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and a fountain * shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim. 19. Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom t shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. 20. But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. 21. For shall I declare innocent their blood ? I will not declare it innocent. Even the Lord dwelleth in Zion.
COMMENTARY. In this prediction Joel gives us a full account of what shall take place in the great day of the Lord, and in the period which ushers in that great day. He beholds the armies of Antichrist, numerous and rapacious as locusts and caterpillers, spreading themselves over the whole land of Palestine, and devouring all its produce. He beholds them effecting wonderful revolutions in the political heavens, 'and marvellously succeeding in all their en, terprizes. And he solemnly calls upon the house of Judah, now wholly converted to the faith of Christ and occupying their ancient city Jerusalem, to fast
* A fountain.] Compare Zechar, xiii. 1. and see Mr. Lowth in loc.
† Egypt - Edom.] « These two nations are taken in a “ general sense for the enemies of God's people." Mr. Lowth in loc,
and pray that they may be delivered from the hand of their enemies. Their petition will eventually be successful; though, as we learn from Daniel and Zechariah, Antichrist will first be permitted to make himself master of Jerusalem. In due time, the Lord will hear the cry of his people, and will no longer suffer them to be a reproach and a proverb among the nations. He will remove far from them the northern tyrant, that fierce leader of the great Roman confederacy; who, prevented by the decided naval superiority of the faithful maritime power from attempting an expedition by sea, will invade Palestine by land, and will therefore necessarily enter it from the north: and he will drive him into the land which his own merci. less extortions have made desolate, and will there destroy him between the two seas of Judeà, the Dead sea on the east, and the Mediterranean sea on the west. After the destruction of Antichrist and his rebellious host, the land shall again bring forth her increase with ten-fold fertility: and God will abundantly restore to his people the produce of those years, which that great army* of symbo
* We are not to suppose, that, because God styles the sym- : bolical locusts and their fellows his great army, they are therefore his favoured and chosen people. The expression is only used to intimate, that they are a scourge in his hand, well adapted to punish the wickedness of surrounding papal nations, and to discipline with wholesome though severe chas.
lical' locusts and caterpillers had devoured. In addition to the blessings of temporal prosperity, he will bestow upon them the yet greater blessings of pure religion. He will pour out, in a manner unknown in former ages, his Holy Spirit upon all filesh; insomuch that the day of Pentecost itself shall be only a type of this yet greater and more extensive effusion. Nevertheless, before the great and ter-* rible day of the Lord shall come, the world shall be convulsed with unexampled political changes and revolutions. But, wonderful as the success of Antichrist shall be during his permitted hour*, the believer will only infer from these predicted signs that his redemption draweth near. Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall surely be delivered; for he will save both the rem
tisement his church both protestant and Judaical. Precisely in the same manner God calls Nebuchadnezzar his servant (Jerem. xliii. 10.), because he was the instrument, however unconscious of it, and however bent only upon executing his own schemes of aggrandisement, of accomplishing the divine purposes. The idea in fact is so obvious, that Attila king of the Huns actually styled himself the scourge of God; and boasted that his commission, as the executioner of the just anger of the Almighty, was to fill the earth with all kind of evils. There is however a peculiar propriety in denominating the symá bolical locusts God's army, because, as Bochart observes, the Arabs were wont to distinguish natural locusts by that very title.
.* “ He shall prosper," says the prophet Daniel, “ till the " indignation be accomplished.” Dan, xi. 36. VOL. II.
nant of his people Israel, and his spiritually children of the uncircumcision.
The prophet now proceeds to give a more full account of the great and terrible day of the Lord. He declares, that, when God shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, he will likewise : gather all the nations into the valley of his judg.. ment, and will plead with them on account of the unjust violence with which they have scattered Israel. These nations, as we are taught by Daniel and St. John, are those which will compose the grcat Antichristian Roman confederacy. Joel, like Ezekiel, typically terms one branch of the confederacy Tyre and Zidon *, . He also, like St. John, terms it Egypt; and, like many of the ancient prophets, he denominates the whole confederacy Edom t. With an awful and sublime inversion of
* Chandler, agreeably to his scheme, understands the literal Tyre and Zidon, and supposes that they might have bought some of the Jewish prisoners from the Edomites. But, if the prophecy relate to the finul restoration of Judah, as I think it must, Tyre und Zidon will mean the corrupt church of Rome, as in Ezek. xxvii and xxvii. . . ,
Egypt and Edom are literally understood by Chandler, though he acknowledges that it is impossible from history to fix the particular event by which the prophecy was accomplished. Kimchi comes much nearer the truth, and speaks a language much more accordant with many other ancient predictions, in supposing that Egypt means the Mohammedans, and Edom the Rumans. I am rather inclined however to think, that both
a prediction of Isaiah, he calls upon the nations, which arrange themselves under the banners of Antichrist, to beat their plough-shares into swords, and their pruning-hooks into spears. He calls upon them to wake up the mighty men, and to sanctify war*; to proclaim a miscalled holy crusade against those, whom the infidel and papal ty. rants have devoted with an anathema to utter de.
Egypt and Edom equally typify the Antichristian confederacy of the Roman beast and his vassals. Egypt is used by St. John as a type of the Roman empire (Rev. xi. 8.) along with Sodom ; whence it is not unnatural to conclude, that it here likewise along with Edom means the same. As for the Mohammedans, although their superstition will be broken without hand at this period (Dan. viii. 25.), I cannot find that we have any warrant for supposing that they will nationally be engaged in the last war, of the beast. One great branch of them, Turkey, will be destroyed previous to that era ; and the other branch, Persia, is situated without the limits of the Roman empire. I will not however positively deny, that the Mohammedans may be intended by Egypt. They certainly answer, no less than the Papists, to the prophetic description of committing violence against the children of Juduh, and shedding innocent blood; innocent at least, so far as they were concerned. Gibbon, though by no means unfriendly to Mohammed, states, that that impostor " commanded or approved the assassination of the Jews and " idolaters, who had escaped from the field of battle.”
* The sanctification of this war, and the destroying anathema, with which Daniel's wilful king goes out to his work of devas. tation, equally, I think, relate to the apocalyptic junction of the false prophet with the Roman beast under his last head and the confederated kings of the Latin earth. We seem to gather from these parallel passages, that the last war wiil be undertaken by the Antichristian faction as a sort of crusade or holy war.