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PROPHECIES-LOOKING FORWARD TO CHRIST AND
SHORTLY BEFORE AND DURING THE BEGINNING OF ISAIAH'S TIME:
FROM ABOUT 800 to 710 YEARS BEFORE THE CHRISTIAN ÆRAIN THE TIMES OF JOEL , AMOS, HOSEA, AND MICAH.
A prophetic Intimation of the Gifts of the Spirit in Christian,
Times ; of the Conversion of the Israelites to Christianity ; of the Vengeance that should be taken upon those who had op
a Joel is supposed to have prophesied about eighty years before the destruction of the kingdom of Israel, nearly two hundred years before the commencement of the Babylonish captivity, and about eight hundred years before the Christian æra. The whole of his book is evidently prophetical. The first and early part of the second chapter perhaps contemplate the destruction of Jeru. salem by the Romans. The middle part of chap. ii. from ver. 15. to 27. may be a prophetic intimation of the coming in of the Israelites to Christianity, of God's readiness to receive them, and of the spiritual blessings he should give them. The conclusion of chap. ii. we have the authority of St. Peter for considering as referring to the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the extraordinary spiritual assistance which should be vouchsafed to advance Christianity: and chap. iii. appears to intimate the vengeance that should be taken upon those who should have oppressed the Israelites, and the establishment of Israel in the Church of Christ. The extracts in this chapter are confined to what seem to relate clearly to Christian times.
pressed them; of the full establishment of Christ's Church; and of the Israelites being amongst its Members,
No. 27. It shall come to pass afterward ", that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions : and also upon the servants and handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered; for in Mount Sion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call. Joel ii. 28–32.
b“ Afterward," i. e. in the last days—the times of the Messiah. Dr. Lonth.
· St. Peter considers this passage as written prophetically of the times of the Messiah, for when the gift of the Holy Ghost was conferred upon the day of Pentecost, he says,
" This is " that which was spoken by the prophet Joel, ' And it shall come to
pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall “ prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your 66 old men shall dream dreams, and on my servants and on my “ handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit, and " they shall prophesy: and I will shew wonders in heapen “above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour
of smoke; the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon “ into blood, before thal great and notable day of the Lord come. “ And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name
of the Lord shall be saved.' Acts ii. 16–21. The original in the Acts agrees almost verbatim with the Septuagint; the chief difference is, it substitutes “ in the last days," év tais éoxaταις ημέραις for “ afterwards” μετά ταύτα,
No. 28. For d behold, in those days, and in that 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 Jehoshaphat, 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; and they have cast lots for my people, &. &c. and have given, &c. &c.
The Lord also shall roar out of Sion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem : and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall be no strangers pass through her any more. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the e mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim. "Egypt f shall be a desolation, and Edom # shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation: for I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the Lord dwelleth in Zion. Joel iii. 1-3. 16–21.
d • For," &c. This follows immediately after the preceding extract; as if it were a reason or consequence of what preceded.
e “ The Mountains, &c.” see Amos ix. 13. next page.
f" Egypt and Edom," put for the spiritual enemies of God's people: the opposers of the coming in of the Israelites.
A prophetic Intimation of the Dispersion of the Israelites, and of
their subsequent Restoration. No. 29. Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth : saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the Lord. For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth : all the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, " the evil shall not overtake nor pre"vent us." In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old : that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called hy my name, saith the Lord of hosts that doeth this 5. “ Behold the days
come,” saith the Lord, “ that the plowman shall over“ take the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that “ soweth seed, and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, s and all the hills shall melt, and I will bring again the “ captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build h “ the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant
vineyards, and drink the wine thereof: they shall also “ make gardens, and eat the fruit of them : and I will “plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be
pulled up out of their land which I have given them,” saith the Lord thy God. Amos ix. 8—15.
& Amos prophesied in the time of Uzziah, king of Judah : about 787 years before Christ ; rather earlier than Isaiah.
h “ Shall build,” &c. See post, Isa. lxii. 10;—Ixv. 21.
i For a commentary upon the 11th and 12th verses, see Bishop Chandler's Defence, 168.
Contemplating the Conversion and Restoration of the Israelites,
the Encouragement God should give them, the Protection he should afford them, and the Prosperity they should enjoy.
No. 30. Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered : and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, “ye are not my people,” there it shall be said unto them," ye are the sons of the
living God." Then shall the children of i Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head : and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel. Hos. i. 9, 10, 11j.
No. 31. Behold, I will allure her (i. e. Israel), and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her vineyards from thence, and the
valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing
i « The children of Judah and the children of Israel;" both kingdoms.
· Hosea was contempary with Isaiah. He prophesied in the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah ; and of Jeroboam, son of Joash, king of Israel : (Hos. i. 1.) beginning about 785 years before the Christian ara, and ending about 725. The kingdom of Israel was destroyed about 720 years before the Christian æra, and has never yet been restored ; but some of the descendants of the ten tribes are still living as a distinct people.
k « The valley of Achor.” This was one of the acquisitions of the Israelites in the land of Canaan : (Josh. vii. 24. 26.) an earnest that God should give them the whole land. It is
probably named here to intimate that God will give them similar encouragement to induce them to embrace the Gospel. See Dr. Lowth. It is mentioned again, and probably with the same view,