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Abraham was a righteous But what can we find in the history of Abraham, to answer to those exploits of universal conquest, which the context ascribes to the righteous man, who is the subject of this prophecy? It will hardly be said that the rescue of Lot, and the recovery of the spoils from the five kings, was an ac. tion in any degree equal to the magnificence of the images. Christ is perpetually described in the prophecies under the image of a conqueror, and the propagation of the gospel under the image of universal conquest. The Roman people, in Christ's time, were the most considerable of the Gentiles, and lords in a great measure of the whole world; and Rome was at that time the seat and citadel of idolatry. With respect to the idolaters therefore of his own time, Christ was the righteous man raised up from the east. And it is reasonable to understand the quarters of the world with reference to the persons -spoken to, the Gentiles; not the Jews, to whom this part of the prophecy is not addressed. I have no doubt that Christ is the person meant un. der the character of the righteous man raised up from the east.
of the righteous man.*
* Vitringa, who strenuously contends for the application of this prophecy to Cyrus, confesses, that it is not probable that Cyrus in such sort acknowledged the God of Israel, as to have renounced the worship of the gods of his own country. Vitringa on Isaiah, vol. ii, p. 413, note A. Now, I contend that no acknowledgement of the true God short of this, could entitle him to the appellation of “ the righteous man" in the language of a Jewish prophet.
It is to be observed, however, that the LXX ren. dered the noun 17% by dumandouwny, as if they conceive ed that righteousness, or the true religion, was personified in this chapter; and I think this notion deserves great attention. It is adopted in the margin of our English Bible. Righteousness was through out all the Divine dispensations raised up from the east. Paradise was planted in the east of Eden, After the fall, the symbols of the Divine presence, the cherubim, were placed at the east of the garden, Abraham was called from the east. The chosen people of God were a people of the eastern quarter of the globe, Our Lord was the righteous man rais: ed up
from the east. _" called him--gave--made;" rather, “ calleth him--will give-will make,"
he gave them as the dust," &c. I take 1571 to be the nominative of the verb you, and that ons understood, rehearsing gbp, and », is the object of that verb. In the next clause, I take up to be the subject of the same verb joo understood, and anx again understood to be the object of the verb.
His sword shall make them like dust,
And his bow like the driven stubble.
Verse 3. “ He pursued—and passed”- These verbs should be future.
"pass safely even by the way that he had not gone with his feet.” Of the true religion personified it is literally true that, by the propagation of the gospel, it was carried through roads' untrodden by it before, into regions which it had never visited. But if Christ be the person intended by the noun 773, the promulgation of the gospel by instruments naturally unqualified for the business is proverbially described in these expressions. The first preachers of the gospel, not bred in the schools of human learning, travelled a road which they had never trodden before, when they engaged in controversy with the Jewish divines and the Greek philosophers, and made their apologies before kings and rulers; and Christ, in these his emissaries, opened an unbeaten road, and passed through it safely.
Verse 4. “ Who hath wrought, and done it?"
Who worketh and bringeth to effect? The question is generally respecting the incessant universal operation of Providence, not any particular event. Who is it that always worketh, and al. ways bringeth his work to sure effect?
Verse 7. I have not the least doubt that this verse is misplaced, and should be annexed to the 20th verse of the preceding chapter. See Houbigant.
Verse 9. _" from the chief men thereof;" rather, “ from the corners thereof." See Bishop Lowth's note.
Verse 10. —“ be not dismayed;" rather, “ look not about thee in dismay.” The word expresses the gesture and action of a person in danger looking anxiously around for help.
Verse 17. -" their tongue faileth for thirst;' rather, “their tongue is rigid with thirst."
Verses 17-19. The images used in these verses are consecrated by the perpetual usage of the prophets to denote the spiritual blessings and the gospel. Those who expound them of the miraculous interposition of Providence in favour of the returning captives on their march homeward from
Babylon, should justify their interpretation by some clear authentic history of the fact. But in that event God worked secretly on the minds of the Persian monarchs, but performed no miracles that we read of in
wilderness. Verse 20. “ That they may see and knowThe quick propagation of the gospel in countries long famished with a drought of the water of life, and the luxuriant growth of its fruits among the idolatrous nations, a soil which had long lain uncultivated, and in the stony hearts of persons sunk in ignorance and sensuality, and suddenly converted, was a proof of the immediate interposition of Providence, not less striking than a total change would be in the face of nature; the eruption of large rivers from the hard rock, or the instantaneous rise of the choicest trees in the parched sands of Arabia.
Verse 22. “ Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen;" rather, “ Future contin. gences let them bring near, and declare unto us.”
_" Adducunt et indicent nobis quæ fortuito eveni. unt.” Vitringa. quæ casualiter eventura sunt.”
Verse 23. _“ that we may be dismayed, and behold it together;" rather, “ then the moment we behold we shall be dismayed.”