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glorious scene of the total rout of the apostate confederacy, he addresses his countrymen in words of exultation and triumph: “ This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us," (verse 14). Having thus in general terms predicted the final success and happiness of his nation, he proceeds in the eighteenth chapter, to the description of visions more particularly declarative of the manner and of the time of their deliverance, which nevertheless leave much unexplained. In what people of the earth, of the eastern or the western world, the characters of the messenger-people may be found, when the time shall come for the accomplishment of the prophecy is hitherto uncertain in that degree, that we are hardly at liberty in my judgment to conjecture. The messenger people is certainly to be a Christian people; for I think, itcannot be doubted that the messenger-people and the leaders of the present to Jehovah to Mount Sion are the same people; and the act of leading a present to Jehovah to Mount Sion must be an act of worshippers of Jehovah, for it is an act of worship. They therefore who lead the present will be true worshippers, performing that service from religious motives; and as such they are most expressly de
scribed by the prophet Zephaniah, if I construe his words aright.
מעבר לנהרי כוש עתרי בת פוצי יובלון מנהתי
to be accusatives מנהתי and כת and ,יוכלון transitive
Zeph, iii, 10.
), n after it, in apposition. And I render the lines thus :
My worshippers, beyond the rivers of Cush,
persion [i.e. my dispersed nation]. I have an unfashionable partiality for the opinions of antiquity. I think there is ground in the prophecies for the notion of the early fathers, that Palestine is the stage on which Antichrist in the height of his impiety will perish. I am much inclined too to assent to another opinion of the fathers, that a small band of the Jews will join Antichrist, and be active instruments of his persecutions; and I admit that it is not unlikely that this small part of the Jews will be settled in Jerusalem under the protection of Antichrist. But it is not to the settlement of this apostate band that the prophecy of this eigh. teenth chapter relates. For I must observe, that when the present offered consists of persons, the of.
fered, as well as the offerers, must be worshippers. For to be offered is to be made a worshipper; or, in some instances, to be devoted to some particular service in which the general character of a worshipper is previously implied, both in the person who hath authority so to devote, and in the devoted ; as in the instances of Jephtha's daughter, and the child Samuel. The people therefore brought as a present to Jehovah to Mount Sion (if Mount Sion is to be taken literally, as, not from this passage by itself, but by the collation of this passage with many others, I think it is) will be brought thither in a converted state. The great body of the Jewish people will be converted previous to their restoration; and being converted, will be assisted by Christian nations of the uncircumcision in settling themselves in their antient seats. I am of opinion that some passages, in Zachariah in particular, make strongly for this notion of a previous settlement of worse than unconverted Jews. But I am not with, out hope, from the same passages, that the great body of the converted Jews returning will find those first settlers broken off from the Antichristian faction in a state of deep contrition, and ready to receive their brethren with open arms.
So the whole
race shall be offered to Jehovah at Mount Sion, and not one of Israel shall be lost. And so far, but no farther, I can admit an inchoate restoration of the Jews antecedent to their conversion, and a settlement of a small body of them in the Holy Land by the Antichristian powers. But this, I repeat it, is not the great subject to which the prophecy relates, the general restoration of the Jewish people; a business in which the atheistical faction will have
CHAP. XIX. Verse 3. _“ I will destroy the counsel thereof." 3528 “ I will swallow up.” The original word seems to express how all the schemes of man are absorbed, as it were, and lost in the general scheme of God's overruling providence.
Verse 6. _" and they shall turn the rivers far away."
, I ), posing the 17; and I would punctuate the whole passage thus,
trans ,ואזניחהו. I would read ,והאזניחו For
5 ונשתו מים מהים
ונהר יחרב ויבש ואזניחהו : 6 נהרות הללו
וחרבו יארי, מעור :
5 And the waters of the sea shall be exhausted (or absorbed],
And the river shall waste and become dry, and I will cause it
6 The rivers are shrunk;
And the embanked canals shall be dried up, &c. Or perhaps the two first lines of this verse might be thus rendered, taking 105 literally:
And waters from the sea shall be drank,
For the river, &c. The sense will be that by the river being dried up, men will be reduced to drink sea-water; and thus the LXX understood the passage.
Verse 7. “ The paper reeds by the brooks" «« The meadow by the canal," Bishop Lowth. I think, with Houbigant, that it is to be taken here in its natural sense of nakedness.
“ Nakedness upon the river, upon the source of the river." Nakedness is a very expressive image to describe the appearance of a river, when its bottom is exposed and bare, and its banks are divested of their verdant clothing by long unseasonable drought. This interpretation has the authority of the Vulgate on its side: "Nudabitur alveus rivi”
" the source of the river.” This is the only passage in which the word " is applied to a river or