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be erected thereon. But we should bear in mind, that Jerusalem, after the present desolation, is to be first of all rebuilt by a part of the Israelitish nation and their allies, previously to the troubles of the last times and previously to the attack of the last foe upon their country. This is the city here described, as appears from the prophetic address in Ezekiel * to this last foe: “ And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of UNWALLED VILLAGES; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates; to take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods that dwell in the midst of the land.” I conceive, also, the parable of the unwalled vineyard in Isaiah refers to this period of the inceptive restoration of Israel in the land of promise, where they wait the last attack of the European adversary, and the interposition of the manifested Redeemer. It is respecting this subsequent manifestation that I understand the latter part of this chapter.

10. Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion;

For lo, I come and dwell in the midst of thee,

Hath Jehovah said : 11. And many nations shall be joined unto Jehovah in that day, And they shall be to me for a people, and I will dwell in

the midst of thee, And thou shalt know that Jehovah Sabaoth had sent me

unto thee: 12. And Jehovah shall inherit Judah,

* Chap. xxxviii. 11, 12.

!

His lot shall fall'' upon the holy land;

And he shall still choose Jerusalem. 13. Be silent, O! all flesh, before Jehovah,

For he is risen from his holy habitation !

The prophetical emblem of the BRANCH, in the latter part of the third chapter, and in the sixth chapter, doubtless belongs to Christ; but his “growing up out of his place, his building the temple of Jehovah, his sitting and raling as a priest upon his throne,” may refer primarily to his incarnation, his formation of his church, " as lively stones built into a spiritual temple," and to his present station " at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”

The prophecy contained in the eighth chapter may too, possibly, be understood generally, as describing all the spiritual blessings which the world should receive from Jerusalem, and from the restored Jews, at various periods of their history; but, especially, when the great Gentile nations, at the era which succeeds the sending of the Son of God and his SPIRIT, renounced their own religions, and embraced that of Moses and the prophets, as fulfilled by “ him that was to come.” I cannot but think, however, with most commentators, that the complete fulfilment of these predictions will be when the kingdom is finally restored to Israel. Then, agreeably with former prophecies, will this scene be more fully realized :

23. “ Thus hath Jehovah Sabaoth said, In that day, moreover, shall ten men take hold from all the languages of the nations, they shall even take hold of the skirt of him that is a

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sorte data, ut xnpos, mangos hinc port, divisit."-Simon.

Jew, saying, We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you."

Again; to whatever times and circumstances the seven first verses of the ninth chapter may apply, it is clear that the eighth verse glances at the final establishment of Jerusalem.

CHAPTER IX.

8. And I will encamp a host at my house, passing and return

ing;'
And the oppressor shall no more pass over them,
For now have I seen with mine eyes.

And in this place, again, the Spirit of prophecy, in a remarkable manner, contrasts together the events of the two advents, which has induced me to take up here the thread of the prophetic discourse.

9. Exult greatly, O daughter of Zion;

Shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem;
Behold, thy King shall come to thee.
He shall be vindicated, and made victorious,

Though he be” poor, and rideth on an ass,
Even on a colt, the foal of asses.

66

This I humbly conceive to be the true structure of the Hebrew in this passage:– He who will once be seen as a poor and afflicted man, with such unkingły state entering his city of Jerusalem, will one day be vindicated in his rightful claims to the throne of Israel ;? and shall be saved, or according to the full force of the term, shall be rendered victorious. Then shall the people of Jeru

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salem, that on the occasion here glanced at rejected him

- then shall they “see” him, and “ say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of Jehovah.”

10. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim,

And the horse from Jerusalem,
And the battle bow shall be cut off.

This has been differently understood, either as renouncing the assistance of the arms of human warfare; or, as I rather incline from what follows, as implying the cutting off the adversaries of Jerusalem and of Israel.

And he shall speak peace to the nations,
And his dominion shall be from sea to sea,
And from the river to the extremities of the land.

That is to say, his peculiar dominion, as described in Ezekiel, over the tribes of Israel, in the new division for their country. This is the royal residence, as it were ; but the kingdom of Messiah extends, we know, over all the nations of the earth.

What follows is addressed by the Almighty Father to the Messiah,- or, as some suppose, to Zion:

11. And with respect to thee,' by the blood of thy covenant,

I will send forth thy prisoners from the pit,
“ The pit” in which is no water.
Return to your fortress, ye prisoners of hope;
Even this day do I declare,
I will restore double “ blessings” unto you.

This passage strikes me as referring to the state of the dead, as that state is affected by the Redeemer's entrance

"The construction is the nominative absolute.

into the world of spirits : he becomes “ the Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,” and hath redeemed his people from the hand of hell. This I conceive to be “ the pit, in which is no water.” The saints of Christ, before his death and resurrection, had ever been delivered from going down into this pit; for though prisoners, and visibly seized upon by Death as such, yet they were his prisoners; and though the ransom was not paid, it was stipulated in the divine counsels, and availed for them. Wherever, therefore, God kept in safety their departed souls, they were in their fortress,

prisoners of hope," or prisoners expecting their Deliverer; and double blessings would they receive at his

coming into the world” — the world of departed spirits. This seems to be corroborated by what the Evangelist intimates of the change in the state of departed saints, when Christ died and rose again. Or, as I rather incline, we are to understand by “the fortress,” the high places of Jerusalem ; whither, when he comes, as we have learned from former prophecies, he will bring his saints with him. 13. For I have bent Judah for me,

And have filled my bow with Ephrain,
And I have raised up thy sons, O Zion.

A strong and sublime manner of expressing, that God would use Judah and Ephraim as his instruments of destruction. This will be illustrated by a subsequent prophecy. As Ephraim is mentioned with Judah, it must refer to a season yet to come, when the ten tribes shall be brought back from the place of their captivity.

Above thy sons, O Grecia !

Though I have made thee as the sword of a warrior; 14. For Jehovah shall be seen over them.

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