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to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings. Isa. vii. 14, 15, 16.k.
Upon the Place of Christ's Ministry upon Earth; the Joy upon Darkness; and the Establishment, Duration, and Nature of his Kingdom.
his Coming ; his Victory and Triumph over the Powers of
before the birth of Christ, contains so many expressions similar to Isaiah's prophecies, as to Christ and Christ's character and influence upon the world, and the change it should occasion, as to raise the strongest presumption that Virgil had seen the writings of Isaiah, and that they were not unknown to the Roman people. The “paulo majora," in l. 1.-the“ nova progenies," in 1. 4.--the “cara deům soboles,” in 1. 49.—the “ultima ætas, in l. 4.—the “ occidet et serpens,” in 1. 49.—the “ Saturnia “ Regna,” in l. 6., and the “ gens aurea, in l. 9., can hardly be accounted for but upon this supposition. This was clearly the impression upon the Emperor Constantine's mind in his Oratio ad Sanctorum Cætum, recorded by Eusebius, chap. xix. 20, 21. The passages from this oration, with Virgil's Pollio, will be found in the Appendix.
i " The child.” A difficulty has been supposed to exist in understanding Christ to be the person to whom this term applied, and it has been conjectured that Isaiah referred to his son Shearjashub, whom he was directed to take with him. Chandler's Defence, 329. But why may it not mean, that before Christ should attain the age of discerning right from wrong, the land Ahab abhorred, i. e. Samaria and Syria, should cease to be kingdoms? And the kingdom of Israel, of which Samaria was the head, was accordingly carried away captive within little more than twenty years after this prophecy, and Syria was made a Roman province about sixty-three years before the birth of Christ.
k See a dissertation upon this prophecy, and upon its application to our Saviour. Kidder's Demonstration, Pt. ii. fol. ed.
No. 41. Nevertheless ? the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zabulon and the land of Napthali, and afterwards did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations: the people that walked in darkness have seen a great light, they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined; thou hast multiplied the nation, and not " increased the joy: they joy before thee, accord
1 “ Nevertheless,” &c. Mr. Mede allots the beginning of this verse to the preceding chapter, and makes the latter part correspond with the citation in Matthew mentioned in the next note. “ The land of Zabulon," &c. &c. Dr. Lowth, and Bishop Lowth, Kidder, and Dodson, follow him. The explanation he gives, is this :— It was upon the land of Zabulon and Napthali that the calamity, in the time of Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, first fell : they were carried away captive to Assyria about 721 years before Christ. 2 Kings xv. 29. And as they were foremost in that captivity, they should have the first opportunity for that spiritual deliverance Christ was to bring. See Mede, Disc. XXV.
m « The land," &c. St. Matthew refers to this passage, as written prophetically of Christ. “ Leaving Nazareth, he (i. e. “ Jesus) came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is on the sea“ coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nepthalim, that it might “ be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, ** The land of Zabulon and the land of Nepthalim, by the way of " the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people which “ sat in darkness saw a great light; and to them which sat in “ the region and shadow of death, light is sprung up.” Matt.iv. 13—16. Upon referring to the accounts of the Evangelists, it will be found that our Saviour was chiefly at Capernaum, and other parts of Galilee, and was rarely at Jerusalem, except at the feasts.
" " And not,” rather, “and hast;" “and not,” is quite at variance with the context.
ing to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil: for thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian : for every • battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood, but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given : and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God P, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it, with judgment and with justice, from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this. Is. ix. 2—7.
An Intimation that Christ should come in David's Line of his
personal Character and Talents-his Hatred of Sin, and Vengeance upon Sinners- his Regard to the Poor and Lowly—the peaceable and spiritual Nature of his Religion and Kingdomand the Coming in of the Gentiles to his Service.
No. 42. There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse (i. e. David's father), and a branch shall grow out of his roots, and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of
• “ Every battle,” &c. The object, perhaps, is to distinguish Christ's from other warfares and victories--his, a warfare without the conflict of troops; and a victory, which will bring about the destruction of all earthly weapons. See Is. xi. 9. lxv. 25.
p When the angel made the annunciation to the Virgin Mary, he adopted some of the ideas and language this prophecy contains :-" He (i. e. Clirist) shall be great, and shall be called “the Son of the Highest, and the Lord God shall give unto “ him the throne of his father David : and he shall reign over " the house of Jacob for ever : and of his kingdom there shall s be no end.” Luke i. 32, 33.
counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord ; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord : and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears : but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth : and he shall smite the 9 earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked: and righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf, and the young lion, and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatriceden. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain : for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek : and his rest shall be glorious. Is. xi. 1-10.
No. XLIII. and XLIV.
An Intimation of God's Desire and Exertions to facilitate the
Conversion of the ten Tribes and of the two-of the Concurrence of the Gentiles in bringing it to pass-of the perfect Reconciliation and Harmony of all the Tribes of Israel-and of the Advantages they should have over their Oppressors-probably looking forward to Times not yet arrived. No. 43. And it shall come to pass in that day, that
9 “ The earth,” i. e. “ the men of this world, ungodly men.” Dr. Lowth. It corresponds with “ the wicked,” at the end of the verse.
the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea: and he shall set iup an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. The
also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off. Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines towards 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. And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria ; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.. Is. xi. 11–16.
No. 44. The Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land ; and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall
r“ The second time.” This expression is perhaps intended to intimate, that in times yet to come, when the times of the Gentiles shall be complete, and the fulness of the Gentiles shall have come in, a second effort shall be made to bring in the Jews and the ten tribes. See Deut. xxx. 345. xxxii. 43. Is. xxvii. 12, 13. xlv. Is. 17, &c. xlix. 6, &c. lix. 20. 60—66. Jer. xxiii. 8. xxx. 8-10. xxxi. 36-40. l. 4. Ezek. ix. 17. xxi. 34. xxxiv. 13. XXxvi. 24. Xxxvii. 21. Hos. i. 11. iii. 5. Joel ii. 4-9. Amos ix. 14, 15. Ob. 17. Mic. xvii. 14, 15. Zech. viii. 7. 13. X. 9. xii. 10. xiv. 8. Rom, xi. 15. 26. 2 Cor. iii. 16. See also Dr. Lowth, from whom these references are taken.
5“ Ephraim," i. e. the ten tribes, the kingdom of Israel.