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plied meaning of our Lord's words, “I am come in my Fativer's name, (his Shiloh, or Sent), and ye receive me not; if another should come in his own name, him ye will receive.' (John v. 43.) That Antichrist is here signified under the title of the king of Assyria, may be proved by many passages, and will become clear as we proceed. His army shall be so mighty, that like a torrent it shall food the land, and his camp shall fill the breadth of the Saviour's land. His host is composed, (as we learn from the next verse), of a confederacy of the nations or Gentiles—a thing prophesied of in very many places of boly Scripture. Thus we read in the second Psalm, “Why do the heathen (or Gentiles) rage, and the peoples (or nations) imagine a vain thing ? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel against the Lord. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion,' where, from the verse last quoted, we see that the confederacy of the nations is against the reiga of Jesus. And this also, we are informed in the Revelations, is the object of the Great Confederacy. I saw the beast (Antichrist) and the kings of ibe earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, (who is io verse 13th called the Word of God,) and his army. And as the issue of the confederacy is declared to be, that the nations shall be broken in pieces, so is it asserted in the second Psalm, • Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron, thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.' So in the passage quoted from the Revelations, the sequel is the same. “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse.' Again, as the camp of the Assyrian is here said to fill the breadth of Emmanuel's land, so in the fourteenth chapter of this book and the 25th verse, it is declared, “I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot. This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth, and this is the hand that is stretched out on all the nations.” Pp. 153 -155.
We have no doubt, that by the soft flowing waters of Shiloh are meant, in the first instance, the house of David, and secondarily Christ, who is emphatically the offspring of David ;' but we would suggest that the word Immanuel at the close of the eighth verse ought to be translated as it is in the tenth. The last clause would then stand thus :— The stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, (i.e. the prophet's), yet God is with us. This word, Immanuel, God is with us, should seal the doom of the last infidel confederacy against the anointed one of God, even as it scattered the might of Rezin and of Pekah. And therefore the prophet warns them not to put their trust in any counter confederacy into which they might enter with Assyria. For thus said Jeho vah unto me, as with the strength of his hand he turned me aside from walking in the way of his people, saying, Say ye not, a con. federacy to all to whom this people shall say a confederacy: neither
ye their fear, neither be afraid.' The whole of the passage commencing with these words, is of great importance as regards the Messiahship of our Lord. No less than five quotations are made from it in the New Testament, and it will not be surprising therefore, if it should turn out to have been corrupted by the Jews. The prophet warns them against putting their trust elsewhere than in
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the Lord of Hosts, that is, in Immanuel;—promises that he shall be a sanctuary to those that trust in him, but at the same time a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence to both the houses of Is. rael. Nor was this intended to refer only to the time when the prophecy was delivered. The quotations of the last verse by Paul and Peter, (Rom. ix. 33; 1 Pet. ii. 8), prove that the great subject of the prediction was the rejection of the Messiah by the unbelieving Jews. The Lord of Hosts, who was a stone of stumbling to Israel, who opposed his authority, and to Ahaz who dared not trust to him,-he who under the name of God with us, would have been their refuge to the end of time, would not be received when he came personally among them, just as they now preferred the help of the Assyrian.
The remaining verses of this chapter involve greater difficulties, and we are sorry that Mr Govett has passed them over very cursorily. The words, Behold I and the children whom God hath given me,' are quoted in the Epistle to the Hebrews (ii. 13,) in such a manner as to show that the Messiah must be the speaker. Where then do his words begin? The Septuagint commences the 17th verse with, · And he shall say,' in which they are supported by the Arabic, the old Latin preserved by Cyprian, and the Chaldee Paraphrase. The inference is, that they have been dropped from the Hebrew text, to avoid the application made by the apostle of the subsequent clause to our Lord. But if the words of Christ begin at the 17th verse, then the 16th verse also must have been corrupted. In our version it stands, • Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples,' language which can only be regarded as part of the Messiah's address. The Septuagint gives a very different version, Τοτε φανεροι έσονται οι σφραγιζομενοι τον νομον του μη μαθειν. But we cannot implicitly rely on their rendering, for in this instance it is evident that they have not fairly translated the words they had before them. One seems to have been detached from this verse and joined to the preceding, where it is rendered šv dopune”. The slight change, however
, of 1725a into 795, would enable us to translate, bind up the law, seal the testimony, that they may not learn ;' which removes the difficulty adverted to above, seems to us most consistent with the context, and agrees with the Septuagint in the latter clause. The prophet had spoken of Christ as a rock of offence to the Jews, ard had predicted that many would stumble at it; and now he is directed to bind up the law and scal up the testimony, so that they should not understand it, (that is, the testimony that Christ should be a sanctuary to those that believed,) just as in a former chapter he had been told to make the heart of this people fat, and their ears heavy, and to shut their eyes, lest they should see with their eyes, &c. The Jews having thus been given over to judicial blindness, the Saviour is introduced, and he shall say, I will wait for the Lord that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him ; behold I and the children whom the Lord hath given me.' This is the present condition of Christ and his people; he is waiting till his enemies are made his footstool; they are crying, · how long, O Lord, holy and true.' And they shall continue thus to wait and cry, till God again turneth upon the house of Jacob the light of his countenance. In the Hebrew text and our authorised version, the sense is entirely obscured by the addition to the sentence, of the words, are for signs and for wonders,' &c. This, we are persuaded, is a corruption of the Hebrew. Paul did not read them so, or he would never have stopped his quotation in the middle of a sentence. The Septuagint has a full stop after whom God has given me,' and begins a new sentence, Και εσται σημεια και τηρατα. The Hebrew accents also would lead us to divide these words from the preceding. No doubt there is a prefixed to the words signifying signs and wonders,' but the is not unfrequently a substitute for the article 3x, and therefore only emphatic. We have no time, however, to descend to particulars. · The prophet is now speaking of the signs and wonders which shall usher in the second advent of our Lord. He also mentions (v. 19,) the refuges of lies to which the miserable unbelievers of those days shall have recourse, when, refusing to receive the plain word of God they shall be given over to strong delusion. Again, he warns them, (v. 20,) that the law and the testimony are their only sufficient stay, even that law and testimony to which he had already referred, viz., that Immanuel should be a sanctuary to those that put their trust in him, while those that would not believe it should have no dawn for them, (for so the original may be rendered,) referring probably to the dawn of the resurrection.
" The concluding verses describe that period called by the Saviour and his apostle John, “the Great Tribulation,' which immediately precede the coming of the Lord, when the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light;' days, which, except they should be shorteved for the elect's sake, there should no Alesh be saved.' And in this time, it is prophesied, that the Jews sball curse Christ their king, and the God of their fathers, and there shall be darkness in the heavens and affliction upon the earth; affliction which shall not cease till they believe in Jesus as their Messiah.” P. 157.
Out of this night of trouble and affliction the bright morning of millennial peace shall dawn; for then the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing under his wings. To this event, the opening verses of the ninth chapter refer, although the passage is cited by Matthew as having an incohate fulfilment in Christ's residence at Capernaum.
" The quotation, as given by the apostle, runs thus : ' That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon and the land of Nephthalim, by way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people that sat in darkness have seen a great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. But when we refer to the prophet Isaiah for confirmation of the above, we find it written, • Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, wheu at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zabulon and the land of Naphtali, and after did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.' What vexation? What dimness? Is this the pas saye to which the evangelist referred? The evangelist speaks pot of vexatios, but of joy,—not of affliction, but of a great blessing? How is this? Did the evangelist forge a prophecy for Isaiah? for here are not only not the same words, but an opposite sense? I answer, which is most probable, that the evangelist, writing by inspiration of the Spirit of truth, should have falsified this passage, or that the Jews corrupted it? If we suppose that the Old Tes. tament, as we now have it, is absolutely perfect, and uncorrupted in every point, who shall defend the New Testament from the charge of forgery? But if it be beyond all doubt, that the Jews hare wilfully corrupted the oracles of God in those passages which bore hardest on their unbelief, then let us by all means restore them as they were quoted by the Spirit that wrote them! This might be said, though we had no further evidence to produce than the fact that they are thus quoted by the evangelists. To Christians, who admit the inspiration of holy Scripture, the question must be decided at once. But there is also documentary evidence in almost every case, to prove this corruption. It is so with the present passage. The Arabic begins this chapter with the words, “ The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephtali,' &c., very nearly in the same words as the evangelist, and discovers to us that the words. dimness' and' vexation' do, in fact, belong to the former chapter, the close of wbich predicted distress of the severest kind.” Pp. 159-160.
Mr Govett, however, ought to have noticed, if he was aware of it, (and if he was not, our confidence in him as a commentator must be greatly shaken,) that the words admit of a translation which will bring them into harmony with the evangelist’s citation, and with the context. « But there is no darkness in the land that was distressed: as in the former days he debased the land of Zebulon and the land of Naphtali, so in the latter days he hath made them glorious, the way of the sea,' &c.
“ As Bishop Horsley observes, the tirst and second advent are here brought together; which remark, indeed, there will be frequent occasion to repeat, as it is the practice of the Sacred Spirit so to blend them; and this was partly the occasion of the blindness of the Jews to the pretensions of Jesus, since they did not separate, in their minds, the various prophecies which spoke of the Messiah ;-at one time, as humbled below the ordinary lot of man; and at another, as victorious and dominant above all the kings of the earth. But we know that the Lord's first coming was to be that of his humiliation; and we are assured, by abundant passages, that the second advent is the time of his glory, and of that of his people. Hence the two first verses of this chapter, and the light they predict, may yet have a further accomplishment; as it is clear that the third has yet to be fulblled. It represents the joy of the Jewish nation, compared to that of harvest,' which is the continual emblem of the ingathering of the righteous into the garner of the Lord,' at the consummation of this
age' or dispensation, as the parable of the tares and the wheat declares. That it was not fulfilled at Christ's first coming is evident from the history. There was, indeed, a partial rejoicing at Christ's entry into Jerusalem, and their joy manifested itself in appropriate acts. But the fourth verse introduces a senti. ment which had then no accomplishment. • Thou hast brol the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midiau. If we regard the Roman power as the oppressor, (and what other was there?) there was no breaking of his yoke, much less a miraculous vengeance, as in the day of Midian, when Gideon, with his lamps and trumpets, routed the host of Israel's enemies. But all this is prophesied of Christ's return,—that an oppressor shall arise over the children of Israel,—the false Messiah, whom the Lord will destroy by his supernatural power at his coming; and at this the Jews shall rejoice, as they that divide the spoil.” Pp. 160—161.
We suspect Mr Govett has not been much in the habit of consulting other commentators, or he would not have missed a very simple solution of a difficulty in the 5th verse of this chapter which he says has given much trouble to critics. It arises merely from the word xD which is aroš Leyousoy, and has been translated in general merely by guess. The cognate word in Syriac, Chaldee, and Ethiopic signifies a greave or a sandal, and the verse may be thus rendered, For every greave of the warrior in the conflict, and the
garments rolled in blood shall be for burning and for fuel of fre. In the 6th and 7th verses, the prophet goes back to the first advent of the Redeemer for the purpose of connecting the manifestation of power and vengeance, of which he had spoken, with him who was to be born of a virgin, and yet was to be the mighty God.
The examination of this passage has occupied us much longer than we had anticipated, and yet we know not how we could better have illustrated the application of the rule, that no prophecy is of any private interpretation, but that each must be interpreted as stretching onward to that great event which shall possess a mighty interest for every individual of the human race from Adam down to the latest of his posterity. To this great principle the language of the inspired writers is uniformly adapted. When David proclaims in the 46th Psalm, God is our refuge and our strength,' he uses an illustration of this truth which may seem to savour of eastern hyperbole. But wait till the last season of trial comes, which is to test the faith of man, and it will be found that there is no exaggeration. The earth shall then be literally removed, the mountains cast into the midst of the sea, the waves thereof shall roar and be troubled, while amid the convulsive throes of a dissolving world, the believer's ark shall ride secure; Immanuel shall be the sanctuary of those that put their trust in him.
We had marked several passages on which we had intended to have animadverted, but our space will not permit, and we must content ourselves with a few general observations. Our author sometimes suffers his attachment to literal interpretation, to carry him