it to be a dialogue between the daughter of Zion and the Lord.
The afflicted and desolate church of Israel bewails her state in the days of her dispersion, com. paring it to the gathering in of the summer-fruits and the gleaning of the grapes in the vintage, so that no whole cluster can be seen, nothing being left except a few straggling berries. She looks forward however in hope to the next season, notwithstanding the wickedness of her children during the period of her captivity; and her soul desireth the first ripe fruit of the approaching autumn, when
* The remnant of his heritage.] “ The remnant of God's " heritage are those Jews, which are reserved to be partakers
of the benefits which shall be made good to that nation $6 upon their conversion and restoration here spoken of,” Mr. Lowth in loc.
the the mystic vine, which now appears dry and sapless, shall again exult in its luxuriance, and be weighed down with the abundance of its clusters. Meanwhile she calls upon her enemy, the daughter of Babylon, not to rejoice against her and to triumph over her; professing her belief, that, although the indignation of the Lord presses heavily upon her on account of her sins, she shall arise when she falleth, and shall behold the shame of her eneiny.
God replies, that, in the day when her walls are built, the decree of her dispersion shall be far removed: that her long-lost sons shall coine unto her from Assyria, from the utmost regions of the sea, from every fortress, from every mountain, from all the countries whither they have been scattered : and he adds, that her land has lain desolate as a just punishment for the wickedness of the inhabitants.
Encouraged by this gracious promise, the church of Israel prays her Lord to feed his people, the flock of his heritage, with his rod, as he was wont to do in the days of old. .
God returns for answer, that, as he formerly brought her up out of the land of Egypt, so will he yet shew unto her dispersed children marvellous things *: and he declares, that the nations,
which which dare to oppose their return add to set themselves in array against the Almighty, shall be so humbled, that such as escape in the day of his wrath shall lick the dust like serpents, and like worms shall scarcely venture to crawl out of their holes.
* Mr. Fraser supposes Micah vii. 15 to relate to duration of time, no less than to circumstances ; and thence infers that 40 R4 •
The church of Israel, now fully satisfied respecting her future restoration, takes up the words of the Lord, and exclaims, that they shall surely be afraid of Jehovah her God, that they shall fear because of him. She then praises him for all his goodness : and expresses her entire conviction, that he will perform the oath which he had sworn unto her fathers.
years will be occupied in the settlement of the Jews in Pales tine. Possibly his opinion may not be very far removed from the truth. Key to the Prophecies, p. 72.
The dispersion of the Jews—The sacking of Jerusalem by the Romans--The cull of the converted Jews-Their triumphant settlement in their own land-The destruction of the mystic NinevehThe prevalence of pure religion-The instrumentality of some great maritime nation in restoring the Jews.
Zephaniah i. 2. I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the Lord. 3. I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea : and the stumbling-blocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the Lord. 4. I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem ; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the offerers by fire with the priests; 5. And them that worship the host of heaven upon the house-tops. I will cut off both them that worship and swear by the Lord, even swear by their king *; 6. And them that are turned back from
* Their king.] Our translators take Babes to be the proper name of an idol, and therefore read Malcham: but I much prefer the rendering of the 1xX T* Baoilows aulwt, and that of
the Lord, and have not sought the Lord, nor en. quired for him.
7. Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord God : for the day of the Lord is at hand, for the Lord hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests. 8. And it shall come to pass in the day of the Lord's sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed in the apparel of strangers *-10. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord, that there shall be the noise of a cry from the fishgate, and a howling from the second city t, and a
the Latin version of the Arabic per regem suum, supposing their king to mean Jehovah. Such a translation seems to me both more accordant with the context, and more agreeable to the construction of the two clauses in the original, both of which are emphatically marked by an ns. As thus: Both (nxi) them that worship and swear by the Lord, even swear by their king; and (789) them that are turned back from the Lord.
* Clothed in the apparel of strangers.] Affecting the manners and habits of the Gentiles, the Hellenizing party among the Jews.
+ The second city.] In the whole of this passage, Jerusalem is very graphically described. It consisted of two cities; the old, and the new. One of these, in opposition to the other, was called Mishnah or the second city (See Well's Geog. of O. and N. Test. Vol. ii. p. 23, 24.). It was in this second city, not in a college, as our translators render the word for what reason I know not, that Huldah the prophetess dwelt. See 2 Kings xxii. 14. and 2 Chron. xxxiv. 22. In the first of these passages, the lxx merely transcribe the Hebrew word, writing