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phecy, which properly and ultimately belongs to the second *. And hence Bp. Horsley most truly observes, that " a far greater proportion of the “ prophecies, even of the Old Testament, than is “ generally imagined, relate to the second advent " of our Lord; that few comparatively relate to
the first advent by itself, without reference to the
second; and that of those, that have been sup“ posed to be accomplished in the first, many “ had in that only an inchoate accomplishment, " and have yet to receive their full completion t." · Joel (for I wish only that he should be his own interpreter) has given us a most decisive mark, whereby we may know which of the two advents
* When this prophecy is applied to the first advent, the signs in the sun and moon will relate to the dissolution of the Jewish polity: but I certainly think, that it properly relates to the second adrent and to the revolutions which are to precede and usher it in. Nothing however is more common in propbecy, than a sort of double allusion both to the first and second adrent; to the first as typical of the second. I believe Dr. Gray to be perfectly right in observing, that Joel, in this prediction, " foretells " the general effusion of the Holy Spirit, which was to cha“ racterize the Gospel dispensation ; concluding with a striking, “ description of the destruction of Jerusalem which followed “ soon after, and punished the Jews for their obstinate rea“ jection of the sacred influence; speaking in terms that, as “ well as those of our Saviour which resembled them, had a “ double aspect, and referred to a primary and a final dis. “ pensation. , Comp. Joel ii. 30, 31. with Matt. xxiv. 29.”. Key to the Old Testament, P. 436. + Letter on Isaiah xviii. P. 3.
he is properly treating of. He tells us, that the time of God's gathering together the nations to the great day of the Lord shall be in the days whep he will bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem. Thus it is manifest, that, since the whole of his prophecy, as he four times carefully. tells us, relates to the great day of the Lord, it must necessarily relate, so far as its full completion is concerned, to the great day of the second advent; for, at that great day, not at the great day of the first advent (for then they were dispersed), the Jews will be restored. This being the case, the destruction of the symbolical locust-army will take place at the era of the second great day of the Lord, the era of the second advent, the era of the restoration of Judah. But the locust-army is not only to be destroyed at this era: it is likewise to be destroyed in Palestine between the two seas. Now we are taught by Daniel, that the confederacy of the Infidel king is to be overthrown both at the same era, and in the same bismarine country *. Hence we necessarily, I think, arrive at the conclusion which I have already stated, that the locust-army is no other than the army of Antichrist. . . .
Chandler's exposition of the last chapter of Joel is yet more exceptionable than that of the former, part of the prophecy. He separates it from all that had preceded it, notwithstanding Joel firmly
* Dan. xi. 45. xii, 1.
binds together in one the whole of his prediction, by four times referring us for its accomplishment to the great day of the Lord : and fancies, that it relates to nothing but a war between Ahaz and the Edomites and Philistines, in the course of which several of the Jews were taken prisoners; and to some subsequent victories of Hezekiah, in consequence of which, and of the destruction of Senna, cherib's army, many of the captives were probably restored to liberty *. Thus does he reduce the restoration of Judah and Jerusalem to the mere recovery, and that the only probable recovery, of some prisoners of war; and the magnificent description of the overthrow of the nations in the great day of the Lord to some petty victory of Hezekiah, not of sufficient consequence to be par· ticularly mentioned by the sacred historian t. Yet
*“ Probably under the prosperity of Hezekiah's reign many " were restored to liberty-The sacred historian takes notice, “ that after the slaughter of Sennacherib's army many brought “ gifts to the Lord at Jerusalem, and presents to Hezekiah king “ of Judah. If amongst these offerings there were any prisoners " and captives, they must have been a very grateful present to “ this religious and virtuous prince.”
of “ If we take the valley of Jehoshaphat in a literal sense, the “ prophet foretells some signal vengeance that should be taken " on the Jewish enemies there; which, because of the short“ ness of the history, we may not be so well able to point out
the exact accomplishment of. It is certain Hezekiah had “ many victories over the neighbouring nations, but whether " any of them happened in this valley is not particularly men'" tioned." 03
this strange interpretation of one of the noblest prophecies in Holy Writ he requires us to receive in preference to that of R. Kimchi, who naturally supposes, that the scattering of Israel among the nations and the parting of God's land * means the scattering of the Jews and the partition of Palestine by the Romans, and consequently that the bringing again the captivity of Judah means his final restoration f. On the same principle he attempts to lower all the promises, with which the prophecy concludes, to the short-lived tranquillity of Jerusalem during the latter part of the reign of Hezekiah; a tranquillity ere long disturbed by the captivity of his son Manasseh, and the subsequent general Babylonian captivity which put an end to the kingdom of Judah. How the divine declaration, that Jerusalem should be holy, that hostile
* Joel ini. 2.
+ “ Kimchi refers this (the bringing again the captivity of « Judah) to the days of the Messiah ; and the pouring out of “ the Spirit (Joel ii. 28.), to the days when the captivity of “ Judah should be brought back, without, as I can find, any “ reason for such an appplication-Kimchi understands the “ scattering of the Jews, and the partition of the land, of what " was done by Titus and his army, when they came into the land “ of Israel. But this seems going much out of the way to find “ out the accomplishment of this prophecy. All that is implied " is, that the nations mentioned made several incursions into " the Jewish territories, seized upon several of their cities and “ towns, took the inhabitants captives, and sold them for • slaves," What a singular mode of sinking a prophecy, replete with the boldest and most terrific images!
-strangers * should pass through her no more, and that Judah should dwell for ever, could have been fulfilled in the reign of Hezekiah, when we consider what speedily followed that reign, it is not very easy to conceive t.
* Chandler himself adopts the obvious exposition of Grotius, that the strangers, here mentioned, are hostile strangers. “Je“ rusalem shall be holiness, separated to God, and esteemed as “ under his peculiar protection by the stranger or neighbouring “ nations, who shall therefore no more pass through it; they “ shall neither besiege, nor take it: or, as Grotius expounds it, “ they shall no more pass through it with a hostile army. This “ prophecy seems to me to have been fulfilled in the time of “ Hezekiah, when God saved the inhabitants of Jerusalem from “ the hand of Sennacherib, and from the hand of all others, “ and guided them on every side: and when the Lord was with " Hezekiah, and prospered him whithersoever he went forth.”
+ Dr. Gray observes, that this prophecy is supposed to relątė to the circumstances predicted in Ezekiel xxxix. 5-11. and Rev. XX. 8, 9. (Key, P. 437.) I fully agree with him, that the Gog and Magog of Ezekiel are the same as the Gog and Magog of St. John; but I cannot think, that the prediction of Joel at all relates to them. It speaks of a formiduble confederacy about to be destroyed at the era of the restoration of Judah; whereas the overthrow of Gug and Magog takes place at the end of the millennium. Hence I rather think, that it relates to the cir. cumstances predicted in Isaiah lxiii. Ezek. xxvii, xxviii, xxxv. Dan. xi. 40–45. xii. 1. Rev. xiv. 17-20. xviii, xix, 11--21. and many other parallel prophecies.