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namely, the restoration of the whole nation to their own land; and the complete reestablishment, of both their civil and religioùs conftitution in the latter days, under the government of the Meffiah. It must be obferved, that this prophecy is divided into three diftinct parts. The first part begins verfe 2d. and is continued to the end of verse 22d. and which speaks of the restoration of the ten tribes. The second part begins verse 23d. and is continued to the end of verfe 26th. And which contains the promise of the restoration of Judah, and the rebuilding of Jeru falem. The third part begins verse 27th, and is continued to the end of the prophecy. And which part fpeaks of the union of the two kingdoms of Judah and Ephraim. This being premifed, we shall proceed to the explanation of the prophecy itself.
"Thus faith the LORD, The people, (that are) relicks of the fword, hath found favour in the wilderness, (even) Ifrael proceeding towards his reft." The Hebrew Commentators have differed greatly in the explanation of this verfe for Jarchi and Kimchi think that the word "wildernefs" denotes the wilderness that they went into, when they were brought
brought out of Egypt: and that the Prophet alludes to their deliverance from thence. To this, the learned Abarbanal objects; as he justly observes, that this explanation is liable to two great objections. First, that the Prophet ought to have faid, they found favour in Egypt, instead of faying "in the wildernefs." Second, that the term "relicks of the fword," implies, that great numbers of them, had been deftroyed by the fword; which was not the cafe in truth: for though the Egyptians deftroyed their infants; yet, was it not by the fword. He therefore, gives another explanation; by obferving that
7 does not fignify in the wilderness, but
and thy וּמִדְבָּרֶךְ נָאוֶה denotes with fpeech: as
Speech is comely; (Solom. Song. iv. iii.) He alfo understands to be the imperative : for though it is according to the infinitive; yet does it fometimes ferve for the imperative; as 1 &c. So that the fenfe of the verfe according to his explanation is, The people, (that are) relicks of the sword, hath found favour by fpeech, (i. e. by prayer;) go thou to give them reft. But, this appears to me, to be a very forced construction; and to which I can by no means affent;
notwithstanding the great veneration I have for this great and learned Commentator*: for humbly conceive, that by "the wilderness" the Prophet meant the prefent long and dreadful captivity: for the miferable and defolate ftate of the nation, may very justly be compared to the barren and defert wilderness. And in this fenfe, Abarbanal himfelf explains Ezek. xx. 35. as will be fhewn in the explanation of that prophecy. As to I muft obferve, that it is the infinitive verb; and properly denotes a going onward, a progreffive motion towards a certain point: as 17 Gen. xii. 9. befides a number of other places in Scripture, too numerous to mention. It therefore is plain that, is to be understood, as if God had actually begun to execute his defign, of causing the children of Israel to return to their own land; and which is their true place of reft: and fo is explanatory of the favour or grace, which the people is faid to have found in the wilderness.
* See His life in Lingua Sacra Radix, where I have acknowledged my obligations to this great and exalted character.
In verfe 3d. we are to confider the words of the first member, as spoken by the natíon, and those that follow, as God's answer thereto. "From afar off the LORD appeared unto me;” Thefe words are spoken by the nation; complaining that it was a long time fince God had appeared to them: to this God answers; true, it is long fince I have appeared to thee. "But I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore have I extended (my) loving kindness to thee." That though in captivity, yet, have I watched over thee in mercy, to preferve thee: and befides this. "Yet again will I build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Ifrael:" For though thou waft aforetime wedded, as it were to ftrange gods; yet fhalt thou then return to be as the virgin daughter of Ifrael; for thy husband is thy maker, and none other and therefore, "Yet again fhalt thou deck thyfelf with thy tabrets," Thefe are the
This is the real fenfe of the 1 vau in this place: the fame as in Gen xlii. ro.
buy food are thy fervants come:" and not as in the common tranflation of the Bible, Yea,- Or As Dr. Blaney tranflates it, Also with.- See the properties of the vau prefix, explained, in Lingua Sacra, Vol. It. page 137. &c.
beauties of virtue and true religion, with which thou shalt then adorn thyfelf. And, although during the captivity, thou wast sad, and forrowful; yet, fhall it then be otherwife with thee; as in the latter member of the verse. "And thou shalt go forth in the dance of thofe that make merry." And, as it was not lawful according to the law of Mofes, to eat of the fruit of any tree, till the fifth year after the planting, See Levit. xix. 23.--25. And as Moses had threatened them for their difobedience, Deut. xxviii. 30. "Thou shalt plant a vineyard, and fhalt not gather the grapes thereof *." The Prophet here obferves that then it shall not be fo; but they should plant; and remain in their own land in peace and tranquillity; fo as to gather the produce of their plantations, in due time, and enjoy it unmolefted: as in verfe 5th. "Yet again fhalt thou plant vineyards on the mountains of Sama
* The Hebrew verb
n is derived from the
and denotes that which, may be used in common; as was the fruit of the vine in the fifth year after its being plant