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to anything else. And with regard to such, Jehovah plainly declares :-“ For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater : So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth ; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”—Isaiah lv. 10, 11. " The LORD hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies ; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou hast laboured.”—Isaiah lxii. 8. The limits which I have assigned myself in this work, will not admit of my quoting the numerous predictions which the Hebrew Scriptures contain, in relation to a still future restoration of the Jews. I can only refer the reader to the most important. They are as follow :
-Isaiah xi. 11, 12; chap. lx.; chap. lxii. 1-4, 10—12; chap. lxv. 18—25 ; Jer. xxiii. 5, 6; chap. xxx. 7-22 ; chap. xxxi. 4–9; Ezek. chapters xxxiv., xxxvi., xxxvii; Hosea iï. 4, 5; Micah iv. 6–9; Zech. ix. 12–17; Dan. xii 1, 12; Zeph. iii. 8—13.
These vivid and explicit predictions of a future restoration of the Jews to their own land, are considered by the opponents of that doctrine, either as having received their accomplishment at the close of the Babylonish captivity, or as descriptive of the conversion of that people to the Christian faith, or else as relating to the ultimate triumphs of the Gospel amongst the Heathen world. Neither of these opinions, however, can be maintained without grossly violating the established principles of interpretation.
I. That the restoration from the Babylonish captivity is not referred to in the above passages of Scripture, is clear from the following considerations :
1st. The circumstances which are there said to attend 66 AC
way, did not on that occasion take place. I refer to the attack upon the Philistines and other nations, the destruction of Egypt and Assyria, &c. :—“But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west ; they shall spoil them of the east together : they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them. And the LORD shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea ; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod.”—Isaiah xi. 14, 15. cording to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I shew unto him marvellous things. The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might : they shall lay their hand upon their mouth, their ears shall be deaf.”—Micah vii. 15, 16. " And they shall be as mighty men, which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle : and they shall fight, because the LORD is with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded. And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away.”—Zech. x. 5, 11. The 19th of Isaiah seems to relate to this period, and the 16th and 17th verses clearly describes the judgment upon Egypt by the hand of Israel,—“ In that day shall Egypt be like unto women : and it shall be afraid and fear because of the shaking of the hand of the LORD of hosts, which he shaketh over it. And the land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt, every one that maketh mention thereof shall be afraid in himself, because of the counsel of the LORD of hosts, which he hath determined against it.”—Isaiah xix. 16, 17.
2nd. The unparalleled tribulation of the Jews, which many passages predict in connexion with their resettlement in their land, confessedly did not happen at the period referred to :
66 And at
“ And these are the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah. For thus saith the LORD ; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble ; but he shall be saved out of it.”—Jer. xxx. 4—7. that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people : and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time : and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book."-Dan. xii. 1. " Awake, awake, stand up, 0 Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out. There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she hath brought forth ; neither is there any that taketh her by the hand of all the sons that she hath brought up. These two things are come unto thee; who shall be sorry for thee? desolation, and destruction, and the famine, and the sword; by whom shall I comfort thee? Thy sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets, as a wild bull in a net : they are full of the fury of the LORD, the rebuke of thy God. Therefore hear now this, thou afflicteil, and drunken, but not with wine : Thus saith thy Lord the Lord, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again : But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee ; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over : and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.”—Isaiah li. 17---23.
3rd. The reprobation of the building of the Temple which these prophecies contain, stands in marked contrast to the encouragement and assistance given on the return of the Jews from Babylon. The following passage plainly forbids such an attempt :- “ Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool : where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest ? For all those things hath my hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD : but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man ; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered svine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.” Isaiah lxvi. 1-3. On this passage the learned and judicious Henderson has the following observations :-“ It appears from these verses, that on being restored to their own land, and occupied with the building of Jerusalem, some of the Jews will attempt to reconstruct their Temple in order that they may worship in it according to the Mosaic ritual. Such an attempt is here met by the declaration, that no earthly structure is worthy of the transcendant excellence of the spiritual and blessed nature of Jehovah. The Jews have ever been prone to glory in, and rest satisfied with, external and splendid services, and the same disposition will actuate the unbelieving portion of them on their restoration. To check this disposition, the Most High asserts His infinite superiority, as Creator and Lord of the Universe, to every thing material, and describes the only Temple in which he condescends to dwell,--the heart of the contrite and spiritual worshipper."-(Notes on Isaiah in loc.)
4th. The overthrow of kingdoms, and awful destruction of mankind, which is said to accompany their restoration, has not yet occurred :-“ For, behold, in those days, and in that
Joel iii. 1,
time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoskaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.”
2. “Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey : for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger : for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy." -Zeph. iii. 8. “ When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man. And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning ; and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south. The LORD of hosts shall defend them ; and they shall devour, and subdue with sling stones ; and they shall drink, and make a noise as through wine ; and they shall be filled like bowls, and as the corners of the altar. And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people : for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.”—Zech. ix. 13–16.
5th. The exalted individual who is then to reign over them, did not assume his sway on their restoration from Babylon :-“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”—Jer. xxiii. 5, 6. 66 And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them ; I the LORD have spoken it.”—Ezek. xxxiv. 24. It is well known that the Jews on returning from the