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being one of his very latest exploits. Hence it is plain, that, since the Euphrates is to be dried up previous to the expedition of Antichrist, and since Egypt is to fall into his hands during the course of that expedition, the two events, which Isaiah and Zechariah connect together, are not contemporary; though, how long the one will precede the other, -can only be determined by the event.
As for the great river Euphrates, it symbolizes. as we may conclude very unequivocally from the Apocalypse, the Ottonian empire, of which Assyria was the cradle, and of which it still remains a principal province: and, by comparing the prophecy of St. John respecting its exhaustion with the parallel prophecies of Isaiah and Zechariah respecting the same circumstance, we may determine, with perhaps as much certainty as matters of this nature are capable of, that the kings from the east mean the dispersed of Israel. St. Jolin informs us, that the great river Euphrates will be dried up previous to the expedition of Antichrist, in order to prepare a way for the kings from the east : Isaiah and Zechariah concur in declaring, that both the Egyptian sea or the Nile, and the river by which name the Jews were wont simply and by way of eminence to speak of the Euphrates, will be dried up, in order that there may be a high. way for the remnant of God's people from Egypt ·and from Assyria. Since then this exhaustion of the Euphrates, predicted alike by Isaiah, Zecha
riah, riah, and St. John, is manifestly to take place in the last days, or during the tyrannical reign of Antichrist; and since it is equally to prepare a way for the kings from the east, and for the remnant of Israel from the eastern region of Assyria : we seem to be coinpelled, as it were, to adopt the conclusion, that the kings from the east are the remnant of Israel
That the river spoken of by Isaiah and Zechariah, is in those passages, no less than in many others *, the Euphrates and not the Nile, is abundantly evident from the context. Zechariah explains the smiting of the river, and the sea, by the bringing down the pride of Assyria, and by causing the sceptre of Egypt to depart away. And both he and Isaiah aļike represent this exhaustion as being preparatory to the return of Israel out of Assyria and Egypt. Now it is obvious, since the smiting of the sea and the river denotes literally the
* See 1 Kings iv. 21.-Psalm lxxij. 8.-Psalm 1xxx. 11. io which three passages, the dominions of Solomon are characterized, as extending from the river, that is the river Euphrates, to the sea and the uttermost parts of the earth. I think there are passages in Scripture, which afford us some warrant for believing, that these will likewise be the limits of Israel after the final restoration. Compare Psalm lxxii. 8. with Zechar, ix. 9, 10.- Isaiah xi. 14.-xlix. 19, 20.--and Gen. xv. 18. the extensive dominions of Solomon seem to be typical of the came extensive dominions of Israel, when fully restored, and united under one king the Messiah, of whom Solomon was only shadow,
humbling of Egypt and Assyria, that the sea must mean the Nile, and that the river must mean the Euphrates. And the matter will be yet more evident, when we consider the consequences of the smiting. It was to prepare a way for Israel, not only out of Egypt, but likewise out of Assyria. But how could the smiting of the Nile, or, in other words, the overthrow of the Egyptian government, prepare a way for Israel to come out of Assyria? Hence it is plain, that the sea means one thing, and the river another : and hence the Chaldee Paraphrast very sensibly explains what is simply termed the river by the river Euphrates *. The purport therefore of the prophecy is this : that, by the overthrow of the Ottoman empire, and by the dissolution of the then existing government of Egypt (probably the Mamaluc government), a way will be prepared for the return of the lost ten tribes. By what power the Ottoman empire will be subverted, we are not positively told; but we learn from Daniel, that the government of Egypt will be overturned by Artichrist after he has over, run Palestine.
* “ Elevabit plagam fortitudinis suæ super Euphratem." Wolfgang Musculus adopts the same interpretation : “ Super “ fuvium, id est, Euphratem.” (Wolfgang. Musc. Comment. in Isaiam in loc.) Mr. Lowth thinks that the Nile is intended by the river. Yet he allows, that the drying up of this river imports the same as the exhaustion of the Euphrates in the Apocalypse. If such then be the case, I see not how it is possible for the river to be any other than the Euphrates. Comment, on Isaiah şi. 15, 16.
Whether the division of the mystic Euphrates into seven streams denotes some septipartite divišion of the Turkish empire at the period of its óverthrow, or wliether the expression is only to be generally understood as exhibiting to us the manner in which a large river may be rendered insignificant and shallow by conducting its waters along six or more additional artificial channels * it would be in vain at present to attempt to determiné. That the overthrow of the Ottoman mo, narchy will in the hand of Providence be instru. mental in bringing about the restoration of the ten tribes, cannot however, as it appears to me, be reasonably doubted.
It may be worth our while to consider, whether this prophecy, respecting the drying up of the Euphrates, may not receive a literal, no less than a symbolical, accomplishment. I doubt whether we have any right to interpret the prediction of St. John in such a manner, because he appears altogether to confine himself to the language of symbols t; but a greater latitude of exposition may perhaps be allowable in discussing a prophecy of Isaiah or Zechariah. Now we know, that,
See Herod. L. I. C. 189. + I of course except a few passages in the Apocalypse, which appear to be avowedly descriptive, and which accordingly have been so understood by most commentators.
whenever the Israelites shall return into their own land from Assyria and other more eastern regions, they must necessarily cross the literal Euphrates : and it is very remarkable, that Isaiah expressly compares their restoration from Assyria with their ancient exodus from Egypt, and attaches this comparison to a prediction respecting the drying up of the great river. A question therefore naturally arises, How will the yet future restoration of the Israelites from Assyria resemble their ancient exodus from Egypt, unless they then miraculously pass through the Euphrates, as they heretofore miraculously passed through the Red sea and the river Jordan? I can discover nothing absurd, either in adopting the opinion that at the destruction of Antichrist there will be a preternatural manifestation of God's glory, or in thinking it not improbable that they may be led by the arm of the Lord through the very midst of the Euphrates..
llaving now conducted the whole house of Israel, Ephraim as well as Judah, into their own land, the prophet puts into their mouth a solemn hymn of praise and victory. He represents them, as giving thanks unto the Lord for having turned away bis anger from them, and for having comforted them; as joyfully drawing living waters from the fountains of salvation; as celebrating the stupendous work of their conversion and restoration, a work made manifest in all the earth; and as exulta ing in the glorious appearance of the Holy One in