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carth. And they, that are now lost in the land of Assyria, the remnant of the ten tribes *; and they, that were thrust down into the land of Egypt, the wreck of Judah after the desolation of their country by the Romans t; all these shall obey the call, shall assemble together, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount of Jerusalem.
The dispersion and subsequent restoration of the Jews—The over
throw of the mystic Assyrian. Isaiah xxx. 17. One thousand, at the rebuke of one ; at the rebuke of five, ten thousand of you shall flee. 18. Yet for all this shall the Lord wait to shew favour unto you; even for this shall he expect in silence, that he may have mercy upon you : (for the Lord is a God of judgment; blessed are all they that trust in him.) 19. For the people shall dwell in Zion : in Jerusalem thou shalt in no wise, weep: he will be exceeding gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry: no sooner shall he hear, than he shall answer thee. 20. Though the Lord
Although Ephraim is broken that he shall never more be a distinct people; yet we are expressly taught by the voice of prophecy, that the ten tribes which were carried away into the land of Assyria shall be restored no less than the tribe of Judah, and that the two divided kingdoms of Israel will for ever coalesce into one kingdom. Isaiah represents them here, precisely what they have been for ages, as being lost; and nevertheless declares, that in God's own appointed season they shall come. It is well known how many have fruitlessly wearied themselves to find them (See Bp. Newton's Dissert. VII.): that they will however be found, Scripture asserts in the most positive terms, as we shall see when we arrive at those prophecies which peculiarly treat of the subject. Since the second advent of the Messiah is the time of the restoration of Israel, and since the finding these lost ones seems to be a knot which God alone can untie, perhaps there may be more truth in the Jewish notion than has commonly been imagined, that, when “ the Messiah shall come, it will be part of his office to sort their families, restore their genealogies, and set aside strangers.”
† “When Jerusalem was taken by Titus, of the captives who were above seventeen years he sent many bound to the works in Egypt; those under seventeen were sold; but so little care was taken of these captives, that 11,000 of them perished for want. And we learn from St. Jerome, that after their last overthrow by Adrian, many thousands of them were sold; and those, who could not be sold were transported into Egypt, and perished by shipwreck or famine, or were massacred by the inhabitants." Bp. Newton's
hath given you bread of distress, and water of affliction; yet the timely rain shall no more be restrained, but thine eyes shall behold the timely rain. 21. And thine ears shall hear the word prompting thee behind, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it; turn not aside, to the right, or to the left. 22. And ye shall treat as defiled the covering of your idols of silver, and the clothing of your molten images of gold : thou shalt cast them away like a polluted garment; thou shalt say unto them, Begone from' me. 23. And he shall give rain for thy seed, with which thou shalt sow the ground; and bread of the produce of the ground: and it shall be abundant and plenteous. Then shall thy cattle feed in large pasture; 24. And the oxen and the young asses, that till the ground, shall eat wellfermented maslin, winnowed with the van and the sieve. 25. And, on every lofty mountain, and on every high hill, shall be disparting streams, and rills of water, in the day of the great slaughter, when the mighty fall*. 26. And the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be seven-fold, in the day when the Lord shall bind up the breach of his people, and shall heal the wound which his stroke hath inflicted.
27. Lo, the name of the Lord cometh from afar; his wrath burneth, and the flame rageth violently: his lips are filled with indignation; and his tongue is as a consuming fire. 28. His spirit is like a torrent overflowing; it shall reach to the middle of the neck: he cometh to toss the nations with the van of perdition; and there shall be a bridle to lead them astray, in the jaws of the peoples. 29. Ye shall utter a song, as in the night when the feast is solemnly proclaimed ; with joy of heart, as when one marcheth to the sound of the pipe ; to go to the mountain of the Lord, the rock of Israel. 30. And the Lord shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and the lighting down of his arm to be seen ; with wrath indignant, and a flame of consuming fire; with a violent storm, and rushing showers, and hailstones. 31. By the voice of the Lord the Assyrian shall be beaten down, he, that was ready to smite with his staff. 32. And it shall be, that wherever shall pass the rod of correction, which the Lord shall lay heavily upon him; it shall be accompanied with tabrets and harps; and with fierce battles shall he fight against them. 33. For Tophet is ordained of old; even the same for the king is prepared: he hath made it deep; he hath made it large; a fiery pile, and abundance of fuel: and the breath of the Lord, like a stream of sul. phur, shall kindle it.
* When the mighty fall.] “This shall be remarkably fulfilled at the time when there shall be a terrible destruction of God's enemies (see Rev. xiv. 20. xix. 21.); when the great ones of the earth shall fall, denoted here by high towers ; or by towers we may understand the fortifications of the city which is the mystical Babylon." Mr. Lowth in loc.
COMMENTARY. After declaring the depressed and enfeebled state, to which Israel should be reduced, Isaiah predicts, that the Lord, after long waiting in silence, after a long cessation of the visible interpositions of Providence*, will again shew favour unto his people. He will listen to the voice of their cry, and will cause them to dwell with joy in Zion and Jerusalem. Though he hath given them the bread of distress and the water of affliction, and hath withheld from them the gentle rain of spiritual influences whereby his Church is watered and rendered fruitful; yet now the timely rain shall no more be restrained, but the voice of instruction shall make them walk steadily in the paths of righteousness. Then shall they reject all their former abominations, after which their fathers in old times went a whoring; and their land, which had been cursed by God with comparative sterility, shall abundantly give its increase. The light of their political sun and moon shall be seven-fold increased, in the day when the Lord healeth the wound of his people ; and, after the day of the great slaughter, after the mighty are fallen, the latter end of Israel shall be more glorious than his beginning.
Having described the millennian felicity of the house of Jacob, the prophet next pourtrays in glowing colours the overthrow of Antichrist t, whom he here, as else
Compare this with the similar phraseology, which Isaiah uses in Chap. xvii. 4. and xlii. 14, to describe the same cessation of ernatural interfer
† Bp. Lowth seems to apply this prophecy exclusively to the destruction of Sennacherib's army. It may primarily relate to it ; but the general tenor of
where, mystically terms the Assyrian, or the king of the figurative Babylon*. The Name of the Lord, the personal Word of Godt, cometh from afar, with great indignation, in the day of his second advent. He tosses the confederacy of the nations with the van of destruction, and puts a bridle into the jaws of the peoples. By the Voice of the Lord, Antichrist, even in the midst of his strength, is beaten down : and, wherever the Almighty lays heavily upon him the rod of correction ; there his rescued servants applaud the righteous stroke, and exult with tabrets and with harps. The fiery destruction, that is prepared for him, is like the flames of Tophet. The pile is large: his wretched confederates are its abundant fuel : and it is kindled by the breath of the Lord himself, as by a stream of sulphurt.
The desolation of the mystic Edom— The miracles of Christ at his
first and second advent-The restoration of the Jews.
Isaiah xxxiv. 1. Draw near, O ye nations, and hear. ken ; and attend unto me, O ye peoples ! Let the earth hear, and the fulness thereof; the world, and all that
the whole prediction almost necessarily leads us to look beyond that event to the days of Antichrist. The great blessedness of Israel, both temporal and spiritual, which is described as succeeding the overthrow of the Assyrian, by no means accords with the comparatively moderate prosperity of Hezekiah and with the unfortunate reigns of his successors.
Such vivid descriptions can only with propriety be applied to the final restoration, and the glories of the Millennium. And, if this description in particular must be thus applied, then the Assyrian must be a mystical character. See Mr. Lowth on Isaiah Xxx. 19.
Compare Isaiah xiv. 25. and Micah v. 6. † The second person of the blessed Trinity is indifferently styled the Word, the Name, and the Voice, of the Lord : and in this manner, those appellations are accordingly understood by the ancient Targumists. (See Jamieson's Vindication of the doctrine of Scripture, Vol. 1. P. 53, 54. See indeed the whole chapter.) The Name or the Voice of the Lord, who here executes vengeance upon bis incorrigible enemies, is the same divine person, whose manifestation for the same purpose is described in the Apocalypse xis. 11–16.. He is Jesus the Messiah.
# I doubt whether the punishment of hell be here meant : the excision of the incorrigible faction of Antichrist seems alone to be intended. See Bp. Lowth in loc. who supposes the passage to relate only to the destruction of the Assyrian army, and Bp. Horsley's Letter on Isaiah xviii. P. 97. Note 1.
spring from it. 2. For the wrath of the Lord is kindled against all the nations, and his anger against all their armies; he hath devoted them with a curse to utter destruction ; he hath given them up to slaughter. 3. And their slain shall be cast out; and from their carcases their stink shall ascend; and the mountains shall melt down with their blood *. 4. And all the host of heaven shall waste away; and the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll; and all their host shall wither ; as the withered leaf falleth from the vine, and as the blighted fruit from the fig-tree. 5. For my sword shall be bathed in the heavens : behold, on Edom it shall descend, even on the people devoted by me with a curse to destruction. - 6. The sword of the Lord is glutted with blood ; it is pampered with fat, with the blood of lambs and of goats, with the fat of the reins of lambs : for the Lord celebrateth a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Edom. 7. And the wild-goats shall fall down with them, and the bullocks together with the bulls: and their own land shall be drunk en with their blood, and their dust shall be enriched with fat. 8. For it is the day of vengeance to the Lord, the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion. 9. Aná her torrents shall be turned into pitch, and her dust into sulphur ; and her whole land shall become burning pitch. 10. By day or by night it shall not be extinguished; for ever shall her smoke ascend : from generation to generation she shall lie desert ; to everlasting ages no one shall pass through her : 11. But the pelican and the porcupine shall inherit her ; and the owl and the raven shall inhabit there : and he shall stretch over her the line of devastation, and the plummet of emptiness over her scorched plains. 12. No more shall they boast the renown of the kingdom ; and all her princes shall utterly fail. 13. And in her palaces shall spring up thorns ; the nettle and the bramble in her fortresses : and she shall become an habitation for dragons, a court for the daughters of the ostrich. 14. And the jackals and the mountain-cats shall meet one another; and the satyr shall call to his fellow : there also
* Ver. 2, 3.]
“ These two verses may very fitly be applied to the battle of the great day of the Almighty, mentioned Rev. xvi. 14, 16. compared with xvii: 14. xix. 19. Mr. Lowth in loc.