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they continued declining, till about forty years after his death, Jerufalem was taken, and destroyed by the Romans: the nation carried into captivity, and an end put to their government and policy; and which they have never been able to recover to this day. From all which, it is manifeft to demonstration, that these great and glorious promises were never fulfilled in his perfon; and that confequently, he could not be the person predicted by the Prophet. And, it is equally manifeft from the exprefs words of the Prophet, as well as those of the other Prophets, that the whole nation is to return from their different difperfions in the latter days: but as nothing of this hath ever taken place, it is clear, that these promises remain to be fulfilled at the coming of the true Meffiah.
As to what fome Chriftian Writers pretend, that these great and important promifes, are to be fulfilled at the fecond coming of Jefus, is futile; as I have fhewn at large, Vol. Ift. page 130. &c.
The third prophecy commences Chapter xxx, verse ift, and is continued to the end of verfe ift of chap. xxxi.
This prophecy anounces the future restoration of the nation: for, as the Prophet in the preceding Chapter had foretold the deftruction of Jerusalem, by Nebuchadnezzar ; God now commanded him to write this in a book; that it might remain as a confolation for Ifrael; that they might be affured,, that as well as the prophecy which foretold their captivity &c. was fully accomplished; fo fhall that of their future restoration. And, when we seriously reflect on the connexion of these different promises, we shall plainly perceive the finger of God, pointing out to us, the truth and verity of prophecy, to the utter shame and confufion of Deifts and infidels; for when that which was nearest at hand should be fully accomplished, it would afford the ftrongest and most fatisfactory kind of evidence of the accomplishment of the latter; and though ever fo remote, yet may we reft affured, that by the interpofition of Providence, it would be brought about in its due season; no matter how unfavourable circumstances may be against it.
And this very argument, the Prophet Isaiah made use of in support of what he had VOL. II. S foretold;
foretold; when he faid*, "The former predictions, lo! they are come to pafs and new events I now declare: before they fpring forth, I make them known unto you." And, it is not a little remarkable that the Prophet of whom we are treating, has in direct terms made use of this argument†, Chap. xxxii. 42. as will be seen in the explanation of that prophecy.
In verfe 2d. and 3d. the Prophet informs us of God's command to him, "Thus hath the LORD God of Ifrael fpoken, faying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book. For, behold, the days are coming, faith the LORD, when I will turn the captivity of my people, Ifrael and Judah, faith the LORD; and I will bring them back to the land which I gave to their fathers, and they fhall possess it.” And which is a manifeft proof, that this prophecy does not refer to their return from the Babylonish captivity; as will be shewn at large in the sequel.
In verfe 4th. the Prophet informs us,
* Ifai. xlii. 29. See alfo Vol. Ift. Introd. p. 12. & Diff. Vol Ift. p. 257. + Ibid. p. 66.
that he did according to the word of God; and therefore proceeds, "And these (are) the words which the LORD hath spoken concerning Ifrael and concerning Judah." He here mentions both Ifrael and Judah; because this prophecy foretels the restoration, and union of the two kingdoms.
In the three following verfes, the Prophet fpeaks of the vengeance which God will take of the nations; and which will be effected by the wars that they will wage against each other. "For thus faith the LORD, a'voice of trembling have we heard, (there is) terror, and no peace. Ask ye now, and fee, if a male can bring forth? wherefore have I seen every man (with) his hand upon his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are changed into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, fo that there is none like it: and a time of diftrefs, will it be to Jacob; but he shall be faved from it." This denotes the terrible havock that will be made among the nations, on that dreadful day of blood and flaughter; in which, Jacob will also in fome measure be involved; but he shall be faved from it; that is, his falvation will arife from it; as the Prophet fays, verfe 8th. S 2
"And it shall be in that day, faith the LORD of hofts, I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and thy bands will I burst asunder; and strangers shall no more make (thee) ferve with it: But they fhall ferve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up for them." In thefe verfes, the Prophet has informed us of two important events. First, that they will no more
That is, with the yoke; for the pronoun refers to the antecedent fubftantive affix by his yoke: the yoke which the nations had laid upon Jacob; but by no means does it refer to Jacob himself. I must farther observe, that in this verfe, as well as verfe 10th. Jacob is addreffed in the fecond perfon; as the Chaldee paraphraft Jonathan, and all the Jewish Commentators, have understood it; and as the authors of the present English verfion, have justly tranflated it: Though Dr. Blaney in the true fpirit, of the SCRIPTURE CORRECTING MANIAE, which (as I have already mentioned, Vol. 1ft. page. 277. Note) has for fome few years back, fo violently affected the Authors of the New and Metrical tranflations of the prophetic writings; is determined
ומוסרתיך and צוארך for ומוסרתיו and צוארו on reading
because, forfooth, "the collated MSS, afford feveral inftances of this mistake of for 1." See his Note on the paffage, in his New tranflation. This is criticism with a vengeance and the writers of those manufcripts, must have been equally well acquainted with the Sacred Language, as their Collators feem to be. But enough of this at present, as I mean to treat at large of the whole fcheme; as mentioned page. 26. Note.