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as this expreffion, might feem incongruous : as it is not proper to say that, he will answer them before they call; the Prophet immediately shows what he meant by it; "And while they fhall be yet speaking, I will hear." While they are speaking to each other, faying, Let us call on God in prayer; God will inftantly hear them; fo that before they begin to pray, God will already have noticed them.
In verse 25th. the Prophet fhews the uniVerfal peace *that is to take place at their restoration; "The wolf and the lamb shall feed together; and the lion fhall eat ftraw like the ox: but duft (fhall be) the food of the ferpent. They fhall not hurt, neither
See this largely explained, vol ift. page 91. &c. The learned Abarbanal is of opinion that the wolf, lamb lion, and ferpent, denote the four great monarchies, that fubdued and oppreffed the nation; three of whom, after having received their due punishment; will enjoy peace and plenty but that Edom. i. e. the Roman Empire, which is typified by the ferpent; and who oppreffed and perfecuted the nation with fuch defpite and rancour, far beyond, what any of the other monarchies did; will not then attain to the happiness which the others will enjoy for which reafon, the Prophet faid, duft fhall be the food of the ferpent: for that monarchy only, will remain in a miferable degraded ftate, for ever.
neither hall they deftroy, in all my holy mountain, faith the LORD."
According to the explanation here given of this prophecy, the following important truths, of the facts to be accomplished at the restoration of the Jews, are evidently deducible. First, that the great number of unbelievers in the nation, will by no means prevent the redemption of the true believers ; for that the finners, will all be numbered to the fword and the flaughter. Second, that the ten tribes will be restored as well as Judah. Third, that the land of promife will be changed from its present barren state, to that of a most fruitful one. Fourth, the refidence of the divine prefence will again be among them, with the return of the spirit of prophecy, as aforetime. Fifth, that they shall no more go into captivity; neither are they to experience any more trouble or affliction, &c. Sixth, that they fhall live to a great age; and thus enjoy and wear out the labour of their hands, &c. Seventh, univerfal peace, will then take place. But as it is well known from all hiftory, that none of those great promifes, were accomplished at their return from Babylon; it is clear, that the Prophet did not speak of that cap
tivity. And, as it is equally evident from hiftory, that they were not fulfilled in the perfon of Jefus, it is manifeft that he could not be the Meffiah; and that these glorious promises, remain to be fulfilled in the latter days, at the coming of the true Meffiah.
The fourteenth Prophecy, commences Chapter lxvith. and is continued to the end of the fame.
Before we proceed to the explanation of this prophecy, it will be neceffary to observe, that several Commentators have imagined, that the Prophet meant to reprove the nation, for its hypocrify, in offering facrifices, while their hands were polluted with their evil deeds. But nothing can be farther from truth, than this hypotheses: for the purport of this prophecy, is the future redemption of the nation; and partly connected with the foregoing, in the following order. The prophet having in the preceding prophecy, announced the glorious and happy ftate, which the nation is to enjoy, both temporal and spiritual, with the return of the divine presence to Jerufalem; he thought it very probable, that fome, might imagine, that it was to be understood, as if God meant to redeem the na
tion, merely on his own account; that they might build him a temple to abide in: and would thus afcribe locality* to the most High: the Prophet therefore, in order to remove from their minds the most diftant idea of fuch a pernicious opinion, affures them, that the most High, has no neceffity for a dwelling, or place of reft; because he cannot be circumfcribed: as he fays, verfe ift. "Thus faith the LORD:
The true believer, may perhaps think that this is nos likely to happen; and that no one could be fo ftupid, as to apply locality, to the Creator of heaven and earth: but I can testify the truth of it; and that nothing is more common among Deifts, when they wish to deny Revelation, and to fhew that the God of Mofes, was an Egyptian god; than faying that Mofes afcribed locality to his God; as what else say they, did he mean by faying, Exod. 25. 8. “And let them make me a fanctuary, that I may dwell amongst them." This objection, I have frequently heard from the mouths of Deifts; aud fuch, as are accounted men of sense and learning: and who ought to have known that Scripture generally fpeaks in figurative language; and that therefore, dwelling among them, fignified nothing more than the appearance of the fymbol of his divine prefence in the tabernacle. But, alas! this is the woeful confequence of the fraility and pre fumption of mankind, when they prefume to think themfelves wifer than the reft of the world; whom they look upon either as knaves, fools, or fanaticks: and having once embraced this notion, the falfe fear of fhame, prevents their acknowledgingtheir error: and thus fhutting their eyes against the conviction of truth, they remain wilfully blind for ever,
LORD: the heavens are my throne; and the earth is my foot-ftool: where is the house, that ye can build for me? and where is the place of my reft?" For as the whole heavens are all but as my throne, and the earth no more than my foot-ftool ; what houfe, or place can ye build to contain me? And thus alfo Solomon faid ( 1 King. viii. 27.) "Behold the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this houfe that I have built?”
The Prophet proceeds, verfe 2d. "For all these (things) my hand hath made; and all these (things) exift (according to my word) faith the LORD. Whence, it is manifeft, faith the most High, that it is not poffible, that the redemption should take place on my account, that ye may build mẹ an house; but merely in compaffion to the nation, thus long in captivity; as in the latter part of verfe 2d. "But to fuch will I have regard, to the humble and contrite fpirit, and that revere my word." For the fpirit of Ifrael, while in captivity, is humbled and bruised; yet nevertheless, they revere the word of God; i. e. the Law of Mofes; and strictly obferve it, notwithstanding