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The return of the converted Jews will however be opposed by the faction of Antichrist and his congregated vassals. These the Lord will rebuke in his anger; and, after cutting off the irreclaimable part of the confederacy, will cause the rest to lay down their weapons of war, and to humble themselves before Messiah the king.
The judicial blindness of the Jews-Their preservation from entire destruction.
Isaiah vi. 8. And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. 9. And he said; Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 10. Make gross the heart of this people; make their ears dull, and close up their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. 11. And I said, Lord, how long? And he answered: Until the cities be laid waste, so that there be no inhabitant; and the houses, so that there be no man; and the land be utterly desolate; 12. And the Lord have removed men far away; and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land. 13. And, though there be a tenth part remaining in it, even this shall undergo a repeated destruction: yet, as the ilex, and the oak, though cut down, hath its stock remaining, so shall a holy seed be the stock of the nation.
The remarkable judicial blindness of the Jews, with respect to the promised Messiah, is here very clearly predicted: and, accordingly, the prophecy is so applied both by our Lord himself, and by his apostles St. John and St. Paul *. This blindness is to continue during the
* Matt. xiii. 14. John xii. 40. Acts xxviii. 26.
whole time of the dispersion: and so accurately has the prediction been fulfilled, that now, at the end of seventeen centuries from the sacking of Jerusalem by Titus, we still behold the Jews removed far away from the land of their fathers, and labouring under the same astonishing infatuation that prompted their ancestors to crucify
the Lord of life.
Yet, notwithstanding the general dispersion and ruin of the people, a tenth part was to remain in the land; but even this scanty remnant was to undergo a repeated destruction. Nevertheless the nation itself was to be preserved in the midst of its calamities; and, although frequently undergoing an almost total excision, was still to shoot forth again like young twigs from the stump of an oak that has been cut down. The passage, in which this part of the prediction is contained, though somewhat obscure, and variously explained by various interpreters, yet, I think, has been made so clear by the accomplishment of the prophecy, that there remains little room to doubt of the sense of it. When Nebuchadnezzer had carried away the greater and better part of the people into captivity, there was yet a tenth remaining in the land, the poorer sort, left to be vine dressers and husbandmen under Gedaliah*; and the dispersed Jews gathered themselves together, and returned to him: yet even these, fleeing into Egypt after the death of Gedaliah, contrary to the warning of God given by the prophet Jeremiah, miserably perished there. Again, in the subsequent and more remarkable completion of the prophecy in the destruction of Jerusalem and the dissolution of the commonwealth by the Romans, when the Jews, after the loss of above a million of men, had increased from the scanty residue that was left of them, and had become very numerous again in their country; Hadrian, provoked by their rebellious behaviour, slew above half a million more of them, and a second time almost extirpated the nation. Yet, after these signal and almost universal destructions of that nation, and after so many other repeated exterminations and massacres of them, in different times and
* 2 Kings xxv. 12, 22.
Jer. xl. 12.
on various occasions since, we yet see, with astonishment, that the stock still remains, from which God, according to his promise frequently given by his prophets, will cause his people to shoot forth again and to flourish*."
The birth of Christ-His second advent-The blessings of his millennian kingdom-The restoration and conversion of Israel-The exhaustion of the mystic Euphrates and Nile-The overthrow of the Antichristian sovereign of the mystic Babylon in the land of Palestine.
Isaiah xi. 1. And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots: 2. And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of Knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; 3. And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 4. But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and with equity shall he work conviction in the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the blast of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked one. 5. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. 6. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid and the calf, and the young lion, and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. 7. And the cow and the bear shall feed together; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cock
* 'Bp. Lowth's Isaiah in loc. See also Mr. Lowth in loc. "We ought,” says one of the orators in the Jewish Sanhedrim at Paris, "to return our thanks to Providence, who has not suffered that the aged tree should be torn up by the roots, though it has often permitted that its branches should severely suffer." Trans. of Paris. Sanhed. p. 165.
atrice den. 9. They shall not hurt, nor destroy, in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters that cover the depths of the sea.
10. And it shall come to pass in that day, the root of Jesse, which standeth for an ensign to the peoples, unto him shall the nations repair, and his resting-place shall be glorious. 11. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord will again put forth his hand the second time, to recover the remnant of his people that remaineth, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the isles of the west. 12. And he shall lift up a signal to the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. 13. And the jealousy of Ephraim shall cease; and the enmity of Judah shall be no more: Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah ; and Judah shall not be at enmity with Ephraim. 14. But they shall invade the borders of the Philistines westward; together shall they spoil the children of the east: on Edom and Moab they shall lay their hand; and the children of Ammon shall obey them. 15. And the Lord shall smite with a drought the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and he shall shake his hand over the river with his vehement wind: and he shall smite it into seven streams, and make men go over dry-shod. 16. And there shall be a highway for the remnant of his people which shall be left from Assyria; as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.
xii. 1. And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee, though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. 2. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid for my strength, and my song, is Jehovah; and he is become unto me salvation. 3. And, when ye shall draw waters with joy from the fountains of salvation; 4. In that day ye shall say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. 5. Sing ye unto the Lord; for he hath wrought a stupendous work: this is
made manifest in all the earth. for joy, O inhabitress of Zion; thee is the Holy One of Israel.
xiii. 1. The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see. 2. Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles. 3. I have given a charge to mine enrolled warriors; I have even called my strong ones to execute my wrath; those that exult in my greatness. 4. A sound of a multitude in the mountains, as of a great people! A sound of the tumult of kingdoms, of nations gathered together! The Lord of hosts mustereth the host for the battle. 5. They come from a distant land, from the end of the heavens; the Lord, and the instruments of his wrath to destroy the whole land. 6. Howl ye, for the day of the Lord is at hand it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. 7. Therefore shall all hands be slackened; and every man's heart shall melt; and they shall be afraid. 8. Pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall look one upon another with astonishment; their countenances shall be like flames of fire. 9. Behold, the day of the Lord. cometh, inexorable; even indignation, and burning wrath to make the land a desolation; and her sinners he shall destroy out of her. 10. Yea, the stars of heaven, and the constellations thereof, shall not send forth their light the sun is darkened at his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. 11. And I will visit the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity and I will put an end to the arrogance of the proud; and I will bring down the haughtiness of the terrible-19. And Babylon shall become, she that was the beauty of kingdoms, the glory of the pride of the Chaldeans, as the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, by the hand of God. 20. It shall not be inhabited for ever; nor shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch his tent there: neither shall the shepherds make their folds there. 21. But there shall the wild beasts of the deserts lodge; and howling monsters shall fill their houses: and there shall the daughters
6. Cry aloud, and shout for great in the midst of